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...

Monday 29 October 2012

Halloween Masks

Hello all, and welcome!  Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.

Another Halloween number for you today - and apologies if the title led you to believe there would be actual masks here (as in Masquerade type masks)... I'm thinking of the crafty-technique sort.  Here's what I've been up to - a plaque to hang on the wall behind the treat baskets this Wednesday:

I'm so in love with this skull stamp from Tim Holtz's Apothecary set... I think without it I probably wouldn't have gone Halloween-y at all.  

And now I'm on at least my fifth project influenced by All Hallows Eve (hereherehere and here, if you've time to spare, and curiosity enough to kill a cat...), and he's on three out of the five, and clearly on overtime in this one!

There are a number of Halloween themes around at the moment, of course, but the challenge over at Our Creative Corner is specifically looking for Halloween with the use of masking technique.  I love to mask, as you'll have seen if you visited the first 'here', so I didn't need telling twice.

I love the 3D effect you get of one image sitting behind another, and I love that you can get those extreme colour differences, right up to the image, which gives it such definition.  

So the central skull went in place first, and I used the mask I'd already cut for him - out of an old book page.  The paper is quite thin without being completely flimsy, which makes for a good mask.  

If your mask is on thicker paper or card, you won't be able to get the image to stamp as close to your first, as there'll be gap where it has to deal with the thickness of the paper.  

However, if it's on something too thin and frail, you won't be able to do the blending without it creasing up or ripping. Bit of a Goldilocks situation - but I find the book page is "just right". 

Next to be stamped were the skulls either side of the central image and then, using the same mask, the spiders' webs (Tattered Angels) and writing (TH Apothecary - my new favourite script stamp!)  behind them. 

All of that was stamped in Black Archival ink, since I knew I'd want to do some blending, and who knows what else, and wanted the images to keep their integrity.   

Then I did my colouring of the two secondary skulls, Pumice Stone DI on a blending tool, done quite roughly - not looking for perfect precision.  Then it had to be Chipped Sapphire to give me my moonlit night behind the skulls.

I used the Picket Fence Distress marker on their teeth, and then had to do some re-outlining of some of the teeth with the fine end of the Black Soot one.  The teeth have also had a layer of Chalk Dust Glimmer Mist, painted on from a spritz on the craft sheet.  The central skull also has a layer of this gentle sparkliness - hard to photograph, but I think you can just catch it in a couple of the photos...

The Happy Halloween (also TH Apothecary) is embossed in Frantage Aged Silver enamel onto dark blue card.  

The same card is used as the background to the plaque, embossed with the Cracked Texture TH embossing folder (always looks a bit cobwebby to me).  I applied some Pewter Metallic Distress stain to the raised areas for the sheen and lustre of it.  

Between my inked card and the embossed background, there's a layer of calico, frayed at the edges... I loved how it picked up the colour of the Pumice Stoned skulls so exactly, as well as offering some lovely additional texture.

I was lucky enough to have Mr Random Generator pick my comment out of the hat over at Snazzy's last month, and the spider comes out of the TH Idea-ology Halloween set that arrived a couple of days ago to put a big smile on my face.

He timed his arrival perfectly and looks rather splendid, I think, with a little coat of Pewter Metallic Distress Stain!

Tis the night - the night
Of the grave's delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they - it is they.
Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
William Shakespeare

Hold on, man.  We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title.
From Scooby-Doo

I'm entering this in the following:
Masking for Halloween at Our Creative Corner
Halloween at Try It On Tuesday
Halloween at Top Tip Tuesday - and my tip: cut your mask out of thin paper to get a really close up edge to your stamping and blending
The Fashionable Stamping Challenge have also got a Halloween challenge... this is my third and final entry (well, it won't be Halloween much longer - got to make the most of it!)


froebelsternchen said...

that´s awesome... wonderful artwork!

sam21ski said...

Those skulls look fabulous and I love your background and the spider which arrived at the right time!!!

Sam xxx

MarcyK924 said...

Hi Alison! Another beauty from you and I must say, it is FABULOUSLY spooky! I LOVE the way you masked those skulls - they look so cool! Beautiful inking and distressing! Thanks so much for honoring us, once again, with your amazing creation for the challenge this week at Our Creative Corner! Hugs, Marcy

Happy Halloween!

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Great plaque Alson, love the blue background and the masked skulls. Cannot believe Halloween is upon us and I am now finishing my last Halloween creation, quite sad really. I have so enjoyed creating for Halloween this year. Tracy x

Evil Edna said...

wow just gets better and better, thank you for joining the dance of DOOOOM at TIOT.EE

Brenda Brown said...

Fabulous masking, you have certainly made good use of that stamp and this is a superb example, perfect for Wednesday.

Hugs Brenda xxx

Anonymous said...

The impact is stunning. Astonishing use of the skull stamp.
Alison, each Halloween piece of art you share with us as a beautiful twist on the theme. You have chosen your own path regarding colour choice and your stamped art.

Astrid Maclean said...

Great piece and masked to perfection! You certainly have given that stamp a well deserved work out! Blue is such an unusual colour for Halloween, but you have made it work to perfection!

Annie said...

Hi Alison. If I had Tim's Apothecary stamps I would be creating lots of Halloween makes too. The skull is fantastic and I love your masking x Brilliant webs and good timing of your fabulous spider:)

Good luck in the challenges. Thank you too for your visit and comments which are truly appreciated.

Happy Halloween

Annie x

House of Bears said...

We love masking, it makes for such great effects. Your project is spooktacular! Love the cobwebs, and your spider prize completes your project perfectly.

Sarah said...

This is so cool!!! I love your use of non-traditional colors...very effective.

Unknown said...

You are definitely on a roll Alison. Another fab Halloween creation and love that it's blue. ;) Hugs

annes paperfun said...

Woahw! Soooo cool!!
Lovely colors ♥

chrissie said...

Fantastic piece of artwork. A great idea to hand it above the treat basket.

Love Chrissie xx

Jenny Marples said...

A masterclass in masking. Love the way you have put this together. As you say, it gives real depth without layering bulk. Hugs, Buttons x

Laurart said...

This is wonderful! I adore everything you do and always look forward to seeing a new blog post. Even if I have already seen the item I can't wait to read your words. Everything comes to a stop and it is a wonderful timeout for me to just sit and enjoy what you have written... BTW I am sure you already know this but at the top of my letter to Father Christmas will be "Things Alison has made PLEASE!"....and some ink and a blending tool....;o) xxxxx

Claudia N. said...

That plaque is really wonderful, Alison!

Perfect masking and lovely colours! The spider sits perfectly placed in its' creepy corner, thinking about which eye-hole to choose for a cosy undisturbed nap. Can almost hear her telling off ;)

Gorgeous project again!

Claudia xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison. Another amazing project. Will be back later with a packed lunch and a flask for a better catch up. My word you have been busy. Wonderful creations.
Regards Florence xx

Julia S-W said...

Gorgeous spooky piece with fabulous stamping Alison - love it!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

That background is so gorgeous and full of sheen!!! I love it! And that spider, where did you get him???

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Uaaah, just scary, but really wonderful. Love the skulls and the spider.

Katherine said...

Beautiful and scary :) Love all the detail and the subtle shimmer and embossed background - gorgeous :)

Netty said...

Brilliant, totally love this fab hanging, such a terrific design, x

Shelby said...

Great plaque and will be awesome on display for Halloween.


Mynn xx said...

An absolutely amazing card and a super fabulous tip! :) LOVE the coloring and elements! :)

Neet said...

I would never have thought of using that shade of blue but it works so perfectly with those magnificent skulls. What a fabulous hanging you have created, love the lettering and the spider is perfect. Spooktacular! Wish I was calling in my witch hat!
Hugs, Neet xx

Unknown said...

Wow. This card is absolutely stunning. You have done such a great job of the masking technique and I just love your project! Love love love it :)

Lisa Minckler said...

Ohhhh how I would love to trick or treat at your house!! If I leave now, I could just make it on time to see this INCREDIBLE piece of Halloween artwork. Your masking is fantastic and that is such a super tip too. It's worth taking the time to get the right masking tool. This will be the rage in your neighborhood, I'm sure!!

Thank you so much for joining us at Our Creative Corner and Top Tip Tuesday :)
OHHH and Happy Halloween too!
Lisa xx

Anonymous said...

You have used a colour that isn't normally associated with Halloween yet it doesn't detract from the menacing quality of this piece of stunningly stamped art.
Thank you for sharing with us at FSC.

Terry said...

I do believe that skull and his little brother are among my favorite stamps this year! Awesome masking and inking! Love this Halloween treat! Thank you for joining us at FSC!

rudlis said...

Stunning design and gorgeous work!
Thanks for joining us at Our Creative Corner.

Mrs.B said...

WOW this is Fabulous and Spooky!Love the different colour effects on each skull. Fabulous background.

Love the fact that you are putting it behind the 'Treat' basket!!

Thanks for joining us at FSC with our Halloween challenge.
Avril xx

Brenda Brown said...

Just popped back Alison to say thanks for linking this to Fashionable Stamping Challenges Halloween challenge.
Hugs {brenda} xxx