I hope that you are all well, enjoying Fall and looking forward to Halloween. I myself, can not wait. Fall is my absolute favorite season because of all the fabulous colors, smells and feelings it evokes…and the chill in the air after a long summer can’t get here quick enough.
Halloween has always been one of those holidays that is just fun. It’s a time of imagination and gives you a reason to step out of your comfort zone. Exploring another part of yourself through costumes, decor, art and things that give life to your creativity adds to the excitement of the holiday.
This project gave me a reason to be in a Halloween frame of mind a bit earlier in the year. It totally took on a life of it’s own..and tells a story that I didn’t even know was in me.
Who would have thought that a tombstone could spark so much creativity!
This tombstone was so much fun to create…TOTAL FUN! The Tombstones are brand new products from Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous. Tim Holtz introduced them on the Stampers Anonymous Facebook Live that was a couple of weeks ago. If you didn’t have the chance to see it then, you can check it out HERE. The Tombstones are made from a hard laser-cut thickboard and can be collaged, altered and embellished. They come in two sizes, small and medium. I used the small size to create this example.
To start, I came up with her name, Hyacinth Ravenwood, then found a vintage photo that I thought looked like the woman I was thinking about, and began sketching out ideas. That was my jumping off point. I used supplies that I had on hand, and techniques, colors and types of media that I love.
First, I started by cutting out her name with the Alphanumeric 1″ Letters out of Watercolor paper..I wanted to make sure her long name would fit across the tombstone and then I cut 3 sets of letters…
I trimmed one of the sets down on the edges to give them a stone carved look. I knew that when I layered them they would stand out, as if they were carved, and catch some of the grunge created with Distress Crayons.
Here are what the trimmed letters looked like before they were glued together with the plain letters…
Then I cut out the phrase… an excerpt from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “Spirits of the Dead”, using letters from the Pondering Words Die set.
At the time that I made this, I didn’t have the Alphanumeric Thin set. I decided to make do with the Pondering Words set that I already had. It took several runs with my Vagabond, but the words contained all of the letters that I needed! Whew!
I checked to make sure all of the poem would fit on to the back of the tombstone with a memorial photo on top.
I made a copy of my vintage photo and made sure it would fit inside the Idea-ology Baroque Frame to put on the top/back of the tombstone.
And began laying out my ideas for the front…
I picked out some patterned papers from the Tim Holtz French Industrial Paper Stash…and began trimming them to fit the pieces of the tombstone. Then they were attached with Distress Collage Medium. I brayered them after the collage medium was on to eliminate any bubbles under my paper. I then let them dry, then trimmed them with an exact-o knife. Then I used my Sanding Grip and smoothed all the edges.
I created an “In Memoriam” banner to display across the top of the tombstone with an older Tim Holtz Tattered Banner Strip Die. This was cut out of Watercolor paper as well. The banner was too long, so I trimmed it down to fit the letters.
I attached the letters with collage medium and then, with my finger, added a thin layer of collage medium on top so that I could use Distress Crayons to age it. Then I folded up the ends to add dimension to the banner.
I blended Hickory Smoke Distress and Oxide Ink onto the banner and then added bits of Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot and Antique Bronze Distress Crayons.
Then with my finger, I added some thin spots of Opaque Crackle Texture Paste.
I blended ink on a few of the Scallop 3D Border Mini’s and a 3D Medallion, in the same way as the banner, and added some crackle texture paste. After they were dry and crackled, I added grunge with distress crayons.
Using the Ornate Layering Stencil (THS076) and the Opaque Crackle Texture Paste, I began adding crackle texture in a few spots on the top frame of the tombstone, and let it set to dry and crackle.
Here is a look at the tombstone at this point…
I then glued together the 3 layers of letters, 2 regular and the top layer that had been trimmed, added the words “forever” and “my beloved”…then glued them on to the tombstone and added a thin coat of collage medium over top of the letters with my finger. This was done again so that the Distress Crayons would go on smoothly. With a palette knife and the layering stencil I added more of the crackle paste to the front and let it set and dry. After it was all dry, I used my finger and blended a tiny bit of Dina Wakley White Gesso, that is the whiteish foggy look you see in the photo below. This helped to add tooth for the ink that I planned on blending over top.
I added more crackle texture on to the top and bottom bases of the tombstone..and let it dry and crackle, then added Distress Crayon.
I added some Ornate Trims (CMS326) around the edges. Then embossed them with Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder.
Ornate Trims are very handy for this type of a project. They can be bent and masked around edges and curves.
And this itty bitty one was perfect on the Scallop Border!
Next up was the poem…I decided to add this to a piece of chipboard that was covered with paper from the French Industrial Paper Stash.
Here it is all embellished…
and added to the back of the tombstone..
The Raven was cut out of Watercolor paper, blended with Black Soot Distress Ink, sprayed with a bit of water, blended with ink again and embossed with some clear embossing powder. Then I cut 4-5 more of the ravens out of black cardstock and glued them together with collage medium. I left the wing and tail feathers unglued so that they could be feathered out.
The flowers were cut with scraps of paper left from other projects and tags. I always keep scraps because they are wonderful to use with little dies and punches. These flowers and leaves were cut from the Funky Florals #3, Funky Foliage and the twig from the Feathers and Ravens die sets. They are so AWESOME, itty bitty leaves and all!
Here are the 2 different arrangements…one for the front
and one for the back…
Then I began bringing it all together…
I love using bulldog clips to hold projects together after they’ve been glued…
Just leave them on until the parts are good and dry!
I had forgotten to take process photos of this part, but I added some Picket Fence Distress Paint, Mushroom Alcohol Ink, and crackle texture to the Idea-ology Baroque Frame and then blended Distress Crayons into the crackle after it was dry. Then I finished the project by gluing all the parts together.
This is how I completed my project, but there is plenty of room for your own creative ideas.
Thank you for sticking with me throughout this REALLY LONG tutorial…I had a blast creating the tombstone and hope that you’ll give one a try too!
This week I am also celebrating the 1 year anniversary of my blog. I set out a little over a year and a half ago, looking for a way to express my artistic side and help others to find theirs. I was in a creative slump and knew that, in the past, teaching and helping others create always helped me.
I want to thank each of you, whether I’ve met you through this blog, Instagram, the Tim Holtz Addicts Facebook group or Facebook. By stopping by, asking questions, laughing, caring and sharing inspiration, you have helped to jump start my passion. I’ve made some WONDERFUL new friends along the way and have been inspired by so many others. THANK YOU!! I appreciate each of you and hope that I have helped you a tiny bit on your own creative journey.
GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES –
Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous- Ornate Trims (CMS326), Ornate Layering Stencil (THS076), Small Tombstone Overlay and Tag
Tim Holtz/Ranger- Sanding Grip, Clear Embossing Powder, Clear Embossing Ink, Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder, Mushroom Alcohol Ink, Distress Collage Medium, Dina Wakley White Gesso, Opaque Crackle Texture Paste, Palette Knife
Distress Ink- Black Soot, Hickory Smoke
Distress Oxide- Walnut Stain, Hickory Smoke
Distress Crayons – Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot, Antique Bronze
Distress Paint- Picket Fence, Black Soot
Distress Tools/Mediums- Distress Sprayer, Media Mat, Heat it Heat tool, Blending Tools, Watercolor Paper
Tim Holtz/Sizzix- Funky Florals 3, Funky Foliage, Feathers and Ravens, 3D Scallop Border Mini, 3D Medallion, Alphanumeric 1″ Tall, Pondering Words, Handwritten Love, Tattered Banners, Vagabond 2
Tim Holtz/Idea-ology- Baroque Frames, French Industrial Paper Stash,
Other- Palette Knife, Bulldog clips