A Crafty October So Far

You should see my desk. It looks like a Whirling Dervish came through. I’ve hauled out paper and pens, circle cutters and glue, rubber stamps, ink pads and ribbon. It’s been a crafty October so far.

Crafting and a tidy work space do not go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately I do not have a dedicated craft space so I make do. I’m crafting using the corner of my desk, a small pop up table and my in box. Since Mike is out of the country for ten days, I called squatters rights on his side of our shared desk as well.  After repeatedly misplacing, then later unearthing my reading glasses, I’ve added “granny chain” to my shopping list. In the midst of all this chaos I’m having a blast.

Earlier this month, I took a class with my sister at The Island Creative Escapes. During the four-hour class, we learned a variety of mixed-media techniques while creating a “Haunted Pumpkin Patch”. You know me and pumpkins.


“Haunted Pumpkin Patch” mixed media class by Richele Christensen

Designer and blogger, Richele Christensen, lead the class. She’s a project manager and designer for Tim Holtz. All of the products are available through an assortment of Tim Holtz products. They provided a kit for all of the attendees, and then we shared a basket of inks and other tools.


Mixed media detail (top half)


Mixed media detail (bottom half)

We came home with a cute mixed media canvas and a variety of ideas along with a leftover sheet of rub-on decals and a packets of paper ephemera. Those leftovers were my starting point for a rainy day afternoon of card-making. Yes…it rained!

When our boys were young, I hosted a Halloween party every year for the neighborhood children. It went on for nearly a decade. So in addition to the leftover ephemera pack from class, I have Halloween-themed rubber stamps, materials from a teacher’s supply store, and an assortment of paper from the make-and-take crafts.

Decorated pumpkins: Halloween 2008

Decorated pumpkins: Halloween 2008

I used these over-sized shapes for the inside of the tri-fold cards:


Leftover Halloween shapes from the teachers supply store, scored, cut and placed on the inside of a tri-fold card

This is what the cards look like when closed:

tri-fold halloween cards

Tri-fold cards: Black card stock, spider web Washi tape, Tim Holtz vintage cat ephemera

I had fun making my own envelopes.


Leftover bat shapes and assorted paper get a new life as envelopes for some of the cards

I like the way the scrap of lace looks over the purple paper. I had just enough for one card.


This scrap of black lace was a bow on our class supply kit. I wrapped it around a scrap of purple paper, added a dangling spider charm and attached it to a black card. Scraps of the same paper decorate the envelope. The ghost is inside.

There is something to be said for loosening up on a practice card or two. I often have a hard time getting started, then an equally challenging time stopping. Who wants to fold laundry when a role of Washi tape is calling your name?

I moved from idea to idea, using the supplies and tools that I have on hand. At last I was in the zone.

Check out some of these beautiful creations:

Dawn at Petals. Paper. Simple Thyme

Kelly at Kelly’s Korner

Pauline at The Contented Crafter

41 thoughts on “A Crafty October So Far

  1. Oh, you do love your Halloween, don’t you! I can see the glee coming through in all the photos! It’s not nearly such a big thing here, although the influence of the American love affair with the festival is making itself felt more and more each year.


    • Like so many things in the states, Halloween has become big business. For my part, though, I like the chance to be creative: with decorations, costumes, even my miniature fairy garden. It’s festive and fun, without the pressure of some of the gift-giving holidays and none of the forced merriment of the Christmas season which wears me down ever year.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I know this is your favourite time of the year and am delighted that you could take an actual class and make something special to add to your collection. Those cards are a delight – is the lacy purple spider-webby one for a sister who shall remain nameless (in case she reads this post) ๐Ÿ™‚

    It does take a while to work yourself into a new activity doesn’t it – and then who can possibly stop when they are on a roll? Such fun!! I still find myself working in a 30cm square space surrounded by the detritus of craft or painting items and absolutely unable to find my glasses ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My goodness, you’re having fun! I don’t share the general enthusiasm for Halloween but I do love anything that gets a person crafting and makes her as happy as you seem to be. You’re very creative in your use of all these different materials!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So happy to hear that you had rain!

    The cards are so creative! Don’t you find that some of your best work happens as a happy accident? For instance, I love the mask you added over the cat’s eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

    Not that I’m complaining about having a dedicated craft space, but I also find that I was at my most creative (‘in the zone’) when my crafting was confined to the dining room table. Somehow it just concentrated all my efforts. It also forces you to clean up! If you saw the state of my studio now after only a few weeks of use, you’d be shocked!

    I have nothing in common with my own sisters; It’s so nice that your sister accompanied you to a crafting class. It’s so much fun to bond over crafting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sara. They’re saying that these two storms brought more rain then all of October last year, so that’s an excellent start for our rain-parched state.

      My sister Sharon and I have both been crafty over the years. We enjoy sewing, paper crafts, and making Halloween costumes. I got her interested in scrapbooking back in the day and she got me interested in card-making. She makes all of her own cards. I have a number of friends that enjoy paper crafting as well.

      There is something to be said for working in small spaces. I totally relate to what you mean. Hopefully when my youngest son leaves for college and I can spread out a bit, I don’t lose my mojo.

      As for a messy studio, I can relate to that, too. When I worked in theatre, the costume shop got progressively worse as the show approached. Then we would have a cleaning blitz once it was over, restoring order until the next show.

      I think you’re right about “happy accidents” The masked kitty added interest. I bought that pack of craft paper cards with the water color paper attached. I realize now that there is no margin for error, other than to cover it up…or add a mask. It’s a learning process. There are so many products I would like to try, so these classes are a great way to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mrs. W! Welcome back.Yes, I’m in the mood for Halloween. Even that day of rain helped set the mood. We’re invited to three parties this year, but the first one has a Sweeney Todd theme, so our costumes are based on the movie/play. I’m dressing as the baker (a rented costume) and I’m making Mike’s costume (he’s going to be a pie). We’re so silly. Do you ever dress up?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope for lots of photos!! And no…Mr. Walker and I are Northern Dutch people…no dressing up I am afraid ;o) I once did, I thought it funny for my height to go as a garden gnome…and than it turned out I was they only one dressed up. I held my head high and stayed at the party and even enjoyed it…but no more dressing up!


        • I’ve thought about dressing up as a garden fairy, again rather amusing with my height, not to mention my age. Good for you for dressing up. You’re so beautifully elegant, I’ll bet you look wonderful in whatever you wear.

          I promise to share pictures. You’ll die when you see the wig.


  5. You have such lovely ideas Alys. Those bat cards are fabulous, and all the others too. I had to laugh at your term ‘granny chain’… I have had one for my reading glasses for a year or so! And I am in awe of your cauldron! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cathy. I’m having so much fun. I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one purchasing “granny chains”. I bought one via Etsy this weekend. It should be here any day. ๐Ÿ™‚

      We haul out the cauldron year after year and it never fails to enchant. It’s a simple shape on a metal stand, picked up for about $15 US many years ago. The magic is in the mist. You simply add cool water to the red line and a small bulb creates the mist. It’s cool to the touch so safe around children and animals.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alys, this looks like so much fun!!! I love the eyes in the dark and the little ghost shape. The mixed media picture is scary, creepy and fabulous. I like your new gravatar, too. Once I get internet back, I should change mine up as well…Enjoy your favorite time of year! (Also glad to hear it rained!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lisa. I’m sorry to hear your internet is down. That’s got to be frustrating. It’s fun to change things up on our blogs, and for me this is the perfect time of year to do so.

      I’m having a lot of fun making cards, and the mixed-media class taught me several new techniques. And yes: rain! Glorious, wet, windy, wonderful rain.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the cards and especially that they are hand crafted. They are all just wonderful. So much creativity. I love the mixed media with the pumpkins. What a wonderful thing you and your sister share the crafting gene. I loved all the cards. You must have an extra creative gene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marlene, if any one has an extra creative gene it’s you. Your turn out the most amazing projects: sewing, embroidery, baking, gardening. Can you imagine a world without making things? Not me!

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m lucky to share this interest in common with my sister, Sharon. We were just discussing the other day making photo collages at the kitchen table from old magazines and my mom’s flour, salt and water paste. That’s what we grew up with. It seems a life time ago, and yet I can still see us sitting there with our salty paste.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Gah!!! what a slow poke I am to arrive to your fantastic craft day xox I even see you’ve stitched on your cards! Love that and the TH stamps you used and the scrap of lace is devine. What cool lace!
    You’re crafting like a pro on the mixed media work! How fun to take a class with an expert in all his product. I especially like the vintage photo, cut out and worked into the whole thing. How’d you stamp on the pumpkins? Jan’s our Tim Holtz expert and I’m thinking she probably follows Richele, but that name is new to me, I’ll follow your link over there! It’s awesome that Laurie is still rockin San Jose with her business, I love her store. Don’t know if you recall, her super cute fireplace vignette when I was there last. It was all made up with big parcels and pillow boxes and stars made with a We’R Memory Keepers tool. Any who, I just got one of those and I can’t wait to use it. I just never tire of it all. I’m sure you know what I mean. It’s just fun to use your imagination and turn flat paper into something awesome! See you at SKYPE today!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your virtual visits are welcome any day! Thanks for being here. That lace is fabulous, but no more to be had. I checked back at the Island and at my local fabric store. Sigh. I’ll check for more next year. I really like the way it looks on the card.

      As for crafting like a pro, it’s easy when they spoon feed your details. It’s the magic YOU create in the Boomroom that makes my head spin and my heart sing. It was great fun though.

      Believe it or not, the words and spiders on the pumpkins are Tim Holtz rub ons. They’re the best I’ve ever used. Sharon bought his Christmas rub ons after class, however, and we couldn’t get them to transfer at all. Crazy, eh? She actually returned them. We’re not sure if they were just a bad batch or if the metallic quality made them harder to transfer. Any scoop?

      I had forgotten about the fireplace set up. Isn’t she fun? She has a vintage Formica table and chairs in the window currently with a creepy Halloween set up. Fun.

      It is fun to use your imagination and one day I’ll be brave enough to craft with you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Meanwhile, I’m just hoping that more and more of it rubs off on me.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh you โค could be a mutual thing. I actually love that we've each got our special tricks and can learn from each other. No braveness required to scrapbook. Honestly, everyone has their own style and like anything, the more you do, the more you learn.
        Lauries Halloween window songs so awesome. I wish our window was able to get decorated in that fashion. Fun little vignettes.
        I rarely buy rub on's, just for that reason. If they don't rub-on completely, you're hooped and it can ruin a project. I can't imagine why some work better than others, weird hey? I much prefer stamps. You can us any color ink to match your project and use them over and over again. But rub-ons for an uneven surface, like the pumpkin is a great idea…see, learning!!
        xo Boom โค

        Liked by 1 person

  9. “Itโ€™s festive and fun, without the pressure of some of the gift-giving holidays and none of the forced merriment of the Christmas season which wears me down ever year” – Exactly!!
    I was almost able to visualize the desk, the crafty clutter, with scraps of paper, lace, and lots of orange and black.
    What a fun, fun day you had (almost 10 days ago now)


  10. Pingback: The Clock is Running Down: Four More Days of Halloween Fun – Gardening Nirvana

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