Saturday, June 24, 2017

Believe in the beauty of your dreams by Betsy Skagen

Eleanor Roosevelt's statement, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams," is so powerful in my life right now that it inspired me to make this mixed media piece.

While mixed media in its strictest definition is not one of my strongest skill sets, I am always trying to learn more and improve little by little.

I began this piece by painting the Celestial Shape Set moon gold. However, I found it flat and boring.

So I covered it with gold crackle paste and let it dry overnight. Next I rubbed  brown cream wax into the surface, wiping off the excess. Then I applied black Gilders paste wax to the edges. My moon was looking so much better than when I first painted him.

The next step in this process was to prepare the other chipboard pieces. One thing I have learned over the years is that ink is the easiest way to color chipboard black. I applied black ink to both the Street Lamp and the Mini Fence and Gate. What's nice about this is there is no drying time and no paint globs to hide the detailed intricacies of the chipboard.
I also gave the Windows a coat ivory of ivory paint. When dry, I aged them with tan distress ink.

At this point I was getting into the groove of the project. Yep. I was really having fun. A blast even. In fact, I was having so much fun that I completely forgot about taking pictures.


Please bear with me as I describe the next few steps without any pictures. Sorry about that. (It really was fun).

I cut a sheet of white glossy paper and used masking tape to attach a floral stencil and then added a geometric stencil to the base of the paper.

Next I dribbled alcohol ink in different shades of blue and green into the stencil holes. More spread under the stencil than I would have liked, but I decided not to fret about it. Besides, what could I do?

After I had completely filled the stencil holes and given the alcohol ink a few minutes to dry, I removed the stencils.

Because of all the bleeding when the ink went beneath the stencil, I outlined the pattern with blue, green and black gel pens. I also drew in a silhouette of a tree branch with a black Sharpie.

Guess what! I finally have a picture for you!
As you can see, I ran into a problem with my tree branch becoming too wide, but I didn't worry about it because I knew the moon would cover it up.

I adhered the moon, windows and vintage girl.

Then I used gloss gel medium to adhere the vellum quotation, fence and street lamp. I drew additional patterns over the vellum to tie the pieces together.

Great Stuff

Celestial Shape Set
Mini Fence and Gate
Christmas Shape Set (Street Lamp)
Windows 4 Panel
Girl from Snarky Ancestors #3
Black distress ink
Tan distress ink
Gold Crackle Paste
Brown Wax
Black Wax
Glossy white paper
Masking tape
Floral stencil
Geometric stencil
Alcohol ink in assorted blues and greens
Gel pens in blue, green, and black
Black Sharpie
Gloss gel medium
Quotation on vellum

Friday, June 23, 2017

Having fun with a little snarkiness by Betsy Skagen

I guess this reveals the less classy side of myself, but lately I have been having a lot of fun making snarky tags.

To make this tag, simply cover a manilla tag with decorative cardstock. (Hint: instead of paying a small fortune for designer brand craft tags, I bought 1000 manilla tags on Amazon. This resulted in a cost of mere pennies per tag)

Next cover the Art Deco Border with ivory paint. After it dries, apply brown distress ink to the edges.

Adhere the Art Deco Border across the top with the tiniest bit of glue possible. Make sure to center it around the tag hole.

Adhere another piece on the bottom corner of the tag.

Cut out the Snarky Ancestors, ink the edges with brown distress ink and adhere to the tag.

Run a ribbon through the hole and either tie or glue together.

That's it! Your tag is finished. Now all you have to do is decide upon whom you want to bestow this snarkiness.

Great Stuff

Art Deco Border & Corners
Snarky Ancestors #2
Manilla tag
Decorative cardstock
Ivory acrylic paint
Brown distress ink

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Vintage Cabana Row House

Hi everyone!  Today, I want to share a fun little Summer project using these Cabana Row Houses from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.  Not only would these cuties make great mixed media projects or table decorations and favors, but they would also make wonderful gift boxes since the bottom folds up, but does not have to be glued in place.  Hmmmm ... think of the possibilities.  I'm sure you can come up with even more ideas.

When you get the set, look for the tiny alphabet letters (A through E) on each piece to match up the house with its coordinating roof piece.  They are so simple to put together, just fold the house up and attach the roof.

House E

Cut one paper strip 2-3/8" x 8-1/2" and one 2-1/8" x 2-1/8" square.  Cut two triangles for the eaves.  I used the box itself to measure and trace the eaves onto back of paper.

Run paper through Xyron sticker maker and edge paper strips with Evergreen Bough distress ink and foam blending tool.

Adhere paper pieces to bottom section of house.

Place red liner tape along roof and side tabs, as shown.

Adhere a  half round window on each side of house under eaves.  Set aside.

Cut a piece of print paper cut to 2-3/4" x 4-3/4".  Run strip through Xyron sticker maker and edge paper with Vintage Photo distress ink.

Adhere paper to roof top.

Spread a thin layer of  light molding paste through stencil, let dry.

Lightly add Vintage Photo distress ink to paste with blending tool.

Now back to the house.  Remove red liner from taped sides.  Fold side tab in and attach to side of house.

Fold tabs in and close up bottom of house.  You can also tape this in place if you do not plan on using the house as a gift box.

Fold roof tabs in and attach roof.  Glue two small square windows from the Seaside Doors & Windows set to the sides of the house, as shown.

Cut bottom portion of smallest Vintage Ladies Silhouette.

Glue bottom portion that was cut off back onto silhouette, but higher up.  This will shorten the lady and make her size more appropriate for the size of the house.

Use a spatula to apply a thick coat of Heidi Swapp Hot Pink Metallic Texture Paste to vintage lady, disguising chipboard join and swiping lines in the paste to resemble folds of fabric in her dress.  Set aside to dry.

Paint both sides of the vintage bicycle with Vivid True Silver.  Let dry, then add Vintage Photo distress ink, which will give it a coppery look.  Don't cover all of the silver, though.  

Spread light molding paste over hot air balloon and draw lines through paste, as shown.  Set aside to dry.

Paint balloon with Vivid Ultra Metallics, first with Lemongrass, then African Jade, then Pink Azalea, and lastly with Teal Zircon.  Let dry, then lighten the color with African Jade.

Cut a 5" piece of 20 gauge copper wire and adhere to back of balloon.  I used a wet glue and a piece of tape.  Let glue dry before handling.

Turn balloon over and repeat process for opposite side, i.e., add light molding paste, draw lines through it, and color with the Vivid Ultra Metallics.  This will cover where you have added the coper wire on the back.

Make a little twist in the copper wire, as shown.

Use a paper piercer or awl to make a tiny hole in the roof top and insert wire through it.  Add clear drying glue to hold in place.

Adhere vintage lady to left side of house.

Decorate house as you like.  I have added some flowers just below the half round window, and adhered the vintage lady to the left, and the vintage bicycle was added to the right with a foam dot to make it look like it was propped up against the house.

Here are a few views from different angles.

GSL Miniatures Shape Set - Guy Thing
Paper Studio Country Road 4.5" x 6.5" paper pad
ColourArte Vivid Ultra Metallics
  True Silver
  African  Jade
  Pink Azalea
  Teal Zircon
Evergreen Bough, Vintage Photo distress ink
Foam blending tool
Xyron 3"sticker maker
Golden Light Molding  Paste
Tim Holtz Stripes stencil
Heidi Swapp Hot  Pink Metallic Texture Paste
20g copper wire
Quick Grab Tacky Glue (Aleene's)
Miniature flowers (Paper Studio)

I hope you enjoyed my project today.  Be sure to check out the fabulous laser cut chipboard from Gypsy Soul for even more ideas to decorate these Cabana Row Houses.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a crafty day!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Cat's Meow Tiny Matchbox Theatre by Sandy Trefger

Hello everyone! Sandy here today with a quick, fun little project for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.  I love cats and have quite a few living here at my house. So I thought I'd use the GSL Tiny Matchbox Theatre chipboard kit to make a fun wall hanging that I'm calling the "Cat's Meow."  The matchbox is so easy to put together.  I've done a YouTube video on how I assembled mine, painted and patterned it with some Graphic 45 Raining Cats & Dogs.  This would make a great gift for any theme that you might have in mind.

Here's my tutorial video:

Supplies Used:
Thank you so much of checking out this post and my tutorial video.  Be sure to check out the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts store and order several of these very inexpensive Tiny Matchbox Theatre Chipboard kits to have on hand when you need a quick project.  I'll be back here on the blog July 5th with another project.

Happy Crafting!

P.S. Check out my blog/website for more of my creations at:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Charming Victorian Wall Shelf

Detail can be a thing of beauty. I have always loved hand painted details on furniture and combining that with the wonderfully scrolly Victorian Wall Shelf Miniature is a match made in heaven!
I love working in 1:12 scale and this is a perfect piece for the WIP doll's house I have been slowly working on for about a year. The beautiful and graceful scroll work on this piece inspired me to enhance the already lovely shape and add pretty gold details.
 Here's where I started out....
Glued the bits together. Make sure you put your brackets in right way up! Just sayin'......
I gave it a good coat of gesso and then a coat of white acrylic paint.
I have a nice little collection of old watch faces and wanted to use one for the circle that was just crying to be a clock.
I chose one and dry fit it into the hole, then drew a circle around it to mark where the edges were on the circle.
And yes! This next picture is meant to be upside down. The shelf part of the clock would have inhibited me from doing a consistent paint job on the details, so I flip the piece over and did my rough guide/sketch of my design....
And then began to paint it on. I used Lumiere Metallic Acrylic in Sunset Gold and a #4 round brush. I like this brush because it holds it pointy tip and allows for fine lines and it's stiff enough that I can paint little swirly circles and dots.
I am right-handed, so I paint from the left to the right, that way I don't drag my hand through any wet paint.
Here is what the completed gold paint looks like.
I wanted to age it up a bit...the white is a little too bright for me, so I used a little water and Quinachrodone Gold to 'yellow' the white and make the gold look just a bit richer.
Quinac Gold is a semi translucent acrylic paint that I use a lot either by itself or with a little black to give the appearance of age or grime to a piece. (this is a variation on something I learned from the amazing and very funny Michael deMeng)
I smoodged around a bit of the quinac and water and then wiped it down with a bit of damp paper towel. I reapplied as I need to to get the color I wanted.
It goes without saying that you want your detail painting to be completely dry before you do this!
 The finished shelf!
And with some fun goodies displayed on it...

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts
Victorian Wall Shelf Miniature

Additional supplies from Alpha Stamps
Even tinier books-set of 12
Three Miniature Vases
Small Mulberry Blossoms
Amber Candy Dish Set

Acrylic paints
Thank you for stopping by!