Monday, August 27, 2012

A little more gypsy love

Well it seems I have been going on and on about gypsies for a while.  It seems there are a few more, with a story to tell.   I made these three pieces for the swap that Alpha Stamps is currently hosting with the lovely gypsy theme.

And here are the respective backs of each piece. 

I used a ton of my left over swag from my DT kit to make these little caravan pieces.  There is a ton of fun little embellishings.  I added all my filigree wheels with eyelets to ensure that they stay in place.   

I really love this one, I hope she finds a good home along with the rest of them.  Hopefully I will have time to post what I get in return.  The gypsy love just keeps on coming!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

My little lady of Guadalupe

I am digging through stuff that has yet to be posted once again in an attempt to post something!  I continue to struggle with production this month due to precious little free time and lack of mojo.  I have managed to do a few things this weekend for Alpha Stamps so I am confident my creativity is on the mend.

I made this small shrine a while ago.  It was gifted to my mom on my recent vacation to the Upper Peninsula and she really seemed to like it.

I started with the mini door shrine kit.  Other fun Alpha Stamps goodies used include: Virgin of Guadalupe Cameobrass cone feetlace edged bezel and lovely Guadalupe imagery.

You may also notice that I used both copper and patina guilders paste.  I added a few more brass touches with the sparrow's compass and brass corner.  A bit of bronze baroque Dresden border finish off the outside of this tiny piece.  

In order to make a halo around my image, I used a bit of shimmery trim under the focal.  I popped the image off the background by mounting it on a small domino.  This allowed for all the trim to fill the space.  A few tiny flowers were glued into the foreground of the inside.  I had to be sure that what I put inside still left clearance for the door to close.  

It may be hard to read in these photos, but I selectively used a bit of stickles to add some magic to the Virgin. 

It warms my heart to know my mom has this little bit my art stashed away somewhere!



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gypsy Love with full Art Abandon

I recently posted this sweet little gypsy love shrine on my blog.  It is a simple piece, and if you choose you can read a bit more about it here.

I received a very thoughtful comment on my blog post from a faithful follower, Joanne Huffman.  She stated, "It's a lovely piece. I can see it tucked away in a Gypsy caravan, pulled out in twilight and looked lovingly upon by an older man with sweet memories."  

I was struck by what she wrote.  My imagination began to wander and I wanted this little piece to find it's proper home.  I quickly made the decision to abandon my piece of art.  If you are interested in reading more about this fascinating art movement, check out the Facebook page, all are welcome. 


Now, to go with the gypsy theme I knew I wanted a creative wrapper.  I found a handmade doily that I purchased in an auction and I thought I would wrap it up "hobo" style.  A small card was made for the finder with my information as well as the art group's card and email address.  Perhaps the find will be recorded, perhaps not.  It is all about letting it go and not being attached to the outcome.  

I knew that due to the gypsy theme of this piece that I want to set my gypsy love free near train tracks.  A bit of wandering around downtown Kalamazoo and I had found what I thought to be the perfect spot.  Now, while it may not appear so in photos, this is a very busy spot.  You can even see the train tracks in the background too.  Call it coincidence, I even passed a tattoo parlor called "Gypsy Tears" when seeking my not so hidden spot!  I knew I was getting warmer.  This overgrown gated city lot, in the heart of a ton of cool Kalamazoo businesses, looked pretty abandoned and seemed to be the perfect place to leave my little prize behind.  

Perhaps this little Gypsy Love shrine will now find it's proper home.  No matter where it ends up, this was a very fun way to spend a bit of my Sunday morning.  Thanks Joanne and Michael Demeng for all the inspiration. 



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tiny Gypsy Shrine

I made this little shrine a while ago, and I forgot had not yet posted it.  I have been lagging in my art production of late, but I hope to get some inspiration this weekend.  I was quite happy to find something to post as I was enjoying a lazy Saturday morning online.

The base of this tiny creation is an exquisite shrine from Alpha Stamps.  The blue tint comes from my favorite, guilders paste.  A layer of acrylic paint and then some kromocrackle and I had a really nice textured shrine base to work with. 

Brass Filigree Corners, that were also altered with paste and paint, were added to the top portion of the shrine.  Adding this type of brass finding to any project is a simple way to add a very nice detail.  The imagery also comes from Alpha Stamps.  I love the scale of this particular sheet as the images are much smaller.

Since the shrine kits has layers, I wanted to cover up some of the evidence of construction.  I used a bit of tissue tape and then added layers of paint and patina color.  Another small detail is a bit of trim added for another layer of texture.  

I hope to head into my creative cave today and play with the gypsies a bit more as I am participating in a gypsy swap through Alpha Stamps.  Sometimes having something I "have to do" helps get me out of a creative rut...which I have been in for some time. 

Bring on the gypsy mojo!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yes, this really is my Bead Soup post!

Well, first off I am so sorry to be late.  I almost did not post anything at all, due to a trip planned after I had signed up for this event.  I really enjoy doing this blog hop so I thought I could fit it all in, but alas I could not.  I have half of an amazing charm bracelet completed, but it just was not going to happen in time.  So this morning, I took the advice of my crafting pal Joanne Huffman and made a simple assemblage with my focal.

Here is what I was sent by my partner Tanya Wiles.  The piece that she made from what I sent her is really lovely, so please take the time to stop by and leave her some blog love!

As I said before, I started an intricate charm bracelet, but just could not finish it in time.  The amazing hand forged clasp was already attached and I had already used up all those yummy flower beads, so unfortunately they did not make it into my little assemblage where I used my focal.  I know this does not align with the expectations of the hop, but I conceded this morning that something was better than nothing!  I hope you all understand.  Lori, I am so sorry!  Please be sure to stop by Lori's blog here to see what she is up to and also gain access to the blog addresses of all the participants!

Now, I really can't take credit for this idea either.  The house here was made by a wonderful artist Nichola Battliana.  She generously sent me a bunch of goodies a while ago and I thought this was the perfect venue for my cute little fairy home.  The concept was totally hers as well! :)  Thanks for the inspiration Nichola!  She makes wonderful (and way more intricate) teacup dwellings and sells them on her etsy shop.  Please stop by her shop to see her wonderful whimsical work.

The teacup in my piece was actually picked up on my recent trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  I was on the hunt for them due to Nichola's inspiration.  In the north country we have garden gnomes or wee people who help animals.  This cup was found at the last rummage sale I hit on my way out of town.  I could not resist going to one more sale that I saw across the street from my favorite pasty shop, and it payed off.

During my time up north I visited lots of spots that were "Pure Michigan." (cue music...Michiganders, you know what I am talking about...)  I spent time in Crystal Falls and Copper Harbor, I visited the monks for thier sweets at the Jampot and dipped my toes in cool lakes.  I spent quality time with extended family at our camp, ate thimbleberries and raspberries right off the bush, combed beaches for agates, and read three books.  I took in local art, fresh local fish and farm fare, paid respects to my elders and drank strong coffee over rich conversations.

The statement is so true: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."



Friday, August 10, 2012

Gypsy Necklace

I was thrilled to be asked to create a bit more gypsy jewelry.  I just cannot get enough of this theme.  All the yummy jewelry stuff at Alpha Stamps makes it really easy to make good stuff.

My start was with this fantastic crescent moon focal. I immediately envisioned a bunch of gypsy junk hanging off of it, although that is not how the project turned out.  I found that it got too busy, so I edited it a bit to keep it simple.

So to start I chose my chain and my clasp.  These were very easy to add by just opening a link on the chain.  

Tip:  when opening a jump ring or bit of chain, you always want to use a back and forth motion.  In other words don't "spread" the link, as it will mar the wire and make it look deformed. 

Now to embellish the centerpiece.  I decided to use fancy star bead caps as they are so super cute.  In my opinion, you really can't go wrong with any bead cap!

I wanted this to be symmetrical, so I worked from the outside in.  I was sure to use an odd number of links in each dangle as well.  Odd numbers tend to work better in art. 

You could always add more stuff if you were going for the eclectic look...more dangles, charms, bits of chain, anything really. 

I hope these easy instructions inspire you to make a focal with all kinds of dangley goodness!