Welcome! This corner of the the blog realm is brought to you by Jenny B Harris... illustrator, designer, and generally artsy craftsy type person. Don't worry, if you find this blog a bit too scary, you can visit the cheery side of my world over at my other blog...
Such a clever idea! Decorate ping-pong balls as spooky eyeballs, cut an x in the bottom and slide them onto battery-operated tea lights! This reminds me of the Halloween party years ago when I painted hundreds of ping pong balls as blood-shot eyes, and tucked them all around the place... even floated them in the punch. But this takes them one step further, by adding the glow of a tea-light. You could even get the kind that flickers for a really eerie effect.
Her spun-cotton fanatsies are almost irresistible. I have one of her Valentine figures and it is so amazing, so ethereal. I peek at her blog to see what she creates throughout the year. Find more of her figures on her charming web site.
What a lovely creative spirit she has... enchanting!
Yes, we haven't yet turned the page on May, and I am already feeling the stirrings of anticipation. Maybe it is that I crave contrast. On the one hand I adore full-out cuteness, but then there is another side to my creative wanderings... the creepily fun side.
So. No doubt there will be more posts (like this Victorian dollhouse kit I'm lusting after) before the rest of blogland is ready to turn their attention to Halloween. Stay tuned...
Rest in peace, Halloween 2009. The tombstones have been tucked back into the attic, and leafy decorations are replacing the cobwebs and candlewax. I had the best time with my little Owlsorts blog, although it didn't come anywhere near to my grandiose vision. Just as things were getting going, a ton of illustration assignments came in the door, and I had to focus my time and energy on them. Sadly, the dollhouse never got its spooktacular revamp, and the front porch decorations were barely put up in time for Halloween night! And of course I forgot to take photographs.
So.... I'll be back next year! Thanks everyone, for visiting and sharing in the fun. We now return you to you your regularly scheduled Allsorts.
As promised yesterday... a peek into my parlor! It's all about the mantle.
Chills ran down my spine when I was rummaging in the attic and came across this old portrait. I vaguely recall it is my great great (great?) grandmother and her sister, and it came from my grandmother's house. It was damaged in the move, and had been stashed away and long forgotten.
Now it holds the place of honor above the fireplace. The rips in the canvas are wonderfully creepy looking, and perfect for a
Halloween mantle. The frame was too strong a gold, so I gave it quick coat of black
And I looked up Mary Howitt's little poem, here's the first verse...
"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly, "Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy; The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there."
"Oh no, no," said the Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
My favorite thing to work with is cheesecloth! Found it in the creepiest of places... the sewing section at Walmart! (cue scary music) Tulle is another big fave, now I wish I'd bought tons more. You can make anything seem sinister just by wrapping it in black tulle and tying with black satin ribbon.
Counting down... less than a week to go and still lots to do here. How are your preparations coming along? Are you "last minute" like me or have you been ready for weeks?
Nope, the parlor comes later, first I must lead you into the boo-doir where something mysterious and altogether creepy is happening to the fireplace. It's twilight, and the ravens seem to be gathering on the mantle...
while down below, on the hearth...
candles cast eerie shadows on the cool marble...
The shadows deepen...
and his eyes aglow, a silent sentinel keeps watch...
until it's time for bed!
I actually took these photos for last weeks holiday extravaganza, but only today did I have a spare moment to post. It is so cool to have this creepy scene in our bedroom. I love the drama!
The tombstones were in my attic (what... you don't have tombstones in your attic?) They're cut from one-inch thick styrofoam with a bread knife (and hacked a bit, which leaves them looking like ancient crumbling stone), then painted a flat gray latex, and rough shadows and highlights are added in black and white, then the whole thing is finished with a spattering of dark and light shades of gray. Remarkably authentic, especially in low light, and very easy to carry around. I made them a few years ago as scenery for a Halloween video.
I wish the tile surround was that fabulous harlequin pattern, but it is actually gift wrap! Hey presto!
Today I also decorated the living room mantle and it is pretty darn cool if I do say so! Perhaps tomorrow I shall invite you into my parlor...
A little something for Vanessa's Celebration... with the greatest apologies to my dear ancestors whose photos I used (and my English teachers, for obvious reasons...)
The Wise Old Owl stands poised from feather to beak, he tilts his head and starts to speak... "This Family's Curse is one of Woe, such as might have been penned by Poe!"
Take Aunt Helga-Carlotta, who was Proper and Prim, lived in a Gingerbread Cottage that was horribly Grim... (it's said many a child disappeared from within!)
And once Lettie and Morduck scolded young Sven, and unfortunately were never heard from again. (the last we heard, Sven is still in the Pen)
Miss Molly Dulolly made everyone wait, now Molly Dulolly herself is The Late. (how ironic is the hand of Fate)
Uncle Dord to his dogs was quite cruel, until he choked on his morning gruel. (at least according to his housekeeper Jewel)
And Old Uncle Cletus was an Ornery Coot. What happened to him? No one gives a hoot. (But I wouldn't be shocked to learn, that he's there in that urn!)
And that is the Tale of this Family's Curse, which unfortunately has gone from Bad to Verse.
Sorry about that, a mysterious force made me do it! These are all old old old family photos and tintypes, arranged (deranged?) in my Welsh Dresser. The names have been changed, along with the stories, as alas, I have no wonderfully creepy ancestors... as far as I know...
Thanks for stopping by! To find other blogs posting their own celebrations today, visit Fanciful Twist.
Hello my lovelies... I have a little prezzie for you! I conjured up four variations on my pinspinner pattern in seasonally appropriately designs and made you some patterns so you can make your own! First we have the devilishly charming fellow above, and there is also a grinning bat-spinner...
...I used vellum for a translucent effect on this ghoul-guy:
And finally, my favorite, a sinister back widow lurking in her web:
You can put these together in the same manner as the original pinspinners (instructions here) but I wanted these to be more substantial, so here is the method I used:
White, red, purple and black card stock
White vellum for ghost
3/8" Wood dowels
Black pony beads - 4 per spinner
Craft paints in yellow, orange and black
Spray gloss varnish
Drill with a small bit
4D X 1 1/2" Box nails
Hammer, scissors, paintbrushes
Print face disks on heavy white card stock and cut out. Spray with two light coats of gloss.
Punch or poke a hole in center of nose.
Print patterns onto white card stock to use as templates. Cut out on lines.
Trace around template on color card stock, making sure to mark dots.
Using a small hole punch or sharp nail, make holes at dots, making sure they are slightly larger than the shaft of the nail. This will allow your spinner to turn freely.
Isn't this about the cutest thing you've ever seen? It's a sock monkeyskeleton! You can order the kit from Mahar Dry Goods, or tune in to the Martha Stewart Show October 14th where Robert will demonstrate how to stitch him up yourself! I have several pairs of long tube socks left over from Lulu the Sock Monkey that will be perfect. The kit comes in a clever cardboard coffin that is pretty irresistible, or you can use Martha's tutorial to make your own coffin treat boxes...
Whoops, I blinked and a couple of weeks slipped by! I promise I have continued my obsession with the spookier side of things, just haven't been able to focus enough to blog about it! This evening I've been working on ideas for my three mantles. First place to look? Flickr of course! (Kinwort, above) I found cheesecloth packets at Walmart and my living room is the same color of red, so this one gives me some ideas... (Marz)
I love how everything is shades of black and white and gray in this one, even the cool marble surround... (Seaside6464)
Alisa has a couple of great examples, I love this pennant garland... (AlisaJane)
Not technically a mantle, but this one from Martha has some good ideas that could be adapted to one... (dragonflydesignstudio)
This one actually looks a lot like the mantle in my bedroom, with the white bead board paneling and crenalations on the mantlepiece. But no portrait, oh well... (Mudrick)
This orange lighting and the spooky tree are fabulous! (shezcrafti)
Another one from Alisa... old tarnished silver, sepia-toned photographs, a birdcage... I think I have to make a garland of some sort... (AlisaJane)
This might be my favorite! It makes me want to repaint my walls that
exact golden shade, the black looks so fantastic against it. Love the
tall candlesticks on either side of the fireplace, too... (boopsie.daisy)
I have my work cut out for me now. I've got lots of ideas, I just have to decide and do it.
And I'll be posting lots more now that it is October!!!
A few days ago I created a new Flickr group... Black and White Halloween! I thought it would be great to gather wonderful images of crafts and decor using black and white, with maybe a bit of an accent color. Here are a few images that have already been added to the pool. The wondrous creation above is by bewitchedmagic, and the wonderful mantle arrangement below is from vintage-mouse (love that garland!).
That's just a sampling of the eye candy already uploaded to the group. Please feel free to join, and add your images! Just click here to be magically transported to the group page where you can see more for yourself!