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 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


Kimberly at ArtJoyStuff said...

Laura, this is magic! I love how your mind works!
Thank you for sharing your process.
enJOY a lovely day,

claude said...

très bel ensemble et merci pour les explications

Debi said...

I'm speechless ! That would be an heirloom! Spectacular, I must share this as a FB friend won a trip to the museum events coming up!
Amazing indeed! xoDebi

Createology said...

Your art is forever uber creative and amazing. The details you go to for the perfect effect is beyond the moon. Creative Poe Bliss...

Karenliz Henderson said...

WOW, WOW and WOW! This piece is amazing. I love the clock.

sheilaAR said...

Laura, you are an amazement and bring such joy to me as I gape at every little detail of your work!! Wonderful, simply so fun and well done, wickedly macabre and delightful!! Thanks so much for the tutorial, xo sheila

Little Gothic Horrors said...

This is breathtakingly gorgeous! ❤

smokeysmom said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Laura, your work is amazing! The intricate details, oh my, amazing! You keep me inspired:)

Vintagelady said...

Wow,wow amazing!! I'm also speechless, this is really beautiful, very inspired and a piece of art!! Gorgeous and many thanks for this tutorial! Greetings, Kerstin

linnea-maria said...

It's simply brilliant!! I love it!

Hettienne Grobler said...

wow! just beautiful and the details are incredible!! thank you

johala said...

Hi Laura!
You'r just a genius woman!!!!
Really stunning and funny!
Hugs and kisses

Faith W said...

Fantastic! Your attention to detail, and creativity is awesome. Thank you for sharing your process.

barbara macaskill said...

Magically delicious!! Loving every little detail of this fantastical creation!! GMTA because I am already doing a few of these things for a creation I am working on. Hoping nobody thinks I stole the idea from you but if they do I know that I started before I saw this. GREAT job creating such a wonderfully realistic scene and I am in love with it! TFS!

Gina said...

OMG! this is the most amazing thing I've seen in ages! Congratulations on your genius :D XXX

nelda said...

Absolutely wonderful. Love the tables, the bookcase, the clock, everything!

Andi's English Attic said...

In awe as usual. Love it all.

Elizabeth said...

Wow! I know I will come back to this post again and again to take in all of the marvelous details. Amazing project!

Teri Calia said...

LOVE it, Laura! Bravo!!!

Karen Garrard said...

OMG Laura, my jaw is on the floor right now. LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece! Karen.x

Tee said...

Wow! I am so impressed with your unique creativity! I love how you built your furniture pieces, amazing!

BurningRubber said...

OMG!!! This is so cool! What a labor of love.