Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Here are a few GIMP Halloween tutorials from across the web, in case you need something fun to do before the partying and trick-or-treating:

Make a Creepy Zombie Hand

Make Blood Splatters

Turn Yourself into a Zombie

Have a great Halloween!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Hunky Bod" Funny Ichabod Crane Shirt for Halloween


Halloween is coming up so fast, and I feel like there's never enough time to make all the designs I want to make. But this one didn't come from my head; it came from a relative. When he said it, I knew it had to be a shirt. A commercial came on for the TV show "Sleepy Hollow," and my relative - who loves to read - frowned and said, "Ichabod Crane does not look like that! He's supposed to be awkward. That guy looks more like Hunk-a-Bod Crane."

He was thrilled when I made this shirt based off his comment. I turned it into a Halloween costume shirt. I think the sleeveless muscle style is perfect for it:

So, if you're still in need of a costume for Halloween, you can be "Hunky Bod Crane." But you'll have to order fast because we're now nine days away from the best holiday of the year.

In other news, I've been making some new designs - mostly beer ones and patterns - and I hope to talk to my beer-brewer relative soon to run ideas past him. I've also been working on a new sci-fi novel manuscript, but it's only coming along about a page a day, and it's still too early to tell if it's leading anywhere. I'll post more designs in the coming days.

Happy Halloween!


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All designs © MK Hess

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Writer's Story Prompt: A Twist on Time Travel

    Time travel is a common story element. When I was querying literary agents about five years ago, a lot of them seemed to hate it. I guess they had good reason; according to their blogs, time travel was one of the most popular topics in the letters they received. If I had to read, "And then Timmy finds a time machine..." about fifty times a day, I'd probably get tired of it, too. (Side note: Timmy is a nuisance anyway, and should be properly dealt with).

    Still, there's a good reason why time travel is so common in stories: it's fun! Readers and TV watchers must like it, or it wouldn't keep showing up. As the agents said, the real difficulty is finding a unique angle on it. So, for this writer's prompt, take a popular topic like time travel and brainstorm a way to make it original. Here's an idea to get you started:

    While your character is off time-traveling, the world ends. That is, the world of her / his own time. Your character no longer has a "real" time to go home to and is essentially a time refugee. What does your character do and why? Does your character travel to the moment before the world ended and save other people? Does she try to change what happened or does she believe it can't be changed?

    Have fun writing!


RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! on Amazon     

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Christmas Beer Labels for Your Homebrew


One of my goals this year was to make some Christmas-themed beer labels that have a photo template. After much fiddling around - and then taking a break to design some Halloween invitations because I'm easily distracted by zombies - I got four fine-looking labels done. They're freshly added to the FancyCelebration store. If you're making homebrew to give to your family and friends this holiday season, these labels are the perfect finishing touch. 

So far, you can choose from four background patterns: red or green plaid and red or green argyle. The corners have mistletoe and there's a banner above and below your picture that says, "Have a Brew Christmas." The rest of the text is customizable:

The labels come in sheets of 8 with a minimum order of 5 sheets (40 labels). Use one of Zazzle's promo codes to get a really good deal. You get your labels delivered ready to stick, no need to fight with your printer. The templates are easy to fill in. Still, if you need to adjust your photo, you can always click "Customize It" to move or resize. When you're done, your homemade brew will make a professional-looking gift.

If these do well, I'll probably make more variations, so stop back in to see the new ones. You can check out all my beer or wine labels here.

Have a Brew Christmas!

All designs © MK Hess

Monday, October 6, 2014

Funny Gifts for Zombie Fans

The Walking Dead premiere is just around the corner! Zombies are my favorite undead creature. They remind me of when I worked in retail on Black Friday - all the customers pressed against the doors in the early-morning fog, all the employees wide-eyed, scared of the influx of ravenous shoppers.

Yet another reason why it's better to shop online. Here are a few of my zombie designs on Zazzle:

Look for more zombie designs here, both funny and frightening.


Here are a couple silly stories for you too. This one is a farcical zombie story I wrote years ago and this one is about a trophy wife trapped in a bomb shelter. Here's my book RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! if you want to read about zombies battling vampires and werewolves.

Thanks for stopping by!


All designs © MK Hess