Ice Cream Kitty
medium. acrylic yarn
size. approx. 6" tall
by. Chelsey Scully
location. Prince Edward Island, Canada
Welcome to Ice Cream Social, the summer's socially distant group art show, featuring creators and makers from all walks of life, coming together to share their love of the greatest treat known to man. Each week through Labor Day, come chill with new artists as they discuss a wide range of topics spanning their personal journeys, art, pop culture, and, of course, ice cream! Week Three's dessert includes chats with the silky smooth artist and podcaster, Adam Reck, and a terrific blend of horror and crochet from Chelsey Scully.
Ice Cream Social kicked off with Brendan Albetski, Michael O'Shields, and Maria Solias, and continued last week with art from Marcelo Biott, Deli Fresh Threads, and Wally Tautz.
My heart still lies with Secret of the Ooze.
Thanks for being a part of Ice Cream Social, Chelsey. I was specifically excited to wrangle a few tactile artists, and having followed your work on Twitter for some time, you came to mind immediately for this project. So first up, what exactly is the proper term for your stitch work?
The proper term for my stitch work is crochet.
Crochet! Right. Sorry. Clearly, this is not my expertise, and I always think of scarves and blankets when I think of crochet. You've completely reimagined it with your work, critters like this "Ice Cream Kitty" that feels like cousins with stuffed animals. How'd you make that leap?
I picked up a book in the store years ago with patterns on how to make crochet dolls. The book is called Super Scary Crochet by Nikki Trench so if you want to know where to begin when making your own dolls, I recommend that one. Obviously, my patterns for the past few years are my own, but this book teaches you the basics of how the dolls are made.
Anyway, I made my first doll from that book and I fell in love with the concept of making dolls. Plus, I’m not one who enjoys working for months on projects. I lose interest. I guess I have a bit of a short attention span. So sweaters and blankets usually don’t make me happy when I’m making them. It takes too much time. Obviously, there have been doll pieces that have taken weeks to complete, but it’s rare that I make creatures that large unless I’m like, SUPER inspired.
So how long does it take for your create one of these dolls?
Most of the dolls take five hours to complete. Some of the characters that I have made repeatedly take four hours because I know the pattern like the back of my hand. Some take a bit longer like 6-8 hours. It really all depends on how much detailing the character needs. It’s really not the doll body itself that takes a lot of time. I can whip up a 6.5 inch doll body in about one-and-a-half hours. It really is the detailing that’s time consuming, especially the hair. Each strand of hair is independently attached to the head, so it’s a pretty slow process. Then there’s adding belts and necklaces and props, et cetera. It’s the small detailing makes these dolls so awesome.
So many of your dolls are horror icons. Have you ever thought about the juxtaposition between that subject matter with the perceived wholesome "granny" stereotype of crocheting?
I haven’t really considered that. I think for years crocheting and knitting has gone beyond only grannies do it. But I mean, I’ve always followed crafting and such so I saw cool knitting and crochet patterns for years. I didn’t even notice that nobody was combining crochet and horror. I just knew I was good at using yarn as a medium in art. And all great art comes from the soul and well... horror runs though my soul. It has since I was a kid. So I just naturally ended up using it in my crochet work.
So let's move onto "Ice Cream Kitty" itself. I was hoping for some sort of horror/sci-fi themed tie-in to ice cream, but never in a million years did I anticipate this amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference to grace Ice Cream Social with its presence. Are you a fan of the 2012 Turtles series?
I actually am a fan! I’m also an 80s kid so obviously TMNT was life as a kid. I actually didn’t start watching the newer versions until I had a kid. She discovered the newer series, and I just watched a few episodes with her (you know, to make sure it was ok for her age) and the first thing I saw was Ice Cream Kitty, so naturally, I was in love. But the plot of the series itself was really decent. I noticed there were actually tons of different TMNT series and it’s kinda cool that the Turtles never really went away. And even though one of my first childhood crushes was Casey Jones from the original film, my heart still lies with Secret of the Ooze as being my favorite of the series in general.
And I loved the references to some horror films in the 2012 series. There was this episode that was straight up Alien references, and it was amazing. I think there was a Friday the 13th-based episode as well.
Like, the movie Alien, not aliens in general. Well, the whole series was pretty much alien-related if you classify Krang as aliens which I think they did? I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t pay attention enough to follow the whole plot. But I liked all the episodes I did watch!
(REMINDER: Check out fellow Ice Cream Socialite Brendan Albetski's TMNT-inspired ice cream art.)
You've summed up the series nicely. Elias Koteas was the actor who played Casey Jones in the 1990 movie. He's been in a million other things before and since, but he'll always be Casey Jones.
So as a horror buff, and an 80s kid, do you have a preference in slasher anti-hero?
Oh, hands down, Jason Voorhees. I’m also a huge special effects snob and Friday the 13th is never stingy on their special effects. And they’re always the most creative kills. Jason is just so resourceful in using what he has around him to make a beautiful kill.
I mean, the guy was chillin' under a lake for who knows how long, just waiting for the right girl to come along in a canoe... Definitely a resourceful individual.
So that reminds me, Jason has left Camp Crystal Lake. Let's he's going to, I don't know, Manhattan? It's a long enough trip from western New Jersey to the Big Apple that he's getting hungry, maybe a little parched. What kind of ice treat is he picking up on the way to the next kill?
Okay, first off, I’m gonna say Jason Takes Manhattan is a fucking gem.
And I would say a milkshake. I mean, you could fit a straw right through the mask hole for easy drinking. Probably strawberry, because he would probably eat strawberries in the woods and seems like the kinda guy who doesn’t like to venture to far out of his comfort zone. I mean, he’s always chilling at Crystal Lake... unless he’s out taking Manhattan... or space. But technically, space wasn’t his fault! He was abducted!
I want a new Friday the 13th film. I don’t even give a poop if it’s a remake or reboot or whatever. I just wanna see my boy on the big screen.
What did you think of the 2009 reboot?
(Also, the strawberry milkshake is now the official dessert of Jason Voorhees.)
I wasn’t a fan of the reboot, but I keep meaning to give it a second chance. I think it was the plot that kinda threw me off in that film. I remember liking it until the final act. I can’t really explain why I didn’t like it, and usually if I can’t explain why I didn’t like a film, I rewatch it because chances are I was just not in the mood for the film plot at the time.
I’m also older and more mature now. Ten-years-ago-me was still kinda petty about remakes/reboots. I’ve chilled out a lot over the past ten years with watching and rating films. The day I decided to go into films without any expectations is the day films got exponentially more delightful for me.
Dessert works the same way. Stop worrying about calories and just try to avoid a brain freeze. That said, before we bring this to a close, what's your own favorite ice cream or frozen treat?
Now it’s milkshakes, hands down. But that’s only because they stopped making those orange push pops. The ones I had always had the Flintstones on them. Anyway, they were so fucking good. And then one day they were gone. I still think about them often.
Oh hard same! Push-up Pops were THE thing in summer '92.
Flashfreeze round: Sprinkles or jimmies?
Considering I had to google what a Jimmie is so I could understand the question, I’m gonna say sprinkles which I will add I’m not a huge fan of. They have that wet chalk texture to them and it offends my teeth.
So should I skip the next question, rainbow or chocolate?
I guess if your gonna ruin my ice cream with sprinkles, at least use rainbow because then at least I have something pretty to look at while being offended.
Cup or cone?
Cone all the way. Preferably waffle style.
Sherbet or sherbert?
I say "sherbert". But in my defense, nobody has ever told me otherwise because I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where I’ve actually ordered it.
It is never too late to right the ship. That said, as our conversation comes to an end, thank you, Chelsey, for your time, and for contributing this excellent crocheted "Ice Cream Kitty" to the first-ever Ice Cream Social. Seeing it for the first time literally rejuvenated this project for me. Send us away with your all-time favorite ice cream topping.
Your very welcome! And thank you for inviting me to participate and therefore giving ice cream kitty life.
And my favourite ice cream topping would have to be caramel sauce.
A fine choice, and a great way to end this! Thanks for a delightful conversation and the terrific artwork, Chelsey.
Friday the 13th
Four installments of the original Friday the 13th franchise debuted on the 13th.
Camp Crystal Lake is actually Camp NoBeBoSco in Hardwick, NJ.
One of the camp counselors, Bill, is played by Harry Crosby, son of Bing Crosby. In the mid-80s, the younger Crosby put acting behind him in favor of investment banking.
Throughout the franchise, 166 of 269 speaking roles were killed off at some point. That's 62%.
Parts 5, 9 and 10 have 20 murders each, the most in any of the films.
What kind of bees don't make honey?
A Love of Horror Movies
The advent of Tales from the Stitch goes all the way back to Chelsey Scully's childhood:
"Obviously, my dad had standards, well, actually, my mom had standards that my dad had to follow, and Moms standards were simply ‘no nudity’ and my father accepted that. However, it being the 80s, a lot of the current horror films were all about the titties, so we stuck with the older horror films. My dad introduced me to the The Universal Monsters, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone and my absolute favorite, Night Of The Living Dead (1978).
We watched films like Gremlins, House, Pet Semetary, Cujo and it was all good until the “situation” occurred. During a viewing of Jaws, my little brother threw up during the scene with Quinn getting eaten on the boat, which ultimately led to my mother adding another ‘standard’ to my father's ‘movies I can watch with the kids’ lis, and that new standard was absolutely no gore, and hence, began one of the greatest phrases I could hear my father say to me before watching a film: ’Don’t tell your mother.’"
Chelsey Scully combines horror movie fanaticism with deft crochet work to produce equal-parts cute and creepy dolls based on pop culture icons, many of them of dubious moral character. Support her eerily-infused art on Patreon, and through custom commissions. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, for art updates, movie banter, and more.