Monday, January 23, 2017

Now is the time...

So DiD you made any New Year promises?

Yes, it's that time of year, new beginnings and the whole 
year to reach for your goals ... or just lay back and enjoy the ride, :=)

I got this baby wiper what I had used to clean my desk and
I just loved the colors ... so I glued it to my AJ book,
stamped with Seth Apter's  (our outstanding sponsor this and next month)
awesome Roundabouts stamps, ladies are from Dina Wakley's set
and the cool sentiment is made using ink, black gesso and great The Time stencil.

There is still time to link your art to our 
LINKY, make our evil frog content and
us happy to come and see...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Poe-Apter Chapter

A tale of worry and fear: as she looks through her binoculars, every sailor's wife's fear:
The full picture:

And the wee tot beside her, wailing for daddy...
From my 1-metre-high stack of 12x12 kiwiana papers, a seascape with our "Christmas Tree", the pohutukawa.  We have far too high a death-rate from people swimming, sailing, especially in summer, so it's been in the news a lot lately.  I liked the blankness of the middle - this lady also has a huge gap in her middle as she wonders whether her man will return.  She is from a Graphics 45 steampunk paper collection.

It wouldn't be a post this month without a Word From Our Sponsor, Seth Apter: Robo Ring die (the surround, not the cut-out) layered over the Drip Drop die, Happenings from ConText stamp set, then Barcode from Pattern Play stamp set made excellent sea mist/drizzle/tears.
Also used other Spellbinder dies: scalloped heart, Say What (deleted?),  conversation bubble 4, and probably the gears, though I tend to cut a million from all my dies at once, then they're ready for when I need them.
The wee yacht in the speech bubble is from vivalasvegas stamps.
"Nevermore" is a stamp from Silver Crow Creations, who have so many goodies,including the little people that have fallen overboard, but whose stamps are temporarily unavailable (Get well soon Pete!)

Lost Coast Designs are having a Poe Appreciation blog hop - now we're in!

There will be more posts from my teamies this month, and I've been having a lot of fun with the Drip Drop die, but you won't see them until next month.  Leave us (and Seth) some love below, and your own off-beat, dark or weird makes here

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We Have Our Eyes on YOU!

Our fabtastic sponsor this month is Seth Apter of whom you can read and shop and learn all at his blog The Altered Page! And we have him as our sponsor for two months so two chances to win awesomeness!   My offering today is almost a New Year's Resolution because the skellie with Seth's die in glitter paper around it is telling me that I do Got this :)  Something I always need a reminder of!

The skellie canvas was another free lesson of the Art Sherpa with Seth's round stamp with random numbers on it Alpha Centauri Cling Rubber Stamp stamped on the roses with black ink and around the canvas.  The sentiment is a mini stencil "You Got This"  with rough modeling paste painted over with some purple and white washed over it.  Love love the circle "Drip Drop Die Set"  with the drips that fit perfect around the skellie's eye!

Make sure you check out Seth's blog it has all the info you will need on it!  And get those entries into the frog so you can have a chance to win something wonderful from Seth!  So jump right HERE and enter for January!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The @#!!!##* WHAT is in the mail???

At the start of the year, you got a peek inside my hot water cupboard (here).  Here's a peek inside the letterbox, which frequently homes earwigs (I had brought it inside for refurbishment)
Hmmmm, not enough Happy Mail since Christmas - spider web, ants, even a bat has taken up residence, and something's bits of bones!!!
The spider web is from Eye Connect.  I threaded brads, and the narrowest cutout of Seth Apter's Citrus die through the holes.  Did the cockroaches think "No Entry" (Triplex, officially) symbols would stop the mailman from disturbing their environment?  The "archways" along the left side are cut out parts of the same die - adding "texture" ๐Ÿ‘€ or covering rusted-out bits of mailbox where insects come & go like doorways.  I also made use of vintage paper bags from Silver Crow Creations, cutting them for the inner circle of the largest Robo Ring die, (inside right wall above) and ripping a chunk to reinforce the hinge, which kept cracking when only paint was on it.

At this earlier stage, there are only 3 layers on the mailbox, including the "Timeless" stencil:
By the end of it, there are at least 6 layers on the inside of the door, plus the collaged paper and postage stamp.  Easily identifiable is the Discovery stencil which was repeated slightly offset in a second colour.
Seth loves telling us "If it's worth doing once, it's worth doing twice"
So I did - again & again ๐Ÿ”—๐Ÿ”—๐Ÿ”—
The outsides - the back had fewer layers.  You will see the Pathways die cuts in other places too.  I had a narrow strip of manilla folder, which was perfect for a bit of incomplete fencing... or something.  Maybe it's a breathing gap for the insects. 

Typical rural mailbox, it has the flag that, when up, says there's mail inside for collection, and the 4" version of  The Time stencil is a good size to tell the mailman he has to stop and collect mail to the Post Office.  This also gives a good shot of the NZ stamps arranged like the spine of a Tuatara along the top:
Different lighting in the photo below, and you can see Citrus and Pathway dies again.  Some of the Inside Out stencil was heat embossed. Hard to see but all adding texture, or patina (LOL) are stamps: Morse Code, Raindrops, Birch bark, and Letter spin which was stamped onto tissue paper then ripped and parts placed around the mailbox, 

On the other side the flag is again the 4" version of You Got This stencil, telling us from the distance whether it's worth coming down the drive for mail.  The arm of the flag includes the Urban Insiders Bar stencil - one part on this side, the other on the other side.  Both parts are also elsewhere on the mailbox.  Like the Birch stamp, they resembled aspects of posted mail.  I had had a near-final layer of spatters, with green-gold paint.  Looked fab, until it dried to invisibility, so out came the white.  Maybe it's guano, instead of moss-stain.

Within stamp was heat embossed onto tissue paper, and the lettering coloured in before gluing to the front.  (It was also partially stamped several times inside the mailbox.)  The numbers were die cut, stamped with  birch bark - for this project it was a particularly appropriate image, as it resembles the cancellation stamp over postage stamps.
Every so often I make a batch of tyvek beads.  Some proved handy to keep the front shut after threading onto elastic, and the Bat pick from Silver Crow Creations makes a great doorstop on the inside, and a hook for the beads to hang round, on the outside.
Here's hoping for Happy Mail, Fan Mail, just about any sort of mail to clear out the nasty taste of insects and post-Creepmas bills from this letterbox.

When I started going through my tool-stash, I realised how much of a collection of Seth's designs  I had acquired.  It started over 2 years ago when I met him and saw his urban grunge stencils across the ditch in Australia. On the challenge blog here we all feel amazingly privileged to have Seth sponsoring us so generously.  Seth's dies and some stamps can also be found at Spellbinders, more stamps at Impression Obsession, stencils at Stencil Girl, and classes on DVD or downloadable at North Light (and books).
Having watched and "done" the card play video, started the Top 10 Collage Principles one (while sort-of-convalescing from not-whooping cough), read his articles in Cloth Paper Scissors, seen clips with him in episodes of Make It Artsy, this mail box is rather "in the style of", as well as using his tools.  Challenge to me for next month is to use the tools in a not-Seth-style?  Unless E Frog or teamies over-rule me ๐Ÿ”‡

Leave us some off-beat, creepy-love below, and link your weird/creepy/dark creation here, because Seth gave us some extra goodies to share!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

December 2016 Winner's Post!

Hello there!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! The holiday madness is done! Yesss!

Today we have a short post to celebrate the winner of our December Challenge....

......the the marvelous piece was created by....

...IKE #2 X-Rated Xmas 2 

amazingly gruesome creep! The Frogster was pleased!

Ike please email us at
so we can arrange your Merry Xmas treat!

If you've missed opportunities to take live classes with Seth Apter, check out his DVDs which are also available as downloads from North Light (Interweave Press).
Backgrounds done while watching his Card Play class done ON playing cards, and on a child's board book:

While you all are here, we hope you come back soon to play along in this month's challenge! Our awesome sponsor is Seth Apter and the winner gets a Seth Stamp, super fabulous! But you gotta play and Link Up with us HERE!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1

So 2016 saw lots of musicians and the odd actor head off to try a new batch of harps the angels have been making, leaving us here to cope with pretending to "use up" our stash creArting and releasing our weird and dark sides.  Long may it continue through 2017!

Not sure about you but I am sooo glad 2017 is finally here! That means we can finally share our amazing sponsor for this month and next, the amazing Seth Apter! Seth is an amazing source of talent and ongoing inspiration. You can find his blog, The Altered Page, HERE . We hope you visit, pop over and tell him Dream in Darkness sent you :)

Seth sent the Creative Team some toys to play with and one stamp set to give to the winner of the January and the February Creative Challenge. But you can't win if you don't play! So, on we go with our team makes!

CT Anne asks, What was YOUR New Year resolution?
Do more housework?
I opened the hot water cupboard, wherein the vacuum cleaner resides

Oops, is that Evil Froggie's nesting place?  Should I slam the door shut? Or live dangerously, have a closer look with the flashlight  - might be an auxiliary craft stash from the looks of the dust on the machine, the mouse trap, and a manky vacuum cleaner brush that didn't quite get put away properly...  think I'll grab that right now!  Add the front of a plastic skull, and that's as far as it got in Michael deMeng's "When Good Brushes Go Bad" class.  Since then, he's been corrupted by taking too many road trips with Seth Apter - because he suggested using stencils in his "Skullduggery" class!  So for a New Year resolution project, what better than picking out "change" from Seth's Unfinished stencil.  Putting it onto a curved skull was a little tricky - one of those practice makes perfect things - with modelling paste.  And it ended up unsure whether it was saying "chanGe", or chanCe" - both work today.

 I took a bit of licence with the stencil, leaving quite high peaks in parts.

 and full frontal:

Dust Bunnies Beware!  Life is unfinished - you hope!!!

Whoah! Anne totally rocked her piece of art! Don't you think?
Well this is Granne here and I made an AJ page inspired by Cyborgs...

Totally had a brill time with our awesome sponsors products:
Maze and Laser Beams Embossing folders,
Splatter Proof and Ring Around dies with some
metal tape, alcohol inks and Inka Golds.
AND the fab iris - got it from far far away land and love the look.

Resistance Is Futile....

Such amazing and fabulous texture, Granne! Love it! Next up, it's me, kim with some more Seth Stash Playtime!

I made a canvas using some of the colors, shapes and words that hold much of my heart.
The canvas is a funky size 7" x 7.75" it started life as a giraffe print at the dollar store.
Many layers later it morphed into this!

I used the Drip Drop die set to cut paper and used the leftovers as a stencil to play with the brilliant circles that make my heart happy.

I used the Stencil Girl Club stencil to do Truths at the top with heavy modeling paste by DecoArt.
For Revealed, I stamped through the stencil letters with the Word Salad circle stamp.

Seth stashed used:
Stencil Girl full size stencil club stencil
Seth Dies and Cling mounted rubber stamp.
Check out his online shop HERE

Come back during the month for more fun!

The Frogster is mighty angry we have used the bones of his ancester in our badge. To appease the beasty froggy, link up your creative makes with us!