Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creepy Ornaments

 
No holiday cheer is complete without some creepy ornaments. 
First up, this humorous video about them. 



 
 
Now here is a beauty I spotted at JoAnn’s.  Uncle Sam holding baby Jesus standing on Mount Rushmore.  There is a lot going on here and the ghastly paint job doesn’t do anything to help.  Are they ghosts or worse, mimes?  Is Uncle Sam wearing tights? WWJD?
 
 
 
 

 
I saw this at Target, from severed neck to antler tip its 15 inches tall.  It's definitely a piece that will make a statement in any decor. 
One such as, "I am the porcelain embodiment of Satan, bow before me!" or maybe, "That uneasiness you feel is me watching you when you're not looking."
I happen to think he looks a little like an old friend of Creepmas, what do you think? 
  


We are not without our own creepy ornaments. My daughter picked out this cat a few years ago.  It is not a warm, friendly looking cat. I wouldn't have thought it possible to make a plush cat that looks like it's hissing and spitting, but here it is. If you push its belly it meows "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", maybe that explains the "I wish you were dead" expression on its face.








This guy is what I call creepy cute.  He reminds me of the squirrel from the Ice Age movies.


 











Speaking of creepy cute, how cute is this little guy? I'm sorry you can't have him, this one is mine, but you find his brethren at  Undead Ed.
 










So concludes our 13 days of Creepmas. 
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, now on to the 12 days of Christmas.

 
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pom Pom Spiders


I don't think of spiders as creepy, but I'm still going to put them out there for the 12th day of Creepmas. From the first time the kids and I made pom pom spiders for Halloween we've been hooked. They are easy to make and so adorable. I know some people would argue that spiders can’t be adorable, but I suggest you check out adorablespiders.tumblr.com.  Once we started making them we couldn’t stop and as Halloween rolled out and Christmas rolled in we kept making them, we just changed our color scheme.
  

This is a new one the kids came up with this year with his own little hat and candy cane.

It was only a matter of time before I came across the story of the Christmas spider. There are many different versions but the essentials are the same, the spiders spin their threads all over the Christmas tree and by morning by some act of magic they have been transformed it into shiny tinsel. And now when I get the odd look or two because the tree is covered in spiders, I can honestly say I didn't make it up.   

So to make your pom pom spider you will need: 
 
1 small pom for the head
1 larger pom for the body
2 pipe cleaners
1 2 inch piece of pipe cleaner
2 googly eyes
glue (I am currently in love with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue)
wire cutters or old scissors you don't like
needle nose pliers (optional)
 




Cut the two pipe cleaners in half, these will be your legs.

Fold each of the four pieces and the 2 inch piece in half to make a V shape.


 
 
 
 
Line up your four leg pieces and hook them together with the 2 inch V.
 









To get your legs nice and snug hold the ends of the legs together with one hand, and then pull the ends of the 2 inch piece in the opposite direction. Keeping the tension, pinch and twist the smaller pipe cleaner as close to the legs as possible. Just a few twists will do, if you over tighten the pipe cleaner can snap.



 





Then twist the ends of the small piece together and curl it into a flat spiral, it's easier to do with pliers, but not impossible to do by hand.







Put glue on both sides of the spiral, and press it between the two pom poms and hold for at least 30 seconds. Then set it aside and let it dry completely.










Once it’s dry, fold the legs straight up in the opposite direction. Now the point where all the pipe cleaners stick out from the pom poms will be on the bottom.









Grab the legs at the midpoint and bend them down. Grab the ends and give them a little bend for “feet”.

Finish shaping the legs and getting them positioned the way you want and then glue the eyes on.




With all the different pipe cleaners and pom poms available the variations are endless.






Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Creepmas Lego Style


On the 11th day of Creepmas I give you the
   Lego Haunted House all done up for the holidays.
 
    
One of my favorite decorations is this Cthulhu inspired wreath. 
The snake garland, Santa skeletons and skull snowman are very festive too.
 

Up on the rooftop skeletal, demon horned, flaming eyed reindeer pause.
Out jumps dear old zombie, brain eating Santa Claus. 

 
And while everyone else is upstairs enjoying the Creepmas Eve party, the zombie chef is cooking up some wicked brew down in the kitchen and zombie Santa is leaving a few things under the tree that are probably best not opened.
 
 
Here's a better picture of the tree, just because I really like it.   
The creepy Jack in the Box is from the Lego Winter Toy Shop set with a skull make over. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stories for Creempmas


I found this wonderfully chilling short story, Secret Santa by Daniel Ritter.

Here’s a little story of my own, but this one is true. 

It was a dark and stormy night. 

Most horrifying Christmas pajama picture I could think of.

Well for sure it was dark and it was nighttime.   I was trying to get the kids to bed and told them to get their jammies on.  Five minutes later, I noticed my daughter in the living room, just standing there holding her pj’s looking a little lost.   I asked why she didn’t have her jammies on and she looked down and to the side like she’s really nervous.  I asked what’s wrong.  She tentatively said, “Umm, you know Santa? And umm, you know how he sees you when you’re sleeping and when you’re awake? Well, ummm….”, as she looked down at her pajamas.    
Then it clicked, so I immediately assured her that Santa doesn’t watch you when you’re getting dressed, and hastened to add or when you’re in the bathroom and she was satisfied with that and cheerily went off to change.

But it is creepy when you stop to think about it…

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Elf on the Shelf





If you’ve learned nothing else during this Creepmas season you should have realized by now that creepy dolls freak me out.  Now here is a doll that’s marketed as doing the one thing I hope and pray creepy dolls never do and that’s get up and move around while I’m sleeping.  Let's not forget he's a sneaky, spying, snitch.  Yeah, where can I sign up to bring one of those home?

 
 
 
 
The first 30 seconds of this video is sheer evil genius. 
 
 
About a minute into this next video this kid finds his elf. I’m in total agreement with his sentiments about the elf, although I can’t say I would’ve been able to remain so cool and calm.  If I found one of those in my room, I think there would be blood curdling screams.   
 
 

Besides his mischievous grin, those spindly arms and legs are just freaky looking.  They remind me of DiVine, and I can only imagine the horror if someone with those skills acquired an elf suit. 
 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Creepmas Gingerbread House

Here is our first ever haunted gingerbread house.  We did a “normal” house too, but that one was boring, so I’m not going to talk about it. 

 
I used a Wilton kit. The black frosting starts out as stinky blue powder, but after you add water, it turns into black cement.  How cool is that? I’m not exactly Martha Stewart when it comes to decorating with frosting, my zombie turkeys are proof of that.  In previous years my gingerbread frosting technique has consisted of squeezing out frosting where the kids need to stick something.  Suffice to say I didn’t do such a good job, but what I lack in trimming windows, I made up for in making icicles. They look like, well…icicles, which really surprised me. 
I went all out on those windows too, rolling out gummy orange slices in sugar and cutting them into window shapes. Then I mucked them up with a bad icing job. I botched the little circle window so badly I scraped it off and did it over.  Before I could do that, I had to deal with the big stain the frosting left, so I smeared it around with a wet paper towel.  I should have black-washed the whole piece and I just might do that on purpose next year. 

One thing that worked was the skull wreath.  I used  a couple of the hard crappy mini gumdrops that came with the other house, so it’s not as full as I would’ve liked, but I think it looks good for a first run.  Also on the skull I just scored the teeth with a knife and then dusted it with sugar to make them stand out, that worked out as well.   

The last thing I’d like to mention is the tree.  I completely winged that and it’s still standing so I’ll consider it a success.  I mixed 3.5 oz. of chocolate with about 2 cups of pretzel sticks and laid them out like so on wax paper.  Next time I will make sure I shore up the bottom and the side in a straighter line, to give the pieces a snugger fit.  If the tree isn’t going to be viewed from all sides you could get away with just three sections.  So after the chocolate hardened, I melted another ounce of chocolate in a small plastic freezer bag, snipped a corner and piped it on the four long sides to fuse them together.  I also add some of those fabulous icicles, which I am now famous for (in my own mind), and sha-zam, spooky winter tree.

You’ve seen my fumbling attempt, now take a look at this zombie inspired work of art.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Creepmas Confections

What’s yummier than brains? Peppermint bark covered chocolate truffle brains!

So I’ll tell you how to make them, but first a little story about instant holiday horror…in a box.

While I was grocery shopping, I spied a Jell-O No Bake Candy Cane desert mix. My love for boxed desert mixes is right there with the love I have for rabid sock monkeys. But it reminded me of when I made a Jell-O No-Bake cheesecake when I was a kid. It was quick and easy, I had fun making it and I realized I’ve been depriving my children of making their own artificially flavored concoctions.

On the back of the package is the alternative recipe, with a layer of chocolate on top. This recipe included melting frozen cool whip and chocolate together. Umm, ick? But I figured putting a layer of real ganache over the top would make it more palatable. So whats a girl to do with the left over ganache? Make truffles. And don't I have a brain mold I haven't tried out yet? And that's just how it flows when Creepmas is in the air.

In case you were wondering how the No Bake turned out, my son made it when he got home from school. We had a lot of fun working on it together and his little sister now thinks he’s amazing because he made this incredible desert. Incredible meaning it’s edible with the chocolate on top. I think after one piece I’m good, forever. The mint flavoring is a little weird. The little candy cane pieces aren’t really pieces of candy cane, because that would be crazy. They are little wafer disks swirled red and white with a fainter version of the odd mint flavoring. But the kids think it’s great, and I’m not about to tell them otherwise. 

So back to brains!

When it comes to truffles using quality ingredients is key, but I also need convenience. 

My chocolate of choice is Lindt. It’s readily available and has a good flavor and texture. For this recipe I used their Sweet Dark. 

When it comes to white chocolate, which isn’t really chocolate, I actually like the flavor of Baker’s over the more expensive brands. Even though it’s in the lower price range it’s still made with real cocoa butter.

I highly recommend getting just plain pasteurized whipping cream if you can find it. Most grocery stores carry the ultra-pasteurized because it has a longer expiration date, but you’ll find ingredients in it other than cream and it doesn’t taste as good.

When it comes to butter and vanilla always use the real stuff.


Here is my standard ganache recipe for the truffle filling:

4 oz. chocolate (broken or cut into small pieces)
¼ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix chocolate, cream and butter in a small glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. It will look really grainy at first and then it starts to smooth out. If it's still lumpy, microwave in 15 second increments. Once it’s smooth stir in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until firm, this can take a few hours. Makes 14 tablespoon size truffles. 

To see the original recipe and gain more truffle wisdom go to JoyOfBaking.com

Peppermint Bark Coating:

2 oz white chocolate
2 teaspoons finely crushed candy canes 


Microwave white chocolate in a small glass dish for 30 seconds until soft.  Stir until smooth. Microwave in 10-15 second increments if it is still not melted.Then stir in the crushed peppermint.

Note: This recipe is enough to coat one tray of candy molds. So you’ll be doing this more than once. It’s just a 1:1 ratio of 1oz chocolate to 1 teaspoon candy cane, so you can make as much or as little as you need, but I like to work in small batches.

Extra Note: One Bob’s candy cane yields about 4 teaspoons crushed candy.
Extra Extra Note: Always taste test your candy canes. I made another batch using the Spangler brand, very nasty flavor. I also tried Brach's peppermint candies, very nice flavor, although it seemed more mild than the candy canes.

I used the Wilton Brain and Eye Cookie Candy mold which has 6 cavities and the Wilton Skulls and Scrolls Cookie Candy mold with 8 cavities. 

According to the Wilton website the brain and eye mold has been discontinued and the skulls and scrolls isn’t even listed, but they are still available online other places. Or if you wanted to make them with <shudder> happy snowman and cheerful snowflakes, you can get those just about everywhere right now.

Step 1. Make the truffle filling, refrigerate until firm.

Step 2. Make 1 batch of peppermint bark, evenly distribute between the cavities in one mold. It doesn’t flow well because of the peppermint pieces, so you’ll have to push it around with a spoon to get the sides coated. Refrigerate.

Step 3. Once the truffle filling is firm, scoop into tablespoon sized balls. I use a small cookie scoop for this. One tablespoon is perfect for the small molds, but the large brain molds are better if you use 1.5 scoops.

Step 4. Gently press the truffle filling into your molds and pop them back in the refrigerator.

Step 5. Make another batch of peppermint bark for each mold. Gently spread the mixture around until it coats the back and fills in the sides and put it back in the refrigerator until it completely hardens.

Alternatively you can fill them in with just plain chocolate. White, dark or even two thinner layers of both, just chill between layers.


Step 6. Once harden you can pop them out of the molds. If you need to stock up on tasty brains, they freeze well also.

Step 7. Eat brains! They are best if you bring them to room temperature before consuming.


I didn’t really care for the eyes, unless you go through the trouble of painting the molds with colored candy melts, they just don’t look right. I just used a little chocolate to cover the iris and for some reason every time I look at them I want to cover them with pasties. 

I liked the slightly smaller size of the skulls and spiders, but the brains are so cute. I might try my hand at bite size brains next year.


Mmmmm brains. 












 



Thursday, December 6, 2012

SLUG Zombies

Want to see what we found in our stockings this morning?

Christmas SLUG Zombies! 
I happen to know from a reliable source that St. Nick picked them up at Target. 



I hope ours will aspire to someday look like these.


This next picture isn't for the faint of heart.  I know St. Nick has a twisted sense of humor, at least at our house, but oh the horror!



At least there were no creepy dolls or sock monkeys. 



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Krampus

Tonight St Nick will come and fill our stockings will be filled with goodies, but today let’s have a little Krampus.

The costumes featured in this parade are amazing.  I love all the unique versions of Krampus. 
 
 
Now these guys take the business of punishing the wicked seriously.  They don’t bring a little bundle of sticks, they’ve got the whole branch.  It’s all fun and games until someone gets their eye poked out.  This has some nice tunes too.  Good running around and hitting people with sticks music.  
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Creepy Toys of Christmas Present

What would Creepmas be without a few presents under the tree to send shivers down your spine when you unleash unwrap them Christmas morning?  Maybe they’re already hungry and tired of waiting.  Maybe tonight they’ll quietly creep out from under the tree with only the faintest rustle of wrapping paper to disturb your slumber…  

Behold Ivory Ice Crystals.  I know she looks cute, adorable even, so how could she be anything but pure evil?  All the Lalaloopsy dolls have those same black soulless eyes, and pert little smiles.  Smiles like that were made to hide sharp teeth. This limited edition holiday doll is no different, except I suspect the icy breath behind that sweet smile is as cold as death, with the stink of rotting flesh wafting beneath the scent of plastic.  How long until your heart ceases to beat after staring into those dismal eyes and sinking into their demonic abyss?  Hell has frozen over and her name is Ivory Ice Crystals. 

Of course your soulless ice demon would not be complete without her trusty crown wearing hell hound polar bear.

 
But what if you really, really hate the person on your Christmas list, and the ice princess just isn't enough? Lucky for you there is Charlette Charades, she’s a creepy button eyed fiend and a mime.  That’s two creeps for the price of one.
 


 
What I said above goes double for any Cabbage Patch Kid, triple for this one. I was a product of the 80’s.  As testament to poor taste I’ll admit I succumbed to stone washed tapered jeans and bad perms, but I never wanted a CPK.  What kind of black magic does marketing practice to keep these things coming back?
 
 






The first time I saw a Sing-a-ma-jig, I thought sex doll for Muppets. Years later they are still on the market, which is both scary and disturbing. Who keeps buying this stuff? Sex dolls, for any species should not be in the children’s toy department. The holiday snowman edition is apparently for Muppets with a hobo fetish.





Jack-in-the-Boxes have a reign of terror that goes back hundreds of years, and while the Sock Monkey hasn’t been around that long, I’m sure it’s caused just as many nightmares.

These days Sock Monkeys come in all sizes, colors and abominations. The only thing I haven’t seen is a
LeMarchand Sock Monkey puzzle, but the Sock Monkey-in-a-Box, comes pretty damn close. You better believe when that monkey pops up he’s going to drag you straight to hell and your little dog too. 


 



 





Monday, December 3, 2012

Toys From Creepmas Past

For the 3rd day of Creepmas I give you three toys from yesteryear. 

Last winter our local historical museum had a display of nostalgic toys.  Here are a few of the creepiest gems they had to offer. 


Snow White, the fairest in the land.  I'm sure in her day some little girl squealed in horror delight at the sight of her.  Personally I would stake her little black heart, cut off her head and bury her in silver chains, just to be on the safe side. 

That reminds me of my favorite Snow White story by Neil Gaimen.





Marionettes are right up there on my creep scale, I can't fathom a world in which they were ever popular. I have never seen The Howdy Doody Show and having seen these guys up close and personal I never want to. The clown gets triple creep points.  Clowns rank first on my creep scale. 







The Mr. and Mrs. Potato head that I grew up with were very different from the creepfest they started out as.  The original toy requiring a real potato and even the first incarnation with a plastic potato head look a little off, not to mention a sordid past of sharp pointed pieces and small choking hazards. 



 
 
I can't talk about old creepy toys without including a Baby Laugh A Lot commercial.  The original is freaky enough on it's own, but I love this one with a little Halloween soundtrack mixed in. 30 seconds of this and you feel like you've just been through an 80's slasher film marathon. 
 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Boa Bats

On the second day of Creepmas I give you two furry snow bats. 
This is one of our favorite Halloween crafts and this year we gave it the Creepmas treatment. 
It’s a fun and easy project.  You can find instructions and templates here. 
The instructions say to use card stock for the wings, but I generally use foam sheets or stiff felt. I also prefer to use googly eyes.  For these snow bats I used sparkly boas and glittered felt. 
It might just be coincidence, but I swear these little guys are some kind of furry mistletoe because every time I’m standing beneath them my husband comes by and kisses me.
 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Merry 13 Days of Creepmas

The 13 days of Creepmas may be new, but Christmas creepiness has always been there.  Sometimes it lurks behind cheery traditions, while other customs proudly wear their creepiness right out there for everyone to see. 

For me it’s also mainstream stuff that creeps me out.  Things that give the outward appearance of being joyful and nice, but they always make me feel that something diabolical waits beneath the surface, like clowns.  
So on the first day of Creepmas I give to you a Little Death with a candy cane scythe.  When I mentioned Creepmas was coming up, my daughter gleefully shouted, “I can wear a Santa hat with my death costume!”

I thought what a great idea, I also thought she would don her costume for a quick photo op and that would be it.  That wasn’t what she had in mind at all.  I did get my photo, but then we went door to door handing out candy canes bundled in ribbons with Creepmas tags to our neighbors.  I did all the talking, because she was quietly skulking in character.  Our neighbors are used to us, they come to our Halloween craft party every year, but I have to wonder what people driving by thought. 
So here’s my version of a Merry Creepmas card.  If zombies are more your thing I found these awesome Holiday cards available for free.

The scythe is my latest papier mache project.  The blade was drawn free hand on a cereal box.  I taped rolls of newspaper between the top edges of the blades to give it a tapered look.  I taped the edges and then started slapping on the papier mache, doing 5 layers of recycled paper and 2 layers of tissue paper.  I spray painted it black and finger painted on acrylic highlights.  The staff is a 5/8 wood dowel striped with electrical tape.