Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Ghoulie Girl Goes Shopping

This morning I found a bit of free time on my hands which is ubber rare. I decided it was the perfect time to drop in on one of my favorite local boutiques, The Market Shop, to peruse their Halloween offerings.

I came home with a few things. I plan to go back for more but for the sake of Mr Ghoulie's sanity I try to keep my Halloween shopping in small doses.

Today I picked up this dapper skeleton flour sack towel. Mr Ghoulie hates it when I buy decorative towels. He simply cannot understand why a towel cannot be used. I simply cannot understand why he can't understand that.

I also grabbed five of these little pumpkins. Very inexpensive and I love the way they did curly stems. Mr Ghoulie will not understand why I need more pumpkins. I say I always need more pumpkins.

Last I grabbed Hubert the ghost. He's so cute, in a creepy way. I love his little tuft of hair and the way he sits. He looks more scared than scary. Again, Mr Ghoulie will shake his head and roll his eyes. I say it's these quirky little obsessions of mine that make him love me. (If I tell him that often enough he will eventually believe it!)

This weekend I'm working on the to-do list for the Halloween season. I hope everyone in Ghoulieland is enjoying this last holiday weekend before Halloween.

Haunt on!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ghoulie Tunes

Friday!!!!!!!!!!!! Time for another edition of Ghoulie Tunes.

The lineup today are songs that I highly suggest that you consider adding to your Halloween festivities. Don't believe me? Well then, listen in....

First up is Tom Lehrer with The Masochism Tango. I love the video with this version because it features two of my favorite people; Gomez and Morticia. This song was definitely made for them:

Got skellies? Louis Armstrong does. Great ditty called The Skeleton In The Closet:

Last, just for fun, is this comedic take on our fave holiday, Halloween by Stephen Lynch:

Haunt on!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I was in Hobby Lobby the other day looking for something to put in a pottery urn that resides on my coffee table. I found these in the dried and natural plant section:

Is it just me or do they look like spines from some yet undiscovered lifeform?

Haunt on!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For The Love Of Vintage

I love vintage Halloween. Love, love, love it!! So much so that last Fall when I made-over my office I wanted to make good and sure that I had the perfect place to showcase a few of my favorite pieces.

I had the good fortune of visiting my fave second hand shop the day a beautiful hutch came in. I knew it would be perfect. I called the Hub and told him to brace himself that I was going to be spending some money, oh, and that I would need his help to haul this monster home, into the house and down a flight of stairs. Easy-peasy right?!

This piece is heavy! In the process of moving it down to it's new home Mr Ghoulie jammed a finger and I cut a gash in my knee. But hey, what's a little blood when we're talking Halloween?

Today it hosts some of my vintage collection in the hutch along with office supplies in the base. It's perfect!

A few weeks ago Mr Ghoulie and I were out at a flea market and stumbled upon a small vintage paper mache jack. He took one look at me as I cupped it in my hands and said, "You don't have one like that, you should get it". Well, you don't have to tell me twice! Here's my newest addition:

Most likely from the 1940's, this style is often referred to a Choir Boy. He's only about 5" high. He would have originally had a paper insert for the eyes and mouth and a wire handle. Mine is in rather rough shape but I couldn't pass him up for the price.

Haunt on!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh Martha....

Today I'm revisiting my love/hate relationship with Martha Stewart. Today I love her...tomorrow could be different.

I've been hashing away at the to-do list for this year's Halloween party. The plan for The Hollow Cemetery mostly consists of tombstones, skeletons and ghosts. The problem with that is that I have no ghosts. What's a ghoul to do?!

I have a collection of inspiring ghost props ideas. These made with chicken wire:

picture source: The Modern Mourner

As are these - complete with how-to:

picture source: Wacky Archives

Alas, I had no chicken wire and needed to get busy. Enter Martha to save the day!

picture source: Martha Stewart

Her ghosts require items I already had on hand; cheesecloth, styrofoam heads and glue. My youngest and I whipped out a few of these in an afternoon watching the dreadfully bad Malibu Shark Attack. (Oh Peta, how far we have fallen from Nikita.)

These are simple-simple and fairly inexpensive. I recommend buying cheesecloth from a bolt rather than small packets if you can. Styrofoam heads can be found at Hobby Lobby (be sure to use your 40% off coupon as they are over-priced otherwise.)

Here's our take on Martha's Cheesecloth Spirits:

These are currently residing in my studio closet awaiting their debut. I think these will look great with a blue light cast upon them in our cemetery setting.

Haunt on.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Party Planning Part 5: Progress Report

Is anyone else in a wee bit of a panic? No? Well I am! I've been rushing along trying to finish up the to-do list for this Halloween season and the ever-nagging question of "will I get it all done in time" is hanging over my head. The short answer is no. No I will not get it all done. I'll be ok with that in the end but right now I've not committed to giving up on anything.

I have made some progress. Here's a sneak peak of what I've been working on. I'll go into more detail on the progress throughout the next week or so:

I also took time to survey some of the stash I'll be pulling for The Hollow cemetery. Here's a quick vid as I checked in on some props this weekend.

Haunt on!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shadow Massacre

I hope all of you in Ghoulie land have been working away on your props, decorations and costumes as we are mere days away from September. It's been a busy week here - kids getting adjusted to school, running the cross country team to practice and such but I have found some time for Halloween. This next week I'll post some of the progress.

It's been a week since I last dropped in so we're going to take a break from Ghoulie Tunes today. Instead I have a great video I want to share that I had intended to show last season. This is from my neck of the woods but I wasn't there to witness it. Booooo! I hope it stirs your creativity. Enjoy!

Haunt on!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ghoulie Tunes

What a week. This one was rough as we moved our oldest off to college and our youngest started Junior High. The hardest thing to do is let go, but they are both settling in well.

So, as we head into the weekend, I'm breaking out the ol' record player for another dose of Ghoulie Tunes. I'm in a bit of a haunting mood - I hope it suits you my Ghoulie friends.

Several artists have recorded this song including Mel Torme. I've traced it back as far as 1934 and a recording by Roxy Fox and His Dance Orchestra but I chose this version by Marc Almond. The House Is Haunted:

Next up is this fan made video of Alice Cooper's This House Is Haunted. Love the use of the Corpse Bride - very fitting.

We're going to wrap up this session with this version of Come Little Children from Hocus Pocus by Kate Covington. This is a cover (which I would usually not showcase) but this is beautifully done.

Haunt on!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Movie Magic

I recently had the good fortune to stumble upon an episode of Discovery's Movie Magic. Aired in 1994 and, apparently, not available on DVD this was quite a find. Even after almost two decades since airing, this behind the scenes look at character creation through makeup and appliances is fascinating. Here is episode 1 but be sure to check out all of TylerHaslett's videos to see more in the Movie Magic series along with other wonderful FX videos.

Haunt on!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oh What A Gem Lies Buried Here

In less than one revolving year, 
She was a Maid a Bride a Corpse.
Adorned with every grace, 
& possessing every personal
Charm & mental excellence.

Read more of this amazing headstone on Flickr.

Haunt on!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ghoulie Tunes

It's Friday and that means it's time for a new round of Ghoulie Tunes.

I am sooooooooo in love with this Swedish band! If you haven't heard them yet you are really missing out. The entire Pandora's Pinata album rocks. Here's a sampling...Diablo Swing Orchestra with Exit Strategy Of A Wrecking Ball.

I hang my head in shame. What kind of ghoulish host am I that I have not yet featured a band with the name Monster Magnet who's lead singer wears a light bulb suit? I apologize. I don't know what came over me. Here they are with Space Lord.

Ok, I'll admit that this next song isn't my normal pick but this girl has some pipes. Besides I think you'll enjoy the wacky vid. Check out Jessie J and Nobody's Perfect.

Haunt on!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Magic Of Monsters

This weekend we move our oldest off to college. He'll only be an hour and a half away but life as we know it is about to change. I teeter between excitement for him and pity for me.

In these days that lead up to him going off on his own I find my mind flashing back to various points along the way. His birth...his first day of school...his first Halloween, etc.

This bit of reminiscing has also caused me to revisit my youth. I was a child of privilege. I am a product of the generation that grew up when monsters were cool.

When I first started poking around the Halloween scene online and got to know others of like-mind I was delighted to see that many were in my age range. Oh, sure, there are the young guns out there that get into Halloween but we in our 40's, 50's and 60's were privileged to experience real Halloween magic.

Back in the day the back of many a magazine was littered with advertisements for monsters and other creepy goodness. In the 70's you could send away for your very own 7' tall monster with authentic glow-in-the dark eyes for only $1 (plus a 35¢ postage and handling fee).

picture source: My Monster Memories

How about a Do-It-Yourself Vampire Kit? Just a buck!

There were monster kits:

picture source: Unimonster's Crypt

Monster mags and comics:

And, TV offered Addams Family and The Munsters:

picture source: FanPop

I know that the further we get away from our childhood the more idyllic the memories become. Many of us in this age grew up during war, gas shortages, recession and more ugly stuff, but I still contend that it indeed was a magical time to be a child.

My boys grew up in a completely different monster culture but I made sure that they got a good dose. I hope I've done right by my sons and that one day, in the distant future, they too will feel that their childhood was magical.

Haunt on!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My New Pet Has A Name!

On July 29th I reached out to the ghoulie community and asked if anyone could help name my newest pet. I decided to make it a contest thinking I would just be able to pick one of the names. Alas, the decision was too difficult so I called in some help.

First I printed out the blog avatar from everyone that made a suggestion. I placed them on my old Underwood typewriter for a photo op:

Then I dropped the avatars into my handy, dandy Brain Freeze cup which is carefully guarded by my in-office butler, Gravesly:

I asked Bucky to give me a hand and he did more than that! He gave me his whole arm:

He swished around inside the cup and promptly crawled into my French Flies box waving the winner in the air:

Congratulations to Mike from The Skull & The Pumpkin!

Mike actually had two suggestions for a name:

1. Vespertina
2. Batrick/Batricia (depending on gender)

I'm still not certain if it's a she or a he but I've decided to call her Batricia Vespertina. So, now my "vittle friend" has a first and last name.

Thanks Mike! Be sure to send me your mailing address so I can get you that little something-something.

Haunt on!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ghoulie Tunes

Friday...finally! Time for another round of Ghoulie Tunes.

Let's get this off to a screaming start with Abracadavre by Elena Siegman.

From the album Werewolf Order, Shadow Reichenstein with It's Halloween.

Wrapping it up with a bit of Christian metal. Demon Hunter with Someone To Hate.

Until next time...Haunt on!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flicker Fun

The Lighting FX was a nifty little gadget in to which you could plug your lamps. It came with a CD, or you could use one of your own, and when you set your player near the machine the lights would flicker to the sounds or music.

I own a couple of these and they work pretty well. I don't think they are made any more as we haven't had them in stock for a few years and I often see people inquiring about them in Halloween forums. If you do come across one they usually have a hefty price tag.

If you missed out don't fret. Here's a how-to to make your own similar contraption:

There are also detailed instructions on the website.

P.S. They also made a Christmas version that features a tree instead of the lightning bolt. If you come across one at a yard sale you might want to snag it.

Haunt on!

What A Bunch Of Dummies

Beware the stare of Mary Shaw
She had no children only dolls
And if you see her in your dreams
Be sure to never ever scream
~Dead Silence

If your costume calls for a touch of creepy puppet, check out these ventriloquist dummy Halloween makeup video tutorials:

Haunt on!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

High Spirits

Remember this one? Rented it with the kiddos last night and I'm happy to report that they quite enjoyed it!

Haunt on!

Unfinished Business

Ok ghoulies, I have a bit of unfinished business that's been festering like a two-day-old corpse in the trunk of a car during a Kansas heatwave.

Last October, the delightful and immensely talented, Marilyn of Seeing Things That Aren't Really There blog-fame bestowed upon the Ghoulie Girls the iDig Your Blog Award. I was taking an unscheduled break from blogging but thanked Marilyn and promised to address this honor upon my return. I didn't think I would be gone so long. But I digress...

iDig Your Blog Award Protocol:
1 .) Gratefully accept this award.
2 .) Link to the person you received it from.
3. ) Post 3 interesting facts about yourself.
4 .) Pass this award around to at least 5 blogs you dig.
5. ) Notify them.

First and foremost, thank you, thank you, thank you to Marilyn for this award! I am humbled and honored. I also wish to thank the academy, the director....oh, wait...wrong speech....

Truly - this melted my ghoulish little heart.

Three facts about me that might be interesting...hmmm...

1. I used to work for a cemetery/funeral home. It's not as glamorous as it sounds but I do have a few stories. One involved a gypsy buried in the mausoleum. Every week or so her (living) relatives would visit and leave whiskey, smokes and flowers for her convinced that she would need them in the afterlife. I mean seriously, who doesn't need a good belt and a smoke while haunting up the other side?

Naturally the cemetery couldn't just leave these items lying around so after a day or two someone would be sent in to gather them up. This only fueled the fire as the next visit would bring more of the same. Come to think of it, I don't know what the cemetery did with those items. Someone was surely having a good time.

2. I hate flies. Hate them. Poop walkers I call them. Well, actually I use the other word for poop. They walk on poop and they poop everywhere they land. They gross me out. Disgusting creatures.

The one and only time I saw Breaking Bad was this episode. This scene epitomizes my obsession with being fly-free.

From Breaking Bad:

That is sooooo me.  I once broke the light in my kitchen swatting flies.

3. I have no cats. I know, I pictured me dressed in witchy, gothic, goodness hacking away on my computer while a midnight black cat curled around my ankles. Nope, I have an absolutely useless beagle and a majorly overweight pug.

I did grow up with cats. We had upwards of 50 at one time. No, my parents aren't cat hoarders. I grew up in the country and all but a few were outside kitties. Guess I got my fill of felines.

Now it's my turn to pass on the iDig honor. It's hard to pick just 5 blogs I love but I shall limit it. I bestow the iDig Award to the following:

The Halloween Tree
Wendy has an absolutely wonderful Halloween blog and I try to never miss a post!

Frog On The Pumpkin
Witty with a warped sense of humor. What's not to love?! Oh, and did I mention she's one half of the Davis House???

Halloween Blues
Keeps me up-to-the-minute on all of The Walking Dead news and so much more!

Mr Chicken's Yard Haunt
What a talent! His blog is a visual delight!!

And last, but never, ever least...
The Skull & The Pumpkin
Mike is amazing! I can spend hours on end reading his blog.

Thank you again Marilyn!!!

Haunt on!

Halloween Haven Is Now Open

I realize that I am mildly obsessed with Grandin Road's Halloween Haven and I talk about them a lot. While the items they offer are nice, it's the presentation that I enjoy. They do what other home and decor stores don't - they market Halloween to the extreme.

Not all of their items are unique and, based on some reviews, not all items are well received. In some Halloween circles you'll even find a less than favorable critique about the company for offering look-a-like/knock-offs of haunter created items.

But all of that aside, I do love how they showcase their offerings. From the photo settings to the videos, they bring back a little of the Halloween magic. Whether you buy something or not it's an experience to shop Halloween Haven.

I don't have any inside info but I have to think someone at the top just might be a Halloween freak like us.

Here's a little behind the scenes look:

Here's a taste of what's in store this year:

Haunt on!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nailed It

Haunt on!

Costume Quagmire

Yesterday I went over the basic plan for our 2012 costumes. Why so vague? It's nearly August and I don't have anything definite. Normally by this time my entire costume would be planned out, in progress and set in stone. Panic should be setting in right?

Well, here's the deal... I ain't what I used to be size-wise. Have you ever crossed the path of a mirror and said "who the hell is that?!" only to realize it's your own reflection? Ack!

Size, in of itself, is not the issue as the costume manufacturers finally got a clue and offer a wide range of sizes. Plus, I can sew and conjure up my own. Besides, I don't care what size I am I will always have a Halloween costume. No, that's not it. It's that I don't know what size I will be in come Halloween.

My youngest, Gabe, who will be entering Junior High in just a couple of weeks, informed me this summer that he wanted to run Cross Country. In a spur-of-the-moment, lack of good judgement kind of call I said "Great! I'll train with you!". What ever was I thinking?!

We started a great little program called Couch to 5K. Yes, it involves running. I hate running. I haven't ran on purpose since I was in Junior High. To make matters worse, because I can't do anything half-@ssed, we are running on a the woods...and we've had 28 straight days of 100°+ heat plus humidity. It's dreadful, it's hard, I sweat (eww) and have I mentioned that I hate running?

Apparently there's an up-side to this training. I'm losing weight. Seven pounds in three weeks to be exact. I'm starting to like this running thing.

I'll figure out my costume but I wanted to put a little positive word out there for anyone who may not be comfortable in their own skin. Ok, I realize that that's every woman regardless of size. There is a costume for you! No matter what your size, shape or style there is something and if you can't find it you can make it. Yes, even if you're not crafty you can make your own.

Over time I will try to add to this conversation with finds and ideas that may get your creative costume juices flowing. For today I'm going to show you a little something that's quick and easy.

One of the hottest trends in costumes is tutus. This video shows you how to make a no-sew tutu for a child but it's the same process for adults. You can make it as long or short as you like and in any color you want. (The video shows the waist being made with ribbon but you could also use elastic.)

Now that you know how to make one here are some fun ideas on how to wear it.

This blog features several tutu costumes that she wears for runs but this is one of my faves:

picture source: life's a wheeze

Make the back longer and create something like this:

picture source: Glamtastik

Oh, and for you Ghoulie Guys out there? Yes, you too can wear a tutu:

picture source: Best Race Costumes blog

Haunt on!

Monday, July 30, 2012

If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Pin On It

My BFF Google is green with envy. I have committed the ultimate sin. I've been spending my time with another source for my haunt fix. Pinterest.

I just pinned this:

Isn't it divine?

I wasn't unable to locate the actual, true source for this. A downfall of Pinterest, but we'll still be friends.

Sorry Google.

Haunt on!

Party Planning Part 4: Our Finest Frockery

I don't know about you but I take this costume thing seriously. As I should being a costume retailer and all but it's rare that I shop from my own shop (hell of an advertisement there Marsha). There are some very good off the rack costumes out there and I'm not at all opposed to wearing one, it's just that I really enjoy creating my own.

To keep with our theme as proprietors of The Manor I'm thinking something of a grey ghost lady for me and a sophisticated ghost gent for the hubby.

I've found a few inspiration pics thanks to my BFF Google and my new buddy Pinterest.

For her - The Lady Grey:

Love the hat, the jewels and the shawl here:

picture source: Benjamin's Lure

This is different, an adult, full length tutu. Hmmmm, there are some possibilites here:

picture source: MirelaOlariu on Etsy

Love the makeup, simple enough for a busy hostess to pull off:

picture source: Ziaria on DeviantArt

I like this wild and crazy hair example, or perhaps I'll just stuff my hair under a hat?:

picture source: A Goth Hipster

For him - Master Smith:

I have several tux tailcoats so I'm thinking about just doing a little tweaking to one of those. For example, I love the cuffs on this:

picture source: Tansy Firedragon's blog

I also love the hat and found this great little how-to to pull off something similar:

picture source: Badia on Instructables 

A pair of black dress pants, shoes and some pale makeup should complete the look for Master Smith.

How will this all turn out? Honestly, I have no idea but as soon as I find out I'll let you know!

Haunt on!
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