Here at Anything But Cute we love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional artists, and you just never know when we might be giving out something special to a talented mixed media newcomer.
Make sure to put 'newbie' after your name in the linky so we know who you are.
(new refers to 'new to mixed media' NOT 'new to our challenge')

Friday, August 19, 2016

Feature Artist - Shabby Garden - Welcome Suzz!!

Hello Lovelies!!

Niki here and I am super stoked to be sharing this post about our Featured Artist! This artist was the winner of my "The Birds and the Bee's" challenge in June. I would love to introduce you to Suzz from Suzz's Stamping Spot! Say hello and welcome to Suzz!

Suzz is a multifaceted artist that doesn't limit herself to one style. She shows so many wonderful ways to make mixed media designs, everything from geometric to grunge and shabby chic. I don't know how she does it but WOWZERS! Hats off to you darlin!

Suzz has created another stunner for our Shabby Garden moodboard designed by Lisa. Her attention to detail and texture has me gobsmacked! Get ready to drool and oogle over this tempting and splendid creation!

Hi Suzz here!  I am thrilled to be a featured artist at Anything But Cute!  The design team is creative and fabulously talented and inspires me every month with their art.

I am Suzanne Czosek (stampersuzz)  of Suzz's Stamping Spot.  I am a mother to 3 wonderful children, 2 dogs and a wife to a wonderful husband. I live in the Midwest in the USA. 

I have always been inspired by art and enjoyed trying new techniques, crafts and mediums.  A good friend of mine at work started me on card making and I have been hooked ever since. 

I am in love the Shabby Garden Mood Board provided by Lisa for this month's challenge.  Who doesn't love a beautiful garden full of texture, beautiful colors and a shabby effect?

You could spend days wandering through these gardens enjoying the smells, the feel and the beauty of the garden.  This had me thinking of how I could emulate the effect of the garden fence in all it's distressed glory alongside the cottage.

I started with the fence by creating a template for the pickets. I cut out enough for the front and back of my mini book.

I then painted them with a lovely soft lavender.

After they were dry I added a layer of Distress Crackle Paint - White to the posts and strips to go behind the fence posts.  I then let that dry and repeated the process on the back sides of the fence.

After everything dried I gave it a lovely spray of gray distress stain and followed it up with a smear of black dye ink over the surface.  Then I spritzed a little water over the black ink.  I ended up with a lovely mix of gray, white and lavender peeking through.

Next up I created a few houses to put as the main covers to my mini book.  These were just cut to scale with my fence.

I decided to create a roof line with tissue tape wrapped around the front.  I then decided a heart cut out would be pretty and used a die to cut a heart shape in the roof. I place them on top of each other with the tissue tape facing out and centered the heart and cut them both at the same time.

I then sponged on the same shade of lavender inside and out of the house. I stamped a ledger stamp in soft gray to add a little siding to my house.

I stamped some images and sentiments on the houses.

 My favorite part is the pretty bits and pieces on the front of the fence.

Thanks to the Anything But Cute team for letting me play along with them this month!

GOBSMACKED right? I know I sure am. The added flowers, clock and butterfly to the distressed fence is beautiful and shabbyliscious! How can you not be inspired to join in with this challenge after taking a gander at Suzz's creation. Get those shabby garden ideas out of your head and onto some canvas or paper and join in with Lisa's Shabby Garden Mood Board!

You have until the 4th of September to play - and you'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Anything But Cute design team by clicking on the challenge link.

Happy Crafting and Carpe Diem!

Friday, August 12, 2016

WINNERS - Challenge #15 - Summertime Fun!

Hello and welcome, Anne here and firstly I would like to say a HUGE thank you to those who entered the Summertime Fun challenge.  I was completely blown away to see so many wonderfully creative and truly inspiring entries.  I could have chosen at least ten winners and thoroughly enjoyed pouring over all the gorgeous creations. In the end there can only be one winner though (or two in my case) and so the winner is:

WINNER - #43 Bumblebees and Butterflies

Brenda created the most gorgeous watery background, it made feel as if I could dive into the beautiful turquoise water and explore the sea floor...  The bubbles look so realistic, the seahorse is delightful and the frame is so beautifully textured it just makes you want to reach out and touch it.  The whole piece is just exquisite and Brenda has a fabulous tutorial on her blog too!

Congratulations Brenda!  Pamellia will be in touch by email to send you a personalized winner's badge and to provide details about being our Feature Artist for the next challenge.

RUNNER-UP - #24 Suzzstampingspot

Suzz created this stunning canvas and also a gorgeous card, they are both so opulent and elegant, full of gold sparkle and shine.  I can just imagine these seahorses glinting in the light.  Suzz has close ups on her blog and it is definitely worth a look at how she created the fabulous sea bottom!

Now let's have a look at our DT favourites:

Autumn's Favourites

- #42 Mimi of She's Crafty

What could represent summertime fun more than two best girlfriends planning a summer wedding together!  Mimi's gorgeous shower decor stole my heart!  The letters are absolutely lovely against this stunning layered and textured background.  The lace up ties are so romantic and the beach vibe is perfect for a casual party.  Well done Mimi!

AND - #38 Drea of Drea's Scraps of Inspiration

Drea's lake collage reminds me of summers in South Carolina, with days spent at the lake, searching for that shade tree here and there.  I just love her loose layering style and stitches, along with the gorgeous banner she created.  The colors are perfectly balanced and draw you in to inspect this beauty!  Love it Drea!

Branka's Favourites

#43 Bumblebees and Butterflies

This utterly stunning under the sea project has stolen my heart! Brenda has managed to achieve such fantastic rich textures and to incorporate so many amazing elements together in such an awesome way! I love it to bits!

AND - #24 Suzzstampingspot

I was so impressed by this magical and dreamy canvas with those fantastic golden sea horses! This is so elegant and absolutely beautiful! I am completely in love with this project!

Lisa's Favourites

#43 Bumblebees and Butterflies

I feel like I'm swimming under the ocean, experiencing the amazing colors and textures of sea life when I look at this stunning project!! The details are just amazing and the elements blend together perfectly!!

AND - #24 Suzzstampingspot

I love this card!! One of the most beautiful seahorses I've ever seen!! Her canvas is spectacular, too, but I love how the seahorse takes center stage here, in all of it's sparkly, golden glory!! Wow!!

Niki's Favourites

#12 Catherine's Craft Corner

Catherine has created a fun and whimsical design with a free from thought process. She has enjoyed the moment of the creation and the memories evoked from her summer garden. Gorgeous colors and layers to this fantabulous piece of art!

I just have to list another favorite of mine! With so many stunning entries, I had to include
#6 Creative Journey 

Katelyn's use of the netting and those wonderful raw chippies is exceptional! Her photo is the perfect focal image for this background and the soft ocean colors and breathtakingly beautiful. I would visit this place in the summer in a heartbeat!

Sara Emily Favourites

#43 Bumblebees and Butterflies

It was incredibly hard to choose just one favorite this month, but in the end I chose Brenda's textural and realistic underwater reverse canvas. I fell in love with that little seahorse and her watery mixed media background! She has posted a fabulous tutorial which is the cherry on the top!

AND - #36 KAVA craft

I was so happy Pamellia gave me the thumbs up to list  another favorite, because I could not resist Anna's sea themed reverse canvas! I fell in love with the texture and colors on the frame and that lovely sea and beach. The simplicity of this scene is charming!


16. Maria                17. tofa                  21. Nicola                29. Ann Chuang

37. Karen H            40. SARI              41. Laneen               44. Irena's art

A huge congratulation everyone! Thank you so much to everyone who played along with us last month and don't forget to grab your badges! You earned them!!

There is still plenty of time to enter Lisa's current challenge Shabby Garden Mood Board! We can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

Hugs to all, from the 'Anything But Cute' Design Team

Friday, August 5, 2016

Challenge #16 - Shabby Garden Mood Board

Hello Everyone! Lisa here and I am excited to be your hostess this for this month's challenge here at Anything But Cute. Thank all of you who joined us for our challenge last month! Wow! All of the entries are amazing and it's going to be so hard to choose our favorites! Don't forget to check back with us next Friday when Anne and the team announce the winners of the Summertime Fun challenge. Now on to this month's theme.

There is something so relaxing about strolling through a summer garden blooming with fragrant flowers. When I think of a shabby chic garden, so many images come to mind: coming across a timeworn bench that has been painted so many times over the years, the old paint shows through the worn areas; watching birds take a drink from a fountain that has cracked with age but still stands proudly with regal beauty; birds making a home inside a house that has withstood the elements and still provides a safe haven for the babies about to be born; a couple saying their vows beneath a crystal chandelier hanging from a trellis covered in flowering vines, petals lining the ground. Those images were my inspiration for this month's theme.

For this challenge, we are asking you to take a stroll through a romantic shabby garden. Create any mixed media project strongly inspired by the mood board. Think flowers and plants in cracked pots, peeling paint bird feeders, distressed timeworn furniture, crumbling statues, soft pastels and feminine accessories. Don't forget to tell us how the mood board inspired your project and have fun!

And now for some inspiration from the talented Anything But Cute design team!

Anne - Redanne
I was so inspired by Lisa's gorgeous mood board that I tried to incorporate a little bit of each photo into my card design. I used loads of bits from my stash and also a gift from a lovely friend....

Autumn - Sew Paper Paint

Branka - Vintage Handmade
I was inspired by beautiful colors of this amazing mood board to alter the clock. I used some of my Decoart supplies, some Prima embellishments and some natural elements to create this.

Lisa - A Mermaid's Crafts
I love everything shabby and I love watching the birds in my yard, so I combined the two to create this mixed media birdhouse!! Covered with mega crackle and dripping a carpet of flowers and vines, I wanted to create a shabby oasis for our feathered friends!!

Niki - Pawsitively Creative Crafts
Lisa's shabby moodboard inspired me to create a peeled/chipped paint design featuring "barn doors" that open to reveal elements of my shabby garden. The shutters inspired the shadow box design.
I used 3 different kinds of chalky paint creating 7 layers of paint, some sandpaper and some CHAPSTICK! Yeppers, chapstick. This was a challenge and I think I have finally figured out how to do shabby chic in my own way. Yippee! Carpe Diem!

Sara Emily - sarascloset
I was inspired by the colors and peeling paint in Lisa's beautiful mood board, as well as the windows and hearts, and of course the sense of romance. I used Distress and DecoArt products to get my peeled paint look and lots of stuff from my stash to make this shabby wedding card.

Truly inspirational projects by the design team, wouldn't you say! Please hop over to the team blogs to see more photos and get some details on how these projects were made. And don't forget to leave some bloggy love while you're there.

I hope that we have inspired you to get out your vibrant colours and create some wonderful projects for our challenge!

The winner will receive the honour of being our Feature Artist for an upcoming challenge!

Here at Anything But Cute we just love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional projects and artists. You just never know when we might be giving out something special to a lucky mixed media newcomer. We all have to start somewhere, right?

Challenge runs until September 4th - we can't wait to see what you come up with! Happy Crafting from the entire team and thanks for visiting Anything But Cute!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Feature Artist - Summertime Fun - Welcome Coco!

Hello Everyone!

Sara Emily here, and I'm pleased and so excited to introduce to you our Featured Artist for July. She was the winner of our Celebrate Your Style challenge in May. Please welcome Coco of Les folies de Coco!!

Coco is a fabulous, inventive mixed media artist who has a deep love for creating. Each piece of her beautiful artwork expresses her passion, and she loves to try new techniques and play with varied styles and mediums.

Coco has created this awesome, detailed 3 dimensional scene for Anne's Summertime Fun challenge. Feast your eyes on this amazing little treasure!

Hello all! I was absolutely delighted to be invited to guest here at Anything But Cute. I think it's a brilliant challenge, the team includes so many fantastic crafters and artist ladies, and the inspiration projects are always incredible.

I'm Corinne, from Les folies de Coco... more known as Cocofolies or simply Coco – my nickname - on Craftyblogland. I'm a French self-made wanna be artist at heart, and a free-lance teacher and demonstrator in Mixed Media art since early October, 2015. A dream come true. Working full-time with craft papers, my beloved rubber stamps & art supplies in my messy space, with my - always on my table, truly! - cup of coffee make me just so happy!!! All that is just a fundamental need for me.

I have a confession to make. Unlike many of us, though I have always be an admirer of Art and felt I had an artistic temperament, my love for getting messy with paint, ink and stamps is not a great passion from my early childhood yearsInstead, since I was good at school I followed advanced studies, and I've become a research engineer in telecommunications systems and security for many years... But in early 2009, sadly, I lost a wonderful little girl of almost 5. My passion for creative things goes back to the months following that terrible loss, where crafting helped me continue to go ahead.

Today I'm thrilled to bits to be able to create every day and share my techniques and my love for Mixed Media in my area too, and not only on my blog. I have no particular style, I just love what is beautiful, detailed, colorful, and sometimes a bit quirky or whimsical which is my world basically maybe. I always pay a lot of attention to the details. I could spend hours on tiny details… Even if I’d love to be more C&S sometimes, I’m sure I’m not! :-)

I live in beautiful France, in a small Breton village. I am just 50, but some days feeling much younger (I’m the mum of two lovely twin girls being only 8), and some other days much older… like if I was almost 100 haha!!! (This is because of my dynamic twins, but also because I have two grown children, the eldest one will be soon 26… Being a mum of a large family takes so much energy!). But I have a wonderful hubby, I’m so thankful to him. Without his support, I would not have been able to fulfill my dream.

I’m proud to be designer member for Crafty Individuals, also very proud to have designed in the past for Tando Creative and Katzelkraft. The only reason why I stopped was the lack of time to manage several DT commitments at the same time....

I create every day even if I have not the time to share all my artworks day after day, being so busy, with my workshops to prepare, DT job, and my big family to take care for the rest! I have not a minute free for myself for other things than my consuming passion. But I love my new way of life… I try publications now to be more known, I’m already in Craft Stamper and French magazines. But what I prefer and continue to do, is playing along with my worldwide friends and entering challenges that I love as much as possible. They are so inspiring, and I have learned so much myself on some fantastic challenges blogs like this one! - I’m very grateful for that; I mean for the generous share – generous because it represents a tremendous work. I still love myself to share tips, techniques and ideas wherever possible on my blog, Pinterest, FB and IG social networks.

Thank you so much again Pamellia and the team for choosing my Art journal pages as a winner! This is really an honor for me to be the feature Artist today on ‘Anything But Cute’ challenge blog and share with you a small 3D project that I have loved creating for the occasion. It was really so much FUN, thank you Anne too for choosing the theme of ‘Summertime Fun’!!!

Knowing the theme for this month I remembered that I had in my stash a little wooden cabin offered by a very good crafty friend of mine... We had planned for the fun to create our own version individually and share them on our blogs at the same time when finished. Thought it was the perfect occasion for me to achieve this project!

And to add to the fun as this is the theme, I have created a full seaside scene in 3D. Hope you will appreciate it. If it could be inspiring for you that would be lovely. Here’s the how-to of my project. I made an heavy-photos project, my apologies to all of you for the length of this post.... :) 

I started with a bit of recycling, as I wanted to create a base for my beach hut.

I chose for the support a polystyrene food tray. After a good coat of Gesso (I also gessoed at the same time my little cabin and sanded it too), I glued a sheet of Crafty Individuals Background Paper Book from the Seaside collection. It has the right size to cover the flat surface of such tray, so it was perfect.

I painted all around in Titan Buff and slightly the edges and the back too; Then I mixed a bit of white and pale yellow paints with extra heavy gel and applied the mixture with a palette knife roughly, to imitate coarse to medium grained sands. I had fun to embed in it small beads and natural seaweed and tiny shells coming from the beach of St Malo, a famous city of privateers!

Now for the cabin: I wanted some texture on the roof… I chose a lovely Dinky stencil, and applied DecoArt crackle paste over each side. Taping my painting knife also randomly on the walls. Once dry, my roof and cabin were painted with many layers of Decoart fluid Acrylic Paints, I chose bright and gorgeous colours. You can have an idea of the process by looking at the four photos above.

At this stage, I changed slightly my mind… Decided that my blue was really too dark for a beach hut!!!

So I repaint it with a lighter blue shade from a yummy Dylusions paint can.
And decided that I wanted also a distressed look... so a bit of crackling was added at this stage, but with the help of a Crackle background CI stamp…

But I was not totally satisfied yet... Finally, I masked some strips and repainted some other ones in white.
Then I put aside the beach hut to continue with the 3D project. Working on the tray again, fun part now!

I used Modroc plaster to create a wavy border, for a more realistic look of the scene (believe me or not, it was my very first trial despite I have this stuff for ages in my stash!!). 

I really enjoyed this step, it was so easy, and really fun to do. After shaping well with my fingers to adhere well to the base and in a way I was satisfied, I let the whole tray dry all the night.

Once dry, I repainted the extra edges in Titan Buff and pale yellow colors. I painted further the back side and edges, starting roughly at the middle of the tray with blue shades, plus a drop of purple…

Next another fun part. I stamped on heavy watercolor paper a lady with a parasol and two beach chairs, also a kite and its reverse side (by stamping on an acrylic block first and then transferring the image onto paper). Clear embossing and cut out everything (leaving a little border all around) and next colored all the elements with distress inks and Derwent inktense pencils. 
I glued my lady on a piece of recycled cardboard painted in blue (previously stamped using the same image but fussy cut out for the purpose of staying invisible behind the lady) and adhered the whole to the ground with a bit of heavy gel mixed with paints… Like if the woman was sinking in soft sand and in a little puddle of water. 

At this stage, I started to be pleased with how things turned! So I decided to create also a tiny folded book, as a cute addition, with a true leather cover and lovely stamped pages inside. This book opens the door to seaside dreams..

The images speak themselves on the way I created my small book. I played with some small CI stamps that I love to create the scene, on both sides of the folded paper. I had a lovely playtime to do it, highlighting some areas with my pencils, paints and fingers… and dreaming of summer, beach and sea of course!

I poured a bit of gold and yellow glitter on the sand parts. Adding beads and a charm on the cover at the end for the finishing touch...
And back to the tray again, as I love working on details. Thought it needed some addition! Here you can see how I have embedded some waves on the back edges. I stamped several wavy borders from a new CI stamp on tissue paper (quickly painted a bit first with some remaining blue paints, but I should not do that, because the tissue paper is no more easy to tear into pieces easily using a small brush after that!!!) adding a bit of neutral shimmer EP to simulate shining reflections on water and heat set slightly.. I then glued parts of them in place using gel medium, giving also a good coat of this on the whole tray to seal.  
I used Primary Cyan to highlight the waves, to make them pop out more.
Next, I dry brushed some white and buff paints over the hut and the edges of the tray, like if sand had been carried by the wind.. I also poured a few inches of shimmery at some places… 

For the final touch, a few embellishments have been added, like the beautiful little anchor partly painted and distressed that you can see above on the door.
Or the little nautical knot at the back… and ooo, here are my two deckchairs glued side by side! I was inspired by my teammate Florence Langley at Crafty Individuals to add a lovely dot paper to cover the hessian…

Work in progress to enrich the decor… I created a large ocean background paper with some leftovers, - very quickly done, paper piecing and a bit of black and yellow paints and glue and all done - and fussy cut one quirky bird stamped on it… Couldn’t resist to adhere it at the back of my tray looking at the scene : -)

The complete project in pictures! Hope you like.

And finally, better to place my 3D project directly in the sand box to take the best pictures!

The little book can be set at any place and open…

Or closed… or opened again, and put on top of the roof! Made me smile!!

Hopefully you will now feel even more inspired to create your own Summertime Fun! project and share it here at Anything But Cute. I really enjoyed working with this theme. Huge thanks to Pamellia, Anne, and the Design Team for inviting me to be a Feature Artist this month. It’s been an absolute joy!
WOW! what a fabulous beach scene with so many great details! Thank you so much, Coco, for inspiring us with your artwork! It has been such an honor having you here with us today and great to learn more about you.

I hope you all are as inspired by Coco's beach scene as I am and will join in the fun for Anne's challenge Summertime Fun!

You have until the 4th of August to play - and you'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Anything But Cute design team by clicking on the challenge link.

Happy Crafting
Sara Emily