Thursday, September 19, 2019

It's Almost Halloween Time . . .

It's almost Autumn and that means
falling leaves, pumpkin everything and spooky nights.

I've created this Halloween tag
using one of the

These tags are cut from very heavy chipboard
and measure 8" X 4"
so plenty of room for adding elements.

I painted the tag with black acrylic and let dry.

Once the paint was dry, I cut a piece of 
black, gray and silver paper
just a bit shy of the tag and raised that up
on top of the tag with pop-dots.

Then it was time to add elements.
I had a round *sliced wood* tag in my stash
and added that towards the right top of the tag,
popping it up a bit.

Every Halloween needs a bat and this one
came from the
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts

I inked it with Black Soot Distress Ink
and added Stickle eyes.

A dangling charm was created by adding
beads and a moon charm to a pin
and sticking it behind the wood tag
and into the pop ups.

Next, the 5" Creepy Tree
was inked with Black Soot + dark brown Distress Inks
and then that also was popped up on the tag.

And of course, the proverbial black cat
(also lightly inked in Black Soot Distress)
and the picket fence
(dry brushed in white acrylic)
were added to the bottom of the tag.

To finish up the tag, I added seed beads
to represent the ground
and a little guy that looks a 
bit creeped out by it all.

Here's a list of the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts  items I used on this tag:

(NOTE: These also come in #8 size)

(NOTE: This also is available in 8" size)

 Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

wicked ways

I always enjoy working on Halloween projects throughout the fall, and today, I am excited to share my latest piece, "wicked ways." This piece uses a Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts filigree front shrine as its base. I love the size of this shrine, its generous interior provides the perfect opportunity for me to create a spooky scene. I have opted to use the WICKED word from the halloween word set in lieu of the filigree piece that comes with the shrine. I plan to use the beautifully detailed filigree piece for a future project.
I first paint all of the shrine pieces that I will be using with black paint. I do not add water, and try to use a light hand when applying the paint, ensuring that all edges are covered. This piece has a few edges that are exposed when it is assembled, and if you are not planning to cover the outside with paper, it is essential to paint the exposed edges the same color so the appearance will be seamless.
When the paint has dried, I select a paper for the interior of the shrine. I want the scene that I am creating to have a spooky quality, and find an old piece of decorative paper from my stash that will be perfect to achieve this. Since the paper is 12x12, and I want to be sure to include the area with the full moon, I lay the front piece of the shrine on top of the page to determine the area that I will need to cut out. The interior (back) panel is 4-3/4" x 5- 3/4". I also cut two adjacent strips (on either side of the main panel) to use on each interior side. These papers are inked around the edges and adhered to their respective pieces with collage medium. Once the papers are secured, I assemble the shrine box with more collage medium. I use clamps to make sure that everything stays in place as the glue dries.
Setting the shrine box aside, I work on the word Wicked that will adorn the top of my shrine. This piece is from the Halloween word set. I have other ideas for the remaining words from this set and really like how each word is cut from a different font. Knowing that there is a possibility that some sections of the word might extend beyond the top of the shrine, I paint both the front and back of the word with black paint. When the paint has dried, I coat the front side with VersaMark embossing ink and sprinkle with dragons egg embossing powder. This is then heat set. I consider adding another layer of embossing, but really like the texture that I have achieved with only a single application. I love the subtle metallic finish and the color works perfectly with my scheme. In order to keep the subtleness, but also ensure that the title is noticed, I use a silver metallic paint pen around the exterior edge of the letters. This will help the word pop without having to raise it off of the front panel. When the silver edge has completely dried, I attach the word piece to the shrine using collage medium.
Now it is time to set the scene inside the shrine. I spritz the cauldron piece from the GSLC be witched shape set lightly with water on both sides. I then gently bend the shape to create a 3-d effect. I allow the piece to dry in this altered shape. After it has dried, I coat the outside of the cauldron with embossing ink, then a layer of hammered metal embossing powder. Using a heat gun I melt the powder to a wonderful finish. The embossed piece is allowed to cool. I cut a piece of foam to raise the cauldron away from the back panel and use collage medium to attach the foam in place along the back.
A die cut witch figure is inked then covered in black soot glitter. To achieve the look of moonlight shining off her silhouetted figure, I die cut a second witch from silver cardstock and offset the two pieces. She stirs her magic potion with a "wooden" stick.
The interior base of the shrine is covered with moss; a few bones and a skull add to the spooky effect. Within the cauldron, pearls (colored with alcohol inks) create the perfect bubbly potion. Die cut bats are suspended with wire or attached to the interior of the shrine, enjoying the witch's cackling chant.
For the exterior of the shrine, I wanted it to remain simple. Black cardstock skeleton leaf die cuts are adhered to the side and fold-over to the back. An ephemera "poster" for the Witches Dance is the main attraction.
I hope that you have enjoyed this wicked piece, I look forward to sharing more of my Halloween projects over the next few weeks.  Feel free to leave a comment, I always enjoy hearing your thoughts or answering questions.
Thank you so much for stopping by,
 I hope that you have a creative day!

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts used:

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Skeleton Arch Halloween Decor

Hello there friends and crafty peeps! Ginny here to share a spooktacular off the page holiday project.
 It's a little bit cheeky and a little bit whimsical and a lotta bit fun!
I had a good play in my mixed media supplies. I wish I had more time to explore with these crafty stash items as it was sooo much fun.  And also messy lol.
I went for a fairly traditional color scheme here and was able to use some of my handcrafted flowers to embellish it.
I selected the chippies I wanted to use and wiped them down to prepare them for altering.
I gave the backside of the arch a simple coat of black paint Then allowed it to dry. I loosly traced the shape onto patterned paper. No need to worry about fussy cutting as the raw edge will be hidden under the next layer of chipboard. I painted the skeleton in flat white acrylic but the camera ate the picture so I can't show you that step.
More flat black paint for the top of the arch and spiderweb. I made sure to coat the outside and inside edge of the arch for a nice finished look all the way around.
Starting a base for the finished arch top. A little black embossing powder added randomly then heat set adds texture and a bit of shine.
I did the same process for then next two colors of embossing powder alternating and heat setting between each color.

A little Stickles added to the spiderweb for detail.

~Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts~Arch Top TriptychSkeleton Shape Set, Spiderweb Shape Set.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Talk About Quality with Betsy Skagen

Way back in 2015 I made a storage unit for my art studio table. At the time, I wondered how well a storage caddy made from chipboard would stand up to daily use. Would it be worth it to pay for a unit made from cardboard? Four years later, I can assure you that the answer is a resounding yes.
I used a kit from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts (which at the time was called Gina's Designs) to make this rotating hobby organizer. You can go back and read the tutorial here.

Maybe you are thinking that it isn't impressive for a storage unit to last four years. If you knew how I used mistreated it, you would probably think differently. Not only do I use the container regularly, I do not treat it gently. It is crammed full of (sometimes leaky) bottles, paper, sharp implements and a mish-mash of art tools.

Here are some snapshots of it sitting on my desk today.

I store many of my daily go-to supplies here plus assorted bits and bots that I need to tuck out of the way of my workspace.

In two of the drawers I keep my receipts until I pull them out at tax time. Since I am extraordinarily talented at procrastinating on taxes, the drawers end up getting crammed full.

Honestly, it is in as good of shape as it was the day I made it. I have not had to make a single repair to it. So if you have any hesitation about durability in creating something from Gypsy Soul's many storage options, you no longer need to worry.

Have a great weekend! -Betsy

Great Stuff
Rotating Hobby Organizer
Beacon Fabri-Tac
Decorative paper
Drawer pulls
Washi tape

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wicked Halloween Wall Art

Hi there, this is Elle (AKA Empire of the Cat) with my first post for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts and I hope you like it!  This is a quick and easy to make Halloween decor item that would look great hanging on your wall for this and future Halloweens! I love Halloween, so of course my first post would have to be a Halloween project!

Here's how to do it:

You will need the following items from GSL:

31 Wall Art - Model D42A
Title - Wicked - Model BB5
Spiderweb Shape Set - Model C156B


How to - prep:

First of all, wipe down all the pieces, then cover your chipboard items in black gesso and leave them to dry (it dries very quickly).

Then using your favourite embossing ink, sponge it on to the front of each piece and while it is still wet, dust them all with embossing powder. It takes very little powder to cover all the pieces.

This particular powder has black and gold in it, but you can use whatever colour you want your finished piece to be.  Heat with a heat gun until it has melted and it will start to look like this:  

  Wait a few minutes for the embossing powder to cool before touching the pieces!

 How to - Assembly:

Use something pointy like an awl or a craft tool to poke two holes in the bottom of the "31" from front to back as it's neater that way.  This is where we will attach the "wicked" title so position them so that the holes will line up with loops in the letters where you will be able to tie the thread that links them together. Eyeballing it is fine, no need to measure anything.

Repeat the process with the medium sized web from the Spiderweb shapes set, making a hole above and below where the web will hang. I used silver metallic thread but you could use any kind of thread, invisible thread, thin wire etc. When you have everything positioned, tie the threads and secure the thread ends with a spot of glue.  Below I am using something heavy to hold them in place while they dry but it will only take a few minutes if you want to hold it in place instead. Once the glue has dried and is holding the thread in place, snip off the surplus.

 All that remains is to add some kind of hook to enable your lovely new Halloween wall art to be hung on the wall.  You could use anything for this, a loop of thread, a paperclip, or something recycled like this plastic piece from a paper pad which is intended for shop display, so why not reuse it as the hook for this display piece!  These "hooks" are quite commonly used in papercrafts so you are likely to have at least one stuck on a box somewhere.

Peel it carefully off the pad and then glue it on to the back of your piece where it will not be seen when it's on the wall and once the glue is dry - it's ready to go!

The Finished Project and close ups:

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and that you try making one of these cool Halloween decor items for your home. Or course if your house number happens to be 31 and you love cats, then this piece is perfect for you all year long!


Project Recipe:

GSL Cuts 31 Wall Art - Model D42A
GSL Cuts Title - Wicked - Model BB5
GSL Cuts Spiderweb Shape Set - Model C156B

Black gesso
Embossing Ink and Embossing Powder
Heat gun for melting embossing powder
Metallic thread
leftover packaging
PVA glue

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Misunderstood Monsters and Mysterious Creature-Final Installment K and X

It is fitting that my post on 9/11 brings us to an iconic New York building.  This whole series was to show us that things are not always what they seem. There are real monsters in this world but sometimes they are not what people say they are. I will be reusing the Small 5" by 7" Wooden IKEA frames I added to patina to the last time and have included those steps here for reference. This time I will Infusion Coloured  Stains and water to alter the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Alphabet Stencils for "K" is for King Kong, and "X" is for X-men many marvelous and mysterious creatures. Remember this technique can be used to alter any of the GSLC chipboards. 
1.  Take GSLC Alphabet Stencil Blanks from Package.
2.  Print Images of your choosing to represent each letter, I have decided upon a Monsters and Mysterious Creatures one and not sure what I will find.
3.  I am using 3 small 5" by 7" inch IKEA wooden frames to showcase each of the letters.
4.  I am a texture type of guy so I want to alter the frames and give them added interest. I want them to look similar but not the same like they are part of a collection.
5.  For the first frame I used various Ice Resin Enamels in German Silver and Torched Copper and Embossing Enamels in Aged Hunter and Aged Copper. I layered them and cured with a heating tool. This method can also be used on any of the GSLC chipboards as I will probably use later in my project.
6.  I added Tim Holts Distress Sprays in Walnut Stain to add additional patina.
7.  The second frame was aged using Finnabair rust pastes in greens, browns, and orange placed on randomly with a paintbrush. I then used transparent burnt sienna ink to fill in any empty spaces. Once again this technique can be used on any of the GSLC chipboard pieces. 
8.  The final frame was given a patina using Tim Holtz Distress Grit-Paste and Ferro-Copper Paste applied with a thin plastic spatula using a  Snake Skin Stencil and further distressing with alcohol inks in browns and greens. Once again this technique can be used on any of the GSLC chipboard pieces. 
9.  For altering the GSLC Alphabet Stencil Blanks this time I will be Infusion Coloured Stains and a spray bottle of water.
10.                I used different colors on both the GSLC Alphabet Stencil "K" and X". You can sprinkle them both on a nonporous surface and spray with water bottle or sprinkle directly onto chipboards and then mist with a water bottle. As they are water based and if they will be exposed to the elements they should be sealed in a matte medium.
11.                Find complimentary pieces metal for the backgrounds of you GSLC Alphabet Framed Designs. I used red for the "K", and a copper for the "X".
12.                Cut and glue the appropriate images for each of Framed letters, securing with Weldbond.
13.                Our GSLC Alphabet Stencils are complete for Letters "K" and "X" and actually for the whole collection.

Some final thoughts.
"K" is for King Kong, the story of a caged animal who just wanted to find love and to roam free.
"X" is for the X-Men, the story of powerful mutants  fighting in a world of normals for peace and equality.
Thank you for joining me in the journey of discovery and introspection. I'm proud of my resiliency and completing such a lengthy project. Now like from a scene from one of my favorite shows, Young Sheldon, when MeeMaw and Sheldon complete the game and they look at each other and say "Now What?"  and they decide to rush out to Radio Shack to buy new ones to master. I do feel a strange sense of sadness as I say goodbye to my Monster and Mysterious Creatures Alphabet. Maybe I need to arrange them alphabetically and show them in the entirety, but this is a task for another day.
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Alphabet Stencil Blanks, 3 small 5" by 7" inch IKEA wooden frames, Matte Medium Ice Resins in Torched Copper and German Silver, Aged Hunter and Aged Copper Embossing Enamel, Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stain in Walnut, Heating Tool, Finnabair Rust Pastes in Greens, Browns, and Orange, Transparent Burnt Sienna Ink, Paint Brush, Versa mark Ink Pad, Embossing Powders-Tarnished Gold, Copper, Wendy Vecchi Red Geranium, PEARLustre Lapis, and Ranger Black Sparkle, Pieces of scrapbook papers for the backgrounds, Various Printed Images of Monster and Mysterious Creatures using Inkjet Printer and paper, and Weldbond.

I cannot wait to see your interpretation of this project. Share it on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group Page on Facebook. I would love to see what new creations you are working on!