Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My Dad Was a Romantic-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I’ve written about my complicate relationship with my father in previous post- Father's Day Journeyman-but as I have also stated before our parents lived lives before we knew them. In the same envelope of treasure troughs I wrote about in last month's Mother's Days post there were pictures of my dad in his WWII Army Uniform. When we were going through the contents of our family homestead we found a box of letters written to my mom from my dad when he was stationed in Germany. They give us insight to their young love and a side of my dad I never knew. This letters are the inspiration for this artwork.
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Typewriter Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Eiffel Tower-6 inch, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Parisian Shape Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Heart of Gears, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Vintage Bulb Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Display Tray Dome, Copies of Collected Treasure Trough-Photographs, Maps, Letters, Weldbond, Acrylic Paint-Green, Yellow, Brown, Neon Pink, Blue, Red, Gold, Silver, Paintbrush, TH Distress Stain Bundled Sage, Sanding Blocks, Matte Gel Medium, Embossing Powders-Black, Silver, Red, Yellow, Pink, Embossing Ink, Heat Tool, Copper Foil Cardstock, Weldbond, Heavy Gel Matte Medium, Thin Plastic Spatula, Paper Ephemera, Vintage Postage Stamps, Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste, Texture Pastes, Metallic Gears, Miniature Screws, Screwdriver, Awl

1.  Gather supplies.

2.  The substrate for this duel artwork is   GSLC Display Dome back section.

3.  Make copies of collected treasure trough-photographs, maps, letter.

4.   Do a quick dry brush technique using yellow, green, and brown acrylic paints.

5.  Fill in any empty spaces with TH Bundled Sage Distress Stain.

6.  Use Weldbond to apply strips of maps and letters to your altered dome substrate.  Adding a few focal point photographs.

7.  Use sanding blocks to perfect and distress edges.

8.  Coat entire surface with Matte Gel Medium sealing it all in.

9.  Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC Typewriter Set-I used black metallic tones.

10.                Once again fill in any empty spaces with TH Bundled Sage Distress Stain.

11.                Cut a piece of copper foil paper to place behind the cut out typewriter keys.

12.                Sandwich and glue the GSLC Typewriter Sets together. Allow to dry fully being pressed down with a heavy book.

13.                Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC Vintage Bulb Set-I used yellow, red, German silver. Cure with heat tool.

14.                Use Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold acrylic paint to fill in empty spaces.

15.                Cut a piece of copper foil paper to place behind GSLC Vintage Bulbs

16.                Sandwich and glue the GSLC Vintage Bulbs together. Allow to dry fully being pressed down with a heavy

17.                Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC Eiffel Tower-I used yellow, brick, and bronze. Cure with heat tool.

18.                Use Raw Sienna and Yellow Oxide acrylic paint to fill in empty spaces.

19.                Decide on placement of these larger pieces on your prepared substrate.

20.                Next Choose items from GSLC Parisian Shape Set and GSLC-Heart of Gears to add additional layers and interest to artwork.

21.                Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC heart of Gears, Chairs, and Corset-I pinks and reds. For Fleur-De-Lis I used gold and coppers, For scroll work I used silvers and platinum, and on birds I used shades of blue. Cure with heat tool.

22.                Use acrylic paints to fill in empty spaces and to add interest, details and layers.

23.                Decide on placement for assemblage and add to artwork using Heavy Gel Matte Medium and a thin plastic spatula.

24.                Select postage stamps and paper ephemera from your collection and add to empty spaces in your assemblage using Heavy Gel Matte Medium and a thin plastic spatula.

25.                Always allow everything to dry completely as you keep it flat and weighted down.

26.                Wanted to add a vintage appeal and unify the piece I added blue and green texture pastes to the edges using a thin plastic spatula.

27.                Add green acrylic paint to a small portion of Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste and dab it onto edges using a thin plastic spatula. Cure with heat tool.

28.                To further unify the artwork I added metallic gears using miniature screws, screwdriver and awl. 

 Some Final Thoughts.

My parents were married for 59 years, still together to my dad's passing. They had a relationship that showed their love and adoration for each other. It wasn't free from bickering-dad mowing mom's flowerbeds, dad driving too fast, or him picking at a bandage-but I never saw them fight in front of us kids. They taught me how to be dedicated to another in quiet times, to share the chores-Mom washed dishes dad dried them, mom canned the Bread and Butter Pickles  dad ate them, dad went to work and mom picked up side jobs-picking tomatoes, trimming Christmas trees, selling her produce at farmers' markets, babysitting, selling Amway, vanilla extract, paring knives, wooden spatulas that doubled as a paddle, helping the neighbors butcher in exchange for meat for the table...and maybe more I did not know about. They were not "I love you!" type of people and I wondered why they rarely said to each other or me while growing up. I knew they loved me but I wanted to hear it spoken.

Now having the letters and the history of my parents courtship I know my dad was a romantic and I am inspired to live my life  sharing my love and kindness with others. 



Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Picture Patchwork Tiles-A Peek-a-Boo Project

  Back in March 2020 when our world turned upside down I started rediscovering my well established neighborhood just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. It is a fantastic collection of older homes with diverse architectural components.  I called these hood-hikes-Seeking Signs of Life,  Hunting Hints of Hope, and Beholding Bits of Beauty. I discovered a love for photography and would post ten images I collected from each of my jaunts. I unfortunately developed foot issues and had to stop my walks in my little wonderland. I spent time making these picture patchwork squares from my collections. They are the inspiration for these tiles. They now stand a monument to our time there as we have recently moved into a 55+ community less than 10 minutes to where I teach. I still have foot issues and will explore what our new neighborhood has to offer once fully healed. I’m hoping by summertime.

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-4 Inch Trading CoastersGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-2.5 Inch Trading Coasters, Prepared, Sized and Copied 4 inch and 2.5 inch Patchwork Picture Squares, Scissors, Weldbond, Paintbrush, Deli Paper, Sanding Blocks,  Matte Gel Medium, Sari Ribbon, Miniature Screws, Screwdriver, Awl, File, Foamie Moroccan Tiles, Embossing Ink, Clear Embossing Powder, Heating Tool, Gold Leaf Rub'nBuff, StazOn Saddle Brown Ink, Ink Applicator,

1.  Prepare Picture Patchwork Squares using an editing tool. Then resize and print for your tiles.

2.  Cut apart Prepared Images and Glue to Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-4 Inch Trading CoastersGypsy Soul Laser Cuts-2.5 Inch Trading Coasters using Weldbond and a paintbrush.

3.  I like to use Deli Paper to rub images making sure they are secure to the coasters.

4.  Use a fine grade Sanding Block to easily round the corners of the coasters and to assure no extra paper is over the edges.

5.  Use a rougher grade Sanding Block to add vintage and interest to your coasters.

6.  Choose Tiles that will be stacked on top of each other.

7.  Add a quick coat of Matte Gel Medium on each of the trading coasters.

8.   Next, Choose a piece of complimentary sari  ribbon to sandwich between coaster layers.

9.  Once layered use an awl to punch holes in 2.5-inch Trading Coasters, then use miniature screws and a screwdriver to secure the two pieces together.

10.                Sometimes the screws come through the backside. Use a file to flatten these sharp points.

11.                Next use embossing ink and Foamie Moroccan to add texture to the tiles.

12.                Spread Clear Embossing Powder on inked portion and cure with a heating tool.

13.                Gently rub Gold Lead Rub'nBuff to the elevated surfaces.

14.                Now use an ink applicator to add Saddle Brown StazOn to the Coasters giving them a rich vibrant look.


Some Final Thoughts.

This is a simple project to create and allows you to showcase some of your own photographs if you can figure out how to download them for your device. One thing that Covid taught us is that simple pleasures can be immensely satisfying. Some people learned to slow down and take time to appreciate what they have long taken for granted. Some folks discovered a new talent or took up a new hobby. As we look forward in hope to the upcoming month I hope the lessons we learned along the way are not forgotten. I am  slowly able to get back to taking short walks through my every changing neighborhood as seasons pass from one to another. May we always have eyes to see the simple gifts being offered to us each day, hearts to heal what is wounded, and hands to hold as hugs return and the human touch is restored slowly but surely!!

"When I'm in turmoil, when I can't think, when I'm exhausted and afraid, and feeling very, very alone. I go for walks. It's just one of those things I do. I walk and I walk and sooner or later, something comes to me, something to make me feel less like jumping off a building." -Jim Butcher

"There comes...a longing never to travel again except on foot."-Wendell Berry

"If you seek creative ides go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk."-Raymond I. OD Myers

'If you pursue happiness, you an ordinary person. If happiness pursues you, you are an extraordinary person. Do not chase happiness; let it chase you!"-Peter Deunov

I liked how taking walks through my neighborhood never going out father than a  couple of miles offered such riches and treasures. I was fascinated how many people asked me where I lived because I was able to capture the charm of a countryside village but in the shadows of major US city.