Monday, 20 January 2020

An Unfortunate Ending - by Claudia

Hi, servus and welcome to my "every other Monday" post and project!

Don't ask me what exactly made the idea for this project spark in my head - must have been something about huntsmen, a species among humans that - at least from my point of view - sees wildlife animals differently and that feels some kind of (for me irreproducible) joy when displaying and looking at their trophies on their walls...(guess it might have been the documentary on some Austrian hunting lodges that once were the playgrounds for old Austrian nobility and that had and still have walls plastered with mounted antlers and deer heads). I also remember I had a colleague back at school who was a huntsman and who once told a story about an old three-legged cat from their neighbours he accidentally shot and he told it as if it was some veeeery funny story to tell (well, I guess amongst hunters it is a funny story...which tells a lot about this particular kind of hunters in fact).... maybe with that in mind my make isn't that weird anymore (I hope). The subconscious definitely took over with this one...

I imagined how the wall of a hunter might look if he were obsessed with hunting whatever animal would meet his path (for more funny stories to tell)....the neighbours' canary for example, a beautiful butterfly in his own garden and - of course - a deer from the woods nearby...

I have to admit though that I love looking at all the butterfly and beetle collections at the Natural History Museum, but at least it wasn't me who killed these specimen to display them on my walls. And I also have to admit that I do have three beetles in a shadow box at home that were souvenirs from a shop in Venice (hm....what does that tell about me I wonder...?). I think I am mainly pushed off by the visible joy of huntsmen when they talk about their hunts (I'm not talking about forest rangers and hunters of course who shoot deer and other animals because of legitimate reasons).

I love and admire the beauty of butterflies, beetles and even deer antlers or skulls being displayed and mounted thoroughly...but to me these are a means to get a close, long look to inhale and admire the wonders of evolution and nature. They're no trophies - and that makes a difference.

I was given some gorgeous Maja design papers by my lovely friend Kerstin and used one of these as wall paper to mount the trophies on.

Calico Craft Parts used: 

- Sheet of Mini Deer & Antlers - MDF Wood Animal Shapes - Style 3
- Rounded Rectangle Shape - MDF Mixed Media Board (150mm x 75mm)
- Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Wings - Style 4
- Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Butterflies - Style 6
- Fancy Plaques - Mini MDF Wood Shapes 
- Oval Shape - Mini MDF Wood Shapes

I used DecoArt matte Decou-Page to glue the (slightly larger cut to size) paper and decorative strip to the Mixed Media Board and then sanded off the excess. Then I inked the edges with brown archival stamping ink and a blending foam. The bird and butterly wings and antlers were glued onto the Mini MDF Wood Shapes and set aside to dry. Then I dry brushed them with DecoArt media white Gesso.

I painted the butterfly wings with hints of DecoArt Americana Primary Red and a wash of media Cobalt Turquoise Hue fluid acrylic, on the Canary wings I used media fluid acrylic Hansa Yellow Medium and on the antlers a thin wash of premium Burnt Umber acrylic paint that I also used directly from the tube to paint the plaques.

The antlers were then covered by a generous coat of DecoArt media Liquid Glass and set aside to have them dry naturally.

I used diluted DecoArt media Antiquing Cream Raw Umber to tone down the painted wings and stamped the specimens' numbers on the "wallpaper" in black archival ink before I glued everything in place.

The word sticker was shaded using my Stabilo All black aquarellable pencil and a water loaded detail brush.


I hope my slightly grim sense of humour doesn't push anyone off (well, if it pushes off a certain kind of hunters I am totally fine with 

Hugs and happy crafting!


  1. Thanks for sharing this make Claudia and I echo many of your views re huntsmen xx

  2. How I love the process you describe between your mind and this creation. Smart, elegant and such a depth of drama. Very impressive !