Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Deviant Artist-Brian Kesinger

Otto and Victoria characters via Deviant Art. I can't in good conscience post more
than this, as he's a pro and doesn't deserve to have stuff stolen! Copyrights, kids!
I finally caved in and joined Deviant Art. No, I'm not very active, as I have plenty to do these days and am not sure how to get it all done, but I do look at it every so often.

Yesterday, I got a newsletter from them, featuring the art of Brian Kesinger, who started working on Disney's Tarzan when he got out of high school!

Yes. High school. Pretty amazing!

He still works for Disney and does his own art. One of his mediums? Tea! Those watercolor-like drawings/paintings are just delightful!

Do go see the interview with Brian on Deviant Art.

Here's a link to Brian's FAQ page. And a link to his Wordpress site. You can pre-order his new book, "Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod" through Amazon. I already did. I'm sure I can pretend I ordered it for my niece or nephews!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dance, Dance!

Via iFunny.com. As one of the funnies going around says, "I hope I remember how to "Thriller" when I'm a zombie!"

Of course, you could just click below and watch the full video. Come on. You know you want to!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Dark Hallowe'en Art of Pumpkinrot

It's funny how, for hard-core haunters and Hallowe'en people, the beginning of summer is the beginning of the Hallowe'en season. There are only so many weekends and evenings before The Show (as my friend, Revenant, calls it), and those minutes and days are precious to us.

Planning is key, but before planning comes an even more important factor: inspiration.

I can't think, off the top of my head, of anyone more inspiring in the Halloween art genre than my brother from another mother, Pumpkinrot.
I know anyone reading this post in June already knows all about Rot and his constant inspiration and contributions to the Hallowe'en afflicted. I know this comment may come off as fawning, but it's truly the respect of one artist for another's work, techniques, and imagination.

Since I had a little time to putter around on the net while away on my anniversary trip, I put together a board on my Pinterest page, dedicated solely to Rot's creations. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you, Rot, for the inspiration you give me and for making me push to do more with my art.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nine Years of Wedded Bliss!

I posted about my friend, Alan Hirano when he passed away a couple of years ago, and since he helped make my wedding so special, I decided to post the song he helped me to write, record and produce.
Cover art was done by Mike Vosburg, of "Tales From the Crypt" fame.
Sorry it looks squished on the video!

 Just remember, when you click on the CD cover image above, that I'm not a songwriter, and Alan and the musicians and vocalists did all the heavy lifting!
Happy nine years, Mr. ShellHawk! I'd marry you all over again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thanks for Your Support!

There are only five ornaments left in the ShellHawk's Creations Etsy store, and I want to thank those who have purchased from me over this past weekend! With the lack of product at West Coast Haunters, I was short on booth and materials funding, and these sales really helped out!

Mr. ShellHawk and I will be celebrating our anniversary tomorrow, and are taking a few days off to head into the mountains for a break, so I won't be posting for a little bit. If you do make a purchase from the store while I'm away, I'll ship your stuff out when I get back.

I'll start taking pictures and posting a few new items to the store when I get some time, too, so keep an eye out!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Few More for Your Creepmas Tree

The Jack ornaments are almost sold out, so don't wait! I've also added a couple of other Hallowe'en-themed ornaments for you, too...
 Merry Creepmas!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

New in the Shop!

By the way, if you purchase one before June 30, you can get 10% off with this coupon code: JUNECHRISTMAS2013. These make fantastic gifts for any old time of year!

Top Five, No Six, No-- Um-- Reasons I'm Glad of My Part-Time Job

Image via Open Salon. I so want to do something like this!

I survived the first week of work after four years of not having to be at a job. (Yes, I'm spoiled. No, I am not sorry!) It was busy and crazy, and it's brand new to me, so I'm terrified of screwing up. I will also have to manage my time much better so I can make things for upcoming shows!

But I'm glad I have it. Here are my top five six ten eleven reasons for being grateful for my part-time job:
  1. Money to go into my kiln fund, which includes the electrician.
  2. Money for glazes, clay, and other materials I need.
  3. Money to train my dog to do fun, cool things.
  4. Money to go into my dream hearse fund.
  5. Plenty of money to buy pumpkins to carve for Hallowe'en 2013.
  6. Money for a couple more Buckys, because a girl can't have too many skeletons.
  7. Money (maybe) to pay someone to make some three-axis skulls and routines for me.
  8. Money to further train my dog to do fun and cool things.
  9. Money to pay a bartender for the Hallowe'en party.
  10. Money to pay for the expansion pack for the Hallowe'en party.
  11. Money to pay for website design! Hooray!
Hmm... Might have to cut down on the expenditures a little...

Oh, and? I've been Pinning, today. Check out my Jack-o'-lantern collection on Pinterest!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Question for My Readers

Last year, I made a bunch of ornaments with the face of a certain Hallowe'en royal guy. I made a bunch of them this year for West Coast Haunters Convention, but they didn't arrive at the convention in time for me to sell. So my question to you is---

If I start posting them in my Etsy store over the weekend, will you buy them?

The reason I ask is that it takes time to get everything posted, and if no one is interested in these this time of year, there's really no point in taking time to post them. What I can do is give an incentive coupon for the ornaments, especially for readers.

Please leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What's on Your Nightstand? (I'm Talking About Books, Here!)

I posted this on my personal Facebook page, but I thought I'd throw it out to my readers (all three of you who comment regularly...):

"Many people stop reading once they get out of school, even though learning should really never stop. 
That said, what book are you reading right now? I'll start it off:
I'm reading Terry Pratchett's "The Fifth Elephant" and Peter Cushing's Memoirs."
 So what books are you reading? Go!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Special Guest Blogger Cory Hunt of Nightmare Playgrounds: Deaf Kids Don't Listen

Now, before I get a bunch of hate mail for the title of Cory's post, read it! Read every word, don't scan it. I haven't edited or changed it.

I'm proud to call him my friend. Love you, Cory!
Cory, at West Coast Haunters Convention last week.
Deaf Kids Don't Listen
By Cory Hunt 
One of the great joys of my life is being with people who are enthusiastic, curious, willing to be themselves and let you be you.  I have always tended to find myself drawn to the outcast of society.  And, pretty quickly, I realized that we are all outcasts in our own minds.  There is a whole side topic in this thought that I am going to shy away from.
Because what I want to talk about are some awesome deaf kids, their cool teachers, and how they hear us better than we hear ourselves.  More importantly:  the lessons that we can learn from them and how to better work with them.
I have never been deaf.  I have been hit hard and sometimes had the wind knocked out of me.  The greatest result being the weird underwater sound where echoes and voices like The Peanut's teacher come through... or the overwhelming wheezing noise my diaphragm is making as I try to draw in breath.
So, the closest thing I have is when I wear earplugs at the shooting range...but trust me...that isn't deaf...it is impaired...but it isn't deaf.
This weekend I spent having a great time at West Coast Haunters Convention.  This is an amazing event that helps raise money for the Oregon School for the Deaf.  (www.westcoasthauntersconvention.com) If you watch Extreme Home Makeover you might have seen the episode where the boys "prison plan" dorm was completely revamped... as well as their haunted house.  Their haunt raises money for their school and helps cover costs that as a society we don't even consider.
The school is a k-12 with programs that extend until kids are 21, teaching life and survival skills they will need to try and thrive in a hearing world.  That is a HUGE chunk of time, training, and funds for a school where the kids spend all week there and go home on weekends.  This school is their FAMILY...in many senses of the word.  And these teachers and staff see them as their children.
Last year I taught a class on queue line acting and safety necessary for being an effective "line worker" in a haunted house.  I managed to do alright...but I realized something after teaching this class.
I explained what I do as a line actor: I listen to the sound of feet approaching behind me, cars, and the whispered "Thank God he isn't coming over here," which acts as an instant summoning and when people call each other's name (so I can yell "SARAH!" as I am chasing them. The monster knowing you is scary).  I also taught the importance of some of the other visual cues and safety in numbers lessons.
I realize now half of what I do when I am working a queue line is hearing. Half.  That means JUST BEING WHO THEY ARE these kids are going to miss half the cues and be HALF as SAFE as I am...
More importantly they won't be able to protect themselves from that surprise "asshat" (technical term for people who would go to Disneyland and attack an actor in costume because it is "funny."  Kind of like I think it is funny to duct tape an "asshat's" face to an exhaust pipe.)
This year I made some more connections in the category of "Man, Cory, you are dense and completely oblivious to other people's challenges category."
A deaf person can be deaf for many reasons.  It could be injury, accident, chemical issues (medication causing it as a side effect), from birth issues, genetic...and many others I am probably missing.  Again, I am not an expert, and having just realized it...obviously needing education.
So, in addition to being deaf there might be some issues with field of vision.  Now imagine not being able to hear like many of us who take it for granted.  Now put a paper tube about 12" wide and 3' long fastened to your face with the open end blocking all of your peripheral vision.  Two of your senses are inhibited...how would I get your attention across a room, warn you of impending danger, or even just let you know I was there?
Now, how do I teach to you?  Especially with a powerpoint, a demo, and an interpreter?  Or what if no interpreter is available  Or two instructors and the class talking amongst themselves, some of whom share really great ideas.  Ideas beget ideas...my brain internally explodes from an overheard snippet that links to other things tucked in the dark recesses... and these awesome, brilliant, imaginative, hard working kids might be missing these.
Challenging, right?
These are issues that I need to consider when I present at WCHC.  And, in the future will do a better job.
I then had another revelation.  If you can't hear you don't listen.  Wait... I know, sounds intuitive.  But that means you pay a whole lot more attention to mannerism, facial expression, and micro expressions... which would be necessary extensions for social survival in a hearing world.  So, everything that is telegraphed to the deaf is scrutinized because they don't have the distraction of tone of voice.
Sign language reduces most synonyms to one basic gesture. That means that sarcasm, one of my favorite and beloved tools, may not translate. Nor would many puns. I would like a moment of silence as I grieve.
It also means that the deaf person had to choose to watch what you are demonstrating OR what the interpreter is signing if they aren't in the same field of view.  I also have to change my normal high energy pacing.  Sigh.
So, in summary, it isn't a problem of these wicked awesome kids not being how they hear.  It is a problem of how we present our world to them.  I would love to have comments, suggestions and products ideas on how to bring our world to them in a better way.
It isn't that they don't listen...I just haven't learned how to speak.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Catching Up

On the left, two plates I made for Jeff Davis, of Davis Graveyard.
The Monster is the latest addition.
These last few weeks have been crazy. West Coast Haunters Convention, getting my Charmed Pot segment done for Hauntcast, going on part-time job interviews and actually landing a job have all taken away from valued studio time (although West Coast Haunters was a welcome break!).

West Coast Haunters Convention was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but not because of the convention or the people there. They were all fantastic, and if I didn't hate being in rain for five months out of the year, I would love to move up to Oregon!

It was what wasn't there that sucked. Namely, everything I made for West Coast Haunters!

That's right. Nothing I made showed up on time. 

A month of long days and one day off, and the USPS didn't deliver until after the convention was over. Oh, and did I mention I had shipped everything Priority Mail?

I was glad I had booked my stay a little bit longer to play with the Davis Graveyard crew and haunt legends Leonard and Jeanne Pickel of HauntCon and Hauntrepreneurs fame, because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have known what was going on! Fortunately, I got tracking info on all the packages, so I saw they had arrived at the hotel and was able to talk to the concierge about how to handle the situation. I cut open the bottom of one of the boxes so I could take out the Monster plate I had made for Jeff Davis as a surprise gift. Unfortunately, all the sales I had depended upon to get booth fees and supplies for my next show didn't happen. Just plain old bad luck, I guess!



Mr. ShellHawk and I had been talking about my getting a part-time job for a month or two, so I could cover more of my business expenses (and start putting away for the hearse of my dreams!). I had put in a couple of applications, but hadn't heard back because the jobs were already filled. Then my hair dresser called and told me one of her clients was looking for someone. We touched base and met up at a coffee place nearby for the initial interview. (I told Mr. ShellHawk I was going to interview like Ted, from the movie -link not safe for work, btw- he laughed... I was half-serious, even though I didn't do it...) I was pretty much hired then, but we didn't formalize it until I got back from the con.

So now I'm working for a company that does patio covers and I feel totally out of my depth. The up side? At least if I screw up and get fired, I'll be able to pay off my trip and maybe put a little aside for the new kiln while I look for something else! My only concern at this point is that the job, which is supposed to be around twenty hours a week, is going to turn into something full time, at which point, I'll have to talk to my new (very nice!) boss. I just can't have a full-time, crazy-busy job and have the energy and time to get all my work done for my ceramics business. I have some commissions to do and a couple of shows for which to prepare, and time is absolutely a consideration! I am glad I'll have some cash coming in, though. I'm very grateful!

Although, truth to tell, I'm still holding out for that big Lotto win...

But today, it's off to the Barbera Festival! Maybe I'll post some pics...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hauntcast 50 - Tarred and Feathered!

How could a weekend of prop building get better? With a new episode of Hauntcast, of course!
HAUNTING GURU INTERVIEW:
Ben Armstrong of Netherworld Haunted House and Halloween Extreme.GHOULIE GROOVES:
The rockin’ undead sounds of Cold Blue Rebels.SHOCKTAILS:
JT’s back with brews and reviews of Aftershock, American Mary & Hate Crime and more.THE BLACK MARKET:
A conversation with Riley Cameron of Nevermore Productions.THE MARKETING MORGUE:
The Voice From Hell gives your haunt advertising a Morbid Makeover.THEATER OF THE MIND:
Revenant with the intertwined systems of nature and growing the perfect haunt.THE CHARMED POT:
The Mistress of Mayhem shares her burning itch and love for the 1973 classic horror film,The Wicker Man.THE PROP SHOP:
Denny and Chris present the life of a professional prop builder in Vegas.TERROR TURNPIKE:
Vysther with a collection of family-friendly haunts in and near Dayton, Ohio.SOMETHING WICKED:
Wick-Ed Gannon talks adding production value with finishing touches to your haunt.MAD PROPS FOR PROPS:
We go all the way down for Pete Pawlicki’s Hell-evator prop.PLUS!…
This month we give away a $350 Static Spider Prop and a $350 Egg Sack prop fromNevermore Productions, some $25 gift certificates from Master Fog, and a Shocktail Hour T-shirt.
Congratulations to our winners this month: Matt Legg (Static Spider prop), Troy Philpott (Egg Sack prop), Thomas Roach & Chris Ainsworth (Master Fog gift certificates), and Donald Powers (Shocktail Hour Tee).
  Enjoy the show! Subscribe (or resubscribe)! Stay Scary!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Few More

Some West Coast Haunters Con goodness! More at the West Coast Haunters Convention Facebook page. Check out the costume ball pictures, because they are off the hook!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The 13th Floor Bar at WCHC

We drank for charity, and it was good.
More to come...
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