Kbatz Krafts: Love is Love Skeleton Wreath

I was going to wait and do this project as a morose February Valentine, but after my His and Hers Three Dimensional Skeleton Frames, I was too excited about this Love is Love Skeleton Wreath!

Despite dollar store skeletons in hand, part of the delay here was originally seeking an oval frame – two skeletons, a few roses, an ornate black surround, goth splendor, fin. However, new thrift frames went to the latest additions in the Lenticular Gallery, and the large wreath frame dismissed from the Mini Skeleton Wreath now took center stage. The floral stash provided red flowers, purple pop, and black leaves, but when I came upon my feathers drawer, I knew this was destined for rainbow flair! The black elements were ditched in favor of green leaves and green feathers stolen from a St. Patrick’s Day boa to go with the abundant orange, yellow, blue, and light purple feathers. Wrapping the frame in red tulle also found in the craft stash provided a solid base for hot gluing the red flowers and green leaves around the top half of the frame. Next came the skeleton couple, who were surprisingly cumbersome folks! The legs were removed, but an arm on either one was also displaced so their rib cages and skulls could be glued together. Without so much surface area on their little bones, it took a lot of hot glue pressed and held in place until the skeletons set. Rather than distinct hair or hat, this hugging, universal, eternal couple was glued as is to the bottom of the wreath with their arms bent and glued in place for more love and support.

The rainbow spread was arraigned and laid out before the purple flowers were glued along the bottom to finish the frame coverage and hide the skeletal ends. Working from their center across helped keep the assorted blooms semi-symmetrical before the orange, yellow, blue, green, and light purple feathers filled in the gaps. The red flowers already stood out with goth glam, leaving no need for red feathers, but the two different purplish shades became the requisite indigo and violet. Being one who prefers black or dark aesthetics, I didn’t have more colorful rainbow motifs, but that’s okay. Using what was in the craft stash required more outside the box thinking, and by eliminating black accents that would scream Halloween, this colorful goth décor can be hung up for fall, February, or Pride. At $3 for the frame and skeletons and maybe $7 worth counting flowers and feathers cost, this done in a day whimsical wreath is affordable, unique, sentimental, and fabulous!

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

Re-Purposed Black Topiaries

Drab to Glam Lampshades

DIY Flower Pens

Upgrading Masquerade Masks

For more Project Photos, Follow Kbatz Krafts on Facebook! 

Happy Valentine’s Day from HorrorAddicts.net

Happy Valentine’s Day, addicts! For your reading pleasure we have a sinfully delicious, naughty tale by our friend Chantal. Enjoy. 🙂

Corvidophilia

by Chantal Boudreau

He wasn’t the first.

She remembered him as he was when she initially brought him home.  She had found him repugnant.  She had purposefully picked out the homeliest goth at the event: short, balding, pudgy, pale in a “too much time spent under office lighting” way – waxy and gray – rather than the moonlight pale of the ghostly shroud of death.  His clothing hadn’t fit properly, bulging in places and pinched in others, possibly loaners and cheap either way.

She hadn’t minded any of it.  If all went well, she knew she was going to make him beautiful.  Her prize well won.  He hadn’t failed her.  She expected flaws in the beginning.  All canvases started as stark, coarse and somewhat bumpy.  The art was in what you made of them.

The men she always chose were there in hopes of picking up some socially-awkward goth chick, maybe one into kinky sex.  They never anticipated being approached by the raven-haired beauty known by the moniker “The Tattoo Princess.”  She was a gift, a treasure found, a dream come true.  She was a legend.

Her name did not come only from the black lace and feather tattoos that adorned her pearly skin.  She was an artisan, a practitioner of the inky arts herself, renowned for her piercing skills as well.  She intimidated them, cowed them with her conviction, her presence and her unyielding sense of self.

“Come home with me.”

None of the men had ever refused her request, even if some of them appeared ready to faint at her demand.  She set out the lure and they followed without question.  She never had any trouble enticing them even though she frightened them.

She offered them her body, a willing sacrifice until she had transformed them enough that she would want them in return.  After bedding them a few times, she lied.  She told them she loved them.  If this did not drive them off, she knew she had them.  Their fate was sealed.

This one was no different.  He had stayed.

She had waited a week after her declaration of love before telling him it was over.  She wanted to make sure he was thoroughly entwined upon her hook before she reeled him in by pretending to cast him off.

“You have to go – and don’t return.  I love you, but I have needs.  I can’t inflict that kind of suffering upon you.  I’ll find someone else I don’t care about.”

He gaped at her, lip quivering.  She knew that kicked-puppy, stolen-candy look.  It always preempted their offer.

“I d-don’t mind, Princess.  I’ll suffer.  Whatever you need, I’ll do it.  Just don’t make me go.”  He paused, his voice trembling.  “What is it you want?”

She pressed the flat of her hand against the cool glass pane of her window, a gesture to the crows that stepped stiffly through her yard.  They picked at the remains or something discarded there, scavenging from weathering bones.

“I want you to be like them…my pretty bird.”

He looked confused.  They always did.

“Promise me, and I’ll show you,” she continued.  “Swear it.”

He promised, so she led him downstairs to the cage, a massive construct of blackened steel that glinted in the dim light.

“That will be your lodging until I say otherwise.  As long as I’m in the room, you’ll wear the mask I’ll give to you.  And I’ll be using the tricks of my trade to transform you.  As I said, I need this, but this is a lot to ask in exchange for my love.  You still have one last chance to leave before we start this.”

He opted to stay.  He didn’t care.  He figured he had no life in the outside world.  She offered him infinitely more, even if it might prove temporary.  Even if it might prove his end.

She strapped him into the cage, pulled the charcoal feathered and beaked mask overtop his balding head and then worked his body into sweet oblivion.  He couldn’t say “no,” nor did he want to.

She left him there to sleep, returning later with drugged food.  Sedating him made it easier for her to work.  The ones she picked never had much tolerance for pain. She began by tattooing a feathery latticework across several portions of his body.  This took days, a foggy daze for him of sex and drugs, but a happy one despite the pain.

Next came the piercings.  She used the tattoo as a guide for their spacing.  Soon his flesh was dotted with tiny metallic balls, tiny mooring points for what was to follow.  Feathers – not mere images or synthesized facsimiles but real, glossy and black.  She no longer saw his pasty skin.  The feathers were all that mattered.

He had now been her willing captive for weeks, thinner and more muscular for the number of times she had ridden him.  With the mask, tattoos and piercings he was now entirely unrecognizable.  But once she slid the split-toed boots on his feet and finished attaching the hundreds of feathers she had brought in to adorn his flesh, he took on the appearance of a giant anthropomorphic crow.  There was very little left of the repulsive little man she had lured into her home.  What he was now was magnificent – at least as far as she was concerned.

Her ruby lips parted into a triumphant smile.  The transformation was complete and for the first time since she had brought him home, she took him with a hunger and a fervor she had never displayed before.  He seemed pleasantly surprised and lay moaning blissfully on the bottom of his cage when she was done.  She left him there, giggling quietly to himself at the absurdity of his situation.  But he had entered into it voluntarily and his euphoric mind did not regret it.

She wondered how long she would be able to indulge herself before his new form would begin taking its toll.  She had a tendency to frolic in a rough way.  Skin would tear, the piercings sometimes would get infected and then there was the time she overdid the sedatives.  If she was lucky, if she showed some self-control, he might last several months.  Long enough to satiate her appetites for at least a short time.  Long enough to use him up completely before discarding him in her fenced in yard.  She eventually would.

She had done this before.  After giving up trying to find the perfect lover, she went out and found the most malleable material to make one instead.  The end results got better with each try.  This one, in fact, was the best one yet.

And he wouldn’t be the last one, either.

*************

Chantal Boudreau, an accountant/author/illustrator, lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. A Horror Writers Association member, she writes horror and fantasy, with multiple short stories and novels published to date. Her published tales of dark love include “The Godmother’s Curse” in
Postscripts to Darkness: Volume 5 and “Sanae’s Garden” in Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court.  Find out more at
http://chantellyb.wordpress.com
.

 

The Oval Portrait: A Tale of Dark Love

For our Dark Love episode of Horror Addicts, I wanted to tell you a little about one of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe stories, The Oval Portrait. Now you may not have known this but the first publication of the story was an extended version titled, Life In Death. Life In Death first appeared in Graham’s Magazine in 1824. This version explained that the narrator had been injured in a run-in with bandits. It also went on to explain that he had taken opium to alleviate the pain. Some believe Poe removed the opening to keep readers from being under the impression that the story was all just a hallucination. The shortened, more popular version The Oval Portrait came out in 1845 in the Broadway Journal.

The story starts out with the narrator and his man servant, Pedro, breaking into a chateau for shelter. The narrator, whose name we are never told, is fascinated by the paintings on the walls. Later he finds a small book, on the pillow of his bed, filled with descriptions and criticisms. While reading the book in the candle light, he is startled to see an unbelievably life-like portrait in the room with him. He is so shocked he shuts his eyes to ensure they are not playing tricks on him. The narrator soon finds the story of the painting within the book, it is told as follows:

“She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee. And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter. He, passionate, studious, austere, and having already a bride in his Art; she a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smiles, and frolicsome as the young fawn; loving and cherishing all things; hating only the Art which was her rival; dreading only the pallet and brushes and other untoward instruments which deprived her of the countenance of her lover. It was thus a terrible thing for this lady to hear the painter speak of his desire to pourtray (sic.) even his young bride. But she was humble and obedient, and sat meekly for many weeks in the dark, high turret-chamber where the light dripped upon the pale canvas only from overhead. But he, the painter, took glory in his work, which went on from hour to hour, and from day to day. And be was a passionate, and wild, and moody man, who became lost in reveries; so that he would not see that the light which fell so ghastly in that lone turret withered the health and the spirits of his bride, who pined visibly to all but him.”

“Yet she smiled on and still on, uncomplainingly, because she saw that the painter (who had high renown) took a fervid and burning pleasure in his task, and wrought day and night to depict her who so loved him, yet who grew daily more dispirited and weak. And in sooth some who beheld the portrait spoke of its resemblance in low words, as of a mighty marvel, and a proof not less of the power of the painter than of his deep love for her whom he depicted so surpassingly well. But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion, there were admitted none into the turret; for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work, and turned his eyes from canvas merely, even to regard the countenance of his wife. And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sate beside him.”

“And when many weeks bad passed, and but little remained to do, save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye, the spirit of the lady again flickered up as the flame within the socket of the lamp. And then the brush was given, and then the tint was placed; and, for one moment, the painter stood entranced before the work which he had wrought; but in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and very pallid, and aghast, and crying with a loud voice, ‘This is indeed Life itself!’ turned suddenly to regard his beloved: — She was dead!”

This wicked love triangle causes the death of a young woman. The painter of The Oval Portrait was so in love with his painting that he gave it her life. And the wife, so in love with her husband, sits there diligently for him though it literally kills her.

I want to hear your opinions: How could she love a man like that? How could he not notice her illness? Was the painter mad? Or just obsessed? What caused the painting to steal her life away?

You can read The Oval Portrait online at this site:

http://poestories.com/read/ovalportrait