Wednesday, August 30, 2017

WIP Wednesday: Halloween Cards

I belong to a group of like-minded crafters and it was brought to our attention that other countries don't go nuts over Halloween like we do in the States. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, a few of us decided to create unique Halloween cards and send them to our overseas friends. These are some of the cards I came up with, using Tim Holtz products (Ranger Ink Distress Inks, Idea-ology, and Sizzix as well). Hopefully they will inspire you to make your own cards or just get you a bit more excited for the big holiday! I'm putting on the finishing touches and awaiting some fun trims to arrive. I'll post finished cards before I send them on their merry way.

 First thing I did was make my own cards. I had some envelopes on hand that would fit a 5.5 inch card so I folded black cardstock and cut it to size. Next I pulled some Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Dolls that I liked from the Halloween collection and set them aside. I matched dolls to Tim Holtz Halloween papers and cut out wide strips for a ready-made background.  I had a few cob web die cuts left so I chose one for the woman in black.

The woman in black became my Black Widow and I added smudges of Ranger Distress Ink in Black Soot around the edges of her and glued the web to the paper with Ranger's Glossy Accents then glued the paper doll over it. I looked through the Tim Holtz Clippings Halloween collection and found some appropriate passages. I added smudges of Black Soot around the edges of the scrapbook paper and the clippings and then added the clippings to the paper. A little Ranger Distress Marker in Candied Apple on her bow turned her into a Black Widow.

I wasn't 100% pleased with the words after really looking at the card so I looked through the clippings until I found something better.

A wicked thing.
there seemed no possible escape.
her dreadful web

The next card has a wicked woman. I again smudged the edges of the scrapbook paper with the Black Soot ink and glued her in place. I added Distress Ink in Antique Linen to the Wicked ephemera and then edged and dabbed Black Soot over it. I wanted some dimension so I used foam dots on the back to make the ephemera raised up. I had one key left over and thought it might make a nice gift so I punched two small holes through the front of the card and attached some thin black twine to the key and tied it in place on the other side. I really love how this one turned out!

The next card features more paper dolls - I love this one of the kiddos with jack 'o lanterns! First I edged the scrapbook paper and paper dolls in Black Soot and glued the dolls to the paper. The paper seemed too clean so I smudged on some Antique Linen and then added Vintage Photo over that. You can see the clean ring around the paper dolls. Then I used Carved Pumpkin on the Brave ephemera and edged and dabbed with Black Soot. I used the foam dots to give this one dimension as well. I ended up coloring the jack 'o lanterns with Distress Marker in Ripe Persimmon.

The last card is still a work-in-progress and I'll stare at it a little tonight before settling on what to finish it with.

I really hope the recipients enjoy their cards! In other news...

For those that have been following me on social media and on the blog, our cat, Zoey, passed away Tuesday morning as I was getting ready for work. We were able to take her to our vet and they'll take care of cremation arrangements for her. I cried pretty much all day and took a personal day from work. I worked on these cards a little bit and made sure our other cat, Elfie, was snuggled and kissed. She left a big hole in our hearts but I'm glad we were able to give her a good life. She and Elfie were our fosters because their owner moved out-of-state and couldn't have pets. They became 'ours' a few years back.

If you're thinking about getting a pet, please consider adopting or fostering. I know specific breeds can get you right in the feels, but there might be a sweet soul in a shelter that may need you. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Maker's Monday: Assemblage Halloween Wreath

I had Sunday to myself and in between tending to Zoey (our cat that isn't well) and watching scary movies, I decided to make a spooky wreath. Last year on a trip up to Michigan, we happened upon an estate sale. The lady 's home overlooked Lake Michigan and she had the most amazing collection of antiques! There were several pieces I really wanted but she wanted top dollar, except for an old galvanized planter...she asked $10. I snatched it up because I knew it would become some sort of wreath, eventually. Well, eventually finally happened! I realize the uniqueness of this project so if you want to create something similar, you might have to use something like an old baking pan or chicken waterer or something.

1 large galvanized planter
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Black Soot and Frayed Burlap
1 Tim Holtz Halloween scrapbook paper
Black card stock (large enough to cover the openings of the doorknob plate)
1 Tim Holtz Spooky ephemera tag
Ranger Archival Ink in Black
Ranger Perfect Pearls
Black Craft Paint
Glossy Accents
Adirondack Alcohol Ink Gold Mixative
Plastic skeleton arms
Vintage photo
Vintage frame (or new and distress it to look old)
3 wooden spools
Antique doorknob plate
Black cord
Hemp twine
Metal wall plaque

Just some of the supplies - it ended up being a "make-as-you-go" kinda project!

Tim Holtz Blending Tool and pads


1. I decided to add paper to the spools first. Since I was going for a rustic look, I didn't care to measure the paper, I just eyeballed it. When they were cut to size, I edged the paper with Black Soot to make it look old and grungy.
Left side is edged in Black Soot, right side is not

All the strips are trimmed and edged
2.  I added a bit of Glossy Accents to the spool and glued down an edge of the paper. After it dried, I rolled the paper around and trimmed it, gluing the loose edge.

Holding the paper in place while it glues - Glossy Accents dries very quickly!

Nice, but looks a little too clean...

3.  The spools looked too new so I dabbed them with Black Soot and then filled in with Frayed Burlap. I think they turned out pretty grungy!
These are spools that have seen a thing or two!
 4. Next, I cut a length of black cording and threaded it through two of the holes in the bottom of the planter. I tied a knot in the back and this became my hanger.
Just a simple knot

The planter is clean, I even said "Out, damned spot!" but it wouldn't come out. I'm thinking it is oil.
5.  I was originally just going to nestle the old photo in the wreath, but it turned out to be too shallow. I decided to add it to a frame and attach it to something. I traced out the frame shape and cut it to fit then ran a bead of Glossy Accents on the inside of the frame to keep the photo in place.
Traced out the oval of the frame

All trimmed and glued into place
6.  While I was gluing, I racked my brain for something to attach the frame to when it hit me: a metal piece that I displayed magnets on! I removed the twine and set it aside while I thought about it more.
A simple galvanized sign on its way to greatness!
7.  I added a few drops of the Gold Mixative to my blending tool and dabbed it onto one of the skeleton arms but it didn't really do much. I ended up just squeezing the Mixative straight onto the arms and loved how it looked! As it dried, it did seem too new and harsh so I rubbed Black Soot over the high points to tone it down.
Mr. Golden Bones, I presume?
8.  I glued the arms onto the frame using E6000 to hold them in place.
Bringing the spooky factor up just a notch with skeleton arms!
9.  While the glue dried, I added more Mixative to my blending tool and pounced it all over the metal piece to make it look old and dingy. I glued a piece of black card stock to the back of doorknob plate with Glossy Accents and then added E6000 on the lip of the plate and a bead around the outside like caulk. I fitted it into place and held it to dry. Once dry, it looked too shiny so I brushed it with the copper-toned Perfect Pearls and then dabbed black craft paint over it with a Q-tip. I like how it looks grimy!
I added a bead of E600 and then smoothed it out with a piece of card stock to look a bit neater.

10.  After it dried, I added smudges of Archival to tone down the metal even more. I'm really pleased with how it turned out!
The gold and black really make this piece a bit darker

You can see the marks from the blending tool, but the randomness makes it work
11.  I added E6000 to the lip of the frame and added it to the metal piece, holding it for a while to dry a bit.
Gluing down the framed photo
12.  I glued the spools in place with E600 and found an old key I got at an auction and used E6000 to glue it in place as well. I love the finished product, but this was just the first part!

One big part finished!

13. With everything dry, it was time to attach it to the metal planter. I got some thin hemp twine and grunged it up with the Black Soot and Frayed Burlap. I doubled-up the twine and threaded it through the holes of the metal piece and through the holes of the planter. I tied a knot in the back and tied another for strength.
Awaiting a few last-minute touches

Close-up of the spools

Close-up of the key

I love the details of this doorknob plate and the old paint still stuck to it

The black ink really toned down the gold bones

Grungy twine

This photo is so creepy - her eyes have a weird haze over them
Next up for this piece is some creepy Spanish Moss and some Halloween gauze drape. I absolutely am thrilled with how this "wreath" turned out and might be leaving it up year-round!

I can't wait to share photos of the house when it is all finished! Has anyone else started decorating before Labor Day?


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Just a Random Life Post

I missed WIP Wednesday because I'm feeling worn out. Our black and white cat, Zoey, is in very failing health and I spent Tuesday tending to her so yesterday I worked my butt off at work to catch up. Today, I'm working my butt off to get ahead at work because I'm off tomorrow and I feel like I'm just slowly slipping under the dark waters...hoping to come back up for a breath.

I've been having some weird heart palpitations and the results of my heart monitor device came back that my issues are stress-related. does one fix that? Selling off everything and living out of a camper wouldn't do it, but it sure sounds appealing. Where would I keep my craft supplies?

If I can hold out until October, I'll have a lovely weekend away to recharge my soul and be filled with the wonder of Halloween.

Speaking of, I've been crafting some seriously creepy decorations for my house. I'll be having another Haunted Open House for my jewelry/crafts and the theme is "Witch's Cottage Shop." Hocus Pocus fans may see a nod to the film in these photos...

In my down time this weekend (ha!) I'm hoping to clean up the Pit of Despair again. Wish me luck on that endeavor...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Maker's Monday: Spooky Witches Tag

I am on a tag spree! This one didn't turn out exactly how I wanted, but I can mess with it later and hopefully make it better!

1 craft tag (I used Ranger Inkssentials, size #8, manila tags)
Tim Holtz Distress Stain in Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen and Black Soot
1 Tim Holtz Witches Paperdoll
1 Tim Holtz Spooky ephemera tag
Glossy Accents

Water brush 
Tim Holtz Blending Tool and pad
Heat tool

Additional Items:
Tim Holtz Distress Marker (black)
Foam dots
Fine glitter (I used Martha Stewart Mica glitter)


1.  I brushed water onto a tag and dabbed Twisted Citron stain into the center of the tag and dabbed Mowed Lawn around the outer edge. I blended it a bit and then used a heat tool to dry it.

2.  Next, I used the marker to color the cut edge of the paper doll.

3.  I grabbed the wrong piece of ephemera and was so "in the moment" I didn't realize it until I was finished with the tag. I may switch it out later, but for now...spooky it is!
4.  I loaded up my blending tool with Antique Linen ink and made small, light circles around the ephemera. With the outer edges colored. I blended the ink to the center of the piece. Satisfied, I added just a bit of the Black Soot around the edges.

5.  I added squiggles of Glossy Accents to the back of the paper doll and pressed it into place on the tag.

6.  I wanted to give a little depth to the tag so I grabbed some foam dots and added two to the back of the ephemera. I edged the tag with Black Soot ink.

7.  The card could have been finished, but I wanted some sparkle. Enter, The Glitter. I've had this Martha Stewart glitter for years and thought it would be a nice touch. I added some Glossy Accents and then dumped on the glitter. I'm not 100% in love with it and need to think it over.

Squiggles, squiggles, squiggles!

That's some mighty fine glitter...mighty fine!

Just a couple of spooky witches...nothing to see here...
All in all, I do like this tag, especially how the background turned out! I'll look it over the next few days and maybe fix the glitter. What are some of your crafting "oopsies?"