We followed them on line and were impressed on how great they could make cardboard look (we mean that as a compliment!) in their yard haunt. The amount of work the two of them put into their display is more than admirable. We are quite impressed.
Then one day I finally got to reading more about their haunt and found they were located in Temecula California. Means nothing to most of you, but it seriously made husband and I laugh. Why? Temecula is very close to where we used to live in California when we worked on our haunt over 20 years ago.
Must be something going on down their that fosters haunters....maybe something in the avocados! :) (Temecula used to be mostly avocado groves when we lived there....now they have wine....great, after I leave they make wine. I mean I like avocados and all but, wine is better. Life is not fair.)
We stopped laughing and started crying when we realized that they were not even born when we were haunting.....yes, I am old, damn, when did that happen!!!
So I contacted them on facebook and did a bit of chatting about our favorite subject, Halloween, and was delighted to learn that they were coming up for the West Coast Haunters Convention!! Woohoo!!!
We met them at the convention and I have to say they are the coolest guys...and really charming, and funny and seriously dedicated to haunting. What is not to like. I even got the chance to introduce them to Brian and Nick Wolfe......famous haunter twins....meet the soon to be famous haunt twins :D
We invited them up to the Graveyard for a party with some of the convention attendees and they brought me a bottle of champagne......how cool is that. I mention that I like champagne and they brought me some....and they are thoughtful too. Man, their parents must be proud :)
They brought their photo albums and showed their pictures to everyone. We were all impressed on how creative they are. We had a great time visiting and I sent them on their way with a few foam skulls - cause no one leaves the graveyard empty handed :D
I have been following them on facebook and noticed last week that they started video blogging...so fun. The two about the garage sales are my personal favorites.
It is official, after 20 years of living in our house and sharing an office....it is over
I sent husband to the basement. :)
Well, not exactly sent, he went willingly, I think he was just as tired as I am of sharing the same office.
So we worked on converting one of the store rooms in the basement to an shiny new office for him. He currently has the nicest room in the house, all the wiring is new, it has insulation and regular walls (lath and plaster walls are evil). I would say that I am jealous, except that this gives me my own office.....an office that I can keep clean and tidy and paint any color I want.
As much as I say I want my own office I am sure I will miss having him right there to talk to...and I am sure he is going to take his Universal monster statue collection with him.....I kinda like those :D
So now that he is "Basement Husband" - does that make Hal a "basement cat"? :D
"No." (Darn I was hoping he had been hiding his sculpting talent from me all these years!)
Husband foolishly asks "if I can live with it the way it is?"
I married him for his amazing sense of humor :D
Well, this sucks....how about if we take a foam wig head, buy the expensive expanding foam and cast it a few times until we get something that is twice the size and has a face.
Cool! We order a male wig head.....but then I find the cost for the expanding foam...ouch, you have got to be kidding....really, that is really expensive? I bet we could have artist carve us a head out of foam for less than that.
Just an note that just like our talented Dan who thinks that rare earth magnets can solve any problem....husband feels the same way about Smooth On products.....the answer to most life's mysteries lies in their catalog. :D
So, we go back and forth on this for a while and then one of our very talented friends - Scott, AKA Extremo the Clown - who is friends with the artist that did the new video for the talking head, stops by to chat.
He is a very talented artist and sculptor, so we tell him or our dilemma and see if he has a solution.
We hook up the video projector and show him what our problem is......He says "Do you have some clay?"
You have never seen frog queen and husband move so fast to find our box of modeling clay. :D
We bring it to him like an offering and he starts working. As we see what he is up to we feel really, really stupid.
We really should have thought of this......
The great thing about Scott is that he is one of the most generous and supportive artist we know. Not only is he making the face for us, but he is explaining how he is doing it and how easy it will be for us to do. Super cool guy!
And...since we like sharing too - here is the super simple way to make a face on a flat surface
Just project the face that you are wanting to match to on the surface you want to "carve" the face. Watch where the primary facial features land on the surface, nose, eyes and lips.
Take some clay and start with the nose. Just put clay on the surface where the nose is showing up from the projector and smooth out a simple nose that is the shape of the person in the video.
Do the same for the lips - make them similar to the shape of the person in the video. Even if the lips are mostly moving...just shape out a non smiling mouth.
For the eyes, he suggests that you start with the eyebrows, shape those and then build up the around the eye area to create the socket space for the eyes.
That is is. I am not over simplifying it....it is really that easy - took him less than 10 minutes.
Sorry, no pictures, I was in too much awe watching him to grab the camera :)
Then if you are Scott, you put that cute little curly thing at the top of the head :D If you have seen his work, you would understand. :)
Then, since we could not leave the clay on the face, husband cast a one time use (cheap) plaster of paris mold of the front of the head where he molded the face. Then he poured a copy from expanding foam. Broke the mold to get it out and then cut the "alien" head down and glued the cast face on.
You can also (and likely what we will do next time) is use the air dry crayola clay to shape the features and just leave it on the face and then cover over it. That will eliminate having to make a mold. I then took texture paint and painted the whole thing to cover up the seams. The texture paint also helps with the project as that the smooth marble like surface shows flaws and makes it very obvious when the face does not line up correctly.
Having features on the bust not only keeps it from looking like an alien, but it makes the video projection look great on the bust even from the side. You can really tell here how molding the face to match the actor makes a huge difference.
Frog Queen....did you skip something....did that video appear out of thin air?
Oh, yeah, I will ask husband for help on explaining that one......check back soon.
One last picture....here is one of Scott's "art cars" - he parked it in our driveway one Halloween, that face on the back is a fountain that he filled with red water just for us. I told you he was a cool guy.
do today is post some pictures that I took of my garden shed about the same time I took the picture of my new work area. This is my potting bench area directly to the right of my frog queen follies area.......
this is where the garden magic is born...I know, not nearly as interesting as the Halloween stuff....but a girl has to diversify....at least a bit. And I do have lots of pumpkins and skeletons in my garden, so that is Halloween related? Right? Kinda, sort of....does that count? :D
Should be back to normal blog posts on Friday.....wasn't I going to talk about projections? Yeah, I better start collecting that information....might have husband guest blog on a few of those....since he is a primary part of those features.
Oh, tandem blogging....this could be fun, or the end of my marriage, lets give it a try shall we?
is the Frog Queen sick....but her kitties are not doing so well. :(
My "kittens" yes, I know they are almost 3 years old....but they are younger than Hal....so....anyway....just details.....they had to have some major dental work, looks like a genetic problem .....poor things.
Anyway....I have a big tuxedo cat (Mason 16 lbs) and his very small sister (Dorie 8 lbs) wandering around the house bumping into walls, falling asleep randomly and looking pathetic because they are on major pain medication for a few days.
Normally, when my cats fall down the stairs it is funny. I chuckle (after I check for broken bones), likely they were chasing something and then tumbled down in their cute adorable way and look at you like
"What? I so meant to do that."
Now they trip down the stairs and look at you like.....
"Was I at the top of the stairs a moment ago?
(they blink with glassy eyes.....)
Where there always stairs there?.....
.....Really? What evil force created those?
Do I live here?
....I think I am hungry, can you feed me some food out of the can?........because.....what teeth I have left hurt so I could not possibly eat that dry crunchy stuff...
...I think I need to nap....right now....right here.......zzzzzzzz......"
Because the frog queen is an evil person.....on the inside.....I am laughing ....I just feel really, really, really guilty :D
Like I say...everyday I get up polish that halo, and balance it nicely on top of my horns and get on with the day......
A few of you look surprised! You guys crack me up!!! :D
over a Pumpkinrots blog about projections. Showed lots of interesting ideas, not something I need more of :D
We love projection effects, they are very cool, we use them....a lot. They are how all the ghosts in the graveyard are created. So it got me thinking....how many do we have now?
The whole yard set up is kind of a whirlwind...and I just know "what we have" not how much of anything...except I know that we have 62 tombstones...yeah, that is a ^&*% lot of tombstones...but I digress.
So let's count the projection effects from oldest to newest.
talking head....the one that started it all
ghost in the crypt (definitely the centerpiece of the display)
ghost in the church (she replaced the FCG a few years ago)
preacher ghost coming out of the front door (my favorite)
ghost children in the back of the yard (added 2009)
that is five projectors and players that have to be set up and taken down each night (usually in the rain)....no wonder set up is so stressful! :D
And in 2010 we are adding one more effect...six projectors - yes we are insane.
Our most requested seminar is the ghost effects one, and since we get a lot of questions about that effect, I will spend the next week or so giving you details on each of the separate ghosts, their beginnings, how they work and our plans for the future.
you will find just by cleaning! Who knew that in my garden room I had room for a workbench for my Halloween Frog Queen follies!!!
Just like husband and I not working well in the same office, that also goes for the workshop.
Since the shop it technically his, I really don't have a whole lot of pull on how the space should be organized or the condition (although that does not stop me from constantly trying to clean and organize it!)
I have been trying to work on a few frog queen follies, but have found that working in the same space as husband I am always "in the way". So when we were moving some shelves out of the basement into my garden room for storage. I was able to make a whole work area for me to make some of my frog queen follies that are too messy to do in the house. Woohoo!!!
There is already a cue of projects that I need to work on....I am so excited!!!
Husband I love each other very much, but after years of sharing the same room as an office for the both of us, we are going our separate ways....office wise :D We are remodeling a room in the basement for his office. We have been tearing out and rebuilding for the last few weeks. A big part of this project was getting rid of truck loads of stuff that we have been collecting for over 20 years....some of it I sold on ebay (I have a few boxes more to get to) and the rest of it....well, it made our local Goodwill very happy :D
I promise to stay out of his office new and not clean it, no matter how bad it gets, and he promises to quit rolling his eyes every time I say that I am moving a Halloween prop into my office in the off season. :)
Hopefully by the end of this month we will have our own separate offices and a happier marriage :)
First of all - BIG kudos to Ed at the Oregon School for the Deaf and the Nightmare Factory Haunt (in the school) for putting on this amazing first year event. It was small, but it was the first year and I think the event went rather well all in all. I know how difficult it is to put on something like this and I think he (and a few helpers) did great. Really looking forward to next year.
Guy from House Bloodthorn -he is the artistic genius behind the Hauntcast site and the revamp of ShellHawk's blog (and I think Johnny Thunder also - even a rumor he might do the Haunters Video Award site....someday :D ) and resurrector of the Ms Rose haunt from Skull and Bones. He is always a kick to hang with and he got to take his trophy home for the Vanguard Yard Haunt (even though it did not have a plaque...yet.)
John Barrowman from EFX TEK - unfortunately a week before Amber (his new bride) broke one of her ribs so she could not make the flight from Tennessee - which is sad because she is a lot of fun! (I believe Jon Williams was at the Makers Fare in CA.) It was fun to catch up with him and buy a few things.....I believe Jeff even talked him out of a prototype AP16 board :) He plans to replace the controller for the hearse driver with this card because it has amplified audio on the board.
Chad from Chateau Grrrrr - Fun people and we met them at HAuNTcon a few years ago and always love hanging with them. They have a great site with all kinds of haunting resources. Check it out when you get a chance and be sure to register your haunt - for free!!
Cory and Troy (and meet their crew) I mentioned that we met them at the last HAuNTcon we attended and became fast friends. It was great to talk to them and catch up....if everything works out as planned, they will head back up here on weekend to attend one of our classes!
Darkwing Manor, Tim & Tina and Cliff & Jen - we always love seeing them...even if we were heading down to their end of the planet the following weekend :D I hear that Cliff had a lot to do with the WCHC, so kudos to him also.
Hello and you would be.......
(we got to meet some great people)
Ed (who put on the event) - great guy. Cannot say enough nice things about him. His heart is really into haunting, how can you not admire someone like that! He is doing this for us haunters, but mostly for the kids at his school....awesome.
Jody from Haunted Night - It is always a bit odd to meet someone who owns a professional haunt that goes out of their way to meet us. "Really? You know who we are?" :D Always takes me by surprise. He is a great guy and if you have a haunt in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to register it on his site.
The crew from the new company Ethereal FX, a company that makes these very cool lighting controllers. They use the EFX-TEK boards in the controller....so of course, husband bought one. One of the guys in the company actually lives not that far from us, so when we told him were to come for the party that night.....he knew exactly where to find us :)
We finally met Nick Collins.....even though we felt like we already knew him...I think he felt the same. We have these mutual friends, you might have heard me mention them a few time - Bad Boys Scenic Design :D Anyway, Nick has been around the haunt industry forever and does the most amazing faux and scene painting. It was great to finally meet the genius in person :) Seriously, friends, this guy just oozes talent..... :)
The Bloodshed Brothers. These super cool guys hail close to our old stomping grounds in California, that is actually a little weird for us. :D They brought their photo albums and we had a great time showing them to everyone and seeing how creative they are. These are haunters to watch my haunt friends.....
We had an inpromtu party at the Graveyard on Saturday night with many people from the convention and some of our crew even made it over to meet some of the vendors and friends.
It was a great event and we are looking forward to helping out next year if Ed wants us to :)
over my head for way too long. I am so glad these are finally taken care of! I could tell you the whole long story of why the Haunters Video Awards are going out so late....but it is really boring and just one silly situation after another :)
But yesterday the awards were dropped off at the post office and are on their way out to the winners. We sent John at Haunted Attraction Magazine the list of winners, so all the winners should also be getting their one year subscription starting with the next issue.
that there could ever be a show on TV that I would have to watch, but if this guy wins, it just might happen.
Apparently Oprah is having some contest where she is asking people about ideas for hosting their own show. And you guessed it, there is a guy out here pitching a show about haunting. It looks something like a haunt off kinda of competition. Sounds like all kinds of fun.
Although it looks a bit out of my league (the Graveyard is not really a haunt and if I win I rather have my choice of stuff from a hardware store than a decoration warehouse) but it looks like it would be fun to watch. And I am all over supporting anything that promotes decorating for Halloween! (The more the merrier I say!)
The guy has a great idea and it really looks like his heart is in it. And you cannot tell me that it would not be a kick to see haunters compete - imagine all the inspiring things we would see.
reading tarot cards since ....well, I a long time. I have several decks, but I would not call myself a collector, I like to be personally attached to them in some way. Just another one of those frog queen follies.
Although it is not a set of cards, when I heard that Chris (brilliant name) over and Designs by CK had created a book of his set of major arcana cards, called Halloween Tarot Dreams I had to get myself one.....and another as a gift for my door prize give away at our Halloween party.
If as an artist you wonder if it is a good idea to participate in those giveaways, the answer is yes. I won one of his pieces a couple years ago and I have since become a fan and now I have a small collection of his work in my office!
His work shows his talent and his tremendous heart. And as in my tradition, I am changing out my Etsy link to his store. Hop on over and check it out.
find someone as crazy as yourself. Just to let you know that you are not alone on the planet and those other normal people are really missing out on having friends like ShellHawk. :)
We (husband and I) got the great privilege of hosting Shell when she came up for the West Coast Haunters Convention. (I know this post is really late.) Let me tell you a secret.....she is just as cool in person as she is on her blog...actually, even cooler, if that is possible :D
We started the weekend having way too much wine at our favorite wine bar Wine:30 in our little downtown Milwaukie, then we gave her a quick tour around the house and headed off to bed so we could get going to the convention Friday morning. Since husband had to work, Shell and I braved it alone on Friday. Yeah, that has trouble written all over it.
BTW - this woman knows how to present herself at a convention....wow, never felt so plain before . . . . wait, yes, I have, every time I hang around my friend Macy....but that is another story :D She has "uniforms" as she calls them, yeah, girl, I wore "uniforms" when I was in school, those are not uniforms....those outfits are fantastic!!!
We got down and found the Hauntcast booth and let me tell you, she can really set up a vendor booth, Chris - you were done proud by the lady, the Hauntcast and Chateau Grrrrr (also friends of the Graveyard) had the best looking booths in the show. Side by side, they made the rest of the vendors look very sad :D
I also got the pleasure of meeting Chris Aype personally....he is trouble, let me tell you....nothing but trouble. (And you all know how I like trouble :D )
If things did not already look good enough.....Guy from House Bloodthorn arrived with his very cool reaper prop and some mood lighting and make Hauntcast the booth to see. After the show on Friday we headed out and went to dinner with Shelly and got to learn that we are really scary alike.....I think husband was worried and very relieved that we lived so far apart from each other.
Can you imagine us working together???!!! Hee, when husband reads this he will be saying "no way" in his head....I know he will. :)
She was also very gracious in helping me set up an impromptu party at the Graveyard on Saturday. We met up with some old friends, new friends and vendor friends. We had the heater and fire going trying to keep warm (love Oregon in May)watched some of the home haunt DVDs and had drinks and good conversation....she even stayed up and cleared up a bit after we headed off to bed. How sweet is that!
She changed her plans and stayed at the Graveyard one more night (she was going to stay with Guy, but her stuff was already with us....so it was just easier is she stayed put.) She let me keep her up sharing one of my favorite BBC sitcoms Black Books....I am sure if she was not so sleepy she would have like it more. :D I need to send her a copy.
We traded wine from our favorite local wineries and I purchased some of her lovely pumpkins and gave her a collection of Davis Graveyard swag and said goodnight. She was gone before we got up....she was sweet enough to send me a text that she made it safe and sound. I kinda miss hanging with her :(
on my mind, even though it is not even remotely horror/Halloween related....I have to share. I would not so much call this a movie review...as me venting because I feel like I am in some kind of nightmare. Seriously......
.....I do not, for the life of me, get all the hoopla about Avatar.....if one more person tells me how "great" that movie is....I am going beat them with my copy of Princess Mononoke. :)
call the vendor that does the plaque printing for both my work and the Davis Graveyard and give him a (in jest) piece of my (admittedly rather small) mind because our plaques for the awards I ordered 3 weeks ago were not done.
I call, no answer, just his voice mail....hummmmm, never got that before. That is odd.
Don't want to be funny on an answering machine, cause we all know how that could easily be misunderstood :) I leave him a short message asking if he has gotten a chance to work on my order and to give me a call. I then get distracted with the West Coast Haunters Convention.
Before I go I remember that he has not called me and now I am getting a bit irritated and give him another call. I was going to say - forget the order, I will find another person...when I find that I cannot leave a message because his mailbox is full......
....irritation suddenly turns to concern. The guy in question is a retired and works out of his house not too far from our neighborhood....I worry a bit knowing how old he is I think that maybe something might have happened to him. :(
(I have an overactive imagination . . . I know, huge suprise :D )
I suddenly feel very bad about the thoughts I was thinking and breathe a sigh of relief that I did not leave a unhappy message on the machine....if something awful had happened...can you imagine his family listening to the messages and hearing a crazy lady wondering where the heck her stuff was.
Can't spend more time on this - Shellhawk is arriving for the convention in a few days. I put the box of awards under my desk. Out of sight, out of mind.
When I get back, I have an email from one of the winners asking where his award is.
Funny side note here. Husband works from home and usually answers most of the emails that come to the Graveyard....except ones like this. If you write to complain or ask that we make you something....he leaves those for me. Thanks husband :D
I feel really bad and send him an email apologizing and telling him that I am having a problem with the vendor and I will get something worked out ASAP. Feel bad about the whole thing and don't blame him if he thinks....who are these Davis Graveyard losers? :D
I am now thinking that I need to find a new vendor - which will slow things down more and also wonder what did happen to my plaque guy. Before I give it up I will give him one more call......
......you can imagine my relief when he answers the phone!
He tells me that he has been really busy and had some problems with his phone, but he will get working on them for me right away.
Relieved that my concerns were for not, I tell him that is fine and I understand how these things go. If he can get to them by Friday that will work for me.
So although the award winners may be a bit unhappy . . . . . I am delighted that Andy is doing fine and still making plaques out of his basement. Life is good.
Hum, that is a good question. I have been busy lately, but I have been busier before and managed to blog. The truth is that I have not been too fond of my posts lately, not that I am a great writer or all that entertaining, but I just don't like what I am writing. Usually I can make almost any situation laughable. Lately not so much so. Have a lot of things that I need to get done, most importantly, must get those haunter awards out...I can not tell the winners enough how sorry I am that they are late. The whole process this year has been one delay after another - so this current one, although no surprise to me....just adds to the whole situation that from the outside makes it look like Davis Graveyard has dropped the ball....partly true. Stuff happens, really, in the grand scheme of things....this is the little stuff.
(I just made myself LOL - I can say that because we did not win an award, I can remember our first (actually second) award* and I thought it was a pretty big deal . . . . I can hear all the award winners saying....."little" are you calling my winning an award little? LOL! Not at all - congrats to all of you! :D )
I also likely owe half of your something in the mail (I promise Ghoul Friday your package will go out today!!!) and I apologize to the rest of you, packages will go out soon!!
Hope to have my end of the world in a better state by the end of the weekend. Notice I said better state....I gave up on "caught up", "finished", "done" and all those type of descriptions long ago..."better than..." is about my speed these days.
*first award was given to us 5 or so years ago by a little boy and his mother. It is our favorite...but that is another blog post. :)