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Paper Mache Skull Questions

Your old pal Spook gets a lot of mail from folks who, having tried their hand at making a paper mache skull, can’t seem to de-mold the copy without tearing it, poking holes, or jamming a screwdriver under a thumbnail. This makes for a generally unpleasant experience all around.

Frustration is a key ingredient in all sorts of FAIL, to which I attribute some dented trash cans, a collection of snapped dowel rods, and half a dozen tool-shaped holes in the walls of my garage. The following note on the subject, recently hurled in our direction, is … illustrative.

“you need to give alot more info on your paper skull instructions. this method doesn’t work…you can’t get the paper off the skull afterward which ruins it, and the paper doesn’t even remotely resemble a real skull. either you’re leaving out some important steps/tips, or else this is just a big waste of time & cash.”

Hm. Vinegar, mixed with a little oil, makes a nice salad dressing. Spray it on your garden, and you’ll wipe out all the tomatoes.

While I’m not inclined to be overly helpful to this person (Grumble wanted to write today’s post), there are other folks who might be experiencing similar issues with their paper mache skulls, so I updated the project page with some further, possibly helpful, tips.

  • Use a release agent like WD40, wax, spray silicone, or anything slippery that won’t melt your skull and burn the skin off your fingers. (Ask a classical guitarist to play any AC/DC song for a good visual of what I mean.)
  • Use a very thin glue for the first paper layer, or try just water and no glue at all.
  • Apply several paper layers, or your copy won’t be strong enough to survive de-molding. You can add up to three layers in one session. A fan helps with drying. Feel free to apply more layers, but allow ealier layers to dry first.
  • Pay special attention to the eye sockets and nose cavity. Overlap long, thin strips, adding extra coverage from the center out to eye ridges, cheek bones, etc.
  • Don’t try to de-mold until the copy is completely dry.
  • Slice your copy into three pieces, or try a different pattern if mine has not been successful for you.
  • Break the seal around the base of the skull and jaw bone by carefully prying, or cutting, the paper edge from the form. Work slowly, and go all the way around.
  • Slip a small flat-tip screwdriver or butter knife under an edge and carefully work it around to peel the paper from the form. Concentrate on one area until it lifts away.

We enjoy corresponding with all haunters. If you have a story to share, a question for the team, or would like to offer constructive criticism, the Undead Letter Office is open 24-7. All other correspondence is subject to our Grumble Filter.

Louisville not just famous for zombies

Living near Louisville, Kentucky doesn’t only mean that we have more than our fair share of zombie outbreaks*. There is also this thing that happens here every spring called The Kentucky Derby.

It’s actually a festival that began two weeks ago with the largest fireworks show in the US, and culminates in the “fastest two minutes in sports”. Locals, and the annual parade of visitors from around the world, take it very seriously.

The Derby Hat, a tradition that dates back to 1875, can be found on display just about everywhere in and around Louisville this week.

* “Sir, this is Colonel Glover. I’m sorry to disturb you at this hour, sir, but we’re at Q-2 status.”

“It looks like we’ve found that lost consignment of Easter eggs. Yes, sir, pretty sure. They’ve turned up in Louisville. I’m getting confirmations on this from the Louisville Police Department.”

“Louisville, Kentucky, sir. Well, sir, it would be good news, except that the eggs have hatched.”

~Col Horace Glover Return of The Living Dead

Grumble Say – About Terrible Puppies

Grumble say if can’t convince a dog wag his tail, then better examine conscience. If that not work, give steak. Still not work, get cat.

Grumble say welcome to terrible world of Grumble, where Grumble answer all question and fix all problem.

Now, what happen today? Not care! Grumble say about what happen last week when terrible Sheltie puppies infest House of Grumble. Puny Spook man and horrible Spook wife bring home five bad kind of puppies. Smell like cheese. Found hiding under big banana on wheels used to move awful children back and forth school.

Take puppies doctor, get checkup, all good shape. Then bring to House of Grumble and wash till smell like repulsive lily flower. Give toys, watch destroy House of Grumble, chew Atari games.

Grumble say, “Not eat puppies.” Puppies chomp Grumble.
Grumble say, “Not chomp Grumble!” Puppies play hide-seek in Grumble coat. Grumble roar, “Ack! Tickles!” Puppies rush Grumble, lick face, make puddles. Where puppies store all that puddle water?

Grumble give up, let climb and chomp on Grumble. Sharp teeth like baby velociraptors impress, dismay. Nanny dogs Hannah and Georgie agree.

Little monster chomps have supper, go to bed. Grumble pretend tasting, kiss each on head, get fuzz in mouth. Next day, go see lady give them new homes to chomp, make puddles.

Now Grumble house not “Yap! Yap!” noisy. Not get constant lick lick lick face, smell terrible puppy breath. Not get slobbery Grumble coat anymore.

All got new homes, all safe. Grumble wonder what terrible monster puppies doing now. Not forget. Think house very quiet.

Grumble go stomp around, make noise, eat sandwich, pet nanny dogs.

See more pictures of terrible Sheltie puppies here.

It’s your old pal Spook here…

If you have a dog or cat that you can no longer take care of, or if a stray comes to visit, the pound is not your only option. There are rescue organizations that can help.

Dog rescues by breed/state (American Kennel club)
More dog rescues (Google)

Please consider adopting from your local animal shelter.
Another great place to look for good slobbers is Petfinder.com.
Live in, or near, Indiana? Somebody here wants to come live with you.

Here there be monsters

And they be yucky.