Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Winter's Calm-A Peek-a-Boo Project

As you know one of my favorite bands is Over the Rhine, I love their winter song and Christmas songs because they are not your traditional holiday songs, they are full of longings, honesty and perspective. Now that we have made it though the crazy that can be Christmas I like to take a break and breathe in deeply, binge watch my favorite shows-The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and the new season of Dr. Who. This is the inspiration for this project and could be my holiday card if I sent them anymore.
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Cottage Windows Small, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Folding House Shrine, Coming Soon-Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Foam Brick Wall Stamp, Winter Images, Holiday Greeting, UHU Glue Stick, Tyvek, White Gesso, Paint Brush, Aged Hunter Embossing Enamel. Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder Walnut Stain,   Heating Tool,  Red Acrylic Paints, Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint,  Deco Art  Matte Medium, Exacto Blade, Weldbond, Decorative Metal Latch, Weldbond, Micro Screws, Screwdriver,

1.  Take apart GSLC Small Cottage Windows an GSLC Little Folding House Shrine.
2.  Make copies of Winter Images and Holiday Greeting.
3.  Use Tyvek and UHU Glue to reinforce the hinges of the House Shrine flaps.
4.  Make sure side windows fold back completely and are flat.
5.  Cover entire structure in white gesso.
6.  While it is drying use Versa Mark to cover GSLC Small Cottage Window of your choosing and Aged Hunter Embossing Enamel and Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder Walnut Stain.
7.   Cure with a heating tool.
8.  Use red acrylic paints sand a paint brush to paint GSLC Brick Wall Stamp on front of side flaps.
9.  Make a wash of Matte Medium and Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, paint over stamped bricks to add the mortar.
10.                Measure and Cut Winter Images and Holiday Greeting adding them to interior of hinged house shrine and also to the back outside using UHU Gluestick
11.                Edge entire project with a wash of Matte Medium and Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.
12.                Use Exacto Blade to cut apart  GSLC prepared Small Cottage Window.
13.                Use Weldbond to secure GSLC Small Cottage window to brick walls and top part of house.
14.                Use micro screws to attach Decorative Metal Latch.
15.                Your small house shrine is now ready to give as a small holiday gift or sent in the mail as your holiday greeting.

This is one of those Over the Rhine Holiday songs I mentioned in my introduction,

Snow Angels by Over the Rhine
Once upon a winter
It seems so long ago
My one and only love and I
Fell down upon the snow

And as the dusk was falling
From our gray and goose down sky
We heard the old cathedral bells
Ring out our lullaby

Snow angel, snow angel
Someday I'm gonna fly
This cold and broken heart of mine
Will one day wave goodbye

Goodbye to this cruel wicked world
And all the tears I've cried
Snow angel, snow angel
I'll meet you in the sky

The rumors of a distant war
Called my true love's name
He packed his leather suitcase
And spoke no word of blame

We walked a while together
I tried to hide my fear
He told me not to be afraid
And whispered in my ear

Snow angel, snow angel
Someday I'm gonna fly
This cold and broken heart of mine
Will one day wave goodbye

Goodbye to this cruel wicked world
And all the tears I've cried
Snow angel, snow angel
I'll meet you in the sky

They brought my love home from the war
In a cart pulled by white mules
The Christmas bells rang out that day
Oblivious as fools

And as the snow began to fall
I kissed his frozen face
They told me in his woolen coat
His last few words were placed

Snow angel, snow angel
Someday I'm gonna fly
This cold and broken heart of mine
Will one day wave goodbye

Goodbye to this cruel wicked world
And all the tears I've cried
Snow angel, snow angel
I'll meet you in the sky

Monday, December 17, 2018

Walks In the Woods

Do snow angels go to heaven?
Is it true no two snowflakes are the same?
Have you ever stopped by a woods on a snowy evening 
There was a curious county boy who went out on a snowy Christmas morning. He went out looking for Christmas. He was dressed in many layers making his steps staggered and burdened. As he crossed the wet slushy road that would lead to the deer trail that recently had been widened by the loggers he pauses to look back to see the smoke rising from the chimney. It comforted him to know although now cold, he would return to a cozy cookstove. There was a gentle snow falling adding to that which now reached his ankles. When they measured it last evening it was the height of a tall pinecone that had fallen from one of the overburdened branches that now bowed low in homage.
          As he made his way across the small wooden bridge be pauses to see the crystals races to reach the center of the gently flowing stream. It would need to get much colder if he hoped to ride his bike on the creek this year looking for the ice castles and crystal caves along the cliffs that meet the water's edge. Just past the bride he turns and begins his assent  up the steep logging road. The trees fold in making a tunnel and he passes as if driving in a blizzard on its slick surface. It's three steps forward and two steps back. The village below is imprisoned by the tree trunk bars and the boy imagines he can smell the bacon cooking from today's breakfast. A  little further on a farmstead is framed by pine boughs. The red of the barn reminds him of the swamp berries his mother loves to gather to use in her woodland wreathes.
               He hears a chirping nearby and looks up to have a dusting of snow fall upon his already frozen face. He sees the first chickadee of the day. The boy believes them to be the best of the snowbirds because they look like antique graying barns that stood whitewashed once brand new. Following his fluttering friend he makes his way to the tiny waterfall that lives her in this quiet hollow. The falls sing a Christmas carol of their own and the snow laden branches join in on the choruses. The child is amazed at how quickly the singing stops as he passes through the forgotten orchard. Finding one of the last fruits of the season captured perfectly in the frozen grasses looking like rouge on a snowman's cheek. Leaving it behind for the whitetail deer to have a late morning snack.

               Now nearing his thinking place, he sees the first of the dying outbuildings that compose this solitary homestead. Looking in horse stalls for any signs of life he hears the scurrying of the creatures from the traditional story his parents had read to him the night before. As he goes through the gaping  doorway he hears the cooing of a mourning dove and he begins to sing Silent Night as a wind jingles the dusty horse bells long unused.
               He know that he should be hurrying home and hopes that his parent have found the note he left on the kitchen table, but, there is one last place he must visit. He reaches the abandoned house and enters through where the pantry once stood. Stepping ever so carefully, not to fall through the floorboards, disturbing the peace. he comes to the place that long ago must have been filled with cookies baking and a whistling teakettle. Whenever he comes here the boy tries to remember what it was like before the hermit man died leaving it all exposed to the elements. the boy had come here on several occasions with his mother delivering pumpkin pies to the man who lived in the shanty nearby.  
        There is an eerie silence enfolding the dwelling as the timid boy ventures on making his way to the staircase. Opening the squeaky door the boy wonders if maybe he should turn around, but, decides to go upward. Leaving the door ajar to lighten the dark passageway he begins to sing the chorus of the song he was singing earlier. At the top of the stairs there is a room that has a barren bed and box springs along with other containers of debris. Pausing for a moment he shuffles though one and finds a blue mason jar full of discarded buttons which he takes to use as a gift for his frugal grandmother.
        Standing the boy see a door in the corner that he believes may lead to the attic. As if ascending into the sky wondering what golden treasures he will find. There is but a tiny  window that lays broken at  the end on the floor illuminating the many wooden boxes that are piled high to the ceiling, leaving even a narrower  path than the one he just ascended. the boy wonders how many gifts were safely hidden here when the house was alive with a family and decides to make his way back to his own.
               Retracing  his steps as if following a pirates map he arrives back outside to see the snow has stopped, for now at least, so he is off on his way. There is a farm road that leads to the dirt road that will take him to the main road where his parents live.   The snow is deeper now so it will take him almost a half hour to reach home. He likes coming this way because it is all downhill allowing him to see the welcoming smoke from the chimney long before he reaches his final destination. Quickening his step he is warmed thinking about the hot chocolate his mom will make for him while he is opening the surprises that await him under the simply decorated tree.

         The thoughtful boy now realizes that he had found many signs of Christmas along the way. It was in the peaceful swaying of the snow laden trees, it was in the sound of silence that all nature sings, it was in the beautiful blue jay picking bright red holly berries,  it was  in the memories of a time that was and in the hope of a time that will be, it was in the forgotten stable of a decaying barn, and it was in the joy of the season. But, most of all Christmas would stay with him wherever he went because Christmas lived in his heart.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Stained Glass Memories-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Winter always reminds me of stained glass windows from time spent in the church of my childhood. I even loved how the simple frosted windows inside our poorly insulated county home seemed to shine like the grand cathedral windows I saw touring Europe. Two Quotes about stained glass windows are the inspiration for this artwork.

Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different colors and moods that when combined create a complete picture. Maggie Stiefvter

 The easiest thing to do is throw a rock. It's a lot harder to create a stained glass window. I used to get upset at the people who the rocks, but now, I'd rather spend my time building the stained glass windows. Jon Foreman

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Arabian Triptych, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Gothic Border 6 Inch, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tablet/Ipad/Phone Holder, Paintbrush, Black Acrylic Ink, Versa Mark Ice Resin Enamels Chartreuse, Copper Glitz, Tarnished Bronze, and Torched Copper, Heating Tool, Quinacridone Gold Acrylic Paint, DecoArt DuraClear Matte Varnish, Photo Copies of Stained Glass, Transparencies of Stained Glass Patterns,  Black Sharpie, Weldbond, Marker For Tracing, Clamps, Hinges, Small Screws, Screwdriver, Hand Drill
1.  Paint all of GSLC pieces with black acrylic paint and a paintbrush. I am using 2 Arabian Frames, 1 8 inch Arch Frame, Phone Holder, and Gothic 6 inch border.

2.   Use Versa Mark and Ice Resin Enamels Chartreuse, Copper Glitz, Tarnished Bronze, and Torched Copper, and a Heating Tool to randomly distress outside frames and gothic fence.
3.  Tone it all down with a glaze of matte varnish and Quinacridone Gold Acrylic Paint.
4.  Carefully make photo copies of stained glass windows to fill the frames you have just embossed.
5.  Make transparencies of stained glass window patterns once again make sure they will fit inside your frames.
6.  Use a marker to outline your images and transparencies and cut out carefully.
7.  Glue Stained Glass images to back portion of frames.
8.  Use a black sharpie to distress the edges of each image.
9.  Now add the stained glass pattern transparencies on top of these images once again edging the sides with a black sharpie.
10.                Use Weldbond to glue top frame portion onto stained glass sandwiches.
11.                Use clamps to hold frames securely in place.
12.                Once dry use small screws and a screwdriver to assemble your stained glass triptych.
13.                This will now be secured to the back section of the GSLC Phone holder using a hand drill to make holes and secure with small screws and screwdriver.
14.                Place the back portion of the GSLC holder gluing with Weldbond.
15.                To further secure and add stability I applied a hinge to the back using small screws and a screwdriver.
16.                Glue Gothic Border to front portion of GSLC Phone holder cut off extra portions.
17.                Clamp together securing into place.
18.                Glue this into the slots provided.
Some final thoughts.
In a  recent post I quoted Robert Frost. Her is my Favorite Winter Poem by him:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep!