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.



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Momma Memories-A Peek-a-Boo Project

 It has been over a year since they sold our family homestead in the foothills of Pennsylvania. I am hoping to finally return and bid my final farewell this summer. We have not traveled out of Maryland since March of 2020. I know many others have traveled, taken vacations, and resumed a normal way of venturing to and fro. We have never felt trapped at our home but have enjoyed the moments of peace and rest. Our home is our refuge as much was my childhood home. My momma always said anyone was welcomed if they did not mind the mess. Our house wasn't messy but it was well lived in. It's hard to imagine the lives our parents had before we knew them. Last June a enveloped arrived unexpectedly from a dear cousin whose handwriting is surprisingly similar to my sweet momma's who left us in November of 2018 to be with dad and brother who passed away years earlier. She did not know me for the last years of her life as she had Alzheimer's and it had been many years longer since I had received a handwritten letter from her. Within that envelope was a treasure trough of family photographs. They are the inspiration for this Mother's Day artwork.

Supplies: Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Alarm Clock Frame Ups, Selected Copies of Treasured Family Photographs, Pencil, Embossing Powders of your Choice-Iced Resin German Silver, Turquoise, Allure Hammered Metal, Rangers Brick, Heating Tool, TH Distress Stains-Broken China, Bundled Sage, Crushed Olive, Scissors, Weldbond, Clamps, Glossy Accent Clear, Repurposed Wooden Box Top, Copies of Handwritten Letters, Acrylic Paints, Ribbon or String, Upholstery Tacks

1.  Make copies of Treasured Family Photographs you wish to use.

2.  Use front portion of Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Alarm Clock Frame Ups to decide what part of the pictures you wish to frame.

3.  Trace with a pencil and cut out carefully.

4.  Decide on Embossing Powers you want to use to highlight each photograph.

5.  Randomly apply embossing ink on front portion of GSLC Alarm Clock Frames. Cure using a heating tool. I never try to fully cover a chippie as I find it is more interesting if left with empty spaces.  

6.  Fill in empty spaces with TH Distress Stains.

7.  Cut Out Chosen portion of photographs and glue to back of embossed GSLC Alarm Clock Frame.

8.  Next glue prepared front portion of GSLC Alarm Clock frame to the back portion of frames using Weldbond.

9.  Once parts are lined up hold securely in place with clamps.

10.                Once fully dry add a layer of Glossy Accent Clear to the inside of the alarm clock face. Allow to dry fully.

11.                Find an appropriate frame to add this trio of momma clocks. I am using a wooden box top.

12.                Print saved handwritten letters from loved ones. They will be glued as a wallpaper to the inside of wood box top I found.

13.                Use Acrylic Paints to paint the rim of found wooden box top.

14.                Once fully dry add clock trio

15.                If you wish to make this a hanging assemblage add a bit of ribbon and a few decorative upholstery tacks.

Some Final Thoughts.

At my momma's funeral it was so strange as everyone who knew her called her "June", "Gram", "Grammy" or like me "Momma or Mom" her obituary had her full given name Mary Angus June Lowe. No one, not ever her family called her Mary. Obituaries are so cold and final I think our passing should be a celebration of what we brought to the world, how we made it a bit brighter by being a room enhancer or how we tried to care for those who had fallen. One person left this message for us about our mom " June was our girls' Sunday School Teacher. She faithfully taught hundreds of children over the years. She was a hard working woman, who cared for everyone. If you needed something and she could do it, she did. June will live on in the hearts of many she served. It could have been a meal, produce from her garden, or a kind word. I know she struggled with remembering. However she has a sense of peace when she sang hymns. Those songs were embedded in her soul. So I shall think of June singing and serving with the angels. June was our dear friend and neighbor." May others have such sweet words to say about me and may I reflect all the wonderful things my sweet momma taught me. I hope I make her proud by the way I walk through this world.