Wednesday, December 31, 2014

If You Don't Eat Yer Meat, You Can't Have Any Pudding

Don't ask me how I come up with the post titles. 
My mindless prattling is the truly scary part of this blog. 

I can't guess what will be on your table this New Year's Eve, but it might be turkey. I was going to post this at Thanksgiving, but forgot. Better late than never, right? And, no, I wouldn't remember to post it next Thanksgiving either.
This juvenile turkey skeleton was made for a MFA thesis in 2009 by Robynie. I adore it. I discovered it on the blog Threadbias. The gingham heart is removable. The artist's statement says "I made the gingham heart removable because I think I am clever." She is clever and talented.

I would love this on my table. It looks like we'll get our pudding after all. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Calendars That Will Worry Your Co-Workers

Have you found the perfect 2015 calendar for your office yet? I found a few on Etsy that might work well for you. They've all been updated for the coming year. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Sexy Monster Calendar by ModusDeoudes comes in three sizes and makes me giggle.
Moonshine Devil by Pioneer House will remind you it's time for happy hour.
Mythical Beast Monthly Planner by AbbotsHollowStudio is a scream. They have lots of other cool stuff like mythical creature bags, notebooks and even light switch covers.
Things Left Behind by JillianAudreyDesigns has a quiet sort of spooky.

Sugar Skull Calendar from SolPixieDust

Monday, December 29, 2014

An Abandoned Dollhouse

You may recall that I have a desire to create a haunted dollhouse. This has been in the back of my mind for a few years now and is starting to bubble to the surface. Perhaps 2015 will be the year?

I came across a post from 2012 on the blog Pixie Hill (fabulous creations by the way- worth following) that made my heart stop. Pixie Hill artist Nichola Battilana found a dollhouse abandoned for the trash and created a hauntingly spectacular abandoned dollhouse. Battilana creates everything herself from scraps of cloth, wood, beads, clay, etc. I'm posting her photos, but you should read Battilana's post to get the full effect.

I have goosebumps.

This is what Battilana found on the side of the street before starting her redesign. Amazing.

Friday, December 26, 2014

All Lit Up!

In Ecuador, they celebrate the New Year by burning effigies of pop culture figures, politicians, TV and movie characters, and anything else you can imagine. Some are simple newspaper creations and some are very, very large paper mache sculptures. The effigies represent things you want to get rid of in the new year and at midnight they are burned. There is also a tradition where the men dress in drag and beg for money. They pretend to be the widows of the effigies. Another road trip is necessary.
Ecuador at Your Service
List 25
New Years Eve is definitely about burning something. Even if you're just burning a list of things you don't want around you anymore. Some cultures also burn wishes for things you do want to happen. In Russia at the stroke of midnight you burn a slip of paper with your wish for the new year and then quickly toss the ashes in a glass of champagne and drink it before the final stroke of twelve for your wish to come true. Na zdorovje!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Ghost Stories

In the nineteenth century, it was traditional to tell ghost stories around the fire on Christmas Eve. Of course, I have a feeling that anytime there were a group of people gathered around the fire in the nineteenth century there was a telling of ghost stories- Christmas Eve or not. Let's ignore that for a moment though and think about bringing the tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve back to life. Charles Dicken's "Christmas Carol" doesn't seem so odd now does it? He was just another bloke telling another ghost story.

In 1891, Jerome K. Jerome edited an anthology of ghost stories for Christmas Eve called "Told After Supper." Fortunately for us, we can read it for free at Project Gutenberg.

In his introduction, Jerome writes:
Christmas Eve is the ghosts' great gala night. On Christmas Eve they hold their annual fete. On Christmas Eve everybody in Ghostland who IS anybody—or rather, speaking of ghosts, one should say, I suppose, every nobody who IS any nobody—comes out to show himself or herself, to see and to be seen, to promenade about and display their winding-sheets and grave-clothes to each other, to criticise one another's style, and sneer at one another's complexion.

What follows the humorous introduction is the retelling of 6 short ghostly stories. In our modern world of everyday horror these stories probably won't scare you very much. Still, light a few candles if you don't have a fireplace and gather the family for the annual telling of ghost stories. Read a few of Jerome's if you don't have any of your own. I suspect you do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas with the Addams Family

 I don't know how this escaped my attention until now, but there is a Christmas episode of the Addams Family that I've never seen! True, I don't spend a great deal of time watching old episodes of the Addams family these days. Perhaps I should.

Dear Santa,
I have been decent if not exactly good. If you could, please forget about the hot tub for now and just drop "The Addams Family Volume 3" down my chimney.
That would be great. The 6th episode on that disc has "Christmas with the Addams Family" and I know you would like me to see it. It wouldn't hurt to include Volumes 1 and 2 as well if you happened to have them sitting around.
Thanks very much.

This could turn out to be a new favorite.

I think an idea for next year's Christmas card is starting to form.

Monday, December 22, 2014

And What To My Wondering Eyes Should Appear

And what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a front page Krampus headline in the New York Times.

I believe my work is done here. Read the article, watch the 4 minute video and remember I said when Krampus becomes a Macy's Day Parade balloon, you'll know Krampus is here for real. Well, we're getting closer to that day.

I think Virginia said it best when she told her father "If you read it in the New York Times it must be true." Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus and  a Krampus or two.

Friday, December 19, 2014

These are a few (more) of my favorite things

I've been on Etsy like a madwomen lately trying to get my Christmas shopping done while I'm at work. Don't judge. I've seen some splendid things and since they don't really suit the people I'm shopping for, I thought I'd pass them on to you. Perhaps you'll find the gift for someone who has everything.

Skull Shave Brush by GothChicAccessories
Crow Skull Hair Pony Tail Holder by mrd74
Carved Raven Chandelier by JasonTennett
Beetle Trimming Tree Miniature by LisaWoodCuriosities
Porcelain Deer Skull by Porcelainskulls
May the Saint of Shopping be with you. I'm sure there must be one.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Have you read Susanna Clarke's fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? Well, it's time because the BBC is in production with the mini series and it will play on BBC America. Take heed, it is big. It's over 900 pages long and dense with footnotes concerning an invented magical history of England. It also moves at the pace of smoke or fog. I think that's the fairies' doing. Wow, I'm not sure I would read it after that description. I should also mention it is great. So great that Neil Gaiman called it "Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years." As for the 900 or so pages, well, at least it comes to an end. You don't have to wait years for the next volume in the series to be published and then try to remember what the hell happened previously (ahem, Mr. George R.R. Martin.)

In a nutshell, the story takes place in the nineteenth century in England where magic is making a reappearance. A Wikipedia article lays out themes of friendship, reason and madness, Englishness, and historical otherness. I laughed when I read that and then thought, perfect. There is a great deal of dry wit in this novel.

This is Clarke's first novel. I know, it kills me too. I think fairies most certainly must have stolen her away for a time while she was writing. How could all of this come from one person's head on the first try?

If you're feeling a bit daunted, perhaps you could start with Clarke's collection of short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, all of which take place in the same world as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The short stories will whet your appetite for more.

I've rambled on enough without saying much. Just go buy the book.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pushing Daisies

Morticians must have a great sense of humor. I think you would have to have one to survive. That's why I love the shop Pushing Daisies. It's a novelty shop for the mortuary industry. There are so many fun things on the site.

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You'll find everything from clothing to jewelry to office decor and baking supplies at Pushing Daisies. Here are some of my favorites.
Casket Chocolate Bar! 
Casket Christmas Tree Ornament
Coffin Wallet
Requiem Triptych Necklace 
Awesome T Shirt
Lunch Box/Beer Cooler
Hearse  Cookie Cutter
Skeleton Clock 
Business Card Holder

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Patches by MTthreads

MTthreads in East Hartford, CT has a great line of embroidered patches. There must be hundreds of designs. The price is so reasonable that you could easily buy enough patches for your socks, underwear, and cats. Yes, that's right, your cats. They would also make great stocking stuffers for everyone in your family. They specialize in gothic and steampunk patches but there are also some "cutesy" patches as well.

You should also check out MTCoffinz, a sister shop, for fun alternative clothing.