Wednesday, December 2, 2020

It's a banner! It's Tags! No wait, it's Ornaments!

 Howdy everyone! Getting into the Christmas spirit and doing a thing for the good folks at Alpha Stamps!

So, what is it? All of the above. I designed these tags so that they could be attached to garland or a stout ribbon and hug on anything that needs a bit of spiff. Hang the whole thing on your mantle or in a window, Christmas tree or door. Or divide them up and and hang them on your tree as ornaments, tags for a gift, anything you can think of. They are pretty enough to be the gift themselves. Hey, make a few pairs of really big earrings!


Here are a couple of groupings.....

This is a pretty straight forward, easy project that I had a lot of fun with. Here is where I started...

I had numerous sized tags from which to pick and I chose these large tags (6x3 inch) and the 4 1/2 x 3inch tags because I liked the amount of space they had for the images I wanted to use. And by the way, I love the papers I had to play with. It is Stamperia's Winter Tales and it is gorgeous, so go over to Alpha Stamps and get some! I think i may have used elements from just a bout every page of the 8x8 stack and a lot of the background strips from the 12x12. Love it!

So anyway, I used the tags as templates and cut out all of my background papers front and back for every tag. Then without a concrete plan other than the fact that I was pretty sure about what primary images I wanted to use, I started composing the pieces.

Some things stayed and some went, but I wanted to use some three dimensional elements and I love bottle brush trees, so I cut the stands off and using a pair of scissors, I cut the backs of the trees off so they would lie flat for gluing. Take my word for it, hold them over a trash can. Please. Just sayin'.

After I glued all the background papers on the tags, I cut out some trees and glued them on this tag. I tore some paper in a dark blue and glue that on top of the tree layer. Lots more dimension already!

I wasn't happy with the way the trees faded into the background so I painted matte medium over the tag (I used Liquitex, but you could use Mod Podge if that's what you have). After that dried, using a watercolor pencil,  I outlined the edges of the trees (not too thick) and gently teased the color out with a wet (but not dripping) brush, letting the color gently fade away.

Using matte medium before you use water on your scrap paper seals moisture away from the scrap paper, keeping it from getting soggy and fragile. And look! The trees have a bit of an Aurora effect. They stand out and it looks pretty.

My fairie girl looks like she wants to decorate the tree so let's go with that! I cut out a strip of patterned paper and glued it on to where the tree will be, you know, more layers, more dimension and it takes your eye to the tree. I used the same watercolor pencil technique around the edges of the the strip, to give congruity to the piece.

I decided I liked the 3D look the fairies wings had without gluing them flat so I gave them a bit of a curl and just glued her body down. 

I glued the tree down. It is sometimes difficult to add tiny ornaments to little bottle brush trees and this tree is only 2 1/2 inches tall. Soooo.....

I have a bunch of fancy straight pins with multi-colored pearl balls on the ends. Using a pair of sturdy cutter, I cut off the pointy end (hold it over a trash can and use safety glass if you have them) leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of metal. I dipped them into a puddle of glue and stuck them metal end down into the tree. They stay where you put them, which is a small miracle. After you do this everyting else on the tag is just adding little details like super tiny little iridescent snowflakes, lots of gorgeous German glass glitter and some Stickles glitter glue. I added lots of glittery bits with the idea that if these are used as ornaments they would sparkle and shine on a Christmas tree.

The basic steps I used here apply to all of the tags I made. I hope you give this a go and enjoy making them as much as I did!

For a complete list of all the beautiful, lush supplies I used from Alpha Stamps, click HERE


A Mini Tutorial on using watercolor pencils or in this case, Derwent Ink Pencils.

Both watercolor and ink pencils can be used, just play around and see which ones you prefer. I used a watercolor pencil on the Fairie tag above and these poinsettia tags were 'enhanced' with ink pencils.

Here's what I did.

This is so easy and so fun! First I put a nice coat of matte medium on the whole sheet of scrapbook paper. I like using Liquitex Professional Matte Medium, but you can use Mod Podge if it suits you.

Using a bit of the same kind of paper I will be using for the tags, I played a bit with some colors to see what I liked and how the pencils reacted to the paper. I chose my colors ( fucshia, cad orange medium, red violet, spring green, yellow green and sap green). This experimentation allows you to get used to how the pigments react to water (if you have never used watercolor pencils before) and see how the colors will look on the 'good' piece of paper you will be using without worrying about messing it up. Remember, art and creating should be a source of joy and fun, don't take it too seriously and don't worry about making mistakes. That is how we learn! Make a mess and keep going, you will improve with experience and experimenting!

This is what I put on my paper....I just roughly colored in a bit of the petals using a couple different colors and then using a wet paint brush (not drippy..swipe your brush over a paper towel -  it will help you control how much water you have on your brush. You will adjust to how much water you need on your brush to get the effect you want.

If you look at the flower on the bottom left side, you can see where I roughed in some color and am ready to use my brush to blend the color out toward the pointy outside of the petal. I did not color in the whole petal because the pencil color goes a long way! Better to start with too little than too much. Pretty soon you will be adding color and blending with confidence. 

After the flowers dried, I cut out what I wanted to use and proceeded to the steps in the fairie tag tutorial. It really is easy and I promise you, you will get better and better!


Remember, have fun! Don't forget the glitter!

Everyone stay safe. Thank you so much for dropping by!

Another surprise quickie step-by-step......

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

An Old Favorite, by Request

Revisiting an old favorite, by request. For the complete tutorial, click HERE



Monday, August 3, 2020

Little Summer Tag

One of the things that has sustained me in this crazy time we are living in is my garden. No matter how nuts and turned upside down things are in the world, things are as they should be when I am working in my garden.
This little tag is a small token that reminds me of what a special place a garden is and what peace and solace we can derive from them.
Perhaps you have a garden of some kind that has helped you as well. Make a little tag like this and stick it in your book or in your car our hang it near your desk to remind you that the garden will always be waiting for you.

In this piece I used four elements from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:

Here is where I began...
I glued the Tiny Bird House together and gave it a coat of white primer.

Using the smallest tag from the Stagger Tags set as a template, I cut the paper for the front and back and glued them on. I sanded the edges and inked them up with a little gold ink and a little Ranger Vintage Photo ink to give the piece a little bit of age.
I cut out the elements that I wanted to use in the collage composition.
Often these bits and pieces change as I go along, but this time they stayed pretty consistent.

I glued the portion of the Wrought Iron Set I wanted to use to the tag. (see above photo)
I then aligned the center of the window with the larger bit of the center of the scroll, which is to the right of the tag and glued it down. The flowers I butted directly against the window and glued them down.
I decided to paint the birdhouse green and after giving it about thirty seconds to dry (I hate waiting) I glued that at the bottom center of the window.
After the main elements were in, it was a matter of adding extras like the blue floral banner (which I glued on next) and the tiny paper flower buds.
I added little details to the bird house and dots of white acrylic paint.
I do love dots.
I also added micro beads by using white glue and a needle to guide the glue where I wanted it to go and then gently shaking the beads on the piece, thus allowing them to stick only where the glue was placed.
A pretty white paper flower and a bright green ribbon are the final touches to this cheerful little thing!
Hope you enjoy making your own!
Thank you for stopping by!
Additional Supplies:
Bits of scrap from Stamperia's Glory of the Garden
Grass Green Mocro Beads
White Acrylic paint Pen (I used a Sharpie Poster Paint Pen)
Paper Flowers

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Hand painted Little Bird Box

When I painted this wee Little Bird Box I imagined it hanging on a gypsy caravan. Thanks to Gina, the Big Boss of Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts for letting me play with your really cool stuff!

 Started with this.....

I glued the sides and bottom on the back and painted the inside white. You don't really have to paint the inside, but making it white reflects a little light and makes the inside a little bit brighter.
I glued on the front and top and painted the whole thing with a coat of gesso.
I made a hanger for gluing on the back out of some 20 gauge black wire I got from the hobby store  (the big loop is for hanging and the small loop is there to give the glue more wire to stick to, making the piece more sturdy) and glued it on the back of the bird box, making sure it was centered.
After the glue dried, I painted the whole box black. I used Liquitex Mars Black.
And painted the edges an emerald green.
I began painting the center flower by painting petals at north, south, east and west and then filling in the other petals. This makes the spacing even and pleasing to the eye.
Once this parameter is established as a guideline, I just kept painting with the green, then added touches of yellow and lastly, little dots of white.
After all the paint dried, I began to glue the craft leaves on the back of the bird box.
I glued the leaves on making sure they were centered, then put something with a little weight to it on top of the bird box to press the leaves down, making them dry flat.
Voila! Ready for hanging!
Thank you for dropping by!

Little Bird Box
20 gauge wire (or any wire you have handy)
Acrylic paint
Leaves for the back......I used clothe ones, but paper would work great.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Super Serious and Artsy Little Houses Matchbox Book

Hello everyone, Lora here with a Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts 
project using the Little Houses Matchbox Book. A fun and simple project I made using bits of scrap paper to compose a series of panels of ladies with crowns.
I struggled with a name for this one and drew a blank. The husband suggested 'Murky Madams' or 'Moss Maidens'.
I do believe his regard for my super serious art is rather irreverent.
Here are a few more pictures.
Perhaps you can think of a super serious artsy name for it!
For a little tutorial on how to compose a collage (it's easy-peasy!) click HERE.

And lastly, the back.
Thank you so much for visiting!

Little Houses Matchbox Book
Collage images from Sandy Gordon
Bits and pieces of saved scrap paper
White acrylic paint

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Sneak Peek at Neighborhood Facades!

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts is launching some fun new product soon! The fabulous Gina and and Moi collaborated on a little neighborhood street filled with unique houses and architectural features, called Neighborhood Facades. Ya'll know my love/obsession with houses, so this has been such a joy to play with. Here is a sneak peek at what is coming your way soon!

This is an enchanting series of six little houses of different sizes and shapes and a sheet of templates and details that have endless possibilities!
Check in with us in a couple of weeks for a look at the whole neighborhood and some great mini tutorials on how I put some of this stuff together.
Thank you for stopping by!