Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Don’t Step on a Bee Day-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I love how everything has its own special day. I am betting this is one that many of you may not have heard of or celebrated. Today July 10, 2024 is Don’t Step on aBee Day. It is observed every year on July 10 in the United Kingdom. Bees have been around for centuries and are closely related to wasps. They are mostly found in every part of the world that has insect-pollinated flowering plants. Bees are essential to our survival and play a big role in balancing our ecosystem. They are great pollinators, produce honey, and give us food. This day marks the importance of the existence of these insects and the work that they do.

As most Americans are celebrating our freedom from British Rule this time of year I thought this would be a nice non partisan way to celebrate this little known holiday to us. This is the inspiration for this artwork.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Use UHU Glue stick to attach Magazine images to GSLC Little Niche Sun Burst Pieces.
  3. Trim with Scissors.
  4. Use Nail File to Smooth off Edges.
  5. Put Bottom of GSCL Little Niche Together with Glue and Washi Tape. Secure with Clips on Edges if Necessary.
  6. Add Washi Tape Details to Top Portion of GLSC Little Niche.
  7. Use UHU GlueStick to Add Magazine Scraps to This Portion Also.
  8. Use Acrylic Paint of Your Choosing to Paint GSLC Honeycomb and Queen Bees ATC size. I Used Yellow, Iridescent Blue, Metallic Gold, Orange, Yellow, Green, WeldBond Glue.
  9. Add Details with A Black Sharpie Pen.
  10. Assemble Vignette for Inside Bottom Portion of GSLC Little Niche.
  11. Attach Top Portion of GSLC Little Niche to Bottom Portion, Securing Again with Clips to Fully Dry.
  12. Add Bee and Crown Details Once Dry to Outside of Niche Using WeldBond.

Final Thought

Almost every day of the year is linked to its own holiday or remembrance. I like these lesser known celebrations, it makes each day a bit more magical.

I wrote about this process in an essay titled, Death of a Dignity, it was about my love/hate relationship with Martha Stewart. In Part 

“Last night I dreamt I danced at Martha Stewart's funeral. A rather odd dream if left unexamined. Most people have a love/hate relationship with their idols. I love Martha Stewart for her interesting ideas, she celebrated the eclectic. She was the first person who told me it didn't have to match. She took ordinary items and made them extraordinary, a motto I have tried to live by. She made a habit trying to look for the "good things" in life. She rescued treasures from tag sale. She celebrated the obscure occasions; traveled to exotic locales. She was an underdog who had made it big. Hers was the Cinderella story, from the one bedroom apartment to several estates in prominent neighborhoods; from the one serving the guests to being the host of her own lavish parties, having a staff that would come to her beck and call. She had become a celebrity.

I loved all these things about Martha and so much more. The joke at many of my gatherings would go something like this "Wouldn't Martha be proud?" or "Look out Martha, Jon David is in town!" or "Martha has nothing on ME!””

I admire and respect Martha Stewart; some days I even envy her. But, last night I dreamt I danced at her funeral not because I am mentally disturbed. I danced in celebration of what she stood for and what I had become. I danced for my freedom and her forced exit. I danced to remember. I danced to forget. And as I danced I was reminded that I too with her wealth, and along with her crews of thousand, I could also create her over the top magical moments and huge productions.

But, as I lay my "floral arrangement of the month" upon her graveside I was also reminded that I can turn an apple into a tart, a book into a memory, a card into a collection, a dreary day into a dawning, an eggplant into an exotic centerpiece, a fig into a fabulous dessert, a gathering into gladness, a host into a friend, an icicle into a winter montage, juice into sangria, kelp into a California roll, a letter into a legacy, a map into a mural, an ordinary occasion into a celebration, a pear can be poached and become breakfast, a quest an incredible adventure, a raven may even become my pet, a stove is a gallery, a table a conversation piece, a universe gets captured on my bathroom walls, a vase becomes a vision, a wall is turned into a wonderland, a Xerox is easily transformed into stationary, and, given the opportunity I could even find a few interesting uses for a zebra.

So come and dance at Martha Stewart's funeral. Dance not because you are disturbed, but, come dance because each of us need to know who we can become if given the opportunity.  But most of all come dance because it is time to say goodbye to all those fears that entrap you and dream once again. So Good Night my sweet Martha. Keep growing and learning because we love the way you show us to look at our world through new eyes.

The essay can be read in its full here: Death of a Dignity

If we have eyes to see let us see the bits of beauty that surrounds us each and every blessed day.

Other Blogs I have written about bees:

Bees in August

Saving the Bees 

Supplies: GSLC Little Niche Sun BurstGSLC Honeycomb & Queen Bees ATC SizedMagazine Images, UHU GlueStick, Scissors, Nail File, Washi Tape, Acrylic Paint, Yellow, Iridescent Blue, Metallic Gold, Orange, Yellow, Green, WeldBond Glue, paintbrush, Sharpie Pen

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!

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Gone Fishin’- A Peek-a-Boo Project

A neighbor lady likes to say “Fishing is the greatest excuse in the world to do nothing” I’ve never been a fan of fishing but my grandpappies, Da, Ralph and Frank were dabblers of the sport. Maybe if the fish were a bit more colorful than the rainbow trouts we’d catch I’d be a bit more intrigued. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Trace Back of GSLC Arabian Triptych on Colorful Magazine Images. 
  3. Rip and Tear Magazine Images Gluing to SLC Arabian Triptych Back.
  4. Find Fish and Coral Images in Sticker Books to Use in Collages.
  5. Fussy Cut and Use a Blue Highlighter on Edges.
  6. Use DuraClear Matte Gel Medium to Secure Pieces to Back Portion Of GSLC Arabian Triptych. 
  7. While Still Wet Sprinkle with Iridescent Glitter Sparingly.
  8. Paint Upper Portion of GSLC Arabian Triptych Frames with Ocean Blue and Turquoise Stencil Butter. Globing on.
  9. Add Patina with Green Acrylic Paints.
  10. Glue Upper Portion of GSLC Arabian Triptych Frames to the Back Prepared Portions with WeldBond.
  11. Once Fully Dry add a Layer of Rangers Glossy Accents Finish to the Inside Frames.

Final Thoughts:

Rainbow Trout were definitely a colorful fish, along with its Golden Rainbow bothers, and Brook, Brown and Lake trout cousins. Each with own distinct color palate . They are also related to the salmon. They preferred the colder area of the streams hiding near the riffles.

Catfish were caught in deeper channels  and are bottom-dwelling opportunistic carnivores. We were told that catfish whiskers could stings but it might be an old wives tale.

Perch, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, a Sunfish and Bluegills, Suckers and  Crappies could also be caught if you knew the right fishing holes. On the rarest of occasions even a freshwater eel were a found delicacy.

I was more of a crick wader. I did enjoy hunting for Hellgrammites used for bait on sharp fishhooks. In Summertime we gather our wading boots or old sneaker, fishing net, a plastic bucket and off to the crick we would go. We’d head to our manmade dams, one person downstream the others picking up the placed rocks and shuffling downstream towards the nets. Our family also caught night crawlers after the spring rains and would keep them in a washbasin in the dirt cellar of our family farmhouse. 

Inside Appalachia Podcast reminds me of my Childhood Home: In Old School Fly Fishing Rods they meet craftsman who builds exquisite, handmade fly rods and shares his fishing with others.Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. The show is an audio tour of our rich history, food, music and culture.

Fishing Quotes:

"The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad." —A.K. Best

“A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other.” —Samuel Johnson

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." —Henry David Thoreau

“I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.” —Joseph Monninger

Supplies: GSLC Arabian Triptych, Colorful Magazine Pictures, Pen,WeldBond Glue,Fish Images from Sticker Books, Blue HighLighter, DuraClear Matte Gel Medium, Paintbrush, Iridescent Glitter, Ocean Blue and Turquoise Stencil Butter, Green Acrylic Paints, Rangers Glossy Accents Finish

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!

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Meadow Meanderings-Going to the New Ground-A Peek-a-Boo Project

It’s been years since I have been back to my childhood home, affectionally called “The Homestead” Its been sold just as many years ago and my heart can't seem to “Go Home” anymore I'm missing my family, my people, my tribe, my heritage. Just past the weathered whitewashed woodshed there was an abandoned area  we called “The New Ground” It was a hilly land overgrown with wildflowers abounding and shrub trees and blackberry bramble bushes. An old well fed an ephemeral pond, in springtime where we collected tadpoles in vintage blue mason jars. It was a magical place. 

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Pre-fold GSLC-Little Niche Pointed, Allowing For Easier Assembly.
  3. With a Wide Bristle Brush Randomly Paint Niches with Fuchsia Stencil Butter, Golden Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent Red Oxide, Van Dyke Brown Hue. I Want Them to Have a Weathered Worn Appeal.
  4. Add Additional Layers with ChartreuseStencil Butter and Green Gold Acrylic Paints.
  5. Use a Ruler to Measure Inside of GSLC Niche and Cut Pieces of Metallic Green CardStock on Paper Trimmer.
  6. Destress Metallic Green CardStock by Gently Folding and Pressing. Dampen to make the Process Go More Easily.
  7. Find Desired Images from Sticker Books and Fussy Cut Using Small Scissors.
  8. Add Depth to Backgrounds By Attaching Strips of Washi Tape with WeldBond Glue.
  9. Assemble Your Vignettes.
  10. Add Washi Tape and Images on Outside of Outside of GSLC Niches.
  11. Assemble GSLC Niches Carefully Gluing with WeldBond and Securing  Corners in Place by Pressing With Your Fingers.
  12.  Once Fully Dry Add Recollection Vintage Gemstone Gemms with Dots of WeldBond Glue.
  13. A Quick Brushing of Matte Gel Medium Will Complete the Pieces.

Final Thoughts:

We Spent all Seasons in our “New Ground”, it was borrowed land from the neighboring farm belonging to the Schriners. The man of the land was reported to be a Rodeo Clown, and the Lady of the Land Betty had the most beautiful blonde bouffant hairdos. Their cows would often get out and make their way to my momma’s lush gardens and we as kids were given the job of coaxing them back to their homeland pastures.

SpringTime was when the New Ground did its awakening. If one was careful baby grouse could be found along with spring bunnies. Ring Neck Roosters were a rarity but magnificent once discovered. Even rarer still were the Whippoorwills, singing their songs proclaiming their presence chirping out their names almost perfectly. 

Unusual Mosses and Lichens could be collected. Once Collected we would use them to make Moss Gardens for Our Easter Baskets. Sister Nean was a masterful moss menagerie maker, she also used onion peels, pressed ferns and flowers with cheese cloth to dye our Easter Eggs Some Years. Momma was the best at blowing out the inside of the eggs and then decorating them with Shrink Wrap Sleeves that shrank when dipped in boiling water. Many Years we  had an Easter Egg Tree On the front Forsythia tree, tied with bright ribbons. Brother Ralph was always on the lookout for Red-Winged Blackbird, as he declared them the harbinger of Springtime.

As Summer came it was Ralph who go off Blackberry Picking returning with plastic ice cream tubs full of the deepest purple hued berries knowing they were the sweetest. His hands would be stained appearing almost bruised from their abundant juices. Once we used the juices to fake a black eye. I am sure if the berries were ripe Nean would have used them to dye our Easter Eggs too.

Fall was the time for small game hunting in the New Ground off with the 410/22 gauge combo Shotgun Rifle. I wasn’t much of a shooter but did enjoy the quiet misty mornings in the woodlands. Dad, Ralph and Nephew Frank were the big game hunters. Once again momma would cook up their bounty with squirrel potpie, and roasted rabbit, and occasional ring neck rooster feast.

Winter was looking for a pine tree suitable for Christmastime. The Trailing Pine Mosses also made beautiful garlands to hang on the wood living room staircase. A variety of greens  and dried flowers made lovely bouquets but sister Joan found out the hard way the white berries were from the dead Poison Ivy Vines, the hairy monkey tails clinging to the trees should have been a clue. A rabbit trail led to the lower swamp land that would freeze over some winters and could be cleared to practice ice-skating. Swamp Berries were gathered to add to our harvested bouquets.  A sledding hill was a bit further on. Hours of our childhood were spent with our plastic toboggans offering entertainment and exercise to ease the times before electronics invaded our creativity. 

Over the Rhine signs of such a place in “Called Home”

Just shy of Breakin’ Down
There’s a bend in the road that I have found
Called home

Take a left at loneliness
There’s a place to find forgiveness
Called home

With clouds adrift across the sky
Like heaven’s laundry hung to dry
You slowly feel it all will be revealed

Where evening shadows come to fall
On the awful and the beautiful
Every wound you feel that needs to heal

And silence yearns to hear herself
Some long lost memory rings a bell
Called home

Old pre-Civil War brick house
Standin’ tall and straight somehow
Called home

Mailbox full of weariness
And a word of hard won happiness
Called home

Leave behind your Sunday best
You know we couldn’t care a less
Out here we’ve learned to leave the edges wild

And stories they get passed around
And laughter – it gets handed down
Read it in the lines around a smile

Our bodies’ motion comes to rest
When we are at last
Called home

I also Like these Over The Rhine Lyrics from “All of it Was Music”

We left the city far behind

We traveled light, we traveled blind

With no idea what we’d find

Or whether we could use it

The rolling fields were lined by trees

Wild flowers brought us to our knees

The poison ivy thick as thieves—

We swung an ax to bruise it

A place where we could rest awhile

Where hummingbirds could thrum for miles

And we could leave the edges wild

And let birds sing through us

Fires where all our sparks could scatter

Midnight stars could drop their ladders

I’m not sure any of it matters

But all of it was music

To those I’ve wronged, please forgive me

I hope this song helps you, believe me

The holding on the letting go

It all get buried soft and low

Don’t ask me how but I still know

All of it was music.

Supplies:  GSLC-Little Niche Pointed, Fuchsia and Chartreuse Stencil Butter, Golden Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent Red Oxide, Van Dyke Brown Hue, Green Gold, Paint Brush, Ruler, Metallic Green CardStock, Paper Trimmer, Images From Sticker Books, Scissors, Washi Tape, WeldBond Glue, Recollection Vintage Gemstone Gemms, Matte Gel 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!