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...

Sunday 26 November 2017

Just Slightly Macabre

Encore Posts
I'm away again for a month or so.  There are some scheduled posts with new creations coming your way, but I'm also taking the chance to do some catching up here at Words and Pictures.   Projects which made their first appearances elsewhere for Design Team duties or Guest Designer opportunities, but which only had a sneak peek here, are being gathered together in the pages of my virtual scrapbook.  I'm calling them "Encore" posts and they're formatted differently (all the way down the centre), so you can spot them easily.
Please don't feel that you have to comment all over again!

Here's another creation from a couple of years back... September 2015 to be exact.  This was one of my Destination Inspiration posts for A Vintage Journey, where you have set ingredients to play with - and I must say, it's one of my favourites.  Since it's only three inches cubed, you could consider it some extra inspiration for Anne's fantastic Mini Marvels challenge over at A Vintage Journey right now, November 2017!

I hope you enjoy a little trip down a slightly shadowy memory lane into the "regions beyond".  Here's what I wrote back then... It's a long one this, so you may want to fortify yourselves with a hot drink, ready for the macabre stories and ideas twisted into this tiny room.

Hello all, Alison here, and I'm delighted to have arrived at Terminal 2 with my bagful of possibilities.  If you saw Astrid's fabulous creation last Monday, you'll know what we've got packed in our luggage this month:
Product - Distress Inks
Technique - Wrinkle Free Distress
Featured Colour - Wild Honey
Substrate - Anything 3D

And here's what I put together whilst waiting for departure... a tiny room, which became gradually slightly creepier as the project progressed (well, Halloween is on the way, though it's not quite here yet).

Yes, that's right, that is a candle down there at the front - so obviously you need to know how it looks lit up too!

I'm going to follow the pattern and give you candlelight and daylight for most shots - it really does change the mood.

I suppose it was partly the candle that influenced the path the room took - it became a little Victorian parlour, a shrine filled with memento moris, the signs and symbols of death and mourning with which the Victorians were so obsessed.

It didn't start out that way!  Wild Honey is a colour full of sunshine and warmth.  In fact, I did my wrinkle free distressing over some stippled gesso so that I would get some extra texture, and that gave it an even lighter, brighter look.  This is pure Wild Honey apart from the gesso - no other colours involved at this point.

I'd decided I would use one of the Calico Craft Parts ATB kits.  This one is a three inch cube, and comes with a square frame cut out of one side of the cube and with my dollshouse connections it immediately looked like a room to me - once it was put together obviously!

I covered the exterior walls with my Wild Honey patterned paper and added some extra detailing with the gorgeous alphabet stamp from the Typography set. It's stamped in Dandelion Archival - a really good match for the Wild Honey but with permanence to it.

I used the same stamp on the inner walls (this is all before gluing the kit together obviously, making it much easier to decorate!), stamped in Dandelion Archival and also clear-embossed over Picket Fence Distress Paint to create some resist detailing.

I couldn't resist adding some of my favourite tangled branches and grasses from Spring Sprung, inside and out.  I like how you get a sort of negative version of the outside on the inside...

At this point it was all still quite pretty and delicate - but then the Regions Beyond started to take hold of me and the influences got darker.

It started with punching the tiny bird out of the leftover wrinkle free distress paper and popping him into the cage.  I added a backing of the Regions Beyond tissue tape.  Why?  Well, caged birds take me on a couple of journeys in my imagination...

One, straight to any Victorian parlour, crammed with over-sized furniture and oppressively dark paintings and ugly bric-a-brac and almost certainly a bird in a cage...

Two, to Sondheim's Sweeney Todd - the song Greenfinch and Linnet Bird, all about caged birds, sung by Joanna, herself trapped essentially as a prisoner...

Three, to the canaries taken down mines as alarms - the canary would suffer the effects of undetected gas or lack of oxygen before the men working there.  A dead canary in its cage meant get out... fast!  So you can see we're slightly on the downswing with the canary in a cage.

Next to it on the shelf stands a bottle of poison - it turned up almost without me noticing.  The label is straight from the Regions Beyond papers... and the Regions Beyond tissue tape started to make its way onto the walls in straggling clouds, boding no good to anyone.

It's there on the outer walls too.

The interior shelf is created out of one of those padding foam pieces that comes in the packaging with embossing folders, covered with some more of the Wild Honey paper and some more tissue tape.

The china doll came next - most china dolls are always an unnerving presence to my mind, and here she's distressed and dilapidated and bound with rusty wire - ominous.

A forbidding portrait on the wall - either the subject of all these musings about death, or the lady of the house who insists on keeping these fragile mementoes of her lost ones.

She's cut from the Regions Beyond papers and glued behind a Fragment with some alcohol ink to distress the look.

On the floor, the most recognisable memento mori of all - you only catch sight of it at certain angles (like with Holbein's Ambassadors, where you only see the huge skull he's painted in to the supposedly flattering portrait if you look at it from a very acute angle).

As for the candle - that too has had a wrapping of Regions Beyond tissue tape - just the right width for these little tealights.

I'll have to keep the tape to hand each time I want to add a replacement candle of course.

By now, the floor was looking a little white and pristine, so I cut the Mixed Media Thinlits lattice out of some brown card and added Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder to give it some rusty distressing.

I love the look of this, and how the floor is clearly worn away in places.  Along with the rusty floor, I also dirtied up (down?) the walls with washes of paint, especially in the corners where nobody has cleaned for years.  This also means the resist stamping shows up a bit better too.

Some more rusty wire is wound around the room, keeping everything locked inside.

And I altered some Idea-ology corners with my favourite Rust, Ginger and Teakwood alcohol inks to give the top of the box a Victorian finishing touch.

Of course I still have the original "roof".  It can't go in place while the candle is lit - FIRE! - but I thought I'd hang on to it - if I keep the lid on when not in use, it will reduce the necessity for dusting!! (Dusting? Yeah, right, like I ever dust...)

So, I hope that's provided some fuel for your own crafty journey.  I had such a wonderful time making it.  Apologies for the long post, but I wanted to get inside the nooks and crannies...

... and let you explore from every angle!

Do come back next Monday to find out who your next travelling companion will be, and what they'll get up to with the contents of their bags at Terminal 3.

Thanks so much for stopping by - it's always fabulous to hear what you think.

Subtly macabre - but I tend to think that's the best sort of eerieness... when it creeps up on you with you hardly noticing, but then you suddenly notice all is not quite what it seems.  We're past Halloween now, but we are entering the longer nights of winter, and the time for ghost stories round the fire... or at least round the candle!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

She herself is a haunted house.  She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the windows of her eyes and that is very frightening.
From The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter


Valerie-Jael said...

What a beautifully scary little room! Have a fun time, hugs, Valerie

brenda said...

What a super room you created Alison, so much detail right down to the picture on the wall.

B x

Rita said...

What a fabulous creation Alison. The detail alone is so interesting. Well Done. Hugs Rita xxx

froebelsternchen said...

Fantastic - your assemblage talent is unbelievable! I can't remember this project - thank you for showing it again!♥♥♥

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is just wonderful; so atmospheric!!!

Lucy x

Hazel Agnew said...

Totally fascinating. Love the panels. What a great idea to tissue tape the t-light. Great inspiration Alison. Xx

Jackie PN said...

I do remember this one and I DO just love it!! Thanks for the reshare!
Jackie xx

Lys said...

I missed this, thanks for remembering! I love the details of the story you put into your creation: I always dive into your stories, even if this one can be scary...

Dortesjs said...

You have such a great fantasy and are so creative.

Corrie Herriman said...

Loved it then, still love it now ! Stunning !
Corrie xx

Redanne said...

The more macabre the better in my book - I love every single little detail about this - the floor, the skull, the birdcage, the doll - everything. Most definitely worth a second look!! Anne xx

Meggymay said...

Not a room I would like to visit in real life, but here it looks fantastic. Great details and it looks awesome in the candle light.
Yvonne xxx

Kate Yetter said...

So gorgeous! It really looks like a different project in day vs night. So many pretty things in your box but I especially love the doll.

Dorthe said...

It is gorgeous, a wonderful scary room, for that poor girl, and canary , both so trapped, an d looking so poorly . The colors makes it beautiful and sunny even evil is there, and hopefully they will be freed soon .
So love it Alison .
Hugs, Dorthe

sarascloset said...

Definitely worth a second look here as an Encore, Alison! So much attention to detail with an eerie effect when lit! Love how you've papered the walls and every single spooky detail!

Brenda Brown said...

Lovely seeing this showcased again such a brilliant project xxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh yes! BRILLIANT and SPOOKY! I don't know how you made that work, but here it is!Chrisx