Monday, 17 August 2020

A Small Grinning Skull...

Hello friends....

How are you all? So sorry that I've been missing in action from the Simon Monday Challenge Blog for a the last 3 weeks and thank you so much for all the kind messages asking if everything was ok ~ there have been a few dramas in the Williams household but for those who don't know why I had to take a little crafty break, you can read all about it here and for those who did know, thank you for the lovely thoughts and words that I passed on to my Mum, they really were appreciated! Unfortunately, Mum still isn't too well and could be facing an operation but please keep her in your thoughts and make sure your fingers are tightly crossed for Friday, when she has the appointment with the consultant! 

But in the meantime, I'm back in the craft room and joining in with the brand new challenge starting today and this week our theme is called ~ GRUNGE IT UP! So, if you're like me and you love a little bit of grungy goodness, then this is the theme for you and we can't wait to see what you will be creating and for my project, I chose to get my spook on and make a panel using a couple of the new Chapter 3 dies from Tim Holtz and from regions beyond, please say hello to the small grinning skull!

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

To begin with I'll start with how I built up the background layers and in particular the webbed layer that sits behind the frame and the skull. For this I cut a panel of Distress Cracked Leather cardstock, 13.5 x 17cm.

To add the webs, I used the Spider Web Thinlits die to die cut more of the Distress Cracked Leather card, and cut four separate pieces which I then cut into sections and adhered with Matte Collage Medium to my leather card panel. 

For the grungy texture that I added around the edges of the card panel, I used Translucent Grit Paste and after applying the paste with my fingers, leaving it thicker in some areas than others, I set it to one side to dry.

Once dry, I lightly spritzed the card surface with a misting of water and then used a combination of Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain Distress Spray Stains to add colour. I wanted to create a really rich brown for this panel, so I allowed for the inks to blend together to give me the depth of colour ~  if you should need to add a little more water to do this, just spritz some more over the top and once I was happy, I allowed for the card to dry thoroughly.

To accentuate the grit paste edges, I used a little Alchemy Wax from Prima Marketing; Bronze AgeVintage GoldOld Silver all of which I applied with my fingertip over the top of the raised areas. To complete the panel, I splattered some gold paint over the surface and then matted it onto a piece of gold metallic kraft stash card, followed by a really narrow border of an olive green pearlescent card.

To frame this piece, I matted the textured background onto a panel of paper from the brand new Departed paper stash which is just gorgeous for all your makes, whether these are Halloween or just everyday, and is a definite must have in your craft room. The panel measures 17 x 20cm and after machine stitching a border around the outside, I created a few rips and tears before adhering it to black card, followed by a layer of corrugated card, each time leaving a border around the outside.

After mounting the leather panel onto the centre of the matts, I had a couple of leftover webs, so I added a touch of gilding wax over the surface before tucking them behind the textured panel, leaving them to overlap and pop out from the sides.

Now we get to the fun bit ~ the small, grinning skull and for this I introduce you to, Skelly.

Skelly is part of Tim's Colorize range from Sizzix and there are 11 different pieces to this die. So, I cut these from  different surfaces, silver metallic kraft stash, blackout kraft stash and mixed media cardstock. The majority of pieces are cut from the mixed media heavy stock card, coloured with a combination of Distress Marker Pens in Antique Linen and Walnut Stain. To add more detail, I then used Polychromos Pencils.

The section to create the eyes is cut from Blackout Kraft Card and then you'll notice the metal section around the top of his head ~ this is two separate sections, cut from silver metallic kraft stash and then embossed using the Foundry 3D Texture Fade. Once I had my pieces, I then coloured them by applying Black Soot Distress Paint over the top, allowing the paint to become slightly tacky before wiping away the excess with a soft cloth. The paint will seep into the recesses and the detail of the embossed metal, creating more of vintage feel to the surface but I wanted to add the look of rust and to do this, I used Distress Crayons, Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo. Scribble the crayons over the metal and then using a slightly damp fingertip, blend away.

Once all the sections are completed, you need to layer them over the top of one another to create Skelly's head. As a final touch, I added one gold tooth...

I attached Skelly to a couple of different sized Baseboard Frames, which I layered over the top of one another, together with a backing of a panel of paper from the Departed Paper Pad. I added some more grunge around the edges of each of the frames using the Translucent Grit Paste and once dry, I used a combination of Black Soot and Peeled Paint Distress Crayons to colour the paste. I then applied some more of the Gilding Wax.

Now for those hands...

...and for this, I used one of Tim's stamp sets from last year ~ Cadaverous and stamped a pair of hands onto Mixed Media Heavystock card. I coloured the hands using the same combination of mediums as I used on Skelly and then fussy cut each hand before attaching them to either side of Skelly's head, adding a small Hardware Head, altered with a little Rust and Pitch Black Alcohol Ink. I also added some moss around the base of each hand.

To complete the background, I added some spiders ~ five in total and all cut using the die from the Spider Web set. I then added a smear of gilding wax over the top before adding a small dot of Postbox Nuvo Drops to their bodies. I attached the spiders around the frame with foam pads to add some dimension.

All that's left is to add the finishing touches...

...starting with the "From Regions Beyond' plaque, taken from the Halloween Baseboards Set. I sanded the edges, then attached some Hardware Heads to either side, again inked with a combination of Pitch Black and Rust Alcohol Inks. Beneath the plaque I added a Clipping sticker, "a small grinning skull".

I also added some more Hardware Heads to the top left and right hand corners....

...and a couple of small 'stitches" in the bottom corners, which were leftover from a previous project, die cut using the Media Marks die set.

Finally, I added a number at the top, stamped onto a label using both stamps from the Field Notes stamp set.

I hope you've enjoyed today's project and you might be inspired by some of the techniques I've used to create dimension, layers and texture and if you haven't tried out any of Tim's Colorize dies yet ~ then you definitely need to, as they are a lot of fun to play with and you will really enjoy using them!
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:

Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous: Cadaverous, Field Notes
Tim Holtz/Sizzix: Spider Web3D Foundry, Skelly
Distress Paint: Black Soot
Distress Marker Set


  1. Wonderful project, Emma! You have a wonderful sense of design, and it is shining once again. Good to have you back, and I will definitely be keeping your Mum in my thoughts and prayers on Friday. Hugs to you all, Maura

  2. OH MY GOSH! this is amazing and the amount of detail is wonderful! The built up grunge around his teeth and in the faux metal parts is so good. The background is just as detailed!! just wow Emma! this is awesome.

  3. Wow! This is the bomb!! I LOVE IT so much! So creative! Halloween crafts are my favorite! and the holiday you can be anyone you want and nobody will give you a hard time! yay

  4. Skelly is so, so fabulous. Love all the built up layers and all the spider good!!!

  5. SPOOKYLICIOUS!!! LOVE this Emma :-) absolutely fan-bloomin-tastic!! :-)

    Hope you have a great week!
    Lols x x x

  6. Love love love this, and your style. Halloween is my favorite holiday!

  7. Totally Awesome card and imagination , one of my sons would absolutely love that card. Are all the dies from Tim Holtz and are they available here in Australia.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and sweet comment, Carmen...I really do appreciate it! The dies I’ve used are all Tim Holtz dies and they are all part of the most recent Sizzix Chapter 3 2020 release which I would think is available in Australia, but I can’t be 100% sure and because I wouldn’t want to give you the wrong information, I would recommend messaging Sizzix direct and asking them to confirm, they will definitely be able to help you! Hope this helps and if you need anything else, never hesitate to ask...

  8. Skelly just makes you smile, and want to hang out. LOVE this! So super fun. Pinned.


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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