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!