Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Anniversary... to me!

Just wanted to share with everyone a video I made for our wedding ceremony last year! I figured out how to combine some of our favorites, Walt Disney, Alice and Wonderland, and pictures of us into a video that was shown to our guests a year ago on a very special day! Hoping my wife can also see this since she is in a state away visiting family! :) Figured I'd make her and her family sob happy tears as everyone did a year ago! Hehe! Love you, Veronica!! :)

OK that's enough sappy stuff for now! Off to make some more memories and new projects in the upcoming year! ;) Still lagging on posting the video from Halloween.. I will get there eventually! Promise! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Old Hag comes to life!

It's been a slow start to the October season! :<( Delusions of grandeur pretty much from November first last year and I didn't get as much done as I wanted thus far. Thirty days left. 30 days. Doh! Need to fine tune the stroke of the linkage to have a little more movement in the hand, but it is at least moving at this point!

Figured I will put in work on this and the Magic Mirror and just detail the rest to look good instead of quanity over quality! Really wish I could have enclosed the porch in with a facade, but that just means I can try it again next year!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Magic mirror next to the wall.. who is the fairest of them all?!

Made some progress on the mirror! So much left to do! :<( Already started scaling back due to time and money. I still want to enclose the porch, but that may be a pipe dream at this point. I am going to animate the witch using the motor from my cheshire cat, so at least between the two I will have two functioning props! 

I still need to rig up lighting for this prop before I take any more videos! I really need to get on playing with synching the light up with the mouth to make the mirror fade in sync! 

Another thing I started is my Store! Hopefully want to figure out something I can produce and make a nice product that people will enjoy and I make some money back considering cost of goods and my time! We shall see how motivated I am keeping it stocked with stuff year round. I think after Halloween I am going to devote time to the shop and maybe next year I will be financially better to build some more items and expand my base of what I can do! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Magic Mirror Progress!

Ended up making a stand for the mirror to get it off my craft area! This isn't screen accurate, but hopefully I will be the only one to notice! Haha! 

Stand is made up of 2X4's and only cost about $16 to make. It doesn't get better than that! 

I was worried about not being able to lay out the curve of the mirror correctly, but a simple solution revealed itself using a stack of printer paper and some tape! I just taped paper together and rubbed my finger over the edges and it made a sharp crease and I just followed the crease and cut out the template with some scissors! I used the template to make the arch below and then free handed the snake design onto the wood. I was proud of myself because I usually will use Illustrator/Photoshop to make an outline and scale it to full size, so when I print it I can trace it onto plywood accurately. I rely on the computer way too much sometimes and I hadn't had time to draw it up on the computer and print it, so I just winged it. Didn't come out all that bad. Crown was made using a compass and a ruler. 

I purchased some fancy chauvel (sp) mirror hinges, so the mirror will be able to tilt on the stand if I need to control the lighting some what better. Once the mirror is all decorated, I will need to work on the guts of the project. The mouth is being driven by a scary terry servo, so it opens the jaw up when it hears sound and it returns to close when there isn't any sound present! I am going to try and use a scary terry servo for the lighting as well, so the mirror will illuminate inside a few seconds before the mirror speaks and a couple of seconds after it stops! That way the inside light isn't blinking on and off!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Craft Room!


Been lagging on the blogging part, but only because I have been busy updating our craft room! My wife has been selling her hair bows at a fairly frantic pace and has been wanting a larger work area, so I found some pictures I liked and decided to craft my own! The table and bookshelves were made entirely out of wood sourced from LOWES. I normally go to a lumber yard for projects, but I wanted to make this some what inexpensive. Making the furniture out of oak or popular was out of my price range! I am happy with how everything turned out and she enjoys it more than her small table pictured on the top right!

Finally got my old VW running, so I could get more material! Between about two Disneyland trips, working on the VW and putting a new tire on my motorcycle I've been lagging on my Halloween projects! :( 

Both shelves have casters on the bottom, so we can wheel the shelves around. At first I thought it looked neat, but they have also come in handy! The small desk has been gifted to my sister in law and now both book shelves are placed against the wall on each side of the window! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Two way mirror!

Spent the better part of an afternoon making a box for my Magic Mirror Mask, cutting an oval shape to make it look as it were really oval, and making the two way mirror! Still a ton of playing around and detailing left, but at least I have the overall base finished.

The two way mirror was accomplished by using a privacy window film from Gila. Essentially, if it is lighter on the outside the film acts like a mirror and will show a reflection and as soon as there is more light on the inside of the box it will expose the talking mask!

The film was straight forward to use, but I will caution on cleaning the glass VERY VERY well. I had a few particles stuck under the film and they did squeegee out, but in the process it scored the film. Ah
well. It adds the the overall look.. haha.

Still going to play around with the lighting a ton to get a clean effect! I am using a scary terry servo board to make the mouth sync to the sound from my ipod. I may use the right and left channels to control sound and lighting.. Have the right channel for the mouth movement and use the left channel to turn the lights on as soon as the mask starts talking and off once he stops.. Will be a lot of editing in audacity, but should add to the overall effect!

Sorry about all the noise in the background! My Wife was ten feet away working on bows and the sound was picked up by the camera! Haha!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Magic Mirror on the wall...

I'm so thankful that when I have extra money I go nuts and by surplus parts! I forgot I had ordered an extra servo/guts for my talking skeletons and I happened to find it while looking for paint in my coffin supply cabinet. It got me wondering if I could make the Magic Mirror out of wood and use the servo to make the mouth go up and down just like the skulls! I still need some fine tuning, but it works! I want to build a full size stand up mirror that is designed like the Disney mirror complete with two way glass, so it will show a normal reflection and light up showing the mask underneath when I want it to! I am even thinking of using a wiper motor to rock the head from side to side to give it some added depth! We shall see!

Finally finished up the old hag as well! I started playing with some lighting and placement of some of the props I've already made. I really want to nail the dungeon labratory scene on my porch, so hopefully I can enclose it to control the lighting! If I have extra time/money I am going to re cut the Hag out, so her arm can pivot up and down while dipping the apple into the cauldron I've already made!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some rough sketches!

Here are some sketches for some of the props I am going to make for Halloween! Decided to put an effort this year into being somewhat organized and having an idea planned out before I decide to make a ton of stuff! 

This is the facade I want to make happen this year. I have a porch which will have the 3 Gothic arch windows that are going to  enclose the front of the porch. The castle bricked section above is going to hide the roof line. The steeple may just be plywood that hinges up and stays in place with a faux window. I'm planning on having the witches cauldron/laboratory set up in the enclosed area of the porch, so when you walk up the steps and look to the left you will see her dipping a poison apple up and down into the cauldron.

Not sure where I want the placement of this to go, but time/money permitting I really want this prop to happen. I want to use a scary terry audio board to drive a servo that will make the magic mirror talk. I can use either clips from the film at random, or hook it up to a microphone and entertain trick or treaters. The mirror would be a 2-way mirror, so it will show the reflection of the trick or treaters until it is lit from the back and the mask will appear. I believe the servo also will activate a light while speaking, so it should work perfect. I may end up putting this in front of my door on the porch at the top of the steps because it seems to be the only logical place for it.

The Scary Trees I was thinking of cutting out of plywood and having them off to the right side of the house blocking the rest of the house in between the porch and the Mine Shaft for the Dwarves! I want to cut out the eyes and put concave bowls behind them to make them look like they are appearing at you from all angles! Saw this on one of Dave Lowe's tutorials and it is also a trick the Haunted Mansion uses on their busts.

My carport will be the Mine Shaft and the slots in between the boarded up planks you will be able to appear in and see the Seven Dwarves mining! I will also make them out of plywood and animate a few of them using wiper motors. 

Concept of a mine cart. Not screen accurate, but this was just getting the juices flowing.

Another prop I want to make to set out on the sidewalk. A full size wishing well that uses a two way mirror, so the evil hag appears in the bottom and you can hear her evil laugh! I want you to be able to hear Snow White singing into the well and hearing her voice echo much like the film and then have red or green lights appear with the hags evil laugh and you see her on the bottom. May try and combine an endless well type prop with a scare. I really want to make this one happen as well.

Final painting of my Facade sign. Went over the letters in black and repainted it with the granite spray paint to better blend it! 

I also want to make the Evil Queen peering out of the curtains just like the steeple at Disneyland has, but I may put that in the bay windows near my kitchen. I haven't drawn that up yet, but I have my hands full with everything I've come up with thus far! Now I just need some supplies! Haha!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bridal Shower setup!

Realized I forgot to post some pictures of our Alice in Wonderland bridal shower! It has been a Draft since I thought I posted the darn thing! Haha! Better late than never!