Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Blair Went Grocery Shopping

Blair, the Witch, has been grocery shopping with a vengence. You see, she has been pouting all summer long because she did not get her much needed facial make over. The caretaker tried to appease her with new clothes, but she is not appeased. So she decided that she will not be photographed and that she will go indulge in some good old retail therapy.

So far, she has acquired new jars and potions for her kitchen. She has even got herself the Transylvanian Sand Slitherers (recommended by the Head of the House of Slytherin, no less!).

That was a bit of a splurge, but that didn't stop her from ordering the rare Phoenix Phlaxe. Something she plans to brew into her morning tea to go with the time reversal potion she has been working on for three years now. May be it will finally work and she wont have to wait for the caretaker's measly make over! Hrmph! Here are a few other things she has in her kitchen:

1. Huffle Puff -- a little green fluffy monster with an impossibly cheerful demeanor. Something for times when she is too down in the dumps to conjure up her patronus.

2. True Griffin Blood -- they say a little of it after dinner can really work wonders for your bravery and hence your confidence. She figures she is going to need a lot of that if she is going to have to face the crowd with her botched up face!

3. Ghost tears: This she simply collected from the resident ghost bride who has still not stopped crying for her lost love. Or is it for her lost life? Blair will never know, and probably never care. Ghost tears are useful anyway, and if she's getting it for free, why not, hey?!

4. Ghost and Pirate Sprite Trapper: This is not really a potion, its a device. She bought it this year and used it to trap a pirate sprite. But she did not completely read the instructions, and the pirate sprite tried to escape. The botched up capture, was unfortunately caught on film (or should we say pixels, these days?). Here is what the actual instruction said:
"Cork  immediately  for best results. Leaving in  sea water for too long may cause  the  pirate  sprite to attempt escape. Should this occur, bag immediately in gunny sack and twist cork counter clockwise. Spitting on the bottle is optional and has sometimes reported to deliver better results"
Oh well, now she knows!

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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Pirate Trapper is almost done

Turned out that hot glue does not work well when it comes to bonding plastic to glass. I then tried air dry clay, which also did not work. Finally, I used gorilla glue and so far so good.

Hmm.. is it me or does he look like he is doing a ballet move? Not what I was going for!! LOL!
Hmm.. I think all the interesting clay texture is completely hidden now.

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Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Reaper 2011 -- Will he ever get done?

Started him a while ago using Scott Stoll's ( balloon method to create skulls. Just completed claying him this weekend. If he dries by today (doubtful, considering the weather). I might even paint him and finish him.

Here are some on-the-way photos:

Started with a balloon

Added facial features with black chart paper (the same way as in the tutorials in the Stolloween page). Used a couple of heavy books and a cat to straighten the rolled up chart paper!

Then added some jaws as well.

Added a few layers of mache on the jaw and eye details. Added a "side horn" thing and some teeth. Unfortunately, no build pics of those. Clayed it all up and left it out to dry.

Of course, it would have to fall off the deck railing and break one of the side horns! I guess I will have to use gorilla glue on this one as a quick fix as there is really no time to fix it at the clay level.

Hanging upside down, drying. That's his "side tooth" thing on the floor, the one that broke off!
 Right side up. Missing the side thingy on the left.

 The thing that broke off!

The white teeth in the far side are damaged.

I left in the deck to catch what sun it could and went on my weekly grocery trip. Got back, let the dog out and in a completely unexpected move, Dufus made a nose dive for this guy, caught him by his damaged white teeth and foisted him into the air. I saved the head, but the white tooth on the far side is gone -- flaked out and broke off. That'll teach me to stay off air-dry clay for good. It may be easier to smooth out, but it does not seem to be strong at all!

More fixing to do! Sigh. Am I ever going to be done with this years' props?

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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Look What Irene Started

Irene (the hurricane) doused my basement in a lot of water ruining a bunch of cardboard packing boxes that were meant to do a lot of things including become tombstones and other things for halloween. In a way Irene was a blessing in disguise. It made us really clean out the basement, make some repairs that were long over due and it even inspired me to take that first step towards making a lasagna garden in the front yard.

I have always wanted to plant something on the other side of my drive in the front yard, but the soil is poor there -- compacted and definitely lacking in nutrients because of a row of pine trees on the far end. Digging even an inch would get you to tough roots. So, for the longest time, I have been thinking of making a lasagna garden over there. A lasagna garden is one where you compost all your material right on site where you plan to plant you garden. Here are some links to how to make your own lasagna garden:

I started out ambitiously enough with a really large patch of earth marked out for the garden with a hose. Then I began dumping soggy cardboard from the other corner of the yard, where they were waiting to go to the recycling bin. Half way through the process I nearly gave up and ran in the other direction, because right bang in the middle of my front yard was a large pile of ugly cardboard. It looked like a junk yard.

This is how it looked and it freaked me out!

I was getting hungry as well, so decide go in and start some lunch prep and time shared it with this garden building. I realized pretty quickly that I did not have enough soggy cardboard to cover the initial plan of the garden. So, I scaled back.

An old cat enclosure was recently torn down and the lumber was lying in the side yard. Just to make me feel a little better about the crazy junk in the front yard, I decided to first build an edge around me garden. It looked a little better and less crazy. So, I went ahead and started to dump some soil.

The soil was actually a large load of mulch that was never used and had already composted into soil in the back yard. I added about two loads of vegetable scraps that were meant to go in my backyard compost pit before I covered it all up with the soil.

Here is another in-progress shot.

It took all of eight loads of soil to cover the entire area. Eight loads of soil that had to be dug out and transported, up a slope, to this area. It was good work out. I worked straight out for about eight hours that Sunday while parallel processing with cooking. This was the result.

It was the most productive weekend in recent memory! After the leaves have fallen, I will add another layer of veggie scraps and a layer of dried up leaves and may be cover it with a landscape cloth and let it cook until spring.

This lone hibiscus kept me company the whole time

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Monday, 3 October 2011

The Golu Set Up 2011

The golu was set up as per plan. With a lot of help from everyone!
What do you want me to do?

The whole set up
The Dashavataram

A better look at the first two padis (steps)

Some of my Mom's surviving bead sculptures
The Bronze Krishna

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