Monday, 18 October 2021

The Haunted Cottage of Oswald T Hall...

 Hello everyone...

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and now ready for the start of the brand new week and a new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! This week, our theme is called SPOOKY and we are celebrating one of my favourite times of the year ~ Halloween and all things that go bump in the night!

For my make, I couldn't resist using the brand new Village Thinlits die set to make a run down cottage, deep in the depths of the forest that was once the home to Oswald T Hall, a chemist and optician, and has many dark and foreboding tales to tell.

I absolutely love these dies, even when Tim first released the original dies, I've always become lost in my own little world creating villages ~ mainly because I love constructing and building things which is definitely in my genes, as my Grandfather was a master builder and architect by trade, he even built his own house just after the second world war, where my Mum and her family lived for many happy years and where I spent many happy days in the school holidays, visiting my grandparents and spending time with them.

So let's get started and here's how I created this piece...

To begin with I made my spooky little cottage...

For this house, I used the following dies in this set:

House 1

Entry way and roof top

Addition and roof top



Door and Door Frame

House 1 Roof Top


I cut all my pieces from White Heavystock card and assembled them to form the structure of the house with the doorway and window frames cut into the front, complete with 2 x additions, with windows cut into each section attached to the sides. The roof top to the house, the roof tops to the additions, the entry way and 2 x chimneys.

I used red liner tape to attach all my pieces, but you can also use Matte Collage Medium, which works equally as well.

With my pieces in front of me, it's time to start bringing them to life and starting with house base, I attached the additions to either side of the main house...

...and the Entry Way onto the front of the house. Once stuck, I applied a good coat of Opaque Grit Paste over all the walls of the house.

I then left the house to one side to dry completely. If you notice that it's bending, don't panic, I've been there and once it's completely dry, it will straighten out again.

With the house dry, I then painted it to create the stucco look and texture and for this I used a base coat of Pumice Stone Distress Paint, then allowed this to dry before stippling Black Soot Distress Paint over the top. I don't want a block, dark coverage of black paint, just a subtle hint with pumice stone showing through. Set this to one side to dry.

Moving onto the rooftops, I used the tile die set to cut all my pieces to attach to the main house roof and the addition roof tops, which I stuck in place, layering the die cut pieces, one over the other to form the tiled rooftops. I then painted the roofs with Black Soot Distress Paint, allowed this to dry before dry brushing them with Pumice Stone Distress Paint. Again, let the paint dry before lightly spritzing the roofs with Crooked Broomsticks Mica Spray.

When the roofs were completely dry, I then took the house rooftop and just tore away the side to make a hole. I then cut small offcuts of woodgrain card and inked these with Walnut Stain Spray Stain before attaching them to the underside of the roof to form beams. 

I then attached all my rooftops onto the house which also includes the Entry Way rooftop which I left untiled but painted in the same colours as the other rooftops.

I assembled the chimney die cuts and once again covered the surface with Opaque Grit Paste and when dry, I painted them with the same paints as I used on the house. I then attached the two chimney pots to the roof. In the one pot, I had some tiny cotton spools and I wanted to create a circular pot inside the square pot, and it fit perfectly. So after painting the spool, I attached it inside the square chimney.

Die cut all the window frames and the door frames from some more of the woodgrain card, again inked and coloured with Walnut Stain Distress Spray Stain. I then attached these with Matte collage Medium.

Finally, to create the shattered windows, I attached Mica Sheets behind each window, adhering them on the inside of the house.

So that's the house ready...

Now for the box and the lid for my house to sit on, and for this I used:

Large vignette box

Large and second largest Vignette Panel

Large Vignette Frame

I attached the vignette frame to the panel using matte collage medium, allowed for this to dry and become secure before applying Translucent Grit Paste around the edges to create texture. Once dry, I painted the frame and panel with a coat of Black Soot Distress Paint. Set aside to dry whilst working on the smaller panel.

I painted the edges of the smaller panel with black soot and then covered it with two embossed panels of card. I used Mixed Media Heavystock and embossed it using the Mini Cobblestones 3D Texture Fade. To add colour to the embossing, I used a combination of the same paints I used on the house but this time, I used a very light coverage of Black Soot, just so it kissed the raised embossed areas to accentuate them.

Attach the smaller sized panel so that it sits over the top of the larger framed panel. NOTE: The panel doesn't fit flush inside the frame, it sits over the top and rests on top of the frame ~ there is a slight gap on either side which you can fill in if you choose but you don't even see this and I like it the way it is. 

To attach this, I used a hot glue gun, applying the glue where the panel touches the frame, but you can also use Glossy Accents or Matte Collage Medium.

To complete the framed lid, I added Hardware Heads on either side of the wooden frame.

Taking the box, I covered the outside with Halloween Worn Wallpapers. I attached the papers to each side, with Matte Collage Medium and also applied a coat over the top to seal them. You will find that the papers aren't quite long enough to cover the longer sides but I just pieced them together and you can't really see the join once you've applied Black Soot Crayon over the top, which I did. 

Around the edges of the box, I applied Crackle Paste and once the paste was dry and had done it's thing, I ran Hickory Smoke Distress Crayon over the surface, and used a waterbrush to blend the colour into the crackles and accentuate them.

I also covered the inside of the box, but you don't have to do this, you could just paint it, seal it with collage medium or leave it natural ~ YOU DO YOU!

I also added Mini Foundations to the bottom of the large Vignette Box and painted these with a little Black Soot paint.

We're ready to put this together...

Taking the panels, I drilled a hole through all of the layered panels and then fed my tiny lights through the hole. I then attached the wires of the lights to the base with hot glue and placing the house over the top, I secured and fixed my house to the base.

The battery box is attached to the underside of the lid.

Once everything is set into place, I adhered clumps of moss around the base of the house, and also on the roof of the house.

I also added some tiny pebbles stones and some moss that I have in my stash and bought from a local florists.

For the finishing touches...

...I added my door knobs to the front doors  ~ these are Metallic Droplets and I painted them with Black Soot Distress Paint before attaching them to the doors.

I then added a small cross which I just made from strips of black card and placed this in the pebbles on the right hand side.

For the bats, I cut these using the Ghost Town 2 dies and attached three of them to the mossy clumps on either side of the house. 

For the fourth and final bat, I attached it to thin wire and then placed this to come out of the roof.

Finally, I added the house number which I stamped and embossed with white powder using the No. 1013 from the Rest In Peace Stampers Anonymous stamp set by Tim Holtz. After cutting it down to size, I attached it to the front of my house.

Finally, I placed a Halloween Baseboard piece onto the front of the box, distressed with a little Distress Paint to make it look slightly more worn and old worldy!

So, that's it for me for today and I hope you've loved this piece as much as I loved creating and building it! I also wanted to say, that I have had lots of messages about my Winter Village that Tim showed during the YouTube Live and I will be posting this very's on it's way so watch this space!

As always, if you make anything, or been inspired by anything that you've seen here on my blog ~ then please, let me know by tagging me on social media or leaving a comment here and I will be right over to take a look!

Don't forget that every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and keep well.
Love Emma xxx


Sizzix/Tim Holtz: Village Collection Chapter 4 Thinlits Dies and Mini Cobblestone 3D Texture Fade, Ghost Town 2

Stampers Anonymous/ Tim Holtz: Rest In Peace

Distress CrayonsHickory Smoke, Black Soot

Distress Spray Stain: Walnut Stain

Mica Spray

Distress PaintBlack Soot, Pumice Stone, Peeled Paint

Idea-ology: Halloween Worn WallpaperVignette BoxVignette Panels Halloween BaseboardsTiny LightsHalloween Ephemera PackHalloween SnippetsCuriosities Sticker Book, Metallic Droplets, Hardware Heads, vignette Frames, Mini Foundations

Surfaces: White Heavystock Card, Woodgrain Card

Mediums: Crackle PasteMatte Collage MediumTranslucent Grit Paste, Opaque Grit Paste, SSS White Embossing Powder

Tools: Heat GunGlass MatWaterbrushCollage Brush, Glue Gun

Moss, mica sheets, wire, pebbles and floristry fibres from my own stash

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

The Stranger Within...

Hello friends...

As Halloween is fast approaching, I'm sharing one of the projects that I made for Tim Holtz's idea-ology YouTube live! I've received so many messages about this particular piece and I know some of you have been waiting to see it in detail, so it's finally here and I hope you enjoy your visit to meet the librarian, a woman with hidden secrets and darkness that lies beneath! 

So let's get started and in the photos below, I have shown the make with the lantern that is on the right hand side ~ lit, and with it not lit!

There is a lot of detail to this make, so I want to try and break it down into smaller sections and we'll start with the stacked boxes and I used three different sized vignette boxes ~ the largest, the second smallest and the smallest.


I prepped all my boxes before assembling them and starting with the largest box, I flipped it around to use the solid side of the box, I painted the inside of the box, which will become the back with Black Soot Distress Paint and once dry, I covered the front and sides with Halloween Worn Wallpaper, two different patterns, and adhered the panels with Matte Collage Medium, which is my chosen adhesive and is used throughout my make.

Using the remaining boxes, with the opening at the front, I painted the backs with Black Soot to match the large box, and then covered the sides with the same papers as I used on the large box. Seal all the boxes with a coat of Matte Collage Medium.

For the base, I used the largest sized Vignette Panel, which I covered with paper from the Halloween Backdrops and sealed with a coat of the medium. Once dry, I added some Translucent Grit Paste around the edges and allowed this to dry, before applying Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to colour the paste.

To form the stack, I attached the second smallest box on top of the larger one, placing it towards the back edge of the box, so they are all flush if you turn the boxes around. 

I then attached the stack to the covered base panel, arranging them to the right hand side of the base. 

Then, I attached the remaining small box so that it fits on the left hand side, slightly overlapping the edge of the larger box so it is staggered.

At this stage, I applied some Crackle Paste to the front edges of the small vignette box, allowed it to do it's thing and then coloured it with Walnut Stain Distress Crayon.

To create the torn edges that you can see around the boxes, I ripped some small sections of the paper that I had leftover and curled the torn edges of these pieces, inked them with Walnut Stain Distress Crayon and then, adhered them into place, adding them around the edges on the front of the box. 

To add even more texture, I applied some Crackle Paste to the sides and also on the front, paying particular attention to the ripped areas, and allowed this to dry before applying Walnut Stain and Gathered Twigs Distress Crayon over the top of the paste, blending away any harsh lines of colour with a waterbrush and allowing the crayon to sink into the crackle and accentuate it.

Before adding any embellishments, I would advise that you drill the hole for the tiny lights and you can see the placement of the hole where I fed the wire through and the formation of boxes in the photo below.

Your structure is now ready to bring to life but the very last thing I did was to neaten up the back, and for this I used the pinked edge Design Tape from last year. If you don't have any of this tape, you can use any of Tim's Design Tape but this step is not a necessity, it just made it look finished.

Moving on...


In the attic of the library, which is painted inside with Black Soot Distress Paint, I added the Halloween Baseboard pieces, 31. These are two separate pieces and I applied Translucent Grit Paste around the edges, and once dry I painted them with a combination of Crackling Campfire and Black Soot Distress paint to create a rusty look to the edges. I then attached them inside the box, using foam pads.

For the frame, I used one of the new Window Frames Baseboard pieces and I placed some Mica Sheets behind the frame to create the look of broken glass. I then attached the frame to the front of the Vignette Box.

To form the window ledge, I used a Pinked Etcetera Trim that I crackled with Crackle Paste, and once dry, I attached this to the bottom of the frame.

At the top of the frame, I added a Web Trim. I painted this with Black Soot Distress Paint and then spritzed a light coverage of Crooked Broomsticks Mica Spray over the surface. Once it was dry, I attached the EW Halloween Snippets Ephemera piece in the centre and then attached the trim to the top of my box. To finish the box, I added some Hardware Heads either side.

The final detail on this section is to add some Translucent Grit Paste all around the edges of teh box, and frame. For me this almost acts as a cement to fill in any cracks and crevices and also makes sure that the frame and trims are securely fixed into place. The paste is coloured with Distress Paint as before.

To fill the box, I used some Coconut Fibres which I bought from the floristry section in my local craft store. I attached these with clumps of moss and places them to tumble out of the window frame. I completed the frame with a skull, placed and attached on the left hand side.


On the back of the large box, I attached a Halloween Word Plaque. I painted this with Speckled Egg Distress Paint and once the paint was slightly tacky, I removed the paint from the letters before adding Rust and Black Soot Alcohol Inks around the edges. I then placed a Hardware Head either side of the plaque to create the appearance it's nailed into the wood.

We're now ready to build the scene...starting with the tiny books.


For those who have followed me for a while, I actually made some tiny books last year, click HERE to see the project, but this time, Tim has made it easier for us and he's actually produced scaled down book covers in the Halloween Ephemera pack. Once I had scored each of the ephemera pieces, to form the book covers, I added the pages inside.

For this, I used old book paper and cut each piece to the same size as the tiny book cover. Layer each of the tiny pieces of book paper over one another, attaching them with matte collage medium and then adhere them inside the book cover. I then curled and scuffed the edges of the book paper, before inking them with Walnut Stain Ink.

attached the books on top of the small vignette box on the left, placing them over a bed of Mummy Cloth and piling them on top of one another, adding the final book to lean by the side of the stack.

Next to the books, I placed a couple of Boneyard Findings, tied together with twine and then attached to the shelf.


On the right hand side, I attached my lantern. I wanted a rusty finish to the metal and for this, I used Crackling Campfire, Antiqued Bronze, Black Soot, Speckled Egg, Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso Distress Paint, layering each colour of paint over the top of one another, drying in between layers and building up the rusty colour. Allow for the paint to dry before adding the lights.

You have the lights already fed through from the back and will need as many lights as fit inside the lantern ~ I think I used about four or five, which I twisted and then placed inside. With the lights in place, I then attached the lantern to my base.


I'm sure you'll have seen my bottles on previous projects and I have a many tutorials showing these, including this one from last year ~ Open Day or Night.

I used various sizes and shapes of corked vials and following the same technique as in my previous project, I added the crackle before then colouring them with alcohol inks. The fun part about applying the inks, you can make the bottles any colour you choose, just go with what you love.

I placed a couple of the bottles inside the small vignette box, holding back some more of bottles that will be placed in front of the gate. All the bottles are labelled using the amazing new Halloween Snippets, and I just attach these to the fronts with matte collage medium.


I can now fix the gate into position. I used one gate from the set of two and after adding some Translucent Grit Paste to the metal and allowing this to dry, I coloured it with the same paints as I used on the lantern to create the rusty appearance. I then attached my gate to the edge of the box, placing it at a slight angle to look as if it's open.

Using one of the keys from the Lock and Keys idea-ology set, I gave it the rusty paint treatment with the same colours of paint, and hung this from a metal chain, and attached this to the gate.

I then attached the remaining bottles in front of the gate.


We're nearly there and after choosing my paper doll, which is really what inspired this piece as she has a book in her hand, I added a colour tint to the doll with Distress Crayons and then I attached her to my make. I added an acetate bracket to create support for the doll and placed this on the back of the paper doll, attaching the other side of the bracket to the vignette box. Once again I have a tutorial for how I do this, HERE.

Final details, I added a Drippy Candle placed on the Candle Stand and attached this to my base, to the left of the paper doll and then I added clumps of moss, and coconut fibres around the embellishments. 

Finally I used a Floral Adornment and attached this to the right of the base. In the centre I added a Creepy Eye ~ I popped the coloured part from the white surround and just used this.

For the finishing touch, I placed a Curiosities Clippings Sticker, "Office, 36 St" along the edge of the base.

So that's it from me for today and I hope you've loved the visit to my creepy library...I'm sure this librarian has enjoyed showing you around and welcomes you again soon ~ if you dare!

See you soon, take care and stay Emma xx


Distress Crayons: Walnut Stain, Gathered Twigs

Mica Spray

Distress PaintSpeckled Egg, Crackling Campfire, Antiqued Bronze, Black Soot, Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso 

Idea-ology: Window Frames BaseboardsDrippy Candles, Candle Stands, Halloween Word Plaques, Ornate Metal Gate, Creepy Eyes, Lantern, Mummy Cloth, Halloween Worn Wallpaper, Lock and Key AdornmentsCorked Vials, Boneyard FindingsVignette Box, Vignette Panels, Skulls and Pumpkins, Halloween Baseboards, Halloween Backdrops, Tiny Lights, Halloween Ephemera Pack, Halloween Snippets, Paper Dolls, Curiosities Sticker Book, Floral Adornment

Mediums: Crackle Paste, Matte Collage Medium, Translucent Grit Paste

Alcohol Inks: Rust, Pitch Black

Stampers Anonymous: Web Trims, Pinked Etcetera Trims

Tools: Heat Gun, Glass Mat, Black Foam Tape, Waterbrush, Collage Brush

Moss and floristry fibres from my own stash

Powered By Blogger

Total Pageviews