Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movin' On Up, and a Question About YouTube

Just FYI, I'm losing my mind this week trying to move and balance both workplaces. Packing up my art materials is always the hardest part, because I know the minute I tape up the box is the minute before I'll have an idea. The great thing about the new place is that I'll finally have a space dedicated to being studio space; a nice finished basement where I'll have space and no television or video games to distract me, so here's hoping that I'll be more productive as a result.

It's a silly question, but I was playing around with the video function on my camera the other day. I know a lot of artists have livestream channels where they invite people to come and watch them paint or draw. I don't really have a webcam, but how interested would anybody be in art and crafting video tutorials? I know YouTube is inundated with that sort of thing, but honestly I've seen several that aren't done particularly well, or they are, but pretty obviously aimed at the stay at home scrapbooking mom/grandma type. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I often have a different perspective and background than a lot of the people I see presenting these things, so I feel like it might be more interesting and more engaging for people who tend to veer away from demographic--applying these sorts of techniques to alt fashion accessories or to modeling for tabletop gaming, even if it's just a change in the aesthetics and the subject matter, or directing and reviewing resources like books, websites and retailers. Hell, I'll do bits on whatever it is people suggest. I just keep finding more to do when I've already stretched myself thin!

Anyway, I look forward to reading your opinions and catching up on everyone's blogs sometime next week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Which a Lesson is Learned

So, I finished carving the melon heads yesterday, and I went to do a test stamp. I pulled up the carving, and there was only a very faint ghost of ink on the paper, and the stamp itself was still black. So, the regular, super-tough battleship grey lineoleum? Not great for stamp carving, as it turns out. I should have done it on a medium with more "squish," but the other linoblocks I have are soft to the point where I didn't feel comfortable leaving it out to be stamped with over and over again, afraid that it would break down or tear pretty quickly. On top of that, the lineoleum seemed to suck up the oil-based ink. I tried cleaning it afterwards and it doesn't want to budge. Rather than go to my linocutting supplies or the admittedly small circular plastic-y stamp blanks I have, I'm going to get a hold of some of Speedball's SpeedyCarve material, which comes highly recommended by other stamp carvers.

You can take a look at the (mostly) finished product after the jump. I may yet do some fiddling and clean out some of the undercutting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Green Lawn, Take Two; Silver Clay & More!

My PMC arrived in the mail! It's such a small packet, but I can't wait to start working with it--plan on doing pendants to start with. I have a friend who has tools for shaping rings, but I think I prefer to start with something where size is less important until I get a feel for the shrinkage. I've worked with polymer clay now and then as a replacement for ceramic clay--I'd done a few ceramic pieces in high school and loved the idea of fabricating jewelry pieces, but it's hard since I no longer have access to a kiln. The silver clay can be finished with a torch, so it's somewhat more convenient. Very exciting, and I can't wait to share the results.

Red Wolf and I went back to Green Lawn Cemetery on Sunday to pick up a few of the boxes we hadn't had time for last trip. They're technically only open from noon til four on Sundays, so we had kind of a narrow window, and I didn't fuss around taking as many pictures this time. We picked up all but two of the seven box series "A Royal Garden Party" by DrWatson; one is gone and the other is a bonus box, the clue to which takes some deciphering. We also got a couple of stand-alone boxes and picked up another hitchhiker; Wereallinthistogether's "Eve Was Framed." It was originally planted in 2007 as a mystery, and moved its way up from Florida (St. Cloud, near my old home town of Kissimmee!) through Ohio, so that was pretty amusing.

Speaking of which, there's a good chance that I will be going to Florida this summer with my in-laws, so I'm seriously considering carving up a hitchhiker to turn loose down the empire of the rat when I finish with the melon heads stamp. Green Lawn photos after the jump.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Melonheads Sketch

Seeing as how horror won out on my poll, I took in a lot of suggestions, but I ended up going with Red Wolf's idea of doing something cryptid related. We're both big into cryptozoological phenomenon and UFOs and all that fun stuff--we may even be going to the Mothman festival in West Virginia this September. It's just across the Ohio river, so it's not too long a drive for a goofy weekend getaway. Thanks to all the ideas everyone submitted though, I have a stack of stamps to carve!

Anyway, I got to reading about some creepy tales of Ohio and I came across the melonheads, the Loveland Frog, Hilltop Asylum (which I've driven past but haven't explored, Hilltop has become not a great neighborhood to hang out in), the tiny town outside of Cincinnati, the gates to Hell in Columbus which I've actually been to, and all kinds of weird stuff. Now, I think the story about the melonheads is complete bunk, but it's interesting, and it seems to be an Eastern U.S. regional thing as there's very similar stories that supposedly take place in Michigan and Connecticut, probably brought over as a retelling of an English story.

I based my sketch off of a photo of a hydrocephalic child's skull. Image, story and links after the jump! Actually you know what? I'll just put the image after the jump, that way it won't be spoiled for anyone that actually wants to track this thing down once it's planted. I forgot about my AtlasQuest traffic!
 Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on the Ohio version of the story:

The melon head stories of Ohio are primarily associated with the Cleveland suburb of Kirtland. According to local lore, the melon heads were originally orphans under the watch of a mysterious figure known as Dr. Crow (sometimes spelled Crowe, Trubaino, Krohe or Kroh or known as Dr. Melonhead[3]). Crow is said to have performed unusual experiments on the children, who developed large, hairless heads and malformed bodies.[4] Some accounts claim that the children were already suffering from hydrocephalus, and that Crow injected even more fluid into their brains.[3]

Eventually, the legend continues, the children killed Crow, burned the orphanage, and retreated to the surrounding forests and many believe they feed on babies. Today, some believe that the melon heads may be sighted along Wisner Road in Kirtland, and Chardon Township.[4][5] The legend has been popularized on the Internet, particularly on the websites Creepy Cleveland and DeadOhio, where users have offered their own versions of the story.[6] A movie, "Legend of the Melonheads"[1] was released in 2011 (and available on DVD), which is based on the Ohio legend and various other legends in the Kirtland area. This is to be followed by another movie "Dr. Crow" scheduled for production in 2012. 'Dr. Crow' is a period piece showing how Crow created the melonheads. Both feature films are written and directed by Brian C. Lawlor and produced by ShockStar Studios[2]. Another feature film simply entitled "The Melon Heads" [3] is based on the same urban legend (in name only) and is slated for release in late 2011. Directed by Eddie Lengyel and produced by Fright Teck Pictures, the movie stars Joe Zamora, Roger Conners, Shawn C. Phillips, Kelsey Zukowski, and a hand-full of up and coming b-movie actors and actresses.

However, some people debate it, and there are accounts of Dr. Crowe being an actual person in the area, though supposedly a dentist in the 1940s, which doesn't really follow with the rest of the story. There are more anecdotes and a more flavorful telling of the melonheads story at Weird Ohio. I'm going to have to look up the movies and see if they're any good. 

SPOILER for letterboxers after the jump!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hey, do you crochet?

I know there's a few crafty types keeping on eye on me here, I just wanted to share the Etsy shop of a lady that has some awesome cute amigurumi and other patterns, as well as finished plushes shops of a couple of nifty ladies that crochet and provide crochet patterns. I can't crochet to save my life, but I thought it may be of interest to someone else!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Congrats Card

Super busy day ahead of me, but I thought I'd pop this up before I took it to work! A coworker of mine at Job #1 was promoted from an assistant manager at our store to a salaried store manager for another location in the city. I thought it would be nice to make a little something and have everybody at our store sign it.

The flourish at the bottom didn't turn out quite right when I stamped it, and the ink dried so quickly that I couldn't emboss it or anything. So out came the raspberry colored Sharpie and I filled it in by hand.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Horror wins!

And no one is surprised at all. I have a couple of ideas, so I figure I'll do some quick sketches and show them off here on the blog with a new poll. In the meanwhile, I'm working on some new prints that I should have up on my Etsy soon-ish.

Any creepy suggestions for sketches? I already have thoughts for doing something with the Mothman or maybe a Jekyll and Hyde set, but I'm totally open to other ideas and will have a real post up as soon as I have something to show!

EDIT: Magpies now up in the Etsy store!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Etsy Treasuries

Horror is off to an early lead, but there's still a few days left to vote! I'm already brainstorming ideas.

Meanwhile, I've been on Etsy for some time, I've never really made use of the Treasury feature until now--I've actually started to be included in several treasuries myself, and it's an awesome feeling, so I put one together.

And in addition, here's a few treasuries I've been featured in, after the jump.