Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year at Our Creative Corner

      Laura here! - with a very special post to tell you all how Our Creative Corner will work in 2014.......
   I am so very lucky to have the most amazing team working on Our Creative Corner.  Behind the scenes we have all been working together on making plans for this year - all of us coming up with ideas to make Our Creative Corner bigger and better than ever.

      Some things remain the same.  There is still the same wonderful Design Team who will be here to inspire you each month. Our challenges will still be monthly and we have all been planning some inspiring challenges for you for the year ahead!

     You will have noticed that we had a Guest Designer last month - wasn't Lynne absolutely amazing?  We will be having a Surprise Designer visit us each month to add further inspiration for our challenges, and we are so looking forward to each visit!  Come and visit us on the 11th January to see who this month's amazing Guest Designer is - you won't be disappointed!!!

And now onto the biggest news.... We are all so pleased to announce that this year we will be sponsored by some wonderful craft businesses who are donating some very generous prizes for lucky crafters to win! 

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we now can offer a prize each month.  The prize will be allocated by selecting an entry via Random.org.

     We will still be judging and selecting a 'Top Talent' winner from the entries, and that person will be invited to appear at Our Creative Corner.  All winners will be announced on the 8th of each month - the randomly selected prizewinner, and the chosen 'Top Talent' Winner and Top 3.

      You should also watch out for our brand new 'Sponsor Spotlights'.  Each month there will be three posts where our design team will show items they have made using products from that month's sponsor.  These 'Sponsor Spotlights' will be a great way for you to see what is available to buy from the companies, as well as some inspiring ideas from the Our Creative Corner design team.  Our design team won't be following the OCC challenge theme for the 'Sponsor Spotlights'. The creations for the Spotlights will be 'Anything goes' - so there will be plenty of surprises along the way!

      So get ready, because in 2014 Our Creative Corner will be featuring more creativity than ever before!

      And one final change.... there are no longer two teams at Our Creative Corner.  We will now all be sharing our creations with you on the 1st of each month!

      So that is all the details of how the OCC will work over the next year......We really hope you will enjoy all our challenges and why not have a go?  You could be featured as our Top Talent, you could be named as one of our Top 3, and now you have the added bonus of being in the draw to win a fantastic prize!

We are looking forward to a wonderful year ahead at the OCC - thanks so much for being here!!!

Laura x

Sunday, December 22, 2013

'Tag you're it' Top Talent

Welcome back to Our Creative Corner's December Top Talent!

        I hope all of you are having as stress-free a lead up to Christmas as possible....as I am writing this my Christmas Day Gravy is bubbling away on the stove  (I am queen of preparing early!) and the kids presents are wrapped up and hidden in the hall cupboard - shhh....don't tell them! ;o)

        Anyway, take a short break from all the Christmas preparations that threaten to engulf us and sit down with a cup of tea as we welcome Maisie Moonshine to the OCC spotlight!

      As you might remember Julia was running the October 'Tag it on' challenge and she had the very difficult job of selecting a winner and Top 3.  She chose Maisie's very spooky skeleton tag and Maisie has made something very special for us today. As usual, before we see her wonderful festive creation,  let's find out about the artist first!
1) Where do you live?

I live in a village on the outskirts of Stafford in the UK

2)  Describe yourself in five words?

I asked No.1 Son to help me with this one - he came up with "caring, considerate, mildly entertaining and ... short" -  I was pleasantly surprised!

3)  Are you a day-time or night-time crafter?


I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to crafting - I run my own business making hand sewn decorations, so I craft for my "day job", and in the run up to, and between, craft fairs I tend to work all hours to maintain my stock levels. My paper crafting has to fit in around my work schedule as I do both in the same room. I tend to find that I'm at my most productive when I get back from doing the afternoon school run.

I have suffered from insomnia for most of my adult life, so I will often retreat to my craft room in the wee small hours and occupy myself until I'm tired enough to sleep (which is partly how the name Maisie Moonshine came about) - that and the fact Sally Sunshine (my original choice of blogger avatar) turned out to be a rather saucy oriental lady!

4)  What supply wouldn't you do without when it comes to crafting?

 I wouldn't do without my Distress and Dylusions Inks but I COULDN'T do without my stamps - thankfully, even though I can't draw, there are plenty of very talented artists out there who can, and they have very kindly made their images available for me to borrow!

What is the most useless item that you have purchased for your crafts?

My  ShapeBoss - I've had it since 2009 and have used it once, perhaps it is time to find it a new home.

If you have lost your Mojo, how do you go about getting it back?

I have found that joining in with challenges such as those at OCC can really kick start your creativity. There is usually a set of rules and design parameters you have to abide by, so it narrows down the field a bit and you can concentrate on meeting the challenge criteria rather than having blank canvas terror.

I subscribe to Craft Stamper and am usually inspired by at least one project in each issue, I don't always have all the right supplies, but I really enjoy the challenge of finding work-arounds to get a similar effect. I can't always find the time to play but having the back issues to refer to in dry times really does help. I love Art Journaling magazine too - but mainly I just get art journal envy when I read it!

The Internet obviously provides loads of inspiration, from blogs to Pinterest to YouTube videos of new techniques, even a flip through Google images can throw up an eye catching colour combination or design. 

Sometimes a new craft supply might be all it takes for inspiration to strike - I knew how my Creepy Castle Tag was going to look as soon as I saw the Gothic arch window in my local craft store.

7)  Do you pre-sketch a design or do you just wing it? How long does it usually take you to make a project?

Pre-sketch? Moi? I would if I could - but I CAN'T draw. If the design in my head is very complicated or it is evolving over a few days (well nights really) I will probably jot down some notes, but mostly I tend to wing it. 

It can take me days to design and make a project - I am almost completely self taught and my lack of art skills and self confidence tends to trip me up and I will spend hours mentally rejecting design after design before I finally decide on "the one".  I am a lot of a perfectionist, so I won't start something unless I am sure it will come out like I imagine it. I have to have an idea of what the finished project will look like, I can't just throw stuff at the page and see what happens - I'm too much of a control freak!

Other times, of course, I know in a second what I want to do and how it will look, some fine details might change during the making process but the overall design is just there - a light bulb moment, if you like.

       Maisie has made us the most wonderful festive garland to decorate 'Our Creative Corner' this Christmas!

Thank you so much Maisie Moonshine for being here today in the Top Talent Spotlight and creating such a gorgeous Christmas Garland for us.  It has been a pleasure to feature your work.

If you want to see more photos and details of how it was made, then please go along to Maisie's blog Maisie's Moonshine and say "Hello" - I am sure she would love to see you there! 

Would you like everyone to see your work here under 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 Laura's Very Vintage Christmas challenge.  There is one more week of her challenge left, so why not have fun creating! 


      We all hope you will come back to see us on the 1st January when there will be some very  exciting news for you! We have BIG plans for 2014!!!!

From the team at Our Creative Corner - we all hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!!!

See you all in 2014!!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Very Vintage Christmas Part 2

Welcome back to A Very Vintage Christmas part 2!

     We have had many wonderful entries so far - thank you so much!

      Sadly, we have had to delete some entries because they didn't follow the challenge guidelines. Deleting entries isn't something we like to do....so PLEASE take a moment to check that your creation is suitable for our challenge. It is such a shame to delete a wonderful creation because it doesn't fit the challenge description.


     For this challenge we are abandoning traditional Christmas colours and are giving Christmas a Vintage tone.  

No reds, no greens, just neutrals.  

For more detailed guidelines about this challenge you can find them here.

Lets see what wonderful creations the team have made to inspire you.


I was so pleased when Laura announced this challenge - neutrals and me just do not mix well so it was a challenge for me not to use brighter colours.  I loved it!  Hope you will come over to my blog for a closer look.



This challenge was an absolute delight for me!  I played with my favorite color palette and lots of my new favorite crafty supply - distress glitter.  I created my own background with a stencil, embossing paste, stamping and inking and had a blast doing it.  Stop by my blog for all the details.



There are altered baubles everywhere at the moment, and I had an absolutely wonderful time converting some cheap gaudy plastic ornaments with gesso, book pages, burlap and lots of other yummy stuff - with not a hint of bright colour in sight, of course!  If you want to see them in detail, you're just going to have to hop over to Words and Pictures for the full rundown.



I loved this theme from the moment Laura announced it, Christmas, Vintage and neutral, all my favourite things! I combined them with my make by altering a wooden block canvas, for want of a better word, details and how to can be found on my blog.


 There are two more weeks of our challenge left....so why not have fun creating
 a neutral coloured Christmas creation.  

The deadline for this challenge is 28th December at 11.55pm

The winner and Top 3 from this challenge will be announced on the 8th January 2014

The winner will be invited to appear as 'The Top Talent' here at OCC, have a short interview so we can find out all about them and there will be a 'Spotlight' on a new project they have created. 

The winner's Top Talent interview and creation will be on the 22nd February

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Snow Time

     Welcome back to our Creative Corner....Today we are so delighted to announce our first guest designer!

 Lynne Moncrieff  from Adorn. 

 It is very likely you will know Lynne's work, how brilliantly talented she is and seen many of her amazing creations...I expect you will all be very eager to see what she has made to inspire you...so I won't say anything more except...........

   "Welcome to Our Creative Corner Lynne, we hope you enjoyed being here - Over to you Lynne!"


I am delighted to be the Guest Designer for the month of December, it is a great honour and such fun to be creating a sample for the A Very Vintage Christmas' challenge.

Vintage is always my chosen style, always finding myself drawn to stamps with a vintage air to them, none moreso than photo real stamps especially from Oxford Impressions.  The appeal isn’t only the imagery of the stamps but the story that can be created from inking them up.

When Laura invited me to be a Guest Designer and gave me details of the challenge I knew immediately that I wanted to create a winter scene, a scene that could be displayed on a mantel or table over the winter months.

The story which formed in my head was of two little children, possibly being a nuisance, getting under their Mother’s feet as she is busy with Christmas preparations and so she sends them outside to play in the knee deep snow but from the look on their little faces it is obviously too cold for their liking as they are not the happiest of souls!

One of the Tando Creative houses was the perfect addition to what are otherwise stamped elements. The house had Gesso applied before painting and then I stamped snowflakes onto the roof and for the walls I stamped a text stamp.  Fragments of lace dress the windows with snow on the roof.

Stepping outside the cottage we have the stamped trees on either side of the house and a sweet little bird struggling to walk in the snow, did you spy him?

 The children appear to have only one sledge to play with as the other sledge is deeply lodged in the snow.

     It was important to convey a snowy day when the landscape has that crisp, fresh snow that crunches underfoot as you try to walk through it.  To form the snow you probably guessed that I used modeling paste.  As I wanted to achieve height I used a coarse texture paste, immediately scattering a generous amount of glass glitter with the addition of more glass glitter when the paste had dried.

    A fresh dusting of snow has fallen during their playtime so I sprinkled glass glitter onto the children and trees to reflect this.

All of this glass glitter creates wonderful sparkle especially if set nearby a Christmas tree bedecked with lights or the glow from a candle.

 Thank you to everyone at Our Creative Corner for allowing me to share one of my winter creations with you.

                                                                       Festive Wishes

Oxford Impressions - Season of Giving and Sleigh Bells
If you are new to using photo real stamps then I highly recommend you purchase a Speedball brayer to apply the Archival ink and if aiming for a vintage photo appearance, stamping onto glossy cardstock gives the best results.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tic Tac Toe - Winner and Top3

Servus, dear crafting friends, Claudia here again to announce the winner and Top3 of the Steampunk Tic Tac Toe challenge.

Maybe Steampunk and the pre-Christmas period don't go together too well as there weren't as many entries as I had hoped (and I blame myself of not having been able to lure more of you into a bit of steampunk fun)... but the projects that were entered were absolutely fabulous and I really had a hard time choosing my winner and Top3. Thank you all so much for creating your awesome steampunk goodness for our challenge! I really enjoyed seeing the fun you had while creating pop out of all of your fabulous makes!

Laura is this month's host of our actual challenge "A very vintage Christmas" (where you are to use neutral colours only) and I hope you will all join in! Remember: the winner gets a Top Talent spot with us and will be featured at Our Creative Corner in an extra post with a long Q&A session alongside a project especially created for this event! So what are you waiting for!

But let's see who will be our Tic Tac Toe Top Talent soon (and of course who are the Top3 I chose):

and my winner iiiis....

Sam with her brilliant "Washi Balloon Card"
(Yay! Congrats, Sam!
I so love your card!)


I love that "busy sky" texture Sam created with the "floating" letters on that lovely blue-ish background! And the idea of using the washi tape for the balloon is absolutely clever and looks just awesome!  I also like that there's a lot of traffic going on in this sky ;)

And my Top 3 are:
(in no particular order) 


Look at that awesome texture Sam has created! Wow! And I love how she combined all the elements with such a lot of thought and care for detail! There's something new to discover each time you look at her brilliant card! And the colour combo is simply adorable!


I love Susan's vibrant colour accent against the cool patina house shaped background on this tag! And the wire center piece of the heart is a brilliant addition to make this tag a steampunk make with a yummy rust and metal time worn feel...not to mention the rough stitching (which I am really in love with).


The idea of using that beautiful hinge as a real functional hinge for opening the cage to reveal the beautiful quote for the newly wed is absolutely brilliant and sooo very clever. I love it! And I love the really festive and delicate look of this steampunk make!

Congrats to all of you, ladies! I love what you created for "my" challenge and am so happy and grateful that you all played along! Please, feel free to grab the winner's and Top3 badges from the side bar for display on your blogs! 


In the meantime our December challenge has gone online on December 1st and there will be more inspiration for you from Team B on December 15th - so come back to check it out and/or enter your vintage Christmas projects! Looking forward to seeing a lot of fab entries soon,

Claudia x

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Very Vintage Christmas

         Hi everyone! Laura here to bring you our December challenge....

.....but before I do that the Design Team at Our Creative Corner would all like to wish everyone a very merry and peaceful Christmas and a very happy New Year
 We are all really looking forward to continuing our Crafty journey with you in 2014. 

  I would also like to just take a moment to announce that on the 11th December we will have our first Guest Designer! This month's designer is truly an amazingly talented artist who creates such unique and wonderful things. We are so lucky to have her appearing at OCC. She will be here to inspire you and will share with you her interpretation of 'A Very Vintage Christmas'........

Who is our Guest Designer?........
.......all will be revealed on the 11th.....make sure you don't miss it!


And now to announce our December challenge. This month I decided to set the challenge as..... 

    For this challenge we are abandoning traditional Christmas colours and are giving Christmas a Vintage tone. No reds, no greens, just neutrals.

     The challenge here is to use a neutral palette....so think about shades of creamy hot chocolate, glistening white snow, rich dark sherry and mince pies, ivory candles, rustic wooden logs, roasting chestnuts and brown paper packages tied up with string!

    This Christmas we want you to make anything you like - Cards, ATC's, Tags, Scrapbooking, journals, Gifts, Altered art......anything you like....but please use only neutral colours from ice white, through to ivory and cream, beige to dark brown and black. You can also use metal embellishments, metal paints and stains.

Please Note - Your creation does NOT have to be 'Vintage style' - We would love to see Christmas creations in any style, but please keep to a neutral colour scheme.

Lets see what the 'Our Creative Corner' team made for you this month.


I just had to do a Christmas make after reading Laura's fabulous challenge!
  I have altered two MDF blank baubles. These two images show the front and back of one of the altered wooden decorations. Pop over to my blog to see the other transformation and how I achieved the end results.



  For this challenge I intended to make an item look as shabby as possible. So with lots of paint, crackle, every neutral shade of Distress ink that I own and many many layers later - I have this 'antique' ornament that is just waiting to be put on show at Christmas.



I admit I struggled a bit with the combination of vintage, Christmas and the reduction in colour but the result was really worth it as I love the delicate shabby feel to the tag (and to be honest: I really love that this challenge wants all of us to create something festive without the use of greens and reds...  ;). And that's what challenges are for - being challenged, right?


I wanted to take a much less 'vintage' route with this theme to show that neutrals can be fun and more modern. When you limit your colour palette the focus can be placed more heavily on texture and shapes. 

Don't forget - On the 15th December the rest of the OCC team will be sharing 
their amazing Christmas creations with you.....

Bring your creations to Our Creative Corner and you could be our WINNER!

This challenge is open until 11:55 pm on December 28th.

Thanks for visiting.  Can't wait to see all of your Vintage Christmas creations! 

Creations not following the challenge guidelines will be deleted.


Friday, November 22, 2013

'Forgotten Things' 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 'Forgotten Things' Challenge hosted by Anne.

     Our Creative Corner is so happy to be welcoming Julie Ann from magpieheaven, who won the Forgotten Things challenge with her stunning
Pierrot box.

     If you haven't been to her blog to see her amazing work then you really should head over there!
    Julie Ann has created such a beautiful piece of art for us today....but as usual, before we show you the amazing creation - let's find out a little bit more about this very talented lady.......

1.  Where do you live?

I live in Bromley Kent, about twenty minutes from London on the train.

2.  Do you have your own creative space in your home?

Don’t get me started on that one! I craft either on the dining table, competing with the salt and pepper mills and a hungry family arriving and wanting the next meal, or in our tiny little conservatory on top of the washing machine. It’s freezing in there on a cold day, or hot enough to get the UTEE bubbling without a melt pot on a hot one! I’ve been promised a garden shed all of my own sometime next year where I can hide myself away and craft to my heart’s content! Heaven!

3.  If you could only use three craft supplies for the rest of your life, what would they be?

It would have to be Paper Artsy Fresco Paints, Wendy Vecchi Archival Inks and Treasure Gold. 

4.  Do you pre-sketch a design or do you just wing it?

Sometimes I have an idea that comes to me in the night and I have to get up and sketch it there and then. On other occasions I just play with materials and stamps and see what happens. I always start with a vague idea of where I’m going with a project. I like it if what I’ve created has a story to tell or a special significance for me or the person I’m making it for. 

5.  If you have lost your Mojo, how do you go about getting it back?

I haven’t been crafting very long, so it still feels as if my mind is bursting with ideas and not enough time to play. If I want inspiration, though, I either go for a walk in the countryside or into the garden or I visit my favourite museum – The Victoria and Albert – a treasure trove of the most gorgeous designs from all times and places.

6.  Do you plan to buy craft items? Or are you of the mind that  “Really need it NOW!”  only works for you?

It depends. Sometimes I make a plan of what I need. Sometimes I see something that will be perfect for a project I’m working on and then I have to have it NOW!

7.  Please tell us about five blogs that truly inspire you.

           Back when I started blogging in April, I was advised to put my work desk on WOYWW. A crafter from Canada commented on my post, saying that ’We magpies should stick together’. Ever since she has encouraged me, regularly visiting my blog and inspiring me with her lovely, original work, which uses recycled materials and rich vivid colours and textures. Her name is Dianne Marcoux and her blog is Magpiedi Magpiedi

           Alison Bomber at Words and Pictures appeals to me with her love of text along with beautiful art work: I really enjoy the quotations she includes. I teach English so I love the narrative quality of a lot of her work

          Laurart is a constant source of inspiration. I always admire the way Laura uses colour; her choice of stamped images and the originality of her designs. And, like a lot of the artists I admire, her work often tells a story or creates a mood.

          PaperArtsy was the first Craft Blog I ever looked at when I returned home from a trip to London with my first ever unmounted rubber stamps - an ‘Ink and the Dog’ plate – one of the Wings ones and saw that this company had their own blog. I’ve been a regular visitor ever since. I love to play along with the guest designers whenever I can.

    Another crafter who has inspired me and whose work has been a great source of inspiration is Kezzy, of Kezzy’s Crafty Journey. Her ‘can do’ attitude is infectious. I love her enthusiasm and her willingness to give anything a try!

    Julie Ann has worked her usual wonderful paint and texture magic for us and created a gorgeous money box...So let's take a peek at the Top Talent Spotlight...


   Thank you so much Julie Ann for being here today in the Top Talent Spotlight and creating such a beautiful altered money box for us. It has been a pleasure to feature your work.

If you want to see more photos and details of how it was made, then please go along to Julie Anne's blog magpieheaven and say "Hello" - I am sure she would love to see you there! 

Would you like everyone to see your work here under 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 Claudia's 'Steampunk TicTacToe' challenge.  There is one more week of her challenge left, so why not have fun creating! 
Come and have a go at Steampunk - Dip your toe in grunge and gears....or dive right in!

      We all hope you will come back to see us on the 1st December when Laura will be presenting her new challenge for all of you....We also have some exciting news for you! 
See you then!