Wednesday 26 September 2012

Haunted Design House, Great Granddads Merman Heart

 This week over at Haunted Design House  the challenge is 'Chain Me Up'
  Im a little late this week as I have been rummaging through great granddads things in the atic.(for those of you who don't know, my GG was an old school monster hunter) I found this, an old box padlocked and chained shut.Its scuffed tin and metal plate so Im guessing it must hold something substantial. Luckily the lock was old and I was able to break it open and  look inside.
 As you can see what I found was a little surprising, a blue heart, after taking it out and having a closer look the heart seems to have petrified, its a solid glistening semi translucent object, even though
it is solid it has a liquid like look.
Fortunately the box was numbered and I have been able to find some journal scraps that seem to correspond with this item.
According to the page this once belonged to a great warrior of Atlantis.Now unfortunately there are no details I have found as to why GG was anywhere near Atlantis or how he came about this warriors heart, but I can only assume that it is either very powerful or very dangerous, I think I shall lock it back up and wait till I can find out more about it.

Ok boring bit ;)

This started out as a wooden cigar box I was able to get hold of in Vegas earlier this year. The challenge being chained up my mind went to some sort of artefact that needed to be kept under lock and key. To see some other brilliant interpretations of the theme head over to Haunted Design House and have a play with us.
 I was really pleased with how my tag turned out last week and wanted to use the same techniques but in a different way.The box was painted with an Andy Skinner time worn technique and I made four rusty plates to attach to the sides, the chain,lock and fasteners were picked up in Homebase.the lock was coated in a mix of alcohol inks and thinned down washes of paint, the fasteners were also given a rust treatment.
The inside of the box was lined with some patterned paper and some old black cloth was folded for the lining.
As for the Heart, It has pretty much everything I own thrown at it. I started with Fresco paints and then some clear crocco crackle glaze, this was dry brushed with different shades of blue, It got misted with dylusions and cosmic shimmer mists, a layer of wax was added along with some blue alcohol inks that got melted in with the wax, more cosmic shimmer and finally some clear stickeles.  yes i have some of them.
the end result is quite weird, it has a sort of very thick soft varnish look about it, you can see through the layers to the wooden heart underneath.It just proves if your not happy with something add another layer ;)

If you have made it this far then you deserve a medal. I am so greatful to all of you who take the time to stop by and see what I am up to. It's still unbelievable but very much appreciated.
thank you xx

I would like to enter this into the Anything But A Card challenge, the theme is 'Texture'
I would also like to enter this in to the challenge over at Simon Says Stamp And Show   their challenge is 'for the love of sparkle' the heart is my sparkle'y object.  I would also like to say a great big thank you to the guys over at ssss as I was lucky enough to win $100 in their weekly entry draw, I have already spent it and received my stamps.  Thank you xx


  1. I love it! The story totally rocks with your creation. I miss making these kinds of things and need to tap back into it. Great piece Mark.

    Carol (Carol's Creations)

  2. Hmmm...A merman's heart...sounds dangerous to me. I'm envisioning the creepy mermaids from Peter Pan...not Disney's Little Mermaid!
    I loved reading this post and your creation is every bit as wonderful! I can only imagine how amazing that heart is in real life! So glad you joined us again at ABAC!!

  3. I'll be looking for that medal in the mail!. I think that heart is wonderful - wish I could see IRL - I have got to get some wax. Great box too - never saw a cigar box look better. Fun, fun, fun!

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  5. Hi Mark, I just love those stories about your great grandfather ... just collect them along with the pics of these objects and if you ever get bored with doing the absolutely stunning mixed media stuff you do you can assemble all this to a book (just read one, written around some very old and quirky photos *g*) :-D
    Really I adore this heart ... and I can imagine that it looks much more intriguing in reality. You shouldn't be surprised if it starts pulsating again, looks quite fresh to me ... Wonder how Vampires and Mermen got along ... but to be on the safe side I'd keep far aways from the vampire heart you found a while ago ....
    Also love, love the rusty look. You definitely have a knack for those timeworn techniques.
    Suzanne xx

  6. Great piece Mark. I look forward to seeing it in reality sometime. Carry on weaving tales and stories; it's fun. You've got your rust down pat haven't you? I'm cogitating about my boxes and have the genesis of and idea..... Have a great day.

  7. I love tales and your story sounds even fantastic as the box turned out. Great colours oh...and yummy rusty texture! (:o)

  8. Another fabulous make Mark, I do have to laugh though as every time I start reading your stories, I can almost believe them. You do write some wonderful stories, I hope you keep them in a journal. The box is brilliant and you have done an amazing job on the rusting. The heart is great and probably looks better in real life. People will keep coming back to see your work because it is so good and well worth looking at. Congrats again on your win! Regards, Anne :) x

  9. Mark....I so enjoy your blog. Love the story of GG and his attic full of eclectic goodies. You're quite the story teller. :) I love your cigar box and how you've altered it into such a cool "artifact". The blue petrified heart inside is awesome. Love all of the layers of this and that. It turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing your imagination and your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

  10. First story is better, believe that more than the second. But seriously really good. Love Francesca

  11. ACK - love your story, you're awesome. The box itself and the heart - totally rad. Congrats on your win, too! :)

  12. oh this is too cool!! ... the box with the heart reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean :D ... this blue heart is absolutely stunning and your box is great too! ... loved your first story but I also like to hear how you have created your project!

  13. Love the story and love the box, what a great find in Vegas.


  14. It's always a joy to see one of your posts come up and gaze in wonder at your latest creation. This is no exception. Love the whole concept and it's the sort of piece that I would love to see irl. Hugs, Buttons x

  15. Great Box and a Great Story. Lovin the rusty texture on this Mark. You never cease to amaze with your creativity.

  16. I wonder if when you hold the heart, it will transfer amazing powers to you? (knowing my luck it would be fish scales and slime but there you go!!).

    I loved reading the good bit and the 'boring' bit (as you said!). Love the box - totally and heart needs to be seen in real life and held I suspect!

    A wonderfully creative piece Mark which just oozes with texture - love it.

    Thanks for sharing with us at again ABAC and we'd better see you join us again very soon!!

  17. awesome merman heart! Love the entire kitchen sink process! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

  18. What a great project! Thanks for joining us at ABAC :) :)

  19. Hey there Mark, love your creation and you say there comes the boring bit, but I really enjoyed reading your story. Thank you for sharing your fabulous creation with the DT from Simon Says Stamp and Show, hugs terry xxxx

  20. Basically WOW. Such a little talent. x

  21. I always struggle to find words that can convey my feelings about your creations- it seems so trite to say ohhh fabulous creation- but ya know, I am at a loss. I mean that in a good way! Each visit is a treat- and I always look forward to see what you created. I LOVE THIS! Thanks so much for sharing your gift with us in blogland! And for joining us at Anything But a Card!

  22. Gosh, this is just soooooo cool, Mark!

    As a huge fan of supernatural things (and TV-series as well *lol), I just love your GreatGranddads treasure chest with this striking evidence of the existence of creatures, most of us humans do not believe in. Wonder, what the fate of the merman was. A tragic death, long suffering in captivity or maybe friendship with a human being that was more open-hearted than the rest of his species?


    die amelie x

  23. Mark, I have visited your blog before and always come away, feeling very inspired. You have a very unique vision and your projects are always so out of the box, pardon the pun. I loved seeing your Grandads Box and reading all of what you had to say about it and also in how you gave it new life. Hopefully you didn't let anything out when you unchained it. Thank you for great inspiration.
    :) Chris / CS Designs