Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New at ShellHawk's Creations

One of the things I realized as I was setting up my booth at Jack Russell Brewery last year was the fact that people couldn't see what my pumpkin pots look like when they're lit. An unlit pumpkin pot looks bereft and incomplete. A lit pot creates the right mood. I decided to print out photos of my jacks, frame them, and set them up as part of my display, just so people could see my wares in all their jack-o'-lanterny goodness. Then someone walks up to the booth.

"How much for the picture?"

I was caught off-guard for a minute. It just had never occurred to me that someone would actually want the picture of the pumpkin pot. I mean, who would want a picture when they could own the real thing, right? Silly me.

I sold the picture to him and made a mental note to offer them this season.

So here it is, this season, and I'm starting to offer prints of my jack-o'-lantern pots. They come in black mats, and the prints themselves are either 8 x 10 or 5 x 7. The mats are 8 x 10 and 11 x 14, so all you have to do is drop these little babies in your favorite frame and you're good to go.

I've put a couple in the ShellHawk's Creations Etsy shop, and will be adding more as days go by. Please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ripped Off By Corporate

Anyone who follows Pumpkinrot's blog has undoubtedly already seen this post about how a prop inspired by him ended up being a $79 rip-off featured at Grandin Road.

I don't even know how to express my disgust. I've had some of my art copied (and physically stolen, too), and had another of my creative ventures blatantly ripped off, as well, and it's just nasty that this kind of thing happens. (It's particularly bad form when one member of a small, niche community does it to another, and calling attention to it only creates drama and make you look bad, but I digress...)

(I've sort of been on the other side, too. Some of the plates I'm currently working on are re-using vintage designs from the 1920s and 1930s Hallowe'en diecuts and lanterns. Is it a complete rip-off to take that design and put it on something else? Something completely different? Maybe it is, and maybe I need to re-think that.)

I think the Hallowe'en community and specifically web-savvy prop builders are aware that corporate flunkies (they call themselves Research and Development, I'm sure) regularly comb the boards, blogs and forums for the next idea to make faster, cheaper, and without soul or passion. There's not a lot we can do about it, lacking the funding to retain an attorney for the years of litigation this kind of thing undoubtedly takes. All they have to do is point out that the image of the Grim Reaper, and indeed the concept of the Reaper, itself, has been around for the last bazillion years and presto! They've either won the case or started to wear down your bank accounts. Either way, you generally end up at the other end of it feeling bitter and a lot poorer.

But sometimes, you win.

I wonder what would happen if Grim and Pumpkinrot did decide to sue? Not that they're thinking about it. I'm just speculating.

Would it actually set a precedent that home haunters could use to protect themselves from being ripped off by corporations? Probably not, but wouldn't it be great?

It boils down to ethics, I guess. And ethics, as we all have learned, do not usually put food on the table. More's the pity.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

News From the Nest

First, I'd like to say that I hope all my east coast friends made it through Irene's crazy rave safely. I've had Johnny Thunder, Pumpkinrot, Chris Baker and other folks on my mind all weekend, hoping they are o.k. and have only suffered minor damage from the storm. If it's in your belief system, say a little prayer for those folks when you can, o.k.?

In other news, it was a really busy week last week. I started school Monday night and am convinced that I am going to get my butt kicked this semester, but in a very good way. My teacher, Yoshio Taylor, pushed me last semester, which was a pre-requisite beginning throwing class. In one semester, he had me throwing thinner and more consistently, and I made my first teapot and plate.

This semester, he's teaching us to throw faster and taller, which is such a challenge that I felt like a beginner, all over again. It didn't help that my clay was too hard because I hadn't had time to soften it over a few days. Actually, that's not quite true; I kept thinking about it and forgetting it. Let me tell you, throwing with hard clay is a struggle. That'll learn me!

I'm continuing work out in my studio for Hallowe'en Season goodies to sell. This year, I'm filling out my stall a bit with some Dark Candles gear, which arrived yesterday! Hooray! I'm still waiting for my voodoo string dollies from Fearscape Studios, and am hoping I get them in time for my opening in September. The whole point, of course, is to reduce some of my labor and still make some profit. High turnover, low-cost items are what's needed for that, so the things that are slower turnover can be made with the attention to detail and quality I like to have.

In other news, Sam weighed in at 40 pounds this week, and has just turned four months old. He killed his first squirrel in the back yard this week, ate some of the fur, then was kind enough to barf it up on my studio floor. Gross, but at least he didn't hork it up on my eighty-five-year-old Oriental rug. I guess that proves that 1) Squirrels are evil, and 2) Sam does have a high prey drive, like most German Shepherds. I'm glad I have him in scenting classes to keep his little mind occupied! He's excelling in that arena as well, which isn't surprising, again, given that he's a Shepherd and that's what they do. I'll post some pics soon.

Well, out to the shop to make more Hallowe'en!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Via Reely Bored Blog
Via Flawed Creations
Via Flawed Creations
Via Travel Japan
Via Free Wallpapers
Via Pagog

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Because It's Thursday-

-and I love both the Muppets and OK Go. So there.
Click on the pic to watch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bats, Graveyards, and Owls in Trees

Hallows must be getting closer!
My tombstone salt and pepper shakers are going to be featured in the Fall issue of Child Style Magazine! Woo-hoo!

Get 'em while they're hot at ShellHawk's Creations Etsy Store.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yet Another Reason Mr. Chicken is a Rock Star

I headed over to the CalHaunts NorCal make and take this past weekend, because I just needed a break from my studio for a little bit. Aside from a fantastic make and take (pics soon), I had the chance to pick up the Madame Leota loop that we made together from a mutual friend who lives in Mr. Chicken's neck of the woods.

So friend Robert hands this off to me:
Can you feel it? The movie-poster tag-line tension? The tidy penmanship?

Smiling, I flipped over the jewel case.
Seriously? This beat the contents of the DVD (that's the part where I'm on it, pretending I can act)! Official Un-Death Certificate? The Chicken Seal of Approval? Da-yam! That's some good stuff!

Oh, and the Leota loop itself? It's amazing, and not because of me. Mr. Chicken had an HD video camera of some hi-tech variety, so my image looked uber crisp and clear when I plugged it into my HD 58" flat screen. He even edited in the music and sound effects. (Frankly, I had no idea he played drums!) Thanks, again, Mr. Chicken! You really did all the heavy lifting on this project!
This is going to kick some serious ass on Hallowe'en night! I may even have to borrow a projector from work to really make it look good, even though I have my little Eye Clops to work with. I'll have to test it out soon and see how dim the bulb actually is so I know how to adjust my porch lighting.

Speaking of which, my local Costco has a set of flickering LED battery-operated pillar candles for pretty cheap. They're partially made out of scented wax. I did a search on Costco's website, but all I came up with were these LED candles, which seem pretty spendy, even though they can be rained on and have an auto shut-off at the twelve-hour mark. I personally don't like the look of them as much as I liked the ones I saw in my local. I may pick some up here in the next little while.

Man, oh, man, am I getting excited about the big day!


Just click here. It's self-explanatory and safe for work. Make sure you scroll all the way down.

Trust me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hello, Clarice.

One of the best, most complex suspense movies, ever.

The Biography Channel did a documentary on the Silence of the Lambs awhile back; a behind-the-scenes look. I hope they bring this classic back for the big holiday season. Jodie Foster makes some comments here, too.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hallowed Haunting Grounds

I was listening to an old episode of Hauntcast (Hauntcast 4, The Final Chapter) on the way home from a CalHaunts make and take. Chris's interview with Gary Corb of The Hallowed Haunting Grounds made me want to look up this fabulous old haunt. I'm really glad I did. It is truly low-key, atmospheric, and very classy. I'm so sorry I didn't get to see this while it was still up and running!

Click on the pic to watch.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Tower

Can you imagine stumbling around in the fog and coming to this? 

Would you go in?

Image source.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Haunted Hot Sauce: It's Alive! ALIVE!

For those of you who have been eagerly waiting for the re-launch of the Haunted Hot Sauce website and product line, wait no more! The Undertaker has it up and running and has some new products for you to use during these last days of barbeque weather!

The only hot sauces that come in their very own coffins, I can tell you that the ones I've tasted have been fabulous and well-presented; maybe he should label each one "haute sauce."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Detroit's Dead

Image by prapholm
Photostream here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big, Green and Hungry

Image source.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Few Shots

A few stills from the build we did Sunday.

Anyone who knows me, knows I can't remember what to say when there's a
camera in my face.

Mr. Chicken is adding the electrical to this chair later...

After filming, it was time to play with the image

"My application to the Evil League of Evil is strong this year! Mwahahaha!"
Biff the Space Grip out of costume.
The hat off the Gemmy Spirit Ball Head also helps to keep out the
 alien brain-waves.
"I was made for dancin!'"
Behind the scenes at mission control. Stacy at the keyboard, fielding questions.
"Oh, yeah. This looks goooood!"
The projection, later, on Jasper's Leota, not my life cast.
It still looks good!
I re-iterate, I could not have gotten an effect this good without Mr. Chicken's help! What an amazing mind the guy has!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Madame Leota's Aftermath

Yesterday's Madame Leota build with Mr. Chicken (and Stacy and Robert as  fantastic grips, best boys, and girls Friday-er---) went really well. 

I can honestly say I never could have done this on my own. That young gun knew how to line everything up and gave me pointers on tweaking the sculptured head based on my life cast. Mr. Chicken threw out a multitude of amazing gems of wisdom on this build, and I know those who tuned in got a lot out of it!

Since we had some down time during which his computer did some incomprehensible but amazing stuff to the image, I pulled a quick interview out of him, and was really glad I did. Talk about an interesting guy! If you go to ShellHawk's Nest Live BlogTV page and scroll down, you can watch a few snippets we caught. Of course, it never occurred to me to film the end result! *head smack* 

In any case, a great time was had by all, and I'm so glad some of you could swing by to see the occasionally entertaining build!

Well, off to the studio to glaze what came out of the kiln today!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today is the Day

Click on the pic to see Mr.Chicken's prop in action
Just one last reminder that Mr.Chicken and I will be live on BlogTV doing a Madame Leota prop build at 1:00PM Pacific time.

I'm so jazzed about this, it totally makes up for the lack of sleep I've been suffering through for the last several weeks! (Frankly, I won't need to put dark circles under my eyes with makeup for this shoot! They're already quite visible!)

So head over to ShellHawk's Nest Live BlogTV channel if you decide to join us. We're just--dying--to have you!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spooky Real Estate

Image via Dennis Noble
Image by Paulus Rusyanto
Image via This Eclectic Life blog
Image via Coolest Free Wallpapers
Image via
Image via Maria and Tom blog
I truly don't know which I love best!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Corpsing on the Fly

I ran across this cool corpsing technique through CalHaunts NorCal chapter (thanks to Mathew Gardner!). One caution I would have that I don't think he covered is don't inhale the fumes from the plastic while you're using a heat gun! I can see that getting very ugly, very quickly!


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Amber Allen 00 and Morbid Mariah won the Sweet-Hot Giveaway along with the Captain!

Ladies-please send your info so I can send out your prizes!

I hate when people make me yell to get their attention. ;o)

Mr. Chicken Live!

Click on the pic to see Mr. Chicken's Madame Leota in action
The planning for my Madame Leota prop is ongoing. Mr. Chicken and I have been furiously emailing back and forth, tossing ideas around like they were water balloons! We've consulted with a couple of our CalHaunts NorCal folks to bounce ideas off of them. I found a Gemmy Spirit Ball on eBay, and did smite mine enemy in the last 10 seconds of bidding, thus winning the prize for the haunt! (There was a happy dance, too!)

If you're interested in watching, tune in to ShellHawk's Nest Live BlogTV channel this Sunday, the 14th, at 1:00 PM Pacific Time. Since we'll be building, we won't be doing a whole lot of chatting unless I can get a volunteer to type while we work.

I seriously cannot wait! Mr. Chicken is such a rock star in the haunt world! If you haven't seen his effects, check out his Puttin' on the Ritz setup he did for his haunt on YouTube, straight out of Young Frankenstein. The guy really knows his stuff!

Did I mention I can't wait?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eternal Rest+Kiss=Funeral Urn?

Honestly, what says, "classy eternal rest" like your very own Kiss Funeral Urn?

Story here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And the Winners of the Sweet-Hot Giveaway Are...

Amber Allen, The Captain, and Morbid Mariah! Please send your full names and shipping info to me at shellhawksnest at yah oo dawt com so I can get the pretties shipped out to you asap!

Congratulations to you both, and thanks to everyone who entered!

Lol Dog

My first LOLdog. Yes, it's a bit lame until you notice the "baby toy" on his leg. (It's probably lame even then.)

Contest winners to be announced later today! Stay tuned!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hallowe'en Guest Bloggers, 2011 Edition

Last October, I took a page out of the book, "October Dreams," and invited some fellow Hallowe'en enthusiasts to share their favorite Hallowe'en memories in a guest post. (Click on the above picture for the collection.)

Since it was so successful, and such a blast, I again decided to invite some guest bloggers to share their favorite-------

I'm not telling you. You'll have to tune in in October. I will tell you, though, that Hallowe'en greats such as Johnny Thunder, Mr. Macabre, and Pam Morris of Labyrinth Creations have accepted this year's invitation to my haunted parlor for the annual long-distance Hallowe'en Bash! I'm really excited to see what everyone comes up with for this year's theme.

Those of you who received an invitation (and you know who you are!) and haven't responded, please send me a yea or nay so I know how to plan my October. (As always, if you can't participate, I'll still respect you in the morning!)

Since I will once again be joining the Countdown to Halloween, that means that there will be thirty-one days of Hallowe'en juiciness here, starting on October 1st.

In other news, the Sweet-Hot Giveaway ends tomorrow, so be sure to hit this post and enter while there's still time!

Ohhhh! I just am so in the Hallowe'en mood!

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's Up! The Charmed Pot on Imagineering's Scar Stuff

The latest episode of Hauntcast is up and running, boils and ghouls, featuring Eric Lowther of Haunted Overload! 

This episode of the Charmed Pot takes you back to the old days of Scar Stuff, Evil Teeth and the Imagineering makeup company's contribution to our childhoods. I found this video in the process of scouring the internet for all things related to the Imagineering makeup company, and I thought you guys might like this as a follow-up. It does bring back memories, and there are some very cool little tidbits of information about the company you may not have been aware of!

Imagineering! from David Hansen-Sturm on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jack for a Friend

My buddy Dean requested a Jack Skelington jack-o'-lantern for his daughter, who is a big fan of Nightmare Before Christmas. I finally got this one done--making enclosed forms is harder than one would imagine--and now he's drying and will hopefully go into the kiln shortly. I really hope his little one likes him!
Hopefully, I won't get a nasty letter from Disney's attorneys over this.

P.S. WOOO-HOOO! for my 1000th post! (And you're still reading this? Wow.)