Skeleton Dance

CAS-ology Black Challenge

Happy Dios de los Muertos!

Can you believe Halloween is now a ghost floating behind us and thoughts (as well as advertisements and stores!) are turning toward the spirit of another season? Yesterday, I tried to make up for some lost time and embrace my favorite turn of the year, frosting Halloween cookies, carving a pumpkin, and finalizing a few paper creations for the bottleshop where my partner works (photos forthcoming!). Sadly, I entertained only a few trick-or-treaters as my pumpkin glowed into the night and I watched Halloween II while eating way too many mini snickers!

Today, as I look at all my Halloween stamps and papers that didn’t find their way onto a card this year, ideas continue to swirl like leaves, and I realize I am not quite ready for the transition from pumpkin patches and spiced cider to tree lots and mulled wine!

But Samhain is here and we are turning toward the darker days, so what is more perfect than an all black card to celebrate a skeleton dance and remember all the souls that have passed into another realm?


When I first saw these Tim Holtz embossing folders, I knew I had to have them!


For my card, I embossed some black-brown paper from Impress Stamps, but it just seemed so bland and I was having a hard time figuring out how to make it pop. I didn’t want to add layers, but rather keep the focus on the wonderful scene itself.

Then I recalled a technique I tried last month with some other embossed paper, and realized that was just what this card needed.

To achieve this glossy effect, I rubbed VersaMark Dazzle Ink Champagne pad all over the card, specifically the embossed portion.  After that, I covered with clear embossing powder and set with a heat gun.  I love the glossy, plastic feeling of the card when it is set.


The sentiment inside and bats on the back are from Waltizingmouse Stamps “Halloween Party” set.  This is one set that I adore, but did not put to use as much as I would have liked!  I finished the card off with two strips of black glitter ribbon.

Clean and simple with a little sparkle and shine!



For this final shot, I added my little tombstone and Bunnicula to the scene!  I realized that the Papertrey Ink holiday tag inset die looked like a tombstone, and so using my Victorine Originals skeleton, letters from MFT, Savvy grass die and Lawn Fawn bunny, I set up this prototype and hope to make more to incorporate into cards and tags for next year!  What do you think?

Well, the news is predicting our first wintery storm of the season with high winds, rain and cooling temperatures, and snow in the Cascades.  We shall see if their predictions are accurate!  Here is a poem to bid adieu to the season of the witch and celebrate black!

What is Black?

Black is the night
When there isn’t a star
And you can’t tell by looking
Where you are.
Black is a pail of paving tar.
Black is jet
And things you’d like to forget.
Black is a smokestack
Black is a cat,
A leopard, a raven,
A high silk hat.
The sound of black is
“Boom! Boom! Boom!”
Echoing in
An empty room.
Black is kind-
It covers up
The run-down street,
The broken cup.
Black is charcoal
and patio grill,
The soot spots on the window sill.
Black is a feeling
Hard to explain
Like suffering but
Without the pain.
Black is licorice
And patent leather shoes
Black is the print
In the news.
Black is beauty
In its deepest form,
The darkest cloud
In a thunderstorm.
Think of what starlight
And lamplight would lack
Diamonds and fireflies
If they couldn’t lean against
     ~ Mary O’Neill
Dance your bones over to CAS-ology for some great takes on this week’s challenge!
Thanks for stopping by Pinned & Penned!

CAS-ology Country Challenge

Retro Halloween Harvest



I have been wanting to use this stamp for awhile; this little happy farmer is actually headed to an egg hunt with a wagon full of Easter goodies, but I masked them so he could serve my current purpose!  The Jack-o-Lantern is from Waltzingmouse‘s “Halloween Party” set, which is so delightful. The witch from this collection will make an appearance in my next post!

I wasn’t really where I was going to take this card (true of most creations, since I have trouble visualizing until I can get my hands on the elements–kinesthetic learner!); Mojo Monday’s latest sketch was on my mind.

As I explored colors and textures, I realized that I was heading back about 40 years to a kitchen far, far away!  The Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder, Woven, really helped me bring it all together.  The bottom embellishment was fashioned from my Spellbinders pennant die.  Signature washi tape on the back is from American Crafts.  I just love the woodgrain!  Now that recalls a bedroom far, far away when I was about four, living in a ghostly little Rhode Island town with my imaginary friend!




Get thee to a pumpkin patch soon, for the spirit night is upon us!

And don’t forget to check out other interpretations of “Country” over at CAS-ology!

Happy Harvesting!