Monday 13 July 2020

The Raven....

Happy Monday friends!

Hope you are all safe and well and had a lovely weekend!

Today, we start the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week our theme is called, Early Bird and we hope you and your feathered friends will join us and play along!

When I started thinking about this challenge, I'd just finished creating some Halloween pieces for Tim Holtz's Sizzix Chapter 3 Facebook Live and was definitely in the mood for some more magic creativity. So, with this in mind, I thought I would be an "early bird" and start making some Halloween pieces and as my focal point, I decided to use the Feathered Friends die from Tim, but this time it wouldn't be a cute, pretty little bird...oh no, it was time to go darker, much MUCH darker and I welcome you to the raven....
So, let's get started because the new challenge has begun...

To begin with I took the mini etcetera tag and applied a coat of gesso to prime the surface. Once the tag was dry, I added some Distress Translucent Paste around the edges to create texture and again, let this dry before applying a coat of Hickory Smoke Distress Paint over the top.

As soon as the paste is set, I usually give it a blast with my heat gun to make sure it's rock hard before then using a paint brush to dry brush Black Soot over the top. This helps to give a textural look to the painted surface of the tag.

Once again, I allowed it to dry and then applied some Crackle Paste to the surface. Once the crackles have appeared, you know you are good to go and to accentuate the texture, I used the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon, over the top of the paste, and with a dampened finger, just blended the colour into the cracks.
To complete the background, I added a touch of Vintage Gold Alchemy Wax over the top of the Grit Paste, just to highlight it against the dark background and give it some definition. I painted the hole reinforcer piece with Black Soot Distress Paint, added a touch of metallic wax over the top and attached it to the tag.

To create the ledge that the bird will stand on, I used one small Etcetera web trim, a straight edged piece from the same set and a small Etcetera bracket trim. I painted these with a combination of Ground Espresso, Antiqued Bronze and Black Soot Distress Paints and once dry, I added some wax over the top. Assemble the trims onto the tag, placing the straight edged trim to slightly overlap the edges and then attaching the Web Trim onto it and finally placing the bracket trim at a 90 degree angle, to form the ledge.
Moving onto the wreath and for this I used all the dies from the Funky Wreath Thinlit Die set and cut the pieces from black card. To carry through the metallic theme of this piece, I then applied some waxes over the surface of each die cut ~ Fire BirdOld SilverVintage GoldBronze Age.
This creates such a beautiful look to the surface of the die cuts, and to the overall look of the wreath.
I assembled the wreath by layering the larger, leafy wreath over the smaller twiggy wreath and added all the extra foliage to spray out from the circle.

Behind the wreath, I placed a mirror and for this I used Mirrored Sheets and cut a piece slightly larger than the aperture in the wreath. I then used sandpaper to slightly scratch the surface of the mirror before applying a small amount of Rock Candy Crackle Paint to the surface. Once the paint was dry and the crackles had appeared, I applied Mushroom Alcohol Ink directly to the surface, using the applicator tool and then dripped a small amount of the ink over the top. Place the mirror behind the wreath, attaching it with Matte Collage Medium before adhering it to the tag using foam pads.
I cut the spider from black card using the Spider Web Thinlits die set. I then applied the Embossing Dabber over the top and sprinkled the thread of the web with Bone Mixed Media Embossing Powder and the spider itself with Black Embossing Powder. I heat embossed the powder until molten and then attached it to my wreath, hanging it from the top.
I also added another little spider underneath the ledge.

Now for the bird and I used the larger bird from the Feathered Friends set to cut Mixed Media Heavystock card, coloured with Black Soot Distress Paint. I added highlights to create the feathers using gesso and Polychromos pencil, before adding a black pearl to create the eye. To strengthen the bird so that he would stand freely, I cut another piece of black card and layered this behind my finished die cut.
I attached the bird to the ledge with hot glue along the edge of his feet and then created an acetate bracket, which you can see how I made in this tutorial for Simon Says Stamp. To complete the arrangement I placed mummy cloth, moss and fibres around his feet. 
Just to the left, I then added some Boneyard Findings, and a skull fragment.
We're almost there and all that's left is details....
I attached the Halloween Adornments Word Band, complete with Hardware Heads either side, above the wreath. To give colour to the pewter metal, I used some more of the waxes and highlighted the wording using Black Soot Distress Paint. 
The bats are die cut from black card, using the Ghoulish die set, covered with the same waxes as I've used throughout and then adhered to my tag with Matte Collage Medium.
Finally, I threaded rope through the hole reinforcer at the top.

I really hope you've enjoyed the process and inspiration behind this project and it's hopefully given you a few ideas of your own because before you know it, the way this year is flying Halloween will soon be upon us!
Don't forget, if you would like to see more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and 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 well, and see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:


  1. this is so wonderful!! thank you for such a great tutorial!!

  2. Emma, Emma, Emma...gosh you just know how to make magic with simple die cuts. Your work is just wonderful and ghoulishly delightful! You really are a MAGIC maker.

  3. Um. W O. W. Just saw this on Pinterest and had to see who is the master tag maker! What a beauty this is! So very very impressed with your art work! Wonderful blog - what a great find today!!

  4. Wonderful, as the "Forevermore" take on the little birdie and wreath...

  5. Thank you you for all the details on how you created this tag. It is fabulous!

  6. Thank you you for all the details on how you created this tag. It is fabulous!

  7. Wow lots of eye candy showing off this fabulous tag! All the details are brilliant 😀

  8. Every detail perfect, and oh the texture. LOVE this. Pinned.

  9. Beautiful tag and great ideas for the new die by TH Feathered Friends.

  10. Pam Allenheringer1 November 2023 at 16:22

    I just came across your fabulous tag today. Unbelievable job on this tag!!! Your explanation was wonderful too. Thank you 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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