Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ice Cream Nails

Wasn't feeling so hot today. Decided to change my nails. Maggs thought she'd help. She did the stripes on the cones and some of the ice cream. She also decided that they all needed rhinestone cherries on top. I love it when she helps me with my nail art.

Still no word on the camera repair. I can't wait to get it back, there is so much to show you. I scanned these.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trying Extra Hard to Be a Quitter

Day 5 of way less smoking than normal..... hallucinations and mild euphoria have set in. Tears of joy caused by finding strange salt and pepper shakers shaped like cabbage headed aliens. Purchased alien spice dispensers....... they told me I had to take them to my leader.

How cool are these? I love them Way too much! They totally need names.

Made some lemonade nails. Used the lemon canes I made early in the blog. Also mixed my own pink using eyeshadow to tint the acrylic for the nail bed. For the tip I used Staedtler sparkles in white aurora with large hex flakes from Sally's. Made these ones extra sharp too.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delicious Meatloaf, Bacon, Cheese Monster!

This is the most delicious meatloaf ever!
We've only ever made the one. We made it a while back and documented it because it was ridiculous! We promised ourselves we would only make it once a year.
Here's how we did it.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

First you need to purchase 2, 2 pound packages of ground beef meduim, not lean.
One large brick of cheddar cheese. I think it's the one pound block.
One pound of extra thick cut bacon. (We used the President's Choice thick cut bacon)
Make meatloaf mixture as per usual. We added onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, Maggie sauce, garlic and seasonings.

Wrap the meatloaf mixture around the cheese block. Don't cut the cheese (giggle) or make it smaller, just wrap that seasoned and mixed up ground beef around the cheese log.
Then you wanna make a lattice work of bacon that goes all over the loaf of delicious meat.
We put the whole thing right onto some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Makes less of a mess.

This is the loaf after about 20 minutes of cooking. It was driving us crazy! We could smell it all over the house.

This is after 45 minutes. We had to check the middle to see if it was done. (Don't own a meat thermometer)
We cut right on through there........

Looking right down into the depths of the cheesy bacon meaty goodness.
Hypnotizing isn't it?

On the plate it looks a bit less greasy. I think it's because we added some cute little carrot balls to the side. The mashed potatoes sucked up some of the residual grease.

Maggs wasn't sure at first. But eventually decided it was pretty good meatloaf.

I managed to tuck into quite a respectably sized piece. Finished it all too.

Mr. Jimmy enjoying his once a year treat.

We all napped after the dishes were done.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BRAINZ!!!! Brain Prosthetic Appliance.

This was Mr. Jimmy's costume last year. We were going for a retro style comic book Brainiac and I think we got it!

We made a cast of his head so the prosthetic would fit him exactly.
He just got off a long shift at work and is almost asleep here. We do most of our plaster work in the garage / cottage / studio so the mess can be contained.

Three layers of plaster bandage and twenty minutes is all it takes. If you have hair it gets more complicated. You have to wrap your head in a scull cap or use seran wrap to cover your hair first. Mr. Jimmy is shaved clean so it wasn't a problem to slather plaster on his head. I gave him an old towel so any excess water and plaster goo wouldn't go down his shirt.

This is the original sculpt of the brain. We tried to make a two part mold of this and it got stuck. We ended up ruining this sculpt and not being able to do the two part mold for this project.

Here it is from another angle so you can get the idea of what we did. I think there was too much suction because of the fabulously round ball shapedness of his head. It ended up turning out better because we didn't use this sculpt. I like the end result much better than this idea.

The finished prosthetic. We ended up coiling plasticine into worm shapes and laying them on his head positive. We put a thick band of plasticine around the bottom of the brain so it would look like it was holding the skin up.

Instead of making a mold for the prosthetic, we simply just painted layers of latex and toilet paper onto the sculpt. there were about twenty layers in all. we kept the layers thin so they would dry completely.

We painted the brain and band with acrylic paint mixed with Golden acrylic medium for fabric to keep it from cracking. Lots of dry brushing and a coat of gloss on top to make it look gooey.

Finally we went to The Source and with the help of our trusty computer friend Bill (Hi Bill!) we got the stuff we needed to wire some lights into the brain. You can see the batteries bulging in behind the gold band on the finished piece.

I sprayed poor Mr. Jimmy in the face with some dollar store green hairspray. It's PERFECT! However in retrospect. I should have given him more breaks and time to breath. He got a bit woozie. Probably not the best idea to spray people in the face with aerosol products.

He's afraid to move here. Dizzy as all get out. Poor guy. But doesn't he look the most perfect shade of green?

I had just gotten a hair cut (Thanks Claude!) and we saved some of the hair to use for Mr. Jimmy's evil Genius beard. I glued it on with spirit gum. Had to be careful not to smudge off the glorious coat of green from his chin. It was tricky business.

You can see the wet spirit gum here. It dries pretty clear but remains shiny. I also had to add one more strand of hair to the center of the beard. He's looking pretty maniacal already.

Here he is in all his nerdy comic book glory. One of our best efforts I think.

We made the purple lab coat from scratch. We couldn't find a pattern so we had to alter a priests habit pattern. It was pretty tricky. The gloves we spray painted black. We couldn't find any black rubber gloves at the hardware store and left it till the last minute. He wore big black rubber boots also. Can't wait to start working on this years costumes.
Here we are totally enjoying ourselves at The Pete and CJ Halloween Bash! I was Harley Quin Bought the costume from E Bay and had to totally alter it. Stretch velveteen onsies never fit right.
Happy Villains! Love the Holidays.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Flying Monkey Prosthetic Appliance.

We used the same techniques for this prosthetic as we did for the Zombie. They were both made the same year with mostly the same materials. The only difference was the addition of expanding latex foam for the monkey. We needed the foam because of the depth of the appliance. The monkey face stuck way out from Maggs face and needed filling so it wouldn't sag or cave in on her. We also decided we didn't want an appliance we had to spirit gum on. She wanted a mask she could wear and take off when she got hot or tired.
Here are the results and steps we took to get there.

We made a cast of Maggs face using plaster bandages. Remember the Vaseline on the hairline and eyebrows!!!

Jumping ahead a few steps to the sculpting process. Explained how we got the face positive in the zombie post. We used white plasticine for this one and it's hard to see it against the white plaster face pos of Maggs. Here is the rough out of the monkey. Just getting the basic size and shape right. She was greatly involved with this part of the sculpt.

You can see she's tired of making decisions here. I took over for a bit and did some detail. She watched and told me what she wanted. You can see here how far the sculpt sticks out from the face and why we needed the foam to reinforce the mask.

Some detail. We wanted to make a separate bottom jaw but decided later it looked pretty good without it.

It's really coming together here. Maggs helped make some of the little hair follicles and lip wrinkles too.

The cheek bits are hilarious, and I like the teeth. Maggie liked making the nostrils. She likes poking things in noses.
We made a cast of it at this point the same way we did the zombie prosthetic mold. Put the whole thing face up into a plastic bag lined box and put on a thin layer of Vaseline with a soft brush. Then we poured in some plaster and let it set. After we separated the two pieces we removed the plasticine sculpt so we just had the positive of Maggie's face and the mold of the whole prosthetic sculpt.
We drilled a hole in the face positive under the nose and above the top lip to relieve some of the pressure from the expanding foam. If you skip this step there is no where for the extra foam to go once it starts to expand and it ends up pushing the two molds apart.
We put three or four thin layers of latex on the inside of the prosthetic mold and the outside of the face positive to act as a skin for the foam. It's pretty pourous and doesn't look smooth.
Then we mixed up the foam, it was the first time using it, to say it reacts and starts expanding quickly is a vast understatement. It got HUGE immediately! So we poured the foam mix into the prosthetic mold and slapped the face positive into ot as fast as we could. We held it on there tight and wore gloves. The foam mix will stick to everything and never come off. Do this outside! It's smelly and if it gets on the good table there will be hell to pay.

Here is the mask piece after we removed it from the molds. It set up pretty quickly, like twenty minutes. Then we trimmed any extra latex off the piece with a razor.

Maggs is trying it on for size. Fit's great. She's such a monkey!

Here is the finished mask sewn onto the monkey costume. She wore it like a hood. We painted it with latex paint mixed with GAC 200 to keep it flexible. The ears were novelty ears we bought from a costume shop and painted out the same colours as the mask. We sewed them on too.

The only shot we have of Maggs wearing the suit. It had huge black feather wings, a red and blue vest and a fez. She was sweating so bad she couldn't keep up with the rest of the trick or treaters, but folkes loved the costume.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zombie Prosthetic Appliance.

This is the prosthetic we built for Mr. Jimmy (My other half) two Halloweens ago.
We kind of overdo the Halloween thing around here. It's our holiday. I'm going to try to find as many pictures of the build as I can and load them up with explanations as I find them.

The first thing you need to do is make a cast of the future Zombie's face. We used plaster bandages, warm water and loads of Vaseline. Didn't want to rip out those thick and luscious eyebrows, and that's exactly what will happen if you put plaster over unprotected hair. Mr. Jimmy shaves his head so we didn't have to worry about protecting his hairline, but if you have hair protect it! You have been warned.
We put three good layers of plaster bandage on his face and left the nose and eyes open so he could breathe and so he could see what I was doing to him. (He doesn't trust me.... Weird huh?)
Make sure to reasure your model constantly that they are safe. Make them comfortable.
Let the plaster set for 15 or twenty minutes then when it starts to harden up get them to wiggle their face a bit to loosen the mold. It should pull off fairly easily if you have applied sufficient vaseline. Let them remove it slowly as they see fit. No pulling the band aid off quickly here. It's just not the nice thing to do.

We used masking tape to seal up the eye and nose holes on the (Lets call it the face negative.... 'cause that's what it is) face negative after it had cured completely. Then we used plasticine to seal it and smooth out any joint lines around the tape. We used a big soft brush to smear a thin layer of Vaseline into the face negative to act as a release agent. Make sure the layer is thin enough for any detail to show. you don't want to distort it now it will throw off the fit of the prosthetic.

We mixed up a bunch of plaster of paris and filled the face negative up and let it set overnight. The next morning we pulled off the negative and revealed (Lets call this the face positive....... 'cause it's a positive representation of his face.) the face positive.

This is the plasticine sculpt we did. We sculpted it on the positive cast of his face.
Only sculpt out the parts you want to alter. Full face prosthetics are cool but we weren't going for that look here. We just wanted to alter him a bit. Add wounds and rotting. General purification.

We set the sculpted on face into a bag lined box that is a little bit bigger than the face.
We made sure to seal around the bottom of the face with plasticine so it was air tight and no plaster would seep underneath when we poured the next step.
Cover the whole thing in a thin layer of Vaseline using a nice big soft brush. Really important here not to wreck the detail. It's pretty easy to fill it all in with Vaseline. pay attention and use a q-tip or toothpick to clean any built up areas out.
Mix up more plaster and fill the box up with it. Bang the box on the table a few times to get rid of any air bubbles that may be clinging to the plasticine. You can also brush the first layer of plaster over the sculpt pushing it into the recesses to eliminate any air bubbles, then pour in the rest to fill the box. Let it set up overnight.

This is what you get when you take the sculpt out of the new mold. (We'll call it the prosthetic mold I guess.)
You want to spread some thin layers of liquid latex into the spots you sculpted. No need for any release agents, it should come out fine without it. Make several thin layers of latex letting it dry completely in between layers. After five or six layers we added some single layers of torn up toilet paper to give the prosthetic some strength. We did about twenty layers of latex and two layers of toilet paper. It took about two days to layer and dry. Oh yeah.... make sure to keep the edges thin, move the edges of each layer in so the prosthetic won't be thick and noticeable.

After the prosthetic has dried, peel it gently out of the mold. Lay it onto the face positive (all the plasticine has been removed from the sculpting process, so it's Mr. Jimmy again.) so it will keep it's shape. We used acrylic paint and regular dollar store makeup to colour this prosthetic.

We tried to make the wounds look wet but we didn't want them to smudge. We used a varnish on top of the red. Next time I'll use glaze, I think it will be more flexible. The varnish cracked a bit after wearing it.

This is the final piece on Mr. Jimmy. It turned out pretty well we think. Well worth the time and effort to produce it. We learned allot throughout the process. Can't wait for the next prosthetic appliance build.

Mr. Jimmy again from the other side.

What? Zombies totally wear nerd glasses. How else would they be able to see the delicious BRAINZ!!!!
This is my beautiful Mom wearing the same appliance. It fit her a bit big, Mr. Jimmy has a HUGE head, but she still managed to scare the crap out of a bunch of folks.
Mom being really scary. It was weird to see her wearing James' face.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Personalized 3D Cards

Made these cards a long while ago but just found the pics again. Thought it might be fun to re share them with you. I used Heinz Jordan stickers and gel pens.

(My apologies to Auntie J)
Super Auntie!!!

Super Me!

Mr. Jimmy and his awfully grey Birthday cake.

Had to make this one. Doesn't he look HAPPY?
So Fun!
Love making and giving cards.