Santa Cthulhu 2013: Santa's Sleigh

Brian and I are feeling pretty ambitious this year for our annual Santa Cthulhu project. The goal is to have Santa sitting in his sleigh, maybe with some sort of elf creature standing next to the sleigh. Brian is working on a felted shoggoth to take the place of the reindeer. It's awesome. He has big plans for it and might share a progress photo over on his own journal if you ask nicely. Or he might just wait until it's finished, hard to say. Anyway, I'll share progress photos because I'm nice like that. Before I can even start making the Santa, I need to have the sleigh at least roughed in. I started with a wire armature and added foil to get the basic shape. Tonight I began adding a layer of epoxy clay to solidify the whole thing, and it occurred to me that I am probably going to dump a couple of pounds of epoxy clay into this before it's done. Oof. It's pretty big. I suppose I could have tried felting the sleigh, but I just didn't think it would work. And sculpting it sounded like more fun anyway. So here goes! Here it is, still super rough, but making progress. Pardon the messy desk photo ...


My Witch Hat

This year at work there was a costume contest. They announced it way back in the beginning of October, so I had some time to plan. Each of the departments within pathology was asked to choose a theme, and people could dress to fit the theme. Since most of us who work in hematology are female, there's a running joke that we are all co-hags (you know, because part of our job in heme is coag testing ... yeah, it's lab humor) so we decided we should all dress up as hags and/or witches.

I thought for a while about it and decided I didn't want to wear the typical pointy witch hat. I'd much prefer horns and feathers and fun stuff like that! At first I wanted to make curled ram horns, but then I settled on something more upright like an impala's horns. Sort of like what Maleficent wears in Sleeping Beauty. I took some in-progress photos to share. I used to write art tutorials often, and I felt like it's been far too long since I put one together. Of course, I wound up forgetting to take photos as often as I should have, but I still got some along the way and will post them all here.

To begin, I will point out that I know NOTHING about proper hat-making techniques. I'd love to take a millinery course some day so I can figure out the real way to do these things, but in the meantime I muddle along. I started this about two weeks before Halloween, so I didn't have time to learn all the correct methods and gather good tools. But in the end I got a decent result, so here's how I made my witch hat.

I stole the adjustable insert from a plastic beer helmet we had kicking around in the garage after one of Brian's birthday parties. I figured it'd make a good base to start with.

I took some aluminum armature wire and wrapped it around the plastic frame a few times, and up into the basic shape that I wanted for the horns. Then I bulked out the wire amrature with lots of aluminum foil.

Over the foil, I wrapped floral tape. I love floral tape. I can make an armature for most anything if you give me a bunch of tinfoil and floral tape.

Then I used paperclay to sculpt the horns directly onto the floral tape. Paperclay sticks well to the tape, while it doesn't stick as well directly to wire or foil. I started by just covering the foil shape with paperclay, as on the left. Then when it was dry I added the spiral pattern, as on the right.

Here it is with both horns sculpted. I wasn't going for super realistic on these, I just wanted them to look good for a costume.

The horns made the whole thing a little too top-heavy, so I added some more wire here and there to help keep the whole thing on my head. I also painted the horns flat black.This is where I started forgetting to take regular progress photos, oops. But I covered the entire frame in some heavy black fabric. I just worked at it in a patchwork fashion until I had a good base of fabric I could attach things to. Then I started glueing on the feathers!About three chickens and part of a turkey later, this is what I had. I also added a bit of gold trim at the front, to make sort of a headband. I've got a better photo of that in a minute.View from the back. The barred feathers hung down over my hair when I wore it.And here's me, wearing it! And being silly.

And that's about it! Making the hat was the hardest part of the whole costume. Because I had to be able to work all day in this costume, the rest of it involved a black shirt and black pair of pants that I pinned assorted scraps of fabric to, to mimic a ragged skirt and shawl. I had to leave the lab a couple of times during the day, which was amusing because people gave me a lot of strange looks. The best part was when we got to give out toys and games to the pediatric inpatients.

Happy Halloween!


Santa Cthulhu 2013

This is the start of this year's Santa Cthulhu ...



Red Blood Cell Ornament

Because everyone needs a Christmas tree covered in blood, right? Multiple sizes will soon be available for sale in the Etsy Shop ... get your anisocytosis here!


Cthulhu Jaguar Warrior

This was a requested sculpture, and quite a bit of fun. Epoxy clay painted in acrylic, with a few feathers added as a headdress. 3 1/4 inches tall. More photos can be found in the gallery here.


Damn You, Art School

This looks very useful!


Creativity Blogs

Here are a couple more blogs I found interesting. Creative Something has a lot of articles and some good links if you find yourself needing motivation/inspiration. Sustainably Creative is a similar blog that is written by a man with some fairly significant health problems that limit him physically, but sure don't seem to hold him back artistically. Check them both out! I know, I should be spending less time reading about being creative and more time actually going out and creating ... I'll get right on that.


Geek Art Blog

Oooh! I found another geek art blog, this is a French one but the posts are also written in English. Not that it matters much, the focus is the art. Yay! More geekery! I added the link to my 'Cool Stuff' section at the right, too. :)


Fungal Christmas Art

I know this is the wrong time of year for Christmas art, and (as usual) I'm about three years behind on the trending links, but this is too cool not to share. Fungal culture Christmas tree! The geek in me just went "Squeeee!"


Plush Jon Snow and Ghost

Yep, I'm a big fan of the Game of Thrones TV series, too. It's got baby dragons in it, what's not to love? Game of Thrones inspired art was inevitable, and this has to be one of the best. It's a plush Jon Snow and Ghost by Mick Minogue. Love it. From the artist's own description:

A handmade personal plush inspired by the saddest character In the Game of Thrones series. Jon Snow the bastard son of House Stark and his trusty Direwolf 'Ghost'. This lonely plush doll comes with his own Valyrian steel sword 'Longclaw'. Ghost comes with his very own White Walker hand which he found out past the wall In the snowy snow. 

Lots more photos can be found here.