Thursday, May 31, 2018

Messing around at being creative!

Hi folks, its Angela with you today.

Sometimes I just feel like I want to mess around and experiment with different ideas and not create anything specific. This is why I have an art journal, I can play for the sake of playing and then stick the resulting artwork in there.

Today I took various bits of Mixed Media Fragments from the store (I just LOVE these bits, they are so versatile) and made two art journal pages. I wanted them to go together so I used the same colours on both pages.

For the first page I wanted to stamp the design of the media fragments over the page, but I need to make a stamp to do this. I separated the off-cut pieces from the design (hold on to these until you finish as you may decide you want to use them) then I took out some Cut and Dry foam and I heated the back with my heat gun and pressed the media fragment into it to make my own stamp. Once made I inked it up with Spiced Marmalade distress ink and stamped it on the page. As you can see from the picture I did the same with the diamond mixed Media fragment, you can use the same bit of foam because as you heat it up the previous indent disappears.

Once I had the background stamped I just added ink and distress stains randomly so it wasn't so white.

For the second page I wanted some texture on it so I turned to the texture paste. 

I used a palette knife to spread the paste through the square Mixed Media Fragment then lifted and repeated the process to give me 2 textured areas. As you can see by the third small picture, a little paste gets left behind on the piece but it is still perfectly usable for another project.

I used some gesso and then paint and distress stain on this once it had dried overnight.

Once I had the background done it was time to work on the decorative pieces. I took the diamond Mixed Media Fragment and applied gesso which I then dried with my heat gun. I squiged (very technical term I know) my distress ink - Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry - onto my craft mat and sprayed with water. I then dragged my gessoed piece through the ink. Once dry I applied a random layer of Rock Candy Distress Crackle and left to one side to dry overnight.

I gessoed all the other pieces I wanted to use and applied paint, stain and ink to them to get the look I wanted.

Finally I stuck the pieces where I wanted them on my pages and added some White Enamel Accents (by Ranger) to various pieces to help them stand out.

And there we have it - getting messy just because you can, no other reason than that.


Mixed Media Fragments 2
Retro Frame Set
Butterfly Corner Bottom
Words & Phrases 1

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Treasured Memories

In this day and age, with electronics so prevalent, the art of journaling and capturing moments to be remembered or reflected upon, is becoming ever so popular. There are many options available, even albeit, electronic ones; however, when I saw this mini trifold, I thought right away, what a perfect opportunity to create something that could catalogue an experience in a truly special way, something that could be treasured for a very long time.

This wonderful trifold pocket mini from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts, is a great size to manipulate. It arrives flat with score lines already in place for easy assembly. I crease along the pre-scored lines and  fold the bare journal into shape so that I can get an idea for the surfaces that I will be working on. This makes it easier to envision which planes are internal vs. external, as well as adjacent and opposite, which allows me to generate ideas and envision how I hope the journal will look completed.
With a concept in mind, I search through my stash of papers and select a variety of pieces that work well together. Ultimately, I choose a patterned paper from the Memorabilia Paper Stash by Tim Holtz to be the main motif and set the color scheme. I gather coordinating inks and create some of my own handmade background papers to join the mix.
The trifold has three distinct interior sections with flaps. It is a very versatile piece; the flaps can be made into pockets, or used with some sort of closure to create tabs that lift and open. You can also remove or modify a flap for even different results. You will notice that I modified the flaps in varying ways. I altered the middle section flaps to create two mirrored pieces. To do this I trace the chamfered flap to create a template, which I then trace onto the larger flap and then cut into shape with scissors. The exterior face of these flaps are covered with the main paper pattern. A circular disk of the handmade background paper is secured to each flap with an eyelet. These discs are the basis of a string closure for this middle section.
I know that regardless of the layout, whenever the trifold is open flat, this middle panel with be the focus. As such, I want this panel to showcase a stitched slots die. This die cut offers "slots" that pieces of memorabilia and ephemera can be slipped into. This works so well for a folio that will store treasured memories. I cut this piece from the main patterned paper and layer it over a solid paper and then layer this onto one of my handmade, oxide ink backgrounds. This background piece extends along the interior of both flaps, as well as along the interior fold seams. The edges of both inside flaps are stamped and embossed. A flower die cut piece is adhered to each interior flap.  It is important to note that as I am creating the pieces for my trifold, I do not attach any papers or pieces until I have completely resolved the layout.
The next sections that I focus my attention on, are the side panels. I want to play off the floral design in the main paper.  To do this, I chose a flower design that I have matching stamps, stencils and dies of, knowing that I will be repeating the pattern throughout the project. This offers many different possibilities, while maintaining a common design/theme. I love using this technique in projects, I feel that it creates a very diverse yet unified design, and adds a lot of interest. I generally tend to retain a common color scheme as well, whether I use paints, papers or inks, it is carried throughout a project. This really keeps everything cohesive.
Using a stencil, I apply crazing medium through the openings with a palette knife. This is set aside to air dry. While it dries, I work on the flap that will cover this panel when closed.
The first thing I do is cut a decorative edge on the flap. To create the edge, I trace  along a die that is the shape I am looking for. I feel that this makes the flap coordinate better with the half circle of the first panel and the chamfered edges of the central portion. Once the pattern is drawn onto the chipboard, it is easily cut with a pair of scissors. I use a floral mixed media die to cut an opening in a piece of coordinating paper. I then chose a different paper to layer under the open areas. This "under" paper is stamped with  matching floral stamps in iced spruce Distress Oxide. I also randomly stamp some script text on the paper with the same ink. Before combining the layers, the word "cherish" is die cut from the top paper and adhered in a "shadow" fashion. I use gold to highlight and accent both the open cut shapes as well as the word. When the trifold is complete, this flap will be secured in place with a ribbon closure. I color seam binding ribbon with the iced spruce oxide ink to coordinate, and secure this ribbon to the flap prior to attaching any layers onto the flap, thus making it more secure as well as concealing the end.
The underside of this flap is covered with a piece of the main patterned paper. The paper is cut to shape and then inked around the edges. An ideaology ring fastener is attached at the top center of the piece before it is adhered to the chipboard. This ring fastener will be used to secure some tags created with both of the "flap" papers.
When the crazing on the background panel has completely dried, I re-place the stencil and rub distress ink into the crackled areas. I also rub some metallic distress crayon into areas of the flowers to create highlights. This is allowed to dry and then some of the brown inks that were rubbed into the cracks (brushed corduroy and walnut stain) are flicked onto the panel. The metallic distress crayon is mixed wth a bit of water and flicked onto the background as well. I layer this composition with another piece of paper, in a darker hue, that I have die cut using a stitched rectangle die. For this section, I decide to use the bottom flap as a pocket. The entire layout is adhered to the panel prior to securing the sides of the pocket. Please note that in order for a larger area of the crackled design piece to show, I cut down the pocket height. The pocket sides are attached using a hot glue gun. The exposed face of the pocket is covered with more of my handmade, oxide inked paper. A second piece of colored ribbon is attached to the back of the main panel (prior to adhering the trifold's cover paper) so that it is concealed.  The two pieces of ribbon can be tied into a bow to secure the panel in the closed position.
The second side panel utilizes a magnetic closure method. The bottom, rounded flap contains a concealed magnet that is attracted to another concealed magnet in the flap. The outermost portion of this flap is covered with the lighter hued solid paper that is stamped with the script text stamp in iced spruce oxide ink and clear embossed. This is partially covered by a section of a doily, die cut from green parchment paper, that is inked and stamped with the script text stamp in iced spruce. The inner portion of the rounded flap is also covered with a piece of the lighter hue paper which is stamped with a sentiment that I feel perfectly fits the concept of my trifold: "Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder."
The exterior of the top flap on this side, is covered with a patterned paper that depicts a woven pattern. I cut strips of my handmade, oxide inked paper, the same width of the weave pattern and slice the paper at the intersecting areas to allow the inked strips to be woven through. I weave the strips through and cut any protruding edges. I love how this adds interest to the flap panel and also helps carry the inked background paper throughout the trifold. This complete woven panel is inked around the edge and adhered to the flap with dimensional foam tape allowing the magnet piece under it to be concealed completely.
The interior side of the top flap is covered with the darker hue paper that is stamped and embossed with the script text. Along each side a trim stamp is embossed in gold. The center of this panel contains a die cut of the lighter paper secured atop the remaining sections of the doily. Before securing in place, an index clip is located along the edge to hold a ticket strip cut from the main paper. A coordinating flower die cut is also attached.
The central interior panel of this side is covered with the main paper. a small woven packet, created in the same manner as the outside flap, is centrally located. It holds a strip of journaling tickets that have been stamped and embossed to coordinate. A story stick is adhered onto the bottom corner to complete the panel.
Once everything is assembled and adhered, I cut a strip of the main paper to fit the outside of the trifold. The paper is 12" long and when it is wrapped around the outside surfaces, I notice that it is a bit shy in length to cover the entire length. I chose a piece of coordinating solid paper and cut it with the stitched die. I then add this decorative-edged paper to the end sections where the main paper is a bit short. The main paper is also edged with the stitched pattern and adhered.
The inside view when it is unfolded, but each section is securely closed: 
Some close up views of secured and unsecured sections:
I want a way to secure the trifold when it is completed and tucked away, but don't want to have it be overly fancy, especially since I may want to place it onto a bookshelf. I consider many options, and ultimately decide to dye a length of 3/4" elastic with Distress Ink in brushed corduroy. When it is dry, I cut the length to overlap when wrapped around the folded journal. I sew both ends of the elastic in place. Using a cabinet card from my stash, I remove the back panel and fussy cut around the design that surrounds the opening. Using a piece of the darker hued paper from the project, I die cut another flower; remove the die cut and replaced it with one that is cut and inked from a different paper (also used in the project). I add gold highlights, and mount this within the opening. Another paper slips through the overlapping area of elastic and is secured to the back of the cabinet card, securing it in place. This creates a fairly flat piece that slips on and off the trifold when not in use. It finishes off the journal exactly as I hope.
I really love the way this trifold came together, The colors and the patterns are gorgeous together. I think it will present the perfect opportunity to store some treasures and special memories. 

I hope that you are inspired to create your own mini album, they take a lot of planning and design, but I believe they are absolutely worth the effort!
Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts used: TriFold Pocket Mini

We have a Facebook Group where you can share your Gypsy Soul projects, we would love to admire and be inspired by your work. If you're interested click here, we hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Floral Phone Holder

This month I decided to make something a little less elaborate, but it's one of my favourite products from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: the Tablet/Ipad/Phone Holder

I have three of these Phone holders around my house and I use them every day.

I know, I know... "but I could just prop my phone against something." That's what I thought too, but I really do love my little holders, use them daily and find them so useful.

Plus, it's a fun little project to work on. A little project to express your own style that takes up just a short time, a very few supplies, and is practical! Woo hoo, right?!?!

I've made a quick video walkthrough with a few tips like adding embellishment to the far edges rather than the centre. You can find it HERE.

You can get as elaborate or restrained as you like. Create something to suit your own style and tastes... but here are all the supplies I used to create this version of the Tablet/Ipad/Phone Holder.

Tablet/Ipad/Phone Holder
Lace Frame
Graphic 45 Floral Shoppe - PINK LILIES
Graphic 45 Floral Shoppe - Chipboard Tags
Thin Looped Dresden Borders - Pink
1 Inch Curly Paper Roses - Variegated Yellow Pink
Butterfly Charm
Acrylic paint

Monday, May 28, 2018

"Sweet"- a simple layout by Lynne

Hi crafty friends! Papercrafting has grown and changed so much over the past few years, and sometimes it seems  that complicated and time-consuming projects are in the spotlight; you know the ones you look at and think, " I could never DO that!!" ( I know I think that quite often!) Well, this page focuses on simple ways to use Gypsy Soul chipboard and has no complicated techniques, but I still love how it came out!

The paper I used was Blue Fern Studio Seaside Cottage-the colours worked so well with my photo, but since this is not a beach-themed page, there were elements in the left lower corner that didn't suit my I just tore off both corners, inked the rough edge, and added some coordinating paper....and a couple diecut pawprints.

I matted the photo and cut two more rectagular pieces from another sheet and created a layered mat for the cute photo of my cat Honey (she very seldom isn't running around getting into trouble, so I was happy to get this shot!) The edges were all distressed and inked as well. I have a distressing tool, but usually just do it with scissors-either works great, but if you use scissors, rub the blade along the paper gently so as not to gouge into it, unless that's the effect you want.

I stenciled pawprints here and there and also used punchinella to create the spotted pattern on my page...I find pigment inks the easiest to use this way, as they have the foamy pad that rubs smoothly across the stencil.

This photo shows  my homemade flowers, which were made with a flower punch, then crumpled, inked and layered. And nothing is easier than adding naked chipboard to your project-that's right, I did NOTHING to these fern pieces!! I thought the natural colour went well with the colours on my page.

The danglers were heat-embossed, and I knew this embossing enamel had really good coverage, so I didn't prime them before adding it-I just rubbed them onto the Versamark pad, then made sure they were well-coated with the embossing enamel, and finished with the heat tool. The ivory colour with the gold flecks inspired my choice of brads for the flowers as well.

I wanted the title piece to look different from the danglers, so I painted it with dusty blue acrylic paint, then sponged it with sage green paint. You also get a closer look at the punchinella stencilling in this photo

I added a twine bow to the word dangler and stapled some twine above the photo for added texture; a page like this can be done in one crafting session, and goes together even easier with purchased flowers; I just enjoy making them because then I know they coordinate perfectly and don't have to pull out every flower I own to see if they match (or go shopping for flowers that match, although that can be a fun excuse to hit the craft store!!)

I hope you enjoyed my page and that, if you find complicated projects intimidating, the simplicity of this will inspire you to grab some supplies today and put together a page! Crafty hugs from me and sweet little Honey!!


String Alongs-cats
Words & Phrases 2
Fern Fronds


Blue Fern papers, Seaside Cottage
Colorbox Mixed Media Ink-Honey
Ranger Distress Ink-Bundled Sage
acrylic paints
Stampendous embossing enamel-Aged Ivory
Versamark ink