Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Danse Macabre Piece for the Smeared and Smudged Design Team Throwdown

Getting in at the 11th hour (well, not quite) I just finished this piece for the Haunted Design House Team for the Smeared and Smudged Design Team Throwdown.  We're one member short, but Creepy Glo and I didn't want the fab theme "Danse Macabre", chosen but last month's winners, the RSD Airless Chambers Team, go by without at least an attempt.  The bad news is, it doesn't photograph well because I didn't have a hanger on the back to hang it on the wall so it's on a niche in our entryway on a plate stand.

In case you can't tell, it's a wooden plaque that I painted and decoupaged with torn and distressed sheet music (Handel's Messiah, to be exact).  A skeleton hand  (more on that in a minute) is holding  dimensional marionette made with Smeared Ink's Dead Dancer Pointing

The hand started out as paper mache.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make it a skellie hand.  Easier said than done.  First I painted it with Gesso and then started to sculpt bones on top using paper clay.  What I didn't count on was how freakin' FAT and heavy the hand got once I started sculpting.  Used a full 8 oz of clay and had to cover the whole thing for fear of the stuff separating from the base.  When I was done (forgot to take pix) it looked more like the Incredible Hulk's hand.  Thought I should just paint it green and give up a that point.

But I persevered and tried shading with Distress Inks until it somewhat resembled bones.

A bit of an improvement, at least, but a new set of problems.

I'd started to do my dimensional dancer and after I saw how HUGE the hand turned out I had to start over because the scale was all wrong.  I wanted sort of a "Tiny Dancer" look, but here's the size I started with, and next to it the size she ended up.

I wanted her not only 3 dimensional, but complete on both sides so I did 12 layers all in all, half of them flipped.  Have scissors, will fussy cut, and fussy cut and fussy cut and... 

Removed the hand above her head because with the flipped images, that actually gave her 3 arms.  LOL

Ended up refilling my Copic red twice because I colored each image on both sides before attaching them together and even drew in the lines of the tutu because they were visible.  Attached some tulle as well.  After all, what's a ballerina without tulle, eh?  Even a dead one.  Be sure to visit HDH to see the fabulous work by my teamie, Creepy Glo and the fabulous work by the rest of the participating teams HERE.  Voting starts tomorrow on the Smeared and Smudged Forum and you must be a member to join, but it's free and fun and you know you wanna.

I'm also entering this in the Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes challenge and the Stampotique Anything but a Card Challenge.

VOTING NOW OPEN HERE!  Vote for your FAVE team.  Best of luck to all.


  1. Donna, this is truly amazing! Bless you for your patience to fussy cut all those layers, I think I would have gone crazy! The skellie hand looks so good, I thought it was a plastic store-bought hand when I first saw it, I had no idea you actually painted it that way! I should have known better...the whole project is perfection!

  2. stunning creation Donna, really cool, love the hand directing the dancer and her 3D shape looks so cool

  3. Stunning! what a fabulous hand! You have the patience of a saint [can't be sinner all the time ;)]
    The dead dancer makes yet another outing, and she looks amazing. I did exactly what you did - had to re-print because the original size was too small and the tulle - I wish I'd thought of that. Good luck in the throwdown dear friend xx

  4. Oh for goodness sake Donna this is incredible. That skellie hand is just too freaking cool. The whole thing is totally immense!!! x

  5. Donna I am always so thrilled to see your art. This is wonderful and beautiful piece.congrats on the out come of it.
    susan s

  6. wow Donna, this is so very awesome, love the Dancer and the skellie hand. It looks great!!!

  7. Truly, the patience and artistic drive of a Saint for sure on this project which leaves me gasping at the details and fabbyness of it all. WOW, Donna, you are amazing but we've said that all along.

  8. So glad we're on the same team. You totally ROCKED this challenge! So creative and tenacious! That fussy cutting is just too much! I'd have given in long ago on that one. Glad you stuck with it. Here's to kickin' ass and takin' names!

  9. YOU are the best, this is amazing, gorgeous, alive, hugs

  10. Oh my goodness, so many fabulous details on this awesome project! Love how it all came together!!! YOU ROCK!!!

  11. It's a good thing you are persistent! I would have thrown the darn thing against the wall a few times. You've ended up with an incredibly awesome piece of work! I'd hang this in my craft room with pride! Your skeleton hand is amazing and holy fussy cuttng! Your dead dancer is beyond gorgeous!!! I love how the skellie hand acts as a puppeteer, manipulating the dead dancer. The base is perfection with the distressed music sheets and your 3D dead dancer with the beautiful tulle ties everything together! Absolutely brilliant!

  12. This is stunning, I love all the details. Thanks for joining us at Stampotique.

  13. Wow Oh Wow, so much work but it certainly paid off, the hand is absolutely brilliant and I do not envy you the fussy cutting, the worst part of crafting for me ;)
    love it x

  14. Freakin' AWESOME Donna and what you did with that mache hand is GENIUS woman !!!!! Totally blew the competition out of the water with this one GF :-D
    IKE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  15. Wow! Totally awesome :)
    thanks for joining in with us at Stampotique this week.

  16. Amazing piece! Gorgeous!!! Thanks for joining us at Stampotique. XOXO

  17. Wonderful project! I think the hand looks fabulous! Thanks for joining us in the Anything Goes Challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog this week!

  18. Oh woow what a great piece! Love it! Thanks for joining us at Stampotique. Magda :)


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