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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

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.

Toronto FanExpo Update

on August 14, 2011 - 9:58am


August 25th is fast approaching.

Including today, I have 11 days left to get ready for Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear at FanExpo in Toronto.

They've officially announced the Horror schedule and the floor-plan for retailers, special guests, and people like me in Artist Alley.


I will be at table A248 which is in the back right corner of the convention. For whatever reason, they've separated the horror artists in the Alley from the rest of the horror section (we're not only a row back from them, but actually far to the right of where the horror retailers will be). Between us and our brethren will be huge corporate exhibits for video game companies.

The concern of course is that horror fans who aren't interested in visiting EB Games or Xbox will simply skip our little corner all together. They will see the video games section and assume there's no more horror goodness to be found.

No use worrying about it too much, I suppose. There's little to be done about it at this point.

Why Are My Feet Wet?

on August 9, 2011 - 9:03pm


It was the start to every haunter's nightmare.

Toronto finally got some serious rain today. So much rain, in fact, that many places around the city had serious flooding. Luckily, in my area, I didn't go outside to find my car submerged like some poor folks did.

Blissfully unaware of what awaited me in the basement, I headed downstairs to retrieve a box from the storage room which houses all of my Halloween props, decorations and even some supplies. I was distracted by my remarkable ability to actually walk down the stairs (albeit very carefully and clutching both rail and wall as I gingerly manoeuvred the injured ankle). I was smiling at the partial return of mobility. I was happy for the first time in a long day of ridiculous mishaps. I wasn't expecting the universe to play one more joke on me before bedtime.

I felt it before I saw it.

Barefoot on the cold tile. Two steps in.

*squish*

Mini Carnivorous Plants

on August 4, 2011 - 9:32am


My foot actually looks like a foot now (if you can ignore the rainbow hues of healing), and I'm at the point where I can get around with the help of a cane. This is good news since I have less than 3 weeks until the big show, and I am in desperate need of some art supplies.

While hobbling around the house, I did manage to get some pieces finished. Six mini carnivorous plants have been sprouted. One went to friends visiting from out of the country, but the remaining five will make their debut at Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear.

I'll still have some of the eyeball plants for sale, but less than usual. So if you're coming to the show with the hope of buying one, pick it up early!

Good Thing I'm Not a Horse

on July 27, 2011 - 8:07am


Sunday night I managed to mangle my right ankle. Have spent the days since on the couch, saving up energy to wheel myself around the house to get whatever I need while riding my trusty-dusty office chair. I have crutches but can't carry anything with them, and besides, they cause their own pains and aches. I save them for when I have to do the really fun stuff, like stairs.

Plus my poor left knee, that bore the brunt of the fall once my ankle gave out, has its own nasty scrape.

I'm almost a rainbow: my knee with its reds and browns and yellows, and my ankle which right now is only a single shade of blue (but I predict brilliant purples and greens to come).

Needless to say, I have been less than productive. Or cheerful.

Having to take time off work (that I really can't afford), and not being able to work on a proper project for upcoming shows, just adds insult to injury.

Yesterday, though, I was able to paint some mini carnivorous plants I'd built on Sunday. They still need touch ups and final details, but at least that's something.

How did it happen? Well, it's been suggested to me that I stick to a zombie story. Ninja zombies, to be precise. Make up your own plot details as needed.

I'm off to ice the ankle. Hopefully I will be back by the weekend with happier news of progress!

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