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Monday, December 24, 2012

Altered Christmas Cards

 These are the few Christmas Cards I altered the last couple of weeks.  Much too late to get them sent out to family or friends this year, but I will have a head start for next season.  Quite simple in the construction, but, fun.  The green one and the one with the snowman background and button ornaments are my favorites.  I had a hard time getting "into" creating for Christmas this year.  I'm still stuck in the Halloween "mode" !!  Merry Christmas, everyone !!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Grapevine Wreath

My awesome grand-daughter made this grapevine wreath for me when when she cut her vines back this month.  I have a "bin" of Christmas ephemera out  in the garage - you know, those things that you think you "might need" - someday !!  Sure enough, I found just the right things to add to the wreath and hung it on my front door.   The poinsettias and pine cones are a candle ring that was perfect to use.  The little Santa Claus figure -- I have no idea where he came from, but, a little hot glue came in handy there.  A large zip lock bag of Christmas themed ribbon unearthed lots of red stuff to make a fluffy bow.  Zip ties added to the back of the wreath made good hangers.  YES, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus !!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Apothecary Add-ons

I finished a few additional items for my apothecary cabinet, yesterday. A few days ago, I shopped at a Dollar General store that I had never been in before.    At the front door, there was a table full of Halloween "goodies" at big discounts. Lo and behold, a package of 4  little black plastic cauldrons for 50 cents !!  I didn't need four, but will be sharing, of course.  I used a little gold rub and buff on it, then added the dyed green webbing, eyeballs and gargoyle.  My black widow venom is rubbing alcohol colored with red alcohol ink.  I had downsized all of my labels, therefore, the labels for the books were also smaller.  The larger one
here measures 2 1/2" tall and 2" wide.  Actually, having the smaller books works for me since my cabinet is not as large as Laura's tutorial shows.  I made the tassel for the bookmark on the Cauldron Favorites with embroidery threads -- both are faux books, one filled with chipboard, the other with scrap card stock.  There are still more things I want to make and add, but, it is time to pack Halloween away for awhile and start on a couple of Christmas projects.  Thankfully, Laura will have her tutorials available for whenever I want to get back to them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Coffin for a Swap

Ether Bottle for Halloween

My daughter and I decided early into our Apothecary Cabinet project, we would do a swap with each other.  Halloween is past, but, I am still having fun with it.  I created this bottle for Tammy for our swap, along with a coffin.  They will be good "go-withs" for her cabinet creation.  This was an aqua colored plastic decorative bottle that I picked up at a garage sale for a dime.  I knew it had possibilities "someday" !!  I textured it with crunched up paper towels and Mod-Podge, then painted it black with an overcoat of orange glitter paint. Most of my original ideas went out the window, as they usually do once I start altering something !!  I didn't leave a space for the label when I was texturing - what was I thinking ??  The X-acto knife worked fine to cut out the textured space.  I added the chain, charms, and leaf ribbon around the neck and used black alcohol ink on some wired crystals to stick into the purchased cork.   I love Ace Hardware for those corks - they have every size imaginable and I can buy just the exact one I need by taking a bottle with me.  I added a few spiders here and there crawling up the side of the bottle.  They started out life as plastic "spider rings" on the aisle of Halloween goodies at the 99 Cent store.  Hope she likes it !!

Monday, November 12, 2012

For the Apothecary

 Here are two additions to my Apothecary Cabinet display - - a cauldron and a tin.   The cauldron is a glass votive candle holder picked up at the 99 cent store. (an idea from my daughter)  I used black alcohol ink and gold Rub and Buff to color it and added gold stickers.  I dyed spider webbing with green alcohol ink as Laura did in her tutorial.  Glued some wobbly eyeballs to it and    a black bird to the rim.  This one started out life as a cardinal.   I should have bought more of the little black crows when I first started this project.  The Deadly Nightshade tin was one out of my "collection" of tins.  Glad I have a couple of cans of spray paints out in the garage.  The tin was blue - I sprayed it with gold, then slightly distressed it with a red ink pad.  I used some of the flowers and leaves on the top that I had painted earlier -- added a dot of orange to the centers and a coat of orange glitter acrylic.  This bird was originally a white dove from the wedding aisle at Micheal's.  I tried NOT to buy more "stuff", but, ended up ordering a few things from Alpha Stamps -- I just did not have anything to duplicate the leafy ribbon or some of the neat papers. I know this is going to be an ongoing project for some time to come !!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Apothecary Cabinet Close-ups

 These are a few close-up photos of the top and back of my apothecary cabinet.  All of the jars, candles, etc. are glued down with E-6000.  I had thought about permanently gluing all of the bottles, boxes, bits and bobs to the shelves also -- BUT -- then, we couldn't take them out and look at all of the fun things on the insides and backsides !!!  I am thinking of adding a bit more cheesecloth and webbing.  OH MY, is that spider webbing "stuff" fun to work with !!  Adding to this cabinet and all of the things to go with it will be an ongoing process -- I may be done by Christmas !!! OR NOT !!! OOPS, better start thinking about the next holiday season !

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Game Box Transformed

I removed all of the little boxes and bottles from the shelves this afternoon so I could take some photos to show how the little cardboard game box mutated into a Witches Apothecary Cabinet.  After all of the corrugated cardboard "shelves" dried into place, I painted the entire box with black acrylic paint.  The back and bottom of each opening was papered, trim was added to all of the center and bottom edges.  I especially like the red glittered "dripping blood" trim that my daughter created and shared with me -- it really added a pop of color.  I had to downsize the frames, labels and owls, twice, no less, before I had a size that would fit my box.  Tammy had also shared some German scrap that I used on the frames after dry brushing with black acrylic and adding some glitter glue to "spark" them up a bit.  I had black and orangey red candles that I cut in half, lit, then dripped opposite colors onto each. I set each candle into a bit of clay for a base and also created "lifts" for the jars and skeleton with squares of clay.  The vases for my eyeball bouquet and flying bats are Avon eye cream jars colored with red alcohol ink and trims added.  I painted flowers black to add above the little black crow to fill a bare spot -- ( My grand-daughter's suggestion).  "Spooky" was a fortunate find at Micheal's !!  I purchased an extra to send to my daughter (  since she and I were working together following Laura's tutorial at .  I was not having good luck with clay and skeleton molds, so this made for a "happy day".  Tamera, my daughter, came up with the idea to cut off the top of a plastic water bottle to use as a base for the bouquet of glittering "plant life" at the center.  I had a package of K and Company bubble stickers and thought they would be great to add to the back of the shelves to create a look of more bottles.  As it has turned out, they don't really show up too much after I put all of the bottles I have decorated onto the shelves. Fun stuff, anyway !! Throughout the days of creating, I kept thinking how awesome Laura Carson is for sharing her techniques and style -- I wanted my apothecary cabinet to be as interesting for my friends to look at as hers is for me.

My Mom was a perfectionist when it came to any of her sewing, embroidery or craft projects and the back or inside had to look as good as the front or outside -- I covered the back with scrapbook paper, a plastic bat found at the 99 cent store, and added a large spider along the webs.  Since I am displaying all of this on my pass through between the kitchen and dining area, it does give me something better to look at when I am doing dishes at the kitchen sink !!  Click onto the photos for a closer look ~  I will add some close-ups of different areas in my next post.

Bottles and Boxes for Apothecary

 These are a few of my favorite bottles and boxes created for my Witches Apothecary Cabinet.  I love the "musty bones" and the "flying bats" the most.  The "Dragon Fire"  is a red mini perfume bottle from my collection of small perfumes. The only addition is the label and a chain with a dragon charm found at Hobby Lobby.  The bat fangs is an eye concealer jar that I painted the worn gold edge with black acrylic, added rhinestones, then glued a pendant to the bottom for added interest.  There are black fang looking beads inside from a collection of "things" my daughter sent me when we started following Laura's tutorial at artfullymusing.   I used green alcohol ink and green rhinestones into clay for the "old crone" beauty cream.  I "dismembered" a plastic skeleton for the musty bones square plastic container that my grand-daughter gave me.  The "arsenic" is a small bottle with green glass chips that I found in my "hoarders" collection.  I used black alcohol ink on the cork, added the label, the flying bats and a chain with a dragon fly charm.  These and more have been so much fun to create to add to the shelves of the cabinet.  Thank you, Laura, for all of the ideas, directions AND inspiration !!
Transylvanian Bat Fangs

The back of the Gravedigger's Musty Bones

Dismembered plastic skeleton for Gravedigger's
Musty Bones 

Flying Bats on an Arsenic Poison Bottle
Old Crone Beauty Cream

Red mini-perfume bottle, transformed into "Dragon's Fire

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Halloween Project

How did this ?
And this?

Become this ??
The next several posts will show how I converted this 8" x 11" game box into this beautiful and fun apothecary cabinet.  Laura Carson at Artfully Musing provides detailed tutorials where she creates her cabinet, bottles, books and other Halloween projects.  Anyone can create something for Halloween and enter her give-away.  In the past, Halloween has never inspired me to create - THEN - I saw this tutorial and now, my every waking moment (almost) is spent thinking about what I can put together next !!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Halloween Project Completed

 This is the paper mache coffin finished !!  After the crumpled tissue paper texturing dried, I painted the entire box with acrylic black paint, then dry brushed gold over it. At that time I thought, "Oh, this is pretty"   Well, it's supposed to be "creepy" and  "spooky"  for Halloween !!  While I had the black and gold paints open,  I painted some swirly paper clips, silver metal stars and the latch. ( I never thought of painting metal with acrylics until being in Micheal DeMeng's  Navigator workshop in Portugal last year. With a bit of water added, it gives these metal pieces a bit of an aged look.)  The thin strips of cardboard forming the cross got a layer of gold paint, some black rhinestones and brass wings.  I used the packing tape transfer technique for the "bat, moon, cloud" image used on the inside of the top of the casket.  The image was a background in an Avon Halloween catalog ad. The "pillow" for the skeleton (another piece of ephemera that I've had for awhile) is leopard print "fur" fabric filled with quilt batting.  The skeleton received a crown and a hangman's noose and is holding some silk flowers I have painted black.  The creepy, crawly spiders were some I punched a couple of years ago when I was visiting my daughter. She has some of the neatest punches -- I need to visit her studio more often !!  I embellished them with black rhinestones and a bit of diamond glaze on their legs.  In the end, a little bit creepy, a little bit spooky, and a little bit pretty !!  Have yet to find a deep dark side to get any creepier !!