Sunday, February 27, 2011

Witch Jar Tutorial on YouTube


I was lucky enough to get one of Rot's jars. It makes me feel like the Spirit of Halloween shines in my haunt, every time I light it.

Just a heads-up that Chris Baker has posted a video tutorial for witch jars. (Click on the pic to watch.) 

Originated by the legendary Pumpkin Rot, witch jars will likely be the rage in the home haunters' yards this year. Cheap to make, and a big spooky impact!

Pumpkin Rot's witch jars.
Strublay's witch jar tutorial.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's Up!

From the desk of Chris Baker:
With enough chills and thrills to fill nearly 20 rooms, Chris chops it up with the winner of the 2009 Haunters Video Award for Best Indoor/Walkthrough Haunt and this month’s special guest haunter, RUSS McKAMEY of McKAMEY MANOR.
Rev is introducing a new segment: "The Bestiary," and the rest of the Scream Team is back with some juicy haunter goodness for you! Head over to the Hauntcast site and download Hauntast 28!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Matt and Wes Return: Now, With Ultra-Bloody Zombie Violence!

The weather report is for a hard freeze tonight, with the snow level dropping to 1000 feet. Time to cuddle on the couch and watch the new episode of Matt and Wes vs. the Zombie Apocalypse!
Do you not know to click on the pic to watch? Surely not...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fun Costume Project For Animatronics Geeks

I really wish I had the budget/knowledge to make this happen! Click on the pic!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(Almost Spring) Cleaning, Part Deux

As I mentioned yesterday, Sunday was a pretty productive day. The studio space got about as cleared out as it can get for the time being, and I got some throwing done. Since I'm re-learning how to throw from my new teacher, I feel like I'm going back to being almost as bad as I was when I first started throwing. Of course, that's my own "monkey mind" messing with me and undermining my confidence, muttering about how nothing I make is good enough.  (I'm not fishing for compliments, I'm just sharing how silly that monkey mind is, and how we should learn to ignore it!)

Of course, I have only to go back to the pictures I took of my very first season of making pumpkins to see how much of a liar that other mind is! (I swear, I saw these at the Davis's house and just cringed! Thanks, Chris, for supporting a beginning artist!) The other two are still too wet to carve, thanks to the cold, wet weather, but I hope to take another run at them today.

In all honesty, I'm very pleased that I'm going back to the beginning now, before I develop any more bad habits. We all know that the longer we do things incorrectly, the harder it is to change. My teacher is half Japanese and after he got his MFA, went back to Japan to train there for awhile. For those not in the know, Japanese pottery is pretty freaking amazing, and in certain areas is still taught the same way it was taught 1000 years ago.

I also took the time to break out my  plaster of Paris and pour up my life cast. Yes, those are the hairs that were yanked out in the process of pulling off the silicone mold.

I showed it to Mr. ShellHawk and got a similar reaction to that scene in Beetlejuice. While he complimented me on how well it turned out, he had some reservations.

"I'm fascinated and freaked out, all at the same time," he told me. He also told me to please keep it in the garage so he didn't have to see it. Oh, well.

So the question I have to throw out to you all is, how do I make a cast of this that will stand on its own, without having to invest in various latex chemicals, etcetera? I'd like to use it for a Madame Leota effect, like Mr. Chicken's, so that requires it to stand like a wig head, I assume. I actually got a little projector from Woot!, so I'm pretty sure I can get everything synced up once I get one of my friends to film me doing the Madame Leota spiel. I plan to take a Dremel tool and smooth down the eyelids, to give it that open-eye look, but maybe that's not the best idea. I don't know!

Thanks in advance for your feedback on this. This is the first cast I'll be working on, as well as my first projection effect.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(Almost Spring) Cleaning


Josey supervises the Great Studio Cleanup 2011
This past weekend, I took some time away from my latest sculpture to clean out my studio space.

Lacking the cabinets I would dearly love to have, this is about as clean as it gets, for now. I can walk without tripping over debris. There's a minimal amount of clay dust, because I washed down and mopped the floor.

Why is that important? I plan to work with clay for a very long time, and the thought of developing silicosis is horrifying. It's an occupational hazard for potters and other folks who work in clay for long periods of time, so I am really conscious of maintaining a low clay dust level in my work space. Dog hair is another, less harmful, matter! ;o)
I managed to go through a bunch of the "mystery clay" I had inherited from the guy who sold me my ceramics setup. The various clays were rock-hard, and though I can reconstitute them by throwing them into buckets of water and re-wedging them, the fact is, I only have so much space to work with. Taking up more floor space with buckets is just not worth it!

The neat thing about going through the old clay was finding the ones I am willing to reconstitute, i.e., the ones with actual labels on them! I ran across a cone 10 porcelain, which is a great find. Maybe I'll get to that later this year.

Meanwhile, I started playing with some new pumpkin pots for the upcoming season. Thanks to my new teacher, whom I love and wish I had known about sooner, I am now able to make some very simple lidded forms. Here's a picture of the ones I threw Sunday, unfinished, of course. They have to dry a bit before I can trim them and carve the faces. These will be Raku jack-o'-lanterns, so start saving your pennies for when they go up on my Etsy store!
More studio adventures to share tomorrow! (And let's face it, if I post about the studio, you won't have to hear about The Great Puppy Saga of 2011! ;o))

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hallowe'en Votives- Alternate Witch Jars

Click on the pic to go to the project how-to. Image by Skip to my Lou.
I was browsing around the web when I found this cute alternative to Pumpkin Rot's witch jars. You all know that I'm generally not a huge fan of cute, but I think this is a great project for you and your kids to do together.

Think of it as a Hallowe'en gateway drug.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Orphaned Zombaby Epidemic

This baby is available for adoption. Please click on the pic to begin the process.
Etsy shop wiggletiggy is on a quest to re-home the ever-growing population of orphaned Zombabies through the Adopt a Zombaby Centre.

In the Centre's press release:
Orphaned Zombabies, their story is one of tragedy and of no fault of their own.


The Hungry little undead tots are orphaned because public reaction is lead by overused Hollywood stereotypes. Most adult Zombies are able to operate adequately within society, unfortunately, when people see zombies they push the panic button and bash their heads in with shovels. The calamitous result: orphaned Zombaby epidemic.

If you desire the emotionally fulfilling companionship of someone who will love you for your brains, please, consider adopting a Zombaby. By doing so you join thousands of other people around the world who have opened up their hearts and homes and are doing their part to help alleviate the orphaned zombaby epidemic.
Please help re-home these second-class citizens!

Sarah Impalin'

I am so glad the Mistress of the Dark is back! Click on the pic to watch.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Seriously NOT Safe For Work

My neighbor sent this audio file along to me yesterday. While totally juvenile, it is pretty funny!

Sorry. I had to share!

The Scream Team Descends on Transworld

If you follow Johnny Thunder's blog, this is old news for you, but for those who don't, here's the memo from the desk of Chris Baker:
The clouds have parted for a brief moment and the haunt gods have bestowed me with a free airline ticket and booth space at Transworld. Not only will I be there, but so will the entire Scream Team. For all the minions that will be in attendance you can find us at booth 1118. We will be sharing some space with Juneau Studios.


We will be raffling off:


How-To Haunt Your House Vol 1 & 2 by the Mitchell’s


Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein Graphic Novel


Trick r’ treat DVD


Let the right one in DVD


Halloween – An American Holiday, An American History by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne


Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson


and this phenomenal sculpt by Robert of Brandywine Cemetery.
This may be the only time the Team will be all together, so come hang with us if you’re in St. Louis.
I'm very happy and excited to be hitting Transworld with my Hauntcast brothers! Do drop by the booth if you're able!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mother Nature Does Me Again

Well, Mona the German Shepherd whelped this week (the father, Jacob, is pictured above, on the right) and had only one male (see vids of both one-day-old litters here). Fortunately, pups and dam are healthy and resting comfortably. Unfortunately, I'm out of luck in the puppy department for the time being. :o( Oh, well.

I told Mr. ShellHawk yesterday that this was God's way of giving us pick of the litter next time, assuming the next bunch of pups aren't all female!

In one of the puppy-raising books I was reading, there was a suggestion to look into the breeders connections, and that sent me down the rabbit hole (A.D.D.? Me? Never!) of looking at other breeders, just out of curiosity. Holy cow! I had no idea people could sell their dogs for that much money! Just glancing at the top of one page, I saw that one female was going for $5500! Who's got that kind of money in this economy? Not me, that's for sure. (It also tells me I'm in the wrong business. I mean, six pups at $5500 each...)

It brings to mind that some people's hobbies are far more expensive than mine. I have images of men in tweed jackets and hunting rifles ambling across vast expanses of green fields, too, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

Oh, well. It's time to settle in to wait for the next litter, which has not been bred, yet. (Patience, ShellHawk. Patience!)

Bent Objects

My husband sent me an email with this wonderful, whimsical bit of creativity.

More images here, at Bent Objects blog.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

When I was young, Alfred Hitchcock presents Ghost Stories for Young People was one of my favorite records.

I'd turn out the lights and listen to it, over and over again. Man, do I wish I had that album now.

Even so, with the magic of CDs and YouTube, I can listen to this again. I can't help but feel sorry for the kids today (Ritalin riddled as they seem to be) who would find the process of sitting, listening and imagining, a complete bore.

Click on the pic and "Play All." It's the perfect soundtrack for stormy weather.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

R.I.P. Kenneth Mars

One of my favorite characters from Young Frankenstein has just passed away. New York Times article here.

Rest easy, Kenneth. Thanks for the laughs.

Smile!

Image by mrae715
I'll just do a really quick post as it's a school day and I have to get the dogs fed, etc., before I head out the door.

Puppy watch has been and gone with somewhat disappointing results. Lotus had a litter of only four: two boys and two girls were safely delivered. Since I'm fourth in line for a male, I am what is commonly known as S.O.L. on this particular litter. I'm keeping a smile on my face anyway!

The good news is, there's another litter from the same breeder that's going to whelp any minute. Though the female, Mona, is a black shepherd, she may have some of the "normal" black and tan pups I'm looking for. If not, she plans to breed Hutch to another of her females shortly.

As Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. *sigh*

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Gashleycrumb Tinies

I met my niece for the first time two years ago, this coming July. Although she was already nine, I bought her a copy of this book, because I thought it was so darkly funny. What else could I give her that would remind her of me so well?
Love this clever video. Click on the pic!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Skull Find

Skull Mask by mrhydesleather on Etsy
I found this while putting a Spring Treasury together on Etsy. What a great and simple mask for Hallowe'en!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Dream Within a Dream

When I was a kid, my mother got us into ice skating, of all things. My brother was made into a freestyle skater (which is where they do all the jumps), and there ensued a constant search for music for his routines for competition. It was then I was introduced to one of my very favorite albums of all time: Alan Parsons Project-Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which was vetted and rejected for one of his routines.

The album got me interested in the works of Poe, and may have been instrumental in my buying the album, Famous Ghost Stories! With Scary Sounds. That album had a version of "The Tell-Tale Heart" which scared me and thrilled me all at once, and taught me the meaning of terror for the very first time. Alan Parsons Project did a great version (in my opinion) of that murderous madman's story, and introduced me to other grand stories of Poe's imagination.

I found the first two tracks on YouTube, the first of which has a delightful narration by Orson Welles. Click on the pic to get to the list, then click, "Play All."



Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Poe-m

Click on the pic to watch.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Abandoned


Image by Edward Rice via Barbara Archer Gallery

Image via Miles From Suburbia
Image by Anthony Mair via Pixdaus.com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things You Will Never Hear (Backstage) at a Haunted Attraction

Via Talladega Frights Haunted Attraction on Facebook:

1. Everyone is ready; let’s open early.

2. Keep your fan… it feels great in here.


3. It’s only September and we’re already finished with construction.


4. Can we stay open later tonight?

5. We have enough blood to last TWO seasons!


6. Wow, it smells great back here.

7. I can work every night in October!

8. Thank goodness we’re having pizza again.

9. Just leave your trash in your room.

10. No thanks, I brought my own water.

11. I love working in a room with fog.

12. Wow! The guests are so polite.

13. Who needs caffeine? I’m on a natural high.

14. Gross! I wish the guests would stop peeing themselves.

15. The fog machines are working perfectly.

16. The music tracks are working perfectly.

17. The chainsaws are working perfectly.

18. I LOVE my makeup! More, please!

19. You hung your costume so well!

20. I think texting is a distraction.

21. Take your time eating dinner.

22. Take your time using the restroom.

23. Boy, I could work all night!

24. Can I play this role all season?

25. This costume is so comfortable.

26. Can you send the guests through a little faster, please?

27. I don’t smoke.

28. Our actors sure are overpaid.


29. I’m so glad the season is over.


30. May I please work a drop panel tonight?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hmmm...

Para Abnormal Comics by Dave Lowe
Maybe I should re-think my new puppy's name; Shoggoth has a nice ring to it...

Creepy Smile

Image by snap shot2000

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Wicked Valentine

Steampunk inspired black lace neck corset by KVO Design
For those of you who are fans of Etsy, know that your Mistress of Mayhem has done you the service of putting together a Valentine Treasury for those of us who think sweetness and light is overrated. If you're a guy looking for a nice gift for your girl, this is a great start. If you're a girl who needs a guy like a fish needs a bicycle, buy something nice for yourself!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jack-o'-Lantern Fashionista

Jack of a Thousand Faces by Chad Savage on Etsy
Delightful designs, just in time for Spring! Check out Chad Savage's Etsy store for more.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Am NOT Talking About the Fright Club

-because we do not exist.
Do not click on either badge or banner.

Countdown

Lotus, with her last litter of thirteen-thirteen!-pups.
Time is marching onward. Sometime this week, little Lotus is due to whelp. Amongst her pups will be my new puppy! My next-door neighbor is throwing the "puppy shower" on March 19th, and my new boy-Samhain-is due to come home sometime in the beginning of April. I am very excited! If you missed the big announcement regarding the new Hell Hound, you should see this post for the background 411.

Hutch, the proud daddy

After realizing it has been twenty-holy hand grenades, Batman! Twenty!-years since I raised a puppy, I have been brushing up on my puppy info by reading everything I can get my hands on. Things have changed since the last time I had a pup, and I realize how lucky I was with my last pup, 'cause I sure as heck didn't know what I was doing! I'm thinking I can do better this time, with Mr. ShellHawk's help.

With the permission of the breeder, I hope to visit the pups at four weeks old, to get a feel for their personalities. Although I don't have first pick of the litter, I'm still hoping for the lowest-energy male in the bunch, because I'm too damn old to deal with a high-maintenance dog!

I'm sure he'll be at least as cute as these little guys. Wish me luck!

Lotus's kids, age six weeks


Friday, February 4, 2011

Old

Image by digibeginner69

Image by Uncle Phooey

Image by petnobis

Image by Thomas Johnson Photography

Image by Baldur Pan


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Scooped by the Frog Queen

The Frog Queen already wished this for everyone: Happy Imbolc!

What's Imbolc? Isn't it Groundhog's Day? Yes, It's that, too. It's also St. Brigid's Day- or, rather, it was, yesterday. In Scotland, they're celebrating the "lactation of the ewes," which is pretty important for those who want their lambs to survive.

Today is one of the Pagan calendar's Great Eight, as I like to call them; it's one of the eight sabbats on the wheel of the year. It celebrates the very beginnings of life returning to earth. (Yes, I know some of my readers are suffering through some pretty horrific ice storms right now, but humor me on this one.)

Today is about Spring Cleaning. The Goddess comes in and sweeps away the detritus of Winter to clear the way for new things. Our gardening magazines urge us at this time to clear away old leaves and dead matter from our gardens because leaving them there will give disease and fungus a chance to get a foothold, destroying our new crops. How much more so do we need to clean out our old ideas and thought patterns which are holding us back and poisoning our relationships? Clear out the old so the new has a healthy space in which to grow.

No one likes a moldy brain in an otherwise healthy body! (Insert zombie reference here...)

This day is also the day the Goddess in her guise as the Maiden joins with the God in his guise as Youth, and plants the seeds of new life. (Man, is She busy today!) Their ecstasy and love are still observed in a nearby Hallmark Holiday: Valentine's Day, though in a very diluted manner.

Birds out here in California are starting to build their nests and to pair up. Soon, they'll have what I like to call "little peepers," which I'll see with my dog on our rambles through the nearby nature area. Baby rabbits, ducklings, goslings and all manner of new little critters will be born in the next few months because of the pairings that begin at this time.

As thinking beings, we can recognize the connection this has to our own life cycles and thought processes, and incorporate the lessons and parallels into our lives so we can more forward with strength and intent in the coming spring. The union of the God and the Goddess gives us a blessing called, "inspiration." For those who don't believe that, how optimistic do you feel when you first see the days getting longer and the crocus poking its way through the snow?

For those of you who want to celebrate Imbolc simply, I suggest you take some paper scraps, write down the old addictions and thoughts holding you back, and burn them, letting the thoughts go as the paper turns to ash. Next, take a few seeds of your choice (I like sunflowers, because they're so cheerful and grow quickly) and plant them in a pot, holding in your mind the things you're looking forward to bringing to fruition this year. Is there a relationship you want healed? Words you can't seem to help saying that are causing damage? Let the words go and see the potential healing represented in those seeds you planted. Most of all, look forward to the spring, because she is on her way!

Happy Imbolc, boys and girls. Say hi to the groundhog for me, too, if you're in the 'hood.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spectacular


Image by josephjaffe

Image by josephjaffe


Image by Time Passages

Image by BanjoNutz

Image by livingtheliminal


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