Sunday, May 29, 2011

Should we go to

Savavah for new years eve? Some friends we were just there brought me back all these brochures to try to convince me :D

Looks at all the ghosts walks!!

Looks like a lot of fun!
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

I am curious

What props are you building this weekend?  I know that I am taking the weekend off - since I helped build 20+ tombstones, ten of those cool book, skull and candle props....and it seems there was something else......

...oh yeah, we build a graveyard in a day :D


So I am sitting this one out.  But I would love to hear what everyone else is up to.  What Halloween projects are you working on this holiday weekend?

I should give this way

before the year is over.

This is a perfect example of how distracted I am, I meant to give these items away - months ago.  Really I did.

Better late than never?!?


Here is an exclusive Davis Graveyard calendar* that is only given to the crew and select minions of the graveyard.  And a set of Marci Brandt's Davis Graveyard prints.

I will draw a winner on Thursday - June 2.  Just leave a comment on this post to enter.  I will ship anywhere in the world.

*warning not all holidays on the calendar are accurate....FQ learned not to design a calendar after midnight!  I want to clearly state that I am not responsible for your losing your job because you thought a specific day was a "holiday".  Basically use at your own risk.

I am headed out of town

for a long weekend, so you guys will get a reprieve from the LOLcats.

This is the last one for a while.



For those of you thinking....cool, the FQ is out of town, I can come help myself to some tombstones.....besides having to fight Hal the guard cat (trust me,he is pretty attached to those Halloween props)....and the alarm system....we have house sitters.  I hope they finish remodeling the basement or pressure wash the fence while I am gone :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I admit that I am a snob

when it comes to "The Ring" movie(s) - I just loved the original (Ringu) soooo much better than the US version (and one of the few times that I liked a movie better than the book).....anyway - still found this to be a brilliant LOLcat.

funny pictures - U HAD  7 DAiZ
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Looks like I might be on another LOLcat roll....you have been warned.


I find this an insult

to my rather well publicized archonophobia.

This commercial is ridiculous!



I fear spiders, admittedly more than most, and I would never mistake a picture on a phone on a table in the middle of the day for a real spider. (and a tarantula at that....not common in most areas....why would there be one on a table in a fancy restaurant?)

And if I would not freak out, and trust me I hate those little buggers, then I think the girl in the commercials reaction warrants special medical treatment or a course of medication.

And the guy wacking the spider?  Really, you would take your shoe off in a resturant to kill a spider.  You too, sir, are just being stupid.  Told husband if he ever did this I would leave him standing the restaurant and take a cab home.

I gusess I should be happy.... their reaction makes me look sane.  Okay, so sane is probably not the right word....I just had to type it here because that is the only time that me and "sane" will be used in the same sentence.

Truth of the matter it is just a poorly written/directed piece of ad work.

It is just lame.

BTW - I do for a fact, know that, this in fact, is a commerial and these are not real people.  The real person that needs a talking to is the non-acrhonophobe that made this commerial.  It was uncreative and simplistic - how did you get into marketing in the first place?  And I am guessing that you did not test market the ad (to save money) or you did and your cousin owns the test market firm and loves all your work....especially the business you send his/her way.)

Listen, if you are going to use a spider in a commercial,  that make it a small creepy spider that is crawling acrros the screen, at a quick glance I might mistake that for a real spider.  Maybe...if I did not have my glasses on and I had had a few glasses of wine....maybe.

Fail to Samsung - I will likely never buy one of your phones.

Where was this excuse when I was a kid?


I actually took a hatch to an ottoman when I was a kid (only one swing).  Not that my parents would have bought this excuse...but it would have made for a funny story :D

To my defense.....the ottoman was really, really ugly.



Monday, May 23, 2011

Been too long without an LOLcat

See....I even put LOLcat in the title so that all the LOLcat haters can skip this post. See I can be nice when I really try!

Speaking of black cats....how on earth did I miss that there is an animated version of "The Price" in the works.

Really?!?  That is my FAVORITE Neil Gaiman story.

If you have never read it or have never heard Neil tell the tale himself.  Check it out on Last FM.

Looking forward to it.


Who do I have to

kill/sleep with/pay off/make cupcakes for to get blogger to stop this nonsense:

Seriously people.....I am way to popular to only have 300 blog friends! :D

http://www.shadowmanor.com/blog/You are already following the maximum number of Blogs (300). Unfollow some other blogs first.


"Unfollow some other blogs first" - Really?  That is your answer.  And that....even on a good day is a poor answer to a problem.  

I am not going to go through the proccess of writing down the first 100 accounts, unfollowing them all and then adding the few non-Blogger blogs - and then following all my Blogger friends again....took me a month to do that last time....and I think I lost a few followers because they thought I stopped following them.

Come on, whom ever is coding this stuff....just add another "0" and make it 3,000. Thank you very much!

LOL!


You have to start somewhere

and we learned years ago to start with a model when it comes to big projects.  Anyone that has been to our open houses or some of our classes might be familiar with our foam core model collection.

They are very crude and simple, but they serve to teach us a valuable lesson on several levels.

First - how many sheets/panels will we need.  In this model we have about 40 (and this is just phase one)

Second - costing - we can get a general idea of what the supply costs will be.

Third - How it is going to look in place

Fourth - We get a general idea of how we are going to build it.

Fifth - this Halloween stuff bores the cats to death....or at least to napping.  You can see my cat Dor sleeping on my sweater on the table...as you can see she looks very interested :D

BTW - Yes, the Home Haunter Video Awards are in!
(Mike from Ghostride dropped them at our booth at West Coast Haunters Convention) Waiting for the plaques to show and we will get them mailed out.

BTW - again - we are currently out of stock on the Home Haunter DVD collections.  We are going to wait to order additional copies until we get more orders....so the wait time on shipping will now be closer to two weeks.

Oh, for anyone that is confused.....we are replacing the existing church facade with a ruined abbey - this is phase one of a multi year plan....and yes....we did learn another lesson from this model. We are indeed crazy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I have many, many things I could

say to go with this picture.

But to be safe I am just going to say......WANT!!

funny food photos - Cthulhu Weenies
see more My Food Looks Funny

.....wait, that still sounds kinda bad.....should have left this one alone.

Happy sunny Friday everyone!

:D

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The word "zombie" is mentioned

several times....so I am going to count this as a Halloweenish post.

Here are some "Tips for the Rapture"

For those of you who have been living under a tombstone....the world is ending on Saturday :D


• rapture tip #1. Do not drink any Kool-Aid if you did not prepare it yourself.
• rapture tip #2. Disregard any “rapture” churches which ask you to agree to yearly contributions or have pamphlets detailing summer events.
• rapture tip #3. When spaceships begin to appear in the sky, do not flee to L.A. Tom Cruise and Will Smith are actors and cannot help you.
• rapture tip #4. If you feel inclined to give away your worldly possessions ... please contact me, I can definitely help you with that.
• rapture tip #5. Do not approach zombies even if you know them. That is not your Aunt Edna and she doesn’t want a hug ... she wants your brains.
• rapture tip #6. Protocol is to run screaming into the streets and get hit by cars. This is post-rapture population control for the rest of us.
• rapture tip #7. Post-apocalyptic concert will be held at Sazerac in Asheville. Bouncers will be stopping zombies at the door. Please bring your pulse.
• rapture tip #8. Concert is free, but you must know all lyrics to REM’s “End of the World.” Just shouting “Leonard Bernstein” is not acceptable.
• rapture tip #9 Rosanne Cash will be headlining our concert. : ) All reports that Elvis will be performing are false ... at this time.
• rapture tip #10. Mark Wahlberg may make an appearance with The Funky Bunch if we can ascertain that hell has indeed frozen by concert time.
• rapture tip #11. Once again ... DO NOT DRINK ANY KOOL-AID YOU HAVE NOT PREPARED YOURSELF. And also avoid the brown acid. Dude, seriously.
• rapture tip #12. Do not listen to any “preachers” who insist god is talking directly to them. God only talks to me ... and Steve Martin.
• rapture tip #13. To fully prepare yourself for life without power, gas or computers, please obtain a copy of The Amish Guide to Living.
• rapture tip #14. Please note The Amish Guide to Living is not available for the Kindle or Sony Reader. It is only compatible with the Nook.
• rapture tip #15. It is not acceptable to enslave an Amish person post-rapture, any more than it is acceptable to own a Canadian.
• rapture tip #16. U.S. currency and electronic devices will not be useful post-rapture. keep this in mind when writing out your “to-loot” list.
• rapture tip #17. Not everyone is aware U.S. currency will be worthless. Keep this in mind when directing others to the “best looting places.”
• rapture tip #18. Please form orderly lines when setting riot bonfires. Matches will be a rarity in a few months. Let’s try to conserve them.
• rapture tip #19. If you find yourself in a building during the Apocalypse, exits will be located ... pretty much everywhere.
• rapture tip #20. Now is the time to buy stock in Kool-Aid, just make sure you cash out and purchase livestock on May 20 or you’re screwed.
• rapture tip 21. Bunkers should not be made of biodegradable materials. People, this is not the time to go green.
• rapture tip 22. Make sure to have marshmallows on hand. When the world explodes it’s going to be one hell of a fire.
• rapture tip 23. Repeat after me, “Screw you, Grandma, you’re not getting into my bunker without your own provisions.”
• rapture tip 24. Forget the golden rule. The rapture means never having to say you’re sorry.
• rapture tip 25. For heaven’s sake bring extra can openers into your bunker.
• rapture tip 26. Do not approach Paul McCartney or Elvis ... we have still not determined if either are alive or will be returning as zombies.
• rapture tip 27. When looting don’t forget Burgess Meredith in Twilight Zone ... steal extra pairs of glasses.
• rapture tip 28. Gather up as many pets as possible to keep in your bunker. 2 feet good, 4 feet bad.
• rapture tip 29. Remember, that which does not kill you must make you stronger than your neighbor, unless you have firearms.
• rapture tip 30. Essential bunker reference materials: The Lord of the FliesAnarchist’s Cookbookand The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
• rapture tip 31. If you forget everything else, remember ... soylent green is people.
• rapture tip 32. The old adage is true ... you don’t have to run fast, just faster than the guy who was ahead of you.
• rapture tip 33. It is perfectly acceptable to scream like a little girl when approached by a gang of zombies. It isn’t helpful, but it is acceptable.
• rapture tip 34. Sacrificing virgins is a pagan ritual, this particular god won’t be swayed by a screaming, bikini-clad co-ed.
• rapture tip 35. Watching the “Thriller” video is not zombie research just as watching “E.T.” will not prepare you for dealing with our alien overlords.
• rapture tip 36. Eternity is a hell of a long time ... bring playing cards and condoms.
• rapture tip 37. Do not kill other people when looting and rioting this will only increase the zombie population.
• rapture tip 38. People, please remember, DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!
• rapture tip 39. Do not get into a handbasket unless you are confident you are ready to go to hell.
• rapture tip 40. If you are “taken” on Saturday, it is considered uncouth to shout “I told you so” to those left behind.
• rapture tip 41. The “left behind” movie series is not factually accurate. do not take orders from kirk cameron.
• rapture tip 42. If you find yourself face to face with a group of zombies, do not yell “eat me” ... they don’t understand sarcasm.
• rapture tip 43. All our handbaskets are eco-friendly and will explode at the shores of the River Styx. Please exit quickly.
• rapture tip 44. Truism: that which does not kill you won’t really matter after Saturday.
• rapture tip 45. Please keep hands and feet in the handbasket until we reach hell ... oh, never mind.
• rapture tip 46. Please refrain from smoking while in the handbasket ... unless you are on fire.
• rapture tip 47. There is no food allowed in the handbaskets, so please do not share your basket with a zombie.
• rapture tip 48. Raid will not kill the swarms of locusts, although recent testing indicates that Axe Body Spray will disintegrate them.
• rapture tip 49. Your best chance of survival is the buddy system. Please, if you become a zombie, do not eat your buddy.
• rapture tip 50. If you do not own firearms, make sure to locate a god-fearing neighbor who does.
• rapture tip 51. Do not feed the stallions which are carrying the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. You don’t want to piss off death.
• rapture tip 52. On Oct. 21 the world will explode. Do not bend over and kiss your ass good-bye ... it just looks stupid.
• rapture tip 53. Everybody, say it with me ... DO NOT DRINK THE KOOL-AID! : )

Now that the conventions are over

Thank goodness!

We can focus on our own display.  Every year we make a list of things that need to be done over the summer and send it out to the crew to see who wants to help with which project.

Just to give you a glimpse inside....here is the email we sent to the crew:


Now that we are done with conventions we are talking a weekend off and catching up around the house then going to Ashland for an extended Memorial Day Weekend.   When we get back we will be ready to get started on the projects for the year. 

Our big project will be to design and build a replacement for the Abby fa├žade.   The new one will be bigger, free standing in the driveway and be more detailed.  It will hide the patio fence and the shop and look more like ruins. At least that’s the plan.  But besides this big project there are a few little things we also want to get done.



Re-film the horse video
Fix the footsteps effect including adding a new audio card
Make 6-10 new tombstones
Replace the wooden blocks on the LED lights with something that will last longer
Build another TOT
Repair the mausoleum
Add details to the existing tombstones
Rebuild the eternal flame monument
Fix the spider eyes
Re-film the mausoleum video
Improve the quality of the Margie video
Create a new video for mud-o-vision
Repair mud-o-vision
Repair flicker light box
Re-film cathedral video and place in new structure
Build an audio box to replace the PC for sound.
Experiment with foam coatings
Create a easier to use web gun
repair the angel sword
Rebuild donation box guys
blinky eyes need repairing
work on driver...as usual

See, no rest for the wicked!  I gotta go...I have a lot to do!! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still going backwards

I should be posting about WCHC - but I still have not posted much about HAuNTcon.

Here is a photo from, after the fact, seemed to be our most popular class.

Stacked books, skull and candle.



We dropped the ball on advertising this and did not provide a sample.  If we would have had one on the table, probably would have sold out the class.  Many, many people stopped by and went "wow, if I had known....."  Live and learn.

Thanks to all the students that made it through the class - we had a few hiccups with the hotel - but we finally made it through.  Details to follow.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I have to say one thing

I had a great time this weekend....I did.  I loved it all. Thank you to everyone I spent time with and please do not take the next few lines to any way reflect how much fun we had hanging with you!

But husband and I said many, many times that it was just not the same without Shellhawk.  My friend....you have to come next year!!!

We missed you soooooo much. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When she asked the question

I thought about just making something up....because if I tell her what is really happening, she might give me a psych referral :D

I went to the doctor today to check my blood pressure - it gets a bit low sometimes - but today it over normal and close to high.

"Is anything stressing you out?"

"Just busy" - I say (hoping it ends there)  But I know it won't she asks lots of questions.

"So what is going on in your life?"

"Just events at work and some conventions." (Please don't ask about the conventions!)

No such luck!

"What kind of conventions?"

In my head just lie and say something work related and boring like at "banking" convention - trust me, those are boring on an epic scale.  And not at all stressful unless you are like me and worry about falling asleep during a presentation! :D

But I say, "Halloween decorating conventions"

"Wow, really?  What are those?"

So I go on to explain what we do and why we do conventions....she pulls up our website on her laptop and does the oohs and aaahs.....and then calls one of the nurses who also loves Halloween....before I know it her office is full of staff....(I hope the patients are alright) - asking me all kinds of questions.

See.....this is how I get stressed :D

Anyway, I think there will be a few extra attendees this weekend and that I had to write the details of the convention on back of my business card for several of the staff that want to come.

....only the Frog Queen can turn a 10 minute doctor visit into a 45 minute visit that has almost nothing to do with my health......I am just so creative that way! :D

Sorry to all the patients that had longer than usual wait times.....and to all the people I passed in the waiting room on my way to the car.  Sorry - you needed the extra time to catch up on magazine articles from 6 months ago anyway.

We are going to start at the end

Monday - May 2nd - Crowne Plaza Hotel - Louisville KY

8:00 am we arrive downstairs and are told that we are not supposed to have the room we are scheduled to do our class in - we are going to have to move it.

Easier said than done - we have to cover all floor and tables.

Then we are told - we can stay - but we have to be quiet about it.  Long story - but we caused some commotion earlier in the convention in one of our classes :)   Basically this means we will be doing a lot of work outside....in the rain. Because we were nice enough to bring the rain with us.

We are thoughtful that way

Then we are told that there is a room upstairs that has access to the balcony!  We won't have to haul pieces of foam up and down the hallway!  Woohoo!  Upstairs we go!

Good - we gotta move now because we need to cover the floors and tables.

We rush up there and get going....we are ready for our students.

All four of them.

Yep, only four students - we had the least attended class of the convention :(

So we get started with tombstones while Jeff gets working on cutting foam for the bigger pieces.

We do the best we can - we lose crew members to unforeseen circumstances throughout the day which puts us a bit father behind....but we keep working.

We start the mud pieces as soon as the bases are made so they can start drying.....we really could have used a dry sunny day for this....would have saved us loads of drying time......

We spend a good part of the day drying monster mud and paint with the heat gun!

Thank goodness for heat guns!!! 

Oh...and thank goodness that room services will deliver pizza to a conference room!!

Once we found we only had four students and less crew we scaled down the original display a bit.  Which was a good idea because we didn't even finish what we cut the list down to.

All in all the students had a great time, asked lots of questions, helped carve and paint and anything we asked....could not have had a better group to work with!  

We did our best in our rush to show them the different techniques we use to create props. So they can go home and create this for themselves.....that was the purpose of the class.

And as we are getting closer to being done, we notice that many of our students are from out of town....so we mention:

"Does anyone want to take this home?  Cause we cannot fit this stuff on the plane!"

No one is local.

Crap!

One of the students that drove was talking with his dad about renting a U-Haul and towing the car! :D

But in the end they just grabbed Nevermore and most of the tombstones that would fit in the car.

So here we are with most of a graveyard and no takers.

:(

Dawn and I both said we would cry if we had to throw this all in the dumpster!

So we call one of the local home haunters and ask her if she wanted it...it and all the supplies :)

She was thrilled - she sent her husband on his way home to pick it up...we packed as much as we could in the van and sent it to its new home.

I got a text from the lucky haunter and I have to say it could not have gone to a nicer person :)

5:30 pm - Here is a picture of most of it....one of the tombstones is missing, the coffin is unfinished, and under the table, the obelisk is off being painted and the skeleton never even made it out of the box....... (and that is not our best paint work...by any means.)

Looking at it now - does not seem like a lot.....but believe me it was a lot of work. 

And for all those that came up to us and asked us to this class again next year because they could not attend.....sorry, we are not going to do that again (four students did not even cover the cost of supplies)....at least not for a long time....or a LOT more money.

But it was a fun and tiring day - great memories..and a new experience...I always love sharing how we make things with other haunters :)

BIG thanks to the crew - you guys are the best - could not have done it without you.  The Frog Queen has the best friends!!!  Like I say, you can steal any prop in the yard.....but keep your paws off my crew....unless they ask you to paw them, then that is okay.  They kinda like that :D


Gotta go get ready for the West Coast Haunters Convention this weekend!!  See you there if your are heading our way!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I had to crawl around

in the crawl spaces in the shop this weekend to dig up decorations that I spent hours putting away last month, thinking I would not need them again until September. But it happens that I needed them for the West Coast Haunters Convention party this weekend.  So I spent part of yesterday pulling tubs in and out of the spider infested crawl space.

I guess I made too much noise banging tubs around and attracted the attention of the spider horde that has made their home there.

Once the spiders found out I was up there, they all grouped together to scare the living *&^% out of me.  I hit my head on the low ceiling a dozen times jumping out of the way or brushing them off of me.

I hate them....all of them, even the fake ones.  They got me a few times too!  I think a group of real spiders got together......picked up a plastic spider and dropped it in front of me just to see if I would fall for it.

I did.

Spiders are evil.

....and I hate them.



In a matter of hours

I went from designing a program for West Coast Haunters Convention - to a local community plant sale.



Not only is that a complete change of direction.....but completely different fonts! :D

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Give me a sec while I adjust my head

funny pictures - Adjusts head back in place
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Is it wrong

to want all this convention stuff to be over?

I remember what it was like to attended conventions....I miss that. Showing up and being amazed :))

To all of you that attend all the gathering and conventions this spring/summer. Raise a glass to all the people that help make it happen.....it is much more work than you can imagine.

All that smooth sailing you see on the outside requires a lot of work on the "before" side.

Those people (I know, I work with them) are amazing....and dedicated, and very special - we are all very, very lucky.

I have never missed just prop building so much.

Friday, May 6, 2011

To prove we were there

Here is a video of our skull, book and candle Take N Make class.  You can see part one of the two part tombstone class pieces in the background.....see that room there.....we basically lived there for three days!



They had HAuNTcon covered

The fabulous crew from HIY Productions - filmed and photographed the whole show and put many clips on YouTube while the show was going on. Very, very cool.

Here are a few clips from some of our favorite vendors at the show.

If you get a chance definately check out the HAuNTcon YouTube page.








Thursday, May 5, 2011

I rarely post things

that I cannot tie to Halloween in someway.

But I really loved this PSA.  Being an animal person - especially cats - I have to share this. If these cats could talk.....I imagine this is what they would say :)



I guess you could say that the effect they use to make them look like they are talking is kinda creepy.  But that would really be stretching it....so I am not going to use that angle.....this is just a Frog Queen Folly :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I am back

more or less.

But before I catch my breath I have to to get postcards out to Hauntcast and start working on West Coast Haunters Convention.  Been so "living in a cave" at Hauntcon that I cannot even remember where I left off.

So, I guess that means I gotta quit blogging and get back to work....be back soon.....well, maybe not soon, but some day :D

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