Thursday, August 26, 2010

#6 Black Light Gallery

They sell light reflective paints, but some can be pretty expensive.

I do like to use the neon colors it comes in, 
but I make my own white. 

It's not as bright and it does fade over time, but its easy and cheap!

You can actually see more of the detail lines in person... but I had to turn off my flash 
so they are lost in the pictures.

I use a mixture of Acrylic Gesso and Liguid Laundry detergent.

Gesso can be found in the paint section of the craft store. I buy the big tub but it also comes in small affordable tubes as well.

Tide is well known to be black light reactive by itself, also I like this stuff called Vivid. 
 It works really good and it's about half the price.
If you have liquid laundry soap on hand, check it out. Some brands glow, some don't.

I do a mix of approximately  2 parts soap to 1 part gesso, and mix it really good. 

First I start with a pieces of black poster board.
I trace my drawing with a white pencil.

I apply a coat of just the Gesso....sometimes I do 2 coats depends.

Then I apply the Soap/ Gesso mixture..

about two coats should do it.

This image is simple but for more complicated pictures I use my projector, trace the image then paint the Geeso, and trace over it again.

Here I only painted half so you see the contrast of plain gesso and the soap mixture.

See it glows great! And mixing it with the Gesso makes it thicker and easier to paint with than just going with straight tide over your painting.

 I like to do the final coat in the black light to catch any missed spots. 

It does fad ever time so my black light paintings I just go over again close to the big night with just soap, while under black light and it brightens right back up. And the guides lines are already there so it's easy.

Here is another one I am working on. 
He doesn't show up on camera as good in the black light for some looks purple here, but in real life his skin is the same color as my skeleton.... my camera is crap.

Here is a shot in the light

Someday I will be able to buy the real good paints, but until then this poor man's version will work.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy week

I am looking at a busy weekend and upcoming week so I am not sure how many projects I will actually complete and post.

I make cakes, so lots of baking and prep work is in my future.

One of them is for my son, he is turning 4 years old. Only he keeps changing his mind about the cake he wants  first he wanted a Green Eggs & Ham then a Monster Truck today he told me a Yellow Submarine.

 So I figure It will be like a Food Network Challenge and I will have only 4 hours to complete his cake before the party.

Any way I was able to get some things for several future Halloween projects while I was out....

Ok so Haunters are looking at that and thinking 'Cool'... but a normal person is wondering what the hell does tide have to do with Halloween?

Oh on another note, aside from the fact that the craft stores are busting out Halloween stuff, they are opening Spirit right next to Walmart, Old Navy and Joannes near by. So this means I am not allowed to leave the house anymore.

Oh and Dollar Tree has some stuff out. In fact little crows are currently taking over parts of the house.

So any way I have to go back out and do some more shopping here in a  minute only this time its just boring groceries.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#5 Sparkly Spiders

As creepy as they can be.... spiders are really beautiful if you think about it.

Ok, so I'm sure some of you aren't buy'n it.

 Well here is a spider, who's beauty no one can deny!

He's so cute

This is a fun easy project.
Perfect for a mellow rainy day, drink a cup of coffee, crafty craft kind of afternoon.

So here is what I used.

  • 24 gauge wire
  • round nose pliers
  • flat nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bugle beads
  • seed beads 
  • 1 oval  bead, about 1" long 
didn't have the flat nose in this pic, sorry

Measure and cut four 10" pieces of wire.
Trim them so they are all even as can be.

Bend them slightly at the center.
Don't crimp it, just give yourself the idea of where center is.

Slide your oval bead over one end of the wires.
Stop bead at just above center

Make sure his little spidy butt goes first. If he has one.

See how the bum rests just above center.

Bend the long end of the wire across the body.
Twist with pliers until they are nice and snug.

Separate his legs and make sure they are all securely twisted.
If you need twist and adjust a few.

start with two seed beads push them all the way down.
These help give the illusion of his upper body. as well a the beginning of the legs.

Next its 2 bugle beads.

Depending on the size beads you buy. 
You may want more or less, what ever looks good.
The ones I used were a little over 1 1/4 cm.

Keep alternating this pattern, ending with 1 seed
You will have 7 seeds and 6 bugles total per leg.

here is the whole pattern per leg is 

2 seeds
2 bugle
2 seeds 
2 bugles
2 seeds
2 bugles
1 seed 

After you have your last bead on
Take you round nose pliers and loop the end.
Use your flat head pliers to tighten.

Thats it there are so many variations on this. 
So many styles of beads you can use, so many colors. 

Get InSpidered!

Get it? 
Yeah, I have to do this from time to time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#4 Hogwarts Inspired Lighting

We love us some Harry Potter here in NerdVille.

One of my favorites, is the floating candles in the Great Hall.

So Awsome!!!

I want that!

 Last year I did the well known (to haunters) hot glue, PVC method.
And they looked amazing.
Still they are just heavy enough that I needed eye hooks, to hang them.

the bottom half wasn't painted yet in this pic

This year I wanted a lighter weight version.
One that could be hung simply with thumb tacks.

So of course first thing I think is Paper towel rolls, Right!

It's basically the same as the TP roll and PVC methods.

a few adjustments

The Paper towel rolls are taller so they want to fall over a bit
so I stuck a couple very little rocks in the bottom before I taped it up.

Also I noticed the ridges are much more visible on them.
So I used a little spackle and filled in all the cracks. 

I also did this on the bottom over the tape to smooth it out...
because when they are floating... the bottom will be the most seen part.
So it needs to look kind of smooth.

See the Archives for my 1st Tutorial again (#1 TP rolls of the undead) for more details.

After its primed painted and dried (I used an off white color)

Its time to add the string.
I used a sturdy black thread. If you use fishing line the sheen on it shows up in the candle light thus messing up the illusion. You can use any string you like or paint fishing line.
It just needs to be matte whatever you use.
I found I like black thread best. 

Measure your ceiling and the string 

PPT Roll is 11" long
My ceilings are 9' high or 108"
The lowest I want the bottoms to be is  80"

so that means the longest my length can be is  17"

But we are folding the string in half so I am doubling that so I am cutting  34" piece.
That sounds confusing... just look at the picture.

I want them to stagger in height, 
but as long as I know the longest I can go
so it's all good.

I tie both ends into knots just so I have something for the glue to hold on to better.

Hot glue one end of the string to one side.
Let it pile up a little so it's in there good and secure in a nice big fat drip.

 Hold it up right while it dries so it hangs right.

Then when that side is dry Glue the other end to the exact opposite the side same way.

Have a nice little loop now.

Touch up prime and paint the new glue when it dries.
I got a little on the string so I need to use a little black paint there...
 no big whoop, I'll do it later.

Now it's time to make these babies float!

Twist the top of the loop around your tack, make sure it hangs straight before you push it in.

see the little tac in the ceiling

And there you go.

Here is another little picture from last year.

Hard to see I know.

I'll get some better pictures this year and come back and post them promise.
 It really is cool and one of my favorite effects.

#3 Countdown to the Halloween

I saw a count down Halloween calendar similar to this in Pottery Barn Kids a few years back. 
I really wanted it, but it was some ridiculous price. 

I had already made a homemade Christmas advent calendar like the one my mom had made us as kids, We loved waking up each morning to that special treat, and counting the days left till the big day. 
It is very similar to this, so here is my Halloween version.

This one I don't have the tutorial on but its pretty explanatory.

I had thought of making a shape like a pumpkin or a witches hat but I liked the simple look of the orange pockets on black in PBKs, so I replicated that layout. But you could do any shape you what is just felt so its no sew.

I started with a big piece of black felt, this is about 3 x 5.

I folded the top and hot glued it, to make a pocket sleeve just big enough for the curtain rod to go through. You could sew this if you like.

Then I made pockets out of orange felt. I made more than 31 because i like the way it looked all squared off .. so they get a little something extra a couple days before and after October.

When you are measuring them, make sure to get them big enough to fit the stuff. 
I have three boys, so I need mine big enough for 3 of everything.

I glued these on too of course leaving and opening at the top.
 It's a pocket...get it!  Duh!

Again you can sew them on if you want.

All the little pictures on the front are felt pieces,
 I drew them on felt, cut them out and glued em on. Added some more details with fabric paints. 

I did the dates on some... I still mean to do them all. Its not finished as you can see. I do a little more every year. 

#2 Please Mr. Gravedigger...

So Now we come to a bigger project.
Creating an entire person out of Paper Mache!!!
 This is our cemetery caretaker.

I wanted to make a life sized figure. I had all of these styro-foam skulls sitting around. I had done some dodgy looking last minute witches out of mache the year before. This time I wanted to spend more time and make a detailed prop.

I was looking at a picture of Lon Chaney on my desk....don't we all have
framed pictures of Lon Chaney sitting around?
I wanted him to be a part of my haunt.
As I searched the web for good pictures I was reminded of Disney's Haunted Mansion.

So now I had the Hat box ghost in my head and the caretaker at the mansion mixed up there.

Then I came across a Dead Spiders, Grounds Keeper, and her amazing tutorial!

Her work is amazingly beautiful and detailed.

So there is my guy a mix of Chaney, Disney and Dead Spider.

So this is a large project requiring lots of steps, and layers, and dry time.
I used Dead Spiders techniques mostly, and modified it to the materials I had on hand.

For his head I used one of those cheap styro-foam skulls they sell everywhere around Halloween.

In the DS tut the inside of the mouth was finished and I just loved that
(plus I kind of also wanted to make nasty teeth and a tongue).
That part could be skipped and it would still look cool.

 I serrated him at the jaw bone with an exact-o knife.

Next I hollowed out the eye sockets with the exact-o, to fit the eyes I made. Then did few coats of regular paper-mache. I went right over his teeth because I am making him new ones.

Here are the eyes. I made these of polymer clay and hand painted them.
But I found an even better idea that I will post it later. It's called easy eyes it's so simple!

When he was dry, glued the eyes in.

I kept bulding his face up with paper-mache pulp and started adding new teeth.
 Building a face is a drawn out process pulp takes a long time to dry between coats.

You have to be carful only to do a little at a time.

The teeth are made of Creative Paper Clay. I also used this to build his lips and eyelids.

I painted inside his mouth top and bottom before reattaching everything

He got a paper-mache tongue, and a coat of glossy varnish on all the parts that need to look wet...gross!

After I reattached the jaw with glue... still more layers of the mache and pulp.
I used more of the Paper Clay to build the features up including his nose and brow.

I decided to get his PVC frame going here. I used a heat gun to warp it and give him movement.

Lots of layers again. I forgot to get a few pics here. His torso, I made chicken wire frame and covered it. I used old pool noodles for his arms and legs then lots and lots more mache.

Here is how I kept him standing. Cement in shoe frames.
I made them using old coke boxes, duct tape, plastic bags, and Jim's shoes as templates

So now that he had a body... I was able to tie the head neck and body together.
 I built his head up more... his brow, his jaw


I spent some time here as well giving him wrinkles, jowls etc. Oh and he got a some ears.

And nice coat of Dry-Lock masonry sealant he awaited the rest of his body.

I am going to post a more detail hand How-To but here is the short version.

I traced my husbands hand and marked all the joints on the paper.
This hand is a PVC Pipe with coat hanger wires.
I cut them to match the finger length in the drawing.
I cut straws at all the joints. Anyway better tutorial later

I started the long mache/pulp process! build! build!

The white is just a different kind of pulp.

So any way his arms attach at the elbow with elbow joints (how appropriate). His cloths are good will finds all for $10. His shovel is ours and his lantern I bought on clearance the previous year at Spirit.

 Oh yeah, I forgot his hair and paint!
 His skin color was some grayish taupe exterior paint I found on the oops! shelf at Lowe's. 
And his hair is from an old cheap wig. I just glued it on.

Below are some images of his 2011 makeover.
He got some new long hair and a pair of gloves, for all that digging he's been doing.