Thursday, December 30, 2010

Usually I pay attention

LOL! Who am I kidding....I miss things all the time. Including this article that was in our local paper, Oregon City News, around Halloween. I remember doing the interview, and that was about it. Gone, didn't even remember to pick up a me, in October it is like a whirl wind at the graveyard! If the cats were not so vocal in the morning, I would probably forget to feed them :D

Photo Dick Trtek
So I got an email from a friend today that said.

"Your responses sound so rehearsed, compared to Jeff. Almost like you were in marketing or something."

"What are you talking about?" I say.

"That article."

"What...great what did I do now?"

"It is from is a copy.  And your welcome. Next time pay attention!"

Hum....compliment? Maybe. Kidding?  Likely. Knowing this person, just having a bit of fun at my expense.

I read it and went, sh*t..... I do sound like that? Wow, I think I was mistaking an interview with a press release…..bad frog queen!

Anyway, very flattering article – Thanks Ellen!

We started the adventure

in Scotland. 

Which after traveling a good part of the UK - I still have to say is my favorite.  I am still moving to Edinburgh (or very close) if I win the lottery (which since I never play, is unlikely) or become silly rich.

Anyway, after a few days in Edinburgh we went to West Kilbride to stay at Law Castle.  I know I shared some of the pictures of the cemetery, but here are some additional pictures of more detail.  This is also a two part set, more to display tomorrow.

Enjoy your virtual graveyard tour!

The best Hauntcast ever

Well, at least that is what I am expecting from the upcoming Hautncast this Friday :D

So, on that note, I want to announce the winner of the drawing for a free subscription to Hauntcast.......Dawn!  Woohoo!!

Can you just send me the email address you want this registered to and I will get it over to Chris.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just a little graveyard

in Penzance.  We went on a walk one morning....and you know how it is you just happen upon a graveyard.....actually in small towns in the UK, that IS what happens.  Some of those towns have more dead people than living, I am sure of it. :)

So, we happened upon St. Mary's church cemetery on a cold (very) Autumn day.

This was an interesting graveyard.....I have a lot more pictures to share.  Be back soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I will admit it

I am always looking for a way to tie-in Halloween to just about anything.
I think it makes me feel better about the fact that there are skulls all sorts for spooky stuff all over the house 365 days a year.

Who am I kidding...I know I am nuts.

So you might have heard that we were over in the UK last month. And they are very into Christmas over there.....all kinds of fun. I was in Bath right before we left and it is always a pretty city, but with the lovely snow on the hills and the lights and shops decorated, it was positively heavenly. Made you feel warm and fuzzy.

And you all know that I can only handle so much of that.  I needed something orange and black and dark and spooky.....

Then like magic, I read a magazine article and found something that just warmed my little Halloween heart.

Did you know that from 1971 through 1978 and in 2005, the BBC ran a Christmas Eve special they called a "Ghost Story for Christmas"

I kid you not; I am so living in the wrong part of the globe.

This came from the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas time. You know, back before TV and video games.....had to do something for entertainment. It appears that there were several books published with ghost stories to be told after dinner. And one of the more popular writers was MR James, he wrote four collections of ghost stories and considered to be the grandfather of antiquarianism (post gothic) ghost stories.

That made him perfect for the BBC project. Of the eight specials that they filmed the first five were MR James stories.

When I originally heard this idea, I was all over it....then I got home and saw how long the stories were and how little time I had before Christmas to make 50+ books and find something to put in the cards. I waffled back and forth on a few ideas, since we had just been to Cornwall - The Mousehole Cat - was my next choice, but in my heart I really, really loved the idea of a ghost story for Christmas.

So back to the idea I went, thinking I would just start with the first story of the series....and then it happened. I read The Ash Tree, and knew I HAD to do this one.

The story involves spiders.

As it is famously known, I hate spiders so I would normally run screaming from this the draw?

Spiderfest 2010 of course!  I kind of took that as a sign - or at least and idea to further continue pull along the Spiderfest idea to those who knew about the project.

So to writing the card I went. It needed work, so husband edited, and although I hate it when he is right.....he was, again.

The part I had in there about tying it to Spiderfest was wasted on 90% of the people getting the should really go.

So I edited it out.

It felt like the project now had a big hole in it. *

A whole that most people would not see.....but still. :(

And then the spiders I ordered did not show up in time......maybe this was not the perfect idea.

But what is a frog queen to do - something is better than nothing.

So I told the story of ghost stories for Christmas from Victorian times, and the series of books or "chapbooks" (the small versions of the books that I made for the cards) that were published and the BBC specials and how everyone knows we like Halloween and the UK - so this was perfect for us. Oh and sans the spiders....but until this post no one even knew they were supposed to be in there :D

........but no mention of the horde of spiders collected from around the Halloween community that hung in the willow in the yard and were actually the main inspiration for the card.

This is why, I am not a creative person, or should I say create (as a form of expression) for a living.....this compromise to make things "vanilla" or easier for the masses, not at all unfamiliar to me, as in my day job it happens every day.....really takes the fun out of it.  But it is all good.

Sorry, got a bit serious there for a second.

Truth of the matter is, that now, what I really have is a splendid inside joke - something "between us" for all of those that got the card and knew why I picked the story.

For you people, I cannot see the slight smile on your face, or the little giggle. But I know it is there and thank you, you made me very happy.

Merry Christmas!

* Before anyone jumps all over husband for having me edit it. Let me explain. He loves what I do and all he is trying to do is to not waste my creativity on people that will not appreciate it. He know that most of our family knows we do this "Halloween" thing...but are not into it and well, he is right, they don't care or will not care why I am excited by the idea - and might likely give them more ammo for committing me :D  And no matter, I love that man to pieces.......

BTW - there is even a further inside smile regarding the seal used on the cards....the crew knows it, but they are sworn to secrecy!. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

One of the many things I do

That drive husband crazy are our Christmas cards :)

I have been making our cards by hand for probably 15 years. Each one a different idea. It usually involves a story and then an item to go with it.

Example, I did a "History of the Christmas Tree" and included a small tree that was hand decorated. That means creating the card with the story, finding the supplies for and decorating trees and putting them in small boxes and shipping them out.

We send out at least 50 cards each year!

You can now appreciate why this drives him crazy (that and the poor guy is married to me!) is a picture of this year's card. It is a ghost story called "The Ash Tree". A ghost story at Christmas? There is a reason.....I will explain in my next post.
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A very last minute Xmas gift

if you have really procrastinated for that haunter in your life, what better thing to get them than the gift of Hauntcon.  That is right you can purchase Hauntcon admission for a Christmas gift.....who would not want that....of course you have to get there, get a hotel, find a costume for the party....but you have five more months to work that out :D

They even have this cool gift certificate that you can print out!  Sweeet!!

Anyway, perfect Holiday or birthday gift.....check it out.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Looks like I am getting

my Dorie cat for Christmas :)
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At work, we store

brains in the box above the sippy cups.

Is that not what everyone does?
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I completely forgot

to say thanks to our friends that put up our Calvin and Hobbs Christmas display for us while we were on vacation.  We usually do it the weekend after Thanksgiving and husband was a little bummed that we could not do that this year.

Imagine our surprise when we came home to see this in our yard.

Frog Queen (and husband) has the best friends!!

Funny story on this one.  Some of the friends that help us with the Halloween display say they knew our house (long before they knew us) based on this display that we do at Christmas time.  (They did not even know we did anything for Halloween.)

It is funny, if someone does not know us as the "Halloween" house they often know us as the "Calvin & Hobbs" house :D

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This, dear bloggers, is the internet

(the tag on the gift even said "from the elders of the internet" - coolest gift ever!)

I "got it" at a party last weekend.  I was a white elephant and I knew I needed to have I stole it from my friend....who is still talking to me, thank goodness.

If none of this makes sense to you, and if you visit this blog often, I rarely make sense so you should not be surprised :D

This is a reference from a brilliant UK show called "IT Crowd" - it is probably my favorite scene of the whole series - you have to watch it, it is hysterical. 

BTW - good news for those of you that have seen the show.  We saw an episode of season five while we were in the UK!!! Hoping it comes out on DVD soon!
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And the winner is


Sorry everyone else :(  I wish I had enough glasses to give all of you one!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa uses the same drycleaner

As I do :)

I snapped this picture out the back door at work where we leave our dry cleaning bags to be picked now we know, times are hard for Santa too, he also has commute to Vancouver, WA from the North Pole to work here to make ends meet :D

I wonder if he drives his sleigh here! I know there is a ladder to get on the roof around somewhere! :D
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Friday, December 17, 2010

2010, the year of the spider

Jeremy over at the iZombie blog (the guy that did the cool treatment to my blog header) posted this question on the Horror Blog Alliance blog.

What are some of the things in the last year that were the best in horror?
It can be a film, music, celebrities, food, blog, that spider crawling on your arm...
as long as it happened in 2010.

I posted my answers......I bet you all can guess what scared me in 2010. :D

So I am thinking

how can I make this post be at all related to Halloween and not just me posting yet another silly UK comedian link. 

It is a kinda dark song...........that is about all I got. (Yeah, that is weak....)

If the comedian thing bores you, I apologize.  You can skip this post. :D  I promise in the future to only post these on my Frog Queen Follies blog, so after this one, back to blogging as usual.

I am a big fan of Bill Bailey - ever since I saw in him in Black Books.  Got his latest DVD, it is very funny.  I was going to post something from that, but I thought I would post this first, this is from his Part Troll show - which is brilliant by the way.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So when someone asked me

if that old building in the UK that I walked through I had to pause for a minute because I literally spent months and I am guessing at least 100 hours looking through the web for old abandoned dark rides.  In doing that I had to look through hundereds of pictures of abandoned amusement parks.  Almost felt like I had been there?

So reminded me that I wanted to take a look to see if anything new was out there.  Right away I found pictures from Joyland Amusement Park in Oklahoma.  The part closed in 2004, opened a for a bit in 2006, but it is now abandoned.

As always these pictures are intersting and sad at the same time.

Here are some pictures of what is left of the Whacky Shack - the dark ride in the park...or what is left of it.

Click here for more information on the park.

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