Making a Dementor

If you don’t know what a dementor is, I suggest taking your booty to the nearest store and buying the entire Harry Potter series.

img_8313Anyway, four days ago there was a Harvest Fest in my area. I live in a farming community, so harvest is a huge thing. And the festival is a celebration not only in that, but in Halloween and in marking the end of the farmers market until next summer. This year, Kathy (the lovely lady who was in charge of everything) themed it Hogwarts. And it was incredible. The past two years I came to Harvest Fest in creepy costumes (a possessed deer and the Red Death), so she asked me to do something creepy again this year. So, what did we decide?

A 7 foot 4 inch dementor.

Here’s how I did it:

Starting with the mechanic that gave me an extra foot and five inches. I had a foam circle (Hobby Lobby) that I super glued the bottom of small football shoulder pads (found a used one at a thrift store for four bucks) onto. The circle went on top of my head, and I put some elastic on the circle as a chin strap so it can stay in place. I later also put some elastic on to support the back of my head.

I got a foam head (Hobby Lobby) that I totally carved out to look a little more bony, or at the very least deformed. Once his ears, nose, eyes, and mouth were gone, I painted him brown.

Turns out dementors are grey (oops), so I repainted the head and blacked out some deformities. Then I painted him around some more just to make him even more ugly. Once he was ugly enough, I super glued him to the shoulder pads, which made him 7’4″.

Then I made some hands. I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest (linked here), and made them a little thicker and more grey. Once they were dry completely, I super glued them to a pair of cheap black gloves (Dollar Tree). That way I was able to move my hands and even grab stuff I need to. I also glued little clasps to the back, and later sewed clasps to the sleeves so my real arms didn’t show and he was just a mess of black fabric.

Making the cloak took an approximate of 10 yards of fabric (Hobby Lobby and Walmart). I grossly hand-sewed the fabrics together, ripping and cutting where I wanted to look absolutely disheveled. The very last piece of fabric that went on was the hood over the fake head. I glued the top of his head to the fabric so it would stay in place, and bunched the fabric on the side so it shaped the head better. (Also, thanks to Vladimir who tested the mechanic).

I wore all black under the cloak (duh) and went out to the Fest. Thanks to the way it was made, I was able to walk around, move my arms (aka reach out to little kids to scare them shitless), bend, and nod when someone asked for a picture. I would make the cloak a little shorter than it was because I did trip on it a bit. The only real issue I had was the mechanic at the top was supported by my head, which did bruise the next day.

Overall, I had a blast. The pain was worth it, and everyone loved it. The costume itself took an approximate 35-50 hours to make and cost about 40 dollars to make. The most expensive stuff was the fabric. I don’t know when I’ll bust this guy out again, but he was awesome to have even for just the Fest.

Hugs

Alexandra

Making a Poison Apple Pin

Recently I got to go to Disneyland as part of a birthday celebration. My friend Kiki and I went as a Disneybound Snow White and Evil Queen. The Evil Queen is my favorite villain, I love her (and that’s a psychological point for another time). So, of course, I went as her. I wanted to make something for the trip. It was originally going to be ears, but my lovely friend bought some fierce ears for me. So, I made a pin (partially because I thought my outfit needed something more).

img_8172Supplies used:

  • old corkboard I had lying around
  • scissors/a knife to cut the board
  • paint (red, white, brown, light grey)
  • white glitter
  • Krylon spray
  • a pin backer thing
  • some very good glue (I use E6000)

And of course, I had my queen on the side as inspiration.

First thing you do is trace the shape you want on the corkboard. It would be a total shame to cut and it come out looking like a pear. I used scissors for the basic cutting out and a small X-Acto knife for the small crevices/details. Also, please be careful cutting corkboard, whether you use scissors or a knife. It’s harder to cut and the extra force, if slipped, could be detrimental to your fingers.

Once you have a shape you’re happy with, it’s time to paint. Make sure, if you’re copying off something, that you have a reference. While my little apple to the side has green, if you look at the original movie it was white. Thus, I used white paint. Trace your design first, then paint. Go over it at least twice (I recommend thrice) so you can get all the little corkboard crevices.

After it dries completely, really clean the lines and add details. And because I’m extra as fuck, I had to add glitter. In order to do that, I put the glitter on carefully and a little bit at a time with my final layer of white paint instead of glue. I also highly recommend doing that with paintbrushes rather than pouring it on, only because I wanted to completely avoid getting glitter into the red apple. Once everything is on and complete, spray some Krylon on so that everything stays as is.

Let the Krylon dry completely. I let it sit overnight if I have time. Then you put a strip of E6000 on and firmly press a pin backing. This, definitely, you need to wait a solid overnight (24 hours preferable) for the glue to fully dry and stick. Open and close the pin a few times so it doesn’t stick when you try to put it on and take it off.

And here it is, on my backpack at Disneyland. It lasted the entire day with my ripping my backpack on and off, and the paint/glitter stayed crisp and clean.

I’m actually interested in making more pins. I really enjoyed the process.

If you decided to do this, let me know! I would love to see.

Hugs

Alexandra

 

Creative Week

This week has been quite busy (if you couldn’t tell from the last post), but I’m excited to bring Creative Week to the blog next week!

Monday will be a DIY on something I made for Disneyland.

Wednesday will be a costume made for a festival.

Friday will be a choice (meaning I’m not sure what yet). I’m debating between trying watercolour or going through the process of drawing people (from when I did commissions). If you have one you’d rather see, do let me know. I’ll take it into account.

But it’s not just the main posting days that are getting creative!

Tuesday and Thursday will bring a new story for my writing tab.

Saturday will bring…a surprise (*wink*)

Sunday is a day of rest. Or just basic sketching.

Let’s get creative! Join me if you want, I’d love to see your creations.

Hugs

Alexandra

Introducing Leroy Barkley

img_8276I’ve been out and about dealing with a DOG.

Meet Leroy Barkley. He’s now part of the family (aka, he’s Mother’s dog).

He’s a 3-year-old Jack-Chi, and is super cute. And can be super hyper. The good news, though, he likes to play with the cats and they aren’t scared of him.

Anyway, Leroy (plus school and work) has been taking some time away from me, hence why I forgot a Monday post. Oops.

Say hi!

See you Friday.

Hugs

Alexandra

September Book Club

As predicted, I was only able to read three books, and just barely.

Let’s get into it:

the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace

I actually finished this on the very last day of August. Oh well. I really enjoyed the conclusion of the magic trilogy. We are all a kind of magic, and this showed one woman’s journey through it. It resonated hardcore with me.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

This was okay. I think I liked the premise more than the actual story. However, it was amazingly written and I still enjoyed it.

Educated by Tara Westover

Someone at work lent me their copy of the book thinking I’d enjoy it. It was an incredible story that I didn’t want to put down no matter how angry I was reading it (those who read it know why). It truly shows the power of self, of family, and of education—the bad and the good.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

This is a story about a Christian woman in Holland during WWII who hid Jews in her home and smuggled food ration cards for them before getting caught and sent to a concentration camp. It was fascinating to look into the other perspective of these stories. She was a very strong and faithful woman who refused to bow down to a power that was harming people.

And that’s what I read.

I know at the beginning I said three books when I clearly reviewed four. But I actually read three (since the first book was finished in August).

October is going to be about the same, with three books. This month I plan on reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Omen (book based off the movie), and The Shining by Stephen King. If I magically have time, I’ll jump back to Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie since I didn’t get to read it this past month.

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

Hugs

Alexandra

Travel Journal day 3 and 4

Day 3: Sunday

There wasn’t a post yesterday because it didn’t need one. I visited family and that’s it. I’m not going into detail with that one.

Day 4: Monday

Today was exciting indeed. We’re going to Disneyland!!!

The final part of my birthday celebration was a fun time, and we were determined. No matter how many obstacles.

Leaving late. Not fun, but not life threatening either. Very confusing directions. We got there eventually. But our biggest kicker was when Leroy, our small pup, was ALMOST disqualified from the Disney kennel. Luckily, they allowed him and we entered the park with better spirits.

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. Having so much Halloween around was so much fun. And with all the characters meant to be spookier, it means certain peeps are out in the open.

My goal was to meet the Evil Queen. I had dressed in a civilian impression of her (also known as Disneybound), and she’s my favorite villain. Fortunately, the gods have smiled upon me as I got to walk and talk and take pictures, and she complimented my apple pin that I made myself.

I met plenty of other characters. Went on Haunted Mansion, my favorite ride. I had an absolute great time.

Now, we have spent an approximate 8 hours of just wandering around having a happy time. My feet are dead to the world; burning, sore beyond sore, stiff. My neck has gotten sore as well (injured a little). And I’m exhausted. It’s taking me like an hour and a half to get these thoughts in a post.

We are on our way back home to Potatoland.

Thanks for coming on this adventure with us.

We’ll have one more post tomorrow for getting home and that’s the end.

Travel Journal day 2

Day 2: Saturday

It started with a late morning only because I was dead to the world after some travelling for 24 hours.

At noon thirty, I met up with one of my best friends, Kiki. She took me to Burbank to a place she knew I’d love: Halloween Town. Of course I loved it! And I would’ve taken a ton of pictures but you can’t in the store. Oh well.

There were a few more geek stores or occult stores we had fun in where they also sold stuff like

Like, what?

Early evening. I went back to the hotel since Kiki had to get ready for a show. A show I went to!

She was in a show called Baskerville, a comedy reworking or Hound of Baskerville by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As the only female, she played 14 roles.

The show was quite good. I was very impressed with the characterisations of the three actors who had to play multiple.

I got a backstage tour, and had an overall good time.

Came back to the hotel for Monty Python’s Flying Circus and pizza.

It was a good day.

Travel Journal day 1

You’re probably wondering (if you follow the website) why there was no post on Wednesday or yesterday. Well, I’m travelling!

Day 1: Friday

I was dead to the world last night which is why I didn’t post but here we are now.

Thursday night at about 11 pm, Mother, Brother, and I left Potatoland Idaho and drove to California.

We only stopped to sleep once, for about 2 hours. Heaven help us.

Not much happened on the actual drive. I tried to catch up on reading (failed), Brother and I discussed Monty Python’s Flying Circus skits, and Mother and I discussed Mister Global (because that shit was hilarious).

Our end destination is Los Angeles, but we do have grandparents who live two hours outside of the city, so we decided to stop there. Brother hadn’t seen them in 13-ish years. It was a lovely visit, with a surprise drop-in from an aunt and uncle who Brother has never met. We stuck around for an hour and a half, two hours, then we were off to LA.

After some issues with the hotel (because it’s not a true TG road trip without issues), dinner, and Flying Circus, we were far too exhausted and just passed out at about 11.

A full 24 hours with about 3-4 hours of sleep.

While Friday wasn’t bad, Saturday will be better.

When You’re Leaving in 4 Days and Realize OH SH!T I Have So Much To Do!!!

The truth has come out: I’m heading out. For a trip. Mini vacation!

I’d usually be totally okay, packing list done, started packing, have all the plans set up.

Not this time!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m back in school getting another Masters. I’m a full time student, which means three hardcore classes a semester. And all three have an assignment due while I’m out of town. AND I’m determined to finish and turn them in before I leave in four days.

So I’ve been focused on that, plus I’m a part-time cubicle worker, and there’s other things happening this week. It seems hard, near impossible. I’m with you, but I’m still going to do my best.

Here’s what I do when I have too much shit on my plate and not enough time to do it:

1. Make a plan. And stick to it! Micromanage if need be. And trust me, I need it. I have three assignments, all of which I’m planning to finish by Thursday. I’ll write down a plan for every day: for 511 write 3 pages, for 512 complete part 1, for 514 reread class notes and start finding policies. I even write down what days I need to do the litter boxes (Monday and Tuesday), do laundry (Wednesday), and get a med refill (Monday). Plan everything.

2. Take frequent breaks. Don’t be a stereotypical university student that sits at a desk for hours and hours studying. Give you brain rest.

3. Ask for help. When all is too much, ask someone for some help. Even if it’s just asking a friend to send you a meme so you can giggle and feel light.

4. Health! Plenty of sleep (6-8 hours), healthy food, and exercise. Working out may be off the table right now, but I can still take a bike ride, do some stretching, or dance around.

5. Do your best. And by that I mean, do your best with the assignments, with your work, and in general. Don’t say ‘whatever’ to any of it.

So these will be implemented in my own life for the next few days (and I’ve already started anyway). If you’re on a time crunch, remember to breathe and that you can do it.

Hugs

Alexandra

A Live Clue Dinner Party

My birthday was this month, and two weeks ago I held a very special dinner party: a live Clue game.

I had other plans for my birthday, and still plan to do them, but there was something I wanted to do for my friends and family in my own home. I wanted to create something new they may not have ever been a part of before. I wanted to make a murder mystery!

So, I did.

The very first thing to do was create a story. The thing about Clue versus a general murder mystery dinner party is that in the game Clue you do not know if even you are the murderer. So, one of my hurdles was creating a story where no one knows who it is and it’s up to everyone to figure it out. While the movie Clue was a big inspiration, mostly for the dinner party part, I used completely different back stories to seven characters. That’s right, seven. I added Dr. Orchid when I accidentally invited one extra person. Here’s the general story: Miss Body is a consultant with City Hall and the seven guests have a connection to her and City Hall for various reasons. She was hit by a blunt object in a room in her house.

Now for the setup: I gave every one of my guests a character before they came, that way they can dress as they see fit. And I’m stoked to say, everyone dressed in relation to their character name. I had everyone sit and mingle at my dining table, and with the first course came an envelope with their character backstory and their ‘Clue cards’.

It is up to them to talk about it over their first course. Anything on the paper is fact, but they were allowed to embellish if they wanted, and they could share what they will. It is a game after all. The majority of my guests got into their roles and backstories, and had a blast talking. I only had one guest (poor friend) who was out of her depth and didn’t do much.

img_8137Second course brought them another envelope with a deeper and perhaps harsher backstory. The second course is where the claws came out and people started to accuse each other. I sat at the head of the table, watching everything unfold, and it was like the greatest form of entertainment.

With dessert came the answers. I gave everyone a slip of paper to write their accusations: the who, the where, and the with what. But thanks to backstories and a full-context game, I added the question of why. Why was Miss Body killed? Mother (who played Mrs. White) served the cake, and I got to announce that only my friend Brendan (who played Professor Plum) got every question right. His reward was the actual murder weapon (a book).

I had so much fun creating a story and preparing for a dinner party. Of course, there were drawbacks and stresses. No party is without them. But the overall party was a lot of fun and very entertaining. My friends commended my dinner (which I cooked) and fully complimented my story.

It was all worth it.

Some advice for creating a Clue game dinner party: 1. invite your guests ahead of time. I am ashamed to say I actually planned this last minute (a week in advance) and a lot of my friends were unable to come. Plan in advance so you have the friends you want there. 2. Come up with your solutions first. It was very easy to create a story around the solution so I knew what info was needed with what person. 3. Have real utensils. I had plastic party utensils, and several forks broke during the second course (cursed chicken). 4. Have fun. The story doesn’t need to be perfect, though it has to make sense. If you don’t want to cook, don’t. You can turn these characters into anyone you want. Just have fun with it.

Anyway, I do recommend a dinner party birthday, even if it’s not a murder mystery. It makes you feel special just having friends and family talking to each other around you.

Thanks to my friends and fam for making a great Clue game.

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