And it's kind of strange, since I was working on the challenge over at the lovely Linda Ledbetter's Studio L3 where, this week, we're working on the Whitewash Stamping technique. (I can't go into details, but you'll find it on page 47 of Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities II.) So you would think it would be all la-la-la, light and weathered and whitewashy... but no, (PG13 certification) here it is:
I'll be honest, I had some trouble with this one (that's why I'm so near the deadline) - and I'm still not sure whether I like it.
I was playing with the text stamp from the TH Papillon set. I've coveted the set from first laying eyes on it, and finally found it at a price I could swallow, and it's going to be a big favourite! I can't say much because of the challenge rules, but let's just say that as I tried it out with different colours, I liked it better a stage before the final stage each time.
So in the end, I thought I'd try a much darker version. I took Black Soot Distress Ink and, a colour I almost never pick up, the Aged Mahogany. Before I knew where I was, it had come over all Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, Gothic Parisian, Vampiric - name your poison! Here it is before layering my top elements - do you see what I mean?
So then, of course, my busy brain started whirring. I loved the look, but I needed to build something around it.
I remembered the Haunted Design House challenge I'd seen in passing, Who are you calling a Succubus? A succubus, as defined on their site: a female demon or supernatural being appearing in dreams, who takes the form of a human woman in order to seduce men.
And my brain, being what it is, went straight to my favourite 'vamp' of all time, the first femme fatale of silent film - Theda Bara.
She was the first movie star to whom the word 'vamp' was applied (it was a shortening of vampire, based on the predatory female roles she so often played); born Theodosia Goodman, the publicity people came up with her new name as an anagram, it was rumoured, of Arab Death.
Check out the quotes at the end for more reasons to love Theda!
So there we were: black and white silent films, Gothic background, a mist of blood red across it - now to build the card...
The main image was an easy pick, and I edged it with embossing ink before applying black embossing powder for texture.
I used the Fired Brick Distress Marker to redden her lips in all the images.
The three smaller images I'd found I made all plain b&w, shrank them within the computer document, printed, and embossed the TH film strip stamp around them.
In the end, I also used the side of the TH film strip stamp all the way around the edge of the whole card as a border, and embossed it with clear embossing powder for some added shine and dimensionality to match the film strip element within the frame.
It was an obvious choice to pick the tissue tape to match the stamp.
I love the 'now you see it, now you don't' gleam of them in the sunlight!
The sentiment bubbled up from her eyes! I'm not sure what it is with romantic statements... somehow I seem to feel the urge to pervert them, or at least make them ambiguous, as you may remember!
It's stamped using Black Soot and Aged Mahogany, edged in the black and given a light coat of crackle paint, so as to get a very fine crackle.
It still needed something, so I started playing with the ribbons in clashing red and pink, edging it with the black Distress Marker, but once it was on, I found it too frivolous.
It needed grunging down in some way... which is when another challenge I'd seen butted in - Our Creative Corner want to see Office Supplies with a Twist. I attacked the frivolous ribbons with a stapler immediately... "take that, frivolous ribbons"... better! And then the rest...
And there you have it - probably the darkest Valentine you'll see today!
Thanks so much for joining me on this little journey into the dark side of whitewash. I seem to be having a culturally inspired spell... Shakespeare on Saturday, Sherlock Holmes (or Sherlock Holtz as he's now known round here!) on Monday, off to the ballet on Tuesday, and now the world of silent film... what next, I ask myself? You'll just have to come back to find out!!
I'm entering this in:
Challenge 18, Whitewash Stamping over at Studio L3
Who are you calling a Succubus? at Haunted Design House
Office Supplies with a Twist (and plenty of red) at Our Creative Corner
The reason good women like me and flock to my movies is that there is a little bit of vampire instinct in every woman.
I have the face of a vampire, but the heart of a feminist.
During the rest of my screen career, I am going to continue doing vampires as long as people sin. For I believe that humanity needs the moral lesson, and it needs it in repeatedly larger doses.