Monday, June 30, 2014


     It is time to say goodbye to two members of the OCC Design Team who have been such an amazing part of the creative journey here at Our Creative Corner.

      Linda is moving on to focus on her Funkie Junkie boutique which is growing rapidly! Here's hoping we see Funkie Junkie Boutique craft stores in England at some point! ;o)

      .....and Jenny is continuing her crafty journey through blogland exploring new DT experiences along the way. We all wish them much luck and happiness wherever their path leads them...

      I am sure you will all agree that both of them have been amazing members of the Design Team and I hope that they leave with many happy memories of their time spent here sharing their creativity to inspire all of you.

       And so here, for one last time, are a few of their projects to amaze and inspire you once again....Please join us in wishing them a fond farewell and all the very best for the future adventures.....



Tomorrow we begin a new challenge led by our wonderful Astrid! This is her first time being the Challenge Host for the OCC and she has come up with such a gorgeous challenge for all of you - I know you will all love it! Please stop by and take a peek!

Happy Crafting!

Laura xxx

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight No. 3 with Tando Creative

Hi everyone, Jenny here today with the last of this month's 'Sponsor Spotlights'. As you will know we've been featuring just a few of the many wonderful designs this company have created ready and waiting for you to alter.

I chose to work with the Andy Skinner Mini Reversible Clock and also took the chance to put some of my relatively newly acquired Americana Decor Chalky Finish paints to good use (gosh I love this stuff!)

Andy Skinner Reversible Clock Small

As you can see you have the option of working on a flat surface or decorating each separate panel and the clock mechanism comes within the pack. Here's how mine turned out...

It has to be said this was a bit different for me as I kept on adding layer after layer of texture and colour. I'll not bore you senseless with a blow by blow account but will tell you which products I used along the way. The base had book pages applied with a mix of Vintage and Lace Chalky Finish paints and some tan ink spray. The stamping was done with Tim Holtz 'Distress Damask' set using Watering Can and Forget Me Not Archival Inks.

Although difficult to detect on camera there are large hearts stencilled with Primitive Chalky paint and smaller ones with the Relic colourway together with some using Red Geranium Archival Ink and a black fineliner. And then there's the stencilled damask pattern using Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi White Embossing Paste followed up with more splats of tan ink.

The numbers were painted with the Vintage paint and the whole lot was splattered with even more of these paints (slightly watered down of course). When those numbers went on they disappeared a little into the background so I used some of the Relic paint to add shadows to one side of them (and you'll see it around the edges of the Chit Chat stickers).

To add durability to the whole thing I applied a couple of coats of clear Americana Decor Creme Wax. Applied with a brush, this stuff is fast drying and doesn't smell. The finishing touch was to add some Rennaisance Treasure Gold to the clock hands and edge of the clock face. The slight pinkish tone worked well with the little hearts.

This wasn't what I originally had in mind when the clock arrived but by allowing those creative juices to flow (and with no 'theme' to follow) it was an absolute joy to complete. If you enter our current challenge 'Flaming June' you could win a fabulous prized generously donated by Tando Creative, but hurry as there are only a couple of days left!

Thanks for taking the time to drop by. Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

Sunday, June 22, 2014

With a Song in your Heart Top Talent

Welcome back to another Top Talent spotlight at Our Creative Corner!
This month we are shining the spotlight on the winner of the 'With a Song in your Heart' Challenge that was hosted by Alison!

Our Creative Corner is so pleased to be welcoming Nikki from A2A-Addicted to Art.  Nikki won the challenge with her beautiful altered bottle and at the same time gave us a wonderful trip down memory lane with a brilliant song!
As usual, before we show you Nikki's stunning creation - let's just spend some time finding out a little bit more about this talented crafter.......

1. Where do you live?

     I live in Basingstoke, Hampshire (UK). I have been here for 14 years now although I originate from the Midlands.

2. How/when did you start crafting and blogging?

     I started crafting in November last year (2013) and blogging in January (2014) – actually I think my first post was right at the end of December. I remember thinking it strange that I was writing something and no one would see it. I don’t have lots of ‘followers’ but that’s the great thing about challenge blogs like this one, it invites people to see what you do.

Although my craft only started a few months ago I have done different forms of art over the years – so I wasn’t new to everything – although I confess I didn’t know what embossing or die cutting was or hadn’t heard of Tim Holtz! I was introduced to it all through a friend I play badminton with when I visited her house to borrow a Halloween costume! Don’t you love how good things come out of the unexpected.

3. Are there particular crafters who inspire you?

    When I started it was the ones on TV – Barbara Gray, Hels Sheridan e.t.c. – then I discovered Tim Holtz and lots of the crafters on blogs like this one. I am always discovering new people but my early inspiration came from (it’s true) Laura Bomber, Alison Bomber and Astrid Maclean. I prefer Vintage, shabby chic, grunge and altered art. I want to start journalling, but have yet to find time. I think Linda Ledbetter put it really well recently on a blog when she was talking about Tim Holtz. This describes wonderfully the sort of craft that inspires me ... 

There's such beauty and inspiration in the distressed, 
imperfect, DO-ABLE projects he shares, and for those 
of us who are somewhat cute-impaired, it's incredibly
 freeing to let loose and -- quite literally-- color outside
                                               the lines. I love his grungy, badass aesthetic.’

4. What other things do you draw inspiration from?

    I don’t think I have done anything wildly original yet – I take inspiration from other crafters and merge them together. I would like to think I could be inspired by art. I love (abstract expressionism for example) and nature (I love old trees - their twisted roots and fabulous textures).

5. What's your crafting work area like? And do you work best in clear space or chaos?

    It is relatively tidy – I like to keep some order around me – although after a session crafting it tends to end up a little chaotic. I do try to tidy up regularly though and am definitely more comfortable with some sort of order.

6. We would love to know what craft items you can't live without and the items that you wish you had never bought

    I cannot make anything without distress inks. I think I would also struggle without some form of embossing / texture paste and a couple of fantastic butterfly punches and matching stamps I have. When I started crafting I bought some cheap stamps, some adhesive, girly ribbon strips and some geometric, brightly coloured patterned papers – nothing wrong with any of them, but probably not my style.

7. How do you spend your time when not crafting?

    I work, play badminton, go to the gym and run a little (although it takes a lot of motivation to do either) and the normal things: friends, family and housework (when I have to!).

Nikki is a star in the spotlight today creating such a treat for us all to be inspired by! Take a look..... 

This is amazing Nikki! Such a beautiful work of art and creativity with so many gorgeous rustic details. It has been such an honour to feature you today at Our Creative Corner. 
Thank you for being such a wonderful Top Talent in the spotlight!

     If you want to see more photos and details of this gorgeous creation and how it was made, then please go along to Nikki's blog  A2A-Addicted to Art and say "Hello" - I am sure she would love to see you there!



Would you like to see your work here in the 'Our Creative Corner' Spotlight?

You could be here as our 'Top Talent' with the spotlight shining on something you have created! 
All you have to do is enter Julia's 'Flaming June' challenge. Dive into bright colours this month and discover the joy of orange!

You could also be one of our Top 3 and there is even the chance to be 

the winner of a super prize kindly donated by Tando Creative... 
There is one more week of Julia's challenge left, so why not have fun creating!

Happy Crafting!

Laura xxx

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight 2 with Tando

Welcome everyone and thank you for dropping by today. This is Astrid with a project for our second sponsor spotlight.

As you may know our sponsor this month is Tando Creative


I chose to work with the 4 arch set:
4 Arch Set

When they arrived I was surprised at how small they are, but in fact that makes them perfect as an embellishment for a special card. So this is was I made:

I happened to have a card blank triptych in my stash and thought it would be perfect to use the arches on.
First I started by adding some texture to the little arches themselves by adding some texture paste. I used Liquitex Stucco paste, which really is like stucco, I applied it with my fingers to the little frames.

You get 4 little arches in the pack, but I decided to use just two, so I have two more to play with another time. Below you can hopefully see the stucco effect a bit better:

When the stucco had dried I rubbed a Versamark pad over it and then embossed with 3 different embossing powders: Ranger Antiquities Rust, Verdigris and Walnut Stain.

I added a scrap of paper behind each and stamped a word too and adhered that to the little panels. For the middle of my card I cut a larger Arch out of mount board with the Tim Holtz Arch Frame die and gave it the same treatment.

Onto my card:
I covered it in 3 different colours of Fresco Finish Paints: Nougat, Stone and French Roast blending with both a baby wipe and some Kitchen roll until I was more or less happy with the effect:

I wanted a kind of aged and distressed wood effect but then decided that would be too distracting behind the arches so blended Distress Inks, Pumice Stone and Gathered Twigs around the edges to tone it all down a bit.
I then did some some stamping, both with Picket Fence Distress paint and Plum Archival ink and then adhered my arches.

The Swirl stamps are from Stempel Glede, the scrip stamp from Darkroom Door. Below are some close ups of the panels still:

The word Live is part of a Kaisercraft stamp. I stamped it on a scrap from a mop up tag and outlined with a white gel pen. Not convinced that really worked, but too late now....

The central panel with a vintage photo from my stash and a metal embellishment.

And the final one done in the same way as the first.

Well, that's it, hope you like it, and if you have not yet participated in our challenge we all hope you will do so and you could win a fabulous prize generously provided by Tando Creative. You can read all about this month's challenge HERE

Thank you so much for visiting today and don't forget to come back on the 22nd to see the winner from last months challenge appear as our 'Top Talent'!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

And Our Surprise Guest Designer For June Is. . . . . . . .

Hi everyone. Julia here again for the post I have been looking forward to the most this month. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce our Guest Designer for this month: the hugely, hugely, hugely (yes I meant to type that three times!) talented Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries from Holland. I have long admired Alie's creativity and find her work inspirational. She is also a very sweet person too! What I love best about Alie's work is her versatility for so many genres. She is equally at home creating stamped masterpieces or altering old found objects that many people wouldn't know what to do with!
Did I mention that Alie is also a stamp designer too. . . . .?

Prepare yourselves for a treat as you scroll down. This is one fabulous tutorial and finished project from Alie. She has embraced my Flaming June challenge completely and in perfect style - just as I knew she would. 


"At Our Creative Corner we have monthly Guest Designers who are chosen by the Challenge Host of that month. Julia is hosting the challenge in June 2014 and she has requested that I ask if you would like to be our Guest Designer for that month."

That was part of the mail I received from Laura...and wow it was sent to me, a Dutch stamping Grandma :-). Of course I feel honoured and I tried to create something that fits the challenge I got...This picture of the painting and the colour orange:

Flaming June by Frederick Leighton

I immediately had to think of Alcohol Inks... and used them on Stampinback cardstock.

  June - Summer - Hot - Flames...not a Frederick Leighton, not even nearby...but it was a start...

These poppies are stamps from real June flower, stamped with black Archival ink.


And still didn't know where to go to....

I started searching through my stuff and found this flat wooden birdhouse.  And sprayed the yellow, red and orange Dylusions Ink Sprays on it. That looks "hot" :-)

A Stampinback Circle stencil on the sprayed wood and using a wet babywhipe to get a less dull background.

A birdhouse needs birds. In the Netherlands, orange is a Royal colour so these crowned birds deserved to be orange too. I painted them with Amsterdam orange acrylic paint.

And then I had to combine all these mixed media together, to make an orange creation that had to fit the challenge: Flaming June...and part by part....

I glued a flower and a light bulb on top of the roof. Used different wooden parts for the word June. Stamped the black birds (Hero Arts stamp) on the wood with Archival and inked them a bit more with a permanent marker. Behind the hole there still is a little Royal birdie in the nest!!

But a few others already left the nest.

And finally here is my FLAMING JUNE...

Hard to catch the real colour, outside, so a few pictures of the final creation.

I had to cut off the lower part of the Alcohol inked card...the birdhouse wasn't long enough :-).
Four dewdrops in the punched corners.

And once again...but now for the last interpretation of FLAMING JUNE.

 The background is ribbed cardboard from a box. I teared off some parts of the top layer and inked it with brown chalk and a bit of golden Acrylic paint. The yellow net is part of an onion net (no smell at all :-)). I used staples to adhere it to the cardboard. The wooden birdhouse I glued with Tacky Glue.

Thanks a lot Laura, Julia and OCC for this invitation!
It really was fun to create this Flaming June!

Kind regards
Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries:-)

One word: WOW!  Didn't I say how talented this lady is? From beginning to end this tutorial will fill your head with ideas that you can translate to your own work in your own style. The colours are absolutely what I want to see from entrants for this challenge. Alie has used a great variety of mediums and shown how these can all tie together to produce a stunning end result. I love it all but what would I put as my top 3 elements of Alie's charming bird house hanging? The little birds with crowns, the little bird in the nest and that gorgeous 'hot' background with the stamped flowers. Thank you so much Alie for sharing this beautiful piece of art with us all. PS. I don't think of you as a Dutch stamping Grandmother!! : )