I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Thursday 23 August 2012

The Dark Side of Whitewash

Hello, so happy you found some time to drop in here at Words and Pictures.  I warn you, today's card is a little off my usual beaten track... a walk on the dark side!

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 wrapped it around some die-cut Sizzix hearts, edged them with Aged Mahogany and smothered them in Rock Candy Crackle Paint.  

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.
Theda Bara

I have the face of a vampire, but the heart of a feminist.
Theda Bara

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.
Theda Bara


Creepy Glowbugg said...

This is pure gorgeousness! I LOVE all the techniques (I think I need Tim's book), and how well everything works togeher. I also adore your choice of femme fatale.
Thanks so much for joining us this week at Haunted Design House.

Inkypinkycraft said...

Another great piece, love the hearts and the way you have usedthe whitewash stamping technique. Trace. X

Anonymous said...

This is incredible. I am not one for taking a walk on the dark side but this is inspirational and adore the fact you selected that particular infamous silent movie star.

DonnaMundinger said...

LOVE your techniques and the fab textures you've achieved here. wonderful images of the "vamp", too. The staples are a perfect touch. Thanks for sharing with HDH. xxD

Julie Case said...

I love this! It's so creative and appeals to my own 'dark side' :)

ike said...

This is an incredibly awesome piece and so many different techniques. It's truly amazing. Thank you for joining us at Haunted Design House and I hope to see you again now you've dipped your toe into our little Dark world :-) LoL
Ike xx

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Love your dark side , the images are fantastic as is the design. Love the addition of the hearts too. Great techniques. Tracy x

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Love how you've used such different materials for this creation...great

greetings, Alie :-)

Redanne said...

As a piece of art displaying many wonderful techniques it is fabulous, love how you added the 'office supplies' - now that was brilliant.......A x

Hettie said...

Love your CC2C piece. Nice to have a little history lesson too!
I had to have two goes but like the end result.

Sarah said...

I never know what I will find when I visit you blog....I like that!!

House of Bears said...

We love this, it's so different and there's so much to look at. Love the way you have changed romance to sinister with the sentiment, fab. I think we may need TH's book from Santa :)

Sue said...

Wow Alison, I think we've just been introduced to your dark side lol. This is a stunning piece of art, so full of detail x

Elly said...

Oh what a stunner!! Really cool techniques and yummy colours. I love the complete story behind this card.I am blown away (:o)

Unknown said...

Really love your unique interpretation of the Office Supplies challenge with lots of Red. All those staples look wonderful! I totally love how you have done this. Thank you for joining us this week and hope to see you again.

Dawn said...

Very dark indeed! Fantastic techniques and use of products. All the elements pull so well together to make a wonderfully twisted valentine.

Andrea Small said...

I've had a thing for Theda Bara for a very long time and I love what you've done with her...how clever to think of the staples. Marvellous x

Sophie said...

Eine fantastische Karte.

Liebe Grüße

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison. Gorgeous project. Love the whitewash technique.
Regards Florence x

I Don't Do Straight said...

Love the creepy vintage feel of this, great images! Thanks for sharing with us at Haunted Design House this week :)

Susan said...

Great technique. The best part is the quotations at the end of each of your creations. They are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Welcome to the dark side!!! You have done this technique correctly, so many have not! I didn't like my results much either. I think it takes a larger special area in a stamp to makes it look right in our eyes. But the one you used (same one I used) rocks here! So perfect for the silent and haunted boudwoirs...lol! Gorgeous work dear!

Andrea C said...

I ADORE this!! Absolutely gorgeous to the total maximum capacity. LOVE it. Thanks for sharing with us at Haunted Design HOuse this week x

Lisa Minckler said...

I'm just curious. I keep hearing 'Come to the dark side. We have cookies!' Figured since you'd crossed over, is it true, all the hype over pastries? LOL
Personally, I think your macabre Valentine is sensational. Obviously you've put tons of thought into this and humor as well. I love the photos and the textures you've created. I almost peed myself when you said, "Take that frivolous ribbon!" Hahahaha...great post, great project and love them staples and the red!

Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us at Our Creative Corner. Best of luck and we'd love to have you visit again next week!
Lisa xx

mark gould said...

WOW, This is so cool, Great choice of images and the layout is spot on.
The Papillion set is one of my faves, I love that background stamp,The colours work so well and all the texture and detail just add to the whole piece.
Thans for playing in the dungeon this week at Haunted Design House

Mark x

Marjie Kemper said...

I'm loving the way you've treated the filmstrip, and the stalker-esque qualities of this one. It's creepy AND cool!

Scrumplescrunch said...

I made it to the end of the post... only because it was so entertaining so you won me over.....
Wonderful creation; it is so much more than a card, you seem to have fulfilled the requirements of the three Challenges without any skimping on any of the requirements asked for, so well done.
We are at OCC are thrilled to have you join us this week and to experience your 'Dark Side'!

Shelby said...

Love how you've done the film strip and the staples work beautifully with the theme.


Lili said...

Gorgeous! Great techniques and beautiful results. I love every single detail and I also enjoyed what you wrote on your post. You've done a wonderful job! Thank you for playing along with us at Our Creative Corner this week!

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

This is an utterly fantastic expression of creativity! I was totally enthralled by your post and enjoyed every single well-thought-out detail. My favorite pieces are the filmstrip and that tongue in cheek sentiment but your hearts are pretty fab too. The staples are the perfect finisher. Thanks for sharing your seriously cool piece with us this week at Our Creative Corner!


Sharon Wheet said...

I think you did a fabulous job pairing 'silent films' with 'gothic'. I just love the vintage photos and that gorgeous heart! WOW!
thank you for playing along with us @ OCC

Unknown said...

Ooooh scary and yet I love all the details of how you created this piece. Your mind works in amazing ways Alison. TFS!

Bärbel said...

Ein wunderbares Projekt, durch die Fotos in dem Filmstreifen bekommt das Ganze etwas Mystisches - grandios!

mark gould said...

hey ya, congrats on the win over at HDH, great piece xx