October 15, 2016

A Visit To The Old Cemetery

Some folks are terrified of old cemeteries. Not me. I love the history you can find and the stories from the past. Especially in the South, places like Charleston, Savannah, and Edisto Island. When I know I will be close to one, it's time to do some research to plan which graves I will be visiting. 

Like this spot in Savannah. Basically a huge cemetery in the main part of town, but the people decided to build their city over it. So many lost graves and tombstones. It's odd seeing a wall containing the memory of so many, but not knowing where their remains actually are. They say many of those souls are mad and that is why this place is so haunted. It inspired me to do the wall above.

A shrine to the dead, their memory, and constant prayers for their peace.

Yes, I did, I added fire to those little melted candles for that one awesome shot. However, I got a few and just had to share them.

It's as if it is speaking through the flame.

And luckily for me, it still looks cool after the fire.

All the mausoleums in these cemeteries are so weathered and aged. Some falling apart, some mysterious and spooky. Imagine all of the different people that have visited these spots over the years and the way the world has changed since the dead were entombed. 

You can probably "see" my interest in older cemeteries now. I have visited this spot so many times during the past 30 years it feels like home. The mausoleum used to scare me, knowing someone was accidentally buried there alive. But my sister and I brought flowers and said prayers for her so now it feels better to me. Notice the missing door? Ever since they found the poor girl, the door won't stay on. It broke, was replaced and came back off again. They finally gave up and now it sits open. 

Maybe that is her spirit, there above the mausoleum, just saying hello now that she is at peace.

I love how this page came out, the look of an old piece of carved marble. I simply glued these Relic & Artifacts faces to my "stone" paper, then painted the faces to match and blended it all together. 

More old tombstones, separated from their owners, forever unknown without their marker.

It can't be a true "Southern Cemetery" without the Spanish Moss. It speaks with the wind and makes itself known.

What's the lesson for today? Don't fear the history of the past. You can learn some fascinating traditions and stories, some which touch the heart and some that boggle the mind.


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October 8, 2016

Do Not Disturb The Dead: They Will Haunt Your Dreams Forever


There's a spot in the woods behind Marie's kitchen. It's a mausoleum surrounded by an old gate. 

It's been there for a really long time and it creeps me out so bad. Sometimes at night, when the mysterious lights are flickering inside, it looks like there's someone in there. But it's sealed up really tight and no one can get in or out.

It has an eerie copper roof and if you stare at it long enough, you can see the faces that have formed while the weathering verdigris has set in and still continues. 

The backside has even been sealed up with additional bricks. 

The windows are all solid and covered with iron. 

I guess it belonged to a family because there are several tomb stones within the fenced area. None of the stones are legible though.

This grave has always looked built up, like a fresh grave, but it isn't. It should have sunk in a long time ago. 

There are two smaller stones on the back fence. Sometimes I go by them and say little prayers that the spirits are at rest. 

Sometimes kids sneak in as a dare. 

There's a spot on one of the stained glass windows where you can peak inside and see a rocking chair. Sometimes it starts to rock and they say it's the lady whose casket is inside. I used to go in there when I was in high school with my friends. We would get so creeped out and scream with fear.

I wish I hadn't of done that. Sometimes dares are really stupid and scar you for life.

I've seen it in my dreams my entire life. I think it's the lady visiting me because I disturbed her. In my dream I am terrified and can see down inside the graves surrounding her mausoleum.

Not to scare you, but that part of the story is true. There was a cemetery in the little town I used to live in and we would race our cars through it and visit this little mausoleum. I have dreams about it all of the time. When I finally visited that little town one day, I took a trip to the cemetery to apologize to her and all of those buried there. My heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, I was so nervous. Then I said some prayers for their peace. So kids, don't disturb the dead because they WILL haunt your dreams!

So, how bout that copper roof! A few months ago I shared an amazing miniature french kitchen I had made with the help of the Queen of Alpha Stamps. You can see it here  .... Une place dans mes reves (A place in my dreams)

Readers were asked what part of the kitchen would they like to know more about and most replied that they wanted to know more about how I made my copper pots.

Actually, it was super easy and I used the same process on my mausoleum roof. 

Apply a base coat of Antique Bronze Distress Paint onto both sides of your roof and allow it to dry thoroughly. 

  Next, you will make the ornate part of your roof by embossing sheets of Metal Foil Tape

I love using my Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine for embossing, cutting, and so much more. 

Again, I used the Antique Bronze Distress Paint as a base coat, and these Metal Patinas work amazingly well with just a couple of drops.

There is no right or wrong way to apply, just do what you feel comfortable with and remember there are no mistakes. You can wipe the paint off if you want, but you can also apply more to get it even and more appealing to the eye.

I use my plastic container lids for my messy jobs. I don't have to worry about clean up because once my mess is dry, it just peels right off.

After my metallic sheets were dried, I carefully applied them to my roof, allowing a little to hang off to curve around the edge. Since my roof is "old" I can get a bit messy with it and not worry.

I placed the second sheet on next to the edge of the first sheet. Then trimmed off the access that was still attached to the backing. 

Since I had one seam, I had to make another. Simple!  Using the remaining section I simply folded the sheet in half and applied it to the top of the roof so it would be even on both sides of my roof.

I use brown ink on everything and it also works well on shiny surfaces to make them more dull.  

Next  comes the fun part, creating my weathering verdigris roof.

I stole my daughter's makeup sponge (got busted but promised to buy some new ones) and dabbed different colors on along my roof.

I tried to consider which areas would be more apt to weather.

Distress paints are great because of the sponge applicator. Makes applying paint to edges a breeze.

Just remember to enjoy the process and play. After getting some inspiration from actual copper images (like the pic of a cremation urn that was exposed to water) I got out the embossing gun to make my copper bubble to add more depth and make it more realistic. 

Photo Courtesy of David Maisel's "Library of Dust"

One side down, one side to go, and a lot of adding here and there and in between.

Below are some of the Black Plastic Cookware pieces that I used in my kitchen. I used the same paints and patinas to create my copper pots.

On the left is a pan made using Patina and on the right is one using Distress Paint. The center tray shows how both look. Depending on the item you are covering, you can add one or more coats to get the desired look. This also works well when you need to make several different items uniform. 

For a list of supplies used, visit this link to Alpha Stamps. Hopefully you are inspired to create a story for yourself. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back to you.  And most importantly remember, DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, DISTURB THE DEAD!

This post is dedicated to the lady in the cemetery that I disturbed all those years ago. Rest in Peace and God Bless.