Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Trips Not Taken-A Peek-a-Boo Project

When I was younger and more adventurous, I thought I might like to travel the US and see some the National Parks that boast of natural wonders, breathtaking vistas, gasp worth scenery. 

They are written about in enticing almost pornographic phrases, “will certainly captivate you with its sights, sounds, and smells. Sparking blue lakes and lush meadows will mesmerize you. Flowing waterfall and colorful rocks will have you completely immersed in nature. Please enjoy this extraordinary experience and allure..” 

I think I would still enjoy seeing them but this is my dark side to the national parks…make them a popular  destination for every type of traveler— sightseers, adventure junkies, families, oversea visitors, and everyone in between. Summed up in this one word— “CROWDS”. You never are there in your romantic imaginings as those who first discovered and explored this amazing landscapes, you are there with thousands of others, pushing to be first, taking selfies so they are a center of attention and not the magnificent mountains, majestic meanderings, or calm rivers. They are there polluting beauty with their trivia and rudeness. I don’t mean to be an introverted isolationist but know as I have grown older, I seek solitude and drama free zones with almost every fiber of my being. 

I’ve reimagined these national parks  as how I’d like them to be, these are the inspirations for this artwork. A bit of Old West with a sprinkling of Retro Regal.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Use a Sanding Block to Roughen Up Reminisce National Parks Poster Stickers. This is an Easy Way to Add Vintage Appeal to Shiny StoreBought Stickers.
  3. Fill in Scratches with TH Distress Stains of Your Choosing.
  4. Glue Prepared Stickers To Center of GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks. 
  5. Use an Exacto Blade to Trim Edges of Stickers That Do Not Fit On To GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks.
  6. As the Distressed Stickers are Slightly Smaller Than the GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks Add a Bit Of Vintage Map Scraps to the Top and Bottom Using a UHU GlueStick.
  7. Sand Edges of GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks with A Sanding Block.
  8. Use Bits of Carta Bella Paper-Outdoor Adventures Collection Kit, Carta Bella Paper-The Great Outdoors Collection Kit, Carta Bella Paper-Gone Camping Collection Kit, as Ephemera for Your GSLC Chunky ATC  Blank.
  9. Use DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze as an Adhesive.
  10. To Add Depth and Interest add Other Layers of Vintage Map Scraps.
  11. To Unify and Give the ATC “Posters” a More Vintage Look use DecoArt Matte Gel Medium a Plastic Palette Knife and Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint as a “Wash”.
  12. Paint Edges of ATC “Posters” with Golden Iridescent Copper (Fine) Acrylic Paint.
  13. To Give it a More Oxidized or Burnished Copper Look Gently Add Golden Van Dyke Brown Acrylic Paint to the Edges.

Final Thoughts:

I have chosen for my virtual tour of the National Parks mostly mountainous locations as mountain man blood flows through my veins. I grew up in Pennsylvania near the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains the north eastern part of the Appalachian Mountains. The closest national park to where I live currently would be Shenandoah, a place my husband has fond memories of, but where we have never traveled as a couple.  

Geographically our virtual trip would start in The Great Smoky Mountains, I feel I’d be at home here among the landscapes of my ancestors, they go there for the fishing. 

Next up Rocky Mountain National Park, I used to think I knew what mountains were until I saw the Alps in Switzerland and later when I was driving to visit friends in Colorado Springs and I saw the Rocky Mountains on the distant horizon. Hour later I arrive at their home but I am not yet in the Rocky Mountain. Colorado definitely can boast world-renowned scenery. Their peaks are perhaps a too grand for my humble beginnings.

Yellowstone is our next stop and here will see the great bison herds-noted it is the only place in the U.S. where they have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Other mammals you may see here are grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, fox, moose and elk. We will behold its many geysers, none more famous than Old Faithful. There is a “Mini-Me” Grand Canyon here but we will move on the big kahuna, the full monty, the real deal, the boss of deep ditches.

 Upon viewing the Grand Canyon it is said that people are overcome with awe. Its expanse is mind-boggling. It’s colors defy the most colorful palette you have ever seen. There are layers upon layers of history and geology to discover. It makes you feel small, sobering to some to know they are not the only being in the universe. It reminds us that we are bart of something bigger than us.  It is said to still you, to calm you, a spirituality flows freely here, your energy may be restored and your spirit may soar.  The landscape is semi-arid, way too hot for my liking so we’ll move on.

Zion Nation Park is a red-rock desert and still too desolate for my liking I would imagine.iT does have Navajo Sandstone Cliffs, pine and juniper clad slopes, springs and waterfalls surrounded by lush and colorful almost hanging gardens. To these I would be drawn as I reminisce a favorite album by at Pueblo Musician and Native American Flute Player, Robert Mirabal - Music From Painted Cave. While is Zion we will be sure to do some hiking and if I were more agile the park boast world famous big wall rock climbs.

Our virtual tour will end here in Yosemite. It is best known for its waterfalls, towering granite monoliths, deep valleys and ancient giant sequoias. An ancient civilization called this place their home-the Anasazi people thrived here around 1,500 BC-traces of their villages, network of road and rock art can be found throughout the park today. Maybe we will catch a glimpse of the largest flying bird in North America-The California Condor. It’s been on the endangered species list since 1967. 

Looking back through the years , thinking of  trips I have taken to places I could only dream of growing up poor in Pennsylvania. I am grateful for eyes left wide open as I glimpsed amazing sights and sounds. Scenes once only black and white photographs in  our well worn World Book Encyclopedias. I still remember the green and off white textured covers with golden lettering on the spines. For me they were the eyes to the world.

Supplies: GSLC Chunky ATC BlanksReminisce National Parks Kit Paper Pad and Stickers, Carta Bella Paper-Outdoor Adventures Collection Kit, Carta Bella Paper-The Great Outdoors Collection Kit, Carta Bella Paper-Gone Camping Collection Kit,  Sanding Block, TH Distress Stains of your Choosing, Vintage Map Scraps, Exacto Blade, UHU GlueStick, Deco Art Triple Thick Gloss Glaze, DecoArt Matte Gel Medium, Plastic Palette Knife,  Golden, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Iridescent Copper(Fine), Van Dyke Brown Acrylic Paints, Paintbrush

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!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Upon Becoming Sixty-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Do know someone who is turning the BIG Two One—Oh or the even BIGGER Five-OH-NO? Well they have come and gone for me, I turned 60 on September 3. Never did I think I would be here to celebrate with you all. I wrote a short story 25 years ago titled “Obituaries” Some excerpts are part of this blog.

My birthday was the third birthday in my family the last week of August and the first week in September. My dad’s birthday was August 30th, my sister’s September 2nd, and mine September 3rd…My dad always wanted a spice cake, my sister a mayonnaise chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, then there was me. I often remember sharing birthday cakes as our birthday’s were so close together. We grew up with limited income so it made sense at the time.

I don’t remember birthday parties with party hats, and streamers flowing from the ceilings, or the extravagant ones now posted on social media with each year needing to top and be better than the last one. Mostly it was cake and ice cream and maybe a rendition of the birthday song. I’m not much of a party person now or wanting to be the center of attention, I am still quite introverted and shy in large gatherings.  There was no big turning 50 birthday party, with “Over the Hill” themed decorations, at 60 I am guessing if we had a party it would be “Damn Your Old” themed. If I had an alter ego, and extroverted wild child side, that is the inspiration for this artwork.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Use a Paintbrush to Randomly Paint GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst.
  3. Add Highlights to GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst with Stencil Butter Turquoise and Green Gold Golden Acrylic Paint.
  4. Create a Frame Using Washi Tape on Top Portion of GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst.
  5. Select Images for Your Perceived Composition.
  6. Glue a Background Image to Box Portion of GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst Using UHU GlueStick.
  7. Layer Other Images to This Boxed Frame.
  8. Use Washi Tape and UHU GlueStick to Secure Bottom Portion of GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst.
  9. Use a Paintbrush and Deco Art Matte Gel Medium to Seal in all Images of Niche.
  10.  Add Iridescent Thread to Inside Box Portion Before Gluing on Top Part of GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst.
  11.  Hold Tightly Into Place With Metal Clamps and Allow to Dry Fully.
  12.  Use Ranger Glossy Accents to Add Micro Jewels to Your GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst.
  13. Now Go Celebrate You and Your Unique Gifts Your Bring to This World.

Final Thoughts:

From my short story , “Obituaries”…

“As he approached the podium, few people could see his knees shaking under the burden  on his shoulders, not to mention the weight of his heavy heart. There was a butterfly convention being held in his stomach. He was not prepared for this public spectacle. The notes he carried in his beast pocket were sure to be out of sequence. Why was he so annoyed with the eyes that were now gazing upon him?”

“How can he be thirty-five and still be thinking about school playgrounds and taking sides? Can't anyone see the scraped knees, the hand-me downs, the scared little boy. Why does age seem to betray him?”

Our childhoods leave a lasting impression, some for better some for worse. If you want a deeper understanding of mine read my “Obituaries” Blog Post.

It ends with these words…

Thus began the man's reintroduction to the land of the living. he continues his epitaph saying; "Today we remember an accomplished author, a published poet, an enthusiastic entertainer, an artistic artist, an incredible cook, a kind soul, a lover of the lost one and walks in the woods, a terrific teacher, a beloved brother, a spiritual being, a quiet thinker, a dreamer. We remember a man more or less who was aware of his demons, who had faced some of his fears, who sailed through some scary storms, who spent many a sleepless nights awake wondering if this was it. But a man none the less who was willing once again to say, "I'm sorry,  I was wrong, I should have listened better to what you said.”

Thoughts of becoming fifty...Much remains the same love those put in your path (Family and friends float to the top). Save time for silence and stillness, and treasure serenity in the small simple pleasures. Find your passion and allow it to soothe your soul. Never give up the hope in better days nor the adage "This too shall pass." Blessings upon your journey!!

I am not sure I can top that one written ten years ago for the big Five-Oh. I love my life with my husband and our Gladyses in our imperfect condo community of Marvin Gardens.

Supplies:  GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst, Vintage Party Images, Acrylic Paints Pale Green Tones, Stencil Butter Turquoise,Green Gold Golden Acrylic Paint, Paintbrush, Stamperia Sweet Paper Pad, Washi Tape, UHU GlueStick, DecoArt Matte Gel Medium, Iridescent Thread, Metal Clamps,Ranger Glossy Accents, Micro Jewels

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!