Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Creepy Elves on the 13th Day of Creepmas

For the last day of Creepmas I have something special.  I'm lucky enough to live across the street from a house full of brilliant artists.  This Creepmas delight is the work of the youngest daughter who is currently in middle school. I didn't have skills like that at her age, ok I don't have skills like that now either.  I hope this becomes a tradition, because I would love to see more Creepmas creations from her. 

What's going on with the creepiest elf of all? Well the other day I spotted this yellow raincoat in the store and it immediately sent shivers down my spine. You might wonder why of all things, would an elf who can't go outside except to travel by magic to the North Pole, need a yellow slicker?
Well I have a sneaking suspicion, as anyone else familiar with the movie Alice, Sweet Alice probably does as well.  I saw it decades ago as a kid and for me the killer's disguise of transparent mask and yellow rain slicker is just as eerie and iconic as those of Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees.  There is something most unsettling about a killer with dead eyes behind a mask completely void of emotion. 

Kind of like this guy. Yay, let's give him a yellow raincoat and turn him loose.
What could possibly go wrong? 

Speaking of creepy outfits. I love dressing up for the 1st day of Creepmas,
but this would take it too far. I'm pretty sure I'd freak myself out if I wore this.    

Elf Morphsuit

I keep waiting for kids rebel against Elf on the Shelf.  The little bastard gets away with things their parents would never allow them to do and then has the audacity to sit there and judge them.  I'd love to hear reports of parents waking up at 3am to find their kids making flour angels and doing shots of maple syrup. 
Until then I guess this guy is the next best thing.

I found this video to be oddly satisfying. 
What is inside the Elf on the Shelf? Demons? Hot cocoa? Children's tears?

I'd like to leave this Creepmas season on positive note, so here is
a creepy cute and cuddly Elf that you can have for your very own. 
Devilish Elf by TerrorTedsStore

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Glitter Bugs & Creepmas Cockroaches.

I love how these glittering cockroaches fit in with my existing d├ęcor.  It's funny when people first see my Christmas decorations they say, "That's pretty." and then they notice the spiders and ask, "Why?" Like butterflies in December isn't crazy?  It's always the spiders that throw them.  Can't wait to see how cockroaches go over.

I totally stole this idea, so to give credit where credit is due and if you'd rather buy, than make your own, checkout CreepyCrawlyXMas  on Etsy.  Also the ones are I made are a work in progress and I haven't ironed out all the kinks. 

It was this lovely golden cockroach that caught my eye and then I remembered I have fifty thousand plastic roaches.  Well not quite that many, but close.  I stocked up last year after I decided I didn't have nearly enough to properly decorate my bathroom. Another idea I stole, this time from HalloweenForum.com.

Look at this sad smattering of roaches.  And then, because that's the way things go, I didn't have time to put up roaches for Halloween.  If only I had time to make a 100 tiny Santa hats I could put them up now as Christmas Cockroaches.

...and then on Christmas Eve while sugarplums are dancing around in people's head, an intrusion* of Santa's Little Helpers scurry in from every crack and crevice, carrying presents for all the good little boys and girls...

Of course if you turn on the lights they all scatter and the presents poof away into fairy vapor.  And if your naughty, well we know what happens to the naughty ones

*that's what a group of cockroaches is called, I looked it up and everything, thank you google. 

But I digress and what I really wanted to tell you about was my experience with making plastic bugs Creepmas worthy.  The snakes are hard plastic, everything else is a rubbery, but not squishy or stretchy plastic. About half are glow-in-the-dark.  The rest were different colored. I planned on starting with white paint, but I have this black spray paint that's paint & primer and specifically says it bonds to plastic.  I thought it would be good to use that as a base coat and then paint over.  That was a mistake, it never dried and was really sticky.  Afterwards I remembered having this problem before with plastic, but I think that was with regular spray paint. The moral of the story is sometimes when they say test a small area first, you should actually test a small area first. 

I took a roach and the centipede and sprinkle them with glitter which stuck to the sticky paint. I had spray painted and glittered both sides.  Both have an alligator clip glued underneath, the centipede is fine but as soon as I applied pressure on the roach's clip it pealed off with the paint. It looked really gross. 

The other spray painted ones I covered with a coat or two of white acrylic paint.  The I mod podged them and sprinkled on glitter.  The glow in the dark ones I coated with glitter mod podge.  Then I added glitter to small areas because I didn't want to cover up too much and not have them glow. 

To hang I either hot glued a loop of clear plastic line, or an alligator clip, we'll see how long that lasts too. With the loops I did the mod podge and glitter after attaching the loop.  Gave it a cleaner look and maybe it'll help hold it on? I like the roaches on clips. I can see where they could easily be turned into a festive brooch or using a hair clip, a merry hair accessory.

Overall they turned out well, I just don't know how long they'll last. 

I loved the roach clips so much I had to make more. In my mind I envision a stop motion synchronized Snowflake Dance of the Roaches.  A pulsing kaleidoscope of ever changing scurrying snowflake patterns. 

These I had to paint white because the iridescent glitter lets the color show through.  Two of them got two coats of white.  I'm torn between the beauty of the whiter ones and the details that show through on the ones with only one coat.  All of them were coated in mod podge, a thin coat applied with a small brush is best and then sprinkled with glitter. After they dried I brushed on a clear acrylic coat.  

Underneath I only did the antenna, legs and just the edges of  the body.   

After they were all clipped on here and there, they started falling off the clips.  Nothing quite like glittered cockroaches raining down from above.  The hot glue was staying on the clips but not the roach bodies.  I reglued them using a generous amount of hot glue and that has held so far.  My next option would be E6000.

Update: The hot glue is not holding, so E6000 it is. 

These are sliver glitter, they almost look like sparkly chrome.

And these are covered in an opaque white glitter. 
I guess now I have to start working on all those tiny Santa hats.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Skull Wreath Ornament

Supplies needed: 

24 gauge green coated copper wire
size 11 seed beads in red and green*
15mm skull bead
poinsettia lampwork bead (optional)
wire cutters
round nose pliers

*The red beads I used are a true size11. The green ones, which are really a mix of different shades of blue and green, are from a hank I bought over twenty years ago. They are very irregular in size, so if you noticed they look smaller, that's because a lot of them are. 

Cut a length of wire about 5 1/2 feet long.  This isn't rocket science, so it doesn't have to be exact. I measure by arm length.  Then load on seven green seed beads about a 1.5 inches from the end of the wire pinch the beads into a loop, twist and you have a little branch.  This also doesn't have to be exact, in fact I try to mix in a few that are shorter or longer.  Keep twisting along, spacing the branches about one centimeter apart until you run out of wire.

Loop your wire into a circle, weave over and under a few times so it stays in place, albeit loosely.  This circle is about 1.25 inches (3cm) in diameter. 

Then twist the branches around every which way.  Make sure some of them twist around the main circle from the front to the back and vice versa.  The wreath should feel pretty secure at this point, but it won't withstand Gremlins playing tug of war with it, so don't get crazy.

Next make a loop so you'll have something to hang it from.  Cut a 30 inch piece of wire, string 21 green beads and make a loop.  Wrap one side of the wire around the other two times to secure it. 

This picture shows green beads and wire wrapped around the other green beads and wire. So now that we have that extremely helpful bit out of the way, I'll try to explain instead with words.  

After you make the loop run one wire down the front of the wreath, the other down the back and cross them as snug as you can against the inner circle of wire that forms the wreath. Give them a good twist to secure.  With one wire make two more branches like we did before, but with as little gap between them as possible.  Thread three red beads (berries) and make a twist.  Then make one more green branch. Twist the branches closer together if there are any gaps, so you have a nice little cluster.

String the skull bead onto both wires.  With the longer wire make one green bead branch, one berry branch, two more green branches and twist them together.  Lay one wire in front of the wreath, one behind and twist them together underneath the wreath.  If you are adding a flower at the bottom loop the wires through and wrap them around. 

With the leftover wire add some berries.  Twisting the wire just like we did with the branches, except for these you will want to space them out a little farther.

Weave the berries up and around the wreath and tuck the wires behind using the round nose pliers.

This is my first wreath creation that was the inspiration for this project. 
Naughty or nice you can use any bead or charm in the center. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Creepmas Zombie Lantern

I saw these fairy lanterns and had to try it for myself. Not totally stoked with how it turned out, but I see the potential and will definitely be making more. I'd like to make one with a Krampus silhouette also. 

My first mistake was grabbing a crumpled piece of tissue paper from my papier mache stash.  I usually like the look of wrinkle tissue paper, now I can see where a new sheet would've looked better. 

Then I used big chunky flakes of glitter. It didn't look as cool as I thought it would. After it dried, I brushed off as much as I could and redid it with a medium sized glitter. That was better, but I think next time I will use fine glitter.

The zombie silhouette I used is from FreeGrunge.  I printed out the size I wanted, taped it to a cereal box and cut it out.  I used a glue dot to attach it to the inside of the jar so if I ever want to swap it out for something else, it'll be easy to pull off. The berries and fake greenery are from my very limited supply of "normal" Christmas stuff. 

I used a mini strand of purple skull LEDs, mostly because I was too lazy to dig out the battery tea lights.  The skulls are pretty bright and gave off plenty of light. I can see why the instructions say you need at least two tea lights. 

Update: I purchased some red flickering tea lights from 100candles.com for a different project, but thought I would see what one would look like in the zombie jar. I don't know if other colors throw off the same amount of light, but one tea light definitely does the trick here. 

This is what it looks like in natural light.

I made some evergreen style trees out of tissue paper to see if I could add a little depth.  They look more tree like in person. Instead of trees, I think a couple more zombies smaller and farther back might look nice too. 

To make the trees I just kept folding a piece of tissue paper in halves until it was about the width I wanted and then I folded over a little edge on one side and stapled it.  I cut the tissue at a diagonal for a rough tree shape and then made little snips at an angle. 

I think it looks kind of cute.  I could see using this on a 3D card, maybe using black tissue paper. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gothic Snowflakes

Last Creepmas I made stars like the little one pictured above. These snowflakes are just a variation of that.  Instead of 6 intersecting strips for each side, these require 10.   Instead of gluing the ends together, these are crossed.  For step by step instructions see this tutorial by Ange Lika.

For the record I used strips that are 1/4 inch (6mm) wide and 9 inches (23cm) long.

I was fortunate enough this year to come across some very unique paper which I'll talk about later, but they were only printed on the one side.  I picked out a glittery silver cardstock to glue on the backside.  So let's talk glue.  I tried glue sticks, because they go on nice and even.  The problem is once you start putting stress on the paper bending the ends together the papers start to separate and I found myself touching things up here and there with a toothpick dipped in Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue (I don't get paid to say that, just love the glue and won't use anything else).  I thought using a permanent glue stick would be better next go around, that was actually worse. Thin glues or mod podge are too wet and it's hard to not get wrinkling. As much as I love Aleene's Tacky it's too thick to spread a thin even layer.

The best glue in my experience, as much as I hate the stuff because I always seem to get it everywhere, is spray adhesive. The easiest solution of course would be to use cardstock that's printed on both sides.  Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky is still the best glue for the actual assembly. 

About those papers I found...

The first print I found this summer, while traveling cross country.  Late one night I found myself in the small township of Fairvale after accidentally turning off the main highway.  Imagine my surprise when I realized I was passing by the old Bates homestead.  Sadly it's fallen to neglect.  There's a fence around it now, with a condemned notice and warnings against trespassing.  Not that I would engage in criminal activity, but near the far southeast corner, there's a spot where the rusted chain link has been pulled back just enough that a petite person with little regard to tetanus could shimmy through.  And were some adventurous person to do so, and further venture on into the house, which I'm sure would be fraught with perils of rotting wood and other hazards and so I would never suggest such a thing.  But if they did, they might also take some scraps of wallpaper, which were already peeling off and of no use to anyone, as a souvenir. I'm pretty sure Mother wouldn't mind. 

The second set of papers I acquired later in the year. I had cause to visit a small coastal town in Massachusetts concerning a matter that I shall not speak of, at a location I shall not divulge. But I found myself with a free afternoon and decided to amuse myself visiting the local shops.  I came upon a quaint little bookshop off the main street and thought I might find a novel with which to occupy my time that evening, as I was finding it increasingly difficult to sleep at night. 

Imagine my delight when I came across a slightly dog eared, but in otherwise good condition, 1st edition King James version of the Necronomicon.  But when I brought it up to the counter for purchase the proprietor blustered that it was not for sale.  I tried to appeal to his better nature and offered to pay a generous sum, but he rudely dismissed me and would engage in no further conversation.  In a moment of spite which I am deeply ashamed of, while his attention was diverted elsewhere I grabbed the book, ripped out a few pages, and fled out the door before he returned to his post.  Had I been in my right mind I would never have committed such a selfish, thoughtless crime as to deface such a rare and precious tome. But as it was, during that time, I was not of my right mind. 

Later that evening after finally falling into a restless slumber, I was awaken by a dry rustling sound.  As I lay there in the dark trying to discern where it was coming from, I realized with growing dread that I was listening to voices, ancient guttural whispers. In a panic I fumbled on the light and the voices ceased. 

After a time I was able to convince myself it had just been my imagination, but as soon as I distinguished the lights, I began to hear them murmur once more. It was then that I realized they were coming from my satchel. With trepidation I crept over, slowly feeling my way in the dark, becoming increasingly anxious. So consumed with fright I was, that I feared my mind would become unhinged.  But stronger was an unholy curiosity that pulled me closer, almost as if against my will. 

As I neared the voices became louder and more animated. I thrust my hand into the bag clutching at those ill-gotten pages. Warm to the touch, they writhed under my fingertips, sparks flying as I held them firmly in my grasp.  The voices had now reached a roar. The din pounded in my head with searing pain, causing my vision to blur.  In a dizzying moment I saw things, unspeakable things.  Vaporous malformed things, becoming increasingly more substantial.  With my free hand I desperately groped for the light and the room was flooded with a merciful bright glare.  The noises ceased and the pages became still once more. I decided in that moment they must be destroyed and cut them into strips. 

Once in pieces they remained quiet for the duration of the night, and these many months past they are quiet still, for I have been reluctant to part with them now that they pose no threat. Although there are times I think I can still hear their faint rasping whir, but surely it's just the product of an overwrought imagination. Of course it does not hurt for one to sleep with the lights on.    

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Creepmas Worthy Videos

I love this video where Jimmy Fallon and Christoph Waltz
compare Elf on the Shelf and Krampus. 

Speaking of Krampus,  I wish this was my front lawn during Creepmas.

And then there is this dark follow up to "Home Alone".

I don't even know what to make of this nightmare of an acid trip holiday movie.

This link is to the abridged version,
Best of Rifftrax's Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.

Otherwise I believe this is the full version,
but I don't have the stomach to view the whole thing. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Creepmas Cards

Yesterday I mentioned the card that inspired my snow Cthulhu and this is it.
Cthulhu Snowman by amysnotdeadyet 
And here are a few more for sale...

Cthulhu Decorating the Tree by amysnotdeadyet

Evil Giant Snowmen by DavePollot

Cthulhu Santa by Surlyben

Tentacle Christmas by alternatehistories

Skull, Demon and Zombie Santas by BarneyBodoanoThings

Amy Winfrey is the genius behind Making Fiends.

The following are either not for sale, not cards or a combination
of the two, but I think they would all make lovely Creepmas cards.

Cthulhu Claus by Mark Helwig
There's another great Cthulhu Claus on his website.

Mariel Clayton has a whole series of pictures with Barbie as
a homicidal maniac and also some naughty elf ones
that would make awesomely inappropriate holiday cards. 

Snowflakes by Eric Boeker