Skip directly to content

Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Tis the Season to be Haunting

on October 10, 2008 - 7:14am

Halloween Tree
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

With the help of some wood glue, clamps, hockey tape, paint, and loads of patience, I was able to reconstruct the broken tree I got from the company which shall not be named (I think the Oriental Trading company is officially banished from my Halloween kingdom at this point).

As you can see, I've started decorating it with large spiders, skeletons, a few lights and garland. The reason for the post, however, is not to parade around photos of my Frankenstein tree, brought back to life. It's to tell you about the quick and simple Halloween Ornament How-To now available in my monster workshop.

All you really need is some clay (I used cheap Crayola paperclay), some cookie cutters, some ribbon and some paint to make yourself Halloween shapes for trees, wreaths, doorways or windows. This is a good one to do with the kids.

Below are more images of the tree so far. Enjoy!

Zombies, Dancers and Sideshows

on October 9, 2008 - 2:49pm

Quick post today as I am still under the weather. I wanted to get the last of the Nuit Blanche pictures up before I proceed with blogging about Halloween-centred content once more.

We made a stop to see Meeky, the world's strangest little boy. The line up was an hour long to get into the back of cube van made up like a circus sideshow. Yetch, another friend and myself decided to pass on this and while the rest of the group waited in line. While we had some warm grub and alcohol to warm us up, our other friends faced the crowd to get a peek inside the Meeky exhibit. Apparently, it wasn't worth the wait.


on October 8, 2008 - 11:38am

Imagine, fellow ghoulies, your favourite scenes from masters of horror surrounding you in a dark tunnel, playing larger than life beside each other, moving so fast you hardly have time to name the movie title. Brilliant.

Deep below Union Station (our main train station here in Toronto, where all the subways, buses and trains meet), in an underpass was Horroridor: 20 foot screens with projected film clips of famous scenes from horror (and some non-horror) movies. The thing they had in common? Screaming.

Playdead Cult

on October 7, 2008 - 11:44am

Excuse the quiet website. We ended up staying out from 7 pm until sometime past 5 am for Nuit Blanche. I was worn out enough to allow a cold lurking just below the surface to finally strike. I've been saving my energy for getting the house ready for Halloween.

Our first stop was to Playdead Cult (website currently under construction) at 1233 Queen St West. You have to love a place that has a hearse out front waiting to greet you. Normally, you can find everything from hand painted guitars to t-shirts here, but on this night it was all about celebrating Dia de los Muertos.

Spot Ghoul Friday at Nuit Blanche

on October 4, 2008 - 11:48am

A reminder that tonight in Toronto is Nuit Blanche, a free art event that takes over the city from sundown (6:52 p.m.) to sunrise. For one sleepless night, experience Toronto transformed by artists. Discover art in galleries, museums and unexpected places. From bridges and tunnels to warehouses and stadiums, choose from more than 155 destinations and chart your own path.

Exhibits of interest may include Horroridor where viewers will be guided toward a long corridor where they will pass through the approximately 20-foot dual projections of visual and audio recordings of hundreds of people screaming on either side of them. I plan to pop by this exhibit.


on October 2, 2008 - 12:13pm

Vermillion comic book
If you look up the definition of Vermillion, most dictionaries offer "the edge of the red pigment around the lips". Intriguing.

I recently made time to snuggle up with a new comic book from Waheela Comics. Not to be confused with DC's dystopian comic (cancelled after a short run), Vermillion comes from an independent publishing company out of Detroit.

I often find indie comics have more grit, and a bit more soul than those created by larger corporations. Such was my findings with this new publication.

While I appreciated the artwork of Alan Brooks (who has illustrated for the Bluewater Productions Ray Harryhausen title "Flying Saucers vs the Earth") displayed on the cover, I wasn't fully invested. Then I looked inside.

The black and white illustrations immediately gave this comic credibility with me. It's dark and almost grainy, with a distinct sense of movement about it. Kind of like watching a colourless dream (or nightmare). It's hard to see what's lurking in the black corners of the pictures, as if you're waiting for your eyes to adjust in the darkness (as the characters themselves are experiencing). The unique appearance could be due to the fact that the comic is printed on an antique press (that combined with the sketch-quality of the illustrator, Clay McCormack, whose work includes "A Tale From a World of Dead Meat", among others).

Edmond's Abandoned Carousel

on October 1, 2008 - 8:21am

Happy October first! Today signifies two things: one, the official start of Autumn and the holiday season (for me); and two, a reality check on how swamped I am with projects.

I'm a little behind schedule. It has given me a touch of anxiety. Luckily, I've finished the most challenging (or perhaps it's more accurate to say detail-intensive) props I've ever built.

I've been fixated on this little beauty that has taken me a month to build, and it's called "Edmond's Abandoned Carousel". I don't have time to go too much into detail this morning, but luckily everything you want to know about it should be on the other end of the above link (it's also listed in the project updates box to the right).

That link leads you to the backstory behind the prop, an image gallery, a how-to, a video and a slideshow.

Enjoy! And remember, if you want one for Halloween, I suggest you start today.

Strike Two, Oriental Trading Company

on September 29, 2008 - 12:00pm

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I should be blogging about a terrific comic book I was recently sent, but instead I'm forced to vent about the ridiculous adventures of cross border shopping.

Readers of my blog will remember that I had an unfortunate shopping experience with Oriental Trading Company. They extended an olive branch and sent me a certificate toward my next purchase for my trouble. At the start of last month, I decided to give them a second try.

Everything showed up in good condition this time. The only groan I had was that at the time of ordering, I was told they couldn't confirm whether or not an item was in stock (normally not a big deal, but I wanted bang for my shipping buck. If I had been told I couldn't get the item, I would have picked something else).

Party Stores: My Saturday Shopping Adventure

on September 27, 2008 - 11:13pm

Devil mask and coins
Ever since I read about the arrival of the Spirit Halloween Store chain making its way north into Ontario, I was determined to visit. As a Canadian, I'd read post after post on forums from American haunters who make Spirit sound like a holy ground. A trek out to Mississauga was in order.

The Amazing Party Store is another haunter haven that I've been meaning to hit. Every year, CityTV News does a series of spots from their place at Halloween. Since it's on the way to Mississauga, I decided to add it to my list of destinations for the day. Yetch was kind enough to accompany me.

My first impression of the Amazing Party Store was promising. Countless spectres and ghouls hung from the ceiling. The shelves were fully stocked with items, and there were a number that I hadn't seen at other party stores. I was excited.

Creating Faux Wooden Boards with Cardboard

on September 25, 2008 - 1:09pm

Greetings Ghoulies. Just letting you know that there is a new tutorial on painting faux wooden boards on cardboard on the site. It's cheap and simple - anyone, and I mean anyone, can do it.

It's a great alternative to using real wood or, in some cases, styrofoam. Mind you, the same painting technique can be used on pieces of styrofoam (as you'll see in the tutorial).

With this technique, you can create boards for windows, full crates, or simple backgrounds. Cardboard isn't great for any area that is open to the elements (water + cardboard = bad), but inside it's fantastic (and did I mention free?).

Speaking of fantastic, I came across a sign made from foam board that was wonderfully crafted by a haunter in Maryland. Since we're on the topics of tutorials, I'll give you his as well. He was kind enough to share it with me when I asked for details.