Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Clock

2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. To celebrate the famed writer's accomplishments, many Poe-themed events take place around Baltimore. The Baltimore Museum of Art hosts the exhibition "Edgar Allan Poe: A Baltimore Icon" Oct. 4, 2009-Jan. 17, 2010. The exhibition showcases works by 19th and 20th century artists who used the writer's characters and themes as a basis for their own works.

Poe's Obituary in The Sun

Ever wonder how Edgar Allan Poe's death was handled by The Sun? He died Oct. 7, 1849, at Church Hospital in the Washington Hill neighborhood. The note on his passing is very modest by today's standards. With thanks to Paul McCardell, who dug it out of the archives, here it is:

DEATH OF EDGAR A. POE -- We regret to learn that Edgar A. Poe, Esq., the distinguished American poet, scholar and critic, died in this city yesterday morning, after an illness of four or five days. This announcement, coming so sudden and unexpected, will cause poignant regret among all who admire genius, and have sympathies for the frailties too often attending it. Mr. Poe, we believe, was a native of this state, though reared by a foster father at Richmond, Va., where he lately spent some time on a visit. He was in the 38th year of his age.

Michael Powell, who lives in Eugene, Oregon and is an editor at Kinesiology Publications at the University of Oregon has been a lifelong student of the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Powell suggests that the poet died from something "like cardiopulmonary collapse, resulting from exposure (malnutrition, lack of sleep, cold, shock of disorientation), a complication of the starved defenses."

So what took Poe's life? Through the years, scholars and medical experts have suggested--in addition to alcoholism--epilepsy, diabetes, cerebral meningitis, mercury poisoning, a drug overdose and even rabies.

"It has always been a topic of special interest. What happened to Poe is not a pretty picture. We wound up treating one of our best badly," Powell said. "He was a brilliant man, a real genius and under appreciated."

I have always admired the work of Poe, and in celebration of his genius, I have created this altered CD clock. It will be given away to one of my Halloween swap recipients!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dreamlight Journal

She Comes Not
by Herbert Trench

She comes not when Noon is on the roses--
Too bright is Day.
She comes not to the Soul till it reposes
From work and play.
But Night is on the hills, and the great Voices
Roll in from Sea,
By starlight and candle-light and dreamlight
She comes to me.

This art journal was made for one of my Halloween swaps this year. Inside I attached a black lace pocket with some spooky tags. This digital piece of artwork can by ordered from Moonlight Journey. Thanks, once again, to the talented Becky Loyall of Whymsical Musings.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scary Fairy

My "Scary Fairy" was inspired the day I opened my issue of Somerset's HOLIDAYS & CELEBRATIONS back in 2007.

Brenda Rivera gave instructions on assembling this cute little fairy by placing her on a raven who was then sitting on a white craft pumpkin. I changed her a bit, by adding a tutu, and embellishing the pumpkin with gems. I just thought it would be rather non-traditional by gravitating towards a black-and-white theme with a touch of orange. I think she looks rather mischievous and I can only smile and hope you may be inspired to whip one up too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day of the Dead Tag Art

I've been thinking, with the Halloween season right around the corner, why not make some "Day of the Dead" art tags! With my love of vacationing in Mexico and in the southwest, I decided it would be different to create art celebrating both of these holidays.

These beautiful tag shapes were digital and can be purchased from Becky Loyall of Whymsical Musings, and the skeletal and reaper images can be ordered from Itkupilli.

I wish I truly understood the celebration of "Dia de los Muertos" or Day of the Dead. It is just beautiful. I love the colors of Latin America, Mexico, Santa Fe, and just wanted to make something fun to share.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid Clock

Legends of haunted houses are age-old. But are ghosts real, or are they merely human inventions? Some researchers have suggested that ghosts do haunt houses. I have always been somewhat intrigued by stories of this nature.

My husband once heard of a customer who bought a home a few years back and soon began being visited by the ghost of an old man who sat on a rocking chair in their den, reading a book. She was the only one who had seen him. She said she wasn't scared, but she was definitely uncomfortable living in their house. Can people sue people who sold her the house because they didn't tell them the home is haunted?

Unfortunately, you would have to prove that the seller's knew about the ghost and failed to disclose it. It's doubtful the sellers would admit seeing the grandfatherly apparition, even if he was one of their regular visitors. I suppose you really can't say this is all a figment of the homeowner's imagination.

My advise would be to contact a few local universities to see if their faculty includes an expert on the paranormal. I would also seek the advice of a priest, minister or rabbi.

It's worth noting that experts say many hauntings are only temporary--few ghosts apparently care to spend all of their time in the same place. The Haunted History Channel is always an interesting place to explore as the Halloween season approaches.

In light of specters and the unknown, I had fun digitally creating this altered clock by using an old CD. The background images are from Kirsi, and I Googled the "Addam's Family" image.

Happy Haunting!

Trick 'R Treat Swap Sent

She called all witches, ghouls, goblins, clowns, princesses and hobos....and, I was ready. As Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, this was one of the first stops I made on my Halloween caravan of swaps. Christine Edwards, of "A Work in Progress" hosted this fun event.

We all had to send two treats and one trick. How simple was that? My box is in the mail, following all guidelines. Thank you, Christine, for all your hard work, emails, and for sending all the packages after you get bombarded after the 1st of October.

I am so excited to see what comes my way.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Cupcake Wrapper Halloween Tags

The idea for this project came about when I stumbled upon these wonderful cupcake wrappers by Martha Stewart at Michael's when I was visiting my family in Marquette, in northern Michigan. I opened the box in the store and immediately fell in love with the detail of these stunning baking cups. They are almost too pretty to use them for their intended purpose.

These black, white, and orange retro-inspired images can be downloaded from Melissa Valeriote's "Fantastical World of Holidays." Her simply amazing artwork will stir your Halloween imagination to new levels. No matter how many times I visit her blog, I love how she brings her little critters to life!

Creating these unexpected Halloween tags is relatively simple. Just cut out the bottom of the cupcake liner, and glue to a circular piece of card stock. I added crepe paper rosettes, and then pasted the images that were also adhered to black card stock. My enthusiasm for the Halloween swaps has soared more than I ever imagined. Beginning September 19th, my first package will be mailed and the fun will begin! I can't wait to show you what I receive!