Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Delightfully Twisted Artwork III

Ugh, for whatever reason I forgot to post this.  So better late than never, I'd like to share my twisted favorites from the big summer art show in these parts.  But before I get started I'd like to present a couple twisted things past and present from my son, the reluctant artist.

This was a traced hand project from kindergarten and one of my favorites. Remember when Anakin was tattooed by slugs during the Clone Wars, that was a definite influence here.

Sticking with the hand theme is this clay piece. A few weeks prior to its inception, he had an accident in art class that required five stitches. I love that he channeled an unpleasant experience into a work of art.

So here it is memorialized in a pottery tea light holder, ripped flesh and lots of blood in beautiful detail.

And here's what set my sinister heart a flutter at the art fair:

Mike Bose - Who makes dead fish look awesome? This guy.  He also makes some fabulous lizards.

Chris Hildenbrandt - Creepy cool critters from repurposed metal parts.

James Bearden - His sculptures make me think of what you might find on an alien craft at the bottom of the ocean.  The framed mirrors were beautiful. I didn't see any of the spiders pictured on his website at his booth, I wish I would have, those are awesome. 

Ryan Myers - Beautiful ceramic skulls and skull painted faces. 

Ingrid Hyde - Lovely skull, with vivid colors and gorgeous details.

Dakota Pratt - The skull I saw last year, and the skull from this year.  The bottle caps used for the nostrils also have skulls on the them.

Eric Grimes - The skull and monster boxes are adorable, I love how much personality they have.

Bruce Holwerda - Fantastic flowing figures, say that three times fast.  I really love his collection of 'Suspicious Characters'. 

Tai Taeoalii  - Lots of creepy cool geek art.  What he can do with a pen and then the way he pulls it together with other mediums is just amazing. 

Nicario Jimenez - All of his stuff is incredible but I love the glimpses into the lives of his little skeletons. Here are some more pictures of his works on pinterest.

Nick Ringelstetter - I first saw his work and 2013 and was hoping he'd be back last year, but no dice, so I was thrilled to see his booth this year and add to my collection.  I love all the aliens and eyeballs.

Andy Van Schyndle - Always excited to see his work.  I don't know if dark whimsy is an oxymoron, but there it is. 

Joachim Knill  - I love how stuff animals are the focus, but they are so serious, these are not a child's playthings. The 'Rattler' is my favorite. 

Tyler Voorhees - I realize that I see the world through creepy colored glasses. It's like I catch a creepy alternate version hovering on the edges of reality, but then when I focus it's gone. That's what these were like, online they look pretty harmless, in fact the story behind each picture is pretty interesting in a completely not scary way.  In person is was kind of like being in a Gravity Falls flashback where everyone mutates into Coraline's Other Mother.  I have to think it was just me.  Well it can't just be me, I'm not that special.  Probably me and like four other people. 

Britt Hallowell - Again probably just me, but her paintings had a haunted serenity, like being alone at dusk in the wild, but feeling like your not quite alone.

Michael Bryant - His pictures have an eerie quality to them, it was interesting to read that he purposefully uses a cheap toy camera and how he uses that to his advantage. 

 Justin D. Miller.com/ - I love the alternate universes with skewed perspectives, like visual stories just waiting to be read. 

Laura Harris - Love the mix of gears, baubles and shards of glass, also loved the trees, they definitely belong in a haunted magical forest. 

It might seem with my frequent use of the word love that maybe it has some diluted generic meaning for me.  But no, each and every instance took my breath and butterflied my heart while the rest of the world took a fade to the back. So no, when I say "love", I mean what I say. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Arkham for the Holidays

The sleepy town of Arkham, which lies along the Miskatonic River, is waking up to a brilliant new day. The night before had been a flurry of snow and howling winds, but this morning the sun is shining and all is calm. Blanketed in drifts of snow like piles of powdered diamonds, a quiet hush surrounds this quaint little town.
Even the snow plow in the distance sounds muffled and does little to upset the tranquility of this glorious morning. Murray’s been out with the plow since before dawn and he is almost finished clearing the main roads.

The townsfolk are just starting to stir, coming down in their pajamas.
They’ll drink coffee and eat pancakes,
before shoveling driveways and clearing sidewalks.

As soon as chores are done, the kids get down to business. There are snowmen and forts to be built, snowball ammunitions to stockpile and hills in need of sledding.  Larry is out in the backyard with his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl.

The Alden kids have hit the ski trails. Henry and Benny are in the lead,
with the girls bringing up the rear.
Looks like Mr. Hankey has already started delivering trees and there’s Kenny with a sweet crunchy apple for Mr. Hankey’s trusty old mare, Beatrice.
Little Timmy is at the tree farm too, picking out a tree with grandpa. They’ve done this every year for as long as Timmy can remember. Later when they bring it home, the whole family will decorate the tree together, though secretly Timmy always thinks of it as his tree. At this moment it’s still just him and grandpa, and he swells with pride as his grandpa exclaims that Timmy has found the best tree yet.

There are errands to be done, last minute shopping and packages to mail, but today they seem less of a chore and more of a welcomed excuse to get outside and head into town.

The post office is bustling with activity. There are lots of packages to be delivered and even a few last-minute letters to Santa Claus.

Passersby are drawn into the bakery by delectable aromas. A couple from Boston moved up last year and took over the bakery when Old Man Jenkins retired. They’ve done a fine job of it and there’s talk of them adding on a little cafĂ©. 
Speaking of Old Man Jenkins, he’s out picking up a tree for the holidays too. He might seem like the town curmudgeon, but don’t let that perpetual frown fool you. There’s always a twinkle in his eyes, especially this time of year. Oh sure he likes to grouch when the carolers come by, but he always has a pocketful of candy canes for them. And he might grumble about how spoiled kids are these days, but I know for a fact he’s responsible for a bunch of those donated toys around the big tree downtown.

Even Arkham Asylum has gotten into the spirit of things or at least tried too.
There are some places so forlorn that any attempt at cheering them up just makes them feel more desolate.

Not that any of this matters to their newest arrival,
he’s been catatonic since the accident. Strange case that one.

Let us not linger under the gloom of the asylum any longer, but sail back under the blue skies to the town center where carolers are heralding in the finishing touches on the holiday tree and look at all the wonderful gifts donated to Toys for Tots.
Further on there’s the ice rink where the hot chocolate is rich and creamy with a mountain of whipped cream.
From the ice rink you can hear the band playing across the park in the gazebo.

 Today is one of those magical days. Everyone is in good spirits and the weather is fine. Nothing could possibly put a damper on a day like today. Tonight shoppers will bustle home, kids will stomp their boots and shake off snow before heading in, fireplaces will crackle and kitchens will be full of good smells. But that’s not until later, for now we’ll just enjoy this perfect moment.

Meanwhile, back at the asylum…

Things have gone terribly wrong with the new patient
and Dr. West’s experimental serum.
Bright red arterial spray coats the walls like some ghoulish holiday Pollock painting. The floors are slick with it, and bodies litter the hallways. The only thing more horrifying than the stench of blood and loose bowels, is the breeze carrying in the crisp clean scent of winter air. There must have been a door left open to the outside. May God have mercy on us all.   

Ms. Foster has always like living on the outskirts of town. Some might be put off being a stone’s throw from the asylum, but she’s found them to be quiet, unobtrusive neighbors. There are some disadvantages to being so far away from town. For one, it’s such a long walk, maybe that’s why Gladys is looking a little peaked. Then again maybe it’s her newfound appetite for human flesh. 

Poor Timmy, it doesn’t look like there will be any tree decorating in his future. After the fiend departs, having sated his hunger, Timmy will faithfully stay by his grandfather’s side. Later when his eyes flutter open, Timmy will tearfully ask him if he’s ok and grandpa will answer him, with his teeth. 

 Oh my God! They killed Kenny! Those bastards!

It doesn’t look like Violett is going to make it home for supper.
And if she does, we’ll have to separate her head from her shoulders.
It’s up to Darryl and Darryl to save the snow fort now. 

The power is out over most of Arkham, the main transformer was hit by a fleeing vehicle. Those that didn't make it out of town have barricaded themselves inside and the ghouls are closing in on these remaining survivors. The post office was built like a fortress in the 1800's, but even it won't be able to keep them out forever.    

Armed with anything they can get their hands on, the citizens of Arkham aren’t going to take this lying down. If there’s one thing they know, it’s how to battle against an army of undead.  Seems like around here this kind of thing happens more often than leap year. 

Murray’s plowing through reanimated corpses left and right, while the others are picking off the stragglers. Good thing R2 decided to come home for the holidays, that laser beam gizmo has saved the day more than once.  

By morning everything that should be dead is staying that way. There’s bodies to bury and blood to clean up, but I hear tell there’s fresh donuts at the bakery.


I guess with old age there's a danger of your references becoming obscure.  There's quite a few in this story, some more obvious than others.  Maybe you'll recognize them and maybe you won't. Except for the horse, there isn't one character named that I didn't steal from somewhere else.  Mostly it doesn't matter, but my kids made me realize there are generations that don't know who Larry, Darryl and Darryl are and that's a shame.  So if you don't know them, let me introduce you, and if you do know them, well this is bound to be a pleasant reunion.      

Fitting enough while I was finishing this up (procrastinating on facebook) a friend posted this bit from NPR which has an interesting take on horror for the holidays.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Creepmas! Thanks to everyone who has made these thirteen days a little darker, a little scarier and a lot more interesting.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Slender Elf

Last year when Slender Man was all over the news I couldn't help but notice how similar his creepy elongated limbs were to a certain someone else. Not only that but they both have a history of stalking children. Without further adieu, I give you Slender Elf.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Tampon Angel Ornament

This isn't the creepiest thing I've ever made, but it might be the most insidious. I purposely tried making her as cute as possible, which wasn't easy. 
It was a little like, "Must. Paint. Rosy. Cheeks. Oh god it burns! Must. Keep. Going.." I wanted her to be so cute and adorable that no one would realize what she was until it was too late. 

I found this tampon angel craft at tamponcrafts.com and I knew it would be the perfect gift to disturb a good friend of mine.  Since this was for someone special, I wanted it to be the tamponiest tampon angel ever.  I wanted it to ooze with veritable tamponiness.  So everything, the wings, the hair, everything except the halo, is made from some part of a tampon.  That's why mine has beauty pageant hair, those are tampon curls. 

I found someone who takes tampon holiday crafting to a new level.  If you think this reindeer is cute you need to go checkout the flying Christmas dragon in the nativity scene at ABluntAnalysis.Blogspot.com.  I love the uniquely crafted star. 

Not a do-yourselfer? There's tampon ornaments at Etsy you can purchase.

A few things I did differently with my angel.  First there is the big hair.  Unless you are determined to go for full on tampon mode, it would be way easier to just buy a small bag of doll hair curls for a couple of bucks. If you have kids, you can snip off a lock or two while they're sleeping, they'll never notice.  If you're that worried, get an Elf on the Shelf and leave him next to their pillow with a pair of scissors. Let that little bastard take the fall.

This is a Playtex Gentle Glide 360 taken apart. They consist of three rectangular panels as you can see. I mixed some yellow food coloring with water and fabric starch. One part starch to 3 parts water. I used it to coat the panels and let them dry flat.  The center one has slits about 1/4 inch wide along one side. Do this for all of them. 1/4 inch gives you thick curls, but if you try to go thinner the fibers just fall apart. 

Moisten the ends with water and spiral around toothpicks, use clips to hold them in place.This is what they look like when dry. 

They can be use together or the curls can individually be cut and applied. I used a combination of both. 
I don't have pictures of the skirt/body, but again a Playtex 360 was used.  I used the super size.  Again I took the three panels apart, mostly because I like to over complicate things, that's what I do. The panels aren't centered, the two outside ones are right on top of each other, I just didn't like the way the skirt ended up looking using the tampon as is. 
So remove the string and set is aside.  Lay one panel horizontal.  Lay the next one on top but centered vertical, so now they make a cross.  Lay the third one on top, but horizontal again.  So you still have a cross, with the vertical piece sandwiched between the other two.  Using a very large needle, thread the string through the center, looping around itself to secure. 
I used my finger as a mold to drape the rectangles over, squeezing it a bit at the top.  Now spray it with a one part starch, 3 parts water mixture to expand it.  Just to moisten, not saturate.  Spray on the outside and underneath. I draped it over the eraser end of a pencil to dry. 
Last the wings.  Again this is just for full on tampon mode, you could easily substitute felt or even cardboard. I used Tampax Pearl. I did two different sizes, a regular and a lite. I didn't know what size would look better once the angel was assembled. I ended up going with the smaller pair. There is a mesh lining that needs to be removed.  Cut out a wing shape and trim off any unnecessary string.  Again spray them with water and starch, not only does this make them stiffer, but it helps keep all the little fibers intact.  Later on I decided to moisten the ends to give them a little curl. 

To add feathers, I used the downy portion of craft feathers.  Lay glue on the wings just on the area that will be covered by that downy part. You don't want to glue the shaft down, it's just nice to have it there to hold everything together.  Once the downy part is glued down cut along the shaft to remove it.  Do this a few more times until the wings are covered.  After that side is dry, do the other side. Once they are completely dry trim as needed.   

Then assemble per the original instructions.  Here's what she looks like from the back.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Santa Snakes & Snails and Cat O' Nine Tails

I got a good deal on this snail awhile back and thought I'd zombify him.  I still haven't figured out what I can do to make him more zombie like, so I haven't change a thing.  Yes, this is exactly how he looked when I found him, minus the santa hat. 

He's still out from Halloween, and my husband, not the Halloween enthusiast, asked me when he's going to get put away.  So I did what I always do around this time when I can't let go of something Halloweeny yet, I gave him a holiday makeover.  Years before Creepmas was a thing, I found throwing on a santa hat on something will buy me at least another month.

I had to make a hat for him and I was trying to decide what to make.  A big hat that covers his head with holes for his eyestalks, a little one slung back behind his eyestalks, maybe a teeny tiny one between his eyestalks.  Snail fashion is complicated.  So I thought WWGD.  What would Gary (from SpongeBob) do? Not thinking, I google, "gary santa hat".  To my surprise a ton of images of snakes in santa hats popped up.  Are there a lot of snakes named Gary? Anyway, a lot of them weren't just any old snakes, they were ball pythons.  I adore ball pythons. So that's how I found all these awesome pictures:



By the way I did google, "gary snail santa hat" and I found this. 
Sorry Gary, but the whole "hats on both eyestalks" thing just doesn't work for me. 
And here are some more snails in santa hats:


If you know how to knit there are free patterns to make these guys at mochimochiland.com.

Lots of Christmas themed snail stickers at zazzle.com, wish there were some that said Creepmas. 

Also I promised a cat o' nine tails. I think this one would make a great gift for Krampus.  Bet nobody ever thinks to give him something.