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

Friday, October 31, 2014


I’m wrapping up Halloween 2014 with another Edgar Allen Poe piece.  The background is made up of words from his books glued in strips to heavy cardstock.  I soaked the garland in diluted black acrylic paint to give it the dark look. 
 13th Hour Clock Winner
Random.org has spoken and the winner is (drum roll):  JENNIFER

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments on my blog, via email and on Facebook!!

I hope you have had lots of fun creating Halloween art and crafts this season, I know I sure have.  Now on to fall, Christmas and winter themed art.
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for the Poe Piece:

Saturday, October 25, 2014


It’s all treats today and no tricks!  For my contribution to the Halloween Blog Party hosted by Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist, I have all kinds of goodies for you. 

First, is a giveaway of a 13th Hour Halloween altered clock.  To enter in the drawing just leave a comment on this post or email me using the Email Me button in the right hand column of the blog.  On the morning of Halloween October 31st, I’ll use Random.org to select a winner.
If you would like to make your own 13th Hour Halloween clock below is a list of some of the Alpha Stamps supplies I used for this project.

How about making your own vintage treat boxes.  These can be used for a party or for special tricker treaters.  They are super simple to make.  Below is the template.
I glued decorative paper to the back of the template before assembling.
The template fits on on 8 1/2" x 11" paper (of course you can always re-size it).  To download the template, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.

To download an images, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.


Thursday, October 23, 2014


The goblins are coming.  Be careful not to enter the Dark Forest or Goblins Hollow as you don't want to meet the goblin king.


Alpha Stamps Supplies
Sheet Moss


The spikey things you see on his crown are sticks.
Alpha Stamps Supplies
Resin Owls


I thought sticks made a perfect frame for this piece.
Alpha Stamps Supplies
Falling Leaves Collage Sheet

Saturday, October 18, 2014


“Boooooook come home or make thyself known” cries Winnie in the movie Hocus Pocus.  This movie is a must see for me every Halloween season.  It’s the only one of my spooky movies that I can get my husband to watch with me.  He loves the “I put a spell on you” scene when the Sanderson sisters sing.  You can tell by the eye on the book that this apothecary draws inspiration from the Hocus Pocus spell book. 
Unlike the book in Hocus Pocus, which is filled with spells; this one opens to reveal an apothecary.
The book is constructed from two Tim Holtz Mini Configuration Books hinged together.
The texture and patina on the covers is achieved with tissue paper, stamped paper clay and Modern Masters Metal Effects Iron Paint and Rust Activator.  II’ve been working with these products for years, and love them so much, I rusted an entire wall in my house.

You can find the Modern Masters products on Amazon.com, online paint stores and some neighborhood paint shops.  Their products are easiest to find in the US & Canada.  For those in the UK you can find them on Amazon.co.uk.  For other countries, the best thing is to Google the product name to see if anyone in your country carries it.
Notice how the middle of the book looks like pages - it’s really just an image, which you’ll find for download further down in this post.
By using two of the configuration books, you’ll have lots of room to display all kinds of cool bits and bobs.

In the video tutorial below, I’ll step you through the making the covers and assembling the book.  If Halloween or this particular project is not your thing, you might still want to watch the video as the techniques to create the cover can easily translate into other projects and themes.

To download the eye and book page images that I used in the tutorial, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.

Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for this Project
The Raven Background Cling Stamp – The stamp I used is the exact same design except mine runs more horizontal and this one runs vertical.

BOTTLES – The list below includes some of the bottles I used and others that are the right scale for this apothecary

Book Spines & Labels #
Witchy Little Labels & Ephemera Collage Sheet - Used for most of the bottles and the background images
Apothecary Labels #2 Collage Sheet – Bat and Blood of Dracula

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


The "House of Poe" is my ode to Edgar Allen Poe the master of the macabre.  I love all of his stories and if you are a fan too, I hope you like this project.  Within the larger piece are smaller items that could be stand alone pieces or part of a larger project.  In the tutorial below, I'll show you how to make a clock from a matchbox, a table & desk from an Altoids tin, a bookcase coffin, a working hourglass and other bits and bobs.

I started with the leftover section of the paper mache house accordion shrine. This is the piece leftover from the Little Red Ridding Hood project.  You could certainly use the entire shire to make your own House of Poe.

I started by cutting out a section of the house to create a niche.  To make a larger house, I cut two 6” x 4” panels from heavy chipboard and painted all of the pieces back.
Next, I papered the pieces front and back.
In the meantime, while I was working on the bits and bobs for the house, I realized that the house was not big enough to accommodate all the stuff I had planned (yikes!).  The solution was to cut a second set of 5” x 3”.panels.
To add architectural details to the pieces, I used a vintage arch image from my Letters from the Past collage sheet.  To further dress up the panels I added fancy corners from the same collage sheet and digital downloads of grey and orange curtains.
To create dimension, the curtains are popped up from the panels (using double stick foam tape) and the corners are popped from the curtains.  In the center section, the orange curtain is popped up inside the niche and the grey curtain is popped up in front of the niche.  The corners are also popped up from the grey curtain.
The window is made from a die-set and is flanked by two pieces of Dresden that look like shutters.  I glued the Dresden on with a hinge, so that I could bend the shutters forward.  In the back ground is a skeleton specter.
The Fully Furnished digital image set or the Have a Seat collage sheet has chairs that were the perfect style, the only problem was color.  Never fear, watercolor pencils and a fine point black pin worked great to darken their color scheme.
I used double stick foam tape to attach the chair and to pop it up from the wall.

The room needed surfaces to display cool stuff so I decide to create a desk out of the bottom of an Altoids tin and a table out of the top.
I covered the bottom of the tin with paper and Dresden.  To darken the gold Dresden, I first painted it black and then rubbed on Inca Gold Gilders paste.  The feet of the table are made from resin gables.  
I glued the gables together to create a corner with the long gables in the front, painted them black and rubbed them with the Gilders paste.  I only made feet for the front as the back is attached to the chair.  The last step was to add decorative swirls and a brass bat with a cat eye.
To make an inkwell and quill, I used a rondelle, bead cap and feather from my stash.
Other decorative items on the table are books, a candelabra, papers, a letter and a key.
To make the table, I covered the Altoids tin top with paper and trimmed it with lace and black sweeper fringe.
The legs are made from a wooden chess piece (turned upside down) and a cup (all painted black and rubbed with Inca Gold Gilder paste.
On the table you’ll find a candelabra, open book (supported by other books in the back), a Ouija board, a rather large spider in a glass dome and a working hourglass.
To make the working hourglass, I used two tiny round bottles and two rondelles.  I filled one of the bottles with sand and glued the rims of the bottles together with Glossy Accents.  I added the rondelles to the ends and a bat serves as decoration.
The base of the small round table is made of the same chest piece as the legs on the Altoids tin table.  I glued a rondelle to the top of the chest piece as without it, the top of the chest piece would stick up through the hole in the table top (Santos Doll Halos) making the surface of the table uneven.
On the top of the table I glued a talon holding an eyeball bead.  I painted the red veins on the eye with acrylic paint giving the eye a bloodshot appearance.
The rugs are made from paper in the Color Me Gold Sampler Pack and gold sweeper fringe.  You saw me use this paper in the Elegant Egg tutorial.  This time I rubbed the paper with Black Soot Distress Ink and then buffed off the excess with a paper towel.

To make the matchbox clock, I started by papering the matchbox case.  I used a black marker to color the ends of the matchbox drawer.  Next using chain and eye pins, I attached spiders for weights and a scull bead for the pendulum. 
I cut a Dresden scroll in half and glued the halves to the top and bottom of the case.
I used a clock image from my Tick Tock collage sheet, bat cut-outs and palm reading hand charms to complete the clock.
I used the template from the previous Coffin Apothecary project to create the the bookcases.  Click here if you missed the template and tutorial. 
I reduced the size of the template to fit on the wall.

The book case is filled with books and other creepy decor.  The books are just a facade made of book spines from the Antique Leather Book Spines Collage Sheet.  I backed them with cardstock and used layers of double stick foam tape to attach them to the back of the bookcase.
The globe is from my Days Gone By digital image set .  The pictures on the wall are framed with images from the Oval Cameo & Mirror Frames collage sheet.
I added the gargoyle bead to the top the globe using a toothpick, which is glued to the back and runs through the hole in the bead. The final touch is the bat on the bottom.
The base for the house is made from thick chipboard that in the back, matches the angles of the walls and is straight in the front.  Once I glued the walls together I used them to trace the the angles on the base.
I covered the base with decorative paper.
The Front
The tombstones are first painted black.  Next, I stippled them in dark grey and then in a lighter grey to give them the appearance of stone.
The trees are made from real tree branches that are painted black.
I used decorative paper to cover the front and then the same architectural pieces as I used in the inside of the house.  For the front door, I used the entire architectural piece and cut out layers and attached them with double stick foam tape to make the front door pop.

I used black wrought iron Dresden Scrolls and brass winged griffins to create sconces on the sides of the door.   The knocker on the door is a lion head handle.
I used stitched leaf ribbon for vines.  A raven bead guards the entrance.
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for this Project
Letters from the Past - Digital - Architecture, Fancy Corners, Trunk, Letter, Books
Antique Leather Book Spines Collage Sheet - Books in coffin bookcase
Poe Cameos Collage Sheet - Image of Lenore in frame and raven above
Little Library Collage Sheet - Books on desk & table
Curtains - Digital - Grey & orange
Witchy Little Labels & Ephemera Collage Sheet - Skeleton on book, Ouija Board
Poe Words Collage Sheet - Words in ravens beak over picture of Lenore
Little Potions Collage Sheet - Rolled up scroll in bookcase & sheets of paper on desk

Paper Mache House Accordion Shrine - House center piece - You could also use the full shrine to make the house
Spirited Eerie Scrapbook Paper - Outside (back) of house
Color Me Gold Sampler Pack - Used to make rugs
Ceramic Bat Bead - Used on center pediment
Arched Window Die Set – Window behind desk
Mini Ceramic Gargoyle Beads-Used on top of globe
Black Mini Baroque Frames-Used to frame picture of Lenore
Black Cat Cut-Outs - On clock & globe

Lion Head Handle-Used on door
Ceramic Raven Beads - Large - Used above door

Blank Altoids Tin - Base of desk & tables
Brass Bat Charms - Used on candelabras
Resin Gables - Desk
Wood Finial Chess Pawns - Square Table & Round Table
Santos Doll Halos - Used as top of small round table
Eyeball Beads - 18mm - Held by talon on small round table
Antique Bronze Talon Pendant - On small round table

Tiny Round Bottles - For hourglass & on trunk

Palm Reading Hands – Clock hands
Pewter Spider Charms  - Weights - painted gold

Resin Skull Beads