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Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

The hunt is always one for suitable spider bear components,

Small spider bear

Small spider bear

but they have been scarce lately. Eventually I was able to find a pair of smaller bears that still have the great, slightly broken coat fur that works so well for the spiders. One of the good things about working with bears of a similar type is that I have figured out some consistent ways to achieve the look I want. So at least it’s a bit easier to both round out the body to a more spidery shape as well as knowing where all the extra limbs are going to go. Each face is a bit different though. Figuring out what eyes fit best with it’s existing ones and where they’ll go is something that changes every time. The palps also need to be a bit different on each spider too. This one got a pair of slightly longer and narrower ones since they better suited her narrow muzzle. Even after to long wait for me to have a new one I can’t say that I’ve now got her around since she’s already headed off to a home across the border. Oh well, back to the bear hunting for me!

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So, I feel like a bit of slacker, with this, the second pumpkin clock.

Steampunk pumpkin clock, 2012

The face is likely to be from the 20’s and I liked how well it went with both the feet and the little goddess figure. The hands are practically new, in comparison to the rest of the parts, but they don’t look it and were the right scale. I’d intended to carve a very Art Deco clock case outline around the components but the incredible toughness of these pumpkins put me off. I could have taken the Dremel carving bit to this one as well but it’s actually not that much fun to do. All these tiny, slightly sticky flecks of orange and yellow flying everywhere and ending up all over me! Ick! Anyway, I’ve left this one as a more spare design and I think it still works. (of course, I could have not mentioned any of this and just said it was my plan the whole time, but oh well, too late now:)

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It was a stunningly lovely day here yesterday. Well into the 20’s and sunny,  with just a light wind. I had the door open and tried to do as many things as possible outside. Near the top of the list was getting this years pumpkins done. I decided to go with the hot design trend, and used assorted antique clock bits that were around to make some Steamy pumpkin clocks. I’ve been using lino cutters, to scrape off the outer skin, and they usually work really well but these were the toughest skinned gourds I’ve ever come across! In the end, I admitted defeat and used one of the carving heads on my Dremel tool. Even with a power tool, it still took a while to cut off the rind on this one. I’d had plans to detail the columns more, but gave up on that. I have slightly larger set of the column top and bottom pieces, but they are two different colours so I went with these, the smaller set. The clock face is set in and I lined the back in tinfoil, so it wouldn’t be damaged by touching the fruit directly. I have to wonder how well the nails will hold, between now and Halloween.

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As soon as I got started with the Demonic bears I had the idea of making

Spider bear. altered stuffed animal

myself a spider as well. The problem was finding a suitable matched pair of bears. Because I’m working with found stuffies, it’s not often I’ll find two of the same, in similar conditions, especially with the bears. That was why I was so pleased to find a perfect pair of identical white ones. They were part of a line called “Brass Button Bears” and this one was named “Opal”. Someone must have been a collector since they are from the eighties or nineties but were in pristine condition. I had first thought to just use the arms and legs but realized that I could also bell out the abdomen a bit, to enhance the spidery look. It was a bit fiddly, splicing on the additional limbs and remaking the torso, but I’m happy with the look. By the time I was done, all that was left of the donor bear was her head. It was also lucky that the stash included a range of eyes so I could get the needed eight. When I get the ideas for these sorts of little challenges, I can’t keep myself from doing them, but I can hope that they’ll stop being other types of spiders because I end up creeping myself out.

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I couldn’t resist the urge to make at least one fascinator in a classically goth style.

goth fascinator with skull

The main drive for it was the skull, covered in a very fine black glitter. It had been mounted to a wand-like stick but that wouldn’t work for a hair decoration so I removed it and attached it instead to some wire. The base is over a yard of wide black lace that has been gathered into a tight circle. Inside that is another gathered ring of a sheer striped ribbon in black and gold-green. It sits right under the skull and reads almost like a collar for it. (the look of that ribbon gives it a bit of a Steapunky edge) the only other decoration is a big and fluffy black ostrich plume tip.

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The mask inspirations come from all over the place.  It’s not as if there is ever a shortage of ideas popping up, but I do try and select ones that I think might appeal to at least a couple of potential groups. I’d had the concept of actually trying something along the lines of a “superhero” mask for some time but didn’t want to do any to the common ones since there are far to many of then around already. I’d also wanted to try a larger sample of a new finish. We’d come across some fine glass beads in both clear and red. I’d used the clear ones embedded into paint for my Air mask but wanted to see how the red worked. So, for the space around the eye-holes, I used a purple base paint and then covered it with the fine beads. The result is a fine, shimmery finish that flashes and glows between a range of reds and purples, pretty much exactly like the copper/brown material I’ve been using for the Copper Birds. Overall, it has a great Superheroesque shape to the mask while also having some bright, colourful, but not too garish, POP to the finish. (even if did hedge my bets and toned the overall feel by edging it a more subdued, antiqued silver gilt) If it’s still around, it’ll come with me to Toronto Fan Expo in august, since I’ll be a vendor there. I’m sure it can find someone there who it will suit.

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I had a request some time ago for a mask set that would represent the four elements.  The original inspiration was my Summer Queen mask. The plan was to use it as Earth and the other three were designed with that in mind. The problem was that they were to be worn at an event that involved dancing. While the Summer Queen mask is striking and impressive it’s also a little big to be worn while participating in a wide range of motion. The result was that we went back and looked at ways to stay with the theme but still end up with a piece that would be functional for the venue. In the end we went the same base type I used for “Fire”. It’s the standard half-mask with the long elfin ears. The ears are cast separately and attached to the face base. I made the ear forms several years ago but have used them very rarely. Not that I don’t like the look, but they are a ton of trouble to store and would be pricey to ship, all of which has kept them off the “to do” list. For this piece I also wanted to try a different take on the finish. What I ended up going with is an ombre green to yellow. I also did some tattoo-like swirls over the centre of the face. They were made with a raised paint so they stand out when the whole surface was antiqued. I love how it came out looking just ancient! Again, keeping in mind that it will be worn in motion, it has a headdress made up of assorted ribbons. Overall, the finished design is both fun and striking and should be comfortable and easy to wear. (I actually did get see some pictures of it in use and it was worn with a silver wig and looked amazing!)

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