So in Part 2 I left off with ‘decorating the dungeon’, sounds kind of Martha Stewart, doesn’t it?
The final areas are the ‘book shelves’ and the ‘counter tops’. We’ll take it from the top down.
Remember my box (or two) of Halloween goodies, well, I just started digging through until I came across something I liked the look of, in this case, pumpkins. Since the paper I chose has a very strong theme of the outdoors I decided to continue on with that using predominantly pumpkins (a traditional outdoor decor for Halloween) for the anchor for my add-ons. I’ve collected a fair variety of them, most are plastic but some are actually real plant seeds that look like little pumpkins. I set various combinations of pumpkins about on all the levels until I saw a balance that I liked, then I picked a few more ‘witchey’ items to put with them. The large skeletal hand looked right holding the first pumpkin followed by a trio of skulls, and finally, one of my signature hand-made black widows – this is the look I was after!
And the next two counter tops flowed right behind the first – pumpkins of all colors and textures along with a little skull, another black widow, a larger skull – this one was a bead and I don’t like leaving the big obvious hole so sometimes I fill it in, like I did with this one – a large rusty screw with blood smeared about on the skull. Yes, this IS my idea of fun. I tucked a little broom against the wall on the bottom right, but you can’t really see it in this pic but you’ll be able to on other shots. One other item I’d like to point out is see the black cat? That’s actually a cupcake topper, I bought a bag full of them for 50¢ at a yard sale. I just cut off the prong of plastic that you would normally stick down into the cupcake and I’ve got another fun add on. Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to ‘upcycle’ your supplies. Maybe you need to cut something off, add a bit of paint or ink but don’t miss out on unique craft supplies by failing to think outside the box!
And now – the upper bookshelf. A skull, that looks good so I added another smaller one that sits on a miniature thread spool. There’s a leg and foot bone tucked back in there and a hand over to the side. I found a seller on Etsy that had packets of little tiny books with real paper pages. They were a bit too neat and clean for this place, though, so I inked up a craft sponge with Archival in Coffee and gave these guys the patina of use and age I wanted. I also had some really small rubber stamps that were actually from a set representing Native American figures from the rock art in Moab. As it turns out these make great symbols for my witches books.
The lower level book shelf always feels like it would be the one the witch focuses on when working here, so that’s the one I usually put an open book on, turned to the spell she’s currently working on. There are wood cuts that look like open books, too make them more real I tear a couple of rectangles from some Mulberry paper, give them an ink patina and stamp some word print and/or a few more of those Moab figures – perfect. I glue them in at the center only and it looks like we have a real witch recipe book here. A few more wood cuts representing closed books made real with some paint on the page edges and papers like a faux alligator print (the blue book) and Mulberry paper (the red book) and swirl print on handmade paper with more Moab figures stamped on the covers. I recently found that Moab set at a crafter’s reuse market for $3 – sometimes life smiles on us ’cause I can see I’ll be using those stamps a lot!
I added an arm bone with hand after I had bent the fingers around a bit and really like how they’re sort of grabbing the spine of the red book. Both book shelves got a treatment of hot glue gun cobwebs before I put the books, etc. in.
So there you have it. I’ve made quite a few of these apothecaries and I’ve gotta say – I always have a lot of fun making them. Granted, they are a fair amount of work but when I’m done I’ve got something I really love and they’re something that – whoever buys them – will have the use of for many years to come. Young or old, it doesn’t seem to matter, we all love Halloween with all it’s crazy, spooky, funny, gross – well, you name, paraphernalia that goes with it. There’s just nothing better than getting the crap scared out of you and then laughing about it until all that candy you pigged out on is about to make a reappearance. Yes, I love Halloween. And now, the formal shots of “Batty”:
If you get the time, maybe you’ll check out my Etsy shop – Old Raven. I already have this apothecary up and listed there. You can also find my Black Widow Spiders for sale in my shop along with my Albino Black Widows and my Extra Large Black Widows. These spiders make great tuck ins on most Halloween projects, as well as, just placing a handful about on your Halloween buffet or bar. More Halloween projects coming up so stay tuned…
now – craft on.