Tuesday, October 27, 2009
“The Mexican flatters death and woos death, he sings to her, dances with her, he laughs at her. Finally he challenges her and in the challenging, death loses her power to intimidate him. Once he knows death intimately, death is no longer wrapped in a cloak of mystery or causes him to fear the darkness
Once the fear of death has been defeated, the clutch she has on the hearts and minds of the living is lessened once and for all. Death’s morbid side is buried under music and remembrances, while skeletons laugh and dance and sing as Mexico celebrates life in its embrace of death.”
So, the Crafty Chica (http://www.craftychica.com/) had a Day of the Dead Shrine contest and I was so excited about it! I knew I would enter, but had no idea where to start. My dad died in May. He was a rocket scientist, so I had visions of rocket ships and skeletons. I just kept mulling it over. Then, last week, my mom passed away in her sleep. The ceramic cake box jumped into my mind while I was laying in bed on a sleepless night.
I decided to use a photo of the cake as a place to start. I printed three different sizes and pieced it together on foam core board. I used printable, white and clear shrink plastics for the photos of my parents, the candles, skulls and angels as well as a photo of a beaded Virgin of Guadalupe. I did the beading with some instruction from my buddy, Beth. Check out her web site, it's awesome! (http://sparklingsoulstudio.com/default.aspx).When the glitter came out, that was all she wrote. It's everywhere now. I'm not sure I'll ever get it cleaned up. I'll be blowing glitterboogers for a week.
The finished product is below. I shouldn't say "finished" because I'm sure I'll come across things now and then that remind me of my parents and I'll just have to add on. But, for now...
Trick or Treat!
Frame and post it note holder dressed for Halloween
Costumed Kokeshi Dolls
Try out a Halloween idea for a traditional Japanese doll with Crafterella
Phyllis Dobbs created a fun and easy Halloween mask - great for adults and kids!
Fun Halloween Lanterns
Stephenie Hamen accessorizes plain paper lanterns with her paper punches.
Black Widow & Bloody Necklaces
Pattie Wack uses 3-D paint to create chokers that will creep out your party guests!
Tutu Cute Halloween Wreath
Vanessa creates an inspired wreath made of tulle!
Mad Scientist Party
Amy of Living Locurto shares a slew of fun ideas to host your own Mad Scientist Party.
Halloween Zombie Dolls
Crafty Chica shows how to add some zombie love to your decor!
Boopsie Daisy shares some of the wonderful Halloween dollies that she dreams up!
Crafty Chica's Ghost Story!
Kathy Cano-Murillo shares a haunted crafty tale!
Halloween Cone Witches
Make these cute little paper cone witches for Halloween!
Mel takes the leftovers from last week's project and makes a cool Goth choker!
Brenda Pinnick Halloween Owls
Seasonal Owls for Scaring or Delighting Trick or Treaters
The Impatient Crafter
Margot creates another spooktacular mixed media necklace with a bite.
Halloween Batty Windchime
Heidi Borchers creates a super cute windchime with personality!
Kitschy Kitschy BOO
Add some Halloween flair to your day with this cute kitschy bracelet and earring combo!
Simple Halloween Gift Tags
Studio Mama makes a strong impact with these quick and easy tags!
Strands of Beads
Melissa once again gives some pretty flower beads a Gothic makeover with this simple earring design
Sharron Westerfield shares her passion for costume-making and the joy it brings her grandchildren.
Return of the Birthday Zombie
Candace is cracking herself up with this ghoulish gift box idea
Swelldesigner a.k.a. Alexa Westerfield shows you how to make a fun pumpkin on the fly!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Spooky Spider House
Silvia creates a miniature haunted house that is spooky and oh-so fun!
Witchy Embroidered Postcard
Sharron Westerfield brews up a whimsical witch postcard
The Impatient Crafter
Vintage plastic owls become the focal point of a charming necklace you can wear for Halloween and all year round!
Pumpkin and cat felt treat bag
Felt bag that can also be made as a wall hanging or door hanger
Cheryl Ball's Halloween Door Hangers
Create these door hangers from inexpensive gloves for Trick of Treaters
My Big Mouth
Make a creepy wire tree just in time for Halloween!
Mel's Day of the Dead Necklace
Linked chain, skulls and spiderwebs for Dia de los Muertos
Crafty Chica's Matchbook Shrines
Adorable little folding shrines that fit in your pocket!
Make a plump paper pumpkin from some strips of paper plus a little Halloween craftiness!
Polymer Clay Zombie
Candace's diabolical plan to populate the world with zombies continues!
The Impatient Crafter for iLoveToCreate
Make a retro style styrofoam ornament into a fab Halloween Party centerpiece! Madge shows you how using iLoveToCreate products!
How to Make a Spooky Spice Rack
Come make a spooky spice rack with Crafterella, she's sharing her unique labels with everyone!
Halloween Treat Tote
Conjure up a quick Halloween cupcake basket using new ScoreBoard dies!
Brenda Pinnick's Halloween Banner
A little scary, a little fun, this delightful banner celebrates all things Halloween. Made using Brenda Pinnick Sizzix dies, glitter and ribbon.
Pattie Wack turns mini pumpkins into a boo-tiful Halloween lighting idea!
Strands of Beads
Melissa explores the holiday possibilities in a black and white checkered bead
Glow in the Dork Wall Hanging
Turn off the lights and have a laugh with this goofy wall hanging from Alexa Westerfield!
Picture Perfect Pumpkin
Vanessa Coppola turns a traditional pumpkin into a decopauged masterpiece!
Friday, October 16, 2009
This is a polymer clay zombie that I made for my dear friend, Beth. She and her family love zombie movies, so I came up with an idea to make the gift as cheesy as a great zombie flick. I made the zombie using polymer clay. See the Polymer Clay Zombie blog entry from last week's Terrorific Tuesday post to learn how to make your own zombie. I made him one half of an Origami box to stand in, but you could use any box. I used some Photoshop techniques on a photo I'd taken of a graveyard for the background. I tore the edges and browned them up with a sienna stamp pad and glued the pieces to the back and sides of the box.
Next I composed the following letter to go with it. If you're a zombie officianado you'll see where this is going. If you're not, I'll say this: George Romero made the first zombie classic Night of the Living Dead - It takes place in a small town in western Pennsylvania - If you're bitten by a zombie, you become one (some consider this the Zombie Virus) - Where ever zombies go there is mayhem - The most famous line from the movie is "They're coming to get you, Barbara".
Here's the letter:
I was looking on line and found this killer cake decorator, Barbara, who makes these fabulous cakes. She works at a place called Romero’s, in a small town in western Pennsylvania. I called her up and told her about you and the kind of things you like. I was so excited! She said she’d make something spectacular for you. So, yesterday I got this strange email from the owner of the bakery:Dear Candace,
You should know there’s been a terrible virus going around our town. None of my staff showed up at all today. Barbara started your cake, but couldn't make it in either. There are several fires in town and things are a mess. I called my delivery guys, who said they could go pick her up. I called her and said “They’re coming to get you, Barbara”, and she screamed and hung up. She never showed and I can’t get hold of the delivery guys, either. I’ve finished the cake myself and will deliver it personally. I hope it will meet your approval.
So, in the process of moving to Utah and, yes, that's my excuse - I missed Beth's birthday. As I was putting together ideas for Alexa Westerfield's Terrorific Tuesdays, I printed photos of the birthday zombie and made them into earrings. See the SugarSkull Bracelet & Bats in the Belfry Necklace, and Candy Corn Riot Earrings blog entries, if you want to use this idea. They have all the directions you might need for shrink plastic and earring making. With one exception - to make your earrings from a photo, you'll need the inkjet printable shrink plastic.
I figured I'd send along a note set up like a movie poster and title it:
Now, I was looking around the house for a box to send the earrings in and then it hit me - I had some old DVD cases that I'd been saving for some scathingly brilliant idea, and finally I had one!
Here's what I ended up with...
The front cover says:
The back cover says:
Photos that you can size appropriately
Now, go! Go make your DVD case gift box! You're welcome to use the zombie letter and figure ideas, if you like!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My buddy Cindy turned me on to a book by Maureen Carlson called Fairies, Gnomes and Trolls. The instructions and tutorials are awesome! So, I was doing a polymer clay class for my friends, Laura and her way cool son, Tommy. I think we were making canes. Anyway, at the end of the class, Tommy made a tiny Freddy Krueger from the leftover clay. We decided they should come back and do a zombie making class! We used the same methods that Maureen Carlson shows in her book and it was way too much fun! We were joined by fellow zombie enthusiast and dear friend, Beth. I had made a birthday zombie for her which I'll feature in another blog. Standing in the back ground here is the Elvis impersonator zombie.
Polymer Clay - black, white, green and as many other colors as you like for clothes and such
Two 18" pieces of floral wire for each zombie
A small amount of aluminum foil
A knitting needle or other tool for smoothing the clay
A craft knife
A red gel pen for blood
A means for baking the zombie - a toaster oven reserved for crafts or a conventional oven that you only use for crafts occasionally.
Begin by folding one 18" piece of floral wire in half and in half again. Twist an opening in the middle of the wire for the head, a little further down twist an opening for the body and fold a small amount of wire on the ends for feet. If you can make it stand on its own, you're off to a good start. If you can't, don't worry the clay feet will still work.
Crumple bits of foil and wrap around the head, body and legs.
The hands and face are the most delicate so I save them for last. Here's where I add some gore. I pushed some flesh color on the belly and add a bit of shirt color to look like a torn shirt.
Use your craft knife to open the mouth
Roll a small bit of white clay that's wider in the middle than the ends. Press into place with the back side of the craft tool and define the teeth as well.
Use the knitting needle to open eye holes. Press in then wiggle a bit to widen. Roll tiny bits of white for the eyes. Place them gently into the eye sockets. The idea is to add eyelids without squashing the eye.
This is just half of a folded paper box. I printed a background, tore the edges to fit and marked up the paper with an ink pad.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Another week! Another helping of Halloween goodness. Check out what the fabulous crafters from all walks of life are up to this Terrorific Tuesday for the second week of October!
This little lightLight up the night with this cute pumpkin votive holder from Kat the Fearless Crafter.
Sugar Skull Bracelet & Bats in the Belfry ChokerCandace is having way too much fun with shrink plastic! Check out these fun and charming crafts on the Spirit Clay blog.
Dollar Tree Decorated Lights TutorialCome and decorate some Dollar Tree Skulls with Crafterella, don't forget your sharpie markers!
The Impatient Crafter for iLoveToCreateWhip up a Halloween Invitation that's a real 'hoot' with Madge in this project for iLoveToCreate!
Spooky Halloween CoastersCheryl Ball of Still Crafty After 50 shares some fun, funky, and spirited coasters!
Halloween Treat BowlCreate a fun and festive treat dish with Inspired at Home!
Strands of BeadsMelissa creates a whimsical seasonal necklace based on the theme "pushing up daisies".
Basic Black Box Meets Pumpkin PatchWhip up Halloween favor boxes in minutes with brand new Sizzix ScoreBoard dies.
Mummy MannequinCreate a mummy that will be a memorable accent at your Halloween party with Pattiewack!
Munchkin Mama's Crispy Peanut Butter BallsMunchkin Mama has a great recipe for no bake peanut butter balls that the whole family will want to make!
Witch Parking!!Make a "Witch Parking" sign on the Mucky Finger's blog!
Vintage-Inspired Halloween Tree TopperShannon shows off her new Halloween tree topper, inspired by vintage crepe paper crafts!
The Impatient CrafterMake a whimsical and elegant Halloween necklace with Madge!
Jack-O-Lantern WaterfallsStudio Mama shows you how to make some fun and festive earrings for the Halloween season.
Glow in the Dark JewelryUse glow in the dark polymer clay and rubber stamps to produce eerie Halloween jewelry.
Crafty Chica's Paint Drip Pumpkin!A loca idea on the fly turned out muy fantastico!
Free Printable Halloween Cup SleevesYou’ll be a hit with these labels for hot beverages at your Halloween party.
Scarecow SweatshirtSharron Westerfield shares a cute scarecrow sweatshirt she made from a fun downloadable pattern from Janome!
Halloween Ribbon Brooches and FascinatorsAlexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner whips some quick and cute Halloween accessories!
R.I.P. Skeleton in CoffinGuarantee a spooktacular Halloween Party with a skeleton in a coffin treat filled centerpiece!
Happy October KewpiesFind inspiration in this colorful and cute candy corn Kewpie photo from Boopsie Daisy!If you would like to join in the fun next week, e-mail Alexa at email@example.com and put in your subject line "Terrorific Tuesday". She'll get you added to the group!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Dowel (about 1/4 inch) or other instrument to wrap wire around
Fine point permanent markers - black, pink, orange, green & purple
Stretchy beading string
Needle nose pliers
Colorful seed beads
Assorted beads you might want on your bracelet
Pewter cross charm
24 Gauge wire, any color
Acrylic spray sealer
For the Bats in the Belfry Choker you will want to add these as well
Opaque gel pens - white and any color you want for the bat's eyes
Orange and purple narrow ribbon
Narrow black cord
Shrink plastic is a wonderful medium for turning hand drawn elements into jewelry. I love the holiday Day of the Dead! It happens around Halloween, but it's a celebration of ancestry. I'm so inspired by the colors and imagery. The humorous skeletons represent our loved ones doing the things they loved to do in life. Sugar skulls are a popular treat. This project was designed to honor the artistic and spiritual women in my family line. Below are a couple of ceramic skulls I've made.
Create your sugar skull design and bake the shrink plastic according to the directions. Don't forget to punch a hole in each skull BEFORE baking. After baking, protect your designs by spraying the skulls with a sealer
To turn the skulls into charms, you'll want to do some wire wrapping. The wrapping I do for bracelets is fairly large so the charms will move easily. Start with about six inches of 24 gauge wire (any color), wrap twice around a 1/4 inch dowel (or anything you can find that's about that diameter - I used a chopstick). Twist to secure. Slide the double loop off the dowel.
Beginning close to the double loop, wrap the wire around once and slide it off the dowel without twisting.
Pick out some colorful seed beads and slip three or four on the open loop. Slide a skull onto the loop and add three or four more beads onto the loop (you can use more or less if it suits your fancy). Put the loop back on the dowel (this helps your loop keep it's shape) and twist.
Wrap around and around to make a big messy middle on the charm. Repeat for as many skull charms as you want.
The bead charms are just a little different. Make your double loop. Thread the long end of the wire through a bead . Wrap the wire around the bead, back to the middle and make your messy pile. Take care to tuck the end of the wire in as close as you can with needle nosed pliers so it won't snag your clothes
Cut a ten inch length of stretchy bead string. Lay out it out with your charms on one side and several possible bead choices on the other side. This makes it easy to begin stringing the bracelet. It takes me many tries to get the look the I want at a length that works, so don't be disappointed if you don't get it just right the first time.
This is how the knot should be tied, according to the the stretchy string people.
For the choker I used glass candy corn beads and strung the whole bunch on on purple wire. I made loops on the ends of the wire and tied bits of black cord and purple and orange ribbon to tie around the neck. I left several inches in front, fraying the black cord and then added some shorter pieces of the ribbons. I braided the long ends to make them easier to tie.