Dia de los Muertos Makeup Tutorial

Counting the days until my favorite holiday Dia de los Muertos, and as a warm up to this year’s celebration I’ve hosted a couple workshops in costume creation and sugar skull making.  I hate to leave my out of town friends and fans out of the fun- and at the compelling request of Crime Spree Carol, it seemed like I ought to post a quick tutorial on calavara creation.  I won’t say that she threatened me into doing this, but now that the blog post is up, I’ll assume she’s destroyed all negatives of the incriminating 8′ x 10′ photos that arrived in last week’s mail.

So Carol, and the rest of you, before we get to the disguise part, you’ll want to  gather up supplies- The clown white grease paint was a purchase from Goodwill for $1.49, almost a steal!  I got the black and glitter liquid eyeliners, mascara and fake eyelashes from the drug store and black face paint and body art kit from the craft store.  In all the gear set me back about $30 but I’ll be able to do a whole posse of folks with this so it was a good investment.  You might also want to get white face powder and tiny gems to add at the end for extra bling.

My friend Laura was kind enough to pose for the photos, I think Crime Spree Carol may have something on her as well, after this we’ll consider all debts paid in full.  In the 1st step I covered Laura’s face in the grease paint with a small sponge.  I left large areas around her eyes and tip of nose free.  If you’d like the makeup to set you can brush on the white face powder next, it will also help the other colors go on smoothly on the top.

Next, I applied face paint to the eye area, you could also use a dark eye shadow for this step but I liked having the ability to layer and add lots of color to the flower shapes.

In dark blue face paint I created a flower shape around Laura’s eyes

I filled in the flower petals in a lighter blue and blended them into the green circles

Using the black liquid eyeliner I filled in Laura’s nose and made the outlines for her mouth

I used the black eyeliner again to draw a spider web on her forehead and fill in her lips.  I also used it on her eyes in the waterline and outlined her upper eyelid

To give the web definition, I added a second line in black grease pencil.  This is a great tool to use when doing skeletons for guys especially in the cheek areas and to add lip effects.

For the last few steps, I traced around the flower eyes in black liquid liner and added glitter eyeliner highlights.  I also drew shapes on her cheeks and filled them in with face paint.  From here you could add false eyelashes and sequins or small gems as well

Top the whole thing off with a saucy headdress of flowers and don’t forget the little people!

Shake your bones


A quick recap from this weekend’s Sugar Skull Making Workshop at SCRAP- We had super laid back afternoon making cool calaveras in the back room.  I loved seeing what folks put together using materials they found at the store, really creative use of recycled goods.


Looking forward to our workshop this weekend making costumes, masks, face paints and hair garlands for Dia de los Muertos.  There are still a few spaces in the class and you can register on-line here…






a Litany of Crimes

Oh man the Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI was so much fun, I’m only just beginning to recover, that and my bail money finally came through.  The number of cool things to see and do was astounding from indie computer games, 3-D printed toys, the 30 foot trebuchet, fractal designed copper furniture and chocolates you could shape yourself into exotic flowers. I spent a good portion of the weekend ducking arrows coming over the top of the Tracker’s booth, thank goodness they’d replaced the steel tips with sponges!  Wire’s Geek Dad blog has a great re-cap of the Faire  and Dale Dougherty founder of Make Magazine and Craft, and the brain child of Maker Faire gatherings was also in attendance, his blog post is here .

Not to be left out of the making mayhem, I snuck into the OMSI parking lot and  and on the sly built my own stand,  offering “policing by proxy” inviting criminals and potential criminals the opportunity to confess their mis-deeds in a mock mug-shot-photo-booth.  I was shocked, shocked I tell you to see the number of young miscreants our city is manifesting, sure they may look cute now- but just wait until their feet can reach the gas pedal of the get-away car.

I’ve posted some of the more outstanding offenders here as well as a more complete listing on my flickr site I would advise using caution when approaching any of these individuals, clearly they are armed with a wicked sense of humor and several are confessed cereal killers and cookie thieves…










PDX Mini Maker Faire

I barely have words to describe how incredibly cool day one was of the PDX Mini Maker Faire at OMSI.  I’ll do a big fat link round up later, after I’ve had a little sleep and time to process all the great stuff I saw and new friends made.  The mug shot photo booth was a huge hit and I’ll post pics up on flickr too as there were many, many amazing costume combinations and a wrap sheet of the world’s greatest crimes-  Since I encouraged folks to come up with their own caption for the booking photos, there was a huge variety of crimes and misdemeanors, though I think today’s favorite was “early morning toilet slammer” followed by the kid who’s crime was being a hipster and yelled “that’s so main-stream” when I took his photo.  There is one more day of amazing action if you can make it down here- remember code word is “you’re the yarn bomb” for a free gift from me, and if you can’t make it to my booth, there is lots of fun Criminal Craft handmade goodness in my Etsy shop.

Free Pussy Riot

Occasionally I get swept up in the heat of the moment, especially a moving political moment and feel my crafter self needs to take a stand. I’m so in awe of the fantastically brave punk rock chicks who”ve dared to take on Vladimir Putin the topless cowboy dictator.

How much I adore that the voices demanding democracy, freedom of speech and the separation of church and state happen to be hot 20 year old feminists in robber masks and Go-Go boots.

So today was set aside for busting out  freezer paper, hot iron and a whole mess of ink and glitter.  It’s uncanny that this particular event should happen since I’ve pretty much always wanted a shirt that said “Free Pussy Riot”.

I’m guessing that some of my other Criminal Crafter friends might want to make one too, so I’m posting my template, run with it, make something awesome, post the pictures on line and everywhere.

Nadezhda, Yekaterina, and Maria, you guys are inspiring, so sorry you got the short end of the stick in a corrupt system.


You’re the Yarn Bomb

Because you are so cool, because you brave the weather to come out to book signings and liquor infused craft nights, because you wouldn’t let me leave the house with my slip showing, purse that didn’t match my shoes or a good alibi- I’ve made you a gift, and one for you, and you and you.  Fans of the Criminal Crafts blog who stop by my booth (#34) at Portland’s Mini Maker Faire on Sept. 15th and 16th at OMSI and say “You’re the Yarn Bomb” get this super cute kit- a small ball of yarn (enough to learn how to finger knit), instructions on finger knitting and a brief history on the art of yarn bombing, an atomic fireball candy and a commemorative gift bag hand stamped by Parole Officer Honeyman and myself.

I’ll also be giving a few of these precious gifts away at my panel discussion and Iron Craft event at the Contemporary Arts Center  on Monday Sept. 10th . Yes, I’m off to Cincinnati, you heard that right, the city that gave us Bootsy Collins, Carmen Electra, Doris Day and the Isley Brothers is also home to one of the more visionary and inspiring contemporary arts museums in the country.  I’m doing a fab night of talking and judging craft smackdown with local artists Pam Kravetz and Chris Salley and like any good hosts, they’ve promised beer will be available.  I’m really hoping to sneak off and squeeze in some yarn bombing when I’m there, since I hear it’s quite the scene in Cincinnati.  There’s even a yarn bomb posse, the BombShells  and they even have their own manifesto, and there really isn’t anything I like more than crafters with manifestos, except for maybe crafters with beer.

On the off chance that you happen to live somewhere other than the craft meccas of Portland and Cincinnati, I’m thinking you deserve a treat too.  So the 1st five readers who email me a good alibi along with their address also get a gift in the mail.  So hop too it, and I want good alibis, something creative, slightly funny and will stand up in court.

So a bit more about these yarn bomb bags… they were generously donated by Stateline Bags and blanks in a number of sizes can be ordered from their website here.  They have a crafter’s resource section on the website too which is pretty darn cool and it got me to thinking about some other projects I want to make later this fall.

For my bags I drew three designs on paper and made a rubbing transfer onto heavy linoleum stamp material.  I cut the shapes with carving tools but exacto knives work fine too.   From there it’s as easy as stamping onto an ink pad and pressing onto the bag.  I did put a piece of cardboard in the bag so the image didn’t seep all the way through.  I’m delighted with how the bags came out and am planning to screen print some others to using a darling print kit I got from Etsy seller SimpleKraft.

I’ve got a full stamp carving tutorial in the Criminal Crafts book and illustrations too, to make your own paper funeral.


%*#$ is About to Get Real

Oh man, I thought with summer winding down the Criminal Crafts hi-jinks would be coming to an end, not so my friends, not so.  The calendar is getting stuffed with devious fun workshops, cool give-aways, dangerous craft offs and Portland’s very first Mini Maker Faire.  I’m so excited I could spit, but it isn’t very lady like so I’ll hold off.

All the good stuff is getting added to my events page, check back when you can, as I keep adding to it and this awesomeness shouldn’t be missed! First up, if you’re cool enough to live near Cincinnati, you’ll have to hot foot it over to the Contemporary Arts Center on Sept. 10th,  where I’ll be in on a panel discussion about the resurgence of hand made arts, there’s going to be an Iron Craft competition AND a bar.  Drinking, crafting and being competitive, Cincinnati gets me on a deep and fundamental level.  Will try to squeeze in some yarn bombing while I’m there, I hear it’s the thing to do and if you get caught it’s a much lighter sentence than what you’d serve than if was an actual bomb.

The following weekend, Sept. 15th and 16th is Portland’s 1st ever Mini Maker Faire at OMSI.  A huge fun event for geeks, makers, Lego freaks, people who like giant trebuchets, 3-D printers and things that go boom. I’m in the process of building my space right now- aiming for mug shot photo booth and paper funerals to make and take, along with cool crafts  for sale, copies of the book and a special treat for people who read this blog.  More on this soon, but Stateline Bags has donated some of their very cool, small drawstring bags for an upcoming blog post and I’ll be doing  give-aways based on that project.

As we sneak closer to fall, there’s a whole slew of cool upcoming classes.  I’ll be presenting a series of workshops to get ready for my favorite holiday Dia de los Muertos.  On Sept. 30th we’ll be making sugar skulls a.k.a calaveras the next Sunday, October 7th, we’ll be working on costumes, masks and skull make-up and a final workshop on altar or ofrenda building .  The classes are sponsored by SCRAP and will be held in their workshop space, for more info- check out my listings on Skilshare .

Speaking of SCRAP, the Rebel Craft Rumble is coming up and I’m itching for a good fight, they are taking applications now until August 31st and oh man, do I hope I make the cut, I’ve been training P90X training (not really)  since getting axed in the 1st round last year.  My ego is glue gunning for a re-match! Fight night is October 18th at the Hollywood Theater.

But wait, there’s MORE can you BELIEVE IT??? Voodoo doll pincushions, two FREE  workshops October 24th at the St. Johns Library and October 30th at the Holgate Library . So friends and frenemies, I expect to see you soon.  And if you’ve made anything cool from the Criminal Crafts book, send me a photo, would love to add you to the gallery of rogues up on Facebook.


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