Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A couple of days later, I started the dry-brushing part of Beloved's paint job. This is that part where you take lightly grayed paint , load your brush, wipe most of the paint off on a paper towel, and go to town. This really gives a prop dimension.
Dry-brush step: complete!One thing I am concerned about is the fact that I couldn't fit any paper towels into the holes in her hair, because I laid her hair out very closely. I can only hope that no rain gets in there and starts to melt her. That would be a major pisser.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Mr. ShellHawk: Yeah, Sweetheart.
ShellHawk: Do you think we could make a Tesla Coil for next year?
Mr. ShellHawk: We'd have to figure out how to create a vacuum...
ShellHawk: We've got one of those food-sucker things. That's the same thing, right?
Mr. ShellHawk: (grunts)
The temperature at night only drops into the 60s at around 3:00 A.M., and it's been in the 100s off and on for weeks. Tonight should be perfect. Hubby and I have been so busy, it's just been a kiss goodnight and we're asleep, so it'll be nice to have a date night and have some face time.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
It was up to me to start cutting pipe, and up to him to start measuring the cross beams for where to drill the holes for the PVC. I realized that drilling and cutting couldn't happen at the same time, and my buddy had to head for home at 2:00p.m. I called a neighbor to beg for drilling help. He came by and said the magic words: "I have a drill press. Let me take these over to the house to get them done." After he was done, he also loaned me his brad nail gun, which cut my labor in half. I would have had to drill pilot holes, than screw in a bunch of screws to hold the pipes to the furring strips. What a pain in the royal behind that would have been! What a guy! I really need to bake him some brownies...
My husband actually came out at one point, found out I had the neighbor drilling, and asked, "How the Hell do you get people to do this stuff for you?" Just charming, I guess...
Another friend, pictured below, stopped by to help. He's great with the spray paint.
Here's a somewhat finished fence panel, next to one that needs some finishing. It does need a patina treatment, but we'll have to see how the time goes. It may have to stay plain black this year. I picked up the finials at King Architectural Metals for pretty cheap, so if you need some, that's the place to go. I took the brad nail gun to the finials, as well, so I didn't have to screw them on. Since the nails poked out the other side, I cut the poky ends with wire cutters, so at least any vandals won't cut themselves and sue me.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It's one of those places that has Christmas decorations for sale year round. (BTW, my local Home Depot has already removed Halloween and put up Christmas. Ick.)
Imagine my surprise when I saw this little beauty. Sorry for the photo quality. It was taken by my friend's cell phone. Love the bats on her cape. If she hadn't been over $100, I would have bought her in a heartbeat.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thanks! And good luck in your bidding!
Oops. I got distracted for a second there...
What I was going to say was how lucky I am that I do not have a Halloween hater in my home. Actually, Mr. ShellHawk is pretty supportive and accepting of my very definite obsession/quirks.Case in point: I was inspired by the grapevines I brought home from a wine-tasting trip we went on earlier this year. I knew I could make something out of them, but I'd have to soften them up a bit first. So I stuck some in the guest bathroom's bathtub and covered them with water.
A day or two later, Mr. ShellHawk wanders in to use the bathroom. When he comes out, he says, "There are grape vines in the tub."
"Yup," I answer.
"Do I want to know?"
"O.K. Just wondering."
That's it. No hollering or anything. The guy is just a good sport, and very tolerant.
If you have a family member who is not into Halloween, and they're good sports, too, take a minute to thank them. They'll appreciate it.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I get to build cemetery fence today with a buddy, who will also help me with my Casa Fear groundbreaker. Nice to know I've got friends who will give me a hand:
Friday, September 18, 2009
It's really obvious that there was still a strong influence from the horse-drawn hearse days. It almost reminds me of the one they used in Disney's The Haunted Mansion.
I love the detail on the back end of this. It feels so elegant, yet so Flash Gordon at the same time.If only I had the $55k lying around! I'm sure I could convince Mr. ShellHawk that we needed this to park out front on Halloween! That's an easy sell, right?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Honestly, if you want a really great showstopper tombstone, Terra's is fantastic!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
"Oh," he says, not knowing what I'm talking about. I shrug and head out.
As I open the mailbox, there it is, right on top, Ghoul Friday's neat handwriting announcing the arrival of my latest and most joyful indulgence: Brains vs. Coffee. Back in the house, I jumped up and down and crowed with happiness. I got a raised eyebrow from Mr. ShellHawk until I handed him the book. He read a couple of entries and laughed.
You can't possibly live without this book. You. Just. Can't.
In Ghoul Friday's own words:
"Many of us find ourselves in a zombified state, secretly craving brains. Being upstanding citizens, we recognize the need for a substitute: coffee.
Everyday we must choose between our secret desire for brains and the more socially acceptable cup of coffee.
Brains vs. Coffee: The Daily Debate of the Urban Undead chronicles my struggle as I weigh the pros and cons to consuming, storing, preparing, enjoying and disposing of each product."
I was taking a break from toiling in my Garage of Doom, reading my new book, when neighbor V walked across the street for a visit, coffee in hand. I silently handed her the book. She laughed out loud at the title, then read a few excerpts out loud. We laughed our asses off. A friend arrived to help out with prop building. She read a few and wanted to know where to purchase the book. I told her, and I'm sure she'll order it.The book, itself, I realized, is like a zombie, nipping and biting, infecting people one by one with its wit. People who, in turn, infect others with the need for brai-I mean, the need to have this book on their bookshelf. I hope you appreciate this bite, because after all, I don't bite just anybody!
Brains vs. Coffee will make a fantastic "Great Pumpkin" gift. If that's not a good opportunity for gift-giving, grab a few copies to give out for that other holiday. You won't regret it.
Thanks, Ghoul Friday! Now, where's the brai- um, coffee?
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I know it's shocking, and that you're horribly disappointed, but there it is.
Witness my house, in disarray in every corner, because of the multitudes of projects I have going on for the Halloween season.
Let's see... Glaze for the last of this season's jack-o-lantern pots. Beads, chain, wire and jump rings to finish some of the hanging pots from the last firing. Wig head being modified with leds for the eyes for the stirring witch project. Vintage postcard reproductions for my save-the-date postcards going out this week. Last night's glass of wine and remote controls from watching The Haunted Mansion while glazing pots. This morning's cup of coffee.
Garage of Doom has exploded. Stewie in the way (as usual), a number of pvc candles in the process of being made into candles, small fog machine for the witch's cauldron awaiting the new fog machine timer I ordered. Large mache pumpkin waiting to be put together, small mache pumpkins waiting for faces and the old shop towel and carpet glue treatment, PVC dummy, who may not see the light of day this year if I don't get some help in the Garage, pneumatic groundbreaker that needs finishing, plus all the accoutrements that go with making a gazillion projects with different materials lists.
In short, Halloween in the making.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
It already comes in black, so all I had to do was form it into beak shapes and sort of mold it around the faces of the crows so the beak would stick properly.While not the most perfect sculpting job ever, I did manage to turn out some serviceable beaks. A dab of hot glue, and ta-da! Beaks! While I was at it, I touched up the faded feathers of the crows with black fabric paint. Much better!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
For this one, I used a quote from Father Malone's grandfather's journal from the 1980 version of The Fog, which is my favorite version of the movie. (Thank you, Frog Queen, for the help!) Since this epitaph is detailed, I used the treasured pink foam for it. I do wish I had bought more to play with! Anyway, I cut the smaller parts of the font out with a fresh Xacto blade after I had used the transfer paper to tranfer my epitaph onto the foam.
Then I took my Dremel and a smaller attachment to clean out the larger parts.That seemed to make relatively short work of the job. I did go in with my Xacto blade to touch up the sharper lines, though. After that, I marked out the curve of the tombstone using a string and a marker for a compass. This really should be done first, but it's been a bass-ackwards kind of weekend, so it got done after the carving. I used the scoring technique Steve-O recommended for straight cuts. Though it doesn't work as well on curved cuts, it works well enough. I took my power sander to it afterwards to even it up.I also used the power sander to give the tombstone some dings and weathering. If you decide to do this, make sure to have a good grip on your sander! After I was done with the sander, I hit the tombstone with some cheap black spray paint to age it a little more. Of course, since I made my monster mud for the Beloved tombstone, I'm out of gray paint and will have to pick up a gallon. At least I have a $5 coupon!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Have I mentioned that sometimes I hate being a responsible adult?
Now, live, and in English:
Happy Labor Day, All!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Even though I had already made my ugly cuts for Beloved, I had a bunch of boards (both pink and white beadfoam) left to cut for tombstones, so I tried it late on Sunday. To thoroughly test the ease of use of this technique, I had a gin martini first. Now as fun as power tools and alcohol, but I figured a sharp blade would run a close second.
It worked like a champ on both types of board. While it may take longer, it is by far the best result for straight cuts.
Freakin' smart-ass. Oh, and thanks, Steve-O.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It's interesting, as a childless adult, to listen to teenagers talk about each other, once they've forgotten you're around. The one behind me in this picture looks like a younger version of Drew Barrymore, and is fun to have around. Even though I urged her to go home because of the heat, she protested, "I'm not going to abandon you!" She's so sweet!Neighbor V's daughter (on the right) was mugging for the camera, and had this interesting expression immortalized on this blog for her shenanigans. That'll learn her to make faces around me!
She's another one who is super-helpful, though, and is more detail oriented than one might expect. I was really glad to have them all there, that's for sure!
There's a tentative work party planned for Friday night, with a few of the teachers from the high school I'm donating to coming to lend a hand. I can't wait! All the parts I have ordered should be in by then, and maybe Mr. ShellHawk can wire up my witch's eyes with lights so we can move on to sculpting her head. I also ordered the finials for my cemetery fence from King Architectural metals, and they should be here any day. Their plastic finials seem to be very reasonably priced, and I like the styles they have available.
I just have that sinking feeling that I'm forgetting something!