Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FDU: Roger's Gardens

What's a Ghoulie Girl in Kansas know about a gift and garden store in Corona Del Mar, California? I know but one thing... this place knows how to do Halloween up right!

Another product of the Final Destination Unknown files, I can't even tell you how I got there - but I'm glad I did. Oozing with inspiration, this creeped out shop certainly has to be on the "must visit" list of everyone in the area.


For the month of October 2011, Roger's Gardens plays host to the Blackstone Theater. Here's what the site has to say:

Explore the remnants of the abandoned “Blackstone” Back-Alley Theater. Roam dark mysterious rooms haunted by ghosts of performances past. Surroundings of strange objects, unique characters, and theatrical fascination will undoubtedly spark inspiration in artistic hearts. Enter a world of intrigue and bizarre beauty at Roger’s Gardens for a Halloween Experience unlike anything you’ve seen.

Not only do they do up the shop, they also produced a 5 minute theatrical piece showcasing the store:

Be sure to visit the site for more than 60 photos of this spectacularly spooky shop.

Haunt on!

Mail Call!

Some fun project ideas have been hitting my inbox lately. If you're crafting like a madman for the Halloween season - beware - you might find more ideas in these links:

From HPs Creative Studio (includes some Martha Stewart creepy good things).

HGTVs Halloween Ideas is loaded with pumpkin carving templates, indoor and outdoor decorations and party ideas.

Still working on a costume idea? Check out Martha Stewart's Costume's Through The Years.

Haunt on!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wicked Vintage

I had hoped that today we'd be talking about the golfing skeletons in my yard but, alas, they are not in my yard. They are in the garage all piled up wondering when they'll get their moment. Patience my darlings. I had planned on starting the yard yesterday but it was cold and rainy so I opted for the interior instead.

I'm a collector of old things. With the exception of vintage Halloween the rest of my collection is any old thing that catches my eye. I don't collect based on how much I think something will appreciate, though I do love a good deal, rather how I can use it as a display piece... and if it's something I'm willing to dust.

So when Halloween season rolls around there is just as much non-Halloween vintage strung around as there is Halloween vintage... which equals Wicked Vintage. Here's a couple of cabinets that got their Halloween make-over this weekend:

One side of the cabinet.

The other side.

On another you know how hard it is to take pictures of a mirrored cabinet and not get yourself in the shot? Uuuuggg!! Anywho, here's some close-ups:

This shelf contains one creepy baby doll head (a recent Ebay snag), a carved wooden crow (Hobby Lobby) and a player piano roll. Notice the title - Dance Of The Demons.

A new, oversized skeleton key (Hobby Lobby), Halloween fabric napkin (Grandin Road), new witch cutout (Hobby Lobby), vintage amber vanilla bottle and vintage Edsion wax record.

Cat and Jack O'Lantern (reproductions) with vintage wooden spools.

Jack O'Lantern in Shoe (The Market Shop), another Grandin Road napkin and a small vintage cast iron witch's kettle.

As a girl I remember watching the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy series on tv. I also read all of the books. I thought these would be fun for Halloween but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find any locally. One day I was in Goodwill and happened upon someone's entire collection. I picked out five, wrapped them in ribbon and put a crow on top. They now sit in this cabinet with vintage Majolica plates and a vintage taloned ice tongs.

Decorating with vintage doesn't have to be expensive so don't let that stop you if you like the look. Just be open-minded. Chippy paint and a patina on most anything can add to the old haunted mansion look.

Haunt on!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Commercial Break

And now, a word from our sponsors.

**Disclaimer: Ghoulie Girls does not actually have any sponsors. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Any likeness to persons living or dead is purely coincidence. Not valid in the state of New York. Side effects include hysteria, bed wetting and the insatiable need to whack a zombie....

Shasta 1971


M&Ms 2007

Boo Berry 1973

Levis 2009

Haunt on!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ghoulie Tunes

Kicking off another edition of Ghoulie Tunes for your listening pleasure! Rock on Ghoulies!!

Let's get things started nice and loud with Spectremen and 72 Inches Down.

Fan made video for Zombiegirl's Creature of the Night.

What is the Halloween season without Marilyn Manson and Nightmare Before Christmas? Exactly! Here is Manson's rendition of This Is Halloween.

Here's a little something we all know and love, just for fun. Theme from the Munsters.

And finally something you can play in your haunted garage for inspiration while you crank out those last minute props! Behold the Darkness by Medwyn Goodall.

Haunt on!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

FDU: London Dungeon

It's been a hectic day today so no time for a lengthy post. I did stumble upon a little something for the FDU  (Final Destination Unknown) files.

According to the site:

1000 years of London's darkest and most gory history, 14 actor led shows and 3 scary rides make the London Dungeon attraction an educationally chilling experience and a great day out for the whole family.

Take a tour of  The London Dungeon.

Haunt on!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Now Showing...

This is what I'll be doing tonight - catching the premier of American Horror Story. How about you?

Haunt on!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Remembering Last Halloween

Last year at this time a small battle ensued in our household. My then 11 year old son was starting to feel that he was too old to go Trick or Treating. Say what?! Uhhmmm - no. Mom wants to go therefore you will go! (I swear I'd make him ToT 'til he turned 40 if I really had any say.)

He wasn't opposed to getting in costume, he was just feeling older than his years, but when he realized other friends were going he changed his tune. Nevertheless I knew this was likely it. My last year chasing behind a group of rowdy boys decked out in their frightful finery. I'd been trick or treating for over 18 years with my kids but this was it. The final chapter. ::sigh::

I savored every second of last year's Halloween night. I took my time traveling up and down Highland Street, trailing far behind my charges. Located in the historic district, most every house for 3-4 blocks participates by decorating and handing out treats. Hundreds of kids ran up and down sidewalks, leaves crunching under their feet. The sounds of children's laughter amidst squeals of delight while adults, some even in costume, weaved around the throngs of little ones.... It's a thing of beauty.

Once Gabe (the son in question) got onboard with trick or treating he went about designing his garb. He decided on an evil clown. He went through all of my catalogs but could find nothing satisfactory. So he moved on to my BFF Google and began printing out ideas. Then one day he came to me and presented his design. It was a combination of three different costumes - none of them store-bought. (I brought him up right!)

Now it was my turn to make it come together. This was the recipe:

Foam clown mask
Spirit gum
Colored contacts
Mini top hat
Jeans (ha! that was easy)
Goth boots
And one very important thing....

He was adamant about having a vintage band jacket. This meant I'd better score one in his size on Ebay (unlikely) or bust out the sewing machine (even more unlikely). We got lucky and found the perfect one on Ebay. I had to fight for it but we prevailed. (Bidders on Ebay really shouldn't mess with Halloween fanatics.)

So, here's Gabe on last Halloween. At least we went out with a bang!

P.S. I'm in charge of Trunk Or Treat so I'm not giving up hope. I still plan to wrestle him into costume this year - even if he won't go trick or treating.

Haunt on!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dem Bones - A Side-By-Side Review

Last year we decided it would be fun to have a few skeletons sitting in trees and hanging upside down from limbs so I went on the search for skellies. Since the concept was simple the skeleton didn't have too high a criteria to meet.

This year, however, is a different story. My husband (you know - the one who puts up with my Halloween obsession) wanted skeletons in the yard playing golf. This idea was further fueled when he saw me reading the Skeleton Crew section of Better Homes and Gardens Halloween Tricks & Treats magazine. (If you don't have it yet just get it. It's a great issue.)

So, it's game on! However - finding the perfect specimen has been a bit of challenge. I immediately eliminated Bucky's for a couple of obvious reasons. First, they are pricey and second they are heavy. I needed something heavier than a Blucky (Bucky's younger, less functional cousin), semi-realistic, posable and at a decent price.

I've narrowed it down to two skeletons and that's what we're going to discuss today. This post is pic heavy so hang on!

Target Skeleton (left) and Pitini Skeleton (right)

Name: Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton
Height: Approximately 5'2"ish (when standing next to all 5'4" of me)
Weight: Approximately 6 lbs
Manufacturer/Distributor: Target
Price: $40

In the box this guy looked promising but let's take a closer look...


Price: At $40 it's a steal compared to the standard $100+ price of a Bucky.
Size and weight: Substantial enough weight making it easy to handle and secure but not too heavy.
Height: Adequate height for realism.
Overall Appearance: Good realistic look.
Quality: Feels nice and solid.


Coloring: It's glow-in-the-dark stark white which isn't terribly concerning. You can always corpse it out a bit.
Construction: Limited mobility. Let me show you some close ups. 

First the pelvis. This is assembled by heavy springs over long screws and because of this the skeleton's knees knock together when sitting causing the calves to cross (see first pic above). Attempts to loosen the screws did not yield any different results but more intensive surgery may do the trick.

Next let's look at the hand. Now the look is right but notice the construction. The hands can only move up and down which limits your pose.

The shoulders are a ball joint which will not allow you to wrap your skellie's arms around another skellie or raise his arms out to the side. The arm just goes 'round and 'round.

The legs face the same problem as the hands. The knees also only move back and forth one way - no side to side. The feet are secured by a screw which you can tighten a bit  to help pose. 

I did manage to hang him up and pose him a bit as you can see here:

One of the arms did stay in the reaching forward position and one knee did stay bent. Of course, if staked in the yard you could form the pose better.

Other Notes: The jaw is pretty much fixed. There are no screws to adjust the amount the skull's mouth is open. The skull is another issue in that there is no way to position it a certain direction - it simply rotates - so expect to come out and find your skellie looking backwards.

Here's our other contender:

Name: 5' Hanging Skeleton
Height: 5'
Weight: Approximately 5 lbs
Manufacturer/Distributor: Pitini Enterprises (found in several stores but we will use here)
Price: $65+

Let's put this guy under the microscope.


Price: $65 still beats the $100+ price of a Bucky.
Size and weight: Fairly light weight but heavy enough for the job. 
Height: Adequate height for realism.
Overall Appearance: Nice realistic look with a weathered, fresh from the grave appearance.
Construction: Allows lots of options for poses. Let's have a look:

First, notice the pelvis here. Super long bolts with nuts on each end allow you to tighten or loosen to attain the look you want. 

Also notice how the interior seam is opened up so you can slide the bolt into several positions, again, allows easy posing.

While we're here notice the knee and how it can be manipulated thanks to the pelvis construction. The foot is secured by a screw that can be tightened to hold a pose. 

The hands offer much flexibility as the construction allows them to go back and forth and spin 360°. 

The shoulders are assembled to allow full movement. This guy can wrap his arms around anything.

Here I have him posed with one arm way over his head. The hand kind of flops but you can tighten up some screws to help remedy that issue. The other arm is tucked into his own ribs but notice how he can bend into himself at the elbow. The knee wouldn't stay bent for me longer than the time it took to take a quick pic. If posed properly with stakes instead of hanging you can make it work. 


Price: Yes, I had price as a "Pro" but it's also a "Con" considering the quality of the plastic and construction. I'd rather not see huge bolts and other obvious metalware in my skellies but it's doable. I think around the $50 mark or under would make me feel a bit more warm and fuzzy about it.
Quality: This guy tends to "flop" around a bit which I think is due to the lower quality plastic and the way he's constructed. This will require you to tighten and loosen screws to get the look you want. But - at least you have the option to do so.
Skull: The skull looks good but is fixed in a forward facing position so no looking sideways.

Other Notes: On my example the jaw is flopped wide open. It is held on by two tiny screws so you might be able to tighten it up and set the jaw the way you want. I liked him this way so I haven't tried that yet.

Overall I like them both for different purposes and plan on incorporating them into the yard this year.

On another note...Walgreens also came out with a lifesize skeleton this year but, of course, my Walgreens doesn't carry it. Never fear! I did find a short video where another haunter compares the Target skellie to the Walgreens version:

Well, there you have it. Two skeletons in our side by side comparison.

Oh! Don't forget to get the BH&G magazine I mentioned for some fun inspiration showcasing skellies!

Haunt on!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Creepy Cupcakes

Cupcakes are all the rage in the dessert arena. I know I love a good cupcake. These little guys make me feel a tad less guilty about indulging in a treat that goes straight to my butt. I mean it's not very big - how bad can it really be?

So, I declare that all Ghoulies whip up at least one batch this season - with a touch of Halloween flair of course.

The baking gurus over at Wilton whipped up these Haunted Mansion Cupcakes:

Zombies will come off a bit sweeter when they eat these Brain Cupcakes courtesy of Family Fun:

Take a bite out of these Vampire Cupcakes I found in the recent Shindigz catalog:

Shindigz gives us the easy how-to:

Vampire cupcakes, with red fang marks in the fronsting and oozing "blood" when the cupcake is bitten, are easy to make. Use a white cake mix and fill with cherry pie filling before baking, so that when the cake is bitten, a bloodlike substance will ooze out for maximum vampire effect. After your cupcakes have cooled, decorate the top with a layer of white frosting. On the frosting, draw two line with red food coloring to look like bloody fang marks that will certainly spook your guests.

Need a bloodless cupcake? Try these Vampire Bat Cupcakes from Martha Stewart:

If none of these bring out the Ghoul in you be sure to stop by Wilton for 89 Halloween Creepy Cupcake Creations.

Haunt on!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And So It Begins...

The countdown to Halloween officially kicked off today and the minute my feet hit the floor I could feel it. The room had a chill and it was a bit over-cast. The haunting season is finally here!

Since things are pretty much on their way back to normal around here, I'm hitting the blogosphere again just in time to celebrate properly. Like so many other bloggers, I've committed (notice I did not say I'd been committed) to posting daily during the month of October in the 2011 Countdown To Halloween. Be sure to pay a visit to the long list of blogs oozing with Halloween goodness.

Now here's the scoop on my best laid plans (you regulars know the routine of what that means)....a new feature I want to bring in for this season is Wicked Vintage. There's nothing quite like vintage Halloween but why stop there? When scrounging Ebay, thrift stores and yard sales grab the orange and black but don't overlook the other wicked cool stuff.

Case in point and my first Wicked Vintage piece for the season:

You may remember in one the earliest Ghoulie Girls posts about this great haul of vintage porcelain dolls. Perfectly broken and abused, they fit in well with the Halloween theme. A few months ago I managed to snag the vintage devil costume on ebay. The child's vintage wicker rocker is another ebay score from several years back. Put them all together and Wicked Vintage is on display.

Other plans include a return to Ghoulie Tunes on Fridays, some product reviews, a few creepy crafts and a bit-by-bit reveal of the office make-over...Halloween style of course. Yes, you heard me right. Amongst all the chaos of my life the last couple of months I managed to redo the office.

Here's to a frightfully fun haunt season!
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