Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Since the first time I went to London

I have been in love with Lush.  I used to fill a suitcase with there stuff and send it home.  When the first stores in the US opened I did a happy dance,

Cannot love their stuff enough.  So here is their 2015 Halloween offerings,


Shower Jelly
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Pumpkin Heebie Jeebie

Sparkly Pumpkin


Bat Heebie Jeebie

Pink Moon



Wednesday, October 14, 2015


the bat.  Being a huge Haunted Mansion (this is why we are all her on the Davis Graveyard crew) fan, I have always loved everything Disney.  So when the crew suggested the Freddie the Bat tombstone...I was 'hell yeah!"

Just to be fair after looking at this picture we all have found that our tombstone is way too narrow....we might have to do this again.  LOL!  Like we have ever done anything right the first time! ROFL!

We have our designer crew member layout the epitaph to match the original and we print it out an carve it out of white foam. 

Then we add trim (more white foam) to build up the sides and matched the aging to the original tombstone.

We notice that the bats look like they are metal, not stone, so we decided that they should be carved out of pink foam, not white - so we can get the correct texture.

So after the trim in on and aged and shaped to match the original, we all the pink foam bats.  The feet on the upper hanging bat are carved separately.

Then after trying several techniques to get the hammered metal finish on the original using a ballpein hammer and other tools with no success.....we find a dremel bit that sanded out round divots in foam!!  We have a winner.

We painted the tombstone and the bats separately and then attached them after they were painted.  We dry brushed the tombstone in dark and light gray and the bats are black and light gray and then glued on.

This is the final piece......for all us Haunted Mansion fans!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Halloweenifiying things again

I have a whole new bunch of items in my Etsy store DG Gothic.  I take normal items and make them more Halloween....which is how everything should be.

Check it out:

There are a lot more at the shop.  Be sure to stop by and check it out.  Thanks and Happy Haunting!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

HAuNTcon 2015

Since I have not been blogging much I completely missed telling you about our all day build at HAuNTcon in Baton Rouge this last February.  Here is the finished piece.  More photos of the all day build to follow.

We put this scene together in 9 or so hours with our crew and a class of 15 students, who were all amazing.

See you all at HAuNTcon 2016 in Birmingham.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Girl with the Urn

I am here to present one of the many new and very brilliant Davis Graveyard props.  The Girl with the Urn....or Urn Girl.  We are quite original around here with is sad.  This statue is based on a woman carrying an urn statue that is in several cemeteries.

So here she is in progress.  She is the result of a LOT of trial and error on other statues.  The crew worked hard to make sure that we did the best we could on this one.  From the construction to the materials to the paint job.

And she is really quite stunning.

The arms did not come bent this way, they were straight and we had to cut them, then make gaffer tape damns, fill them with foam and then sand them out.
Of course she had to have a Halloween themed maincure.
Once both arms were shaped they had to be attached to the frame and test fit the hold on the urn.  We used plastic from a swimsuit purchase from Costco to shape the boobs.

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We then test fit the fabric to see how it will lay and how much we need and where there needs to be support and bubble wrap to disguise the chicken wire frame.  As in all our monument props we start with the head to make sure that we have the body form correct before we build the frame.  

We have learned that velvet, although heavy to work with, holds a great shape if you want lots of detail in the form.  We usually tell you to soak your fabric in water before putting monster mud on it.  But with velvet we make an exception, just make sure the mud is wet and your are fine.  The water adds extra weight that pulls the fabric too much.
To keep her cowl up we use a soda box sprayed with silicone or covered in Vaseoline to make it easier to remove when then mud is dry.
Statues usually do no have big open areas like under the cowl.  So we filled that in with more mudded velvet to give it more of a statue carved in stone look.
Close up of the cowl- that makes it look more like a statue.  if you just had space behind it, that is unrealistic from a carving point of view.
Make sure that you drape the fabric over the arms to cover any voids and give it more of a movement feeling.

We mudded her without the urn to make it easy to remove for storage and make it easier to mud the body.  We tied fabric around her waist as a sash to give the body more definition.

Finished statue (minus base)

Final Statue in the yard.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Maybe if I put a buffet out front

This is a set of comment cards from the display on Saturday can tell that pot is now legal in Oregon :D

The heads are just too big

on the blow mold Paul (or now Paul 2) skeletons.  The rest of the body is better, it is lighter and can handle the heat.  Our Bucky skeletons warped over time in storage, are heavy and difficult to move around and just became more work than they were worth.

So we changed to the blow mold skeletons......but the heads on those things look like aliens.  Every time I would use one for a prop, I would replace it with one of our heads modeled after the original Bucky skeleton.

Now that I have several skeletons in the yard, I did not want them looking all the same.  What to do.  I suggested just heating it up and trying to mold it, kinda squish in the head a bit. (Yeah, yeah, I know how this is sounding.)

Then one of the brilliant crew had a better idea.  Cut out a chunk of the head and shape it so it looks more human.  Then we filled it with cheap A-B (2 part) expanding foam an sand down the seams and cover them with Fix-It.

This is how we did the head for one of our current props,   Kiss of Death.  Here is the WIP on that section of the prop.

So now I have a way to work with the existing Paul heads.

Note, we also cut out or sand all the seam (mold) edges, just to clean them up.  Sometimes when you do that you actually make a hole in the skeleton.  This technique of filling it with expanding foam works great to fix that problem also.

On a side note....if you thought Paul was a cheap, poorly made skeleton.....the new one Paul 2 is even worse.  And, yes, I know that is almost impossible to believe.

Friday, October 2, 2015

I swear I heard it say.....

"Look everyone!  I caught a human!" I walked into a web, crafted by a demon spider to catch me.

In an instant I think....'Really, we just put this abbey up a few days ago....where did the spider find the time to make something this evil. M*ther F**king spiders!!!!!!

Here is the slow mo version.

You know that moment when you walk through a spider web, you catch a spider out of the corner of you eye and, well; it is just downhill from there.

You know there is a spider crawling on you right now.

Yep, saw it out of the corner of my eye, it was hanging off my hair and moving up my head fast.  The speed, that is why I hate them sooooo much.

I learned matter how fast I move my hands.

Spiders are faster.


So now, I do what any normal person would do,......I scream, my head I think I am channeling Jamie Lee Curtis and pulling off an epic horror film scream.....but my ears say, "no bitch, that was some stupid, crazy woman who just walked into a spiderweb scream - you are going to be so embarrassed when the neighbors or police show up....just saying you might want to tone it down a bit....."

And like an idiot, with a spider in her hair,

....who I imagine is crawling around doing a 'happy dance'...cause "not only, did a catch a human, I made her look like a fool! Score one for the spiders!!!!"  

I do my best attempt to contain some kind of dignity.....  

I tone it down a bit....fear level, still at eleven, scream volume more around I mange this much control at that moment escapes me.

Now, for some reason my brain tells my while you are should notice that your arms are flailing and it would be wise to:

"GET THE F AWAY from the abbey before you knock the whole thing over! (Onto the poor rose bush AGAIN....okay, that is just an inside joke.....remind me to share that with you someday.)

I manged to do this, without killing myself or the abbey. How will forever be a mystery....or if husband plays back the security cameras.  That could make for a very amusing YouTube video......

My brain reminds me, in case you have forgotten (I know there is a lot going on at the I will cut you some slack).....but really, remember......
...there is a SPIDER in your hair! (Very loud alarms are going off in my head!!!)

Okay, sadly not the first spider in my hair......hopefully the last, but I am sure that is being overly optimistic....

What do you do, when you are me, and you are 100% sure there is a spider on you.

..... brush and brush and brush and brush your hair with your hands.....frantically....but every so carefully....because you want to remove the spider without touching it.

Yeah, I know there is 0% logic in that....I knew it then, I know it now....either way, for me at the time, the concept is lost.

The best way I can explain it to you is.......imagine being on fire.....yep, cazy red head ran into the shop, I proceeded to put my whole head under the shop sinks (if you have seen the shop sink....last place you want to do that) and try to rinse the spider away.

Another stupid idea .,..... because I do not find spider in the sink.

Where the heck is that eight legged demon!!!!

So, next step, my brain asks my body a simple question, expecting a simple 'yes', as the answer.

"So, can we get our clothes off.....and get to the house without anyone seeing us.  Because, that is the next plan is; don't ask me, I got nothing else.  This is what is going to happen."

The answer is....."Hell no!  The yard is up you crazy woman......there are likely people out looking at the yard.! The scariest thing they could imagine is seeing is you in your underwear running into the house, and a lot of them have cameras and video.  No one needs to see that.....for the love of all that is good woman, DO NOT!......."

Apparently 'body' could care less, so now....Shirt comes off, thrown to the I am taking off my trousers, guess what comes crawling out of my shirt?

A wet, confused and very unhappy demon spider with glowing red eyes and holding the necronomicon - he then proceeds to uses his super power to disappear into nowhere, FAST!

Next thought....where are the matches and the acetone....... and is my insurance paid up?

At that point....I sit on the stairs in the shop......thinking, there is a bar up there, I need a shot and a therapist, a really good exterminator or a nuclear bomb.

Just in case you all wondering if the Frog Queen still hates spiders....I think I just answered that....and Crap! And now......I am out or rum and wine. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A New Era

Some things have happened with me over the last four years....a small issue was my masthead for htis blog.  Every time I saw it it reminded me of something I did not want to think about.

So - thanks to my good blog friend John Rozum and my friend Aimee - I have a new Frog on the Pumpkin masthead.....I feel like a new frog.

Here is the the future.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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