Sunday, March 29, 2020

House Front Letter Box

In the midst of the worlds current craziness I find I'm having issues concentrating. While it seems that now might be the perfect time to tackle a big and complex project, I just can't seem to muster the gumption needed. A little distraction on the other hand... totally doable.

So I've taken a House Front Box Kit and made a wee box for the mail that is still managing to get through. I love getting mail, if you have little ones maybe they'd like to get some mail too.

I don't have a video tute for this project, but I do have some step-by-steps you can follow.

1. Clean the edges of the pieces you'll be using and orientate the pieces of House Front Box Kit so that you know how they'll fit together.

2. Cover one side of the slotted base and cut out the holes using a sharp blade. This will be the top side of the base.

3. Cover the bottom side of the side. No need to cut out the holes on this side.

4. Glue the box together.
Note: Consider tracing the house shape of the front of the box onto your decorative paper before gluing pieces in place.

5. Cover the inside and outside of the box with decorative paper.

Note: I covered the little holes on the sides of the box. If you want to add a handle, string or ribbon, you'll want to poke those holes open.

6. Prepare your decorate elements.

• Paint the door included in the House Front Box Kit, a little "Letters" Plate, and a turret from the Turrets Set of 4 with red acrylic paint.

• Paint window frames from the House Front Box Kit and a Mini Crest Sign black. 

7. Add a non-discript picture to the window frame. You might also want to sandwhich a layer of clear plastic between the frame and the image to give the shiny appearance of glass.

8. For the mailbox I simply sliced one of the little turrets in half. Cover the exterior with paper to hide the curved opening then cut with a sharp blade.

9. For the top piece, apply the prepared Mini Crest Sign, add a bit of paper to the back of the "Letters" Plate to make the lettering pop, and then add a Faux Metal Number Plate

10. Pop your window, door and mailbox in place.

11. Fill with letters and notes for those that you're quarantined or locked-down with!

Here's all the bits you'll need:

House Front Box Kit
Turrets Set of 4
Mini Crest Sign
Faux Metal Number Plates 1 to 25
Scrapbook paper
Black and red acrylic paint
Plastic for windows (optional)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A little art therapy during tough times

I created this piece as a little art therapy for myself. Titled "False Advertising", it is how I am feeling right now, especially on social media, where I am trying to appear upbeat, but inside am feeling a little bleak.
To make this, I began by gluing the box part of the Sunflower Niche and letting dry.
I then covered the Sunflower Niche, first with gesso, and then with yellow acrylic paint.

I then painted orange on top of the flower, placed a stencil over the paint and removed paint using a baby wipe. I completed this process by working on only a couple petals at a time, drying them with a heat gun after using the baby wipe. Otherwise, the orange paint would dry too much and become too difficult to remove. You can see in the picture below one of the petals where I still need to remove the paint with a stencil and baby wipe.
Because the stencil would not fit easily into the niche, I used a pen to freehand draw similar markings. 
Next I used the same stencil to apply different colors of non-translucent acylic paint to sections of the flower. I also used remaining paint on the stencil as a stamp on the flower and freehand added my own marks to the flower.
I then adhered the box to the sunflower and covered a paper clay moon I had previously made with silver metallic wax. Then I painted the moon with black acrylic paint and used a paper towel to rub some of it off and reveal the silver below. 

After adhering the moon inside the box, I made marks with a black gel pen to reflect a foul mood. Next I covered a piece of white cardstock with yellow paint, added my title, cut it out and adhered it to the box. Finally, I completed the box by inking the edges of the flower with black distress ink.

I hope everyone stays healthy and makes a lot of art while you shelter in place during this pandemic. Remember, this too shall pass. -Betsy

Great Stuff

Sunflower Niche
Beacon Fabri-Tac
Stencil Girl stencil
Acrylic paint
Orange marker
Black gel pen
White cardstock
Paper clay moon made from mold
Black Soot Distress Ink
Silver metalic wax

Friday, March 27, 2020

Sunflower Niche

"You spread a little sunshine wherever you go" makes me think about my four-year-old granddaughter. She has light blond hair and a beautiful smile. I made this project for her.

This project uses the Gypsy Soul Laser "Sunflower Niche".

Adorable niche perfect for decorating.  Front measures 6 inches by 6.25 inches.  Niche measures 2 inches by 3 inches by .5 inch deep. Includes wall hanger. 

I used Memento "Cottage Ivy" ink and intended to color the pieces to a solid green, but when I put the first bit of ink on, it brought out the texture of the chipboard which I quite liked, so I didn't add any more.

This is the back when the two pieces are glued together.

My favorite type of paper crafting is "iris folding". Small pieces of paper are adhered to the back of  a pattern and are generally used for cards, but can also be used in mini albums or picture frames. I cut one to fit into the niche.

This is a closer look:

This was a simple and fun project, and I know my granddaughter is going to love it!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Red And Green Should Never Be Seen...

This started off as my St Patrick's Day inspired project but as I thought more about Spring and how everything was turning green, this little rhyme popped into my head.  So I decided that this should be my inspiration instead:

Red and green should never be seen 

except upon a fairy queen

There are a few different versions of this, including "Irish Queen" instead of "Fairy Queen" but it was always fairy queen for us and here she is, my fairy queen...

I used this very large tag base because I wanted lots of room for this. I am also using Fresco chalk paints again, some of my own stamps and a few different mediums, so here we go...

My camera failed me and I don't have some of the process photos which included gesso, Tim Holtz tissue paper, texture paste through a stencil, crackle paste and these first layers of Fresco paint.

I did some stamping to the background using my own handmade stamps (see the white spirals) and then added some white splatter for good measure.  And so it was time to plan the Fairy Queen.  I started playing with all these chipboard pieces and took a quick snap so I wouldn't forget where I wanted everything to go. I am using the Flight of Fancy Butterfly Girl D132A, Blooming Flourish D22P, Acorn Border Set C10E, Leaves from Mushroom Shape Set D102B, and later, the Stackable Labels D35H.  I manipulated these foliage pieces into the shapes I wanted so that they became a crown for her head and a garland for her neck.

Gesso everything and leave to dry.

It was then time to start painting my fairy queen, remembering the rhyme about red and green, so her hair had to be flaming red! I painted her using Paperartsy Fresco Chalk Paints.

I gave her a green dress and some hand drawn features using first a pencil, then paint, and pink butterflies in her hair.

I really wanted to put the little red and green rhyme on the tag but even with this large tag, I didn't feel there was enough room for it to look right and not be squished.  I found some of these skeleton leaves in a drawer, painted them with Chartreuse paint and Metallic Glaze, and used them as a background for all the foliage around her.

I added some more foliage and then painted it using Frescos with metallic glaze mixed in and then cut one of the Blooming Flourish pieces into two, so I could use it on the other side of her face, to balance things up.

I thought she needed to be grounded so I added a lollipop stick to ground her. I inked it up with Ground Espresso Archival ink.

I used these little mini bookplates, painted them up and attached them, and because I couldn't fit the red and green rhyme, I used these Finnabair stickers to convey Queenie's fairy message to let yourself look for the magic.  I'm sure you will find it if you look hard enough!

 Oh and one final touch was to add these little Prima crystals as a necklace as I thought her neck was looking a bit bare and she is a Queen after all!

I hope you like my St Patrick's Day/Spring/Fairy Rhyme inspired red and green tag.  Please let me know in the comments!

Empire Of The Cat


GSL Cuts - Tag Set Super X Model: D92C  , Stackable Labels D35H, Blooming Flourish D22P, Acorn Border Set C10E, Flight of Fancy Butterfly Girl D132A, Leaves from Mushroom Shape Set D102B,
Paperartsy - Fresco Chalk Paints, various
Decoart - White Gesso, Crackle Paste, Texture Paste
Tim Holtz - Ground Espresso Archival Ink, Collage Medium, tissue paper, stencil
Finnabair - word stickers
Prima - crystals
From Stash:  lollipop stick, my handmade stamps,

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Signs of Spring-A Peek-a-Boo-Project

I’ve always loved forcing crocus bulbs in the dead of winter making springtime come just a little bit earlier in the dead of winter. This is the inspiration for this instillation.
1.  Choose the center portion of the GSLC 8 Inch Arch Top Triptych and the side portions of the Arch Top Triptychs.  
2.  Use Wow Embossing Ink Pad and Embossing Powders in Shades of Green to layer onto the frame portion of the GSLC Triptych pieces until you have a pleasing effect. Curing with a heat tool between each layer.
3.  Use Distress Stains in Shades of Green, Distress Oxide Spray in Shades of Green to randomly color the GSLC Fern Fronds, spritzing with water in between layers.

4.  Fussy Cut Crocus Images you found in Magazines.
5.  Gently distress Crocus Images using Sandpaper Blocks.
6.  Use a small plastic spatula to splatter and texture back portion of GSLC Triptychs using, Ferro Blackberry Texture Paint, and Acrylic Paint- in shades of Brown, Purple, and Green.
7.  Use Weldbond to glue down Crocus Images and GSLC Fern Fronds.
8.  Glue the GSLC 
Triptychs together and secure with metal clamps.
9.  Once Dry use a Silicon Basting Brush to paint the back part of the GSCL Triptychs.
10.                Once Dry attach GSLC Triptychs together using small metal hinges and micro screws.

11.                Gently drizzle DecoArt Triple Thick Glaze and One Step Crackle Medium onto the fronts of the combined GSLC Triptychs.

 Some Final Thoughts.
The crocus symbolizes Cheerfulness and Gladness, a perfect flower to bring into your home during wintertide when these emotions can be hard to come by.

Spring Flowers ~ Crocus - Poem by Mary Havran
Crocus flowers daring tiny warriors
Fighting their way up through
The winter ice
Crocus darling early Spring harbingers
Promising days will soon
Be turning nice

Tiny Crocus flowers grow in close groups
Strength in numbers seeking
Where winter snows still may lie
Encircled encampment of floral troupes
“We march onward to spring”
They raise this brave battle cry

Bold strength contained in Crocus so small
Should winter challenge again
They simply refuse to die
Delicate blossoms possess such wherewithal
I cannot help but wonder then
Should not likewise you and I.



Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Arch Top Triptych 8 InchGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Triptych Arch TopGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Fern Fronds, Magazine Pictures of Crocuses, Embossing Powders in Shades of Green,  Wow Embossing Ink Pad, Heating Tool, Distress Stains in Shades of Green, Distress Oxide Spray in Shades of Green, Mister of Water, Scissors, Sandpaper Blocks, Ferro Blackberry Texture Paint, Plastic Spatula, Acrylic Paint- in shades of Brown, Purple, and Green, Weldbond, metal Clamps, Silicon Basting Brush, Small  Metal Hinges, Small Micro Screws, Screwdriver, DecoArt Triple Thick Glaze and 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!