Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Welcome Arthur...

Hello there...hope you're all safe and well and looking forward to a little bit of Halloween inspiration!

As promised today we have a very special guest to welcome you to this post and if you saw Tim Holtz's recent Facebook Live showcasing all the new Halloween Chapter 3 dies from Sizzix, then you might recognise my feathered friend! So please, say hello to Arthur....

As soon as I saw the new dies, I fell head over heels in love with this one in particular because I've always been fascinated by the Arthurian Legends. One of my favourite tv shows from a few years back is, Merlin (I've recently been binge watching the whole series and have been in my element), and one of my favourite Disney films is The Sword In The Stone, and that film is where my inspiration for this piece came from ~ Archimedes the wise old owl, highly educated owl. So, I hope you enjoy how I created this halloween home decor project, something that is just perfect to hang on your door to welcome your guests.
To begin with I'll start with the frame and used a framed panel which I painted with Black Soot Distress Paint. The panel comes in two separate pieces, the frame and the baseboard ~ so I covered both of these in two layers of paint, including the back, and the sides of the baseboard.

Once the paint is dry, I sanded back some areas of the paint to reveal the natural wood, before dry brushing a small amount of Pumice Stone and Brushed Pewter Distress Paint over the top of each piece. I then used a small amount of Crackle Paste, which I smeared on with my finger to add an aged effect to the wood. Allow to dry and once the crackles appeared, run the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon over the paste to accentuate the cracks and also the areas where the wood has been sanded back. At this stage, I applied a coat of Matte Collage Medium over the top to seal the frame. Once again, allow to dry and to add the final touch to complete the frame, I took a small amount of gilding wax, (I use Treasure Gold Gilding Wax for this ~ colours; White Fire and Florentine) and using my finger, applied this over the surface of the frame to highlight the beading.
Moving onto the background, I cut a panel of Distress watercolour card, slightly larger in size than the aperture of the frame and applied Hickory Smoke, Black Soot, Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks to my glass mat. After spritzing the inks with water, I smooshed the card through the inks to create the inked background. If you need to add more colour, just keep dipping the card back into the inks. After heat drying the card, I added some stamping across the top section of the background and used the Tangled Webs stamp set from Stampers Anonymous, stamping the webs with Black Soot Archival Ink.
I adhered the finished background panel to the baseboard, added some Design Tape from my stash ~ placing this around the edge so that once the frame is over the top it will create the appearance of a mount, sitting just inside the frame. Attach the frame over the top using matte collage medium. At this stage, I always clamp the frame into place, using really strong clips and set it aside to dry thoroughly.

Now for the webs and I cut a few webs from black card using the fabulous new Spider Webs Thinlits die. I then die cut the same amount of webs from black card but this time I wanted to emboss them. So after applying the Embossing Dabber over the surface, I sprinkled with Ranger Ink Bone Mixed Media Embossing Powder, tapped away the excess and heat embossed them.

As Tim mentioned in his FB LIVE, these webs can be cut into sections so that you can pop them in the corners, which is exactly what I did. For each piece I cut a section of the black web, then overlaid one of the embossed webs, slightly offsetting it. It's a bit fiddly but the effect is so cool ~ it's worth doing!

After attaching all my webs with collage medium, placing them around the inside of the frame, I applied some more crackle paste and once dry, used the Walnut Stain Crayon to accentuate the crackles. I also added three little gold stars.
At this stage, I also cut the spider and hung that from one of the webs, placing it on the right hand side.
Before we get Arthur ready for his appearance, I added a banner with the words "Foolish Mortals" and for the I cut a piece of chipboard, the same width as the frame and covered the surface with some self adhesive linen that I had in my stash. I then cut a piece of silver metallic kraft stash, slightly smaller in size than the chipboard layer and after sanding back the shiny silver card, I cut the words from gold metallic kraft stash using the Alphanumeric Label Die set.

Attach the letters to the silver strip and then using a Crop A Dile, I punched a hole in either end of the banner strip, wrapped twine through the hole and added a Hardware Head over the top to cover the hole. Each of the hardware heads are painted with Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso and Black Soot Paint to create the rusty, crusty look.

Attach the banner across the frame, attaching the edges of the chipboard piece onto the wood on either side and using foam pads underneath to support it and add some height.

So we now have the frame ready and we need the star of the show.

Using Distress Watercolour card, I used Aged Mahogany and a selection of most of the brown shades of Distress Inks and Oxide Inks to colour each of the individual layers of Arthur's body, adding highlights to his feathers, using a black and a white pen but you can make Arthur any colour you want! It's your world and you choose how you want Arthur to look. For his black and claws, I chose Mustard Seed and Wild Honey and for his eyes, I used Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon and Tumbled Glass.

Once I'd assembled Arthur, I sat him on the branch which I cut from multiple layers of chipboard, sandwiched together to form one substantial, thick branch. For the final top layer, I used Woodgrain Watercolour card and after cutting this piece, I coloured the card with Gathered Twigs and then adhered it over the top of my chipboard branch. I inked the edges of the branch before attaching it to my background, placing it across the frame using foam pads to add some height. Once I'd attached Arthur, again using foam pads, I then added some Spanish Moss and Reindeer Moss around the branch.

We're nearly there and all that's left is the welcome sign and for this I used a panel of wood! To be honest, this is actually one side from a Vignette Box that I broke up as it was the perfect size and I couldn't find anything else! I then added a Stampers Anonymous Web Trim along the bottom of the wooden panel, attaching it with Matte Collage Medium to secure it into place.

To add some crusty goodness to the panel, I used Translucent Grit Paste and applied it around the edges of the panel and set it aside to dry.
Once the paste is rock hard, I painted the piece with Black Soot Distress Paint, allowed it to dry before dry brushing Brushed Pewter over the top. To complete the panel, I used the Gilding Wax to accentuate the pasted areas. Adhere two rusty painted Hardware Heads onto the Web Trim.

Using Mixed Media Heavystock Card, die cut each letter to spell out the word 'welcome' using the lower case dies. I cut each letter four times and then layered them together to create these thick letters.

After painting the letters with a combination of Black Soot, Pumice Stone and Brushed pewter Distress Paint, I attached them onto my wooden sign. As a finishing touch, i added a little wax over the top of each letter.
Finally, attach the sign to the frame, using chain attached to screw eye vignette hardware fastenings which I placed into the wood.
Place some more chain at the top to use for hanging your finished project...
...and Arthur is ready to put in pride of place....
I hope you love this project as much as I loved making it ~ it was such a fun piece to make and I think it has to be one of my all time favourites projects that I've made and when you think how many i've done ~ that's one helluva lot of projects, lol!

Happy creating my friends and if you have been inspired by Arthur, please let me know as I would love to see them ~ just tag me on social media and I'll come over to visit!

See you all again soon...Emma x

Recipe for project:
Stampers Anonymous: Tangled Webs, Web Trims
Distress Paint
Distress Ink
Distress Crayons: Walnut Stain


  1. This is truly a fantastic piece! Arthur looks amazing with his fine details and that background and attached sign are the perfect complements! I know he’s a halloween piece, but I have a feeling he could hang for much longer. xx thanks for sharing

  2. Arthur is my favorite from the Chapter 3 release...I too made googly eyes over him when I first saw him...Such a wonderfully perfect project and a fabulous tutorial to lead us through the make....haven't decided what color my Arthur will be yet...die is still on it's way...

  3. He is soooo gorgeous, i just ordered him because i love him, and you make such a wonderful piece of art with him.

  4. I LOVE Arthur's blue eyes!! Appreciate the tips and explanation of how you made this great project. Thanks, Emma

  5. this is just FANTASTIC!! Such a great take on Arthur!

  6. A very big hello to the adorable Arthur. Seeing him in the samples on the FB Lives made me go out and buy him. I love how you used him in this Halloween make, it is gorgeous - I think you have captured Archimedes beautifully.

    My guilty pleasure in life is re-watching all the Merlin series at least once a year! Hugs, Anne xx


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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