Thursday, March 24, 2016

The green Master!

TV is treating me (Granne) with Star Wars movies this Easter
and there is SO much inspirational characters and scenes on those movies. Who could not love the little green master Yoda?

I made a set of ATC's and combined them to pocket letter

Image is from DuglyGraphics,
sentiments made by me using Big Monkey.


Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

(image from SLS and border from Make it Crafty,
join to our current challenge for a change to win a some Make it Crafty goodies)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Eastertide~Asylum Anne

Easter, and the commercial world expects us to take great joy in helping our families towards obesity & diabetes by buying up Easter eggs.  CT-Kim had shared an idea  that took off in my mind.  I know I've got some polystyrene eggs somewhere.  Find my stash of polystyrene shapes fairly easily - no eggs.  But adjacent were a packet of Christmas baubles that come in 2 halves, to be decorated, connected and hung.  So I digressed.  Alcohol inkpads for some newly-arrived Rubberdance stamps on the outside.  Now here's one of the joys of unmounted stamps - you can place them in the palm of your hand, press an curved object into your hand and mould the stamp round the shape to get a decent impression:
I have some brown-tinted cottonwool in here.
Next was to drizzle & spread some alcohol inks on the inside of the bauble:
Losing the mushroom images a bit - probably because I didn't use black ink, but brown.  Apologies for the photos - camera gone to hospital under warranty, so I'm using a mixture of cellphone camera which likes to add a pink cast, and DH's swanky heavy camera.
Maybe I'd better pop out and get some polystyrene egg shapes after all, it's only a 5-minute drive...
I poked kebab sticks up their fat ends, coated them with gel medium first, then started stamping.  One then got a wash of brown paint, then some granular gel (Golden) painted dark blue, then bits of a pterodactyl stuck into it.  Another... a theme was developing with magic mushrooms and genetic modification perhaps:
and from a different angle
Not my "normal" stamp purchase, but I'm liking that figure/person.  I played with a few more eggs then got sidetracked, as one does.  And facebook kept throwing up umpteen challenges that were interesting.  So I grabbed one of Ike's Art images - the Zombie cat & dog, printed it, coloured it, and decided it was too small against the eggs.  So I enlarged it, printed it, coloured it... and being a Christian celebration, gave them halos.
What do you think of the dead cockroach on top of Pandora's box?  By now I realised I was needing a shadow box for this piece, and it needed to be pretty large.  But no problem - I've been tripping over a couple of usps boxes lately.  February is usually a ruinously expensive month with "superbowl" sales etc. and goodies have found their way to me by mid-March.

That watermark should really say Anne pigstyed this!  But cloths on clothespegs hanging off the protective sheet over the (ex)dining table are ideally placed when one needs finger-wiping.  One of those eggs is being "auditioned" in the green cup.  Good size, these boxes.  34x28x8cm!!! Then I got sidetracked (it was the following weekend) and there's a op shop that has a junky branch down a back street.  I wandered in there, spotted a picture frame that looked about the same size as the boxes so I grabbed it, and it turned out to be an almost perfect fit.  Masking tape at the back to hold the frame to one box, and layering strips of heavy paper bags on the front will make it pretty sturdy.  Now you can buy these "period" advertising-covered bags from Stampington - or something similar.  But I get mine free - Silver Crow Creations pack some of my shopping in them before shipping in a box, and I'm often shopping there... so I'm recycling with a vengeance at this stage.

As I'm working on this and subsequent layers of stencils, I'm meditating on the diverse elements that are coming into this piece, about the "quirkiness" of humans in these hi-tech days of taking onboard zombies, despite science relieving the Middle Ages people from those fears of people rising from the dead in random states of decay, to steampunk, which  romanticises a mechanical era that relied on coal, steam, causing such pollution. Genetically modified critturs in the eggs, becoming extinct, man's fascination with unscientific things-

And the theme begins to emerge. 

From Sacred to the Profane (Secular).  From superstition to science.  From the Christian beliefs about God, to the way we (mis)treat our selves and environment, and romanticise those outmoded beliefs that our intelligence has disproved.  I like working with steampunk, but it IS pretty much a fictional notion - so are Alice and Wizard of Oz - but that's another session.

OK, so that's explaining all the random elements that are coming together.  This is what I ended up with, followed by some closeups:

The frame got the Demented Derma crackle treatment.  I played with my hot glue gun, the cogs were diecut then coated with Ice Resin in a strip to go down the side of the frame.  All the text was printed on white paper and cut.

Top Left: Hanging off the hot-glue web - obligatory spider, having caught a shrunken head from Butterside Down Stamps.  Can you find the gas mask behind it, or the dove?
Bottom left:

Had the leg & boot from Caustic Ratflynger by Rick St Dennis made into a "stuffie", left over from another project - Carbon footprint!   The delightful hedgehog-looking crittur is a Mini Meckie - a groundhog - still trying to look after the season-change for the Americans.
Moving to the right, some more eggs.  The blue one has broken open and a bloodied hand is reaching out (was it perhaps a landmine?) to grab the planet - a bead depicting the globe.  It also has a crown of "thorns".

I used the same 3 stencils from TCW, Joggles and Stencil Girl, repeated with 2 & 3 layers of each, finishing with just a couple of words from Seth Apter's Unfinished stencil first coloured in a  dark red, then an interference paint very lightly over it.  Viva las vegas stamps alien baby face and Nosferatu were stamped on tissue paper several times and glued to the background in places.  The box the zombies are sitting on is labelled "Pandora's box".
Top right diecut dove, diecut tombstone - is an autumn leaf dried, laminated then diecut, the heart is a diecut coated with granular gel, indicating the emptied tomb, the hope for redemption.

Both left and right sidewalls have steampunk characters from Third Stone stamps - one visible here.
All sorts of goodies have come from silvercrowcreations - gas mask (look hard behind the spider web), spider, cockroach, shredded greenbacks, globe bead, thermometer, the monkeys with attitude, mini meckies (groundhogs), lightbulb and crinkle wire holding it for instance.

If you can find a ray of hope in this tale of man's inhumanity to man, hang on to it!  Meantime, let your own expressions of the dark, the weird, come to light and shared at evil froggie's  Linky  Your ray of sunshine might be to win something from this month's sponsor, Make It Crafty if you do.

Asylum Anne doesn't have her own blog, so she's hijacking this post to share with the following blog challenges:
Show Us Your Pussies for Lucky kitties (define "luck!")
Things to Alter steampunk challenge
Forever Dark 2 Marchchallenge

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mermaid has no tears...

Granne here with a little ATC make of mine,
using images from our fabulous March's sponsor

ATC is a combination of Coral Sea Floor and Adele

and if you like the quote,
feel free to save it...

And a little wee reminder about our 
Anything goes (only not the cuties) challenge HERE.
Our froggy is starving and croaking for more entries, ;=)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beware the Ides of March! Family of Macabre Stampers Blog Hop!

Beware the Ides of March

This is the first Family of Macabre Stampers Blog Hop of the year! We do hope you will follow along on this adventure today, Hop quickly before the froggy-beastie's curse can catch you!
The blog hop list is below.

You are here-the Dream in Darkness Team :KIM J

The Hop theme is Anything Goes use a rubber stamp! 

After the hop we hope you will come back and 
add an offering to our challenge.
You can
find the link HERE

CT Anne
Wondering... Who is flashing whom?
Smeared Ink rubber: Lady
Viva Las Vegas  all other stamps

CT Granne
Carabelle Studio Stamps

CT Nan
Carmen's Veranda stamp Winged Skeleton

CT kim
ATC pair
Smeared Ink Rubber Stamps & Viva Las Vegas (scream sentiment)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Heading to Oz

There's a bloghop over at Lost Coast Designs - they're not in Kansas any more. And Asylum Anne is breaking out -  I've never been in Kansas, so I can sympathise... or not!   We are told to Catch the Tornado to the Emerald City.   Well that's a bit of me - public transport can be so handy when travelling out of town!  But none of the DT have offered one for me to ride.  So it is up to me.  It isn't compulsory to use their stamps, and there's no tornado in their catalogue, but I have had one for years from Third Stone Stamps, and one from Silver Crow Creations.  I can also be inventive, and those 2 might be too small.  I slept on it.
Carmens Verandah have a birds nest which I've used before, and what is a tornado but a whirl of debris with a hole in the middle?  Just like a nest really, random twigs etc.  And somewhere in my dreams it would be done as a Stuffie!
Indian ink pad is nice &juicy, onto some brown silk fabric, then stitch running/gathering threads that will get pulled up to create ripples.  When stamping on fabric, I'll use any juicy ink pad - Stazon, dye, or Indian ink  And I've recently managed to get an Indian ink reinker bottle woohoo!!!  Because of the gaps between the woven threads, you'll not end up with such crisp detailing of the image as on paper.  But so long as you're ok with that, then all is well.  Pinking shears give a raggedy cloud-edge all round, so although I've got the basic shape already, there will be a bit more fabric-trimming once I've finished stamping and figured out the final size.

Winner at Lost Coast

And some more stamping of the tornado.  Can you imagine a face shrine as part of a tornado?  I could...
Now for the back piece, before it gets stitched to the front and stuffed, with some rebar tie wire inserted to maintain the shape.  I used a straight stitch on the sewing machine all round, relying on the pinking shear cut to minimise future fraying.  Brown netting/lace mesh was layered over the silk to create the pocket holding "Salldorothy".  Salldorothy?  Read on...
  I imagined that all sorts of farm equipment, as well as people would go whirling up, so there's Dorothy, caught in the mesh of farm fencing in the tornado  - except I don't have a Dorothy stamp, so I used Sally - complete with umbrella (well it rains around tornadoes: I've seen episodes of "Stormchasers", so it stands to reason if Dorothy were out, she would have a brolly with her).  And although I don't have enough flying monkeys to prove it, plenty of witches (background stamp) would be out & about to get caught up in it too.
OK, so that's the backside view of the tornado finished with. And it's going to be about 17 cm high (roughly 7") The thing about using silk fabric is that lustre, makes one think of silver linings that clouds have.  But it's a pain if you're trying for a "moody" photograph!

Now the front full view, with the gathering threads serving double & triple duty holding embellishments, and creating texture with French Knots here & there, colour-changed sometimes.
Some closeups for the detail - charms coloured with Pinata alcohol inks, die-cut cogs, pens applying random streaks of colour & lightning etc:

Well where there's a red shoe, can Dorothy be far away?  That's what the Tin Man and Toto are wondering, looking a bit dishevelled and dizzy after the tornado got to them (allow me some poetic licence here - as far as I know, the Tin Man never travelled by tornado, but never let the truth get in the way of a tall tale)
OK, so they're not the traditional-looking characters, but I thought it was just a mis-labelling in the catalogue - Daisy and Robot.  Well, same thing isn't it???
 So now we've got a tornado to take us to Kansas.
Now I'm going to ride it back to see who else is playing the Oz challenge.  ALL ABOARD!!!

Somewhere though, Evil Froggy is lurking, keen to pounce on your dark, weird creations this month, so show them off here: 

Monday, March 7, 2016

We have a WINNER for February 2016!

Special thanks to all of you who played along in February with our fabulous sponsor, Stitchy Bear! We had so many amazing and diverse projects!

The winner for February 2016 is...

Gina please email us at for your prize and badge!

Thanks again and we hope to see you soon! 

Enter the Challenge this month HERE

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March Make it Crafty~ CT Anne "Tin Can Alley"

I live in a city where metals tarnish and rust very quickly due to the high sulphur content in the air (remember the Clown's holiday in boiling mud pools?  They're only 30 metres from the building I work in).  So spotting this Rusty Can House  in the Make It Crafty website, I just "had" to have it.
You won't believe it from the picture, but I actually printed it on cream-buff card!  Such are my camera & lighting skills :(

But of course it looked so bland a background, I stencilled a coggy-cloudy background, dabbing ink from dye ink pads in a range of rusty colours.  THEN I needed a frame.  Well, I'd already thought about that before deciding how large my digi was getting printed out.  I would want heaps more rusty stuff around it, so another 8"x10" box canvas would do marvellously.  I painted it black before putting a layer of Viva Decor's copper crackle over it.  It crackled wonderfully, so I used Liquetex Pouring medium as a finishing coat in case some of the crackle wanted to crack right off.

Later on I added all the gold chain - after using it to "mop up" some drops of alcohol ink from my craft sheet - Jacquard's Pinata inks, in burro brown, mantilla black, and Passion Purple.

Someone had recently posted about bead wrapping in a way that inspired me to do my own take on "Mary Mary quite contrary" 's garden - instead of silver bells & cockle shells...

Those are split pins (or cotter pins) instead of a head pin.  Gives them legs instead of a stem :)  The skulls also glow in the dark.
Other corners of the frame needed creeping up (sorry, shouldn't that be "dressing"???)

Die cuts, bits of diecuts, the lid off a self-opening can, the spring off a broken clothes peg, some rusty wire mesh, all layered  just the way Finnabair taught us!  Well, sortof.  Just the sort of junk you'd expect to find round such a ramshackle house.  The other corner got a bit more "lethal" (And now the photo is here, I can see something else is needed where the mesh is glued down... learn from my mistakes, please!

Glow-in-the-dark snake is carrying his larder round on the OUTside, instead of inside, though it must have eaten one for a skull to be coming out its rear end!  The diecut cog was cut from a beer coaster promoting non-smoking - you can just about pick out the work "cough".  More rusty wire mesh can be folded into a more "floral" shape, and the people are tied on with rust-coloured crinkle wire - all 3 are courtesy of my shopping cart at

And a hearty thanks to for providing the inspiration for the project.

(Yep, the parent's front steps have monarch butterfly caterpillars crawling over to check it out!!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March New Challenge and Make it Crafty Have Arrived!

Hi all!  Time to get down to making some messes while you make your project to enter this month!  Our fabulous sponsor this month is Make it Crafty!  
They specialize in digital and rubber stamps and have some awesome stamps!

They have said it best so no need to listen to us blab on about what you need to do!  Here is what the Creative Team has thought, made, and we love :)

CT Anne:
Mary Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?  Like this, if you live in a rust-bucketty home, I would think.  Even the socks have rusted out.  Come back later in the month to see what Anne did around a Make It Crafty house!

CT Granne:

Using the Forever Love Rose Set

CT Kim
Using Buttons

CT Nan using "Circus Tent"

 A puzzle box makes a great circus.

We are having a rather loud tea party right now, so we must dash and finish it!  CT Anne has been at it again with the sugar bowl!  Please just toss your entry below to the Frogman and he will deal with all the details.  Buwahahahaha and Bye!

Frogman Linky here...