Saturday, November 24, 2012

Working on Halloween for Next Year

Right before Halloween this year, I stumbled across an online store called Grandin Road. They've got some really nice life-size figures for Halloween but I didn't get a chance to get one bought in time for this year. However, the figures went on clearance and I bought one so far.

I ordered "life-size sinister Serena" on clearance. "Life-size Sinister Serena is so frighteningly affordable; you'll want to pair her up with her partner Vincent Vampire, sold separately. Serena's long wavy white hair and maroon velvet dress render her magnificently terrifying. What's even scarier? Her eyes light up and eerily fade in and out." I think she'll go good with my old Victorian male vampire, because all he has is red light up eyes too.

I am happy with her but there's no way I would have bought her for the original full price. Interesting note: I had to make a username and password to order Serena online. Once she arrived, I went back to write a review on her. Grandin Road hasn't put the review up, probably because I rated her at a 3 out of 5 stars and listed a bunch of cons.

Let me just say right now: I knew what I was getting when I ordered her, because I read the online reviews. Nothing about her was a surprise, so I'm not complaining.

Here is her before picture. Her body is just a single metal pole, supported by a simple quad-kind of platform. Her upper body and arms are very light and flimsy. Her face is a mask on what appears to be a foam wig head. Her clothes are a costume, so she could be re-dressed later on. (I'd like to get one more of these figures, different from Serena, and re-dress her as the Bride of Frankenstein.) For updates and repairs, Serena has some great bones but she starts out pretty weak.

Regular watercolor paints didn't work on her face, which I was hoping they would because of their subtlety. I watered down some acrylic paints mixed into grey for around her eyes, but the plastic didn't take it smoothly enough.

I went back with some purple and some grey eyeshadow and liked those results. I shaded more around her eyes and under her cheekbones. I wanted to give her face a sunken in look to it.

I used real lipstick to darken her lips as well.

I think that in the dark, with a strobe light on her, Serena is going to look pretty freaky.
The lights are on top of her eyeballs. Because the lights are pointing different directions, it makes her look cockeyed. However, her eyes are straight, it really is the lights that are crooked.

Like some other decorations that I modified, I bought a simple pair of eyelashes from Kroger and added them to Serena. These really made her eyes pop and it seems to lessen the crookedness of the lights.

I used some red quick dry nail polish to add the bite marks on her neck and the blood dribble on the side of her mouth.

I gave her a red and black French manicure (red nail polish and black paint), and used red and blue paint to highlight the veins on the back of her hands.

The other thing I didn't like about her body is how she looked so frail, as in, "This decoration's going to fall apart." I used some quilt batting, bubble wrap and painter's tape to straighten out her shoulders and fill out her body a little bit.

I also straightened two wire hangers and inserted them into her arms to give her a little bit of flexibility, otherwise her arms just hung limply.

Call me silly, but I realized that when I had her shoulders, torso and arms done, she looked really flat in the chest. I took two pairs of socks and a couple rags from my rag bag and fashioned a quick and dirty little bra and falsies for her. I know an easier way to give her a chest would have been to throw one of my own bras on her and then stuff it, but I didn't have a bra that was worn out enough yet.

One other thing I'd like to do for her is buy a lot of costume jewelry at the thrift store and put together some jewelry for her. She looks so plain, and her gown looks like someone's grandma's nightgown with all the lace on it. I'm thinking if I could also find a good belt and maybe a cloak for her, she might look a little bit like a medieval vampire. I just wish Serena had fangs. That's something I can't fix.

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