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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Nothing Says Halloween Like SLÄTTHULT

on September 17, 2008 - 6:42pm

Picture Frames
Not that I needed another excuse to shop at IKEA, but on my last trip to the great Swedish empire I found these: a collection of peel and stick picture frames.

I'd seen it on CityTV being promoted as a 'back-to-school' item, but wasn't really paying attention. It wasn't until I saw it in person that I recognized the potential for haunters.

It's a flat peel and stick item. You place your picture on the wall with the frame over top. When you're done, you simply peel it off (leaving no holes in the wall as opposed to using real picture frames). Not sure if prolonged use will take paint off or leave a residue, but it seems fairly harmless. Will let you know after Halloween this year.

You get over 20 full frames and a smattering of the corner sets in a package (that's less than a dollar a frame). The largest one is almost 2 feet in length and they all are very beautiful.

Tick Tock Goes the Halloween Clock

on September 16, 2008 - 4:40pm

13 hour clock
How I wish there were 13 hours in a day, at least at this time of year. I'm behind, ladies and gentlemen, and trying to make up for lost time.

I'm going to be adding a collection of articles in my Halloween Party Planning section. Hopefully, by the time October hits, all of you will be armed and ready to tackle the season.

The first article is "My Maniacal Money-Saving Manifesto". It details my shopping traditions while I share some tips for when you're out and ready to drop some cash on items for Halloween. The second is based on an earlier blog post about how to store your props.

Homage to Peekaboo Plant

on September 14, 2008 - 1:09am


They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If this is true, I am humbled by the flattery that has come as a result of my Peek-A-Boo Plant prop.

The first came from KellieG on Haunt Forum. She used ivy leaves for her plant.

The second (seen later in this post) can be found on Haunt Space by Spookymulder76.

I think they are just great, and I love seeing someone else's interpretation of the same item.

If you have done your own version of Peek-A-Boo, I would love to know about it. Send me a picture or a link and (with your permission) I will add it to this post.

And hey, let me know if you happen to spot one too! Added Sept 17th 2008: by ghost37.

Vintage Halloween Noisemakers

on September 13, 2008 - 10:11pm


While strolling through the web, I came across a Vintage Halloween website with some lovely examples of old fashioned Halloween noisemakers. I thought some of my readers might enjoy them as well.

I have a fondness for vintage items, but haven't begun collecting them (beyond some items made in that style), but at some point (when I'm not spending my money on prop building and current decorations) I hope to have a proper set of vintage items.

If you follow the link at the top of this post, they give a simple example of how to make your own.

Meeting Alton Brown

on September 11, 2008 - 8:58pm


Earlier this year, Alton Brown was promoting his recent book for his "Feasting on Asphalt" series. An event was held in Atlanta where the cost of admission basically equalled the cost of the book (of which you got one copy), plus an hour Q & A session with Alton, and draws for door prizes.

I'm a big fan of Alton Brown (not so much of the American version of "Iron Chef" - the original Japanese show is superior), and was even more impressed when he signed the zombie cartoon of him I'd found online by Cheyenne Wright. Alton has a dark sarcasm that I instantly felt at ease with, and he was amused when presented with my print out.

I also walked away with a crazy Kershaw utility knife that I won (was a bit concerned about bringing that back across the border - for all my American readers, it's easy to bring knives/weapons into the States but not so much into Canada) and a "Good Eats" bandage dispenser (with G.E. bandages). All in all, a great time.

And now this image hangs on my office wall, framed.

Ghoul Friday in Slow Motion

on September 10, 2008 - 1:27pm

You may have noticed recently that the website has been sloooooow to load (beyond a zombie pace at times). Turns out our server is picking up the slack for a greedy, neighbouring server. We're currently dealing with our service provider and hope to have this rectified as soon as possible.

Please be patient if you are experiencing trouble. We apologize for the agonizing frustration this can cause (I'm ready to poke my eyes out over it), and hope everything will be back to normal soon.

In the meantime, keep creepin.

Ghoul Friday

Call for Canadian Creepers!

on September 8, 2008 - 5:31pm

Canadian FlagOk all you fellow Canadian Haunters. Consider this a call to action. Since we only tend to find each other accidentally, I'm making an effort to create a master directory of Haunts, Haunters, Bloggers, and Events across Canada.

I've just started building it, and will spend time this week (with the help of Google.ca) looking for all of you. If you think you have a website or know of a website that's worth listing, let me know. Read more about this by clicking on the Canadian Hauntings Pumpkin Image in the navigation menu on the right, or by following this link.

By the way, someone in Nova Scotia has already won top spot in my blogging section. The earlier you get your submission in and reviewed, the higher it will appear in the listing.

The Dark Minions of a Puppet Master

on September 7, 2008 - 11:04am

ChunkZombie puppet
There is a YouTube clip that is currently making the rounds on forums. It features zombie puppets singing "Dust in the Wind" made famous by the band Kansas.

But before you go straight to the clip (posted at the end of this blog), let me tell you a bit more about the man behind it. As explorers of the World Wide Web, we are often impatient and click-happy which means we miss the treasures behind the initial finds. Matt Ficner is one of those treasures.

screaming zombieMatt is an artist of many mediums including (but not limited to) digital art, sculpting, painting, and puppetry. He formed MF Productions and has worked with Jim Henson Associates, Warner Brothers, Disney and the BBC. I always love to learn of artistic Canadians finding international success (Matt is actually from Ottawa, Ontario).

Eyeball Krispie Treats

on September 6, 2008 - 9:28pm

Rice Krispies Treats
I picked this recipe up from Freddie and Cindy's Halloween website. For some reason, the link to their homepage wasn't working so I couldn't verify whether or not they allow other people to use their information. So Freddie and Cindy, if you're out there, I hope you don't mind that I have posted your idea.

  1. Make Rice Krispies treats as directed on the box.
  2. When cool enough to handle, roll into balls the size of a...well, an eyeball.
  3. Melt some white chocolate and coat the balls.
  4. Place an M&M in the center of the eyeball and press lightly.
  5. Place eyeball on wax paper to set up. Putting the tray in the fridge helps speed up the process.
  6. Store in a container.

Want to get fancy with the treats? There are oodles of recipe ideas on the official Rice Krispies website.

Clive E. Cleavers: Where a Ghoul can be a Ghoul

on September 4, 2008 - 12:14pm


The theme for this year's Halloween party will be a children's restaurant/game centre like Chuck E. Cheeses. It will have games, a souvenir shop, and a dining area; all the amenities you'd expect to find at such an establishment (with a few, small changes).

The place is called Clive E. Cleavers and it has fallen into disrepair, though there are still some hints of what it was like in its hay-day...and on its last day.

My first prop is a simple acrylic painting on canvas. The idea was to create a birthday poster advertisement, encouraging patrons to book their next bash with Clive E. Cleavers. I wanted it to walk a fine line between normal and horror; make it believable (that something like this would be hanging in a children's theme restaurant) yet creepy and with a slight edge.

Clowns are a classic scare, and will always remain a top fright-sight in any haunt. For me, I am kind of 'clowned out' and will be trying to limit the amount of clown characters/images I'll be using.

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