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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Little Jack O Lanterns - Second Crop

on May 1, 2009 - 10:56am

Little pumpkins made from sculpey
Just wanted to share the second crop of mini pumpkins I've been working on.

Their backdrop - the mossy field nestled into a weathered crate - is part of the table display I'm working on for the Festival of Fear Horror expo in August.

It's been a lot of fun experimenting with the different facial expressions and shapes of the pumpkins. Now that this second batch is finished, I have a better sense of what eyes and noses work the best (to my taste, at least) and I'm getting the multi-layered painting technique for this item more perfected (again, to my taste).

It's interesting. Even though I use the same basic approach to painting with each prop, they always end up with their own rhythm and tweaks. It's like experimenting with a recipe: you've figured out what works, but you change up the basic ingredients and cooking methods to get something different.

Intestine Socks

on May 1, 2009 - 8:43am

Intestine socks
A couple of days ago, posted about AshiDashi (which means "stick out your feet" in Japanese). It's an American sock store with an interesting selection.

Meat, monster, cigarette, and pencil are but a few of the designs to choose from. Obviously, I've taken to the intestine pair.

A really fun feature of the company is that they allow you to mix and match - so I could buy one intestine sock and one meat sock. Genius.

They encourage consumers to buy an extra sock because we all lose socks in the dryer.

*Pffft* Laymen. Still blaming the dryer.

Making a Polymer Clay Skull

on April 30, 2009 - 10:58am

Lately I've gotten a number of requests for a polymer clay pumpkin how-to. I haven't had the time to write one, but I can offer you a distraction in the meantime.

Thanks to Haura Laura, I can point you in the direction of a simple skull tutorial on

The most important information to glean from this tutorial is that you don't need special tools to shape and carve. While certain tools can help (and certainly make life easier), you'll note the artist uses a pin for the detailing.

Household items will work just fine. Instead of using the tool shown in the tutorial for the eyes, look around for similarly shaped objects (like a pen lid, for instance).

Morbid Anatomy

on April 29, 2009 - 2:49pm

Anatomy images from the book DissectionMorbid Anatomy is one of my favourite blogs. It's jam packed with images, links and articles on all things anatomical with a dark twist.

These images (left and below) are from the book Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880–1930 by John Harley Warner and James M. Edmonson. If you visit the blog, you'll find an insightful interview with the co-publisher and editor of the collection that shines light on the history of the images.

The blog itself represents an actual Morbid Anatomy Library in Brookyn, New York. Apparently it's open to the public if you make an appointment (I know where I'd be spending a few afternoons each month). The library is part of the Proteus Gowanus Interdisciplinary Gallery and Reading Room:

Ghoul Friday MIA

on April 28, 2009 - 9:54am

Raccoon in Ghoul Friday's Tree
Am I grounded? I've missed three days of blogging and feel a bit out of sorts (and guilty). Perhaps if I entertain you with stories of what kept me away, you'll forgive me.

Like many other people, I took advantage of the warm weather this past weekend and decided it was time to attack my garden.

I don't find gardening relaxing despite what people say. Sure, the end product helps me to feel calm, and perhaps the cold cider I'm drinking takes the edge off while I take a break from accidentally butchering the flowers and plants in my garden.

I do a lot of shrugging in those moments, completely baffled by the task at hand.

But a real head-scratcher was when I was standing in my driveway, looking toward the large elm tree in the backyard. High up in the branches was a dark, mossy form. Does my tree have a fungus? Oh it a wasps nest?

Koldo Barroso

on April 24, 2009 - 12:56pm

Harpsong by Kodlo BarrosoAs a blogger, I spend a lot of my time watching the web for terrifically terrifying tidbits and talented artists. Now and then, they find me. Such was the case with Koldo Barroso. One day he was following me on twitter, and I've been following him ever since.

Pictured left is a close up of one of the illustrations he did for Judy Dyble's album "Talking With Strangers". It was created for and named after a song entitled Harp Song. You can see the full illustration posted below.

A Patchwork of Flesh

on April 23, 2009 - 4:34pm

Frankenstein's Monster
Do you have a picture of Frankenstein's Monster you want to share with the world? Or perhaps you just can't get enough of his pretty face. Either way, there's a website that may be of interest to you.

A Patchwork of Flesh is a Frankenstein's Monster portrait project coming to us from the United Kingdom. Cruise the website to see the current 'artist trading cards' or find out how to get involved.

Here's a quote from the creator:

I am attempting to amass a large collection of portraits of Frankenstein's Monster in as many different styles and in as many different media as possible as an ongoing art project. The only stipulation is that the size is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches (standard artist trading card size) and that each card has name, date, title and anything else you care to add on the back. I welcome cards from both amateur and professional artists.

Retro Rudolph's

on April 22, 2009 - 11:39am

Vintage Halloween art by Lori RudolphI love posting about Canadian artists. It's an extra treat when they are extremely talented and live in the same province as me.

Boils and ghouls, let me introduce you to Lori, the master craftster behind Retro Rudolph's. She's responsible for the beautiful vintage style Halloween creations you see here. She also makes some great party hats, horns and candy bowls.

Lori has been working with paper mache since 2005 and (like myself) suddenly found a whole new world of art waiting for her.

Unlike myself, she has a wicked workshop area where inspiration in the form of Halloween goodies watch her create.

I do have the same jack o' lantern lamp as her though.

I've been meaning to explore the world of vintage Halloween for a year or so. It's nice to know that if I don't get around to making my own, there's an artist nearby whom I would gladly purchase items from.

Bill Basso's Beastly Art

on April 21, 2009 - 9:04am

October Shadows by Bill Basso
I've had Bill Basso's website bookmarked for weeks. His art is so beautiful I feel as if I should apologize for delaying this post.

William Basso's father, Bill Basso Sr, has also done some Halloween art. Talent and creativity runs in the family:

Growing up in a household where both parents were artists exposed Bill Basso to all types of art from a very young age. Combining equal amounts of horror movie magazines and comic books with Renaissance or Eastern European art, for example, helped to shape Bill’s artistic sensibilities.

Last Day for the Underbiters Mini Contest

on April 20, 2009 - 7:09am

Underbiter Group Shot

Monday April 20th is the last day to submit a question for the Underbiter mini contest I'm running. If you submitted a question and it isn't posted in the Question and Answer Section, it means I've missed it somehow. Please contact me or leave a comment here.

When Yetch has judged the entries, I will contact the winners.