Thanks so much to the self-proclaimed "two crazy ladies", Kelly and Anita, of www.rhinestonebeagle.blogspot.com for inviting me to participate in their
fourth annual Howl-oween Tricks & Treats Craftathon.
I am so THRILLED to be here!
On my blog, www.paperseedlings.com, I bring to my readers papercrafting inspiration, planting little "paper seedlings" in their creative brains. Most of the time, my content revolves around cardmaking.
However, for this Craftathon, I stepped a bit outside my personal creative box, and created something a bit different: a piece of Halloween decor that measures 6 1/2" x 8 1/2". I know, it's not A LOT larger than my typical greeting card, but the way it's made and the numerous steps involved make it a much more intense project than a greeting card that the recipient may just THROW AWAY (GAAASP!)
I am not accustomed to taking photos of every step of my creative process. Thus, I was a bit remiss at times in being faithful to documenting each of the steps. If there is not a photo present, I will fill you in with words on what's going on.
This is my Haunted House creation. It took me several hours to complete, what with all my trial and error. I will do my best to condense this process for you, so if you would like to re-create my version or make one that is your very own, it won't take nearly as long!
The background of this project is a variation on the Faux Silk technique. I had this really COOL tissue paper that was a sparkly blackish-grayish-silverish that I thought be be ideal and SO MUCH FUN to use in this project.
My first step was to choose a piece of cardboard cut to 5 1/2" x 7 1/2". I cut a piece of the tissue so it was somewhat larger than the cardboard:
The first step in this cool Faux Silk process is to crush the piece of tissue in your hands -- that's right: into a ball! -- open it slightly, recrush, open, recrush. Do this 3-4 times. On your last crush, gently open it, but don't flatten it. You NEED mountains, valleys, rivers. Yes, a veritable map of the terrain of a stretch of land.
Completely cover one side of the cardboard with Stampin' Up!'s Glue Stick. Be extra careful with the corners and the edges so the tissue adheres well. Gently lay the cardboard, glue side down, onto the crushed tissue, and press it down. Turn it over, and with your fingers gently press all the little veins into place onto the glue. DON'T RUB IT! Rubbing it will smooth out the character of the piece too much. Start slowly. You can always press down some more, but once that tissue is flat, it stays flat.
Turn the extra edges to the back of the cardboard and neatly adhere it in place, making the sharpest corners you are able. Be careful when you are stretching the edges to the back that you don't pull too hard and flatten the veins that way. Give it a final pressing, and your result should look something like this:
I wanted to do another technique called Cracked Glass on the spooky moon behind the house. To do this, I used the 1 3/8" Circle Punch with Pumpkin Pie cardstock. I completely covered one side of the circle with VersaMark ink. I then dumped over the circle an unusually thick clear embossing powder that Stampin' Up! no longer carries. But I think you can still find something similar in craft stores. With my heat tool, I heated it up until it was melted.
This is what it looks like after only one coat. Wait a few ticks for it to cool somewhat, then repeat this process: VersaMark, thick glossy embossing powder, heat to melt. Do this until you have four layers of this embossing. Then . . . stick it in the freezer! Yup! After about 15 minutes, it should be ready for cracking. But, if it's in longer, no worries.
Anyway, once you take it out of the freezer, immediately start bending it in your fingers to give it cool spooky cracks. If you don't get enough cracks the first time, it can be refrozen, and worked on again. If you STILL aren't satisfied, heat it up with the heat tool again, and start the freezing process all over again. (You will see later in this post how the cracking on my moon turned out. Stay tuned.)
With black ink, I stamped my haunted house onto Smoky Slate cardstock. I then cut it out with one of the Framelits from the Apothecary Accents set in my Big Shot. Do you see the stamped moon on the image? That's what I measured to decide on the size of my Cracked Glass moon.
Since this Framelit only comes in one size, and I really wanted to surround it with a similar frame in Perfect Plum, I cut another of the shapes from the purple cardstock.
Originally, I had planned to do this matting with TWO pieces of the Perfect Plum, but discovered that only one was necessary. Thus, the two cut pieces below. It was the two pieces cut horizontally that I ended up using. Ignore the long skinny piece.
My next step was, in my opinion, the toughest part of this project. I wanted to slip my moon behind the part of the house where the moon was in the stamped image.
For years, I have enjoyed doing Scherenschnitte. That is always done on much thinner paper. Doing fussy cutting on cardstock is LOTS more difficult. So, I was not able to get the clearest cuts that I would have liked.
Anyway, once the cutting was done, and leaving a bit of the stamped circle intact, I glued my cracked moon in place behind the house.
To get the cracks and spooky features of the moon to show up a bit better, I rubbed some black ink into the cracks with a sponge.
This photo shows the cracked moon a little closer, as well as the less-than-perfect cutting job I did:
After my moon was in place, I added glue to the back of the gray Framelit piece, and adhered the top and bottom of my purple Framelit, leaving a gap in the middle of the gray piece so the purple extended beyond the gray on the top and bottom.
As I noted, my original intent was to do this with two pieces of the purple so it not only extended on the top and bottom, but on both sides also. Nope. I hated this look. And it was just too naked like this. (Plant some MORE Paper Seedlings!)
I took out my Ovals Collection Framelits, and cut an oval from the Perfect Plum that was the ideal size to add to my mat. I added the oval behind the purple I had already adhered. It was just right.
At this point, I was pumped, and forgot about my camera. But, I'll share what I did.
I decided that I would pick up a bit more of the Pumpkin Pie color of the moon, and mat the entire piece in more of that. I started placing the pieces onto this as I came up with ideas.
Spooky sky was added around the house with sponged Smoky Slate ink. That nicely added to the creepy feeling of the haunted house and broke up the flatness of the cardstock alone.
I punched triangles from the Smoky Slate and the Perfect Plum cardstock with the Triangle Punch, and placed them along the edges. The triangles didn't have enough oomph, so I sponged the edges of each one with Smoky Slate ink. Laid them in place. Hmmm.
I really liked the Pumpkin Pie mat, but the piece still needed more "spookiness". I had purchased from Stampin' Up!'s Clearance Rack their Halloween assortment of Washi Tapes. I checked those out and liked the skull design. I decided to cut another piece of scrap cardstock 1/4" larger than the Pumpkin Pie edge. But, before gluing that in place, I covered the edges of this new piece with the Washi Tape. I love it!
I tried a few types of ornamentation on the triangles. In this case, I had punched out 1/2" circles from the Smoky Slate cardstock and inserted smoky-colored brads in the centers of each circle. I decided to not keep these. But, I DID keep the cool antique button I found in my button stash that I added below the house.
I then tried alternating colors of 1/4/" dots on the triangles. Nope. Too circus-y. Plant some more Paper Seedlings . . .
I ended up adding 1/8" dots punched from black paper to the centers of the "circus-y" dots, and I was happy.
One more view of my final result:
My 11-year-old mutt, Harley, was helping me throughout most of this process, but then he decided he wanted to go outside. So I absently let him out, and went back to work.
It wasn't until I was finished that I remembered that I hadn't taken a photo of him helping me! Oh no! So, I got a pic of him looking longingly in at me through the window. Say "hi", Harley!
Once again, thank you SO MUCH, Anita and Kelly, for letting me share my creative process with you and your readers.
If you'd like to catch any more of my creative inspirations, come visit me at my blog, www.paperseedlings.com. I post every Sunday and Wednesday. I would love to see you there!