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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Wicked Wrapping Paper

on November 28, 2008 - 1:17pm

Reluctantly, I realize it's time to embrace the cheerier holiday of Christmas. I'm still not ready to bring out the decorations, but today was my first day of Christmas shopping (online, of course). Now that I have the gifts ordered, I need some wrapping paper.

Gift Shrouds (Eclectic by Design) promises 'Dark designs for wicked wrapping. Helping bats and ghouls celebrate in style'. And they deliver. Customers can choose from critters to cleavers, to lovely Victorian patterns for their holiday wrappings.

For me, the problem is I don't have many friends who would truly appreciate the paper adorning their gift as much as I would. Perhaps I'll send Santa the link.

Post-Halloween Ponderings

on November 23, 2008 - 4:08pm

Hello friends and fellow fiends. For my first after-strike blog, I've decided to be a little self indulgent and talk about what's been going on with me. I won't be hurt if you skip these ramblings and wait for something more fun, but if you're interested in some introspective chat, read on.

Whenever Halloween has come and gone, I wait and see what my mood will be. Most years, I mourn the passing for a week, venture out to discount sales and see if there are any treasures to be found, and think about what I am going to do next year before the flurry of Christmas takes over.

I'm on Strike

on November 14, 2008 - 8:24am

There is a level of patience that goes beyond and above expectation. I believe I've reached the outer limits of mine when it comes to the excruciatingly slow loading times on this website. So I've decided to go on strike.

Perhaps strike isn't the right word, because there has already been conversations to discuss this problem and how my needs aren't being met by my hosting server.

Ok then. I'm going on a blogging strike. I need the extra time to harass Yetch into picking a new provider. And besides, someone in this house will suffer physical harm if I have to continue dealing with 30 second load times. It's better for all involved if I just step away from the computer.

I'm hoping this will be resolved by early next week. See you then.

Joy of Cooking Humans

on November 10, 2008 - 4:52pm

After watching a bit of Hannibal on television last night (I like Julianne Moore, but she just isn't a substitute for Jodi Foster), I remembered an item I've been meaning to blog about for ages.

Thanks to Natalie at Bake and Destroy, you now know what to get your favourite cannibal or undead friend for Christmas. As part of her - and I kid you not - Zombies in Popular Media Class, she wrote The Joy of Cooking Humans for all flesh eaters to enjoy.

The premise came after musing about the evolution of Zombies over the years (especially throughout the filmography of George Romero):

Tired from Takedown

on November 5, 2008 - 3:14pm

After a record breaking 10 hours to take everything down, sort it into storage bins and then clean up (normally I can do it in 5 hours), I've been somewhat burnt out this last week. I need a bit longer to get back into the swing of things and to take a little break for myself.

Last night I dreamt that I'd built a new prop for next year - a sure sign that I need to take it easy still.

In the meantime, here's a video from another haunter I've mentioned before (Dave the Dead) showing his decorations obediently marching themselves back into storage.

If only it were that easy.

Halloween 2008 Pictures

on November 2, 2008 - 2:18pm

party room
It's all gone. Not a prop to be seen on the main floor.

I'm left feeling torn in three directions. First, I feel a bit sad that it's over. Conversely, I'm very happy to have my house back to normal (everything seems so spacious!). And finally, I'm starting to ponder what the theme for next year will be.

In the meantime, I invite you to take a look at images from this year's theme in the Art Ghoullery.

The children's restaur-haunt was a nice change since it allowed me to have fancier items in the front room (gift shop), and a real party atmosphere in the dining area. It also was designed in a way that it didn't interfere much with day to day life, so I could set up most of it early on.

I hope all of you had a great Halloween. I still have a couple of party ideas to post from this year. After that, it's back to enjoying gems found online and in my city.

So farewell for another year to my seasonal visitors; come back in September to see what new ideas I've come up with.

As for the rest of you, I'll be updating the blog as usual. Stick around, my lovelies, as we start the countdown to 2009.

Happy Halloween

on October 31, 2008 - 9:13am

It's finally here.

I wanted to post Halloween wishes to you early this morning, my dark little darlings, before I head out the door for a whirlwind day. And as a present, I am sharing one of my favourite David Hartman pictures. I keep meaning to do a proper post about him, but it will have to keep for another time.

With bright sunshine and warm temperatures (at least here in Toronto), I imagine it will be a pleasant Halloween for all (though is it really a Canadian Halloween if all of your costume isn't covered by a hat, scarf and winter coat?).

My wishes and thoughts for you on All Hallow's Eve:

Enjoy yourself today. Take time to breathe it all in.

Buy yourself a treat (the kids aren't the only ones who deserve it).

Be safe.

Respect the hard work of home haunters and their props. And look out for the little ones being bullied by bigger cowards while trick or treating (bullies are the real monsters).

Extra! Extra! Read All About it!

on October 30, 2008 - 4:40pm

I don't normally post cutesy things on my blog, and I NEVER post random pictures found online (at least not without a backstory), but I had to make an exception with this image. It's called "Weiners on Safari" and you can find the original on the Globe and Mail website, along with more Halloween pet pictures.

I think the zebra looks like a Mexican wrestler costume.

On a related note (newspapers, not pets or wrestlers), yours truly has been interviewed by Patrick White who writes for the Life section of the Globe and Mail (a very large newspaper here in Canada). After stumbling upon my site, he contacted me to have a chat for his upcoming Halloween article on Canadian Haunters - understanding people who go beyond the basics at this time of year.

Nightmare on Queen St - The Sequel

on October 30, 2008 - 3:15pm

Looking for something to do in the city? Might I suggest
Nightmare on Queen St.

Playdead Cult and Darkside have once again created "two levels of terror" in a haunt running until Nov 1st.

For the low price of $10, you can experience thrills, chills and live music at The Playdead Mansion - 1233 Queen St W, Toronto (west of Dufferin. Be sure to use the back entrance located off Gwynne Ave).

Haunt hours are between 8-11pm tonight and Saturday (may extend to accommodate existing line-ups); 7pm-11pm Halloween Night.

After a peek at the trailer (posted below), I don't think it's for the timid.

Floating Candles

on October 28, 2008 - 2:46pm

This year in the party room I used an idea from another haunter and created floating candles to go along with the other decorations hanging from the ceiling.

It's a quick, inexpensive project using battery operated candlesticks, fishing line, hot glue and tacks. Anyone can make this prop. Check out the how-to in my monster workshop.