01 December, 2018

Christmas greenery

Another post from me today, and it's a seasonally themed this time. As the Fadengrafik Challenge of December is looking for Christmas/New Year creations, I thought I'd use one of my leftover stitched ornaments. I have a couple of them in my stash and don't quite know what to do with them, but I'll use them one after another somehow. 
Theses red swirls with white pearls seem to fit the holiday spirit, and so I decided to look through my paper stash and see what I could find. In the end, I picked a poinsettia background that would complement the stitching, and - most importantly - would not require additional embellishments since they'd probably interfer with the stitching. 
I don't quite like the shimmering, plastic look of the surface, but I tried to neutralize it with a simple kraft card base. 
To finish it off, I decided to use a Christmas sentiment from my stash on the back side of the card.
A little contribution to the December collection of Create in Austria - artwork created by Austrians and/or in Austria.
A little contribution to the collection of hand-stitching at made with Blümchen.

challenges: 
4 crafty chicks: ATG
613 avenue create: ATG with optional twist "Christmas/winter"
a bit more time to craft: ATG
cardmania: Christmas
crafty calendar: Christmas time
crafty catz: ATG
craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge: ATG as long as it's Christmas
craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper
creative moments: ATG
- do-all kreatives: Christmas/New Year
bawion: advent
friendship challenge: ATG
fussy and fancy: winter/Christmas
little red wagon: leftovers (stitched ornament)
love to craft: ATG 
love to scrap: season's greetings
pennys papertake: ATG
through the craftroom door: ATG
wortartwednesday: ATG
worldwide open design team challenge: ATG

For the real-life Christmas greenery, I'll just borrow mom's recent creations: a couple of silverfir branches, rosehip, berberis and a couple of pines that are leftovers from All Saints' wreaths. One in a vase, and one in an altered All Saints' arrangement box.
A contribution to the Friday Flowerday at Holunderbluetchen.

Autumn box

After quite a while, I'm back in my crafting corner, and instead of digging some old project out of my to-be-published stash, I'll go with something that I've just created. 
Visiting my sister turned out to be quite a harvest as she considers to give up her beading supplies. Needless to say, I got my hands on some of her stuff (which I don't *really* need as I have lots of to-be-finished projects running), but also, I took things that I absolutely don't need, just because she'd throw them away.
Among them, a little paper box made of the most solid cardboard I've ever seen. On the downside, it had a rather worn-out vintage print on it that I couldn't see myself using in any way other than to cover it up with paper and maybe a few embellishments. 
However, as I was going through my paper storage, I thought I might as well cover up the base with some acrylic paint before I'd start  the upcycling process. And since I'd have everything covered with acrylic paint, I might as well peek through my napkin organizer, just in case I'd find anything that would be suitable for decoupage on the rather small surface. I did. Among others, an autumn themed napkin caught my eyes, with forest fruits and leaves big enough to cover a side of the box without making everything too full.
Once everything was covered in light brown paint, I let it dry and started to place the napkin cutouts all over the box to find the best match - only that it wasn't really cutouts this time. Rather than carefully cutting out each motif by the line like I usually do, I decided to "paint" a border around the images with a tiny wet brush and tear the motifs out of the napkin. 
This trick that I've seen in other crafters turned out to be a revelation: not only it saves tons (literally, tons) of time, it also enables the cutout to blend into the background once it's glued onto the surface with varnish. 
Once the outside was basically done, I decided to keep the inner lid plain to make sure it slids in and out without getting stuck as the space between the two peaces is rather tight. Instead, I covered the visible part of the inner box with a patterned paper matching to the fall theme.
Then, I decided to spend a little more time on the outside: to add a litte more colour, I took dark brown acrylic paint and a little sponge from my stash, tapping in between the napkin motifs and correcting irregularities in the napkin with a tiny brush and matching dots of acrylic paint.
Finally, I covered up the napkin's hallmark with a tiny wooden leaf that was once part of a gift I received over at scrapping4fun
Just before that, I made sure I'd properly seal the surface with another layer of varnish to prevent the box from tearing and scratches.
In the end, I've created something totally different from what I expected, but I guess this is the result of letting the mood & fantasy do its part. 
Also, it's a quite colourful project to me - not because of the fall colours, but because I usually don't really experiment much when making napkin decoupage. This part of the change certainly comes from watching too much of MaremiSmallArt art journal collages on youtube. Of course, I'm far from any *real* mixed media, but for the first time, I could imagine myself adding a little bit more of different materials to step out of my comfort zone.
A little contribution to the December collection of Create in Austria - artwork created by Austrians and/or in Austria.

challenges: 
4 crafty chicks: ATG
a bit more time to craft: ATG
crafty cardmakers: ATG but a card
crafty catz: ATG
crafty gals corner: ATG with a twist "fall colours"
craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper
creative moments: ATG with a twist "fall colours"
cute card thursday: recycle (cardboard box)
friendship challenge: ATG
little red wagon: leftovers (cardboard box)
love to craft: ATG 
pennys papertake: ATG
through the craftroom door: ATG
wortartwednesday: ATG
worldwide open design team challenge: ATG

And since we're now somewhere between autumn and winter, it would be suitable to admit that nature has the best colours after all. Whether it's the first snow atop Nanos and its surroundings... 
... the fall colours that still prevail in the valleys underneath...
... or the numerous secrets of the Štanjel.
Whether it's the village's distinguished curch tower...
... the castle that has been turned into an art gallery...
... or the tiny settlement itself with its narrow streets and stone houses that seem to be from another time but still fit perfectly in the barren Karst region.
And how about a fairytale garden that brings some unexpected Italian bliss, mixed with views of snow-covered mountains in the distance?
More unusual churches, water wells and vineyards...
... artificial animals...
... and a viewpoint that didn't promise much of a view at first glance, only to beautifully open up the cloudy layer for blue skies above and the blue sea underneath. 
Between, a small reminder that things didn't look quite as peaceful only a while ago when it was torn apart by war and destruction.
And with the right kind of weather on our side, what could be better than an afternoon hike on the edge of Karst, with nothing but autumn colours that would soon fade into the night...