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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

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.

Blackout Schmackout, I'm on a Deadline

on August 22, 2011 - 8:27am

Storms raged across Ontario yesterday afternoon. Yetch and I were running errands when "tornado activity" was being reported. I'd looked up at the heavy, purple-grey clouds as we were pulling into a parking lot and said "Those look ominous". Turned out I was right.

By the time we were ready to head back to the car, the rain was falling in sheets, slamming into the storefront.

Thunder boomed, sending vibrations through the car as we made our way home. The rain thinned, but you got a sense of how much rain was dropped on the city all at once. Every five minutes we were faced with flooded patches of road where the water tickled the door frame of the car. Branches littered the roads everywhere in our neighbourhood, and even a large tree had been toppled.

We arrived home safe and sound, the sky sunny and blue once more, with only the scattered debris on the roads as evidence of the sudden storm.

That and the fact the power was out across the east end of the city for more than 5 hours.

What does a ghoul on a deadline with a huge show on the horizon do in a blackout? She gathers more than 20 candles to light up her office like a shrine, and does paper mache.

Just me, the work, and my little monkey radio playing commercial-free jazz.

It was actually quite nice, and took some of the pressure off from my looming deadline.

Of course, if it happens again between now and Thursday, I may have a breakdown.

Little Minions: Neville

on August 19, 2011 - 11:43am

Here I am, rushing around, trying to get ready for next week's convention, and I realize I haven't introduced you to a couple of minions that will grace my table. I've taken a moment out of the madness to post one of them.

Neville loves the smell of burning jack o'lanterns, and the sound of rattling candy in pillowcases.

"Trick or Treat", he grunts as he walks along the sidewalk on Halloween night.

Passing children laugh and point to him, exclaiming "Look at HIS costume, Mommy!".

Neville smiles, careful not to show his teeth, and continues on with his pumpkin lantern lighting the way.