Winter 2021 Update and Recap

This is the latest post for the members of the Long Lost Friend Studio Patreon, but gathering the photos and talking about what we’ve done in just the last three months was so much fun, I figured I’d share it here too. If you like the projects you see here, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and consider becoming a member of our Patreon.


“Looks like a cold, cold winter. Plenty of ice and snow. But, we’ll keep the work-lights in the studio aglow.”

Now that I’m done mangling the lyrics to a Bing Crosby classic, Michelle and I will be taking a short break from YouTube videos for the next couple months. We’ve been posting to YouTube for a couple years now and it seems like, starting near Thanksgiving, folks are just too busy with the holidays to tune in. But don’t worry, loyal patrons. It’s not like we ever actually take a break from making and crafting and learning. So we’ll still do our best to keep posting updates and videos for our Patreon members.

In the meantime, take a look at all the fun stuff we made in just the few months since our last break. And this first photo is just the sculpting! 

What a giant pile of fun stuff we worked on! We’re hoping you had as much fun watching those projects come together as we had making them. And maybe, like us, you learned a little along the way. Since September, this is some of the stuff Long Lost Friend Studio accomplished:

Needle Felting and Foam Carving
Michelle showed us how to breathe new life into an old design for her owl feltie, and dropped some great needle-felting tips while she was at it.  And I took the opportunity to learn how to carve foam with hot-wire tools so I could sculpt that rock base the owl sits on. Teamwork. 

(Needle Felting A Wise Old Owl : Reworking A Past Design)

Foam Clay Mask-Making
I worked with two new types of sculpting materials for the first time. I used foam clay (Foam-Mo and Model Magic) to sculpt three creepy masks. Weird and spongy, but lightweight and perfect for the job.

(Making a Witch Mask with Model Magic)

(Making a Creepy Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask with Foam-Mo)

(Making a Mummy Mask with Foam-Mo)

Mixed-Media Scooby Doo Diorama
And I tried Apoxie Sculpt to build that Captain Cutler diorama. It air-dries in two hours, so plan ahead or you’re stuck with a lump of junk as hard as a rock. Other parts of this diorama were made with CosClay, XPS foam, and wood. I enjoyed working with Foam-Mo and Apoxie Sculpt. They have their advantages and drawbacks, but I still think basic polymer clay (like Sculpey) is my favorite. We’ll be doing some sculpts with that in the new year.

(Sculpting the Ghost of Captain Cutler Diorama with Apoxie Sculpt)

2-D Illustrations
I continued working on my inking and watercolor skills. I’m happy with my progress and look forward to experimenting more with these mediums. 

(Inking the Tar Man Zombie from the Return of the Living Dead)

(Stumbling through Watercolor with a Pumpkinhead Scarecrow)

(Stumbling through Watercolor with Frog Thor / Throg)

(Sleepy Hollow Sketch and Patreon Stuff)

(Inking a Pop-Up Ghost from the Haunted Mansion)

(Inking Cornelius from the Planet of the Apes)

(Inking the Lizard plus Ink It or Stink It)

Fall Diorama
Of course, Michelle and I used all of our burgeoning sculpting and diorama-building skills to put this fall diorama together. There were a few exciting firsts with this project — Pumpkinhead is my first art doll, those crows were the first figures I sculpted with foam clay, and those leafy vines were a successful experiment crafted with EVA foam. 

(Creating a Fall Diorama from an Illustration)

Along with all of that, we’re proud to have also done ten Patreon-exclusive blog posts and eight Patreon-exclusive videos in that timespan. And that was our ‘fall season’ in a nutshell. September through November. Looking back over these photos, it seems like a lot of stuff to learn and make and do in just three months, but I can’t remember a minute of it when we weren’t having fun. Hope you did too. And if we inspired you to try some new things yourself, that makes it even better! Now it’s back into the studio to figure out more stuff and create some exclusive Patreon content. We both thank you very much for your continued support and enthusiasm. -v

It’s the Return of the Ghost of Captain Cutler!

Last time Michelle (Run Red Run) and I encountered this classic Scooby Doo villain, we experimented with neon markers and captured him on paper.

But the ghost returned! And this time we experimented with Apoxie Sculpt Modelling Compound, sculpted an entire Rocky Point Beach diorama out of foam, Cosclay, and Apoxie Sculpt, and captured him in three ghoulish dimensions! Zoinks, right?

Apoxie Sculpt is a modelling compound where you mix parts A and B, and then have about 2 to 3 hours before the stuff hardens like a rock. It was a little dicey working on something like this with a time limit. But, by the same token, it was really nice to make it whatever size I wanted, not having to worry if it’d fit in my oven. I think Captain Cutler turned out pretty good for a first-time experiment with this modelling compound. You can follow our process in the video below. -v

Our Fall Diorama Process: From Watercolor to 3D Build

If you’ve been following our videos on YouTube, you know we’ve been low-key obsessed with this Pumpkinhead Scarecrow project as it grew from a watercolor exercise, to sculpting an art doll and some crows, and finally to this full-blown 3D diorama build.

If you haven’t followed along, I’ve posted the whole series of 4 videos down below. This was some of the most fun we’ve had in the studio since The Witchening diorama build last year. I hope you enjoy this new series as much as we did. -v

Ghost In The Graveyard Diorama

Summer’s here and school’s out. That means endless nights of euphoric middle school kids running around in their friends’ backyards playing Ghost In The Graveyard. Or maybe they’ll just be hanging out, scrolling through Instagram. How do I know?

So, how do you play Ghost In The Graveyard? Do you remember? I honestly can’t recall. So I built a diorama instead. And, of course, I made a video of the process, so you can follow along as I turn insulation foam into a creepy headstone with the help of a foam cutting machine and a craft knife.

I also use tea leaves and moss to create the neglected grounds surrounding this abandoned grave and its forgotten occupant. Creepy, right? Well, it’s all in fun.

In fact, I had a ton of fun talking about graveyards and childhood games with my friend Run Red Run. You can see how it all turned out in the video below. -v

The Witchening! Diorama/Terrain Build

We’ve finally reached the finale to our month of First Time Craft videos. It’s with a healthy sense of accomplishment that Run Red Run and I present….The Witchening!

All four videos from April connect back to that Witch House we built last year. That was our first “build” of any kind, and we always wanted to add onto that build as we learned more skills. So, we’re finally getting around to it.

In our finale, we put all of the items we built in the previous videos (the stump & axe, the well, the creepy tree) together into a diorama. But before we could do that, we had to build the witch’s territory. And that involved some more First Time Crafts: making plaster terrain, creating foam flocked bushes by hand, static grass application, and plenty more.

In the end, it all came together in a pretty nice (and pretty creepy) diorama fit for a wicked little witch. And if you watch the video, you’ll see her too!

Enjoy the video, and thanks for sticking around to watch us try out new things all month. -v