Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Charnel House

Hallowe'en is fast approaching, so you know what that means...lots of new creepy, ghoulish, and sinister products from Alpha Stamps for you to get your claws on! There's a miniature electric chair, or "Old Sparky" as it's listed, and I am just dying to get one! As electrifying as that is, there's also three exclusive chipboard tomb shapes to paint, paper, stamp, and decorate 'til your bloody heart's content. 

The three tombs became the base for "The Charnel House", a mixed media book that's bubbling over with graveyard evil, or at least some cringe-worthy images. I started by papering both sides of the chipboard tombs and then built up the pages with a combination of collage sheet images, die-cut chipboard pieces, charms, watercolor pencils, stamps, Dresden trim, markers, paint, and ink. 

The columns on the cover were daubed with Black Soot Distress Stain, stamped with a spooktacular stamp, colored on with a white watercolor pencil, then brushed over with Inka Gold Metallic Rub. I used the same technique for all of the chipboard pieces, and some pieces also received a spritzing of Lindy's Stamp Gang Spray for a little added shimmer.

I frankensteined this mischievous monster from the Little Imps and Victorian Bats collage sheets then gave him a myriad of skulls to play with. The headstone is the insert from the Gothic Arch Tomb and gave the page needed depth. Bat Boy's wings are lifted off the page, as if he could take flight at any moment, but it looks like he doesn't give a hoot about the sign and is spitefully planted. Don't be afraid to abuse your art- I sanded the devil out of this page and along all of the edges. 

I used two columns and the larger overlay of the Round Roman Pediment Tomb to add dimension, and the skeletal hand was cut out and creased, ready to seize an unsuspecting visitor! Lots of colored pencil on this page, as well as mossy green ink that was applied with a makeup sponge, wadded tissue paper here and there, an unnerving spider in her web, and a splattering of blood. The spider is a charm that I snapped the ring off of, then colored it with Sharpie. 

I love those hands so much I had to use the other. The remaining overlay from the tomb was also stained, scribbled on, and stamped as the other pieces, and again I used the same stamp along the top of the page. There's more watercolor pencil, a strip of Dresden trim, and sponged on Distress Ink. 

These tiny ghouls are ready for some devilment, don't you think? They are a little more frightening with stringy hair and bloodshot eyes, made from a bit of fiber and shimmering red Stickles. Again I chopped off parts of some collage images and added others; so many parts, so little time (before Hallowe'en is here)!

This page was a scream to decorate because I found the chipboard spider lock fit perfectly in the window. I also had a sheet of mica that was the exact size to add in the doorway, over Nosferatu's bootiful kisser. Mystery Lady in an Urn is mounted on pop dots so she protrudes from the page, and the spiderweb gate was bent open. It still needed something, so I strung wisps of cobwebs (made from the same fiber as the skeleton kids' hair), and glued a bit of painted cheesecloth around the spider window. (hehe, I typed "spider winder". How Southern of me.)

The back of the book appropriately depicts a graveyard scene that was torn around the edges and inked, and one REALLY CHILLING TREE! This chipboard piece is so cool, and is very similar to some trees I find in a local cemetery. I had to add piles of Spanish moss though, because I am accustomed to all my trees being covered in the stuff. The reanimated skeleton has a pop dot on the back of his head, and he appears to be giving the raven a bone rattling for snatching his rose.

Here's the spine chilling...well, uh...spine. It is a strip of heavy black cardstock that has been accordion folded to accommodate the thickness of the pages and strands of grisly yarns. Actually, the yarns are quite nice, but "grisly" continues the inexhaustible theme here. It's a theme that you just can't kill. (I hear your moans and groans, btw.) I tied a key charm, an eye cabochon, and a skull to the strands, along with two random beads I had laying around. 

If you haven't yet hung yourself because of the terrible puns, and are still hanging in there, then thanks for taking a peek at The Charnel House! You can scurry on over to this page to see my supply list, and I hope your Hallowe'en crafting leaves people quaking in their boots!

Sunday, September 4, 2016


August is the busiest month for me every year. Mostly because I am making school preparations for the smallish people's upcoming year, but also because I am trying to cram in as much art as possible before returning to our homeschooling routine. September is here and we're in our groove now, which means a little time to breathe and post some stuff.

Most of the month was dedicated to this lovely lady, a vintage cowgirl that I embroidered for a special friend on Craftster.

She's embroidered in one and two strands of floss and the finished size is 8". I should have considered the size beforehand because it would be nicer if it fit in a smaller hoop, but alas! forethought and me are not such good friends. 

Made some ATCs. Acrylic paint on cardboard of Todd McFarlane's Spawn, issue 1.

photo: Krafty_Karasu

Pointillism ATC of our kitty, Chaircat Mao, dressed in a shirt and bow tie. Poor cat.

Making crocheted blocks for a Frida's Flowers blanket CAL on's slow progress. 

Destashed the mound of hoarded shirts by sewing a quilt for my son. 

Took a stroll through Bonaventure Cemetery and snapped loads of pictures.

Went to one of the hubs's shows. Just to be clear, I have one husband that played more than one show.

Took a random pic of Barbies in a bin. Zero effort there.

Now to clean up the craft table so I can go make a different mess with Alpha Stamps stuff.