Sunday Sketchbook - Fishiness

Nothing sketched during the past week. This page was doodled weeks ago. The fish theme was inspired by a fin looking ink blob that seeped through the paper from a previous page.

Tree Prop Yarn Bombing - LIVE From CHA

Just discovered I could embed the LIVE stream of Vickie Howell yarn bombing the tree prop at the craft convention here on the 'ol blog. So far so good, and by that I mean, it hasn't fallen apart yet!

UPDATE 1:48pm - Vickie's been working 3 plus hours now and it's looking amazing. I'm a bit worried though. I put a squirrel inside the trunk yesterday to surprise her, but it hasn't jumped out yet. Maybe I should of poked out more air holes.

UPDATE 5:54pm  - Vickie's yarn bombing is long over but it was recorded. Hitting the play button below will take you back to the beginning of the LIVE stream. It's not until the 09:40 mark that she describes the project and really gets going. Up until then, be patient, she's her own camera crew getting ready.

It's worth watching, especially the moment when she falls off the ladder harpooning a baby seal with a knitting needle. I don't blame Vickie. Accidents happen. I blame it's owner who had so much disregard for animal rights that they'd walk a baby seal around a craft convention full of sharp tools.

Streaming Live by Ustream

Tree Prop Finished

The tree prop I mentioned awhile back is finally finished and can reveal it was for knitting guru Vickie Howell and Caron Yarns at this week's CHA trade show (the Craft and Hobby Association) in Anaheim.

Actually, it's not really finished. Vickie will be "yarn bombing" it tomorrow in real time from the Caron booth. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

You can even watch her transform the tree LIVE via her Ustream channel beginning at 10am pacific Sunday.

I'll share the actual tree making process soon. It was full of many twists and turns (and I'm not talking about the branches). Here's a hint... remember the Stonehenge prop miscommunication in Spinal Tap?

Unmade 1976 KING KONG Model Kits?

As a kid, whenever the original 1933 King Kong aired, it was must see TV. Still being a kid in 1976, I also loved the remake.

I just stumbled upon this commercial for model kits from the '76 version I don't recall seeing back then...

Am I crazy? Where they ever for sale anywhere. I was eleven in those days and at the peak of my monster and dinosaur model building phase. I'm sure they would of been on my radar and begged my parents for the money to buy them. Especially being based on the cool promotional poster art from the movie.

Creative Inspiration: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Back in 1977, there was one scene in Spielberg's Close Encounters that helped influence who I am today... outside of all the UFO, alien and conspiracy theories that I now believe in that is.

I know when Richard Dreyfuss is seen having completely destroyed the inside of his home working on a model of Devil's Tower it was meant to make the audience gasp at his lunacy, but I felt inspired to create something.

Ironically 35 plus years later, my career did let me live that scene a hundred times over. Many apartment security deposits were forfeited in my younger days after landlords discovered paint and glue splotched walls and floors from making stuff while I lived there. I'll even miss Days of our Lives since it's been cancelled. Whenever it came on TV while working on some crazy project, I always smiled recalling this Close Encounters scene.

I've also been known to sculpt my mashed potatoes at dinner. But only while waiting for the gravy to be passed around. Not by alien influence... unfortunately.

While on the subject of Close Encounters, this moment from the movie is one of the scariest I've ever seen in any movie but nothing is actually seen. I miss this Spielberg.

Finished Little Mermaid Poster Illustration

Here's the finished art for the Little Mermaid theater production. You can see the initial sketches here. Keen eyed Indiana Jones fans might notice something familiar on the ocean floor (too perfect in theme not to add).

The Sci Fi Buzz-bot

Sadly there are many past TV props I created in my younger days that only exist in my memory. For one reason or another, numerous projects I was proud of were never photographed. Digital cameras make it so easy and cheap now, there's no excuse not to document your work.

A seven foot tall robot I created as set dressing for SCI FI Buzz on the SyFy Channel back in the early '90s was just such a case. I affectionately named him the Sci Fi Buzz-bot. Over the years I've often thought of him and regret not taking pictures of. There's an epic, but funny, tale to tell of his journey from idea to being on set that I will share one day.

Thanks to YouTube'er Nanoforge, I now have screen grabs of the Buzz-bot via a posted clip from the show. Although the segment was about Oliver Stones' 1993 mini-series Wild Palms, he's seen in host Mike Jerrick's wraparounds and really showcased at the end.

Here's the entire clip.

A bit of trivia for those who follow this blog... remember the Captain Hook prop I made several year's ago? Well, the dummy arm Mike Jerrick holds during the beginning of the clip is the one I used to create it with. It was a prop often kept handy (pun intended) on set for silly impromptu moments that it might work for.

Yep, my stash of collected junk I often make stuff from is that old and another reason why the fiancee has the TV show Hoarders phone number written down.

My Re-imagined Jason Sketch

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. Years ago, sometime around when the re-boot of the Friday the 13th franchise was announced I sketched my own re-imagined Jason Voorhees.

Since he never really died in any of the movies I saw him more of a true zombie. He was still tall and imposing but thinner from constant decomposition. Quick, self performed surgery using materials from Camp Crystal Lake's tool shed would make him appear cobbled together like Frankenstein's monster. His rotting flesh is held together by bailing wire. Broken bones are crudely fused with nails and screws. A weathered rope sash keeps his guts from spilling out. His infamous hockey mask has a practical purpose keeping what's left of his face from sliding off his skull. The most extreme design change was a machete blade lashed to the stump of his forearm replacing the hand he lost at some point years before.

Latest Project: Tree Prop

I've recently been commissioned to create a 10' tall tree prop. I can't reveal what it's for yet, but I'll be taking plenty of process pics and notes as I build it. It will be made in sections that are easily transported and assembled on site, so I think that might make a useful "how-to" to share down the line. Especially for any Halloween creatives wanting a large haunted tree for their display that can be broken down and stored away. Stay tuned.

Santa Silhouette

A belated Happy New Year everyone.

I think one of the best elements created in niece Devin's Christmas yard display was also one of the simplest and quickest to make - the window silhouette. My sister Megan, bro in law Paul and niece Devin's front lawn is off the side of their garage and had the perfect window for it.

After we established the workshop theme, Devin thought it would be fun to see Santa and an elf inside making toys. She drew the initial design idea.

Then we worked together revising her drawing so it fit the window better.

In this daylight picture, you can see, it was just sketched out on black foamcore board, cut out and simply double stick taped to the window. Inside the garage, a short "under the cabinet" style fluorescent strip was placed along the bottom to back light it.

We were lucky that the window was already frosted glass, but in a window that isn't, taping large sheets of tissue wrapping paper or trace paper on the inside would create the same effect.

Devin and I have decided changing the silhouette every year, would be a fun new tradition.