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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oh, going back to about 2009 or so, I"ve been running these open theme discussions each year to follow my ideas for the coming year.

For those following, in my mind, I haven't really built anything since April 2013 due to job insecurity concerns.

Sure, I managed to still "make" a few things last year, but it was more of the 'what the heck CAN I do' mode than really building something I WANTED to.

Impetous for my thoughts on theme for 2015 initially came when I discovered my town has done a scarecrow contest the last 2 years. Passing the dozen or so entrants all smiling and happy, I knew I wanted to enter in 2015.

Heck, I told myself, I could just post Fred up to give contrast to those cute things. But the idea festered and stirred inside as such things are want to do.

It's impossible to think scarecrows, many of you will agree, without considering Pumpkinrot. And, frankly, I consider his Sentinels the present standard in the community. Indeed many have created their own versions.



In fact, I came VERY close to purchasing some from our own GhostTown a while back, but some unfortunate weather beat us to that transaction.

However, I don't like to build strict recreations, myself. Things need my own little personality tossed in. What did I[ see from such a creation?

Back in 2010, I drew on inspiration from an old Skull N Bones project. Sure, many know his lighting tutorial, but he created a "pumpkin creeper" that really inspired my whole turn to the bifurcated pumpkins. Unfortunately, I can't find a pic of the thing anywhere anymore.

In fact, back in 2010 I had several ideas for the Harvest theme that never really panned out. One was "the orchard", and the second was the pumpkin creepers. And, the more I thought on this, the more I wanted to go back and renew 2010 all the way through.

If you've known me long, you know I HATE it when things don't pan out, and sooner or later, I'm going to revisit those ideas down the road.

So, first on the block is those 2010 creepers. (bad pic, I know)


The last time I went looking to improve my scarecrows as well, I ended up at Magic the Gathering, and they had a scarecrow that fit right in line with this thinking as well:



Then when you look at Pumpkinrot's style, it's all dark and wonderful, and forbodeing. However, with my Chimera, I've come up with my own style that is very much more LIGHT driven.




So, now I'm challenged to take these inspirations and make not just a single scarecrow, but an entire species roaming through the yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This year, out of desperation more than inspiration, I made a much better version of "the orchard".

2010:



2014:



However, this idea could REALLY use some full on attention.

I don't know if/where I'll be able to find more "trees" this year, but I LOVE the idea of a forest. For now, the plan is to move what I DO have back to the back yard as it was in 2010. Smaller space, easier to fill. If I find more, I'd LOVE it out in front.

Project 3 comes out of necessity.

The bridge of death gets beat to hell every year.



Heavy, cumbersome, and how I LOVE those uneven edges, they got to go. Kids at the party just love to hop on those edges, breaking boards. Time to clean them up. Not as simple as it sounds, though, as this means my current means of putting the sections together becomes invalid. Some thought will have to go into how I'm going to accomplish that, but should be a better solution in the long run.

Assorted items that need a rethink:

The Corn Tunnel.



Those raven grass arches added the support to the tunnel that I needed....

Right up until that kid with the inflatable shark costume destroyed the thing. Never figured on people much taller than me heading through. In costumes they cant bend over in.

Also had a bunch of grapes (tons of balloons taped to them) come through that caused issues.

Inflatable costumes...huh...whoda thunk?

Don't know the answer right now, something to think on.
 

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Prop Master
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Those look great, ironically in my 20 years of haunting i have never built a scarecrow but was considering it this year, but your scarecrow creatures look like alot more fun to build than the same boring old scarecrow. well i have decided to steel your idea but put a more fleshy twist on it. i hope you don't mind?
 

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jester girl
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cool work unorth. I love your arch. for something with a little new twist, I think you should have a big ole pumpkin rot replacing the skelly in the last picture posted. then you should have vines from the shoulders with viney hands spread out on each side like they're going to come forward and get you. and then vines coming down from the hips with viney feet encompassing protectively the parent's baby pumpkins. and of course the pumpkins are lit up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cool work unorth. I love your arch. for something with a little new twist, I think you should have a big ole pumpkin rot replacing the skelly in the last picture posted. then you should have vines from the shoulders with viney hands spread out on each side like they're going to come forward and get you. and then vines coming down from the hips with viney feet encompassing protectively the parent's baby pumpkins. and of course the pumpkins are lit up.
Suddenly the whole idea of a pregnant evil pumpkin monster is now rattling around in my head. "Belly" made of grape vines and full of JOLs. Don't know how to logistically do it right now, just running through my head.
 

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jester girl
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maybe some chicken wire to form the belly. vines all around. a post to set the wire on camouflaged like one big vine.

or a xmas tree with pumpkins wired sitting on the branches. a large pumpkin sitting atop the tree. viney arms coming out of the tree. two pumpkins sitting under the tree that have been laced up like shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Started on a form for a lot of pumpkins to come.

Basing mostly on a design from our own GhostTown to start with.



A quick layer of plaster wrap later.



And adding some definition with Celluclay...modified a bit based off Stolloween's clay recipe.

 

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A Wee Bit Wicked
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:)Love this...what a great mold you are making! :D Think of all the pumpkins that can spring forth now...it's like a never ending pumpkin vine. Most excellent!
 

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A Wee Bit Wicked
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:) What a cool mold you ended up with...and look at the glorious pumpkins you can now make!!!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I could have smoothed out the top coat more, but I'm leaving the imperfections specifically to give some variation when I start painting/finishing. Ridges added to all the 'cuts' to give it depth. Ready to start wiring and adding a "neck".



I've been VERY pleased with my new clay so far: 5 parts celluclay, 2 parts all purpose joint compound, water to the consistency you want, flour if you get a bit too much water. I mix it up in an old busted kitchen mixer I didn't let my wife toss with the bread hooks.

The joint compound makes the celluclay a LOT easier to work with than just using it straight up. Sure, I could make my own version of celluclay, but I'm lazy.

That said, considering a major change: Using casting tape (as in broken arm casting) and Apoxie clay instead of plaster wrap and paper mache. Trying to determin if the increase in cost (of the clay, the tape is no more than plaster wrap) would be worth the added sturdiness.
 

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My choice between a "Skull' or a" Pumpkin" I have always chosen the "Skull" when making something,but I see the Pumpkin guy has good possibilities.
I had an idea many.,many years ago to make a large Jack-Lantern using concrete,possibly defeating random" Jack" vandals who like to carry them off,throw down on the street ,to see them smash (From the back of a pick-up truck?)
"Happy Hernias!"

I do believe many of us do our absolutely best and most creative "WORK", when we have less $$, rather than enough $$. I know i sure seem to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do believe many of us do our absolutely best and most creative "WORK", when we have less $$, rather than enough $$. I know i sure seem to.
Torn on this one. After selling my coffins, I actually MADE money on my decorating last year. I spent under $30, and was rather...wouldn't say unhappy, but rather unsatisfied with the end result. Thing is, I HAD money to spend, but with my employment situation last year DIDN'T in case "the worst" situation happened. While I had to dip into that emergency fund to pay for the party last year (normally that's out of a separate budget), I ended up making everything back and a bit more once I sold the coffins (part of the reason building coffins at all last year).

So, this year, back to work, I started with the biggest budget I've ever had. SERIOUSLY considered diving into animated skull territory as a result. I can see myself REALLY enjoying those, but they are kind of my 'retirement' plan for when my kids move out or I get too old and I can't do the full walkthrough anymore. "Just" a small detailed display with animated programs. I instead went out and bought a new camera (more on that when I start needing 'serious' pics) with the surplus budget, and am focusing on sculpting. I know with personal crap going on this year, having the sculpting outlet has sure helped my mood, something missing from last year.

So, tons of money leads one to 'just buy it' thoughts, yes. Less money leads one to find creative answers, yes. NO money is just frustrating as all hell.
 
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