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Monday 14 September 2015

Destination Inspiration September - Terminal 2

Hello all, Alison here, and I'm delighted to have arrived at Terminal 2 with my bagful of possibilities.  If you saw Astrid's fabulous creation last Monday, you'll know what we've got packed in our luggage this month:
Product - Distress Inks
Technique - Wrinkle Free Distress
Featured Colour - Wild Honey
Substrate - Anything 3D

And here's what I put together whilst waiting for departure... a tiny room, which became gradually slightly creepier as the project progressed.

Yes, that's right, that is a candle down there at the front - so obviously you need to know how it looks lit up too!

I'm going to follow the pattern and give you candlelight and daylight for most shots - it really does change the mood.

I suppose it was partly the candle that influenced the path the room took - it became a little Victorian parlour, a shrine filled with memento moris, the signs and symbols of death and mourning with which the Victorians were so obsessed.

It didn't start out that way!  Wild Honey is a colour full of sunshine and warmth.  In fact, I did my wrinkle free distressing over some stippled gesso so that I would get some extra texture, and that gave it an even lighter, brighter look.  This is pure Wild Honey -  apart from the gesso, there are no other colours involved at this point.

I'd decided I would use one of the Calico Craft Parts ATB kits.  This one is a three inch cube and comes with a square frame cut out of one side of the cube.  With my dollshouse connections it immediately looked like a room to me - once it was put together of course!

I covered the exterior walls with my Wild Honey patterned paper and added some extra detailing with the gorgeous alphabet stamp from the Typography set. It's stamped in Dandelion Archival, a really good match for the Wild Honey but with permanence to it.

I used the same stamp on the inner walls (this is all before gluing the kit together obviously, making it much easier to decorate!), stamped in Dandelion Archival and also clear-embossed over Picket Fence Distress Paint to create some resist detailing.

I couldn't resist adding some of my favourite tangled branches and grasses from Spring Sprung, inside and out.  I like how you get a sort of negative version of the outside on the inside...

At this point it was all still quite pretty and delicate - but then the Regions Beyond started to take hold of me and the influences got darker.

It started with punching the tiny bird out of the leftover wrinkle free distress paper and popping him into the cage.  I added a backing of the Regions Beyond tissue tape.  Why did that make things darker?  Well, caged birds take me on a couple of journeys in my imagination...

One, straight to any Victorian parlour, crammed with over-sized furniture and oppressively dark paintings and ugly bric-a-brac and almost certainly a bird in a cage...

Two, to Sondheim's Sweeney Todd - the song Greenfinch and Linnet Bird, all about caged birds, sung by Joanna, herself trapped essentially as a prisoner...

Three, to the canaries taken down mines as alarms - the canary would suffer the effects of undetected gas or lack of oxygen before the men working there.  A dead canary in its cage meant get out... fast!  So you can see we're slightly on the downswing with the canary in a cage.

Next to it on the shelf stands a bottle of poison - it turned up almost without me noticing.  The label is straight from the Regions Beyond papers... and the Regions Beyond tissue tape started to make its way onto the walls in straggling clouds, boding no good to anyone.

It's there on the outer walls too.

The interior shelf is created out of one of those padding foam pieces that comes in the packaging with embossing folders, covered with the remains of the Wild Honey paper and some more tissue tape.

The china doll came next - most china dolls are always an unnerving presence to my mind, and here she's distressed and dilapidated and bound with rusty wire - ominous.

A forbidding portrait on the wall - either the subject of all these musings about death, or the lady of the house who insists on keeping these fragile mementoes of her lost ones.

She's cut from the Regions Beyond papers and glued behind a Fragment with some alcohol ink to distress the look.

On the floor, the most recognisable memento mori of all - you only catch sight of it at certain angles (like with Holbein's Ambassadors, where you only see the huge skull he's painted in to the supposedly flattering portrait if you look at it from a very acute angle).

As for the candle - that too has had a wrapping of Regions Beyond tissue tape - just the right width for these little tealights.

I'll have to keep the tape to hand each time I want to add a replacement candle of course.

By now, the floor was looking a little white and pristine, so I cut the Mixed Media Thinlits lattice out of some brown card and added Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Embossing Powders to give it some rusty distressing.

I love the look of this, and how the floor is clearly worn away in places. Along with the rusty floor, I dirtied up (down?) the walls with washes of paint, especially in the corners where nobody has cleaned for years.  This also means the resist stamping shows up a bit better too.

Some more rusty wire is wound around the room, keeping everything locked inside.

And I altered some Idea-ology corners with my favourite Rust, Ginger and Teakwood alcohol inks to give the top of the box a Victorian finishing touch.

Of course I still have the original "roof".  It can't go in place while the candle is lit - FIRE! - but I thought I'd hang on to it - if I keep the lid on when not in use, it will reduce the necessity for dusting. (Dusting? Yeah, right, like I ever dust...)

So, I hope that's provided some fuel for your own crafty journey.  I had such a wonderful time making it.  Apologies for the long post, but I wanted to get inside the nooks and crannies...

... and let you explore from every angle and in every light!

Do come back next Monday to find out who your next travelling companion will be, and what they'll get up to with the contents of their bags at Terminal 3.

And in the meantime, come and play along with our Home Sweet Home challenge (which I suppose this could also qualify for!).  You have until 1st October to enter, and as always there's a prize voucher courtesy of our wonderful sponsor, Country View Crafts.

Thanks so much for stopping by - it's always fabulous to hear what you think.

Alison xx
Words and Pictures


  1. Awe-mazing Alison! Love how your project evolved from sunshine to shadow as you added your components and the addition of the Regions Beyond elements truly evoke the Victorian obsession with all things macabre. Fabulous attention to detail, I knew as soon as I saw the picture it was one of your wonderful creations, thanks so much for sharing it with us. ❤ Deb xo

  2. Very cool! Beautiful components and design!

  3. Your wonderful descriptions always bring me into a new world - today's is rather spooky but exciting as well - your walls are so nicely worn - great colors and patterns and tissue tape - love the over sized bird trapped in his cage - the rusty wire - the portrait - the worn floor - a super make from your travel trunk contents Alison!! Julia xx

  4. Your works are such an inspiration Alison! I lived the story behind this creation and how the whole thing comes alive with that candle lit. ...sheer beauty. My favourite is the rusty floor. ..genius. Thanks for sharing a detailed tour of this creation. .took me to another world. Hugs.

  5. Your works are such an inspiration Alison! I lived the story behind this creation and how the whole thing comes alive with that candle lit. ...sheer beauty. My favourite is the rusty floor. ..genius. Thanks for sharing a detailed tour of this creation. .took me to another world. Hugs.

  6. Alison, your talent is amazing! Your project is just incredible!mbravo!

  7. Awsome! Another great 3D Halloween project of you! It looks like a scene of a horror movie :-)

  8. An amazing project Alison! I am not sure where (or why!) your ideas come to you - but you interpret them wonderfully! I just love your sense of theatre.

  9. Wow Alison, I had to read you post twice as the first time I was totally drawn into your storytelling that I needed to go back for a second look at all the photos. Fabulous Attention to detail in a truly absorbing project which truly inspires me. Love this.
    Julie x

  10. What a journey you've been on with this!!! Genuinely eerie and evocative in a form with which you always excel - will this end up with Cestina's doll house collection? I'll never look at Wild Honey in quite the same way! Jenny x

  11. You have done it again Alison, your imagination and skill never cease to amaze me. The transformation from sunny autumnal meadow to creepy Victorian "Regions Beyond", gave me the shivers...... Brilliant make!! Being me though, the bits I loved best were some of the surface treatments at the beginning, love the idea of wrinkle free over some gesso!

  12. So nailed the creepy Victorian ambiance! Despite the lovely yellow it's really got the feel LOL. Maybe your mum needs a seasonal dolls house?we could have a fabulous Victorian Christmas one.....


  13. REALLY Unique!!!
    Thanks for showing the steps!

  14. Wow, oh I love the mood that this little room creates! Looks like the set for a classic little scare fest - so love your creative imagination xx

  15. Now THAT is a piece with atmosphere! I actually shuddered by the time I reached the end of your step outs. Brilliant! Lx

  16. Waaahahahaahhaaaaaa............this is brilliantly eerie! Alison you have excelled again. This cute Victoian Parlour is BRILLIANT! Love the latticework and all the photos along the way. Perfectly creepy! Karen.x

  17. A wonderful project, full of fantastic details.

  18. A wonderful project, full of fantastic details.

  19. Oh Alison ,this is so very stunning, you have created a wonderful little house of mystique, and with such amazing details !!! From top to toe it is gorgeous, love the bird ,the charlotte and beautiful walls ,everything is fantastic ,dear !! xoxo

  20. This is absolutely the coolest thing I have seen in awhile, for me at least. I love the colours, I reeeeeally love this room! You have done an amazing job and an amazing job detailing what you have done. This is so my style of art! From the background paper to the doll wrapped up in rusty wire, I truly LOVE it! The bird in the cage is also a nice touch. I do look forward to seeing what you do next <3
    Victoria, BC

  21. Wow wow wow! I really love the macabre nature of this creation. Plays well to my dark side lol. Seriously though Alison this is stunning in a creepy sort of way. I love your post which explains each element so well, and the photos show off the mastery of your room. Im also reminded of a computer game i liked to play years ago called 7th guest which was full of creepy rooms and spooky photos of dead people. A truly fabulous creation. Well done! Hugs Debs xx

  22. What a gem of a creation! Completely blown away by the imagination, creative genius and wonderfully descriptive prose. Nikki x

  23. Ok - for once I am totally speechless Alison. Closing my eyes, I am seeing all your INCREDIBLE little pieces and images over and over... but my mind can't comprehend if I am feeling delighted or horrified - eheheheheheh!!! What a UNIQUE and ADMIRABLE creation. Wow. j.

  24. Ok - for once I am totally speechless Alison. Closing my eyes, I am seeing all your INCREDIBLE little pieces and images over and over... but my mind can't comprehend if I am feeling delighted or horrified - eheheheheheh!!! What a UNIQUE and ADMIRABLE creation. Wow. j.

  25. What a great piece of art you have created Alison, love it ! It is spooky but also warming in a way... Love the doll and the bird in the cage ! Fantastic !
    Corrie x

  26. Oh wow, this is SO fabulous!!!!! So many very clever ideas Alison, and so many absolutely amazing and beautiful details, a great piece that will be in good place in my spooky collection (and pinterest Halloween gallery BTW) forever! Coco xx

  27. Pieces such as this have me carried off into storyland.
    This piece brings various emotions to the fore, not necessarily of the spooky sort, although I do find that china dolls can be slightly unnerving.
    This is really rather beautiful Alison, whether for night or day.

  28. such a fabulous DI piece Alison, with wonderful details and techniques. I loved reading the story too and like yourself and Lynne there is something unnerving about these dolls. The wall paper and floor detail are amazing too. Take care and TFS Annie xx

  29. Wow Alison! This is such a detailed ATB! I love your idea for creating this little Victorisn parlor room. All of your little details are just amazing! I just love it all!

  30. Dang! You have outdone yourself on this one! I love the spooky vibe and your story telling is just as delicious. I'm going to have nightmares about the freaky porcelain doll and caged birds now!!!

  31. Another smashing piece Alison!! I totally love this room with a spooky view! And I am so glad you did take the long way, so we could follow along- thank you!!
    Jackie xx

  32. Fabulously eerie ATB, Alison!! I know this is a spooky creation, but I'm singing The Police's 'Canary in a Coal Mine'....but that's just me! Wonderful steps as usual and so many spook-tacular details!! Just love this!! XOXO-Shari

  33. Wow this is amazing, so much detail, so much to look at, very inspiring xx

  34. Such a stunning make Alison with quite the split personality. You are so so accomplished with words, you had me increasingly wound up as you went along. I shall definitely steer well clear of any memento moris! The dual light and shade in every sense is brilliant! Bravo to you. Nicola x

  35. Alison, I find nothing creepy about this shrine room- just charm! vintage,grungy charm that just pulls me in!! Another one of my favorites!! xoxo

  36. Now Alison - I did not know you could be this scary and YES this is creepy. Charming? Well JackieP, if you think bondage is charming!!!! Love it Alison - now I have to go back and re-read you talented lady!
    sandy xx

  37. Lost - what do you mean lost Alison - where did they go!!!! Get out, get out - sob! But they cannot. The little canary is in a cage and the little girl is all tied up. Now I must go back a read again. You have my Halloween mind whirling!
    Sandy xx

  38. Wow, Alison, this is an amazing work of the imagination! You really transformed those elements into a wonderful piece of Victorian spookiness! I love the Gothic atmosphere here - sort of Angela Carter meets Gaslight! Your illuminated pieces are always absolutely inspired! Sorry I'm late commenting, but I think you know I've been a bit under the weather. This eery little creation has quite lifted my spirits - woooooo!!! Groan! xx

  39. Scary? Yes, but such wonderful details ! Chrisx