Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Makin' A Punkin

So every year my workplace has a pumpkin decorating contest, they buy a whole bunch of little pumpkins and put them out in the lobby for everyone to pick through. The deal is you get 10 days to decorate it, you can't carve it (I think that's because they don't want them to rot), the pumpkin must be visible, and you have to use one of the provided pumpkins. Then for the week before Halloween the submitted pumpkins sit on display in the lobby and people vote for their favorite.

I'm not much of a painter, though so I decided to try using Sculpty. I started with the nose, I was intentionally making it over sized for the pumpkin I had, and I have to admit I was thinking of Yubaba from Spirited Away when I started.


I made the center bit first and then cut open a sphere of clay, hollowed the halves out and attached them. I think it came out pretty good, it's a little uneven almost like one nostril is flared or the nose is twitching, and it's nice & pointy.

After I had the nose done I started working on the eyes. I started with another ball of clay that I cut in half and shaped, then I rolled out a piece of clay and pressed around the top of the eyes and then trimmed it down to look like a eye lid. It looked a little top heavy at that point so I rolled out another piece of clay for the under lid.


For the Iris I ended up using the top of a bottle of nail polish, because I couldn't figure out another way to make the iris really round. As it was the iris is too small and it looks kinda creepy.


I used the same trick for the pupil, only this time it was a bottle of Tacky Glue.

I wanted to do a really cool, half snarl for the mouth but I ran out of time, so I just made them big and pouty. I was pretty much ready to bake them but I occurred to me that I needed a good way to secure them to the pumpkin, so I used fatheaded jewelry pins and extra bits of clay to secure them.

Once they were baked it was time for paint!


I started with a base coat of white on everything, and started with the lips which I painted an out-of-the-tube red. I wanted a really brilliant blue for the iris so I used nail polish, and for the eyeshadow I mixed a slightly red violet, I really wish I'd had some fine glitter to use instead, but oh well. I also had this idea to use thin costume feathers for the eye lashes but they didn't workout so I painted kohl on instead.

The Hair

The pumpkin itself, I painted half white & half black, and then I cut a big handful of worsted weight black yarn into approximately 8" lengths, smeared the black part of the pumpkin in tacky glue, folded the strands in half, and used tweezers to place the middle along the center seam of the pumpkin.


I also used some rug cotton I got for free from the BMFA barn sale a few years ago to make the core of the bun, painted it black, applied the tacky glue, and used more yarn to cover it.

The end result...

Madame Pumpkin

I like the concept for this piece, but some aspects of the execution need work. When I get some more free time I plan to try again with a styrofoam ball.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Knitting Frenzy

I just realized that I really haven't posted anything up in a while, but it's because I've been knitting like mad the last couple weeks. Well ok, and because I got the new Kingdom Hearts game for the DS.

I'm really jazzed about how much yarn I've been able to get through, it gives me hope that maybe someday my stash will really actually fit in it's tub instead of me laying the lid on top of the overflowing bin and telling myself that I haven't exceeded the self imposed stash limit.

Anyhow what's gotten me so motivated is that Relay For Life is gearing up again and the first craft fair that the "P-town Moseying Stitchers" (yep team PMS) are participating in is November 13th.

In the last two weeks I've been able to get six baby hats done. Three of them are for about a 3 to 6 month old, I used the Sweet & Simple Baby Hat pattern by Debbie Bodmer. I made a couple of modifications, I did a little over and inch of 1x1 ribbing and I didn't make the stem long enough to knot.

The Sprouts Redux

The other three should fit a 6 to 9 month old, and only have the slightest bit of a nub at the top.

Tres Buds

I was also able to get three pairs of booties made, a personal best. I still have another three pairs of booties to make though so I'm not quite done yet. For these I used the Mary Jane Bootie pattern by Lucie Sinkler. Instead of knitting them flat I did a two needle cast-on and knit them in the round. Also instead of using a cable cast-on for the strap I used backward loop.

The Janes

I also have to sew in the ends on all of this...

In Need of Finishing

Yeah, I kind of tend to put doing it off until I absolutely have to, I really really don't like sewing in ends. I really meant to get started on it this weekend but it didn't happen.

I did however go down to Sellwood for the grand opening party for Sock Dreams.

Sign Closeup

It was great, there was a stilt walking hula hoop artist, and a dude with a banjo, oh and they had a pretty decent spread too.

Lady on Stilts 2

I got some really awesome socks.

Sock Dreams Booty