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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

50 Empty Jars

on July 9, 2011 - 10:58am

I have slowly been collecting jars and bottles over the last year or so. Hoarding them away one at a time, I've hidden them in drawers, piled them into boxes, and even rolled them underneath furniture.

Last night, having realized I didn't have the materials I needed to continue working on pieces for upcoming shows, I decided to round up all the bottles and jars from their spots around the house. I've been saving them for a Halloween idea.

Imagine my surprise and delight when the tally hit 50. What, you can't imagine it? Well, perhaps it would help to know it takes a shockingly long time to polish off a jar of relish or honey, or to use up the last of the oyster sauce on the weekend stir-fry.

The jars will have various purposes, but all of them needed to have that hazy look. Kind of ironic since I spent so much time soaking and scrubbing them to make sure they were clean (I like fake mold in my work, thank you).

As I was getting ready to start hazing them, I was reminded of elementary school when we made stained-glass lanterns by covering the outside of the jars with pieces of tissue paper and coating them with white glue. Anyone else do this? It's actually a neat final effect.

All I did to give them a grimy coat was pour about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the jar, added a squeeze of glue, stirred, and then rolled the jars to coat the sides. Then I poured the glue mix from one jar to another, turning each one.

I have three different plans for the jars at this time. We'll see if it comes to fruition.

Look Who's Back

on July 8, 2011 - 9:48am

It's been a while since I've seen these figures grace my worktable. Perhaps that's why Series 7 of my Plague Doctor collection has 9 figures in total instead of 4 or 5.

They still need touch ups, and when that's done, I'll add them to the Art Ghoullery so those who'd like a closer look can take a peek.

Little Minions: Brimston

on July 4, 2011 - 1:11pm


Brimston straddles the line between bat and demon. While he was not born of the deepest fiery depths (else he may have been named Brimstone with an e), he still has some nasty personality traits.

He constantly produces a slime - from his nose, eyes, and mouth - that inevitably coats everything he comes in contact with. This includes his trusty staff from which he displays the day's trophies. The slime is like a pheromone-signature: one sniff and other creatures know he owns a particular item (or has at least made a claim on something).

Brimston spends his day collecting: shiny objects; squishy objects; smelly objects; foul objects. Generally speaking, if it's shiny or gross, Brimston must have it. And if it's both? Even better.

He prefers to travel at night, but has been known to venture out in the daylight when he's on the trail of a particularly coveted target.

Zombie Girl by Pam Morris

on July 3, 2011 - 8:47am


The other day Pam Morris revealed an entire crew of new creations, including this zombie girl.

The crazy carrot-coloured hair.

The...contemplative gaze ("...braaaiiiins?").

The beautiful smile.

I was sold. Or rather, the piece was. To me.

Be sure to give them a browse in her Etsy shop before they're all gone.

Saturday Fun and Distraction

on July 2, 2011 - 12:02pm


Looking for something to do today? Alright. I've got two suggestions on how to spend your Saturday.

First, for any locals in the Greater Toronto Area, you can attend The 7th Annual Scarefest hosted by Boneyard Bargains. It takes place at 115 Philip Ave in Scarborough. BBQ, props, a few vendors, and lots of local haunters. Officially kicks off at 1 pm (which means I need to finish getting dressed).

For the rest of you, I can offer a distraction for at least an hour. If you didn't get enough of me via my ten minute interview on this month's Hauntcast, you can now listen to the entire uncut interview on their "Treats" page. And if you don't doze off at the beginning, some of you might find my stories about being a first time vendor, and starting out as an artist, interesting.

Thanks to Shellhawk again for taking the time to chat with me.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, everybody!

Something's Stirring in the Charmed Pot

on June 30, 2011 - 1:55pm


Before everyone takes off for the holiday weekend, I thought I would mention that a certain ghoul will be chatting with Shellhawk on the Charmed Pot segment of Hauntcast tomorrow, July 1.

I guess they wanted a little Canadian content for Canada Day.

We talked for over an hour on skype, which I'm told she's whittled down to about 10 minutes. I'm hoping she didn't just keep the parts where I sound ridiculous in my rambling.

Yetch Likes His Coffee in the Graveyard

on June 30, 2011 - 8:11am


Doing the dishes this morning, I'm reminded of a promising sign.

We are lucky enough to possess two Davis Graveyard travel mugs. When we got them, I thought one would end up in my office as decoration, and the other would be used by me now and then.

I've actually never had the chance to use either of them.

Yetch uses both. All the time.

It's his favourite of all the travel mugs we own (and there's a number of them).

It's small changes like this that I silently approve of, and don't call attention to in hope the behaviour continues on a subconscious level.

Slowly, he's turning toward the darkside.

Little Minions: Mad Melvin

on June 23, 2011 - 2:19pm


Mad Melvin is a trapper. He tracks, catches and skins smaller animals - possum, chickens, rats, that sort of thing - and barters for goods with their pelts.

Fur is fur, and meat is meat. He does not have discerning tastes or preferences. Anything smaller than him and furry is fair game (except guinea pigs. Mad Melvin loves guinea pigs. If you were ever to visit his shot gun shack by the river, you may be shocked to find dozens of the little critters sitting on arm rests and on top of the radio and under the table, munching happily on browned lettuce).

Melvin's spent most of his life scurrying around in the brush or down city alleyways, moving very much like the vermin he tracks.

He's constantly talking to himself and snickering. With the exception of the guinea pigs, Melvin lives alone - no friends, no family - and that's how he likes it.

At the end of a long day, if you stand outside the shack, you can hear scratchy records playing and Marvin's boot-heels clacking on the floorboards. You might even catch his silhouette - a shadow against the firelight - twirling past the window as he whoops it up.

Everyone Say Stinky Cheese

on June 21, 2011 - 11:01am


I still have 2 more minions to finish, plus two more to post, so I thought I would combine 4 little guys together.

They've all been posted in the Art Ghoullery, so if you'd like to see more images or read more of their story (though these folks have short bios), head over there. Starting from left to right:

Nervous Nelly may be a black cat, but she doesn't care for creepy things.

Franklin likes to bust a move at the legion.

Grumpy Gus will attend your Halloween party, but he won't like it.

Woody is hopeful you'll think his ears are endearing.

Little Minions: Wilhelmina

on June 20, 2011 - 10:29am


I've commented before on this blog on my odd subconscious aversion to classic Halloween characters or icons. Yes, I make pumpkins. But if you go back through my catalogue of minions, you won't find too many recognizable Halloween classics.

There's nothing wrong with that, it just surprises me.

A while ago I made the the Witch in the Woods, but she still didn't fit that archetype. Which again is fine.

This time, I dove in with focus: pointy hat. Black scraggly hair. Greenish skin.

Wilhemina lives in the suburbs. Her lawn is unkempt. The shutters of her house are falling off their hinges. Junk mail overflows her mailbox. Her garden houses weeds.

The neighbours frown in her direction while chatting on manicured grass, listening to their cherub wind chimes. None of them would dare complain to the old woman who lives alone, who is often seen in jogging pants and oversized t-shirts (clothes she refers to as her costumes). I mean, who wants to tell the unattractive old lady who lives with too many cats that she's lowering the property value of the neighbourhood?

Besides, they reason, on Halloween she always comes out dressed in that witch outfit, and all the kids love her. She's just a harmless old lady.

It's best they don't give her a hard time.

They would learn very quickly she isn't as frail or helpless as they assume she is.

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