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Project Idea: Skulls, Candles and Books

on September 16, 2011 - 1:19pm


For this Misgivings Day Weekend, why not make one of these? It's super simple to make. And I mean, who doesn't need a Skull Candle Holder?

Closer to Halloween, I will be adding webbing (using a webgun), but for now here's the (almost) finished image. All you need is a skull (the ones from the dollar store work great), PVC pipe (or you could use a paper towel roll or tall can), hot glue gun, paint, and whatever you want to attach your skull to (I used fake books).

Most of the skulls you find at the dollar store look like they are from the the dollar store. But if the shape of the skull is good, then you can easily spruce it up with some paint.

When I first bought the foam skull, it was yellow (see the side-by-side image below). I took some watered down black paint (a wash) and added more shadows around the jaw, the eyes...basically anywhere there was a contour.

Using PVC for Candle Projects

on September 16, 2011 - 7:17am


Last September I hosted a make & take where Hector of Blackstone Cemetery showed us his tricks for making PVC candles.

While it's possible to make candles using paper towel rolls or cans, you may want something sturdier. PVC pipe is a good choice (assuming you have the tools to cut up the pipe).

He showed us his different methods of creating a shelf inside the PVC pipes where the LED candle lights would sit. The first option was using expanding foam (see the image below, far right). Basically, you fill it up, let it dry and slice off the overflow so it's flush with the edge of the PVC pipe. Then you need to cut out a circle in the middle to drop the candle light in. There are various drill attachments you can use to do so, or you're faced with the task of doing it by hand.

The second method (favoured by Hector over the first method) is using simple pipe insulation.

Misgivings Weekend 2011 is Almost Here!

on September 15, 2011 - 10:33am


Some of you may remember last year when I decided there needed to be a holiday weekend to mark the approach of Halloween. It is to Halloween what Thanksgiving is to Christmas.

It takes place the 7th Sunday before Halloween, which means this coming weekend is Misgivings Day Weekend!

How to celebrate? Well that's easy. Eat as much fall fare (like pumpkin ale, trick or treat candy which is now on sale at the stores, pies both savoury and sweet) as humanly possible. Work on Halloween props, decor and projects. Watch horror movies and break out Halloween cartoons.

Devilish Deals at Dollarama

on September 8, 2011 - 8:57am


I just went for styrofoam balls.

Get in, get supplies, get out. That was the plan when I headed to the local dollar store. Upon entry, I was hit with a siren song of orange and black.

I made two unscheduled purchases. The first were these Halloween themed bags. I'd forgotten to bring my own cloth bags with me (in Toronto, there's a 5 cent charge on plastic bags. It's a deterrent to encourage people to use less of them which I support and have a collection of reusable bags I normally keep in the trunk of my car but forgot that day). So of course, logically, it made sense for me to buy new bags, right?

Besides, these bad boys are huge. 20 inches tall, and slim. I don't have bags like these, never mind Halloween themed ones. Done.

Hilarious House of Frightenstein at FanExpo

on September 4, 2011 - 4:43pm


I was able to get away for a seminar this year. A friend kept Yetch company while he manned the table and I went off with another friend to sit in on a talk by Mitchell Markowitz. You might know him better as Super Hippy or the mosquito on Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

Also on the panel was Victoria Price, daughter of Vincent Price.

It was a packed room of fans, all of us pleased to sit quietly and listen to anecdotes of the show and especially tales of Vincent Price.

FanExpo 2011: People Can Be Wonderful

on September 2, 2011 - 10:13am


The biggest blessing of being part of the convention is meeting people. Not only meeting them, but having the same people come back year after year to say hello and tell me they are excited to see what's new on my table.

It's so funny that people are shocked when I remember them, but the secret is I'm just as shocked they remember me and my work.

Here's a great example. I was sent this picture from a lovely young woman (who is probably lurking on the blog right now. I see you). It's a photo of my creations she's collected over the last three years: she started with a mini pumpkin the first year, graduated to an eyeball plant and pumpkinhead minion the second year, and this year I was thrilled she was the one who adopted Wilhelmina the Witch.

It gives me immense pleasure when I know my beloved monsters go to good homes.

4 Convention Days and a Funeral

on September 2, 2011 - 8:35am

It's not as catchy as the movie title, but that does sum up my last week.

I wasn't going to make a public announcement but since there's such a long list of people waiting for some sort of reply from me, I thought it made sense to make a quick post.

On the way home from the convention on Sunday, I was informed of a death in the family. Ever since, I've been out of town helping with paperwork and funeral plans, and dealing with my own grief.

I appreciate sympathies but please don't send them. At this point, positive thoughts and good vibes are much more appreciated than messages of condolences. I'm drained. A death can throw you a steep learning curve where you have to learn a lot of things really fast. You make decisions and do things you never thought you'd have to do.

I'm Not One for Celebrities But...

on August 30, 2011 - 10:38am

This year was certainly the busiest one for me in terms of people: general chatting, introductions, requests for interviews and interesting propositions for future shows or projects (many of whom are waiting for some sort of email from me, and if they are reading this, I hope they'll remain patient. There was a family emergency and I'm out of town. I didn't even get a chance to unpack from the show. Poor Yetch is surrounded by the mess I left in my wake).

As a rule, it's these interactions I'm most excited about as my anticipation grows each August. Celebrities are fun to see, but it's all the different people I meet (fellow artists, horror folk and - dare I say it - actual fans of my work) who make the weekend so great. I also feel guilty leaving people to man my table for too long, so it's been 3 years since I've lined up for or attended anything at the convention.

Of course, every now and then, there's an exception.

FanExpo 2011 Quick Update

on August 26, 2011 - 8:09am

Very quick post for those of you who wanted to see what the table display is like this year. I've popped a handful of quick pictures on the blog.

Zombie Ornament Sets

on August 24, 2011 - 12:18pm

It's my last day of madness before the big show tomorrow. I'm covered in paint, a bit twitchy, and making last minute decisions about what pieces and plans are to be sacrificed to ensure others are achieved.

Had a little fun with some packaging for a set of zombie ornaments. The plan is to get some proper boxes, but I've recycled these display boxes for now, adding new backgrounds, ribbon and such.

I'm sorry to those of you who've left me comments on the blog recently to which I haven't replied. I've read them and appreciated the kindness, humour and encouragement contained in their sentiments. I honestly haven't had breaks more than 20 minutes long the past two weeks where I wasn't doing anything. If I'm watching a movie, I'm painting. If I'm having coffee on the porch, I'm also reviewing my to-do list. I even went to a friends cottage and - you guessed it - brought a box of items to work on (and I did work on them the entire time, taking a break now and then to sit on the deck among the trees).

Even now, I'm taking this break to blog because I'm waiting for 7 plants to dry so I can add the next layers of paint. They should almost be ready, which means I need to go.

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