Total Pageviews

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary... - Saturday 18th October 2014

Hello Friends,

'I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down, but with a shudder even more thrilling than before upon the remodelled and inverted images of the grey sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.' Edgar Allen Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher

Well if there was ever a time of year for Edgar Allen Poe then this is it! I created this with inspiration from a mixture of Poe texts...The Raven, House of Usher and created a very dark scene for Halloween. The title is from The Raven (had to have crows, ravens somewhere here) and the vision is mostly House of Usher.

I love the fun of Halloween, our front garden will, as always be suitably decorated to reflect this and hopefully raise some "oohs" and 'aahs" from the Trick or Treaters ( I get a special tingle when even the teenagers compliment!), but I also like the more sinister and creepy images and tales.

I won't pretend this was easy or quick: this little scene took a long time to make in very tiny snatches of 'me' time over the last two months. I was also so tempted to keep on going with it (it just started as the little scene with the fence) but in the end I had to stop or it would never be posted...maybe next year it will expand!

So bear with me whilst I explain how it was created:

The background -  this is just A3 card, on which I painted some 'lightening' with white cosmic shimmer paint and highlighted with wink of stella pen.

The House - although the whole creation is a Poe homage, the actual house was kind of inspired by the Bates House in Pyscho. I wanted to go for a large and decrepit looking building.The main building is made from two large and one small block from the Sizzix Scoreboards xl die set by Eileen Hull. I wanted a slatted wood effect, so cut them using corrugated packaging and painted them using burnt ember acrylic paint. Once dry I brushed a layer of Cosmic Shimmer white matt chalk paint on top and then sanded it back to reveal the burnt umber and give it an old and worn effect.

The side part is made from the Sizzix Cottage die by Brenda Walton. I cut two, layering one on top of the other and painted it in the same way as the main building. I free cut the windows, details and door opening and I cut a little figure to stand spookily in the door way. I cut the steps simply by making a concertina from black card and dusting with white paint.

You can't see in the photos, but I used a glue gun over the house to create a web effect.

The Graveyard:

The fence is an mdf art part from Anna Marie crafts. I painted it with burnt ember and then sanded it back before finally adding a touch of rusty hinge distress ink. The barbed wire is simply rusty wire with knots tied at intervals. 

The tree  with the owl is an art part from Calico Crafts, as are the bats and pumpkins. I painted the tree using burnt umber and the bats in black sparkle. For the pumpkins of course I used orange!

I used dried out grapevine for  decoration and some little die cut leaves scattered on the base. The base is just some wooden packaging.

 The stamps: I used rather a lot of stamps in this project!

The owl at the top of the house  and the cat are by Chocolate Baroque
The The gravestone with raven  and 'Be Afraid' sign are  also from Halloween stamp sets by Chocolate Baroque

On the ground is a Poe quote from the poem A Dream within a Dream: "Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?" - the stamp is from Crafty Individuals. The ravens in flight above the tree are also from the same stamp set.

The pumpkins hanging from the tree are also by Chocolate Baroque. I photographed these separately as they are hard to see: they are coloured black with orange faces (Promarkers) and then coated with glossy accents, so still a little hard to see I'm afraid,

 The pumpkins at the foot of the steps (see picture 1) are a stamp from a Hampton Art set I bought in the US last year.

The moon is part of the tree; I backed it with vellum and illuminated it by suspending  a battery operated tea light behind.

 That's about it..what fun it was to make...I love doing things like this, just wish there was more time to do it!

I'd like to enter this project in the following Challenges:

Art with Heart  Tricks and Treats Challenge -

The Sizzix Challenge - Halloween

Artists Trading Post Mixed Media Halloween Challenge -

Thank you so much for stopping by, I know Halloween, especially the darker side isn't too all tastes, but I am such a fan and it was still fun to create!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X


  1. Oh wow Carole this is utterly amazing it must have taken such a long time to make this masterpiece. You are a very talented lady an inspiration to us all. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Hugs Jackie

  2. Carole, this is a work of art and is amazing , so much work has gone in this , you must have endless patience. You must take photographs of your garden to let us see. Hazel xx

  3. Carole, this is THE most fabulous Halloween decoration I have seen so far this year!! When I first looked at it I thought of Bates Motel straight away too. I understand how much time and effort you have put into this fantastic creation together and I do hope that lots of people get to see it before, during and after Halloween! It is far too amazing to be put away....

    Thank you so much for adding this to Eileen Hull's Art With Art Trick or Treat Challenge! Hugs, Anne xx

  4. Wowee!! This is absolutely amazing Carole. A real work of art! Definitely something which will be brought out on an annual basis!! Absolutely brilliant! Hugs Christine xx

  5. Carole - your Halloween scene is absolutely AMAZING!! You should be here in NYC, displaying this masterpiece. It's absolutely gorgeous...I hope it is on display somewhere that lots of people can see it. The details are amazing. Cx

  6. WOW!! What a fabulous, brilliant creation and yes I thought psycho too when I saw the house. Such detail and love how you've created the moon! Thank so much for joining in at ATP's fab! Ruth x

  7. very cool and spooky!! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Art with Heart challenge this month. =)

  8. the image, DESIGN and all the goodies added...colours are amazing..
    The Journey is the Start

  9. Morning Carole,
    Wow! this just blew me away, it's stunning. You must have a lot of patience to make something like this, I would never attempt anything so detailed. If you don't win the challenges I'll be very surprised.

  10. This is such a fabulous Halloween make Carole :-) Love all the wonderful elements and details you have will look 'Spooktacular' in your garden. Thank you for sharing with us at ATP Exchange challenge this fortnight and we hope to see you again
    Crafty Hugs Annie x

  11. Hi Carole,
    oh my word.
    No wonder this took you so long to make.
    I am speechless on how to say how truly superb this creation is.
    The work involved is amazing, and sooooooooooo! perfect.
    I couldn't stop looking, and seeing something else I might have missed.
    Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

  12. Wow, this is absolutely gorgeous, Carole

  13. A fantastic Halloween project. Wonderful spooky details and interesting elements, it will look spectacular in your garden. Thank you for sharing it with us at ATP Exchange this time.

  14. Hi Carole, amazing project but worth every hour it must have taken you to make it, just brilliant!
    Happy crafting, Angela x

  15. Hi Carole, wow! This is such a fab Halloween creation! Must have taken you absolutely ages to make but definitely worth it.
    I immediately thought of Psycho & the Bates house as we had only just recently watched it. Perfect colours, stamps, & embellishments & I really love that spooky figure in the window! Very creepy!
    Amy x

  16. wow oh wow, no wonder I haven't seen you around lately, this is totally AMAZING! I could sit here and look at this all day. Fabulous details!

  17. This project is really wonderful!!!

  18. Oh wow, this is absolutely INCREDIBLE! What an amazing scene with so many fantastic details to look at! I'm so glad you took some close-up photos so we can see all the different techniques you've used. Your passion for this project shows in every detail - you've most certainly done justice to Edgar Allen Poe!

  19. You did an AMAZING job on your Bates house! OMgosh! All the details!
    Thanks for sharing this with us at Art with Heart!

  20. What an amazing creation you have made! So many clever details which work together beautifully and add to this luscious creepy piece! You've used one of my favourite bird stamps from CI too.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Artist Trading Post Exchange.
    Julia xx