"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Halloween Shadowbox & Lots of Eye Candy!

While the kids spent the last five mornings in Vacation Bible School, I cooled off inside and worked on my newest project - a Halloween Shadowbox.

With 12 rooms to fill, I had lots to think about and I'm very happy with the results. So many handmade and vintage smalls decorate this piece and the best part is, the only money I spent was on the old house. Everything else came from my stash.
Soooo......after spraying the house with black paint, I got started.

I tried to get lots of close-ups and pics for you.

On the left side of the attic is a flocked black cat, haystack, pumpkin and white mouse. I used these mice throughout the house as little accent pieces. They also worked as great splashes of color against the dark black house.

On the other side of the attic is a poor woman frightened in her shower. Originally, I thought of the movie, "Psycho" when I made this, but then added a tiny mouse to scare her.

Remember "Caspar the Friendly Ghost"? I cut out some old playing cards of Spooky and Wendy, the good little witch.

OK, I think I had most the fun making this Graveyard Wedding. First, I took a vintage wedding couple cake topper and painted them to look like skeletons. I also changed the woman's wedding dress to an olive green and repainted her flowers from pink to orange and black.

In the background, I painted and glittered a moon and added 2 gravestones, Spanish moss, old orange flowers, and wedding bells. For added visual interest, I added twigs to resemble trees.

I was obsessed with details during this project. Even the groom's top hat is decorated with a teeny weeny orange band.

Look! I caught a witch! Years ago, I dug this bottle up on the grounds of a boarding school where I used to work. I added other tiny bottles and metal candlestick to give the feel of a science lab or witch's shelf full of her potions.

An olive green bead acts as a cork so our little witch won't have any ideas of escaping.

What's Halloween without a trick-or-treater? He's made out of paperclay and the mold of an antique bisque doll from Germany. The actual doll is missing a leg, but I was able to improvise and make him another.

I have NO idea what old game these domino-like pieces came from, but I found a whole bag at the Sr. Citizen Center for under $1.00. I knew they'd come in handy! Under each letter was an indented circle. No idea why, but I filled them with 2 old fabric orange buttons. And while I was at it, drew little faces on them so they resembled jack o'lanterns.

Behind our little devil is skeleton scrap paper and a card that looks like it should say, "Bingo" but instead says, "Candy."

Who doesn't love bottle brush trees? I dyed this one orange, sprinkled it with orange glitter, and added a mini skeleton to decorate it. A paperclay pumpkin and old rusted key help finish the look.

Toil and Trouble!

I printed out an antique cabinet card of a not-so-happy Victorian woman, added a sparkly purple hat, green make-up and rhinestone brooch to make witch. Another bottle that I dug up stands next to her while a mouse looks at her potion.

Is this the sa-weetest witch?! I've been collecting vintage images for a year or so now and am always attracted to these sweet faces. I used orange crepe paper at top and old Scrabble pieces below. The Scrabble pieces are NOT grunged to look old. They really are that old and that's all natural aging!

I bought two Vintage Halloween Images CDs on Ebay. If you're interested in getting them for yourself, there are a nice amount to choose from. I think Etsy sells them too.

Copying a sweet owl from a vintage Halloween card Elizabeth, from BlueBird Papercrafts sent me, I was able to make this little vignette. The owl sits on top of a branch, while a white mouse looks on. Far in the distance, a witch is in flight.

Why did this happen? The picture is fine in my pictures file. Hmmm....a Halloween mystery?

This is actually a Santa figurine that I repainted to look like a wizard.

And last is a scared little boy peaking out from behind a gravestone at a laughing jack o'lantern. Instead of green moss, I used the orange for a different effect.

That's about all the explanations....just some more pics....

I recently bought some old chess pieces thinking I could use them for altered art. These black knights stand erect on both sides of the house as if protecting it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vintage Finds and Thrift Store Therapy

Thanks for all the comments and emails encouraging me during this time. Well, I may be down, but I'm not out. During this creative block which is leaving a gaping hole in my heart, I've been trying to get inspiration by treasure hunting.

Last Friday, Mary, Nic and I helped organize the Senior Citizen's Center Christmas in July Sale. For $2.00, I came home with a sweet little bag of goodies.

Circus picks.....

a bag filled with Wizard of Oz cupcake toppers.......

What I considered tacky a few years ago, I now love - tacky or not! Look at this little boy spotting Santa out his bedroom window!

Mini glass balls and a bag full of old bottle brush trees. Score!

Cute little cards.....

Antique German nativity pieces! I saw these at the sale last year, but didn't buy them. This time, I had to grab them. They're old paper mache figures and are all marked Germany on the bottom. They've all seen better days, but I'm sure another year of being stored away and they'd be totally trashed.

From the same shoebox was this chalkware set, all marked, "Japan" on the bottom. Not a bad lot of old Christmas for $2.00 and a couple hours of volunteering!

"The Barn", as we call it, has been extra good to me lately. Check out this metal Perfection game. I never even knew it existed. I only remember the plastic ones.

For $4.00, it was a must-have.

A very sweet Platt & Munk book.

Look at this old deck of cards I found.

Each card has a different bird. Nice!

OOOOO! This was a fun find! This pack of cards is dated 1940 and it actually has instructions on how to use the NEW plastic cards!

The booklet inside is so cute. It talks about how much better plastic cards are than paper ones, that rip, crease, and tear. It even has directions on how to clean them! I guess it's one of the first decks made with plastic.

For those Raggedy Ann and Andy lovers, I'll be listing these sometime soon. They're both dated early 1960s.

HangMan! Remember this game? Mary really likes it. There's something to be said for these old games where the people playing are in control, not a computer.

Ok, why did I buy vintage chess pieces? Well...for $1.00, I kept thinking, "altered art"......

Mixed media.......

And I may just use some of the black pieces for Halloween assemblages.

I don't know the age of this pack of cards, but it's from France. Very unique for art journaling and such.

One of my favorite games growing up. This is about as far as I went with electronic games. I never had much interest in video games....Atari during this time!

And what's better than buying something for nothing at a thrift store? Getting it for free at freecycle.com!

So far, I've gone through 2 brand new and 1 relatively new sewing machines and they kept breaking before I could even sew on them. A woman offered me this Singer from 1979. What a dinosaur it looks like compared to today's machines, but maybe this one will actually work. So far, I had to buy the manual and a foot for it. When I read the directions on how to thread it, I'm lost. Mooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

Wishing you all a weekend filled with treasure hunting and gotta-have'ums!