Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooky Cemetery Terrarium

Happy Halloween, everyone! Last week I took a bit of a break from art projects to work on a few things around my house. Fall is such a pretty time here, so I headed out to the nursery to get some mums to plant. While I was there, I noticed a rack of small houseplants and remembered that I had a huge glass ginger jar that I'd been meaning to turn into a terrarium. So, into my cart went a few plants.

After I starting filling up the jar, I realized I had way too many plants, so I divided a few of them. The jar was gorgeous, but what was I going to do with all these leftover plant bits? I remembered I also had a huge glass dome that I got at the Pottery Barn outlet for almost nothing. I also had a little silver pedestal that I'd just bought at an estate sale - I started getting a vision. Since I have been all about Halloween lately, it didn't take too long to realize it was destined to be a little cemetary!

To created the tombstones, I cut Grungeboard using the Sizzix Graveyard On the Edge die, and then painted it with a Pebble Dabber. While the paint was still wet, I blasted it with my heat tool, causing the paint to bubble in places. When it was dry, I drug a Black Soot Distress ink pad over the surface and then misted it with water, causing the ink to run. Such a cool effect (thanks, Tim!). When it was dry, I dabbed randomly with a Distress Embossing pad and then added sprinkles of Moss and Pine Needles embossing powders. Who knew that Moss embossing powder would really look like moss?? ;-)

After I was done with all the coloring, I cut the tombstones apart. To secure them into the moss, I broke toothpicks in half and stapled them to the back of the tombstones using Tim's Tiny Attacher.

Here it is without the dome over it. The moss came from my old studio roof that was replaced this summer. So sad that I don't have a mossy roof anymore, but it lives on in my little graveyard! The tree and bats were also cut from Grungeboard and painted. I will warn you - since this is a moist environment, the tree absorbed some water (roots I guess!) and started flopping over after awhile. If you wanted to have this stay upright for longer, I would add a little wire along the back side. The tombstones didn't seem to have the same problem.

The great thing about this project is that, after Halloween, I can take out the spooky stuff and add in something for fall, and after that, Christmas/winter decor. I really want a little garden gnome for it!

Oh, and don't forget, today is the last day to enter your spooktacular decorations in the Inspiration Journal challenge! You can read all about it here. Good luck!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tarnished Silver Experiment + a Reminder!

Some of you may have seen that I had a tutorial on Splitcoaststampers yesterday, featuring my Faux Tarnished Silver technique. What's so fun about sharing on a forum like Splitcoast is that you get some great feedback and lots of inspiration. One of the posters wondered if regular clear embossing powder would work since she needed to use products that her company carried. I wasn't really sure, but I am always up for an experiment!

Another commenter said that it looked great on detailed frames, and I totally agree. I just got this Sizzix Fancy Frame die from Karen Burniston yesterday and it seemed like I was fated to try this experiment, even though I was supposed to be working on getting my studio organized. Oh, the sacrifices I make for my art! ;-)

As you can see, the frame is perfect and the regular ep (vs. UTEE) works really well! It's definitely a more subtle look, but I love it...almost more than the original.  I started by applying two coats of Ranger silver embossing powder to the chipboard frame. I heated sections of the frame I wanted to 'tarnish' and then sprinkled little pinches of Ranger's clear embossing powder onto the hot surface, where it melted immediately.

The background of this piece was a tag that I'd been experimenting with Distress Stains on. I used Wild Honey, Barn Door, Spiced Marmalade, and the new Tarnished Brass Metallic Stain. Love that stuff! Remember the oval wood shape I used on my little Halloween house? I used another oval for this little hanging. I adhered the tag to it using Ranger's Glue 'n Seal and colored the edges with a Pitch Black Dabber.

I couldn't believe how perfectly the pretty skeleton lady from Artistic Outpost's Gothic 31 stamp set fit into Karen's frame! I love when things work out like that. I stamped her in the center of the plaque and then adhered the frame on top. I added the stamped vines around the edge to frame it.

Finally, I used idea-ology Screw Eyes to dangle a Bauble from the bottom and Black Soot-dyed Crinkle Ribbon from the top.

This was such a fun little project to whip up! I love trying something new - it's all about learning and growing, right? There are no mistakes, which is why I always encourage people to try their ideas and put their own spin on things.

The supplies I used can be purchased from Inspiration Emporium via the links below. Remember, if you use my coupon code - stamptramp - you'll save 10%!!

I also wanted to remind you that there is still time to enter Inspiration Emporium's October challenge. It's all about Spooktacular Decorations and you could win a $50 shopping spree to the store!! You can check out all the details here. I hope you join us!