Friday, July 31, 2009

Can I borrow a skeleton?

Not an unreasonable request, around Halloween, friends and co-workers want to borrow things from us for their own parties and stuff, if I can lend it, by all yourself.

Like I said, it October. Not usually in June. No, not much call for skeletons or corpses in June...normally. But as I have pointed out, most of my friends are not normal. Here is what happened a few years back.

Friend calls, "Hi Frog Queen, hey, can I borrow one of your corpses or a skeleton in about two weeks?"

Frog Queen "Sure, no problem, I can bring it over."

Now, in my head I am thinking, hum, I know your wife and I are working on a garden tour fundraiser for our neighborhood school....and I believe the tour is in about, yeah, two weeks exactly...hum.....he has a wicked (and I might add, very funny) sense of humor....and she....does kind of...anyway, the warning bells go off.

I mean she is my friend too....and I want to see if I can make sure they are both talking to me after all this is done. :)

So I have to ask. "Friend, what are you doing with this corpse?"

"Well you see, we excavated by the garage to re-pour the foundation and that is not going to get finished before the tour. So I was thinking I would just put a corpse in there, like we found a dead body while we were digging."

Smiling I say, "Of course, what a great idea."

While I am laughing (and think, man, I am a bad influence on my friends) my head I am remembering past garden tours with blue haired old ladies (likely gardeners themselves) in straw hats with big flowers and long summer dresses walking through the gardens holding their lovely walking tour maps with pretty flowers and butterflies on them, thinking happy "gardeny" thoughts.

A hole in the ground with a corpse, although HYSTERICAL to me, might not be what she wants in her yard while she is giving the tour.

Again, I have to ask, for the sake of our friendships "Does she know what you are planning to do with this corpse?"

"She sure does, she shook her head at me, but said I could do it."

I reply "Sweeeet! Well then, you know what would be even better? I have some of that "crime scene tape" you should stake it around the dig site, you know for safety reasons. Let me go dig (pun intended) it out and I will bring them both right over"


You never know

when you give a gift to someone if they are going to use them, or just chuck it in a drawer. :)

It is nice to see the Davis Graveyard Calendar we made when ever I visit my friends houses. :) Guess I have found a winner, going to be making these every year. Here is a collage of all the pictures in this year's calendar.

Either that or they are just humoring me :) Actually, I know them.....they would tell me if it sucked, and that is why I love them :D

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Frog Queen folly #...

What number are we on now? I can't remember....but here is another one of those silly Chris (and the other Chris) things.

I can tell you that this project was originally supposed to be a sarcophagus for a can see that from this right ;D

Long story, but let's just say a lot of jokes were made at husband's expense - sorry baby!

Since this was not likely to work for it's intended purpose, the other Chris (toph) did the best he could with what he had to work with.

He posed the Mr. Thrifty skeleton in (what we now (lovingly) call "the snow shoe" and put some bits of things and strings. When I was working with monster mud paper mache to make the Houdini bust, I added some work to this piece.

Painted it and....well here you have it. It sits out on in the outdoor patio all year long.

Cool, it that "I am not sure WTF that is kinda way" :D

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So, I am updating my iPod

and reloading some old songs and I run across, Tim Finn's "Say it is So" CD from a few years back. I have not heard that song in a while, let's give that a listen shall we?

Anyway......I am listening to this one song while I am working and I think......THIS IS THAT ONE THAT HAD THE REALLY BAD ZOMBIE VIDEO!!! Ah, how could I have forgotten that one!!!

Lots of blood, zombie backup dancers. bad talking skulls and some really cheap tombstones!!! What could be better than that??!?!

Must run to computer and find it on YouTube.

So, here is a low budget music video from New Zealand from the mighty talented Tim Finn. I believe all the videos for this CD were done by local film students or something.....but it is worth a watch. Looks like he had a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If you are on the

East Coast be sure to check out the East Coast Haunt Club convention happening this weekend. Our good friend Pam is one of the organizers of the event and from what she tells me, it is going to be lots of fun. Lot bigger than Frightfest Northwest.

We donated a bit of Davis Graveyard swag and she was kind enough to put a banner on their links page! Me, a lowly home haunt!!! We love her :D

Thanks Pam! Wish we could be there, maybe in a year or two we will work it in our schedule.

How could I forget

one of the coolest things that happened at last year's Hauntcon.

I met Lesley Pratt Bannatyne. She is a friend of a friend who was also at Hauntcon and they introduced us. I meet her and desperately tried to come up with something more clever that "love your books!" But that was where we started.

Lucky for me she is a very nice and gracious person. She is genuinely flattered by all the kind words about her writing. Wow, I have to be about the 1,000th person to say the same thing but she treated me like I was the most important person in the room.

I got to sit in the lobby of the hotel for a while the day she left and got to know her a little better and got to show her pictures of our display. She is a lovely lady that I now have the honor of knowing.

I have to say that this is one my favorite memories of that week.

If you do not have at least Halloween: American Holiday, An American History - you should pick it up. It is a great read on the history of Halloween in America. Being a west coast girl all my life, it gave me a great perspective how the holiday migrated across America, and makes me really want to move to an area where Halloween is celebrated instead of so water down as not to offend.

Oh, I have to stop there, cause if you get me on the subject of "harvest festivals" verses "Halloween" we will never get out of here. :D

Back to prop building!

Monday, July 27, 2009

For those of you who still

read books. :) This one is for you. This is so going to eat (ha, ha) into my prop building time!!!

Just in case

you don't read the "Davis House News" blog. (It has been pretty quite lately, starting next week, it will get very lively as we get busy finishing up the 2009 props.) You can check out the pictures from our tombstone making class this weekend.

We had seven students who now know how to make their very own tombstones. I encourage all of them to send me pictures of the their yards this season. I will post picture if/when we get them.

Next class is monster mud 101 (class is full) and one more additional tombstone class in about a month (still a few slot available) and then we are working full tilt on Halloween!!!

BTW - I have to finish the book.....almost everyone asked if I had a copy to sell!!! Okay, I am motivated :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Very busy today

so all I can muster are a few Halloween themed LOLcats.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

But this one sums up exactly how I feel....if that was an orange tabby, this would be me :D

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another of my brilliant

friends is Marc Acito. If I know you personally, like I see you on a regular basis, in your possession you likely have signed copies of both his books. Whether you wanted them or not. :)

So, if I have met you recently, and you don't have any of his books, don't worry, your name is probably a list of books I need to have him sign. You will get them as a holiday gift. Sorry to spoil the surprise.

I know you are probably asking your self...."Frog Queen, there are only 99 days until Halloween, we have things to do, get to the point!"

Oh, yeah... take a moment and go to his blog, The Gospel According to Marc. He is friends with the fantastic Storm Large who just finished a very successful run of her musical(ish) Crazy Enough. They made a video from one of the songs from that performance - and he is in it. You really need to check it out.

Warning if you are reading at work - put those headphone on!

BTW - When the three guys in the front row start turning around and singing, he is the cutie on the left.

Now get back to making Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Last week was completely

crappy. There I said it crappy...not only did I cut my lip, but if I was going to mess up something, that was the week! I was never so happy to see Monday as I was this week.

So that said, on Monday, not only did nothing major go wrong, but I got the best package in the mail!!!

A fellow blogger read my blog post about giving up all my VHS tapes - most were permanently borrowed by my brother....and I have the rest away to a fellow blogger. All this because when we remodeled the living room husband (who I love - he reads this blog, so I gotta be careful) ditched the VCR cause it would not fit. And honestly we were watching less and less VHS.

He felt bad for me, so Johnny from Freddy in Space and sent me a copy of Fright Night on VHS. This is one of my favorite is a bit dated now, but it is a great story and I have very fond memories of seeing in the theater. Wow, talk about making my day!

So I have resumed talks with husband about getting a new multi-region VHS player - the one I have is old and probably not worth repairing.

Here is a copy of my new bounty!! Woohoo! Thanks Johnny, you are the best!!

If you are in

the Portland Oregon area this weekend, stop by, we are having one of our famous "Tombstone Making Classes" - yes, for a small fee, you too can learn how to make tombstones like the Davis Graveyard. :)

It is actually a whole lot of fun teaching the process. Even if you are not at all crafty, you can make a tombstone. It is really easy.

We provide the foam with the PVC for the rebar already installed, but we give you a how to on how to do it yourself, and we do a quick demonstration so you can see how to do.

You send me your epitaph, and I go into Illustrator, make it look lovely (and for beginners, easy to carve) print it out and then show you the best way to carve them. You get to use our handy industrial hot knives to shape it and put in cracks and missing chunks.

We paint them black (I coat everything in black first) and then several coats of gray paints and then show you how to age them for the worn look.

Here is a few pictures of from last year's class.

(We were a little crazy and did two classes in the same day....not making that mistake again.) We are offering another one in late August....but the next class is Monster Mud 101. Build your very own mud man! You have to take it home with you....I have 9 of them....that is plenty :)

Here is a link to all the pictures on our Gallery page and a video that we have you YouTube.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

They were back

In 2008 we took our grant money and purchased the dancers costumes from Hallows Eve Studios (who appear to be off the radar again.) And we also rented sound equipment so that it was easy for the dances and the neighborhood to hear. Here is the 2008 video.

Every year they are the hit of the graveyard. It is like having rock stars on the property. There is lots of screaming and pushing. A bit overwhelming, but it is a great way to tie our community into the event. They raise money each time they perform, so it is a fundraiser for them also.

the dance team confirmed

they are going to perform the original "Thriller" song this year. We have been talking about having our dancers do the entire "Thriller" dance for a few years, but we went with this shorter version because the number was one that they used in their competition in 2007. Which they won by the way. If you check out the videos you will see why.

They had their own costumes in 2007 for their dance competition. Here is the 2007 video

And here is a link to photos that a friend of ours took the day of the open house.

Another valuable

bit of information from the last HAuNTcon. Bert (from Bad Boys Scenic Design) told me about a water based spray paint!

WHAT!?!?! Seriously! Spray paint I can use on foam?!?!?
I want that. Actually, it is more of a need thing :)

If you don't know about this my friends, let me introduce you to Krylon H2O. It is too expensive for painting a large section, but I am going to use it for touch up on foam props when they are out in the yard! I am sure I will still have to sponge some pieces, but this will help for larger areas like the church facade and some of the monuments.
Home Depot does not carry I am just going to order it from Amazon. :)

Happy Frog Queen.

Problem solved

If you know me, or have been reading my back in the beginning, you may remember me bitchin' about the wings for my angel monument - along with many, many other things :)

Well, this year I was trying to figure out what to do to replace the disastrous wings I made last year. A new set of wings would be set #4 - that just seems silly. Obviously there is a problem here...there has got to be a better solution.

And there is, a very simple one.

I am creating a new angel
The curent angel is not longer an "angel", we had our suspicions, she was always a bit of a trouble maker ;)

Now, before you all ask me if you can have her, I have learned to stop giving away my props . . . . cause I end up missing them (still unhappy about the scarecrow), since I cannot part with her....the current angel is going to be recycled.

She currently is holding a sword in her hands, so my new plan is to remove the wings permanently and put a warrior ringlet type thing on her head, possibly something that makes her dress look more like a battle uniform, and maybe make a shield to set on the base. I am thinking I will carve something in french on a plaque on her base.....and call her "Joan".

I was told that I cannot burn the crap wings from 2008 (and I was very disappointed), because of their size and what they are made out of. So I am going to go all "Office Space" on those wings with a baseball bat! I can hardly wait!!

But how can the Davis Graveyard be without the angel that stands alongside the mausoleum? No worries. I have plans for a new one.

But that is a blog post for another day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

She got sooooo lucky

my friend Jeri (who I met at HAuNTcon a few years ago - yes, I am going to go on and on about HAuNTcon.....get used to it.) is probably one of the luckiest haunters - EVER.

Wel...maybe.....she has haunted house in the middle of nowhere in Oregon....seriously - the town of Union is way out there....way, way out there. But she has the best venue. There is a historic hotel in town that just could not seem to get the third floor remodeled. What to do? Well, Jeri had the perfect idea, how about turning it into a haunted house! Welcome my friends to Darklore Manor.

I have seen lots of haunts that go to great lengths to make their rooms look old and decaying. Her haunt came that way. All that peeling wallpaper and holes in the walls....that is the way it is naturally.

We have been out to see her a few times and are always impressed by her work. She mentions that we are a huge influence on her will notice a large skull above the entrance that looks a bit familiar......could it be like the one on the top of our church? I wonder where she got that idea. :)

She reminds me that imitation is the best form of flattery. :) I guess I have to agree.

Here are some pictures of her amazing haunt.

I have an allergy

to pink things. And I have been known throw up from too much cuteness :D

I know big surprise for girl obsessed with Halloween. Black and gray suit me just fine.

Plus, as I have said before, pink on a redhead is horrible to behold.

That said (see, I do have a point), I am not a fan of "Hello Kitty" - sorry if I offend anyone.

Fine for you....just too cute and pink for me.

My good friend the Babbling Banshee made me the coolest Hello Kitty Voodoo dolls last year, I LOVED them so it is no surprise that she was excited to send me this find on the interweb....I guy had this made for his wife for her birthday I thought my husband was perfect, but this guy brings on some serious competition!! :D

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What I am really looking forward to

is making props.

I have been very distracted with so many projects both for our haunt and haunting in general, not to mention all the other things going on in our lives.

I really want to take some time to make some of the things that are on my endless list of things to create. I am starting to wonder if my priorities might be off.

Of course, after Frighfest I always get new ideas, and my Canadian friend Grant has once again inspired me to resume foam carving. So I am going to grab my scrap foam and try a few of the techniques he gave me and see what I can do. I have a set of angel wings in my future....a good set this time, that is my goal for the 2009 haunt. Amazing angel wings.

If that fails...I am going to finally have to start using Papier-mâché :) I am just afraid that I will really suck at it....there are so many fantastic people out there....I don't want to embarrass myself. Anymore than I have lately :D

It seemed like a good idea

at the time..... :) Actually someone had the brilliant (and rather fun) idea of having a "prop-off". At this year's Frightfest Northwest.

We had 15 minutes to go to the dollar "store" and spend $10 to make a prop.

First off, I misunderstand "Dollar Store" - Yeah, I went to the "Dollar Tree". Just one little word can make quite a difference.

Barbie Mobile
Some sea moister diorama
Bug swatter thing
And the very, very cool "burning man" dragon (very clever, my favorite)

The rather dreadful pirate looking thing with the big head is our teams contribution....yeah, I am embarrassed.

Very embarrassed :) But it was a LOT of fun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A frog for every mood

A while ago my good friend the Babbling Banshee created me a whole set of frog markers for the in/out board at work.

I thought this one was quite appropriate. BTW - I don't really work with the characters of Red Dwarf....although some days I wish I did :)

Thanks Banshee.....miss you a lot, as you can see, I am always thinking of you :)

In honor of my lovely

purchase (custom no less - yea, I feel very special :) from the Etsy store, I am changing out the link on the right to feature the lovely work of Diane.

Buy from local artists when ever you can!!!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I am going to tread

on some of my fellow bloggers ground for a bit. I promise to give it are all much better at this than me. :)

I don't do movie reviews, because....well, I am just not that dedicated of a watcher. I usually like it or not....or like it less later when I am thinking about it. And I am not afraid to give up on a movie. If I have made it 30 minutes into it and had enough, it is out of the DVD player. :D

That said, I was held hostage - mostly because there was a bar about 10 feet away - at the Frighfest NW Film Festival - but on by our own over achiever Steve.

Wednesday Night:

Lots of dead chicks get hacked into pieces. Which was not all bad. I wanted to kill most them myself. The silly girl who hurt her foot on the stairs should have died sooner. She just annoyed the crap out of me....and it would have been a shorter movie. I did learn one lesson, if you are on holiday in a villa in Italy, definitely hire someone to bring you milk and bread every morning.....might just save your life.

human jigsaw puzzle.....yikes! Lots of blood and body parts, stupid college students and professors....oh and really bad lighting. All the makings of a classic!

Thursday Night: (my favorite)

Inside (unrated)
Wow, LOTS of blood. Not saying that is bad. Just saying there was lots. Gross visuals...bleh, not going to mention. Let's just say that one woman wants another woman's baby - and she has not given birth yet....which if you have a sharp pair of scissors, and a strong stomach, does not appear to be a problem. Learned another lesson - fire and bug spray(?) - nasty burn, but usually does not dispel the bad guy, or girl in this case.

Machine Girl
Woooohoooo! Loved this one. Yikes there are some MEAN people in this one. Absolutely outrageous over the top ...everything. I loved the homage to Evil Dead. You can have human head boiled in coconut milk, or tempura arm, or your own fingers? What sounds best for dinner? Kitchen's open!

Friday night:

Special Dead
Steve told me jokingly, that people said he was going to hell just for ordering this one :D Yes, this has got to be the most offensive movie ever made. If there is one worse, I don't want to see it this one was plenty. I found myself laughing when I really should not have been. Learned that you have nothing to fear from a zombie that has no teeth. Very helpful.

What can I say about this movie that has not already been said. Troma, Troma, Troma........offensive barely covers it. But you know, I am always a sucker for a musical....

Saturday Night:

They skipped From Dusk Till Dawn and watched a few episodes of True Blood - Saw I bit of it.....but I resisted. Did not need another show to spend time on. I will wait for the DVD set when the series is over. Looked good.

Yeah, it is as campy as it was when I saw it in the theater....yes, boys and girls, that is how old I am. Giggles here and there....I think I would have been safer watching this movie than drinking around the fire..... :D Very important lesson learned!!

Thanks Steve that was one of my favorite parts of Frightfest. You are the best!!

I now hand you back to the very qualified bloggers, that do a much better job at movie reviews. Thanks guys for letting me play in your sandbox for a bit :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh shinny

things in the mail. I did get these before Frightfest NW, but I was a bit busy and have not had time to get to the post until now.

The lovely Dianne who made the fantastic Frankenstein necklace I purchased gave me the idea to see if she would do some custom work for some of my graveyard helpers.

I thought it would be fun to but two of the graveyard ghost in necklaces for the ladies.

First my friend that is the female ghost in both the upstairs of the church and the mausoleum got one of the "perfect ghost picture" (that is it's official name) made into a necklace just for her.

Then I had the male ghost, the preacher coming out of the front door of the house, made into a necklace and had three made, one for his wife, daughter, and our friend that is the female ghosts.
I gave the necklaces to our female ghost during Frightfest.....she loved them. She was quite touched. They looked fantastic.

My other friends are in Montana for a summer vacation, but I will make sure they get them when they get back.

Here they are

Here is a close up of the preacher ghost. Lovely work. I could not be happier.
This time Mason, Dorie's brother decided to get into the shot. With three cats, it is a pretty good bet when ever you get out the camera, one of them is going to be in the picture.

Should have thanked

these people first for making Frighfest Northwest such a great event. Oops, really sorry about that. (I want to apologize in advance for any one's name I misspelled, or completeluy f*d up....cause I am sure I have.)

Sue & Vern - if not for them, none of us would be there to enjoy the event. Eight years and counting! Both of them are gracious hosts and very, very generous with their time and resources. Could not ask for more dedicated haunters. Every group should have a team like them. So if we are talking about Sue and Vern, we must include Dwayne, Lisa and Emma. The "supporting cast". It has truly been a family affair.

Now, in no particular order :)

Steve who puts up the ULTIMATE movie theater for your viewing enjoyment. Words cannot describe the awesomeness. And he is the nicest guy....even though he has interesting taste in horror movies. :D

Chis & Lindsay - the Devo DJs extraordinaire. They provide us with the soundtrack for our dance....and some perfectly pretty bright costumes. :)

Stacy & Kenna - two very, very funny and clever ladies. No one quite makes me laugh like they do. Always look forward to seeing them.

Grant - the Haunted Cannook all the way from Edmondton. What a talented sculptor and a generous and fun person. Thanks for "Grant Original" corpse.

Corrine - very funny lady, always a smile and a kind word for everyone.

The Barron and Baroness Reswatt - our friends from Southern Oregon. Always a pleasure to see you again. Thanks for the corpsing class.

There are many others that I am sure I am forgetting, because, as we all know I am far from perfect. :) I appreciate your help just as much.

And to the Davis Graveyard crew who came to help over the weekend. Thanks again.

Lastly, husband. I probably don't thank him enough.

Now, time to get to prop making!!!

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