As crafters, I think that many of us are often a bit hesitant to declare something that we’ve made a personal favourite. While it is unlikely to be as hard for us to do so as with, say, our children or pets, it’s still tricky at times to rank our own work so highly.
Or at least it is for me.
The card featured in this post might just be my favourite I’ve ever made.
Not just this year, not just in the past few years, but during the whole of my time as a paper crafter.
Definitely in the top five for sure and, again, very possibly my absolute favourite to date.
I had a vision of how I wanted this card to look in my mind’s eye and the end result exceeded my hopes and expectations. The whole project flowed beautifully and I am pleased as punch with how it turned out.
I have dubbed this gothic-inspired card “Summertime Sunrise Over the Cemetery”, as that is the scene it depicts. (Though a similar sight could be observed in the spring or very early fall around these Western Canadian parts as well.)
Passionate taphophile that I am, I’ve spent many an early morning (and late night and afternoon… basically all hours of the day 😄) witnessing breathtaking sunrises break in the heavens above various cemeteries and graveyards.
It was to these meaningful memories that I turned when creating this sunrise, weeping willow, and headstone filled greeting.
A card that just happens to suit Summerween to a tee. (And which I’m sharing here as my #MakeHalloween365 project share entry for July.)
That’s right, my dear friends, it’s time to delve into another fabulous Halloween-inspired take on a holiday or season. So grab an ice-cold drink (may I suggest black lemonade) and come along as we explore the ins and outs of Summerween.
What is Summerween?
If you’ve seen my Valoween or Springoween blog posts, you may be familiar with the fact that I’m wild about embracing each and every October 31st inspired holiday and season possible.
You might also have deduced by now (based on its name) as to what Summerween entails. 😊
In short, Summerween approaches summer and looks for ways to inject as much of the spooky spirit of Halloween as possible into the hottest chapter of the year (on this side of the equator).
Perhaps, however, of all the annual events and seasons that can “Halloweenifed”, so to speak, Summerween often remains the most lighthearted.
Summerween is the beach goth of the seasons.
It is a fun-loving way of merging the sizzling hot days of summer with the eerie, iconic, and wonderfully enjoyable elements of Halloween that many of us hold dear.
As with Valoween and Springoween, I did not invent #Summerween myself.
Much like those two spooky happenings, from what I can find, Summerween seems to have largely come about organically from multiple sources, fuelled greatly by those of us who proudly belong to the #EverdayisHalloween crowd.
Interestingly, the concept of Summerween being a specific holiday instead of a season-long theme got a helping hand from the animated cartoon series Gravity Falls.
In episode 12 of season 1, we see the townsfolk preparing for, and then celebrating, Summerween on June 22nd.
Why are they doing so? Because, like many of us, the good people of Gravity Falls adore Halloween so much they feel the need to celebrate it twice each year.
Hugely relatable, let me tell you! 😄
In the real world, some people may prefer to celebrate Summerween as a single day (or weekend), whereas others are all about pumpkins, bats, and ghosts the whole season long. Rest assured that either, or anything in between, is A-okay.
Halloween-inspired takes on existing events and seasons do not come with any hard and fast rules, and can be embraced however one desires. Indeed, that’s part of their charm and fun!
How to get a Summerween aesthetic
A fa-boo-lous place to get inspiration and ideas when it comes to Summerween is the blog Spooky Little Halloween, where the author, Miranda, has shared numerous Summerween related posts over the years.
(I especially adore her Summerween recipe posts, including those for 11 Halloween S’mores Perfect for the Campfire and Easy 4 Layer Halloween Ice Scream Cake.)
Be sure to also check out Miranda’s social media accounts as she shares plenty of terrific Summerween inspiration there as well.
I love to do the same myself too and have a Pinterest board dedicated solely to Summerween, which you’ll want to visit for lots more hauntingly enjoyable sunny season inspiration and ideas.
Summerween is a delightful way to marry summer with notes of spookiness. You can, for example, pick a general theme such as a haunted road trip, a dreamy tropical beach, a hair-raising summer camping trip, or a gorgeous sunny weather garden and “Halloweenify” to your heart’s content.
Some of the ways that you can achieve a Summerween aesthetic for your home, a party, or most any other reason include the following:
-Carving various summertime fruits and vegetables into jack-o-lanterns. As demonstrated in these two posts, watermelons and pineapples lend themselves especially well to getting the jack-o-lantern treatment.
And speaking of pumpkins, why not decorate with a palette of summertime coloured options.
You could utilize vibrant, even neon, shades; take things in a soothing and relaxing direction with whites, light greys, mint green, and soft pink, or look to the seas and go with a nautical colour scheme of reds, whites, blues, and sandy beiges.
-Draw (or cut out and adhere) a jack-o-lantern face on a beachball or volleyball for a smile-inducing summertime take on fall pumpkins.
-Include summertime flowers amongst your more traditional fall décor. Why not use a plastic (or real) pumpkin as a vase for some of your favourite summertime blooms?
Or you could create a centrepiece of flowers and pumpkins, partner the season’s first sunflowers with pumpkins or other Halloween elements, or design a wreath that included summer blooms and iconic fall pieces (such as skeletons, witch’s brooms, ghost figures, headstones, bats, spiders, owls, or skulls).
-Decorate a Halloween witch’s hat with summer blooms and use it as a centrepiece or décor item elsewhere in your house.
-Serve summertime drinks in Halloween cups and mugs (or vice versa). Add cute paper umbrellas, swizzle sticks, and tropical fruits to each glass for a fabulous summer meets October vibe.
-Purchase or make some delightful Summerween themed art. Summerween is catching on, especially with diehard Halloween lovers and as a result more and more fantastic Summerween themed art (as well as other products, including enamel pins, clothing, and beach towels) is hitting the market.
Some Etsy artists who are currently selling art prints that either specifically focused on Summerween or which work splendidly for a Halloween take on summer include:
–Carrie Anne Hudson Art (who also sells Summerween perfect enamel pins, such as this awesome tropical drink cauldron pin.)
As well, Spooky Yeti Studio has adorable summer ghost postage stamp shaped stickers and Hannah of Fall Trades offers cute and cheerful Summerween bookmarks (which would be perfect for your favourite beach reads!).
Summerween décor can be just about anything you can dream up. The key is to inject a sense of October 31st into the sun-kissed months in whatever way(s) you wish.
Let your imagination take flight and have a blast celebrating the awesomeness of All Hallows’ Eve all summer long.
Now, let’s take a gander look at how you too can make your own summer sunrise over the cemetery card like the one featured in this post.
Products used to make this Distress Oxide Ink blended sunrise over the cemetery card
-Four different shades of light to dark grey cardstock
-White cardstock (for the card base – or use a premade 5×7 inch white card base instead)
-Thicker white cardstock (that takes well to ink blending) – Ultra White Smooth Premium (100lb) Cardstock from Spectrum Noir
-Silver metallic cardstock
-Weeping willow tree frame die
-Tree lined hill die (or, alternatively, you could achieve a similar look by applying different shades of grey ink through a tree covered hill design stencil)
-Headstone lined hill die
-Victorian frame inspired embossing folder – 3D E3D – 017 Oval Accent Embossing Folder from Spellbinders
-Various shades of Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink, as follows:
For the yellow sun: Wild Honey, Mustard Seed, Fossilized Amber, and Antique Linen
For the sunrise: Black Soot, Chipped Sapphire, Hickory Smoke, Weathered Wood, Milled Lavender, Tattered Rose, Pumice Stone, and Victorian Violet
-Dimensional foam, pop dots, or similar to elevate some of your layers
-Adhesive, such as a tape runner, of your choice (I often use my Scotch Tape Glider)
Note: To create a mask for the sun portion of the ink blended sky, punch or die cut two small nested circles from cardstock or paper. I used the Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Large Circle Dies set to die cut the two circles I needed for this project.
How to make a gothic summertime graveyard card
Begin by making a 5×7 inch card base from white cardstock (or use a premade card blank/base of the same dimensions).
You can then make the other elements of this card in whatever order you prefer.
I created my Distress Oxide Ink blended sky – with a masked and then inked glowing sun – before proceeding on to the die cuts (including one weeping willow frame made from silver metallic cardstock and another from very light grey cardstock) and the embossed frame.
For the ink blended sky, aim to have a halo of lighter coloured ink around the sun, so as to heighten the realism of a sunrise filled sky.
Next, arrange and adhere the layers of hill die cut shapes starting from lightest to dark, as this mirrors how objects in the foreground and background, respectively, often appear – especially in low light settings such as the early morning sunrise depicted on this card.
Arrange the weeping willow frames so that their branches overlap and create a lovely arch of foliage. To do this, you will flip the light grey cardstock die cut weeping willow frame over and use the backside to create a mirror image with the same piece cut from silver metallic cardstock.
Once you’re happy with the placement of the weeping willow frames, adhere them in place and proceed to arrange and adhere the headstone die cut between the trucks of the two weeping willow trees.
Using black cardstock, emboss a Victorian inspired frame piece and attach it to the cardstock. I opted to distress my black frame in various spots to give it even more of an aged, gothic look. You can leave your pristine, if you prefer. Either way will look fantastic!
Adhere the frame to the cardstock and top it with the ink blended + die cut covered panel.
If you wish, you can die cut a third weeping willow frame and use it to adorn the interior of your card (as shown above).
And there you have it, with a bit of ink blending, die cutting, and embossing, you have one serene, spooky, and splendidly Summerween appropriate card ready to go.
Send it out now, or, if you prefer, wait to give this sunrise at the cemetery card to a fellow Halloween loving soul (or taphophile) come October.
Birthday celebrations, now with even more Summerween!
Tomorrow just happens to be my birthday (I’ll be 37, for those inquiring minds out there 😄).
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to have a Halloween-themed b-day. Now, thanks in no small part to the advent of Summerween doing so is now all the more possible.
With the pandemic still going strong and the fact that not everyone in our circle (myself included) has received their second Covid vaccine yet, my b-day this year is going to be another very lowkey one without a big party or public gathering.
However, together Tony, my mom and I will happily make the best of it and are going all-in on the Summerween side of things.
Or should I say, the Birthdayween side of things! 🥳
After all, there are only 113 days separating July 10th and October 31st.
What Halloween lover amongst us wouldn’t want to have an All Hallows’ Eve related celebration little more than 3.5 months before the big day itself returns?
We’ll be doing a Halloween jigsaw puzzle (I’m an avid puzzler), playing Halloween themed board games (including the Disney Hocus Pocus boardgame, which my very thoughtful mama gifted me with last fall), watching some of our fave Halloween shows and movies, and eating delicious Halloween related foods.
Basically, my dream way to celebrate my birthday. 🥰
I’d love to share in the festivities with more of my friends and relatives, but the three of us (plus, our darling dog, Annie, of course) will have a blast all the same.
And with a bit of luck, hopefully, come this time next year, a larger group of our loved ones will be able to get together for birthdays, holidays, and everyday hangouts alike again. 🙏
As I blow out the candles on my GF pumpkin spice cake tomorrow, you can bet that a swift end to the pandemic will be one of the things I wish for most of all.
And, on a less somber note, an early autumn that lingers late into the year will be another.
No matter if that comes to pass or not, thanks to Summerween we can celebrate Halloween all sunny season long. An act that helps to ramp up one’s excitement for the actual return of October 31sts all the more, especially as summer is the last season before fall’s arrival.
Thus, Summerween becomes an extra fun and festive way to countdown to Halloween and is perfect for those amongst us who love to get our All Hallows’ Eve on year-round.
Have you heard of Summerween before? What are some of your favourite ways to inject spookiness into the summer months? 🍉🎃🍍
PS: Fun – and rather cool – fact, this year my birthday coincides with July’s new moon. 😃
I am using this point to focus many of my current magickal workings on new starts, banishing, healing, serenity, and renewal – and invite you to do the same as well, if so desired. 🌑
P.S I love birthdayween and the coincidence with the new moon! I have a feeling it will be a special kind of magic. Which I wish for you in all types of ways. May sensory delights follow you, may joy abound and may connection flow . You are a delight and you give much to the world and I hope you receive so many birthday blessings! Also if you ever come to the next province over notify me as we’d be happy to host you and your hubby!
Thank you deeply on every count, dear heart – very much including your tremendously kind offer to host Tony and me on a future trip to Alberta. That is extremely kind and thoughtful of you. 🙏
What a beautiful and uplifting birthday wish. Thank you so much!
I’m delighted to report that birthdayween was a huge success. This fun and festive mashup is now something I plan to repeat for at least some of my future b-days.
May you have a safe, serene, wildfire-free (they’re brutal again this year here in BC – especially in the wake of the recent heatwave) July, sweet lady!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Autumn! I hope it is full of Summerwe’en goodness for you. 🙂
Your card is amazing – so full of depth, but I think it is the yellow and tinges of pink that make it so special to me.
Big hugs to you for your special day. May this year ahead bring you joy, peace and good times. And maybe a trip to Victoria?? ;-P I have a couple of graveyards I think you would like, lol.
Thank you sweetly, my very dear friend, on all counts.
It is incredibly touching that you’d like to meet up in person. I would love to make that happen one day! 😃
Objectively, I don’t foresee a trip to the Island in the cards for this year, but perhaps one could happen again for us in 2022 or ’23. Fingers firmly crossed!
Victoria is my one of my favourite cities anywhere in the world and it’s been far too long (nearly seven years at this point) since our last visit. Knowing that you and I will get to spend some time together the next we are down that way only spurs my desire to return to the Island ASAP on all the more.
Thank you again very much, dear Sheilia. Please know, likewise, that you are always welcome at our humble abode if you should happen to be up this North Okanagan way.
I see why this is a favorite of yours, beautiful inked background and so many fabulous layers for such amazing depth!
Thank you immensely, lovely Donna. What a wonderfully kind comment.
I can usually bring myself to part with even my most beloved handmade cards, but this one is likely staying put – save for it I decide to send it to a fellow Halloweenoholic and/or taphophile – and continuing to be enjoyed as part of our home decor.
Big hugs & cheerful mid-July wishes,
Happy birthday to you!! I actually had a note reminder on my phone as you must have given the date for your birthday another time. I’m delighted to read that you will be celebrating your special day in a way that brings you joy! Enjoy each and every spooky and happy moment!
Your card is absolutely fabulous! I can understand why it is one of your favourites, if not your very favourite.
That is tremendously heart-touching, sweet Kate. Thank you SO much!!!
If you’re comfortable doing so, please feel free to share your birthday with me so that I can add your special day to my calendar as well. (And if you wanted to share your mailing address as well, I would be honoured and delighted to send you a b-day card.)
Thank you very much for your beautiful birthday wishes. I’m tickled pink (or would that be orange and black? 😃) to report that my birthdayween celebration went marvellously. It was even more fun and meaningful than I’d long imagined combining these two special days would be. Definitely something I plan to repeat for at least some of my future birthdays.
Many thanks again for being such a terrifically lovely person.
First of all, a happy birthday to you dearest Autumn! I actually got a Facebook reminder for it 🙂
I totally get why this is one of your favourite cards ever, it’s absolutely stunning, a true work of art which wouldn’t look amiss in a frame! xxx
Thank you deeply, dearest Ann. You are such a sweet, wonderful friend.
*Blush!* That is so lovely of you to say. Thank you! Normally I do give away most of the cards (and tags) I make even when I madly adore them, but there’s a very high chance this cemetery themed creation is staying firmly put with me (to be enjoyed as part of our home decor). I just love it so, so, soooo much! 🥰
Scores of hugs & sunny mid-July wishes coming your way!
Sending very happy birthday wishes and hugs your way today!!! Hope you have a marvelous time celebrating!
Another beautiful card that really captures a delightfully spooky Gothic tone. <3
Thank you very much, dearest Inky. Your beautiful birthday wishes helped to make my special day all the more so.
You are so sweet! Many thanks as well for bestowing such kind praise on this cemetery-themed card. 🥰
Tons of hugs from heart to yours,
It *is* a beautiful card! I like the theme and surprising appearance of nice colors. One of the best hand-crafted cards I’ve ever seen.
Hope you had a great birthday!
Thank you very much on both counts, my dear friend. Your exceedingly kind words about this card brightened my day every bit as much as the sizzling hot summer sunshine beating down on us during the dog days of this season.
I’m pleased as punch to report that my birthday was wonderful. Suffice it to say, birthdayween shall be repeated for future at least some of my future b-day celebrations.
I hope that your July is going positively and that the incredible heatwave that hit Western Canada earlier this month has not hopped across the border and made it to the Eastern US.
A super card Autumn, you have created wonderful sunset scene, lots of fabulous die cut details and beautifully framed – you should be ‘pleased as punch’ with it. My cards rarely turn out as I have them planned before hand, they just seem to evolve as I go along.
Pauline – Crafting with Cotnob
Thank you immensely, dear Pauline. ❤️
Same here! I tend to start with a general idea and/or inspiration photo (or video) and then let things unfold organically. Sometimes though, I do strive to adhere closely to the vision I have for a given project. That was the case here and in the end result was, humbly, even lovelier than I had imagined.
Typically I can bring myself to part with my handmade cards (and tags, etc), but I am so madly in love with this cemetery-themed greeting that I think it might just have to stay put and enjoy life as part of our home decor.
Many heartfelt thanks again coupled with a bevy of hugs.
First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Also, I am with you, this may very well be my favorite thing you’ve made as well! It’s absolutely gorgeous!
I’m a very seasonal person, and think that every holiday has its time and place within the seasons, but I also totally love the idea of throwing curve balls in every once in awhile and mixing it up, so I do love the idea of Summerween, especially because I ADORE the watermelon and pineapple Jack o’lanterns! And that episode of Gravity Falls was quite good! I just love that show.
Thank you abundantly, my very dear friend. ❤️
Knowing that you’re more than a wee bit keen on this cemetery-themed card makes me adore it all the more myself.
Generally, I can bring myself to give away the cards (and tags, etc) that I create, but this one is such a firm favourite that I highly doubt I’ll be able to part ways with it. Instead, it’s likely to continue being a part of our home decor for a good long while.
Definitely! I adore each season and the holidays they house well. I’d not want to part ways with any of them, but do delight in finding ways to weave the spooky marvellousness of Halloween into other chapters of the year as well.
Aren’t those watermelon and pineapple jack-o-lanterns awesome? I’m thinking that (if one had the right tools and wore protective gloves while carving) coconut jack-o-lanterns would be delightful as well for the roasty-toasty months of summer.
Thank you again very much. I hope that your July is off to a splendid, safe, and sunny start!
Gorgeous Halloween card Autumn! I love the fantastic spooky scene you created and all of the fabulous dies you used! I hope you had a wonderful birthday.
Thank you sweetly, dear Tammy.❤️
I’m delighted to report that I had a really enjoyable birthdayween.
Fun times, delicious food, gorgeous summer sunshine, and plenty of hits of Halloween all made for a meaningful birthday that I won’t soon forget.
Your card is beautiful, I love how tactile it is with all the cut out paper and layers. “Summertime Sunrise Over the Cemetery” is a great name for this card you made. In fact, what I like the most about it is the sunrise. It is represented so well in the card, there is definitely a summertime sunrise feel to that yellow aura behind the graveyard. I like historical and small graveyards. I like to visit them, especially in smaller villages, places or cities, I think they can be so educating about the history of some places.
The summerveen aesthetic ideas are lovely.
Thank you for your kind comment!
Hello sweet soul, thank you very much for your thoughtful and wonderfully kind recent comments – both this one and the others that you blessed my posts with here.
I’m touched to know that you, a skilled artist, enjoyed both seeing this card and the name that I bestowed on it.
We’re two peas in a cemetery/graveyard adoring pod. I too cherish older and/or smaller cemeteries and, to that end, am launching a new ongoing post series here this month in which I document some of the cemeteries I visit in person. Doing so is something I’ve been keen to launch since this blog started last year and I’m so excited to get the opportunity to do so as we begin inching towards fall time.
You’re sincerely welcome, dear Ivana. Many heartfelt thanks again for your own loveliness.
Oodles of extra sunny mid-summertime hugs,
so sorry it has taken me so long to visit your blog. I love this card, the layers and colours are just so perfect. Love the little pumpkins with hat, such a fun idea. Have a wonderful week and enjoy creating. x
Hello dear Anesha, you are such a thoughtful person. Please don’t worry for the tiniest of nanoseconds. It is always awesome to hear from you anywhere and anytime.
Thank you for your lovely comment and for stopping by to say hello. Ever since my DH and I started a short-term work contract job this spring, I’ve had almost no time to craft and have been missing it massively! That job has wrapped up now, so after I get through several medical related appointments this month, I’m really hoping to hop right back into crafting again – especially as fall nears and a million delightful autumn/Thanksgiving/Halloween project ideas are swirling around in my head.
I hope that you’re doing well, staying safe (covid cases are on the rise again here big time, but thankfully, as of yesterday afternoon, I now have both of my vaccines), and finding more time to craft than me. 😄
Big hugs, my friend!
Happy belated birthday, Autumn! Hope your Summerween birthday was as amazing as you had described!
Your summerween sunrise over a graveyard card is so beautiful. You’ve combined Halloween and summer together brilliantly. Fabulous colours and flawless ink blending. I can see why this is your favourite.
Thank you mightily, dear Trina. I’m delighted to say that (aside from not being able to celebrate with as many loved ones as I would have ideally liked) my Summerween birthday was fantastic!
Not only for its own merits, but because it managed to fall between the absurdly hot heatwave that kicked off July and the severe wildfires that have plagued our province especially badly in recent weeks (we were on evacuation notice for a while last week, but mercifully have not actually had to flee at a moment’s notice yet).
Plus, if such is possible, it celebrating my b-day in Halloween style has made me even more excited for All Hallows’ Eve to return for real this year. 😃
Thank you again, lovely lady. Wishing you a sunny, terrific August!
What a fabulous spooky Summer post. I do not recall having ever heard of Summerween. But, I’ll be adding it to my decor theme from now on- especially with my birthday being about a week after the after.
Your card is beautiful! I think the willow tree is what caught my eye.
I know your birthday was great if you were able to celebrate it as you mentioned here. And, like you, I’m counting weeks/days til Fall arrives!
Thank you deeply my very dear friend and fellow July born soul. I wholeheartedly hope that your own birthday celebration was a marvellous one as well.
Willows are a lifelong favourite of mine – right up there with that most iconically Canadian of trees, the majestic maple. I hope to add a stamp or two of willow trees to my craft stash as well, but for now, happily, this charming die has me covered on the willow themed paper crafting front.
I think of you often, sweet Debi, and truly hope that your summer is going positively.
Tons of sunny hugs,
What a stunningly beautiful card and captures the magic of a sunset over a graveyard. A sight I’m blessed to see quite often through the cottage window! It’s wonderful to hear about your birthday Summerween festivities! 🥰🍉🕸️
Thank you abundantly, my beautiful friend. Your awesome cottage and the breathtaking cemetery it overlooks are perpetual inspirations to me.
I adored your own fantastic post on Summerween as well. It’s so cool that we both opted, this season, to chat about this festively spooky take on the warmest chapter of the year.
Many thanks again. You are never far from my thoughts and are wished the absolute safest, happiest, and sweetest of Augusts.
There is a serene tranquillity with this card and scene for me – gorgeous. Emma
Thank you deeply, sweet Emma. I sincerely appreciate your lovely, supportive comment on this Summerween season greeting. It’s hard to believe that summer is halfway over already. Where did the past few weeks whiz off to?
On the plus side, we’re inching ever close to fall’s return, which is always a great thing in my autumn adoring books.
I hope that you’re doing excellently and staying safe this month – and that the summer weather isn’t too brutal on your end. It was ridiculously hot here last month, but thankfully so far August has been a bit tamer on the temperature front.
Scores of hugs,
I think this is a personal favorite too! Gorgeous! I would hang that in my home. Happy belated Summerween!
Thank you deeply, my sweet friend and fellow taphophile. This card is a personal favourite of mine as well and it is indeed staying put at our wee abode.
Like yourself, I’ve been visiting various cemeteries in our area all the more during the pandemic and, to that end, am launching a new ongoing post series here this month in which I’ll be shining the spotlight on some of the burial grounds (near and far afield alike) that I/we visit. Doing so is something I’ve been eager to bring to blog since it started last year, so I’m extra happy that it is coming to fruition this summer(ween).
Many heartfelt thanks again.