Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Movie Review - Sort of)

When I heard that Don't be Afraid of the Dark was coming out, I was interested to see what it was about because I LOVE a good horror movie. Once I heard that Guillermo del Toro had something to do with it I knew I had to see it. Del Toro is known for directing, writing, and/or producing Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy I & II, and The Orphanage, just to name a few. I'm sure you can tell from some of my creations that I LOVED Hellboy I & II and if you have not seen The Orphanage you should, you do have to read subtitles, but trust me it is very good. Anyway back to Don't be Afraid of the Dark. From the previews I could tell that it had the same style and camera angles that del Toro loves to use and he wrote it so I knew it was going to be good. I know that it is a remake and I tend to shy away from remakes because sometimes they just suck, however I never saw the original Don't be Afraid of the Dark so I had nothing to compare it to. The story is different from the original and and think the idea is better, int he original the main character is a woman, where in the new one the main character is a child, which automatically makes the audience feel like a child stuck in a horror movie and can't get out, basically the movie makes you feel like a scared kid and that works. I loved the intro into the movie I love when they are introducing the writers and directors in the beginning and you see words and notes and photos flow through the background. This technique is being used more and more often and I love it because if you can read fast enough you will get a little insight, like in the beginning you can get a little insight into the creatures.

What I liked about the movie was you didn't have to wait until the end of the movie to finally see the creatures, del Toro showed a little bit of them at a time, until finally you saw them. I also loved the care he took with fairy lore. In fairy lore when you are in an area where fairies are located, that is identified with a circle made out of mushrooms. When I saw the circle of mushrooms I was excited because I wasn't sure if the were a type of fairy or just some crazy creature.

The actors were very good especially the little girl Bailee Madison. I am not a big fan of Katie Holmes, don't know why, but I'm just not, but her and Guy Pierce were awesome. I pretty much loved everything about this movie, the visuals, the story, the actors, the ending. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and especially to those who love horror movies.

This weekend Sasquatch and I are going to see Shark Night 3D (Love shark movies) interesting to see that it is NOT a Syfi channel original movie, but that it will actually hit theaters. So stay tuned for my thoughts on Shark Night 3D, oh and yes we are going to pay the $3 to see it in 3D and that excites me even more.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Has Three Eyes and Two Noses? Two-Headed Kitties!!!!

 I have always loved oddities, especially animal oddities, such as animals with an extra limb, head, etc. Which is why whenever I am in a location with a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museums you better believe I am going to visit it. So when I first dreamed up the cyclops kitty I knew that my next project would have to be a two-headed kitty.

 I wasn't really sure how it was going to turn I because I took two heads and sewed them together, but I think it turned out perfect. I admit I am one of those people who says "lets just see how this goes, I can always fix it if I don't like it." So far the mantra was worked very well for me.

I love that each head is different, the one on the left is bigger than the right and fuller. Where the head on the right is pointer and the mouths are different too. I'm really glad they turned out differently because it really shows that just because they share the same body, doesn't mean they are the same kitty.

As always I hope you enjoy my creations as much as I enjoy making them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cutest Jackalope

I love everything having to do with Cryptozoology. My tops favorite crypids are Bigfoot, Yeti, Nessie, Jackalope, and Chupacabra. I have made both the Bigfoot and the Yeti so I decided that the next crypid I was going to make was a Jackalope. My favorite part of the Jackalope has to be the antlers. I just love how the antlers make a rabbit very whimsical, especially this one.
  I was afraid that the antlers would not turn out right, but they turned out better than I thought they would.I was afraid that they would turn out more 2D than 3D, but after stuffing them FOREVER, I think they turned out amazing.

I also love the cute puff ball tail, I crocheted a ball and combed it so that it would be fluffy (it's so fluffy I could die). I also love the little spot of white under is chin, I don't have any pictures of it right now, but it is pretty cute.
 With this pattern I also made the legs attached to the body as one piece, it was a little more complicated than the kitty pattern, but in the end I figured it out. This Jackalope will also be available in my upcoming Etsy shop.

I hope you guys like him as much as I do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Whimsical Mind of a Child

Up the street from my house lives a family with two little girls who I believe are ages 8 and 6. One day while walking my dog back in April we were passing their house and out of the corner of my eye I saw this.
I took this picture yesterday because normally when I am passing this I am walking my dog, which mean I could never hold Riley and take pictures at the same time. Yesterday Sasquatch and I were taking a walk and I happened to have my phone on me so I decided to take some photos for you guys. Back in April when I first past this fairy house it was just a door and the fairy you see on the right, since then it has blossomed into this awesome home that any fairy would love.
The stick with the tape use to be a little archway they made themselves.

It is always fascinating to view the world from a child's mind and that is exactly what this tree is, a sort of doorway into these two kids imagination. I wish that every child had this sort of imagination, I know I did and still do and maybe that is why I will never really grow up. I just wanted to show you a little more of the magic that is located in St. Louis and make you feel like a kid again. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoy passing this tree from time to time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coolest Tattoo Video

Yesterday, I read about this video on GeekDad, one of my favorite blogs (even though I don't have kids and I'm not a guy ;) ). I can honestly say that I have a thing for tattoos, I love watching people get tattoos, I love watching shows and documentaries about tattoos, and I love looking about random peoples tattoos. Unfortunately, right now I don't have any, but very soon I am planning on getting my very first tattoo, sometime around September 15th. 

Anyway, back to the video. I just wanted to share this with everyone because it is an original idea carried out awesomely. I mean how can you beat an animated tattoo, the only problem with one is that technology is constantly changing and you never know how long 1 type of technology will last, but this tattoo is forever (still awesome though). Watch the video and be AMAZED.

Cyclops Kitty!!!!

When I had decided that I wanted to open my own Etsy shop I really wanted to create unique creatures that I love and that I know other people would love to. The first creature I really wanted to make was a cyclops kitty. I have always wanted one and I know that it is something unusual, so I knew that hopefully I could sell a few. I somehow created my own pattern and I love the fact that the legs are not separately attached, but part of the piece. I love the kitty newborn eye, I definitely got that idea from my love of Loveandasandwich's newborn creatures.

I decided that I wanted to tint the ears pink, instead of sewing pink into the ears and I'm glad I did, because they are sooo cute. I also embroidered the nose and mouth. I decided to make the mouth very whimsical and almost like the Cheshire Cat's mouth.
I really love the way it turned out and I hope you do too.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crafter Crush: Lanikins

It is time once again for Crafter Crush. It has been a minute since I posted about one of my many crafter crushes, so here is Lanikins. I have been in two swaps with Lanikins before the Tim Burton swap and the Tiny Stuffie Swap, but before those two swaps I had a huge crush on the AMAZING poppets she makes. The detail that goes into each one, it is just really beyond words. Here is the poppet that I proudly own, Mad Hatter:
 The shirt and tie are all hand painted and the tiny fingers, EPIC. She loves Tim Burton as much as I do as well as Alice in Wonderland, and many of her poppets are Tim Burton related, such as Alice from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland:
The dress is perfect, that was my favorite costume from the movie I would seriously wear that dress almost everyday if I owned it. As soon as I saw the photo I knew that Lanikins made it. Lanikins is one of the coolest and geekiest crafters that I have had the pleasure of swapping with. She does have an Etsy shop, but it currently is empty, probably because she is so busy swapping. If you are really really lucky and wish on all your lucky stars you will get partnered up with Lankins.
If you go on you can see the many poppets created by the amazing Lanikins, I know I wish I had the amazing skills she does. I hope you enjoyed Lanikin's work as much as I do.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tentacle Plant Tutorial

For this project you will need:
  • Pot
  • Styrofoam that fits into the pot (I used the dome shaped one and just flipped it upside down, but you can use the dome right-side up too to give it a different effect)
  • Polymer clay
    • 3-4 packages for the tentacle
    • 1-2 packages for the suckers
  • Dowel rod or chopstick
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wire (if making the feeder tentacle)
  • Moss or colored paper (For the paper I ran it through the shredder and the crinkled it)
  • Rocks or other items to weigh down the pot if it gets too top heavy 
The first thing you might want to do is paint/decorate your pot, that way it is done and out of the way, but also if your styrofoam gets stuck, you won't have to worry about getting pieces of styrofoam getting in the paint. 

Once you have decorated your pot, stick your styrofoam in and if it doesn't stay because it is too small, then just heat up your glue gun and glue it in your pot. Once you have your styrofoam securely in place, take your chop stick or dowel rod and shove it through the styrofoam to create the hole that it will stay in. This will also allow you to measure out how much you need and cut the excess dowel rod/chopstick off. You will need depending on how you want your tentacle to curve at least 3-4 inches that will go into the styrofoam and pot, plus what will be used to provide support to the tentacle. If you are making the feeder tentacle then you will need 3-4 inches the will go into the pot plus the length of your tentacle plus another inch to go inside the feeder part (if using a chopstick). It you are making the octopus tentacle then you will need 3-4 inches that will go into the pot, plus however much you are going to put into the tentacle itself, I used about 3-4 inches.

Once you have trimmed your dowel rod/chopstick you will need to clean your work surface to begin using your polymer clay. Make sure your wipe it down with a wet rag and a dry rag, because anything on your work surface will end up in the clay.

Once everything is clean you need to take your polymer clay (we are going to start with the tentacle color) and condition it. That means playing with it, mushing it, smashing it, basically getting it to a point where it is pliable and easy to use.

If you are using a chop stick or a small dowel rod, you will want to wrap it in aluminum foil so that you will use less polymer clay and it will bake faster. You clay should not be thicker than 1/2 inch because it won't cook.

If you are making a curved octopus tentacle, then to create the tentacle form you just need to roll the polymer clay into a cylinder with one end being the largest and gradually making the cylinder small until you reach the other end.

If you are creating a squid tentacle, then you will need the dowel rod/chopstick to be inside the entire tentacle length to provide structure and support for the feeder tentacle end. To do this you will roll out the polymer clay to the size you need and wrap the clay around the stick.
Cut away any excess clay and start smoothing out the seam the best you can. Worst case scenario if it just won't smooth right, then that side will be the side you attach the suckers to to hide any imperfections.
Next, if you are creating the feeder tentacle, then you will smoosh (technical term) your aluminum foil to the desired shape and bend your wire.
The feeder part of the tentacle is covered in two pieces. One piece for the front and one piece for the back. Each piece is rolled out to your desired thickness and then attached to the aluminum piece.
 Once the polymer clay is attached to the aluminum foil with the wire between the polymer clay and the front part (Flat side) of the aluminum foil, smooth out the seam. I created a lip around the edge, you don't have to you can cut away the excess clay, in fact it is easier to NOT create a lip. If you do decide to create the lip, just be patient you can always put it down and pick it back up later because it takes a long time to smooth it out and to create an even lip.
It's so SMOOTH ;)

Now attach the feeder head to the tentacle body, basically stick the wire between the rod and the clay (be careful not to perforate the sides). If you used a chop stick you can trim the clay away from the pointy end and stick that end into the feeder head and the wire into the tentacle body to create two points of contact. One point of contact is just fine because you are still going to seal the two together with clay and bake it until it's hard.
Add a small rope of clay around the connection to secure it better and to smooth the connection between the body of the tentacle and the feeder head.

From now on the directions are for both the Feeder Tentacle and the Octopus Tentacle.

Now, we will be using the polymer clay set aside for the suckers. If you used a different color for the suckers, you need to clean off your work station as you did before, otherwise you will pick up piece and smudges from the previous color and taint your sucker color. Also check your polymer clay package and preheat your oven to the correct temperature.

Feeder Tentacle:
Roll your sucker color into 2 different size balls, the bigger ones are for the feeder head and the smaller ones are for the tentacle body. To figure out what size to roll your clay to, roll a ball and smush it a little and that is how big the sucker will be, if that is too big then use less clay. If it is to small then add a little more and do the test again until you get your desire size.

Octopus Tentacle:

Roll your suckers small to large in multiple sizes to create the gradual change in sucker size from the base of the tentacle to tip.

Now comes the fun part: Attaching your suckers.

Stick the polymer clay ball on the spot you want it to be and press a chop stick or pen tip into the middle of the ball. This will create the hole and spread out the sucker as well as attach it to the tentacle. Make sure not to press all the way through, but press a little more than halfway. You can attach them in any pattern you desire, I like to do staggered on the tentacle body because it is most like a real tentacle. Once you have attached your suckers, you will notice that some of the suckers stick out longer than others, you can press them down so that they all stick out the same length. Once you are happy with your tentacle, get out a cookie sheet, cover it in aluminum foil, and place the tentacle in its desire shape (when you are shaping your tentacle make sure that the weight of the tentacle is evenly distributed so that you won't need to put weights in your pot). If you are creating the octopus tentacle this is the point where you insert the dowel rod/chopstick into the bottom of tentacle until you hit the first curve, be careful not the perforate the sides. Stick the cookie sheet in the oven to bake. Check your polymer clay package to see how long it needs to bake for, usually it is 15 minutes.

Once it is done baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool down. Heat up your glue gun and stick the tentacle in the hole to see if you need to add a weight to the bottom of the pot, if not then take the tentacle out of the hole and squeeze a nice amount of glue on the sides of the hole and stick your tentacle's rod into the hole and let it set.
 Once the glue has set, squeeze some glue around the tentacle to make sure that the tentacle is going no where.
 Once that the glue has set, it is now time to decorate the foam. As you can see in the photos of the end product you can use many things to decorate, like moss or crinkled paper. I like to glue it in two layers, I lay down a bunch of glue and then grab a big handful and stick it on the foam. Once that has set I pull off any pieces that are not glued down. Then I lay down more glue in the areas where is needs more decoration and add more moss. Once all the styrofoam is hidden and the pieces that aren't glued down are pulled off, I like to trim the moss or paper so that you don't have super long pieces. When I trim the moss or crinkled paper I cut it perpendicular to the pot, because if you cut it parallel to the pot then it is all uniformly cut and it doesn't look natural.  Once you have finished your tentacle plants "hair" cut you're done.

Now for the care and keeping of your tentacle plant:

It likes any light you can give it and you never need to feed it, because it eats any bugs flying around and takes the moisture out of the air for water.

Cautions: Keep small animals away otherwise they WILL become dinner!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you have any questions or if something is not totally clear, just comment below.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Update and Fun Ramblings

I know I haven't posted since Sunday, but I have been very busy this week. I have finished three items for my Mini 13 Days of Halloween Swap, all of them I want to keep. I am about 1/2 way through a fourth item that is giving me a little trouble because I have never really done anything like it and came up with my own pattern, so we will see how it turns out. I am also going to, that is right I am promising that a tutorial WILL be posted this weekend, finally. I am excited, it is something I have made before, but this one will be a little different.

If you don't know it already, I love anything to do with Cryptozoology, or the study of animals we are not sure exist, such as Nessie, Bigfoot, Yeti, etc. Well the other day I was visiting some antique stores and I came across this little guy:
I wanted him soooo bad because he looks exactly like I think the Dover Demon would look, in fact he looks very similar to the Dover Demon character in Proof, which is a comic book about a government agency that protect cryptids and protects people from cryptids. In fact Proof the main character is a Bigfoot, and he is an agent who works to protect as well as trying find other Bigfoots like himself. It's a REALLY good comic book. Anyway, that little carving would have been mine if it wasn't 3 inches tall and $35. I know that it is old and made of Jade and handcarved, but still $35, really? Needless to say I took a picture and left, but who knows maybe the person who carved it was in fact carving the Dover Demon.

For the past 6 months I have been working on creating items to start and Etsy shop. Not because I think that I could one day quite my job and just sew my creations and make lots of money, but because I want to be know for something. I have always been that artsy kid, but I knew that I couldn't have a house and a family, just being an artist (the people that do are amazing and worked very hard and I commend them, but I'm just not sure I'm that good) so I decided a long time ago to do my art on the side. I just want people to crush on what I do as much as I crush on other crafters. I just want to feel like I have accomplished something in my life and that other people love my art too. So far I feel like I am getting closer and closer to this goal. As of today I have about 5 items in my possession that I have created for my shop, including Hellboy. I also want to have Han Becca, Indiana Jones, and some others too, but I need to create one for my inventory.

Enough with the rambling, basically soon I want to post photos of my creations that will be going into my shop, so each week stay tuned for a different creations and here is a sneak peak. These have never been posted before and only friend and family have seen the creations so far.
Yup, you saw that right cyclops kitty, my grandma took one look at it and said "you poor thing you" and I just laughed.

I hope you continue to read my blog and I hope you enjoy it enough to follow it. (Please Follow it I will love you forever) 

Enough begging for now, see you soon.