Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A little experiment with the same chiboards

   Hi everyone!

Myry again and today I'm going to do a little experiment! 
You can try it with any chipboard but you need two equal. I'm going to use this spectacular butterfly.
First paint the A side of one of the chipboards, and the B side of the other with gesso. The idea is that both faces match.
Once dry cut a piece of acetate the size of the chipboard.
Paint both chipboards with paint, with glitter... do it to your liking!
When it dries, glue one to the acetate, cut the excess, turn it over and glue the other.
What do you think? I think it can be an interesting embellishment.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts items used:

Other items used:
Acrylic paints 
Glue and scissors

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Seize The Night Canvas

 Hello everyone!  Today I have something different to share with you - this 12 x 12 inch mixed media canvas painted in metallic watercolour.  There is a full moon at the moment so it seemed like a good time for a moon project.



I had some ATC coin chipboards sitting on my desk and I was wondering what else I could do with them that might be a bit different, and then I was looking at this card that I made recently and that got me thinking about the moon and so, why not a phases of the moon canvas!  There are eight phases of the moon - new Moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, third quarter and waning crescent - so I needed to prep eight ATC coins.  If you want to know more about the moon and the current phase, here's a good place to start.

If you want to freehand the moon shapes onto the coins that's totally fine but if you want a more accurate representation of the moon shapes, then here's how I did mine.

First all, you need to find the centre of the circle.  There are many ways to do this, but here's the way I do it when I have to repeat the same steps over and over.  The ATC coins are 2.5 inches in diameter, so firstly draw a square on a piece of paper that is 2.5 x 2.5 square.  Then draw diagonal lines which will give you the exact centre of the square.  Drawing in the halfway point on all four sides can also be useful for lining things up.

Set your ATC coin inside the square and then using a ruler, mark the centre of the circle by drawing the same diagonal lines across the coin that are already on the square and there you have your centre point.  For the next step it's also useful to be able to see the halfway points to line things up, so what I usually do is draw a larger square than I need eg 3 x 3, to give myself extra space.  This is very handy when drawing the waxing and waning phases of the moon.  If you want to try this, then you need to draw one more line on the square.  This line represents the halfway point between the centre and the edge of the coin, which for the 2.5 inch coin is 5/8th inch.  Place one coin in the centre of the square, then take a second coin and place it on top of the first coin, making sure they are lined up along the top and bottom edges of the square, then slide the top coin horizontally until the edge of the top coin meets the line you just drew at the 5/8th mark.  Draw around the top coin from the top down past the 5/8th line and round to the bottom.

This will result in a fairly accurate crescent moon shape and you can now repeat the process three more times for the other waxing/waning moons.

Two of the coins are for the first and third quarter moons which require a line drawn down the centre and the remaining two coins will represent the new and the full moon so they don't need anything marked, one will be fully black and the other will be fully gold.

Heat Embossing Moon Phases

I used gold embossing powder to represent the moons so I covered the moon phases with white gesso first.  All the white parts shown above will be the gold moons and all the unpainted parts will be black.

Using an embossing pen, cover the parts that will represent the moon on each ATC, then dust them with gold embossing powder and melt with a heat gun.

After the gold embossing is complete, repeat the process with the black embossing to represent the part of the moon that we can't see during various phases.

Watercolour canvas

I used a 12 x 12 art canvas for my painting but you could use watercolour paper or some other substrate depending on what you want to do with the finished painting.  Mine is square and so my moons will be displayed in a circle, but the moons could also be laid out linearly using a long rectangular canvas.

My canvas is white and I want it to be black so I first painted it with black gesso.  One coat of black gesso is plenty.  Then I left it to dry.

Once the gesso is dry, start painting the metallic watercolour on top. I wanted a galaxy background for my moons but you can paint it whatever colours you want, here are some ideas for night sky or galaxy.

I wanted to keep mine quite dark so the moons would show up nice and bright.  Set the canvas aside to dry.  Once it is dry you might want to add some spray sealant or fixative or leave it as is, but remember it is watercolour and the colour may shift if it gets wet.

Here's how it will look once it is dry.

Adding the Moons

Making sure you get your moon phases in the right order, work your way around the canvas from new Moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent.  Use a ruler to make sure they are all lined up evenly and level with each other, then glue them to the canvas using some strong glue.  I used a heavy duty white glue.

Finishing Touches

Once the moons are glued in position, this is a good time to paint around the sides of the canvas if you haven't already.  I painted around my edges with some shiny black acrylic.

And that's the finished canvas... or is it?

After looking at it for a while, I felt like it needed something in the centre of the canvas and decided to hand write Carpe Noctem which means Seize the Night!

I used a gold pen and just wrote it on the canvas very quickly.  If you don't want to write on the canvas, other ways to get words on there are stamped letters, word stickers, stencils, or you could just type something up and print it out on printer paper or card.

And that's the finished painting ready for hanging.   Let me know what you think in the comments!

Empire of the Cat

Project Recipe:

ATC Coins D81M
12 x 12 inch canvas, white gesso, black gesso, metallic watercolours, gold pen, gold embossing powder, black embossing powder, embossing ink, black fluid acrylic paint, PVA glue, pencil, ruler, heatgun

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Childhood in the Country-A Peek-A-Boo Project


As I have stated many times before I am a country boy at heart. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania  in a simpler time that has instilled in me a love of quiet and solitude. I try to steer clear of drama and those who thrive on it. "People who have no life will always try to start drama in yours" is a quote I fully believe. Uphill from my childhood home there was a dairy farm I spent many  hours at. They had cows, horses, chickens, pigs. dogs, and barn kitties to love and adore. I would help them with their chores and bailing hay and straw from time to time. This is a story from my childhood Waiting for Robins it tells of my childhood spent in the country. When I saw Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Milk Can I was taken back to milking time and my childhood. These are the inspiration for this artwork.

1.  Gather Materials.
2.  Use a Plastic Oval Template to Trace Part of Vintage Cards you will use as focal point on GSLC Milk Can.
3.  Cut out with Scissors.
4.  Use  a Rubber Baser Brush to randomly apply  clear embossing ink to GSLC Milk Cans.
Sprinkle with Hammered Metal, Weathered Wood, Mercury Rising, Etched Platinum Embossing Powders and cure with Heating Tool.
7.  Next add Patina with a small paintbrush and Titan Green Pale, Iridescent Stainless Steel, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint.
8.  Use Weldbond to Glue cutout vintage cards to center of GSLC Milk Cans. Dry flat pressing down with a heavy book.
9.  Color Fern Fronds with layers of Green Stains and Sprays, Green Infusion Stains, Green Acrylic Paints, Green Embossing Powders. Curing with a Heat Tool between  layers.
10.                Next Use Acrylic Paints of your choosing to paint GSLC Wildflowers and Hypercium Berries.
11.                Add interest and details using Ruby and Purple Nail Polish.
12.                Decide on a design for you flowers, fern fronds, and milk cans.
13.                Add the design to the vintage cigar box lid and bottom substrate using Golden Heavy Matte Medium and a Plastic Spatula.
14.                Some Flowers needed extra layers to better blend into one of my designs.
15.Dry Completely and Flat weighing down with a heavy book.
16.Add patina and texture using Random Embellishments- Pastes, Spices and Materials using Cheap hairspray to seal them in.
17.Once fully dry add a quick coat of matte medium to further seal in all tiny pieces.

Some Final Thoughts.

My childhood is best understood from afar. As I was living it I did not appreciate it's bounty. I had a wandering heart, not easily satisfied by simple pleasures. I longed for the city to be free of all the entrapment I perceived of my childhood home. I've lived longer away from my childhood home now than the time I spent there. Our  family homestead was sold last fall and because of Covid restrictions I was unable to attend the auction and have not returned for over a year now. I miss it, I want to say my goodbyes to lay it to rest. I am more of my childhood country boy than I'd like to admit. I no longer desire the delights of my youth, I've traveled to many  wonderful places and have been to some of the bigger cities around the world. I now want to stay home to be still, to take in the small pleasures each day offers. Seek beauty while it may be found, soothe your soul with contentment, stay true to yourself and live a life worthy of others desiring. Wendell Berry  is one of my favorite authors and best describes my understanding:

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Milk CanGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Hypercium BerriesGypsy Soul Laser Cuts- WildflowersGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Fern Fronds, Vintage Cards of Your Choosing, Plastic Oval Template, Pencil, Scissors, Embossing Powders-Hammered Metal, Weathered Wood, Mercury Rising, Etched Platinum, Clear Embossing Ink Roller, Rubber Baster Brush, Heating Tool,  Bundled Sage Distress Stain, Titan Green Pale, Iridescent Stainless Steel, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint, Paintbrush, Weldbond, Green Stains and Sprays, Green Infusion Stains, Green Acrylic Paints, Green Embossing Powders, Random Acrylic Paints, Ruby and Purple Fingernail Polish, Golden Heavy Matte Medium, Plastic Spatula, Random Embellishments- Pastes, Spices, Materials, Cheap Hairspray, Matte Medium, Vintage Cigar Lid and Bottom

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!