Monday, October 22, 2007

My Halloween Tree


I decided to turn my embarassingly dorky Easter tree into a really cool Halloween tree, and what you see above was the first stage of my desecration, which was painting the bright-green trunk black. No, that's not right, because painting the trunk was actually the second stage, as I'd already torn off all the bows and flowers back in September. I just forgot to take pictures of that!

Now, I don't know if "really cool" is the best way to describe my painstakingly handcrafted Halloween Tree, but it sure was fun, and now I get to show it off.

And here it is! As you can see, I painted the tree's leaves orange, and I made away with the bunny base, replacing it with a base made of green Sculpey. In case you don't know, Sculpey is a bakeable clay. You squish it up, mold it into whatever shape your li'l heart desires, and then you bake it and it turns rock hard. All of the ornaments and figurines I made from Sculpey, and this was my first time ever using Sculpey, so it was a lot of fun. In terms of size, the tree stands, from base to tip, approximately 13.5 inches. The tombstone under the tree stands under 2 inches, the tallest witch is just under 3.5 inches, bats are about 1.75 inches, skulls are under 1.25 inches, the biggest pumpkin is 1 inch tall, and the littlest pumpkin is just a half-inch!

And here's another (bad) full shot of the tree. Stupid low batteries.

Here's a closeup of the witches, and you can see the cat sitting on the big pumpkin. All of the figurines are unattached to the base, so I can move them around. I wanted to give the witches three different looks, suggesting different personalities. The witch on the left has one of the points on the hem of her dress glued on because I accidentally broke it off--I'll paint over that wee boo-boo at some point. I drew the faces and hair on the witches with fine-tip markers--same thing for the tombstone. Originally, I was going to put my own name on the tombstone, but I figured that would be a little too creepy, so I just put 2007 on it.

A closeup to show a bat, a skull, and a pumpkin. Like the witches and tombstone, the skull and pumpkin ornaments were detailed with a fine-tip marker; the bat's eyes were done with a tiny dabs of red paint, and a dot with a marker for the pupils. I couldn't find little ornament hooks at the craft store, so I used metal jewelry fasteners, the kind that screw together with loops at either end to attach to the string. I just unscrewed the two halves of each fastener, which gave me two miniature ornament hooks. The skulls and the bats were really hard to make. Molding a skull so that it looks relatively like a skull was a pain in the neck, but it was worth it! I wish you could see all of the teeny-weeny teeth I drew on the skulls--the camera does no justice to the amount of detail I put into these things in this picture--but trust me, the teeth are there.

You can see one of the bat's better here. Yes, they look somewhat like black pears with ears, but you get the idea! Hey, at least I carved little bat-like nostrils into their snouts! It was near impossible to make the bat wings out of Sculpey, so I gave up on that idea and made them from black card stock, and I used a white coloured pencil to draw in the lines. Unfortunately, you can see the glue that squished out around the bat--I've never quite mastered the art of the glue gun, but I'm sure there's some way around the gloppiness. I'll fix it or something.

Oh, here's some skull teeth! Look at how small they are! Hee!

And here's a better one of the black cat.

Finally, here's the black cat from behind. I'm so glad his tail turned out right!

And there you have it. I had actually finished most of the tree about two weeks ago--all I had left to do was make the bats' wings, but then I got lazy, so I didn't finish it until yesterday. I thought about making 3 little crows to put in the tree--I love crows!--and maybe an owl to perch right at the very top, but I like it as is for now. I tried to keep it simple because I wanted it to look as if those three little witches had decorated the tree themselves with things they happened to have lying around! The only other thing I'd consider putting on the tree is ghosts, so I might make a few this weekend. Notice how I tried to keep everything in threes--I liked the idea of three witches, and three sets of three types of ornaments! How witchy of me!

I might try to get a nicer full shot of the tree that will give you a better sense of what it looks like sitting on my kitchen table. I'd invite you all over to have a really good slack-jawed gander at it, but in this glorious modern age of technology, who has time for real-life experience anymore?

I'm quite impressed with myself, I must say. It's amazing at what you can come up with using only your imagination and a bunch of Sculpey!

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