Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Baroness of the Bramble Patch-A Peek-a-Boo Project

 July in the farmland and foothills of rural Pennsylvania is black raspberry pickin' season and gardens are full of fresh vegetable. It was a also the time in my youth that I read 53 books in one summer. One that I remember vividly is "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett and later "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd. I'm sad to say that I have lost my love of reading. These are the inspirations of this artwork.

Supplies:  GSLC Honeycomb & Queen Bees ATC SizedGSLC Acorn Border SetGSLC Queen Anne's LaceGSLC Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch, Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste, Chili Powder, Nutmeg, Gold and Green Mica Powder, Small Plastic Palette Knife, Heating Tool, TH Rusty Hinge Distress Stain, Paintbrush, Magazine Pictures, Scissors, Weldbond, DecoArt One Step Crackle Finish, DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze, Glossy Accent Gloss Finish, Fussy Cut Flowers and Butterflies, Acrylic Paint Gray and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Spray Bottle of Water, Paintbrush, Clear Stickers of Birds, Butterflies and Flowers, Tweezers, Flat Back Rhinestone Jewels

1.  Gather Supplies-I did not use Creepy Tree 5 Inch.

2.   Use Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste by adding  Chili Powder, Nutmeg, and Green and Gold Mica Powders Adding Just Enough Water to Keep Paint Like Consistency.

3.  Spread on Upper Portion of GSLC Arch Top Triptych 8 Inch Frame With a Small Plastic Palette Knife.

4.  Cure With a Heating Tool.

5.  Use TH Rusty Hinge Distress Stain Distress Stains to add Patina to Cured Frames Using a Paintbrush.

6.  Look for Interesting Magazine Pictures to Use as Focal Points-I Found a Woman's Face and an Arched Passageway.

7.  Glue Arch Passageway to Top Portion of Back of GSLC Arch and  Image of Woman Face on Bottom Portion with Weldbond.

8.  Attach Front Frame to Back Portion of GSLC Arch Triptych with Weldbond and Secure with Clasps.

9.  I am Using GSLC Honeycomb & Queen Bees ATC SizedGSLC Acorn Border Set, and GSLC Queen Anne's Lace, I Painted for a Previous Project Using a Variety of Acrylic Paints and Fussy Cut Flowers and Butterflies to Create a Border Around  Woman's Face.

10.                I Used, DecoArt One Step Crackle Finish and DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze to Layer my Border.

11.                Make a wash Out of Diluted, Gray and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint.

12.                Add Clear Stickers of Birds, Butterflies and Flowers with DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.

13.                When Fully Dry use Tweezers to  Glue Flat Back Rhinestone Jewels to Border Using Weldbond.

Some Final Thoughts.

All of the books I mentioned have strong main female characters as does July in America. One of the symbols of our nation is the Statue of Liberty, representing Freedom and Justice. For this reason I always thought July was named after a woman but it was not. July was named after Julius Cesar but for me it will always have a different meaning and origin story. The Image on this art piece pays homage to all of these strong women.

 My momma was one of the strongest women I knew but she was humble in her demure but to us she was queen of our homestead. They say a baroness is the lowest of five noble classes so that would make my momma, the  baroness of our bramble patch. She was a master gardener and knew all the best raspberry patches, she even remembered that next to Luther's orchard, closest to yellow delicious tree, were a rare white raspberry bush, I didn't have the heart to tell her I thought they were more of a yellow variety.

 She also said she heard there were red raspberry that grew on the dirt farm road just past our little white church on the hill,  heading towards Touchshay's that is  mentioned in Waiting For Robins. She said they would be found near the largest abounded barn in the lowlands but to be extra careful because the fields would be overgrown, and rattlers and copperheads love to bask in the early morning sun. if we were successful in our berry picking we could have a patriotic cobbler complete with red white and blue raspberries.

 "It  was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high wall which shut it in were covered with leafless stems of climbing poses, which were so thick they were matted together."  The Secret Garden

 "Most People don't have any idea about all the complicated life  going on inside a hive. Bee have a secret life we don't know anything about." The Secret Life of Bees

 "You can go other places, all right-you can live on the other side of the world, but you can't ever leave home"

The Mermaid Chair

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Firework Flowers-A Peek-a-Boo Project


In United States many celebrate our Independents Day on July 4th,  with large gatherings and many festivities. As an introvert I tend to stay away from the crowded parades and firework celebrations, but they are the inspiration for this artwork- well, sorta...   

Supplies:  GSLC Arabian TriptychGSLC Fern Fronds, Black Embossing Paste, Small Plastic Palette Knife, FolkArt Design Cream Gold, Magazine Page, Weldbond, Sandpaper,  TH Evergreen Bough Distress Stain, Paintbrush, Polymer Clay, Silicon Molds, Liquid Clay, Mica Powders, Makeup Brush,  Polymer Clay Oven, Acrylic Paints, Glossy Accent Finish, Van Dyke Brown Hue Acrylic Paint, Fan Paintbrush, Craftsmart Glitter Glue

1.  Gather Supplies.

2.  Use a Small Plastic Palette Knife to Add Black Embossing Paste and FolkArt Design Cream Gold to GSLC Arabian Triptych Top Frame.


3.  Find a Decorative Magazine page to Glue to the Back Portion of GSLC Arabian Triptych Frame.

4.  Use Coarse Sandpaper To Scratch Up Magazine Picture Backgrounds.

5.  Add TH Evergreen Bough Distress Stain to Backgrounds Filling in the Scratches.

6.  Use a Paintbrush to Add a Bit of the TH Evergreen Bough Distress Stain to the Top Frames.

7.  Used Weldbond to Glue Top Portion of GSLC Arabian Triptych Frame to the Back Portion.

8.   Using Polymer Clay and Silicon Molds Make Leaves and Flowers to Add to Prepared GSLC Arabian Triptych Frames.

9.  Add Prepared GSLC Fern Fronds to Background.

10.                Add Polymer Clay Leaves and Flowers to Create an Assemblage  Using Liquid Clay.

11.                Once Satisfied with Content Use Mica Powders to add a Metallic  Luster to the Clay Pieces Using a Soft Makeup Brush.

12.                Bake in Polymer Clay Oven until Fully Cured.

13.                Add Additional Colors to Assemblages Using a Variety of Acrylic Paints.

14.                Use Glossy Accent Finish to Make the Flowers Appear to Be Bursting out of The Frame.

15.                To Give the Assemblages a Scorched Appearance  Using Dry Bush Technique Using a Fan Paintbrush and Van Dyke Brown Hue Acrylic Paint.

16.                To Make the Assemblage Glisten Like Fireworks I Added Craftsmart Glitter Glue.


Some Final Thoughts.

The Final GSLC Arabian Triptych Assemblages are as crowded as a Fourth Of July parade and bursting with colors like fireworks in The summertime sky.  Many flowers do not flourish in the dry summer heat but there are those that only bloom after a forest fire. I was surprised to learn of this watching the news after some of the devastating fires had ravished millions of acres in a single year, around 40% of that being in California.

 One of these fire flowers or more aptly names "fire followers" is the fire poppy. These plants like extreme pressure forms diamonds, hot summer fires pressurize these seed that may lie dormant for years until these unique circumstances awaken their long forgotten beauty. There are others like Lodgepole Pin, the tree itself often dies but the extreme heat allows the resin that sealed the thick scaled cones together melts releasing the seeds that have been held there for years.

 Mountain Mallow, appears in great numbers after a burn, their thick seed coats crack, like fireworks bursting allowing the seeds to absorb water and sprout. Many of these seeds have lain buried for decades in the soil waiting for their "Fourth of July Parade"

 White Snow Brush and White Spiraea blossoms appears in profusion like sparklers at a backyard summer picnic on their independence day, some emerging from old roots after a light fire while others after a heavy burn, sprout from "Rib-van-Winkle" seeds. Flowers blooming almost a century ago produced seeds that have been lying in wait until heat and sun simulated them to germinate.

Pinegrass goes normally unnoticed, much like the town twirlers who emerge out of the woodwork now leading the parade procession down Main Street. After a forest fire Pinegrass shoots up two to three feet of delicate flowers waving in the wind like the grand ole glory on all of our front porches in July.

 Just like fireworks get their colorful array from chemical explosions so do these fire followers burst forth in a variety of shades as bright as the spectacular bright uniforms of the bands marching in time to the beat of the banging drums. Fireweeds in pinks, Broadleaf Arnica in yellow, and Thickstem Aster in lavender and purple.  A field full of these fascinating fire flowers appear like a family trying to fit on a tiny blanket looking into the night sky enjoying this summer holiday in the United States.

 Family and Friends gather during these holidays of celebrations remembering a  year that for some may have felt like they came through a wild fire of sorts and try to find the good of the day, to find brightness in the gloom, to be thankful for another day to go forth and find the sunrises that wait for them much like Frances Clark, the writer of the article, "What Bloom in Wildfire Burns"   where I found most of this information. Take a look at the bright and beautiful photographs there.

 Happy Independence Day no matter where you dwell...Celebrate Your Emergence!!