Monday, September 25, 2017

Mortem's Trick or Treats: For The Love of All That Is Spooky.

Ahh fall. Glorious isn't it?

I feel the shifts, like cosmic strings tugging at my being. I feel renewed, and I am welcoming of change.
That doesn't mean much in the way of weather in the places I've been living at since moving to the U.S.
That is, until this wonderful October. I'm moving again.

My new home will be in a small town in beautiful overcast (but still four seasoned) Washington state.
It also means I'll be much closer to the border of my homeland--so close to the border in fact I could take a little drive and have dinner in Vancouver city if I were so inclined, and I just may because ever since I discovered Japadog's existence several years back, I have been dying to try them.
My new home is still unfortunately about a 10 hour drive to my hometown, though... but 967 km beats the over 3000 km I was/am.
This also marks the 4th state in 5 years I'll have lived in. Pretty crazy-- for someone who lives a life indoors... I lead a surprisingly nomadic life.

So, at the time of writing this I am a little over a week from my move date; we'll be driving all the way up and it's roughly a 5 day drive at best.
I decided to say good bye to San Antonio and my current version of my creative laboratory with one final project to hold me off till I can get my new lab set up.
Since I am altogether saying so long to the South, I decided it should be with a great big bang... and what better way than with a little Hallowe'en cheer?

I made a jack o'lantern bag!
I have been after the original ones for about a year; every time I have money and think about getting one, there is none available and being a fabric/craft addict that I am I promptly spend that liquid cash on feeding my addiction. When they do have them available, I am such as I am now-- pinching every dollar in my pocket.

Well I had about enough of coveting one, and a round purse isn't terribly difficult to figure out... though the bottom piece did give me some grief.

I have a deep and difficult love for vintage faced pumpkins-- they have round eyes and sharp jagged teeth. Whenever I see one, a switch is flipped in my head and I become fevered with lust for that which triggered the desire. It's not always a pretty sight for my wallet. So I drew from that inspiration for the face of my lovely little 'treat' bag.

I had at first considered the possibility of using a vinyl for my material, but I was never able to locate any in the shade I wanted. I did have in my stash a home dec weight velvet that I honestly can't recall the purpose for its acquisition-- and for some reason it looks far more red in my photos than the muted autumn maple color that it truly is (color identification courtesy of Mutant Stomps Pantone fall colors guide).

Spider web lace not shown*
The candy print cotton was a purchase I made from this year's haul of halloween fabrics (I'll make a post of my loot some other time). The candy print was always intended for the bag because these bags reminded me more of candy buckets... and what kind of candy bucket shall I have if it didn't have some 'candy' within? This particular print however wasn't always due for this bag, I had another one from several halloween's ago, from the time I lived in Arizona, that I was going to use... that wasn't a cheap purchase, and not to mention it's out of print now-- so I chickened out at the last minute. This one is $4 per yard and it's from Walmart, so it was a formidable substitution.

My intention for this bag wasn't to make it overly complicated-- simple, but unique to that of the rest. And to think back on it, I think it would have turned out that way... if fate hadn't intervened...

I had previously worked on a small project and hadn't gotten around to putting everything away after I wiped the table down (shame, shame...), so I had a scrap of spiderweb lace and a bottle of glow paint staring me in the face, seducing me with promises of a prettier bag. I took the bait... and oh the delight.

It is with this project that I also got to try Pellon's version of Annie's soft & stable: their fusible flex foam. It's been on the market for quite some time now, but I had enough Annie's in my stash to last me a while. What I have left is promised to a messenger tote I am making my mother.

It's certainly cheaper per yard than Annie's, but the adhesive they used leaves a lot to be desired. I noticed, now that my bag is done, the back panel is coming up in places... it's rather annoying since it's quite unsightly.

I don't think I've ever used so many different weights in one single project ever. To my count, it's 5 different types! Overall I'm quite pleased with the stability of my "prototype".

The bow was always part of my original intent, what I hadn't decided until last minute was that it was to be a bat wing bow-- anything seems to be made better with bat wings! I very carefully hand-stitched the bow onto the bag, as I wasn't confident simply gluing it on, though being that it was pvc it might have actually held onto the velvet really well. I spent so many hours just hand basting much of it in place. If I hadn't I'd fear for my sanity, what with the different kinds of materials alone in this bugger.

The striped pipping was another detail I decided on adding as a lark. I had so many scraps from this dress I made a couple years back. I don't remember there being so much, but when I went digging for pieces to make a plain black pipping, I discovered the pile of varying sized chunks. I found a front bodice piece that was just large enough to square off and create a decent length of binding from. Weird, but fortuitous-- it completed a nice retro feel.

Why are you so red?! And why did I leave the shoulders collapsed?!
The bag's size turned out a little bigger than anticipated, but roomy is never a bad thing for a bag isn't it? I might have to redraft this bag to something a little more manageable for everyday wear. It makes a superb carry on though. I made sure to have pockets in it, including a zippered one for things that shouldn't bop around like my lip balm and keys. The other two pockets are for my wallet and phone, so they too don't jingle around, or get scratched up. This is where the spider web printed material (not the lace) came in, I contrasted all the pockets with it. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite seem to grab a decent enough photo of the pockets except the one shown below-- which still isn't that amazing. I will keep trying and edit this post when I do, though!

The bag turned out to be quite a grand labor of love, and I really couldn't be happier with how it came out. It turned out better than the preliminary sketches-- I love it when that happens! I poured my passion for Hallowe'en straight into the design.

I used glow paint to hand paint in little details on the sides; they're not so obvious by day, unless you're actively looking for them; the lace overlay keeps them quite hidden. Darkness really brings out the best of this bag, as it tends to do for us darklings-- we who bump in the night!

Glow paint! It's the medium of Gods; it's my favorite addition to this bag... I want glow paint to be my signature touch, my bread and butter, my forte-- holosexuals, meet your match... phosphorescensexuals.
Ok, it's a mouthful... but it'll catch on, I swear!

Anyway, I haven't had much of a chance since completing it to actually wear it out and it's been raining pretty unpredictably to get good enough shots modeled outdoors... maybe I can snag one soon, so I can have a completed outfit to show off.

Until then, spook ya later, fiends!


  1. ohmygawdohmygawdohmygawd.... WANT!!! ALL THE WANTS!!! That is freakin' adorable!

    Good luck on your move! I am a Canadian-lite (northern Minnesota) transplant in Atlanta, GA so I understand the need for changes of season and to be closer to home (I'm a 22-hour drive away from the bedroom where I grew up).

    1. Thanks, Sarrah!

      This home will be a decided improvement from San Antonio, I think!
      I do admit, I love the warm weather but it's time I found my way home, and this way is the right direction this time!

  2. SQUEE! I LOVE IT! I'm so envious that you're moving out of this hell in a mere week. sigh ... think of me when you get to heaven.

    1. Your time is coming; I will keep hoping it comes sooner, though! =D

  3. I remember seeing this on your Instagram and I was super envious. Really cool bag. I love the material you chose for the interior.

    1. Thanks, Syl! =)
      It's a pretty great print, I adore the little jack-o-lantern faced lollipops-- a little like Sam's, heh!

  4. This is so totally cute and perfect!!! Where can I request one? hehe:D

    1. Thank you, Ivy ^.^
      Now that you mention it... I do have enough material for a few more. Perhaps this October I'll make a limited run of them ;)

  5. Wow! That is spectacular! (Spooktacular?) Truly amazing work.

  6. This bag is incredible, I love how big it is and the small details like the striped piping and candy lining. The velvet and pvc and other fabrics must make it fun to touch as well. I love how much passion and thought you pour into your projects.

    1. Thank you, Elena, I really appreciate the compliment =D
      Yes, it is a very tactile bag, hehe

  7. OMG! That's AMAZING!!! SO creepy cool!!! Great work! It looks so wonderful!!!

    1. Thank you =)
      I am very pleased with it, it holds quite a bit!


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