Autodidact: self-taught

Jun
17
2013

Kim’s Sticks and Strings

by V. L. Craven

KreepyKim's Frankenstein

Procrastinating doing research one day on Facebook I happened across bizarre little creations that reminded me of contemporary voodoo dolls. Intrigued by Medusa and Cthulhu, I clicked further and came upon the Grinch and Winged Monkeys from Oz (with machetes) and Salad Fingers and thought, ‘I must interview this wonderfully macabre, talented person.’ Said person, Kim, was happy to oblige.

Thank you so much for agreeing to chat with me. Your little creations are adorable and creepy, my favourite combination.

Creepy and cute happen to be my favorite combo too, a bit heavier on the creepy, though, I always hope.

How did you get into making these great little creepies? And how long have you been doing it?

A few years ago I was just knitting socks and hats and things, and my friend who only crocheted had started amigurumi , and happened to buy me a book for my favorite of all days, Halloween. It was my gift with the stipulation that I make some xmas gifts, which was completely cool with me. The book is called Creepy Crochet by Christen Haden . I made a couple of the crochet weebles from that book, and decided I could venture out on my own. AND a friend asked me to make some Left4Dead zombies for his fiance for Valentine’s Day. When those were a hit, I decided I could do this….

Medusa by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Medusa!

What would you call what you do? Is it crochet?

It is crochet, I do occasionally knit parts–chances are if I’ve made a female doll with a dress, its knitted. Not sure why.

What materials and tools are in your kit?

SO much yarn!!! I really only use a few hooks, they’re down in the 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm range, which is small but not the smallest. I have a pliers, for sewing and bending the 24-26 gauge wire I use for armatures, I use polymer clay to make some of my wee accessories, eyeballs and handles to the weapons I make. Sometimes I make a character that’s holding a sword or a hatchet, so I’ve got aluminum sheeting, wire cutters and files. and paint, bloody weapons are more fun than plain, unused ones. Needles of all sizes, and rainbows of threads.

Skulls

Skull keychains

Bloody weapons are so very much more fun than plain, unused ones.
What other materials do you like working with?

I use fabric sometimes, there are some things that can’t really be crocheted–some of my characters wear capes, which need to flow more than crochet does. This year I’ll be adding some things with wings, so I’ll be having someone make some wings for me, as well as trying to make a few sets myself, so I’m going to try to work with fancier wire and some cellophane, as well as embossing powders. I like adding small beads and charms and wee bits, details are everything to me.

Nosferatu by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Nosferatu

What’s been your favourite thing to make thus far?

I made Medusa, and she’s pretty great! I had wanted to make one, she’s a favorite mythology character, and a friend asked me to make one for his daughter’s birthday, so I was stoked!

I just made a posable tree, and now I’m staring at trees outside, wondering if I can make that one, or how hard would it be to replicate that bark…

I also just recently made a character from a friend’s book. I wanted to make a really good doll, kind of stretch myself…she’s got great boobs and bum, She came out really nicely!

Posable Tree

Posable Tree

How do you decide what you want to make? And once that decision has been made, what’s the process from there? Designing, etc.

About 95% of what I make is custom order, literally, someone messages me and asks if I can make a zombie of their pet, or Cthulhu, or whatever. If it’s a movie character, I always ask for their favorite picture, so I know what look I’m going for, then I try to find as many photos online as I can, movie stills, costume pictures, from different angles, so I can get the right picture in my head. I work with the pictures up on my computer, it’s about 3 feet from my face. When I made Charles Manson, I had the Life magazine picture up on my computer so his crazy eyes were staring at me for probably like 3 days. If it’s not something specific, Cthulhu, I ask the person for a few pictures they like, so I can still have an idea of the direction to go. So very many people give me so much leeway to creating. I check my yarn to see if I’ve got the “right colors” or go shopping with pictures on my phone so I’ve got good color references. Then I pick horror movies to watch while working and go.

Manson

Good old Chuck

Charles Manson must have been interesting to make! Was he the most surprising request thus far? (If you ever set up an Etsy shop perhaps you could do a line of serial killers. Release them in sets like macabre beanie babies.)

Um, I think he’s been the oddest request, yes. I can understand all different kind of horror movie characters, and zombies of family members, but it was the oddest. I had no idea how folk would take it either, would they love it, or would they be a bit weirded out by someone making a soft, posable Charlie… Strangely enough folks loved him, all the way through construction, since I show in progress pictures. I’ve had 2 other folks ask me about having their own Charlie Manson, one is asking for one without wire, but a bit more plushie, for his daughter.

For his…daughter… uh huh.
You mentioned watching horror movies while working–do you ever listen to music when working?

I do occasionally listen to horror movie soundtracks on Pandora, but I realized it’s the ambiance in the horror flicks I like.

Golem Full Body

Who wouldn’t want their own Golem?

You’re involved in yarn-bombings. Please tell me more about that. What’s involved, how did you get into it, etc.

I remember seeing an article about yarnbombers, ones who hid their faces, since technically it’s graffiti and illegal, and being intrigued. They also mentioned that some folks’ installations were taken…and that made me smile. I decided I’d help fill the world with my own yarny brand of love. Sometimes I make flowers and hearts, for outside yarnbombs while I’m shopping, more often I make skulls, different colors, some with hearts or flowers, kind of like sugar skulls. There’s usually a small tag that says something like “creepy things need love too. find me a good home.”

I mentioned to a group of crocheters, or hookers, that I like to yarnbomb, and explained the premise, bringing a bit of yarny love to a place you don’t normally see it, and so many folks jumped on board. Lovely folks made wee stuffies or bunting or flowers or awesome bookmarks, and we all tried to do it nonchalantly, One lady’s blanket on a horse was part of their local news cast! They all were so thrilled, and giggled and smiled and most of all enjoyed themselves, and were so happy when someone had taken their anonymous gifts, it’s kind of addicting.

Hearts Collage by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Yarn Bomb Hearts

I’d like to include photos of your work–including the Medusa and Cthulhu and Charles Manson, as well and the skulls and some other little things I like. Are there other things you’d definitely like me to share?

I’m a bit proud of my Victor Crowley. I made the first one for a customer’s order, and he was so thrilled with his doll he shared pictures on Fb with Adam Green, of Hatchet. I was contacted by the head of hair and makeup F/x, girlfriend of director BJ McDonnel, and asked to make one for his “movie viewing room.” so I did. I made a 10″ Victor Crowley, with her head as the “dead head” he’s holding I made his hatchet too,

Pretty recently a creation I’ve made, a character in an as of yet published story helped the author propose marriage to his girlfriend at the World Horror Convention!

My beautiful picture

Victor Crowley

That warms my dark little heart.
Do you have any plans on opening an Etsy shop?

I do have plans for a shop, but my problem right now is no stock. I literally don’t have anything lying about. The last time I made something that wasn’t for custom order, I posted it on my facebook page and within 40 minutes it was sold.

That’s a pretty great problem to have!
What’s the best way for people to contact you?

Facebook is probably the easiest place to see everything I’ve made, it’s where I post it all.
Folks who already have an idea of what they want can email me here at kimperial1492@gmail.com
This is my Pinterest account.
Also, I just started a deviantArt account.
Kim’s blog is  KreepyKim’s Freak Boutique

KreepyKim's Freak Boutique

If you like what you see here, check out her work on her sites and give her some love!

Thank you so much, Kim!

One Response to “Kim’s Sticks and Strings”

  1. kim sofia Says:

    I love it! You’re fantastic!!!

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