Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sketch vs. Reality

So I'm going through a lot of my old blog posts, mostly because I used to use Photobucket, and they've decided to give an ultimatum of pay us money or we ditch your photos/links.  Thus there are several older posts that have an error image from when I used to use the link from them.  Which is a little frustrating, because there's no indication which photo it is; I have to try and figure it out based just on any notes I added (which tended to be sparse back in the day) and/or timeline from my own files.  ANYways.  I ended up looking at a lot of the old files and started comparing my initial sketches with how the display eventually turned out.  Normally the sketches are just a preliminary way to vomit up any possible ideas, and lots of things change, get thrown out entirely or get modified based on available materials and/or time.  And I don't go back to them or use them as a hard guideline; they're more for my brain to just process ideas.  But occasionally they've been spot on in terms of what actually ends up on the porch/lawn.  So I grouped together a couple of the ones that kind of nailed them:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Boulder Costume

One of the big pieces I'm making is a boulder costume for one of my lovely Halloween actors.  The dinosaur and lab tech was such a hit last year, I decided to try again.  And what makes sense for Indiana Jones?  No, the Kali Ma priest was too scary.  Instead?  The boulder that chases Indiana Jones!  Arguably the first "oh !@#$" moments from the first movie.

Grail Tablet

This year's Halloween is a pretty simple one--and I've been trying to bolster it up a bit with props to bring out more of the Indiana Jones, and less 'random Egyptian theme'. To that end, I pulled out a piece of Styrofoam and made one of the props from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"--the grail tablet that's on the knight's tomb.  Relatively easy to do--I marked with a pen all of the writing as well as the cross outline.  I picked out the smallest attachment I could find on my wood burner kit, and traced the letters.  Next I pulled out the heat gun to sear/seal the edges, as well as widen the cross lines a bit and just overall provide a little texture.  The letters got some black in their crevices--which turned out to be a somewhat tedious (if vaguely hypnotic) endeavor. So at the moment I'm waiting for the black to dry before going back with some gray and finish it off.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Skulls, glorious skulls!

So in sketching out my Indiana Jones themed Halloween, I started counting up how many skulls I would need...yeah, it's quite a few.  So I started to look around for bulk skulls and such online.  Bit of a difficulty in the midst of May.  The dollar store usually has them, and it may be a matter of just buying them up as many as possible.  But in the meantime, to combat the anxiety of that, I found this lovely tutorial about making your own skulls from already owned skulls.  Basically you're covering said skull with aluminum foil, then paper macheing several layers, breaking it open in pieces, and reassembling it before adding a few more layers.  So I decided to try this method out on two of my nicer skulls just to see what kind of a time and work commitment it would be compared to the result.  If I can find my overly larger skull, it might be worth it.  Ooh, and if I modify it a bit, I cooould make the alien skulls by elongating the back of the skulls a bit.  Hmmm....

ANYways.  Here's the tutorial video by Unhinged Productions I found that was the most useful.  I should also note I have serious workshop envy of this guy.  *drool*

Friday, May 26, 2017

Indiana Jones Sketch

Sketching!  It's one of the best moments of a new Halloween design.  Everything seems possible and factors like time, energy and cost are mere details.  So here is the 2017 sketch, mapping out some of the big pieces and basic layout.

And a few side sketches--still in progress.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Attempting a grim/foreboding countenance.  I...I'll practice. 
Much excitement!  Chain mail was found at a decent price in my wanderings of the internet, along with a cap to wear underneath so my hair doesn't get stuck in the rings (important).  With this, I'm one step closer to the holy grail guardian knight I aspire to as a costume this year.  I'm thinking I'll just make the tunic and applique a giant red crusader's cross on the front.  Might have to find some gloves of some kind.  Maybe a coat or shoulder pads?  The plan is to be fully outside, though the porch will (hopefully) be walled off a bit from the elements.  But from past experience, it does get awfully cold.  So I'll be grateful for the extra padding.  The only minor issue so far with the chain mail (and accompanying cap) is that it does muffle quite a bit of sound.  I'm not sure if there's a fix for this--I may just have to make do.  I'm also on the lookout for a respectable beard and eyebrow wear.  I'm planning on sitting probably behind the table, so I don't need to worry too much about boots or anything.  And I'll have a whole display that should hopefully sell the atmosphere.  Oooh...just had a thought. I could grab a bunch of large goblets from the d.i./thrift store and spray paint them gold, adorn with jewels to do a grail display, fill the porch up a bit.  Maybe glue them down to some planks though, or the wind/kids would just be constantly knocking them over.  Hmmm...will meditate on this...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Halloween 2017 theme....

In deciding on this year's theme, I went through a couple of different stages.  I had been leaning towards an Egyptian theme initially, kind of a generalized cursed mummy-esque kind of feel.  But frankly, it felt a little...uninspired.  I was looking around for other possibilities when I came across the idea of doing....wait for it....