Cricut Crafter Sugar Skull

My final official Cricut Uk Crafter of the Month project is based on a holiday that was very popular over the border from Belize where I used to live – the Day of the Dead celebrations. They seemed very joyful with families cleaning and decorating their ancestral graves and alters to welcome back their ghosts. Papal picado (colourful intricately cut paper flags / banners) decorate everything, and the too-pretty-to eat compressed sugar skull or coffin decorations are left out.

I was really glad when Day of the Dead style face paint started getting popular in the UK. I get fed up of being asked for blood and gore all the time, especially at Halloween, and the Sugar Skull genre gives so many creative possibilities as well as a kinder, happier, more colourful vibe. Now its all anyone wants in October (and many other months too).

Looking at the lovely materials Cricut UK sent me to try, I decided that the red and orange pearl papers, glitter sparkle card, black cardstock and some Hobbycraft white glitter card needed to be used.

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I set up the Cricut Design Space (CDS) using the same flower shapes I’d made for my Once Upon A Time demo, and cut them in different sizes and materials.

Again in CDS, using the simple shapes, I built an upright headdress shape in several layers,  and added flowers and sugar skull shapes to be cut out of it. I hoped this would give a stiffened lace mantilla effect.

I curled and then glued the flowers together to look like marigolds and other blossoms.

Rhyana was able to come over early one Saturday (squeezing this in before I had a 10 hour UV paint booking in an immersive rave!) and I started painting in the giant eye sockets and shading her to look more hollowed out.

Using a lacy stencil I’d cut, I added colour to make it seem as if Rhyana had a lacy carved or decorated surface to her skull.

Then we pinned in the various Cricut accessories and voila…


I hope this might help some of you with Halloween costume inspiration.

So that’s the last of my 3 official Cricut Crafter of the Month projects, but I’ve several more I’ll be posting as I do use it all the time, not just for face & body paints.

Thanks for looking and thanks to Cricut UK and all the models involved with this – and Mark for the amazing coral body paint photos!

Halloween Face Painting at parties, raves and bars -Taunton, Bristol & Bath

Well as usual Spooky Season is very VERY busy with me trying to fill as many bookings as possible.

For once I change my costume and was a Star-Wars dressed (my mum adapted the skirt from a lovely dress I found) Day of the Dead sugar skull. I made the flower headdress myself and created sleeves from fancy socks…


I’d left home early for a private face paint booking in Bath, then by 12 was setting up at the ‘Big Fish Little Fish” Family Rave to offer face paint & body art to the children and parents there.

bigfish-rave-halloween-facepaint-bouncer-26fin-friend-bif-fish-rave-halloween-01Last pic of my work is from their website

I’d been asked to do a ‘menu board’ as that is what was usually offered at their events, and loved the FAB Wipeable Boards Sarah sells for this. The light wasn’t fab & I was too busy to take many photos but it was a great and very busy event.


Once finished I packed up and drove to Mambo’s Taunton – getting held up in RTA Traffic on the motorway :/ I dashed my kit through the town to get set up on time. I had to re-do my kiddy-friendly sugar skull face as I’d messed it up in my dash.

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Mambos’ had Katie Price (once aka Jordan) DJ’ing in their VIP lounge and a huge Voodoo Party going on – the decorations were fab. The staff had gone all out with costumes and some really got into their look! Even though I was painting outside, it wasn’t actually nippy until about midnight which was great. LOADS of sugar skulls requested, I’m glad to see that culture finally  overtaking the vindictive Trick or Treat styles.


I also saw a lot of the usual awful stuff smeared on (cheap paints are pointless – hard to get on, impossible to make look good, often impossible to get off too even if they don’t look bright on!) but some pretty amazing DIY efforts too.


Sunday I had another party but can’t post the pics up of course, shame as there were some fun ones!

Hope you all had a fab time!

Halloween Face & Body Painting in clubs & UV

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I had several late-night club etc and pub paint sessions booked in after my daily gigs and enjoyed them.

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Some had me matching their outfits or themes, others wanted the usual/ randomn things.

sugar skull di chest Photo & model, Di Smith

I also did a VIP lounge in all sorts of ‘dead stars’ ideas which was actually quite difficult in some cases. How many Hollywood etc stars died in ways that it is easy to paint/ SFX onto a live person and be easy to identify? So mostly I zombied them up a bit if bullet wounds etc were not required – hurrah for Zombie skin again!


Another night it was UV again… I HATE the line of stupid dots so many people now ‘expect’ from painters as its what they get at festivals. Why – are they DIY jobs or are the painters at some festivals so unskilled they are really charging for faces THAT badly painted? I tend to refuse on the grounds I can and will do much better…..

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Did have a go at my first ever UV sugar skull!

Cute & Pretty Halloween Face Painting at Bewilderwood

Oct 2013

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As always, one of the busiest season for all face painters and again I was at Bewilderwood every day.

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The weather was a bit variable but I layered up and had my hot water bottle underneath it all so stayed cosy.

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I converted a bit of knitting I’d never finished into a hat cover and became the knit-witch (including a crazy shrug I’d knitted and a fab colourful poncho my mum crocheted for me). I’d love to knit-bomb some of the trees there…..


The whole park was decorated beautifully, as usual, and I think we did the evening lantern walk twice – still with the lantern we made my 1st season there several years ago, though its getting battered.

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I also trailed my new line-closing idea – a hand glittered UV jacket. Varying success….

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Dr Who The Rift Weeping Angel Body Paints


We’d wanted to join in with the celebrations for Dr Who’s 50th Anniversary, and people we knew via NORCON were putting on a big event in the Forum for it.


We’d also promote Paintopia & collect for charity.

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As I still had all the props and it was so popular, a Weeping Angel was agreed on, but I did want to do something different too.

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Ginger kindly offered to be my Weeping Angel this time, and we quickly painted her up and had her on a podium freaking out the crowd.

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Her proudest moment was making grown-ups swear with fright when she lunged as they turned away!

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We were collecting for Nelson’s Journey charity again too – my Finley loves being a chugger!


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Then James Dyble turned up to be a quick David Tenant paint – this was all no-budget last-minute so we hadn’t had time to source the correct trousers, etc.

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I did a very simple brown pin-striped suit paint on his front, with a ‘The Rift’ sign and Dr Who logo on his back (yes, sorry, I forgot what the rift crack actually looked like as I’d lost my printout!).

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Someone showing off a Tardis let us use that and Michelle got some amazing photos. Apologies to the few untagged ones – someone following

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me on my now-deleted Face book page tagged me in them and I don’t have their name any more!


Halloween Face & Body Art

Oct 2012

Oh I LOVE getting to do the more imaginative stuff, especially to go with people’s outfits so the whole costume is completed! Tis the busiest season of my year – Bewilderwood and kids events/ parties most days, and clubs/ private party bookings in the evenings!

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First up we have Di of Frozen Photography who wanted a scary dead doll. When asked if cute scary or really scary she chose the latter… and on seeing herself in the mirror decided she would get changed at her mates so as not to freak out her boys at home!


Then a truly gruesome flayed werewolf for lovely Joe the wood worker/ tree person from Bewilderwood.


A nightclub booking gave me a randomn array from cowboys to ghouls – and a tiny tiny spider…

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Then I did a lovely bunch at a party I do regularly – zombies mainly. This year the hostess went for an evil meduse look, with glitter tattoo scale effects and face by me and freaky contact lenses.

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Host Josh had asked for some elaborate prosthetics and a bald cap which I ordered from Ebay, and glued on with cosmetic adhesive. Then we painted him… he decided not to use the slip-on black prosthetic forked tongue!




Body Factory Cornwall Bodmin Gaol Bodypaint 2012

March 2012

Nic Shilson is a face & body artists I’m great friends with, and I adore her fiancée Pete too. He is often her model. She started Body Factory Cornwall last year as a gathering of local body-painters, painting whatever they wanted and getting decent photos of it.

That rapidly expanded and this year she was hosting a bunch of painters from across the country.

Jennie & I travelled down together, and talked non-stop the whole way. The journey was fine, notably helped by us squeaking through as they were putting up barriers to close the road alongside Stonehenge for nighttime road works! It was bit scary us hurtling along the deserted road as a huge column of road vehicles came towards us, but we got to Jennie’s lovely cousin Johnny in the small hours.


Johnny was fab – took me on a tour of Cornwall and made sure I got to eat pasties (and fudge – sorry about the hypo scare, guys, but at least it meant I could eat sugary things!!!).


We met up with a bunch of painters near the venue that evening for a pub dinner, then went back to Johnnie’s to fret. I still had only a vague clue – the venue Nic had found was the atmospheric Bodmin Gaol, site of the last hangings in the UK. As usual I did a lot of research as it seemed daft to not take advantage of the history of the place as all photos would be there to.


I eventually found the story of Selina Wadge, an unmarried mother of two. She had a hard life, often having to ask entry into the workhouse to keep them fed, but kept her boys well even though the youngest, 2-year-old Henry, was partially crippled. It seemed she took up with a former soldier and got the idea (whether his or hers) that he would marry her if she got rid of her sickly son. The security that marriage would bring maybe caused her to drown the lad down a well in 1868, although she said her boyfriend did it. Her 6 year-old son John told the poorhouse staff what she had done, and she was eventually condemned and waiting to die in Bodmin. ‘Luckily’ for her the executioner there was experimenting with the ‘long drop’ method, which snapped the criminal’s necks as they dropped, killing them much more humanely than the usual slow strangulation did. She was one of the first to die that way, and the first private execution, but is said to haunt the Gaol still.

Johnny was rather worried, watching me as I cut a stencil to suit the vague ideas I had…. I wasn’t I prefer making it up as I meet the model!

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We were painting in the pub which has been built into the centre of the old building, warm and cosy but not much natural light. It was a great day, with lots of idea swapping, shared problem-solving, and giggles. The food we ordered months ago was fab too!

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I was painting the stunning Hayley Lanyon, and we had Claire Pick of Illusion decorating the notorious favourite model of mine, Laurence, beside us. I’d finally made him his Superman-inspired ‘LL’ t-shirt (for lovely Laurence as whenever I paint him people seeing the pics just say, oo who’s he? Laurence? Lovely!). But I changed it to “LL BodyModeL. Jennie was trying her first solo body paint, on her soon-to be sister-in-law, a Tim Burton theme, and did really well.


I had cut a stencil of the main parts of a few words in elegant script, as I am rubbish at neat handwriting, and I used that to help create the words “1878, 8 feet into eternity’ on Hayley’s chest.

Sean Hurlock my winning Body Factory bodmin paint 2012 bpc

This was to symbolise the date of her death, and the height of the drop on the rope that killed Selina. I added the uneven stone block walls beneath it, over hand-cut breast covers, leading down to a devilish mask and flaming subterranean underworld on her knickers and legs. I stuck to a few colours, mainly reds and yellow, using mostly Grimas and Diamond FX paints.

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On her back I only had time to do a fast impression of the poor son staring up at sunlight from his well. I added dripped black eye makeup and a rope around her neck, then embellished everything with some fine lines of glitter tattoo ‘blood’ to show the gruesome history soaked into the walls, using the bottles and tip I sell. A vaguely Victorian hairdo with a bird wing, and done!


We were supposed to find the 4 official photographers who were each set up in different locations around the site. Some artists had even ordered in amazing props – check out the spiked Harley!


We did find 3 photographers, but whilst waiting for the 4th, the very brave & patient Hayley got the shivers. We were down in a dungeon-like part of the building underneath where we had painted. I got chills too so we gave up and didn’t get those shots – only to find out later we’d been stood by Selina’s last cell!

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 We had to clear up fast as there was a private party setting up, and all retired to the main bar to relax. To my amazement, I won! Huge thanks to Nic, the sponsors and everyone involved.


My Bloody Valentine Dead Doll bodypaint Shoot

Feb 2012

This was an idea that started after I developed my ‘Pretty Horrible’ slashed butterfly/ heart faces last Hallowe’en.

Elizabeth was going to be a beat-up stitched together zombie doll, a bit like the Corpse Bride. The dead doll look is really popular at Halloween, it must be a Manga or Horror Film thing or something as there are loads of costumes of it.

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The gorgeous Di Smith of Frozen Photography again came round to take the photos, as we wanted to use them for a Valentine’s promo, and bought big bags of fake flowers as props.

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I’d got flesh-time pants and the big bra inserts I like that almost matched Liz’s skin, so we put them on first.

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I ‘bruised’ up Liz with an assortment of Grimas burgundy and Paradise lime green etc, before painting on the ‘joints’ and ‘joins’. I then added freehand glitter tattoo glue lines using the kit which I sell, to hold red and dark glitters.

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ta dah!

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Hallowe’en Spider Web Vamp Neck Glitter Tattoo Step by Step

Oct 2011

I just got the photos from this so am adding it a little late!

Victoria Lesley the amazing photographer I have worked with several times wanted to be a model for a change (she does work as one sometimes). So,  Di Smith offered to take the shots and we met at my father-in-laws to try out the new glue application bottles I had sourced.

I used to use empty bling bottle etc but they tended to suddenly ‘pop’ and coat the model in their entire contents, so I had been looking doe something like I saw nurses using when I was in hospital.

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This is what I came up with – squeezable oval bottles with tips that lock on and twist off! I sell them in my shop.

Anyway as it was just before Halloween we went for a spooky feel.

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added tiny dots in a webby pattern, then used silver Mehron or  powder to highlight some when it was dry. A dark mix of cosmetic glitters from Facade for the rest of the webs and brush it off.

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Another layer of glue for spiders etc, glitter and voila. 

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A waterproof, smudgeproof sparkling necklace that would last an evening of dancing perfectly.

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Thanks ladies!

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Halloween Mummy face paint & Evil Doll body painting


Remi & Josh have  kindly had me over to bodypaint them before their Halloween party for the last 2 years.

This year Josh went for a Fallen Angel look – I made wings on his back using freehand body glitter tattoos, and glued a range of types and sizes of feathers (peacock with no eyes, black-gold cockerel feathers, maribu fluff etc). I then made his face look a little hollowed out, added some quick tribal tattoos and sprayed him all over with a misting of metallics.


Remi had a rather snazzy ‘mummy’ suit, a stretchy ribbed looking bandage affair.

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So I created a rotted flesh/ aged bandage look for his face  using my usual face/ body paints.

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This year Josh’s partner Michelle also joined in the fun. She had a cute ‘Doll’ outfit, sort of Bride of Chucky or Death Dolly or something (possible manga or gaming??).  She wanted a stitched together look so I played with my favourite Grimas burgundy to make a slashed mouth and chest with crude stitches surrounded by sore-looking skin/ bruises. 

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She had some black contact lenses that I finished off with majorly OTT /cried-in mascara dripping down her cheeks.Their guests all make a real effort, from these photos they have kindly sent me.

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Looks like a great welcome & a fab event!

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And not a bad DIY look by the zombies Remi mummy is glaring at here:) 

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