Wednesday, November 7, 2018

bountiful blessings

I am ever so grateful to mother nature for providing reassurance that the cycle of life is continuous, and that even in death there is beauty. She presents us with this confidence every fall in the stunning display of color we catch glimpses of on the trees and shrubs around us. It is from this wondrous natural display that I find the inspiration for my November Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts design team project "bountiful blessings."
I begin with the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts wreath rings set. It contains three separate, sturdy chipboard rings that can be used individually as a base to build upon. The smallest ring measures 5" and the largest measures 11". I have chosen to use the medium sized ring as my base for this project. 
Since my wreath will use different shaped leaves to create the design, I realize that their unique shapes may not provide entire coverage of the base; for this reason, I cover the base ring with collage medium and attach a piece of burlap. When the glue is dry, I trim off any excess fabric. To add interest to this layer, I ink around the edges of the burlap as well as intermittently within the flat area of the circle. I mix tarnished brass spray stain with texture paste and apply this randomly on the burlap covered ring through a stencil. I set this piece aside to dry completely.
Next, I begin preparing the pieces that will be included in my design. Using the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts skeleton leaves 2 set, I carefully remove the three leafy stems from the sheet. 
Each section is coated with embossing ink and then sprinkled with burnt copper leaves embossing powder and heat set. These pieces are set aside to allow space to create the other pieces for layering.
Using distress oxide inks, I create sheets of colorful papers that represent the differing leaf colors that can be found outdoors. The resulting patterns are inked with traditional distress ink to create depth. These papers are die cut into leaf shapes of various size and species.

The individual leaves are inked around the edges, as well as on their reverse sides. This will ensure a finished look for any pieces that overhang the edges of the wreath. Some of the more shaft-like pieces are coated with charred gold or moss stone embossing powder. I also gather some beautiful, natural, red maple leaves that I collected last fall, and had coated with resin to ensure their color stay true. 
I begin by laying the skeleton leaves along the circle and then "audition" different layering arrangements. During this process, I realize sometimes less is more beautiful than more. Each section is built up and when I have a section that I am pleased with, the pieces are attached to the base using a hot glue gun. I have included a few progress photos showing how the design came to life.
When I felt that the wreath was complete, I added two clippings from blades of of gilded wheat from a recently received floral arrangement. I crossed the pieces forming an X and adhered them in place with distress collage medium. When dry, I add a small acorn from my stash to the juncture.
I adhere a hanging hook onto the back of the ring once my design is complete. This step might be easier to complete prior to attaching all of the elements to the front of the form; however, I want to be sure that the wreath hangs correctly and I didn't want to worry about keeping everything aligned during the creative process.
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by the blog.
Wishing you a colorful and creative fall, filled with bountiful blessings! 

supplies used:
Distress collage medium
Distress mica spray: antique bronze
Distress texture paste
Distress ink:
aged mahogany, barn door, fossilized amber, gathered twigs, ground expresso, 
peeled paint, rusty hinge, scattered straw, walnut stain, wild honey
Distress oxide:
aged mahogany, fired brick, fossilized amber, gathered twigs,
 spiced marmelade, vintage photo, wild honey
Distress spray stain: tarnished brass  
Emerald Creek Craft Supplies embossing powders:
burnt copper leaves, charred gold, moss stone
Gold Leafing
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:
Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks
Tim Holtz/Sizzix Alterations dies:
autumn gathering, fall foliage, tattered leaves
Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous mini stencil set 09
Versamark embossing ink


  1. Ann, this is a beautiful wreath and will look amazing as part of your Autumn decor. Your leaves are all stunning cut from those gorgeous papers you've inked. You always have such attention to detail on your projects, and the stenciled burlap base is the perfect way to back this variety of fall foliage. Love this! Hugs!

    1. Sara Emily, it’s always such a treat for me when you visit my blog, I am so happy you love my wreath, it is definitely a favorite of my creations this year! I had as much fun getting inky as I did putting it all together! Thank you for your wonderful kind words and for your unwavering support of my artistic endeavors, it means a lot! xx ~Ann

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and for your kind words. ~Ann

  3. Replies
    1. Linda, you are wonderful! Thank you for stopping by and for your supportive words, they mean the world! ~Ann. xx

  4. WOW! These wreath shapes are so incredible in this XL format! I'd love to recreate with some minis, like punches. Great project my friend! Hugs, Autumn

    1. Now you’ve given me an idea! Thanks so much Autumn for taking time to check out my post, this was definitely a fun project, and I was so happy with the outcome. I truly appreciate your visits and you kind comments always brighten my day. Thank you my friend! hugs to you ~Ann xx

  5. WOW absolutely fabulous wreath and love all the beautiful Autumn leaves
    Carol x

    1. Thank you so much! I am so grateful that you stopped by, I hope you were inspired! ~Ann

  6. Ann, this is simply stunning. You can’t tell the die cut leaves from the real ones. Thanks for sharing this beautiful project with us.

    1. Thanks ever so much Judy! I love creating realistic pieces and especially love the fact that this one will keep its color for a while! Thanks for stopping by too, I really appreciate it! ~Ann xx

  7. Absolutely stunning Ann, I love how you combined those Gypsy soul goodies with the die cut leaves, - the most wonderful bit of Autumnal d├ęcor. I just wished we could get Gypsy Soul here in the UK...

    1. You are so kind Astrid! I wish you could get them in the UK as well! They are really nice to work with. I am thrilled you liked my wreath, I have so much appreciation for your beautiful work, and this means the world to me! Thank you for taking the time to visit and for leaving some love. ~Ann xx

  8. This is truly beautiful! It must have taken you ages, but the end result is awesome! Something to keep and bring out each year! Well done and thanks for sharing this with us! Cx

  9. Oh my goodness...totally thought the leaves were real! I cannot even imagine all the work and die cutting! WOW!!! This is so stunningly gorgeous!

  10. Ann, this is so beautiful! Truly a clever creation! I so love your leaves,and I agree it is hard to tell real from made!
    Sending warm hugs my friend,Jackie xx