Wednesday, April 16, 2014

America's ClayFest is This Weekend!

Well, it's upon me, already! America's ClayFest will be opening in Roseville, California at the Blue Line Arts Gallery on Saturday. My piece, "The Most Interesting Jackalope in the World," was selected for this prestigious international ceramic art show, and I've really been looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, there's been a hitch.

I had to ship my piece FedEx. And, during the wrapping process, they broke it. My bad shipping karma seems to be perfectly intact. In speaking with the gallery (who have been fantastic about communicating and sending pictures, even though they're in the middle of trying to set up a show), they let me know that in spite of all my requests at to how this piece was to be packed, all those requests were ignored. The reason I had them wrap it is because if something like this happened, they'd be responsible. I also insured it, though now I'm told the amount for which it was insured is not what they'll cover. Of course, I beg to differ, since nno one told me that at the time I insured the piece. I will fight them tooth and nail on this.

 I am hoping the gallery will be able to repair it. The reality is, though, that even if they can, no one will buy a piece that's had this kind of damage. 

The crushing disappointment, of course, is the opportunity lost. This show only happens once a year, is juried, and there's no guarantee I'll be chosen next year. I felt like crying all day.

Fortunately, no day which starts off with bad news is a complete waste. I got the good news that I've been accepted to Scare LA, and will probably teach some kind of class while I'm there. (Not sure what, as of yet!) I'm looking forward to this new show, and started on the new crop of jacks yesterday. I'll pop into the studio and get some more stuff done today, as well. I've got some ideas for some new things, plus some re-vamping of old things.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bride of Otto

Copyright Brian Kesinger.
Lovely piece by one of my fave artists, Brian Kesinger, of Walking Your Octopus fame. (I hear a second book, Traveling With Your Octopus, is in process.)

I did a post on Brian a few months ago, in case you'd like to read about him. I was delighted to find he also has an Etsy store! (So much to love!) Tootle on over there and check out his work!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Been makin' some mini-boos while I've been down, to start getting ready for Halloween and Vine (and hopefully, Scare LA).

People like these, but they're unaware of the things they do in the night. In the dark. When you're alone...
The mini-boo in the video belongs to Mike Cathcart of The Skull and Pumpkin blog, and he looks like he's in good company.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hauntcast 58 - Ash Wednesday

Sorry to have disappeared this week! My nephew and my sister-in-law came for a visit and we've been spending a bunch of quality time together, and all around having a blast!

Meanwhile, the new Hauntcast has come out!

HAUNTING GURU INTERVIEW:The Propmaster’s winner of best indoor haunt in 2008 and best how-to in 2009, longtime haunter Noah Fentz of Katzper’s Haunt hangs out (from the rafters) in the dungeon.
BONE PHONE:Roger Hayes crank dials Chris on the Bone Phone to pimp his Kickstarter campaign for“Home Haunting for Mere Mortals” how-to book.
GHOULIE GROOVES:Taking you by the hand and leading you Hellbound, Canadian rockers The Creepshow bury Chris alive after they marry the Devil’s Son
SHOCKTAILS:JT and Chris fall off their bar stools after consuming cases of IPA while blathering about the plethora of horror movies dropping this month as well as reviewing Patrick
THE MARKETING MORGUE:Mr. Terhune gets the munchies for Cookies of Evil and how Girl Scout cookie marketing relates to your haunt.
THEATER OF THE MINDRevenant notices that some of the spookiest stuff out there can be remembered from our own childhoods… and that ain’t no fairy tale
THE CHARMED POT:Frankenfooted Shellhawk hobbles into the Mystery Machine and drives back into time to pull the mask off our favorite Horror related cartoons from our past.
THE PROP SHOP:Denny gives his past two years as Hauntcast’s prop guy a reach around and climaxes with his final prop building tips.
TERROR TURNPIKE:Vysther road trips to Creepy World in Revenant’s backyard, Saint Louis
MAD PROPS FOR PROPS:The creative mind behind the Garage of Terror is opened up and laid bare with James’ Brain-pan Head Dissection prop, 1st place winner in Haunt Forum’s 2013 propbuilder’s challenge.
PLUS!Sponsor Asylum Coffin hooks up two lucky minions with a Hearth Coffin.Congrats to winners Shelly Madden and Robert Wolf!
Next month is the last month I'll be doing a Charmed Pot segment, as Chris has decided to feature only the original three Scream Team members on the final episode of Hauntcast, which will be free. It feels strange to be winding the show down for a second time. There's no doubt that I'll miss it!

Anyway, enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Four Days Left!

Just four days left to support a small business and craft brewery getting its start! Here's the video, plus below, I'll include details of the goodies you can get at different levels of support. (I really want them to change their tag line to: "Oak Park Brewing Company: Because life's too short to drink cheap, domestic swill!" But no word back, so far...)
"We started brewing at home in Oak Park. Our commitment to the Oak Park neighborhood and its redevelopment has earned us some great press. All of our fans are excited to see us open.  We believe that our brewery will be a significant contribution to the revitalization of Oak Park, and your contribution helps make that happen."
Brewer Tom Karvonen meeting Sacramento Mayor
Kevin Johnson
We also have a Beer Connoisseur reward package.  You will get special Oak Park Brewing Company Connoisseur t-shirts, access to VIP events,  - including release parties for our limited-release barrel-aged ales and sours, but most important of all... you'll be served in a special Connoisseur Glass when you're at the brewery so people will know you're part of an awesome group of Oak Park Brewing Company Supporters.
We will also have a VIP Grand Opening Gala at our brewpub.  Contributing at this level gets you into the event, where you will mingle with other supporters, get the chance to taste all of Oak Park Brewing Company's initial releases AND be the first to try our gastropub specialties.
More rewards are listed under each donation level.
 Thanks for supporting these folks! It's great to see these craft brewers raising the bar!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Speaking of Walken...

Click on the pic...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Because, Walken

Because you really can't get enough cowbell, or Walken! Click on the pic for a dance-a-thon of epic proportions.
In other news, please remember the Oak Park Brewing Company's Kickstarter campaign still needs you! They're opening their doors in June, and they're going to share some amazing craft beer with everyone! Please throw them a few bucks if you can, as they're giving away some swag for those who donate at certain levels.
I'm really excited for them. Mr. ShellHawk and I went to see the space they've leased for the brewery, and it's such a great building! Built in 1925, brick, and it's going to have an industrial feel to it. Here are a few pics...
Brewer and awesome guy, Tom Karvonen, left, Bonnie Peterson,
brew gal, right
Lily, brew dog, far left.
Can you just see the big beautiful brew vats here?
Best thing ever: church pews from one of the Planet of the Apes movies!
  I can't wait for the place to open!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ireland's Shades of Green

Click on Giant's Causeway to hear a nice playlist for St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Speaking of Birds

Click on the pic to see some crazy bird behavior in the U.K.: the Starling murmurations.

Alfred Hitchcock would have approved. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Happened While I Was on the Couch

Last Thursday was my first post-op visit with my podiatrist, and I discovered that in the week I'd been on the couch, binge-watching Breaking Bad (Jesse Pinkman is such a piece of work! What a whiner!), Spring had arrived. Trees are in full flower in my area, daffodils and iris are budding, and life is returning to the world.

Mr. ShellHawk, amateur birder (never call him a birdwatcher!) keeps the bird feeders full. He enjoys it so much, he joined the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count this year. 

We're located in a migration corridor, so we get to see numerous birds on their way to and from wherever. Yesterday, I took a bunch of pics of our feeder. Only a couple turned out well, and here's one:
That's a purple finch in (I think) breeding colors. I'm hoping we get another oriole or two come through, like they did last year. After reading The Big Year, (the movie was completely different from the book, so don't be fooled!) I begin to have a better appreciation for the little guys who come to visit our feeders!
If you're at all interested in another time-sucking, potentially very expensive, and highly competitive hobby, namely birding (not birdwatching, which is a different thing, entirely), pick up a Sibley's Guide (the gold standard of birding field guides) or a National Geographic Guide (also very good), hang up a few bird feeders, and start working on identifying what comes to your feeders.

While you're learning the basics about birding, take the time to start prepping to go out into "the field" and read some tips on hiking. There's nothing worse for other, more experienced birders than someone who comes along on a day hike with no food or water, a hat, or sunscreen. It's also particularly important to "train" for hiking if you've been sedentary for a long time. Coming home from a ten mile hike after not doing more than walking to the mailbox for the last ten years is pretty brutal, so start slow and build your way up to longer hikes.

You should also read up on birding etiquette. You don't want to be that jerk that ruins a birding trip for others because you don't know how to behave. It's a small community, and you'd be surprised how often you see the same people, over and over, who have flown in from another coast just to get that one bird on their list. They will not look kindly on you blowing that sighting after they've spent hundreds of dollars in hotel and airfare to see that bird!

Once you've done that, you might think of joining a trip sponsored by the local chapter of your Audubon Society. You'll get to meet others with more experience, and get to know where and how to look for birds. Above all, it will get you out of the house and moving, and engaged with the world around you. If your kids are a little older, and understand the importance of being quiet, you might take them along, too, if you can pry them away from the XBox, that is...