You can make angel wings in a lot of ways and this is how I made a pair out of felt for my latest cosplay. This technique is fairly simple but takes a lot of time.
I started by drawing the shape of one wing on a piece of paper (One wing was for me around 33x26 cm). It is a good idea to also draw out how you want the feathers to be on the paper wing so you can get a hint on how big they should be.
For the feathers I used white hobby felt that I cut out in to six different sizes. This step is by far the most time consuming (it take a lot of time!) and I highly recommend making a pattern of the feathers in cardboard to make the process easier. I made around 600 feathers in total to cover back and front on both wings.
To make the feathers more stiff it is a good idea to coat them with mod podge. Just one coat makes a lot of difference and help the wings keep its shape. (I did not do this step with the smallest feathers since they did not need to be stiff).
To see how I wanted the formation of the feathers I placed them out on the paper wing and took a photo so I could check it later on.
For the base of the wings I cut out the shape of the wing in craft foam. Since I wanted the small feathers on the upper part of the wings to be a bit higher up I glued on some extra craft foam there.
To hold the base up I used some black worbla that I twisted the lower part of to give them some angle so they didn’t lay flat. To make sure no color show between the feathers everything was painted white and a stripe of felt was glued over the worbla.
Next I started to glue the first row of feathers to each other. Since I did not want to glue them direcly on the foam wing yet I used needles to help mark the placement of the feathers on the next couple of layers.
When I was done gluing the bigger feathers together I took the foam base away and used some transparent paper to draw out the shape of all the feathers except the first row.
I then placed the paper over the foam base and made dots where the inner corners where the feathers on the lower row met. I then draw a line above it and cut along it. This was made because I realised that the felt feathers where a bit see through and the shape of the foam base could be seen. Higher up it were more feathers and harder to see it.
The base was glued to the feathers and was then flipped over and feathers where glued to that side as well.
For my cosplay I needed red stones on the wings. I used two glass prism, black worbla and some red and gold paint to make them. However this made the wings heavier then they needed to be so if you are making something like this, try to use a lighter material for this part.
And they are done! Time consuming but really light (even with the stones) and easy to make.
This is a step by step tutorial on how you can make a simple bag for your cosplay.
This tutorial fits all kinds of fabrics and for this bag I used white faux leather. When working with faux leather remember that it melts under high temperatures, if you plan on ironing it use low temperature and a towel in between the iron and fabric. Also remember that when you sew in the fabric the needle marks will be visible even if you take the thread away so make sure not to sew wrongly.
1. Decide the measurements you want on the bag (this one is 10x14x2.5 cm). Remember to make the back piece longer than the front piece so it kan be used as a lid. To do this add the length of the height of the bag together with the side and the leght you want the lid to be. Cut out the parts in a fabric with at least 0.5 cm seam allowance. The fabric I used was a white faux leather.
2. Place the right sides of the front and side pieces together and sew along the marked line. (A good idea is to sew all the way over the seam allowance at the top but to not sew over the seam allowance at the bottom. This will make it easier to later fix the upper edge and to sew in the bottom piece.)
3. Sew together the back piece with the sides. (Do not sew all the way over the seam allowance this time since you want to be able to fold the seam allowance down later.)
4. I like to sew the bottom piece of bags on by hand. This gives you more control and the risk that the sides twists because the corners got sewed on a bit off lessens.
5. Cut out a new piece that will be the inside of your lid. Make it a bit longer than the lid actually is.
6. Put together the right sides of the lid pieces and sew like the green line shows, not all the way down the sides of the lid.
7. Turn the lid part inside out and sew on the velcro or snap fastener so you can close the lid later. (If you want you can sew the velcro on after step 5, but I like to do it here since I feel it gives me a bit more control where to place it.)
8. Flip the lid inside out again and sew the sides of the lid together.
9. Cut the seam allowance’s corners of the lid, making sure not to cut of the thread, and flip the lid inside out. Take a pointy object like a chopstick or a pen and point the corners of the lid out so the get a nice edge.
10. Sew along the edge of the lid to make it lay flat and give it a bit of detail.
11. Flip the rest of the bag inside out and sew on the other part of the velcro or snap fastener on the front of the bag.
12. If you like to be able to have the bag on a belt like this one or hang it over your shoulder in a strap this is the step to add a piece of fabric on the back to pass the belt through or add the strap at the sides of the bag.
If you want a more soft look on the bag you can skip step 13 and 14 and jump directly to step 15.
13. To get a more square looking bag measure the inside of your bag and cut out pieces of cardboard (I like to use cereal boxes for this part). Make sure to measure all the way up on the seam allowance since you want to be able to fold a bit of the fabric down over the fabric.
14. Glue the cardboard to the inside of the bag.
15. Glue and fold down the edge of the upper part of the bag. A good way to keep the edge in place while it dry is to use clothespins, just make sure you don’t get glue on them.
16. Glue the leftover of the inner lid piece to the bag so it stays in place.
Usually, I lie. At a party, someone asks the question. It’s someone who hasn’t smelled the rancid decay of week-dead flesh or heard the rattle of fluid flooding lungs. I shake the ice in my glass, smile, and lie. When they say, “I bet you always get that question,” I roll my eyes and agree.
There are plenty of in-between stories to delve into; icky, miraculous ones and reams of the hilarious and stupid. I did, after all, become a paramedic knowing it would stack my inner shelves with a library of human tragicomedy. I am a writer, and we are nothing if not tourists gawking at our own and other people’s misery. No?
The dead don’t bother me. Even the near-dead, I’ve made my peace with. When we meet, there’s a very simple arrangement: Either they’re provably past their expiration date and I go about my business, RIP, or they’re not and I stay. A convenient set of criteria delineates the provable part: if they have begun to decay; if rigor mortis has set in; if the sedentary blood has begun to pool at their lowest point, discoloring the skin like a slowly gathering bruise. The vaguest criterion is called obvious death, and we use it in those bizarre special occasions that people are often sniffing for when they ask questions at parties: decapitations, dismemberments, incinera- tions, brains splattered across the sidewalk. Obvious death.
One of my first obvious deaths was a portly Mexican man who had been bicycling along the highway that links Brooklyn to Queens. He’d been hit by three cars and a dump truck, which was the only one that stopped. The man wasn’t torn apart or flattened, but his body had twisted into a pretzel; arms wrapped around legs. Somewhere in there was a shoulder. Obvious death. His bike lay a few feet away, gnarled like its owner. Packs and packs of Mexican cigarettes scattered across the highway. It was three a.m. and a light rain sprinkled the dead man, the bicycle, the cigarette packs, and me, made us all glow in the sparkle of police flares. I was brand new; cars kept rushing past, slowing down, rushing past.
Obvious death. Which means there’s nothing we can do, which means I keep moving with my day, with my life, with whatever I’ve been pondering until this once-alive-now-inanimate object fell into my path.If I can’t check off any of the boxes—if I can’t prove the person’s dead—I get to work and the resuscitation flowchart erupts into a tree of brand-new and complex options. Start CPR, intubate, find a vein, put an IV in it. If there’s no vein and you’ve tried twice, drill an even bigger needle into the flat part of the bone just below the knee. Twist till you feel a pop, attach the IV line. If the heart is jiggling, shock it; if it’s flatlined, fill it with drugs. If the family lingers, escort them out; if they look too hopeful, ease them toward despair. If time slips past and the dead stay dead, call it. Signs of life? Scoop ’em up and go.
You see? Simple.
Except then one day you find one that has a quiet smile on her face, her arms laying softly at her sides, her body relaxed. She is ancient, a crinkled flower, and was dying for weeks, years. The fam- ily cries foul: She had wanted to go in peace. A doctor, a social worker, a nurse—at some point all opted not to bother having that difficult conversation, perhaps because the family is Dominican and the Spanish translator wasn’t easily reachable and anyway, someone else would have it, surely, but no one did. And now she’s laid herself down, made all her quiet preparations and slipped gently away. Without that single piece of paper though, none of the lamentations matter, the peaceful smile doesn’t matter. You set to work, the tree of options fans out, your blade sweeps her tongue aside and you battle in an endotracheal tube; needles find their mark. Bumps emerge on the flat line, a slow march of tiny hills that resolve into tighter scribbles. Her pulse bounds against your fingers; she is alive.
But not awake, perhaps never to be again. You have brought not life but living death, and fuck what I’ve seen, because that, my friends at the party, my random interlocutor who doesn’t know the reek of decay, that is surely one of the craziest things I have ever done.
But that’s not what I say. I lie.
Which is odd because I did, after all, become a medic to fill the library stacks, yes? An endless collection of human frailty vignettes: disasters and the expanding ripple of trauma. No, that’s not quite true. There was something else, I’m sure of it.
And anyway, here at this party, surrounded by eager listeners with drinks in hand, mouths slightly open, ready to laugh or gasp, I, the storyteller, pause. In that pause, read my discomfort.
On the job, we literally laugh in the face of death. In our crass humor and easy flow between tragedy and lunch break, outsiders see callousness: We have built walls, ceased to feel. As one who laughs, I assure you that this is not the case. When you greet death on the daily, it shows you new sides of itself, it brings you into the fold. Gradually, or maybe quickly, depending on who you are, you make friends with it. It’s a wary kind of friendship at first, with the kind of stilted conversation you might have with a man who picked you up hitch- hiking and turns out to have a pet boa constrictor around his neck. Death smiles because death always wins, so you can relax. When you know you won’t win, it lets you focus on doing everything you can to try to win anyway, and really, that’s all there is: The Effort.
The Effort cleanses. It wards off the gathering demons of doubt. When people wonder how we go home and sleep easy after bearing witness to so much pain, so much death, the answer is that we’re not bearing witness. We’re working. Not in the paycheck sense, but in the sense of The Effort. When it’s real, not one of the endless parade of chronic runny noses and vague hip discomforts, but a true, soon- to-be-dead emergency? Everything falls away. There is the patient, the family, the door. Out the door is the ambulance and then farther down the road, the hospital. That’s it. That’s all there is.
Awkward text messages from exes, career uncertainties, generalized aches and pains: They all disintegrate beneath the hugeness that is someone else’s life in your hands. The guy’s heart is failing; fluid backs up in those feebly pumping chambers, erupts into his lungs, climbs higher and higher, and now all you hear is the raspy clatter every time he breathes. Is his blood pressure too high or too low? You wrap the cuff on him as your partner finds an IV. The monitor goes on. A thousand possibilities open up before you: He might start getting better, he might code right there, the ambulance might stall, the medicine might not work, the elevator could never come. You cast off the ones you can’t do anything about, see about another IV because the one your partner got already blew. You’re sweating when you step back and realize nothing you’ve done has helped, and then everything becomes even simpler, because all you can do is take him to the hospital as fast as you can move without totaling the rig.
He doesn’t make it. You sweated and struggled and calculated and he doesn’t make it, and dammit if that ain’t the way shit goes, but also, you’re hungry. And you’re alive, and you’ve wracked your body and mind for the past hour trying to make this guy live. Death won, but death always wins, the ultimate spoiler alert. You can only be that humbled so many times and then you know: Death always wins. It’s a warm Thursday evening and grayish orange streaks the horizon. There’s a pizza place around the corner; their slices are just the right amount of doughy. You check inside yourself to see if anything’s shattered and it’s not, it’s not. You are alive. You have not shattered.
You have not shattered because of The Effort. The Effort cleanses because you have become a part of the story, you are not passive, the very opposite of passive, in fact. Having been humbled, you feel amazing. Every moment is precise and the sky ripples with delight as you head off to the pizza place, having hurled headlong into the game and given every inch of yourself, if only for a moment, to a losing struggle.
It’s not adrenaline, although they’ll say that it is, again and again. It is the grim, heartbroken joy of having taken part. It is the difference between shaking your head at the nightly news and taking to the streets. It’s when you finally tell her how you really feel, the moment you craft all your useless repetitive thoughts into a prayer.
At the party, as they look on expectantly, I draft one of the lesser moments of horror as a stand-in. The evisceration, that will do. That single strand of intestine just sitting on the man’s belly like a lost worm. He was dying too, but he lived. It was a good story, a terrible night.
I was new and I didn’t know if I’d done anything right. He lived, but only by a hair. I magnified each tiny decision to see if I’d erred and came up empty. There was no way to know. Eventually I stopped taking jobs home with me. I released the ghosts of what I’d done or hadn’t done, let The Effort do what it does and cleanse me in the very moment of crisis. And then one night I met a tiny three-year old girl in overalls, all smiles and high-fives and curly hair. We were there because a neighbor had called it in as a burn, but the burns were old. Called out on his abuse, the father had fled the scene. The emergency, which had been going on for years, had ended and only just begun.
The story unraveled as we drove to the hospital; I heard it from the front seat. The mother knew all along, explained it in jittery, sobbing replies as the police filled out their forms. It wasn’t just the burns; the abuse was sexual too. There’d been other hospital visits, which means that people who should’ve seen it didn’t, or didn’t bother setting the gears in motion to stop it. I parked, gave the kid another high five, watched her walk into the ER holding a cop’s hand.
Then we had our own forms to fill out. Bureaucracy’s response to unspeakable tragedy is more paperwork. Squeeze the horror into easy-to-fathom boxes, cull the rising tide of rage inside and check and recheck the data, complete the forms, sign, date, stamp, insert into a metal box and then begin the difficult task of forgetting.
The job followed me down Gun Hill Road; it laughed when I pretended I was okay. I stopped on a corner and felt it rise in me like it was my own heart failing this time, backing fluids into my lungs, breaking my breath. I texted a friend, walked another block. A sob came out of somewhere, just one. It was summer. The breeze felt nice and nice felt shitty.
My phone buzzed. Do you want to talk about it?
I did. I wanted to talk about it and more than that I wanted to never have seen it and even more than that I wanted to have done something about it and most of all, I wanted it never to have hap- pened, never to happen again. The body remembers. We carry each trauma and ecstasy with us and they mark our stride and posture, contort our rhythm until we release them into the summer night over Gun Hill Road. I knew it wasn’t time to release just yet; you can’t force these things. I tapped the word no into my phone and got on the train.
I don’t tell that one either. Stories with trigger warnings don’t go over well at parties. But when the question is asked, the little girl’s smile and her small, bruised arms appear in my mind.
The worst tragedies don’t usually get 911 calls, because they are patient, unravel over centuries. While we obsess over the hyperviolent mayhem, they seep into our subconscious, poison our sense of self, upend communities, and gnaw away at family trees with intergenerational trauma.I didn’t pick up my pen just to bear witness. None of us did. And I didn’t become a medic to get a front-row seat to other people’s tragedies. I did it because I knew the world was bleeding and so was I, and somewhere inside I knew the only way to stop my own bleeding was to learn how to stop someone else’s. Another call crackles over the radio, we pick up the mic and push the button and drive off. Death always wins, but there is power in our tiniest moments, humanity in shedding petty concerns to make room for compassion. We witness, take part, heal. The work of healing in turn heals us and we begin again, laughing mournfully, and put pen to paper.
Going through my folders and posting what isn’t going to be finished or is dropped, so I can get it out for good and focus on what I do want to write.
Warnings for: born-a-female-Tsuna, mentions of attempted marital rape, forced marriages, drug-induced death and general mafia behavior.
Summary: Prior to
marrying Iemitsu, Nana was a very accomplished black widow. Tsuna
shouldn’t have to follow in her footsteps like this, but Vongola
has left her no choice in the matter. So she will have the mafia fear
her as she once feared them, and she will survive.
Prior to marrying Iemitsu, Nana Sawada
went under a different name, and was a very accomplished black widow.
She slipped poison in drinks and drugs where nobody would think to
look, put needle marks in skin and occasionally knives in the backs
of men who treated her like an object rather than a person.
Tsuna never wanted to learn such
lessons. She wanted her marriage, when it finally did happen, to be
the once-in-a-lifetime event her mother gushed about having with
Iemitsu. After the mafia came and ruined her life, she still clung to
feeble hopes that maybe she could still get that.
But it isn’t to be.
Timoteo intends to make a statement,
one way or another. Unfortunately, even if a woman should rule as
Decima, she must still have a husband. And Xanxus isn’t about to
touch the woman that froze him once upon a time. So he’s reached
out beyond Vongola to allied families, and they’ve sent their best
to him. And now he’s made a choice, and once again he’s forcing
it on her.
Tsuna can lie to everyone but herself;
she’s afraid. Terrified, in fact. The thought of a stranger
touching her makes her want to vomit. The thought of this man
breathing in her general vicinity makes her want to vomit, actually.
She shakes and quivers and hides beneath her bedcovers, and for once,
Reborn says nothing. He doesn’t scold her. He slides a mug of hot
chocolate topped with enough whipped cream to give her diabetes her
way, wordlessly tipping his hat down as he leaves the room. It
doesn’t take someone of Reborn’s calibre to know the man doesn’t
like this any more than she does. But he’s her tutor, not her
father (no matter how much she wishes otherwise some days), and so he
can only stand back and watch this trainwreck.
Maybe that’s why she confides in her
mother. Why when everyone is gone, Tsuna goes downstairs, starts to
speak, and then bursts into tears. Everything comes rushing out,
every lie about the mafia she’s ever told, and she begs her
mother’s forgiveness for the lies, and Nana gives it readily,
wrapping arms around her and letting her cry into a warm shoulder.
The tears eventually leave, and Nana sits her down, gets her a glass
of cold water, and begins to tell her a story.
It is not a nice story.
But it teaches Tsuna what she needs to
know to survive. Because Nana was once a prominent black widow that
nobody could ever track down. Her husbands died of natural causes -
all the autopsy reports say so - and while people had their
suspicions, there was no evidence for them to pin her with. And after
a time, she’d learned how to disguise herself, going from one
husband to the next.
Now she cups Tsuna’s small hands in
her own, and drops the mask she uses around everyone. “Tsunako, do
you want to learn how?”
Tsuna can’t say yes fast enough.
Her first husband dies to poison.
It’s tradition, her mother insists,
when she shows Tsunako had to make a clear, tasteless, odorless toxin
that’s practically untraceable once its inside the system. It’s
homegrown, and Nana is a perfectionist at teaching it. She has Tsuna
make batch after batch after batch until eventually she gets
everything perfect. And then she gets a dropper and begins to
administer one drop to Tsunako a day.
One drop doesn’t kill her. It makes
her feel like shit, but she muscles through it, because a true poison
user is protected against whatever they brew. Bianchi is the same way
- she can eat whatever she makes and the poison won’t kill her or
even make her queasy. Nana is immune to whatever toxins she injects
into the veins of others, and eventually Tsuna will be too. They have
time - the wedding isn’t due for a while, and nobody is going to
force her and her husband together until then.
Tsuna sees Reborn watching them, once,
but he vanishes too quickly for her to ask him if he’s going to
tell anyone what she’s doing. She doesn’t ask afterward, because
there’s a look in his eyes that’s… proud. It makes her feel
warm, and when he drills her on her lessons later on, she doesn’t
complain, driven by her twin desires to survive what’s coming, and
make the man that has become her father in so many ways proud.
Spring passes into summer, and the
wedding is held. People flock from all over to see it, and Tsuna is
dressed to the nines and sent out at the alter. Her husband is a
tall, weedy-looking young man who looks far too smug. She hates him
at once, and his oily touch doesn’t remedy that.
The poison is not in his drink, but in
her lipstick, and when they kiss (him pressing far too close, too
hard, disgusting) she feels a sense of predatory satisfaction.
The next morning she wakes up and screams, which brings the bodyguard
outside the door running. She plays the part of the horrified wife,
discovering her husband’s cold, lifeless body in bed. They rush the
body away, and bring her to Reborn to keep her safe while they go
question guests and comb through the drinks menu.
Reborn eyes her fingernails, but his
eyes flicker upwards when she taps her lip in pretend thought.
There’s a ghost of a smile across his face, but it fades once the
door opens and Timoteo enters, looking both furious and terrified. He
questions her if she feels ill, or if anything felt off at the
wedding. She answers no to both, wringing her hands and playing up
the ‘Dame-Tsuna’ act to full effect. It works, and the old man
“You’ve been hanging around Bianchi
too much,” Reborn murmurs, not moving his lips, and Tsuna has to
bite her own to hold back her return of its not Bianchi I’ve
been spending so much time with lately, but you already know that.
The death is passed off as a heart
attack a week later when no results come up showing foul play. Tsuna
doesn’t even get to play the widow in mourning before Timoteo’s
given her another husband, this time in the form of a 40 something
lech that’s like every old man out of a hentai. The old man gropes
her and laughs too loudly and tries to sneak a hand up her dress to
cop a feel, but Tsuna smacks his hand away and smiles the same smile
her mother does at home even as her stomach rolls and her anger burns
a hole through her heart.
He tries to take her no less than four
separate time against various walls, each time growing more and more
impatient and annoyed when Tsuna darts away. The poison is in her
nails this time, and when he finally grabs her too hard she scratches
him ‘on accident’ and then demands he leave her alone, she
doesn’t want to be touched. She closes herself off in her room and
locks the door. Her new husband pounds on it and snarls demands, but
she puts her headphones on and ignores him until eventually he gives
up and goes away.
This poison is far more slow-acting,
and it doesn’t strike until early the next morning during
breakfast. Bianchi and Reborn have taken her out to a nearby cafe for
breakfast, citing ‘comfort food in these troubling times and a
female shoulder to cry on’. In reality Bianchi wants to know her
methods and trade tips, and Reborn pays for a tiny cake and
congratulates her on finding sneaky solutions to her problems.
“I thought you’d go running off and
tell Timoteo,” she confesses to her tutor. Reborn gives her a look.
“I’ve been around this business
long enough to know how these things go, Tsuna. Trust me, I don’t
judge you one iota for what you’re doing. But you should probably
change your methods here shortly.”
She nods, having already planned to use
a needle on whoever the unfortunate third soul is. They finish
breakfast and head home, laughing and talking about whatever strikes
their fancy, and when they arrive home its to a Timoteo that looks
far older than before. “Grandfather? What’s wrong?”
He gives her a pitying look.
“There’s… there’s been another death, my dear.”
She drops to her knees in shock,
Bianchi by her side instantly, hooking an arm around her shoulders
and murmuring comforting words as she ‘helps’ Tsunako up.
Reborn’s face is shadowed, but Tsuna can see the sparkle in his
eyes from her position. “What happened?” she asks in what she
hopes is the right tone of voice.
Later, Reborn toasts her in the privacy
of the bedroom, and Bianchi congratulates her on another job well
done. This death is passed off as a choking accident, as apparently
the man had been shoving as much food in his gullet as possible when
the poison had kicked in. Nobody had managed to get to him in time to
prevent the ‘choking’, which just made the victory all the
Request: Hmmmm…..maybe something along the lines of reader hanging out with Teamiplier during a livestream and they fall asleep and everyone else wants to draw on them but one of the members won’t allow it (you choose the ‘protective’ member) :) I just think that’d be super cute
Mark looked at you as he talked, still rubbing Chica’s fur. You rolled your eyes as he winked playfully. You took a sip of your water, making a grabby hand at Chica. Her tail wagged happily as you sat next to her. Chica turned away from Mark, placing her had on your lap.
“I forget things,” John said to Sherlock as they stood at Mary’s grave. Both men avoided looking at each other and kept staring down at the things they’d brought: a vase with roses and tulips, a little candle burning behind glass.
“Since this morning, I can’t remember what her laugh sounded like. Yesterday I forgot what it felt like to touch her hair.”
John was crying. Sherlock could hear it in his voice, and he wondered if it was a good idea to try and comfort him.
To his surprise, John suddenly reached out and took Sherlock’s hand.
“Mary always did that when we visited your grave,” he explained. “She held my hand.”
“Do you still talk to her?” Sherlock asked.
John squeezed his hand so hard that it hurt. Sherlock endured the pain like he always did.
“I try not to,” John answered. “It’s not exactly a sign of sanity to talk to the dead.”
“Sanity is overrated.” Sherlock shrugged. “I talk to her every day. I still want to apologize. I made a vow, and I didn’t keep it.”
“You still can, you know.” John’s grip on his hand became softer, almost gentle. He turned away from the grave and looked up at Sherlock. “The family still consists of three people you can protect.”
“Rosie,” Sherlock said. “And you. And…?”
“Yourself.” John ran his hand up Sherlock’s arm, where his clothes were hiding the needle marks. “You always forget yourself.”
He walked away and left Sherlock alone with Mary and his thoughts.
“*yn* and Bellamy may have finally resolved their own issues - but now they have to help Octavia save the love of her life. *yn* finally comes face to face with the commander of the grounders and unsurprisingly doesn’t bother to keep her mouth shout.”
Warnings: Swearing, violence
Notes: Based on 2x07 ‘Long Into An Abyss’ of The 100.
I decided to experiment using a felting needle to see if I could add in more white hairs to my boyfriend’s character, a Binturong (aka bearcat) which have lots of little white hairs around their faces. Originally I developed a technique by knotting and tying in brushed out yarn: That tutorial can be seen here.
The problem I ran into with that technique was I wanted to add more hairs to an already finished mask. I used steps 1-5 of that previous guide to expand this technique. Because this technique uses two tools that may be new to your toolbox, thinning shears and felting needles, I linked examples on Amazon in the list below.
Flat iron (for hair, a regular clothes iron works too)
1. Through and through high energy contact gunshot wound involving the roof of the mouth associated with:
A. Extensive lacerations of the scalp and soft tissues of the face
B. Massive fracturing of the skull
C. Evacuation of the brain - cerebral cortex and brain stem
D. Extensive fraturing of the facial bones
COMMENT: The autopsy findings in this case reveal that the cause of death is due to massive head injury secondary to a high energy gunshot wound involving the roof of the mouth, consistent with a shotgun. This wound is consistent with self-infliction.
This autopsy is performed in the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office in Golden, Colorado on 04/22/99 at 2:00 pm. The autopsy is done at the request of Dr. Nancy Bodelson, the Coroner of Jefferson County. Identification is by fingerprints. The position identification for this individual is #12. Members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department attended the autopsy. I am assisted in the autopsy by Mr. Rob Kulbacki.
History: This is the case of an 18-year-old, white male who was the alleged victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head that occurred in the Columbine High School library on 04/20/99. No other history is available at the time of autopsy.
External Examination: The body is clothed in a blood stained white T-shirt with the inscription “Natural Selection” on the front; green plaid jockey shorts; black combat boots; white socks; and a black glove on the right hand with the fingers cut away. This is the unembalmed, well-developed, well-nourished, extensively traumatized body of a white male appearing consistent with the stated age of 18. Height is measured at 5'8-½"; weight is estimated at 135-140 pounds. Rigor is present in the lower extremities only. Faint reddish-purple livor is present over the dorsal aspects of the body with appropriate blanching of the pressure points.
Head: The scalp is covered by short, blood stained, black hair. The normal contour of the head is prominently distorted by extensive laceration of the scalp and associated massive fracturing of the cranium. Present in the mid-aspect of the lower forehead and extending downward to involve the bridge of the nose; the distal portion of the right side of the nose; and the medial aspects of both orbits; is an oblong configured blow-out type of laceration measuring 3" in length by 2" in width, associated with underlying multiple fracture fragments which extend outward from the wound. Present on the right lower forehead, extending upwards and across the lateral aspect of the right side of the head; extending up over the apex of the head; and then extending downward to involve the posterior aspect of the scalp to the level of the horizontal plane of the ears; is a large gaping laceration which measures 8" in length by 3" in width. Ears - both ears are intact. There is blood in both external auditory canals. There is blood staining of the earlobes. Present anterior to both of the ears are vertical lacerations. The one on the right measures 1-½" in length; the one on the left measures ¾" in length; and these are consistent with blow-out injuries from a gunshot wound involving the mouth. Eyes - the eyebrows are brown. The orbits are distorted by fracturing of the underlying skeleton. The sclera on the right is bluish-gray; the sclera on the left is white. The right iris is gray; the left iris is hazel. The pupils are round, measure 8 mm, and are directed antericrly. The conjunctive are minimally congested. No petechiae are observed. A reddish-purple periorbital contusion involves the left orbit. Nose - there is, as previously described, injury to the external surface of the nose with extensive underlying fractures. Present adjacent to the right lateral margin of the nose are two vertical lacerations, each measuring ¼". Present on both sides of the face are multiple linear, curvilinear, punctate lacerations and cuts, more dense on the right. Palpating the face reveals massive fracturing of the facial bones. Mouth - there are several lacerations involving the corners of both sides of the mouth, the largest of which is on the right side, measuring ½" in length. There are multiple mucosal lacerations involving the mid-aspect of the lower lip. Slightly downward from the right side of the mouth is a laterally diagonal laceration measuring ½" in length. There is extensive laceration of the buccal mucosa. The tongue is intact, reddish-purple, with some black staining consistent with powder. There are central fractures of the upper and lower alveolar ridges. The teeth are intact with the exception that the lateral lower incisor on the right side of the jaw is absent. There is dense powder (soot) staining the mucosal surface of the hard palate. There is a large cavitary defect involving the roof of the mouth, including the hard palate, the soft palate, extending upwards involving the nasal pharynx and nasal passages, communicating directly into the base of the skull. This represents a contact entrance high energy gunshot wound. Present on the lateral surface of both sides of the face are brown whiskers.
Neck: The external surface of the neck reveals no evidence of trauma. The neck organs are in the midline without palpable masses.
Chest: The chest demonstrates a mild pectus excavatum with some central decrease in the anterior-posterior diameter. Present in this area is a curvilinear, horizontally oriented scar. No external trauma involves the chest. The breasts are normal male. Palpating the chest reveals no instability. The axillae are negative to observation and palpation.
Abdomen: The abdomen is flat. No external trauma is present. There is no evidence of previous surgical exploration. There is green discoloration of the lower abdomen. On deep palpation, no organomegaly or masses are noted grossly.
Genitalia: A normal appearing male, black, genital hair pattern is present. The penis is of normal size, shape, and position; circumcised. Both testicles are bilaterally descended in their respective scrotal sacs without palpable masses. There is a pigmented nevus in the right groin.
Back: Present on the right upper back is a horizontal area of soft tissue indentation with postmortem drying artifact. There is a small pigmented nevus on the right lower quadrant of the back. The anus is intact without any unusual dilatation or trauma.
Extremities: The upper extremities are intact. The nails are intact, short and slightly dirty. The lateral surfaces of the hands are unremarkable. The forearms are unremarkable. The antecubital fossae reveal no evidence of recent needle puncture marks or scars. Present on the lateral aspect of the left upper arm is a small cluster of punctate lacerations and cuts. Present on the lateral aspect of the right upper arm is reddish-brown abrasion associated with purple contusion measuring 3/8" in size. Arm spans: the right arm from the right shoulder to the tip of the right index finger is 30-½"; the left arm from the left shoulder to the tip of the left index finger is 31". The lower extremities are intact without evidence of congenital abnormality or trauma. There is a small reddish-brown abrasion on the lateral aspect of the right foot.
Internal Examination: Through the usual Y-shaped incision, a thin layer of yellow subcutaneous adipose tissue and reddish-brown musculature are revealed. The diaphragms are intact and arch to the level of the 5th left intercostal space and the 4th right intercostal space. The peritoneal cavity contains no unusual accumulation of fluid. The lining is smooth, gray and glistening. The viscera and omentum are normally disposed.
Pleural Spaces: The pleural spaces are without any unusual accumulation of fluid. The parietal pleurae are smooth, gray and glistening. The ribs of the chest are intact and unremarkable grossly. There is a mild pectus excavatum deformity of the sternum. The clavicles are intact. The pericardial sac is intact. The lumen contains 8 cc of clear fluid. The pericardium is smooth, gray and glistening.
Thymus: Five (5) grams of pink, lobular, firm, thymic tissue is present in the anterior-superior mediastinal space.
Neck: The lumen of the upper esophagus and pharynx is patent. The mucosal surface is tan and wrinkled. The lumen of the upper respiratory tract is patent. The mucosal surface is tan and smooth. The hyoid bone and cricothyroid cartillages are intact. There are contusions involving the mucosal surface of the piriform sinus consistent with the blast impact of the contact gunshot wound to the roof of the mouth.
Thyroid: The thyroid is of normal size, shape, and position, and has a reddish-brown, lobular, firm, gross appearance. The cervical vertebrae are intact. There is no obstruction to the posterior nasopharynx or the posterior aspect of the oral cavity. I can palpate a large defect of the nasopharynx associated with multiple fracture fragments. The major vessels of the neck are intact and unremarkable grossly. There is no soft tissue hemorrhage in the neck.
Heart: The heart is intact and weighs 290 grams. The epicardial surface is reddish-brown, smooth, and glistening. Very little epicardial yellow fat is present. The myocardium is reddish-brown and firm without gross evidence of fibrosis or softening.
The ventricular walls are of normal thickness. The endocardial surface is reddish-brown, smooth, and glistening. The cardiac valves are intact. The valve leaflets are thin and fully pliable. The valve circumferences are normal for this size heart. The chordae tendineae are tan and delicate. The papillary muscles are intact. The foramen ovale is closed. The atrial septum is intact. The coronary sinus is patent. The ventricular septum is intact. The coronary ostia are in a normal anatomic position and widely patent. The coronary arteries demonstrate a normal anatomic distribution with normal gross features.
Aorta: the aorta is intact and of normal course and calibre throughout. The intimal surface is tan and smooth. The wall is thin and elastic. The main abdominal tributaries are intact.
Respiratory System: The lumen of the lower respiratory tract contains a small amount of hemorrhagic fluid on the right side. The mucosal surface is hyperemic and smooth. The lungs are moderately well aerated. The pleural surfaces are pink, smooth and glistening. The lungs together weigh 600 grams. Serial sections reveal moderately well aerated, soft, spongy, lung tissue. The pulmonary arteries are intact without evidence of thromboembolic disease. The pulmonary veins empty into the left atrium in a normal fashion.
Gastrointestinal System: The esophagus is of normal courses and calibre throughout. The lumen is patent. The mucosal surface is tan with longitudinal furrowing. The wall is thin. The stomach is in normal anatomic position. The lumen contains 250 cc of brown, liquid, gastric contents. The gastric mucosa is tan with intact rugae. No peptic ulcer disease or tumor are noted grossly. The small bowel demonstrates a normal anatomic distribution with normal gross feature. The appendix is present and unremarkable grossly. The large bowel demonstrates a normal anatomic distribution with normal gross features.
Spleen: The spleen is intact and weighs 160 grams. The external surface is purple and smooth. Serial sections reveal a firm, reddish-purple, splenic parenchyma.
Liver: The liver is intact and weighs 1250 grams. The external surface is reddish-brown, smooth, and glistening. Serial sections reveal a soft, reddish-brown, lobular, normal appearing, liver tissue.
Gallbladder: The gallbladder is intact. The lumen contains 10 cc of liquid, yellowish-brown bile. The mucosal surface is smooth and bile stained. The cystic duct and common bile duct are intact and patent throughout. The portal vein, splenic vein, and superior mesenteric vein are intact and patent.
Pancreas: The pancreas is of normal size, shape, and position, and has a tan, lobular, soft, partially autolyzed, gross appearance.
Adrenals: Both adrenals are identified. Serial sections reveal a thin yellow cortex and gray medulla.
Kidneys: Both kidneys are identified. The capsules strip easily. The left kidney weighs 120 grams; the right kidney weighs 110 grams. The cortical surfaces are reddish-brown and smooth. Bivalving of each kidney reveals a well-demarcated, reddish-brown cortex and medulla. The renal papillae are normal. There is no calyceal scarring. There is no unusual pelvic dilatation. Both ureters are present, patent, and uniform in diameter throughout.
Bladder: The bladder is intact. The lumen contains 2 cc of cloudy yellow urine. The bladder mucosa is tan and wrinkled. The prostate, seminal vesicles and testicles are intact and unremarkable grossly.
Musculoskeletal System: Other than the injuries to be described under the observation of the head, no other injuries are observed.
Lymphatics: There are reactive lower respiratory tract lymph nodes. A biopsy is taken.
Venous System: There is no evidence of hepatic vein, renal vein, or portal vein thrombosis. The superior and inferior vena cavae are intact.
Central Nervous System: As previously described, the scalp is massively lacerated. The external cranium is markedly distorted with a large area in the right lateral and posterior aspects of the head absent, having been blown away. The cranium is a mass of fracture fragments. The cerebral cortex and brain stem have been evacuated. All that remains is a small portion of medulla oblongata. Several large fragments of brain are submitted separately consisting of portions of cerebral cortex; examined and there is no evidence of any underlying disease. There is massive fracturing of the base of the skull, and there is a large cavitary defect involving the base of the skull, including the posterior aspect of the orbital plates, the temporal fossae, portion of the posterior fossae, and the sphenoid bone and clivus. This is the area that represents entry of the gunshot wound into the skull. C1 and C2 are intact. The odontoid ligament and odontoid processes are intact.
Blood: I obtained two gray-stoppered test tubes of blood from the heart.
Urine: I obtained one gray-stoppered test tube of urine.
Bile: I obtained one gray-stoppered test tube of bile.
Gastric Contents: I obtained one gray-stoppered test tube and one red-stoppered test tube of gastric contents.
Vitreous Humor: I obtained one gray-stoppered test tube of vitreous humor.
I also obtained approximately 100 grams of liver and 100 grams of kidney which will be retained and frozen.
1. Hair samples: I obtained random scalp and public hair.
2. I obtained left and right nail scrapings.
3. I obtained one yellow-stoppered test tube of blood, one purple-stoppered test tube of blood, and one red-stoppered test tube of blood.
The hair samples and nail scrapings are given to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Officers in attendance at the autopsy.
We will keep the blood samples with the toxicology specimens for a year for any possible evidentiary need.
X-ray Examination: Revealed no evidence of retained bullets.
Wound Summary: The wound of entrance is a high energy gunshot wound to the roof of the mouth consistent with shotgun. The major force of the wound extended upward, backwards, and slightly to the right, causing large cavitary defects in the base of the skull and the right lateral posterior aspect of the skull. The characteristics of the wound are consistent with self-infliction.
04/22/99 Addendum: Additional material obtained from the scene is submitted for examination includes:
A. Skull fragments with one tooth.
B. Decomposed brain tissue - 600 grams
1. Decomposing cerebral cortex and cerebellar cortex - containing bone fragments - one circular shotgun wad - one tiny piece of what appears to be metal
A. Wad and metal given to Sheriff’s Office.
2. Skull fragments demonstrating circular perforations with outward bevelling
3. Separated dried blood for any future DNA testing - frozen
4. Other specimens frozen separately - i.e. bone ffrom decomposing brain tissue
Thymus: Normal histologic features.
Adrenal: Normal histologic features.
Brain Fragments: Sections reveal early autolysis and small foci of intraparenchymal hemorrhage involving the medulla.