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')

Monday, September 19, 2016

Feature Artist - Friendship - Welcome Brenda!!

Hello Everyone!

Anne here, to introduce the winner of my Summertime Fun Challenge in July.  I am completely thrilled to introduce you to the super talented Brenda Brown of Bumblebees and Butterflies.

Brenda has a wonderful vintage/shabby style, her art is always stunning, beautifully crafted and always incredibly elegant!  Not only that but Brenda loves to share her techniques on her blog.  She is a published artist, a tutor and is part of an international design team.  She is one very inspirational lady!

Brenda's project is perfect for Branka's Friendship Challenge, it celebrates Friendship so well.  The project includes some wonderful techniques and celebrates Brenda's style perfectly.  Brenda has included a quote about friendship at the end which is so very true too!


Hi fellow crafters and artists, it is Brenda here from Bumblebees and Butterflies I am super excited to be here today with a guest post and project for you

I love my 'work', I am able to get up every day and choose what I would like to do. I always seem to have a to-do list of projects that need making but I always seem to get them done even if it is by the skin of my teeth sometimes. This year has been amazing with so many doors opening for me and I feel blessed and honoured that people follow me on my blog and on Facebook and often leave me wonderfully supportive comments. 

Thank you for being here today to see what I have designed. What makes it thrilling is that I don't get the chance to enter challenges very often these days and was so pleased to be able to take part part in the Summer Fun challenge and then found myself totally flabbergasted when Anne and the amazing team chose my frame as the winner. Thank you all so much.

I love the theme Branka has chosen for September, FRIENDS are such an important part of our lives and need to be loved and celebrated often, so here is my contribution to add to all the other wonderful makes from the super talented team and the entrants who have already taken part.

Process steps
~ Adhere a piece of designer paper to the board, sand the edges to smooth them and rub ground espresso distress ink all round them.
~ Stamp a patterned stamp using black archival and paint in some of the design, I used raw umber fluid acrylic from DecoArt.
~ Seal with a layer of clear gesso.

~ Start to gather the added layers for a collage, I did a quick rust technique on some wooden letters to spell the word 'friends'
~ Begin by painting over the letters with raw umber, make sure you catch the sides and dry.
~ Stipple over some paynes grey and yellow oxide.
~ Apply a coat of quinacridone gold.
~ Repeat any of these steps if you need to add more layers to get your required effect.
~ Rub coffee archival ink pad round all the edges.

~ Gather other collage embellishments some of which are left over pieces from other projects. I also found a vintage picture of a group of friends together which fitted the challenge theme and focus for my board perfectly.

~ Add some colour to the clipboard, I used watery washes of  quinacridone red, yellow green light, vermilion and titanium white. I also added some of the paint to the actual clip mechanism and attached it back on the board then rubbed in some iced espresso metallic lustre.

~ Finally I layered all the pieces up  to complete the board ....,.

...... splattering with white paint .....

 .... and finding the 'just celebrate' which seemed to fit in perfectly.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your 'Friendship' group this month 'Anything But Cute' I have so enjoyed it.

Remember - 
are people you don't need to talk to every day.
In fact you don't need to talk to each other for weeks,
but when you do, it's as if you'd never stopped talking.

I'm sure we all have some of these.

hugs Brenda xxx


WOW, what a beautiful project!  Isn't that a wonderful way to celebrate friendship?  We would love to see you join in Branka's Friendship Challenge and we hope that Brenda's project has inspired you to do so!

You have until the 4th of October 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
Anne xx

Monday, September 12, 2016

WINNERS - Challenge #16 - Shabby Garden Mood Board

Hello, everyone!! Lisa here and I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who participated in our Shabby Garden Mood Board Challenge!! It made me so happy and inspired to see all of the creative and amazing projects you designed!! Wow, I had the hardest time narrowing it down to select winners!! I truly wish I could pick each of you...that's how fabulous all of your projects were!! But in the end, I decided on:

I fell in love with Samra's romantic, dreamy card full of gorgeous texture and shabby beauty!! It's exactly the kind of project I imagined when I chose pictures for the mood board!! The stenciled background provides the perfect base for the beautiful handmade flowers climbing up the garden trellis adorned with pearls!! The two-toned, hand-dyed ribbon is such a beautiful touch!! Stunning interpretation of the shabby garden challenge!!

Congratulations Samra! 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 - #5 Zubmomi

I could spend hours staring at Zub's amazing mixed media tag!! What phenomenal texture!! The colors she achieved with glimmer mist and ink sprays are so gorgeous!! The flowers, the pearls, the micro beads...everything blends together perfectly!! It's positively shabb-tastic!!


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

Anne's Favourite - #10 Paper Profusion

Nicola's card is delightful, there is so much to look at - the stencilling, the dies, the beautiful clay birdhouse and birds, the curled corners with wonderful little elements hidden under them, all pieced together to create the most wonderful garden scene!

Autumn's Favouritegibonik

This amazing and romantic altered bird house just screams shabby garden to me!  I love the sweet text inside of the heart window and gorgeous crackle on this pair of birds.  All of the layers (especially the lace "roof") are in perfect harmony.

Branka's Favourite#25 - Paper Talk With Samra

I am totally blown away by Samra's elegant and absolutely beautiful interpratation of Lisa's gorgeous mood board! I adore those neutral tones, stunning handmade flowers, amazing stenciled background and that fabulous two toned ribbon! It's a real shabby stunner!

Niki's Favourite - #12 Marlei
This little gem caught my attention with the drywall tape that you can actually see and those little signs! Such wonderful layers and the blues with the whites are beautiful. I could sit on that garden bench for hours and listen to the sounds in the garden. Awesome sauce design!

Sara Emily's Favourite#27-Joi "Enter in Peace"

I really loved looking at Joi's beautiful backdoor garden for it's beauty, but it also gave me such a sense of peacefulness, too! Don't you just want to step in and enjoy what lies within? Maybe some warm cookies fresh from the oven? I adore Joi's cracked wall, fence and cobbled path, the patina on the door, and her hand painted flowers are lovely, too!. She even shares her process on her blog, so be sure to stop over see her lovely artwork in detail.


Honourable Mentions:

4. Beatriz            6. Paper Puddle             9. Jana K.          26. Wieczna JesieĊ„


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 Branka's current challenge FRIENDSHIP! We can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

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

Monday, September 5, 2016

Challenge #17 - Friendship

Hello Everyone!

Branka here and I am your hostess this for this month's challenge here at Anything But Cute. First, I would like to thank everyone who participated in Lisa's amazing 'Shabby Garden Mood Board' challenge last month with all their fabulous shabby garden projects! It was a pleasure to see all your gorgeous entries! Don't forget to check back with us next Monday when Lisa and the team announce the winners of the 'Shabby Garden Mood Board' challenge. Now on to this month's theme.

I believe that friendship is one of the most important things in our life and that everyone needs a good friend to count on. We all have at least one really good friend who we love and cherish. So, this challenge theme is dedicated to our lovely friends.


Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. We want you to show us a mixed media creation that's inspired by friendship. You can create anything, from tags to art journal pages but make sure it's a mixed media piece. Let's celebrate friendship together!

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

Anne - Redanne
Hmm, what has this got to do with friendship?  My lovely friend Sandy and I have been blog friends for a few years now and we love to send cards/projects/gifts to each other.  Sandy very kindly sent me the new Tim Holtz Village Manor die (how lucky am I!) and since we share a love of Halloween, I have made this little scene to send back to her, I hope she likes it!

Autumn - Sew Paper Paint
Very few people can say they have had a best friend since before they can remember, but I am in that lucky minority.  My friend Trish remembers our first meeting from kindergarten, when I can't remember that far back!  We've been thick as thieves since.  Good times and bad, she's stuck by my side and had my back.  My DT photo here at Anything But Cute comes from this pic of me happy as can be, because that's how I feel when we are together (and how I feel about being on this fabulous team).  <3

Branka - Vintage Handmade
Dogs are man's best friend. They are simply awesome and do all of the little things that put smiles on our faces. They give you love, support, understanding and most of all they are loyal. I decided to create an art journal page about our pet friends. I used an old book as a journal, some texture paste, my Decoart media products, a stencil, an old photo from Tim Holtz collection and some frames to create my project.

Lisa - A Mermaid's Crafts
I love Branka's theme of friendship! I created this textured reverse-canvas for one of my oldest friends, celebrating some of her favorite things: nature, flowers, owls and traveling! I included a clock to symbolize the duration of our friendship and incorporated her favorite colors of pink and blue!

Niki - Pawsitively Creative Crafts
While creating a new flower garden in the back yard, my friend and I discovered this hidden treasure. We decided to call it "Mortem Lectulo (latin for "death bed"). The outside is beautifully creepy but when we opened the coffin it revealed a delightful surprise. I believe this was made using chalky paint, distress paint, and some artisan powder la chapeliere and other things, but we are still investigating and researching this pixie coffin. Carpe Diem!

Sara Emily-sarascloset
What a lovely and timely theme chosen by our dear Branka! Since my little girl has headed off to college, I wanted to make her a photo frame to hold photos of her besties to keep on her desk. Until she chooses which photos to put in it, I thought I'd offer her a little freshman advice in the meantime. I altered this tiny folding frame (it's just 4 inches tall) using gesso, Distress paints, inks and sprays, and texture paste as my wet media. And as always, there's always two sides to every story. Check out the rest on my blog.

Wow, what a truly inspirational and absolutely beautiful range of projects created by my super talented teamies! It's a feast for the eyes! 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 celebrate friendship with us and to create your wonderful mixed media piece that shows all the love for your dear friends! 

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 October 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!

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!