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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dr. Raven's Pandemonium

Dr. Raven’s Pandemonium is one of the more popular attractions at the Halloween Carnival.
Mr. Yule B. Next, had an unfortunate accident at the Pandemonium this week.  Dr. Raven thought that in light of the goulash condition of Mr. Next, perhaps he would fit right in at the “Dodge the Zombies” game. 
Of course with a business like Dr. Raven’s it’s important to have a wagon for occasions like these.  The bars on the wagon are a must when transporting some of the more unusual oddities to his Pandemonium.
Mr. Skeletony is hitching a ride over to the Boo Bash.  He goes every night hoping to find his lost love (a purported beauty) carrying her picture and moldy roses (her favorite).
The coachman has a pet gargoyle which is sort of a nasty fellow, so the coachman keeps him in a glass dome; it’s the only way he can prevent him from biting people.

The Wagon
The wagon is as a Masonite kit which includes assembly instructions. 
It’s original purpose is for a circus wagon to hold ATCs but as soon as I saw it I knew I would take it in a spooky direction.  I thought it was a perfect addition to my Halloween Carnival.  In the picture below you can see how the top is open if you want to use it for displaying ATCs.
In addition to sharing with you how I embellished the wagon, I’ll describe the changes I made to its assembly.

I started by spray painting all of the pieces black which made the process much faster than hand painting all of the pieces.  Note in the picture below I also painted the slats from the bars.  The slats will become the benches for the coachman and Mr. Skeletony.
Before assembling the main section of the wagon I added paper to the front and back pieces.  
I approached attaching the wheels in a slightly different manner than the one described in the instructions.  I first glued the washers in place on the inside of the wagon.  I pushed the axles through the washers to make sure everything lined up as the glue dried.  The axles are loose and not glued to anything.
Next, I evened up the axles and slid the wheels onto the axles and then the washers.  The instructions call for the outside washers to be glued to the axle but not to the wheel if you want the wheels to turn (not an easy thing to do).  If you put glue in the washer hole, it gets all over the axle as you slide the axle in place.  Instead, I used skull beads to keep the wheels and washer in place.  The particular skulls I used fit snugly on the ends of the axles.
To pull the wagon I used the wolf image from the Halloween Carnival Rides #1 Collage Sheet which contains spooky carousel animals.  To support the wolves and to make them stand on their own, I glued two pieces of a wooden skewer between them.  I used two skeleton hand food picks to connect the wolves to the wagon.  The wooden skewers slide perfectly into the gap between the thumb and fingers on the pick.
At the end of the picks I attached a bead.  The purpose of the bead was to give me a larger surface area to attach the wolves to the wagon.  The beads are attached under the front bench.
To create the benches I glued together two of the pieces that were in between the wagon bars.  The kit comes with two decorative hitches to which you can attach a string to pull the wagon.  I repurposed the hitches and used them as supports for the benches by gluing them vertically under each bench.  Just gluing the benches to the front and back of the wagon was not enough to support the weight of the skeletons.
The blood on the coffin was made by dripping red candle wax.  I decided it was not dark enough so I painted it with Red Pepper Alcohol Ink.
To manipulate the skeletons into the position I wanted, I used heavy scissors to cut them at the arms, elbows and knee joints.  I then glued them into the desired position.
Mr. Skeletony’s monocal is made from a jump ring, bead, eye pin and chain.  It’s attached to his google eye using Glossy Accents.
The posts are made from chevron patterned straws.  These are heavy and stiff paper straws.  The tails of the owls fit perfectly into the straws.
The tent comes from my 3D Tent Digital Image Set which includes 4 different tents.  Some of the tents are available as collage sheets.  For a video tutorial on how to assemble the tents click here. 

You can find the tutorials and more information about building a Halloween Carnival at:

Below is the supply list and description of how and where each item was used.

Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for Dr. Raven’s Pandemonium
Dem Bones Collage Sheet Picture of Mr. Skeltony’s lost love
Black and White Chevron Striped Straws Posts on wagon and tent
Miniature Glass Domes Containing skull perch and gargoyle
Masonite Circus Flag Cut-Outs - Decorating the sides of the wagon
Plastic Skeletons - The coachman & Mr. Skeletony
Jack-o-Lantern Erasers - The coachman’s head
Acrylic Top Hats - Large - The coachman & Mr. Skeletony’s hats
Ceramic Raven Beads - Small - Sitting on the coachman’s knee
Brass Skull & Cross Bones Charm - On the coachman’s hat
Spooky Ghost Buttons - On the sides of the banners
An Eerie Tale Run & Hide Scrapbook Paper - Spider side paper used to decorate the wagon
Brass Owl Stampings Used at the top of the chevron straws
Plastic Tombstone Boxes - Inside the wagon
Mini Ceramic Gargoyle Beads - The coachman’s pet in the glass dome
Small Resin Skull Beads - Perch for the coachman’s pet gargoyle
Ceramic Raven Beads - Small - Sitting on the coachman’s knee
Small Plastic Pumpkins – Inside the wagon
Skeleton Hand Food Picks - Used to attach the wolves to the wagon
Plastic Skeleton Hand - Inside the wagon
40/30 Fancy Oval Settings - Black - Frame for Mr. Skeletony’s lost love
Antique Candelabra Charm - On the sides of the wagon
Tiny Paper Roses Mr. Skeletony’s flowers
Mini Spiders Inside the wagon
Small Wooden Finials - Used to attach the straw posts to the tent
Large Fancy Oval Beads - Used to attach the wolves to the wagon
Black & Orange Mini Gingham Check Ribbon Used on the coachman’s hat and Mr. Skeletony’s bow tie.
Halloween Spider Leg Ribbon Used on Mr. Skeletony’s hat
Thin Orange/Black Stitched Ribbon Reins for the wolves
Metal Patinas - Faded Pickup (Topaz) Used to paint wheels and candelabra flames
Metal Patinas - Retro Highway (Onyx) Used to paint candelabra (first coat)
Gilders Paste - Inca Gold Used to color candelabra (second coat)
Alcohol Inks - Winter Set (Red Pepper) Used to paint wax to simulate blood


Sue Marrazzo said...

what FUN! YOUR work is awesome!

nelda said...

You are SO amazing. Love the google eye with the monocle.

Lululiz said...

Utterly amazing, I am just lost for words.

Rosemary said...

Your pieces are amazing and I do love to see your creativity in creating these tableaux but I think I find your writing to be just as creative and fun! Thank you for such entertaining posts and items!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful - once more! I love your projects, especially during halloween season *gg* and, of course, the instructive tutorials - many thanks!
hugs serafeena