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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

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.

Halloween on the Screen

on October 18, 2012 - 12:33pm

There hasn't been much time for anything, lately. I've tried to put the brakes on a little and remind myself to enjoy the season (don't want to be all Sally Brown, lamenting "Halloween is over and I MISSED it!"). 

A huge part of that - as a child and as an adult - is media. Be it film or television, the one constant in my celebration regime is animation of some sort. 

Is it me, or does there seem to be a lack of Halloween cartoons in the last 10 years? The Nickelodeon collection of cartoon series are good to deliver a special episode, but where are the stand alone features? And I don't count newer Disney specials which star people (hey Disney, remember when you made cartoons? I think it made you famous). 

Dreamworks has stepped up and tried to fill the Halloween gap with Shrek and Monsters vs Aliens specials, but where is everyone else?

And so I am left to be nostalgic, reaching back to my childhood (which is why I posted the picture of Grover by Jack Davis I came across last night as I was trying to catch up on all the Halloween Countdown blogs).

If you were a child in the 70s and 80s, or you love older cartoon Halloween specials, come sit by me. I'm going to share a couple of blogs that might make you feel better.

Working Mummies

on October 17, 2012 - 8:53pm

The other day I wrote about an unexpected visitor with a package for me. This is one of the books that was inside. 

It's called Working Mummies illustrated by Drazen Kozjan and written by Joan Horton.

I've only had a few spare, quiet moments to read through it a number of  times (love it!), my eyes trying to take in all the Halloween goodness, but it ticks all the right boxes for me: great images, strong female characters, and well written rhymes.

The book explores the different jobs of Mummies in the monster world, like Writers, Teachers, Dentists and even Real Estate Mummies: 

"Other mums sell houses.

They're not the least bit daunted

By buyers who insist upon

Old dwellings that are haunted."

Last Figures Before The Show

on October 16, 2012 - 11:05am

Time is stuck on fast forward. Days are busy. If I have free time, Yetch doesn't. If Yetch has free time...well, Yetch doesn't have free time. Not since...last winter?

I'm glad I decided to go with a more minimal (for me) party theme this year. I know it's really minimal when Yetch is having a work meeting online, turns his laptop around so people can see what I've done in the living room, and he's explaining how I "usually do much more" (ouch!). I also took advantage of using a number of store bought/classic decorations, to which he said "It looks nice, but it doesn't look like you" (double ouch!). The thing is, the theme doesn't lend itself to too many homemade props. I've barely had time to work on the bust I started (progress, yes, but not finished). 

I'm ALSO trying to get ready for my show on Sunday. Balancing this whole art vs party-theme-build is not easy. Plus there's that pesky business of day jobs. And Monkey Boos (I love my pup but sheesh!). And trying to have a bit of a life. And sleep. 

Mad Monster Party Art Show

on October 15, 2012 - 12:48pm

I'm a big fan of the site Doo Wacka Doodles  (and Belle Dee's art) throughout the year, but during the Halloween Countdown it's an even better treat. 

Spotted this post about a Mad Monster Party Art Show in Sherman Oaks, CA. Belle has put a link to the gallery and samples of what's being shown, what's for sale and all the details so please visit the links above.

Instead of repeating all of her post, I just wanted to highlight one piece for sale by Dan Szczepanski of a carved pumpkin (selling for $900). There's a video where you can see each side.

Dan Szczepanski has an entire collection of carved foam pumpkins which are quite stunning. Like the Haunted Mansion pumpkin, the Edgar Allen Poe pumpkin, the Headless Horseman pumpkin, and a whole lot of Disney, Universal Monsters, and Halloween goodness. 

Snickers "Horseless Headsman"

on October 14, 2012 - 8:45am

Snickers has come out with a Halloween commercial. It's pretty cute.

Who's Knocking at My Door

on October 12, 2012 - 12:43pm

Gather round kiddies. Ol'Ghoul is going to tell you a tale that is like a teaching fairytale for adults: interesting characters, surprises, that moment where our protagonist gets into a bad situation because they didn't do what they should have...all the good stuff. The moral of my tale? Get dressed by 11 am even on your day off.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who'd had a whirlwind week (read: month). Her house was ramshackled. Her front lawn neglected. And she was expecting a visitor later in the day, a visitor who had never seen her home before and might be bringing a camera. The visitor - we'll call her Amy - was set to arrive around 5 pm.

The woman began cleaning her house early that morning. She had errands to run also, and thought about getting dressed. It was getting close to noon, after all. She decided to wait. She'd only be getting dirtier as the house got cleaner, and there was much left to do. And she wanted to make a good impression, of course.

It's important to make a good impression, isn't it?

Dusting, sweeping, sorting, washing, stopping only to brush her teeth (no time for the hair). 

Doorbell rings. 

The woman pauses her work, looks toward the sound, then looks down at her Popeye-themed pajama bottoms and oversized dress shirt she's wearing (she can't see the dirt, but she can feel it). 

It's only 11 am. No packages expected. No visitors until later. Just leave it.

Doorbell rings again.

She throws on her red hoodie as she moves to the front door.

A man in a black helmet (no not Vader) and sun glasses is at her door, holding a large envelope. 

A bike courier?

They share salutations and he asks if she is Ghoul Friday, which catches her off guard a little, but postal carriers do sometimes address her by that name.

She tells the man yes, and he hands her the large envelope, decorated with spooks and ghouls, her name in the branches, her address on the tombstone (blurred in the image so I could show it to you).

"Isn't that something!" she exclaims, remarking on the drawings. 

Art of Owl Song aka Andie Wolf

on October 11, 2012 - 5:57pm

Tonight is Creature Feature, the opening solo show of Toronto artist Andie Wolf. With subjects ranging from monsters to mammals, Owl Song (as she's known online) explores nature and the unnatural in equal parts. Always fun, and often beautiful, her work is a refreshing take on imagery we thought we knew.

Join Andie Wolf at Playful Grounds (in Little Italy) tonight at 8 pm for the opening. If you can't make it tonight, the show will run into November, and a second installment will continue until year end. Playful Grounds, 605 College St. (between Bathurst & Ossington) Toronto, Ontario 416-645-0484

Halloween in the Black Lodge

on October 10, 2012 - 7:14am

 

(picture from adaytimesinner on deviant art)

I had a grand theme planned for this year. Several large sculpting projects. One huge build. 

When September 1st hit, I realized I wasn't going to have the time or the budget to execute the plan this year (but maybe next year). As the start of September crept closer to mid-September, I started to panic. I couldn't decide on what to do. Finally I asked myself "if you could incorporate any theme into your Halloween party decor, just for your own enjoyment (as opposed to what I think would look really cool), what would it be?"

Well, THAT'S easy. Twin Peaks.

Huh. 

And just like that, this year's theme was decided.

I'm a big Twin Peaks fan. I would drop everything and run away with Agent Dale Cooper in a heartbeat. I've been to the real Twin Peaks (twice), sat in the real Double R Diner, and had coffee black as midnight on a moonless night with a plate of cherry pie.

I've refined the theme a bit, of course. I could do a general Twin Peaks party, but I wanted to stay true to the Halloween element. I'm designing the decor around the Black Lodge/White Lodge concept (for those who never watched the show, basically it's believed there are good and bad realms the spirit must to pass through, and where evil/goodness presides).

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