Tuesday, July 28, 2020

retro recipe journal

I love the simplicity of summer days: outdoor barbecues, picnics, and the lack of scheduled activities and responsibilities. Summer days give us time to relax. Lately, I've noticed a trend in journaling towards junk journals. I thought it would be fun to create a vintage styled "favorite recipe" junk journal, combining the simplicity of vintage style with modern day trends. Today I am sharing details for my retro recipe journal.
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts art journal is the perfect base for this project. It contains sixteen chipboard pieces of varying sizes and textures and two binding rings. All of the pages are punched to accommodate ring style binding. Four of the pieces are "tabbed" perfect for creating different sections, and if you want to add your own pages, 5x7 fits perfectly.
I wanted my journal to have a retro vibe, so I selected a vintage red and white gingham check for the cover, then I added a black stripe along the binding edge. I embossed the favorite recipes title with a black glossy finish and added it along the right side of the cover. Since the cover will receive the most use opening and closing, I added chrome grommets to the punched holes. This will allow the journal to open easily.
Next, I searched for vintage images of recipes and advertisements to include on the front sides of the chipboard pages. I intentionally left the back sides of the pages unfinished to allow for artist freedom when the journal is put to use.
The images were cut out and added to the smaller chipboard pieces that are located in front of the tabbed dividers. On pages where the image was smaller, I incorporated the red and white checked paper, as well as some black paper details.
Each of the tabbed divider pages are covered with a vintage ledger paper. I thought it would be fun to add titles to the tabbed portion, in the keeping with the retro recipe theme. I used label letters to spell out each course, ie. salads, soups, entrees, and deserts.
With the main pages complete, I created some clips that can be used in the journal. For these, I used the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts kitchen utensils set. I added a coat of black gesso to each side of the pieces. When  the gesso was dry, I attached a paper clip to the back side with strong glue and set aside to dry. The oven mitt piece was covered with gingham and black paper before the clip was attached to one side.
The only thing left to do is cut some of your favorite papers to be added to the journal. I cut a few different types of paper in 5"x7" size then, using the existing page holes as a guide, I marked each page. Using a hole punch, I created the holes and slipped all the pages into the journal where I wanted them. The binding rings make adding and removing pages a breeze.
I think the possibilities for the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts art journal are endless. You can turn this piece into any style of your liking quickly and easily. The size is perfect for slipping into your bag and taking it with you wherever you go.
Perhaps I've inspired you to create your own journal, I'd love to see your take on this piece.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today,
I really appreciate it.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Magic of Oz Double Explosion Box

Tap your heels three times and you’ll be transported to a wonderful world of The Magic of Oz! 

This double explosion box is from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

These are the pieces: the bottom left is the large box, bottom right is the large box lid, upper left is the small box, and the surprise box is the two right pieces. All the pieces are distressed ink.

This is the inside of the larger box.

This is the outside of the larger box.

This is the inside with pieces from the paper collection.

The tops of the green papers are open so a journaling card or money can be added. These are the Graphic 45 larger cutouts which have black mats.

This is the outside of the smaller box.

This is the inside of the smaller box adhered to the larger box center.. The sizes of the Gypsy Soul Laser Box are perfect for the smaller Graphic 45 cutouts which also have black mats. 

Both boxes are gathered up and the lid holds them together. When the box lid is taken off, the pieces "explode" out.

The lid decoration is fussy cut from the Graphic 45 paper.

The sides of the box lid are the perfect size for this border.

The "secret box" is not adhered to the other boxes so it can be picked up to look at.

What to put in the "secret box"? Ruby Red Slippers? A heart? How about a way to get home?!! The bottom of the wire is glued to the bottom of the box, and the top is glued to the back of the compass. There is a perfect Graphic 45 paper printed with a compass.  The wire is rolled around a pen just enough to pop up when the box is opened.

 There really is no place like home!

Hope Sun-catcher {recycling project}

Hello again!

Today I have a fun and easy recycling project to share using some old CDs. I thought I would make a sun-catcher and hopefully convince the sun to show its face since we've had so much rain so far this summer.

GSL Products Used

I used the Leafy Circle Frame D118A and the Hummingbird Medallion D117M in this project

Overview of Process

I started off making a totally different project until I spied these old CD-ROMS sitting on my table from a recent clear out and they inspired me to switch up what I had planned.  So I have these chipboards from GSL; on the left is the leafy circle frame and on the right is the hummingbird medallion, which had two in the pack.  So I was looking at my old CD and these chippies and trying to decide where to go next since I had two birds and one circle frame.

My first thought was pretty obvious, just add both to the CD since the medallion conveniently fits inside the circle frame, but then I would have one bird left over and I have quite a few of these old CD-ROMs so I wanted to find a way of getting more out of what I had and maybe even make a much bigger project than planned.

So I decided to use the chipboards as stencils first before using them for their usual purpose.  If it hadn't been CDs I was using, I could have sprayed something through them like ink or paint, but I didn't actually have anything that would adhere to the shiny CD and I didn't want to paint them first since the whole point was to have the shine.  Then I decided to try a different idea. I taped the CD to the work surface and taped the chipboards on top, then got to work with my idea.

I used a stippling brush with some embossing ink to stipple through the chipboard "stencils" and when I removed them, I was left with this pattern made from the sticky embossing ink.

I then applied Wow's Black Glint embossing powder and very carefully melted it with my heat gun.  Please note that CDs are made from plastic and so don't overheat the embossing powder or you could melt or warp your CD.  If your heat gun has a low setting, use that, and apply heat all over the surface evenly.

I laid all three CDs out on my table to see how they looked together before I glued anything down.  I started to think of words that could maybe fit in that space in the centre of the leafy frame.  I chose HOPE as I think we could all use a bit more of that at the moment.

Time to start assembling - I used this very strong Gutermann fabric glue to glue the chipboards to the CDs.  It's a glue I use a lot for gluing things to fabric, including metal, so I knew it would definitely be able to glue chipboard and cardboard to metal.  I glued everything in place and put something heavy on them to hold them down while they dried. 

Once all the chipboard pieces were glued in place, I glued the black letters in the centre of the circle frame which would be my centre piece, and held them down with something heavy.

The embossing powder I used on the chipboards is by WOW and is called Sea of Tranquillity.  It's a great turquoise colour and contrasts well with the Black Glint.  I could have just covered the whole centre of the CD with black instead of stencilling but I hadn't decided what I was doing at that point and I do really love the stencilling.

The HOPE letters are die cut from cardstock using Altenew Bold Alpha dies and then I heat embossed them with the same Black Glint embossing powder as before and arranged them in the centre of the CD.

Now that everything was glued in place it was time to attach the CDs to each other to make the sun-catcher.  I decided to use wire for this job, but there are other options you could use, and I will list some of them at the end of this post.  I cut three pieces of 18 ga wire that each measured eight inches long.  I used my pliers to make an eye hook at one end of the wire and then threaded one of these green lampwork coin beads on to it.

I wanted my sun-catcher to be shiny on both sides, so I decided to glue another CD onto the back, shiny side out.  This also enclosed the wire that runs from top to bottom of the CD.  Here's a look at the front and back of the bird medallion pieces.

To make sure everything was glued down securely, I used binder clips to hold everything in place and left them to dry overnight.

You can see the two bird CDs with an eye hook and bead at the top and the straight end of the wire sticking out the bottom, and the one HOPE leafy frame CD with an eye hook and bead at the top and bottom. 

Using pliers open the the eye hook on the top bird medallion CD by turning it sideways.  This retains the integrity of the hook shape and allows it to be easily closed again. Hook the top eye hook from the centre CD through the open eye hook and then close it using pliers.  Repeat this process with the bottom hook on the centre CD with the top hook on the bottom CD, which will attach all three CDs together.

On the bottom CD I decided to make it a bit more fancy since there was space to add more beads.

Now that I had added some beads, I decided that it really needed a tassel on the end.  I pulled some options from my stash and since I had added the green beads, I opted for the green perle cotton on the right of the photo.

I made a very simple tassel by wrapping some of the thread around my hand or you could use something wider if you want a longer tassel.

I used some 22ga silver wire to hold it in place and create a basic loop to attach it to the hook on the end of the CD.

Then cut through the end of the loop to make the tassel.

Then I attached the tassel to the bottom of the CD in the same way as before and the sun-catcher is complete and ready to hang up and catch some sun!

From the top to the bottom...

Other Options

Hide the holes in the middle of the CDs - cover them with silver cardstock.
Instead of adding a second CD to the back, try painting the back or to hide the wire, cover it with pattern paper.
No wire/pliers in your stash - use whatever you have in your stash eg yarn, thread, embroidery floss, baker's twine, regular string, or even left over Christmas ribbon!
If you don't want to try heat embossing CDs, you could paint them instead.
Don't have multiple CDs in your stash - make a smaller project using just one CD with a tassel!

I hope you enjoyed this project and feel inspired to make your own.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Empire of the Cat

Project Recipe:

Leafy Circle Frame D118A and the Hummingbird Medallion D117M *coming soon*
Wow Embossing ink and embossing powders - Black Glint, Sea of Tranquillity
Gutermann HT2 glue
Altenew Bold Alpha dies
From the stash:  old CD-ROMS, 18ga and 22ga wire, lampwork coin beads, other small beads, perle cotton

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Ties That Bind-Collecting Curiosities-A Peek-a-Boo-Project

Whereas my last tutorial was simple and sweet and easy peasy, this one is complicated and took on a life of its own. I'm surprised and intrigued by the final project. Join me in this journey of layer and textures.
I've collected Martha Stewart Magazine Images from when I used to be a subscriber. The one article was about collecting insects and the photography was rich and organic, it is the inspiration behind this masterpiece.  It also honors the recent sale of our family homestead in Pennsylvania. We are healing and moving on, standing on the shifting sands of time dipping into a cool oasis of memories.   

1.  Cut GSLC 6 by 4 Specimen Box. I am using unorthodox techniques and definitely not prescribed by most designers. 
2.  I first randomly glued pieces of vintage text all over all of the pieces of the specimen box.
3.  Once dry I rubbed off part of the text using a damp cloth.
4.  Next I used a sanding block to rediscover the slots I will need to assemble the box.
5.  I then made a glaze out of Matte Varnish and Acrylic Nickel Gold Paint.
6. I assembled the box using Weldbond to hold it all together.
   7. Once fully dried I sprayed with TH Distress Oxides and added water and alcohol to I found layers I was pleased with.
8.  Once fully dry I sealed with Cheap hairspray.
9.  While hair spray is still wet I sprinkled with spices to give it a dusty organics look.
10.                Not satisfied with the layers I cut up magazine images and patch worked together the individual chambers.
11.                I added edging to the sides of my specimen box with strips of paper and washi tape.
12.                Still not feeling the project complete I want into my GSLC stash and settled on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Acorn Border Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Honeycomb & Queen Bees ATC Sized and added the to my vignettes.
13.                I used Clear Embossing Ink and Charred Gold Embossing Powder on the Acorn boarders.
14.                I used a Black Sharpie, Golden Hansa Yellow Light Acrylic paint, Nail Polish to decorate the bees.
15.                I used Clear Embossing Ink and Vantage Beeswax  Embossing Powder on the Honeycombs.
16.                I used Rub'n Buff Autumn Gold and Gold Leaf on the GSLC Crown and Crosses.
17.                I finally assembled my specimen box using Weldbond and double sided foam dots to layer all pieces.
Some Final Thoughts.
This art project had many twists and turns, many setbacks and follow-throughs. I had to problem solve and step away but in the end I like the story it tells. We are families of our own choosing, stuck together through thick and thin, sometimes sweet as honey others as bitter as vinegar, we carry our crosses for other to sometime see but often hidden beneath out crooked crowns, We are busy as bees collectors of curiosities. Layers upon layers, hidden and healed, brilliant and perplexing. this project reminded me of one of my favorite podcasts I like to listen to, Here Be Monsters, it took me a while to get into it because there are layers and the topics they discuss are sometime challenging and makes me feel uneasy. They describe it as a podcast created by and for people interested in pursuing their fears and facing the unknown. It's a bit of a "freak show"  a collection of curiosities, which I find intriguing and interesting. There is an image on my project that is distorted in the upper right hand corner, she appears to be a dog-faced woman I wonder what story she has to tell and how all these curiosities fit together.

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-6 by 4 Specimen Box, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Acorn Border Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Honeycomb & Queen Bees ATC Sized, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Gothic Cross Miniature,  Uhu Glue Stick, Vintage Text, Mister with Water and Rubbing Alcohol, Cloth, Sanding Block, Matte Varnish, Gold Nickel, Acrylic Paint, Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Sprays-Pistachio, Marmalade, Amber Fired Brick, Cheap Hairspray, Spices, Magazine Images,  Washi Tape, Clear Embossing Ink Roller, Allure Charred Gold and Vintage Beeswax Embossing Powder a, Heating Tool, Black Sharpie, Golden Hansa Yellow Light Acrylic paint, Nail Polish, Rub'n Buff Autumn Gold and Gold Leaf, Weldbond, Double Sided Foam Dots,

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!