So….it’s been a while.
Sorry for the pause.
I just wanted to pop in (up?) and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
I hope you all have had a wonderful Holiday Season!
I’ll be back with projects (and explanations) in 2018.
But, as I’ve shown on several other occasions, I am nothing if not seasonally out of synch.
And I had this idea for a quickie Halloween decoration idea and just didn’t want to wait another year.
It came together fast (it had to, the sun was setting and I had about an hour to get it made, staged and photographed).
So, apparently, Halloween, to means “things that light up” and, more specifically Victorian people with glowing eyes (Cheltenham Road – We have one idea and we’re sticking with it!!!!)
For this I used:
I had all my gloomy Victorians from my Glowing Eyes Candle Jar project so I put together a couple of quick collages and printed them out on my laser printer (you can find links to get some of the pictures in the Glowing Eye Candle Jar tutorial)
I use Photoshop for this sort of thing just to be able to move quickly but the same could be done with individual print outs of the pictures
The shade was 10” high so I just worked in sections and printed out on legal sized paper.
It happened to be 102 degrees in LA so everything dried alarmingly quickly. If you live in a part of the country with non hell-like temperatures in October your drying times may vary.
I added a little bit of ribbon trim around the top and bottom of the shade to finish it up.*
After putting it all back together (and crossing my fingers that the thrift store lamp actually worked….something I had neglected to check) I was done.
OK! On to Flag Day! I have some awesome ideas for glowing flags…..
*just to be honest, the ribbon is just taped in place. A glue gun would be perfect for this task but I may or may not have thrown mine away after one too many unfortunate encounters with really hot glue.
So, having said that, let’s all agree to pretend that this project is EXACTLY the project I had in mind when I started and that everything went swimmingly.
Are we all on board?
Welcome to a tutorial about exactly the thing I planned to make.
It all started when I saw some lanterns at a ridiculously low price and scooped them up (knowing, as you’ll recall, EXACTLY what I was going to do with them!). I also grabbed a bag-o-skulls (fun to say) at a great discount. After getting everything home I gathered some other supplies got to work.SUPPLIES
All my paints – with the exception of the black Spray Paint and Frosted Glass Paint – were supplied to me by Plaid as part of their Ambassador program (although I sort of fear I’m not using things the way they had in mind – sorry!)
The lanterns were a great shape but not very Halloweeny.
Then it was onto the skulls.
Being me, and somewhat overly dedicated to things lighting up, I wanted them to…..light up!
The skulls are hollow but had a hole in the bottom that was just big enough to insert a tealight. However, the white tealight base looked like exactly like what it was and the light tended to shine through the white plastic. So after taping off the “candle” part
This helped focus the light and also made the candle base “disappear”.
(PLEASE NOTE: if you do this you would be wise to brace the skull in some way rather than just holding it with your hand…..or so I’m told…. I mean it’s not like I had a bad experience with the drill slipping….why would you think that?! who told you that?! Also, unlike this picture implies, you do not want to drill a hole in the eye socket with the tealight already inserted… that would be stupid and neither I nor any of you are stupid.)
I created different levels for the skull by just painting out some random bits of dowel and, because I wanted them to be stable but still be able to access the on/off switch on the lights, attaching the tealight/skull to the dowel using some velcro tape.
I then did a quick, light coat of Frosted Glass spray on the glass panels – just to dirty them up a bit really – and re-assembled the lanterns.
or perhaps some mantle decor.
OK, I’m ready for my next project. And I know EXACTLY what I’m going to do!!!! Trust me!
“Interesting!” I thought.
“What would you do with them?” I wondered.
“Oh! They light up!” I realized
“I MUST HAVE THEM!!!!!” I decided.
In truth, I was partially motivated to purchase them because they were 30% off and I had 20%-off the-entire-purchase coupon burning a hole in my pocket.
…..of course they were only $2.99 to begin with so I may not be vacationing on my savings but it still felt like I’d successfully played the system!
So, since I had no plan I must apologize for the fact that this isn’t one of those projects that has a nice, pretty, organized picture of “all the stuff you need.” I just kind of made it up as I went along.
But here is what I ended up using:
I am lucky to have a lot of paint on hand courtesy of the good folks at the Plaid Ambassador Program and for this project I used their Waverly Super Premium Line of paint and brushes.
(OK, I try not to be too “salesy” but I really do love this paint and these brushes. The paint comes in great colors, goes on beautifully in one coat and the various brushes are the perfect size for a lot of different projects)
So far so good.
I decided that, while I loved the “lights up” aspect, you could actually see the bulbs and it didn’t look quite right to me.
cut it out and stuck it in place with just a little spot of E6000.
They look just fine as is but they pop quite a bit you light them up (it’s hard to get a picture partly because the lights themselves flash and change colors and one always seems to be cycling off while the others are cycling on)
So this is the first of what I hope are several Halloween themed ideas I’ve had lately so stay tuned.
*I can’t help on occasion, when perusing the shelves at Michaels, picturing the Chinese factory workers looking at all this stuff that they know is headed to America and thinking “those people are very weird.”
** also, sorry, am I wrong that when I think of “clearance” prices a 50 cent savings (regardless of how you’ve filled out the price sticker) isn’t exactly what I have in mind?
I seem to have accidentally taken a mini summer vacation.
It wasn’t a plan I assure you.
But do you ever pick up a crafting magazine or watch a craft-oriented TV show and, as the host is talking, think to yourself “OK, why would anyone make that!!!?” or “yes, you can make that but, really…..should you?”
I’ve had that response numerous times and I think I know the answer.
Ever since Midsummer Scream I’ve just making coasters, filling store orders and desperately thinking:
“Any minute now, I will do something really interesting ……”
…..but I haven’t.
I mean, I’ve made stuff – but it’s the stuff you’ve all seen before (or variations thereof)
A customer had me make up a bunch more of my Airport Code Coaster designs (which I really do love to do)
The Mystic Museum requested a set of Fortune Teller Coasters for their shop
But nothing really splashy, new or tutorial-worthy.
I do have at least one very good excuse for my lack of forward momentum
(he’s snoring by the way)
I mean, yes, I could sit somewhere else but, seriously, how could one resist this?
But this blog post is my commitment! NEW (or new-ish let’s not go crazy) is coming! Interesting is coming!
…..as soon as I wake up the dog…..
Well I thought the last week was going to be a week of EXCITING!!!! and NEW!!!!
But the reality of deadlines, and my own endless desire to “fix” things made it a week of “REVISE! REJIGGER” and “FUTZ!!!!!” (coincidentally, Revise, Rejigger and Futz is also the name of the law firm I’m starting geared specifically toward deadline challenged creatives)
I love designing things but I always underestimate just how long it takes me to put a graphic together.
I sit down and suddenly it’s 5 hours later; I haven’t moved away from the computer and I’ve only produced one minor design.
This week I wanted to work on my Victorian Gothic Coaster Set
So, years ago, sitting at my corporate job desk, Geralyn and I, via emails, came up with a bunch of silly, funny Halloween coasters.
They’ve been quite successful (nothing makes me happier than when people pick them up and laugh) and each year I try to add to the collection.
I need to narrow it down a bit but can’t decide…….
And I turned my attention to my Horror Novel Halloween Coasters as well.
The designs are my own (to avoid copyright infringement) and I’d liked them but was never totally satisfied.
Not bad but not quite right.
Here’s the revised set
And now, with about three days to go it’s time for all the NEW!!!!
I’ll keep you posted.