Sunday, October 31, 2010

Polymer Clay Horns

EDT’s Countdown to Halloween!
This tutorial is brought to you by Alternatevisions. Creator of the most adorable Trick or Treat print you have ever seen.

A Basic Guide to Making Polymer Clay Horns

Ever see a pair of horns at a renaissance festival, costume party, LARP or Halloween event (even some in movies, TV & magazines?) and wonder how in the nine hells they were made? Well if the answer is “yes,” then I prithee you believe me when I tell you that they are almost sinfully easy. ;D

Despite what some might think, you really don’t need to have stupendous amounts of innate creativity, be super-crafty, keenly artistic or even super well-learned to make your own neat pair of spiffy, string-on horns. (Although of course none of those wouldhurt. ;)). You just need some good old-fashioned imagination, a little time, a steady hand, some attention to detail, a teeeeny bit of elbow grease, and maybe a dash of ingenuity.

First, decide which type/style of beastie you'd like to portray! Will your horns be for a satyr? A devil/demon? Perhaps a pixie, troll or sprite? Maybe a succubus, or a goblin..? How about a unicorn..? For the purpose of this tutorial, we're just gonna make 1 pair of simple, versatile little curved horns in white- to go with almost any theme. :)

(But if you'd like to do something different, go with it! Play! Choose any sort of curvature or color you like- and have fun! After you bake them, you can even paint them if you wish. :))

To make your own horns, you'll need:

  • 2 toothpicks

  • 2 – 3 feet of satin cord, relatively narrow ribbon, or clear sewing elastic

(Enough to go around your head and leave at least 6-8” leftover on either side to ease tying. Of course color is entirely up to you, but for more natural looks I'd recommend either black or med. to light brown, depending on your hair color. Clear, 1mm. Stretch Magic elastic cord can also work for making smaller horns like these.)

  • 1 cookie sheet (Not to be used again for food after using with polymer clay. I'd recommend using an old tray you might want to re-purpose later, or one which you could devote it entirely to your future clay-baking purposes. :) You could also simply line a cookie sheet w/tinfoil if you'd like to use the tray again. One of those cheap disposable trays they sell at most grocery stores would also work nicely.)

  • Clear spray lacquer or varnish (Optional.)

  • Your choice of Acrylic paint(s) (Also optional.)

  • 1 brick of Fimo, Sculpey, or your chosen brand of polymer clay

(Each brand has their own slightly differing firing temperatures and firmness levels. If you have any problems with your hands, or would just like something more easily conditioned, you might prefer something like Fimo Soft; which doesn't take quite as much force to knead during the conditioning process.)

Step 1. Condition the Clay

Break off half of your poly-clay brick, and begin to press the form into a ball. Do just like you did in kindergarten, and work with it until the clay becomes soft, mailable, and easy to shape at the touch. Make cylinders and as they thin out, bend them into a “U” shape, then twist the tines of the “U” together to make a spiral or braided-looking effect. Twist and mash it all back up into a ball again until the clay becomes readily pliable. (Some brands take longer than others to condition, so keep working at it until you feel the clay moves well, does not crack upon bending, and pretty much acquiesces to your will at the slightest of your whims. This may take time, but it will eventually happen. Reincorporate any crumbles or crumbs that may fall off of your brick as you go. They will eventually obey!

Option: If you'd like to create the basic shape of both horns at once (some do this to ensure that the horns appear more even), you can also condition the full brick all at once. When the clay is fully conditioned, just shape the clay into another short, fat log and bend it into a “U” shape. Note the middle point of where the “U” curves and bend the clay back in the opposite direction. Unless you have super-soft clay, the “U” should break at the half-way point and give you a nice clean divide; leaving 2 pointy-headed cylinders from which you can work. (If you have softer clay, follow the steps above but then pinch the clay at the middle point and continue with the next tip.) If upon comparison one's a bit larger or taller than the other, just pinch off a small piece and keep adding until they look even. :) When they look right, set one cylinder down and continue to follow the steps below.

Step 2. Basic Shaping

Make a ball as neatly and seamlessly as possible. Roll it around in your hands until you cannot see any divots, seams, crevices or divides. Once the ball is uniform in texture, begin to roll out a short, squat clay cylinder. The width of this cylinder will be the the width of your horns at their wides point, so don't make this little clay log too narrow. (You don't need to have a super-smooth, perfect cylinder at this point, but try to at least make it relatively uniform. -because soon we begin to taper.)

Note: Begin considering the size and shape of your desired horns here. You're closer to finishing them than you think! ;D

Step 3. Tapering and Refining

Now comes the point where you'll really start to see your horns take shape!

Using a gentle rolling motion (just like making a coil in ceramics or a clay snake from grade school) begin to press down lightly on one side of your cylinder as you roll the form. Keep one end wide and uncompressed, as this will eventually make the base of your new horn. (Your horn needs somewhere stable and sturdy to rest against your head. Otherwise it'll just fall over or be all flopsy.) Continue to taper the other end of your burgeoning horn until it's near your desired length, with a smooth and uniform surface. (Depending on your design, it may look like a short wide cone, or a long, graceful fluted shape.) Make sure the form is as smooth as you can get it, because next, we twist!

Step 4. The Curl

At this point, aside from baking and piercing so it has a place to be threaded, your horn's nearly done!

Very, very carefully, begin to bend your coil, turning carefully to create your horn's ideal shape.

Depending on how long your horn is, begin between the middle and the base (so you don't overstress your clay and cause it to crack & break). Slowly twist and/or curl it, while thinking of how and where you want the horn to sit on your head. Curl your clay slowly & easily, moving outward until you reach the tip of your new creation. Refine any angles or bends you like as you go, and occasionally set it on a flat surface to see how it looks, and gauge how well it stands up. To flatten the bottom end, try holding the widest part lightly w/two fingers and tapping your horn gently on the counter/cookie sheet. This'll help create a nice flat surface, & will eventually be the place where your horn will rest on your head.

Note: Before placing on the cookie sheet for baking, take the pad of your thumb or part of your fist and gently make a small curve in the bottom center/base of your horn. (The place that you just flattened on the counter in the description above.) As peoples' heads are not table-flat, this little trick will help your horns sit on your melon more evenly. :)

*For a spiral shape, begin bending the horn in one direction with one hand, while using the other to gently turn it bit by bit as you go. You can create a simple spiral in this way, a graceful “S” curve, or even loop your horn back in on itself to make a cute curlycue if you desire. Remember, there are no real rules to designing your own pair of poly-horns. Use your imagination, and have fun!!

Note: If you mess up at any time; if your horn cracks or snaps in half at some point (Heaven forbid- but sometimes it happens to everyone), or if something else occurs and you just don't like the direction your horn is going, it's okay to scrap it and start over. Yes, it kinda sucks that your work just went down the pooper, but the glory of polymer clay is that it's still workable until you fire it- so don't lose heart! Keep working at it if it takes you multiple times to get the kind of horn you like. Eventually you'll get it, and there's nothing cooler than seeing the finished product and being able to say “yep- I made this!” ^_^

Once you're done tapering, bending and shaping your piece, it's time to add some heat!

Get out your toothpick, and gauging about 3/8 inch up from the bottom of your new horn, pierce it! ;D Eeeease your toothpick through the center of the base; right through its diameter close to its fattest point. (Don't go tooo close to the bottom, though. You don't want your clay to collapse in the oven or give once you've threaded your cord through once you some tension on it in the process of tying your horns on.) No need to get too paranoid. Just be careful. :) Once poly-clay is fired, it's tough to make any changes or dents in it w/o some kind of carving tool or drill. (So now's the time for fixing any booboos, or smoothing over any rough spots.)

When you have the base of your horn adequately pierced, keep the toothpick inside the new hole and gently set it on your cookie sheet to be fired.

To make your second horn, repeat steps 1 – 4.

Note: If you have a simple “C” or “S” curve in your horns, you can simply make the exact same horn, and mirror its position to the first one you made as you string it onto your cord or ribbon. However if you've made a spiral or other twisty creation w/your first horn, don't forget to turn your horn in the opposite direction as you bend it- if your desire is to make symmetrical horns. (I.e. if you spiraled clockwise as you made your first horn, don't forget to turn your second horn counter-clockwise as you bend it.) Otherwise your horns will come out roughly identical.

If you're like me and like to make things as symmetrical as possible, don't be afraid to pick up your second horn gently & line it up w/your first horn on the cookie sheet, to see if they match up well. If you'd like them as close to identical as possible (though there may be some drooping in the firing process), handle them gingerly and delicately make any final changes you need. (But don't try to change anything too drastically now, as your clay has had a chance to stiffen up a bit over time and too much manipulation at this point may cause your horn to crack- or even break.) -Besides; they say the best artists are tho ones who know exactly when it's the right time to stop. ;D)

Now might also be a good time to begin preheating your oven. :)

Step 5. Bake

According to your brand's specific instructions, preheat your oven and bake horns (standing up on the cookie sheet if possible). Some settling and shrinking occurs in the oven, so this is why keeping your toothpicks in their holes to maintain open channels for threading is a good idea. Also, making sure your horns can stand up will keep them from falling over, thus creating any odd smooth, flat patches on them after the baking process.

Do NOT over-bake your horns! Excessive baking can cause color-change, singing and even burning (yes, we mean actual FIRE)! So please, please take caution as you make these.Accidental over-cooking of about 5-10 mins. should not be terribly detrimental, but do NOT attempt to over-cook your polymer clay creations in the attempt to harden them further. Just likeHamburger Helper, --the clay will stiffen as it cools.--

Once your horns are good and done, let them cool completely.

Step 6. Threading

Once cool, cut one end of your ribbon, cord or elastic at an angle, so it ends in a long, tapered point (much easier for threading, as it's less likely to hit an errant edge inside the clay channel and cause fraying). For this first horn, it doesn't really matter which direction it faces, as long as you don't tie the cord for placement until the other horn is on. Thread your cord or ribbon through your first horn, and position it about half way down the length of the material.

Next, thread the other horn on. Do you want your horns to face toward each other, or away? Once you have them in the right order, hold onto the string loosely around your head (for these introductory fittings I usually just run the string behind my ears & hold it together w/one hand under my chin to keep it taught), and position the horns where you'd like them.

Mark the place of your first horn by holding onto the ribbon/cording and your horn simultaneously and slip the headband off. (It's okay to let the other slip a little- just try to keep it from hitting the floor if it comes all the way off.) Tie 1- 3 knots (depending on how thick your cording is) on the outside of your horn to make sure the knot won't slip through the threading hole when a bit of pressure is applied.

Note: If you know you're going to keep the position of these horns for some time, feel free to tie a knot on the other (inner) side of your horns if you wish. If you'd still like to have some play of movement however, you can keep the inner sides of your horns untied and just know the outer sides, to make sure they don't slip.

Repeat this last step with your second horn to place it wherever you like on your head. Hold the string and the horn at the same time and run a knot down the material to keep the final horn in place. Tie as many knots as you need (as above) to ensure your horns won't slip off if a moderate amount of pressure is applied. Et voila!

Congratulations! You've just made your first pair of polymer clay horns!


*** *** ***


OPTIONS:

Between Steps 5 & 6, you may choose to paint or apply a clear lacquer or polish to your horns.

  • If you're happy with your creations' color, simply apply a clear spray varnish or lacquer in 1 -2 even coats (OUTSIDE or IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA) until you achieve your desired level of gloss or sheen.

  • If you'd like to try something new & different (or just kick your horns' color up a notch), you can apply acrylic or certain 3-D paints to your new creations. Do so after Step 5, and before you lacquer your horns, if you choose to clear-coat them.

Some ideas for painting your horns might be:

  • Adding darker (black, brown or your chose of hue) tips to your horns, to create a faux bovine effect.

  • Giving your horns stripes (vertical or horizontal).

  • Paint 2-D or 3-D swirls on your horns (for a more whimsical, maybe faerie effect).

  • Coating your horns in an all-over hue.

  • Putting dapples (like a pinto horse) or polka dots on your horns.

  • Simulating an animals' natural coloring extant on its horns (like striations, veining, rings, cracks, browning, or even trompe l'oeil tufts of hair coming up out of the base).

  • Plus you can put any patters you like on there- like plaid, paisley- anything you desire!

When you grow more comfortable with making these, you might try different shapes, sizes, variations, etc. The only limit is your imagination! So go have fun and-

Happy Hallowe'en! ^_^






I'm a visually-impaired singer, artist, and general crafter who loves just about anything magical, mystical, or wonderful about this world and the universe around us. Fantasy and portrature are my first loves, as are drawing and singing for me- where the Arts are concerned. I adore learning, exploring folklore, mythology, spirituality & nearly all cultures' languages, beliefs and music, and would love to speak every language on the planet if I could- past, present, AND future.


For more on the web …
Blog: http://alternate-visions.blogspot.com
Webstore: http://alternatevisions.etsy.com
Webstore: http://www.artfire.com/users/renaessance

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Halloween Cakes!


Ya gotta love HALLOWEEN!!!!! kids trick or treating, parties, dressing up, wearing funky makeup! the fun never ends right???

To celebrate halloween, i baked these two RED VELVET cakes and decorated them in honor of the BEST holiday EVER!!!!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

SCABS or BURNT FLESH

EDT’s Countdown to Halloween!
This tutorial is brought to you by DeviantMachine. Creator of the most adorable Pet Demon Bunny you have ever seen!



SCABS or BURNT FLESH

Supplies
1 box (4 packs) unflavored knox gelatin
Red & Black food coloring
Liquid latex
Small glass bowl
Disposable plastic utensil for stirring
Toothpick
Wax paper or plastic grocery bag to protect counter
Hot water

To get started...
Figure out where you are putting your scabs.
Clean and dry the area.
*You may want to shave the area, especially if it's the top of your arm. The latex and gelatin will pull the hair out!

Lay out your wax paper or grocery bag on your counter
Set out your other supplies: bowl, stirring utensil, toothpick, gelatin, food coloring, latex.
You can either microwave some water, or let the tap run til hot. It doesn't need to be boiling.



Pour 1 pack of gelatin into bowl. Add drops of hot water while stirring.
This is going to be about a 1:1 ratio. With so little water, it sets fast!

You want to get it to a sticky, chunky goo consistency.
Now you need to add your red food coloring, probably about 10 drops.
My bottle of black food coloring does not have the dropper top, so I use a toothpick to get a little to mix into the gelatin.

You want it to be chunky and look like a bowl of flesh!


At this point you have a couple options.
I have put it directly onto my skin, and I have let it dry before applying.
It all depends on if you have created any other prosthetics on your skin that you are using this for...such as open wounds made with fake skin and latex.
I'll say that for this, you are just applying it directly to your skin.



Take your blob of scab and lay it on your workspace. Flatten it out as much as you can. You want it to look like pulled off scabs.
Let it dry (hold it's shape). This will take anywhere from 30 min to an hour. (You can even make these a day ahead of time!)




Add a layer of liquid latex over desired area of skin...let dry.
Add another layer of liquid latex and set the dried scabs on it.
(*If you are allergic to latex, skip these steps!)
**You can also use wet gelatin to smear on your skin, and set the scabs on it to hold them in place.





You can paint around the scabs or add fake blood like I did for the picture.


You also have the option of making the scabs without the food coloring, and just painting over all of it.


The gelatin blobs also work great as chunks of flesh for hanging out of your mouth for a zombie costume!


When you're done for the night, just peel it all off.


Enjoy freaking people out!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


After years of being told she should sell her items, Rebecca started her own company in 2005, and her Etsy store in 2008. She does most of her business vending at clubs and conventions, but still enjoys having her Etsy store (How else would she meet all these awesome artists?!). Currently her items range from Creepy to Kawaii. She is mostly making hair accessories these days, and small plush creatures. Every now an then she gets that spark of inspiration to create something totally random.

For more on the web …
Website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeviantMachine
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/deviant_machine_designs

Freaky Fright Nights At Space 242

I have 7 pieces in this show! there is a second opening tonight, so if you live in the Boston area, fun way to celebrate Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Siamese Twins

She's available on Etsy...

Another way to cut a pumpkin!

In honor of my love of jack o lanterns and Halloween. I decided that for the rest of this week (this ends Nov 1st) any item in my shop that is Pumpkin related is 10% off. I have made a special section of my Etsy shop for these items called Pumpkin Slasher Sale!! Get these items now cause they will go back to being regular prices on November 1st!!

Get jacked!
LDG Nicole

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shrunken Apple Heads

EDT’s Countdown to Halloween!

This week the owner of Darkling Dreams the maker of the amazing Darkling Dolls is kind enough to show her her amazing technique for creating shrunken heads. I love this tutorial! There are just so many fun ideas you can make with this technique.

Shrunken Apple Heads: Who Doesn't Need a Little Shrunken Head Around the House?
I love making these sweet smelling and sometimes disturbing looking Halloween decorations! Every year I host a head shrinking party with the girls and we've come up with some tips and techniques you won't have seen anywhere else! First we will start with the basics:

Shrunken Apple Heads

supplies and ingredients:
apples~* salt
lemon juice
paring knife
vegetable peeler extras~whole cloves, potpourri, rice}*

~*You can use any variety of apple. I like to use a variety because they all dry differently so you'll get some different results. Granny Smith's are probably my favorite though.

Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and give it a couple douses of lemon juice and a spoonful or two of salt. You're gonna ask me how much, aren't you? As any good witch would do, a pinch of this or that, use your instincts!

I like to use a vegetable peeler to peel the apples. Get as much from around the stem as you can, or core completely. Uncored apples tend to retain a little more moisture and have a more fleshy look, while cored apples will be harder and dry faster.

When you're ready to carve, use a small paring knife to cut into your apple. The vegetable peeler works great for eye holes. Remember that the apple is going to wither and shrink, so you want to exaggerate features! You also don't need to get too detailed. General shapes are great and simple details are best, a shallow line can make great wrinkles as it shrinks.

When your done carving plop your apple into the water mixture to soak for about 5-10 mins. After that you can add extras like whole cloves for eyes, or even Frankenstein bolts! They have a natural x-shape at the top, how convenient! Also rice, brown or white, make great teeth. Insert them before drying your apple, they add 100+ to the creepy factor. Another new and fabulous trick is to add potpourri pieces to your apple. They make great ears, teeth, and tongues!

Now it's time to be patient. They need to dry out and it can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks in a dry place. If they are left somewhere humid, you risk them turning into little moldy heads. Freaky, but not in the good way ;) You can keep them on a baking sheet in the oven. Open the door a few times a day just to let some air circulate in there. You can even turn the oven on to help them along. Turn the oven on periodically to the lowest possible heat (170 degrees for me) for an hour or so and then just turn the oven off and leave the door closed. That will help to shrink them much faster. If you live in a humid area, you may just want to leave them in the oven with the oven turned on to the lowest temp for a couple of days.

I like the fast way! If they are completely cored, they can be put in the oven around 200 degrees and be done in about 6-8 hours!

Extra Tips~***

I put mine on a wire rack above the cookie sheet, and rotate every couple of hours so gravity doesn't flatten them too much on one side, of course that can also be used to your advantage!

If you don't soak them in the water mixture they will dry darker.

Paper towels work like sandpaper on the raw apple and are an incredibly helpful carving tool


So what do you do with creepy little apple heads? Make a centerpiece, totem pole, put them on candle holders, but most definitely embellish them!! Make dolls with them, add google eyes, hair, moustache, yarn, stitching, even piercings! Everyone will want to know what the crap you have on your table is and they'll think you're awesome when you tell them they're little gnomes you found in your basement and then performed an ancient ritual on! ;)

You can see many of the techniques and tips used in the pictures of my precious heads! Have fun being head hunters, and Happy Halloween!!


Darkling Dreams is Handmade Art Dolls, Mixed Media Art, Housewares, Steampunk, PMC Jewelry, Altered Art, Photography, Chainmaille, and Sock Monkeys. Or anything else we might scream into creation, with a Gothic, or Punk vibe.

For more on the web you can find her at …
Shop:http://www.etsy.com/shop/darklingdoll
Blog: http://www.keyholegallery.blogspot.com/
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teresa-Taylor/104054012963823#!/profile.php?id=100000770844737&v=wall

Halloween Giveaway!

Enter my doll giveaway! Win this creepy ghost doll :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Doll

The poor dear has had her heart ripped out... right through her pretty pink dress :(

Details on Etsy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just in time for Halloween… WitchCraft EXPOSED!

EDT’s Countdown to Halloween!
This week Heather Lynn maker of the adorable Skull Graveyard Dust Bottles highlighted in her etsy shop Coffincritters shares her views on Witchcraft, and shows us her way for remembering her loveone's that have passed.

Green –skinned hags in pointy hats, cackling over a bubbling cauldron while stirring in the final ingredients for their poisonous brew…made from human and animal sacrifice. And what motivates these evil creatures to perform such heinous rituals? It’s all in the name of Devil Worship, of course! Right…?

WRONG!

Although comical and fun for Halloween, this image of Witches could not be further from the truth! And what better time than now to dis”spell” (pun intended) a few of these myths, as we creep closer to Halloween…the Season of the Witch!

As a practicing Wiccan for more than 10 years, I will tackle a few of the myths and unveil the real truths behind this ancient religion.

IS WICCA A REAL RELIGION? Why, yes it is! Wicca is a form of Paganism, one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) religions that dates back thousands of years before the birth of Christ! Deeply rooted in Pagan beliefs and practices, this modern adaptation is an earth-worshipping , natural way of life.

HOW IS WICCA DIFFERENT FROM PAGANISM? Although it is a form of Paganism, Wiccans adhere to the crede, “Harm none” and “Karmic Law”. This simply means that you practice your Craft and live your life with the intention of bringing no harm to any other human or animal. Whatever you release into the world will come back to you threefold…be it good or bad.

WAIT! DOES THIS MEAN THAT WITCHES DON’T ACTUALLY SCARIFICE ANIMALS? Nope! Modern Witches do not sacrifice animals. In the ancient days, it is believed that animal sacrifices may have been practiced on occasion. But animal, even human, sacrifices are present in many religions, including Christianity. But the reality is, we live in a less savage and more civilized time in the year 2010 than in 4000 BC. We now have the knowledge to perform effective Rites without the need for live sacrifice. Modern-day Pagans and Wiccans typically leave offerings, instead of sacrifices. These offerings can be anything from special herbs to lighting candles/incense to using one’s talents to honor the God and Goddess.

DO WITCHES WORSHIP SATAN? Satan? Who is that??? Such a being is not even recognized in Wicca! Satan was introduced through Christianity and has no associations with Witches whatsoever (other than what has been imposed upon Us). In fact, Witches do not believe in any evil entity or being. We Worship the God and Goddess and nature…there is no evil in that! The only potential of evil resides within the human ego.

DO WITCHES REALLY CAST SPELLS AND HEXES? Yep, sure do. This one is true. Although peoples’ perceptions of what a spell actually is can be ridiculously inaccurate. A spell is not some mystical manipulation of a person to make them do a Witch’s bidding. A spell is simply a prayer. It is using tools and techniques to send a prayer into the universe, a message of what you want to manifest in your life. When done properly, spells can be very effective! When done improperly, a spell can be very ineffective or even dangerous. There are many elements to take into consideration when performing a spell: intent, visualization, herbal and color properties, phases of the moon and sun, even the day of the week and time of day can effect the outcome of a spell.

In regards to Hexes, they are performed by some. Most Witches only use Hexes in cases of emergency, when there is present danger or impending harm. I have never performed a Hex; I have always found other ways to accomplish the goal without needing to manipulate another person. Manipulation, directing a spell toward a particular person, or performing a spell (even with “good intentions” ) without the knowledge of the person involved are highly discouraged. These interfere with a person’s Free Will.

SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES WITCHCRAFT HAVE TO DO WITH HALLOWEEN? Well, my friends Halloween is a Pagan holiday! Dating back as many as 6 thousand years ago (can you imagine that???) Samhain has been performed every year to honor the Dead and loved ones who have passed. Bonfires, costumes, dancing, and feasting have always been a part of the festivities. It is believed that October 31st is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, when souls can pass through our world, when life of the dead is celebrated and not feared or mourned.

The name “Halloween” actually comes from the Christians. In an attempt to replace Samhain with All Saints Day/All-Hallows on November 1st, Samhain was being called “All-Hallows Eve” which was then shortened to Halloween.

With all of that gobbeldy-gook cleared up, how about a fun Witchy project for Halloween/Samhain? I wrote this one myself and perform it in one manifestation or another every year. It is a nice way to honor special people who are passed on, but are still in your heart! You do not need to be a Witch to do this, and you do not have to have experience with magic. Just make sure your intentions are good and you are!

MESSAGES TO THE DEAD
You will need:
*Cardstock or index cards
*Any or all of the following: pen, colored pencils, paint, photos or artifacts of deceased loved ones, decorative paper, glue, tape, ribbon…be creative, or not. This is YOUR project!
*Scissors
*White candles (tealights or chime candles are best, but any white candle will do! You will need one per person you are honoring )
*Heat-proof container for your candles. Take consideration if you are placing your candle outdoors.
*Festive autumn natural d├ęcor, such as leaves, pumpkins, acorns, etc.
*Festive food to leave as offerings for your loved ones
*Black pouch or fabric

The purpose of this project to create mini-altars to place outdoors, or indoors in front of windows. You may honor as many people as you would like, but make sure they each have their own separate space. If performing this indoors, try to give each person their own window if possible.

Take the cardstock and cut it to whatever size you want. I like to use 2.5”x3.5” ACEO/ATC size, but it can be any shape or size your heart desires! You will want one card per person you are honoring.

Decorate each card. This can be as simple as writing a few words, or making it into a piece of art! Keep in mind that you are decorating these with the purpose of sending messages to loved ones as they pass through our realm on October 31st. You may want to include photos, images of things they loved, symbols of times you shared together. Let your heart guide you!

Set up your altars on Samhain, October 31st. Find nooks or special places outdoors, or place them in windows (facing out) if opting to stay inside. Each altar should consist of: a card/message, white candle, any additional decorations of your choice. Festive, natural autumn ones are nice or anything feel will enhance your message or display. The altars may be set up anytime on this day, but leave the candles unlit until later.

Sometime between 11:30-midnight (plan it so that all of your candles will be lit by midnight), visit each altar with a lighter or match. Reflect on that person for a moment: what they mean to you, happy memories, the message you want them to receive when they pass through. Light the candle. Repeat this for every altar you have set up. The candles will attract your loved ones, and help guide them safely back to The Other Side.

When all candles have been lit, say:
“On this Sahmhain Eve I send this (these) message(s)
with the wings of love it (they) will soar.
May these thoughts land where they are intended,
Nothing less and nothing more.
After the door to spirit opens,
Once again it successfully closes.
In perfect love and perfect peace, as I will So Mote It Be!”

Place some food outside and say:
“Spirits passing, as you go
please partake to feed your soul”

Let the candles burn out completely, or snuff them if you need to (do not blow them out). On November 1st, dismantle your altars and place all of the cards in the black pouch or fabric and keep in a safe place for next year.


Be it humorous or romantic, cute or creepy, Heather Lynn uses many types of media to try to illuminate the beauty and magic that can be found in darkness. Pretty faeries, cute zombies, and the horror of the undead all live harmoniously in her world of creation. She uses a variety of media such as: oil paint, clay, paper, digital, colored pencil and more.

For more of coffincritters on the web you can find her at …
Website: faerydustpixy.etsy.com
Website: coffincritters.etsy.com
Blog: faerydustpixy.blogspot.com
Facebook: facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=177873799537#!/pages/GossamerHollow/177873799537

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Special!


I am offering a special promotional Halloween Special of any 4 of my 4x6 semi-gloss fine art prints of your choice for only $20 plus shipping and handling.
When purchasing, please specify which four prints you would like. You may choose from any of the 4x6 prints currently listed in my shop.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/46487376/halloween-special-4-pack-of-4x6-prints

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Ultimate Zombie Makeup Tutorial

EDT's Count Down To Halloween!
Specializing in everything from album covers, to t-shirt designs, and even hand painted art mannequin heads this artist does it all. As well as gives us an amazing tutorial on zombie makeup. I personally can't wait to try this out.





The Ultimate Zombie Makeup Tutorial
1) Create a base coat of white using white tube Halloween make up. Covering the ears and neck as well.(to create a realistic coat)
- Don't use too much, use only a thin coat of white, leaving a little flesh showing through.


2) Outline all creases and check bones with black eyeliner(black lipstick for darker low lights)
-This builds the map for blending .
- Take your index finger and following the contour of your cheek bones and temples smudge the black
downward to make a gradient dark to light gray.Making the line vanish in the blend.


3) Using Silver, Grey, Green, Blue or Purple eye shadow. and either your finger or cosmetic sponge. Use a thing "dose" of your color choice, take
that color over the smudged black and blend down along the contour of your gradient black until desired "bruising" is achieved.


4)With the black lipstick, put only a thin line on the lips to give it the gray lip look.


5) With your finger or sponge, put a very small amount of black lipstick on then follow the eye socket(spreads easier than eyeliner).
- Using the color choice for temple and cheek bones, Blend over the black inward to create depth..and color.


6) Add blood and have fun.

Blood recipe:
Warning..This stuff gets MESSY!
1- Bottle of Karyo Syrup(Clear)
-Pour out a 1/4th of the bottle to create room for the rest of the ingredients.
1-Packet of Black Cherry Koolaid
4-Teaspoons of Chocolate powder, or Chocolate syrup
Use as much as you want of Strawberry jelly to add chunkiness,
Put water in to mix and slightly break down the sugar contents.
Then SHAKE until mixed fully.

Alternative to the chocolate: Use dark kayro, or maple.
The bad thing about maple is it smells horrible, and tastes just as bad.
The good thing about maple: It's more stringy/cartoony looking, and sticker
for a more grotesque look. And has a great color to it.
All forms though, if you get it on your clothes and don't immediately wash
It will harden, into a plastic like state, and will cause plastic like breakage
in said clothing.
There you have it...Instant Zombie, by ZMB Graphics.
Add water to fill the bottle..then SHAKE until mixed fully.


Zmbgraphics specialize in original/customized fine art, illustration, and graphic design. Not limited to and including: Album covers, T-shirt designs, banner design, business card design, sticker/button/and patch design. As well as portraits, custom work of any kind. If it can be drawn, zmbgraphics will do it.

http://www.facebook.com/zmbgraphix
http://www.myspace.com/zmbgraphics
http://www.zmbgraphics.deviantart.com
http://www.etsy.com/shop/zmbgraphics

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Step Right Up!! You are now entering the Circus of the Undead!!

Whats the matter kid?? Don't you like clowns??

That's right the Circus of the Undead has infested my art dungeon!! He He!! Which in turn means it has infested my Etsy shop as well!!! This little guy needs a new home to infest! Why not let it be yours!!!

Adopt this Creepy Evil Clown zombie HERE!!!

Honk Honk,
LDG Nicole

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miniature Absinthe Fountain

For all of you Absintheurs I am proud to present an original of Kaleidoskopic Romance, an Absinthe fountain for your miniature scene!
Inspired by the Bonnecaze and Cie N.2, this fountain will look awesome in a great number of situations: a pub or bar, library, drawing or living room, museum... No matter if your set is modern or antique. These fountains have been around since the end of the 19 century!
The Absinthe sets will be available again soon.
Bring the Green Fairy right into your dollhouse!
Only at Kaleidoskopic Romance.

New Doll...

Details on Etsy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2nd Annual EDT Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Come join the Etsy Dark Team in the 2nd Annual EDT Halloween Scavenger Hunt. One item, from our deliciously dark prizes, will go randomly to each of the first 13 people who complete the Hunt!

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WHEN: Sunday October 10th @ 10am EST (7am PST, 9am CST)

WHERE: Start your hunt at http://SWStitchery.etsy.com

HOW TO PLAY:

  • Look through the shops item listings for this image:

EDT-Button-ScavengerHunt

  • You'll find the link to the next shop to hunt through when you find the image!
  • Compile a list of all the links to the items you find with the above image hidden in it, in order, starting with http://SWStitchery.Etsy.com .
  • When you reach the end, convo your complete list of links to Room3Designs, or email her at: tiffwestlund[at]hotmail[dot]com .

♦♦♦♦    ♦♦♦♦    ♦♦♦    ♦♦♦♦

This will run until the goodies are gone. Prizes include items such as jewelry, cocktail hats, pillows, art prints, ornaments, gift certificates, and more!

Good luck & have a spooky good time!

xx ~EtsyDarkTeam

DIY Monster Gloves For Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year! My wife Diane and I love shopping for masks, decorations for the yard, etc.



This year we hit three stores looking for a pair of monster hand gloves to go with my mask. I have average size mitts and these monster hands were swimming on me! So I decided to try making my own.

I started with a pair of yellow rubber kitchen gloves. While wearing the gloves I marked the position of my knuckles with a black marker.



Next I got my supplies together. I would be using liquid latex from Michael's and a roll of cotton from CVS.




If you've never worked with liquid latex some precautions are in order. It has an ammonia like odor so work in a well ventilated space.

When liquid latex dries it is next to impossible to remove from clothing, rugs etc. So take care.


I've got to give credit where credit is due. The technique I'm going to be using was inspired by an article by make up legend Dick Smith in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.



First I stuffed the fingers of the gloves with paper towel to fill them out. I then began mixing a small amount of liquid latex in a disposable cup with some green acrylic paint. You want to use just enough to tint the latex.



I dipped my brush in liquid dish detergent and blotted the excess off on a paper towel. The detergent prevents the latex from ruining the brush. By the way when washing liquid latex from a brush never use hot water! It causes the latex to coagulate in the brush.



Wetting my brush in the latex/paint mixture I dabbled a heavy coat on the locations I had marked on the glove earlier.



Cotton was then added to the wet latex. Another coat of the mixture was then lightly brushed over the cotton. A second coat of cotton and latex was added and I hung the glove up to dry overnight.



While the gloves were drying I began work on the fingernails. I folded over some scrap oak tag I had and secured it with duct tape.



Using a touch of black acrylic paint mixed with latex I brushed a light coat over the oak tag.

After adding a bit of cotton to the nails I brushed a second coat of my black/latex mixture over the nails. I clamped the nails in bulldog clips to dry overnight.



The following day I brushed a light coat of my green/latex mixture over the entire glove. When it was dry I took some baby powder on a cotton swab and dusted the area between the fingers. When dry liquid latex adheres to itself like crazy. Without the dusting of powder the fingers of the glove might well stick together!



For adding the nails onto the gloves I brushed some pure liquid latex ( no paint added ) on the nail area of the glove and to the rear side of the nails. When dry I pressed the nails in to place.



I then painted a bit of my tinted green/latex rubber mixture around the nails. I added some cotton and another coat of the green latex over it.

Using the end of my brush I pushed the wet cotton back a bit to create a proper looking monstrous cuticle.



Now comes the fun part! I added bread crumbs to my green/latex mixture and painted it over the topside of the hand and fingers of the gloves. The bread crumbs gives a gnarly looking texture to the finished latex gloves!

Go easy on the bread crumbs. Too much makes the latex mixture difficult to apply.

The final step was adding a dash of blue and med. tan acrylic paint to my green latex mixture and stippling some hi lites here and there on my gloves.



Here are the finished gloves.




I hope you'll give making your own gloves a shot. I found it to be a lot of fun. If you have any questions about this tutorial shoot me an email at: Bronk1126@aol.com