Wednesday, December 4, 2019

winter's light

December days are shorter as darkness settles in early and makes for long evenings.
It is so nice to put out the Christmas decorations as we begin to celebrate this wonderful season.
During these times, I love the warm glow that candlelight provides. I thought it would be fun to create a winter lantern, using die cut greens and the Gypsy Soul Laser Cut lantern cage style.
Today I am on the GSLC blog, sharing "winter's light."
The finished lantern measures approximately 3-1/2" square x 6-1/2" high. It arrives flat in 10 pieces. I like to pre-assemble the pieces before I begin my actual project. This helps me to envision the final piece, as well as understand which parts go where and the best method to put it all together.
When all of the pieces are carefully removed from the surround, use a dry rag or paper towel to wipe down all of the edges. I first paint all of the pieces with black acrylic paint.
When that paint is dry, turn the pieces over and paint the exterior faces of each piece with brushed pewter distress paint. I use a dauber top to apply the paint lightly along the mullions and exposed edges. If you prefer a shinier finish, use two coats of brushed pewter.
When the paint is completely dry, assemble the main part of the lantern. Add a small line of glue along the bottom edge of the side panels and insert the tabs into the openings in the base. I prefer to use tacky glue as it gives me a little extra open time so that I can be sure all of my pieces fit correctly, and if necessary, I am able to make adjustments before that glue has dried. I assemble three sides of the lantern base, as well as the top section. I do not glue down the uppermost top piece or the lantern door. I leave the door as a separate piece so that whatever is placed inside can be easily accessed.
A knob (handle) is added to the lantern top before it is attached to the lantern. To ensure that it is centered on the top, turn the piece over. Draw diagonal lines to opposite corners. Where these lines intersect is the center of the square.
Using a dremel (or an awl) drill a hole, large enough to accommodate the knob screw, directly at the center. Slip the screw through the hole and then screw the knob onto it from the opposite side. Once the knob is secured in place, glue the top onto the lantern.
The lantern is now ready to be adorned. I had many ideas for this piece and decided to keep it simple, thus extending the period that I can leave it out on my shelf. I die cut bunches of various evergreens, then colored them using distress inks and paints.
I create a wreath to attach to the top panel around the knob and some additional greenery pieces are located around the base.  Inside, I place a red (battery operated) candle amongst the greens.
 Note: the GSLC lantern is made from flammable chipboard, do NOT use a traditional candle inside the lantern due to fire hazard
The lantern interior is easily viewed from the exterior. It could reasonably accommodate a snowy Christmas scene inside, or even a mini faux poinsettia plant. The lantern could also be used in a non-holiday fashion; perhaps as a base for a steampunk styled piece. The possibilities for this lantern are endless. I do hope that you have been inspired to create your own lantern cage style.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, I truly appreciate it.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

Distress ink:
crushed olive, evergreen bough, forest moss, mowed lawn, peeled paint, pine needles
Distress paint: brushed pewter, black soot
faux pillar candle: red
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: Lantern Cage Style
mixed media heavy stock (for die cuts)
Scotch 3M tacky glue
Stickles: holiday red
Tim Holtz Ideaology knob
Tim Holtz / Sizzix Alterations:
holiday greens, holiday greens mini, festive greens, funky festive,
large funky festive, wreath and snowflake  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

the gift of a holiday view

 Creating the perfect holiday cards takes time; I know many people who like to get a head start mid- summer, I am not one of those people. However, I do know that the holiday card making must begin before the month of December when all the decorating and celebrations happen, and there is never enough time to get everything done, let alone card making.
Today I am on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Blog sharing a fairly quick, holiday shaker window card with a detachable ornament.
I think that these cards will be perfect for friends you may want to give a little something extra to, without all of the expectations that come with giving a gift.
 Let's begin.
Pull out your favorite holiday papers and some solid color card bases, along with the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Christmas Baubles 1 set and a 2" circle die. The baubles come in a set of four. Carefully remove each ornament shape from the surround. I prefer to use an Exacto knife to cut the tiny areas where the shape is still attached to the surround.
Pair up each shape with a patterned paper and then find a coordinating color card base. Since I am making Christmas cards, I am using red, green and kraft colored card bases. Each base is a folded 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" (A2 size) card. I cut a piece of patterned paper for each card front. These patterned pieces measure 3 3/4" x 5". I also add a layer of solid "fancy" paper between the card and the patterned piece. These pieces are cut to measure 4" x 5 1/4".
Next, I decide what color I want my ornaments to be. I use a paint pen to color both sides of the ornament. You can choose whatever colors you would like. I use silver and gold. I always love adding a touch of fancy. While the paint is drying, I return to the cards.
When complete, the ornament will be located in front of a shaker window. To create this window, use a 2" circle die. Layer all of the papers onto the flattened card front, secure the papers temporarily so they do not shift while die cutting, and place the die in the bottom half of the card. This serves two purposes, it allows for space at the top of the card to "hang" the ornament from, as well as gives an area at the top of the inside to include a sentiment, thus not obstructing the window.
Cut two 3" x 3" acetate squares for each card. (I am making 4 cards, so I cut a total of 8 squares.) These squares are easily cut from recycled plastic packaging. I love the idea of repurposing and especially with plastics. Attach the first acetate square on the card base front, covering the opening. (Try not to get any adhesive within the area that will be within the circular opening.) Next, attach the solid "fancy" layer to the card front, making sure that there is adhesive completely surrounding the circular opening. (This is to ensure that none of the fillers will have anywhere to escape from.) I use a Tombow permanent adhesive tape runner for these cards. It is easy to run the adhesive right around the circles without stopping.
The next layer is created with a 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of fun foam. Center this piece on the patterned paper, flip over, and trace the circular opening. Die cut the circle from the fun foam. Using the tape runner, apply adhesive on one side of the foam piece. Be sure to completely surround the circular opening, as well as along the top and bottom edges. Attach the foam piece to the fancy layer, making sure that it is aligned with the circular opening and straight. Rub all the edges to ensure contact.
Now it is time to add the filler. You can use a variety of items for the shaker contents. I have used some festive red and green glass seed beads as well as some decorative sequins. Each card was filled with things I believed were complementary to the patterned paper as well as the respective ornament.
Add the second acetate square to the reverse side of the patterned paper, again trying to keep the adhesive to the edges so it will not be seen from the window. Apply adhesive to the exposed side of the fun foam and pay special attention to the edges of the circular opening. Align the top patterned piece of paper over the layers and secure in place. The shaker window portion of the card is complete.
I cut a length of metallic floss and tie the two ends together, This looped end is fed through the hole in the ornament and the knotted end slips through the loop created. This creates the hanger for the ornament. I glue pieces of inked die cut greens onto the ornaments to embellish.
When the glue is dry,  add two dots of removable adhesive to the reverse side of the ornament. (If you put the adhesive along the edge and behind the ornament top section, it will not be seen from the inside of the card when open.) The extra length of the floss hanger can be secured on the inside of the card with a small piece of holiday washi tape. Lastly, stamp and emboss a holiday sentiment on the inside of each card.
I hope that you have enjoyed these festive cards that give a little bit more. I look forward to making more holiday cards to share with loved ones and friends.
Best wishes on all the season's preparations, whichever holiday you celebrate.
Thank you for stopping by today, I truly appreciate it.

supplies used:
circle die: 2"
Deco Color Premium Paint pens: silver and gold
Distress ink:
 black soot, crushed olive, evergreen bough, forest moss, peeled paint, pine needles
DMC embroidery floss: red metallic
Emerald Creek / Quietfire Designs modern gilding powder: burnished silver
Exacto knife
glass seed beads
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: Christmas Baubles 1
plastic packaging or acetate sheets
Stickles: mercury glass
Tim Holtz Ideaology paper stash: christmas, blackout kraft
Tim Holtz / Sizzix: festive greens, funky festive, holiday greens, holiday greens mini
Tombow permanent adhesive
Tim Holtz / Stampers Anonymous: Christmastime (CMS352)
VersaMark embossing ink

I am entering these ornament shaker window cards into the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Recycle

Thursday, November 14, 2019


This month the theme at Emerald Creek Dares is "aspenglow." We would like to see anything you create with a snowy, wintery feel, perhaps inspired by the John Denver song with this title. As the weather has suddenly turned cold here, and we've even seen a few snowflakes in the air, I thought I would create a piece that could be put out with my winter decorations. Emerald Creek has quite a few embossing powders that could work their magic in the snow department; I have chosen to use blizzard, one of Seth Apter's baked textures, for the snowy accents.
I begin with a mini Etcetera thickboard tag. I first add a coat of white gesso to each side and, when dry, a layer of weathered wood distress paint is sponged onto the surface and allowed to dry. To create the look of falling snow on the tag, I use texture paste through a stencil. When the stencil is lifted, I sprinkle a layer of the blizzard powder onto the wet paste and set aside. (Note: it is important that you allow the texture paste to completely dry before heating the powder. If you heat too soon, the paste becomes puffy.) Once the paste is completely dry, heat set the powder.
With the background complete, it is time to move on to the snowy evergreen trees.
The trees begin as different sized chipboard laser cut shapes. They are painted green with forest moss and peeled paint distress paints. I add the color with a sponge to give the look of texture. Using a foam  sponge, I add Versamark embossing ink on the surface of the trees. This is then coated with a layer of forest foliage textured embossing powder. Since I hope to keep a textured appearance, I rub some of the areas with my finger to give varied coverage. I then heat set the powder.
This process is completed on all three trees.  Now it is time to add the snowy accents. Using my Ranger emboss it dabber ink and a paintbrush, I add embossing ink along the tops of the branches. as if the falling snow has been caught. I also paint some lines of ink within the central tree section to give a dimensional effect. The blizzard embossing powder is poured down from the top and sticks to the areas where the ink has been added. The snowy areas are heat set, then set aside to cool.
The back side of each of the trees is reinforced with a painted skewer stick, this allows them to be attached at varying distances away from the background (tag) white still retaining their rigidity.
Using Etcetera ledges, I create a base for the tag. The base is painted and then covered with texture paste and embossed with the blizzard powder, similar to the snowy background process. I die cut three chipboard deer and create a dimensional animal to stand tall in front of the forest of evergreens.
When everything is secured in place, I add flecks of watered down gesso to the entire piece.
Here are some close ups of the piece:
I hope that maybe you are inspired to create something snowy for the Emerald Creek Dares Challenge this month, after all, it's always better when we can play in the snow without the extra work of shoveling.
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by the blog,
I truly appreciate it.

supplies used:
Distress collage medium
Distress Paint:
antique linen, forest moss, ground expresso, peeled paint, picket fence,
vintage photo, walnut stain, weathered wood
Emerald Creek embossing powders:
Blizzard baked texture
Forest Foliage allure
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: pine tree shape set
Ranger: Media white gesso
Ranger: emboss it dabber
Ranger: texture paste: opaque matte
Tim Holtz /Sizzix Alterations: prancing deer (660033)
Tim Holtz /Stampers Anonymous Etcetera:
mini tag, trims bat/web set (ledges only)
Tim Holtz /Stampers Anonymous stencil: speckles (THS021)
VersaMark embossing ink
Wagner heat tool

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

over the river and through the wood

I realize that for the majority of makers, the beginning of November signals that Christmas crafting is in full swing. I simply don't feel right skipping over Thanksgiving. I always try to work in at least one Thanksgiving project before fully committing to my Christmas and winter creations.
Today I am on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog sharing a harvest sleigh, perfect for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece or home decor piece. Inspired by the Thanksgiving poem by Lydia Maria Child, I thought it would be fun to decorate the GSLC Santa's sleigh with a harvest theme and fill it with all sorts of harvest goodies.
The sleigh arrives flat in seven pieces. This piece has many curves and decorative cuts. I suggest wiping down all edges with a soft cloth or paper towel to remove any of the black left over from the laser cutting process before beginning assembly. Next, I like to do a quick dry assembly to see how all of the pieces fit together. This allows me to envision the piece in its 3 dimensional form as well as gives me a good understanding of what areas are exposed and which ones are covered, which helps sequence the assembly process. Take note of the sections of the sleigh that remain exposed on the underside as well as the areas exposed when the back and front panels are in place. You want to be sure that all surfaces considered exterior to the sleigh will all be painted the same color.
I paint the exterior sides of the sleigh, as well as any exposed edges, with black soot paint. Be sure to cover the inside of the runners and decorative curves as these will be exposed when the sleigh is finished. While this is drying, I select the paper that I will be covering the interior of the sleigh with.
I want this sleigh to be used for multiple holiday celebrations. To avoid it having a distinguishable fall or Christmas look, I decide to use natural colored Kraft-tex. This will give the look of a traditional sleigh with leather interior. The Santa's sleigh set comes with a template that can be used to trace the basic sleigh shape (minus the decorative runners and fancy edge.) I use the template to trace the shape onto the reverse side of my paper. The shape is carefully cut out and labeled to match the surface it will be adhered to. I repeat this process for each of the interior surfaces of the sleigh.
Once all of the pieces are cut, I ink the edges and surface with distress ink. This gives an aged appearance. Before attaching the piece to the interior side, you will need to trace the slotted openings for the base, front and back pieces, then cut them out with an exacto knife. Be sure to test that the tabs are easily inserted into the openings before gluing down the paper.
With all of the interior papers cut and ready to be attached, I return to the painted sleigh parts to add gilded details. This is much easier to add before the papers are adhered. Using an antique gold paint, I dry brush gilded edges and wisps of gold along the runners and edges of the sleigh. I add the gilded touches to all of the pieces where I want to achieve this look. Since I am essentially dry brushing the paint, it does not take long before everything is ready to be assembled.
I add collage medium to the back side of the paper, align it in place, then weight it down so it will dry flat. The same process occurs for both sleigh sides, as well as the front and back interiors. When the adhesive has cured, I dab glue onto the tabs for the base front and back panels and insert them  into the slots on each sleigh side, creating the three dimensional sleigh. Next it is time to add the decorative side panels to the exterior. I want to be sure that the slotted sections are not showing, so I use the template to create two black paper pieces. These are attached to the exterior sides before the decorative pieces. When everything is in place, I clamp the edges until the glue is dry.
I paint sections of the Acorn Border Set antique gold. These pieces are then dry brushed with black soot paint. When they are completely dry, I re-touch the acorn bottoms with the gold for highlights and to make them distinguishable.
I use gilded acorns in my holiday decor for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This will be a nice accent for my sleigh that will tie it into both seasons.
 The finished acorn border set pieces are added the sides and front of the sleigh and it is ready to be filled with the splendor of the season.

"Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for 'tis Thanksgiving Day."
Lydia Maria Child

Thank you so much for taking time to visit today. 
I wish you all the happiness that holiday crafting brings, 
no matter which holidays you are creating for!

I am entering this project into the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Thanks/Thanksgiving
The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge - Fabulous Fall

supplies used:
black cardstock
Distress collage medium: matte
Distress ink: black soot, gathered twigs, walnut stain
Distress paint: black soot, antique brass
Exacto knife
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:
Acorn Border SetSanta's Sleigh
Kraft-Tex: natural
various paint brushes