Friday, October 30, 2009

Ursula Octopus Costume Tutorial - Part 3

The final part of the tutorial is actually about the make-up. I used children's watercolors to achieve the effect, because my skin won't tolerate grease paints and I didn't want to spend a lot of crazy colors of eyeshadow that I will never wear again.

To use, add just a few drops of water into the color pallette and swirl to create a thick paint, then just brush on. Make a mistake? No problem! Watercolors rinse right off so it's easy to fix -- and easy to remove at the end of the night!

For the hair, I used a blonde "rocker" wig that I found on clearance. I couldn't find white hair and didn't have time to spray paint this white, but I think the light blonde kind of works. This particular wig had long pieces (sort of mullet-ish) in the back which I pinned up to give more volume to the back of the hair, although by the time we got to these pictures, the bobby pins were losing their grip!

inside Ursula's Grotto

The skirt under the tentacles covered by legs and also created a "water" effect, as if the octopus is swimming along.
inside Ursula's Grotto

I found some false eyelashes at Wal-Mart for $3 that had fantastic little sparkles on them and purple lashes. They added a little pizzazz to my eyes.
sparkly eyelashes

Here is my original make-up test: I opted to use the thinner eyebrow and the bolder paint color (to soften the color, add water and dilute).
make-up test for Halloween

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Haunted Mansion Haunt

Hey all you Halloweenies! If you're as big of a fan of the Haunted Mansion as I am, you won't want to miss this! There is a home in Orange County (Portola Hills) that puts together a walk-through haunted house based on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland!

Check out their website for the details (including a night vision video from last year!). It looks SPOOKtacular and is open Friday, Oct. 30, Saturday, Oct. 31, and Sunday, Nov. 1 from 6-10pm.

I'm planning a trip for Sunday and will report back all the grim grinning details!

Monday, October 26, 2009

hitchhiking ghosts jack o lantern!

The hitchhiking ghosts are, clearly, some of my favorite Disney characters of all-time. And since I've had everything HHG on the brain lately, it was an obvious choice to use them for my jack-o-lantern as well!

I had intended to do 3 basic light sources: the outlines, the cut outs, and the scrape-offs (I'm sure there is a proper term for that, but I don't know it), but the rind on this pumpkin did NOT want to scrape off, so I ended up doing more cutting than originally planned. I was able to scrape out Phineas's doctor bag, but the rest of the rind was not giving up the ghost, as it were.

I think the simplified pattern works okay and I may even try it again one night this week (if I can find the time!).

hitchhiking ghosts jack-o-lantern

hitchhiking ghosts jack-o-lantern

hitchhiking ghosts jack-o-lantern

Scooby Doo stop-motion

My friends and I dressed as the "Scooby Crew" last year for Halloween and it was so much fun that I keep crafting up Scooby Doo themed gifts for them (which, I know needs to stop). My latest creation was a set of peg people that went to my friend Kate.

For those of you who don't know Kate - she's not the kind of person who will just casually place something on a shelf and forget about it. Oh no. This is what she did with her present: created a stop-motion video of the Scooby Doo intro!!

After you've recovered from the giggle fit that is sure to ensue, you should check out some of the other work that the talented and lovely Kate has done. Ever wonder what happens in the life of a sock zombie? Well, wonder no more!!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ursula Octopus Costume Tutorial - Part 2

First, the skirt. I searched high and low to find a skirt or fabric from a thrift store to use for the skirt piece, but couldn't find anything that would work. I wanted the skirt to simulate the ocean beneath the body (so that the octopus appears to be floating or swimming) and to hide my legs. Since I couldn't find anything second-hand that fit the bill, I ended up having to buy fabric and sew this myself.

I searched through the remnants section of my local fabric store and came across this black and blue sheer fabric that has a vaguely "tie dye" kind of pattern to it that also made me think of water/waves. Since it was an end-of-the-bolt piece and a remnant, it was only a few dollars. But the fabric was too sheer and dark to show up properly, so I bought a piece of lavender fabric to place underneath. It really helps highlight the print on the sheer fabric. This fabric was something like $2 a yard, so all told with the thread, elastic, etc. I spent something around $8 for the skirt piece.

I just sewed a simple skirt out of 2 yards of fabric, so that it would be extra wide. Once the elastic was put in place, the top of the skirt bunched and gathered together -- which is what I wanted, so that it pushes out and lays in an A frame shape. Once the lavender skirt was sewn, I attached the sheer fabric to the top.

Ursula skirt - finished

Close-up of the fabric pattern:

Ursula skirt - close-up

On to the accessories! Ursula has earrings that are made from some sort of purple auger shells and a large sea snail necklace charm. I decided to make these myself, rather than purchase real shells. I used Crayola Model Magic clay to sculpt them. This gave me the benefit of them being lightweight and durable. Since I'll be wearing this costume for a Disneyland Halloween party, I'll be bumped into and upside down on rollercoasters... it's better to be bonked in the face with 1 oz of foamy clay than 1 lb of actual shell!

Ursula earrings

After they dried, I gave them a quick coat of paint and then hot glued a black ribbon to the necklace charm.

Ursula necklace and earrings

All that's left is to customize the wig that I bought!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Once upon a time, I had a crafty sister in arms named Amy Choppa. She was one of my first internet crafting pals and we'd send packages back and forth via "Choppa Mail" which was actually ziplock bags and tupperware containers taped closed (but see-through, so the mailmen/mailwomen handling them could get a smile). It was great!

And then not so long ago, Ms. Choppa got married and became Mrs. DoubleYou and soon she's going to be Mommy DoubleYou! I am, needless to say, very excited for her (and Mr. DoubleYou too!).

After trying my hand at painting the Giggly Family, I decided to paint the DoubleYou family! Baby DoubleYou hasn't actually made his entrance, er, exit (as it were) so I cannot say that he will be born with a single curl of hair on his head. I can, however, confirm that he will have a onesie with muscles painted on it! I thought this was utterly hilarious, so I painted Baby DoubleYou with it on.

I also included the DoubleYou dogs, Ruby & Clementine, who are Boston Terriers. This was my first time ever painting animals as peg people and I am pretty happy with them. I tried to mimic the dogs' coloring and patterns, but as always with peg people, they're not exact! :)

Matt, Amy, & Family

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ursula Octopus Costume Tutorial - Part 1

Recently, I blogged about my Halloween costume that I was planning to make, which is Ursula the sea witch from the Little Mermaid movie. I came up with this idea one day and I just sort of made it up as I went along, so it's not exactly perfect, but I think it's a decent design and could be used for just about any tentacled creature you'd ever want to make!

I purchased all of the pieces for this costume at a thrift store (purchased all in a single trip, actually) and spent about $5. This doesn't account for glue or thread or fiber fill, since I had those things already. But if you threw those in the mix, you'd be investing another $5 or so.

The costume is INCOMPLETE as of right now (I'll explain later) but this is what I have so far, which is the majority of it. Also, please note that I am not working toward an exact reproduction of the character. I have taken certain liberties (which I will point out along the way) with the design that I don't think affect the outcome.


* purple shirt with long sleeves (mine is actually 3/4 sleeves, but close enough)
* black velour dress - this is a plus-sized, full length dress
* purple velour dress - this is a child's sized dress

The black dress that I found was stretchy and has a textured pattern to the fabric that I like. It looks more 'aquatic' to me. The neck hole actually fit comfortably around my bust, so I didn't need to do any alterations for the top to fit.

First, I cut the 'tentacles' about halfway up the dress.



I had decided from the start not to replicate the purple undersides of Ursula's tentacles. I decided to simplify (shown below), so the tentacles are just black all the way around.

Then I sewed the tentacles closed (basically like a tube) and when they were all sewn, the material had become tighter at the bottom (shown below) because the dress was, essentially, halved. Since I need to fit my body through here, I made small cuts in the fabric on the 'body' section in between the tentacles. This material is great for that, because it doesn't fray so I didn't need to do any hemming at all, I just cut and tore it until it was an adequate space for me to fit through. I then turned the body inside out and removed the sleeves and sewed up the place where the sleeves once were. This fabric is also great for hiding uneven edges, I've found! And since the sleeve holes would be in my armpits, I didn't do a great job in sewing them, I'll admit.


After the body was sewn, I attached the suckers to the tentacles. I cut circles from the purple velour child's dress and attached them with hot glue.


Before starting, I put a strip of cardboard covered in box tape inside the tentacle fabric, so that the two sides didn't get glued together. The box tape made a slick surface, so that the glue never had a chance to adhere (if I'd used just cardboard, the glue might have stuck a little to it).

I then put down a blob of glue and pressed the circle into it, using my thumb. YES, THIS IS VERY HOT. I would sometimes set it in place with my thumb and then use a marker (I had a Sharpie nearby) to push it down the rest of the way.



When the suckers were attached, I stuffed the tentacles with fiber fill. I then attached the 'body' to the purple shirt, for ease of wear. I also used hot glue for this attachment, instead of taking the time (and energy!) to sew them together.

The final product is being held up by my husband, who is also holding up one of the tentacles so you can see the suckers.


And another shot with the 'body' stretched out, so you can see how the tentacles will hang when worn.


I'm debating whether or not I will fill in the space between the shirt and the 'body' with fiberfill. Ursula is a full-figured octopus, but it may be too hot for wearing all night (the past couple of Halloweens have been scorchers), so I may just let my natural figure fill it up. :)

This is only the top 1/2 of the costume, because I don't want my legs to show at all, plus I want the tentacles to be easily seen, so I am constructing a skirt to go underneath that will represent the water in the ocean and possibly have some fish in it... stay tuned!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Giggly Mama Family

Giggly Mama is not just giggly -- she's part of my family! And her birthday was coming up, so I thought I'd make her a set of peg people -- but who to make? And then I saw her pictures of the family picking pumpkins and I had an 'aha' moment: I'd paint the family!

This was my first-ever attempt at painting people that I know, so it was a little nerve-wracking! It's one thing to paint cartoon characters, who are not real people who might look at something and think "why did you give me such wide eyes? Do you think I am a shark? Am I supposed to be smiling or smirking? And are you saying my shoes are ugly?" See? It makes you nervous!

Fortunately, Shannon is an artist and crafter herself and can appreciate the thought and the gesture and doesn't get bent out of shape if her eyes are painted uneven! :)

So happy birthday Shannon! I hope you have a great day and enjoy your new peg people!

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Interested in owning a piece like this?
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Long Beach Comic Con

Last weekend was the inaugural Long Beach Comic Con and Ryan and I shared a table there in Artist Alley. It was a lot of fun and a really good show! Sadly, we didn't make it to a single panel discussion or even get an autograph from Corin Nemec (for reals!), but the reason was good: the table was well-visited!

My side of the table, as usual, had the benefit of bright colors. In a sea of comic book portfolios and sketches (mostly black and white), my giddy crafts stand out. So they caught a lot of eyeballs. This show, I had 2 offers: my dot paintings and my peg people. Both were very well received, I am grateful to announce! By Sunday afternoon, I was packing up nearly empty houses and had sold almost everything that I brought (sorry to everyone who asked, the houses aren't for sale).It was amazing -- THANK YOU to all the good people who came by and took some of this stuff home for me!!

our table at Long Beach Comic Con

One of my display techniques was to use this cupcake, to demonstrate what-in-the-world-would-I-do-with-a-peg-person (hint: a cake topper!). This was a store-bought cupcake that had gone stale and then I coated it with acrylic gloss, so it was shiny and solid. Unfortunately, it was lost/stolen after the show closed on Friday night. My table neighbors were more upset than I was -- I just hope no one tried to eat it! But no matter, I have a more permanent version coming soon. This was just a quick-and-dirty way to show how the peg people could be used. And it served its purpose, so... bon voyage little cupcake!

lacquered cupcake (that someone stole)

One of the fan-favorite items was the tiny mailbox with tiny business cards. I have to admit, I'm pretty fond of it too. :)

mailbox of business cards

I also sold some of the blank peg people (seen in the above pictures in a bowl and on the table) so that convention-goers could try their own hand at creating a masterpiece. I figured that the kids would think it was a great idea, but I was surprised at how many adults were buying them -- inspired by what they saw and chock-full of ideas of their own! The kids mostly wanted what was already painted, although there were a few kids who were determined that they could (and would!) do better than what I had. Every one of them said they'd email me a picture - and I hope they do!

I also was honored to be asked to contribute to someone's sketch book (full of awesome art from all the Cool People there) and I felt terrible that I CANNOT DRAW so I scribbled a peg-person form of me and Ryan (dorky) and the girl asked if maybe I could add something with dots. Well, markers don't really give the same effect, so I painted an artist trading card (ATC) made of canvas with Spider-Man for her to stick in her book instead.


Along the way, my table was photographed several times, including by the OC Weekly, the LA Weekly, a handful of blogs, and I did a video interview with the Daily 49er (Cal State Long Beach's news). So that was all really cool!

Plus, I'm waiting for the photos to roll in. I'm having a contest asking folks to submit pictures of their giddy girlie art to win $20! I've gotten a few so far, but there is still time to submit!

Oh! And we also saw a skateboarding shrimp!


And then were driving behind this... a sentinel from X Men. You're welcome.



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Interested in owning a piece like this?
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Friday, October 2, 2009

picture winning $20!

Do you own a piece of my (giddygirlie) artwork? If so, I'd love to see where it lives! I have sent packages around the world and I'm always curious to know where the final destination is!

If you have purchased or received a piece of my work, send your pictures to giddygirlie (at) gmail (dot) com or @giddygirlie on Twitter to be entered to win! I will select a winner, via random number generator and that lucky person will be given a $20 credit to order items from my etsy shop or request a commission piece!

Rules/Fine Print:
  • please send your pictures (links and/or attachments) to giddygirlie (at) gmail (dot) com or @giddygirlie on Twitter before 11:59pm PST on October 31, 2009
  • random drawing will occur on or about November 1, 2009
  • entries sent via Twitter should include an email address where I can reach you
  • prize is $20 credit to my etsy shop and can be used for any items (including shipping) available OR custom-ordered. This prize has NO CASH VALUE. Please note that custom orders that are needed before the holiday season should be submitted no later than November 15, 2009 to allow for creation and shipping.
  • photo submissions will be posted to my Flickr account ( and may be used on this or any other giddy girlie websites. Photos will not be sold or used for any other purpose. I reserve the right to use for my personal marketing purposes on this or any giddy girlie website.

Madame Leota gidget

I've been Haunted Mansion crazy lately (oh, can you tell?) and Madame Leota is always bewitching my thoughts. The other night I was looking at my blank peg people and had an aha! moment. So, now there is this little charmer.

Leota's crystal ball floats above the seance table and her hair swirls all around the glass. Her hair is painted in navy blue and then covered with a dimensional glitter paint to give it more 'oomph' and sparkle. The one pictured below has NOT been clear coated yet (easier to photograph) but I think when this has a glossy clear coat over the top, it's going to really come to life.

Madame Leota wooden peg person

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Interested in owning a piece like this?
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Venture Brothers Henchmen 21 & 24!

These are being offered as a set and each henchman is painted on a 4x6" canvas board.

These will be for sale at the Long Beach Comic Con this weekend -- I have a table in Artist Alley: #44! Stop by and say hello!

Venture Brothers Henchmen 21 & 24
Venture Brothers Henchman 21
Venture Brothers Henchman 24

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Interested in owning a piece like this?
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