Hello and welcome... I'm so happy to have your company for a while today, especially if this is your second visit (after WOYWWing earlier)!
I'm sharing a tag inspired by the House of Bears' literary challenge. This month, it being October - leading us towards Halloween - they have selected Dracula as the inspiration, with some suggested recipe ingredients too. Hop over for a look... perhaps it will inspire you to play along.
You can really run with the challenge in lots of different directions, but I've taken a purist's route, both in technical and artistic terms.
As far as how it's made - it's really my favourite thing to do... inking up a background and stamping. Simple but so effective, and so flexible.
The stamps are a combination of Tim Holtz and Oxford Impressions, and are built up in layers using masks I cut - one of the beautiful girl, and one of the skull.
Each of the images is stamped in Archival Ink, and the blended background is, of course, Distress Inks all the way.
The edges have been distressed using the Tim Holtz paper distresser, for that added texture.
And you'll get a closer look at the laces, top and bottom, later on...
As for the story inspiration: the central focus for my tag is the character of Mina Harker. It's always seemed to me one of the weaknesses of the book that, despite their knowledge of the Count's activities, and the course of the sickness and demise of Mina's friend Lucy, it still takes everyone ages to work out that the same thing is happening to Mina.
The poor woman gets paler and paler, and more and more ill, and the reader spends the whole time wanting to yell at the useless men to pay attention to what's under their noses!
That's what our Victorian gentleman (otherwise known as Dr Coffin from the Oxford Impressions set Dr Coffin's Apothecary) is doing there down in the corner, almost wilfully looking in the other direction.
As with the pantomime tradition of the audience yelling, "he's behind you!" at the characters, we the readers have more insight into what's going on than the characters. So there's the skull - the symbol of death, hovering behind Mina.
One of the pleasing accidents of this tag is that his looming brow almost doubles as a moon in the midnight sky inking.
And Dracula's alter-ego, the bat, creature of the night is hanging right over her head... so really, the poor girl hasn't got a hope!
He's another of the Oxford Impressions stamps, and as well as Archival Black, I stroked some Platinum pigment ink onto his fur before stamping, to try to get a silvery tinge. In some lights it is visible, but it's very much a "now-you-see-it-now-you-don't" affair.
The lace on top was plain white, and has had a touch of Antique Linen and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks blended onto it, to tone in with the tag colours of midnight and bone (ooh... good band name - Midnight and Bone).
The Gothic roofline is another Oxford Impressions stamp, stamped while I held the mask over the skull to keep him in the foreground.
The lace at the bottom takes its inspiration from the brilliant Julia S-W over at Julia's Stuff. She does amazing things with lace and UTEE, and I've wanted to give it a go for ages (though I haven't yet tried stamping into the UTEE as she does - seriously, check it out!), and finally found the perfect project for it.
It's cut using the Tim Holtz Decorative Strip Die out of a book page.
Then I gave it a tiny edging of Chipped Sapphire and got going with the UTEE. Love the effect... spot the upside-down text, though... bah!! I still think the lace is the perfect Victorian touch to top and tail the tag.
So that's it for my double trouble today; thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. I've a very special post coming up tomorrow... be great to have your company again! But for now, have a wonderful day, crafting or otherwise.
"Listen to them - children of the night. What music they make!"
Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula
I'm entering this in the following:
The House of Bears' October Challenge of Horror, with the novel Dracula as its theme, adding midnight, bats and gothic architecture
Simon Says Stamp and Show want to see our Favourites - mine are techniques: stamping and inking, basic but so full of potential
At the Happy Daze DT Blog, they're playing Something Wicked This Way Comes for October - you can pick up Distress and Archival Inks at the Happy Daze shop
And at Simon Says Stamp, there's some Eerie Inspiration - I'm playing with the photo in the top left of the board...