Wednesday, June 24, 2020

I Just Called...-A Peek-A-Boo-Project

I grew up in a home without a television or a phone and had to rely on my creativity to keep me company as we lived four miles from the nearest two. There were children who lived within walking distance and we would often get together to ride bikes, play in the creek building dams, go sled riding, build forts or go a’walkin. The neighbor lady Mable had a small beauty shoppe through the garage and passed the screened in porch. She had a rotary phone on a party line that she would allow us to use in case of emergencies. It was a simpler time, we joked we were the Walton’s or Little House on the Prairie the few shows we could watch if we went to a friends house or up to my Aunt Blanche and Uncle Lester’s house some Sunday evenings when my parents and them would play 500 Rummy or High, Low, Jack card games and we’d get to eat snacks in the living room watching tv.  I still have the Mabel’s Rotary Phone and used in in several of my apartments when I moved to Maryland. This is the inspiration for this instillation.

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-4 Inch Trading Coasters, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Vintage Phones, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Eyeglasses Shape Set, Graphic 45 Communique Paper, Scissors, Distress Ink-Vintage Photo, Blendable Dye Ink Acorn, Poppy, and Garden Patina, Blending Tool, Acrylic Paint in Brown, Tan, and Red Tones, Diarylide Yellow, Teal, Weldbond, Scissors, Paintbrush, Matte Gel Varnish Medium, Sandpaper Blocks, Allure Embossing Powders of your choosing, Versa Mark Ink Pad, Heating Tool,
1.  Take apart all GSLC products you will be using.
2.  Distress a page of Graphic 45 Communique Paper using Distress Ink-Vintage Photo, Blendable Dye Ink Acorn, Poppy, and Garden Patina and a Blending Tool.
3.  Cut our 4 squares for each side of the coaster making them slightly smaller so they will create a quiltlike grid on them.
4.  Paint:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-4 Inch Trading Coasters with Acrylic Paints in Brown, Tan, and Red Tones using a dry brush technique. Remember Random is our desired effect.
5.  Once coasters are dry glue on the Graphic 45 Communique Squares you prepared earlier using Weldbond.
6.  After they have dried completely distress coasters using sandpaper blocks making sure edges are smooth.
7.  Varnish with a mixture of Matte Gel Varnish Medium and Diarylide Yellow acrylic paint.
8.  To further the patina randomly add Teach Acrylic Paint to the coasters.
9.  Use Allure Embossing Powders of your choosing a Versa Mark Ink Pad and a Heating Tool to prepare the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Vintage Phones and Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Eyeglasses Shape Set.
10.                Once satisfied with the look and they have cooled assemble your GSLC 4 Inch Coaster gluing with Weldbond.
11.                Weight down with something heavy to assure all components will be held securely in place.
12.                A final step is to seal everything with Matte Gel Varnish Medium, if you wish them to be Waterproof and used as coaster you must add further layer of varnish to make them more durable.
Some Final Thoughts.
Summertime for me is a time of remembering and catching up with old friends, it was a time for me to travel when I was younger now, I use it mostly to restock for my Crooked Tree Cottage Creations Business. My style has been described as vintage retro, urban decay, creepy cool, ugly unique or glamorously gross. I love the nostalgia of bygone days and repurposing found or disregarded objects. Ever since we moved from landlines to mobile phones I must admit that I have become a texter preferring the quiet calm of a quick check in, but nothing will ever replace the phone call from a dear faraway friend to say, “ I just called to say I’ve been thinking of you!!”

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Father’s Day Journeyman-A Peek-A-Boo-Project

My father and I had a complicated relationship but, in the end, we knew each was loved by other. He had bipolar disorder and died in July of 2011. I never knew him in his youth and he never knew me as the artist I am today. He worked as a clerk for 25 years at one of the local foundries. He served in WWII and was stationed in Germany. He loved driving and often wished that he was a mail carrier and did not have an office job. He provided for his family doing what was necessary and had a sense of humor that was outstanding and a love of singing in the church choir I will never forget. He is the inspiration of this instillation. I love you, dad!!
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Truck 1, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Truck 2,Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Wander Title, Acrylic Paint-Blue and Green Hues, Red Hues, Metallic Hues,  Vann Dyke Brown Hue, Repurposed Frames used for my Misunderstood Monsters and Mysterious Creatures Alphabet, Magazine Pictures, Scissors, Nutmeg, Chili Powder, Cheap Hairspray, Matte Gel Varnish Medium
2.  Paint on the trucks in Acrylic Paint in Blue and Green Hues the other in Red Hues, and the Wander Title in Metallic Hues using a dry brush technique.  Perfection is not what we are going for here, random is our desired effect.
3.  Add Van Dyke Brown Hue paint to the tires of the GSLC trucks.
4.   Once dry randomly add matte gel varnish medium in random places on the trucks adding nutmeg ang chili powder to create a rusted patina.

5.  Once you have achieved the desired look spray and seal with cheap hairspray.
6.  While they are drying search for magazine pictures of your choosing.
 7.  Measure and cut to fit inside of the frames you will be using.
8.  Seal all GSLC pieced with Matte Gel Varnish Medium.
9.  Once dry add to chosen frames they are ready for an extra special place in your home.
Some Final Thoughts.
I’ve always loved the quote by J. R. R. Tolkien that reads in part “Not all those who wander are lost”
It also states that “All that is gold does not glitter” From people looking in they would have said my relationship with my father was far from ideal, or that I was a lost soul never able to be redeemed. I grew up in a Baptist Home a strange sensitive child not fitting in the ethos and standards of our small rural country surroundings. I was teased and bullied relentlessly as a child and it was only in my senior year of high school that I found some acceptance among my athletic peers. I do not curse my childhood for it has made me the man I am today. I became a middle school teacher because I wanted to be the protector of the lost and lonely children as the wandered the hallways hoping to find a safe place to stay. I have received emails form former students telling me how I have influenced their lives, I’ve been nominated several years for Outstanding Teacher and been published as an artist in Somerset Studios.  I have a beautiful life and am a father figure to my students and a niece and a nephew. I have traveled to places in this world I could never have imagined as a country boy from rural Pennsylvania. I’ve become the man I think my father would be proud of, I see him in me when I look in the mirror, or make someone laugh, or drive down country roads, or sing joyfully, or pay the bills on time and make the most of what I have been given. I honor my father, Brady Harold Lowe by living my best life. Whenever I would go for one of my childhood walks my dad would always ask me upon returning, “So what did you see?” Let’s walk through this world with both eyes open expecting the best and never giving up on hope.  Happy Fathers Day!!