Christmas Ape and T Rex Sue, at the Chicago Field Museum
After all these giveaways and show prep and prepping for both school and teaching, I are worn out! So, Mr. ShellHawk, Ape and I are heading out for some adventures. My Etsy shop is in vacation mode, but if you check out my photos on ShellHawk's Nest on Facebook, you can see pumpkins both large and small for future purchase...
My darling Mr. ShellHawk (whose only flaw is that he doesn't build props and think about Halloween 24/7/365) demonstrated his tolerance for my quirks yet again by stopping at a graveyard around the corner from our Chicago hotel so I could take some pics of the cooler monuments. I really love that man and so don't take him for granted because of thinks like this!
You really need to move to Northern California, because we have (almost!) all the best haunters here.
O.k., maybe not, but we surely do have a bunch of crazy-talented folks in the CalHaunts Norcal Chapter Haunt Club. Brent Ross of DC Cemetery, Perfessor Evil of Haunt Project, and a bunch of others, including one of my haunt heroes, Mr. Chicken.
Other folks have posted about him before-most recently, The Frog Queen. I had it in mind to post about him, but with one thing and another, hadn't gotten around to it until now-mostly because of the Frog Queen's good example and because I got to meet him at last Saturday's CalHaunts meeting. He's a genuinely nice person and, like most haunters, is very free with his haunt knowledge.
Anyhow, for those of you not aware of him, he is one of those guys who not only knows his animatronics, but has the artistic talent needed to make his props look realistic. He does molding and casting, too. He did a great how-to for his Madame Leota prop.
From left to right- my dad, my grandmother, my grandfather. Taken in Venice, Italy, around 1940-ish, I think.
I'm in L.A. for a few days, celebrating my Grandmother's 101st birthday with the grand old dame. I'll be back soon with a few stories, I'm sure!
Meanwhile, a belated thank-you to those of you who have decided to put my banner on your sites (and not incidentally, have also continued to post such nice things about my work!). I want you to know how very much I appreciate your support.
But seriously, if you like the things I make and you'd like to help spread the word, please feel free to snag this 468 x 60 banner, link the image with my Etsy store address (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShellHawk), and post it to your blog page where it will fit. The first three people to post it will receive a mini-pumpkin of my choice. Just leave a comment letting me know you put the banner on your site as a semi-permanent fixture!
Just to encourage you to officially get off your duffs and join the growing crowd of folks taking part in this giveaway, I have posted my new mini-pumpkins, one or several of which will be added to the giveaway. Though you can't see it in the pic, their smiles glow in the dark. See the giveaway details here.
I don't think I'll be doing another giveaway of my handmade stuff this year, so if you want to win something, now's your chance! If you just can't wait to own one of my hand-thrown jacko pots, head over to ShellHawk's Creations to see the new guys I've put up there.
Yes, I know it's Canada. But, if people from Mexico are Mexicans, and people from America are Americans, than how come people from Canada aren't Canadans? If they're Canadian, they're from Canadia! Am I the only person who sees the logic in this?
Well, anyway, I got a package from whatchacallit yesterday, sent by none other than the illustrious Ghoul Friday! I'm very excited and happy to have a new piece of Halloween art to proudly display, especially since it's one of the delightfully creepy Plague Doctor series Ghoul Friday has been making.
Yup, The Bluebird of Unhappiness has come to perch above my fireplace until such time as I get my home office finished. Please don't ask when that will be. It's a sore subject around here...
The careful watching of this year's pumpkin crop continues, and the girls have started to show up on my Wyatt's Wonder!
I moved a potted Purple Coneflower next to the pumpkins to attract the bees for pollination. I'm a little concerned about the yellow color on the above plant's fruit, but with any luck, it'll ripen normally.
Amazing human and closet humorist, The Frog Queen, had me sit down in between running around and being incredibly social and terribly popular (ha!) at the WCHC and watch the first few episodes of the BBC series, Black Books. Though I was exhausted from the long hours, I really enjoyed it and made a mental note to watch the episodes again, when I wasn't falling asleep. I'm glad I did, and am grateful to the Frog Queen for turning me on to this great series.
Created by, and starring, Dylan Moran (You'll remember him from Shaun of the Dead), Black Books is the story of slob and book purveyor, Bernard Black. Black doesn't like people, keeping up with his accounts, or much of anything besides smoking and drinking, and is generally pretty cranky. Joined by accountant Manny (Bill Bailey) and next-door-shop-owner Fran (Tamsin Grieg), Black fumbles his way through numerous situations with classic British hilarity.
Just got a bisque firing finished and opened the kiln this morning. Unfortunately, I had my first home kiln explosion the other morning, within an hour of starting my kiln. I ended the cycle as soon as I heard it (I happened to be talking to a neighbor by the garage when I heard it), so that it wouldn't continue to explode and damage the other pieces in the kiln. My own fault, really. I had a feeling I should have let the two pieces that blew up dry out for another couple of days, but I thought I could get away with it. Lesson learned!
Fortunately, the three comission pieces I had in there did just fine. The client sent me the designs and let me know he just wanted them to look similar, but I think I got them almost precisely duplicated.
Since I'm starting to throw larger pieces and was on a roll for the three above, I decided to try a new face on a larger pot:
I'm looking forward to seeing how he'll turn out after glazing!
Oh, and remember: I have a giveaway going on right now, so don't forget to check the original post for how to enter!
I have also added a few more pumpkins to the shop, as I have nearly sold out of the ones I have on hand. Feel free to browse!
When I perform my Obligatory Family Visits to Los Angeles, there are certain rituals I observe. I go to my favorite pub. I visit with certain friends. I visit a few favorite stores. I stopped by Halloween Town and spent at least an hour wandering through and getting my fix. While the management style of the store is restrictive to the point of being annoying (No reading books allowed. Limit browsing to five minutes.), there are some great items to be found, and a permanent art gallery made to look like an old Victorian parlor, a la The Haunted Mansion. I took some time to go through the gallery and discovered there was a show dedicated to the art of the Haunted Mansion, which featured works by Eric Pigors, Queenie, Bob Lizzarraga, and others. The work I really enjoyed (and not just the Haunted Mansion art) was done by W.A. Basso, so much so that I purchased two numbered prints: Twilight, above, and October Shadows, below.
Those who are unfamiliar with Basso's name are aware of his art, whether they realize it or not. He has contributed to such films as Edward Scissorhands, Terminator 2, Batman Returns, and Interview With a Vampire. I just love his attention to detail and the dreamlike, surreal quality of his pieces. He inspires me!
Born in the wilds of Los Angeles, The Mistress of Mayhem/ShellHawk was later educated at Miskatonic University, where she double-majored in Home Economics and Spell-Casting/Potions. She is currently enjoying a quiet life with her vulture, Ralph, and her third husband, who seems to have a strong resistance to iocaine powder, unlike the last two. She is thought by many to be nearly human.
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