Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Unexpected Weekend Shinanigans

I had some grand plans for housework and prop making this weekend.  Unfortunately the housework got done but the prop work didn't go as expected.  We got an absurd amount of rain this weekend and that royally bollocksed up my ability to get things done.  Rain means high humidity and high humidity means no painting, staining, or paper macheing.  Unfortunately most of what I wanted to get done involved one or more of those.  It's a very depressing weekend when none of the fun bits go right and all of the boring bits do.  I couldn't even do some of the lighting work I had wanted to do, some vital parts went AWOL and my wire strippers are too large and clumsy.

I still wanted something to do, though.  As it was only Saturday at the time I grabbed the bone bag I acquired while running errands and pulled out the pieces to start trimming flashing off.  I got an idea for something fun to do with the skull.

A little work and I had the parietal bone off, or rather what would have been the parietal on a real skull.  I'm sure the plastic variety is only passingly anatomically correct.  I learned something rather important too.  If you're going to start cutting into plastic skulls you need to be super careful and even that may not be enough.  The way they're molded several seams meet up and that seems to cause an increase in thickness of the cast object.  Where it's just one seam it isn't so bad but when two seams meet up, that's a problem.  So much of one, in fact, that even though I was being as careful as it was possible to be I damn near took off a finger when the x-acto blade finally cut through the thick spot.  I managed not to cut myself but it was a much closer call than I would have liked.

Anyway, I did eventually get the parietal off and with a little work I was able to shore up the inside with some styrofoam and situate my light up brain inside.  The awesome bit is that I can take the brain out again and use the skull for other purposes if I choose.

Most distressingly the rain continued throughout the night and into Sunday.  Not that we don't need the rain, we do, but it was that damned humidity again.  So it was on to housework again.  My favorite thing.  Ugh.  It may give you an idea oh how much I like doing dishes and laundry that I started by cleaning my bathroom.  Still, it all had to get done.  It was very depressing.

In a fit of despondency I started milling about prodding at various prop bits.  I always find playing with Halloween things to be very soothing.  I hung up a few signs then I started hanging up my HAL-9000-esque 'eyes'.  After hanging up a color changing LED strobe I started trimming the flashing off my bag of body parts.  Honestly, it's starting to feel like everything I do requires flashing to be trimmed off.  It truly baffles me that me that so many prop making places (or one very busy one, I don't rightly know where they all come from) can't be bothered to make molds that seal better or take the time to get the flashing trimmed off.  Too much more of trimming and I'm going to start learning how to make casts and molds myself.

Anyway, having trimmed a hand the girls started playing with one of the mesh bags of parts that I had laying around.  It gave me a bit of a brain wave so I grabbed one of the pans I had gotten at the Dollar Tree a few weeks back.  Tossing everything together gave me this.

 Not bad, eh?  Things that can be thrown together are always so much fun.

But it wasn't until I started moving my glow bottles into the bathroom that the most amazing idea struck me.  I still had a sign that needed hanging and it occurred to me that one of the severed arms would make a fabulous, and amusingly appropriate, sign post.  A quick hunt in the garage yielded a bit of wood (it was a scrap of 2x4 from a closet shelf project) and a 2 inch wood screw.  Grabbing them, my drill, and a bit index I made a pilot hole and put the screw through the board.  The head of the screw stuck out too much for the board to sit level so I had to take it out and bore a space into which the screw head could be sunk.  Putting the screw back in showed the extra work paid off, it sat level.  The screw stuck up slightly more than an inch and was used to attach the arm to the board.  I did a bit of wrapping with some bloody bandages I had in my fabric box (yes, I have a Halloween fabric box and yes, the bandages were a DIY project) and it was ready for the sign.  I threaded some monofilament (aka fishingline)  through the sign, tied it, and hung it off the hand.  Perfectly delightful, don't you think?

And, if you're wondering, the cocoon wasn't neglected either.  It's just coming along more slowly than I would like because of the small hook/yarn size.

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