Tuesday, June 23, 2020

all are welcome

Lately there seems to be unrest in so many aspects of life,
I felt the need to create a piece dedicated to unity.
This accordion book I am sharing on the GSLC blog is made with a few different pieces from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.
When I begin gathering pieces to create the accordion,
I envision many different types of neighborhoods and buildings.
I choose the house oddities box for its variety of building shapes that will become the "pages."
As my ideas for the finished piece become clearer, I decide on having the central panel unfold in the shape of a heart. The GSLC book of love mini album covers are perfect for this use.
I arrange all the pieces in a horizontal line to determine the final arrangement. Two of the accordion "pages" will comprised of multiple shapes overlaid and glued together.
The house oddities box contains a door panel, this becomes the cover of the accordion. I cut two pieces of scrap chipboard the exact same size as the door panel. One of these will become the back cover of the album, while the other will give reinforcement to the front door cover piece. I use inks and paints to color a piece of woodgrain cardstock creating the look of stained wood. When this is dry, I remove the inner panels from the GSLC door and the adhere the "wood" to the door panel with collage medium. I weight it down while drying to ensure that the panel remains flat.
Using an Exacto knife, I carefully cut out the open inner panel sections.
The raised panels of the door are created by adhering the remaining "wood" pieces to only the innermost rectangles from the door panel. When everything is put back into place, the panel "frames" painted with brown acrylic, appear to be recessed from the wood grained raised pieces.
 The back sides of all the pages will covered with patterned paper. Once I select a pattern appropriate for my theme, I trace all of the pages onto the paper, cut them out and label them. This makes it easier to distinguish which pieces go where during the final assembly.  Before adding any of the finishes, I paint the edges of all the interior pages with black paint, this creates a finished look when the accordion is complete.
Each of the building "pages" inside the accordion contain a different wall finish. I decide on wood siding, brick, stone, and stucco, then determine which building shape suits each finish best. 
To create the look of wood siding, I once again use woodgrain paper. Colored with various inks to highlight the woodgrain pattern, the paper is cut into strips which are attached to the house form in an overlapping pattern, mimicking siding.
The brick wall is created from a brick patterned die cut. Glue is added only to the back of the brick pieces of the die cut; when the die cut is placed upon the building shape, I rub lightly over the pattern allowing the bricks to adhere to the chipboard. The remaining paper is lifted off leaving the recessed mortar lines. These bricks are colored with inks and then coated with collage medium. The mortar lines are painted in with a fine paintbrush and acrylic paint.
The stone wall is created with texture paste through a stencil onto the chipboard building shape. When the texture paste has dried completely, the stones and mortar lines are painted in varying shades of gray to look like real stone.
The stucco finish building wall is created by covering the shape with grit paste.
When the paste is dry, acrylic paint is sponged on. Once the paint is dry, the surface is randomly inked with shades of brown ink to give the stucco a weathered and aged feel.
I work on the central heart panel next. Using a linen hinging tape, I secure the two covers from the book of love heart mini album together, aligning the pieces and allowing for the fold. I paint the front side of the heart with two layers of acrylic paint allowing to dry between coats. Knowing I want the heart to look like it has been graffitied, I use a font generator to select the desired style. I print the words "WE ARE ONE" and trace the outlines onto the painted heart. Then I paint in the letters and outline them. I ink the painted heart with black ink to created an aged look. Once complete, the heart is covered with one step crackle. This is set aside. A few hours later, I rub a dark glaze into the cracks and re-ink the edges.
Each of the pages contains various combinations of paper dolls, representing the many people in our world. I color the paper dolls with Copic markers, Distress crayons and ink. The paper dolls are attached to each page with collage medium and weighted down to dry.
The insides of the front and back covers are painted with brown acrylic paint.
A patterned paper of many different portraits is cut to fit each of the inside covers and attached with collage medium. This is then coated with one step crackle and when dry an antiquing glaze is rubbed into the cracks and allowed to dry.
With all of the page fronts complete, I attach the papers to the back sides of the pages and ink around the edges with black ink. Now it is time to assemble the accordion.
We are all tied together by a common thread, this is a loose and fragile connection. I decide to connect my pages with simple burlap string tied through eyelets. I align all the pages along the bottom and attach the eyelets. [Note: the eyelets would be easier to attach before adding the paper dolls.] When all the eyelets are in place, I tie the respective holes together creating the accordion.
Lastly, I add some small talk quote stickers to the interior pages to create a message:
replace fear of the unknown with curiosity
find joy
have hope
we are one
cultivate kindness
together is the best place to be
learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow
I understand that there is always knowledge to be gained and room to grow to further our understanding of the world and people around us.
I believe that we are all one;
we all deserve the patience and understanding that is required to live in peace with one another.
If there were no differences among us, what an unfulfilled life we would live.
Thank you for stopping by the blog, I truly appreciate it.
 Wishing you peace in these trying times.

supplies used:
Copic markers
DecoArt one step crackle
Distress collage medium: matte
Distress grit paste
Distress inks
Distress paints
Distress texture paste: opaque
Distress woodgrain cardstock
1/8" eyelets
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:
book of love heart mini albumhouse oddities box
May Arts burlap string: natural
Tim Holtz Ideaology: paper dolls, paper stash, small talk stickers
Tim Holtz Sizzix Alterations strip die: brick wall

Thursday, May 28, 2020

inky waters

"inky waters"
~ Ann Barnes

there's a peacefulness that exists just below the surface, 
following the ebb and flow.
the sun's warm glow filters through inky waters,
 reflecting off the life in tow. 
this gilded light is cast upon flora and fauna,  
while swaying to and fro.

As with much of my art, I start out with an idea in mind and let the process lead me. This piece was born from the backgrounds. 
Experiments with the IZINK dye sprays in varying color combinations evoke thoughts of a vivid undersea world of sunken treasure.

A heavyweight cold pressed watercolor paper is sprayed with IZINK dye sprays and then more of these inks are layered on by dipping the paper into poured puddles and flicking the dye ink onto the surface, always allowing to dry in between layers to increase the depth and intensity of color. Oxide inks add to the push and pull of the inky depths.


I envision the shadows of a sailboat's ribs, decaying at the bottom of the ocean's floor.

Using the ancient mariner's map stencil, I layer paint onto the stencil and then transfer this onto the background.

A seahorse lurks in the depths searching for its mate.

Crackle texture paste through the stencil absorbs the dye inks and provides base colors. Once the crackle is achieved, the dye inks are pounced over the raised areas and allowed to dry, increasing the depth of color. Some dabs of paint give shadow, and when it is completely dry, I use my finger to rub cold gold ICE along the raised edges to highlight the lurking form.

 Having grown up learning navigation of the waters, the value of the compass is priceless, providing direction for those adrift at sea.

Paints are sponged through the stencil and highlighted with gold ink to create an unmistakeable  beacon.

Life springs from the ocean's floor, whether it be a piece of coral or a swaying plant. 

Paint is pounced through a stencil and quickly wicks the dye ink up, blooming color through the wet medium. When the first layer has dried, I add another layer of paint to random sections allowing the coral to show itself in all its glory. 

Patterned and text papers are sprayed with layers of spring green dye ink and die cut to form the plants. A layer of cold gold ICE is smeared randomly onto the vegetation and allowed to dry. 

When the sunlight is caught by this translucent gilded glaze, the plants appear to glow.

Such a glorious environment for the school of fish to encounter.

The fish images are stamped and painted with IZINK pigment inks. Mixing some unlikely colors, I am able to achieve the perfect shade of green to allow for a partial camouflage, protecting them from predators. 

I am truly honored to be part of the Seth Apter/Aladine IZINK and StencilGirl Online Hop. It's such a pleasure being able to share my love for companies that I have so much respect and appreciation for, but also to work with their products creating art to share with you.
Many thanks to Seth, Aladine, and StencilGirl for this wonderful opportunity, and thank you to everyone that has taken the time to stop by the blog, it is greatly appreciated.

There are a number of other fabulous artists sharing their art for this online hop.
It is a two day event, taking place today, May 28th as well as tomorrow, May 29th, 2020.
You can find links on Seth's blog for the artists posting their work today, and on the StencilGirl blog for the artists posting their work tomorrow. Seth is hosting a giveaway on his blog here.
I do hope you can make time to see all of the amazing pieces.

Seth Apter Aladine IZINK:
dye ink sprays - blue moon, lavender,  spring green, sunflower
ICE - cold gold
pigment ink - after dark, avalanche, burnt orange, ultramarine
StencilGirl stencils:
ancient mariner's map mask small with stencil
atc mix-up - daley
compass stencil

Daniel Smith acrylic gesso - gold
Dina Wakley Media gesso - black
Distress collage medium - matte
Distress Oxide inks - peeled paint, forest moss
Distress texture paste- crackle
foam tape adhesive
Golden fluid acrylic paint - anthraquinone blue
Liquitex acrylic ink- gold
PaperArtsy fresco paint - butter, lime
patterned and text papers
Tim Holtz Sizzix alterations dies - funky florals, garden greens
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous stamps - sea life
watercolor paper

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Maybe it's the wonderful explosion of colorful flowers brought forth with the arrival of spring,
or perhaps it's simply the warmer weather which allows for extended time outdoors; but it has me dreaming of the whimsical world of fairies.
Today I am on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog sharing "enchanted", a mixed media panel/book cover. I envision this piece being hung in a young child's room and then later being converted for use as a cover for a memory book.
I begin with a 9x12 canvas art panel, and layout the chipboard pieces to create a scene. The fairy door Mary is the largest of the pieces, so I begin by situating the door along the bottom to the left side. This door will be set into a tree. Beside the tree, some mushrooms from the mushrooms shape set, will sit among grass and create the perfect perch for the fairies.
Once all of pieces are selected, I sketch an outline for what will become the tree trunk. Texture paste through a stencil creates the wood grain/bark effect. Be sure to trace the door outline before adding the texture paste so that the texture does not impede placement of the chipboard door frame. Allow the texture paste to dry.
Next, I paint the sky using layers of blue acrylic paint in different shades. Blades of grass will be painted along the bottom of the panel. Once I am satisfied with the sky, I paint the grassy bottom edge, as well as the brown tree bark. The painted panel is set aside to dry while I work on painting the door and mushroom pieces.
The door itself is treated the same as the tree. Stenciled texture paste creates the wood pattern, and once dry, a layer of brown paint is added. The door frame consists of two pieces, for this project I am only using the base piece, Since my door is set into a tree trunk, I decided not to use the "stone" patterned piece. Instead, I use texture paste to create a rough texture on the flat around and paint it to create the look of a knot where the bark has grown dark with age and the elements. Before the door and surround are secured into place, I add a glow to the canvas where the window opening is located using gold and coffee ICE.
The mushrooms are painted with acrylic paints to give a realistic look and the grassy base is painted to match the grassy base of the panel. A piece of gessoed and painted book page adhered to the reverse side of the mushrooms creates a solid backing for the cutouts. Once the pieces are complete, they are added to the base of the panel with collage medium. I set a weight on top to keep them flat while they dry.
Three fairies from the garden fairies medium set are coated with embossing ink, sprinkled with charred gold embossing powder and heat set. They are adhered to the panel with collage medium. Using a stencil, I emboss swirling stars around the fairies.
Die cut letters, painted in the deepest shade of the sky blues, form the word "enchanted" in the sky.  
The back side of the panel is covered with patterned scrapbook paper, to give a finished appearance.  
Thank you so much for stopping by today, I truly appreciate it.
I hope that wherever you find yourself these days, you are able to enjoy the beauty that nature is providing us during these unsettling times.
I wish you all the best, stay healthy and take care.

supplies used:
canvas art panel
DecoArt acrylic paint: raw umber,
dictionary pages
Dina Wakley Media: white gesso
Distress collage medium: matte
Distress texture paste: opaque
Distress paint:
 gathered twigs, walnut stain, vintage photo, black soot, barn door, picket fence
Emerald Creek embossing powder: charred gold
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:
fairy door marygarden fairies mediummushrooms shape set
Paper Artsy fresco finish paints:
buff, denim blue, mud, venice blue
Seth Apter / Aladine ICE: cold gold, iced coffee
Tim Holtz / Sizzix alterations strip die: gothic
Tim Holtz / Stampers Anonymous stencil: SSS stamptember - swirling stars

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

beautiful authentic life...a journal

As with most of the nation, these days I find myself sequestered at home. Although this creates a mixed bag of emotions, I find myself appreciating the little things I see outside my window. This is the inspiration behind today's project for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. I have created a tribute to the emergence of spring in the form of a small journal.
  I begin with the GSLC mini house album.
This set contains six small house shaped chipboard pieces.
Next, using collage medium as an adhesive, I covered one side of each house with old dictionary paper. When completely dry, I cut any overhanging edges with an exacto knife, then adhered the paper to the back sides of the houses in the same manner.
Each papered side is coated with a layer of clear gesso. After the gesso is dry, it is time to begin adding details. I start with Paper Artsy fresco finish paints. Using the dry brush menthod, venice blue is applied leaving areas of the dictionary text to show through. Wild grass is painted along the bottom of each of the houses. Each of the pieces is painted on both sides, allowing time to dry in between layers.
While the painted pieces are drying, I die cut various wildflower shapes from watercolor paper. These pieces are then colored with a water brush and distress inks. 
The flowers are added to the different pages using collage medium.
Using a foam sponge, I lightly apply paint to each of the pages using a rays stencil to create the look of sun shining down upon the beautiful scenes. I make sure to keep the paint light so that it does not overpower the appearance of sky and also allows that dictionary pages to show through.
When the paint is dry I add various rub on words to each panel.
Following are some close-ups pictures of the journal.

I hope that you all are managing alright through these trying times. 
I look forward to the days when we will be able to gather once again, giving hugs to those we love.
Thanks you so much for taking the time to stop by today, 
I truly appreciate it.

supplies used:
old dictionary pages
Darkroom Door stencil: rays
Distress ink: 
peeled paint, crushed olive, spiced marmalade, carved pumpkin, coral, dusty concord, wilted violet, festive berries, fossilized amber, milled lavender, mustard seed, straw, rusty hinge 
Distress paint: peeled paint
Distress collage medium: matte
Distress watercolor cardstock
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: mini house album
Paper Artsy fresco paints: butter, venice blue
Tim Holtz Ideaology: rub-ons
Tim Holtz / Sizzix dies: flower jar
Tim Holtz / Stampers Anonymous stamps: natures elements