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Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween BASH Party Invitation: Iron-Off Embossing Powder Resist Technique

Ghoulish greetings, art-pals, as we continue to celebrate the 31 Days of Halloween blog hop over at Lost Coast Designs!

Today my contribution to the festivities is this Halloween Bash party invitation, featuring several of LCD's bizarre and beloved character images, all tricked out for a wicked and weird party.

This piece features LCD's new gears background stamp, perfect for industrializing and steampunking up all your projects that need a little metallic edge. 

To start, I stamped it twice on a 9" x 12" sheet of white Arches Hot Press watercolor paper, and embossed it with white embossing powder to make a resist. Here's what that phase looked like--can you see?

Next, I wanted to play with the fabulous Nuance pigment powders by Magenta, which I sprinkled on randomly in shades of orange and gold. These dry powders blossom and explode delightfully when you spray them with water, making surprising and beautiful background effects. Here's what they look like dry:

...And after the first spritzing, here's what my page looked like.

I did want more color, so on went some purple powder, and I kept spritzing...

There! Now my background was mostly colored in. I left some drier, barely-spritzed texture at the bottom for interest.

Now that the embossing powder resist had served its purpose, I wanted to remove the powder so I could slightly grunge up the pure white paper underneath it for a less stark design. So I got my hot iron out, and used sheets of deli paper between the iron and the piece for the melting powder to stick to...

It can require ironing onto several layers of paper to remove all the embossing powder. You might save the sheets for use with other projects!

I went over the white gear design, newly denuded of its embossing powder, with a little Distress Ink in coordinating colors and a mini ink tool, and added some hand-drawn spider webs to a few of the gears with a white gel pen.

Next, I used the Black Skulls Border to block off an area of the page where I would stamp my text.

Then I used the Old Typewriter Alphabet, with its worn-looking letters reminiscent of old tombstones, to stamp the "Halloween Bash" sentiment.

Now it was time to add my characters. Onto glossy paper, I stamped images from the Anthropomorphs and Aud Animals and Creatures and Fortune Men sets, plus Norma from the Mini Flying Ladies set and the famous Lost Coast Designs Dancing Skeletons

I fussy-cut those bad boys out and affixed them to the page in "conversational" groupings. (The crazy skellies just wanna dance and not talk to anyone. Party animals. And the strutting bird and skulking monk-bug don't seem interested in idle chat either; no doubt they have their reasons.)

I trimmed the edges and declared this piece ready to reproduce as an invitation to my Halloween party! I still don't have a costume idea though.  :(

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Who Says Poe's Raven Was a "He"? (Besides Poe?)

Are you in the Halloween spirit yet? Well, you will be when you take part in the Lost Coast Designs Portal to Creativity spooky stamped art contest! Enter YOUR Halloween-themed art that uses rubber stamping (any company) for a chance to win one of TWO gift certificates to spend at the Lost Coast Designs store! See here for details.

Lost Coast Designs is also participating in the 31 Days of Halloween Blog Hop, for which I am contributing a few projects. This one right here...

...is my own weird take on Poe's famous poem "The Raven" (reprinted below, in case you have never read the full text of this sad and spooky gothic classic).

Now, Poe tells us that his raven was a boy. "PAH!" I say! Balderdash, even! Who needs your sexist raven-tropes around here? Not I! My raven is a WOMAN, do you hear! And not any slinky hot sexy young chick (<--
see what I did there?) either. Mine is a GRANNY RAVEN and she has zero darns to give if you are shocked by this!!

I made this card by collaging the image of Lost Coast Designs' great Old Lady Raven (that's what I'm calling her) from the Big Anthropomorph Birds set onto a background that I printed on my (beloved) Gelli plate. There's a bit of washi at the bottom and a hand-drawn spiderweb with artist's pen and glitter gel pen on the card too...and a single word, lovingly rendered in Bodoni for that Poe-period feel.

And now...to plunge your soul deep into Gothic chill...I leave you with the words of the master.  Happy Halloween!


ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,— 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;         5
    Only this and nothing more." 
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December 
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow 
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore,  10
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore: 
    Nameless here for evermore. 
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; 
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating  15
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, 
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door: 
    This it is and nothing more." 
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;  20
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, 
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, 
That I scarce was sure I heard you"—here I opened wide the door:— 
    Darkness there and nothing more. 
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,  25
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; 
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:" 
    Merely this and nothing more.  30
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; 
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore; 
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore:  35
    'Tis the wind and nothing more." 
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. 
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door,  40
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door: 
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,— 
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,  45
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore: 
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" 
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;  50
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door, 
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, 
    With such name as "Nevermore." 
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only  55
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered, 
Till I scarcely more than muttered,—"Other friends have flown before; 
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before." 
    Then the bird said, "Nevermore."  60
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, 
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster 
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore: 
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore  65
    Of 'Never—nevermore.' 
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; 
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,  70
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore 
    Meant in croaking "Nevermore." 
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing 
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; 
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining  75
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, 
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er 
    She shall press, ah, nevermore! 
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer 
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.  80
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee 
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!" 
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore." 
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!  85
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, 
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted— 
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore: 
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!" 
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."  90
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil! 
By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore, 
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, 
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore: 
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!"  95
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting: 
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! 
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! 
Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door! 100
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" 
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 105
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor: 
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Edgar Allan Poe. 1809–1849.

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall...

Hi guys! I have a piece featured over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity as part of the 31 Days of Halloween event. Enter YOUR spooky-themed art that uses rubber stamping (any company) for a chance to win one of TWO gift certificates to spend at the Lost Coast Designs store! See here for details.

Here's my piece--"When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall." It was made using the Nuance Powdered Pigments (sprinkle and spritz or splash!) and the Grunge Tree stamp available at LCD.

Is it melancholy? Exuberant? Faintly menacing? You decide.  :)  As always, I look forward to your comments below!

Go and enter the LCD October challenge...and good luck, mortal.  ;)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Welcome to the 31 Days of Halloween Blog Hop!

Greetings arty friends!


It's the 31 Days of Halloween Blog Hop over at Lost Coast Designs! This is an annual event hosted by Terra S of Smeared Ink, designed to give you oodles of eerie inspiration for the scary season. The LCD blog Lost Coast Portal to Creativity is participating as a Wicked Blogger, which means we will be sharing a new spooky project with you every single day in October!

I, your faithful designer and art buddy, will have several of my own Halloweeny projects to share with you throughout the blog hop, with detailed posts on how the art was made, so do be sure to check back for these. K?

But wait…there’s more!  LOL  Not only are we providing a gluttonous feast of ghoulish eye candy(-corn) for your delectation on a daily basis this Shocktober, but Lost Coast Designs also has some new stamp releases to delight you! These images will also be showcased throughout the month’s projects to get your creative appetites whetted when you see these babies in action.  

AND…there is also a new challenge in October where you enter your "scary or weird" rubber-stamped art for a chance to win a mini shopping spree at the Lost Coast Designs stamp boutique! There will be TWO winners chosen this month! The challenge starts TODAY (October 1) and runs through Halloween (the 31st) to give you plenty of time to play. See the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity for details and contest rules.

Happy October to you! Have fun making spooky art, and link me up to your projects so I can enjoy ‘em too! (Use the comments box below, or catch me on Instagram, Flickr, or Facebook—I’d love to see what kind of no good you’re up to!)