Wednesday 10 July 2019

Ghost Town...

Hello friends...

Hope you're all having a great week and enjoying some sunshine and warm weather. Now if you're a regular visitor to my blog over the years, you will know that I LOVE all things Halloween and I was so honoured to be asked by Tim Holtz to create a few samples for both Halloween and Christmas, using the latest Sizzix release and today, I'm thrilled to sharing the first of these projects with you all. If you haven't seen the full release, and you missed Tim's Facebook Live, then you can visit his blog here for Halloween and here, for Christmas and see over 70 amazing projects from all the designers. There are also links to all the designer's blogs where you will find more details about all the projects, so that's definitely worth checking out!

So, the first project that I'm sharing with you all is my Halloween Invitation that I created using the Ghost Town dies, combined with Bat Crazy!

To begin the project I created a background and cut a panel of Mixed Media Heavystock Card to measure, 17 x 14cm. I then cut a circle from a Post-It note to make a mask to form my moon and placed this circle onto my card. Using Antique Linen Distress Ink, I applied the ink direct to paper using a blending tool, blending the ink over the entire sheet of card. Taking a second blending tool and using Pumice Stone Distress Ink, I then added a second layer of colour, this time concentrating around the edges of the card and also around the edges of the 'moon' mask. Finally, I added the third layer of colour, Hickory Smoke again concentrating around the edges and particularly around the outside of the moon to add shading. Once I was happy with the colour and the blend, I removed my mask to reveal the moon.

To add the eerie, mystery of the night sky I then applied the same colours of ink, Antique Linen, Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke but this time used Distress Oxide Inks and applied these to my glass mat. I misted them lightly with water and and then dipped my inked card in and out of the watery puddles of colour to form these gorgeous pools of ink on the card. Heat dry the card and if you want to dip back into the ink, then keep going until you get the desired effect...this is entirely up to you how much mystery you want to add to the sky.

Taking my inked card, I then added some stamping and used Tim's Tangled Webs stamps from Stampers Anonymous, inked with Black Soot Archival Ink and stamped them direct to the card to create the drippy webs across the top.
I then machine stitched a border around the outside of the background card.
Now we get to build this town and bring it to life and for this I cut my pieces from black Classic Kraft Card and then cut them again from silver metallic kraft stash before layering the black pieces over the top of the silver, slightly offsetting them to create the shadow of silver down the side of each house. To make my life a lot easier when I'm using these dies, I always add some Sticky Sheets to the back of each layer of card that I will be attaching and then there's no need to mess around with wet glue, it's no fuss adhesion. Next, I wanted to create some more eerie shadows and depth onto the houses and the church, and for this I used Chipped Sapphire Distress Paint. I applied the paint to my glass mat and then dipped my dry paint brush into it, before wiping away the majority of the paint onto a kitchen towel. I then took the brush and just let the bristles kiss the surface of the die cuts, allowing a minimal amount to colour the card. After the first layer of paint, I then used the same technique but this time dry brushed the die cuts with Black Soot Distress Paint. Allow to dry before finally adding a layer of Brushed Pewter over the the top.

To create the lights that shine in each of the windows I cut pieces of gold metallic kraft stash and attached the card pieces to the back of each house, covering each of the windows. Flip the die cuts over and taking the paintbrush you used to apply the Black Soot Distress Paint, drag the brush across the die cuts, catching the gold windows to make appear dirty. If you add too much paint, just wipe away the excess with a damp cloth or a damp paint brush and remove what you don't need.

I now have my houses and then cut the smoke and the trees...once from black classic kraft card, and once from silver metallic kraft stash. Layer and offset each of the pieces to create your spooky trees.

For the hills, I used one of Tim's old dies, Home For The Holidays and used this die to cut black card which I coloured using the same colours as I applied to the houses and using the same technique of dry brushing.

I now have all my pieces to build the village and to begin with, I attached my hills along the base of the background card, using foam pads on the back of the layers to create dimension. You can see the dimension the foam gives in the photo below...
I then placed my houses and the church into the scene, again using foam pads, placing the trees amongst them.
Matt and layer the artwork onto gold card, followed by a layer of corrugated card. The corrugated card is your regular kraft colour but I painted it with Black Soot Distress Paint, heat dried it and then dry brushed a layer of Brushed Pewter over the top. Mount the matted layers onto a black card blank.

For the bats, I used the Bat Crazy die and cut a selection from Black kraft stash before shaping each of the wings and attaching them with a dab of Matte Collage Medium, placing them directly onto my background, placing them around the moon.
Finally, I created my Ghost Town plaque and cut the letting from gold metallic kraft stash using the Alphanumeric dies and attaching them onto a banner of gold card. Apply a coat of Black Soot Paint over the top and wipe away some of the paint, allowing the remainder to just take some of the glow away from the card.

Mount the plaque onto red card and then attach along the bottom of your scene, adding two Hardware Heads on either side....
...which completes my invitation.
But no invitation is complete without the invite and here's the inside to mine. I used some handmade paper that I have and typed the invite onto the paper in this gorgeous handwritten font. I then added some more of those Bats before tearing the bottom edge of the paper and attaching it to the inside of my card.
I really hope you've enjoyed the visit to my ghost town and hope you'll pop back again soon...of course, that's if you dare and a huge thank you Tim, Paula and Mario for inviting me along on this spooktacular journey. You guys are the best and I don't know how you keep coming up with so many amazing designs, year after year but so thankful that you do!

Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:


  1. Gorgeous card! I love the dry brushing on the houses, very effective. Thank you for the how to.

  2. Emma, your cards would brighten any mailbox, especially this spooktacular invitation! I love the background you created with the moonlight and bats, the cobwebs were so perfect framing the top. The haunted houses really look sensational finished with the paints. I always admire your layering techniques both with the elements as well as the base card material. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and talents with us! xx

  3. Hi Emma! Great card! Just wondered what sewing machine you use for the stitching? I want to buy one just for cards - I'm not a seamstress at all!! Thanks Rose

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Rose and I'm not a seamstress either, I've got the machine just for paper craft! Over the years I've had quite a few sewing machines and none of them have lasted but the one I have now is the Brother LS14 and it is fabulous, I can't say a bad thing about it, it performs so well and I love it! Hope that helps... x

  4. Fabulous all the "special effects" with our favorite Distress Inks of course! Love every spooky detail...

  5. Wow. Your card is just amazing. I love Halloween and I definitely want to add some of these wonderful dies to my supplies. Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration.

  6. This is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing

  7. Halloween was never a favorite holiday, but in the last few years I've loved making cards for friends and family, so your tutorial with its clear details comes at the perfect time to get started. The background with the perfectly spooky inked and stamped paper is lovely. Love the idea of the off set of metallic paper, it adds so much to the overall effect. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Spooktacular invitation ! Love the stitching ! The red pop of color is amazing !

  9. Oh Emma, I so want to go to this particular Halloween ball - although I would be more than happy with just the invitation - lol. This card is exquisite and I enjoyed every little detail of how you put it together. The background alone is superb and then adding the metallic to highlight the pieces gives such a wonderful 'lift' to the houses and trees.... I love this!! Hugs, Anne xx

  10. Your town is fabulous and of course I pinned!

  11. This invitation is all out spooktacular! Did you do just one invitation or did you send out bunches? I love the inside as much as the outside.

    1. Thank you so much for lovely comment, I really do appreciate your visit and kind words and I will admit, this invitation is just a one off ~ I just made it for inspiration for Tim's FB live but if I did have that precious thing called time, lol...I would definitely make some more and send them out in bunches! 😀

  12. LOVE ( big big capitals) at first 'fright' ( sorry couldn't resist ;). Design, creativity , execution faultless. Frightfully Bespoke .
    BIg hugs x

  13. This is a very cool project. I love all the attention to detail. Great job. Thanks for sharing.

  14. This is a great card!!! Wonderful details. Tfs

  15. I just came upon this today. Outstanding! I love your attention to detail. Thanks so much for sharing!!!


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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