Friday, 20 October 2017

Foolish Mortals...

Hello everyone...

Today, I'm sharing my Foolish Mortals framed panel which I made for the Tim Holtz Halloween Inspiration Series, inspired by the wonderful photograph from the Ancestor Paper Dolls set and telling the story of  Til' Death Do Us Part.
The panel itself is one of the large framed panels that from Tim's idea-ology range and I started this project by painting the frame itself. First, I gave both pieces, the frame and the edges and back of the backing panel, a coat of black gesso ~ this will prime the wood ready for my paint. Then, once the gesso was dry, I used Black Soot Distress Paint over the top of the gessoed surface.

I allowed the paint to dry thoroughly before then dry brushing the wood with a combination of Brushed Pewter Distress Paint and a touch of gilding wax, just to accentuate the beading.

For the next stage, I used paper from the Halloween paper stash, cut it to the size of the backing panel and then attached it to the panel using Matte Collage Medium ~ at this stage I also applied a coat of the medium over the top of the paper.

To create the inner layer of the frame, I then attached Designer Tape, ensuring that the tape was in the right place and would just show around the edge when I attached the frame over the top.
I now have my base to work with and the next layer is that gorgeous cobweb layer. The cobweb is die cut from black card and then embossed with a layer of Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder. Repeat the embossing a couple of times, to create a thick enamelled look to the die cut but on the final layer, sprinkle over a small amount of black embossing powder before heating the powders to become molten and shiny.

I attached the web to the top section of the frame using collage medium.

For the base of my panel, I used some more of the paper, this time the newsprint design, from the Halloween stash and rolled it up to create scrolls. I then attached the scrolls to the bottom section of my panel, over a bed of cheesecloth which I dyed with Pumice Stone and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain, arranging the cloth so that it would also lie underneath the layers I was about to add. I also attached one of my favourite pieces from the Halloween release, those amazing skulls!
Moving onto the next section, I now created my coffin lid and for this, I used the lid of the Vignette Coffin Box as a template. I drew around the outline of the lid onto chipboard which I had covered with the wood effect paper from the Halloween Paper Stash. I then cut the coffin lid shape from the chipboard and added extra strips to create the look of wooden planks that would be nailed down onto the lid.

To complete the lid, I added a spider remnant rub and some small brads that I painted to create the look of rusty nails before attaching this section onto the background using foam pads to create dimension.

I then added my Ancestor Paper Doll and a Halloween Clipping Sticker over the top of the photo.
As for the all important finishing touches, I used one of the Halloween Word Bands, altered with Picket Fence Distress Paint and attached it to a piece of chipboard covered with linen. I adhered this to the top corner of my framed panel using foam pads and added a spider from the Halloween Adornment set, painted with Distress Paints, to just crawl out from underneath the band.
...and finally, I used some of the Bouquet Findings, spritzed with a little Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain and a tag, complete with Remnant Rub.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you've loved the creative process behind this was definitely one of the favourite pieces I made!

See you again soon...Emma x

 Cheesecloth and chipboard from my own stash

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Hello friends...

Hope you've all had a good start to the new week and you're enjoying Tim Holtz's Halloween Inspiration Series and been inspired by all the wonderful projects that have been shared by some very talented designers! You can catch up with all the projects over on Tim's Facebook and Instagram pages.

Today, I'm sharing my Wicked project ~ a wallhanging that would be perfect to display amongst all your Halloween decorations and at the end of the post, I will include a list of ingredients I've used to create this piece and I hope you'll be inspired by some of the tricks and treats along the way that can be used on your projects, whether they are home decor or cards...

So, here we go...the creative cauldron is bubbling and here's how I created this project!

To begin with I cut two panels of mixed media heavy stock card, 16 x 13cm and the second, 6.5 x 13cm...this is a perfect weight of card for this project and technique that I'm going to use.

To get that gorgeous wicked green background colour, I used Distress Oxide Ink Pads and applied a combination of Peeled Paint, Twisted Citron and just a touch of Iced Spruce to my craft sheet. Mist the ink with water and then taking your panels of card, swish the card through the inks, picking up the colour. Heat dry the inked card and if you need to pick up more colour from the sheet, go back into the ink, to layer the colours of ink.

Once I was happy with the colour, I heat dried the card thoroughly and then inked the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink.

Taking the larger piece of card and using the stars from the Witchcraft die, place the die in the top left hand corner of the card and run it through the machine to cut the stars into the card.

Machine stitch a 'wonky' border around the outside of each panel of inked card and then matt the card onto metallic kraft stash. The die cut stars on the larger piece of card, now shine through.
To complete the larger panel, matt the layers onto a piece of green classic kraft stash, distressed around the edges. I then attached both of the panels to the backing which I created from a piece of thick chipboard, again cut into two separate panels ~ 16 x 18cm and 8 x 14.5cm. I painted the chipboard with two coats of Black Soot Distress Paint and then once those layers were dry, I dry brushed, Brushed Pewter Distress Paint over the top to create a worn effect to surface.

Die cut the witch and two separate images of the cat from black card and run the die cut images through a Xyron machine, applying a layer of the adhesive to the side that you want uppermost ~ as you can see from the picture below, I reversed the die cut of the two cats, so that they face opposite ways! Sprinkle the images with Black Soot Distress Glitter and tap away the excess.
I attached the glittered images to the larger panel using foam pads to create dimension and added one black cat onto a pumpkin piece which I sliced in half and fixed directly onto the card using Collage Medium.
Add a bed of cheesecloth, dyed with Pumice Stone and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stains, to ground the images and to complete this section, I added a Ephemera piece in the top left corner.

For the lower panel, I used the Wicked die from the Vintage Spirits die set and again cut the wording from black card. I then used the same technique to emboss the lettering as I used on the Ornate Owl in this post, click HERE.
To complete the smaller panel, I attached the stars that were originally cut from the large piece of green card and used Collage Medium to secure them into place.

Finally, I punched two holes into the bottom of the large panel and two holes in the top of the small panel, aligning the holes on each of the panels so that they would hang straight. I added the mini book rings through the holes, joining the separate panels together.
As a finishing touch, I used one of Tim's Display Hangers, clipped it to the top and then used a Remnant Rub, "enchanted spells" to complete the wall hanger.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and thank you to everyone who has taken their time to leave me a comment on all the recents shared means so much to me to read them all!
See you soon...Emma x

Cheesecloth and chipboard from my own stash

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Bone Collector...

Hello friends and welcome to another brand new challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog. This week, our theme is called ~ IT'S A DOG'S LIFE and for this one, I think the clue is in the title because we want to see you use a dog within your project! So, it doesn't matter what you choose to make, we just need to see those cute or crazy little dogs make an appearance!

For my project this week, I chose to use a Crazy Dog from Tim Holtz, who has been framed in the moment of trick, treating and just a little bone collecting...
So, it's time for the new challenge to begin and here's how I created this piece...
I started by creating my frame and used one of Tim's Mini Framed Panels, which I painted with a couple of coats of Black Soot Distress Paint, drying the paint layers thoroughly between coats.

Once I was happy with the coverage, I then dry brushed the frame with Brushed Pewter Distress Paint, to accentuate the beading around the edge and allowed this to dry.

I then applied a small amount of Old Brass Alchemy Wax over the top of the beading to complete the paintwork.
For the next stage, I used some paper from the Halloween Paper Stash to create my background. I cut the paper to the same size as the back panel of the frame and then attached it by using Vintage Collage Medium, which gave it a slightly warmer colour. I then used the Ground Espresso Distress Crayon around the edges, blending the colour towards the centre.

To complete the background, I added flicks of Black Soot paint and allowed everything to dry.

Now for my little Crazy Dog, I stamped the dog image and the witches hat from the Crazy Things stamp set, onto watercolour card and watercolored them with Distress Marker Pens.I used the corresponding and matching Sizzix dies to each image, to die cut the dog and hat and then attached the hat to my dog, using foam pads on the back to create a little more dimension.
For the base of my panel and to set the scene, I began by using some of the super-cute Halloween Fringe, which I spritzed lightly with some Antiqued Bronze Mica Spray. I heat dried the fringe immediately and then attached the fringing along the bottom section of the frame.
For the next layer, I used some cheesecloth, coloured with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain. Once the cloth was dry, I arranged it along the bottom, placing it above the fringe and attaching it with Collage Medium. To complete the ground section, I added some moss.
I then attached my dog, using foam pads before adding a pumpkin piece, which I cut in half to fix to my panel, a skull and some Boneyard Findings...tucking them all into the arrangement along the bottom of my frame.
For the finishing touches, I added some die cut bats, taken from the Haunted House die set and attached these with Collage Medium and completed the panel with the perfect Halloween Word Band  Bone Collector, which I altered with a small amount of Picket Fence Paint to highlight the wording.
So, that completes my panel, the moment in time when this crazy dog was caught in the moment and framed for his crime of bone collecting!
As always, if you do need any further inspiration, then look no further than our blog to see all the wonderful creations from all the very talented Design Team members and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says StampYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for stopping by today and see you again very soon!
Love Emma xxx

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A Village Graveyard...

Hello friends! Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! Today, I'm so excited to be sharing a project over on the Simon Says Stamp store blog, together with a little sneak peek of the project here! But if you love all things Halloween as much as I do, then just click HERE to check out my tutorial for a piece of spooky home decor that I created using many of the new items from the Tim Holtz Halloween release!
Thanks so much for stopping by today and I'll see you tomorrow with my latest SSS Monday Challenge project!

Happy Emma x

Friday, 13 October 2017

The Hallowed Spot...

Hello everyone...

Today, I'm back with another sample that I created for the Tim Holtz Halloween Inspiration Series and if you follow Tim on Facebook and Instagram, by now you have probably seen the inspiration series and seen all the wonderful projects by many talented designers but if you haven't you can always catch up with a recap each Saturday on Tim’s blog.

For this project, I used the beautiful Ornate Owl die from Sizzix, together with the Cobweb die which I have found so useful, for so many of my projects during the Halloween run up and I hope you enjoy all the photos in this post, showing you all the close up detail of The Hallowed Spot. I'm not going to do a full tutorial for this post but I am going to share how I created the enamel effect on the die cut...
So to begin, I die cut the owl itself from black paper which I then embossed to create this beautiful glossy enamelled look to the owl. To do this, I applied clear embossing ink in a dabbing motion, over the top of the die cut before sprinkling it with clear embossing powder and heating it to become molten. I repeated this process another 4 times to create the thick enamelled effect. For the final layer, I added a sprinkling of gold embossing powder to random areas and then heated it for the final time.
As you can see, it gives such a wonderful effect and also creates a really substantial die cut. I then backed the die cut owl with a silver deco sheet, which had Cranberry. Eggplant and Gold Mixative alcohol ink randomly applied to it, mainly concentrating around the body area of the owl. To complete my die cut, I added a Halloween Token to the body, altered with Picket Fence Distress Paint.
For the background, I used a circle of black card and Antique Linen Distress Oxide Ink. I applied the ink to my craft sheet, misted it with water and just dragged the card through the ink, picking it up in random areas ~ I don't want the ink to cover the whole piece of card, I just want it to create the look of a misty night sky. I heat dried the card and matted it onto gold and black card layers to create a border. I added the cobweb, cut from silver metallic card and altered with Mushroom and Latte Alcohol Ink which I then attached to my background using Collage Medium.
I then attached my owl die cut over a bed of cheesecloth, dyed with Pumice Stone and Antique Linen Distress Spray stain, and added a twig from my garden for him to perch on.
To complete the panel, I used Mirrored Stars and a spider from the Halloween Adornments set, and stuck them around the image...
... before finishing the project with a Halloween Clippings Sticker!
Thank you so much for popping over to my blog today and thank you for all the lovely comments you've continued to leave on the projects that Tim has shared.
See you soon...Emma x

Cheesecloth, black card, twig ~ all from my own stash

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Witching Hour ~ Tim Holtz Halloween Inspiration Series 2017

Hello friends...

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments I received about the projects I shared on Monday, I really do appreciate every single word and it means the world to me! Today, I'm back to share another project that I made for Tim's Halloween Inspiration Series ~ The Witching Hour, which some of you will probably recognise from Tim shared this on his Facebook and Instagram pages last week!

Since then, I've had quite a few messages and emails asking me if I would share how I created the texture on the outside of the clock, so I thought I would concentrate on that in this post because once you have that technique, then you can fill the clock with anything you choose!

To begin with I took the clock apart, piece by piece ~ I recommend that you keep all the screws and individual pieces together as you remove them from the clock...this will mean it's easier to piece it back together when you finally assemble the painted section of the clock. You also won't be needing the glass front or the attachments for the glass, on this project, so these can be put to one side.

I then painted all the metal sections of the clock, inside and out, with a couple of coats of gesso, allowing each layer to dry in between.

When the gesso is completely dry, I then smeared some Grit Paste over the gessoed surface ~ I used my fingers for this as it gave me more control over the paste ~ I purposely didn't cover the whole clock in the paste, I left some areas smooth. Leave the paste to dry, I left it overnight before then painting all the individual pieces of the clock with Black Soot Distress Paint.

You might need to apply a couple of coats of the black paint to give a solid coverage and at this stage, I also painted the inside rim of the clock.

When the painted surface is dry, I then dry brushed the surface with a little Antique Bronze distress paint, allowing it to pick up the texture of the Grit Paste but not giving a solid finish!
Finally, I used the lightest touch of silver gilding wax which will accentuate some surface areas. 
Now that the paintwork of the clock is complete, it's time to assemble the clock and put it back together, but don't attach the back of the clock at this point as I would recommend that you do some of the work for the inside now!

At this stage, I cut a circle of paper from the Halloween Paper stash by tracing around around the circular back cover of the clock and then I fixed the paper to the back wall of the clock using Collage Medium. I also added my lantern at this stage, attaching it in place using Collage Medium.

Now that this part is done, I gently eased the back cover onto the painted clock but allowed the wire of the lantern to trail outside. This can then be attached to the battery box which I fixed to the back of the clock, so it's easily accessible.

To decorate the inside of the clock,  I used dyed cheesecloth (dyed with Pumice Stone and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain), floristry fibres and moss, which created my layers in the bottom of the clock and then attached my witches into place...these are actually secured onto an old cotton reel, which I then attached to the back wall of the clock, allowing the witches to stand proud at the front. I then added the various items from Tim's Halloween release and layering them behind and around the images to create dimension and to build up the layers. 

As the final touch on the inside, I added a Halloween Clippings Sticker.
To complete the outside, I added a key adornment, slightly altered to create a more vintage look and attached it to some chain, which I then twisted around the key and also added a halloween token and a spider form the halloween adornments set...
...before finishing the project with a skull, attached with Collage Medium and sitting proudly on the top of the clock.
I hope you've enjoyed how I created this project and it's definitely going to be displayed proudly amongst my Halloween decorations ~ I just love how the lantern glows from inside and creates a warm ambience to the witches market...
Thanks so much for stopping by today and I'll be back soon to share more of the projects I created for this series and don't forget you can catch up with all the projects and inspiration from the talented groups of designers, over on Tim's blog.

See you Emma x

Cheesecloth, moss, sisal fibres and chain from my own stash

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Scarecrow ~ Tim Holtz Halloween Inspiration Series 2017

Hello again...

I'm so happy to be here for the second time today because today is the day I'm sharing the first of many projects that I've made for Tim Holtz's Halloween Inspiration Series! I'm sure by now you've all noticed that Tim has been sharing projects from many talented designers, over on his Instagram and Facebook pages and for those who have missed week 1, you can catch up and see the first set of projects over on Tim's blog.

I've had so much fun creating all the projects I've made but I will admit, I'm so excited to finally be able to share this particular project with you The Scarecrow and friends ~ a freestanding, dimensional home decor piece that I created using a combination of Sizzix dies and idea-ology products from the recent Halloween release and if you stay with me until the end, there's also a little surprise with this project...

I think it's time to let you all know how I created this project, so grab a coffee, read along and I really hope you enjoy the creative process!
I started by getting all my die cut elements made and began with the pumpkins...

Die cut three of each of the pumpkins from chipboard using the Pumpkin Patch Bigz die.
To create one pumpkin, use the three separate chipboard shapes and glue them together, this creates a really substantial die cut, that will stand freely on it's own.
Cover the pumpkin die cut with a coat of gesso ~ for this project, you need to make sure the front looks as good as the back, so paint both the back and front as they will both be on show.

The reverse of the finished project
Heat dry, or dry naturally if you have time, before adding some colour and for this I started by applying 3 coats of Carved Pumpkin Distress Paint to the body of the pumpkins, front and back and on the stalk, I used Forest Moss Distress Paint. I allowed the paint to thoroughly dry between each coat.

Once happy with the coverage, I added some shading using Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Black Soot Distress Crayons. I started with Rusty Hinge, scribbling some colour randomly onto the surface of the pumpkin die cut and blending it out with my fingers. I then added shading with the darker colours, Vintage Photo first, followed by Black Soot. Finally, I used a small amount of gesso which I applied with my finger, just kissing the surface with the lightest of touches to create some highlights!
To complete each pumpkins, I used some paper wire which I coiled around the stalk.
Now for the star of the show, the scarecrow and for this I began by cutting one image from a piece of Distress Woodgrain Cardstock and two further images from thick black card, I used around 350gsm.
Using Black Soot Distress Paint, apply two coats of colour over the top of the woodgrain cardstock, allowing the paint to dry between each layer. I then added some highlights of Brushed Pewter Distress Paint around the edges, using my fingertips to blend the colour. Once the paint is dry, attach the woodgrain image to the second die cut piece, the thick black card ~ again this will create a really substantial die cut that won't bend or flop over when in place.

Taking the third die cut scarecrow, cut away the scarecrow leaving just the stand and the grass section, as seen below. At this stage, you will also need a stick ~ I used a BBQ skewer, broken down to size and then coloured with Black Soot. If you prefer though, you can leave the wooden skewer natural, either way looks perfect.
Attach the stick to the back of the solid die cut, using a line of wet glue to hold it in place. Also at this stage, add some foam pads along the bottom edge of the die cut.
Take the cutaway grass section and place this over the top of the foam. You now have your freestanding scarecrow which is ready for your project.
To complete the scarecrow, I attached a Halloween Typed Token, coloured the token with Antique Bronze Distress Paint and placed it onto his arm using a jump ring. I also added a Halloween Clipping Sticker ~ The End, to the base.
For the ravens, which can be seen below on the finished project ~ I used more of the thick black card and cut two die cuts per raven using the Feather & Raven Thinlits Die Set. To create each raven, I used foam pads placed between the die cuts which gave me a freestanding image.
By using a solid core black card as the backing, it will mean that you can reverse the raven and it will show black on the back and front of each die cut, so then you can have each of the birds looking in opposite directions, which is exactly how I placed them on the finished project.
You now have all your die cut pieces ready for this particular project... 2 pumpkins, one of each shape, 2 ravens, both facing opposite directions, and a freestanding scarecrow...
You'll also notice in the photo above, I have some cheesecloth or gauze which I will be using. For this, I cut the cheesecloth into two sections and then spritzed each piece with Distress Spray Stains. I used Pumice Stone and Antique Linen on the left and Antique Linen and Peeled Paint on the right hand section. I also cut a small piece of the cloth and tied this around the neck of my scarecrow, creating a scarf.
Now for the base of the project and for this, I used a piece of MDF that I bought in my local craft store. The base itself is 9.5" x 3.5" and if you can't get your hands on MDF, then a piece of wood or even thick chipboard, layered together would create the same look.

Unfortunately,  I'd created this project before I knew I was doing this tutorial but I'm going to do my best to explain this part for you and these are the products I used to create the mossy, textured base!

To begin with, I applied a layer of gesso to the mdf. Once dry, I used a palette knife to apply a good layer of Grit Paste directly onto the gessoed surface and allowed this to harden and set before moving onto the next stage and applying the paint.

Once the paste is dry, (and you can use a heat tool to dry the paste if you choose but only on a very gentle heat setting and don't allow the heat to concentrate on any area too long as it paste will bubble), use a paint brush to apply a layer of Pumice Stone paint to the grit surface. Dry thoroughly and then using a sponge, start to layer the paints by dipping the sponge into each of the paint colours and just pouncing the sponge in a dabbing motion, over the top of the paste. Continue doing this until your happy with the colour and remember, don't overwork the paint as this will just create a very sludgy look to your base, which is not what we're looking for!
Once the paint is dry, I added a little more depth of colour using the Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress crayons which I just applied to areas of the base, blending out the colour with a semi dry baby wipe.

We're now have everything ready to go and all you need to do is assemble the die cut elements,  combining them with idea-ology pieces.

To build the scene, I started by attaching the two colours of cheesecloth directly over the base, but allowing some of the texture to show through.

I then attached the two pumpkins towards the back of the textured base, using a hot glue gun and attaching them with a very thin line of glue. Attach the scarecrow in the foreground, again adhering him into place with a hot glue gun and add the ravens, attaching one on the left hand side, and the second on top of the pumpkin.
To complete the scene, I added dried moss and sisal fibres, both bought from a local florists, some pumpkin pieces and some broken twigs from my garden. I just placed all of these embellishments to look as if they've been abandoned and left in the spooky field.

I also added some boneyard findings, tucked into the base of the scarecrow....
...and as a final embellishment, I hung a spider from the pumpkin, attaching him with a loop of invisible thread.
So, that completes this project and I hope you've been inspired by the techniques I've used to make this 3D home decor piece come to life and as I mentioned at the beginning, the final surprise to this lights up and the little battery operated tea lights the I've placed behind it will shine through the pumpkins and create a very special piece for Halloween!
Thank you so much to Tim and Paula for inviting me along on this journey and to Mario for all the work he does and thank YOU so much for popping by today! I will be back here to share all the other projects I've created for Tim, so keep checking and hope you enjoy the inspiration from everyone who has been working so hard on this series!
Love Emma x

Cheesecloth, mdf base, moss, sisal fibres and battery operated tea lights from my own stash


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