Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here in Australia we don't celebrate Halloween like the northern hemisphere - although it is becoming more prevalent year after year. Even Woolworths got in special carving pumpkins this year, and I'm seeing more and more stores with spooky costumes for sale! Those who do celebrate here in Australia  basically use it as a good excuse to get dressed up in spooky costumes and watch scary movies (with the odd bit of trick or treating thrown in) without any idea of the true meaning. Read more about it here.

As a kid, the closest we got to Halloween was watching the cool halloween specials on TV - probably where my love of all things spooky stemmed from! One of my favourite Halloween shows was when the Simpsons did a version of my all-time favourite poem - Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven". Here it is, for the uninitiated:

James Earl Jones (AKA the voice of Darth Vader) does the Narration. Until yesterday I hadn't heard anyone do a better job of reading Poe's poem, then I stumbled across this reading by John De Lancie, which really captures the spirit of the Poem as Poe intended for it to be read:

Pure spooky awesomeness!

So wherever you are, however you celebrate it (or not!), have a Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Something wicked this way comes.....

One day whilst blog surfing, I came across this cool ATC project on Carol's blog. I'm a big fan of the gothic style stamps from Penney/Torrente at Stampotique and I love trading ATC's so it was a no brainer to want to make one of those awesome little ATC envelopes of my own! As soon as I saw it, I knew that it would make a great swap project, and I knew that fellow Stampotique lover, (and regular at Inkurable Stampers), Vicky Fernando, was just the person to swap it with! So, we agreed on 5 ATC's inside the pocket, and I set us a deadline - by the end of June - and we weren't allowed to post it until the other person was finished. Well, to cut a long story short, Vicky finished on time, and I got busy with one thing or another and left poor Vicky hanging!! So now, 4 months late (OMG!!), I actually got mine finished last weekend and sent it off! LOL!!

I had a lot of fun making it - it was great to go crazy and do something for fun instead of for a class or DT commitment - that meant I was free to use whatever products I liked without worrying - it was very liberating! So I let my dark side out to play and it played with reckless abandon! I went with my favourite colour combo of red, white, and black. So without further ado, here is my project (click pics to enlarge):

ATC Envelope:

I used Becca's great tutorial for my ATC Envelope, and customised it a little. I used black Bazzill cardstock for the envelope, and embossed it with a Spiderweb Cuttlebug Embossing folder. To highlight the web, I buffed over it with silver Metallic Rub-ons - hadn't used them in years! LOL!!

The Tombstone is a Cuttlebug diecut/embossing combo. Again I used black bazzill cardstock, and this time I sued a combination of colours of Metallic Rub-ons to colour it. I cut out the rectangle, and added the image behind it. That stamp is called "Rocky" and I stamped him onto white cardstock using black ink, then coloured around him with Barn Door distress ink using an Aquash pen. I then stamped a grunge background stamp (by Kaisercraft) around his head.

The flap is held closed by 2 screw brads tied together with some red thread. On the inside of the flap I've used some gorgeous paper that has a velvet damask print on it - very decadent!

So, inside the pocket goes 5 ATC's. I'll share each of them here, so brace yourselves - there's lots of pics! LOL!

"Miss Snottie Runs With Scissors":

The name of the main stamp I used here is "Miss Snottie". I stamped Miss Snottie onto white cardstock using black ink, and then heat embossed her with black embossing powder. I masked Miss Snottie and  coloured the background using Barn Door Distress ink and a foam blending tool. I then stamped over the background with the Kaisercraft grunge background stamp in black ink before removing the mask.

To give some definition to her face, I added in shadows using Copic Markers (C-1 and the clear blender), and used Kaisercraft pearls for her eyes.

The sliced-up background was a technique I learned from Julie Haaelemeersch. I saw a few ATC's on her blog that she did this with, and loved them so much that I ended up trading ATC's with her! I now have 3 of Julie's beautiful ATC's in my collection. :)

"Enter Here":

I used a Scrapmatts ATC background (a thick piece of card with a white front and bevelled edges. Not sure if they still make these, but I picked them up at a craft show years ago) for this one.

First I stamped the "3 in a round" directly onto the white surface using black ink, and heat embossed with black embossing powder. I then stamped and heat embossed "Enter Here" (from the Darkroom Door Gothic Arches set) the same way at the bottom of the ATC.

I masked off the main image, and coloured the background using Barn Door Distress ink and a foam blending tool. Again, I added highlights to the skulls using the C-1 Copic marker and a colourless blender. The edges of the ATC were inked with black ink, and the background behind the skulls was coloured using a black Copic marker.

"Mr Stripes on a Tombstone":

For this ATC I created the background using black bazzill cardstock and the spiderweb Cuttlebug embossing folder. Just like the pocket, I used Metallic rub-ons to highlight the raised surface of the web.

Mr Stripes (the spider) was stamped onto red cardstock with black ink and heat embossed with black embossing powder before being coloured using bleach. Because the legs were way to fiddly to cut out, I just cut out the body and used wire for the legs. A piece of white cotton was used for the strand of web that he hangs from, and he s stuck to the ATC using foam mounting tape.

The red frame is another ATC shape from Scrapmatts. I inked it with Barn DOor distress ink and embossed it with Fired Brick Distress Embossing powder which has a wonderful rough texture once set. When I placed the frame over the ATC Background I realised that it looked a bit like a tombstone. A bit of German Scrap border at the bottom finished off the look!

"Just Hangin' Around":

OK - getting a bit darker now! LOL!!

The base is black bazzill cardstock and the background is white cardstock onto which I stamped the text stamp (from Stampotique) in black ink and heat embossed with black embossing powder. This acted as a resist when I coloured the background using Twinkling H2O's (Cinnamon). I gave it a few layers and the result is a cool blood like effect that is nice and sparkly! The edges were stitched with some red embroidery thread.

That poor little guy is called "Head" and I stamped him onto white cardstock in black, heat embossed, and coloured his jumper with orange Twinkling H2O's. To get the noose to look right, I had to chop off his head and attach it at an angle once the rope had been wrapped around his shoulders and up to the top of the ATC. The red on the rope was accidental - just a consequence of the glue mixing with the H2O's on the background! He's attached to the ATC with foam mounting tape. Again, I used the Copic markers to create a shadow around his face.

The words were printed using my computer.

Last but not least we have....

"A New Entrance":

Again I used a Scrapmatts ATC background. I coloured it with Twinkling H2O's, using more of a dripping effect this time. 

I stamped "Mink" onto the background using black ink and heat embossed using black embossing powder. I masked over her, and then stamped the Tim Holtz flying crows stamp and heat embossed. I also stamped and heat embossed the quote (again from the Darkroom Door Gothic Arches stamp set) at the bottom. In case you can't read it, it says "Every exit leads to a new entrance".

Mink was coloured using a pearly white Twinkling H20 applied with an Aquash pen.

Phew! That's it! Are you still with me??! LOL!

So there you have it - probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I had heaps of fun making it and Vicky loved it!!

Thanks for looking - I love hearing from you, so please feel free to leave a comment if you dropped by! :)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birdie book giveaway!!

Hello there!

I've been playing with the new Love Birds stamp set from Darkroom Door, and I created a little mini hinge book - here's the cover:

And here's my favourite page inside:

See how small it is? It fits in the palm of your hand!

You can see photos of the rest of it, and details about how I made it, here on the Darkroom Door blog - and guess what?! I'm giving it away!

All you need to do to have a chance at winning it is to follow the link to the DD Blog and leave a comment there about what your favourite stamp from the new Love Birds set is! Too easy!

Good luck, and thanks for looking!


PS: Something wicked this way comes......stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stationery Box!

Hello again!

I'm back again to share another one of my projects that I taught as a class at Erina Scrapbook Store - a stationery box based on a tutorial at Splitcoast stampers. Here's what it looks like closed:

Pretty, but not very exciting. That is, until you lift the lid to reveal what's inside.......

Pretty cool, huh?!

There's a note book at the front for writing addresses or other important info in. The little pocket with the crown on it is meant for holding postage stamps, and the little piece at the front is a pen holder!

My version has 5 full size cards inside, 4 tags, and 4 gift cards. Here are the cards:

I used gorgeous papers and butterfly images from Collections Elements, and the butterflies have all been coated with Dimensional Magic.

The papers were inked around the edges using Walnut Stain Distress ink.

Some nice cream coloured satin ribbon was added to a few of them too.

And there was one plain one in the mix, partly because I liked the paper and didn't want to cover it, and partly to have in your stash to add to later when you have an occasion you weren't ready for!

The tags were pretty simple - just cardstock and some Collection border stamps at the bottom:

I didn't photograph the gift cards, but they were pretty plain too. A couple of them had a butterfly in the centre, and a couple were just plain patterned paper fronts.

When it's all folded up, it doesn't take up very much room on your desk. A handy little stationery set to make for yourself, or to give someone as a gift!

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Collections Christmas Cards.

Time for some more Christmas cards!

This set of 4 cards was made for another one of my classes at Erina Scrapbook Store. I used gorgeous papers, images, and chipboard wings from Collections Elements, as well as stamps from Darkroom Door.

The photos are a bit dodgy, because they were taken indoors, and at night. :)

The images on the front of the cards were coated with Glossy Accents.

The chipboard wings were painted with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paint (Picket Fence).

These cards are quite different from your traditional Christmas cards, and would be good for sending to those non-traditional friends or family members during the festive season!

So - have you made a start on your Christmas cards yet? You only have 2 months until you need to start sending them out - even less if you're sending overseas!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Pretty Christmas Cards.

Back in July I taught a class at Erina Scrapbook Store where we made some very pretty Christmas cards using yummy papers and stamps from Darkroom Door. Here's a peek:

I used acetate for the base card, and some clever positioning of the patterned paper to hide all the adhesive. We used the Star Background Stamp, and the Yuletide Vol 2 stamp set. Here's another pic:

We had lots of fun with stamping and heat embossing!

They've been showcased in full on the Darkroom Door blog here, so pop on over if you'd like to know more about how I made them, and see lots more pics! :)