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

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Edgar Allan Poe & Marie Antoinette Tombs

These tombs are my memoriam to Edgar Allan Poe and Marie Antoinette; both gothic, one darker and serious and the other humorous.

With Poe I featured images of people and animals from his literature.  For Marie, I decided to feature her head, which under the circumstances I thought was appropriate.  I envisioned her with gothic makeup and a crazy hairdo made from cotton balls.

The centerpieces for both of the tombs are two of the NEW Chipboard Tombs carried by Alpha Stamps.
In the post below, you will find construction details for both tombs.

The center section of the Poe tomb is made from a Triangular Greek Pediment Tomb and covered with with Latin Stone scrapbook paper.  The pediment section is sprayed with stone paint.
I dressed up the top with tea dyed cheese cloth and flanking each side of the pediment are angels from the Facade Architecture Collage Sheet.  The picture of Poe comes from the the Just Poe Collage Sheet and the frame is from the Ghostmore Image Set. At the bottom is a fence made from a Chipboard Gothic Border Trim and painted black. Behind the fence is a piece of Baroque Black Dresden.
The stone texture that you see on both the Poe and Marie tombs as well as on the tombstones is Rust-oleum Stone Accents spray paint.  It is such an easy way to add stone texture.  I used the colors Grey Stone and Bleached Stone.
To the base I added a candelabra from my stash that holds dripping candles.  A hand from a set of Milagros Relic & Artifacts Casts holds red roses and a Die-Cut Black Cat stands on the fence touching the picture of Poe.
The Annabelle Lee and Lenore tombstones flanking the tomb are Miniature Chipboard Reliquaries.
I sprayed both of the tombstones with stone paint.  The image of Annabelle Lee is from the Romantic Victorian Women Collage Sheet and the embellishments are a Sparrows Compass Brass Link and a Bronze Cherub Pendant.
Behind the tombstone are two owls from the Ghostmore Image Set sitting  on a 8" Creepy Chipboard Tree.  The tree is attached to the back of the tomb and the tombstone is attached to the tree.
I dripped black wax over the Lenore tombstone and glued some chipboard from my stash to the front and added red beads (to serve as berries).  The image of Lenore comes from the Gothics Collage Sheet.
The tomb is attached to the fence.  A Creepy 5" Chipboard Tree is attached to the back of the tomb and again you see an owl sitting in the tree.
In order to make the tombs stand, I used a lid of box and a piece of chipboard cut smaller than the tomb, both of which are covered with the paper.

The center section of the Marie tomb is made from a Roman Pediment Tomb.
In the picture below you can see the various components of the Marie tomb.  The back is covered with Sandstone scrapbook paper.  The Chipboard Columns and pieces of the pediment are coated with the stone spray.  Notice that I used both colors of stone spray to add depth and interest.  In the pediment opening I used a pediment image from the Ghostmore Image Sets.

The image of Marie I used is from the Off With Her Head Collage Sheet (in the upper left corner).  I gave her a gothic makeup job and hair do.
Her hair is made from cotton.  I pulled cotton balls apart in long sections.  Next, I glued the sections to her paper hair until I felt like it was full enough.  It would be easy to shape it into a pouf or any other style you might like.
The crown is made by slightly bending and gluing together two pieces filigree from my stash, attaching fleur de lye and purple beads to the top.
Her head is held by a hand from set of Milagros Relic & Artifacts Casts.  I filed a slit in the hand to create a place to attach the head (the collar slips into the slit and is glued in place).
I wrapped Black Stitched Leaf Ribbon around the columns and attached Black Dresden to the base before I glued the columns in place.
The gold frame is from the Elegant Frames Digital Set and it is backed with Black Suede Paper.  Around the frame is dyed cheesecloth.
To dye the cheesecloth, I made a bath of Purple Twilight Alcohol Ink and Alcohol Blending Solution.  The Blending Solution dilutes the ink making int lighter.  I made just enough of the mixture to cover the cloth.
I soaked the cloth in the bath for a few minutes, lifted it out and let it dry.  Once dry, I wrapped it around the frame.

At the top of the pediment I added a Gargoyle Pendant and Griffin Architectural FinialsThe griffin finials are painted with stone paint to add texture then painted with black acrylic paint.
On the sides of the tomb I used a Spiderweb Gate painted black and rubbed with gold.  To dress up the columns on the gate, I added gold Dresden, a piece of filigree bent in the shape of a bowl and a 10mm Clear Glass Marble.

Edgar Allan Poe Tomb - Detail Supply List
Sparrows Compass Brass Link

Click here to jump to the complete supply list for the Marie Antoinette Tomb at Alpha Stamps

Marie Antoinette Tomb - Detail Supply List

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

MINI APOTHECARY (Video Tutorial) – New Collage Sheets & Digital Image Sets

Halloween must be just around the corner because I’ve made another apothecary.  This one is a mini version packed with books, bottles, steampunk style goodies and more.  If I haven’t tempted you before with my apothecaries, maybe this time I will!

The construction of the cabinet is made easy by using a split front chipboard box kit.  It’s simple to assemble and decorate so you can spend all your time making cool things for the inside.
Split Front Box - Large
Guarding the front of the apothecary are two battling dragons made from chipboard.  In the video tutorial I’ll show you how to transform them into the textured pieces that you see in the picture above.

Just like the Mad Scientist Laboratory this project has a few mechanical steampunkish pieces.  There is a bookstand, scale, candle holder and a couple of crystal balls.
With a library filled with magical books, you’ll need a special bookstand with a mechanical gizmo that lets you decipher hidden text and tricky spells.
In the video I’ll show you various bookmaking techniques, using my new collage sheet images and other materials.
I’ve written a series of spells, enchantments, and potions to incorporate into small handmade books.  Well except for the “Witches Brew” by Shakespeare.  Some are dark and some are light, something for everyone.
I think one of my favorites is the “Protection from Evil” spell. 
Spin a cloak of spider webs;
turn the wheel, roll the thread.
Weave in delicate fingers of light,
to chase away the demons at night.
Sing a song and fear no more,
witch nor demon, ghost or boar.
This cloak will be your shield,
your armor from all harm.
The dark forces that surround you
are vanquished and disarmed.

You can also find all these spells in a large 7” x 5” version for making full sized spell books.  If you try any of these spells and they work, let me know!

Indispensable to any apothecary is a scale to weigh potion ingredients, another one of the items I cover in the video. 
If divination is your thing, this apothecary sports two crystal balls.
I wonder what’s in that bottle that's tucked into a book.
A book’s got to be pretty dangerous to need locking up.  You might recognize it as the cover is a mini version similar to my Book Apothecary from last year.
Of course you can’t have an apothecary without bottles.  In the video I’ll the various types of spray paints I used to color and texture the bottles.  Checkout the bowl held by two dragons.  Guess what, it’s half of a ping pong ball. 

Want to start your own mini magical library?  Then my new Magical Books & Magical Book Pages collage sheets and digital image sets are a great start.  If your into larger books, there is a digital image set filled with 7”x 5”magical book pages.  You'll find the details below.

MAGIC BOOK COVERS - Collage Sheets 1 and 2
These two sheets are filled with all kinds of magic book covers and spines.  Mini book covers are a great way to create your own mini magic library.
On Collage Sheet #1 you’ll find:
Potions & Charms - Enchantments - Divination - Magic - The Black Hat Society - Cauldron Favorites - 6 Book Spines
On Collage Sheet #2 you’ll find:
Secret Rituals - Dragons - Haunted Dreams & Other Nightmares - Charms - Hexes & Curses - Hocus Pocus - Book of Astrology - Two Book Spines
This collage sheets contains 13 pages of spells, potions & enchantments plus more.  These pages are a mini version of the Magic Book Pages Large Version Digital Image set and are sized to fit the books in the Magic Book Covers Collage Sheet.  
Included are:
Banish a Ghost - Curse Removal - Love Potion - Moonlight Enchantment - Protection from Evil - Raise the Dead - Sleeping Curse - Transformation - Witches Brew - Element Symbols - Magic Chart - Two Pages of Incantations - Blank Paper - Zodiac Image
This set includes 13 pages sized 7” x 5” that are perfect for creating a book of magic.  The pages contain spells, incantations, enchantments and potions.  
Included are:
Banish a Ghost - Curse Removal - Love Potion - Moonlight Enchantment - Protection from Evil - Raise the Dead - Sleeping Curse - Transformation - Witches Brew - Element Symbols - Magic Chart - Two Pages of Incantations
All of the images in set can be re-sized for your project as they are high resolution (300dpi) PNG formatted images.
Want it all? This set is filled with magical themed book covers and pages containing spells, incantations, enchantments and potions.  Included are the images from the Magical Books #1 & #2 collage sheets, the Magical Book Pages collage sheet and a few decorative bits.  There are a total of 36 images that you can use to create your own magical library.  Included are:
12 - Book Covers
6 - Book Spines
14 - Pages
4 – Decorative Bits
All of the images in set can be re-sized for your project as they are high resolution (300dpi) PNG formatted images.

This sheet contains 40 unique mini apothecary bottle labels. They are a miniature version for my Pretty Potions and Poisons Apothecary labels.


This is the eye graphic I used for the book stand.  You may already have this as I have used it in other projects.  This version is sized to fit the book stand in this project.  Feel free to download the image and use it in your art.  To download an image, just click on it and a menu will popup.  Select the "Save as" menu option and select where you want it saved on your computer. 


Halloween Fiber Set– Orange & black fiber used for the dragon structure