Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 7

Fear not, gentle readers! I did manage to finish my homemade chainsaw for my Bruce Campbell costume. I finished it the morning of my Halloween party! I cut it a lot closer than I should have, but my first semester of grad school was hectic! As much as I enjoyed doing schoolwork every waking hour for months on end, I’m pleased to have a break now. (My Halloween party was the last day I had where I didn’t do any work before finals week ended.)

 To finish up my papier-mâché chainsaw, I did a lot more sanding, added more layers of newspaper, and primed the surfaces for painting. I made a little toggle switch out of a nut, washer, and a pin. For the knobs, I cut down the lids from 2 liter bottles. The pull handle was just papier-mâché over a plastic core and a string. Painting the chainsaw arm didn’t take too long, and I just used cheap craft paint. I painted the metallic parts gray first and then added silver over the top. When I finished painting, I added all the screws.

The best part was adding all the blood and gore over the top! I poured a combination of brown and red paint on my hands and applied the paint with extreme care and diligence. It’s a good thing I’m going to college for painting, right?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 6

My papier-mâché Army of Darkness chainsaw is taking a lot longer to make than I anticipated. This is probably because I am bogged down with homework most of the time and don’t have the free time to work on Halloween stuff as much as I like. I know I’m going to be cutting it pretty close this year!

 I added the handle to the top, and I also added the little bendy bar on the side. For the part on the side, I took a sturdy piece of plastic tube and cut it into smaller pieces with a pipe cutter. I ran a thin piece of wire in the middle and duct taped all the parts in place. I also added the cuff on the back, which was originally the cardboard center of a role of packing tape. My husband is a little upset that he can’t fit his hand inside of the opening, and he doesn’t appreciate me teasing him about his truckasaurus hands! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 5

My homemade prop chainsaw was getting a little lumpy, so I took it outside to sand it. As soon as I sat down, an owl hooted, “Woo hoo, woo!”

Woo hoo indeed!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Big, Scary Spider

Ash and I went to the temporary Halloween store at the mall recently just to see what decorations we’ll want, decide are too expensive, and then not buy. There was a lot of creepy clown stuff this year, and zombie babies are still available. However, the best thing I saw was a big, hairy spider by the entrance with a mat labeled, “Step here!”

If I let this spider bite me, will I get super powers or will I just be super itchy?

Ash loathes spiders, especially the ones that try to sneak into our house. So, of course, I told him to step on it. He said, “You step on it” and started to make his way to the Doctor Who section. I had to step on it. At first it just vibrated a little, and I thought that was pathetic, so I turned to follow Ash. Just as I turned, this beast lunged at me incredibly fast and startled me! Ash got a good laugh at my expense, but he said we couldn’t buy it. First of all, it was $50, and I don’t have a job since I’m in grad school now. Secondly, I bet he thinks I would just hide it in various places around our home to frighten him. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Female Versions of Male Costume

Why, oh why, is it that costume makers think that when women dress up as male characters, they want costumes that are extremely nude and stripper-esque? Ash and I went to a Halloween store and I was left with many questions. Why can’t women just wear the regular Ghostbusters flight suit and be a regular Ghostbuster? Instead, the female costume is a little dress designed to show as much leg and boob as possible. I really don’t think that tiny dress would be appropriate for fighting Gozer and climbing many flights of stairs. A woman can’t just wear a regular Beetlejuice costume either! Oh no! She has to wear a microscopic dress that only hints at Beetlejuice because it has black and white stripes.

No, Sir, I don't like it.

Is this because the person wearing the costume wants to make sure that everyone knows she is in fact female, and the only way to do this is to make sure her breasts are on display for all to see? If this is that big of a problem, I would think an easier solution to this conundrum would to be to just dress as a female character or carry around a birth certificate with the gender highlighted for all to see.
I haven’t noticed this phenomenon happening with men’s costuming. When a man wants to be a female character, he doesn’t wear a slapped-together tragedy of a costume with strategic cutouts that showcase his testicles. Wouldn’t that be a great sight? Imagine a man in a Power Girl costume with extra cutouts, or a man could wear a Super Girl costume with a skirt short enough to give everyone a peek at his anatomy to assure everyone that he is a man.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Superhero Stickers

Ash was pretty excited the last time we shopping because he found superhero stickers! He was happy because the Flash and Green Lantern were included. What he will do with them, I have no idea, but they sure brightened his day. He said, “Even the Aquaman sticker is cool!”

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Homer Piñata

I like papier-mâché a lot. I like papier-mâché a lot more than an adult probably should. When a friend of mine called to tell me that she was planning a surprise party for her husband’s 30th birthday, I immediately offered to make a piñata for the very grown up and classy affair! She wanted to have a Simpsons themed party, so I created a Homer piñata of course!

Since I tend to go overboard when I play with papier-mâché, I had to keep telling myself that it didn’t have to be perfect since I was building it to be destroyed. It’s wasn’t a perfect piñata, but it was good enough to house chocolate, plastic dinosaurs, and squirt guns. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Who is the New Doctor Who?

The new Doctor was announced recently. My husband first told me about the new actor, but I didn’t see a picture of him until my friend Lindsay posted one. She posted it adjacent to an old photograph of her Grandpa Ed, and I have to admit that there is a good resemblance! 

Photo borrowed from Lindsay. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Old Disks

I despise moving because I hate going through old stuff. I usually start off strong and everything is packed and organized neatly, but then as the moving date gets closer, I just throw all the remaining items in boxes and let my future self deal with it. After I move, I realize past me is a jerk and I refuse to unpack her stuff.

This is probably why I have boxes of items that haven’t seen the light of day in years. This could also explain why I also had a stack of old floppy disks! I don’t even have a computer that can read them. I can’t even remember the last time I used one. Perhaps one day future archaeologists will unearth these disks from the landfill and find what mysteries they behold!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 4

In today's news: local woman uses newspaper to make chainsaw
I added a few more layers of papier-mâché to the exterior of my Army of Darkness cardboard chainsaw. I’m at the point where I can spend hours working on adding layers of newspaper without seeing a lot of progress. I think my husband is happy I’m working on it because he can play video games without me interrupting him while I’m sculpting!

The handle inside is thicker, but I don’t want to build too much too fast because I want to make sure everything has a chance to dry all the way. I also need to start thinking about how I’m going to make the back of the chainsaw. I didn’t cut any pieces for it yet because I wanted to get the inside done first. I should also start looking for screws and paint, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 3

Let the gluing begin!
Cutting out the cardboard pieces for my papier-mâché chainsaw wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I know I’ll need to cut out more parts later, but I wanted to get the pieces I have ready glued together before I got the chance to lose them.

Check out that powerful blade - it might cause a paper cut!
Since I needed to make sure the interior of my chainsaw is hollow and big enough to for me to put my hand inside, I doubled up the cardboard where I could to try to help maintain the shape because watery papier-mâché paste likes to make cardboard distort. I also had to worry about the chainsaw blade part warping since cardboard likes to curl, so I triple layered the thickest cardboard I could find. I also put the outer pieces back-to-back with the hopes that if they try to curl, they’ll cancel out each other.

Thank goodness for tape
... lots, and lots of tape!

I couldn’t just use glue to hold everything together, so I used tape and some straight pins. I also cut up a few wooden popsicle sticks to create the vent thingy on the side. Since I already had the craft sticks out, and I was way too lazy to search for any new supplies, I wedged 2 sticks inside for a handle to grasp. Once I got everything I had ready assembled, I added the first layer of papier-mâché. I know I’m going to have a lot more work to do, but I think I’m off to a good start!

Behold! The first layer of newspaper!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 2

To begin my homemade chainsaw project, I tried to find as many pictures as I could of the chainsaw from the movie or unaltered chainsaws so I could see what I was getting into. The chainsaws in Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness were all different, and I decided I wanted to make an Army of Darkness style one since that’s my favorite movie.

Chainsaw sketches
After my grueling research of looking up pictures of Bruce Campbell on the internet, I made preliminary sketches to see if this was a project I could handle. When I completed the sketches, I wanted to make scale drawings from 4 different angles. Unfortunately, I had a rough time trying to figure out how large to make my chainsaw prop. Perhaps my chainsaw vocabulary was lacking in my searches, so I just decided to estimate by seeing how large the chainsaw was in comparison to Bruce Campbell. Since I’m a bit shorter, I know my prop will be smaller, but that’s okay because it will be to scale for me.
Chainsaw drawings to scale

I then used my life-sized drawing to create patterns, which I traced onto cardboard. When I made the proton pack, I learned that if I had any hollow spaces they would warp and sag due to the moisture in the paste, so I did my best to avoid empty spaces this time. Instead of creating boxes, I cut out many layers to stack so everything will be solid. It took me quite awhile to cut everything out, but I think it was worth it. Gluing everything together should be a challenge!

Parts for the right side of my chainsaw
Pieces for the left side

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Army of Darkness Chainsaw 1

I don’t know what I was thinking, but for some reason I got the idea that I need a chainsaw hand like Bruce Campbell’s in Army of Darkness. Perhaps it was because friends have been asking me what the theme for Halloween will be this year. Maybe I’m a little jealous of my friends who recently went to a zombie festival this summer. It could also very well be that my Army of Darkness is now hung in my living room, and I spend too much time on the sofa.

Anyway, I decided I must have a chainsaw hand. I poked around online to see if I could just buy one, but I could only find Texas Chainsaw Massacre toys at first, which obviously weren’t good enough. Then, I found some people make their own chainsaws out of juice containers. Those looked okay for people who needed to slap together an Ash Halloween costume, but it wasn’t for me. After that, I found that there are people who buy old chainsaws and refit them to make them look screen accurate. While those chainsaw props look awesome, I know that I don’t have the money or resources to make one. I am also pretty scrawny and I don’t think I’d like to haul around a heavy chainsaw. I eventually discovered EvilDeadChainsaws.com, which is pretty amazing. There are handmade prop chainsaws available for sale, and they look great. They also cost over 500 pounds, which I obviously don’t have.

So, I decided to return to my old friend papier-mâché! I thought my husband’s papier-mâché proton pack I made was pretty snazzy, so I decided to make a chainsaw using the same medium. Why did I decide to undertake another big project? Part of it is because I love the Evil Dead movies, and part of it is just to see if can. 

What’s New in the Life of Fanboy Wife?

For the last year, my life has been so busy I just haven’t had enough free time to poke fun at my husband and the things he loves as much as I’d like. After Halloween last year, I pretty much painted nonstop when I wasn’t at work in order to beef up my portfolio so I could apply to graduate school in January.

I was ill most of the winter, which wasn’t a lot of fun. So, I spent a lot of time indoors and feeling sorry for myself. If I wasn’t at work or at the doctor’s office, I was probably at home watching Netflix.

In March, I found out I was accepted into graduate school full time to study painting! I spent a good amount of time jumping for joy considering that I was one of the 12 new students in the entire MFA program! I had to find a new place to live, pack up all of our belongings, and resign from my job.

Ash and I moved to a new town at the end of June, and we’re still not done unpacking. Ash loves the new place because it’s a basement duplex and so the entire home is a dark, dank man-cave. Since we only have 4 windows total and we’re underground, he never has to worry about glare on the TV screen while he plays video games and watches Doctor Who.

This is one of Ash's boxes I packed for him.

Unfortunately, Ash now has a very long drive to work now, so I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like. On a positive note, I now have a lot of time to myself and can once again spend more time playing on the internet!