Thursday, October 14, 2010

#12 Candy Corn Vodka

I love infusing vodkas! 

 So when I stumbled across this recipe on the internet a few weeks ago, I simply had to try it
It's pretty easy and very tasty stuff..... especially the cocktail I made with it, at the bottom.

You need ....

1/2 cup candy corn
1 1/2 cups Vodka  (Not the cheep stuff, I used Smirnoff)

I used a mason jar, but you can use anything as long as it seals. 
Just pour your candy corn and vodka into your container and seal. 

The directions say let it sit at least 3 hours... I just left it over night. 

I used a metal strainer and paper towels to strain it.

Shake up your jar and pour your vodka into the paper towels squeeze it out, 
to get rid of all the mushy candy gunk. 

Then strain it again.
 I strained it about 4 times total, to get rid of all the little floaty bits.

I poured it into a bottle, dressed it up, and stuck it in the fridge. 
The end result is very sweet and kind of like vanilla vodka.

It would make a good gift as well.
 Maybe in a cute candy corn themed gift basket for a costume contest...hmmmm?

There was a cocktail with the recipe....but it was citrus...had raw egg in it... blah!
 I wanted more fall flavor... so heres what I came up with, using what I had on hand. 
I am not a mixologist. I like to just throw things in the glass until it tastes good. 
Feel free to tweak the amounts or offer suggestions.

Anyway here it is.....

1 part Bailys or Plain Cream
1 Part Candy Corn Vodka
1 Part Butterscotch schnapps

You can mix these ingredients over ice in a shaker and pour
 or if you are talented 
you could chill and layer the ingredients so it looks like a candy corn. 
 I suck at layering drinks and messed it up.... 
but darn it is so yummy, who cares!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#11 Give the Ghoul a Hand

Wow I have not been on for quite sometime, but I knew this would being October and all! But here is a good one just in time for Halloween.

Corpse Hands!

sorry not painted yet here... add that picture later

I have tried just about every method imaginable.... there is the coat hanger/pen method, which is a great recycle idea. For that one you take old dried up pens and markers...

Grab a couple coat hangers...  bend them around a traced hand.

mark the knuckle joints

Masking tape them together good.

Cut up your pen tubes (ink parts removed) to size and drop them over according...

Then go over it all with masking tape, and then either paper mache or latex. 
I have done this method alot as well as one that uses drinking straws in place of the pens. 

Both ways are great, but the the following method I like the most.

I start with coaxial cable the bendy kind. You may have leftover wire like this around your house. This stuff is about a 1/4'' round and keeps its shape like wire when you bend it.

You also need wire cutters and pliers, cotton balls, and masking tape.

Now a quick thought about liquid latex. 
You can order it online of course.

 I have heard you can get the stuff in adult shops as well.
 I would not be opposed to, but the only one here is far away....
 and I don't like going in that place alone!

So if you are not up for that kind of distracting adventure....
Michael's and Hobby Lobby have it.

 It's called Mold Builder. 
My store has it in their glue section, but I have seen it in the clay section sometimes.
It's not cheep though. This 16 oz jar is $14... great time for those michael's 40% off coupons.

First we are making a tracing of your hand,
 or if you have little girly hands like husbands hand, 
Mark the joints.

sorry these are sideways have to fix that

I cut my wire according, and masking tape them together at the wrist. 
That wrist by the way fits perfectly snug in 3/4 inch schedule 40 pvc pipe.

I add the thumb on other side.

Then I start making the palm. 
Using my traced image and my own hand as a guide,
 just wrap the masking tape around and connect the fingers. 

once I get the palm connected good I add the thumb.

Then i tape over the whole deal and mark my joints again as a reference.

Now comes the liquid latex. 
I brush a little on an area, with a cheap brush i do not care about because it will be ruined.
I like to use my finger actually...the latex is easy to get off.

Then add pieces of cotton ball and go over the cotton with more latex.

I let it dry before each layer. 
Just a couple hours in the sun do just fine.

I fill in my palms, fatten them up.

Add little knuckles at all the joints. 

And go over the whole thing with more latex. 
You can do as many coats as you want depending on how dead your ghoul is.

In these pictures its not quite dry. 
It dries to a yellowish color but you can paint it whatever color you want.

The cool thing about this method is the hands are flexible. 
But if you don't need it to be posable you can easily skip the latex part and 
go the paper mache route instead. 
This is just a easy, versatile base for what ever you choose to do with it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#10 Medusa Mirror

I was looking at hand mirrors in the dollar store, trying to come up with a gothic project. 
I had a few ideas come to mind but this is what I did first.

This would make a perfect gift for young girls and it teaches a good lesson.
 All beauty decays with time..... and it could all go out the window fast one day, if you piss off a Goddess!

Anyway I started with my little dollar tree mirror. 

I Covered it in ridged wrap. It comes in a bag, in the clay section at michael's. Easy to use
 just add water.

Sorry there are no pictures of it covered in the wrap. I took them but must have accidentally deleted them. any way you can cut this stuff up in strips and you just need all the plastic parts covered.

Then after the wrap was dried and started building medusa face with the paperclay.

I love this stuff!!! Its like a clay. You can get it damp to manipulate it.
But it is super light weight and it air dries.

I formed her face kind of crudely from the clay on the back. 

Flared nostril,  scowl,  eyebrows, sharp teeth... ya know scary stuff. 
Kind of a cross between a vampire and a witch actually.

Then I started making and draping snakes. They are pretty easy to make but you can only do a few at a time or else they get all banged up. So I just did a few a day here and there, until I got what I was looking for.

Next with a very wet clay a filled in the seams between all the snakes. The reason is I want it to appear as if it was carved from stone, so it needed to look like one piece.

The paint part is easy, you just need a small detail brush a bigger, bristly brush, and black and white acrylic paints.

After priming I did a base coat of black over the entire thing making sure I got in every little pour and crack.

Next I made a very dark gray from the white and black. I painted over it with a medium loaded brush...not needing to get in every crack the time... letting flecks of the black show through.

Then I made a much lighter gray. After lightly loading the brush tap of the excess paint so you have a dry bush and brush on. avoiding the shadow areas...want them to stay dark.

This photo kind of shows the progression of layers.

lastly I went in with my dark gray and added more detailsshadows, 

This is hard to mess up because even if you mess up just add a darker or lighter color where needed.

Thats about it...... 

See, one side you have your pretty young face then....

Take heed  young maidens!!!!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

#9 Enchanted Fruit

This is just a little Dollar Store project that popped in my head while wandering around. 

They had all this plastic fruit and then these plastic silver trays they also sell the moss there if needed. 

The rest is just black paint, glue and black glitter. 

I love the Martha Stewart Glitters at Michaels, that is what I used here.

 There are no step by step photos, because it's pretty self explanatory... but if you have a question let me know.

First I just painted it black. 
Easy enough you would think but I had a little problem with the rubber grapes and spray paint. It was tacky forever. I used black plastic paint too... any way I went over it with a brush and acrylic paint and it fixed it. 
So just try that if you don't want to do the glitter part, other wise the stickiness isn't a big deal since we are just going to be brushing glue on next.

Like I said you can stop here if you are not into the glitter, but I am... so there you go.

I made a mix of 1 part elmer's glue/ one part water and brushed it on and sprinkled my glitter. 

Glitter tips..
Use a paper plate or something  flexible so none of the glitter you shake off goes to waste. 

Only do a little section at a time so glue doesn't dry before you get to glitter it. 

Wait for it to dry before starting the next section.

Thats it nothing to it. It looks really cool in a creepy little vignette 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

#8 Labyrinth Inspired Eyeball Plant

Labyrinth is one of my all time favorite movies!
I seriously still know it all by heart.
 It was such a part of my childhood.. ahh fond memories.

So at the beginning when Sara enters the labyrinth the walls have these cool eyeball moss plants growing out of them. I wanted a potted version for my witches garden.

Using the eyeball methods form #7( The Eyes Have It) I made  two different sized eyeballs. 

 The snake like bodies are made from a coat hanger cut up with wire cutters.
 I wiggled them around until I had the pose I wanted. 

Inserted them in floral foam inside a little terra-cotta pot,
and then glued on my eyeballs.

I built up the stalks with foil first.....

Then went over with a coat of Celluclay instant paper mache. 

I love Celluclay!!!! It's basically Papier Mache pulp with the glue already in it. You just mix in water and mush it with your hand until it feels like clay. You can get it at the craft store usually in the clay section in a big bag... it goes a long way too. 

I use my 40% off coupons and stock up.  Great stuff !

After one coat was dry, I went back over. 
I just stick it out in the sun between coats and it dry in a couple hours.
One good thing about Arizona in summer....outside is like giant dry oven
 perfect for drying paper mache fast!

 I actually do not want it smooth because we are going for a natural mossy look,
so I added more clumpy, lumpy pieces.

Um I forgot to snap a picture of the paint process... oops!
 I basically went over in layers starting with a black brown base, then lightly stippling over with yellow ochre, burnt umber, and a mossy green. 
Look at the moss you choose and just pull colors from that.

I will come back and post pix of the paint part later.  
I am making another one... of course!

Next using 50/50 watered down Elmers glue.
 I brushed on glue and stuck on moss all over. 
This part is a little messy.

I used a nicer moss. I would go with the better stuff for this,
the cheap stuff just falls apart, the good stuff has nice workable pieces .

Here he is with his little buddy the "ello" worm. 
Yes after making him I had to make the little guy to keep him company.

I molded him out of fimo and painted him used blue feathers for his hair.

Not so scary now is it?

Things aren't always what they seem in this place... you can't take anything for granted.

#7 The Eyes have It

Eyes are a very big deal to many projects. 
They do sell eyeballs in bags at Halloween, 
but they are pretty cheesy. 
Here are a couple methods I love.

First is the Easy Eyes method via the 
This is such a great method you can crank out a ton of eyes in under 30 minutes. 
Minimum cost, no artistic ability needed.

Click on the picture below and print this template out. 
Then cut out your irises of your choice.

The eye itself can be any white sphere I make them out of fimo, use wood balls, table tennis balls, roll-on ball from deodorant, and then the simplest here... ping pong balls. 

I found some ping pong balls a 4 pack at Target, in the $1 section at the front of the store. Walmart has them as well in the sporting section.

First I poke a hole in them with a skewer and stick the little guy on a tooth pick to work with.

Using a decoupage method apply the Iris. Use glossy Mod Podge or a 50/50  mixture of elmers glue and water. 

Brush the glue mixture on the surface, apply the paper iris, then brush glue mixture over top. 
You can clean up any ink smears on the eye ball with a wet paper towel.

For the red veins a simple red crayon, or even better a red colored pencil 
is the easiest fool proof way to go.

You can draw the veins on lightly for finer lines or press harder for a deeper bloodshot veins.
 I use  mixture of pressure all over.

If you are going to see the whole eye ball, blot on some red paint to finish out the back side.

Last the eye needs to be wet and glossy.
 I have tried all types of things I have on hand.

Simple clear nail polish is probably my favorite though.

And thats it.... a few coats and you have eyes that look too real.

Now lets say you need a whole bunch of smaller sizes eyes stat! 

And maybe your printer is possessed by the devil! 

You could paint a  bunch of eyeballs freehand... but painting a perfect circle on a sphere can be a pain!

Well here is another painted method short cut I made up....and if you have kids you probably have the supplies laying around.

These are 1" wooded bead balls from the craft store. Perfect size for what I needed.

First I drilled a little hole in all of them.

Next I stuck a little tooth pick in each one and put them in some floral foam....

...primed and painted them white.

The kids have these little Nerf Bullets all over the house... so I snagged one.

I made muddy blue color with a mixture of blue, white, and black acrylic paint.

I dipped my bullet end in the paint, blotted it a couple times to loose the excess paint,
then applied it to the ball.

Do some tester stamps on paper to figure out the right amount of paint and pressure you need.

Having the balls stationary is key here. 
Push the bullet down and without sliding or lifting, press down 
while wiggling in a circular motion.
Make sure all sides of the circle are defined. 
If you lift it and see you missed a spot...
 with a steady hand push it back down, and press in the missed area.

The effect of the stamp is perfect.

Next I filled in the black part.
I started out painting with acrylic... but then I thought to grab a sharpie pen.
I used it on the last half... it worked perfect and it's a little faster.


then I applied the veins and gloss same as easy eyes method above. 

Here are some things I learned. 
For the red viens... do not use  a red pen or sharpie. 
They will bleed and turn orange when you add your final gloss coat. 

Also watch it when you do your gloss finish at the end. 
The iris may want to bleed too, especially the black sharpie part, 
and especially if you use the nail polish. 
Best to do a very light coat on just the iris, let it dry. 
Then go over the whole thing , so as not to smear everything around.