Welcome! Artfully Musing is a blog dedicated to sharing art and the techniques and products used. I'll be showcasing collage, altered and mixed media art as well as miniature. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghoul and Sons Chemists

Trusted Name for the Last 500 Years
“All Our Best Customers Are Underground”

This is my last Halloween treat for you!!

This piece has three tiers consisting of matchboxes, two Altoids tins and a chipboard potion bottle for a back (the same kind I used for the potion swap).  All the tiers are hinged together.  The first tier is a matchbox chest with drawers that open.   The matchboxes are sitting on a decorative piece of chipboard.  The chipboard is hinged to the first Altoids tin.  By lifting the copper colored spider charm you can lift the top to reveal the contents - the matchboxes and everything are still attached.

I used one of the chipboard potion bottles that I used for the potion swap for the back of the piece.  The first layer is a matchbox chest with drawers that open.  The matchboxes are sitting a decorative piece of chipboard.  The chipboard is hinged to the first Altoids tin.  By lifting the copper colored spider charm you can lift the top to reveal the contents. 

Inside the Ghoul sons are busy at work mixing their concoctions.  The bottles you see are resting on a piece of chipboard.  By pulling on the ribbon handles you can lift the bottles out of the tin.
At the bottom of the tin are Masonite bottles – the same ones I used for the book apothecary in the tutorial.  You can use them to prop up the glass bottles attached to the chipboard; like a traveling samples case.
The first and second tins are hinged together. By pulling on the two spider web copper colored charms you can lift the entire piece and access the second Altoids tins.    That’s where the Ghoul family keeps its spare parts!
I hope you have enjoyed my little engineering project!   

Alpha Stamps Products Used In this Piece
METAL BITS & Other Items
Halloween Fiber Set – Black Fiber


Thanks to all for participating in the event!!  I really appreciate the comments and emails I received from everyone.  It seems that a good time was had by all.  Many of you intend to continue to add to your project which I think is fabulous.  A special thanks to the 41 people who participated in the Giveaway by sharing your project and great ideas with everyone.  Also a special thanks to the bloggers that helped spread the word through posting the event badge on their blogs.

For those who couldn’t but wanted to participate and those that are still working on their project, don’t worry as the tutorials and free images are going to remain posted on my blog.  Right now you can access them from their own tab up at the top of the blog.  Eventually I will move them to the tab with the rest of the tutorials.

WINNERS of the Pretty Potions & Poisons Apothecary Giveaway
Those of you who have following me for a while know that when I post a giveaway I usually giveaway more than I post.  And this giveaway is no exception!  I used RANDOM.ORG to choose all of the winners and they are:

First Prize - Love Potion Number #9 Bottle – I created 2 of these bottles so there are two winners!  The winners are:
DiAnn Denison & Hazel Thompson

Second Prize – (Hexes Book, Spider Webs Bottle, Poison Bottle, Sleeping Death Powder Bottle, Embalming Fluid Bottle, Witches Cauldron, 13th Hour Domino Book, Wicked ATC, and Owl Hollow ATC) – The winner is:

Once I drew for the main prizes I had Random.org select more winners from the remaining participants.

The winner of my “Spells & Magic” shadow box book is:
Virginia Johnson
The winner of “The Black Hat Society” is:
Carmen Daspit
The winner of “Under the Silvery Moon” is:
Sue Brown
The winners of “Bewitching” are:
Janice VanBeek & Sandra

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Blog Party – Witches Ball

Welcome!  I’ve been very busy getting ready for the witches ball.  This annual even hosted by the gals of the “Black Hat Society” is the premier event of the season.  The invitation just recently arrived so I’m in a tizzy about what to wear.  I know that many of the witches will have already ordered their outfits from the best shops in Transylvania, but I don’t have enough time to do that.   I guess I’ll just have to whip up my own.
This is from one of my collage sheets and the little ditty is written by me.
I don’t know about you, but I have a thing for shoes!  I whipped this one up using paper.  I accented the design of the paper with glitter.  I added sparkly fabric and twigs.  The brass spiders are painted with Metallic Olive Lumiere paint and accented with black Swarovski crystals.

Itsy Bitsy Spider wanted to go to the ball, so I told him he could if he hung off the end of my hat and promised not to annoy guests by biting them.
I think this necklace will work perfectly.  The spider on the top is painted with red Liquid Pearls.  The spider at the bottom is accented with Swarovski Crystals.
I can’t go to the ball without a mask.  This one is made from paper, fun wire and fantasy film and accented with beading and glitter.  I’ve also embellished it with bats and swirls.
Oh I just know I’m going to be late.  My "Witching Hour" – Hour Glass says its time.
This is a working hour glass made from two bottles.  I’m thinking I’ll do another winter themed one and include a tutorial for you guys.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shadow Box Book – Spells & Magic

 “I’ve Put a Spell on You, And Now You’re Mine”
This is a book I intended to include in the third apothecary tutorial “Books, Coffins and Cauldrons”.
The cover and spine of this book is constructed the same as all of the other books in the tutorial.  The covers of this book are 4 ½” x 3”.  The size will fit in the apothecary I demonstrated in the tutorial.
The difference is in the inside where there is a box made from chipboard.  All I did was cut four pieces of chipboard (2 long pieces and two short pieces) so that when glued to each other they would create a frame slightly smaller than the book cover.  The depth of the frame is up to you.  My frame is 5/8” deep.  You don’t need a back as the back book cover gives you the back.  I would recommend that make your frame first before assembling your book so that you make sure the spine of the book is big enough to accommodate the frame and you can close your book. 
The frame creates a great niche for dimensional embellishments.  I draped spider webbing that I purchased at the craft store around the front of the frame.
Supplies Used In This Piece

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apothecary Event Giveaway – Update

I hope you have all been enjoying the apothecary eye candy I’ve been throwing at you from the giveaway participants.  I know I have been inspired by the direction each person has taken and all the clever ideas.  Below is the list of participants I have on the list so far.  I’ve posted the artwork of all of them with the exception of a couple.  Today I discovered that some of the entrants emails had been dumping into a spam file of mine.  I think I recovered everything and contacted all the people affected.  If you have sent me your entry, and you don’t see your name on the list below, please contact me again so I can get you on the list and post your pictures.

You have until October 30th to send me your entry.  You can send me pictures or the link to your blog where your pictures are posted.  I’ll be doing another big post (like today) of entrants on the 30th

Tracey-Anne McCartney
Gene Fisher
Hazel Thomson
Joanne Parkin
JoAnne Webster
Carmen Daspit
Martina Fuchs
Wendy Aspinall
Janice Bryanted
DiAnn Denson
Rhea Freitag
Ginger Benedict
Ginger Brame
Janice VanBeek
Paulette Lancaster
Sue Young
Virginia Johnson
Debbie Lynch
Celine Verdegaal
Ruth Hanslbauer
Donna Humphries
Karen Mallory

Laurie Davis – Not posted yet - holding for a question
Barbara Thompson – Not yet posted - holding for more photos

Other Things Coming In October

I have more Halloween stuff planned for you!  I have another type of book that I’ll be posting that didn't make it into the video tutorial on books, coffins and cauldrons.  I’ll be participating in the Halloween Blog Party Saturday that is hosted by Afancifultwist.com so I have a bunch more art ready for that event.  And for Halloween, in addition to posting the winners of the giveaway I have another apothecary of mine to show you.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Owl Domino Book

I love making owls out of bits of jewelry findings.  I decided I would use one for the cover of a domino book.  I first colored the domino with a combination of alcohol inks.  I then added black stickers.  Unlike the previous domino book which was tied closed with ribbons, this one is hinged and closed with a clasp.  
The poem inside says:
When darkness welcomes Halloween
And owls hoot long and low,
The witches in the deep ravine,
Move wildly to and fro.
It comes from a vintage postcard.

Supplies Used In This Piece

I’ll be posting more of these owls in November with fall inspired art.

Beaded Spider Tutorial by Caroline Ouzts Hay

My friend Caroline has posted a great video tutorial on how to make a beaded spider. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Haunted Family Tree – Domino Book

I couldn't go through Halloween and not make some domino books.  On this book I started by coating the front of the dominoes with Glossy Accents, then sprinkling on black glitter.  The gate, ghosts and tombstones are all buttons (with shanks removed).  I used Copper Gilders Paste to add color to the gate and tombstones.  I used a punch to create the black branches (I think it is a Martha Stewart punch).
I used two different 12 x 12 papers on the inside of the book.  One of the papers is the strip with the gate and hearse and the other had all the images of the gruesome silhouettes (which I cut out).  

Supplies Used In Making This Book

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dancing Cat Whiskers Chipboard Potion Bottle

This is my first bottle for the chipboard bottle swap.  The label is from one of my new potion label collage sheets designed to fit the chipboard bottles and large glass bottles.  For the nose and whiskers at the neck of the bottle, I found some small round glittered Styrofoam balls at Michaels Craft Store.  I cut them in half and added wire whiskers.

Supplies I Used:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The girls are all gathered for the annual meeting of the “Black Hat Society”!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chipboard Potion Bottle Designed for Alpha Stamps

I’ve been showing so many altered bottles for Halloween.  How about a bottle made from chipboard.  Alpha Stamps is now caring a set of chipboard bottles in three different sizes.
The bottle pictured above is 6 ½” tall with candelabra and skulls.  At the bottom is a shadow box shrine with a skeleton and his pet wolf inside.  I used real wax to create the black drips on the bottle.  The candelabra is made by Prima and is part of their Shabby Chic Collection.  I think that lots of stores carry it.
Alpha Stamp Products Used on This Piece

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pretty Potions & Poisons Apothecary Event - Giveaway Entry by Wendy Aspinall

Wendy has created a little magic and whimsy with her cabinet.
You can see more of Wendy’s work (and it is definitely worth the trip) at her blog Bliss Angels.

You can find details of the giveaway by clicking on any of the Apothecary Tutorial tabs at the top of the blog.  The deadline for entering the giveaway is October 30th.

Pretty Potions & Poisons Apothecary Event - Giveaway Entry by Janice Bryant

Janice has created an apothecary jam packed full of all kinds of spooky things.  And what a perfect display it makes for a mantel piece.  Below you can see the back of the cabinet.  I wouldn't want to be that fly.
Checkout the fun bottles!
Desicated Wood Nymph
Perfectly Pulverized Pixie
Desquamated Mermaid
Instant Embalming Fluid
Voodoo in a Bottle
You can see more of Janice’s apothecary and other work at The Artists of the Round Table.

You can find details of the giveaway by clicking on any of the Apothecary Tutorial tabs at the top of the blog.  The deadline for entering the giveaway is October 30th.