Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Trophies

This year I decided that instead of buying those cheap plastic costume trophies from the Halloween store, I would make them instead! Honestly, it's the least I can do considering the amount of time and effort our friends put into making their costumes for our annual Halloween party. I saw these cool trophies on Pinterest and used it for inspiration.

We give out four awards each year: Best Couple, Scariest, Most Creative, and Funniest. Here are my interpretations of those themes.

Just look at the raw passion these two have for each other. Best couple indeed.

Scariest? I'm so scary, I can take off my head.

Ah monsieur, you arrrr lookiing to win le cree-ah-teev trophee? Sankfooly ah am le expére on sooch mattres!

I accessed the six-year-old child part of my brain for this one. Potty humor is always funny to six-year-olds (and some adults).

I love these guys so much I may have to make more just to have some to keep!

Creepy Parking Garage Shoot

I'm going to break up the crafting posts with a creepy photo shoot I did in honor of Halloween. Parking garages always give me the heebie jeebies. Especially the fully enclosed ones with low ceilings. Many months ago I stumbled upon this parking garage while trying out a new restaurant downtown. I knew instantly that I had to come back to shoot it. It's dark and spooky and definitely not a place you would want to be during a zombie apocalypse.

Thankfully I have a good and patient friend who let me dress her up and put masks on her and take her to a creepy isolated parking garage at night to get these shots! The resulting images are just as spooky as I had seen them in my mind (or should I say nightmares?)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vampire Fang Collection - Tutorial

Prop #2 of the year is my Vampire Fang Collection! This is probably the easiest thing I've ever made. It took about an hour including baking time.

To make some yourself, all you need is some baking clay and an oven! Start with  a block of premo clay. I used glow in the dark cause it looked the most like tooth color and well, yes, I like that they can glow in the dark!

I've never worked with premo before but those of you who have probably know that it's sectioned off in little rectangles. I only used one rectangle for this project and ended up with about 24 fangs. You can see in the pic below that I had a store-bought vampire fang to use as a model for size (although mine ended up looking nothing like that). I basically just broke off little balls, rolled them around between my hands to warm the clay up and make it pliable. Then I just shaped them into fangs. I tried to make the tops have roots like human teeth, but my husband told me they were looking too much like shark teeth. So I ended up squishing those down and etching some lines in the top with my fingernails.
I made a variety of lengths but tried to keep them in pairs. Then i just popped them in the oven on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes on 275 degrees cause that's what it said to do on the package.
I may have cooked them a little too long because they ended up much more yellow than they were before baking. I thought about painting them white but decided they looked more authentic like they were.

I had found this awesome old jewelry box for $5 at an antique store a month ago. So I lined them up in there with a little bottle of "holy water" ($1 glass vial from Joanne's) and a cool gothic cross I had from an old Halloween costume.

Super easy, super cheap and it will fit perfectly in any vampire hunter's home!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dollar Store Mummy Hand

It's that time of year again!

As most of you know, I love collecting Halloween decor and I've amassed a shed-full of props. But those props can be really pricey. So I'm always looking for ways to add cool new things to my collection without spending a lot.

I'm working on some new props for my haunted house this year and today I'm going to share with you how to make a really authentic-looking Mummy's Hand prop for about $3.00!

Plastic Hand - $1 from (you guessed it) The Dollar Store
Cheesecloth - $2 from Lowe's (I used about a quarter of a 2 yard package)
Paper Towels - had on hand
Modge Podge - had on hand
Left over coffee or tea - coffee please! Always on hand
Brown & black paint - had on hand
Paintbrush/Sponge brush - had on hand

First things first, soak about 5 paper towels in coffee for 10-20 minutes. While you're at it, go ahead and soak your cheesecloth as well. I waited until I had wrapped the hand in towels and then I had to soak my cloth and stick it in the dryer so I could finish my hand!

WARNING! If you do not like coffee or the smell of coffee, use tea instead. I soaked my towels and let them dry for two days and the smell diminished greatly. But that first day they are quite smelly. Don't say I didn't warn you!

For the soaking, I used a wide mouth bowl and just layed all the towels in, stacked on top of each other. I pushed them down until all the liquid was absorbed. After they soaked for a while, I squeezed them out and then flattened them back out to dry. Since the smell was so strong, I let them dry outside, draped over my deck chairs.

Moving on. Tear the paper towels into long strips and start wrapping them around the hand. Coat the hand in modge podge and smooth the towel onto it. I used a big strip for the base and then smaller strips over top of that to give it that wrapped up mummy feel.

For the fingers, cut 2 long strips about an inch wide. Take one and run it up the lenth of the finger -  on the front, over the tip, and down the back. Take the other strip and start bandaging it up, circling around and around. For this part, all of the modge podge was under the paper towels as a glue. I put a little on top to smooth down any edges that were popping up.

Next, mix a little black and brown paint until you get a nice dark color you like and cover up that horrible red and white end where the hand is supposed to look chopped off. For my Mummy's Hand, I wanted it to just look dark, like decay and rot and whatever dark grossness would be on the inside of a mummy. So I painted a little onto the edge of the towels and then later onto the cheesecloth at the edge too.

Lastly, cut some short strips from your cheesecloth and shred them as much as possible. Then, just wrap them around the hand in a similar manner as the paper towels. I didn't want to cover the whole thing in cheesecloth cause I really wanted it to have a more authentic feel. In my mind an authentic hand would have most of the wrappings fraying off since it is so old. So I didn't use much cheesecloth here. However on this part, I did paint the modge podge right on top of the cloth, to smooth it all down.

And there you have it! A very creepy Mummy's Hand prop!

My mummy's hand is going to be used as an arifact or a trophy that a monster hunter might have in his/her den. But this would look cool anywhere - in a big glass jar, on a mantel, or just sitting randomly on a bookshelf! Have fun with it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Couple: two items of the same kind, a pair

I had meant to post these a while back. Part two of the couple session I did. These were all taken on location at their home and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Sometimes I wish for falling, wish for the release
Wish for falling through the air to give me some relief
Because falling's not the problem, when I'm falling I'm at peace
It's only when I hit the ground it causes all the grief
~Florence + The Machine

I had this fallen angel concept kicking around in my brain for a while and thanks to a dear friend of mine,  I finally had the opportunity to shoot it. When I was editing these, I developed a little story about them. The girl in this narrative fell on her own accord. Not because she got kicked out of heaven but because she wanted to go. Maybe just to check out things down here for a while. Of course, now that she's here, all she really wants is to go back home.