Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March Winds-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Many of us know the proverb April Showers Bring May Flowers but few of know that the proverb begins with the words March Winds. It was also a song in the 1930's by the same name by Abe Lyman and His California Orchestra, a slightly different version was sung by Judy Garland in 1955. While a child we were taught another proverb, "In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb" to tentatively predict the weather. I know that in my area of Maryland March is the windiest month of the year. These are the inspirations for this project.   
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Hot Air Balloon Stack Up, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Fantasy Frame & Flourishes, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Flourished Chain Large, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Flourished Chain Medium, Coming Soon Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Foam Honeycomb and Decorative Stamp, Versa Mark, Resin Enamels German Silver, Turquoise, Embossing Powder Copper and Extreme Peacock Gray, Teal and Green Gold, Red iron Oxide, Burnt Sienna, Nickel Azo, Yellow Iron Oxide, Sapphire, True Blue, Violet, Magenta, and Spring Green Acrylic Paints, Color Shift Purple Paint,  Paintbrush, Weldbond, Clamps, Ariel View Magazine Picture, Large Wooden Frame.
1.  Use Versa Mark and Ice Resin Enamels randomly to transform the GSLC Flourished Chains, add touches of copper embossing powder and cure with a  heating tool.
 2.  Further tarnish GSLC Flourished Chains using dry brush technique and green and teal acrylic paints.
3.  Use teal acrylic paint and extreme peacock embossing powder to transform GSLC Fancy Frame. Cure with a heating tool.
4.  Take apart GSLC Hot Air Balloons use Acrylic Paints of shades of purple to paint one top part to one balloon and blues for the other.
 5.  Shade edges of GSLC Hot Air Balloons with gray acrylic paint.
6.  Once fully dry use GSLC Honeycomb and Decorative stamps to add patterns to your balloons, I used spring green acrylic paint of blue balloon and magenta on purple balloon.
7.   Use browns and yellow acrylic paint to paint basket portion of GSLC Hot Air Balloons.
8.  Glue GSLC Hot Air balloons together and hold securely with metal clamps. 
9.   Once everything is dry assemble your Hot Air Balloon project  placing it inside an appropriate sized frame.

Some final thoughts. March may begin as winter but it is the hope by month's end that springtide will be upon us. We can't control the winds but we can adjust the sails. I used to love the song "Wind Beneath My Wings" sung by Bette Midler
Lyrics in part:
 It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Misunderstood Monsters and Mysterious Creatures Alphabet-Installment G and W-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I will be reusing the Small 5" by 7" Wooden IKEA frames I added to patina to the last time and have included those steps here for reference. This time I will be using Folk Art Painted Finishes Sets of Rust and Moss acrylic paints sets to alter the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Alphabet Stencils for "G" is for Godzilla and "W" is for Werewolf . Remember this technique can be used to alter any of the GSLC chipboards. 
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Alphabet Stencil Blanks, 3 small 5" by 7" inch IKEA wooden frames, Matte Medium Ice Resins in Torched Copper and German Silver, Aged Hunter and Aged Copper Embossing Enamel, Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stain in Walnut, Heating Tool, Finnabair Rust Pastes in Greens, Browns, and Orange, Transparent Burnt Sienna Ink, Paint Brush, Folk Art Painted Finishes of Rust and Moss Sets, Piece of Scrapbook Paper for Background and a moss sheet for the second background, Various Printed Images of Monster and Mysterious Creatures using Inkjet Printer and paper, and Weldbond.
1.  Take GSLC Alphabet Stencil Blanks from Package.
2.  Print Images of your choosing to represent each letter, I have decided upon a Monsters and Mysterious Creatures one and not sure what I will find. I was inspired by Dave Bell Graphic Artist of Classic Monster Posters and will start with them.
3.  I am using 3 small 5" by 7" inch IKEA wooden frames to showcase each of the letters.
4.  I am a texture type of guy so I want to alter the frames and give them added interest. I want them to look similar but not the same like they are part of a collection.
5.  For the first frame I used various Ice Resin Enamels in German Silver and Torched Copper and Embossing Enamels in Aged Hunter and Aged Copper. I layered them and cured with a heating tool. This method can also be used on any of the GSLC chipboards as I will probably use later in my project.
6.  I added Tim Holts Distress Sprays in Walnut Stain to add additional patina.
7.  The second frame was aged using Finnabair rust pastes in greens, browns, and orange placed on randomly with a paintbrush. I then used transparent burnt sienna ink to fill in any empty spaces. Once again this technique can be used on any of the GSLC chipboard pieces. 
8.  The final frame was given a patina using Tim Holtz Distress Grit-Paste and Ferro-Copper Paste applied with a thin plastic spatula using a  Snake Skin Stencil and further distressing with alcohol inks in browns and greens. Once again this technique can be used on any of the GSLC chipboard pieces. 
9.  For altering the GSLC Alphabet Stencil Blanks this time I will be using Folk Art Painted Finishes Sets of Moss and Rust.
10.                For the GSLC Alphabet Stencil "G" I used the Folk Art Painted Finishes Moss Set for a reptilian scales-like look.
 11.                For the GSLC Alphabet Stencil "W" I used Folk Art Painted Finishes Rust Set and filled in the negative spaces with TH Distress Stains of Frayed Burlap and Broken China to give it a weathered and worn appeal.
12.                Find complimentary scrapbook paper for backgrounds of you GSLC Alphabet Framed Designs. I used a rusted corrugated cardboard for the "G", and a piece of moss paper for the "W".
13.                Cut and glue the appropriate images for each of Framed letters, securing with Weldbond.
 14.                Our GSLC Alphabet Stencils are complete for Letters "G" and "W"
Some final thoughts.
 "G" is for Godzilla sometimes known as the "Monster King", a raging radioactive, ever evolving creation from the sea.
"W" is for werewolf, when the moon is full he loves to sing, but at mornings light a new creature he will be.
Stay tuned for the next instillation of  GSLC Alphabet Stencil Blanks. I cannot wait to see what new images I discover.



Thursday, March 7, 2019

Waiting for the Robins

How do tulips know when it is time to bloom?
What Predictions will the groundhog make?
What of rebirth and renewal?
    A man with a frozen heart went out looking for signs of Spring. Now living in the suburbs, he is surprised by the people who still plant bulbs and gardens. It seems wherever you live there are people with flowerpot hearts. They love the earth between their fingers, the mixture of sweet rain and soft sunshine can keep them talking for days. They desperately order from the seed catalogues anxiously awaiting their packet arrivals. They never seem to outgrow their connection to the soil from whence they were created.
           It had been a mild winter in the land where he lived. So, there wasn't the urgency to see the signs he would soon see. As he walked by the nearby lake he realizes the Canada Geese had never flown further south staying here to make their return trip a few hundred miles closer.
               The snowdrop had begun blooming almost a week earlier; the crocuses were now even showing their headdresses of pale purple, bright yellow, and variations of both. Just today he noticed his fist daffodil blooming with other tighter buds unwilling to expose themselves. They feared perhaps another snow would fall hurting their delicate plumage. The mysterious witch hazel had been blooming for almost a month with their exotic blossoms of captured flames. Their exquisite earthy fragrance made them the true Springtime criers.
               In the newspaper recently, it announced that the Cherry blossoms would reach their peak by mid March if warming trends continued. The man had never been to the festivities although he lived close to our Nations Capitol now. He didn't like crowds much and the tiny buds of magnificent pink always seemed to draw wanders from afar. He grew up four hours north from here and is still amazed by spring's early arrival.
               Shyly he admits he even forced a few bulbs of his own and had paper whites blooming in December. There were also crocuses, miniature irises, amaryllis and his favored and fragrant hyacinth.  He had not yet made any of his famous branch bouquets this year with the frozen forsythias, crab apple, and pussy willows. He watches the buds and blossoms swell but was strangely disappointed when they were in full bloom.
               The man cannot think of this first stage of the year or freshest season without going back to his childhood. He has vivid memories of one place in particular, the place where the daffodils bloomed first. To get there he had to walk the mile to the little white church where he would go for the annual Easter egg hunt and the Sunrise Services seeing everyone dressed up in their finest. The church is always crowded on Easter Sunday. The boy thought it odd that people only turned out for the good news, Christ's birth and his resurrection, but wanted so little to do with the seasons in between. Although now he is much the same.
               A little further up the paved road was a farm road that led to the left. It was heavily posted that trespassers would be prosecuted so he ran the first few yards to get under the cover of the faithful trees that would shelter him from all harm. The boy is aware of the chirping of the birds as they flutter about making preparations for their expected families. The boy always remembers to put out pieces of yarn and cotton because he liked to imagine himself a nest maker or at least a nest provider. Perhaps the jenny Wren, his mother's favorite, would use some of it to brighten her home. He loves how the tiny bird makes his mother's heart sing. Her face brightens with a smile whenever she hears the birds bubbling song as she hangs the clothes out to dry on the spring's gentle breeze.
               He noticed a goldfinch that was becoming more recognizable as a male because he was getting the bright yellow color back into his feathers. The boy hopes his favorite springtime bird will return to one of his parents many birdfeeders. The indigo bunting is an awesome sight to behold because of their brilliant, almost iridescent blue that will always outshine that of the blue jays or eastern bluebirds.
               An observation the boy has made is that bids sing loudest in the springtime. Their songs can seem overpowering. some birds sing with their whole hearts, while others sing with their whole beings making their proclamations of joy.  He is reminded of the mourning dove; whose sorrowful song is strangely silent when they take flight upon their whistling wings. While some birds have beautiful songs, the boy believes that others are no so lovely. In fact, he thinks the blackbirds, the crows, and the starlings, are the troublemakers of the bird kingdom with their robust calls and squeaky cackling.
               Thinking so much of his feathered friends the boy quickly finds himself in the "Lowlands" with their open fields and decaying outbuildings. Not taking the time to explore these temptations he travels on to he is at the river's edge.
               Finding a place, he believes will grant him safe passage he removes his socks and shoes. Praying the water is shallow and calm enough to pass through without needing to remove his pants also. Rolling up his pant legs he carefully places his discarded coverings over his head and steps into the cold waters. With each successful step the boy finds himself closer to the place of intrigue.
               The locals call this place Toushay's presumably because there was a native American man who lived there and owned this property. All the boy knew was at this time each year the place was abandoned, and he could look around without fear of being discovered. Although if truth be told he always felt like someone was watching him as he looked through the locked windows of the house and the less secured barns. This was especially true today, as a thick fog had settled in making everything seem like a spirit of itself. The white pigeons that flew from the barn rafters would be the first to disappear into the lowered sky with the gray and tan ones taking a little longer.
               The boy came here because the boy knew the steep banks surrounding the property would be bountiful with the harvest of bright daffodils that his mother loved so. He was always assured he could find an old newspaper to wrap them in like they did in the fancy flower shops he noticed in the nearby towns. The boy also liked to include brown grasses as dead seed heads with his bouquet because they made the bright yellow seem even brighter and it was very complimentary to the aging newsprint.
               With his new-found treasure safely secured in the brown wrapping paper the boy is ready to make his way home. he quickly gets started as he now a few miles far from home. It is his turn to feed the chickens and gather the eggs. There is an old hen that has taken to roosting, so he will need to be extra careful in her presence. Last Spring, she hatched out eleven yellow, brown and black bundles of joy.
               He has other reasons to be careful as there was a mean rooster who guarded the hen house. The boy had been chased around the side yard many times with the flapping and clucking of this crazy conquistador.
               Imagining the trail through the woods as it was when Indians walked upon them, the boy pulls a tree branch behind him pretending to cover up his trail avoiding capture. All the mosses almost glow with their intense greenery. It is too early for the mysterious India Pipes to appear with their milky translucent stems and solitary nodding flower.  Soon the forest floor will be carpeted with the dainty purple violets, the strange jack-in-the-pulpits, the brown-mottled tiger lilies, the elusive pink lady slippers, the comical Dutchman breeches, the attractive dainty white and pink striped spring beauties, called "piss in the beds" by he normally regal mother. There will be odd red and white trilliums, named "Nose Bleeds" by his inquisitive mother. Spring is truly the time when the world wakes up with an ever-changing landscape. 
               Clearing the woods, the boy is now on a dirt road, that will take him by the sisters who make their own salty creamy butter the old-fashioned way. maybe he will stop by and visit as they usually have buttermilk sugar cookies and fudge too, an always welcome treat. He also loves to stare at the collage they made by cutting fruit from the seed catalogues then pasting them into a permanent fruit still life framed by a magnificent wooden frame, none finer hung is the art museums in the city.
               Passing by his chance for a sweet treat he hurries on ass he is still almost a mile from home. The road now paved goes past two farms and one of the local favorite swimming holes. At the top of the next hill the boy turns left onto a gravel road that will take him by the ancient cemetery that has been recently restored. The boy like it better when it was overgrown, although it made it more difficult for him to take this shortcut to his friend’s house because it seemed scarier then. 
               Reaching the main road, the boy has only one more bridge to cross then his neighbors’ farmhouse. He hopes the dogs will not notice him so that he doesn't have to run the rest the way home. Passing by undetected he sets off to finishing his chores. He wonders how his mom will make the eggs today. She is famous for her sunny side up eggs, but we just call them dip eggs. He loves using the old one-sided toaster that makes it necessary to flip it to complete the process.
               So, the man with a frozen heart began to feel the melting of his spirit that is found in the memories of a forgotten childhood and the warmth of a bright sunny day. He feels restored and ready to go on. Perhaps today he will paint a picture of a bright red breasted robin to remind him that not all is lost and there is much to be celebrated. Spring is the season of renewed hope and eternal wonderment.