Monday, October 31, 2011

October Make Out - Night of the Crafting Dead

October's Make Out with Crown Town Handmade is the one I look forward to all year. Although a free craft taught by a local crafter every month is always fun, can you think of a better way to spend a Thursday evening then getting made up to look like the walking dead?

If it's not obvious from some of my projects, I love me some zombies. The shuffling and dead eyed Romero kind, the shrieking and flailing 28 Days Later kind, the wormy and meat-obsessed Slither ones, the vacant and gruesome Walking Dead sort, the exploding and gnawing House of the Dead ones. I love them all. Of course I leap at the chance to join their disgusting ranks for an evening.

We used the cheap make-up palettes you can find at the drug store. You'll also need sponges or brushes for applying, baby powder and a large brush to set everything once you're done, and a mirror or friend to help you apply.
You want to start out by applying a thin layer of white of gray to your face and neck. Don't glob it on; you want to look like you're bloodless, not a clown. (Unless you're going to zombie clown, and then more power to you.) If the make up is a little thick, you can soften it up a bit with some baby oil. Also, don't be afraid to use your fingers. You want to dab rather than swipe and don't forget your lips. Pay particular attention to areas that would be naturally highlighted; like your brow bone, the top of your nose, and tops of your cheeks. This will make these area stand out so you look more gaunt and gruesome once the "shadows" are applied. If you're not sure where to apply, shine a lamp in your face from above and see what spots are illuminated and which are in shadow.
Use a black or purple to make dark shadows around and under your eyes, in the hollows of your cheeks, and to accentuate any wrinkles. Anything girls generally want to hide, you want to color black. You'll probably need to make some stupid faces for this, it helps to show off various wrinkles. Suck in your cheeks, smile, scrunch up your eyes or forehead, stretch out your neck.

Once you have the base on, you can add bruises and marks. Use a pale blue eyeliner pencil to make winding veins. Make bruises with a mixture of purples, greens, yellows, and reds. Think about the colors in your own skin and what it looks like when you get a real bruise.

If you want a really fun and gross zombie, grab some liquid latex and congealed blood from the Halloween store or costume shop. (Obviously do not use liquid latex if you're allergic to latex.) Wipe the make up away where you want to apply the latex and spread a thin layer on. Wait for it to dry and then gently rub or pull at it to make it look like scraped or decaying skin. Add some red and purple and fake blood to make it look like bruised and bloody skin.

If you're allergic to costume make up or just want to look like a zombie that is more successful at catching unsuspecting victims, try making some edible fake blood. Not only is it safe to put in your mouth, it tastes a little like black forest cake. Much better than eating regular blood. Be aware that this stains like crazy and gets sticky, so wear clothes you don't care about ruining.
To make it, mix one packet of raspberry jell-o with half of the water called for. Mix in a container of the cheapest maple syrup you can find, like the $1 one. Mix in a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder, the kind used for baking not making cocoa. Once you like the color, mix in enough cornstarch to get a consistency you like. Once you're finished, get a mouthful of it and let it dribble down your face. (Think how your mouth is numb after the dentist.) Spit out any extra. You'll probably want to do this outside, which has the added bonus of making it look like there was a horrible, bloody murder.

Happy Halloween everyone. Comment below and let me see your costumes!

Thank you to the wonderful Plaza Muse for letting us use their space!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nifty Thrifty: Thriftenstein

So, I'm a girl of simple tastes. A bit of a bargain hunter perhaps. If there's one thing I love more than thrift stores, it's thrift CRAFT stores. Craft supplies are awesome, but insanely cheap craft supplies make me have a small fits of glee. Not to mention that, like regular thrift stores, thrift craft stores are full of the hilarious mistakes of taste from years past. Naturually I was downright giddy when I got to visit not one, but two, thrift craft stores on a recent trip to California to visit my mom.

The Legacy Thrift & Gift Shop
781 Gravenstein Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472

My mom and I paid a visit to The Legacy on my previous visit and we couldn't wait to get back again. We actually had excellent timing; we ended up going to day before they briefly closed for a remodel. The store is now three doors down at 789 Gravenstein Ave while the original space is being completely remodeled. The original shop was well organized and the staff is very helpful and friendly; I'm sure the new space is no different
Besides the great prices, you can feel doubly good about shopping there as proceeds benefit the Sebastapol Area Senior Center, which provides activities and classes for adults and seniors.

Fabric is sold by the pound, trims by the yard, and other materials are prices as marked. They have a large selection of supplies including sewing notions, books, cross-stitch and embroidery, yarns, appliques, and more. They also offer some ready made consignment items.

Our second stop was new to us, but had been around in one place or another since 1976.

801 Toland Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

SCRAP was started as a way to get donated craft and art supplies to underfunded schools as well as artists and parents. SCRAP now diverts up to 200 tons (that's TONS) of materials that would otherwise be sent to landfills. They also offer field trips, classes, volunteer opportunities, or simply just a place to find amazing and weird cheap stuff.

SCRAP is really dedicated to creative resuse, which means you'll find more than just your average art supplies. Not that the selection of art and craft supplies is anything to sneeze at. SCRAP offers fabric, paper goods, buttons, paints, trims, brushes, wood pieces, metal, and glass to name a few. The fun is in the entirely random and wonderful things hiding in there. The picture above is a detail of a huge drum on these. I have no idea what they are; I bought 20. There was a huge bin of teeny glass bottles; another of what looked like promo buttons. There was a rack of books and magazines, which housed a collection of sci-fi novels from the 70's. (I so would have bought them all if I hadn't been flying back.) My mom and I spent probably 45 minutes going through tubs of buttons.

Also, there is some rad signage.

Does anyone else visit any similiar places?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adolescent Abnormal Samurai Chelonians

Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, if you want to be technical.

Leonardo leads!
This little guys are the first of the dolls completed for NC Comicon, and I'm a little bummed I won't be keeping them. Despite all my incredibly girlish hobbies and tendencies, I did watch a ton of "boys" cartoons growing up and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of my favorites. (I'm still a little tomboyish about television and movies; I love zombie movies and I can't watch a romantic movie without making puke noises. Because I am so mature.) I found this green fleece online and immediately knew it had to be turtles.

Donatello was my favorite, I think mostly because purple was my favorite color as a kid. He's also a big geek, so that doesn't hurt. I think my favorite part was always the the incredibly unrealistic inventions he would create, most of them pure deus ex machina. His voice actor, Barry Gordon, also did work is several other of my favorite cartoons, including Darkwing Duck and Swat Kats. 

Each of the turtles has a little plush version of their signature weapon, held on with hook and loop tape so they're removable. I think Michelangelo's little nunchucks are my favorite.

Now I just need to make them some little plush pizza for a snack.

The End

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Have a Backup Brain in My Butt

Over the past few weeks I've been getting the last of my custom orders done in order to start getting ready for selling at NC Comicon the first weekend of November. I always get a good selection of interesting charcters with customs, and it seems like I've had an overload of aliens lately...

Oh em gee, I am super happy with how little Doop came out. I think I captured his absolute redonkulousness, along with his vacant stare. Doop is one of those dolls I had way too much fun making. He's about 16" tall and, like all my dollies, has jointed arms. Jointed arms are especially good for flailing while following your boyfriend around the house and repeatedly singing "doop doop doop doop doop doop" until he loses his mind. I think "Nerdy ways to irritate your boyfriend" is so going to be a new blog feature.)

I love his weird, buggy eyeballs. You don't even know.

Kit was actually for Stitch Wars Strikes Back at the Bear and Bird Gallery. He didn't sell and I'm totally disappointed to have his adorableness in my house again. Devasted. He's not at all cuddly and loveable and I do not squee girlishly about his head tentacles. (Headacles? That doesn't sound right.) He also did not sit with me and watch the aquatic episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

I think Marvin is the most "mainstream" of the alien plush. He looks a little cranky about it.

Here's Starro to give you a big hug... and control your brain and subvert your will. But mostly hugs!

Come on, give him a little smooch.