Friday, August 28, 2009

"Frightening" Friday!

Halloween IS Coming! 

Okay now I'm hearing a lot of you exclaiming "WHAT??? It's still August!" And you are right it is still the summer, but planning ahead is key in all things. Right? I mean if you look at the stores you'll find Christmas deocrations out before Halloween for goodness sake!

As I mentioned in my last blog, I like to pick out a few patterns and take them down to the workshop to cut each day. And this means somedays I cut clocks or holiday decorations or various other items as they strike my fancy. Over the last month or so I've been coming accross some cool Halloween patterns and finding new ways to finish them has almost been as much fun as cutting them.

Some of the patterns that I've been cutting have come from pumpkin stencils. What better place to find Halloween designs then Pumpkin carving sites! One of my favorite sites is Zombie Pumpkins!, they have some free patterns but most are for members only. In fact one of my all time favorite Halloween patterns came from another Pumpkin carving pattern from a Scary Products. Scary Products is all about Halloween as the name implies but they do have a section on Pumkin carving.

I made this "Welcome" sign out of Baltic Birch and spray painted it black. But then my delima was how to finish it to do it justice. I knew that I wanted to be able to hang it in a window or perhaps on a door because, well, that's where you put Welcome signs! So I added picture hangers on the back and used a soft brass wire to accomplish that. But still the sign was not quite finished in my mind. I had purchased some coloured cellophane a few years ago for a project and thought, hmm... I wonder. The end result is quite pleasing, I think, especially when it's in a window with a soft back light to it. 


 
Another place that I've found some great patterns for Halloween is from Scherenschnitte sites. Scherenschnitte is the German art of paper cutting and the patterns work very well for Scroll saw in that both mediums need to have at least one continuous line or the items will fall apart. I found a site that had a number of free patterns uploaded from a publication called 'Back Street Designs" one of which contained these two great cuttings that I could not resist.

The first is a skeleton which I painted white. What amazed me about this pattern was the amount of detail involved as most skeleton patterns I've found are lacking in that department. My picture taking is seriously lacking, and sadly, most of the detail seems lost :(



The other great pattern from this site (and actually on the same page) is this great "Best Witches". These friends are busy brewing up a batch of something good and you have to wonder if it's almost ready as they cackle together! I am slightly disappointed in that I made the mistake of dipping them in regular paint as I would have with stain and of course, it doesn't react the same way and caused some "glopping". I have since learned you are supposed to thin the paint first or as I'm doing now use a spray paint. But live and learn :)


Lastly, I am always finding great scroll saw patterns out on the web. There are a number of sites that offer free patterns to people (as with my Chickadee Clock), in addition to books or sites where you can purchase patterns. 

One of these great sites is Free Scroll Saw Patterns run by Arpop. You do need to be a member to be active on the boards or to access the free patterns but membership is free and as the commercial says "Membership has its priviledges". The people on this board (as are those on other scrollsaw boards I belong to) are GREAT! Always friendly, full of advice and a cheer for an item you have just made and are "bragging" about. 

Like my 'Welcome!" sign this Flying Witch pattern (by Arpop himself) was as fun to cut out as it was to come up with a way to finish. I started out by spray painting her (after having learned my lesson with regular paint!) a flat black. And while she looks wonderfully witchy ... something just wasn't quite right in my mind. 




Looking through my every growing stash of "finishing materials" I spied a roll of golden coloured cellophane. The end result being a Witch on her broomstick flying accross the moon. I'm quite happy with the result and again in a window, in the dusk with a small light behind, very spooky!




If you are interested in finding out more about Scherenschnitte, Meggiecat has a great blog you can read. 

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