This textile landscape is a ‘just because’ scene that evolved ‘just because’ I had a slice of checked ochre and black cotton fabric that had caught my eye in a display of Halloween fabrics. The dark gold-ochre tint and the slanting black lines in the alternating squares – each with a tiny red dot in the corner – immediately suggested their use as building blocks to create a miniature late Victorian peaked-roof manse complete with a stair to front door and high chimneys. I constructed my house by cutting out these little lined squares and turning them every which way – I even made use of the tiny red corner dots to suggest painted barge-board decoration; another small print gave me triangle roof peaks, gables, and topmost finial. There is fine orange glitter in windows to suggest candlelight, the smoke drifting upward from two chimneys is gauze edged with gold litter to show up the better.
Golden-brown and tan corduroys and several small prints are used to create the fields, another print was used to make grass clumps and still another the cabbage patch; vines and shrubs in hedgerows and fields are beaded in autumn colors to give additional texture and a black and metallic gold knit is used for the main path; the other paths are from a brown knit showing just a hint of metallic gold.
The picket fence and gate are of a tan shade of narrow grosgrain – I cut each length by a third to make the fence slats still thinner and of course backed and glue-edged these. The pumpkin closest to the front has a face cut out with my sharpest little scissors so a ribbon could be placed behind to suggest a lit candle inside; I did this also with the four metallic pumpkins – thank goodness the faces on these were pre-cut; for the three tiny pumpkins on the path to the house I cut tiny rounds from orange foil then pressed a pin into these to create their ‘faces’.
Two different fabrics were used for the trees. The tan, gold and orange trees are cut from a Hoffmann fabric and each one is enhanced with a little complimentary glitter; from a dark all-over cotton print of thin black-orange-gold lines I constructed three groups of poplars and the spiky foreground tree – some fine black glitter sparks up the poplars, and to up the dramatic impact of the foreground tree I thickly coated its limbs with the black glitter.
The black satin sky glows with a multitude of gold, orange and red sequin stars of several sizes – each is attached to the satin with its own tiny Swarovski crystal bead with the largest red star displaying a bigger crystal; the gold satin moon is edged with gold glitter and has the silhouette of a black witch flying across. The tiny black bats were stamped on orange cotton, and I made sure to leave a thin orange rim round each when I cut them out so they’d show against the black sky; every star in the sky is attached to the black satin with its own tiny Swarovski crystal bead with the largest red star displaying a larger crystal.
Wooden valence and window surround are also made from the checked fabric used to build the house. Note the spider’s web tucked under the valence’s top left corner – I made this by embroidering orange-gold metallic thread on black; Sid the Spider has just spun downward on a length of the gold thread – he’s dangling at the end and checking out what’s going on with two glowing orange bead eyes.
On the front window sill a wee bottle filled with a glitter-green concoction sits beside a little gold spoon – the witch who is flying across the round gold moon gave herself a dose from that bottle just seconds ago, took up her broom and flew off into the starry night, leaving her two black cats hissing at each other on the fence!