Thursday, June 30, 2016

Adagio Teas Fandom Blends

So it's true. My resolve not to host a Halloween party this year is starting to gnaw away at me.  I just started day dreaming about what a Halloween brunch would like like. Would that even make sense? I began doing a tiny bit of research on haunted tea parties last weekend and came upon the perfect tea to serve at your next haunted event or any storming day. If I don't have a party, at least I got a blog post out of it.

Adagio Teas makes artisan tea blends. The website has hundreds to choose from, but what caught my eye are the Fandom Signature Blends. If you are a fan of any science fiction, horror, super hero, anime, or television series they make a tea for that. And not just one tea! They make an entire collection for one theme. It's fabulous. The teas come in metal tins with cool artwork. You know how all the creative people make tiny altars from Altoid tins? Well, I think Adagio Tea tins are going to be the next big thing. There is a huge cauldron full of teas to choose from. It's going to take you awhile to decide which ones you absolutely must have in your pantry.

A Swinging Wake Collection: Aura of Foreboding
American Horror Story Collection: Marie Laveau
Tim Burton Teas Collection: Skellington

Halloween Collection: Frankenstein
The Vampire Chronicles Collection: Lestat de Lioncourt
Sleepy Hollow Collection: Ichabod Crane
Edgar Allan Poe Collection: Edgar
I could spend hours looking at the available teas, but I know the taste is important too so there are rating from customers who have tried the blends. I think this could be addictive. I'm already obsessed with the idea of waking up in the morning, assessing my mood and choosing an evil tea.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Patches from One Hand Print Studio

When did putting patches on your jean jacket come back in fashion? I'm not necessarily opposed to it unless the patches are smiley faces and rainbows. Please, please, please, no rainbow suspenders.

I can definitely get behind the screen-printed patches form One Hand Print Studio. Their patches are made with white ink on black and have incredible detail and style. And, they're dark, dark, dark.

Rat Skull
Four Eyed Cat
Cursed Clown
Death Space
The Eye That Can See Everything
Coffin Heart
Confession: I don't own a jean jacket....I really want all of these patches to make a quilt. How cool would that be?! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rod Serling

Rod Serling, best known for creating The Twilight Zone series, died at the age of 50 on June 28, 1975.  I am in awe of all that he accomplished by that age. I have been familiar with Serling's name since I was a child. I remember episodes of the tv show (in rerun, mind you) playing on our black and white television and Serling was a local celebrity in our town of Binghamton, NY where he spent most of his childhood and graduated from high school.

Writing today's post about him is difficult. There is so much to say and a million things you can purchase with the Rod Serling/Twilight Zone theme. How to choose? For me, what is important to know is that Serling opened the minds of a generation using horror, fantasy, and science fiction like no one before him. He subtly, and not so subtly, raised issues of racism, censorship, and anti-war activism during the family-hour on television. No one was doing that - he changed all of us.

And then, he co-wrote the screenplay for The Planet of the Apes with Michael Wilson.

The Twilight Zone Intro

Watch an episode of The Twilight Zone today in memory of Rod Serling. I wonder what he would have created for us to consider in these muddled times?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Los Bichos de Villaoscura: Spooky Dolls & Such

Etsy knows me well. The site is always showing me just what I like. The thing I like best is how it connects me with artists all over the world.  It makes my morning posting so much easier. Today, I share Villaoscura with you. It's a shop from Madrid, Spain. These dolls are calling to me.

Katarina the Creepy Circus Aerialist
Ertael Fallen Angel
Koff of the Wormnakes
Peleghan One-Eyed Troll
Villaoscura has other haunting items as well.

The Grady Twins Pendant and Jewelry Box
Classic Monsters Pencil Holder
Gorgon Medusa Brooch

These are just some of my favorites. There are many more fun items to view in the shop. Take a look around.

Friday, June 24, 2016

She Walks Softly

It's highly probably that you, like me, follow several blogs of the spooky and unusual. I keep meaning to do a post about some of my favorite blogs that I'd like to share with you. No time like the present!

One of the blogs at the top of my list is called She Walks Softly. Blogger Dana Anhalt has an eye for unusual art that leans more toward fantasy than horror. Her posts send me scurrying all over the internet to find out more about the artists she features. I have a long list of bookmarked blogs that I check every week and when I don't feel like I have the time to look at all of them, I still check in with She Walks Softly. I hope it's on your list too and if not what are you waiting for?

I was delighted to learn that Anhalt has recently opened an Etsy shop of her own work. The shop is also called She Walks Softly (smart) and at the moment has a beautiful selection of pendants that pay homage to memento mori jewelry. Take a look.

Lover's Eye Pendant
Cat's Eye Pendent
Lover's Eye Brooch
Lover's Eye Pendant
Lover's Eye Pendant

I just love these pendants. Anhalt, for a small extra fee, will use a photo of a specific eye that you request. It will be Photoshopped to look like a portrait. You could use a pet's eye, a loved ones eye, or even the eye of a celebrity. My mind is whirling with possibilities. Make sure you check out Anhalt's blog and shop today. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

St. John's Eve

June 23 is celebrated in many places around the world as St. John's Eve. The Catholic Church honors St. John the Baptist's birthday on June 24th and long ago many of the pagan customs of the Summer Solstice became co-mingled with the Christian holiday. The website has an interesting article about the history and traditions of the St. John's Eve Bonfire.

St. John's Eve is a night for magic and it's celebrated with bonfires from Denmark to Ireland to Brazil and beyond. In Quebec, Canada, St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the province and the holiday is celebrated with bonfires and parades. In the United States, it is mostly celebrated in the French regions of Louisiana. New Orleans celebrates St. John's Eve with Voodoo rituals.

Large St. John's Eve Bonfire in Alesund, Norway
It's on St. John's Eve that the blending of Christian and pagan practices are most visible. Believed to be a night for strong magic, St. John's Eve is a time for dreaming of your true love and protecting yourself from evil.

The herb St. John's Wort which blooms around this time has become a symbol for the celebration. Witchipedia (yes, there is such a thing) says that you can sleep with a sprig under your pillow for a vision of St. John in your dreams. If you don't have the vision, however, you're probably going to die in the next year. Yikes!

St. John's Wort (source: National Practitioner Magazine)
To protect against evil spirits St. John's Wort is also thrown in bonfires, made into wreathes hung on doors, and woven into crowns. Other St. John's Eve traditions include collecting the dew on St. John's Day morning before it evaporates for magical healing properties. Hop over to a post on the blog The Bittersweet Gourmet called St. John's Eve: Remedies & Rituals You Should Have Performed Last Night for more ideas.

I have St. John's Wort planted in my garden and when I looked last evening it was just about to bloom. I'm hoping for at least one flower today. I'll probably put a sprig or two around the doors tonight, just in case. If you don't have any St. John's Wort, maybe you can light a bonfire or at least a candle. I think it's important to keep these folk traditions alive.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Haunting Yard Art

A friend and her family vacationed in Colorado last year and told me that as they were driving in the countryside they saw a house surrounded by woods that had silhouettes of Bigfoot nestled in the trees. They loved it so much they drove past it several times.

Why should we save our spookiness just for October? It's always more startling to see something when you don't expect it. However, I'm not encouraging you to be that neighbor. These things take subtlety. After all, seeing a witch on your front lawn in March is just disappointing.

In my yard I have a sea of ferns along the side of the house. I'm thinking I could put the silhouette of a skeleton rising out of them. You wouldn't see it till you rounded the corner, really. That would probably be unexpected. The shape of a man or a group of wolves at the edge of the woods near our fire pit would be spooky too, I think.

Chartini's Yard Art has some great pieces. Bookmark this shop for Halloween. Order now and you'll be sure to have what you need when October rolls around. Just remember, a little goes a long way.
Wolf Pack
Skeleton Chase
Zombie Shadow
Skeleton Shadow
Werewolf Shadow
There are hundreds of holiday cut outs available. Each is made as they're ordered so remember to order early.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Horror Hoffine's Kickstarter Project

You may remember (probably not) that I posted about Joshua Hoffine's horror photography way back in October of 2014. I'd be surprised if you haven't seen Hoffine's work before. It's been floating around the internet for awhile now.  His carefully posed photos will bring back every childhood fear you've ever had. (I'm a bit afraid to purchase one and hang it in our house.) Hopefully, you're reading his blog.

Hoffine, in partnership with Dark Regions Press, is currently promoting a book of his photographs on Kickstarter. If you're interested get over there quickly because you have less than three days to support the campaign.

This is Hoffine's first book and is a collection of 13 years of horror photography. That's a lot of horror. Can you imagine having all that in your imagination? No wonder he has to recreate it. It's probably the only way to get it out. I'm sure his mother had no clue what was lurking there. He looks like such a nice man.

Rewards for backing the campaign range from an art card to hard cover copies of the completed book, t-shirts, a copy of Hoffine's short film Black Lullaby, and best of all, the opportunity to be in a Hoffine photo. That would be so amazing!

The estimated delivery date for this project is in December. Hmmmmm, sounds like the perfect Christmas gift for someone.  Do you need my address?

Head to Kickstarter now!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Georgia Guidestones

For many wonderful years, I lived in Athens, Georgia. This past weekend a close friend from Athens came to visit me and while I was driving her to the airport this morning I was thinking about the Summer Solstice and that reminded me of the Georgia Guidestones in Elberton,Georgia.

(source: Wikipedia)
First, a bit about Elberton, GA. This small rural community is located about 45 miles outside of Athens. It is known as the "Granite Capitol of the World" because of the granite mines there. I have a feeling there are other places in the US that would question Elberton's claim to fame, but that's for them to fight over.

My friends and I were known to venture to Elberton for two things. First, there were large areas where pieces of granite were thrown in a trash pile because they broke while they were being carved, they were left over pieces, or best of all there was a misspelling. If you had a garden and wanted to make a unique patio or edge a bed you went to the trash granite piles and loaded up your car or truck. I have a friend who made a patio from misspelled tombstones. It was fabulous. Not sure it was exactly legal, however.

The second reason you went to Elberton was to check out the Georgia Guidestones. The Guidestones are also known as the "American Stonehenge."  It was erected in 1980 by an anonymous person or group known only as R.C. Christian. It's located in a pasture with nothing else around, and consists of six slabs with what is often called an apocalyptic message written in eight modern languages and four ancient languages. The stones are arranged to coincide with astronomical events and the message inscribed has ten guidelines for the world.

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance of nature
Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity
Unite humanity with a living new language
Rule passion - faith- tradition and all things with tempered reason
Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts
Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court
Avoid petty laws and useless officials
Balance personal rights and social duties
Prize truth - beauty - love seeking harmony with the infinite
Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature

(source: RadioLiberty)
The Guidestones are written about fairly often and you may hear something about them elsewhere today because of the solstice. Last year the BBC wrote a travel article about them called "One of the US' Greatest Mysteries." It's as good a place to learn about them as any. 

You can imagine the controversy this has caused in rural Georgia. Some say it was created by Satan worshipers. Some say it's a message of new world order. Personally, I think it's lovely. I wish I could be there today to see the sun align with the slot for the solstices. If you're ever near Elberton, I think you should stop by and check it out. Maybe you'll come home with a misspelled tombstone.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's time to clean out my Etsy favorites box again so I have a few things to show you. If you like what you see, visit their shops. You might find something else that you can't live (or die) without.

Continuing with the embroidery theme from yesterday, Heritage Stitch offers cross stitch patterns so you can try to make something beautiful yourself.
Sugar Skull Cross Stitch by HeritageStitch

My sister-in-law is a wiz at knitting and crocheting. She made a shawl like this in black and I'm in love with it. This one is from OneCre8tiveMama.
Crocheted Skull Shawl by OneCre8tiveMama

BoneAndSkull has some wonderfully carved jewelry from bone.
Human Skull Ring fromBoneAndSkull

I need to find a place for these cabinet knobs from jade4wood.
Skull Cabinet Knobs from jade4wood

These measuring spoons from theRoosfoos are fabulous!
Calaveras Measuring Spoons from theRoosfoos

You haven't forgotten the movie The Witch from this spring already, have you? Well, I haven't and I'm giving some serious thought to this t-shirt.
Vote Black Phillip 2016 T-shirt from woeandshucks

Finally, this little piece of sculpture would be sensational for holding your rings.
Witch's Hand by PayneSculptures
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Embroidered Anatomy by Moonrise Whims

I have featured a few pieces of embroidery by Moonrise Whims artist Renee Rominger in previous posts. I thought it was time to spend a little more time with her gorgeous embroidery. I'm in love with the colors and blending of intricate detail with simple outlines. You can feel the joy in her work.

Rominger's pieces are made to order so you have the option of requesting certain colors and minor changes. Frankly, I think they're perfect just the way they are.

Human Skull with Florals
Skull Flower Pot
Floral Human Torso
Edgar Allen Poe
Human Eye
There is no beauty without some strangeness.
Edgar Allen Poe Quote
Someday, I'm going to take up embroidery. Really.