Friday, October 31, 2008

Issue #2: Halloween

Cover Art: Spunny

I see we have 8 subscribers now! Yay! As you can see the theme of issue 2 is Halloween. Halloween is and always has been my favorite holiday. There was a point in my childhood when my mother decided that we were all going to be Jehova's Witnesses and so we couldn't celebrate Halloween, or anything else for that matter. I was really bummed for that whole year. It sucked giving up Chrstmas and my birthday and Easter. I was pretty upset that I couldn't make Valentines for my friends. But that was nothing compared to not being able to dress up and go trick-or-treating. I wasn't allowed to carve a pumpkin. I had to skip the class Halloween party. I wanted to celebrate it so much. I would have even taken the inevitable candy induced stomach ache like a champ. Alas, The Watchtower had spoken. Now as an adult I love Halloween more than ever. So I had to make this issue a Halloween issue. This month I've compiled lots of fun things to do, read and see. Tomorrow I will begin publishing all this good stuff including an interview with super talented designer Hilde, a couple of tutorials, a recipe that's perfect for your Halloween party and more.

Check back every day this week for something new. Oh yeah and tell your friends! :P


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Never Too Early To Plan For Next Year!

Like the title says! If you want to have a kickass costume next year now is a great time to get started...

Etsy Shops:

AngelsBoutique has the most amazingly well made costumes I've seen on Etsy. Srsly.

UpfromtheAshes is affiliated with THE Amy Brown! She has wings, tiaras, masks and jewelry.

ViolentBelle has beautifully detailed head wear including cute devil horns. You can build an entire costume around one of her pieces.

rockinbonesclothing: perfect for those who are too old to dress up but not too old to look hot on Halloween!

babypop has cute super hero costumes for kids AND adults. Also takes custom orders!

Don't have an Ety account? Sign up for free here!

Misc. Links:

Halloween Online: pumpkin carving stencils, decorating ideas, costumes...I LOVE the recipe section.

Halloween Magazine : basically a one stop link listing to everything you would need to make your Halloween it's Halloweeniest.

Halloween on the Web: find haunted houses, costumes, pumpkins, crafts, monsters, party information and more. Also has forums!

History of Halloween: totally cool site. Everything you've always wanted to know about Halloween. Has video as well.

Have any cool links to share?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tutorial: Painting on Fabric

Here is a two part video tutorial from Emily. I tried fabric painting a couple times but never got the results I wanted. Here Emily shows you the right way to do it! Enjoy!

Fabric Painting
By Emily

Part 1

Part 2

Learn more about Emily here: The Other Scene (official site) and The Other Scene on Etsy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tutorial: Voo Doo Doll Necklace

Voo Doo Doll Necklace
By Lux

Difficulty: 1 out of 5

6 2.5 inch nails
1 dense piece of craft Styrofoam at least 1 inch thick and 5 inches round (or square)
1 ball of twine
Pen or marker
Craft glue or a hot glue gun
Large plastic needle
Chain (optional)

1) Find the center of your Styrofoam piece and mark it. Push one nail into the. The deeper your nail goes the sturdier your frame will be, but make sure enough of the nail is protruding to loop the twine around. Measure and mark 5 points coming out from the center. Three should come out by about 1¼ inch (or more if you want a bigger doll). And two of them should be about ½ inch longer. The longer two will be the legs. (photo)

2) Push your remaining nails into these points. You’ve just made your frame. (photo)

3) Pull out about 4 inches of twine and secure the end of it to the Styrofoam with a pin. (photo)

4) Begin to loop your twine through the frame in a “flower” type pattern. The loops should be firm but not too tight. Pulling too tight may cause the nails to shift. (photo)

5) Once you’ve looped every outside nail 2 times (or more if depending on the thickness of your twine), pull out about 18 inches of twine from your ball and cut. Wrap this loose end around each of the 5 “limbs” tightly. Go around twice. Remove the pin and tie the two loose ends together forming a secure knot. (photo)

6) Very carefully, slide the nails out of the Styrofoam. Remove all but the center nail. Carefully, use the plastic needle to thread the longer loose end through the center of your doll while removing the center nail. (photo)

7) This longer loose end will become the opening through which you thread your chain, or string later. The loop opposite the legs will be your head. Loop the loose end over it so that it is about ¾ inch longer than the head loop. (photo)

8) Secure this end by tying it to the shorter end in a tight knot. Trim the end to about ¼ inch. (photo)

9) Pull out a few inches of twine and use the plastic needle to thread the end through the middle of you doll. Wrap this end around the head once and tie into a knot. (photo)

10) Make the lower torso by bundling the legs together and wrapping for about ½ inch. (photo)

11) Pick one leg and begin wrapping it all the way to the end. Reverse the direction and wrap it back to where it meets the torso. (photo)

12) Do the same to the other leg. When you get to the torso continue wrapping up to where the arms meet the chest. (photo)

13) Choose an arm and begin wrapping it. When you reach the end reverse your direction until you get to the chest. Wrap the other arm the same way. (photo)

14) Begin wrapping the head. To make it round concentrate on the middle of the loop. Don‘t forget to leave a part of the longer loop sticking out so you can thread you chain through. (photo)

15) To finish cut the twine about 6 inches away from the doll. Use the plastic needle to weave the loose end into the chest. Trim the end. Use hot glue or a clear drying craft glue to secure all your ends and loops. String your doll on a chain or extra twine or even ribbon. The choice is yours! (photo)

-When wrapping, do it as tightly as possible so your work doesn’t come undone.
-The thinner the twine you use, the more control you have over what your doll will look like, but you may have to do more wrapping to get it thick enough.
-Securing the ends of you limbs with craft glue is not necessary but it will make sure your doll lasts a good long time.

-You can use other colors of twine to add details such as clothing.
-Hair can be added by using a plastic needle and some yarn or embroidery floss.
Once you get the hang of making these you can even alter the frame and adjust your wrapping technique to make animals like turtles or giraffes.

I showed you mine, now show me yours!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fiction: Skin Deep Part 4

Skin Deep: 4

Seeing the nurse’s face reminds me even more strongly that something just isn’t right. She looks so familiar. I know I’ve seen her somewhere else before, but it’s just not coming to me. It’s just beyond my reach. She shows me to a room and before she leaves tells me to undress completely and put a gown on. I undress. My heart starts pounding when I look down. It got worse in the last hour. I’m starting to feel nauseated. I have to lie down. The doctor comes in to examine me. This time I feel no attraction to him, just repulsion. There’s something about him that I didn’t notice before. It’s as if there is an aura of decay around him. I can’t even speak, I feel so sick. While he’s examining me he mumbles to himself and seems pleased with what he’s seeing. Finally he tells me to get up and go over to the mirror I didn’t notice before. Looking into it I start to cry. There are huge patches of black rotting tissue all over my body. Then anger overtakes me and I start to threaten him. He just laughs and tells me that the surgery came out exactly they way he had planned. Then he says something strange. He says there is a riddle that I haven’t solved yet. As he’s saying this his face begins to change. He is the client from the club. Now he’s the nurse who called me in. Now he’s the TV anchor from the news show. Finally he is a woman with a bullet hole in her chest. Without knowing how, I know exactly who she is.

I’m in a nightmare. I run out of the office, past the nurse, into the waiting room. I glimpse the magazine I was reading: The National Journal of Embalming. A wave of nausea washes over me. I keep running. I know if I can just make it home I can wake up from this dream. Somehow I do make it home and my boyfriend is waiting for me. I’m so happy to see him I collapse in his arms. He asks me what’s wrong, but I can’t even form the words. He takes me upstairs to my room and puts me to bed. As he looks down at me, his face changes and he becomes the most vile thing I’ve ever seen. He has patches of black rot all over his body. His hair is falling out even as I look at him and pieces of his skull are becoming visible. Then he speaks to me with my own voice. I don’t know what he says because I can’t hear him over the screams. I scream until I pass out again.

And that’s how I came to be here. Every time I wake up I feel good. I know I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I know that things are coming together for me. In this world my mind completely forgets what happened to my body. Until I get to the mirror that is. But sometimes, just sometimes, He likes to mix it up. Sometimes I make it as far as my car and get on the freeway where some one crashes into me and I end up on the shoulder. Then he comes along in one of his many disguises and shoots me in the chest only to have me wake up in my room and start all over again. The worst part is I can’t get used to it. Whether I go only as far as the mirror or as far as the shooting, I keep forgetting what happened right up until the moment I see him. Right up until the moment I see the mirror. It’s the same difference because we are now part of each other. I think that’s what makes me scream. He likes to hear me scream.

The End

Friday, October 24, 2008

Screen Printer of the Month: Rocky the Zombie!

Screen Printer Hand Painter of the Month: Rocky the Zombie!

By Lux

Twenty four year old artist, Rhiannon (isn’t that a pretty name?), like me is a fan of Roman Dirge. Even the quickest of peeks (though you’ll want to stay longer) through her Etsy shop Rocky the Zombie will show you how he has influenced her own art. Rocky the Zombie is a collection of adorable well designed shirts, totes and even onesies for babies with style! Her items are very reasonably priced and would you believe she hand paints her designs? She claims that each piece has it’s own alterations that reflect her moods but they are so well done that one can hardly tell they are not professionally silk-screened. While Rhiannon has considered silk-screening, she chooses to stay true to her art and it’s handmade esthetic. Creating each design from scratch is the most enjoyable part of running her business. She’s not however, just a one trick pony. Rhiannon also screenprints, appliqués and works with acrylics. This multi-talented artist, originally from Wales, has 8 years of education in art, illustration, fashion and textiles as well as a ton of experience. One only needs check out her cute, yet slightly twisted drawings to know that this is someone who knows her stuff. So you wont be surprised to learn that she has a Bachelor’s degree with honors. But like most true artists, her inspiration comes from real life. She credits family with teaching her the most important things.

Rhiannon got her start in the business side of things like so many of us did-selling on eBay. With encouragement from her boyfriend she put a single hand painted T-shirt on eBay and watched in disbelief as the bids climbed higher and higher. Her business became something more than just the hobby that eBay is for most people. It started booming. After that the decision of what to do after she earned her degree became clear: self-employment. Rocky the Zombie has been her job ever since. Not just a job, but a passion as well. Her well deserved success comes not only from genuine talent, but a love for creating. And it’s evident to every customer who receives one of her unique, hand painted items. What makes her work so appealing is best summed up in her own words:

“I LOVE black and white photography, and line drawings.. sometimes the most minimal line drawings hold so much more expression and emotion than an entire complex painting. And I love the simplicity in that.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Rhiannon currently sells through Etsy, here. She also takes custom orders. (Bonus!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fiction: Skin Deep Part 3

Skin Deep: 3
By Lux

When I wake up I feel pretty good. The pain of surgery has still to touch me. I must have a higher threshold than I thought. I get up and go to my dresser to check out the goods. I didn’t really get a chance to see them before. They’re swollen as to be expected, but what I didn’t expect was the small black spot on one side. I reach for my phone and call the doctor’s office but get a recording. I didn’t even realize how late it was. Oh well I guess I’ll call tomorrow. There’s no pain so it’s probably nothing. Looking around the house I find that my boyfriend,
the dear rat, is still M.I.A. I call him but he’s still not picking up. He’d better not be out with some slut right now. Even if he isn’t, he’s still going to hear it when he gets home. This is unbelievable! I deserve better than this and what’s more I can get better than this even on my worst day. It’s so unlike him too. I wonder if something happened? Now I’m starting to worry. I check the messages and there’s nothing. I call his office, no answer. I even look for a note and nothing. Well if something really did happen I would know about it by now or I‘ll be hearing about it soon. I go over to the kitchen to make something to eat. I’m still not very hungry but I figure I should eat. Keep my strength up and all that. I take my food to the living room and turn on the news. It’s the sports report. Sports don’t really interest me so my mind begins to wander. I look up a few minutes later and notice that the anchor who usually reports the local news has been replaced by a woman. She looks familiar but I can’t place her.

I have no appetite. I can’t even eat. But I am really tired again. I start to doze as the new anchor reads a story of someone who died during a routine surgery. I think I hear her say the doctor who performed the surgery has disappeared. That’s what happens when you don’t do your research I guess. You get taken for a ride and it appears you can wind up dead too. More natural selection in action. But I’m too tired to care right now so I fall asleep.

The sound of my phone wakes me up. I’m in my room again. Funny, I thought I fell asleep on the couch. Maybe he came home and put me to bed. I walk over to the dresser and pick it up. It’s the doctor’s office. They tell me I missed my follow up appointment this morning and would I like to come in this afternoon. They have an opening, but it‘s in an hour. I tell her that my appointment was supposed to be next week. She informs me that it was today. I argue that it’s impossible because I only got home yesterday. According to her records I was discharged last Thursday. Something isn’t right. Someone in their office screwed up. But I take the appointment anyway since I am still worried about the black spot I saw. Before I hang up, the nurse assures me that it’s probably bruising. It doesn’t look like any bruise I’ve ever seen. I check it out now and find that it grew bigger overnight. A lot bigger. Now there are spots on the other breast too and there is some kind of odor coming off them. What. The. Fuck. They still don’t hurt. I’ve actually not had to take any of the pain medicine. But this better not be a huge problem or someone’s looking at a law suit. A big fat one. I get dressed quickly and run out the door. I don’t even have time to see if my boyfriend came home after all.

On my way to the doctor’s office I’m getting even more worked up. I’ve been in a haze for days. I can’t seem to stay awake for more than a few hours. I can’t seem to focus on anything for more than a few minutes. I have no appetite. My boyfriend is nowhere to be found. Now there’s some black shit growing on me. Oh and the DJ on the radio just informs me that it’s Thursday. How can that be? Yesterday was Thursday. What the hell is going on! I’m starting to get kind of freaked out. A lot of things are not making sense. Come to think of it I haven’t really seen anyone the past few days. Except for the nurse before I left the hospital, I’m wracking my brain trying to think if I’ve talked to anyone lately. But I can’t remember. Oh wait the cab driver. Of course! But try as I might I can’t remember what he looked like, or sounded like or any other detail about him. I’m not even totally sure it was a him. I don’t even remember paying for the ride. I must have been pretty damn out of it.

So after rushing to get here and driving through the worst traffic ever they make me wait. The bastards. I’m getting more and more irritated. What the hell? There isn’t even anyone else in the waiting room. But since I have class I won’t complain, yet. I look for a magazine to flip through. They don’t even have decent magazines here. My choices are Taxidermy Monthly and some medical journal. I choose the latter. While I’m browsing through it I see an ad for Formethanol. It’s the same medication I was prescribed before I left, but something about the ad is bugging me. Or maybe it isn’t the ad itself, maybe it’s the magazine I’m reading. Just as I’m about to turn it over to look at the cover again, the nurse calls me in to see the doctor.

To be concluded…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Debate: Sexy Halloween Costumes-If you've got it flaunt it?

Flaunt it!
By Sheika

Growing up, I was one of those jeans and t-shirt girls with a no-nonsense ponytail. I had skinned elbows and chapped lips and all I cared about was wrestling with the boys. Video games? Check. Plastic swords? Check. Skateboard sketched all over with Sharpies? Definitely check, dude!

But I had a dirty little secret. I enjoyed the silly teen movies my girly cousins made me watch, especially the ones where the dorky girl everyone laughed at took her glasses off and became a beauty. I joined the boys in throwing bugs at the prissy preppy girls at school but secretly envied their pretty braided hair. All too soon, high school came and one by one my guy friends fell prey to feminine wiles.

I was left all alone to traverse the jungle, unskilled at the weapons of lipstick and eyeshadow. Black nail polish was a familiar friend but beyond that loomed the mysteries of mascara. The first time I picked up a pair of tweezers, I almost poked my eye out! No way was I trying that again. In fear, I ran back to my comfort zone and staked out the only style I could pull – natural, “bare faced” beauty (aka. I have no clue how to put on make up so I won't even try!) and comfortable clothes (read: jeans and a plain hoodie.)

Then it hit me like a 2 pound hairdryer. I scoured every store I could find for the perfect outfit. This turned out to be a gaudy sparkly thing in red and gold. To match was a pair of raggedy gold foil pompoms. That's right. I was a blond, pigtailed cheerleader for Halloween! My knobby knees stuck out from under the short pleated skirt and my awkward stick arms looked ridiculous waving the pompoms around. I got some funny looks and a few good laughs. Some said I looked weird, others crazy and some even called my outfit slutty. I was something completely opposite of what I was. I had transformed into someone I'd always been terrified to be, just like my little brother who chose to be Dracula that year.

To this day, I have worn fairytale outfits like Red Riding Hood or classic favorites like Dorothy from Oz. Who can resist those glamorous red shoes? Even tight vinyl Catwoman suits and spandex Wonder Woman costumes have seen their share of spotlight. I couldn't pull off a down-to-there cleavage shirt while grocery shopping and 6 inch heels would kill my feet. Fishnets have a tendency to snag on my toes and there is no way I'd go in to work with long red vampire nails. I may still be that awkward tomboy who wouldn't know lipgloss from blush, but for just one day I can be as silly and goofy or even slutty as I dare!

Learn more about Sheika here. :)

Dressing Up For Halloween: You’re Doing It Wrong
By Lux

Maybe I’m wrong on this one but isn’t it a bit disturbing that adult Halloween costumes appear to be getting skankier and skankier every year? I can’t be the only one bothered by this. Since when did a holiday that is so child oriented turn into a porn fest? Why did Halloween become an excuse to flaunt your body parts? True, there are places and times for such attire. Exotic Erotic in San Francisco is one example. If you’re going to a place like that then shit, do what you want. Private parties are another. But someone tell me why I’m seeing women wearing this crap to work on Halloween. Someone please explain to me when it became OK for moms to take their school age children trick-or-treating in these poorly made, mass produced getups. It just reeks of low self esteem and no self respect. I guess I’m just old fashioned. I guess I’m just a person that believes one doesn’t have to put oneself on display in this way to get noticed. It is a far more confident, interesting and intelligent person who can command attention while dressed modestly. Just look back through history. A great example of such a person was Jackie O. She never looked anything less than classy and put-together. Now she is remembered as a fashion icon. I’d be willing to bet money that it would have never occurred to her to put on a 5 inch long plaid skirt with a white crop top and try to pass it off as a legitimate costume.

Shouldn’t we strive to be like Jackie O.? Shouldn’t that be the example we set for young girls? Instead, one can walk into any Halloween store and see the same cheap costumes available for mass consumption. Choose from slutty cop, slutty maid, slutty school girl, slutty nurse, slutty angel, slutty mermaid, slutty girl scout (OK that’s just wrong!), slutty Alice, etc, etc, etc! Basically any profession/fairy tale character/archetype can turn into some perv’s fantasy. But wait, there’s more! If that isn’t enough to get your eyes rolling or your stomach turning, take a stroll over to the pre-teen section and see the same freaking costumes. Sure they’re a bit toned down and made to fit underdeveloped bodies, but they are basically cut from the same cloth so to speak. We’re training them young these days aren’t we? Training them to believe that attention from the opposite sex is the most important thing and that to obtain this they must present themselves as sexual objects. You may say: “But Lux it’s only once a year. Shouldn’t people be allowed to live a little?” Wrong, it’s not just once a year. This garbage is all over the media year round. We have some celebrity or other’s coochie making headlines every few months. What does that have to do with slutty costumes? Well the costumes may be a once a year occurrence, but they are symptomatic of a bigger issue. One that sadly doesn’t end November first.

But let’s put this aside for a minute. Let me now ask what do these mediocre rags have to do with Halloween? How do they celebrate the spirit of the holiday? Halloween is supposed to be about having fun with friends. It’s supposed to be about enjoying the sensation of being frightened. It’s about trick-or-treating, telling scary stories, watching horror movies and spending hours on a costume you’re sure no one else will be wearing because you put so much time into it. It’s not about uninspired hooker uniforms that would be better off left on the rack. Although, seeing 30 chicks in a row showing off their panties in the same slutty Snow White costume is kind of scary. I do not need or want to see your ass cleavage. If your nipples are this close to popping out of your top, you’re doing it wrong. If one can clearly make out the line where your thighs meet your butt cheeks, you’re doing it wrong. If the trim of you bikini line can be seen through your outfit, you’re so doing it wrong.

Maybe I’m a buzz kill. Maybe I‘m taking this all a bit too seriously. Or maybe I’m a sane person in an insane society. When you’re a mother of two little girls like I am, you tend to think about these things. I sometimes wonder what I will say when the day comes that one of my daughters tries to leave the house in a costume that barely covers her ass. But then I relax knowing that that day will never come because her mama will have raised her better than that.

Where do you stand?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fiction: Skin Deep Part 2

Skin Deep: 2
By Lux

So it’s a few weeks later and here I am on my way to surgery. I am of course nervous, but mostly thrilled. I can’t wait for this to be done! I know I seem extremely self-confident. Ok I’ll be honest, I’m aware of how most people must see me. Self-centered and arrogant are probably words that others would use to describe me. But the truth is I worked hard to get what I have. I spend so much time improving myself and my place in life that I deserve to be proud of it! I should be allowed to show off. If, in the process of me enjoying my success a few people have a problem with it then, oh well. Most people are not totally happy with who they are so when they see people like me they try to tear us down instead of taking steps to improve their own pathetic lives. It’s called reality. Heck I’m not 100% happy with myself. There has always been a part of me that feels I could look better. That’s why I’m getting this surgery. Let’s face it A cups don’t get you noticed. They don’t leave an impression. The entertainment industry has it’s own form of natural selection. People like me are held to a higher standard. Pressure is put upon us to be perfect. And to tell the truth I wouldn’t have it any other way. My life was never meant to be ordinary. Even though I already have so much to offer, after this doors will open for me. After this I will be the total package.

I reach the hospital and preparations begin. I’m dressed in one of those ugly gowns and being hooked up to all these machines. One of which is an I.V. going into my vein. Later Dr. Lords comes in and explains what will happen. I’ve heard all this before but it’s his job so I just smile and nod. The nurse then injects the I.V. bag with a sedative. For a split second I think I see the fluid turn black. But then I blink and it’s the same clear solution it always was. I start to feel drowsy as they wheel me into the O.R. Now they put the mask over my face. It’s strange, but before I lose consciousness the last thought I have is the image of that car on the shoulder of the freeway and the chalk outline on the ground.

When I come to something doesn’t feel right. I expected to feel groggy and in pain. That’s just part of the deal. But this feels like I’m missing something. Oh well. I’ve never had surgery before, disorientation is probably normal. I love how they already have me on the pain medication. As far as pain goes, I don’t feel a thing. My room is awesome too. It’s like a suite at a four star hotel. I knew this doctor was top tier, but even I wasn’t expecting this. Still, that feeling is there just under the surface. The drugs have made me drowsy though so I drift back to sleep. I spend the first few days of my recovery pretty dazed and hazy. It’s probably the drugs. I don’t mind. I’m sure the alternative totally sucks. Why be in pain if you don’t have to be? So the day comes when it’s time to go home. I’m happy to go. While the nurse has been taking good care of me, the uneasiness I’ve been feeling has not gone away. I attribute it to being here and not in my own bed. Also I have not seen the good doctor at all since before the surgery. Is that normal? Where the hell has he been? I have a follow up appointment so he can’t avoid me forever.

They send me home with plenty of drugs. My prescription for something called Formethanol contains 90 pills. Damn I hope I don’t need that many. How bad is this pain supposed to get? Then something strikes me. I haven’t felt any pain since I woke up. Not for a minute. Not a twinge. The meds they’ve had me on so far must be powerful but I don’t like the side effect of being in a fog. I think I’ll just hold off on taking these pills until I really need them. My boyfriend was supposed to pick me up but he hasn’t shown and he’s not answering his phone. A cab takes me home and I am thoroughly pissed by the time I get there. He’s usually so attentive. He knows I’m probably the hottest woman he’s ever been with so he normally treats me like a queen. When I get inside I find that he, of course, is not home. I don’t know what to do with myself so I go into the kitchen to get something to eat. But as I make myself a sandwich I realize I’m not hungry. Actually I can’t remember the last time I was hungry or even the last time I ate. Weird. I go upstairs. The familiarity of my room makes me feel a little better. Tired too. I pass out on my bed.

To be continued…

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Blood and Guts"

This is a recipe that I came up with when I wanted to make something gross looking, yet tasty for my Halloween party. The taste is similar to Churros, which is a Mexican snack pastry that is deep fried. Enjoy!

Blood and Guts


1 T butter
¼ c sugar
1 egg
½ c apple sauce
½ t vanilla
1 ½ c flour
¼ t baking powder
1/8 t salt
¼ t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
2/3 c milk
Vegetable oil

½ c diced strawberries
½ c raspberries
2/3 c sugar

1) Mix strawberries and raspberries in a bowl and crush them. Set aside.
2) In a small sauce pan combine berries and sugar and cook on med/high heat until mixture begins to bubble. Make sure to stir frequently.
3) When mixture is bubbly turn off the heat and continue stirring until it cools and reaches a syrupy consistency. To make your sauce thicker add more sugar little by little until it looks the way you want. To make it thinner add water little by little until it’s where you want it.

1) Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Set aside.
2) Combine sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl.
3) Add egg, vanilla and apple sauce. Stir in completely.
4) Little by little add dry ingredients and mix them in.
5) Add milk a little at a time until the mixture reaches a thick “pancake batter” consistency.
6) In a large pot heat about 3-4 inches of vegetable oil on med/high heat.
7) When the oil is hot, use a ladle to pour small amounts of batter into the pan in elongated “intestine like” shapes. This make take some practice, but you’ll get it.
8) Cook “Guts” until golden brown and use tongs to flip them over and finish the other side.
9) Once both sides are golden brown remove them and place them on a paper towel to drain.
10) Serve with “Blood” sauce drizzled on top or on the side if you prefer. If the sauce has thickened too much, add a little water.

You can make an easier, quicker version of the “Blood” sauce by heating strawberry jam with a little water and pouring it through a strainer.

Make the “Blood” sauce first as the guts are best as fresh as possible. This also gives the sauce time to cool and thicken.

You can make “Worms in Dirt” by substituting the “Blood” sauce for crumbled chocolate cookies and chocolate syrup.

Questions? Post them here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fiction: Skin Deep Part 1

So this is something I've been working on for a little while now. It's been...I don't really know how long it's been since I've tried my hand at fiction. But I thought I would write a scary story a la Tales from the Crypt for this issue to go with the theme. This character is loosely based on three people. 1)An incredibly arrogant girl from a reality show. 2)A fictional character from a teen drama series. 3)A girl I was sort of friends with (on the surface anyway) on the internet until recently. But those three do not 100% equal this character. She has a little bit of me thrown in, just a tad. And even though she's based on that many people she is surprisingly uncomplicated. hahaha So without further ado, here she is...

Skin Deep: 1
By Lux

I don’t know anymore how long I’ve been here. I’ve lost track. There are no days or nights. There is only waking and dreaming. Every time I wake up I feel good. I know I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I know that things are coming together for me. My career is going to take off. After working so hard and going through so much to get to this point, I’ve earned it. It’s at this moment, this very thought, when I start to feel as though something isn’t right. It’s like the feeling you get when can’t remember if you locked up when you left home. It’s small but persistent, nagging even. I can’t pinpoint what’s causing it as I get out of bed and walk over to my dresser. But when I get there and see what’s waiting for me it all comes back in an instant. That’s when the screaming starts. Hold up, I’m getting ahead of myself. I think I need to go back and start at the beginning. Once upon a time…

I have an appointment for a consultation with the best surgeon around. He’s going to upgrade my A’s to C’s and consequently my exotic dancer job to a part in a TV series. This guy is amazing. I’ve seen his work. He has worked on actresses, pop stars and socialites. I got his name from a client at the club I work at. Dr. Lords‘ specialty is implants. You know when the newest teen queen suddenly goes from a B cup to a full C and insists she’s had a growth spurt, but you can’t tell for sure? It’s him. He is incredibly in demand and I got an appointment with him. I really can’t believe how lucky I am. His stuff looks so real it would fool an ex-boyfriend. So I’m on my way to the appointment when this idiot cuts me off and I bump into her. My car seems undamaged but she is pulling off to the side. I consider stopping but I can’t be late, so oh well. I keep driving. I’m sure she’s just fine. Besides it was her fault she should be glad I’m not angry enough to stop and chew her out. I’m driving a $45,000 car. What a dumb bitch.

I make it to my appointment just in time. The doctor is very nice and unbelievably hot on top of that. It’s a good thing he’s a professional. Otherwise I don’t think we could resist each other for a minute. The initial exam goes great. We set up a date for the surgery. He doesn’t do payments. That’s not a problem for me, because of my job in such a lucrative industry I can afford to pay in cash. I can already feel my life getting better. It’s pretty great so far though. I’m 22. I have great genes. I live in a big beautiful house, well it‘s really an estate. I can come and go as I please. I have a boyfriend, he’s old but he’s loaded. He wanted to pay for the surgery but I wouldn’t let him. I don’t like owing anyone anything. I do however like the gifts he gives me, jewelry, clothes, the car… I have it made. All I have to do now is get that part. Dr. Lords assures me that I’ll have a quick and fairly painless recovery. I’m finally going to get what I deserve. All the recognition, the fans, the awards…I can picture it now.

I get home without incident. Looks like the idiot drivers called it a day. This thought makes me chuckle. I’m really quite funny, I’ve been told. I have a lot more going for me than just looks. I have a great sense of humor, I’m fun to be around and I’m also intelligent. For example a lot of people might be surprised to know that I watch the news. I turn it on now. The top story is about a woman who was murdered on the freeway. Apparently she was involved in an accident that jacked her car but the other car didn’t stop. Another person stopped under the guise of helping her out and ended up shooting and robbing her. What a world we live in. What is wrong with people? Then they show a photo of the crime scene complete with chalk outline on the ground next to her car. Oh no. It’s the car from earlier. I feel bad, but then again the accident was her fault and I’m not the one who shot her. Don’t get me wrong, what happened was tragic. It was truly, truly sad. But things like this are a form of natural selection. Survival of the fittest. If she was a better driver she might be alive right now. It’s the law of the universe. The world continues to move forward, often at a pace too fast for some. It’s not wrong or right. It just is.

To be continued…

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tutorial: Mummy Shirt

This tutorial was submitted to my Live Journal community Sew Underground a few years back. It's an oldie but a goodie. It's very easy to do and makes a really cute shirt. Enjoy!

By "Razorhappy" on LJ

What you need:
-Five (5) panels of Mummy fabric for the torso.
~Three (3) narrow panels for the front.
~Two (2) wide panels for the back
-Two (2) smaller panels of Mummy fabric for the sleeves.
-Bias Hem Tape for the neckline.
-Black ribbon, or in a matching color for the back tie.
-Long rectangular piece of T-shirt material in a matching color for the waistband.

~Throughout this project I tried on the shirt to make sure it looked just right.

Step 1: Make torso figure 1
~Sew together the 3 narrow pieces together to form the front of the shirt.
~Sew together the 2 wide pieces together to form the back of the shirt.
~Sew the front and back together to form a tube top.

Step 2: Add sleeves Try on the tube top to find the right places to add the sleeves!!
~Sew the 2 smaller panels on the tube top for sleeves
~Sew in dart at the top of the sleeve, (where it poofs off your shoulder)
~Cut off excess from the dart to arm pit.

Step 3: Adjust neckline figure 2: the red is where to cut
~Cut out V-shape from one sleeve to the center to the other sleeve.
~Repeat to the back of the shirt.

Step 4: Add details figure 3
~Add hem to neckline. (See figure 4: the red is where to sew! To make the point at the neckline: unfold the bias tape, then fold the tape in half, vertically. It should now be completely inside out. Sew an angle where the point goes towards the rest of the tape, away from the fold. When you fold it back to right side out, it should have a point now sewn in!)
-Then add ribbons to the hem tape on the back!!!
~Add waistband.
~Hem everything else!!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Instead of putting together looks for this issue I decided to post pictures of some really cool handmade costumes. Maybe these will inspire you to make your own if you haven't already. If you have then post them in the comments section!

Mayor McCheese needs no introduction:

Courtesy of Smarmy Clothes.

Two superbly made costumes. Maya makes it look easy!:

Courtesy of Static White Stitchery.

Probably the best mermaid costume I've ever seen:

Courtesy of Nicolette Le Faye.

I want it. Enough said:

Courtesy of Sew-Oeno.

And here are a few favorites I made from years past:


I wish I had not decided to sell this...

And the ever popular Alice:

Courtesy of Me!

What are you going to be for Halloween? Post your pics!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Indie Designer Crush: Hilde Heyvaert

Full Steam (Punk) Ahead!
By Lux

Lux: I want to start by saying that ever since you started posting in Sew Underground I have admired your sewing ability. The construction of your garments is so perfect. Where did you learn to sew?

HH: Thanks, I really appreciate that compliment a lot, especially coming from someone as talented as you :)

I never had any proper formal training, my mum studied fashion in high school so she taught me the basics and I took it from there myself. Initially she didn't want me to use her antique Bernina machine because she was afraid I'd wreck it, but then she quickly realized I'd nag her to sew for me all the time so she caved and taught me. She also taught me to do heaps of things by hand sewing.

Lux: Aww thanks! I never had proper training either. Isn’t it interesting how so many of us never took classes of any kind? How much hand sewing do you do? I try to avoid it myself. Do you still use the antique Bernina?

HH: I think a lot of people are self-trained because it's not always equally easy to get formal training.

If you go to let's say, fashion college, that's often really expensive, and that is if you get in at all.

Sewing classes are often few and far between as well, and not all are actually appropriate for people that want to learn how to design their own clothes. Over here in Belgium most sewing classes are evening classes, which isn't always terribly practical to start with, and they focus on teaching you to make garments from existing patterns and to adjust them to _your_ body. That's all fine and dandy if you occasionally want to sew something from a pattern by one of the big companies for yourself, but it doesn't actually teach you anything about draping, adjusting patterns for others than yourself, converting patterns or heaven forbid: drafting your own pattern. I'm not saying there's no good classes outside fashion college, I'm sure there are, but odds are that they're at night several hours away from where someone lives.

I generally only hand sew when I'm doing bits that are requesting more manual dexterity than what you get with the machine. Sometimes things just look better hand sewn you know.

But no, I don't use the antique Bernina anymore, it's still at my parent's house. I don't think my mother would ever be able to part with that :) I got a cheap Toyota after using that antique Bernina for a couple of months, which was probably one of the most horrid machines on the market. Seriously, I am NEVER getting a Toyota again. After a year of heavy use the engine pretty much gave up completely. So we replaced it with a Bernina 1008, which I love. A couple of years ago Bert (my boyfriend) bought me a Husqvarna Viking serger (a Huskylock 905) which is brilliant. So I use those two machines now. I think that if I were to get a new machine, it would probably be Bernina or Husqvarna. Although that won't be in the near future as the ones I have now are still in perfect working order.

Lux: That’s true there is only so much you can learn from a community sewing class. Not that I ever took one but I looked into it a number of years before and found that I was way beyond what they were teaching already. Ha!

I had no idea Toyota made machines. I guess there’s a reason for that… I hear lots of good things about Viking machines though. I want to get one of their embroidery machines one day.

So you’re located in Belgium right? Are you from there? What’s the local fashion scene like? Do you see a lot interesting things or is it the same old, same old?

HH: I heard Toyota makes sergers as well, and I've heard nothing good about those either. I think it's best to just buy a machine that gets at least a very high percentage of "love it" type comments, like Bernina, Viking, Pfaff etc.

My advice to anyone getting a machine would be to go to a store that lets you try the machines and where they are willing to explain the entire working. I get all my machines at a small family owned place that does most repairs too. It might not be the cheapest place, but it does have the best customer service and in the end of the day, that's priceless.

I'm in Belgium yeah, born and raised here. We actually have a pretty renown fashion scene what with the Antwerp 6 and all that. And we have two fashion colleges of some international fame (the Antwerp academy and La Cambre in Brussels). The local fashion scene, well I'm inclined to say it's divided in two major parts. There's the academy style, which is basically more art than fashion (in my opinion) and the generally crazy "I'm fashion student so I dress outrageous" kinda style. And to counter that there's the same old, same old. There _are_ people around that have their own unique style, but you get those everywhere. I do see some seriously cool outfits occasionally so there is hope :)
Of course you see more individual styles in the cities, which are traditionally more open minded than small towns. I guess that's the same everywhere.

Lux: That’s so true. I just moved to a really small town and I get some odd looks even if I‘m fairly casually dressed. But if I go San Francisco for the day no one bats an eye. Do you always wear your clothes or do you save them for special occasions?

HH: Yes exactly! It's amazing that in this day and age there is still such a mentally difference between cities and towns. It never seizes to amaze me.
I mostly wear clothes I've made myself, but the main reason is that I've made most of my wardrobe :)

But I do have stuff I've got at other places, I love getting things from etsy and basic stuff from H&M. Some things, like my Halloween wardrobe, I save for October (and my Lost LARP character haha), and there are clothes that are also part of costume for something or other (mostly LARP characters) so they don't get much wear and I suppose they pretty much only come out for special occasions.

I guess it depends on which garment it is and what I want to wear that day :)

Lux: What is LARP?

HH: Live action roleplay. You can find all about the group I'm in on ;)

Lux: Cool. J So you’re mostly into Steampunk fashion right? How did you get into that? What do you like most about it?

HH: Yes I am, I love steampunk.

I grew up with the books of Jules Verne, my dad read them to me when I was little (he's a big Verne fan too) and I remember that before I could read I was always looking at the pictures of Nautilus and other cool contraptions.
I love the entire mentality and concept behind it: the future past that never happened but could be in this time. I love that idea. And I've always loved the esthetic of Victorian and belle époque fashions. The bustle skirts and pouf sleeves for women and the tailcoats and waistcoats for men. I love wearing stuff like that in a contemporary way. And I love that at the very most the fashion has guidelines but no set rules. On the contrary to pretty much every other fashion style: people are pretty free to do whatever they want with it. There's such a brilliant diversity.

Basically I've always loved it, and at one point decided I was going to look the part :)

Although which part (adventurer, aristocrat, dandy, casual, mad inventor, airship pirate etc) largely depends on my mood that day :)

I honestly think I'm a lot more active in steampunk then in any other style I've ever been part of, I'm on tons of communities and forums and I write fashion articles for Gatehouse Gazette aside from being active as a designer.

I still design other things too mind you, occasionally I still feel the need to do something totally non steamy :)

Lux: Steampunk reminds me of this graphic novel called The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Have you heard of it? I know they made a movie but it does no justice to the comic. There’s some really cool art in there and the clothes on the characters are gorgeous! I’ve considered dressing up as Mina Harker for Halloween but I just don’t have the time to pull off such an elaborate costume. Are you doing anything special for Halloween?

Yes I know that one, I own it :)
I actually quite like the movie, even though it's not following the graphic novel well at all. I still like the feel of it, Nemo's inventions and all the cool costumes. Sure, it's not the best movie out there, but I find it very enjoyable nonetheless :)
I LOVE Mina Harker's scientist outfits!

For Halloween I'm having a party at my house the weekend before Halloween (because my friends are available then) and then on Halloween itself I'll be in Disneyland Paris with my friend Charlotte. I'm going to dress up as a Halloween steampunk pirate, and Charlotte is going to dress up as something, but she keeps on changing her mind about what she wants to be. My costume is all but finished, I just need to put together a shirt and a pair of spats now, I'll definitely be finished in time :)

Lux: The movie was ok. I guess I'm too much of a comic book geek. I have to nit-pick everything! I love the inventions too. I think the movie was more about the scenery and costumes, which is cool for people like us who get inspired by those things. :) Another one I like to watch for inspiration is Bram Stoker's Dracula. Everything in it is so rich looking. Like a visual embodiment of red velvet cake or something. OK I'm weird. HAHA

Damn! You're doing Halloween right. And I thought I went all out. I am having a party too. My first in my new house. There's lots of planning to do so I better get to it. And I better let you go so you can finish your costume. You will post pictures right?

HH: Comic books aren't nearly as huge in Belgium as they are in the US, so I guess people here don't tend to get very annoyed by movie adaptations like they do elsewhere where there is a far larger comic book culture.

I really like that version of Dracula as well, the costumes really are exquisite in that movie.

And please don't worry about taking my time away from sewing, I am not even vaguely short on time :)

Plenty of time left to get everything finished well in time :)

I will definitely post pictures of my costume :)

I'm hoping to get a bunch made before Halloween, so I don't have to worry about getting good pictures while I'm in Disneyland Paris. It's smack in the fall holidays of Belgium and peak season there so I suspect there will be crowds in the way for pics. I'm definitely going to get my picture taking with Jack Skellington and Sally though, come hell or high water. I'm a Disney geek like that haha :)

Lux: Let's hear it for us geeks then! haha Can't wait to see the pics. And thank you so much for letting me interview you. It was great getting to know more about you. I really appreciate it and I'm sure the readers do too.

See even more amazing clothes check out Hilde's website House of Secrets.