Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Saturday Morning TV with Pee Wee's Playhouse

I am a child of the 80's. I totes remember having to get my butt off the couch to change channels and adjust the volume. I remember the glory of Saturday morning cartoons. As soon as I saw the Gypsy Soul Altoids TV's I was taken back to those days.

My absolute favorite of all that Saturday morning goodness was Pee Wee's Playhouse. Fellow design team member, Connie Little created an amazing room box of the Playhouse set a while ago and I've been desperate to make my own Pee Wee something ever since. THIS was the perfect opportunity.

Assembly was super simple and yet I somehow managed to mangle almost every step. It was one of those days when everything I touched turned to soup... and yet, even on a craptastic day, it's still awesome, right?! If you're having your own soup day, I have a walk-through with some pointers to avoid all of my mistakes. Pop over HERE for the video.

Don't like Pee Wee? I think you're crazy but you can totally make one of these cute TV's for your favorite show. Just grab a background shot, then add a cutout of your favourite character to add as a focal point. Bewitched is next on my list! Then, maybe, Murder She Wrote. Or how about Golden Girls?! 20 Minute Workout perhaps.

Of course you should use materials suited to the show theme you want to create, but for this particular Pee Wee version here are the supplies I used:

Altoid Tin
Red, black, white, yellow acrylic paints
Silver and red fine glitter
Glossy Accents
Glue (white, instant)
Background image, foreground character
Adhesive foam squares

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Celestial Matchbook Faux Book Box

A dreamy little faux book box for you today.

For this project I took a Matchbox Sized Faux Book Box, and embellished it with stash scraps from the ALCHEMY and COSMOS papers from Stamperia

Working on small projects like this are a wonderful way to use up little leftover bits. It's also a fun exercise to use up stash bits that share a theme. I love stars and moons and all things celestial, so it was nice to collect those little bits and create something new.

Inside I added brass stars, a vial of starry tinsel, and loads of moony imagery all smooshed up together.

I don't have a full tutorial for this project, but I can offer a few tips to help you along.

• try using hockey tape to hinge the lid of the Matchbox Sized Faux Book Box This fabric tape works really, really well for books and bendy foldy parts in mixed media projects

• avoid adding too many embellishments to the inside of the spine, it will impede closing the box

• glue a length of ribbon to the front and back of the cover before covering with paper. It's a super simple closure for your book box.

Perhaps the most important tip I can offer is this: make something that celebrates YOUR interests. While I'm mad for stars and magic and moons, don't shy away from making something that honors your love of unicorns, or gardening, or jelly beans! Explore whatever tugs at your heart, no matter how kooky it might be.

All that said, here are the supplies used in this particular piece:

Matchbox Sized Faux Book Box
Cloth hockey tape
ALCHEMY and COSMOS Stamperia papers
Glass vial
Artifact Labels
Idea-ology - Tim Holtz - Story Stick
Tinsel stars
Stamp pad

Friday, January 24, 2020

Blue Fern Autumn Anthology 9x11 Folio

This Blue Fern collection has gorgeous papers and I have been searching for just the right project for them. I generally make mini albums, but this paper really lends itself to a larger size to accomomdate these beautiful images, so when I found the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts 9x11 folio, I knew it was perfect for this project. Cutting the pages to fit this 9x11 format allows the use of the major corner images and leaves the other side of the paper to be trimmed as a two or three inch pocket with the secondary images.

The folio comes in three pieces that look like this:

The two loose pieces are glued to the right side:

I added some small flips to the left side:

Bazzill Rose Gold foil is used as a mat on all sections.

The cover:

                   The Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts "Frame Bella Round" comes in two pieces.

                       I cut an extra bottom piece out of the Rose Gold and used it as a base for 
 the flowers on the right side of the cover:

                       When the left front cover is opened, the right side of the roundframe is not  
                               glued so that it can be used to slip in a photo or a dedication. The chipboard color                               looked really good with the Rose Gold foil, so I left it as is.  A piece of ribbon is glued under the paper as part of the closure.                 
This is the full right cover.     
This is the opened left flip and the
second piece of the ribbon closure:

When the right cover is opened there is a 9x11 piece of Autumn Anthology paper with no extra embellishments, and the right side flips.

A closer look highlights a pocket with Rose Gold/Blue Fern tags.

Flipping this page up.

A closer look of the top flip:

The bottom flip:

Both right flips open:

Botom Flip:

Middle page:

And lastly, I used clear Wink of Stella to further highlight the images.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Journey is the Destination - Mixed Media Card

Hello again friends!

It's Elle again with another fun project using some cool chipboard elements to make a card suitable for many occasions or for any gearheads out there!



Firstly, give the edges a wipe down with a slightly damp cloth or paper to remove the residue left by laser cutting. Then paint the chipboards with a layer of white gesso followed by a layer of blue acrylic paint.  For this rusty truck effect, I am using two different paint colours - blue and jade.

After the paint was dry, I added the metallic paint using a sponging technique, except I used a paper towel, which works just as well.

Keep adding more paint until you are happy with the effect - make sure you let all the layers dry in between applications!


For the background, I selected some gelli printed backgrounds I made last September.  This technique creates a peeled paint/weathered wood effect and you can read more about that technique on my blog as it's not covered in this tutorial, but if you have a gel plate you might want to try it out as it creates a very cool effect and it's really fun to do!  At the time, I made nearly 20 of these backgrounds using this technique!

I pulled together all the bits and pieces I wanted to use on the card to see how they would work together and snapped a photo of it for reference later!


Then I cut the card down to size - 8.5 x 5.5 inches - and covered it with transparent gesso

Once the gesso was dry (only a few minutes) I added some paint splatters and brush-strokes around the edges just for some extra interest and texture.

Using a blending brush, I inked the edges with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink to make it look a little more vintage.

I added some random stamping in the lighter areas using some light grey Archival Ink

I selected a co-ordinating cardstock for the card base and adhere the background to it.


Before adding the truck to the card, I decided to add a layer of cardstock underneath the chipboard to show through the cutouts, and to add some clear acetate for the windows using some old packaging.

This particular bit of acetate has a small crack in it and I like how it looks like the truck has a crack in the windscreen!  I also painted the windows with some diluted fluid acrylic paint to tint them a little.


Time to assemble the card - refer back to the reference photo if needed - and adhere all the elements in place on the card front.  I added some touches of colour on the girl and woman's hair and shoes and stockings, added some ephemera snippets and word stickers and a stamped quote to the centre of the gear frame and the card was complete!

Here's a couple of close ups so you can better see the rusty effect

Till next time,

Empire of the Cat


GSL Cuts - Truck 1 C25C,Chain and Gears Frame D20H
Tim Holtz baseboard dolls, word stickers, Distress Markers, Distress Ink, Snippets, Stuff 2 Say Stamp set CMS110
Finnabair - Azure, Jade acrylic paint, Sepia, Turquoise liquid acrylic, White Gesso, Transparent Gesso
Jane Davenport - Copper metallic acrylic
Archival Ink - Watering Can
Gina K cardstock
Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive
From Stash: gel printed backgrounds, acetate from cake box, blending brush

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Time Marches On

January is a time of new beginnings, a time to reflect and take inventory of our lives. There is a quote by Warren Zevon, “we love to buy books because we believe we are buying the time to read them.” January is sort of like that it’s the promise of a full year ahead, the possibilities seems endless. But you and I both know that time is promised to no one, we must live each day as it is our last and tuck away memories that we can make along the way. This is the inspiration for this project.
1.  Cut Apart the GSLC Alice Trading Coin Covers, decide which you will be using.
2.  Emboss GSLC-Trading coins with German Silver and Granite Powders and filling in gaps with Brushed Pewter Distress Mica Spray.
3.  Cure and set with a heating tool.
4.  Use a paint brush to paint the rims of the GSLC Alice Trading Coin Covers.
5.  Trace pocket watch onto Faux Alligator Skin Paper, Cut out with scissors.
6.  Trace top hat onto Faux Black Velvet Paper, Cut out with scissors.

7.  Trace bottle onto Blue Metallic Tissue Paper, Cut out with scissors

8.  Use Brown, Black, and Blue markers to edge the GSLC Alice Trading Coin Covers coordinating with papers used
9.  Add a small piece of rusted ribbed ribbon to the top hat.
10.                Use Gold Leaf Rub ‘n Buff for the pocket watch top.
11.                Use Weldbond to glue chosen papers to correct GSLC Alice Trading Coin Covers. Adding a vintage text to the bottles label and gray marker to color the string and brown marker for the cork top.
12.                Secure into place with metal clamps allowing to dry fully.

13.                Once dry carefully add Art Deco One Step Crackle medium to the blue bottle.
14.                Use Gold Leaf Rub ‘n Buff to add details of your choosing from the GSLC Steampunk Light bulb Set

15.                Glue and Screw in metallic embellishments to your GSLC Alice Trading Coin Covers.        

Some Final Thoughts.  
New Year Song- Over the Rhine
Here's a little New Year's song
Don't worry it won't take too long
Just a bit of New Year's cheer
To say I'm glad you're here
Little leftover Christmas tree
Just big enough for you and me
With just a single strand of lights
To tease the stars outside
And we thought perhaps we'd see some friends
But as the old year slowly ends
The dogs are dreaming in their beds
We might stay home instead
Here's a little New Year's song
Don't worry it won't take too long
Just a quiet New Year's eve
There's somethin' up your sleeve
And I might gently take your wrist
Read your body like a Christmas list
The first night that the New Year brings
I wouldn't wanna miss a thing
Let's stay home and play old records
Our future's bright our past is checkered
What do you say we lift a glass
Toast the ghost of another year past
Just a little New Year's song
Happy New Year everyone
It came upon a midnight clear
Another brand new year
New mercy comes with every morning
The unexpected with no warning
For loved ones who've gone on before
Sing me Auld Lang Syne
New mercy comes with every morning
The unexpected with no warning
Let the dear ones you love know
You'll miss them when you go

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Trading Coin Covers AliceGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Artist Trading CoinGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Steampunk Lightbulb Set, Embossing Powders-I Used Granite and German Silver, Brushed Pewter Distress Mica Spray, A Wash Made of Water and Black Acrylic Paint, Paintbrush, Blue Metallic Tissue Paper, Faux Black Velvet Paper, Faux Alligator Skin paper, Markers-Black, Blue, Brown and Grey, Rusty Ribbon, Rub ‘n Buff-Gold Leaf, Weldbond, Scrap of Vintage Text, Metal Clamps, Art Deco One Step Crackle medium, 

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!