Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tombstone Stand Ups for Halloween And a Look at a Famous Cemetery

Happy Howl-o-ween, and welcome to my version of Hollywood Cemetery.  When I saw this set of tombstones from Gina's Designs Lasercuts, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.  I want to share a bit of history behind Hollywood Cemetery with you first.

Hollywood Cemetery is a large, sprawling cemetery located next to Richmond, Virginia's Oregon Hill neighborhood at 412 South Cherry Street. Characterized by rolling hills and winding paths overlooking the James River, it is the resting place of two United States PresidentsJames Monroe and John Tyler, as well as the only Confederate States PresidentJefferson Davis. It is also the resting place of 28 Confederate generals, more than any other cemetery in the country; these include George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart.[3]

My inspiration for this goulish project is simple.  As a kid, on Sundays after church, my father used to take us to this famous, historic cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, to visit relatives buried there, as well as show us historical burial sites for very famous people.  You see, my father grew up in a house across the street from this pre-Civil War cemetery, and as a boy, he used to play all over this garden-like setting.  He knew every inch of it, and knew exactly where interesting people were interred, as well as the history behind it.  It may sound eerie to some, but it is a beautiful and very serene place to visit.  Modern cemeteries do not have beautiful tombstones or mausoleums to honor loved ones, so some of the architecture here was quite stunning.  For this reason, many movies and TV shows would be filmed in the cemetery throughout the years, including a scene from the move, The Jackal, starring Richard Gere and Sidney Poitier in 1997. 

Monroe's grave at Hollywood Cemetery.  

John Tyler's grave is visible in the background. 

George Pickett's grave

The Sauer family Mausoleum
in Hollywood Cemetery

I took liberties decorating my tombstones, as I put the architectural elements where the names and dates would be, but art is art, and this is just my interpretation of the beauty I remember.  

I first cut pieces from the Wrought Iron Set and the Border Sticks Floral and Border Sticks Lace,  glueing them onto the tombstones to make them more ornate.  I even used some of the punch out parts from the Wrought Iron Set and put them together to make different designs.  Nothing went to waste here. 

Then I base coated each piece, front and back, with black gesso, using a dabbing motion to get some texture.  When that dried, I painted each piece with a wash of dark grey acrylic paint and water.  I used a heat tool to dry it and bubble the paint a bit for more texture.  Remember, some of these tombstones are over 150+ years old. 

I painted the smallest skeleton from the Skeleton Shape Set with grey paint, then dry brushed the white over it for an aged look. I shaped the skeleton gently with my fingers and glued his feet to the bottom of the double tombstone.

For a mossy look, I added the green Flower Soft, which was a bright green.  I wanted it to look old, so I added moss green paint to it when it dried.  See the difference on the angel tombstone where I added the paint.

I wrapped the bead garlands around the tombstones to look like vines growing up around them, some of which I colored with the orange distress paint. 

I removed the prongs from metal cross brads and glued them to each tombstone.

Here are some closeups of the different Tombstone Stand Ups in the set.

Gina's Designs Lasercuts Supplies used:

Other supplies used:

green flower soft 

acrylic paints

white glue

embellishments (my stash)

If you would like to read more about this famous and historic cemetery, you can visit the Hollywood Cemetery website.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for sticking around for my history lesson.  I encourage you to visit Gina's Designs Lasercuts shop for all of your chipboard needs.  She has the most intricate and high quality shapes around. 

Have a very safe and Happy Halloween and stay crafty, my friends.


1 comment:

  1. These are just wonderful, Barbara! You should add to it every year and make a full size cemetery scene decoration for Halloween! It would be such fun to look forward to every year!