Featured On

October 12, 2015

Halloween Fairy Garden and Tea Party

October is here, it's the happiest time of the year!  Now if the weather would only get on board and dial back the heat it would be perfect.  I'm gathering my Ghouls together this weekend for a Halloween tea party craft night.

I love the look of fairy gardens, but usually they are filled with moss and plants that would just wither and die in this City of Sun.  But I ran across this one from Garden Answer on YouTube that features a Halloween theme and uses succulents which are perfect.  I can't wait to try it out.  I need to hit the Dollar tree store for some small Halloween houses.

Once we finish all that crafting we will want to enjoy a tasty pumpkin flavored treat.  I've been pinning recipes like crazy on Pinterest.  I've found this pumpkin cake with a cinnamon glaze that I can't wait to try.   It won't look as good, I'm sure.  My last bunt cake had a decided slant to it, but it still tasted good.

We can't have cake without tea my current favorite right now is this one from CamilleLaLune on Etsy I love the taste but the name makes it the perfect tea for my Gothic Tea Party, Countess Bathory's Bathwater.  You can see from the picture it's a lovely shade of blood red.

Call me old fashioned but I do believe in dressing for tea including elegant headwear.  Okay, honestly I'll use any excuse to wear a tiara. :)  I own a couple from one of my other favorite Etsy shops, EJPcreations.  Perhaps a little something like this will be just the thing.

We've been on a vampire movie kick lately so we may indulge in one of our favorites, or

We shall carry on Halloweening despite the 100-degree weather!

September 05, 2015

Photo Bomb!!!

I recently bought a new camera.  And I'm obsessed, taking pictures of everything.  It has a 60x zoom on it.  So when we had the Supermoon recently I took some pictures.
It doesn't even look real.  There is supposed to be another Supermoon later this month I want to try and get some earlier pictures.  I took this one after 10.

I've been playing with different settings.
My sweet old girl in Toy setting.  She's lost a lot of her teeth, despite my daily brushing! and now she has a reverse vampire smile. 
 We have a lot of cactus growing in the yards, but this one is my favorite.  It has character.
I love the combination of black and white and color, especially on flower pictures.  The real purpose of the camera (or justification) is to take better shots of my shadow boxes and other pieces.  Now I just need to create a good background.

August 27, 2015

She Lives!

I love old monster movies, Dracula, of course, being my favorite, but I've always had a soft spot for Frankenstein and his bride.  It's probably no coincidence that the two I love the most also have corresponding books.  If only there had been a classic Wolfman novel it would be a perfect trinity.   Someone suggested I may want to do a Bride of Frankenstein shadow box and the idea took hold.  The thought of sculpting that iconic hair was too much to resist.  So I created this beauty.

 The Bride
 Bride of Frankenstein shadow box
I tried a new technique to create the stone wall and floor.  I like how it turned out, but it's a bit time consuming.  She sold the same day she was listed.  I've had a request for a custom shadow box with another Bride.  This one is going to be humorous which will be different for me.

July 31, 2015

In Cryptozoology news...

The only known specimen of the rare and once rumoured, Lepidoptera Mortem has been found and I have him preserved and ready for display.
 Lepidoptera Mortem
 This month was the birthday of someone I lost and loved dearly.  The memories led me to create this miniature Momento Mori style diorama inspired by part of a poem I wrote for him and all those we lose too soon.
 memento mori diorama
To get back to the more whimsical side of things here's a new jewelry box I just finished.  I love this Victorian Bat costume.  
 Bat Woman Jewelry Box

June 30, 2015

Bringing Halloween to my summer months

It's a constant battle every year loving summer for about a week and then being over it and longing and dreaming of October and all it's wonderful Halloween/Fall goodness.  I made a few pieces to remind myself it's only 122 days until Halloween.

I found this cute Victorian looking doll house carriage and a little doll.  I decided to give them a vampire inspired make-over.  Here's what it looked like before

And here's the after.
 Vampire Baby in Carriage

I was contemplating possible Halloween decor themes and The Mad Scientist's Laboratory came to mind.  So I decided to do a miniature version in a shadow box.  
 Mad Scientist Lab

June 17, 2015

Humming Bird Nursery

A hummingbird decided to build a nest on a windchime we have under the patio.  Thank goodness it's so far under the patio it doesn't move. (yeah, not the best planning on my part)  It's been fascinating to watch how dedicated she is to sitting on the nest.  And once the babies were hatched she has flown back and forth almost non-stop.  Here's mama on the nest and the babies ready to bust out of the nest.  Which cool fact, the nest is built to expand as the babies grow.

May 31, 2015

Frida Kahlo, Creepy Fortune Tellers, and Lizzie Borden!!!

I was inspired by this peek into Frida's Closet, to create a new shadow box.  I chose to put her in her studio with some of her beloved pets.
 Frida Shadow Box

There is no clear line from Frida to Lizzie, but they both happened this month.  I may have overindulged in the blood splatter but after watching the series with Christina Ricci and loving the high camp factor I was inspired.

 Lizzie Borden Wall Art

From Frida and Lizzie, I moved to a creepy fortune teller.  I was sifting through the spare doll parts (Doesn't everybody have a drawer full of spare parts?) and I ran across a particularly lovely head.  I gave her a bandana and some silver hoop earrings and a miniature Ouija board.  And then I encased her in a "crystal" ball.

 Fortune Teller

April 12, 2015

I've been doing some Spring cleaning in the workshop this week.  When it comes to items that I may use in my artwork I am a total hoarder.  I will keep the most random things because some day I may need it to fabricate something in one of my miniature dioramas or use it to decorate a box.  I bought a new storage bin with lots of small clear drawers so I can see what I have now.  So now I'm inspired to start using pieces in new creations.  Plus I found the most amazing yard sale.  The woman was a doll collector and she was selling off extra stuff.  I got a victorian reproduction doll from the 60's, a German doll with unstuffed body and porcelain arms and head from the 1800's, random doll heads and legs, and all kinds of miniature teacups and saucers.  There is definitely going to be some creepy doll projects happening.  Here's a picture of my haul.
I did get some actual work done last week.  I finished a new jewelry box with this great paper I found recently, funeral coaches and distressed lace.
I also finished a Poe shadow box I've been working on.  I found a new technique to make my clay candles look like the are bleeding but also keep that melted wax look.  
This week I'm working on a miniature cemetery for a tiny shadow box frame I found recently.  Time to bust out the clay and start making teeny tiny gravestones. 

March 29, 2015

When I first saw this jewelry box she had that faded beauty of an old carnival performer with her beautiful curved ornate legs and slightly shabby finish.  So I was inspired by that to create a freakshow themed jewelry box.  This one is dedicated to the Strange Girls everywhere.  My fellow modern day freaks who never quite fit in with the rest of the crowd.

It's pretty much like Christmas for me when I find nice wood pieces for the home in thrift stores or estate sales.  I got a hold of these two items for the kitchen and gave them a much needed gothic makeover.  

I love the retro vibe of recipe boxes and napkin holders.  I'm not sure people even use them much anymore.  I'm guessing everyone's recipes are on Pinterest or stored on a pad. But I remember what fun it was to sit in my Mom's kitchen when I was young and go through her Betty Crocker recipe box.  Everything was broken down by occasion with sections for cocktail parties and dinner parties.  It seemed so glamorous at the time.  And I've always loved the kitschiness of  napkin holders especially the ones from tourist locations.  So in my mind I see these items and can't help to start planning a gothic kitschy kitchen.

March 14, 2015

I started a new shadow box thinking I was going to do something along the lines of a Victorian parlor with a mourning skeleton.  But midway through making the skeleton's dress she decided she was a witch.  So I switched gears and went with Miss Witch's parlor.
 Witch shadow box diorama
 So here she is all ready to be a proper Victorian lady in mourning when the compulsion hits and this happens
 Witch shadow box diorama
Once she went there I had to create a creepy home for her.  
 Witch shadow box diorama

 Witch shadow box diorama
Need a love spell, your fortune told?  Step right in she's just waiting to welcome you.

February 28, 2015

I've been finding some great pieces to makeover.  I love giving old neglected items a new life.  I found this mail organizer.  It was painted green and looked like it had been abandoned and unloved for some time.  But I brought it home spruced it up and gave it a new look.
I also ran across this piece which seemed like a great general organizer for anything from spices to nail polish bottles.  It was just a plain wood, nothing special, certainly nothing that would stand out in the home but now it's a piece to be useful and noticed.
I found this cabinet at a garage sale.  I had a customer who wanted a custom medicine chest and I thought this would be perfect.  Here's what it looked like before,

And here's what it looks like now!  My customer wanted a vintage anatomy theme and black and grey stripes.  

February 15, 2015

While most of the country is still blanketed in snow we are in the midst of an early Spring.  Or maybe that's an early summer it is in the mid to high 80's in most places around here.  I've been enjoying all the random flowers that are popping up.  There must be all kinds of bulbs buried in the flower beds here that have waited a year to appear.  Like these beauties.

I've been busy in the studio working on some new pieces.  I finished the skull jewelry box I was talking about in my last post.  The technique worked great.  I want to try it on something else soon.  This jewelry box was a great thrift store find.  Here's what it started out as just a boring wood jewelry box a bit scuffed.  But I loved the inside I haven't run across any like this before.

So with a little love and Gothic magic it's now this!   He's so creepy looking staring at you with that one eye looking as if he's rising from a black pool of water.  

This week I finished a new shadow box.  I've been wanting to do a Little Red Riding Hood shadow box for some time.  I wanted Red to be standing over the wolf that she killed.  But I had no clue how to find a wolf that would work.  I thought of trying to alter one of the plastic animals that Michaels sell, but it wouldn't look right.  So I decided to try and make one out of paper clay.  I've made small miniatures for my cupboards and a few larger but simple pieces.  I hadn't tried anything like this before.  But I went for it and sculpted my first animal.  Here he is in his raw state.  
 He's a bit rough and definitely primitive looking, but I think I captured dead wolf.  Here's the finished piece.

I also made the intestines, mushrooms, the basket and it's contents (except the bottle) and the knife handle from Paperclay.  I love the idea of the fairytale twisted around so that Red is the scariest thing in the forest.

January 24, 2015

I've been reveling in the rare occurrence of winter weather here in SoCal.  We even had a day of snow just ten minutes from the house.  It's about 80 today and I'm actually enjoying the warmth!  Of course in a couple of months I'll be my usual grumbly heat/sun hating self.   I did capture a gorgeous sunrise last month.

This month I've been busy working on some Gothic inspired Valentine treats.  Here's a few of the items I've completed for the shop.
 Broken Heart Plaque
This little plaque features a broken anatomical heart. with a quote from Oscar Wilde.  Sometimes the only thing that will do on Valentin's is an anti Valentine. 

 Gothic Valentine Box
My obsession with boxes is well documented.  I think I just like the idea of secret spaces to squirrel away tiny treasures and such.  I love this paper with tiny skulls because it kind of looks like black and white polk-a-dots until you get closer.  And the filigree skull is just so pretty I want to use them on every thing. 
 Gothic Valentine / Memento Mori Wall Art
This wall art is perfect for those who prefer hearts and skulls over hearts and flowers.  It's also a bit of a memento mori piece.  I've included lines from Dylan Thomas's poem "And Death Shall Have No Dominion"

Next week I'm starting work on a new jewelry box with a three dimensional skull on the lid.  It's a new process so I can't wait to try it out.  If it works I'll post the results. :)