Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calm Before the Storm

I've decided to take the next couple of days off from blogging to prep for the upcoming participation in the Countdown to Halloween 2011. 

Countdown to Halloween is a fabulous blog run by the amazing team of John Rozum and Shawn Robare. They have gathered a bunch of Halloween and horror bloggers together who have sworn to post something Hallowe'en every day in the month of October. The past participants list has been pretty dang impressive, and I can't begin to express how happy I am to be in such noble and creepy company!

My countdown will be including a few guest bloggers, an interview with someone near and dear to the haunt community, and perhaps a vlog, if I can get my laptop repair peeps to actually quit breaking my laptop more than it was broken when I took it in to be fixed.

See you back here on October first!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Christmas Ape has the right idea...
Well, I survived my first weekend on Apple Hill. I made some sales, reconnected with old acquaintances, drank beer and wine, and wished that people would bloody well watch their children.

Since I have a lot more product to offer, packing things up at the end of the day takes a very long time, and since I have to break down my tent every Sunday, it adds up to 2 1/2 hours straight of wrapping, arranging, and fighting with the tent. (I find just writing about it is making me want to go back to bed!) I really wish I could afford an employee or two to help out, but at this stage, there would be no profit at the end of the day if I had to pay someone. *sigh* Where is Igor when you need him?

It does remind me, however, that my eventual goal is to open up a brick and mortar store/gallery. After Hallowe'en, I need to take some time to do some serious planning to make that happen, or something that will be workable and profitable for me.

Meanwhile, sometime this week, I plan to putter with my Madame Leota project. The features on the bust are still a little too defined, so I'm going to see if joint compound will adhere to the fired clay and flatten the features out a little more. (If anyone has a better idea, please let me know!) I'm visualizing my apothecary/seance space (goodness knows actually plotting it out on paper would make far too much sense!) and am thinking perhaps one or two more velvet-like, drapery-ish panels may need to be added to expand the space to accommodate the projector. Of course, if I had any cash, I'd build or buy some antique-looking shelves (or make a thrift shop purchase and age them, myself) to create the apothecary space. 

Mr. ShellHawk has caught the spirit of the apothecary, and has been keeping an eye out for visually interesting bottles. I came home the other day to find a Herencia Mexicana Tequila bottle by the kitchen sink.

"What's up with this?" I asked.

"Oh, I thought that would make a great bottle for the apothecary." Cool Mr. ShellHawk!

Of course, the temptation is to head out to BevMo and buy every unusual booze bottle I can lay my hands on, but that can get sort of spendy! I suppose I'll have to comb the thrift stores for some more. I do have to say I'm excited to have some great apothecary labels from Damn French Desserts and some labels from Dead Spider's Etsy Store to play with. I like the idea of having different styles of labels, as if the witch in question goes to the store and buys her favorite brands.

I just can't wait for Hallowe'en!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


More vintage Hallowe'en shots here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Minor Updates

Last week, I headed up to Jack Russell Farm Brewery to begin setup of my booth, with intentions to park my butt in my chair and sell my stuff that weekend. When I got there, the owner told me not to bother, because not enough people were coming up for the Apple Hill season quite yet. He told me to come up this weekend, and gave me some updates on what was going on around there. (Very happy to hear that flying things and free-range children will not be tolerated this year! They both tend to break fragile things...)

So today is the day I head up to get set up. Hopefully, it will be worth it! 

Also, here's a question for your consideration, and I'd love to have your feedback: you've seen a few of the pictures from the new bunch of pumpkins I've made this year. Would it be worth it to get some prints made of those and sell them like I do this one and this one? The pic above is one I'm considering, as well as these, below:
Or perhaps make some greeting cards? 

Hmmm... Love to get some input from y'all!

Monday, September 19, 2011

News From the Nest

As with all of you at this time of year, the Nest is in a bit of disarray as the Hallowe'en stuff prepares to make its yearly appearance, school is in (which means learning and teaching for me), my booth opens, and any manner of chaos that can come a-visitin', will!

The open house I had a week ago Sunday went very well, especially considering I don't yet have a mailing list. (Note to self: build mailing list!)

As you can see from the pictures, the house looked like a Hallowe'en tornado had blown through and deposited Hallowe'en-y things everywhere. These pics were taken at about 1:00a.m., as I was finishing up entering my stock into my inventory sheet.

Of course, I don't have an "after" shot, where everything was beautifully displayed. I was just too busy to snap any pics the next morning! A final vacuum was done to pick up the German Shepherd dust rhinoceri that were galloping madly around the house, kitchen clean-up and hors d'oeuvres made and set out, bathroom cleaned, and all the last-second minutiae taken care of, with some help from Mr. ShellHawk. (He made a wonderful plate of caprese salad that was beautiful and as yummy as only home-grown tomatoes can be!)

The neighbors I invited who hadn't seen me making things in my garage were, I think, pretty surprised at not only the volume of work I had on display, but I think at the quality, too. I think some of them were expecting to have to make polite noises at some fairly cruddy and amateurish pottery, but instead, there were some honestly impressed looks on some of their faces. 
One friend didn't buy any of the Hallowe'en ware, but did purchase five of my Raku pieces, and five of my favorites, at that. 
Someone else bought several of the pre-matted photos I started offering this year, so I have hopes that they'll be a popular item at my booth on Apple Hill this season. All in all, we had a great time!

In other news, Jack Skelington was shipped off to his new home.

My friend Dean's three-year-old absolutely loves Jack Skelington, so when Dean asked me to make one for her, I was delighted to do so.
From Dean's email:
My daughter Olivia (3 yrs old) was so excited when she saw the box with a Jack Skellington face on the front.
I'm attaching 2 photos and a video when she opened it up. She carried it around the rest of the night and I had to put it on her nightstand
when she went to bed. She wanted a candle in it but I couldn't find one. She told me to get one today at Walmart for her.
Thank you so much! I'm going to put a flicker LED candle for it and display it in the window the entire month of October.
 Can I express how great it is to be a part of her Hallowe'en tradition? How cool is that?

Makes the late nights worth it, that's for sure!

Oh, and? I was listed on "Etsy Finds" the other day. Woo-hoo! (Look in the section that says "plan menu.")

Great things come with Hallowe'en!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Haunted Gallery

If you follow Pumpkinrot's blog, you've undoubtedly seen the fantastic new offering in our Hallowe'en blog world: The Haunted Gallery.

The Haunted Gallery is a lovely collection of themed soundscapes and, well, haunting goodness. Meat and potatoes for we haunt folk, you know?

He writes them himself and is kind enough to share them with us through YouTube. (I created this playlist of Haunted Atmospheres on YouTube. Hit "play all," so you can hear them uninterrupted.) 

He said he created these soundscapes because a lot of Hallowe'en themed cds out there were a random collection of scary noises, and after listening to more than a few for my haunt, I have to agree with him. His soundscapes are beautifully themed, and contain thoughtful layers and textures that are lacking in ninety-nine percent of all the commercially available haunted house soundtracks. They take me back to the days when I listed to my haunted goodness on LPs on my kiddie record player; I am spoiled on these for the rest of my days!

Thanks, Rot, for discovering this for us!

New Giveaway to Kick off the Season of Panic!-The Winner Is--- Part 2

Sooooooooo-after consulting with Mr. Chicken, he requested I choose another winner for the lovely labels.

After consulting my random number generator oracle (again, Mr. ShellHawk), the winner is----


Creepy, Glowbug, please email me with your shipping information so I can pass it along to the lovely ladies of Damn French Desserts. I can be reached at shellhawksnest at yahoo dahwt com.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New at ShellHawk's Creations

Mother wants you to buy this plate for her...
Headless Horseman bowl, Haunted House Plate, and Bates Motel Plate are all available at ShellHawk's Creations on Etsy.

Please note that since I am opening up my booth at Jack Russell Farm Brewery this weekend, I'll be pulling all items out of the Etsy store on weekends to avoid potentially selling the exact same item twice. Available items will be posted on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings until further notice. That means you should do your shopping on weekdays, if you can, because when people see my things in person, they sell!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pigors+Aerfish=Monsterpieces App!

If you just can't stand having to take a break from creating monsters in your secret laboratory while say, picking up the kids from soccer practice, there's an app for you!
From the app description: 

DESIGN MILLIONS -- maybe billions -- of unique monsters... each one uglier than the others!FEATURING ARTWORK by world-famous monster artist Eric Pigors, of "ToxicToons" fame, Monsterpieces lets you assemble horribly fiendish faces... using pieces you've carefully chosen from several bubbling vats, each filled to the brim with disgusting tidbits Eric picked up from God-knows-where, or off whom.SLAP TOGETHER the ugliest imaginable freak, FacesnoBGthen make an even uglier sister for it. Like it? Name it! Then save it, either to your own private gallery of Mon-sterpieces, or share it with the world via Facebook, email, Twitter, etc. Let the world know how proud you are of yourhandiwork!AS IF THAT WEREN'T ENOUGH, we've also supplied the perfect background music to accompany your new hobby: a sinister-sounding song by the legendary surf-rock band "Los Straitjackets!" So when you need to take a break from monster-making...DO THE TWIST!!
If you're interested in purchasing the Monsterpices app, there's a special code just for you that will be valid for the next four weeks only: PWMAXWXHNR6H

Have fun creating your creatures, kids! And be careful of villagers with torches and pitchforks!

New Giveaway to Kick off the Season of Panic!-The Winner Is---

My exceedingly high-tech random number generator (a.k.a. Mr. ShellHawk texting me back when I asked him to pick a number between 1 and 10) has officially chosen the winner of the Damn French Desserts apothecary labels.

Mr. Chicken!

And seriously, it was random. Mr. ShellHawk never knows why I text him anything. ;o)

Mr. Chicken, please send me an e-mail with the shipping address so I can have the ladies at Damn French Desserts send these fabulous labels out to you!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Remember, the Damn French Desserts Apothecary Label Giveaway ends tomorrow, so be sure to enter your favorite apothecary ingredient in the comments section of the original post. Beautifully hand-aged labels will be shipped directly to you by Damn French Desserts for immediate use in your witch's cottage.

And since so far, there are only four entries for these beauties, your chances of winning are pretty good!

Good Luck!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Open House Today

Working on too few hours of sleep, I still managed to produce some good stuff for my Pre-Season Open House today. Once I get back from Sam's scentwork class, I need to finish getting the house set up, which involves locating a misplaced box of stuff-and we all know that never takes any time at all, right?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School!


This one needs a couple of clear coats, then it gets fired. I may be able to pack the kiln one last time before the open house on Sunday, and this is most certainly going in!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Open House-Eek!

In a valiant attempt to induce my very own first nervous breakdown, I'm having a pre-season open house here at my home on Sunday.

I've been throwing and glazing and firing like it's going out of style; I'm not looking forward to seeing my electric bill this month.

In any case, this is a shameless promotion! If there is anything in my Etsy story that you've really been wanting, but haven't yet gotten around to purchasing, now is a good time to do that, as it may well be gone after Sunday.

And remember to enter the Apothecary Label Giveaway, which was announced in the post just below. These are really fantastic labels for your apothecary display!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Giveaway to Kick off the Season of Panic!

ShellHawks Nest blog is happy to announce a wonderful giveaway!

Etsy seller Damn French Desserts is a unique shop. From their own lips to your ear:

Chartered in Madrid, Damn French Desserts is Purveyor of Exquisite Knick Knack. Our unique pieces of This and That contain obscure victorian ephemera and dark surrealism, always with a considerably amount of sense of humor.


Customized, personalized and handmade stationery creations such as cards, notecards, invitations (weddings, birthdays, parties, funerals, special occasions), tags, labels, little books, vintage looking little games and gifts for people with an endless wicked good taste but limited budget.

Our works are printed in artistic italian paper -300 grs/m2- with a rich subtle texture that increases the beauty of the illustration. Hand made, hand cut, hand embossed one right after the other. Such a labour of love!


Due to our customers' demand, in Damn French Desserts we currently offer the possibility of purchasing our digital works for you to print our designs as many times as you want either in the copy center of your choice or in the comfort of your home. Easy or what??? In less than 24 hours you could receive your order in your mailbox , with a little something extra that we always love to add as a way to say thanks for your purchase.

We humbly invite you to lose yourselves in the subtle splendor of our handmade creations, diving into some of our most recent designs such as:


Halloween Tombstones Invitations:

Ornamented Skulls Halloween:

Happy Bloody Halloween:

A little Birdie Was Going to Tell You …

Please Accept this Bloody Invitation:

Come if Your Dare:

Tombstone Place Name Cards:

Highly Poisonous Apothecary Label Stickers Part 1

Highly Poisonous Apothecary Label Stickers Part 2

Highly Poisonous Apothecary Label Stickers Part 3


Fragile Handle with Care:

Skull Dance (cards/illustrations)

Lady Vanitree (cards/illustrations)

Do Not Disturb, Already Disturbed door knob hanger:

Dissecting Godiva (cards/illustrations)

Thanks for visiting our home in the net. Any questions, don't hesitate to ask. We usually don't bite ...

And come on, admit it ...You were dying to have one of these!

Le Craft Goddesses
 So what's the giveaway, you ask?

Damn French Desserts is giving away three sets of Apothecary Stickers to one lucky winner! These will look absolutely fabulous in your apothecary or witch's cottage, because they're aged by hand!

 I'll make winning simple. In the "comments" section, post what kind of items you would have in your apothecary. They don't have to be from the apothecary stickers, they could be something you just made up!

The winner will be randomly chosen on Tuesday, September 13th. Damn French Desserts will be shipping these hand-aged stickers directly to you, so be sure to mark the date on your calendar and check back for the announcement of the winner if you enter. If I don't hear back from you by the 15th, I'll pick another winner.

Good luck, kids!

Off Topic

But pretty amazing for those interested in viewing a bit of history, nonetheless. My dad sent me a link to some archives the Denver Post has on its website of color photographs taken from the 1939 through 1943. They were featured in an exhibit called "Bound for Glory: America in Color," and are owned by the Library of Congress.
See the pictures at the Denver Post archive extras.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Eerie Autumn

Last year, some nice person in the blogosphere posted about the Windows Theme Pack, Eerie Autumn. (Whomever you are, I'm sorry I can't remember it was your blog, so please let me know who you are so I can give credit!) There's an article here in The Huffington Post about it.

I went to the Holiday page at the Windows site and downloaded it, but until about a month ago, I'd forgotten about it. I ran across it again while I was looking for something else, and decided to install it officially.

I have to say, I kind of enjoy it. There are some good graphics, some not as good, and there are some pretty fun sounds that come along with it that to me are better than the typical buzzes and beeps you have to deal with when using Windows or Vista. I particularly like the organ chords when you plug in or unplug your USB toys. There's even a crow's call when something can't be downloaded.

Necropolis blog just put up a very cool wallpaper, too! Very retro.

Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy a little Autumn fun today. Have a great Holiday weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hooray! Hauntcast 34 is Up and Running!

With BFF and all around great/scary guy Cory Hunt of Nightmare Playgrounds! I'm tickled as all get out that he is on the show this ep, so run, don't walk to your  personal hand-held doohickey and download the latest show!

Oh, and? There's a Hauntcast iTunes app, so you can have all our haunter goodness, both pro and home, right at your ghoulish little fingertips! We're here to stay, kiddies!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In Other, Minor News-

My obsession with Hallowe'en continues to produce interesting results and opportunities.

The editor of the local paper, The Folsom Telegraph, is also a bit of a Hallowe'en person, and knows that I run my yard display to raise money for the Vista Del Lago High School art department here in town. He also happens to be a member of the Rotary Club of Historic Folsom. and that branch of the Rotary Club has taken on Vista High School as their project.

I went to a meeting last week and decided to give it a shot. After having between eight and twelve minutes on Hauntcast, and sometimes feeling limited because of time constraints, filling twenty minutes up with talking about Hallowe'en is going to be a snap! Mr. ShellHawk even says he'll help me with a Power Point presentation, which should really help to illustrate my points.

I'm hoping to get them to help run a haunted house for the school, if possible. The only challenge I see is that none of the officials at the school seem interested in raising the money, though they do complain about the cutbacks. Other than the one teacher I have contact with, who is excited about the idea and hopes to make it part of the school culture, there has been zero response, other than, "We're too busy."

Now, the one teacher I mentioned genuinely is too busy, as her mom is suffering from Alzheimer's and had some serious health setbacks over the summer, and she is the primary caregiver. But everyone else? I don't know, since I haven't received any responses. I'm baffled by this. I mean, if someone was volunteering to help you build a sustainable income, wouldn't you at least respond?

But I guess it comes back to supporting the arts for the kids, which is why I'm willing to tilt at this particular windmill.

Sancho, damn you! Bring me my lance!