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 10 September 2015

Hot Picks Halloween

Hello all!  I'm back again... this time with the PaperArtsy Hot Picks Halloween creations.  If you missed the how-to details of the Christmas ones you'll find them at A PaperArtsy Christmas.  I know you all saw these on the original release post on Monday.  I'm really just popping these posts on for anyone who's curious about how they were made - don't feel you have to comment again!

It also gives me a chance for a couple more close-ups.  The Christmas samples were a) a bit too early for me and b) a bit pink-and-purple for my personal taste, but I really loved creating these Halloween bits and bobs.  I do love a good skull (the Yorick connection?) and a good vintage label too.

As I mentioned, the colour palette Leandra gave us had the most delicious names!  Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Granny Smith (and Brown Shed and Teresa Green too, but they're less tasty... if only the old Cinnamon colour hadn't been discontinued we would have had the perfect pudding!).

Let me start with the bottles, as that's where my imagination started.  I used the Tim Holtz Apothecary Bottles die to cut my basic shapes.

They're cut in fairly sturdy card (I knew these samples would have to survive going on the road) which had a smooth white surface on one side.  An old card envelope I'd hoarded... 

The green bottles are painted in shades of Teresa Green and Granny Smith (loving these new Limited Edition greens) with a coat of Gloss Glaze over the top, and the brown ones have a glaze of Brown Shed mixed with Gloss Glaze and painted on.  Brown Shed is already only semi-opaque, so you get a really translucent glow once it's mixed as a glaze.

The white labels are stamped on Smoothy card, and then I stamped the others on the PaperArtsy kraft coloured waxed tissue paper.  It's almost see-through by the time it's got glue on the back, so you get great variation according to the colour of bottle it's stuck on.

Crackle backgrounds (of course)...

... with the fabulous Beware label and some checkerboard stamping, rusty wire and we're done.

Here's the 5x7 panel, again playing with the idea of labels, but this time without the need for bottles.

For the background, I brayered the neutral paint from the palette on to the card from the lightest to the darkest and then some Vanilla back on top, so that gets you some pretty good layers to start with.  I gave it another one with Brown Shed through the Tim Holtz Shatter stencil (hmm... you say "shatter", I say "cobweb").

I added the Danger stamp, stamped in Sepia and clear-embossed, and then I sprinkled some grains of black embossing powder in places and re-heated.  I loved the look so I added more granules in other places!

The labels are stamped in Jet Black onto Crunchy Wax Craft Paper, and I added clear-embossing powder before heating to melt the image into the wax.  I stuck them on plain white card so they would show well, and mounted them on padded tape for a pop of dimension.

This fantastic Arsenic collage stamp has also been embossed.  I have a feeling that this time I used Versamark and some Detail Black embossing powder rather than stamping in black and clear-embossing.

Same thing for the Beware label.  And Leandra wanted green accents, so she got them - some delicate shading around the skull (with Granny Smith mixed with water to make a wash - otherwise my background would disappear as all the new paints are opaque), and of course the green glass bottle in the other image.

I added the Idea-ology metal bits also with a hint of bilious green added (hmm... been eating too much Granny Smith Toffee pudding!), and attached with good old rusty wire.  You can see some more of those black embossing powder "splatters" here too.

I really wanted to see what the skulls would look like in more of a bone white colour, so for this pair of tags I embossed with Vanilla White embossing powder, and I love it!

We're over a background of torn bookpage strips, painted Vanilla and with the Tim Holtz cobweb stencilled over in Brown Shed.  There's some more of the checkerboard to add another layer of interest too.

The Vanilla White embossing gives you not only the bone colour but also a lovely knobbly texture.

The labels were made in the same way as the ones for the panel, but this time I left a border of the white card around the edge to make them pop.

I do love how the book pages can be seen in the cranium of this skull!

All these creations were mounted onto thick white card to finish them off.  I really like the shabby borders, plus it also gives them just that bit more sturdiness for when they're on tour.

A bit more rusty wire around the centre of the tags as well as up at the top to hold the seam binding in place, and that's two more ready for the off.

Finally, we come to a pair of tags with maybe my favourite background of the lot.

I painted the tags in Brown Shed, applied a layer of Crackle Glaze and allowed it to dry.  Then I applied my Vanilla paint through the cobweb stencil, and I love the effect.

I've used the checkerboard and Danger stamps again to create more background layers, and used a blender to apply Sepia Archival ink around the edges.  (It's Archival for all the edging - again if they're going off in an envelope or boxes and going up on the wall, there's a chance they could get wet, so Distress would be vulnerable.)

The main images are stamped in Sepia with some Coffee blended onto the stamp too, and then clear-embossed.

I'm not obsessed - I just think it's a good way to get an image to pop over a busy background.

I got up to my credit card tricks again, adding some accents of Granny Smith...

There's even some Granny Smith checkerboarding this time (somehow I feel sure she always wins).

... and the Idea-ology Muse Tokens were altered with Teakwood alcohol ink to warm their tone a little.

Curled rusty wire at the top of the tags finishes us off, and we're (finally!) done.

It's a tough call to pick my favourite stamp from this set, they're all fantastic.  And they seem to complement each other so well... I think that's why I ended up working in tag pairs - the stamps wanted to talk to each other.  (Don't mind me - it's been a bit full on round here lately so I may be losing it slightly.)

So there's some behind the scenes details for those who want to try out something similar or are just plain nosy.  Be my guest!  It's process rather than results which always fascinates me, so I'm happy to share.  It also reminds me in the future if I ever want to reproduce the effects... 

'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

Things are still cooking over at PaperArtsy - Hot Picks on Monday, Clare Lloyd Eclectica³ on Tuesday, Emma Godfrey Eclectica³ last night... who will it be tonight at 7pm?  You'll just have to wait and see.


Helen said...

Alison, these Halloween tags are just fantastic, crammed full of details (as ever) and make me want the stamps (I don't 'do' Halloween as a rule) The new greens are just gorgeous (mine should arrive today!!) Hope these will be on the boards at Ally Pally so I can see them close up. xx

brenda said...

A fabulous array of artwork Alison, you really have been having fun.

B x

Jane said...

Such fantastic work Alison, I saw them over at PA...brilliant new stamps. All your backgrounds are brilliant, thanks for showing them here....I agree about the shatter stencil......I didn't even realise it wasn't called cobweb until I went to use it and needed to list the name!

SueC said...

Fantastic projects Alison! I do love the shattered stencilling over the crackle too! Sue C x

chrissie said...

Always good to see how things are made Alison and these are worth a second look for sure

Love Chrissie xx

Clare Lloyd said...

Wonderful samples. X

Cestina said...

Oh the quotes!

What's that figure of speech called when you set two opposing things against each other and they heighten the effect?
PS Tags are pretty amazing too....

froebelsternchen said...

These are fantastic.. all masterly - colours, textures, composition! Absolutely gorgeous!

Evelyn Walter said...

Absolutely stunning pieces, dear Alison! Well, Halloween is not my cup of tea, but your tags are so mysterious, I love them. The spiderweb stamp is phantastic!
xxx Evelyn

Jackie PN said...

absolutely love these!! Those bottles are fab! xo

Marci said...

You have been busy. They are all wonderful but the bottles are Wow! Those label stamps are just fantastic the way you have done them on the bottles.

Lisa Minckler said...

Flippin' freakin' fantastic! You say potato, I say potato, you say crackle, I say cobweb...LOL...loved that! You are so right, that's an incredible look and WOW, did I ever enjoy that post. My eyeballs have been dancing, dancing, dancing. As if like a witch around a cauldron....LOVE your work!!
hugs to you Alison,
Lisa x

Dorthe said...

A new amazing collection dear Alison, just gorgeous what you can do with a background , all the texture, and wonderful cobwebs they took my breath !! The vanilla white is also here, so beautiful, and love the feeling of heawy old cardstock you created on the two tags, and also here the FANTASTIC background with papers , and embossing !!
Love it all, Alison !!
Dorthe, xx

Anneke said...

Your work looks adorable . How wonderful your color use.
It looks great the French green with the brown. Thanks for
inspiring me. I want to try these two colors together.
And thanks a lot for showing how you made this. It' a lot
of work for you.

Julia Aston said...

These tags are so spooky cool Alison - love the green and brown colors - all the wonderful backgrounds and stampings ! Julia xx

Corrie Herriman said...

I love them all ! Fab colour combination !
Corrie x

Meggymay said...

Fabulous details, backgrounds and textures, an amazing selection of projects.
Yvonne xx

Lynne Moncrieff said...

Amazing collection of samples from you Alison, showcasing the latest HotPicks to perfection.
It was only at the weekend I started to root around my Halloween stamps, keen this year to make up for last year when I did very little in the way of Halloween artwork. Not that I will be creating anything on a parr with your fabulously spooky art.
BTW, yes the Prima wire comes in a variety of colours. Not sure I am doing you a favour by revealing that information!

rachel said...

absolutely wonderful - I just had to order the bottles - you really brought them to life for me Alison - and the stamps are amazing too - brilliant! Hugs rachel x

Margik said...

Fabulous Halloween projects, Alison! I especially like the crackle backgrounds. A fantastic composition and colour combo too. A great job!
Mar xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Wonderful samples Alison, I just love your bottles!

Lucy x

Sandy said...

Alison - where do you get all this time!!! Do you ever eat or sleep? Your tags are wonderful and I better get to creating or Halloween will be gone - gone - gone!
Sandy xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Well, I love Halloween your style! Not good around Halloween at all!! Chrisx

Adventures in Paperland said...

Love these Alison! Can't wait to check out your Christmas makes too. Have a wonderful weekend. xx

Mrs.B said...

Looks like you've had fun making these samples. Love the background and the bottles look amazing.
Avril xx

Julia said...

I think I need to use the word "wicked" for these projects. They are excellent. X

Princess Judy Palmer said...

This are just too awesome. I'm still loving that green. It is perfect for Halloween. I love all the kraft.

Barbara said...

stunning project! All your tags are incredible, absolutely a great Halloween work! BArbarayaya

craftimamma said...

Love all your makes with these fab Halloween stamps Alison. Wonderful colour selection which works perfectly with these images. They look fabulous embossed in Vanilla White! Brilliant showcasing of the new PaperArtsy releases!

Lesley Xx

Gaby Bee said...

Absolutely amazing pieces, Alison! You are so talented. I loved to see the step-by-step process.

Gaby xo

Unknown said...

Oh Alison!! Sooooo amazing!! Another stellar collection of your creative expertise!! I could eat all of these samples up--well, with names like Caramel, Toffee, Granny Smith...how could I resist!! ? :) :) Fabulous creations, Alison!! XOXO-Shari

Deb said...

Alison, these are all so wonderful, where to start?! I have to get hold of some of that PA wax paper kraft, love how the stamped images melt into the background, what a fabulous effect. Your choice of background techniques and images is perfect with the focals you have paired them with and those new colours are luscious, love the names too. The embossed images really do pop on the backgrounds, very effective. Thanks so much for sharing the details of these wonderful Halloween creations, love them all! Deb xo

Cocofolies said...

I haven't congratulated you yet for this amazing bunch of Halloween tags and cards (and also the Christmas ones!!), but when I saw them on the PA's blog (couldn't resist to see the new releases..Lol), I was totally in awe... Wow wow wow Alison, you really ROCKED for your samples!!!!!! Simply fabulous! Hugs and good night, Coco xxx

Annie said...

stunning makes Alison and I love the colours you used. You have really pulled out all the stops with your fabulous samples. I am loving the new PA releases x

TFS Annie x

Michelle Webb said...

Fantastic Alison, so many wonderful detailed tags. I think those stamps are awesome too. You've done so many lovely techniques with them too. Embossingvand stamping is gorgeous, love visiting your blog. Michelle xxx