Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gotta LOVE Hauntcast!!!

Wow… I’m still in shock!  I’m sitting in the garage with Jaybo, listening to the most recent episode of Hauntcast (very nice tips by Rev in this edition, btw…) and lo and behold, I WON THE DC PROP BOOKS!!!!  I don’t know who squealed like a girl more – me or Jaybo.  He had BETTER let me read them first!  ;)

Thanks to DC Props for donating such an AWESOME prize, and many-many-many thanks to Hauntcast for giving my husband and I something to fight over for years to come :)

More news on the prop front coming soon – been working like slaves for the past few days….  and have another Make/Take in Lewisville this weekend, so there should be plenty of pics coming soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Corpse Chronicles: Extra Juicy edition

It’s a good thing I’m a manly Man and would never stoop to such girly things as squealing or chattering incessantly, because the progress on my Mache Corpse has shifted into high gear and would cause lesser men to breakdown.

No you see, I am much more calm and level headed and would never let the success or failure of a prop affect me in anyway whatsoever. I just soldier on and let what happens happen. Another day, another prop. Keep moving. Keep building. Keep it real.

“Keep it real?!?”  Did I seriously just say that?!?

Ok, even I'm not buying this crap and I’m the one saying it.

I am having so much fun building this prop! I’ve been like a hyperactive 8 year old off his Ritalin, mainlining pure sugar, and heading to the point of no return for the last two days!

In my last post I wanted to try to corpse using just mache instead of liquid latex like everyone else seems to be doing.  I left off here:


This was only supposed to be a small little experiment so that I could take it to our local Make and Take for comparison. It’s taking a life of it’s own now. I keep wanting to add more and more. I’ve repainted this thing a 1000 times. Each time I have come to a stopping point, I return 20 minutes later and either add or completely redo what I just finished. If anything, I am gaining LOTS of experience with this build. I’ll just touch on the highlights of what I did. Otherwise, this post would be longer than War & Peace.

Well, after the last post I continued to add unrolled cotton balls with the mache paste until I thought it looked decent. I probably could have added more, but I didn’t want to over do it at this point. I soaked two cotton balls and placed them in the eye sockets as…well…um…as eyes. I then spray painted the entire prop solid black.

Are you getting my good side?  SMOKING!!

After he was painted black, I dry brushed the entire prop with white latex paint. Once dry, I started going back over the prop with Mahogany wood stain. He was starting to look pretty good, but something was still missing. I lost a lot of the details when I applied the stain. So  while the stain was still damp, I made a wash with sage green acrylic paint and water. About a 1:1 ratio of paint and water. I started lightly applying the wash over the mahogany.

Hey! That's me over there!Wow! That's a good looking guy over there! You two are idiots!

Ooooo! This I like!

This guy is finally starting to look like a respectable member of the Zombie Nation. I kept adding the wash a little at a time. Slowly he started to change. Now he looks like this:


I should stop at this point, but I am already wanting to go back and add yellow highlights! No telling where that will lead.  Is there a 12 step program for Prop addiction?  One day at a time. Say it with me, “One. Day. At. A. Time.”  Maybe with a little help we can all get through this.

So, I’ve added a few side by side comparisons below so you can see the change overtime.


I'm angry and naked! I'm forlorn and incomplete!  I'm Billy Bad Ass and I will EAT YOUR SOUL!

Oh and the squealing like a girl and talking incessantly part?

I lied.

Dixie says only dogs can hear me.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Mache Corpsification

I've noticed that just about every How-To I see about corpsing involves using latex. I build a lot of props using paper mache, so it got me wondering if I can get the same effect using mache.

I am very cheap and impatient, so I don't like spending the money on liquid latex and then having to wait for it to arrive in the mail. Paper mache is cheap. VERY cheap. All of the materials can be readily found locally, and the dry times are not that much different than latex. (Although I hear that carpet latex glue takes an extremely long time to dry properly)

So, this is my little attempt to build a prop out of paper mache and then corpse the same prop using just mache.

This is where I started: 

Strip mache skull with pistachio shells for teeth, then two different kinds of homemade mache clay used to build up features.

Next, I sealed the skull with several coats of polyurethane. Then I painted it solid black with latex paint and dry brushed it with white latex paint.

Now, it's time to start corpsing!

Applying unrolled cotton balls with paper mache paste. I twisted some of the cotton in the paste to create tendons for the neck.

More details added to the neck.

Ok, I got bored with the skull, so I started adding a ribcage made of rolled newspaper and blue shop towels. The blue bar running behind his neck will be an anchor point for his shoulders and arms.

This is as far as I've gotten so far with the prop, but already I am extremely happy with the results! Total invested into the prop so far? Probably around $3 to $5 dollars since I buy my mache supplies in bulk.

I love this stuff!

I can't wait to get back to work on this tonight when I get home from work!

Click here to see my follow-up post.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shameless Promotion for Chance to Win DC Prop Building Books…..



Not that I really need a chance to win something awesome to promote something I really like… and Hauntcast is something that I really like.

If you have been locked in your garage making props, and unaware of anything that goes on around you, allow me to tell you a bit about HC.

It’s a podcast, put on BY haunt enthusiasts FOR haunt enthusiasts.  If you are a member of the forums, you will automatically recognize the names that go into the production – such as DJChrisb, Revenant, Johnny Thunder, and The Garage of Evil guys.  (Everyone knows how I feel about GoE, one of the first draws for me!)  And Chris has some amazing prop building talent, and is a frequent poster with some great tutorials on a forum or two.

But about the show….  they run about an hour to an hour and a half, roughly once a month, and are a total blast to listen to in the garage while you are working on props.  Some of the items featured in every show:

    • Chris Baker interviewing so many of MY haunt idols (and maybe yours too) such as Stolloween, Jeff & Chris Davis of Davis Graveyard, Ghostess Deanna, The Mitchells of “How to Haunt Your House” fame, and Brent Ross from DC Cemetery.  It is a thrill for me to hear the voices of so many superstars in the haunting community.
    • ‘News from Beyond’ and ‘Theater of the Mind’ from Revenant.  Boy, I listen to Rev recite the phone book and be happy – but maybe thats just a girl thing. 
    • Movie Reviews and a lot of laughs from Johnny Thunder
    • Letters to the Garage with the GoE guys – hilarious.  Put your paint brush down for this segment
    • Hauntcast Top 10

There’s cool Halloween music in between segments, which really put you in the mood to work, info on what the newest stuff in the industry, including conventions and such… and just too much to list here.  You really need to listen to it.

I personally listen to old ones on my Google phone, you can on your iPod, or your Blackberry, watch tutorials on their YouTube Channel, or even listen to it on your computer while YOU are working.  Its become an absolute tradition in our household!

If you are already a fan, and have a blog, you can also post some Hauntcast promotion for a chance to win..  If you do, send a link to your blog post to, the winners will be chosen Tuesday, July 28. 

*And if you win, can I come over to your house and LOOK at the prize?  :D

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Huge Thanks to Monster Guts!


One of my favorite places on the web is the forums of Garage of Evil.  If you are not a member, but like hanging out online with serious prop builders, then you might want to check it out Here.

Well, recently, we outgrew our garage at GoE and we needed funds to keep the Evil going…  and one of my favorite places for prop parts, Monster Guts, came to the rescue.


Monster Guts is now an official supporter of Garage of Evil, and I rushed to place my Thank You order.  If you happen to place an order with them in the next few days, please add a note of thanks as a member of the Haunting Community… its organizations like them that keep us all connected.

Find lots of goodies at Monster Guts here.


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