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1  Read All Over - Dictionary Dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by redidin on: January 18, 2012 03:02:38 PM
(Edited so that images link to high-res versions.)

I built this dress in a feverish sprint in Spring of 2010, inspired by several preceding days of Project: Rooftop marathons and blistering anxiety over my first (and only) stint modeling for the local contingent of Dr. Sketchys Anti-Art School. Its made of a strapless bra, a bit of muslin, an old shirt (reconstructed into a waist cincher), and roughly A-through-mid-C of an obsolete dictionary; plus a handful of notions.

The hardest part by far was the top. I dont own a dressform, so I had to sculpt and hand-tack everything to the strapless bra while I was wearing it.

(Photos by Jez Miller)
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2  Re: Clockwork Girl in Halloween Costumes by redidin on: November 01, 2010 10:30:51 PM
Tutorial! My process photos came out terribly, but I'll try to make the text super clear to compensate...


NOTE: These are for the SFX only--so, IN ADDITION to any other character or finishing make-up you'll be wearing. For the full look you saw in the first post, you'll also need white finishing powder, one lid's worth of false eyelashes, black powder eyeshadow (used as liner), black mascara, blush, eye make-up base, lip liner, lipstick, and a black sharpie (for the arm joints).

From the drugstore:
Paintbrushes or make-up brushes. I used crappy paintbrushes. You need soft bristles, some flat tips, some super-fine. I didn't use any brushes wider than about 1/4"
Wedge sponges. Cut some of 'em in thirds or half lengthwise.
Brown or gray eyeshadow. I'm using Willow Brown, from Aromaleigh.

From the craft store:
A sculpting knife. This one is from a sculpey-brand set. It is not as smooth as it should be. The first time I did this--the pictures from the OP--I used a non-serrated butter knife, which worked okay but was awfully unwieldy.

From the costume shop:
Greasepaint. Mine, as you can see, is white and bronze. You may want to use different colors depending on the effect you're going for. For purposes of this tutorial, white will be for the "skin," bronze, for what's showing through the cracks.
Derma Wax (Morticians' Wax)
Optional: Liquid latex. I used this to attach bits of gears at the seams of some of the cracks, which you won't see in this tutorial. You could also use it to make the seams look crisper, were you so inclined.


 Derma wax is flexible. If you're putting it on parts of your skin that move and wrinkle--i.e. your cheeks and forehead--it will bend and crack a bit. That's okay--we're actually going to use eyeshadow to extend those into hairline cracks, and it'll look very cool and creepy.

Derma wax is also STICKY. Wash your hands and tools frequently; the more you have stuck to them, the harder it'll be to work with.

1. Wash your face. If you have oily skin, use toner.

2. Apply any eye make-up--not including eyebrows--that you will be wearing. You generally need to brace lightly on your face to do this--which you will not want to do once it's covered with wax and paint.

3. Scoop out a large pea-sized blob of derma wax.

4. Roll it into a narrow snake, roughly the length of the first crack you will be building.

5. Stick the wax on your face and use the blunt end of your sculpting knife to scrape down the outside edge ONLY and smush it into your face. Note the scoopy little lines--we'll take care of those shortly. The wax will probably warp a little from its original shape at this point. That's okay--it'll look more gnarly and organic.

6. Blend. Smooth the outside edge into your skin until you have a very, very smooth gradation. The goal is to make it look like the edge of your skin has cracked and peeled up slightly--not that you have a raised ridge on it. You'll want to alternate blending the edge and gently pressing down on the top.

7. If desired / necessary, trim and press the inside edge to make it crisper. You can only get derma wax edges so crisp; it's better for scars than cracks. But it'll do. PRESS the knife; don't drag it, or you'll pull off the wax. (No photo.)

8. Repeat steps 1-7 with the other side of the crack. It's okay if the edges don't quite meet; you'll be extending the crack with eye shadow or paint later. But get 'em close. If this is far to the side of your face or along your jawline, you'll likely need either a folding mirror or a friend with steady hands to help you blend the far edge. Do any reshaping or touch-ups you need, and make sure everything is securely attached. (Photo is from before I blended the second edge.)

Here's my face with the finished, unpainted cracks. There are three total: the third is on the far outside of my left cheek--you can just see the edge. NOTE: If you're going to have a scar overlap with an eyebrow, first use derma wax to seal down any parts of your eyebrow the crack will go over.

9. Okay, we're done with the Derma Wax. Close it up, and get out your bronze greasepaint and two brushes, one flat and one narrow and pointed. Put a dollop of greasepaint on the back of your non-dominant hand and mush it around a bit to soften it and get it warm. (No photo.)

10. Starting at the middle, use your flat brush to fill in most of each crack with bronze. You'll want to put it on pretty thickly--enough that it looks like a flat metallic surface. Don't worry about getting it to the edges; we'll take care of that next.

11. Switch to your fine brush and extend the bronze to just beneath the edges of the derma wax. It's okay if you get a little on the wax--you'll be covering it up with white (unless you're going for torn skin, in which case you can leave it pink). Again, you may need a friend to help you with any bits you can't see clearly, although you can also do this by feel.

NOTE: If you were doing torn flesh rather than cracked porcelain, you could be much messier with this. But cracks need crisp edges, so, sucks to be you.

12. Once the cracks are all filled in, wash your hands, and get yourself a dollop of white greasepaint. As before, smush it around and let it warm up. (No photo.)

13. Starting about half an inch outside the cracks, use a sponge to blend the white greasepaint up on to the cracks, then gently blend in. Be GENTLE with the wax--you can press, but don't smear too hard, or you'll pull it off.

14. Fill in any missed spots and go over the inside edges of the wax with your fine-tipped brush. (No picture)

15. Use a sponge to apply white greasepaint to the rest of your face, neck, chest, and ears, and blend it into the white at the edges of the cracks. I use a thin layer of greasepaint for most of my skin; it's thicker near the cracks, which accentuates the creepy cracked-porcelain effect. (No photo; refer to OP.)

16. Add blush. Set with white powder. Add lipstick, eyebrows, and any other character make-up. (No photo; refer to OP.)

17. Using your fine brush, use the brown or gray eyeshadow to draw hairline cracks extending from the ends of and any other gaps in your larger cracks. (No photo; refer to OP.)

18. Apply greasepaint to your arms, hands, and any other exposed skin, and let it dry. Blend WELL. (No photo; refer to OP.)

19. Get dressed. (No photo; refer to OP, or, better yet, design your own creepy doll costume.)

20. Get a patient friend to draw your elbow joints (and wind-up keyhole, if desired; mine was on the back of my neck, and thus not pictured) with a sharpie. Don't bend your arms for a minute or two after, or they'll smear. (No photo; refer to OP.)
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3  Clockwork Girl (now with make-up tutorial) in Halloween Costumes by redidin on: October 25, 2010 03:21:12 PM
EDITED: I've added a tutorial for the cracked-porcelain make-up on the second page. Fun times!

(This costume is modified from one I created earlier this year; you can see the original version and details of the dress and bloomers in this thread.)

Close-up of makeup. This was my first time using derma wax, and I couldn't get the edges as crisp as I wanted, so the final effect was more torn skin than the cracked porcelain I had intended.

The other (more elaborate) side.

The whole costume. Joints were drawn on with sharpie; make-up SFX are derma wax and greasepaint; dress and bloomers recon'd from a Gunne Sax wedding dress and a bunch of antique handkerchiefs and buttons:

Label. Spencerian script FTW!
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4  My Little Saturn V in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by redidin on: June 29, 2010 10:13:07 AM
My first My Little Pony recon, for a group gallery show. She's modeled after a Saturn V rocket; piping and fins are epoxy, paint is spray enamel (white) and acrylic (black and grey). Painting crisp straight lines on a My Little Pony body was an exercise in intense frustration. The curves and material made masking almost useless, so I had to go back and do all the edges freehand.

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5  The Question in Costumes: Completed Projects by redidin on: June 29, 2010 10:05:30 AM
The new Question. I based the costume on Cully Hamner's designs; really, the suit should be blue, but I couldn't find a jacket in the right color and didn't have time to make one from scratch, so I went with a black suit and blue shirt instead.

The fedora was white straw; I painted and re-banded it.

The hardest part hands-down was the mask. I built a wire frame--similar to what's described here--and covered it with nylon (cheesecloth would probably have been easier to work with and sat more smoothly, but I went through about half a bolt between unsuccessful dye attempts). I could *sort of* see through it--light and dark contrast, mostly, which meant I had to fit it by taking photos with my webcam because I couldn't see *anything* in the mirror.

Spot the meta:

A clearer view of the mask structure:
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6  Rainbow-In-the-Sky cake in Dessert by redidin on: June 29, 2010 09:44:30 AM
Made this for my mother-in-law's birthday--she loves bright colors in general, and rainbows in particular.

Outside, blue sky...

And inside, rainbow!

For the rainbow, I followed omnomicon's tutorial (but made the batter from scratch).
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7  The Amazing Wind-Up Girl in Costumes: Completed Projects by redidin on: June 28, 2010 09:21:26 AM
First posted this in recons, then realized I should've stuck it here instead. Apologies for the double...

This was a costume from a mid-year "Halloween" party. I cut up a fabulous old Gunne Sax wedding dress, then rebuilt it--and a pair of matching bloomers using a ton of scrap fabric and antique handkerchiefs and buttons. The joints and wind-up keyhole (not pictured) are sharpie, courtesy of The Spouse.

In action, with make-up. Unfortunately, I don't have a full-body shot; the dress is just below knee-length, and the bloomers fall to mid-calf; under them, I was wearing harlequin tights and black mary janes. Everything looks much pinker in this photo; something about the lighting.

Bodice detail. The quilting took forever, but it was totally worth it. The buttons don't actually perform any structural function, but they do all attach properly, with hand-made loops.

Bloomer Cuff #1. I left both of these very ragged, on purpose. Unlike the bodice, the bloomers actually have functional buttons.

Bloomer Cuff #2.

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8  The Amazing Wind-Up Girl (Now With Details) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by redidin on: May 30, 2010 01:37:19 AM
ETA: Posted a more complex Halloween version of this costume here.

A recent recon, made from the remains of a vintage Gunne Sax wedding dress, t-shirt scraps, and a small army's worth of antique handkerchiefs and buttons. (Edited to add detail shots of the bodice and bloomers; still need to come up with a photo of the whole outfit in action.)


Bloomer Cuff:

Other Bloomer Cuff:
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9  Clockwork... in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by redidin on: March 02, 2009 02:44:46 PM
I've been playing with clock bits lately, trying to get away from the gears-glued-together look I keep seeing in "steampunk" jewelry, and towards a more arcane aesthetic. Here are the initial results; respectively, a pin, a pendant, and a pair of asymmetrical earrings...

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10  Tangly Tiaras in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by redidin on: September 12, 2008 10:52:22 AM
I made this a few years ago for a friend and just unearthed the picture. It's made with 18, 22, and 28 gauge copper wire and beads mostly salvaged from vintage jewelry--glass, jade, carnelian, amethyst, pearl, garnet, and others I'm likely forgetting.

Another style of tiara, which I made for this tutorial in Cerise Magazine (modeled by a very patient friend and her curly blonde wig):

More styles and designs as I get around to unearthing and taking pictures, assuming people are interested...

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