Monday, April 30, 2018

Becoming Butterflies-Peek-A-Boo-Project

There is a quote by Louie Schwartzberg that states. "Metamorphous has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next." I feel myself growing as an artist and becoming more of a 'butterfly', this is the inspiration for this piece I have titled, "Becoming Butterflies."

Supplies:  .Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch , Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Cathedral Frame (2), Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Butterfly of Gears, Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Bird in Ivy, Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Fern Fronds, Versa Mark, Judi Kins Black Opal Embossing Powder, Heating Tool, Stampedous Pearl Luster Lapis Embossing Powder, Decorative Paper- I used K&C Company-Tim Coffey Foliage Designs, Graphic 45-Nature Sketchbook, Webster Pages-Garden Gala, Tim Holtz Distress Stains-Salty Ocean, Wild Honey, Mermaid Lagoon, and Old Paper,  Tim Holtz Distress Sprays-Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, and Walnut Stain, Metallic Paints in Greens and Blues, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Blue, Permanent Black Ink, Decorative Stamp, Clamps, Copper Nails, Hammer, Assortment of Tiny Screws,  Screwdriver, Awl, Tim Holtz Hinges,  Weldbond
1.  Take the Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Reliquary Arch Top apart.
2.  Take apart the Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Cathedral Frames I am only using the back portions as I used the front portions on another project.
3.  Versa Mark the GSLC Reliquary Arch front and back edges with Stampendous Pearl Luster Lapis Embossing Powder and cure with heating tool.
4.  Versa Mark the GSLC Cathedral Frames with Judi Kins Black Opal Embossing Powders and cure with heating tool. 
5.  Fill in negative spaces with Tim Holtz Distress Stains I used Old Paper and Salty Sea.
6.  Secure decorative paper of your choosing to front and back of each frame leaving a border all around.

7.  Use Tim Holtz Distress Sprays and Metallic Paints to color GSLC Fern Fronds add details with metallic paints.

8.  Use Tim Holtz Distress Spays and Stains to color GSLC Bird in Ivy using a tiny paint brush.

9.  Add details with metallic paints.
10.                When GSLC Fern Fronds and GSLC Bird in Ivy are completely dry use permanent black ink and a decorative stamp of your choosing to add details.

11.                Cut GSLC Butterfly with Gears in half, stain with Tim Holtz Wild Honey Distress Stains, add details with blue metallic paints, then spray with blue Glimmer Mist.
12.                When GSLC Butterfly with Gears is completely dry use permanent black ink and a decorative stamp of your choosing to add details.
13.                Glue front portion Reliquary Arch Top to back portion secure with clamps to assure proper attachment.

14.                While that is drying use Weldbond to secure  GSLC Butterfly  with Gears Wings to both GSLC Cathedral Frames.
15.                Add copper nails using a hammer for decorative addition.
16.                Assemble GSLC Reliquary Arch Top with GSLC Fern Fronds and GSLC Bird in Ivy.
17.                Add a few GSLC Fern Fronds to back portions of GSLC Reliquary Arch and GSCL Cathedral Frames.
18.                Finish by using Tim Holtz Hinges to make a Triptych with the GSLC Reliquary Arch Top in the middle and GSCL Cathedral Frames are on either side, left and right.
19.                 You must be very careful to assure that hinges can arch out and that all three sections are level so it will stand up properly.

This makes a great stand alone piece or inspirational gift.  I will leave you with another quote by Thomas Merton, "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." I love how quickly the hours pass when I am creating in my studio and to have the end results be pleasing not only to my eyes but to others that encounter it.

I cannot wait to see your interpretation of this project. Share it on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group Page on Facebook. I would love to see what new creations you are working on!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Naturalist

Does the county mouse ever return to the city?
Is the country a state of mind?
Can we ever forget our favorite childhood places?

 A quiet country man moved to the city. He was tired of the small town mentality and longed for an adventure of his own. His dream from very young was to get out of this one horse town, to get as far away as possible, burning all bridges as he escaped. He wanted to see all there was to see, to be all there was to be, and to become one with his world. He loved the experience of each new day. He thought the city would give him a life he had only dreamt of. There was so much hope and excitement in his heart as he prepared for the day he would leave this all behind. He often imagined himself as a captive bird about to spread his wings for the first time. He could taste freedom.

               Packing up his bags and belongings he was moving to suburbia shortly, in search of his fortune. There were many jobs not suited for one so talented as he, but, some he took just to make the ends meet. he finally became an educator, a dream realized. Now all those years of college would pay off. He was making more money than his father ever made. The first few years was learning everything they don't teach you in college. He made his way and even earned another degree.
                But life was not what he had imagined. He could not believe how difficult it was to adjust  to this new life he had made for himself. He also couldn't believe how much he missed his life in the country. Wherever he lived the first thing he would do was to find a little space of green, a park, a forest, an abandoned field, an unnamed street or path, some place that had fewer cars and noises than he saw or heard on his commute to work each day.
               He loved to spend ours out in nature because it reminded him of his childhood home. This thought often came to him during these excursions: You can take the boy out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the boy. Not only did he search for new places to explore, a brook here, a quarry there, a footpath or a bike trail, but, he began to search for ways to transform his dwelling into more natural coves. First came the branches, then the fence posts, plants and flowers in wooden boxes were soon to follow. There were even two metal garden gates rescued from the trash.
               He used an old wooden door he found on his parent's property buried beneath a wood pile in the woodshed to create a grand entrance to his 'Appalachian Room' It was complete with mason jars, and country collectibles, wooden crates of magazine, a granny square afghan, and country calendars. The pictures he hung on the walls were also scenes he had taken captive while on his journeys outside. He even read books about the simple life, and subscribed to country magazines.
               Once he tried to move away from his suburban life, but he had grown accustomed, maybe even entangles, by its provisions and conveniences . He resolved in his mind to stay and created even more country images in his tiny one-bedroom apartment. There were the garden ornaments, a fish tank made form an urn, more twigs and branches, more floral arrangements both fresh and fake, a garden bench was added along with many pictures of nature's glory.
               So the quiet county man stayed in the city and vacationed in the county. Now instead of wanting to be away from all that is small town and petty he longs for those days when he gets in his car and drives away. His breathing eases as he gets beyond the four, six, or eight lane highways. As he sees the first open space his heart begins to sing. He truly delights on those rare occasions when he gets to drive on dirt roads hugged by ancient overgrown  trees. They form a tunnel and his vision is once again fixed on the boy he once knew. The boy who would disappear for hours and upon returning home always be greeted by the same question his father loved to ask: "So what did you see?"
           He still tries to see all there is to see. The walks are shorter, the spaces not so free, the silences not so golden, the forest not as dense, the animals and the wildlife more rare, the abandoned orchards and farmhouses not found. But, still the county boy walks and is thankful for each moment he feels grass between his toes and not pavement beneath his shoes. He rejoices in the times when his ears hear no traffic and his eyes see nothing manmade. There is a joy in the living and only two weeks separate him from this world and the one that he now dwells in. He is excited about what he will see there, and wonders who he will become this time in the country.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brave New World-Peek-A-Boo-Project

Welcome to my maiden voyage as a guest designer for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. My name is Jon David Lowe and I am mixed media artist whose canvas of choice are hand-bound art journals I call "treasure book" or Houdini-Hideaway boxes that contain a hidden book as a surprise. From a poem by J.R.R Tolkien, "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost..."I hope that I can offer a different perspective to this already amazing team of artist. I am new to the journey of blogging and tutorials but love how my art soothes my soul and gives me courage to live without fear. By day I am a Middle School Math/Science so my blog style will reflect that in the minutia of details and steps included.

Supplies:  .Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch , Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Steampunk Shape Set, Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Steampunk Gentleman, Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts-Narrow Windows, Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts- Leafy Swirl, decorative paper-I used Ella & Liv Steampunk Style, sand sponge, distress stains of your choosing-I used Tim Holtz tea dye. vintage photo, weathered wood, distress sprays-I used Tim Holtz Peeled Paint and Aged Mahogany, versa mark, iced enamel medium, embossing enamel or powder-I used Stampendous-Aged Hunter, Ice Enamels-German Silver, Tarnished Bronze, and Torched Copper, Embossing Antiquities-Rust, heat tool, Weldbond glue, clamps, small stiff bristle brush, Wendy Vecchi Embossing paste and Crackle Paste, thin plastic palate knife, alcohol ink, I used pebble, sandal, and rust, blending tool, screwdriver, assortment of tiny screws, two  decorative wooden dowels and wooden knops to fit on end, Ziploc baggie of kitty litter, heavy gel medium,  assortment of metal and plastic embellishments, microbeads, Ranger Glossy Accents
1.  Take the Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Reliquary Arch Top apart.
2.  Use back panel to trace a stencil on a piece of decorative paper you will use for back panel. I made two stencils as I wanted to cover both parts of back panel.
3.  Cut out decorative paper panel and adhere to both sides of back panel using Weldbond.
4.  Allow to dry fully.
5.  Use a sandpaper sponge to lightly distress the edges and take away some of the gloss of the paper.
6.  Apply Tim Holtz  Distress Stains Tea Dye and Weathered Wood.

7.  On top portion of Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Reliquary Arch add Versa Mark.
8.  Sprinkle with embossing enamel or powder. I used Stampendous Aged Hunter and cure with your heating tool.
9.                I added more age by apply some Susan Lenhart Kazmer Iced Enamels Torched Coppers in random areas and cured with a heating tool.

10.                Glue the two pieces of the Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Reliquary Arch together using Weldbond glue and clamps. I used a small stiff bristle brush to remove any Weldbond that squeezed through the frames.

11.                Gather gears from Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Steampunk Shape Set.
12.                Use Ice Resin Enamels of German Silver and Tarnished Bronze  and Iced Enamel Medium and Embossing Antiquities Rust with Versa Mark to give them a metallic look curing with heating tool.

13.                Apply a thin layer of Wendy Vecchi Embossing paste to both sides of Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Steampunk Gentleman.

14.                Allow to dry fully.
15.                Add a thin layer of Wendy Vecchi Crackle Paste to both side of Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Steampunk Gentleman.

16.                Allow to air dry overnight preferably for best results.
17.                Use Tim Holtz Distress Stain of Vintage Photo to dye Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Narrow window.
18.                Use Versa Mark and Stampendous Aged Hunter and Iced Enamel medium and Torched Copper to age Gypsy Souls Laser Cuts Leafy Swirl.

19.                Use Weldbond to glue Narrow Window background.
20.                Use Tim Holtz Distress Stain of Vintage Photo and Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains of Peeled Paint and Aged Mahogany to color wooden dowels and end knobs.

21.                Glue ends to wooden dowels using Weldbond.
22.                Make note of where they will be attached to base of project.
23.                Use alcohol inks of pebble, sandal, and rust on a blending tool highlight crackle on dried Steampunk Gentleman.
24.                Use screwdriver and assortment of small screws to attach Steampunk Gentleman and Metallic Gears to project.
25.                Add areas of interest in random places of your project by building layers securing embellishments with heavy gel medium and a small stiff bristle brush.
26.                Before everything dries sprinkle with microbeads, I used copper and black.
27.                Add Ranger Glossy Accents to Narrow Window panes.
28.                Allow to dry for 24 hours so Glossy Accents and Heavy Gel Medium will cure clear.
29.                Add finishing touches using acrylic paints and alcohol inks.
30.                Attach wooden dowel using screws and a bit of Weldbond.

This makes a great stand alone piece or 3-D Father's Day gift.  These are some of the techniques that I would use to make smaller panels for my treasure books or on my Houdini-Hideaway boxes. Hope this will encourage you on in you artistic adventure and journey. "Little by little, one travels far." J. R. R. Tolkien

 I cannot wait to see your interpretation of this project. Share it on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group Page on Facebook. I would love to see what new creations you are working on!