"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18.2

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

I've had a fascination with gypsies for as long as I remember. Every Halloween, I'd rummage for long, flowing skirts, billowy blouses, colorful scarves, and of course the iconic gold hoop earrings. One year I used Mason jar lids (just the rims) for my earrings - I rocked it!

Over at Alpha Stamps, they're having a Gypsy Fortune Teller swap, which I signed up for. We're using chipboard pennants and collage sheet images from Alpha Stamps. For probably the first time ever, I've gotten started several weeks before the due date. As opposed to the day before they have to be in the mail. (See previous post God Save the Queen - that's me, the Queen of Procrastination.)

We are to make 3 different pieces and will receive 3 in return from 3 other artists. Yesterday I completed the first one. Actually, the first two, since I'm making a duplicate set for myself. I quite like the way it turned out.

I've broken down my process, in hopes you're interested:

I cleared my work table area (see aforementioned previous post) and laid out my chipboard pennants and the papers I plan to use: Weekend Market Collection by Bo Bunny in the 6"x6" size. These are beautiful, richly colored, double-sided heavyweight papers, perfect for the gypsy theme.

I wanted each side of my pieces to be different, so I chose 6 papers.

First order of business was to cover the chipboard pieces. Using gluestick, I glued the papers to the chipboard and placed them under an old dictionary to dry. Then I trimmed as close to the edges as I could.

The next step was to sand the edges. My two favorites tools for this are emery boards and the little white sanding blocks used by manicurists. I buy those in quantity at the local beauty supply store - much cheaper than buying one at a time in the department store.

After sanding, I inked the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Rusty Hinge.

Now on to the embellishments. I wanted to use some fortune telling spinner games in the background, and found exactly what I wanted on Alpha Stamps' Gypsy Fortune Teller #2 collage sheet. These two images are but a small portion of what is included on the entire sheet.

I glued them to plain cardstock, the kind you would use in your printer, to give them stability. Then I inked the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Worn Lipstick. After adding Tim Holtz spinners, I applied foam tape to the backs. The larger one has one layer of foam, while the green one has 2 foam layers. I love using the foam tape to give depth and dimension.

Next, the focal image, this time from Alpha Stamps' Gypsy Beauty collage sheet. I cut the gypsy dancer and feather circle from one copy, glued real feathers on the back to peek out from the front, applied foam tape and attached to a second, uncut copy of the image.

Then I added gold Dresden trim (also from Alpha Stamps) around the perimeter as a frame. I used Ranger's Stickles in Diamond to highlight the gypsy's scarf, and Stickles in Xmas Red to add a little bling to the "feathers" behind her.

After everything was dry, I put 3 layers of foam tape on the back so it would stand above the spinners.

There were 2 other bits from the Gypsy Fortune Teller #2 collage sheet that I used: "Madam Morrow's Fortune Telling Cards" and "The Gipsy Fortune Teller" banner. I applied Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Candy to both and adhered to base when dry.

The last step was to add the metal coins and violin charm to the bottom left corner, using matte medium. I have found that anything applied with a generous amount of matte medium will NEVER come off!

On the reverse side, I glued a card giving the name of the swap and my personal information, held by a hand-reading chart that I crackled with Ranger's Crackle Accents. The Crackle Accents gives a larger crackle pattern than the Distress Crackle Paint.

And Voila! The first of 3 Gypsy Fortune Teller pieces!

A word about the collage sheets: I purchase the collage sheet downloads for 2 simple reasons. First, no shipping costs, and second, I can print out as many copies as I want. Since I like to cut up and layer my images with foam tape, I usually need at least 2 copies, sometimes 3. So the download is much more cost-effective for me.

I hope you like my gypsy art and that my little tutorial has been helpful. Your comments are valued and much appreciated.

Until next time,


PS: There may be UFO's next time...


  1. That is sooo cute. Rock on Cher!

  2. Oh wow, I love the bright feathers so perfect. Can't wait to see these in person!


  3. Interesting project! Thanks for your encouragement n my blog!

  4. Love your gypsy. Wish I was playing this time but kept putting off signing up and now I'm too late and have too many other things to do. I'd love to receive what you've shown.

  5. beautiful! cannot wait to see what we get!

  6. Love your gypsy piece. Maybe I will be lucky and get it.

  7. These are fabulous! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I will read the comments to the grandkids tomorrow. they will be thrilled!

  8. Absolutely fantastic! So many layers of wonderfulness! What a fun swap!

  9. Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to look and to leave a comment. Now I've got to get in gear and finish the other two!