My not so blog-worthy life…

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Hello dear ones.  It’s been a long time, I know. Going to try to give you the gist of what’s been going on.

Last time was the  Halloween contest, which was fantastic!  If you haven’t read the Halloween stories, up top of my blog there are titles, one says “My Halloween Contest”–that’s all the entries for my contest.  The winner, Fatima, won my green Franken-monster. I just got a picture of Fatima and Frank, they look happy together!!!

Since then, I’ve finished my Ash CareBear.  Just in case it doesn’t ring a bell, he’s patterned after this CareBear drawying by yayzus

Evil_Dead_Ash_care_bear_by_4unt3r     AshCareBear,Kim's Sticks and Strings

He’s about 12″ tall standing, but he can sit as well.   His bloody chainsaw and “boomstick” are made of polymer clay, but the rest is yarn/thread.  I really enjoyed making him, I really do love the different things folks ask me to make.  I shared him with the deviantART artist, he dug him!

Also working on a skull pattern, one that can be closed or left open.  I’ve only made one, and she was a learning experience, but I decided she was cool enough that I needed her to be my first sugar skull of my own entire design.  Here she is

my sugar skull, Kim's Sticks and Strings

 

Definitely a learning experience, now I need to make a few changes, and make sure to sew in the eyes before closing the bottom.   This skull pattern has been eluding me for awhile, which bothers me.  I can make an Ash CareBear in a few days’ time but the skull keeps me at a distance. Partly because I’ve been wanting to create one that can be left open, or close it, maybe that’s harder to do.  Also, I’ve been fighting with stylistic and realistic.  At some point I want to make a realistic looking skull. I just know it will be a big labor of love, and then I probably won’t want to stuff it.  Realistic skull on the back burner, I’m sure it will take me a few weeks once I start it…back burner for sure.

Regular old life is keeping me on my toes, I guess.    Near the end of September, my husband, who has always had some anxiety and depression issues, but to the extent I did not know, really started to feel more hopeless.  He’s been out of work for a bit, and things haven’t felt quite right for him.  One Wednesday, while at work, I got a call from him, saying that he’s been feeling really down lately, and in the last day or so, didn’t have too many reasons to stick around.  For many years, he’s said I was the thing keeping him going at it day in and day out.  He didn’t want me to come home and find him.  But very recently, he’d had a harder time.  He went into the ER, and was there Wednesday afternoon through Friday night.  The doctors tried to get him to sign out, take home some light anti-anxiety meds, and call it good.  He still wasn’t convinced that he felt “better” and so went into an inpatient facility from Friday night through Monday.  There he got to see a doc, and a therapist daily, and was prescribed stronger meds, with a regular schedule.  Right now he’s on Klonapin,  twice a day,which is pretty strong, and Zoloft.  He’s not a fan of the Zoloft, he says it makes him feel a bit edgy, and he thinks his panic attacks have increased since being on it…there have been a few, usually when I’m not with him.  Then he takes something to help calm him, and that makes him sleepy.  He’s still getting used to the meds, though I’m hoping they’ll decrease the Klonapin a bit, he’s always has a hard time staying focused on some tasks, but lately he’s having more of the issues with walking into a room for something, and completely losing his original intent.  It’s bothering him some.

I’ve avoided dealing with it for over a month now.  It’s really easy to do.  I just get involved with day to day stuff, job 3 times a week, my crochet orders, and regular chores.  If I just stuff it away, I won’t have to really think that at one point, my husband could have decided that he wouldn’t maybe feel quite as bad if I found his body.  I didn’t know it was that bad.  He isn’t exactly forthcoming about that stuff,  emotions and feelings and whatnot.   He comes from an original family with issues, his mum shouldn’t have been a mum, his parents had problems and divorced, and his mother did what many do, threw all her rage for her husband at my husband.  She’s terrible, I’ve met her and dislike her to my core.  So, he’s got anxiety, which he used to stave off by extreme mountain biking, long ago, but after breaking his heel, that’s really not an option. He used to fish more, I think he needs that outlet again, probably next year since it’s already fall now.    He says a job will help, though with the meds, I worry.  He’s got an interview for a gig in a couple days, the commute is 2 1/2 hours, one way.  I don’t know how I feel about it, but he wants to try, so of course I’ll let him.

Daily I worry.  Some days I come home and the house is clean, and dinner is nearly ready, and he feels good.  We message back and forth, and it’s a good day.  Other days he tells me it’s an “Everyone Can Go Fuck Themselves” day, he’s struggled to get a few things done, and says he feels like an 8 year old who wants to run away.   I just have to take each day as it comes, and it’s hard.  I go to work before he’s offiically awake, so I never know what to do to try to ensure it’s a good day, and I know I can’t, but I so want to try.  And I’m tired.  I am trying really hard not to worry, but it’s what I do.  I’ve always been a worrier.  As a child I worried if what I did would cause my mother to yell, now I worry I haven’t been upbeat enough. I know rationally my worrying can’t do anything, except give me the headaches and neckaches I’ve had for a few weeks now,  but it’s something I’ve done all my life.  I’ve worried all my life about how my actions would affect/anger others, and changed myself because I was worried what could happen.  And I’m tired of it.  Other people seem to get through the day without worrying, hell, without caring at all how their actions affect others.  There has to be a happy medium for me.

Through all this, I have had a few friends that knew all about this, and I am SO thankful for them.  Just being able to say things to someone else is a relief.    I feel a bit eggshell-y at home sometimes, so my friends who help me through this are amazing.  I love you all, you know who you are!  Hell, my boss’ mum gets lots of love though this too!!!  Not only was she at work the day the husband called me and went to the hospital, but she asks every couple of days about him, lets me vent, and is very lovely!  The most amazing individual is my dog Penny Crane.   She seems to know when he’s having a hard time.  He usually goes to his bed and covers up, she goes to him, and lies next to him .  She’s the one individual he will attend to daily.  She kind of demands it.  She wants to play ball, like…every minute she is awake.  BUT, when she senses he needs it, goes and lies down with him, no matter the time of day, or how long.  She is amazing.  I love her very much.

PennyCrane and Brainy

 

So…this is what has been keeping me from blogging.  None of my work was really blog-worthy, really, in my head.  I wasn’t outraged by anyone stealing or being rude.   And my husband was having some emotional troubles and dealing with it all is hard.  Still is.  I cried while writing this entire blog. and while I know that I really need to deal with it more, I’m kind of tired of blowing my nose, and wiping my tears.  I’m hopefully done crying today, though some of you usually comment, so I’ll cry again. But it’s the weekend, and I don’t want to cry on my days off.   So know you’ll probably hear more about this.  Right now I’m gonna get some more coffee and put on a horror flick, try to get lost in yarn…

Keep it creepy!!!

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It’s Halloween Contest Time!!!

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Hello lovelies! I know, I’ve been writing less frequently, sorry about that.  Can’t quite come up with why, but I’m sure it’ll sort itself out.

So, I’m sure that you remember me saying at least once that I was going to have a Halloween story contest, similar to my Easter-Bunny one…think back, I’ll wait……… Ok, yea, you remember!  So now it’s time to give you the set-up, my guidelines for the story.  Just like in the Zombie Easter Bunny contest, I wrote a short story, I thought I’d set up the contest with a story.   I’ll be writing a bit afterward, so keep reading until the end.  

                                                                                                                     ♦

   This spawn began as they all do, with me sitting and thinking about what I wanted it to look like,  choosing yarns and putting it and a couple of hooks in a Ziploc-type bag.   Then I put up a few pictures for inspiration, or look at any notes I’ve made and just kind of  try to “see” it in my head.  When I feel ready, I open my eyes and start…weird, lame, just part of my “ceremony” for starting a new spawn.  This time I never got a quite clear picture of him…he was always moving around!

I was distracted when I started this spawn.  This is was the first prize for my Halloween contest, and he had to be good.   I’ve made a Frankenstein’s monster before, but this one was going to be different (Boy, was he!!!).  He’s the first green one I’d made.  I really do like the off-white skin I typically create him with, it makes it look like he’s in a black and white movie, but I also like the green skinned monster from my childhood.  The one thing I did that I’d always wanted to see,  was to make him look like he’d been made of different people, which would give better reason for all the stitches.  Supposedly he’s made from different people, so he should look like it.    I was crazed with wanting to find the right combination of yarns and greens so that it looked and felt like he was made from different people.  I’ve blogged about how I get all crazed about things “looking right,” so this shouldn’t surprise you. 

I had really meant to have him done before the contest, I wanted folks to see what they were going to win.  It seemed proper and all.  But life gets away from you sometimes, and my life, well… there’s just lots going on.   I’d start him Saturday night, just to get a bit of work in before going to bed.  I’d work really hard on him, and send him out on Monday on the way to work. 

I stuck my finger with a needle while sewing in an end, which is not at all a rare occurrence.  I say, half-jokingly, that there are “special ingredients” that get put into each spawn, and that’s what makes them come to life… I like the image in my head of sprinkling special, secret, creepy ingredients into each spawn.  I didn’t really, really, believe that I needed to bleed for each spawn.    I feel a bit differently now, of course…  Usually, I stop when I stab myself 3 times enough to draw blood.  That’s my cut-off.  I figure when I’ve got 3 fingers that I’m trying to keep from bleeding on the yarn, that’s enough.  This time I was driven, I really wanted to get as much done as I could, so this time I decided I could keep going after the 3rd stab… But I kept stabbing myself with needles.   Not the same needle even, I used a few different needles when I use different fibers… stuck myself with each one…… in the very same finger… in the very same spot.     

The thirteenth time I stuck my finger, in the same spot, a drop of blood landed on the stuffing inside his head.  I’d almost bled on him the other times, but I ended up wiping it on my pants until it stopped bleeding, and then moved on.  It was a really big drop of blood.  Like really, really, big.  Of course I wiped off the blood I could see, but really, it’d dry up in a second.  I giggled for a second about “adding the secret ingredient,” and decided that it was time to put him down.  My finger hurt a lot, and I needed to get an adhesive bandage for it, have a glass of milk and try to calm down enough to go to sleep. 

I woke up at 5:30 am Sunday morning, as usual, fed the dogs, made coffee.  Then I pulled out yarn.  I never do that.  I need time to wake up before I play with yarn.  I usually read a bit, facebook some, check twitter, do some chores, and then late morning/early afternoon, I start in with the yarn. I like to create after chores and responsibilities are done, so I get more uninterrupted time.  This morning I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my spawn.  It was understandable. It was possible that if I just worked very intently, I could finish him that day, I just had to focus. The house was completely quiet—my husband doesn’t wake up super early like I do, he’s a night owl, so he’d just been asleep maybe 3 hours…maybe. He’d be out for awhile.  The dogs would settle back into sleep pretty quickly, and I could work unbothered.

I’d finished more of his torso than I’d remembered, only a couple rows and I could start the legs.  Man was I tired last night…  I barely remembered working on his face,  but it looked how I’d wanted it to.  I usually saved that for the end, I like getting some personality in the body, and then creating the face, but I’d decided to give him one anyway.  I liked his eyes, they weren’t anything more than a few wee stitches with black and white embroidery thread, but still, they had a bit of something behind them… I love making the eyes, they’re the windows to their creepy little souls…  Did he just smile at me?

I’d been working for what seemed like ever, but was really only 3 hours. I’d finished the body, his legs, and his arms.  He was a monstrously handsome vision in black and green yarns.  But it was time to go get a shower, have something to eat, and take the dogs to the park, my husband was giving me that look that says, “Do you really have to crochet all the time?”  I shot him a look that said “Sometimes, yes,” but went and got a shower anyway.

Nearly the entire time we were at the park I was slightly irritated.   It was too bright.  There were too many people.  It was too warm.   It wasn’t yarny enough…  My husband could read me, and probably finally was bothered enough by my whinging that he said, “Fine!  Let’s go home, you’re making me crazy!”  I practically skipped to the car.

We got home, I got myself some more coffee, and sat down in my spot.  There he was, my monster, laying in his bag with all his yarns and hooks.  I took him out and straightened his fingers and adjusted his jacket……… I totally didn’t remember making him a jacket.  I’d thought about it, all the movies had him in a jacket, with sleeves that are too short, so that you could see the scars at his wrists.  I’d thought about it… but I hadn’t quite decided on grey or black… I’d thought.   I’ve been kind of tired lately, and there really has been so many things going on in the back of my mind that I’ve felt a bit on auto-pilot, but… Well, I’d obviously decided on the black jacket since his sleeves were already black, and it was a good choice, he looked really good in the black jacket… did he just wink at me?

Well, since I’d already taken care of the jacket, all I needed to do was give him hair, and look at him once more really closely for anything that needed attention, wee ends that needed to be cut a bit closer, errant threads, bits of fluff trying to escape.  I picked up the black thread I was using as hair, and a sharp needle and stuck the needle in his head… did he cringe ever so slightly as I stuck the needle in?  I pulled the thread through, and stuck the needle in him again, looking really closely at him, just to make sure.  Of course he didn’t cringe!  Crazy much!  I needed to finish this spawn, and then take a break for a day or so.   I continued to sew in hair, it didn’t take long.  The very last thread I tried to sew into several stitches, and several different pieces of yarn, for a good anchor.  It was really hard to pull the needle through, so I gripped it really tightly, and pushed the needle through the yarn, and into, and out of, the tip of my thumb, and through some more yarn.  It’s happened before that I’d pushed a needle through the very tip of my thumb, it’s mostly callused, and I usually just pull the thread through, and cut it.  It’s never gone through quite so deeply before… or come out with blood.  I looked at my thumb, it hurt more than it usually did when I stuck a needle in it. It was actually throbbing.  Had to finish him.  I picked up my scissors, pulled the thread taut and cut it as close to the scalp as I could.  Ok, so there was a bit of blood in the thread that was inside his head.  People paint with their blood ALL THE TIME!!!   I looked at his hair, which perfectly complimented his face (which is probably why I had decided to put his face on so early).  Hey wait, he was done!!!  I held him up, turned him around, over, moved his arms and legs, twisted his head, checked his hair to see that there were no holes or places that needed just a bit more attention.  Nothing.  As much as I’d felt like I wasn’t fully attending to him, I must have been, all his ends were woven  in and cut close, all the yarns and threads in the right places, none of the fluff trying to escape.  He was…just right.   I smiled big.  I always know when a spawn is done, I contemplate keeping it.  I turned him around, “walked” him across my lap, put his arms up into the classic Frankenstein’s monster pose… and my husband handed me a plate of food.  It was 6:30 pm.  He looked kinda miffed, as if I’d been ignoring him all day for something made of yarn, but he’s really understanding.  I put the spawn down, and ate my dinner … tacos, mmm, one of my favorites!  I ate the four tacos on my plate in a few minutes.  My husband had just sat down with his plate when I got up to get more.    I sat down with 3 more tacos, and finished them on in just a few more minutes.  The husband looked at me like I was some kind of freak…ok, I was gobbling, but I was hungry.  When I came back from the kitchen and sat down again, he said, “You worked on him all day.  When I asked you what you wanted for dinner you grunted at me.  I asked you to feed the dogs, you grunted, but didn’t do it.  When he is all done, I’d like you to spend your next day off with me, and no yarn.  I never ask that, but I think I deserve it now and again.”  He was right.  I never took a day off from  yarn, except when I was sick.  And he IS really understanding, and, well, the spawn was done. I told him Tuesday, my next day off, was all his, but now I needed to take some pictures.

I got out my camera, and Brainy, and some of the other creations I had around, some mine, some made by others.  It was like a party!  They all wore the feather boa and took pictures with the new monster, there was some dancing, I got up to go find some more props, and it was 10 pm… my husband was in bed watching a movie on his phone…  I had taken 117 pictures… I really needed sleep, I had to go to work tomorrow.

I woke up about 5:30, same as usual, feeling tired, like I’d been running all night.  I remembered running in my dreams.  And there was lots of blood… and my Franken-spawn was walking around, talking to me… but that’s all happened before, so…it was just Monday creeping in on me.  I went on with my usual routine, feeding the dogs, making some coffee, checking facebook and twitter, but I kept hearing things.  I looked all over the house, thought the husband had left his phone playing a movie, or music, nothing.  As I walked back in to sit down, I kicked the bag with my spawn in it.  I didn’t think I’d left it in the middle of the floor, but, well, maybe I kicked it there or something.  I put him, and the address of the winner with all my stuff that I take to work, and went to get in the shower. I had to leave a few minutes early to go to the mailing center, so I could mail the spawn.  I got out of the shower, got ready for work, and walked into the living room to get my stuff…  I thought I’d left my stuff in the middle of the floor, as usual, not leaning up against the door.  Grr, Mondays…   Got to the mailing center, found a box the Franken-spawn fit into,  and gave him one last look before closing the lid… HE WINKED AT ME AND SMILED, WITH TEETH!  I DIDN’T GIVE HIM TEETH!!!

I must have been looking bewildered for a bit, the guy behind the counter took the box, and the address I had on the counter, typed it into the computer, and said “Mondays really suck don’t they!!!”  I couldn’t respond.  My spawn just winked and smiled.  I don’t really give them that ability… I may pretend I do, I may say I do, I definitely WISH I could, but…  “Ok, we’ll add this to your account.  He’ll go out at noon, and be there on Friday. See you later!”  I looked down at the box on the counter, it scooted itself toward the mail bin and hopped in!!! 

I slowly walked back to my car, and just sat for a minute.  What had I seen?  Should I go back and get the package?  Did they all do this, and I just didn’t know?  What was going to happen when he got where he was going?                                                                                                                                                                                      ♦

So, in the story are just basic guidelines.  Your stories should be about what happens to the spawn once I leave…it can pick up with the spawn in the mail, or once it gets to YOUR house,  The first prize spawn is a Frankenstein’s monster, he’s green, and he’s got some special ingredients that I knew about before sending him to you, but now the story is yours.

I’ve just started the first prize but he won’t take long, and there will be 4 keychains for some of the really great stories that didn’t win.  All prize updates will be on my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/KimsCreepyCreations .  That’s also where the official contest is being held.  There will be a pinned post during the contest you can add your story to, or if you don’t facebook, you can email me at kimperial1492@gmail.com, in the subject line write Halloween Contest Entry.  I’d also like to ask for permission to put your stories up on my blog after the contest.  All entries have to be on the official post on facebook, or in to my email midnight PST, September 30, 2013.  My plan is to read and judge the entries during that week and choose winners by the end of the first weekend in October.

The legal stuff: Facebook isn’t responsible for my contest, for the  judging or for the prizes. Facebook doesn’t get any information from me about you, and other than that’s where my page originates, facebook doesn’t have anything to do with my contest.

It’s possible I won’t update much until the end of the contest, when I put all the stories up on their own page for you all to read! I’m super excited to get some cool Halloween stories to read.  I should probably  go work on my Franken-monster, to finish him before the contest ends.  I’ve got to make something worth writing a story for!!!

KEEP IT CREEPY!!!

Where I completely admit to being obsessed… or all the crazy little bits I put into creating a couple spawn

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Hello my lovelies!

It’s been 2 weeks since the last post, and while I sit here I wonder why it is that it’s been 2 weeks, why didn’t I just sit and do this last weekend?  I was sitting her trying to figure out what it is that kept me…ooooooh… I had my creation blinders on!  With most of my projects, I can put the doll down, and pick up something else, a different project, a different activity, and I’m fine.   I can switch gears and make something else, or do something else, and the project is safely tucked away in part of my brain, I make/take notes for myself about the current state of things, and what I’d like to do next time I pick it up.  But not my last order.  I was making a Pink-toe Tarantula and Samara Morgan from the movie The Ring, for Rick, a really cool artist and tattoo artist friend.  Rick is a creepy-crawly lover, so the spider was going to be life-sized, which is slightly harder than one thinks.  Most measurements are note exact, spiders don’t seem to love to be measured, PLUS, straight leg-length is hard to get on a spider since they’re bent, in life (straight leg measurements are usually post-mortem activities)  Well with all the knowledge a non-spider person can get (at least 2 hours searching and tarantula sites) I started on the PinkToe.  They’re actually quite lovely, with long, vibrant pink hairs all over their bodies, my thoughts turned to how to get those right.  This was not going to be a project where fun-fur could be used, that would NOT be ok.  I got very shiny, very fine, polyester thread, black and hot pink, and sewed them in by hand.  Crazy, obsessed? Maybe.  But my tarantula looks quite like a real tarantula rather than a crocheted spider, even though it’s slightly larger than life-sized.

Image1861 Image1862

 

When I was working on the spider, I was obsessed. Possibly because sewing in the hairs on the legs and body just took a long time, but I don’t think I could have done it any other way.  The spider needed to look big and hairy, like it did in my head  I really wanted to take some forced perspective pictures of her destroying Sacramento, but my next project was Samara Morgan, and I was more obsessed.

When I say obsessed, I really mean it.  I didn’t want to work on other projects, and even upcoming projects didn’t interest me, and I always am excited about what I’ll be working on coming up!!!  I didn’t want to read, and I never seem to get enough regular reading time,, certainly not daily, and almost not at all while working on her.  If I was going to sit down, I wanted to work on her.  OBSESSED!!!

The other part of my obsession is that when I’m making something that has a definite look, but more than that, an absolute look.  Frankenstein’s monster has a look, but he’s changed a bit here and there, due to artist interpretation. Samara Morgan has an absolute look, super creepy, pale blue-ish with deep black cracks and slimy grey-ish black gunk on her skin, a long dress that is blackened with slime at the hem and bottom of the sleeves, and long, hanging black hair…but it more than just hangs, it has some eerie, creepiness to it…  This was not going to be a doll that could have yarn hair, it had to be fine, and hang just the right way.  Crochet thread approached the right look, but wasn’t as shiny as I needed this to be (shiny thread makes her hair look a bit like it’s wet, like it does in the movies)

(When I start a new doll, I often give a cursory look out there at other artists’ dolls of the same characters, looking for inspiration, but rarely do I look at crochet versions, those aren’t what I want mine to look like.  Let me qualify that~ When I searched for Samara Morgan art dolls there were the plastic/vinyl/clay/porcelain versions, the ones that really tried to grasp the creepiness, really tried to get her look.  Crochet versions were pale in color, with some sort of dress, black hair, sometimes safety eyes, sometimes just a frowny face……many I wouldn’t have known they were Samara Morgan except that’s what I searched for.  I realize, I really do, that it’s MY craziness/vision/obsession.  I need my version to look as much like the thing as I can get it to.  Part of that is the details.  “Details, baby, details.”)

First off, she’s small,  Not my smallest doll yet, I think the zombie fairy I made for my friend Teeni is my smallest whole doll (I’ve made small zombie torsos, but Zombie fairy, Pipette, is small.

pipette

 

Anyway, Samara is just 6′ tall, and made thin. She’s also, at the suggestion of my friend Teeni, pale blue.  In the movie she always had a pale blue to her skin, and though the yarn I used  is paler than she is, it did the trick.  She also seemed to me to have a definite order, mostly for convenience, but I had to do her face first, I needed some creepiness.  I used black embroidery floss for some of the cracks in her face.  Her eyes were grey, with a line of red and tan threads under each eye, because her eyes are reddish underneath.  I also painted on, with acrylic paints, some of the black and greyish slime that covers her skin…she really is dirty from being down in the well.  While the hair, the very last thing I did was the most time-consuming, the dress is the thing that caused me the most freakouts, not big ones mind you, but ones that cause me to need another pair of eyes to tell me it’s ok…thanks T!  I don’t sew.  Ok, let me re-phrase that.  I don’t have a machine, or real sewing skills–since I’ve never had a machine of my own, I’ve never really practiced, and though I’m certain I could learn to follow fairly simple patterns, the fact remains that all my sewing is done by hand, and kind on-the-fly.   Like in most of my creations, I don’t really make patterns for the pieces I have to sew, I just do a quick sketch on the wrong side of the fabric and sew–which is a lot harder to do for the unskilled when the dress is for a 6″ doll!  UGH, TURNING THE DRESS RIGHT SIDE OUT SUCKED DONKEY BALLS!  (Disclaimer: I don’t REALLY know what that is like, but I’m sure it’s bad!  I coffee stained her dress. and used black acrylic paint to get the right color.  Then finally time to sew in her hair!  I used the same black polyester thread i did for the tarantula, it’s really shiny, and hangs just the right way.  I’d sew in 4-4 thicknesses of thread at a time, just to increase the coverage, but it still took quite awhile, since I used superfine thread.

I put her away for a day, I usually put dolls I spend a lot of time on away for a day. I need fresher eyes.  I get detail blind–I only focus on the small things…the dress probably came out a bit too dark and still smells a bit like coffee… her skin isn’t quite the right blue… her face could have been attended to a bit more…    There are always things that eat at me, sometimes way past the message that they’ve arrived and are currently being adored!  Yep, some of my dolls haunt me!   Usually once I get the message, I’m good…but there are a few of my spawn that I just…want to……leave just the way they are because they are loved, and that sheer fact amazes me every single time.  I am always so in awe that people come to me, and often tell me they’ve wanted something like this for awhile and trust me to help create their vision…  which is always always always, all in the details.

So here she is, I love her, I think she’s the creepiest doll I’ve made yet.  My creepy little dead girl

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And here are the PinkToe and Samara leaving me Friday

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I’ve since started a new project, a witch similar to one I made a couple of years ago for a very lovely lady.  The witch is a lot of fun, being much more subjective, with just some color specificities.  I love the project, am not obsessed, and it feels easier, *sigh*.  Not that I don’t like creating specific characters, I SO do!  I love working on  really specific creations, they really make me work and push myself, but I do also like a break of other creations in between.  Also, I started trying to come up with a crochet skull pattern of my very own, one that will look good as just a skull, but also will be good for creating sugar skulls with! i want to yarn bomb with some, hopefully for Dia de los Muertos!  Oh, and I need to make some more mary-jane slippers, my toes are chilly in the morning, it’s almost fall here in northern-california!

So, I guess this was all the stuff that’s been in my head the last couple of weeks.  I was really too  “all about the spawn” to even sit down and write about how much they can take over my life.  Luckily I have a really understanding husband who doesn’t mind so much that he has to remind me to come up for air and get out of my head for a bit (his words are different, same sentiment…he’s not gonna read this).

It’s September now, which means it’s almost time for me to announce my contest.   Also have to get to making those prizes.  Stay tuned for occasional pictures of those, and for the halloween story contest, I’ll be reminding folks here and on my page, and will be posting all the entries here on my blog just like for the Easter Bunny stories.  OOOO, just for what’s going to happen in the future, I’M GOING TO BE MAKING A KRAMPUS THIS YEAR, WOOHOO!!!

Thanks for reading and commenting and putting up with the weirdness! and KEEP IT CREEPY!!!

My Monster-Head Bag Bothers an Old Guy… Am I Supposed to Care?

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     HI!  Hope your week was lovely, fun, a bit weird, and, well, a bit creepy, at least!

     This is your reminder that this may not be work-place friendly, no naughty pictures, but I do occasionally let fly with some profanity…and GO!

So if you remember last week, I said I was going to be working on a bag,   This bag, to be exact:

il_570xN.383913381_674y (1)  I wasn’t going to be buying the pattern,  this customer has adopted  spawn before, and trusted me that I didn’t need the pattern. He wanted a darker, creepier green and a slightly creepier, Kim-version of this bag. And that was going to make him a bit different from the get-go.  This guy is cute, but a bit goofy, and not quite what I love.   First the green I used is darker, Asparagus. And not cotton, in fact, something that fuzzes up (or felts) well, so mine is a bit fuzzy. AND, I knit the face; I like knitted fabric, it’s really flat, and nice to sew on.  I also told the customer I’d line the bag, since it’s not really felted completely (it’s not all wool), and he asked for purple felt. It looks lovely with the green! I surely need to get a sewing machine, I used really sharp, quite big needles, and I stuck my fingers so many times the tips of 3 of them were  sore for 2 days. Oh, and I’d not ever done a zipper…zoinks! So many new things with this bag,and was the only thing I was working on, AND it had a deadline.    I persevered, had a few moments of private craziness with some friends, thanks T&S, and  finished him, AND had enough time to mail him that he didn’t have to go next day!  Huzzah!  AND the bag has reached it’s destination, and the gifter likes it in person, so I’m stoked!!!

Here he is:

Image1234  He has a pocket inside , made of the green “skin” yarn, with what looks like a scar and some staples, just like what’s on his forehead.  I’m pretty happy with him, and now monster–head bags are in my head too…  If I make another one, I’m going with all wool so it felts and not lining it… and maybe it will be more head shaped…  I have ideas…

I put up this picture on Wednesday, it was pretty similar to the one I’d put up the day before, but this was finished, and that’s all I was posting about, really… and folks  were so nice, posting  really lovely comments about him, which  I appreciate  so much…    When I woke up  Thursday morning, I went to my page to post the pic of the day and go through last night’s notifications…there was one from some old guy from Wales named Graham “I wish I could get this annoying advertising bollocks off my Facebook.”………Excuse me?!?  I don’t pay to promote, so the only way someone sees my page is if he’s friends with someone who DOES like my bollocks, OR he clicked “like” at some point, and is now being a whiny bitch…  There’s also a message, I allow folks to message me on my page,I like to keep info about orders there. “Hey Kim’s Sticks and Strings, there’s something about this photo that bothers me. Would you please take it down?” AND he did the official Facebook request thingy where I had to say whether I complied with his request and removed the picture,  or ignored it and kept the picture up, and presented  a message to send  to him saying that I was going to keep it, it’s important to me…  It’s that picture exactly. What bothers him about it, really…NO, I mean REALLY???  This isn’t Zombie Jesus or something profane, or nude!  This is a bag of Frankenstein’s Monster’s head… Needing to come up with a reason that someone wouldn’t like that bag, besides not really liking the character, ok, whatever, I have decided he’s probably quite mentally ill, and I”m hoping that he’s not got access to eBay and credit cards…he could do quite a lot of damage! Or he is some kind of space alien who is worried about me and my spawn’s threat to their plan for global domination, since we all know that am going to take over the world…

I woke up really fast, my mind racing. Why didn’t he like it? What didn’t he like? Why did he need to say something?.. wait a minute…better questions… Who IS this guy? ( no one I know) Is he of any importance to me? (OH HELL NO!)  Why do I care what he thinks?  Pursuing one’s art can be scary…placing my work on public display for approval/criticism is a bit daunting, and something I might never have the courage to do.  I have received amazing love for the spawn, which I so appreciate. It’s one thing for me to like what I make, but on a regular basis I am amazed at how much folks seem to like them, even the ones who don’t have one! I get lots of love from my customers, fairly often from folks whose spawn/keychain have gotten some attention and love, or are still really holding together after much use. I love it when folks tell me they’ve been using their keychains for a long time now and they’re still good.  Oh, or the ones where folks tell me they’ve had their spawn on their person every time they’ve left the house for a few days now… Those are the BEST!!!  AND THESE ARE THE OPINIONS THAT MATTER, not ones of someone I’ve never heard from until today.   My friend Rick reminded me something that most artists believe: “If I have offended someone with my work then I know I’m doing a good job.”

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I never really thought about my work disturbing folks, I do know some folks who are pretty happy with their spawn, but I never really thought too many people would be disturbed… I do get my share of little old ladies who look at me like I’m a murderer, who ask me why I would make such terrible things, I guess Graham from Wales just falls into that category.  There are those that ascribe to the idea that art should be beautiful/pretty/sweet and, I’m sure, that yarny things need to be pretty or cute… oh well.

I need to toughen my skin a bit. My initial response was to be upset with this guy…old criticisms about  not being a “real” artist…  It’s a bit funny, really.  I create monsters,  creepy creatures, I love horror and to watch scary movies and read books so scary I’m rolled up in a ball on the couch, but, like my monsters, I have a soft squishy center, and don’t really want to hear that folks don’t like my work…2 weeks in a row, too!!!  According to Rick, I must be doing pretty good if folks are talking smack every week!  I don’t usually hear from folks that they don’t like my work, my page usually just has one less like the next day…  This  been fodder for my amusement, too.   It makes me giggle trying to figure out what exactly it is that bothers him so much about my green monster bag…not like I care. There’s nothing he can tell me that will make me take it down.  He could say that he and his wife tried for many years to have a baby, to no avail. One night, they visited the local witch and she asked for money, and a few personal items and did a ritual and told them they would conceive a baby, but he ‘d  have a block head.  And after some surgeries on his brain, he  had a zipper-like scar on his head and when he got sunburnt one year, his skin turned greenish, and my bag reminds him of his son,who is  now dead… OH how I wish that would happen, but I wouldn’t take down the picture of my KNITTED AND CROCHETED FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER BAG!!!  In all of this it is hilarious to me me, that my yarny bag has outraged someone…*gigglesnort*

I think what I take from all of this is that, once again, some will like what I do, some won’t, and folks aren’t always kind or gentle about their opinions.  But I also don’t have to give a rat’s ass about their opinions, especially if they just pop up out of nowhere to tell me they hate my work… Ok, fine with me…

For the upcoming week, I’ve got a cat in the works, some zombies, and I have this plan to make a fairy or two… I’ve been inspired by Brian Froud lately; his characters were inspirations for characters in the movies Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal… we’ll see what happens…oh, and I feel another conjoined twin zombie coming on… I think connected at the head… *squee*

Have a really great weekend, and KEEP IT CREEPY!!!