Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Off!

And I'm leaving, too. I'm headed for the airport in the next couple of hours to catch a red-eye to Pennsylvania and the National Haunter's Convention. I'll try to post pics and stuff from the show, but you know how crazy things can get, and how hard Haunters can party!

See ya when I get back!

New Flameless Candles Coming-Via Haunted Mansion Technology


Thanks to Carl Kestner on the Garage of Evil Yahoo group for posting this. I look forward to seeing these in my pumpkin pots.

With fire marshals showing up to shut down haunts, it seems that this would be a fantastic way to put in one more inexpensive safety feature.

More info here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Night Owls

From the very talented Dave Lowe at Para Abnormal Comics.

ShellHawk on Skull-A-Day

I sent a picture of this little guy over to Skull-A-Day a little while back, not really expecting it to be posted. But look! It did!

Here's what they said about my entry and another very cool entry:

Light C** says:



I know visions of Halloween immediately come to mind in these two examples, but the act of containing a flammable material in a non-flammable container is universal for any time of the year. I really like decorative lanterns because I am mesmerized by the patterns of light and shadow they cast, and imagining the patterns these two pieces cast has removed them from a holiday decoration and made them into works of art for me. Thank you both for sharing your work with us.
Thank you for posting my creation, Skull-A-Day. Love You! Love Your Show!

I will be making more of these, so please keep an eye out on Etsy. Other things should be going into the shop this week...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

House of Franklinstein

I've posted pics from the talented and clever Laurie Beast before, but never these. She's a self taught sculptor, and her abilities are growing from year to year.

I particularly like the woebegone expression on the short, creepy little guy.






More pics here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We Have an App? Seriously?


If you were to mention to me in passing that I was clueless about all the cool things that Haunt Cast is up to while I'm not looking, you'd be partly correct.

Take this cool app, for instance. For Google Android phones, made by the exceedingly cool Necropolis Labs:
Necropolis Labs is proud to officially announce our second Google Android application, the official “unofficial” Hauntcast Radio App! We are proud to have the official blessing of Hauntcast creator and G’Host with da Most Chris Baker and a huge thumbs up from movie guru Johnny Thunder and their resident doctor Doc Morbius. I’m just happy to have given listeners one more venue for the most kick ass radio show on the internet in addition to opening the door for even more listeners.

We did a silent beta launch this past Sunday and have already amassed closed to 400 downloads. Wow that’s incredible. Thanks everyone who’s downloaded. But much of the thanks really goes to the super success of the show. Chris, keep em coming!

With this app you’ll be able to catch all the shenanigans and madness as it happens. Skelly will alert you whenever anything new arrives at the site. Kiss the “I forgot to sync my device so I missed the show” excuse goodbye! You can also stream any show at any time any where so you’ll never miss an episode.

So what are you waiting for? Download it now or we’ll have Skelly lock you in the dungeon with the ogres!

I really do have so much to be thankful for! I mean, Necropolis Labs making the time to create an app for the Scream Team at Haunt Cast? Lovely! Thanks so much!
 
If you feel like helping us out, please hit the Necropolis Labs site and Tweet about this new app. The Tweet button is in the upper right hand corner, and Tweeting about it is free!
 
Thanks, Johnny, for blogging about this. I had no idea!

News From the Nest

I've been looking through some older pics and found this one.  It seems forever since I made this, my first hand-built pumpkin, but I realize it was only a year ago. From that, to my more recent additions to the pumpkin kingdom:
Not that I'm all that and a bag of chips, mind you, but I am sort of surprised to have made such improvement, especially since I know how far I have to go before I can even think about mastery.

In any case, the Nest has been a flurry of activity in preparation for the National Haunter's Convention. The pumpkins and other stuff for the booth have been shipped off to the Convention site, so I don't have to risk the airlines breaking or losing them for me. I finally got my brochures finished to my satisfaction, and they should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest from UPrinting. I also ordered a memory book of my pumpkins for the display table, as I will only have a few pumpkins there at the booth. Today will be my day to design an order form, which after the learning curve I had with the brochures should take me about eight seconds, tops.

I also managed to finish my segment for Haunt Cast yesterday, so there's one more thing I can check off my list. Next on my list: blog about my special guests who came for a visit last weekend...

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Won! I WON! IWONIWONIWON! HEHEHEHEHE!

Happy dance and maniacal laughter not heard since the divorce was final and I was also acquitted... Oops! Too much information, huh?

I can't help my giddiness! I won Skull-a-Day's Iron Fist giveaway out of 132 entrants! I'd been looking at just these shoes for the National Haunters Convention, but for whatever reason, I didn't pull the trigger on them. I'd like to say I psychically knew, but the truth is there were too many awesome slutty shoe choices and I couldn't decide.


I also won the super-cool bikini. I look way better than this skinny-ass ho' (not least because my boobs are real, baby, and hers are most definitely not found in nature), but I won't post pictures because I don't want y'all to be jealous of my supermodel body.

At least it would be a supermodel body if my current weight were on someone three inches taller.

In any case, a bloody kisses to the darling creature over at Skull-a-Day for making my weekend feel fabulous! Love you! Love your show!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Haunter's Circuit Diagram

Via Garage of Evil's Yahoo Group. Source.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shop


I've just set up my Etsy Shop and will be listing items soon! (Yes, I know: "Is it soon, yet?")

Not quite, but almost! I hope to get to it within the next week or two! Thanks for your patience and your patronage.

Faces and Bats



Monday, April 19, 2010

Halloween Makeup


Halloween Makeup
Originally uploaded by zincink
Can you say, "Gypsy curse?"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Politically Incorrect True Story

I had to share this with you all, as I'm sure everyone can always use a laugh.

A friend of ours is an underwriter. He was talking to a client the other day when the client mentioned that his brother was developmentally disabled and lived in a facility. His parents visited his brother nearly every day, and called him daily without fail.

They called him last week to check up on him and ask how he was doing.

"O.K. I caught a troll today."

As he says odd things all the time, they didn't pay much attention to the offhanded comment.

They showed up at his place the following afternoon, to find that he had moved all of his furniture in front of the closet door. When they asked him why, he said:

"I told you. I caught a troll."

They started to move the furniture away from the door pretty quickly. When the door was cleared, they opened it.

Inside was a midget Jehovah's Witness.

Apparently he had come to the door the previous day and had been locked in the closet for 24 hours or so before the parents showed up and rescued him! I'm sure the poor guy was praying like hell to be released!

We asked our friend if this was really a true story. His reply:

"You think I can make this shit up?!"

I'm probably going to Hell for laughing my ass off at this.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Faces

Big thanks to Mr. ShellHawk for taking such great pictures, which BTW, are subject to Copyright. Please ask before using, and please give credit.

We shot these alongside an oak-lined walking trail in our neighborhood. Several people came through while walking their dogs. One old couple plowed right on by, never looking up or saying hello, which is unusual for our area. One couple and their Akita stopped and chatted for a minute, impressed. A pair of women and their dogs came by and chatted for a sec. One of them made the Comment of the Day, in a shaky, whispery voice:

"I was scared at first because I thought someone was having a seance!"

My eyes rolled back in my head so far, I noticed another gray hair I need to yank out before the Haunter's Convention.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Memory

You've heard me complain about my lack of memory before. A friend emailed this link to me, and I can only say that if I had half of this guy's memory, I'd double what I have now!

http://video.stumbleupon.com/#p=0k4lsi1dql

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Faces

The usual suspects, but one louder. I'll be taking orders at the National Haunter's Convention and have plans to put some on Etsy.com.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday

As I've said before, this week has been nutty. The National Haunter's Convention is coming up, so all other projects have been put on the back burner so I could get the numerous details of that endeavor tended to. I finally got a chance to run my glaze firing yesterday, and propped the kiln open a little wider to allow things to cool so I can pull them out and finish my hanging pots, then take pictures for the brochure I need to get together. Since I'm shipping everything to the hotel where I'm staying, it's got to be done by the end of this week so I can get the brochures printed up. I think that if possible, I'll take a page out of Pumpkinrot's book and take them on location nearby to shoot. Of course, that's if the weather cooperates; it's been raining pretty hard all weekend. The yellow iris I planted two years ago when we moved here are like clouds of sunshine in the flower beds, and look particularly bright on dreary rainy days. I look out my front windows and have to smile at them, they're so cheerful.

The wood floors we just had put in look fantastic, though the dogs are slipping all over like we just intalled an Olympic-sized ice arena. We have a few rugs put down which have been in storage for the last two and a half years, but the most fun spots to play, apparently, are the places without rugs. Of course, the hitch is that we've run out of tile for the bathroom and have no toilet in there, which is lovely, since we have company coming to stay for the weekend and the missing toilet is in the guest bath. Or, rather, not in the guest bath. We're calling around to find the five pieces of tile needed to complete the job but keep getting the, "It's a special order item," response from everyone, and that it'll be ten days or suchlike to get it in. I keep reminding myself that it's not really a crisis, that it's just inconvenient and that we can probably put the toilet back in for a little bit if push comes to shove. It's just the stupid delays of "construction" and I should be well aware that if we want something done by a contractor, we should add on three to four weeks of their estimated time to get the job done. Of course, my guests are important enough to me that I wanted everything finished and perfect when they arrived, but realistically I realize it's probably not going to happen. They'll forgive me, anyway!

Going back to the Haunter's Convention, I've been deciding on my "look," if you will. My look du jour tends to run to sweats with copious amounts of paint, clay, or carpet glue liberally spread all over them, and that wasn't going to cut it for the Convention. Chris Baker and I have sort of worked something out, but I haven't updated him on the fact that "The Look" has morphed slightly since we last spoke. (I claim a woman's prerogotive to change her mind!) I have now found a number of new websites and eBay searches to obsess over, however, and plan to visit them from time to time to drool over their wares. It'll also be a nice impetus for me to start losing some weight again.

I wish I had the body I used to bitch about!

Update: Mr. ShellHawk found the tile we need, and brought it home today. Ye Gods, how I love that man!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hauntcast Pumpkins Transcript


I almost forgot I had promised to post my Hauntcast "How to Grow Pumpkins" transcript from the last show. Here it is, sans sound clips:
Here we are again, my dears. Spring has arrived, garages are thawing, and the sweet scent of carpet latex is in the air. Slowly, the ground is warming up, and those of us with hopes of having a green thumb this year are visiting our local nurseries and pawing through seed catalogues to get the perfect specimens for our gardens. Your Mistress of Mayhem will take a moment away from her thriving carnivorous plants to give you a little horticultural advice about growing the perfect pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to come and visit this year.

Just to let you know, I’m an advocate of organic gardening and I promote the use of heirloom seeds whenever possible. If you’re hooked on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, I hope to open your eyes to a healthier way of gardening.

When you’re planning this year’s garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you need to consider the space requirements and the best place to locate your pumpkins. Pumpkins are space-intensive vines, so a tiny plot may not be the best place for them. Since pumpkins are susceptible to pollination problems in temperatures reaching the high 80s and above, it’s a good idea for those in hot climates to provide afternoon shade for them at the hottest time of the day. Take a few days before planting to observe where your shade hits the ground at around 2:00 in the afternoon or even earlier, if your climate is anything like mine and can get to 100+ degrees by 11:00am. If you are really dedicated to growing your own pumpkins in hotter areas and don’t have any protected areas in which to grow them, consult with your local nursery to find the best shade covers for your garden. Habitual overachievers should know that some pumpkin-growing enthusiasts have been known to build tents for their little darlings and place ice around the plants to lower the temperatures around the fruit. By the way-that level of dedication will not be happening in my garden anytime soon, so don’t feel badly if you don’t want to invest the time or money in a pumpkin tent.

The next thing you should keep in mind is your soil quality. Pumpkins are heavy feeders-meaning they need a lot of the right kind of nutrients at the right time. If you have poor, clayey, or sandy soil-which is sometimes a regional problem and sometimes a result of long-time use of chemical fertilizers- it’s time to start adding some organic material to build up your soil quality so you have a loose, easy-to-dig soil. If you don’t currently own a composter, maybe this is the year you should. It’s a great way to recycle your yard waste and save some money. Do an internet search for the best composter for your needs, and be sure to read people’s reviews of them before you commit to buying or building one. Check the net or your local library for information on how to compost.

Oh, and there’s a product I should turn you on to that will save you hours of weeding later. It’s called, funnily enough, Weed Block. Weed block is a weed blocking fabric that you lay down on the ground in between and around your seedlings. You then put mulch over that, such as straw, and you accomplish several things at once: you reduce your watering needs because your soil doesn’t dry out as quickly, you keep your plants free of dirt and debris, which can cause disease, and you save hours of weeding later on. An easy method of weeding is to place your garden hose in the area to be weeded at dusk and turn it on at a trickle for an hour or two. Check to see that the area is thoroughly wet before you turn it off, and move your hose as needed. Shut it off before you go to bed and get up early to pull your weeds. The moisture loosens the soil around the roots and makes them easy to pull out. Do this early in the season, before you put down your weed block, and you’ll be amazed at how little effort you’ll put into weeding later in the season.

Now that your soil is prepped and weed-free, you need to choose the variety or varieties of pumpkins you’re going to grow. A nice feature on every seed packet is how to start your pumpkins, when to start them, how far apart they should be planted, and when to thin the seedlings. There’s even a handy reference called “days to maturity.” I called over to my favorite certified organic seed store, Seeds of Change, to clarify exactly what that means. I was told that it means from the time you put the seed in the ground to the time you can harvest your first fruit. For instance, the pumpkin variety called “Howden” is your classic 15-30 pound pumpkin when it’s ready for harvest. The seed package says 110-120 days to maturity. So you go to your calendar and count 120 days back from Halloween to see when you should plant your seed, right? Well, not exactly. Remember the part about first fruit? If you plant at exactly 120 days before Halloween, you may only get one or two fruits by then. The lady I talked to told me to think about planting two to three weeks before the 120 days to give the plant more time to produce a bigger crop.

A pumpkin’s life cycle is pretty quick. Competitive giant pumpkin growers, whose pumpkins reach 1600 pounds+, start their seeds indoors around April 24th, and plant a backup crop around April 29th. I’ll probably start mine outdoors in the last week or so of May, after I soak them in a damp paper towel overnight and make sure to add nitrogen to the soil. I’ve had great results using Liquid Kelp and other kelp-based fertilizers, although the purer ones do make the yard smell like a fish-packing plant for a day or two if you use them as a foliar spray. Since I have slugs and snails in my area, I’ll also be using a pet-safe slug and snail killer around my seedlings. Just before the blooming period, switch to a high phosphorus fertilizer such as bat guano. Pumpkins also need calcium to build a nice thick skin that won’t crack, so supplement them throughout the growing period.

This is the time to keep a daily watch for bugs and to destroy them by hand if you can. Cutting off bad bugs’ life cycles now, before they can lay millions of eggs, will ensure a healthy harvest. Read up on the pumpkin’s worst enemy, the squash vine borer, and how to handle an infestation before it gets out of control and ends your growing season before it starts. BTW, a good organic bug killer can be made with half a hot pepper, some water and some biodegradable dish soap. Cut up the pepper, throw it in a blender with a squirt of dish soap, and mix well. Fill a spray bottle with lukewarm water and add your mixture, give it a shake and you’re good to go. Don’t spray in the middle of the day, since you could burn your plants. When spraying for bugs, remember that you need beneficial bugs to pollinate your plants and that bug killers kill them in addition to the bad bugs. If you need to spray during the pollination period, spray in the early evening, after the flowers have closed and the beneficials have gone home for the day. Consider buying Bee-Allure from GardensAlive.com to attract bees to your garden, if you don’t have bee-eating pets or fear of bees, that is. Otherwise, go online to find out how to hand-pollinate your plants.

Hopefully you’ve been keeping your soil moist and not wet so far, and have avoided getting water on your plant’s leaves so it doesn’t get powdery mildew or fungus. Now is when the exciting part starts: the first blooms will start to appear. Here’s where new pumpkin growers may panic: “Where are the fruits?” Well, they’re not here yet. Pumpkin flowers come in two varieties; male and female. The male flowers show up first, sometime in July. If you look at the flowers, you can identify the males by the fact that they have a thin stem. The female flowers show up a week or two later and have a bulbous shape behind the flower. There are usually several males to every female. August and September will bring shorter days and slow the growth of your pumpkin, but your now-yellow fruit will be darkening towards the coveted orange we so love. In October, of course, you can look forward to harvesting your pumpkins and maybe even hosting your own Pumpkin Massacre party, like the one Pumpkin Rot mentioned in one of his October 26th 2009 posts.

In all the mayhem that ensues when gutting your pumpkins, be sure to set some seeds aside for next year’s garden, as well as some for toasting.
You may want to reference this post on where to get pumpkin seeds, too. One thing I forgot to include was that in most places, you can actually buy beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, green lacewings, and praying mantis. I do every year. To get ladybugs to stick around, water your garden just before sunset and release them just as it's getting dark. That way, far more of them stick around. Do some research on what these beneficial bugs look like in their larval form so you don't squish them by accident. Remember, a ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids a day, plus they make you smile, so release some and enjoy the whole beauty/cannabalism thing in all its glory. Make sure the kids see it, too!

Enjoy your growing!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dream

Sometimes, I have trouble sleeping. Sometimes it's because my darling dear snores like a diesel truck climbing a steep uphill. Sometimes, I fear it's because those doggone female hormones are shifting around, waiting for their chance to rear their little fangs and nip me into staring wakefulness. Some nights, I'll wake up at 1:30AM, then at 3:00AM, then at 5:30AM, at which point I might as well write off the whole illusion of a good night's sleep, because I'm bloody well getting up at 6:00AM, anyway. I guess that last half hour of robbed sleep just makes me grouchier. I try to get out of bed so I don't smother my snoring Mr. ShellHawk with his own pillow out of sheer jealousy of his superior sleeping ability.

There are a few nights I actually do sleep all the way through, and am awakened by the rising sun coming through my window. They are infrequent enough that I bless them, and wish they would invite more of their friends to stay for an extended visit.

Every so often, I dream. Correction: I should say that I remember my dreams every so often. Like many of you , I often don't have a clear starting point to the dreams I have, and often, they're interrupted by the alarm clock. Every so often, they're interrupted by Mr. ShellHawk's snores. (I once remember having a conversation with someone in a dream, only to watch her jaw drop in mid-sentence and then I'm hearing this horrific snoring noise coming out of her mouth, and I was so very confused and strongly motivated to solve the mystery of this new snoring language. I woke up a moment later to realize it was my sweetheart's chuffing coming out of this dream-person's mouth.)

A couple of months ago, I had a zombie dream. I don't often have horror-movie-style dreams. When I do, they're usually terrifying and pretty graphic, and at some point in the dream, I realize I am completely frozen and unable to move at all as whatever doom I'm dreaming somehow overtakes me.

But this one was different. I was in control, because dammit, I can bloody well handle zombies! They are flipping easy. Double-tap is the key...

I remember having a major argument with Mr. ShellHawk about how to handle the zombie outbreak in the neighborhood. He was pooh-poohing everything I had to say, though I thought I made sense; we'd grab our neighbors from across they street, because Neighbor V's husband is a prison guard and quite likely to have all manner of weapons, including, quite probably, the weapon of choice for all zombie slayers: the shotgun. I knew Neighbor V could handle herself in a bad situation, so of course she'd be welcome. We had our shotguns in the Garage of Doom's attic space, and somehow I knew that our house had been breached by the hordes of the undead. Mr. ShellHawk was expounding all kinds of advice about how to handle the situation, but my only response was:

"WHO is it who watches all the goddamned zombie movies, exactly?! Oh, that's right! It's ME! Not you! So shut up and load the freaking shotgun already and get your ass up into the attic space and bring the ladder up after you! Christ! Must I do EVERYTHING?! " (Apparently, I was feeling very put-upon at this point.)

Perfectly sensible thinking, to my mind. I have no idea how the dream would have ended, as the alarm went off at that very moment, but I did have a lingering sense of confidence that stayed with me all day.

Nothing like a shotgun to make a girl feel confident.

Stand By Me

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pumpkins Are in the Oven

While I have no pics available as of yet (because I've had to pack everything away for the new floors to go in I haven't the faintest idea where my camera is), a fresh batch of pumpkin pots went into the kiln early this morning for their bisque firing. If all goes well, I'll be able to pull them out for glazing tomorrow and fire them Friday. I've been mulling over some alternative glazes for a few of them, rather than the usual yellow and orange I use, and I'm crossing my fingers that the results will be as good as I anticipate.

I've been playing with some new designs to launch at the National Haunter's Convention, so keep your eyes peeled for me and my little guys at the Hauntcast booth!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Haunted Palace

I think I need to rent this, and soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Bunny Gone Wrong

Yes, I own it. All envy me. Be sure to note the positioning of the baby chick...


Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I love Birthday Money and was reflecting on how much it will suck when it doesn't come anymore. Even so, it's still coming in, and I got myself a few little gifts that I've wanted for awhile.
I have been wanting this forever, and I finally bought it myself. Now the conundrum is: do I open it? Maybe I'll buy the movies separately and store it in its packaging for when it's worth bazillions and I can sell it for my retirement. But then, I wouldn't be able to play with the statuettes of Frankie, Drac, and Wolfie. Decisions, decisions.
I got a few other favorites I've been wanting and are about to disappear from the earth. Of course, all these lovely DVDs I've been waiting to watch will have to wait, as the house is still torn up from getting new floors in, which is actually only lacking in the new floor part since the water damage is still drying out. So the dvd player is packed away along with almost every other fun electronic toy we have that would help me see these on the big screen. Oh, well. I should be working, anyway.

*sigh*

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bulletin!

I know some of you are aware of this already, but for those not on Twitter and Facebook, I have an Official Announcement: I am going to be at the National Haunter's Convention in the Haunt Cast booth with Scream Team members Johnny Thunder and Chris Baker at the end of the month! I am so very excited to go, as this is not only my first convention, but my first as an "Internet Radio Personality."  Woo-hoo! (Don't worry, I'm not taking myself too seriously! What I really want to do is make millions and send postcards from exotic places to people who said I'd never amount to anything.) 

Please feel free to swing by and say, "Hello." I'd love to meet some of the folks whose names I see in this, our great blogosphere.

Fewdio

Horror fans short on time will love Fewdio. I believe I first found them through a posting by Pumpkin Rot, on the short, "Bedfellows."


The short completely flipped me out in two minutes. Loved it! I've been watching others from time to time, and they've all been pretty darn good.

Here's another one, but I must warn you that since the protagonist is a woman who cleans up crime scenes, it's pretty gory.

Fewdio's YouTube channel. If you dare...
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