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Good Thing I'm Not a Horse

on July 27, 2011 - 8:07am


Sunday night I managed to mangle my right ankle. Have spent the days since on the couch, saving up energy to wheel myself around the house to get whatever I need while riding my trusty-dusty office chair. I have crutches but can't carry anything with them, and besides, they cause their own pains and aches. I save them for when I have to do the really fun stuff, like stairs.

Plus my poor left knee, that bore the brunt of the fall once my ankle gave out, has its own nasty scrape.

I'm almost a rainbow: my knee with its reds and browns and yellows, and my ankle which right now is only a single shade of blue (but I predict brilliant purples and greens to come).

Needless to say, I have been less than productive. Or cheerful.

Having to take time off work (that I really can't afford), and not being able to work on a proper project for upcoming shows, just adds insult to injury.

Yesterday, though, I was able to paint some mini carnivorous plants I'd built on Sunday. They still need touch ups and final details, but at least that's something.

How did it happen? Well, it's been suggested to me that I stick to a zombie story. Ninja zombies, to be precise. Make up your own plot details as needed.

I'm off to ice the ankle. Hopefully I will be back by the weekend with happier news of progress!

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Vice

on July 19, 2011 - 10:04am

snake in a jar
To round out my jar project, here are some specimen (or ingredient) jars.

I haven't finished putting them all together, but you get a sense of where I'm going with this.

How are they made? Simple. I coated the inside with watered down white glue and let them dry. Then the fun part begins: figuring out what I have around the house that could be creepy ingredients.

The cool thing about the glue-haze is it allows me to use items I might shy away from normally, because the grimy-screen blots out the details of the item inside. For example, the tiny rubber snake (pictured right) would not strike fear in a four-year old, but placed in the jar, and carefully glued into place with a little epoxy at certain angles, it suddenly looks a little more plausible that my critter is alive.

Jar Lanterns

on July 16, 2011 - 5:37pm

The second project with the jars was to make simple lanterns (or candle holders, if you prefer). Pictures and a quick how-to below.

Sundays Are For Candle Making

on July 11, 2011 - 9:34am

I spent most of my hot and humid Sunday hidden away in my office, trying to forget the heat outside. The best way I know to do that is to make things for Halloween.

A total of 19 candle stubs are ready for their part in my jar project. They are made with hot glue, acrylic paint, toilet paper rolls, and LED candles.

If you're waiting to see the final product of the jars, it'll be posted soon (not quite done). If you'd like to learn more about how I made these, I've included some pictures and basic instructions below.

A Fine Specimen

on July 10, 2011 - 9:02am


Generally speaking, I don't do a lot of gore in my Halloween themes. This year, I need a bit of it for the story I'm going to tell. This was project one of the glass jars (the other plans are much less gross).

What I did was take a few of the jars from yesterday that had been glazed with watery glue. I mixed red and brown paints, watered them down, and mixed them with a touch of glue as well. I poured it into the bottom of the jars and swirled them around.

Then, I dipped my paint brush into the paint mix and splattered it on the insides of the jar.

I took my organs - 2 hearts, a nose, a brain, an ear, lips, fingers, eyeballs, tongue - and painted them as well to give them a more realistic aged look before placing them in the jars.

50 Empty Jars

on July 9, 2011 - 10:58am

I have slowly been collecting jars and bottles over the last year or so. Hoarding them away one at a time, I've hidden them in drawers, piled them into boxes, and even rolled them underneath furniture.

Last night, having realized I didn't have the materials I needed to continue working on pieces for upcoming shows, I decided to round up all the bottles and jars from their spots around the house. I've been saving them for a Halloween idea.

Imagine my surprise and delight when the tally hit 50. What, you can't imagine it? Well, perhaps it would help to know it takes a shockingly long time to polish off a jar of relish or honey, or to use up the last of the oyster sauce on the weekend stir-fry.

The jars will have various purposes, but all of them needed to have that hazy look. Kind of ironic since I spent so much time soaking and scrubbing them to make sure they were clean (I like fake mold in my work, thank you).

As I was getting ready to start hazing them, I was reminded of elementary school when we made stained-glass lanterns by covering the outside of the jars with pieces of tissue paper and coating them with white glue. Anyone else do this? It's actually a neat final effect.

All I did to give them a grimy coat was pour about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the jar, added a squeeze of glue, stirred, and then rolled the jars to coat the sides. Then I poured the glue mix from one jar to another, turning each one.

I have three different plans for the jars at this time. We'll see if it comes to fruition.

Look Who's Back

on July 8, 2011 - 9:48am

It's been a while since I've seen these figures grace my worktable. Perhaps that's why Series 7 of my Plague Doctor collection has 9 figures in total instead of 4 or 5.

They still need touch ups, and when that's done, I'll add them to the Art Ghoullery so those who'd like a closer look can take a peek.

Little Minions: Brimston

on July 4, 2011 - 1:11pm


Brimston straddles the line between bat and demon. While he was not born of the deepest fiery depths (else he may have been named Brimstone with an e), he still has some nasty personality traits.

He constantly produces a slime - from his nose, eyes, and mouth - that inevitably coats everything he comes in contact with. This includes his trusty staff from which he displays the day's trophies. The slime is like a pheromone-signature: one sniff and other creatures know he owns a particular item (or has at least made a claim on something).

Brimston spends his day collecting: shiny objects; squishy objects; smelly objects; foul objects. Generally speaking, if it's shiny or gross, Brimston must have it. And if it's both? Even better.

He prefers to travel at night, but has been known to venture out in the daylight when he's on the trail of a particularly coveted target.

Zombie Girl by Pam Morris

on July 3, 2011 - 8:47am


The other day Pam Morris revealed an entire crew of new creations, including this zombie girl.

The crazy carrot-coloured hair.

The...contemplative gaze ("...braaaiiiins?").

The beautiful smile.

I was sold. Or rather, the piece was. To me.

Be sure to give them a browse in her Etsy shop before they're all gone.

Saturday Fun and Distraction

on July 2, 2011 - 12:02pm


Looking for something to do today? Alright. I've got two suggestions on how to spend your Saturday.

First, for any locals in the Greater Toronto Area, you can attend The 7th Annual Scarefest hosted by Boneyard Bargains. It takes place at 115 Philip Ave in Scarborough. BBQ, props, a few vendors, and lots of local haunters. Officially kicks off at 1 pm (which means I need to finish getting dressed).

For the rest of you, I can offer a distraction for at least an hour. If you didn't get enough of me via my ten minute interview on this month's Hauntcast, you can now listen to the entire uncut interview on their "Treats" page. And if you don't doze off at the beginning, some of you might find my stories about being a first time vendor, and starting out as an artist, interesting.

Thanks to Shellhawk again for taking the time to chat with me.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, everybody!

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