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First Batch of Pictures for Halloween in the Black Lodge

on October 30, 2012 - 1:35pm

What's a Red Room experience without Agent Cooper?

Here are the first set of photographs from Sunday's Party. The theme, as you know, was Halloween in the Black Lodge.

I'll be posting more images as the rainy afternoon goes on. 

Having some technical difficulties with the site, so I can't put them into the Art Ghoullery just this moment. For now, here's some smaller versions while you wait for the originals to be posted.

In this set, you'll find sycamore trees at the entrance of the Black Lodge; Owls (of course); doughnuts (a bit fancier than what they had on the show); Tibetan rock throwing gear (to determine who "J" is/who killed Laura Palmer); a box of spiders for Leo Johnson; Waldo, the dead eye witness Mynah Bird; and the map from Owl Cave that tells folks how and where to find the Black Lodge. 

More to come!

I Think I Blacked Out

on October 29, 2012 - 3:51pm

Missed posting Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was work and then prepping for my party, and Sunday was prepping then hosting my party. 

October has gone by fast, but I think I traveled the speed of light yesterday to arrive here, Monday afternoon.

I've spent the morning dismantling part of the party decor (Monkey Boo couldn't find her way in and out of the curtained red room very well), and the afternoon was dedicated to snuggling on the couch with the pup.

I'm exhausted. 

Everyone seemed to have a nice time. No huge recipe fiascoes. Decorations came together as expected. Overall, it was a successful gathering.

There are pictures to share. And I will share them. I promise. 

But tomorrow.

The rest of the day is earmarked for putting away dishes, more snuggling with the dog, eating leftover fancy doughnuts from last night, and watching Halloween television or movies.

Halloween Party Food Preparation Tip

on October 26, 2012 - 2:31pm

It's Halloween party weekend for many of us. I can feel the anxiety from here, rising like steam from party hosts.

If, like me, you like to make most of the food you serve at parties (or, also like me, you can't afford to have it catered), do yourself a favor and prepare as much of it as you can before the day of the party. 

Many foods like soups and chilies freeze wonderfully, so make them early. 

Prep for dish ingredients - chopping, roasting, grating, etc - can also be done ahead of time, ready to be assembled on the day. 

I put a list of items I'm making on the fridge with 3 columns: prepped, made, served. If dishes have more than one component (for example, herb butter for a squash soup, or homemade dip with vegetables), I list them together. This helps prevent the last minute "I forgot to make the salsa for the nacho dip!" or even worse, you forget to bring out part of the dish when serving. 

As I go along, I add a check mark to each column.

Honestly, this is a life saver. It also is handy for anyone who is helping you serve. They can look at the list and know how many things they should be looking for.

Doing a lot of work beforehand means doing considerably less work on the day of the party. Plus, you are less likely to end up stuck in the kitchen while your guests are there. It's YOUR party. You deserve to have fun too.

Laura Palmer Wall Decoration

on October 25, 2012 - 11:03am

"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." 

It's got to be one of my favourite movie lines of all time. Mainly because of the way it's delivered.

While I am steering away from miscellaneous Twin Peaks references and imagery and focusing on the Black Lodge elements, I knew from the start I probably should include Laura Palmer's death in some way. It's a major part of the overall plot of the series, but it also is integral to the Black Lodge storyline. 

When I realized I had one big blank spot left on a wall in the living room. I decided to come up with something that represented - directly - the death of Laura Palmer. 

I'd toyed earlier with wrapping up my mannequin torso in plastic, putting a blonde wig on her and having an actual wrapped up corpse in the room but it didn't go with the overall feel of the decorations and symbolism I've been using. 

I thought it would look kinda...blatant, crude and clumsy against the other decorations.

Instead, I came up with my...I don't know what to call it...Laura Palmer wreath? It's about 2 feet around.

It turned out nicer than I thought it would. 

So, how did I make it? 

Simple.

Under the Sycamore Trees

on October 24, 2012 - 12:48am

I've been racking my brain trying to come up with an easy way to incorporate sycamore trees into the theme decor without having to build a bunch of them. In the show Twin Peaks, the entrance to the Black Lodge is surrounded by a ring of sycamore trees. 

It finally hit me that I should make paper bag lanterns. They are cheap (because I have overspent my budget), easy (because I am running out of time) and I've had it on my "to do" list for years (but it never fit into my theme). 

Sat down with a set of paper bags, a paint brush, and black paint. I started looking for free spooky tree clip art. Didn't find any I was overly crazy about, and became impatient. Decided I would throw caution to the wind, and just paint them by hand (because at this point, I'm too impatient to even do a pencil sketch first). 

Roman Bust Progress

on October 23, 2012 - 2:12pm

Finally dove in and sculpted the hair. Decided to go super cheap and use Crayola Model Magic. I was concerned it wouldn't adhere to the paper mache but my fears quickly vanished once I got going.

It's interesting to see the progression from start to finish, don't you think? 

Sure, she's no Venus, but I'm pretty happy with it considering I had no idea what I was doing. 

Toronto Weekend of Zombies and Art

on October 22, 2012 - 10:45am

Thanks to everyone who came to the Bazaar of the Bizarre yesterday and said hello. Lots of familiar and new faces. I think it was the best one yet. I certainly watched a lot of my little critters and creations find new homes with folk who love Halloween and art. 

I was flying solo at the show so besides one quick run through the building, I didn't get to take in all the cool items for sale.

I did, however, pick up this ridiculously cute little zombie doll made by Johanna Chaytor of Charlotte & Stewart.

After going to the blog, be sure to check out her flickr account for a gallery of all the beautifully detailed dolls she makes. I watched as she meticulously worked on teeny tiny t-shirts for new creations. Very cool. 

And not all of her dolls are zombies (I just happened to pick one that was). 

Speaking of zombies, the Toronto Zombie Walk took place this weekend (while I was working *sigh*). Check out the fantastic pictures posted through Torontoist.com. Some gorgeously dark and interesting makeup/costume work, plus a group of Where's Waldo as well as Bob and Doug Mackenzie zombie outfits. 

Today: Bazaar of the Bizarre

on October 21, 2012 - 8:58am

 

Come to the Bazaar of the Bizarre! A marketplace for all things exotic, whimsical and macabre! Local artists - indie, goth, lowbrow and the Halloween inspired - will gather for the annual event (and belly dancers!).

Where: Pia Bowman ballet school6 Noble St Toronto (just north from Queen St, west of Dufferin)

Time: 11am - 8pm

FREE to attend! Child and costume friendly.

I'm all packed up (almost) and ready to go (almost). There's going to be lots of $10 & $20 items on my table (priced specially for the show). So if you've been eyeing any of my items, today is the day to come buy them. 

Hope to see you there!

Haunted House Mystery Bank

on October 20, 2012 - 10:47pm

I'm not sure where the original ad came from (I spotted it on a Tumblr account), but I love the description.

You put your coin on the step of the house and "With a groan and a rattle, the house lights up - spookily - and the door slowly opens. The Horror Hand sneaks out of the doorway and snatches the coin back in! "

Sold!

Best part? The money back guarantee. As if I wouldn't be satisfied!

Of course, I wonder what it actually looked like. The artist rendition is lovely but I get the sense the bank itself may not have been so detailed.

Let's pretend it was. 

This would have helped me save as a child. 

Heck, this would help me save as an adult. 

And shudder, apparently.

Sculpture Progress For Black Lodge Theme

on October 20, 2012 - 12:08am

To simplify my life this Halloween, I picked a theme (Halloween in the Black Lodge - a Twin Peaks reference) that would not involve a lot of large scale prop building. There would only be one big one. Sounds simple, yes? I mean, I usually build numerous props for a theme, so one should be a breeze.

There's a statue seen in the Red Room/Black Lodge on the series.

A very famous statue.

In fact, one could argue besides David, the Thinker, and Atlas, it's probably the most recognizable sculpture ever made: Venus.

It's one thing to create something from your own imagination, or a symbol known by people. But I mean...it's freakin' Venus. Not only do I have NO experience sculpting humans (the closest I've come is my Witch in the Woods but she was a character, not a realistic sculpt), but I am not a famous master Roman sculptor!

I decided right from the start that I would NOT be aiming to recreate Venus. That would be stupid. And drive me to drink. 

Instead, I would aim for generic white sculpture of a woman with Roman qualities.

If you missed my last post, check it out first. 

Got it? Good. Now onto my current progress.

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