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Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


Halloween I

Happy Halloween, boils and ghouls! It's this wonderful spooky time of year again, and I'm excited by the idea of celebrating. This is my favourite day of the year, second to Christmas. I like creepy and scary things, and I've always been a fan of ghosts and monsters. Not to mention a fan of chocolate and Halloween treats!

Today, I'll probably be posting a couple of times, since there's so many things to talk about! The first thing up that I made is the first Jack o' Lantern I've made for years! How great is that?

I'm quite proud of this. I bought a white pumpkin (because it was a lot smaller and I could carry it on the train), and carved it up. I think white pumpkins are tougher, because it was harder to clean out and carve. That or my tools just weren't perfectly suited to pumpkin carving. Whatever the case...

I decided to do a face based off of my Halloween costume: Stitches and big eyes. It's a little bit based off of Jack Skellington, but not directly. I decided to paint it black, so that when I carry it later while trick r' treating, it will be even spookier. (Yes, I'm going trick r' treating.) To make it easier to carry (though it is still a little bit heavy), I added a brass wire handle and wrapped it with black cloth so that it won't hurt my hands.  With my character/costume, it just feels fitting to have her carry a jack o' lantern.

Next up... My costume!

...After I hastily sew a collar and finish the sleeves. Oops.


Tattoo Thursday

Well... it is involving tattoos... and it is Thursday. Though, this isn't going to become a weekly occurrence or anything. This is just way too exciting for me and I couldn't wait to share a hint at it.

This is the second piece involved in my sideshow inspired series. This is a corset. And it is it decorated with temporary tattoos. It is actually more embellished now. I took the photos before I was finished. And, yes. I did give myself a cool cheesy tattoo. It is a black panther, reaching out of a rainbow, under a rose with wings. Explanation of the tattoo itself? No answer. However, I can say with confidence that the person who designed it was super awesome.

On the corset itself, all of the designs I chose have some reference to old tattooed women, through actual tattoos and symbols. This 'portrait' is a fictional tattooed woman, but she is based off of the beautiful women who covered themselves in ink to wear corsets and bloomers, and tell their tall tales of why they came to be blue-skinned from the needle ink.


I probably had something more interesting to talk about, but instead, I'm going to tell you about mail.

I often get delightful mail. This week, my lovely mother sent me some faux fur, postcards, a fashion magazine and beautiful mallard feathers. Such fun and wonderful things. I also received my package of 18 atlas bones, a fox tail, and a crystal fox tail. Oh, me and my dead things. A friend of mine recently referred to me as one of the most carnivorous people he knew. The reason for this was my valour for eating meat, and the fact I often have some kind of another animal's fur on my person. This is a fair point.

However. I will state that I'm not that carnivorous or blood thirsty or anything. I would never be able to kill an animal, and I try to only make use of recycled fur and natural death specimens (i.e. ones that died of natural causes, and not from hunting). I think that there's a good balance for everything, and part of our responsibility as higher beings is help maintain that balance. In the same breath, this is why I do not support P.E.T.A., and I strongly question those who do.

Long story short... Yes, I like dead things and making use of the things that those things have left behind. I just wouldn't kill for it.


Blood of Christ

Given the circumstance, I don't believe that the title of this post is sacrilegious. The above photo is a photograph of a painting that I made in the span of a few minutes, using my blood and water that fell from my damp hair.

Long story short, I did a stupendously lousy job shaving my legs. Being me, I decided to not waste any of my lifeblood. Similar to other blood paintings I've done, this one is quite small, but unlike other blood paintings I've done, this one is completely separate from me in meaning. Not completely separate, since I was raised in a Catholic family and for the most part, the idea of religion is important to me. The main reason I chose to paint Christ is because it's has been an image that I've been drawing recently. This arose because of another project I'm doing involving tattooed ladies.

The painting is fairly abstract, and it definitely reminds me of how weird I am. At least I don't make a hobby of blood painting. It just seems like a good use of materials.

Here is a detail of the painting-

Little Indulgences

Right now it is very snowy outside. There are supposed to be about 20 cm by the end of the day (maybe more?) and because of that, all I want to do is cozy up and enjoy some good tea.

While I was making tea, I realized that making tea from speciality blends found inside little tins is absolutely decadent. There's something so divine about it, and it's so indulgent. This made me think about other little things that are a bit indulgent. Things like little squares of good dark chocolate, and looking at all of the post cards on my wall.

I'm not sure why, but these are just good things. Especially altogether. Well, with that... back to work!


Almond something different

The title of this posts makes little to no sense.

Then again, neither does the post!

Today, I bought some almond milk to try something a bit different. I'd had almond milk at a friend's house before, and it's delicious. I think I prefer it over soy milk, and it goes quite well with tea. However, being me, I decided to draw the above. Naturally, the idea of almonds with tiny almond udders made perfect sense to me. I think the film adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events and a few other components had something to do with that. However, naturally, being me, I also now have mild issues with the idea of drinking nut and bean based milk. How weird is that? One mild anthropomorphizing (well... with a bit more cow) addition to a nut, and I see all these as tiny little bovine creatures.

And people wonder why I can't eat vegetables without feeling evil.


Of Storms

A couple of weeks ago, this marvellous photographer I know was having a 'blow out' to get a chance to use some new gear. I leaped at the opportunity, since it was a great chance to get professional photographs of some of my hoods and other items. A friend of mine came along to help model them, and the results of all of the photographs... Amazing!

She did a couple of edits to the photographs (like the one above), which made them so beautiful and definitely added a Grimm quality. Since both of us were wearing white contact lenses, she was able to colour the eyes. In the above case... Red! Which is, in my opinion, excellent.

So, who is this wonderful photographer? Madigan Of Storms, of Of Storms Creative Studios. She does all of the photography, along with several other projects. I heard of her when I was at the Calgary Horror Convention, and she was taking photos of convention go-ers with these cool decked-out models.

Pretty cool, huh? Her style is really simple, but it's one of the most effective styles I've seen. I'm so happy that I have some photographs this good to feature in my Etsy shop! Here's another one of other the photos, though. Just because I'm so terribly happy with them!!


The Lady With The Mane

The finished piece! I was brilliant and photographed it with proper lighting while I had a mannequin. And the result... Beautiful! Well, relatively.

For those of you keeping score, you will be aware of the fact that this is a dress based off of a photograph from the late 1800s, that depicts a woman with a long 'mane' like stream of hair, flowing from her back. I fell in love with the photograph, and my mind reeled. I was inspired, and my adoration and admiration for 19th century sideshow, 'freaks' and 'geeks' finally took an artistic form.

I'm kind of going off of the idea of the celebrity of the deformed and people with abnormalities during the 19th century. They were so loved, and adored, and in my eyes, they are some of the most exquisite beings. I revel at how they were born a certain way, and they accepted it. There was no attempt to alter it or remove it. Not like today. Their stories were often tragic, in how they would be sold or hurt... but in the eyes of onlookers, they were marvels. They were beautiful oddities, and beautiful human beings. How times have changed... 

This piece is the first of a series. I kind of see these things I'm making as a kind of artefacts. Small momentos and remnants of a person. Ill-fitting clothes that look awkward and strange, but fit that person. It's like of like creating portraits. Portraits of those who were born a certain way, and embraced it. Portraits of those who chose to perform or make their bodies a certain way, rejecting the norm and choosing a life with others who match their souls. All of the stories I'm going to portray with either be of unknown figures, or of fictional beings who may have existed. 

I have so many ideas and I'm so excited for these pieces. I've never been so overwhelmed by such a massive bout of inspiration. For a short while, my creativity felt like it was lacking. It felt like I was poor at art, and that I was wasting my time trying to make a full time career out of it. I now feel like I was wrong in that thought. I just needed a little help from one beautiful woman from decades ago. 



Once again, I am making restraints based off of 19th century restraints. My last art work revolved around 19th century serial killers, for a art work called 'Ring of Power'. Now I am creating pieces based off of 19th century sideshow and oddities. The (technically) second piece is going to be a momento, creating a narrative about an escape artist. At least, I hope to create a narrative of sorts. It will need a title to encourage someone to create a narrative within their own mind. 

However, the long story short is that this work is about an escape artist, who didn't escape. It is a momento, kept by a loved one, or someone who cared for this escape artist and wasn't prepared to let them go. 

I'm hoping to create a body of work, based off of the idea of sideshow and circus performers. It might be narratives about fictional lives, pieces inspired by sideshow performers and the things that made them "freaks", and so on. I've always been fascinated by the "freaks and geeks" of the 19th century. I'll probably do a few of these memento boxes about performers, like escape artists, blockheads, human pincushions, maybe a sword swallower, and the like. 


Mournful Inspiration

For a few of my projects, I'm riffing off of Victorian mourning art (such as jewellery and clothing), while putting my own spin on things. A major part of this at the moment is working with hair. As aforementioned, I believe.

The above image is a detail of this work-

It is inspired by Victorian embroidery, and influenced by the idea of growth. Growth as in emotional growth, as well as physical growth. In this case... the growth of hair. It is also influenced by the concept of change, and how there is always change, even if it's just slight and gradual change. The text says 'Everyday I'm different than how I was before'. One thing I've noticed about most of my embroidery pieces is that they tend to be extremely autobiographical, and tend to include text. Usually not satin stitch like this one, though. Boy, that took forever.

On a whim, as part of a break, I decided to make these two pairs of earrings. They're based off of mourning jewellery and the use of jet, but with my own Gothic twist on things. As little of a twist as it is...


Today is a dreary and overcast day in October, and I am currently taking advantage of free Wi-Fi at a Second Cup in Calgary. I am enjoying a very nice London Fog, and an acceptable cinnamon bun (Side note: The gourmet cinnamon buns from Safeway grocery stores are the best you can get for really cheap. The ones with lots of icing on top, for about $1.75. CinnaBon is really good, but they're expensive and the quality is only a little bit better. That's information that you can take to the bank).

I decided (or rather, realized) that it's been a while since I've supplied an Etsy adventure on this blog. For those of you who follow this blog regularly and have been doing so for a while, you will know that I've been stalking Etsy shops and their items for quite a while. However, of late, I haven't shown any of my findings. So, why not today? The grey clouds looming over the city are making me thankful for this cozy coffee shop setting, and the foamy sweet drink in my hands. I suspect I should follow suit with some things equally cozy...

(Side note: I just found the delicious ooey-gooey soft centre of this cinnamon bun. Delicious!)

I do like dreary days. As well as autumn. Layers, wool, and tea? Yes, please.


Brush With Death

This evening, a friend of mine and I went to a Calgary magic show called 'A Brush With Death'. It's meant for a mature audience (like most magic shows), purely because of the fact it's a bit intense and involves a bit of blood. Not real blood. I hope.

Now, you might be asking 'Why is the gent on the right covered in blood?' and 'Are those actual stitches?' The answer to both of these questions are 'They are costumes, hastily put together when we recalled that it was supposed to be a costumed event.' It seems that not many people got the memo, though. We were the only two in any kind of make up, except for three 20 somethings in zombie make up.

I finally got to try out a mock (yet very successful) version of my stitches face, and my friend donned 1960s style clothing, with the intention of covering his face and hands in blood. We also blood splattered his white-grey tie, and the whole thing gave the illusion of some kind of very strange 1960s killer.

I'm strongly considering doing a type of 365 creativity-make-things-every-day challenge. Make up counts, right? Here are the details of the make up...

To be honest, I'm kind of impressed with myself. The make up was way better in person, and unfortunately I took both of the photos after the evening, so the make up had run and smudged quite a bit. I guess a better image would be this one (albeit the poor lighting):

Exciting, no? I guess technically this isn't my first extravagant make up I've done on myself (and it's not even that extravagant), but it's my favourite make up that I've done on myself. If I do this kind of make up for Hallowe'en like I'm intending to, I will probably do the stitches a bit farther up on my mouth, thus making the 'cuts' a bit longer. In my mind, the bigger a 'smile', the more menacing and strange.

Back to the magic show for a moment- I've never been to a stage performance magic show before, at least not that I know of. It was exciting and wonderful! I suggest that one should keep them in mind when looking for a good magic show, especially if you live in the Calgary area. It was whimsical, it was bizarre, it was thrilling. What more could one ask from a magic show? Especially one entitled 'A Brush With Death'?


Make Art Everyday

The title of this is a quote from one of my friends. Or rather, something she has tattooed on her arm. 'Make art everyday'. It's simple, and it's brilliant, and today it has been stuck in my head. I've been busy, working away on artwork pieces, watching Stephen King movies, and thinking about how much I love making art. Making things makes life interesting. It's kind of a time when you sink into oblivion, where you can think and create and be in your own world. It's difficult for me to be upset or angry or anything but peaceful and happy. I do tend to be a bit hard on myself with my quality of work, and something I do become bitter... But the great thing is, I'm able to stop one thing, and move to another. And, of course, there's always time for tea.

Today I'm back to working on hair things and the like. For one of my classes, I'm working on a dress inspired by this photograph:

I don't really know that much about this woman, and I can't find anything about her. However, like most sideshow performers and people who would be called "freaks", I think she's beautiful, and I fell in love with her. I'm so curious about her, and I have a deep respect for her. The woman in the photograph is referred to as 'The Lady With The Mane', and from what I understand, that growth of hair is 'Naevus Pilosus', which is abnormal growth on a mole or similar issue. This photo is from 1896, and so much of it captures my imagination, especially since I know nothing about her. Other than the assumed fact that she let the hair grow into the long dark brown veil cascading down her back.

From this photo, I was inspired. The dress isn't quite finished yet, but this is a detail...

I'm not a hundred percent sure that it's what I had in mind, and it kind of reminds me of The Ring. I like it, but it's not quite what I originally pictured. We shall see. I'm going to make a necklace to go with it. We'll see where it goes from here!


Glorious More-ius Steampunk

Going along with my adoration for all things steampunk, I decided to share a few images and variations on steampunk. All of these images are from my Pinterest board, so you can see more there, and go to the original sources as well!

And such are the things that inspire me.


Yesterday, a friend of mine needed to go to Value Village to get some props for a couple of short films that he's working on. Since it's Hallowe'en season, there were various interesting items, and being a thrift store, there were cool clothing pieces.

Result? Steampunk items! Who knew that "hippie" glasses plus a monocle clip on with a satin top hat would equal instant steampunk? (Answer: I did) I also got my hands on some great Victorian-esque tops (a black satin-y shirt with lots of cloth covered buttons and a mandarin collar, and a cute cream corset-esque tank top, which also had lots of cloth covered buttons).

Today I will likely be creating many steampunk things, since the mood is definitely striking me. I've realized that I like steampunk because when I dress in the style, I'm really comfortable with myself and all around terribly happy. I was probably born in the wrong time period... Or the absolute right one, since steampunk exists.

And what other times can you exclaim 'That train is not powered by steam!?' Or quote A Christmas Carol because you're wearing a top hat and it's snowing?



Happy late Thanksgiving, everyone! I know, Thanksgiving is technically past, but we can be thankful all the time, can't we? At the moment, I'm very thankful for my wonderful family, and the talents I have that allow me to be busy all of the time, making interesting things!

Right now, my main focus art-wise is on hair. I've been embroidering with hair, utilizing Victorian aesthetics and styles. Besides that, I'm doing the usual cacophony of wearable things, plus some new things. For many of the new things, I'm waiting for supplies before I can start, but once I get those supplies... Off I go!

Here are some exciting things...

This is a lock of my own hair, next to some antique photos. My mother helped me cut and shave off part of my hair, so that I would have longer pieces to try Victorian hair art techniques with. I'm looking forward to trying some of the techniques and styles, and seeing what will come out of that.

Cat skull in a bell jar with some fake tea lights. Because... why not? It looks neat! And spooky...

Victorian tin type photographs! Next to a bunch of fur. Tin type photographs are incredible. It never occurred to me or sank in that tin type photos are actually images on tin and metal. Fitting name in that case, isn't it? Leave it to me to not figure that out (then again, I can't even follow a four step cake recipe on a box, so who knows!).

Now it's time to continue eating some pumpkin pie, drinking tea, and work work work. While also watching horror movies, apparently. Tis the season!