Tuesday, September 26, 2017

GSL Ed Team: RESIST Shrine Grotto

Hello creative friends!  Today on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog I'm sharing a mixed media art project borne of current news topics as well as individual experiences many of us have endured.  This is a personal piece for me.

If you'd like to see my Shrine Grotto step-by-step, pop on over to the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog!

Here are photos of the shrine without blurred words.  As I said, this project reflects my own inner turmoil.  I edited some of the more derogatory words in the photo above with respect to GSL customers who may be shocked seeing them.  Even blurred, I believe the message is clear.

Thank you for visiting today!


Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Used
Shrine Grotto D179G

Monday, August 28, 2017

GSL Cuts Ed. Team: Winter Tree

Hello Crafty folks!  I have my August 22nd Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts team post to share with you... er, a few days late.


This week here in Maryland the heat indices have been reaching the upper 90s.  It's awfully warm!  I needed a mental break from it and this wintery scene did the trick.

This was a quick project until it came time to make the polymer clay bird.  I tried really hard to make a proper cardinal, but it wasn't in the stars.  We'll just have to use our imagination, 'k?  He's red.

I used the 3 inch 3D Chipboard Tree from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.  This tree has delicate branches with tiny connectors.  I pushed my blade into the obvious connectors and held the tree up to a light to find the not-so-obvious ones. It worked like a charm!

The next step was to gesso the whole tree, including the sides.  I used a foam sponge and a lot of patience to go around each branch.  After it dried I double checked the branch edges and filled in missed spots.

On the next layer I dabbed white acrylic paint all over.  Dabbing it on created the tree texture.  I moved the trees off the leftover paint and let them dry on the spatulas.  This step was repeated on the other side.

When dry I put the trees together.  I had to use a straight edge to clear away excess paint from the grooves so the trees were even at the base.

I used a gorgeously weathered clapper from an old wind chime as my base.  A tiny bit of e6000 on the tree holds it to the clapper.  I added bits of moss to finish off the earth.

From tip to toe this is 4 inches tall.  It's so sweet!  I'm now on the lookout for a small glass cloche under which I will tuck this lovely winter scene.

Thanks for visiting today!


Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Used
3D Chipboard Tree 3 Inch #C1C

Other Supplies Used
Green moss
White gesso
White acrylic paint
White glue
E6000 glue
Polymer clay
Red acrylic paint

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

GSL Cuts Ed. Team: Love Potion Altered Tin

Hello folks!  Today on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog I share a lighter version of my year 'round skeleton obsession.  Our friend here is in love and offers you a little magic love potion... don't mind the tombstones over there.  His love lasts an eternity.

I started out with the GSL products I needed to paint/finish with wet stuff.  I cut the tree with a paper cutter.

I knew the skellie would hold something, so I snipped the connector piece at the ribs and left the shoulder bone attached.  Later I reinforced the shoulder bone with a spot of clear glue on the back.

With my typical finger painting style, I covered all the chipboard with white gesso.

I wasn't sure how the tombstones would look at the end, so I started with the general color I was hoping for... The silver was covered over with a Golden micaceous iron oxide later, then I used a tiny bit of white acrylic paint on my finger tip for a weathered marble look.  It worked out even though it doesn't really look like weathered marble.  :)

I finger-dabbed white acrylic paint on the skeleton, then used a tiny brush with a super-watered-down brown to age him.  I painted one small section at a time, waited a beat or two then dabbed the excess of with a paper towel.

I covered the love potion "label" on the paper with Diamond Glaze and let it sit over night.  I'll be honest that I don't love this product since it's prone to air bubbles and is much thinner than Ranger Glossy Accents.  I'm working my way to the bottom of the bottle because I can't bring myself to throw it away.

The love potion paper and the various edges were cut out and glued in with Glue n Seal.  I used a scrap piece of wood for the base, and screwed it in.  (I'm moving away from just gluing these types of parts together; you don't have to!)

Here's a look at the finished GSL skeleton, creepy tree, and tombstones.  The piles of excess chipboard and the paper-covered pile of chipboard next to the skeleton are going to be used behind the pieces to create a 3D effect.

The tree was glued in then I layered the tombstones and "ground fog".  I used regular white glue for each of these layers.

The skelly boost was glued on the back, then I added him to the tin along with his party hat!  The shoulder reinforcement glue is visible in this photo also.  It was just a little bit, but it made me feel better.

Ta da!  It's party time!

Here's a look at the back. I will probably add more silver tinsel around the edges.

Thanks for your visit today!


GSL supplies used
Creepy Tree 5 Inch #D127D
Skeleton Shape Set D136S
Tiny Tombstones C55S

Other Supplies Used
3x5 tin
Scrap wood
Fancy Pants "Oct 31" paper
Cheese cloth
White gesso
Golden & Liquitex acrylic paints
Golden Micaceous Iron Oxide
Stickles glitter glue
Crafter's Pick white glue
Ranger Glue n Seal

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GSL Cuts Ed. Team: Haunted Cabana Row Houses

Hi folks!  Today I have the start of a haunted house series to share with you.  The Gypsy Soul Cabana Row House Set is perfect for those abandoned shacks on the beach.  You know the ones I'm talking about... Let's take a look!

The Cabana Row House Set includes 5 fold-up houses with rooftops.  The first ones I made are "A" and "D", the two larger ones.  See how the "A" house matches up with the "A" roof?  Gina was clever when she cut these out.

I laid the house on top of a 12x12 paper and simply outlined around it in pencil, making sure both the front of the house and paper design were visible.

Using scissors I cut along the pencil lines.

The next step was to score at the paper folds and gently fold the GSL cabana house away from the dark laser cuts.

I found it easiest to use glue medium a little at a time in order to fold as I went along to ensure the glue dried with already-bent corners.  In other words, glue the first two panels, fold fold, then glue the next two, fold fold, then glue the bottom, fold.

Before glueing closed and inserting the bottom, I used my trust brown marker to even out the color on the visible edges.  Just to note, I didn't do it on the second cabana and it didn't really matter.  Anyway, I put glue on the bottom tabs and the side panel in my fingers then clamped about midway past my fingers.  Let it set overnight. (Check out the alternative method in the next photo.)

Alternatively, glue the bottom in AFTER the sides have dried, as you see on my second cabana here.  It worked better.

I used a scalloped die cut to make roof shingles, adhering them together with 1/8" tape.  Once I had enough for each side I clean cut each edge and painted the edges of the roof with black acrylic paint.

A lot of glue later the shingles were attached to both sides of the roof!

These haunted cabanas aren't going to have a lot of decoration, but they do need feet.  Both the feet and apothecary bottles were painted black.  I didn't want to handle so many small things wet with paint, so I put on my thinking cap and got a little clever.  Clever-ish.  You know what I mean!  I used a blade to press out the tiny tabs Gina leaves in the laser cuts, but left them in the original "frame".  This way they fell right out, ready to use.  I used flat glue dots (cut in tiny pieces) on the backs of the wooden feet to temporarily hold them to paper.  No black painted fingers!

To add a little texture and gloss to the apothecary bottle silhouettes I dabbed on the Ranger crazing medium.  Transparent moulding paste would have worked also.

Here are the first two haunted cabanas!  The other 3 in the set are smaller and grouped together will look neat.

Here's a quick tip if you use hole-filled dies for roof shingles:  The glue will show through even if it's matte.  Once you're sure the glue has dried, lightly paint over the shingles with watered-down paint.  I completely covers the glue!

Also, I like the chipboard left over after the bottles were removed.  The paper pad I used happened to have a collage of tiny pharmacy labels  so I'm storing them together for future use.  I'll finish the black around the edges and use this as 3D wallpaper in a shadow box cubby.  Neat!

Thanks for your visit today!


Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Used
Cabana Row House Set H1CR
Tiny Apothecary Bottles C47A

Other Supplies Used
Tim Holtz Paper Stash "Halloween Haunts"
Bazzill black card stock
Sizzix Big Shot and dies
Ranger crazing medium
The endless tub of Mod Podge I'd like to finish with one day
Scor Tape 1/8"
Zig 2-Way Squeeze & Roll glue pen
Fabri-Tac (on feet)
Harbor Freight clamps

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

GSL Cuts Ed. Team: Skelly Tin Series - "Be Very Afraid"

Hi folks!  I'm here with another of my 'Skelly Tins' for the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Education Team.  I think the Altoids Inserts Fairy Tale Frames is just about the best invention ever!  Let me show you what the next frame inspired me to create.

Isn't this guy fun?  Eh, a little unnerving also.  *wink*

I made the tin with most of the same steps as this 'Creepy' one.  You might remember I struggled a little using a new-to-me medium on the frame itself, so I tried something different with today's project.

Instead of painting the Ranger crazing medium, I cut off the used tip of a foam brush (that had dried too much to wash and reuse).  I dipped it in the medium and used it as a stipple brush on the gesso-painted frame.

It worked perfectly, creating texture and a slight sheen.  No additional steps needed!  You can see the direction of the sponge (I held it perpendicular to the frame) so I will vary how I stipple next time.  The frame handled the thick wet medium like a champ.

Here is the Skelly Tin series so far.

Thanks for your visit today!


Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Used
Altoids Inserts - Fairy Tale Frames #YB23A

Other Supplies Used
Altoids tin
My Mind's Eye halloween paper
Cheese cloth 
Dollar store skeleton
Black twine
Black gesso
Ranger Collage Medium/Crazing
Mod Podge (to affix paper to tin)
Glossy Accents as glue and dimensional effect
Fabri-Tac glue
Ranger Ground Espresso ink for edges
Orange Peel Stickles

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

GSL Cuts Ed. Team: Creepy Altoids Tin

Hello crafty peeps!  Over on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog I'm dipping into the dark side and dragging you with me.  That's OK, right?  Let's go!

For the project I used the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts' Altoids Fairy Tale Inserts.  There are 3 in the package.  I set the other two aside for my next tins.  Yay!

The first step for me is to rough up the metal to give the paint and adhesive something to grab.  Next I  gesso'd the edges since there is always a chance bits will show after the paper is applied.

 I knew the "creepy" would take a long time to dry, so that was cut out and glued to the laser cut.  I then filled the space with Glassy Accents and set it aside.

I decided which papers I wanted, cut them out, and inked the edges.  Mod Podge does great to adhere paper to the tin, although this jar is getting thick.  Can water be added to thin it out?  I'll try!

Ugh.  I put the inside sheet in upside down.  Keen powers of observation, Susan!  Since it's text, I couldn't fake it.  Luckily I had more paper and cut out a new one.  I think Mr. Skelly is laughing at me!

Once that was fixed I added the cheese cloth and random wood shaving curlicues with white glue.  I wanted to raise the bat up so I made a platform with bits of the extra laser cut chipboard.  Fiddly work but worth it.  Not pictured is the front bat painted with micaceous oxide -- this is actually going to be the bat's shadow layer.

I painted the Fairy Tale Insert with black gesso, then tried out the Ranger Collage Medium/Crazing for the first time.  I'll admit I wasn't crazy about it due to brush strokes and lack of actual crazing... then I tried to sand the brush strokes off with very fine sand paper.  VoilĂ !  Brush strokes gone and crazing visible.

 I used a little bit of watered-down black acrylic paint to cover the sanding marks.

Once that dried I put a fine line of glue around the inside of the insert and clamped it to the tin.

As that dried I gesso'd the base and top.  I used the large round disc to give the project more stability. On top of the gesso is black acrylic with a very subtle sheen and a few random swipes of quinacridone gold (orange-gold) and interference gold (bright gold) paints.

Glue those last pieces on and this is the finished project:

Thanks for your visit today!


Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts
Altoids Fairy Tale Inserts #YB23A

Other Supplies
Altoids tin
Wood candlestick
Wood base
Wood dowel rod end
My Mind's Eye halloween paper
Wood bats
Swarovski SS5 tanzanite crystals
Cheese cloth 
Random wood shaving curlicues (it's been around so long I can't remember the source)
Dollar store skeleton painted with white and off-white
Black lace scrap (spider web)
Black Stickles (spider)
Black twine
Black gesso
Black acrylic paint
Quinacridone gold paint
Golden Interference Gold paint (love this!) 
Ranger Collage Medium/Crazing
Golden Micaeous Oxide (on front bat)
Mod Podge (to affix paper to tin)
Glossy Accents as glue and dimensional effect
White glue
Brown ink for edges