Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Amphitrite "queen of the sea"

Hi, it's Ann here today, sharing my "queen of the sea" inspired piece.
It seems as though the longer the winter weather continues to hold on, the more my thoughts drift towards the ocean. These thoughts bring visions of the soothing blues and greens of the depths; and of sea nymphs, beautiful fish, coral formations and shells, and of Poseidon. As the legend goes, Poseidon had a wife/consort whose name was Amphitrite. She was considered "Queen of the Sea".
 My project begins with Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts chipboard decorative tags X-large. This set of tags contains 3 different shapes that are very generous in size. I know that they will be able to hold my beautiful Amphitrite perfectly. I am using the tags as a trio for my piece; however, they could be used individually or even paired up.
Once I have an idea for the direction I want to take, I select a paper to use for the background. The chipboard tag is heavy enough to handle medium on one, or both, sides of the tag. When I create tags, the back sides usually end up covered with paints and inks, so I plan to cover the back sides as well as the front. I am using a Prima paper from the Royal Menagerie collection on the front sides of my tags. Before I begin, I choose colors that will coordinate nicely with the front paper and, using distress oxide and distress inks, I color a large sheet of watercolor paper. This will be cut to size and adhered to the back of the tags after I have completed the front of my pieces.  
I first adhere the paper to the front of the tag using collage medium. I like to use a brayer to assure there are no air bubbles, as well as to flatten out the paper. Once the collage medium is dry, I trim around the edges with my Exacto knife. I then use a standing block to rough up some of the edges. I ink the paper with Distress Ink in salty ocean, tumbled glass, mermaid lagoon and cracked pistachio; spritz with water, then allow to dry completely.
While the backgrounds are drying, I gather my stamps and some Bristol cardstock. Using my stamping platform, I stamp mermaid parts and heat emboss them with clear embossing powder. This ensures that the edges stay crisp when I color the images. The stamps I am using for the mermaid and shells are from the Character Constructions She Sells Seashells Collection by Catherine Moore. I also stamp the octopus, fish and seahorse onto Bristol and clear emboss. The seaweed, coral and sea creatures are all part of the Tim Holtz Sea Life stamp set by Stampers Anonymous.
Once colored, all of these pieces are fussy cut, assembled, embellished, and set aside.
I want the piece to include some real shells to give it more dimension. I gather a few shells from my stash and paint on some with Dina Wakley acrylic in Gilt. As this dries, I paint some embossing ink on the bottom of the tags, sprinkle with dirty sand Baked Texture embossing powder by Emerald Creek/Seth Apter, and heat emboss, while it is still warm, I add bit more sand to some areas, and then let cool completely.
Using the stamping platform, I arrange the tags side by side and decide on placement of the seaweed and coral. These are stamped using archival inks in fern green and sepia.
I play with the arrangement of pieces to figure out the perfect location for the title "queen of the sea" which will be stamped in cornflower blue archival ink directly onto the tag. To ensure that the image is placed correctly, I first do a sample stamping, which I can use for placement of the individual letter stamps. I then remove the sample before inking the rubber stamp and stamping directly onto the tag. The letters I use are from the Tim Holtz Worn Text stamp set by Stampers Anonymous.
Once this is dry, I place the pieces back onto the tags in their appropriate spots and finalize the layout. To counterbalance the octopus in the upper right, I add a "rusty" anchor on the left. The anchor is a wooden piece that I have heat embossed with chunky rust Baked Texture by Emerald Creek/Seth Apter.
Everything is glued down and allowed to dry overnight. I am unsure about how I will attach the panels together, so I color some crinkle ribbon with the same inks used on the background, spritz with water and dry with a heat gun. This may be woven through holes along the seams of the tags. My other consideration is to use some fishing net.
I ultimately decide on using the fishing net.
The net is glued along the back side of all three tags, tying them together.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.
I hope that your thoughts inspire you to create something wonderful.

Be sure to share your Gypsy Soul creations with us on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group on Facebook. We would love to see what you are up to!

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Used:
Chipboard Decorative Tags X-Large

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