Still here…

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Hey look, my blog is still here, and I am still here…

Hello lovelies. I’ve had lots of things go on, and writer’s block to boot.  But I am here.  And I’ve been working toward a small website so I have an online store… it will be all me setting it up, so don’t go getting too excited.  It’s my first go at all this, and it freaks me out some. But I’m trying to do a little moving and shaking, so …there’s that…

I am having another story contest this year. I will officially announce it later on this week. There will be a theme, and some rules, and prizes. I’m taking votes today and tomorrow for one of the prizes. Go to http://www.facebook.com/KimsCreepyCreations to vote. The contest will be open world-wide. You’ll be able to send me your stories via facebook or to my email. I hope to see lots of stories this year!!!

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

1SamaraMorgan

 

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!!!

The Clay Golem That Is All I’ve Been Thinking About

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Hello my friends! So sorry it’s been so long, I’ve been kind of one track minded for the past couple weeks.

Since getting the news about the job being unavailable to me, and then getting my heart/blood pressure pills, I’ve had one job interview, and am waiting to hear about that job. It will be another day or so, but I”ve been doing other job hunting too. Just so it doesn’t feel too glossed over, the meds are fine.  I take my pill in the morning, and the cool thing is that my pulse is nice and low when I wake up, instead of having early morning hypertension.  I have to tell you, it was something waking up with my pulse already pounding…but not so anymore.  It’s nice and regular, even after climbing stairs.  

Mostly, I”ve been working on the spawn.  I had a large order for zombies, and I needed to get those done and out before working on the clay golem.  So for days I worked to get those little buggers out. THEN it was time to work on the clay golem, which is kind of a clay monster that is supposed to be able to be controlled.   He’s the companion to Rachel, that I made a few weeks ago.

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This clay golem is in a story by John F.D. Taff as well, but it’s not a published story, so I can’t tell you anything about, it.  I can’t even tell you what the destiny of Rachel and the golem is…not yet at least.  Just so you know, part of me loves being cryptic. This part is completely out of my control.  But I have to say I absolutely adore being able to do this, it’s a wonderful project I got the pleasure of taking  up, and I had so much freedom and am just having the time of my life with it!!!

John and I had a long email discussion about this golem.  First was  his size…he’s 18″ tall.  I’ve never made anything this tall.  Most of my spawn are somewhere between 6 and 10 inches tall…the size alone was daunting,  but oh-so necessary!

For a long  time, I was a bit more annoyed by him.  He looked like a potato.  A big potato.  With a nose.

golem head  golem torso

golem torso beginning of legs

He’s totally Mr Potato-Head!    I gave him a nose in the beginning so that I knew which was the front of the torso. But even with getting the abdomen ready for legs, he really hadn’t grown on me like I’d wanted, and he was huge.  Knew what I needed to do.

golem eyes

He needed eyes. Instantly I liked him more.  The eyes are made in several pieces with 2 colors of brown yarn, you just don’t see the other yarn, it’s a wee bit darker, so it’s for shading.  The dots are glow paint, which are on a spot that’s black, so they pop even more.  He still doesn’t have a mouth yet, but that’s because I need it to be able to open a bit, for the shem… more on that later.

now with legs     full legs

legs and arms, just no hands

So once he got legs, I was determined!  I made his legs at the same time, so they were EXACTLY alike. I”d work 2 rows at a time, then do the same but mirror work on the other leg, then do 2 rows on that leg.  It was tedious, but I’m happy with the results.  He’s got strong thick thighs, and funky kneecaps, which I like. *Funny side note about the legs. They have small packets of bb’s in the feet, he needed some weight. I made the arms after the legs, so while I’m working on him, his legs are resting on my lap, over my arm, on my shoulder, as I turn him– the arms are worked as part of him, so no separately sewn on.*   He has yet to get toes, that will be one of the last details.  The arms are less than exactly alike. In the story it’s obvious he’s not quite perfect, I just wanted him to look like he’s not quite perfect, a bit odd in spots.  Brainy photobombed him…she’s always a bit jealous when I spend so much time on the spawn.

nearly done golem     chest and hands

 

abs of clay

 

Here’s the golem as he is RIGHT NOW.  Later on tonight, hopefully, he’ll be done.    I decided on 3 fingers and a thumb, not really sure why, but I thought he’d have chunkier hands with only 3 fingers. He’ll have only 4 toes too.  I also decided he needed huge pectoral muscles, and some abs.  I made those and stuffed them lightly before sewing them closed.  The only work left is to work on his face, his toes, and then I want to embroider cracks all over, so that he looks like cracked clay.  I’ll take more pictures of him before I send him away. Then, once his job is complete, I”ll have a great story to tell you.

Until then, I have other things I”m working on… I’ve got a tree already in progress, and some skulls coming up, and a Cthulhu and…yea, there’s lots more for me to show you.

So I totally lied… I’ve not been ONLY thinking about the golem.  There are other things too, but the only other thing I’ve been making are monster hearts for my yarnbomb.  International Yarnbombing Day is June 8 or 9… anyway, so I’ve also been making what I call “monster hearts.”  These are the first 2, started a 3rd on Thursday, but no pictures of the 3rd one yet, since it isn’t finished.  Ok, that’s pretty much it officially…

monster hearts

Have a great weekend, my lovelies! KEEP IT CREEPY!!! 

Not a Rant This Time, I Don’t Always Rant…

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Hello my Lovelies!.. I appreciate so much finding out that so many of you read Monday’s blog! Lots of non-yarny folks, which is cool, and way appreciated…Usual warning, this content may not be child friendly, some horror images, and the videos are not kid-friendly. 

Weirdly enough, nothing really out of the ordinary has happened over the last few days, so I don’t really have a lot to rant about… odd  I know. That’s not to say I don’t have things I could rant about, but, well, nothing is pressing me at the moment… it’s ok, I’ll wait until the shock wears off…   Sometimes, the rant throws me off a bit, and I’m feeling pretty focused  on creating this week, I’m worried if I go looking for a rant, I”ll lose my juju…

I don’t know about you other artists, but my “creative flow” is totally affected by my mood, the mood of those around me,  how tired I am, etc… some days it’s more “fragile” than others.  I”m sure you’ve had days when you just couldn’t  pick up your medium  (whatever you use to create with), and create as easily, or at all.  I try, unless I’m sick,  to create a bit every day, even if my juju is out of whack.  Some days I’m heavy into designing a new creatures, and I hit a block… those are the days I pick up and work on something completely different, I may make a skull for a keychain or something- I use a pattern for a skull from Lion (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70464A.html?noImages=0), but I make it with crochet thread, change a few stitches, and put it on a keyring… often if I feel like I can’t create new things, if I try to work on my “current project,” I get frustrated with how stuff looks and try to take it apart, or work a bunch and then, when I’m feeling more positive, I don’t like what I did the day I was off my game… Some days I just pick up and make a zombie, there’s always one of those lurking in my head…

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Since my “creative flow” is changeable, I do lots to foster it.  It’s like a “ritual” to get me in the right frame as early as possible.

I start my morning with an hour-ish of reading.  I like to read when it’s quiet, and I’m an early bird and the husband is a night owl, so the best time for me to read is the morning. Plus I get the extra added benefit of having whatever I read inspire my day, and my work.  About 90% of what I read is horror… really.  I read  super creepy, horribly scary, thrilling stories about monsters, both of the non-human, and of the human kind.  My hope is to spend a few moments each morning so focused on the wonderfully creepy story that my husband’s alarm makes me jump.  I want to read books with things that freak me out or scare me so much, I have to re-read what I just  read … yes… THAT creepy-scary.  I read a bit of lighter humored horror,  some sci-fi/fantasy too, but it’s always dark, and people always die… Yep, in Kimland, there is death every morning, as it should be…

When I jump on facebook, it’s time to seek out images to dance in my brain… yup, creepy ones.  I know you’ve seen some of them on my page, not always freaky-gory, I try to save you guys from those… Not all my friends on facebook like the level of creepy I do…though some do, and when I post super-creepy stuff that’s when they come to chat…  I  look for pictures, and movie stills , to inspire my current work.  I really love creepy dolls…  I visit a couple of pages specifically to see creepy doll art.  Odd, distressed and distorted, faces lifeless and full of creepiness.  I absolutely love this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irbFBgI0jhM

and also this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6ejPG-i03I

My movie character dolls are heavily influenced by the movies, I usually try to talk to the customer to find out which is their favorite, I want that doll to really look like their favorite. For my Frankenstein’s monster, and for the Monster-Head bag, I watched all the Frankenstein movies, especially the old  black and white one from 1931, that one’s my favorite, and the one that I used for coloring and facial features especially.

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For my Victor Crowley doll, I watch Hatchet I and II.  I love those movies!

green_hatchet2   My beautiful picture

One of my favorite movies, Trick r Treat, gives me the opportunity to make Sam Hain, cute, AND creepy!

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An order for a gift for a friend’s dad gave me the opportunity to watch Trilogy of Terror again a couple times and remember how much I love it!  Yi yi yi yi yi! HIS chain WON’T be coming off!

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I don’t necessarily just watch that movie while working, sometimes dolls take a bit of time…and I don’t only watch zombie movies while making zombies… I watch horror, sometimes sci-fi/fantasy, preferably one I’ve seen before, so I’m not really so much watching the movie, as it’s just in the background…it helps me tune out distractions, especially if it’s  loud.  The right movie helps me into a sort of work-trance where I just work, I don’t have any extra thoughts except the piece, I forget to drink even though I’m thirsty, and forget to eat even though it’s been hours….when I finally take a break I usually have to stretch for a few minutes, my sugar is usually low ( I’m hypoglycemic), and I have to pee like a racehorse…more than you wanted to know?..yea well… no one is holding a gun to your head to read…don’t turn around…

The husband doesn’t like horror flicks. At all. There are a handful of movies he likes, but not really likes so much as tolerates.  And he will watch an occasional movie with me, which makes me happy, initially.  Then, I remember why I don’t ask more often.  He will spend the entire movie telling me how he’d never end up in that situation, would have chopped up the slasher at camp because he has skills, and “of course she has to die soon, she just had sex.”  He likes action movies, some super-hero movies, Transformers movies, but he doesn’t like sci-fi/fantasy/horror…we’ve discussed it, and he really lacks the ability to suspend disbelief for some things.  I can walk into a quiet theater and sit down to a movie about a town full of people who’s ancestors made pacts with ancient monsters and have to sacrifice babies to a pit of pregnant mother monsters, and I’m freaked out at their plight.  He doesn’t really want to go see those movies, he doesn’t really like the unknown (monsters).  He says he lacks the imagination gene, which is cool because I really do lack the reality gene…   Since he doesn’t like horror, I often put on headphones and a movie on the computer that’s at my workspace…often, the movie is really on just for the sound…  I keep the movie pretty low, too, because the husband always wishes to share the outrages of his movie… John McClane is nearly killed in another Die Hard movie, those darn Decepticons won’t leave the Autobots alone, several racers have just crashed, he watches several different types of racing, and I couldn’t care much less about racing,the driving sounds of the cars grate on my nerves when I’m working… oh and he likes a lot of those shows where someone is videotaping another person trying to be cool except the guy being videoed  is unskilled and/or unprepared and so hurts himself, they’re most always guys, and folks sit around laughing at and discussing it…yes, he likes the  “America’s Dumbest ______”, “America’s Stupidest_____”, “Ridiculousness”, “Wipeout” and all those kinds of shows… Have you heard of Schadenfreude (enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others)…watching someone do an obstacle course designed to put them on their asses in mud in spite of the fact that they’ve just told the host how they’re so skilled they will of course win, they’re practically a ninja…that often ruins a good work mood… I can’ t help it man, that’s some funny shit, AND they volunteer for it to go on tv!  I can’t crochet well when I’m giggling, and sewing is a bad idea, I can only stick myself with a needle so many times a day before I’m done… that is usually about 3 times, especially if I’m using upholstery needles…

So, those are the regular things I do…I’ll do another post sometime to tell you  what I’m actually reading, have read, in case any of you want to check out the books. I’ve got some favorite indie writers I’ll ask if it’s ok to put a link to their books on my blog, I like to support my artistic friends…

For the next few days, I’m working on Cthulhu, finishing a grey and white cat, thinking about starting Zombie Jesus, and then a tarantula and a posable tree will follow!

Thanks friends, keep it creepy!

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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.”

art-should-disturb_large

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!!!

My First BlogPost, or My Life Making Monsters

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25_15Minutes_McCollumKS_Zombies-2     261720_145632625512733_7621210_n

…So it seems that I’ve been found…well, I wasn’t really hiding, in fact there’s a good chance you followed some sort of link, quite probably one that I left…and you came anyway?..then you’re mine! No good trying to get away, I’m quite in need of the extra parts, ALL THE TIME! You see, I’m a monster maker, and parts are always shrinking, not fitting properly, and sometimes, well, just smell off, so it’s good you’re here, like I said, I always need extras… Oh yea, I’m KreepyKim, and, as you can see, I make zombies.

1011120711     166734_4283022562507_564870400_n     My beautiful picture

Zombies aren’t the only thing I make, as you can see, but I have made more than 200 of them…how many are in an apocalypse?  These are some of my favorite works, but I love all my spawn, so I can’t really label one as my favorite, but if I did, it would be…

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MEDUSA! I love her! I ‘d wanted to make one for awhile, but just hadn’t had any call for one, AND in my head she was always like 5’ tall, and that’s juuuuuuust a bit too big…however a friend asked me to make one for his daughter’s birthday, and I happily complied…   Now as I said, I love all my spawn equally, and it’s true. I know a spawn is about done, when I love it so much I start to regret having to send it away….

Now you’re probably noticing that I don’t have anything cutesy…that is true. While I do occasionally make bugs or non-zombie dolls, most are monsters. I’ve loved monsters since I was a child for sure (Frankenstein’s monster saved me from a burning building in a dream when I was 5!)  I will always route for the (non-human) monster, he’s always misunderstood, it’s rarely his fault, and no one’s invited him to their birthday parties or swim parties  or to be a camp counselor at the lake, or even gone out and asked “why?”  By this time you should also have gotten that I like horror. I almost exclusively read horror, with a good side of sci-fi, and my favorite movies are the same. I watch horror flicks I’ve seen while I make the spawn, it infuses me, and them, with the right feelings. If there is a movie about or with the spawn I’m making, then I will watch it at least once. I also love dark, horror art, surreal art, creepy art…yea, by now you get it…I like creepy. From time to time I will be sharing the work of others, I”ve been trying to do that in a big way this year, promote my friends who are independent artists… they are the ones who benefit directly from the purchase of their creations…

So here’s  how it all started:  A friend gave me a book, Creepy Cute Crochet, and it was understood I might be making some gifts, creepy amigurumi dolls for my friends…which was cool. The dolls in the book are death, and zombies, and some other sweet monsters, all with the rounded weeble bottoms, and all quite cute. I made a couple, not quite like the example, but I don’t like to follow patterns to a T, I never like it… (Small aside, I don’t make my spawn from patterns, and don’t have patterns for them. I have some general #s I use for creating some of my “garden variety” zombies, but every one of them is one of a kind. Even the spawn I’ve created more than once, the Grinch, the Frankenstein’s monster, or Victor Crowley, were all created with general #s to start with, but I don’t remember the exact one, on purpose. I’ve had folks tell me I should put out a pattern…maybe, but what I’ve been thinking is more along the lines of teaching folks to do what I do…but I digresss)

I decided that since my dolls weren’t exactly like the ones in the book, I might be able to branch out. It was at this time a friend asked me to create zombies from Left4Dead for his fiance, for Valentine’s Day…because nothing says I love you like undeath…

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So I made these guys, and another pair of zombies, of a friend and her husband for his desk at his new job, also for Valentine’s… and then I had a few requests for zombies… AND then a vendor who was going to ZombieCon in Seattle in 2011 wanted to buy some and sell them… And things kept snowballing, and going and the spawn have  evolved some, and folks asked me to make other things, zombie care bears, zombies of their daughters and girlfriends and children, AND CATS!

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I’ve made 3 zombie cats, that lego is mostly for size, and yes, the zombie legos are the same size as regular ones, so Zombie Kitty is a bit over 2″ tall…there are also Zombie Moose in the world, the Phantom of the Opera, Sam from Trick r Treat, other monsters,  and

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…oh yea, Charles Manson… I work from pictures, when I’m making a doll of a person, so I had this giant picture of Charlie’s face on my computer screen, with the crazy eyes, staring at me for like a week…yea he was fun to make too… I put a feather boa on him and he felt fancy.., and did a little dance… the spawn like to perform…

Yea, I know, you have that funny look on your face, “Spawn like to perform?”  They do!  Most of my spawn have wire armatures, so they can pose, and that coupled with the movies and ambiance playing and… the “special” components used to make the spawn…well, when you’ve got one, and you leave it sitting on the shelf or table, you swear  that you left them a certain way, but they’re NOT QUITE as you left them… did you hear those footsteps, and that giggle? did you just see that one move out of the corner of your eye? Yes, and yes.

Well, that’s it for my first post,I”m sure if you read it all the way through, it’s because you’re a friend of mine, and said you would, or maybe you just love the spawn…it happens. They’re quite a bit more chaming in the fiber than they are in pictures, that much I have been told by many. I promise the posts will get probably get more interesting, there will be lots of pictures, and sometimes I might write too much about something that really only interests me, but, well, it is MY blog… But I’d like you to come back, and bring a friend ( or at least some extra body parts) and visit with me…leave me a comment, or a poem, or…your brains…kidding, I’ve already got those!.. so thanks for stopping by, and, as I like to say, KEEP IT CREEPY!!!