Ever since I first started crocheting, I’ve wanted to do a recreation of actress Jayne Mansfield’s death (because after all, horrific crime scenes are only a natural progression from granny squares). So when I recently received a commission request with that very scenario as a possibility, I jumped at the chance to complete my morbid goal.
If you aren’t aware of the gory details and would like to apprise yourself of the situation, watch this informative but graphic video:
The details of the death as most people know it were sensationally chronicled in director/writer Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon, accompanied by some rather gruesome — some would say staged — photos.
Having only these and other grainily suspect photos to go on (a seemingly frequent occurrence for Croshame pieces), I decided I would probably have to make the majority of the exquisite corpus delicti up, based on the available research and information.
Below is the tragedy that followed.
According to popular myth, Jayne was fully decapitated — but not true, sayeth the coroner’s report. Cranial avulsion does not a decapitation make!
Jayne was not only traveling with a driver, her lawyer-boyfriend, and her three children, but also with four (that’s right, four — two of them allegedly unpaid for) chihuahuas in the car, two of which perished in the accident. I made the one featured in this photo from Hollywood Babylon.
According to the existing photos, there were two very large (unopened?) bottles of alcohol in the car, as well various other detritus spilled around the scene of the crime. The devil, as they say, is in the details.
Question: What you get the entomology student who has everything?
Answer: A Croshame figure of the creature from the 1958 version of The Fly!
Knowing that this commissioned piece was going to a movie-loving bug enthusiast (a friend of a friend), I wanted to make it somewhat accurate in the insect’s details while simultaneously capturing the weird cheesiness of the film’s main character.
The creature’s head only shows up for about 3 minutes during the entire film (if that), so getting a clear picture of what he really looked like was tough. I kind of made it a cross between the original Fly and the one from its 1959 sequel, Return of the Fly. (Move along, Cronenberg; you’re not needed here.)
His head (which was VERY difficult to photograph accurately, by the way) was made of a crazy, fuzzy-bumpy novelty yarn I bought ages ago on a trip to Portland, OR.
The facial features were made from a pipe cleaner wrapped with eyelash yarn and needle-felted “mouth” details. (Check out those maxillary palps!)
The creature in the film has one normal human hand and one deformed, hairy fly claw — which, again, I needle-felted with love.
Naturally I had to include the blanket that the good doctor drapes over his face whenever dear ol’ wifey comes traipsing through his household laboratory. And the handy pocket on his lab coat is perfect for concealing that hideous fly-claw!
After all that hard scientific work, I’d say the experiment was a rousing success!*
*Unless you count that whole grisly “assisted suicide via crushing with a mechanical press” part of the movie. Then probably not so much.
Baphomet was a symbolic representation of a deity supposedly worshipped by the secretive order of the Knights Templar during the 11th century, and more recently adopted by the Church of Satan in their religious iconography. When I received a commission for a “cutesy-fied” crocheted Baphomet figure, I knew I’d seen other “Baby-Baph” type plushies by various artists before and wanted mine to be different than the others with some added Croshame flair and detail.
So based off of this 1856 illustration from Eliphas Levi…
It was then I set about conjuring my tiny being into this world. After donning a fetching black robe, playing around with a bit of yarn, and ending with a loud “Shemhamforash!”, there came forth from my hands the new horned God I dubbed
His arms, pointing both towards the sky and the ground, read “Solve” and “Coagula” (needle-felted into the crochet).
This literally translates into “dissolve” and “create,” but is also interpreted to signify the path of all knowledge:
“As above, so below.”
From his head, between the horns of virility, emerges a flaming torch (crafted from tufted yarn strands) — the magical light of universal equilibrium, natch.
Baphomet’s wings represent the flight of the liberated soul. (Of course you already gathered that from the hand-sewn felt, yes?)
Baphomet, ever the amazing androgyne, bears both crocheted female breasts and a needle-felted phallus, shown as a wingless caduceus representing eternal life.
His hoofed goat legs have wire inside so he can sit, cross-legged, or stand — as ritual dictates.
Baphomet is the light bearer clothed in the disguise of evil.
Evil and unbelievable cuteness!
I’m proud to introduce two new members of my Croshame family, each accompanied by their own irritating Christmas poem!
One reindeer too many. Oh, what to do?
Bring him round back and grab the shotgun, too.
Instead let’s stuff and mount him, our little Braindeer.
But they’ll be no visions of sugarplums for this guy tonight.
Over the mantle with care, in silence he’ll hang
Keeping watch over Christmas and bringing in 2014 with a bang.
(AVAILABLE AT THE ETSY STORE HERE)
When a flock of wild fowl went after his eyes.
and tore his orbs out, each one plucked from its socket.
and his eyeholes, they glistened like cranberry jelly.
Goodwill towards man is NOT for the birds.
(AVAILABLE IN THE ETSY STORE HERE)
Looking for the perfect way to avoid that big-box shopper stampede while giving a unique gift and supporting handmade art? Well, just in time for this year’s Christmas consumerism feeding frenzy, the Croshame Etsy store is being stocked for the holidays!
Most of the Croshame “classics” are either presently in stock or can be custom ordered and made especially for you and yours this season! I’m currently working on a couple of new Christmas-themed pieces that I will unveil shortly, as well as preparing to set up a week-long holiday sale closer to December.
I’m also accepting commissions this year, but keep in mind that special order requests can take some time to complete, so please try to get your orders in early to ensure they arrive in time for your particular celebratory occasion. Thanks everyone!
(Click the sassy new banner above to visit the store!)
The Etsy store has been reopened. Please feel free to purchase items to your heart’s content! (Click image below to get to shop listings)
I’m also considering customers’ commissions once again; for details please see the “Commissions and Sales” page here: http://croshame.com/sales-and-commissions/
Bonjour, mes amis! This is the luckiest day of the rest of your life, because you get to meet two entertaining guys who are always sure-fire crowd pleasers. Straight from 18th century France…
…it’s Gilly the Guillotine and his BFF, Henri the Executioner!
These two are simply inseparable.
Although he takes his job very seriously, Gilly can be a hysterical cut-up with his razor-sharp wit and ribald (sometimes offensive) humor.
Before getting his executioner’s degree, Henri worked as a foot-corn harvester and briefly as an au pair.
Beheadings and near-decapitations are only part of the fun Gilly and Henri have together. Their favorite BFF pastimes include jokes, farting, fart jokes, berry-picking and imagining what clouds look like.
One thing’s for sure: capital punishment has never been so lovable.
Awwww’f with their heads!
Although I’m an ardent cinema lover, I can be a pretty stubborn little mule when it comes to watching certain movies. I generally try to steer clear of most westerns, serial killer movies directed by Ulli Lommel, and just about anything with Vin Diesel in it. And for about 20 years, I avoided the Quentin Tarantino movie Pulp Fiction, telling people, “The only way I’ll watch that film is if someone pays me.”
Well, someone finally paid me.
I was recently commissioned to recreate Uma Thurman’s character Mia Wallace, specifically from the scene in which she’s revived from an accidental heroin overdose with a giant shot of adrenaline.
So, yes, I finally caved in and saw the damn thing. And no, it wasn’t so bad (particularly whilst reassuring myself it was only for research). After watching, pausing, and re-watching Uma Thurman being impaled with a syringe by a doughy, greasy-haired John Travolta, I came up with the following figure…
More photos of “A-Mia-gurumi” can be found at my Flickr page here.
Getting into a scary-looking costume, wearing massive amounts of theatrical makeup, smearing blood all over yourself and scaring the living shit out of people is a damn good time indeed. It’s also what I call a Tuesday. But because Halloween is (possibly) the one day of the year that I can step outside and be myself knowing I won’t be harassed or have trash thrown at me, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the old girl.
So what better way to commemorate the festival of Samhain than to give all my readers a free pattern in celebration of that most wonderful time of the year? Yes, yes, there’s always the oh-so-spooky neo-tradition of donning a skin-tight “sexy” maid or cat outfit and drunkenly vomiting in public… but we all know an Antigurumi crochet pattern is much more satisfactory, right? Uhh… right?
Putting the “fun” back in “funeral” and the “me” back in cemetery, I present to you…
©2012 Shove Mink / Photos: Chuck McNary
*Feel free to make these as decorations, costume embellishments, or as gifts to friends — but please, please, please!! For the love of all that’s hallowed, do not sell or distribute this pattern or sell finished products made from the pattern. (I swear it will haunt you to the grave — the real, final, stone one.)
- Size “F” (3.75mm) crochet hook
- Worsted weight yarn in light grey, brown, green, and off-white
- Felt in dark grey
- Fabric glue
- Sharp scissors
- Tapestry or yarn needle
- Tracing paper and pencil
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
rnd – round
rs – right side
sc – single crochet
st – stitch
ws – wrong side
yo – yarn over
Popcorn (Pop): Make 3 dc in the same st. Drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back into first dc made, pull loop through and ch 1.
Reverse Popcorn (RevPop): Make 3 dc in same stitch, drop loop from hook, insert hook from back to front into first dc made, pull loop through and ch 1.
Loop stitch (Loop st): Insert hook into st and form a loop of yarn around your finger. Moving over the front and around the back of nearest facing side of the loop, grab the farthest facing side of loop with your hook and pull through st (2 loops on hook), yo and pull through both. (Confused much? The effervescent June Gilbank of Planet June has an excellent loop stitch video tutorial available here, which is much easier to understand than written directions.)
TOMBSTONE (make 2)
With light grey:
On one of the tombstones, leave about a foot-long tail before chaining.
Row 1. Sc into 2nd ch from hook and continue to end – 10
Rows 2-12. Ch 1, turn, sc 10 across
Rows 13-14. Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), turn. hdc 1, dc 2, tr 2, dc 2, hdc 2.
Bind off and weave in all ends EXCEPT the foot-long beginning tail. Holding both parts of tombstone together, use beginning tail to sew together along sides and top, leaving bottom open.
Trace tombstone shape (along the interior of seam) onto cardboard, cut out and place inside tombstone opening.
Cut out the letters “RIP” from dark grey felt and glue to front of tombstone.
DIRT AND LAWN
Row 1 (rs). Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next, pop, dc 3, pop, dc 3.
Row 2. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn, RevPop, dc 3, RevPop, dc 3, RevPop, dc in top of turning ch.
Row 3. Ch 3, turn, dc 2, pop, dc 3. pop, dc 3.
Rows 4-9. Repeat rows 2 and 3.
Do not bind off.
Attach green yarn with rs facing up and towards you.
Row 7. Ch 1, but do NOT turn. Sc 1 in each st around both sides and top, making 3 sc in each corner.
Row 8 (ws). Ch 1, turn, and loop st around, making 3 loop st in each corner.
Row 9. Ch 1 and turn. Holding loops down, sc around, making 3 sc in each corner.
Rows 10-11. Repeat rows 8 and 9.
Bind off, weaving in ends of green yarn and leaving tail of brown yarn.
Take brown tail and sew tombstone bottom (through both sides) against the open end of dirt.
Snip loops and trim to give the lawn a grassier look.
Sc 6 in magic ring (or ch 2, sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook).
Rnds 1-10. sc 6
Stuff and bind off, leaving tail.
Attach off-white yarn to round 1 of arm, then:
[Ch 5, turn, sc 4, sl st in next st] 3 times, then sl st in st below on rnd 2, sl st in next st, ch 4, turn, sc 3, sl st in next st.
Bind off and weave in ends.
Take arm tail and attach open end to the middle upper side of the dirt.
To build a teeny yarn cemetery, make multiple graves and sew them together along the sides with green yarn.
If you need additional angles for reference, more Graveyarn photos can be found at my Flickr page here.
Don’t forget to keep the holiday safe! Go out at night in pairs. Keep away from gang colors. Don’t buy masks from the Silver Shamrock Novelties Company. And make sure to take those razor blades out of the Snickers bars BEFORE giving them to trick-or-treaters.
And above all… have a HAPPY, JOYOUS HALLOWEEN!
I know I will.
(Also known as “Horses Shoot Horse, Don’t They?”)
A couple of months ago I received a commission from a guy asking to have his adorable Pomeranian, named Thundercleese, made into an amigurumi interpretation of a little metalhead.
He said their favorite metal band was Pentagram, so I got to work on some sketches, bought some novelty yarn, and ended up making this little guy.
The fur was made from Patons Divine, then brushed out with a metal comb.
Behind that adorable smile lurks the soul of a real hellraiser!
Yes, even fuzzballs can be tough.
Boys are made out of puppy dog tails, aren’t they?
The teeny tiny Pentagram patch was made from with an iron-on transfer on black felt, then sewn on the sleeveless, crusty denim jacket.
I loved making Thundercleese, and thankfully I had a great source of inspiration sitting right next to me during the whole process…
because after all, I’m a pentagram-loving Pomeranian owner myself.
I think I speak from experience when I say twisted minds sometimes have too much time on their hands… especially if those hands happen to be attached to the arms of a Slayer fan. (NSFW video evidence here!)
Well, you know what they say… if thine arm offends thee, slice it off.
Uhhh… don’t worry dude, I’m pretty sure it’ll grow back!
This once-menacing hand gesture of “HAIL SATAN” has been unfortunately morphed into the ultra lame, mom-like “YAY! THIS ROCKS!” over recent years.
Needle felted arm carving? Those crazy kids! What’ll they think up next?
DAMN! My favorite bracelet! I knew I forgot something at the show last night!
Available for sale in the Croshame Etsy store here!
Believe it or not, I never went to my high school prom. Shocking, I know. It wasn’t due to the fact that I didn’t have a date (I didn’t) or couldn’t afford the ticket (I couldn’t), but I was just very skeptical and apathetic toward the whole school dance situation in general. So instead, I stayed home, ordered a large pizza from Round Table, and watched the best movie ever made…
Even though I’m (long) out of school and no longer required to face the terror of teenage dance-angst, I still watch Carrie about twice a year. On my last viewing, as the school gymnasium burst into flames and various high school students were either burnt to a crisp, crushed or drowned, I knew it was that time again — time to crochet a horror movie tribute!
Carrie Bear comes with her own sash, rose bouquet, and bucket of spilled pig’s blood; she’s ready to come home with you and telekinetically set fire to your heart.
Available now at the Croshame Etsy store!
The internet is a great place for many things: socializing with friends, finding historically inaccurate information, and looking at photos of kittens with infantile quotes written underneath them. But for all the eternal sunshine and endless giggles the information superhighway provides, there are just as many damp, dark, and disturbing corners filled with nightmarish imagery and unsettling ideas.
One such corner discovered and popularized by internet trolls some time ago was a phenomenon called Goatse. WARNING: If you’re unfamiliar with Goatse and have a low tolerance for the utterly repellent, I don’t recommend rushing out and doing a Google image search as it’s probably considered objectionable viewing material to 99.99% of the population.
Mr. Goatse seemed to get a pretty bad reputation fairly quickly, so to lighten up his persona a little, I’ve decided to create my own tribute to the “meme”-ory of this infectious image…
He’s all business in the front…
And all party in the back!
Awwwww… so cute!
Awwww… not so much.
Although I’m not expecting this one to exactly fly off the shelves (“Makes a great Easter or Mother’s Day gift!”), it is available in the Etsy store here.
They don’t call me Croshame for nothing, folks.
Being ostracized from society can be an agonizing affair, particularly on a day like February 14th.
Don’t believe me? Just ask…
THE ODD COUPLE!
To some, a Goth boy dating a Punk girl sounds like a subculture disaster waiting to happen.
Sure, their days are filled with drunken fighting, bad dark poetry and the occasional accidental overdose, but they still know that true love means never having to pretend you’re normal.
There definitely won’t be a marriage, children, or a white picket fence in their future…
but that’s the way they like it.
Someday they’ll be able to look beyond their vast differences, but for now these two star-crossed lovers are happily living out the phrase “Opposites Attract.”
From National Blog Posting Month to World Malaria Day, these newfangled kids and their internets seem to be obsessed with creating new daily and monthly celebrations you’ve probably never heard of before (some which may very well not exist next year). Well, I simply refuse to be left out of all this nonsensical dedicatory amusement, so I’ve designated February as Werewolf A-Were-Ness Month.
I actually made this designation about five years ago when I went on a February Werewolf movie binge — the first of many — and have been celebrating it as such ever since. Sometimes werewolves just don’t get the credit they deserve, squeezed behind vampires and zombies like some kind of second-class monster citizens. My private lycanthropic celebrations were somewhat vindicated last February when Hollywood released The Wolf Man remake, but this year I’m taking my message to the streets (the internet streets, that is) in the hopes of letting everyone in on the fun!
In celebration of this fine month, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Werewolf movie selections. I highly recommend watching them all in one 8-hour sitting to confuse yourself as thoroughly as possible.
#1: My Mom’s a Werewolf
Because let’s be honest: everyone needs a mother more monstrous than the one they currently have.
#2: Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf
(AKA Stirba: Werewolf Bitch)
Sexy Sybil Danning as a Transylvanian werewolf queen? Yes, please!
#3: I Was a Teenage Werewolf
I’ve been on a real Michael Landon kick lately, watching Bonanza in the afternoon, Little House at night and Highway to Heaven on the weekends. Now that it’s February I’ll turn up the Landon factor to “10″ with a re-watch of this 1957 stinker!
#4: Werewolf of Washington
(Full movie online HERE!)
Dean Stockwell stars in this 1973 satirical tale about a reporter who changes into a cute white fuzzy-wuzzy fur-face and then becomes Press Secretary to the POTUS. Talk about a horrible transformation.
#5: Teen Wolf Too
If you’ve already been traumatized by the ending scene in the first Teen Wolf where that extra in the audience exposes himself, trust me, you’ll step into a whole new realm of ecstatic trauma watching this dreadful sequel. Bonus points if you watched every episode of the horrible cartoon as well.
#6: Curse of the Werewolf
A Hammer horror production starring the delightfully delicious Brit actor Oliver Reed as one of the fluffiest werewolves ever.
Oh, hey… and while you’re at it, why not bring home some Croshame Wolfies to love and cherish?
There’s the original Wolfy Baby!
And Teen Wolfy!
However you choose to celebrate Werewolf Awereness Month, make it a safe and happy one…
but watch out for that full moon on Feb. 7th!
Now available in the Croshame Etsy Store, the compounded Catholic cuties known as
Sister Mary and Sister Madeleine are two pious ladies fresh from the nunnery. They’re sometimes friends, sometimes enemies — but they’re always incurably inseparable!
Also currently available in the Etsy store are my 2011 Plush You pieces:
Hostess with the Mostest!
Available here SOLD!
Available here SOLD!
And last but not least, The Clown Box! Available here
All of the Plush You pieces are original, OOAK works and have had their prices highly reduced, so get them now while they’re still drastically slashed and bleeding!
The Etsy shop has been updated with two of my most popular (and previously unreleased!) Croshame pieces.
Krampus Time is Here Again! Available HERE.
And the Exorcist Playset! Available HERE.
Both sets currently listed are ready to ship, but if these sell I will be posting made-to-order listings. (Completion of each set takes about a week.)
Christmas makes me think of that timeless holiday phrase from the great thespian Jackie Vernon:
Yes, that’s right — Krampus. Never heard of him? Well, children, grab a cup of egg nog, wrap a blankie tight around your shoulders and settle down in front of the fire while I tell the you the truncated tale of Krampus.
Krampus, also known as Schmutzli, Black Peter and Knecht Ruprecht, is the demonic, evil counterpart of Santa Claus, punishing naughty children by whipping them with a switch, chaining them up and carrying them off in a basket strapped to his back. During the 19th century, European (particularly Austrian and German) holiday cards would feature illustrated images of the devilish creature with the words “Gruss vom Krampus” (“Greetings from Krampus”) written across the front.
(Vintage Krampus card images and info courtesy of www.krampus.com)
Since the 21st century is filled with some of the most nasty, spoiled, and utterly disobedient children in history, I figured what better way for me to celebrate 2011 Winter solstice than to revive this delightful demon with a loving crocheted tribute!
My Krampus figure comes with his trademark accessories — plus some screaming, crying children.
The handy basket provides extra brat-hauling capability.
These little unfortunates will soon figure out their tears will only make matters worse.
A forked tongue and sharp teeth are invaluable tools for a holiday feast.
Winter demons need nipples, too!
But not to worry — everything will turn out OK in the end!
I come bearing GREAT TIDINGS OF JOY!!
The Croshame Etsy shop is pleased to announce its new inhabitant:
The Papal Toilet Paper Cozy!
Tired of all those heathen T.P. cozies stinkin’ up the joint?
YOU NEED THE TOILET POPER!
Toilet Poper even comes with his own fresh T.P. roll included!
Available here! Order yours today and get it in time for the Holidays.
For a full demonstration of the Poper’s amazing abilities, be sure to watch the video below!!
Schmancy’s Plush You exhibit will be opening this week, October 14 from 5-9 pm. If you live in or around the Seattle area, you should definitely check out the show in person; there are going to be many wonderful plush treasures to gawk at (and BUY)! And for those of you who live elsewhere, the work will be available to view and purchase online as well.
Here is a preview of the three pieces I submitted to the show!
First we have “Hostess with the Mostest”! A former horror hostess who was blackballed from the business, this fine-looking dame skulks around her cavernous Hollywood home pining for the past. Her long boa keeps her scantily clad chest warm, and her skull friend Yorick keeps her in good company.
Next up is “Imaginary Friend”. Billy is a bit timid when it comes to making friends with other boys his age (Mom calls it “Juvenile Social Anxiety Disorder”) and finds it hard to talk to other kids. To alleviate his loneliness, Billy invented a pal named Jasper who knows him better than anyone else. Unfortunately, Jasper has been diagnosed as claustrophobic and needs some extra breathing room.
Finally, we have something a little different than the usual Croshame antigurumi mayhem. I combined crochet and canvas to create this two-faced Clown Box, representing the best of times and the worst of times.
Croshame is proud to present its latest creation…
Cairo is a billionaire superstar heiress with the world wrapped around her little finger. When she’s not shopping at haute couture boutiques or partying at exclusive nightclubs, Cairo can be found posing for eager paparazzi with her canine accessory Twinkerball in tow. She enjoys long walks down Rodeo Drive, night-vision cameras, wearing skirts without panties, windy days, and pouting for extended periods of time.
Cairo comes complete with her little dog companion, Twinkerball, and a purse-full of cash for extraneous spending!
She also comes with some jewelry accessories: a “gold” necklace, “diamond” earrings and a “crystal” covered barrette! (Little does she know they’re just Bedazzler® gems! Tee hee)
Her arms have wire inside, making them posable!
(Click the picture above for the UNCENSORED version)
She’s now available in the Etsy shop HERE!
Last month I became marginally obsessed with a slew of “reality” shows and documentaries based around the making of unique and interesting cakes. The entire month, shows like Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, King of Pastries and other cake-centric programming dominated the living room TV. And while I badly wanted to make a crazy, fancy, artsy cake like the ones the master chefs were whipping up on the screen, I knew I could never in a million years make the cake I was thinking of.
OR COULD I?
The answer was yes. Yes I could. And it would be the best cake ever.
This triple-tiered lovely is biggest crocheted figure I’ve made so far… almost 2′ tall! Now, I know I’ll probably never have a bodacious stripper in a feather boa and pasties jump out of a cake for me in real life, but having this in the corner of the room is a nice replacement.
If she could just twirl those tassels a few times, the party would really get started. (See my personal tassel-twirling hero in action below.)