Saturday, April 28, 2012

Its an update!

I know, I know. Its been months since my last update.  I am a terrible blogger, I'll admit it. Months of silence followed by a photo dump seems to be my unfortunate new norm.

Spring is springing slowly here in Seattle.  I'm trying to make the most of it :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pictures of Beautiful Places

Well, I haven't been crafting much lately, but I did go on vacation to LA and did a ton of hiking and photography! Here are some of my favorite nature pics from the trip:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Labyrinth of Jareth Costume - Part 1: The Mask

At the beginning of July, I went with Jess and our friend Kaity to the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade down in LA.  I'd never been before and all I knew was that it was fantasy masquerade ball inspired by the 80s David Bowie movie, Labyrinth. Being a fan of fantasy movies from the 80s and all things that let you dress up in a costume, hell yes, I wanted to go. Time to get fancy.

My costume began with a sketch inspired by bits and pieces of a fox.

Fox Warrior

To make this costume, I needed to paper mache a fox skull-themed helmet, make a ton of tails and attach them to a belt/skirt, and find black clothing that I could rough up a bit. Of course I started with my favorite part...the mask!

Way back in 2005, I had made a similar mask and separate helmet (below).

2005 Halloween Mask

Problems with this mask include  a) I could not see shit and  b) the whole thing was impossible to keep on, as the mask was front heavy, and the helmet kind of back heavy. It also ended up being kind of flimsy, and the mask has since been squashed flat in a few separate moves. So I set out to build a single mask/hemlet combo, and improve on the original design. To the crafting montage!

Taped strips of cardboard together, one by one..

And then I had a silly hat in the general shape of my head! 

The key to making this mask was building a comfortable, nearly symmetrical, head-shaped cardboard armature.  I had to make it a fairly tight grid so that wet newsprint wouldn't sag in between the strips of cardboard. Pro tip for fellow paper machers, add ridges, lumps, and other such details in the paper mache stage, not in cardboard.  At a certain sogginess, newspaper behaves a bit like clay.  You can mold it fairly precisely, then just drape a layer of paper mache over the wads of newspaper for smoothness.  Also, be aware that paper mache shrinks...

Adjust strips, cut extra cardboard off, and add paper mache...

For the paper mache, I actually use flour and water as the glue. Its much cheaper than real glue and it creates a very firm bond. I also like the way water based paints stick to it.

Paint with acrylics...

After a base coat of opaque white, I filled in all the nooks and crannies with ocher and grey. I used the corner of a damp, paint soaked paper towel to simultaneously smoosh dark paint into the low parts of the texture and wipe it off the high areas to let the white show through. Lots of layers of this gives the mask a striking texture.
(I also added some ridges to give the back both counterbalance weight and detail)

And voila! The finished mask!

Paper mache is amazing, I love the rough texture it gives the finished product.  After lining the head bits with muslin, this thing was down right comfortable! Mask complete!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Filter Forge - Layering effects towards a more painterly image

By layering different effects and changing the blending modes of each layer, I made these progressively more painterly versions of this same image.  Love it!

Filter Forge - My mind is still blown.