Thursday, October 18, 2018

It's time for a Christmas tag . . .

Hi Everyone.

Coming to you from Nancy-land with a super simple Christmas tag a la Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. From October thru December it seems as if time gets away from me (and everyone else I'm thinking). So something simple that takes only 15 minutes is right up my alley.

I began with this set of tags: Chipboard Decorative Tags Large

and wanted to add a layered frame:  Layered Frame Victoria Oval

Using a 6x6 Christmas paper pad, I wallpapered one of the tags. Since the paper pad was a bit shy, I used a circle punch and another piece of paper and layered a circle on the top of the tag.

Next, I painted the background layer of the frame with gold crackle paint and the top layer with dark green acrylic.

Tracing the outline of the frame, I chose a saying from the same paper pad and added that to the background frame with spongy pop-ups.

I like to add the year to each tag so I used the Miniature Bookplate shape set. Choosing one of the bookplates, I painted that with the same gold crackle paint and added an off-white piece of cardstock with the year.

Adding pearls and edging the tag with a glue stick and press on foil rounds out the finished tag.

15 minutes start to finish! And I'm ready for Christmas . . . at least my tags are!

Thanks for visiting today!

It's your turn!
Show us your tags on the 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

caravan to the catacombs

As October marches on, there is a shift, of sorts, in the atmosphere. The leaves begin to die; the days grow shorter; and we prepare ourselves for the long winter nights. It is with the fading of the bright and active autumnal days that I present to you "caravan to the catacombs."
The Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts funeral coach is truly a remarkable piece; one that I have been looking forward to working with. The sturdy chipboard funeral coach arrives in eighteen pieces, it includes all of the elements needed to complete the coach, including two axels and four wheels.
Whenever I begin a new project , I always find it helpful to initially construct the piece in its unaltered form. Figuring out the puzzle and understanding the basic construction helps me to determine the order in which I will need to complete the parts. It’s also helpful to get a clear vision of how it will look in it’s 3D form. 
 I paint all of the pieces with black soot distress paint on both sides, making sure to paint the edges of the interlocking tabs so that when assembled, it is completely colored. The pieces are set aside to dry. 
I cut 4 rectangles from acetate that has a spider web pattern printed on it. I love the papers included in the new Halloween paper stash from Tim Holtz. Each rectangle is approximately 1-5/8" x 3-1/4”. I also cut two 2-7/8” x 3-1/4” pieces of clear acetate for the central windows on each coach side panel. The clear panels are stamped with “The Undertaker“ stamp, and adorned at each corner with remnant rub decorative corners.
 Each of the openings in the side walls is edged with Versamark ink and heat embossed with Emerald Creek hammered metal embossing powder. This gives the window openings a spooky elegance. When the embossing has cooled, I flip the side panels over and adhere the acetate pieces in place with distress collage medium.  
With the side panels complete, I begin to construct the base of the coach. Both of the runners that will hold the axels are glued in place. Be sure to check that both runners are oriented in the same direction. The smaller hubs are where the larger wheels are located, and the larger hubs are where the smaller wheels will be. Next, I attach the side panels, as well as the wall that separates the driver from the coffin compartment. The interlocking tabs assure that everything is aligned correctly. 
The solid surfaces on the interior of the coffin compartments are lined with a burgundy cut velvet. I measure and cut two pieces of cardstock that fit the floor area and partition wall then adhere the velvet to the cardstock with collage medium. When dry, I trim the edges and adhere each piece to its respective panel in the coach. The rear doorframe is attached after these velvet pieces are secure.
The rear door panels are embossed with hammered metal on their exterior sides. Pieces of stamped acetate are adhered to the openings in the same manner as they were on the sidewall openings. When everything is dry, the doors are hinged in the doorframe. 
I want the wheels to look as if they have somewhat worn, as if they have travelled many miles. To accomplish this, the four wheels are lightly painted with black soot distress paint on both sides. The outer edge of each wheel is colored using an brushed pewter distress crayon. Some areas of the wheel/spoke interior edges are also colored with the distress crayon, using a paintbrush and water to make the pigment more fluid. The paintbrush can easily access the tight areas between the spokes.
Decorative “metallic” skull elements are located at the four corners of the roof. The hammered metal look of the skulls is created by embossing, once again using the Emerald Creek powder. Be sure to use tweezers to hold the piece you are embossing and take care not to overheat as the skulls are plastic and can melt. Once the skulls are cool, I color any deep recesses with black sharpie marker. A wooden skewer is inserted into the hole at the bottom of the skull to create a post and a wooden bead forms the base.  The wooden parts are painted with black soot distress paint. These decorative skull elements are not attached to the roof until the assembly is complete, thus making less opportunity for the pieces to break off when the coach is being handled.
The compartment beneath the drivers seat is finished with cut velvet in the same fashion as the rear compartment. A metal Halloween vignette adornment is adhered to each side of the cab with collage medium.
 The coach would not be complete without a “vanity plate”, which is located on the front grill panel. A Halloween quote chip is adhered to the painted chipboard panel and hammered metal embossing powder creates the faux grill effect.
A Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts 6 inch coffin box fits perfectly inside the funeral coach. This piece is made from lighter weight chipboard and arrives in two flat pieces. Each piece has score lines at every fold location. I recommend using a bone folder to score along the lines prior to assembly.
I assemble and paint the coffin box with black soot distress paint. Using black soot archival ink, I stamp a wooden plank pattern onto a piece of mixed media heavy stock. I color the piece with  weathered wood, black soot, hickory smoke and gathered twigs distress inks to create the look of real wood. My patterned paper is cut to fit the top and bottom of the casket and planks are individually attached to the sides.  

When the coffin and lid have been completely covered, a jolly roger embellishment is adhered to the lid and a skeleton is nestled into his final resting place.
This coffin box slides right into the rear compartment of the funeral coach, allowing the doors to close fully. 
Once everything is intact, I attach the "metal" skull decorations at each roof corner with collage medium and allow them to dry overnight. The funeral coach, complete with "passenger" is ready to for its caravan to the catacombs.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit the blog.
If you still haven't had a chance to make something for this spooky season, I hope that you can find the time; its always a fun time of year to let your creativity take flight.
I hope that you are inspired to create something spooktacular!

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group on Facebook  is a great place to share any of your GSLC creations. Please, feel free to join in the fun.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts products:
Funeral Coach
6 inch Coffin Box

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Quartet of House Ornaments

As I continue to indulge my obsession for houses, here is a set of four wee houses with lots of personality. Made from the Simple House Ornaments, these sturdy little things are one of my favorite items on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts site. They are made from HEAVY chipboard and you can do just about anything with them.
Like this, for example:
They come in sets of two, so you will need two sets for a little street like this one, or make as many as you like and give them as individual gifts.
You can let your imagination go wild and make each one different or stick to a theme or color.
The sky is the limit......
I began here.
I cut my chosen papers, glued them on to the houses, front and back and then inked the edges with Brilliance Rocket Red Gold.
 I shingled the house roof below with Pointed Shingles Half Scale. There is a quick tutorial on how I do shingles HERE.
I painted a few of the windows from the House Ornament Window Trims black.
After playing around with where I wanted windows on a couple of the houses, I decided it would be fun to have some images of the outdoors inside of the house. These tiny images below are from one little scrap of collage sheet I found in my box of scraps I keep all the tiny paper bits I don't discard.
I cut the image in thirds and glued them to the back of each little tiny window. I glued the windows on a piece of black-painted scrap chipboard edged in Rocket Red Gold and attached the whole thing to the house.
After it dried, I trimmed it all around with black zig-zag Dresden trim. (you can get it HERE)
I also found the eye in my scrap box and zipped it up color-wise with a little copic marker and glued it the same way as I did the tiny window images. The Frame around the eye is from the Miniature Bookplates Shape Set.

I worked on the key images for each house and had those all glued on before I added the extras like more Dresden trim, brass findings and little white dots. The brass bee sits on another scrap of chipboard I saved from the Bookplates Set.
For the image below, I used scraps again and literally tore the edges off of them to create the three layers of hills and a tree to give my floating lady a soft place to land. I outlined each of the pieces on their top edges after I glued them on the house.
I used foam tape to attach the tiny, tiny little lady to the house (after careful consideration about her placement.
I wrapped some black thread around a brass hand finding, careful to leave some extra length, glued it in place from the back and attached the hand to the house. after it dried in place, I glued the thread to the my lady's hand and trimmed off the extra with a small sharp pair of scissors.
I added lots of dots to everything as the last detail in every piece.
I like to use either white acrylic paint or a Sharpie white poster paint marker for dots.

I also used the white Sharpie to draw the spokes on the bicycle wheels in the picture below.

A cute way to display the houses if you don't want to hang them is with the ATC Stand.

Thank you for stopping by!

Simple House Ornaments
Pointed Shingles Half Scale
House Ornament Window Trims
Miniature Bookplates Shape Set
ATC Stand

Additional Supplies:
Dresden Trim
Sharpie White Poster Paint Marker (don't get the oil paint'll be waiting forever
for it to dry)
Various brass findings
Scrap images saved from collage sheets
Papers used on the houses from: Graphic 45, We R Memory Keepers, Basic Grey and MME.
Silk flower
Dresden Trim, clock and some cool brass findings you can get from Alpha Stamps

Monday, October 15, 2018

Greetings from Regions Beyond

Hi Everyone,

Jess here today with a wicked little vignette box.

Start by taking a wooden vignette box and layering it on top of your Mini Botanical Journaling Block.  The blocks come in a set of three, so you can play with different sizes.
Cut the house out of the Haunted House Oval.  Trim it down so it fits inside the vignette box.  Emboss the piece with Emerald Creek's Mercury Rising embossing powder.

Treat the outside of the box using Distress Oxide inks in Forest Moss, Hickory Smoke, and Ground Espresso. 

Add a crackle medium.  I really glopped it on so it looks chunky. Mixed with the Forest Moss Oxide ink the box looks a bit moldy.  Moldy is good at Halloween time!

Add paper to the back of the box and glue it in place.  Glue the house to the background.  Add fabric tape all around the edges of the shadowbox and set it aside. 
Use the largest of the Mini Botanical Journaling Blocks and cover the entire piece with gesso.
Add your sentiment cut from the Tim Holtz Halloween script, Christmas Script, and Holiday Words.  
Time to start adding Distress Crayon.     
Add crayon and move it around using your fingers.  
Cover the front using the same technique.  Add more saturated colors on the flowers and leaves. A bit of Distress Paint in Tarnished Brass gets smudged all around the edge of the block. 

Cut the bats and moon out of the Haunted House Oval.  Emboss the bats using the mercury rising powder.  Emboss the moon using Charred Gold.  

Glue the shadowbox to the center of the journaling block.  Add the bats to the front of the box.  Glue in a Tim Holtz tombstone with rub ons added.  Glue on the paperdoll.  Don't forget to give her a bouquet of dead flowers wrapped in mummy cloth. Cut a small slit around her hand and she appears to actually be holding the bouquet.

Make a bunch of tiny tattered florals and glue them in a cascade on the top of the vignette box.  A bit of leftover mummy cloth from the bouquet was put to good use up here.  A tiny skull bead aged with mushroom alcohol ink adds an element of surprise. 

Add a wooden finial that has been painted with Black Soot Distress Paint and a bit of Tarnished Brass. A bit of fabric tape that is around the edge of the box is wrapped around the finial.  Mummy cloth and a few more flowers complete the base. 
Here's the back of the Mini Botanical Journaling block all done up.

Happy Haunting!