Echo Park – Halloween Cookies (Oh my goodness – a double layout)

A few weeks ago I did some work for Tracy with a wonderful Halloween range from Echo Park and I promised her blog readers I would be back with some more boy layouts using it – but I just HAD to do this one for Madame (I do still have the partially finished boy layouts here and will put them up at some point). It’s all her fault really, you see, as she desperately wanted some Halloween cookies she spotted in Woolies. They did look very clever and yummy – so I relented and got some for her and her brothers.  She also decided we needed to take photos of them before they got eaten – and the rest is history, as they say. I soon found myself in possession of a $2 bag of spiderwebs (and spiders mind you) and a ghoul (well really – as if I don’t have enough of them already – with 3 teenage boys at home???).

 So one day during the school holidays, Madame and I had a wonderful time in the back yard with our little photo-shoot. We made the fence look like part of a haunted movie set – I promise we tidy up more than it suggests. She found one of her Gymboree tops that had an appropriate theme and colour (and the requisite matching hairbow) and we were off. She even hammed it up for me with the ghoul (have to wonder about that kiss – she needs to learn there are just some things we DON’T kiss, no matter what). He was a real gentleman though and I did get  a giggle or two pointing out to her that HE managed to look directly at the camera AND smile (ok – so it’s more of a fixed grimace than a smile – but it still counts) for the photo at the SAME time – unlike her.  

I don’t do doubles much anymore, but there were so many photos to use that I just couldn’t scrap anything less. There are still a couple of lovely photos left to use – but I did manage an incredible 6 here – even if 4 of them are small ones of the cookies (shortbreads actually).

The colours in the Echo Park Apothecary Emporium range are a perfect match for those in the photos – it’s as if they were made for it. Using a plain black Bazzill cardstock (Raven) for my base, I layered various papers together until I got something I vaguely liked. The left half was the first page I worked on and it used left-overs from my other projects or things I had liked and cut out, but not yet found a way to use. The strip of Under Your Spell was something I was dying to use – so that was my starting point. Over that I laid a left-over block of Levitation and Zodiac. From a bit of Striped Toad (oos) I cut a strip which I then edge punched using a wide decorative pattern. Using my paper trimmer I then cut through the punched strip so that the punch pattern was cut into half, giving me a thin strip with a patterned edge and a main piece which had a sort of deep scallop pattern left on it.  The thin patterned strip went along the bottom of the layout and the main strip went horizontally across the page. That was pretty much the basis of the layout, although I knew that I would be adding some of the Vanished and Liquid Smoke (oos) somewhere (eventually it was used as a photo mat on the larger photo).

Playing with my photos I worked out a position that looked good to me – and then went hunting for bits to fill in the gaps. Luckily for me there are a heap of pretties to play with on the Cardstock Stickers sheet. I made sure to fit the most appropriate (the Deadly Morsels label) first and then just placed others (like these cute tabs and that gorgeous little bat) to suit. Some are up on pop-dots and others are flat to the page. I have to confess that putting this thing together was a bit of a nightmare and fiddly with it – but a lot of fun too.

I’d been playing with some chipboard chicken mesh (Twiddleybitz) for another layout and had some still lying on my desk – a quick coat of silver ink and some Crystalina Kindygliz and ta da – girly chicken mesh – what more could you wish for?? I cut it up into bits and pieces and used that as the base for several embellishment clusters. There was also a great spot for my bottle-top (last month’s purchase gift) – and the perfect sticker to put into it.

Seeing as it is a girly layout, a few flowers were appropriate. I’ve used Tracy’s lovely black roses from her Black, White, Grey pack together with her Black Petite Rosebuds and some smaller orange roses from Kaiser that were in my stash. The stems of the orange roses I twisted around one of my small paint brushes to make those cute little curly bits.

The black barbed-wire flourish is special. I have a series of DT layouts I’ve yet to share that I needed some feminine barbed-wire for (yeah – like you really NEED girly barbed wire lol) and although I had organised for several very nice designs to be made – production constraints meant that none of them were ‘quite’ what I wanted.  THIS is what I really wanted – it is based on one of my favorite Scrapware flourish designs, but altered to match what I wanted in the barbed-wire. Sadly – for various reasons – I am not sure it is going to be commercially available (though there are a few pieces of it floating about) – but it was perfect for this layout and after inking it black I added some Black Kindyglitz to make it all sparkly. 

What is a layout for Tracy without some of her gorgeous charms? I bought her Black Spider as soon as I saw it and popped one on the barbed-wire flourish. How cute is he?

My poor old Adage Tickets – I’ve had them in my stash for ages and this is only the second time I have remembered to include one.  I’ve left way more open space on this double than I usually do and the adage ticket cluster up here in the corner helped me to stop panicking too much about it all.

The alphas are my old favs – Scrapware Antique Lowercase – both the minis and the original size. To get the awesome finish on them takes only a few easy steps.

1 – Start with painting them white – it helps make the later colours stand out more. Either leave to dry or use your heat gun to get it done quickly. You can see I have done it pretty roughly and drying it with the heat gun has added some bubbles – this is all good, as it adds some texture to the letter.

2- Ink with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and again dry with a heat gun. (You could probably also use the Stain for this too.)

3 – Liberally spread Black Kindyglitz over the surface and then leave to dry. The different mediums will all mix together a bit and you will see some of the white paint show up and some of the Distress Ink will fade to yellow. You can again use your heat gun to dry it – just be careful and don’t let it all bubble up too much.

4. When dry – press down onto the Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink pad again to reapply some of the bright orange colour. Again leave to dry. Then put on layout for a really cool and funky halloween title.

The journalling actually helped solve an irritating problem for me. The top section of the orange patterned paper – the bit over the main photos – was very plain, without any of the distress pattern. This is a result of it being the middle bit of the patterned paper. It annoyed me that it was so plain and I could not work out how to tizz it up – but then I realised I needed to journal about how this photoshoot came about. Those plain strips were now priceless – they let me include a fair bit of writing, without having to hide it on a tag somewhere. I like to print out journalling like this rather than hand write, as it makes it easier to control how much you can fit into the limited space. You can print it out directly onto the paper, but I prefer using acetate sheets.

And that’s pretty much that – for the first page anyway.

It didn’t take too long for me to realise that I had way too many photos for a single layout – so I started planning a double about half way through the first page (and obviously before I had the title sorted out). I prefer not to make my doubles duplicates of each other – but I do like to keep to the same elements – so it meant for a little reshuffling of the bits and pieces. – even though the basic design is the same.

I had this left over bit of Under Your Spell that I had earmarked for use – the lovely black flourishes were a bit too girly for my boy layouts – but it fitted here perfectly.  I kept this piece and the orange block of Levitation and Zodiac in the same position as the left page, but moved the strip of Striped Toad (oos) into a vertical position on the left. Since I was intending on using a larger photo on this page, it would have hidden the striped piece too much  if I had left it in the original horizontal position.  Once some of the black flourishes were cut out it was an easy enough process to slip the striped piece under them.

The embellishment cluster in the bottom left corner has more flowers, chicken wire, stickers and my chippy barbed wire flourish.  I also managed to pop in a cute little black skeleton charm that is one of my favs. If anyone is ‘doing’ Halloween this year, this little cutie makes a wonderful earring decoration added to a sleeper.

The other cookie photos went up the top on the left with more of those wonderful little stickers . I think I managed to use most of them somewhere on this project.

The final embellishment cluster with the usual ingredients. It was cool to find so many stickers that were ‘appropriate’ to the photo theme – since the cookies really were ‘dreadful treats’ and ‘deadly morsels’.

So that’s my epic post for Tracy this month. I still have a few layouts left to finish with this range and there are still more photos from this session – so you might see me back some time in the near future with more Apothecory Emporium. I have promised Tracy a girly layout with the stunning new Beautiful Dreamer range from Glitz Designs though – so decisions, decisions…