Monday 10 October 2016

Celebrating Día de los Muertos

Hello friends ~ it's time for a brand new challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog and this week our theme is Explore The World! I decided to interpret this theme by exploring the world of Mexico and celebrating Día de los Muertos ~ Day of the Dead and created a framed panel, combining many Tim Holtz products!

Of course, when I thought of Day of the Dead, there was only one stamp set that I could turn to and that was the fabulous new set from Tim and Stampers Anonymous! I've been looking for the perfect Day of the Dead stamp for a long, LONG time, so when I first saw this set ~ I was in heaven, they are just perfect and I hope you love my interpretation of this theme!

....and here's how I created this project!

To begin with I started by creating my frame and for this, I used Tim's Framed Panel. This panel comes in two separate pieces, the backing and the frame section, so I started by giving both pieces a coat of gesso. Once the gesso is dry, I then started to add some colour, a blend of Walnut Stain and Antiqued Bronze Distress Paints to the frame section and also around the edge of the backing piece ~ I also took the paint just over the edge onto the inside of the backing, just so that no raw edges show once it's put together! I dried the paint thoroughly and then using my fingertips, which I find is one of the best paintbrushes I own, I applied small amounts of Picket Fence Paint over the top, rubbing it into the recesses of the frame ~ if you apply to much paint, just wipe away with a kitchen towel or apply a bit more colour to areas that you feel aren't quite right. The white paint creates a beautiful worn effect to the wood but to give a little more texture, I added some Gold Mixative Alcohol Ink by just applying the ink to the applicator tool and then rubbing it along the surface of the frame!
I've now completed the frame and all I added was a piece of Harlequin designed paper from the Materialize Paper Stash, cut it to size and then attached it to the back section using Collage Medium. I then attached the frame over the top, aligning the two pieces and using Glossy Accents to secure it into place.
The next stage is to create the stamped image and I started by stamping the image onto the smooth side of watercolour card using Jet Black Archival Ink. I then coloured it using Distress Marker Pens, adding shading and blending the pens to create the perfect tones for my character. I also added some pearls for the eyes, just to give them a little more dimension.
To create a worn look to the background of the stamped image, I blended Old Paper Distress Ink over the surface and then used Hickory Smoke just around the edges of the card stock. Add some paint scratches of gesso and I also added some scratches of ink around the edge to create a subtle border.
I then added some Black Soot Distress Paint splatters, covering your artwork to ensure that no stray bits of paint hit that!

Heat dry to set everything before moving onto the next step of adding some gold shimmer around the edge.

For this, I applied light dabs of Collage glue and then with the shiny side uppermost, I added Vintage Foil Transfer sheets over the top of the glue.

I completed the background by adding some corners from the Gothic Remnant Rubs set and also the October 31 wording.
Distress the edges of the card before matting and layering onto a piece of bronze metallic kraft core, followed by a piece of red core'dinations card, each time leaving a border around the outside.

Mount the image onto the inside of your framed panel, using foam pads to secure this into position and to give some dimension.
Now for the flowers and for this I used a combination of the Tattered Floral die and the Tiny Tattered Floral die to create a selection of flowers, both of them dyed with Candied Apple Distress Spray Stain and then inked around the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. Once I created my dimensional both my tiny florals and my larger blooms, you can see a tutorial for the larger flowers HERE, I then attached them to the bottom section of my frame, placing them over the top of some floristry fibres and slightly overlapping the edge of the stamped image to create the look of the character holding the flowers.
I then tucked some pieces of moss in between the flowers and also added some bones, (I have loved using these bones on my halloween pieces, they are just so much fun)!

For the finishing touch, I used an Incantation word band, altered with Copper Alcohol Ink. I then just rubbed a small amount of Peacock Feathers Distress Crayon around the edges to create the look of tarnish.
I attach some wire to either end of the word band and then stuck it onto my panel, using foam pads and added two Nailhead Findings as the final detail.
Now all that's left is for me to pop this into pride of place, amongst all my Halloween decoration and hope you've enjoyed the creative process behind this project. As always if you do need any further inspiration, then you need look no further than our blog to see all the wonderful creations from all the very talented Design Team members and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says StampYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Recipe for project:

Tim Holtz Dies: Tattered Florals, Tiny Tattered Florals
Tim Holtz Stamps: Day of the Dead 1
Distress Ink: Hickory SmokeOld Paper, Walnut Stain
Distress Paint: Black Soot, Walnut Stain, Antiqued Bronze
Distress Marker Pens
Peacock Feathers Distress Crayon
Distress Spray Stains: Candied Apple
Wire and floristry fibres from my own stash


  1. Fabulous panel Emma! I love the image and the colours and flowers are perfect! It would be great to make a whole set using all of the images on the stamp set! All you need is time eh, but they would look absolutely fantastic together ;-)

    Lols x x x

  2. This is such gorgeous creation, Emma. You always create the most beautiful flowers, and the image on this piece is fantastic! :)

  3. I'd say it's pretty but her lovely face is stopping me :-) To be honest, it really is. Great coloring, perfect black patterned background against the vibrant red flowers. Amazing as always! Hugs, Marzena

  4. I love this, Emma! I love how you colored the image and surrounded it with so many gorgeous details. Fantastic!

    Cathie ♥

  5. Love this Emma - the 3d flowers really made the stamp image come to life! Love the vibrant red color too!

  6. LOVE!! The dimension of the flowers is perfect and perfectly placed!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  7. Blimey! (Good old English phrase) - is there no end to your creative genius!!! Love this Emma - a fabulous layout as always and those flowers - wow!!! Thank you so much for the wonderfully warm welcome I have received at SSS for my visiting month - an honour to be amongst you all. Nikki xx

  8. This is such a hot trend right now and you really did it justice! I especially love the way you incorporated the dimensional flowers into your piece to really bring it to life. You are a master of layers and this was a real joy to see!

  9. Hi Emma! I love your masterpiece! Especially adding those colourful flowers for dimension. It's makes the piece pop out nicely against the subtle background. I love that Day of the Dead stamp "dude".....
    ((hugs)) Christina

  10. I ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ This. I may get my own Day of the Dead stamps out this weekend and have a play

  11. I feel like I am on a little trip to Mexico right now, Emma! This is gorgeous!! Love the colors you are working with here, and how you framed the skeleton! The cluster of flowers below is a beautiful touch! hugs, Maura

  12. another amazing project the beautiful cluster of flowers you added...have a great weekend...hugs kath xxx

  13. Well, of course I LOVE this! I used this stamp for an SOSS challenge this week... love it! My fave Dio de los Muertos set came from Invoke Arts about 10 years ago... it was the Catrina Paper doll... but I love it all. I don't have Tim's Dio set #2 (with the bride and groom)... yet :) Great project. I love the Oct. 31 at top.

  14. Emma your talent to use these stamps is absolutely outstanding! this project is breathtaking! Love every little detail, especially how you painted the stamp and the flowers! They are fantastic... as always! Barbara

  15. Oh wow, Emma! This is stunning! That dia de los muertos stamp is amazing! And with the flowers it really comes to life! Love it! Hugs, Sandra

  16. Stunning, absolutely stunning Emma..Love it. xx

  17. Phased by no challenge given and producing a piece as fabulous as this Emma just shows how incredibly talented you are . Your creativity clearly knows no limit. A Masterpiece.
    Thank you for endlessly inspiring and bringing huge smiles to my days
    big hugs xxx

  18. Just looking at this Emma, totally stunning and fabulous, I'm in awe!!!!
    Thank you for the inspiration and your amazing makes, this is such a feast for the eyes. It makes me happy. Your step-by-steps and recipes are great too, thank you so much.
    Happy crafting maybe in Halloween mode at this period of the year again! :)
    Corinne x

  19. Sorry, I took another name address to write my previous message! :)


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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