Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grandin Road - Halloween Haven Now Open

We've been waiting patiently but the wait is over! Grandin Road's Halloween Haven is now open! I assume more items will be on the website as the season nears as the current selection is a bit limited. Here are a few of my favorite things so far:

Zombie with Lights and Sound - $79.00

Witch Hand Serving Tray - $39.00

Animated Reaching Hand - $19.00 This can be found at several stores. I own this piece and it's really quite good.

Life-size Wicked Witch - $89.00 Not animated but I can imagine the horror ToT's would feel when her wicked soundtrack is triggered.

**UPDATE: Now the site has been fully loaded. LOTS to see and lots of items on my list so here's a few more...

Martha Stewart Welcome Mat - $59 (Martha has gotten over glitter mania)

Morphing Skull - $49.00

Mistress in Lace Dress - $79

Haunt on!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ghoulie Tunes

TGIF! Cutting right to the chase today with a new batch of Ghoulie Tunes.

First up is Wye Oak with Civilian. You hear a bit of this one at the end of The Walking Dead Season II trailer. Love this duo!

Also heard on The Walking Dead, Paris Motel with Mr. Splitfoot:

Heading back to 1990 with Nightcrawler by Judas Priest:

Stirring up the spirits with Godsmack's Voodoo:

For all you sick and twisted out there (you know who you are) we'll wrap with Adelita's Way and Sick:

Haunt on!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Old Records Graveyard

I took my kid sister out to lunch for her birthday today. She works for Acoustic Sounds which deals in vintage albums, particularly the Blues. They also run a record label, Blue Heaven Studios, and host the Blues Festival I help with every fall.

Recently they have taken on pressing their own LPs so I got to spend a couple of hours today watching and learning how albums are made. It's quite an interesting process and since LPs fell out of favor in the 80s, all the machinery is vintage. The presses are mostly from the 50's-70's and a couple from the 80's - all tricked out for the new age with computer processors.

I was most intrigued by the album recycling they do. Basically they take old LPs that don't really have any value, pop one in a machine which cuts out the label section. The label is held on by the heating process so removing is out of the question. The remainder of the LP is then shredded and used in making new albums.

I picked through the label discs that were destined for the trash, nearly 2500 from the current batch. I picked out a few and then promptly chastised my sister and made her promise that no vintage Halloween albums would be harmed in this process.

I'm happy to report that I didn't come across anything fabulous but I did grab the few shown here just for fun. Apparently some people use these to make coasters.

So, grab those Halloween LPs when you can. We don't want any of them heading off to the record graveyard!

Haunt on!

The Dollar Menu

Dropped in the Dollar Tree yesterday just to see how they were coming along with the Halloween merchandise. I was disappointed to see they were in the middle of unpacking fall foliage instead of haunted goodies. Bummer.

There was an end cap with some body parts, creepy cloth and their standard mini monsterish type busts. The neighboring end cap had some items of interest so I grabbed a few things.

First up are the cut-outs, die-cuts, whatever you want to call them. These come in a group of 15 and I believe that they had four different varieties. I grabbed the rats and crows.

These are on a lightweight paper (between printer paper and card stock) but I think it will be sturdy enough. Each cut-out is approximately 6"-7" long and there are three styles in each pack so you get 5 of each pose.

The rats are the right size but the crows could be bigger in my opinion. For a buck I won't complain. It does beat cutting these out by hand if you don't own a Cricut or Silhouette (which I don't but if you have a review on either I'd love to hear it as I'm in the market).

I also grabbed one of these Martha Stewart like candelabra silhouettes. Almost 13" tall so it's on the small side compared to Martha's and it's not super sturdy. There's a hint of glitter but just barely. Of course, that's easy to remedy.

I hope your Dollar Tree is unloading faster than mine. I'm getting kind of antsy!

Haunt on!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Creepy Things

Got parts? Need parts? Sure you do! Everyone needs a few creepy body parts in their haunt. Trust me on this.

Check out the lifelike hands and feet from Creepy Things. You'll see these hitting your local stores this season. Perfect for those dummy props in your display. I don't have pricing on these yet but I'll keep you posted.

Haunt on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Halloween At Shindigz

The mail was rather uneventful today. Not even a bill but, hey, I'm not complaining. Oh, there was this one thing...the new Shindigz catalog. Apparently Shindigz is jumping into the Halloween season with an entire lineup of goodies in addition to their party decor.

I popped over to their Halloween bootique (as they call it) but some of the things in the catalog weren't online yet. No worries, I scanned a few for you.

I like the joints on this skeleton better than some I've seen. 5' tall - $69.99. The pumpkin head greeter in the back looks pretty sinister. He ought to be for $249.99.

Interesting 6' tall creepy tree, collapses for storage - $89.99

As if anyone needed an excuse to have a zombie themed Halloween party. Love these!!

Lighted skull standee. I can imagine this set deep into the yard casting an eerie scene. 5' high - $95.99.

Haunt on!

Zombies Are Everywhere

Ok's your chance at some Haunted Hot Sauce and some smelly goods (so you don't reek of BBQ).

Pop on over to ShellHawk's Nest to let her know what your name would be if you were a zombie. If you're already a zombie I suppose you can use your real name - but I'll leave that ruling to Shelley.

Also, saving this one for just the right occasion, here's a link to a discussion on zombie army names. Seven hundred of them to be exact. With armegedon on the horizon and the government on the verge of default I suppose now is as good a time as any to insure you have the proper name for your zombie army.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject... let me point you over to Halloween Blues in case you missed The Walking Dead Season II trailer. It's gonna be an exciting season!

Haunt on!

Don't Hate Me

So, I was out running errands late yesterday afternoon and decided to drop in on a little antique store that I haven't visited in a while. The first floor was pretty much glassware and jewelry so I headed upstairs.

The upstairs was hotter than heck, cooled by a sole oscillating fan at one end. I figured it would be a quick look but after rounding the first booth I knew I was going to be there a while. Nearly a quarter of the upstairs was loaded with boxes upon boxes upon boxes of LPs plus gobs of loose stacks. All of it just haphazardly dropped in the middle of the floor. It was about 30 minutes to closing so I decided to make quick work of it.

This little treasure was in the very last box I had a chance to go through before closing.

No prices on anything so I yelled down to the clerk asking how much the LPs were. $1. Yep a buck. That makes this sweet find $1.06 to me. Yes, I already have it but I couldn't resist.

Haunt on!

P.S. My apologies to Scott Stoll for teasing him with yet another Halloween LP find. If it's any consolation I had to dig through a lot of John Denver to find it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sounds That Make You Shiver

I finally had a chance to go junking. Usually luck is not on my side as I'm pretty picky but today was a good day.

I picked up a rather unique and ornate vintage mirror frame (sans mirror), an old industrial crate and other smalls. My biggest score cost me a whopping $1.60 - including tax.

Pickwick's 1974 Sounds To Make You Shiver LP. Love this one! The artwork is fantastic. In fact there is so much going on on the front cover that it takes some time to identify all the creatures and ghoulish scenes. The back cover features a flaming skull and the LP itself also has has skull artwork.

This record is designed for Halloween fun - designed to make the chills run up your spine, and small children climb to the safety of their parents' laps.

Turn the record on and the lights out, then prepare for a visit to a haunted house, complete with banging shutters, eerie screams, the hoot of an owl, the squall of a cat, the growl of a dog... scraping chains, stealthy footsteps, howling winds, rain on the window pane, maniacal laughter, a witch's screech, moans and groans.

"Sounds to Make You Shiver" is an ideal record to play on Halloween night within earshot of the the front door - then you'll throw a little reverse fright into the tricks-or-treat gang of small fry in their sheets and masks.

Side one is dedicated to Visit to a Haunted House while the flip side has the individual sound effects.

If you're looking for this one it's pretty easy to find. Although I can't guarantee you'll snag it for a buck sixty.

Haunt on!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Free Quick Projects

This heat is dreadful! Hotter than Dante's seventh level of hell and no relief in sight. I refuse to sweat unless I intend to. Standing outside for 2.5 minutes and dripping is certainly not on my must do list. Which explains why I refuse to suffer out in the garage and have stayed inside working on Halloween projects for my interior instead.

It's been a productive week. Several projects in the works and I even managed to complete a few.

Three new vintage inspired Spook Sticks:

(front view)

(back view)

I have a gob-a-lot of vintage hats. When I say gob-a-lot I mean like 40. I'm attempting to do up a few haunt style and I need displays. Here's one dressed up manni head with stand finally done:

Potion labels are on the menu so I'm on the hunt for jars. Managed to snag two of these for 50¢ each at Party City. I'm testing out the Graveyard Dust label. Am thinking I like it so permanent attachment will go on the to-do list.

I get to spend all day tomorrow at a baseball tourney. Yeah. I can stand out in the heat and drip. Can't wait.

Haunt on!

Grandin Road Halloween Sneak Peek

Grandin Road looks to be stepping up the creep factor this year. Halloween Haven will hit their website August 1st but you can click the pic for a sneak peek:

Haunt on!

Ghoulie Tunes

Another Friday - another collection of Ghoulie Tunes.

Typically I'm not a fan of remakes but I have to say that Seasons After does a good job with Cry Little Sister. It's as good or better than the original. I'm just glad the song didn't follow the same path as Lost Boys II!

Just for comparison - here's the original Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann:

Who knew Taylor Momsen could sing? Here she is fronting Pretty Reckless with Makes Me Wanna Die:

Slowing it down a bit with a beautifully done vid. One of my fave bands fronted by the magnificent voice of Lzzy Hale - Halestorm with Familiar Taste Of Poison:

This vid has all of the Seven Deadly Sins covered by pretty boys in eyeliner with long hair. Wait. Did I just flash back to the 80's? Gorgeous Nightmare by Escape The Fate.

Haunt on!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reminiscing With Broomhilda

Funny how things just come into this crazy head of mine out of nowhere. God help me if a psychiatrist ever tries to peel away layers in this twisted brain.

So, for no particular reason, a piece of my childhood crossed my mind today. When I was a wee bit my dad, who owns his own mechanic business, would run into town to the parts store nearly every day. Often I would ride along. We'd drive the six miles into town to pick up what he needed for whatever repair he was working on.

The auto parts store, NAPA Auto Parts to be exact, was no place for a girlie girl but that was ok with me. Back then I was quite the tomboy usually covered in dirt, grease and whatever gunk I came across in old combines and tractors.

The door to the store was wood with a large glass insert and a bell that alerted the staff that someone had entered. The wood floors were marred with years of build-up from greasy boots. The grimy counter was just a few steps inside the door. Vinyl covered, backless, metal bar stools  - complete with the NAPA logo - ran along the customer side of the counter. I would hoist myself up on a stool and swivel around and around.

A few spins of the chair and the "parts guy" would emerge from among the shelves loaded with dusty boxes of parts on the other side of the counter to greet my dad. A bit of weather and harvest talk between the man-folk would ensue before he flipped open a large book loaded with black and white pictures and part numbers. The men would compare the drawings to whatever part Dad had brought along and then the parts guy would disappear behind the shelves only to reemerge with a beat up box. The new part would be compared to the old, a ticket would be written, a dirty, weathered cash register would work it's number magic and that was that.

While I can't remember his name the "parts guy" was always cheerful, friendly and just a gool ol' boy. When I would go in the store he would always address me as Matilda.

Matilda? How did he come up with that? Well, in the course of small talk he found out that one of my favorite comic strips was Broomhilda. He thought Matilda would fit me just fine.

If you're not familiar with Broomhilda, she was a cigar smoking, beer drinking, man chasing witch. The perfect role model for a young Ghoulie Girl don't ya think?

I took a few minutes today to search out Broomhilda on the web. I was thrilled to find that there are a lot of the old comic strips online so I've got lots of reading and reminiscing to do.

So, here's to Broomhilda. May her beer mug never run dry!

Haunt on!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The End Of A Chapter

I was catching up on the news this evening and I was disappointed to hear that Borders was unable to find a buyer and will be closing. I live in a town of around 50K population - no Barnes and Noble here. We have one new book store, Waldenbooks, which is owned by Borders.

I will admit that the selection was rather disappointing for a haunt and horror fan. For the past several years the store has catered to main stream selections. Stuff more likely to sell I suppose.

There are many reasons for it's demise - B&N, Amazon and the e-reader of course. I have a Nook, which I love, but there are times when only a book will do.

A couple of months ago our record store also closed. Yes, we were one of the few towns our size that still had an honest-to-goodness, vintage vinyl, new cd's, incense burners, black light poster kind of store. I'm afraid I contributed to it's closing, buying fewer and fewer cds in favor of downloads. (Hangs head in shame.)

I'm not sure if this post is a rant, pity party or what exactly. I guess it's just a reminder that nothing stays the same. I do hope that there will always be real, hold in hand, turn the page books. I would sure hate to think that one day, in the not so distant future, I will only be able to get my Halloween book fix on an e-reader.

Haunt on!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ghoulie Girls Quick Projects

I've had the most marvelous day! I'm all settled into the studio and since there were no kiddo obligations (ie: mom taxi service) required today I was able to do a few things.

I managed to start on some ideas from the Project Files but more importantly I got to finish up a couple of small things I'd been wanting to do.

Here is photo of the cabinet I decorate for each holiday. Notice anything missing? See the picture frame at the bottom? Yeah, the one without a picture in it. There's a couple of those in the cabinet. I'd meant to find something Halloween related for them and - really - how hard should that be?

I remedied this little irritation today with some fantastic vintage graphics from TheGraphicsFairy. (If you're not acquainted then I suggest you head on over. Great stuff!) I changed them up just a tiny bit by giving them a touch of color in Photoshop.

Remember my glitter issue? Well I managed to add a few new glitter pieces to the bone pile today:

And finally I cut out a few more Martha Stewart bats. Love these little guys.

I can't find a link to these anymore but I have them downloaded onto my computer so if you need a copy just yell.

So, nothing huge but the devil's in the details and I love the little touches. Plus - I've got things crossed off my to-do list. Yep - it's been a very good day!

Haunt on!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Torture The Pumpkin

Doesn't that title sound like a fun game?! Actually it's a contest hosted by Scott Stoll of Stolloween/Arsenic Asylum/Tortured Pumpkins/Scotty Art fame.

Scott is giving away two tortured papier mache pumpkins. You heard me right. You have a chance to win one of these "bad seeds" by the master of mache. Head on over to Tortured Pumpkins for all of the details.

On second thought, don't. I plan to enter and if you enter too that will decrease my odds. No really, it's probably best that you don't enter.

Haunt on!

Mirror, Mirror

My sister sent me this link in April. The subject line read "This is so you!". She knows me so well!

As I was cleaning up my email today (yes, yes, I let it go just like everything else) I came across it again. The link won't work for me anymore, all I get is a blank page, but I hope it works for you.

I'm pretty sure the problem lies in my browser as I recently "upgraded" (and I use that term loosely) to IE8. I'm too lazy to open FireFox to check it out so we'll just wing it ok?

As I recall this thing was pretty pricey. I'll put it on my Christmas list anyway ;)

Haunt on!

Ghoulie Tunes

It's Friday!!!!!! I'm trying to really mix it up so I hope there's something here you like.

This first one is an acquired taste. Kind of like bourbon. Tom Waits with We're All Mad Here:

Throwing in a little dark cabaret with Vermillion Lies, Circus Apocalypse:

Techno, industrial, synth rock. Hell, it's hard to label this one. Great vid though. In The Dark by The Birthday Massacre.

Great animated video for Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns:

My youngest is a drummer and huge fan of A7X so I get to listen to this band daily. Sending a little tribute to the Rev with Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare:

Hope I had enough variety for you today. Enjoy your weekend!

Haunt on!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Busy Ghoul

So I've been busy reorganizing my studio this week when I have time around the regular work schedule. I've been going through bins of fabrics, tools, paper, canvas, etc - you name it I've sorted it. I don't know how one person can have so many craft and sewing supplies destined for Halloween projects. It crossed my mind that I could end up on an episode of Halloween Hoarders.

This has been a project I've worked on in tiny bits for an eternity. It's taking me so long that the hubby was starting to plant the seed that we should convert the room into something else. (Back off hubby!) It's not done yet but I can see the finish line. By this weekend I plan to be all settled in.

The walls in this room are covered in wallpaper. A stripe on the bottom and  a pattern on top with a golf motif boarder. Scary! It is the last room in the house with the decor choices of the previous owner. I can't take the time to deal with that so I did the next best thing and decided to get some stuff up on the walls.

You may recall a post regarding all the vintage plastic masks my mother had given me here. I wanted to put a few of these up on the wall but I didn't want to build or purchase shadow boxes so I came up with another solution.

I have a large, black, glassless frame so I hung it up. Then I took some mannequin faces I acquired years ago and put them on the wall. Slipped a few of the vintage masks over them and called it done.

The faces by themselves are even creepier.

Oh and look! Here are my happy monsters again:

Haunt on!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Final Destination Unknown: Dry Ice

Another google search gone astray. I'm sure that by now you think I never actually get where I'm going. Not true! It's just that I never know where I'm going. I do eventually get there. I've decided to name these little trips along the internet highway as Final Destination Unknown.

So today's FDU is dry ice. I think most haunters have a love/hate relationship with dry ice. It's very cool but the satisfaction is fleeting. It's a mess and you have to wear gloves and it's expensive. I know that I, for one, am thankful that there's a whole plethora of other choices in the haunter's arsenal from foggers to misters.

The one thing a fogger or mister can't do for you is spook up a Halloween cocktail. I'm always leery of using dry ice in a punch mainly because I know my guests. I could post a flashing warning sign to be ultra careful but after a few cocktails I'm certain that I'd still have one numbskull who accidentally gives themselves a dry ice throat burn. Emergency room visits and potential permanent injury or death aren't usually part of my Halloween party agenda. I'm just saying.

And that brings us to our Final Destination. Check out this nifty solution:

Here's the 411 from the MistyStix website:

MistyStix are dryice swizzle sticks that create a misty fog effect in beverages. By loading MistyStix with dryice, your beverages become extraordinary and will delight guests of all ages with a fun visual experience.  A sure way to put a smile on a face, MistyStix are the last touch that will increase the allure of the drinks you serve.

Click the Dry Ice link on their site and you will find everything from Dry Ice 101 to recipes. They don't sell the dry ice but they do include a link to Dry Ice Express where you can order the dry ice nuggets.

Haunt on!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ghoulie Tunes

It's Friday which means it's time to spin a few tunes from the Ghoulie vault. Let's see...what shall we play today?

Let's start off with Brains by Voltaire (live from the New York Anime Festival):

I've showcased this group before but this video is too fun to pass up. The Creepshow with Take My Hand:

I don't want to leave out the Team Jacob group so here's Werewolves by Corpse Show Creeps:

I just love this video! Ludo with Love Me Dead:

I wouldn't want you falling asleep so let's wrap up with Let The Bodies Hit The Floor by Drowning Pool:

Haunt on!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Revisiting Fun With Monsters

Remember this post? Well, I spent a few minutes tonight assembling my happy little monsters into their new frames.

The monsters masks were printed on card stock paper in the highest DPI my printer could handle, and then I cut them out. I wanted to raise the pictures away from the background just a bit so I put Sticky Doos on the back of the paper masks.

The frames are scrapbook frames which feature a black velvet background so I just stuck the masks on the background.

So simple even a zombie could do it.

I love the look and can't wait to hang them up in my office - once I locate some more wall space.

Haunt on!

Just What I Need

So I'm taking a few minutes trying to get caught up on the blog roll and what do I see? Zombie Research Society has a little something posted - a very little something that would go perfectly with my coveted zombie shoes I posted about.

While this might go well with the shoes I'm sure it won't go well with my figure. You can check it out here.

Haunt on!

Mummy Dearest...

Today is my mummy's birthday. Happy Birthday Mummy!!

My mother is solely responsible for my weird and twisted obsession with Halloween and all things haunted. She allowed me to watch the Munsters and The Addams Family, as well as stay up late on weekends watching whatever horror flick we could find. She introduced me to Bela, Lon and Vincent among others.

She never once scolded me for checking out only spooky and magic books from the school library. I'm sure she had to think I was a "little off" when the only books I brought home were full of haunted tales. I'm also certain she grew weary of my magical illusions which I gathered from my fave book Spooky Tricks by Rose Wyler and Gerald Ames. The Mummy Finger was one of my greatest.

Let me went something like this.... You cut a hole in the bottom of a small box near one end - just big enough for your finger to slip through. Place the box in the palm of your hand, put your finger through the hole, surround finger with cotton batting and top off with the lid. Now, run to show your mom. Spin the tale of how you found a mummy's finger, have her remove the lid and as she peers inside wiggle your finger. Loved it!

And, when it came time to come up with a costume for Halloween both her and Dad would jump right in and help me conjure up something great. Oh there were some plastic masks and such nonsense along the way but I also had some pretty good witches, robots and other wacky costumes too.

While the Halloween decor was a bit lacking there were always plenty of corn stalk tee-pees, homemade treats, kleenex ghosts, freshly carved Jack O'Lanterns and this one little guy I blogged about here (which started an obsession).

I don't have any photos of my mom as a child in costume. I did stumble upon what I truly believe to be her in a book called Halloween: Vintage Holiday Graphics by Jim Heimann. She does not recall this photo (second from the left, front) but it looks just like her at that age. (I think she's just experiencing some memory loss.)

Anyway, it's a great little book. At least I think so as I somehow managed to purchase it - twice. Check it out when you get a chance as it's loaded with page after page of Halloween photos of yesteryear.

Hope you're having a great birthday Mom!!

Well, that's a wrap! Haunt on!
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