Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Helping a brother out

well, not my actual brother....ah, family....let's just not go there. :D

Anyway, I am talking about one of my blog brothers.....Max over at The Drunken Severed Head. The frog queen is a TDSH fan for many reasons, my favorite is his sense of humor...anyone that reads this blog knows the frog queen can be a bit silly.

Okay a lot silly.

And his sense of humor suits me down to the ground. If you have not visited his blog you should....he talks about all kinds of horror related stuff, always interesting and very supportive of other bloggers, that is the second favorite reason I like him.

I do have a point to my post, and that is that he needs your help to win some really cool Rondo awards.

He is nominated for blogger of the year and a writing award for a great article he wrote that you can check out here.

If you have not voted for the awards yet, do me a favor and help him out. You do not have to vote for all the categories, just these two, it is just this easy.

He is nominated in category #12, "Best Article" (for The Art of Linda Miller) and category #15, "Best Horror Blog" (for The Drunken Severed Head).

Go to this link to view all the awards

You then send an email to Tara

I would recommend you take a look and vote for anything that you find interesting....but if you are in a hurry, copy and paste this information in the body of the email and send it.

Category #12 Max Cheney for The Art of Linda for best article
Category #15 The Drunken Severed Head for best blog

Sign your name and send it off. Then ask your friends to do the same.

See that was easy, don't you feel all warm and fuzzy - you done good!

Thanks to all you blogger friends for helping me help out a great fellow blogger.

What could the frog queen

possibly be up to? Here is my latest folly in progress. LOL! Any guesses?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Now we can start

working on something else....like getting back to that book we are supposed to be writing :)

We have finished the 2009 Davis Graveyard DVD. We create them each year as a thank you to all our helpers and the dance team. Every year we make a few extra copies and put them for sale on our website.

We always have lots of extras, but this year, despite the purposeful lack of TV media content, for the first time, we have filled the disk. When ever I wonder what it is that we do all year, just have to pop this disk in the DVD player and go.....yeah, I forgot we did that, oh and that too!

Anyway, I will give one away here on the blog, I will even throw in a Davis Graveyard t-shirt. Just leave a comment on this post and I will draw a winner next Monday.

I also have them for sale in the Davis Graveyard store along with the last four years. (I will have special pricing for anyone that wants to buy all four...wow, you must be really bored.)

I have been asked a few times about the classes, we do take pictures during the class, but they are in no way a how to. We have had a lot of requests for a video version so we are cooking up a plan for this year so we can share it with the world outside of the Portland area.

Besides the Easter egg and the endless pictures of Halloween Cat, this DVD comes with a new Davis Graveyard folly.....husband and I did a commentary version of the video. Fun, but we realised that next year we will have to have the whole crew over and some adult beverages and create a really entertaining version for 2010.

Here is the 2009 DVD line up:

2009 Davis Graveyard Video (with commentary)
Building the Angel Prop
Making Joan of Arc
Crafting a Spider
Open House
Graveyard Dancers
Making of Got Zombies Poster
HAuNTcon 2009
Frightfest Northwest 2009
Halloween Party
Halloween Night
artMOB Tombstones
MHS Senior Project
Photo Gallery 2009

So, we are off to work on our other projects like the convention and classes that we are teaching this year.....and that darn book.....it is my number one priority, well it will be after I finish this wine auction event for work in a couple weeks....it will be nice to have a life again. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This could just possibly

be the best link I have ever found.

There is a Mausolea & Monuments Trust in the UK!!!!

Some of you look confused :)

There is a trust that registers all the monuments and mausoleums in the UK and Ireland....and they have pictures and backgrounds of all most all of them!!!! All different types and conditions from almost new to ruins!! Talk about inspiration!

I should be sleeping....but I have spent the last few hours looking at pictures. Not only do they have picture, a full history on most of them, some quite noteworthy, some sad...my favorite story so far is the man that build his own outside the church yard, whitewashed it when he was alive, but when he died the vicar was so upset that it was outside the church yard that no one else could be buried there. The is another that is in the middle of of a golf course :D

Warning, you might want to stay away from this site.....very addicting :)

Here are some of my favorites:

Beard - lovely, I admire the high pitched roof

Butterfield - quite grand

Clarke - Simple with two tombs inside. Beautiful!

Delaval - Because the owner could not get permission to from the Bishop to use it as a mausoleum, he converted it into a house....it has since been abandoned.

Malcolmson - amazing Gothic Mausoleum in London. (I want one of these in the yard!)

Okay now...I gotta go to sleep. More to follow. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

We have that in common

neither of us are very patient people. This is very evident in husbands latest attempt to help complete one of my Frog Queen follies - the Luminary.

Our latest project for 2010, is updating the luminary. After reviewing my collection of luminary pictures it is apparent that the one thing wrong with it is that the candles need to be in votives. So since all our attempts at cutting glass did not work....and I cannot seem to find a glass artist that is willing to do trade for Halloween decorations :) Jeff said he would cast them in plastic (resin.)

We took one of my favorite ones, the one I thought looked more "church like" and made a mold. This way he could cast it with a hole in the bottom to allow the LED lights to be placed inside the candles. That was the easy part.

Then husband got some clear plastic resin from TAP and some red coloring to make me 48 votive holders.

We have worked with resin a bit...my brother has a quite a bit and we know that it really does not like the cold. But that has not stopped husband from trying to pour them.....in a week, I now have two lovely votive holders....only 46 more to go. It is taking about 36-48 to cure....because it is raining (mostly) and under 50 degrees in the shop. He says it is like working in a refrigerator :D

Gotta love him for trying so hard to make this project work for me. He talked about the process on our blog - so take a visit and see what he is up to.

This is the enterance

to Inchbuie (a cemetery on an island in the river) in Killin Scotland. It is the burial ground/cemetery for the McNab clan.

You have to have permission to get in, which involved getting a key from the visitors center that has been closed every time I have been there. Likely something about the off season (we usually travel in November.)

Here is frog queen fancying her self a clever photographer. I thought it looked cool!

And I am, just in case some of you thought I was in fact a picture of a Frog on a Pumpkin :)

This is one of the only pictures that I can find on the web for this cemetery. Now I really want to visit. Not sure if we are planning to head to Loch Tay on this visit, but if we can I am going to see if I can arrange to get in.

I researched it a bit and it seems that the key and time limit - you only have 30 minutes to return the key, are partly to keep you from causing much harm and that there are ruins to a castle, old kirk an mausoleum that are in bad shape and very dangerous. If you do not return in 30 minutes...they go looking for you.

I imagine that is why in the rainy season they do not let you on the property, more chance of unstable ground causing the walls to collapse. As much as I want to see this....I also want to live to see more. So if anyone travels there in the spring summer.....please take pictures!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I obviously liked

the graveyard better, because on this last trip I only took these two photos of the famous St. Andrews Golf Course.

The first one is the course, somewhere around the 18th hole I believe.

The other picture is of the old club house.

Very nice. And more famous than the graveyard for some reason...... :D

I think he did it

on purpose :D

I ordered a Gruesome Easter Egg from Shadow Farm and you will never guess what was in the box.....never, nope, not a chance......

"I bet he put a spider in the box?" - wow that came from about five people all at once :D

LOL! Yes, there was a rather large spider in the box....creeped me out big time! (Thanks Dave!)

I had to have husband take it out of the box for me.


I purchased one the other day, because I believe that all my "drawing" karma was used up a few years ago when I won 6 cases of wine!

I have my own special Easter (Ostra) party each year, but this year I am skipping the party (scheduling conflict) so I thought I would buy myself something different, but equally unconventional to make me smile.

Here it is, my very own Gruesome Easter Egg :) Very creepy.....I love it.

If you want one of your very own, it is not too late to enter his drawing (you get an egg and a piece of art from his collection - see site for details) or purchase one from his Etsy shop. Great haunt and great artist be sure to check it out.

Oh, and the fate of the spider?

No sooner was it out of the box then Dorie had to have it. Last time I saw it, it was in the sink. :)

I have so many pictures

of St. Andrews Cathedral Cemetery.......we could do this for days......but I will stop for now. Maybe next week I will add some more. If all was perfect in my world I would have you all on the next plane to Scotland and we would all enjoy a Frog Queen guided tour of this amazing place.

Thanks to all of you who humor me on my obsession with this graveyard. I promise to move on...to my favorite (yes this is only my second) soon enough. Until then....more St. Andrews for now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I know what you are thinking

these are a bit sparkly for the frog queen.....and is that pink you see?

Yes, in fact it is. And no, it is not for me....it is for husband :D Wouldn't he look lovely in that crown-thingy?

Just kidding...man I hope he doesn't read this post!

These are actually items that I purchased over at Mystic2Awesome as gifts for friends and family.

Although you would not know it by looking at him...the skull has become a bit attached to that lovely flowing crown-thingy. I caught him staring at himself in the mirror again. (sigh)

(I am starting to think he might be a cross dresser (just like our coachman) - If I catch him at the M.A.C. counter at Macy's them I will be certain :D)

That said....changing out the Etsy link on my site....if you want lovely, lovely things (and who doesn't?), check out her shop.

More St. Andrews

cathedral cemetery pictures. I will keep it short this time and just ask you.....have you ever seen anything so amazing? Can you see why I just love this place? :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One of my favorite graveyards

Is in St. Andrews Scotland. I never pass up the opportunity to visit this city or graveyard. Outside of Edinburgh, this is my favorite city in Scotland.

The cathedral cemetery is a very large cemetery that was one the site of the largest cathedral in Scotland. And if you ever visit you will be amazed just looking at the site of the ruins it is almost impossible to believe that there was a church that size right there on the coast.

You can read the history of the church here, but the short version is that it fell like many other cathedrals and kirks during the reformation and most of the stones from the church were used to build the surrounding buildings.

Today, it is a massive cemetery and quite unique. You can still see some of the walls from the inside of the cathedral in the graveyard. There is even a small part of what was the original church (St. Rule) still on the grounds, that church dates back to the 12th century.

When you visit today, you can find open graves that were unearthed when during the destruction. I have to say that even I found it very creepy to be standing in front of a stone grave open and vacant...wondering where the original in habitant is now.

So, here is part one of three posts of my pictures from my serveral visits to this fantastic cemetery. If you get the chance, it is definitely worth the visit.

Oh, and up the street a bit and around the corner there is the golf course....it is a bit more famous, but I personally perfer the graveyard :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wanna see something

real scary?

Seriously, that is wrong on so many levels!! Excuse me, I suddenly feel very, very ill! :D

We are now calling it

Davis Graveyard University (thanks to our friend Cory for the idea for the name!)

This year we are holding four (at least) classes at the house and teaching one seminar at Frightfest NW and possibly two at the West Coast Haunters Convention. Along with working on stuff for the yard this year.....crazy, why yes we are :D

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey to help us decide what classes you wanted us to teach.

This year we are going to two of our ever popular Tombstone class. You get to make your very own tombstone right at the graveyard.

The most requested class was molding and casting. Husband and I have worked it out where we can teach you to make a mold in a weekend. It will be 6 hour day on Saturday and a 4 hour day on Sunday. Along with an overview of the basics, when you are done you will have made a mold of a skull and poured a foam version.

The next class is corpsing. There are lots of ways of corpsing a skeleton, we are going to teach you our version. We are going to use the new "Barney" skeleton from Skeleton Store- this is a much lighter blow mold skeleton that is not something we would use as a skeleton in the yard (I think the head is too large) - but for making a corpse, we think this will be a cheaper and lighter alternative. (Oh and safer...I cannot tell you how many times I have pinched my fingers on the spine of a Bucky or Bart!)

We hope to be doing our "Graveyard Overview" class at West Coast Haunters Convention. This is where we power through most of the aspects of our graveyard in about 50 minutes. It is crazy, but it can be done. We answer as many questions as we can after that.

If Ed has the space,we will do another projection seminar. The ghosts in the yard have become our trademark and we get lots of questions from people on how we "do that." It is much easier than you would imagine, and it will only take us an hour to show you how to make your own.

Not sure if the schedule for Frightfest has been finalized. But we will likely present there as well, so we will keep you posted.

If you are in the area, come on by, we would love to show you how to create better Halloween decorations than you can buy in any store and it is a lot of fun to hang with the crew and meet fellow Halloween enthusiasts.

Check out our website. http://www.davisgraveyard.com/ for details

Last Wednesday was the scariest

day of the year for me.

It is my company's Annual Meeting.

The Annual Meeting for those of you lucky enough not to have any idea what I am talking about is a nightmare the involves, in my case:

Among the staff and shareholders, there are the Board of Directors, members of various committees, AVPs (assistant vice presidents), the VPs, the Senior VPs, those Chief "type people" Chief Communications Officer, Chief Information Officer...etc.

You know all the important people that could easily have me fired with the blink of an eye, in the event that any part of this event goes wrong :D

So everything has to be 1,000,000% perfect

I farm out the creation of the Annual Report...so that is just art directing, but the other documents and signage and stuff I have the pleasure of creating...and this year (due to budget cuts) I got to create a video presentation.

And as I said, that was not a fun project.

After all that, it was really hard to imagine that the whole ordeal could get worse...but it did.

I go to where the meeting is to get a run down on the A/V equipment that I would be running that night so I can test the presentation on the DVD player. It starts fine....and then part way into it....part of the sound cuts out! :0

The screaming in my head starts as I really cannot believe this is happening.

The person who runs the equipment has no idea and he is technically "off work" as of about 2 minutes ago...so he is outta there.

What the *&^% am I going to do. My boss is going to kill me.

So I do what I usually do when things fall apart. I call husband.

Being the smart man that he is he tries to walk me through a few things to see if we can figure out what is wrong, but the back of the cabinet is sealed so there is only so much I can access. He comes up with a very logical

Plan B

He is going to burn another copy of the DVD in another format and see if that is the problem.

While he is doing that....I work on

Plan C

what do I do if this new disk does not work?

I ask the person setting up the room if I they have a projector screen....he says yes, good.

I call our IT department and see if I can borrow the portable projector and a laptop with a DVD player....just in case. That way I can just play it on que, not the best solution, but it is better than nothing.

IT informs me that the projector has gone missing....and all the laptops are in use.

Seriously? The presentation gods are pissed at me today!!

Instead of crying or screaming...which both seemed like perfectly logical things to do at the moment....I come up with....

Plan D

There must be a liquor store around.....I need to just get a bottle of Vodka and I will text my resignation letter to my boss....only thing left to do. After the laughter in my head dies down, and reality shift back into place and I come up with

Plan E (and think, one of these has to work....I am running out of alphabet)

I call husband, who is already working on Plan C and tell him of Plan E

At this point he knows that Plan D - exists.....but he doesn't want to know what craziness is going on in my head.

Plan E

Go out in the shop dig through the Halloween stuff we just put away, bring one of our projectors and a DVD player, and an amp and speakers.

I know that the only reason he did not go "WTF?" was because he knew how I stressed I was at the moment. He agrees to Plan E, because he knows that it is just easier. (I know, he is too good for me....really I do.)

To really prove how great he is.....he has to drive to my work at about 3:30 in the afternoon. This is something that no one would do voluntarily. It really is madness....

You see, all those people that live in Vancouver (where I work) and work in Portland (where I live) are heading home...the same way he has to drive. It turns a 30 minute trip into well over an hour or two.

I know I owe him...for the rest of my life at this point.

About now, boss shows up. I explain what is happening and how I have a plan(s) (I did leave out Plan D for obvious reasons)....boss is not happy, but there is nothing to be done right now, we will play it by ear.

So, husband arrives, new disk in hand, to save the day.

Nope, still does not work!

*&^%!!! You have got to be *&#$ kidding me!!!!

He asks some questions of the janitor about where the actual controls for the equipment are located..... it appears it is in some magical room that only special wizards can open.

One last look....he pulls out the DVD player and notices the the audio cable is, well actually the wrong type of cable, so he improvised and moves it around an viola! it suddenly works!

He is my hero.

Only 358 days until I have to do this all again :D Man, I am looking forward to Halloween!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

If you walk down

a fairly steep hill towards the river behind Dairsie Castle and make your way through the undergrowth you will be be happy to discover these ruins. It appears that long ago there must have been a house below the castle. Not much left, but an awesome find the just same....I had to resist the temptation to take a piece of the rock wall home with me :D

One of the coolest discoveries on the trip!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hal, that was *&^% close.

Or...The Story of How Hal Almost Died.
The other night when husband is working on my video and our videos for the DVDs and Pinnacle is starting to give him grief, and it is late.....so he (and I) are a bit stressed.

Hal, who seems to be a bit unhappy that he is not the center of attention, hops up on top of husbands brand new computer where he can be directly in our line of sight, and ....

shuts off the computer!

Yes, the power button is on the top of the computer....when he jumped up there, he just put his little paw on it and, poof, power is off, just like that.

I can see the look of horror on his face as he realizes that the file was likely not saved.

Husband cannot believe it....he looks at the computer, tests the power button, to confirm that yes, Hal did in fact just reboot the computer.

He was, let's say...just a little "unhappy". :)

I grabbed Hal off the top of the computer, as fast as I could......... to make sure that he lived to see another Halloween.

That was close Hal, really close!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So these are the gates

to Dairse Castle. See, I was not kidding when I said that the church and the graveyard were in the front yard!! Just imagine the frog queen and husband pulling up to these gates.....mind you we are deciding on which castle to rent for our anniversary?

I can tell you that right here, where this picture was taken is where I was 100% sure where we were staying on our holiday :D (Ali is right, you can rent it!)

Here is the picture of the castle from up the driveway, past the graveyard and church...actually this is Scotland....I think I should be calling it a kirk, right?

Who would not want to rent this castle?

Actually, the owner said that there are many people that will not rent it for the exact reason that we love it....they do not want a graveyard that close to where they will be staying.

I guess graveyards are not for everyone? :D

This castle was a restoration project - they will sit down over a cup of tea and tell you all about it - just ask :) They have a few pictures in the second floor bathroom that used to be the beehive-shaped doocot where all the carrier pigeons roosted, of what the ruins looked like before they started the restoration.

Pretty amazing that they were able to rebuild the castle to what it looks like today. They worked with the Scottish Historical Trust to restore it as close to what it might have looked like...but with many modern conveniences. Including radiant heat in the floors, a lift (elevator), and most importantly....indoor plumbing :)

Here is a picture of my mum having her morning coffee on the deck out the back door :) From where she is standing you can see the oldest part of the graveyard and the kirk.

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