2013
12.09

Ever since seeing this video, I wanted to be a Krampus. When I was invited to attend a local SantaCon, I knew I had to do something like it. I’m not much of a woodcarver and getting access to a suit made of goat fur seemed daunting, but surely there was something I could put together.

The first, and biggest thing, I had to tackle was looking like a Krampus. Since SantaCon is a social, drinking engagement, I had to be comfortable for at least eight hours, be able to eat and drink, and in general, not have my vision obstructed. Breaking completely with Krampusnacht tradition, I went with latext and make-up.

Verson 1.o

A set of Woochie goblin horns and pointed ears would do for the look. I had a pair of lower fangs I’d used for an orc cosplay, which would give me more of a feral touch. On top of that, I picked up a neutral range of face make-up from Mehron. I decided that I wanted to be more “arctic” in color, since black wouldn’t really fit in with the SantaCon crowd and I really wanted to avoid simply looking like Satan.

Next up – fur. I decided to create, for lack of a better term, a hood. The most important part of the body to cover would be the head. Once again, going for comfort and ease, my wife helped me to whip up a cowl device from some very excellent faux-fur. I chose a grey color (which they don’t seem to stock any more – such a shame.)

Most Krampus (Krampi?) have a belt, which is usually adorned with chains and bells. The chains represent the Devil’s subjugation to St. Nicholas while the bells are meant to drive evil spirits away. Tandy Leather stocks 3″ wide, 50 some-odd-inch long strap blanks. I trimmed off a 9″ long end and made a clasp jedi-style. The “clasp” is a sleeve that wraps around the width of the belt to cover where the ends meet. It’s purely decorative. The two ends overlap and are velcroed togeher.

A device the Krampus is known for, is a large pack-basket. The Krampus is said to carry off naughty children for punishment if they’ve been extremely bad. I found some hand-made baskets that looked great but were way too expensive. My first basket came from Cost Plus World Market. I was able to strap it to my back with generous amounts of leather belts and zip ties. I added in about a dozen willowy branches for switches and I was set.

The rest of the outfit was made up of a large red hooded robe, which opened in the front. I had some old leather bracers for my forearms and leather gloves covered my less-than-clawed hands. A cheap whip came from a party supply store for no more than $10 and Lowes had plenty of plastic decorative chain for further decoration.

Krampus v1.0 was a huge success! For the following year, I knew I had to bump it up a notch.

Version 1.5

I picked up a sheet of Worbla and fashioned removable belt clips, which could hold my decorative chain in a more medieval fashion. Worbla is a thermally activated material that can be modeled like clay once hot. When it hardens, it has the quality of a light resin. The material can be sanded and painted, which is exactly what I did.

A new basket was in order. Though I wanted something really worn and grungy looking, a trapper basket really fit the bill from size, cost and ease of use. I slapped on a coat of stain and the basket was ready to go – no rigging or zip-tying needed.

A pal of mine was able to take some of my excess fur and create a “fur dickie”. Version 1.o lacked in fur, so I put it where it’d be most visible – in the chest area. Since my robe covered my arms and back, we sewed fur to the front of a t-shirt and called it a day. We also trimmed down the robe a bit, as what I had was more in the “tent” category.

Version 2.0

I’m not sure what version 2.0 will look like. I may come up with more of a traditional mask to save myself an hour’s worth of make-up time. Also, a true furry suit might be good at some point. Or some sort of animal hide leggings… Or gnarlier switches… or…

2013
08.21

I’ve been a part of a large number of collaborative groups. While the experience is rewarding, the creative process leaves me angry. To the point: no one listens to me.

Don’t misunderstand me: they may hear me, but they don’t take my input to heart. And when they don’t take my input to heart, I wonder why I’m even there. Am I there just so there’s another opinion that can be dismissed? Maybe.

The kicker is when the “leader” of the group – the one who talks the most and the loudest – eventually comes around with the whole “you were right – we should have listened to you”. Even if they never admit or realize that I was the one with the right direction, they do ultimately follow the path that I’d laid out.

So if you want me on your team, stop contradicting me. I’m right. I can’t prove it. And it’s not some high opinion of myself that leads me to say this but, I’m right. I just am.

In the meantime, the only one whose creative process matters to me right now is ME. I’ve gotta do my own thing.

2013
07.31

Two fonts have come to my attention that I think are quite good. The first is NeutraFace. The second is Avenir Next.

The former is used in places on the New York Times website. The later is used on the weather aggregator forecast.io. Well done, folks!

http://www.houseind.com/fonts/neutraface/viewfonts

http://www.linotype.com/2090/avenirnext.html

2013
07.12

Well I’ve gone and moved again. My eight year journey of home ownership is at an end for now. All of the angst I had in the purchase of my house is now meaningless. And that’s ok.

I think the next year will have to be some sort of “stuff cleansing” as I determine what I actually need to keep in my life and what I don’t. I imagine I’ll move two more times – once into an apartment and lastly into another house – before I’m ready to ship off to a retirement community. Being able to pack and unpack quickly will have a lot of merit.

I think I’m mostly there, considering how much I’ve had to live without for the past year as it’s all been put into boxes and stored.

2013
03.03

Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Family will always be disappointed by the decisions you make for yourself. Because it’s all about them, right?