Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bronzino Beauties

I love the portraits of Bronzino. He lived his whole life in Florence (1503-1572) and was mainly the court painter for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who happened to be a very powerful Medici, so there are many Bronzino portraits of the Medici family scattered throughout museums around the world. I particularly like his portraits of women. They are so finely done, rich and detailed and studying the faces of these ladies, I can really see their personalities come through the paint. And the jewelry.....holy 24 karats, Batgirl!
Let's just say Bronzino had embellishing down to, well , a fine art. (see what I did there?)

Here's how I started out....
I began with my usual routine of giving everything a good coat of gesso. Sigh....I do love gesso.
I wanted the Triptych-Tower Top to stand out in contrast with the color I was planning on using, so I painted everything that was going to show, black.

I began playing with the layouts of the ladies, moving things around to the spaces I felt they looked best, keeping in mind that there were going to be a bunch of contrasting watercolor flowers behind them.
I also connected the back pieces together using my favorite linen hinging tape and painted it black.

i painted the back completely black after the front dried.

After fussing around with composition some more, I decided that the black background was a bit too heavy and needed some relief, so I painted the top part of the black background gold where the pierced top of the towers show through.

After gluing down my cut-out images of the ladies and flowers to the back side of the front frame, I then glued the whole shebang on to the corresponding backs. I piled some weight on the piece to make sure they dried flat.

 I 'beefed up' the jewelry the ladies are wearing by using Liquid pearls and adding flat back crystals. The I painted some gold detailing around each frame, added some metal embellishments and gave it a good few hours to dry well before I touched up any gold paint. i also made sure that there were no bits of white peeking out the side of the piece and touched up the black where I need to.

Triptych-Tower Top

Additional supplies:
Acrylic paint
Liquid Pearls
Bronzini Portraits
Floral collage sheets
Metals embellishments
Linen Hinging tape

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fairy Tale Trio

A trio of lovely fairy tale ladies to brighten your day. Or not.
The interesting thing about these ladies is that all the images are a bit ambiguous.

Lets take the one called 'The Fairest'. She's beautiful, but does she really look like a nice person?
And what about 'Poison Apple'? Is she about to bite into that apple or give it to some unsuspecting princess?
Hmmmm. The Queen has a rather pleasant face. She may not be evil. Who can tell?
There is always more than one way to tell a story.
I'll let you create your own!

I started out with three of the Blank Altoid Tins without the lids and used the Fairy Tale Frames Altoid Insert Set to create the outer frames around each tin. I painted the frames with pearlescent paints for richness and set them aside to apply after the background were in.
All the tins are covered on the outside with a dark, neutral paper. I used an old G45 Botanicabella paper called Secret Garden, but you can use anything you choose.
The backgrounds inside the tins are wonderful collage paper backgrounds from Alpha Stamps and are as follows;
Poison Apple is Forest Theatre Backdrops Collage Sheet
The Queen is Parrish Castles Collage Sheet
The Fairest is Grimm Covers #3 Collage Sheet
All the ladies are from the Fair Rosamund Collage Sheet
I used the little 7mm Round Red Cabochons as embellishments on Poison Apple.
The filigree pieces I used as the centers of the stamped brass flowers are the 20mm Antique Gold Filigree (for Poison and The Queen) and the Antique Gold Square Filigree for The Fairest.

All the ladies got a few sparklies in the way of some Swarocski flat back crystals and some Diamond Stickles.
And there was a liberal use of  Liquid Pearls from the Liquid Pearls-Neutral Colors Set in gold and white opal.
All the ladies were also put on pedestals (of course!) And I used the Medium Wooden Finial
painted with the appropriate pearl colors for each lady.

For a link to all the supplies used, click HERE.

Black Altoid Tins
Fairy Tale Frames Altoid Inserts
Collage Sheets:
Forest Theatre Backdrops
Parrish Castles
Grimm Covers #3
Fair Rosamund

7mm Round Red Cabochons
20mm Antique Gold Filigree
Antique Gold Square Filigree
Diamond Stickles
Liquid Pearls Neutral Colors Set (Gold and White Opal)
Liquid Pearls-Summer Colors Set ( Hydrangea and Key Lime)
Medium Wooden Finial

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine Plaque

Hello folks! Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I was inspired to make a fun Valentine Plaque using the Mini Display Tray-Heart. I chose this partly because when I was thinking about making a Valentine, it struck me as I picked it up that it's about the same size as a smallish box of Valentine chocolates.
Having had that thought, I immediately had to paint it chocolate brown and then the rest of the piece fell into place.

I started out with my usual coat of gesso and while that was drying I cut and glued the paper to the back piece. A nice rich shade of brown with some gold highlights.

I painted the top frame piece with a matte acrylic brown, making sure I got the sides and all the inside bits.

I cut out my collage images and played with the arrangement until I got the visual I liked, and them trimmed off what wasn't going to show.

I glued everything in place and added all the details........

I used Liquid Pearls in gold and pearl to highlight her jewelry and to make her crown really pop, I put a few Swarovski flat back crystals in the centerpiece. Now she really has a great 'jewel' in there!

I added Liquid Pearl details and some Dresden trim to the phrase and the curly top piece. Which, by the way, is a portion of one of the frames from the Filigree Frames Shape Set. I use bits and pieces from these all the time to add pretty details to my pieces.

This piece is pretty straight forward to make and it's fun. Hope you make one yourself!

  Mini Display Tray-Heart
  Filigree Frames Shape Set

Additional Supplies;
Acrylic paint
Liquid Pearls in gold and pearl
Various collage images
Matte medium
Bo Bunny Vintage Dot Scrapbook Paper in Chocolate Brown

Thank you for dropping in!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Stroll Down Sweet Street

Yep, the holidays are over, winter has us all in her cold clutches. What better way to warm up than make some snuggly cute houses for Valentine's Day? Lora here playing with the House Oddities Box and having a grand time! I love this kit! I love anything house shaped and the possibilities with this awesome kit are pretty much endless.
I decided to take a stroll down Sweet Street,  a charming little block of confectionery delights.

It was lots of fun using pink papers and lots of glitter! And, of course, chocolate was eaten throughout the project. For inspiration. Just sayin'.

The papers kind of remind me of the Licorice Allsorts I got when I was in college in the UK.
I wasn't over fond of licorice, but the sweets were so colorful and pretty, they always looked like they should taste like something else.

A couple of detail shots.....

I started this project by gluing the box together and giving it a coat of gesso. I usually like to do this for two reasons. The main one is that matte medium loves to stick to gesso, so it's very easy to glue papers down. The second is that there is sometimes what I call 'burn residue' on die-cuts and this keeps your hands from getting ashy and transferring it to your papers when you're gluing them down.

I pre-cut all the papers I wanted to use for each house, back and front. Next I used linen hinging tape to connect all my little houses together.

I made sure to leave plenty of space between the houses to account for the bulk of papers and ephemera I wanted to add. If you tape the pieces too close together, the houses won't fold up properly.
Keep the bottoms of your houses straight and even so nothing is lopsided.

I glued all the papers on the houses and trimmed them where needed. I then inked the edges and the linen tape so it would blend in a bit with the whole ensemble.

I collected a bunch of fun little doodads and bits and composed little house layouts. I usually don't plan this part, as it's more fun to just be spontaneous and I'm not locked into  a fixed idea, so fun things start happening and my project starts to get a personality.
I made a little flap with a message underneath by cutting out a pretty shape from scrapbook paper and once again, using lined hinging tape.....

I laid the tape over the house and measured out (roughly...it's not brain surgery) the width and length I needed and stuck it down.

Now it's ready for embellishing and a cute little message.

Supplies List:
House Oddities Box
Window 6 Panel
Steampunk Shape Set (wings)
Stackable Labels Shape Set

Additional Supplies
Bo Bunny Sweet Moments 6x6 and 12x12 Scrapbook Papers
Linen Hinging Tape
Paper Roses
Collage images from Sandy Gordon (Art, Tea, Life)
White acrylic paint marker
Matte Medium (I like Liquitex)

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fairy Tales and Secret Doors

I've had a lot of fairy tales running around in my brain for the last couple of weeks and they are ripe with endless possibilities. So much so that it's very hard to get them out of ones head! Not that I'm complaining, I love fairy tales, but they do seem to have a mind of their own and tend to go galloping off with a person on little side trips!
I was thinking of pivotal moments in fairy tales and wandered down the Sleeping Beauty path whilst playing with the Hidden Drawer Book Box and this project is a result of that.
That moment before Aurora touches the spinning wheel needle. Open the box and it tells you a story.........

I had a lot of fun using Lumiere Metallic Acrylics and Liquid Pearls dots for embellishing the cover and inside the box. I like the pearls in her braid.

All the papers were from 'An Eerie Tale' by Graphic 45. The fancy green and purple curlicues are from the Wrought Iron Set.
I cut up various bits to suit the space they were going in to and primed them all with Gesso. After they dried I used Metallic Olive Green acrylic paint (from Lumiere) on the inside pieces. The purple bits on the outside of the box I colored with Jaquard Dye-na-Flow Violet fabric paint. Let me tell you, that stuff is fun to play with! The colors are fantastic and they mix well with each other. I spent far too long playing with them on various surfaces. Including my skin, accidentally. It was a little awesome....The violet made my skin look really cool.....kind of like Violet Beauregarde from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

Wrought Iron Set
Hidden Drawer Book Box
Windows 4 Panel
 (Window is the medium one and used behind the old spinner and Sleeping Beauty)

Additional supplies:
Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paint in Olve
Jaquard Dye-na-Flow Ink in Violet
Liquid Pearls in Blackberry and Key Lime
Wooden knob
Swarovski Crystal in Aurora ( I thought it apropo)
Matte Medium (I like Liquitex)
Graphic 45 'An Eerie Tale' paper

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pretty Tags in a Box

Tags are such a great opportunity for embellishment, aren't they? Combine them with a box and the holiday season and the sky is the limit. As far as I'm concerned around Christmas time, if it's stationary, it's going to get glued and glittered!
Lora Mahaffey here chatting about adding a little Santa and Christmas sparkle to your holiday decor!

I really like this Tags in a Box Display it's a good size box and is, of course, perfect for displaying your lovely holiday tags, but it's also perfect for storing and displaying the wonderful cards a girl has received over the years from friends and family. Some of them are just too gorgeous to pack away and forget. This box allows storage and you can rotate the cards and tags as it pleases you.

The tags were lots of fun to make....I used a lot of Dresden trim and made fun pockets and pouches to stick little presents in. Lots of glitter glue and ribbon give the tags sparkle and texture. You can't tell in the pictures, but they really glitter and glimmer with sparkly goodness!

I started out gluing the box up. I put one of those big rubber bands you get off of produce around the middle to keep it square.

While that was drying, I flipped a tag upside down and glued three craft sticks to it, making sure that the sticks were even at the bottom.

After both pieces dried, I gave them both a coat of gesso and then painted the inside of the box white with acrylic paint.
I also painted the lower half of the 'pop sickle stick tag' so it blends in with the white inside of the box.
Then I started covering everything with pretty papers.

I covered both sides of the tag half way down, so that it's looks finished from the back as well as the front.

Then, with a pair of scissors, I carved the back half of a 5-inch bottle brush tree off starting about a third of the way down the tree all the way in to the center wire and set it aside.

 I then embellished the 'tag' and the box, decorated the tree and glued it into the box, making sure it was level at the bottom so that the whole thing was straight at the top.
I apologize for not taking pictures of the last two steps. I got all into my little Christmas groove and sailed right on by the picture-taking opportunity.

In the picture below, you can see where the tag is glued into the inside of the box.

A picture of the box empty........

And some fun detail that I added to a metal embellishment.

Supplies  from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts
Tags In A Box Display

Additional supplies
Various Dresden Trims
Stamp Metal Embellishments
Various Ribbon Trims
Glass Beads
Flat Back Crystals
Stickles Glitter Glue
Bottle Brush Christmas Tree
Graphic 45 Papers (The Twelve Days of Christmas and St. Nicholas)
Bullion Trim
Glass Pearls
Acrylic Paint

Thank you for visiting!