Sunday, November 29, 2020

It Was a Very Good Autumn!

One of my pumpkin people and a jack-o'-lantern in their new home.

This year has seen some significant strides forward for me. As my healing process has continued, aided by some hard-core therapy, I've felt lighter and more steady. I'm developing new coping skills, I'm becoming more mindful. I feel as though a part of me now has room for other things; plans for the future, space to rest and relax, awareness of each small moment of happiness and the return to the habit of searching for those moments.

I discovered the unexpected rewards of doing the work have been the resurgence of my creativity and the desire to get my hands back in clay and do what I do best. I find I look forward to sketching out my ideas and I'm feeling free enough to accept the mistakes which come with experimentation. They feel more like an, "a-ha!" than an, "uh-oh!"

The open house went well, as I mentioned before. Afterwards, I received a few pictures of my creations in their new homes, or waiting to go on to their new homes as gifts.

Several people sent messages telling me how happy they were with their new purchases; how they use them daily, how they put them on display for all year, rather than just Halloween, and how much happiness their purchases give them.

You can see the jack in the upper left corner!

There's a warm glow of satisfaction comes with pictures like these! And it makes me look forward to making even more wares for my clients.

BTW, I'm having a sale in my Etsy store until tomorrow night, so if you've been wanting to grab something for yourself, now's the time!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

 To my supporters, I wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Untitled (Man With a Bat on His Head)

 Via The Art Institute of Chicago. Edward Gorey, artist.

Friday, November 13, 2020

My Murder in November!

Those of you who have been following my blog from the beginning know that aside from my love of Hallowe'en, I'm also a creative and eclectic person. I describe myself as spiritual, not religious. I'm a firm believer in "use what works for you," in terms of your spiritual path, if you're on one.

Hence my Murder.

You're probably wondering what I mean by that.

Well, I started out life with a witchy/pagan leaning. I naturally gravitated towards animals and plants. At one time, I thought about becoming a licensed falconer (gave it up because the ones I knew were dirt poor and always late with their rent). I've owned a horse, multiple dogs and a few cats over the years. More often than not, animals seem to like me from the get-go.

Those we think of as witches were always noted for their connection to nature, its cycles and its creatures. When they're pictured in old texts, they're usually surrounded by wild things, especially crows. 

Los Angeles is pretty much overrun by crows. You hear them calling all day long. It's part of the background noise of the city, along with the flock of wild parrots which traverses the San Fernando Valley, screeching their presence to anyone who'll listen.

I decided that since I'm now a Woman of a Certain Age, living my own life by my own terms, what I really needed to do is something that would have gotten me burned as a witch or diagnosed with "hysteria" a hundred years ago. Hence, my seduction of the crows which hang around my office parking lot.

It's gotten to the stage where, when they see my car drive up, they start calling to each other and they start flying in to wait for their goodies. What started out as two or three has grown to nine or ten. They give me good eye contact, and I'm sure they have my face in their memories, now, with or without my mask. The other day, I took Grace for a quick walk around the block and had several of them accompany me down the block, flying ahead to land on the tree in front of me, then on to the next and the next. It was a good feeling, even though I know they were still just trying to mooch more food.

I don't feed them all day, every day, because I don't want there to be complaints about bird poop or to attract rats. (I'm pals with the squirrel, Smalls, still.) I'm nothing if not a considerate weirdo!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Hallowe'en Edition!

 Happy Hallowe'en!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Buffy vs Edward

An oldie, but a goodie! Click on the pic to watch.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Deathworkz and Lynette Brown, RIP

I lost another friend over the weekend, this time to pancreatic cancer.

Lynette Brown, owner and creator of Deathworkz Haunted House, passed away on Saturday after a long fight with the disease. Lynette and I met when I was still living in Folsom at one of the CalHaunts NorCal meetings, and just hit it off. We stayed in touch over the years, even after I moved away, and we discovered that we had much in common. I'm going to miss our talks.

She was smart, funny, fierce, and suffered no fools. If anyone should have lived to see Trump lose the upcoming election, it was her.

Rest in power, Lynette. You were one awesome lady!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

More Jacks in the Shop!

I am beyond thrilled at the response to 2020's crop of handmade jack-o'-lanterns! The open house was a great start, and the continuing interest from collectors of my work - as well as new fans - has been humbling and thrilling, all at once! Because of you, I'm inching closer to my goal of purchasing my new kiln and all the things that have to go with it!

You can click on each picture to be taken to the listing in the ShellHawk's Creations Etsy Store.

Yes, it gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction to see the body of work I created this year! Once I get my kiln, I can play around with my fine art again, too. Maybe I can add to the award I received from that international ceramics show I was juried into, Feats of Clay!

Wouldn't that be a triumph?

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Deadtime Stories

 An animated pilot for MTV which wasn't made into a series (as far a I know), by Michael Dougherty. Click on the pic for a creepy cartoon!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Rule #3


Rule #3: Never blow out a jack-o'-lantern!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pepper's Ghost - Lots of Bang for Your Buck!

It's been a few years since I posted about Paul Lasaine's Pepper's Ghost illusion and his subsequent how-to video. but I felt that with social distancing being the watchword for Hallowe'en 2020, it could use another bump!

Paul Lasaine is a production designer, VFX art director and supervisor, matte painting artist and supervisor, and won an Annie Award (awards are for outstanding animation) for his work on Boxtrolls

Though the original video was posted in 2007, it's still a high-impact, low-budget effect for 2020. It's fairly easy to achieve for the rank beginner if you're willing to invest some time and patience. While I do enjoy the more commercially available projection effects we have access to these days, what I like about the Pepper's Ghost illusion is that it looks realistic and has a huge "wow" factor. I feel that we've become so accustomed to the look of CG, the "reality" of Pepper's Ghost is still as viable as it was in 1862, when it was developed.

Take a look at the videos and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Monday, October 19, 2020


 My first Artist Open House in three years went beautifully, in spite of the 'Rona! It was a real push to get everything done on time, especially with having a full-time job, too, but it got done!

Here's the part where I plug my awesome dad. He was incredibly supportive and helpful at every turn. Coming from the background of a VFX producer, he kept tabs on all the little tasks which needed doing and kept things moving along on his end. He made signs, suggested changes on the Craigslist ad and the personal invitations, and was an all-around good sport! He was a soothing presence to my artist's anxiety and pre-show jitters! 

A friend came by and helped with setup and hung around to help wrap and bag each piece sold, so they'd arrive in their new homes in one piece.

 We got lucky with a beautiful, clear day and light breezes.

Our patio is a mixture of wisteria-covered trellis and solid wood, so we set up in the comparatively cooler shade so people could shop in comfort. I didn't get pictures, but dad made up a "masks required" sign with that cute German Shepherd showing you how to wear a mask, so that people would be a little safer.


I wasn't able to get pics once people started showing up, but we had a busy time there, for a bit. Busy enough to make doing the Open House worth it. A number of my old high school friends showed up to support my little business and they were really surprised to see not only the volume of work I had made, but the quality and variety! Many of the cups and bowls I had on display had come from my old digs in Folsom, and I even brought out my Christmas ornaments.

As always, people were drawn to the Raku-fired jack-o'-lanterns I had made. As far as I know, you can't get them anywhere else.

Eventually, the day wound down and folks ambled off with their purchases, looking happy behind their masks. Their pleasure reminded me of why I make ceramics; my pieces make people smile! It gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction to know, for instance, how much joy a set of cups will give my friend for years to come!

We sold a respectable amount of pieces, but of course there were some left. Lucky you! If you keep an eye on my shop, you can have one in your home, too!

These guys are already in my Etsy Shop, ShellHawk's Creations!

I'll be adding more as the week progresses!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Lights of the Night

Lights of the Night, by artist Ascending Storm.

This image screams, "Hallowe'en!"

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Saturday Morning Cartoons - But for Adults!

This is not a cartoon for kids! 

Who's Hungry is a creepy and atmospheric mix of Hansel and Gretel and Jack the Giant-Killer. 

Can we all agree that looking under the bed is a viscerally terrifying thing to do? A grief-stricken boy loses a part of his Ferris wheel under his bed, and - well, strange creatures happen, and magical things ensue.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Halloween is Grinch Night

 Did you think the Grinch was just an anti-Christmas guy?

He wasn't! There was a prequel to his attempted sabotage of The Other Holiday: Halloween is Grinch Night. 

Released in 1977, after the passing of Boris Karloff, who voiced How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the animated TV show was voiced by Hans Conried. The songs, written by Sesame Street veteran, Joe Raposo, were still sung by the legendary Thurl Ravenscroft. The show won Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.

Click on the pic for the full movie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Terror of London: Springheeled Jack

Read about the Legend of Spring-Heeled Jack here.
I wanted to share the imagery with you all, because the way the Victorians pictured him was so atmospheric and creepy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Annual Mug Shot

I got it done! W00T!

"The Annual Mug Shot," as I like to call it, got done this past weekend! The Mug Shot consists of the lion's share of jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin people I create in a season. Sometimes, they're missing a few friends, who have gone home with their new families. Sometimes, unfortunately, the friends they started out with have suffered too much in the firing and have broken or been otherwise damaged.

This year, however, there were so many of my jacks which came through, I had to do two separate mug shots to include them all!

Part of the reason is the fireplace I have now is smaller than the one I had in previous years. But I think they still look good, don't you?

Remember how I mentioned that a few have already gone to their new homes? Below is a jack I made for Chad Savage of Sinister Visions, from a jack design he did, called, "Howler."

Pic courtesy of Chad Savage.


Other folks I know have been collecting my jacks and other work for years! Above is a picture they sent me of their mantle. Below, my work is joined by a piece made by one of my favorite artists, Chicken Lips!

I've said it many times; I love making things people love to have in their homes!