Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Winner November & Just when you thought the world was over..

Today we are pleased to announce the Winner for the November 2016 Challenge....

Sue with Day of the Dead
Please email us at
to arrange your prize!

The DiD team had a fabulous chance to get a 
sponsor like Grumbacher to support our
alternative challenge. I got some delicious Water Mixable Oil paints.

The thing is: I don't draw ... BUT I do color and enjoy trying
different coloring mediums.... so I took a big stamp,
stamped the image and started coloring, 
and here's how that AJ page turned out.

Very much a learning process, but very enjoyable one, :=D

Let us see your offbeat, oddly weird and darker makes, projects, art. Everything Odd, 
Weird, Alternate, Gothic, Halloween, Steampunk, Haunting, Macabre 
and much more is welcome to be linked HERE.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December, Santa, and Grumbacher

Merry Creepmas or Christmas or Happy Holidays from all of us at Dream in Darkness, where it is Halloween all the time!  To help us get our bad Santa on, we have Grumbacher back to sponsor us for December!  Yep, that means another chance to win some Grumbacher's products to play with so don't waste a merry minute start creating!

CT Nan had a run in with the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Art Sherpa at the same time!  Nothing but good I mean wicked goodness could come from that meeting!  
But some Grumbacher Acrylic paints and gesso did have a part in it!

Somebody seems to be considering what they want for a snack and it ain't Doritos so......I would sleep with those windows locked and stay out of dark streets if I were you to keep from being that little bit that hits the spot!

CT Anne ...

is suffering, badly.  She's not sure if she will ever recover from all that pink we inflicted on her!  For almost 2 weeks she has been coughing, coughing, coughing.  It totally wrecked her holiday, and she is dreading having to go back to work on Monday.  The doctor said "whooping cough", dispensed antibiotics and said the bugs would be "live" another 5 days.  YOU are safe, they're not e-bugs!!!!
 A 12"x12" paper, with added texture from Seth Apter stamps and stencils.  Digistamps: the sick boy is Bloobel and the closet monster (used twice) is a Rick St Denis
So please, from the bottom of my lungs, no more cute faces, no more pink, bring on Creepmas!!!
5 days later, update:  the nurse rang, it's not whooping cough!  No idea what, so beware!  It may be an e-bug after all, so girly stuff is AT YOUR PERIL!!!!

CT Kim

Postcards using Academy Acrylics by Grumbacher, Mixing White, Process Magenta & Yellow and Grumbacher Red

CT Granne making a set of ATC's using 
Grumbacher's fab oil paints to make a background. 
Hmmm, looks like the Zombies are awake and after YOU!!!

We know when you've been naughty; we know when you've been nice!  So forget about Santa's list and enter the challenge so you don't get on OUR list which is oh so much worse!  That pesky Frog is wearing a Santa hat so you figure it out~

Monday, November 21, 2016

You Looking at Me?

Well, CT Nan saying hi and introducing a couple of wary "friends" who don't quiet seem to trust each other not one single bit!  Grumbacher is our fantastic sponsor this month and also next month and I used their awesome water mixable oil paints called Max.  I used a 4 x 4 homemade canvas made for me by my dad which made me smile.  The Art Sherpa, Cinnamon Cooney, on Youtube did this type of painting with acrylics and it was so fab I decided to try with the oils.  Check her out and subscribe; it is a fun and weirdly wonderful channel!

And yes my spider has 3 eyes and was supposed to have more (they do in real life I think?) but I ran out of room.  They are eyeing each other closely to see who blinks first but I think that they will become great pals by the end of the day!

Plenty of time to get your entries in to the Frog and then we can run over to your blog and pop in for a visit to leave you some love!  Remember, Grumbacher paints are up for the winner of November and December and they are sooo much fun to play with!
See ya soon if you get busy right now!

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Halloween's over for another year, the witches are mostly out on the land,S harvesting strange herbs.  That means fewer broomsticks in the skies
 Jumping over the moon?

Oh yes, pigs can fly or at least the ones bred in the UK

Of course this was all started by having Grumbacher as our sponsor this month, and Naughty Nan forwarding 3 tubes of water-soluble oil paints amongst other goodies!  When they say say wash up in soapy water, they mean SOAPY water - they're still oil-based after all.
I have never used oil paints. In my librarian days  I’d been around fine art books aplenty, and in the “olden days” oil paint was pretty much the only thing around for artists to use.  As a “fibre artist” I’m also familiar with plant dyes.  And they're all "demanding" and smelly, or poisonous, to work with.  So when I discovered mixed media, I embraced acrylics paint with joy.  Now I’ve been given oil paints, albeit water-soluble, to try out.  In one of those cheapo shops I found another brand, so I grabbed a box of them, and they’re just like cheapo acrylic paint tubes – even I can tell the difference!  The cheapos have already separated, with a layer of binders/whatever at the top before you finally get some pigmented stuff out.  Take a swipe with both brands on the palette knife, and the cheapo goes on erratically, runs out sooner, and when you do some sgraffito, the cheapos don’t show it where the colour density is thin.  Try blending 2 similar colours from each brand, the cheapos go mud, Grumbacher creates a new colour.  I played with just how one can move the good stuff round, blend it into still-damp gesso (oops, thought it was dry!) .  Totally new product, and I’m enjoying the  play-experiment time.  Meantime I’m also enjoying the different consistency from acrylic paint.  Adding water is also fun with the Grumbacher, hopeless with the cheapo stuff.  So here are the tombstones, using only Grumbacher:
Then I dry-brushed some iridescent pearl acrylic over the bat body.  Tsk tsk - acrylic over oils which is the right way with house paints, but a no-no here.

Oh No!  One of the flying Piggies must have come afoul of some witch, hungry for bacon and leg roast!
In one small snap you can see almost all the ways I physically "texturised" the canvas.
A stencil with matt gel medium straight onto the canvas before any colour was used.  Various acrylic paints drizzled, sprayed, water-spritzed.  Die-cut trees given texture by applying Grumbacher's water-soluble oil paint, as are the mdf tombstones.  The witches broomsticks are blackboy peach prunings, with ends splintered.  Elsewhere stamps inked with Stazon went on.
I managed to re-capture my Grumbacher palette knives from the frogs long enough to enjoy the large sweeps with the big one to get the gel medium through the small gaps of the stencil, and playing with the oilpaint textures with another.  But as soon as my back was turned... I tracked the painty smears through the house, outside, but lost them somewhere under the borage plants.

Splatter Proof die - Seth Apter-The Altered Page / Spellbinders
Treeline die - Sizzix
Tombstones (mdf) - retrocafeart
Skull flourish corner - Creative Embellishments
flying pigs - Things To Alter
Wicked Witch feet under house - viva las vegas stamps (heat embossed)
Ink splatter - Cherry Pie Arts
Spinners set: Numbers spin because it looked like star constellations and their "gps" co-ordinates), Faded fragments set: Star, Screen print - Seth Apter-The Altered Page or Impression Obsession
Sept 2016 boho stencil - Stencil Girl Club
And of course, trawl the Grumbacher site, explore the whole range, the inspiration and the tutorials

Meantime Evil Froggy is being run ragged even though 31DoH is over - keep your off-beat, dark, weird makes coming here - remember, no cute wide-eyed girlies being sweet - the world is swamped with opportunities elsewhere for that!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Time for October's Winner!

Thanks again for all the participation last month; we all saw and appreciated and were inspired by all the fantastic projects entered! 
And now without delay the winner is


Please email us your mailing info to
    with the information to receive your winnings!

CT Nan here with a delayed reveal of the outside of my book of potions and goodies all painted up with Grumbacher Max water mixables oil paints.  I stamped Tim Holtz's Halloween set with white ink that let some of the dark red paint seep through it in places.  A book binding from some Halloween paper and a vintage digital image from my Etsy store.  I added some Derwent water color pencils then went over them with a wet paint brush to the edges of the paper and the image.

 Please forgive the pink watermark, dear CT Anne! I have temporarily lost my white watermark...honest!  Please get those entries in for some fabulous Grumbacher Max water mixable oil paints and a secret happy!  The winner of November and December will receive winnings from Grumbacher, our fabulous sponsor this month!

Link Up with the Frogster HERE and share your wicked makes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's November and Grumbacher is Here to Sponsor Us!

Thanks to all who visited and commented on our projects for the 31 Days of Halloween!  We had a blast and enjoyed every spine tingling moment of it!  Now we are all a tingle over our brand new sponsor for November and December!  Grumbacher has given the team some wonderful paints and supplies to work and play with and that means that the winner of November and the winner of December's challenges will also receive Grumbacher goodies to play with!

Since 1905, Grumbacher has been a brand trusted by students, professors, art conservationists, and professional artists throughout the US.  Max Grumbacher established his company’s humble beginnings by hand making brushes at his kitchen table in New York City.  By the 1960s Grumbacher became an art materials empire offering artists nearly every supply imaginable. Today, the Grumbacher brand is owned by Chartpak, Inc., a creative products company committed to adhering to the impeccable standards set by Max Grumbacher.  Chartpak Inc. welcomes the responsibility for ensuring Grumbacher’s continued legacy as an American tradition. We lead the way by setting strict standards of exemplary quality and consistent performance for our materials. Our standards of quality and excellence have resulted in the Grumbacher brand becoming an American tradition.
We take great satisfaction in knowing that artists trust our brand when creating their artwork. Our multi-media products, educational services, and online artists’ community (thalo) exemplify Grumbacher’s commitment to growing and adapting to the ever-changing environment of the fine and graphic art industries.
We take pride in being an American art material manufacturer and a leader in the industry.

Now it is time for us to show you the fun we have had trying the some fabulous new products to us and some more traditional ones!  We want to start out with CT Granne's amazing utterly fabulous painting using the Grumbacher Max Oil Paints that are easily cleaned with water so no horrid fumes while working with it!

CT Nan did an 11 x14 canvas titled "Rivers of Tears and Tornado of Emotions" also using the wonderfully easy to work with Max Oil Paints by Grumbacher!

CT Kim is bringing us...

a snippet stolen from Evil Frogster's mangy claws...

CT Anne... is still suffering from all that pink, and Evil Froggy is having trouble getting her Grumbacher palette knives back from the real frogs.  He may have the bigger motorcycle, but those bigger palette knives are fantastic at spreading petrol through their engines in a hurry!

We hope you will check out the links to Grumbacher and see the vast array of supplies that they carry!  And of course, we want to see what you have to inspire us with this month!  As usual, the theme in "Anything Goes" just no cute but show us your oddities, weird stuff, dark, goth, steampunk, oh my, all the alternatives that are out there!  And remember we so accept 100% digital works, also!  But the catch is you have to enter to win.....not a real big catch but a necessary one!  The winner of each month will receive Grumbacher  supplies fresh from the store!  So once Evil Froggy is back with his accomplice CT Anne, we are going to let him handle all his inbox entries...sooooo, it is up to you now!

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Finale is Here!

Sob! It is a happy time as we have found CT Anne, Evil Froggie, and it is Halloween!!  But, alas, it also is the end of the 31 Days of Halloween for 2016!  How we shall miss seeing all the faboolous makes this wonderful event brings!  Just remember, at Dream in Darkness we are the home of Halloween ALL year never really ends!  So dry your tears and start thinking how you can creep, weird, odd, plain old mess up Thanksgiving projects!  Here we go with our last makes for the event but never our last makes for Halloween!  NEVER!!

CT Anne says Hooray!!!!  She has corrupted her teamies over the pink issue, or worn them down, made them use up all the pink in their stash, got it all out of their system - see, Nan can barely produce a digital pink watermark MWAHAHAHAHA!!!
I don't know if I'm thick-skinned or thin-skinned, but I do know that I need something to protect my fabulously awesomely inventive brain from the Slings And Shafts of Life, and this is something like what you'd find twixt skin & brain... bone!

Even DH got a bit of a fright when he came home from work to be met by this apparition!  But he still likes it - bless him :)  And my dentist says there's nothing wrong with my teeth apart from a few aged fillings 
(as he hands me a bill for $583 for replacing just one!)
The papier mache skull is from Silver Crow Creations.  It sucks up and holds black gesso then paint much better than a plastic skull. They also have the centre headpiece "wings" which colour up well with alcohol inks, or rub n buff, or any paint really.  The jewellery came from 16kg  in a banana box I acquired very very cheaply some years back.  A lot of it was earrings, with many duplicates, so the stalk for pierced ears pokes through the paper mache to help hold the pices on while glue dries. The mdf cupcake stand is a Kaisercraft kit- got as far as priming it with black gesso.  The crochet veil/mantilla... can't remember where the pattern came from, but the handiwork is all moi

The painting techniques came from various online classes (and 2 books) 
from Michael deMeng including his currently-running Skullduggery class. 
I've edited the photo to exaggerate the colouring.

And the test tube... is for catching all the ideas that 
still keep dripping out of my brain moi-mwahahaha

CT Kim has this...

or is it?
MDF Skull to Celebrate the Day of the Dead...layered up with more DecoArt treats!

CT Granne has modest offer of a card, using mainly DI's and Tim Holtz stamps and dies.

Well, there was a stencil, few other stamps and fabric tape together
with torned piece of paper involved also...
Happy Halloween!!

CT Nan is ending the 31 days with a beginning?  Yes, November and December will be sponsored by the awesome Grumbacher Art!  So she has a partial reveal of the inside of a book that has a lot of Grumbacher goodness on the outside so be sure to come back tomorrow for a peek at the front!  She will also be showing some more pics of the inside of the book as November moves through with a chill in the air and the smell of paint in the house!

The book includes products by Tim Holtz, images from Mischief Circus, and some of the vintage images I have in my Etsy Store "Odditiesdigitalstamps.  If you want to grab any of these images free, just run over to my blog and download them for free!  Happy Halloween!

Remember, two months of Grumbacher fabulous products and projects and the winners of November and December will win Grumbacher products!  So get those painty hands ready and those ideas churning for a chance to be a winner!