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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

HALLOWEEN 2012: Tombstones Part II

Continuing on with more tombstones!  The following stones are the last batch I'm making for this year.

NOTE: if you haven't perused Part I, then some of the references may be unknown to you.  You've been warned :)

"Obelisk"
4" deep x 47" tall x 9" wide

This was a joy as well as a pain to make - it was the only one I was scared of completely screwing up.  The obelisk base is two pieces of 2" thick styrofoam hot glued together.  I sanded the sides of the obelisk & added a hot glue seam to make the division line less noticeable.  Instead of a wood base, this one has various polished stones glued at the bottom for weight (the bottom-most part is bare styrofoam).  That.Was.TIME CONSUMING.  I also opted to not use moss & went with a vine wire instead.  'Cos, you know, time consuming.  Finishing it off is a spifftacular spider from the dollar store (I think - I don't recognize it, so it may be from a package of spiderwebs).  Paint colors used were black, grey, white & Martha Stewart "Rose Chrome"- all sponge technique.  It's my second favorite of the bunch :)

"Emma Ghost"
 9 1/2" deep x 37" tall x 15" wide

My absolute favorite & it's another one that lights up!  By adding both a mini white strobe light & a mini blue strobe light (set to different flashing speeds, of course), the stone lights up with an almost ethereal glow.  I managed to get away with using three 2" panels (instead of four 1 1/2" like "Ded Gawth") & the strobes *just* fit inside.  The inside of the stone is painted neon purple while the outside is sponge-painted with black, silver & white.  The 2 balls are styrofoam (store bought - NOT carved by me!!  That would be nuts!!) & the skull in the center is from the same dollar store belt as the skull on "C.U. Later".  You BETCHA I got me some bang for THAT buck!  Well, buck and a quarter, anyway.  Plus tax :)

NOTE: the little ghost in the center appears to have a belly button.  That would be the product of me pressing too hard on the compass point to outline the circle :/

"Adam Shame - in progress"
6" deep x 30" tall x 25" wide

The above stone shows more of the development to make the stones, in particular the steps of Measure, Draw, Carve & Paint Details followed by Paint Base Coat & Paint Final Coat.  This pic also shows what the 2" styrofoam looks like unpainted.

"Adam Shame"
6" deep x 30" tall x 25" wide

And here he is in finished form.  After painting in the final detail lines, such as the cracks (mostly carved with the styrofoam cutter/partly painted), I covered it with a base coat of grey followed by a sponge-paint with black, white & gold.  I think.  I'll have to double check this... The outer edge & base were left as the base color with some watered-down grey/black paint gingerly sponged over.

Finishing off "Adam Shame" is a dollar store door knocker, repainted, with the knocker part removed.  I etched an outline of the head with the styrofoam cutter, though this probably was not necessary - a cleaner edge would have been provided with the hot glue alone.  Lesson learned, though!  To give it a bit more character, I added some moss.

"Noah Lyfe"
5 1/2" deep x 28.5" tall x 22" wide

Ugh.

I don't like this one & it's pretty evident as to why.  Remember those steps I mentioned before of "Measure, Draw, Carve, Paint"?  Well, I skipped through the Measure & most of the Drawing steps..and it REALLY shows.  It even started out as rounded on top & mid-way through I opted for a straighter edge.  Or so I thought...  Also, never race the sun to get a project done - if the sun goes down, finish up whatever is left TOMORROW!  Why I didn't follow this advice can only be chalked up to stubborness & impatience.

This thing is so off, it even has a line etched into it that I had to (badly) fill in with hot glue & paint over it.  ALWAYS MEASURE & DRAW!!

Anyway: This is the 2" styrofoam again, sponge-painted with white, black & silver on the inside (the cherubs are ornamental hangers with the hanger part removed).  The outside is the basic grey base coat with nothing added.  What can I say: I wanted the project DONE and paid the price with a lack-lustre piece.  Even the funky little lenticular sticker couldn't save this one.  Again, a valuable lesson was learned that while it is hard to screw up a Halloween styrofoam tombstone, it can still be f*cked right up with minimal effort :)

UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention that there are wood pieces attatched to/embedded into the backs of most of the tombstones using either hot glue or silicone (I used the styrofoam cutter & my fingers to rip out enough material to place pieces of wood level with the back side).  This is for both stability & weight.  And one final tip: sanding the edges of the styrofoam makes for a more "weathered" look than crisp, sharp corners.  Totally worth the extra elbow grease.

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And those are my tombstones for 2012!  I had a lot of fun making them - well, until towards the end where I was a tad impatient with the project.  But I have not been dismayed!  Next year, I shall have fun experimenting with a dremmel & will hopefully create more elaborate pieces - and they WILL be weather proof :)

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