Monday 2 September 2019

Mistaken for a Flower - by Claudia

Servus, hi and thanks for stopping by today! 
Over here in Austria holidays have just ended and the new school year has begun.
I had a wonderful time at Lake Atter (as always) and I am sharing a project today that I've made there during the summer holidays to kind of save at least a bit of summer glory...

Those who know me know how much I love found objects and rust. So when I found this rusty nail (= a rusty & found object...which means double love ;) around the farmhouse there, I knew I had to use it on a summer-y tag (and give it our lovely host Sabine as a little thank-you as she always cares so well for us and makes us feel part of the family).

Being away from my studio for five weeks always means quite a challenge for me as I find that five weeks without any access to my favourite paints, media and crafting tools always kind of interrupt my creative flow and it is hard afterwards to get my creative mojo back. So this year I had taken a tool box with me, filled with a mix of what I felt I needed to have at hand to enjoy some mixed media fun during my long time off my studio...

and that worked out pretty well, even though I had to improvise and was limited down to what I had decided to pack (which was really hard) - so I had white DecoArt Crackle Paint and Gesso, some of my favourite DecoArt media fluid acrylics, one tube of  Titanium White DecoArt premium paint, a collection of paper scraps in an old cigar box,

...some stamps and larger prepared die cuts....but this year I could even take some cutting dies with me as I have helped myself to the little Sidekick last winter (as a reward for bravery with several dental surgeries last year)...

Luckily I also knew I would receive one of my Calico Craft Parts design team orders during my time there and I had ordered some plain MDF tags from the Tags and Buntings section in various sizes to use as a substrate.

Using craft shapes of the same type but in different sizes is great for beautiful layering - so I used two different sizes of the MDF Tag Shapes - Rounded Rectangle  for this project... add beautiful dimension to it.

The butterfly was done using the "Flutter" stamp set and matching dies designed by Tim Holtz.
I stamped the butterfly three times and die cut the whole shape two times plus the body from the third stamped image to layer them all together to create the impression of real "flutter".

The stamped and die cut butterflies were painted using DecoArt media fluid acrylics. I only used transparent pigments and watered these down to create very thin washes to paint over the stamping without losing any lines or patterns.

The smaller tag was primed using DecoArt premium "Titanium White" acrylic paint. On the larger I used a mix of white DecoArt media Gesso with traces of Prussian Blue Hue and Titan Buff fluid acrylic paints.
I applied the paints on this one wet on wet and left visible brush strokes for more interest.

Once the Titanium White on the top tag had dried, I loosely scraped on DecoArt media white Crackle Paint with the very tip of my palette knife. I put my tags in the sun to speed up the drying and crackling process time and that worked pretty well (hot as it was).  I also added white Crackle Paint around the edges of the larger base tag.

To make the cracks more visible I added washes of Transparent Yellow and Red Iron Oxide media fluid acrylics and also sprinkled on some Golden Straw Americana paint and the left overs from the Titanium White - Prussian Blue Hue mix. That was finished by some sprinkles of diluted Raw Umber media fluid acrylic paint.

The edges of the tags were darkened using walnut stain Distress Crayon. The ribbon with the metal embellishment I added was a tag from a T-shirt I bought during our stay there. The colour of the enamelled metal piece was a perfect match, wasn't it?

Then I browsed my cigar box with scraps from old dictionary pages, left over scraps of designer papers and other treasures for some matching text I could cut out and add to my tag...and as always I found some that seemed as if they were meant to be saved for this exact project...

The mix of German, English and French adds some mystery to the project...stories yet untold but hidden behind the words that match the butterfly, its colour and the nail that gets mistaken for a plant...

I used DecoArt matte Decou-Page to fix the nail in place as it was quite heavy. The butterfly was layered using cut to size sticky foam pads and also got feelers that I made from a tiny bit of sewing thread from our little emergency sewing kit.

VoilĂ !

Sabine immediately put it up on the wall in her living room and she especially loved that that nail was a found object that belonged to their place. So this tag belonged there too in a way... ;)

Hugs and happy crafting!


  1. Ah, the endless question of what to put in the travelling stash! Looks like you made a good selection to be able to create this beautiful layered panel. The rusty nail is great, and I'm not surprised the butterfly chose to perch there.
    Alison x

    1. ;) yes, packing travelling stash mostly feels like leaving all the good stuff this year it really worked well. Thanks for the lovely comment, Alison. So happy you like the rusty nail and the tag.

      Claudia xx

  2. Fabulous tag! I love the combo of the butterfly and the rusty nail - so beautiful! xx

  3. I love this tag so much, I have just nudged my husband awake to ask if he can find me a large rusty nail lol, I love all the layers and look forward to having a go at recreating it , thank you for the inspiration xx

    1. Sounds like a plan ;)
      I would love to see your version, Linda! Thanks so much for the lovely comment and for liking my project so much!

      Claudia xxx

  4. Love the butterfly it looks as if it's just landed! I too feel quite inspired to dig out my pot of deco art crackle and have a go x

    1. It makes me very happy to hear that I could inspire you to give some crackle goodness a go, Dawn! ;)

      Have fun!
      Claudia xxx