Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Samhain Approacheth!

I don't know if "approacheth" is a word but it evokes a certain atmosphere, n'est pas? October 31st, my favorite time of year :) This change of the seasons has been celebrated by many peoples for eons. Who could miss the snap in the air, the darkening of the day, the feeling that we are leaving the sunshine far behind? For the tribes or clans of Europe, who did not have the advantages that we do now, this was a very dire time of the year; Samhain. Winter often meant death. Still, certain cultures celebrated this turning of the wheel as the New Year and used all the magick in their possession to ensure food for the winter, protection for their crops and lives stock and accurate divination of the future. Another reason to love Halloween is because it is an amalgam of traditions, rites and viewpoints. What we enjoy today is such a rich tapestry! An in depth look at Halloween and its symbols is a treasure trove of inspiration for the creative mind. Here are a few creations to get your cauldon bubbling!

Fresh off the boat from Transylvania! This trinket box holds the secrets of Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Tepesh, Vlad Dracula III, Prince of Wallachia. While the west viewed him as a maniacal, blood thirsty tyrant, he is now hailed as a hero in that region because of his defense of the kingdom against the Ottoman Turk Empire. Still, his methods were ruthless. They inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula novel and the man himself has never rightly been "put to rest" as his earthly remains are missing. Hmmm....
The box was covered in paper that I stamped and embellished with scrap art. The portrait of Vlad stands up against a backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains. There is a sparkling red jewel before him and a real feather in his cap. I also decorated the box with dragon seals made from bottle caps. Overall, this was a really fun project. I actually finished it last year but the old vamp retreated to his coffin for the year before I could get him to pose for a pic ;)

The vampire spookfest continues! So, in Stoker's novel, Dracula flies off to London to prey on Mina Murray (and her BFF Lucy). He wants Mina to be his forever wife despite the fact that he has 3 old ladies (literally) at home! He leaves them in charge of "entertaining" his hostage, Jonathan Harker while he goes after Mina, Jonathan's fiance. What a soap opera ;) Anyway, the vampire brides as portrayed in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (1992) are the epitome of the succubus! Seductive, inhuman, beautiful and ferocious! I created this little shadow box featuring the 3 brides wandering through the graveyard on a moonlit night. They are in search of their next handsome victim, perhaps to lure into yonder crypt. The box is a deep, metallic blue. It was used to hold greeting cards. I removed the plastic in the window and voila! Thank you to my good friend Jeri who passed the box on to me :) I was going to dress this up even more with some creeping moss or a skeletal tree... may have to wait until next year.
Remember my paper rosette obsession? I would not rest until I figured out how to make them! And once I did... oh boy. This double layer rosette features a werewolf insignia in the middle. For some reason I keep thinking of a werewolf "best in show" award... hehehe :) And to show you what I mean by obsession...

More later!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vintage and Coffee

Hello! I know I said I was working on Halloween stuff (and I am) but I wanted to show you a sign I finally finished a while back. I've mentioned before that I have a somewhat protracted creative process. I may begin something and not look at it for weeks! Sometimes the finished product (or a version of it) exists in my head, sometimes not. Everyone has a different creative style and it really helps to notice and accept your own style. In my case, it helps me to remain calm when I see a forgotten project on my table. I know I'll get to it when the right muse comes along. Also, being aware of my own style means that I can challenge myself to do things differently. So, this piece began with two definite inspirations: my love of vintage photos and my love of COFFEE (or should I say addiction...) Before Coffee... After Coffee!

Your results may vary but coffee makes my heart so happy! I go from plain Jane to fabulous lady in minutes! I also like the idea of this sign being a warning to the unwary, typically before the noon hour... hehehe!
Alrighty, as promised, there will be something with a Samhain twist very soon. Oh, what is Samhain you say? You can google it or check back soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Here it comes!

The best, most creative time of MY year, and hopefully, of yours too! Yep, the answer is Autumn. I've already had some spooktacular experiences... noises in the hall seem to be something other than the house settling... birds in the trees seem to have sinister intentions. I followed a bird that was making a mournful screeching noise. I circled the tree, trying to spy it's white shape against the branches and sky. As I walked, I heard a groan and a crack. A large limb fell out of the tree and landed exactly where I had been standing!!! The birds continued to screech...
Here for your viewing pleasure is my 2009 Halloween Altar with last year's Halloween Tree as the spooky centerpiece. All I can say is this... watch out for those birds...