Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Down...

I've got two of the three Macbeth/Pumpkinrot style witch heads complete.  Making these things is so much fun, I can get lost for hours with the mache and paint.  Unfortunately I am also my own worst critic, and a crappy photographer.  These were inspired by Rot's creations, I've gotten a few compliments at work which is super cool, and, some strange looks from the cleaning man.  Oh well.  
Here they are in plain light with a little green spot for fun:
I showed them to Kyle tonight and he spent a while checking them out.  We are both very honest with each other, but I'm just don't think he is as interested in this stuff as I am.  Don't get me wrong, he is the most supportive person in the world when it comes to my attempts at creative outlets.  He told me tonight "they're all screaming", which is true.  When you make each tooth individually and hand paint each eyeball, you tend to want to show your work.  The third witch will have teeth and maybe closed eyes, but she will defiantly be more subdued.  My goal is to work more on the facial detail like a subtle smile or grimace.  We'll see what happens.  I haven't even started her base yet.  To think, I have three bodies to build and dress and probably six hands as well.  

P.S.  I've already redone the eyes on the one on our right.  Too much eyeball.  It is so hard to cover up our creations.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

Harvest Monday

Let's see, we have cherry, roma, Super San Marzano, and beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, a giant zucchini, a sweet bell pepper, and a Giant Marconi pepper, two crooknecks, and a strawberry.  


I heart Kyle.

I used these guts that were ripening on the sill with others and spent three hours making tomato sauce for eggplant parmesan that we'll prepare later.  With these guys below:

I'll post some pics of the dish when it's done and we've reviewed it.  With us luck!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Late Summer Beauty

Super Snack looks to be living up to it's rep. Very short lived bloom though.  

A New Hope

Of all things!  One of the poor bedraggled Black Krims set new blooms.  Wow, nature is one tough mother!

Autopsy Tools


Autopsy Tools, originally uploaded by indyshutterbug.com.

Actually, modern offices still have some of these useful tools.

autopsy_black_and_white

Our is much nicer.

pink spider


pink spider, originally uploaded by atomicshark.

How would the Frog Queen handle this?

Archaeology?


unearthed skeleton 2, originally uploaded by Boju.
I've never found anything this spectacular.  What's up with the footprints? Giants?

Child Skeleton


Child Skeleton, originally uploaded by Marcellina..

Endearing.

Halloween Skeleton (Holgaroid Type 88)

Bad Teeth


skeleton, originally uploaded by daisyjellybean.

Cool stock tank though.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Toys!

Hands free heat gun and a hot knife with variable heat from 0 to over 800 degrees Fahrenheit.  There will be lots of PVC bending and tombstone cutting at the Feral Haunting Grounds!  I also got my 21 red, green, and blue LED directional clip on lights, and a box of goodies from All Electronics for homemade circuitry.  Check out that heavy duty rocker switch on the heat gun.  Both have variable heat settings!  Way. Better. than x-mass.  

Happy

I am so glad to know that when Kyle wakes up and sees my latest modifications, he'll grab some morning grub (cause I sleep most the day) and head out with a chuckle in his head over this night's work.
Yep, that's our kitchen counter that I've taken over.  Aint love grand?
Oh and BTW There are three most awesome folks that now follow this blog.  Wow!

Note to Self

This is how I remind myself to put a new disaster pouch (body bag) in the work van after I've used one.  There is some deep meaning here that I lost track of years ago...

Crossover Post

I know the composition isn't anything special, but I was about ready to throw the new camera to the curb even though I could never afford a new one.  I even asked Rot what sort of camera he used hoping he'd tell me he was a pro photog and got the heartbreaking response that my camera with a Leica lens is way fancier than his.  O.K., so I have a terrible eye for photographs, but I have inspired vision for them.  That is the ultimate frustration.  Anyway, here is a glimpse of what is happening in our kitchen today (the shop/garage has been too hot for props) so we have a slice of life at the Feral household with tomatoes drying in the dehydrator, two witch heads that I pulled ping-pong ball eyes out of because they were substandard, a plate with new ones, and some fresh green beans from the garden. Ta Da!  I think I'm starting to figure out low light shots!  A Gorrillapod is now on my shopping list for long exposures.  Did ya see those teeth?

Ever Elusive Decent Photo / Blog Crossover


I know the composition isn't anything special, but I was about ready to throw the new camera to the curb even though I could never afford a new one.  I even asked Rot what sort of camera he used hoping he'd tell me he was a pro photog and got the heartbreaking response that my camera with a Leica lens is way fancier than his.  O.K., so I have a terrible eye for photographs, but I have inspired vision for them.  That is the ultimate frustration.  Anyway, here is a glimpse of what is happening in our kitchen today (the shop/garage has been too hot for props) so we have a slice of life at the Feral household with tomatoes drying in the dehydrator, two witch heads that I pulled ping-pong ball eyes out of because they were substandard, a plate with new ones, and some fresh green beans from the garden. Ta Da!  I think I'm starting to figure out low light shots!  A Gorrillapod is now on my shopping list for long exposures.  Did ya see those teeth?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday!


Haunted Grave Yard, originally uploaded by phoenixfeather.

Garden Fail Friday



Emily started the whole GFF thing, so check her out.  
Glamor Shots!  Sorry I haven't been real postie lately.  But we did go to the fair, here is a donkey that
DOES NOT WANT!
I don't think this guy read the signs at his exhibit, he was so sweet and cute!  Click the pic to read the signs.  
Finally, this is some unlicensed crappy ride based on my least fav movie, I love the artwork, this looks like a Korean knockoff of Disneyland.  Again click the pic for greatness.
I actually had a wonderful time at the Fair, I got to pet just about every horse nose, scratch some sheep behind the ears, meet interesting alpacas, watch cute piglets race for an Oreo, and see Kyle go all 13 and wander after the blinky lights and pumpin' music reminding me to never let the inner kid go.  The icing on the cake was finding this:
The following pics are some of the other fun things we came across.
She was so cute, but is up for sale for meat after the fair is over, no clever spider for this one. 
 
Club Idol??? I wasn't that easily amused when I was a teen.  Seriously, it was a bunch of ladders to walk around turnstiles, I think the whole point was lame exhibitionism.  It was an O.K pic of the midway though.  

Surplus?

Check this out:
Have extra produce and a desire to help your neighbor? In an effort to keep produce donation as local and fresh as possible, The Idaho Foodbank is working with Ample Harvest, a free online service that connects gardeners with food relief organizations. Simply visit the website (www.ampleharvest.org), click on “Find a Pantry Near You”, and then type in your zipcode. You’ll see a list of pantries in your area, all waiting to accept your donation of fresh produce. Tell your friends and tell your neighbors, and plant a little extra for those who need it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skull Face


day_of_the_dead_makeup, originally uploaded by ShellyCrash.

I might do this idea again this year.

Ever Elusive Haunted Lantern Project

I'm sure most folks have seen the old kerosene lanterns often used in haunts.  There are some great simple hacks to make them a bit more haunt reliable and safe such as this and this.  There are now LED flickering candles you can buy at most craft and dollar stores, but they are pretty weak.  There is infuriating little information on the internet about how to go about building a simple flicker circuit that makes much sense.  Either the circuits are too complicated for the novice electrician, or poorly developed by folks that don't know what they are doing.  I've spent months trying to figure out a simple and effective circuit to fit in the three lanterns I picked up for $5 a piece at the local discount store.  

First, I would not have gotten this far without a nod to these "pioneers" of yard haunt LED ingenuity.  Spooky Blue has the "Spooky Blob", but I wasn't comfortable with the circuitry that seemed possible to burn out the LEDs.  I found this tutorial on linking flashing with ultrabrite LEDs for lighting pumpkins, but again I don't trust the circuit without resistors as I almost instantly blew out an LED hooking it up to a 9 Volt battery.  LEDs run at anywhere from 2.2 Volts to 3.5V or sometimes 5V, I never found any 9V examples during my research.  Also, most haunt related sites offering how-tos seem to be pretty dated for the current technology, again, looks great, but no how to-the link is down.  

I wanted the power and compactness of a 9 Volt to run a series of paired LEDs and found this circuit wizard to be very informative.  I entered in 9 for the battery voltage, 3 for diode forward voltage, 20 for mA and 10 for the number of LEDs.  I used the second set of plans or array design. 

 I then took a breadboard for easy experimentation after a horrible, awful, frustrating evening of trying to temporarily hold the circuit components together with electrical tape (never, ever, make that mistake).  I used 150 Ohm resisters and put them in before pair of LEDs, I have no idea why the wizard shows then after them, but then again, I am no electrician either.   I then inserted a flashing LED then a superbright LED before connecting the two to the negative terminal part of the breadboard and repeated with five pairs. 

 The LEDs flash at fixed but different rates from one another creating a random looking "flicker" like a candle sputtering.  The actual LEDs should not be visible to the viewer, but set back in the bottom of the lantern out of view, otherwise the whole thing looks like a flashing Vegas sign.  I will hot glue some small mirror fragments in the top of the lantern to really bounce the light around and attach a switch to the circuit to mount in the Kerosene fill port for ease of use.   

Haunting Sounds

I found a pretty good free resource for Haunt-worthy streaming sounds at Soma FM.  Check out the last channel Doomed.  It is a great ongoing mix of dark ambient, I think it would make great background music for a haunt or Halloween party.  There don't seem to be the silly warbling ghost sounds or bad vampire accents, just dark, dark ambient.  The last song I heard was like walking through a swamp at midnight.  I use Winamp and the 128k link with great results on a crappy old computer.  I am in no way associated with them, but have been enjoying them for a couple of years now, they have several other cool channels including a really good Christmas one even though I typically can't stand X-mas music.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvest Food





The jalapeños ended up becoming poppers last night during the great wind storm of 2010 that blacked out the city last night, knocked down humongous trees and crippled our weak trellis netting.  Kyle cored the peppers, seeded them, put sharp cheddar inside, and wrapped them in bacon.  Yum!
While poppers were being made, the power went out, several fires started around the valley, sirens blared, the sky light up, and things turned into "The Road" for a bit, but our krewe made it through the storm, Louisiana style.  
Yup, that's a bag of diatomacious earth behind the goodies.  
Next up are the tomatoes: Super San Marzano, and generic romas being roasted for sauce.  I thought I would get two jars,  not so much.  

Harvest Monday

The cherry tomatoes are officially in full swing.  Our space saving square foot garden makes for some interesting picking though; I've had to become a bit of a contortionist to get the ripe ones way inside the raised bed.  
Pickling cucumbers:
Supersteak Hybrids:
Squash,cucumber, and Jalapeños:
Get this, we got potatoes!  The fingerling potatoes in the stackable boxes produced without ever blooming.  The leaves started to yellow and dry and we figured better now than never for harvest, so we gently scooped out peat and soon found this:
We dug and harvested and removed levels, and dug some more.  We ultimately ended up with over 2 lbs of red fingerling potatoes:
Finally we got Super San Marzanos, two Black Krim, and whatever romas we are growing:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

1000

1,000 visits today!  Somebody is reading this thing.  Coolio!

Friday, August 20, 2010

a school for girls


a school for girls, originally uploaded by brookeshaden.

This goes under Inspiration. I really like these odd photos. click the source for the full gallery on Flickr.

Portrait of an articulated skeleton on a bentwood chair

This must be a medical school photo. I know the classes used to pose the cadavers they worked on a session. I'll try to find some of those.
Update Slate has a few.

Artichoke Blooms


Artichoke Blooms, originally uploaded by cranrob.