Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Family Undertaking--and a question to ponder...

I watched a Netflix documentary the other night that was quite fascinating, A Family Undertaking, a story on the family self burial movement. I didn't know that there was such a thing. First of all, it was excellent, I couldn't stop watching it once I started. Second of all, it will leave you scream-crying uncontrollably. Once I re hydrated myself from the tears I shed, I started to think (a dangerous thing); how do I want to be buried and how do I want it carried out?
First of all, if anyone puts me in a suit and tie, I will come back and haunt them. I doubledogdare anyone to do that to me. I want a bright and colorful Hawaiian shirt on with khaki short pants and socks and my sneakers. I would want to be buried in my Hallowe'en casket that I made that I use every year in the yard display but I would like it lined inside and I'd like an afghan covering me like I'm taking a nap. As far as flowers, any goshawful obnoxiously bright and colorful flowers would be my preferences, but I would request no carnations, just don't care for them. And lastly, I have an old teddy bear that I'd like to keep me company.

Now, how would YOU like to be taken care of when it's time to relocate to the bone garden?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Started

Yesterday I made the first baby step to this year's Hallowe'en display...I pulled out the infamous Axworthy Flying Ghost system that I started on last year. For those unfamiliar with the Axworthy system, HERE is an impressive example of a nighttime shot of Raven's Manor Axworthy. It's a trolly system that supports a small 'ghost' that floats around the yard. It's infamous because it's very temperamental, it has a tendency to fall off the drive wheels and generally be a pain in the %#$@*& but when it works, it's truly a beautiful effect. I needed a drive belt and went to a local auto parts store and simply asked for a serpentine belt that was thin and very long. Of course, "what is the application?" Long sigh from Mr. Macabre, here we go, "I'm working on the drive mechanism for a flying ghost system. I'm a haunter and am starting on Hallowe'en already." He didn't bat an eye, picked out a perfect belt for me, said "Hey, I see shows where people decorate all year for Christmas, Halloween can't be much different." If only there were more like him in the world.

I will have plenty of absinthe when I'm building and testing it, everyone I have heard that has attempted this project says that I'm going to need it. Anyone else done the Axworthy effect and lived to tell about it? I'd love to hear your ideas, tips, anecodotes, etc...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Walk Through It Is...and Fuzzy Chickens!!!

You voted and I will say that it was closer than I thought (and yes, I voted too, I voted to do a walkthrough but I didn't stuff the ballot box either; it still would have been 3 for the same, 4 for the walkthrough).

That was actually fun.

I love the fair in the fall. Ms. M and I used to go every year. There's not much better eating than funnel cakes, sausage dogs slathered in onions and peppers made on a grill that has a food rating below freezing, cotton candy, and parched peanuts that you throw the hulls on the ground.
My favorite thing to see was the livestock. No kidding. I loved the fuzzy chickens the best.

But the rides...I'm just a little bit over them as I've gotten older...except the spookhouse. If you ever saw two adults getting into one of those tiny cars and then hear maniacal screaming all through the ride (YYYYEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! IT'S A RUBBER MASK!!!! SCRRRRRREEEEEAAAAAMMMMMMMM!!!! OH DEAR LORD NOOOO!!!! IT'S A BROKEN TIN SKELETON!!!!!) it was probably us. But we had fun. Those old beat up midway rides piqued my interest in dark rides. Dark rides are basically rides in an enclosed space, usually in the dark, Disney's Haunted Mansion perhaps the most famous. I love them, the cheesier, older, more primitive the better! I found a DVD that I would like to recommend to anyone that may have a love of dark rides found here! It's a behind the scenes from a very old dark ride in Knoebels' Haunted House. There was interviews with the ride attendants, the maintenance staff and the owners. It was fascinating if you have any interest in old dark rides!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

For That Early Hallowe'en Fix...

You may,(or may not)know that I'm a member of the Halloween-L list, an Internet discussion list of hundreds, maybe thousands of people with one common passion...Hallowe'en. Each year, we send in a video of our haunt to be professionally compiled by a very generous gentleman known as Propmaster in which we can buy a copy and see what everyone else is doing. This year has over 100 (I think it's about 120) different haunts on 7 or 8 DVD's. Some are spellbinding, some are, well, different. But all will put you in the mood for Halloween.

Order yourself a set today right here for just 30.00 plus a small shipping fee!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jesus in the box

Or Jesus to go. On a highway a few miles from my house. Someone carved life sized Jesus and lamb statues and constructed a miniature display house for them. One of my appointments was right next to it and I decided to snap a picture and share.

It's a landmark, people refer to it as Jesus in the box. It's really nicely detailed and you have to be impressed by this person's devotion to have done this, at least I am.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ms. M's Present

This is Ms. M and her present. She looks particularly nefarious for some reason, like 'don't screw with me or you'll be next'.

We've known each other since kindergarten and I attribute my creativity to her. Through the years she has expanded my horizons in the arts, challenged me creatively beyond what I thought I was capable of and generally has been maybe the biggest instrumental force in shaping my sick, twisted personality and for that I am forever grateful. Everyone should get themselves a Ms. M or the equivalent thereof, I recommend them highly.

Weight Watchers Update...

And the verdict %$#@^&!!! 216.2!!! About time! On a side note, I accidently put on a pair of my old jeans and they fit, even a tiny bit loose. I was disheartened all day until I looked at the label later and found they were my indeed my old jeans and not any of my new ones that are really baggy now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Question for You...

As you all know, Hallowe'en is just around the corner, well, at least it is for me. I am torn this year (yes, I know it's February) whether to start planning for the front yard display again this year, or do a walk-through haunt for this year in the backyard. Here's the pros and cons of both...

Front yard pros:
1. Easily viewed from street
2. Has become somewhat of a tradition
3. Can control angle of viewing of audience

Front yard cons:
1. Props easily stolen from street
2. Have to take in display each night
3. Running out of display space

Walk Through Haunt pros:
1. Can lock the fence in the backyard
2. Lots more room
3. More light control

Walk Through cons:
1. Won't be displayed except certain nights and times
2. Would have to advertise attraction
3. Not sure how well recieved it would be.

Has anyone done a haunted house/graveyard before? Went from a yard haunt to a walk through attraction? Would love to hear from you! Try out the new poll thingie!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Easy but Impressive Tea Time Snack

I wish that this country had tea time. Sausage Von Trapp and I sometimes have afternoon coffee or tea over conversation (or more truthfully, a gossip session, one of my guilty pleasures) and it just seems like a wonderful, relaxing time. This little snack is very quick and easy and blows people away when you serve it for dessert, but especially at tea time.

1 sheet of puff pastry (in the freezer section near the pie shells)
1 bag of frozen berries, thawed, your preference
1 can of whipped cream
melted butter
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400

Grease a cookie sheet. Allow puff pastry sheet to thaw for 30 minutes. Roll out carefully and cut into squares, approximately 9. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.

Sweeten berries with sugar if desired. Place pastry on individual serving plate. Place approximately 1/4 cup berries on and around pastry and top with whipped cream.

Squirt orange food coloring on it if you're mad because this isn't a strictly Hallowe'en post.

Finished the Disturbing Present!

If you're my friend, you get gifts that are not necessarily pretty. I worked on this for about 2 months for a friend of mine who I hope will not read my blog before I give it to her. I've known her for about 40 years, we understand each other.

The little devils bite when you try to catch them!

Ooohhh, pretty!

I got tulips for Valentine's Day! I love flowers! Here's also some from the yard that are blooming prematurely as well as some nosey cats, Albert, Alexis, Crystal and Pusspuss.

Gads I wish spring would hurry up!

Unkle Pigors and his Toxic Toons

Truly demented and in need of help, this wonderful artist delights with a menagerie of spooky and most of the time nauseatingly gross characters reminiscent of Rat Fink and those old bubble gum cards of the big headed freaks happily gear shifting their souped up hot rods, eyes popping out, tongues flapping and flames blazing from the pipes.

Enjoy Children's Day at the Morgue, a film featuring Unkle Pigors and the vocal talents of Sheldon Allman.

I would love to have this guy as a neighbor!

*Warning---Big download, but worth it in my humble opinion!*

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What the H E Doublehockeysticks?!!

I'm feeling better this morning, I'm cussing using elementary school phrases.

In my quest to eat better, I picked up a package of turkey bacon on sale. Tastes just like bacon! Looks like bacon! Kids can't tell the difference!

I opened the package this morning. My bacon has never had a scalloped edge before.

I am scared but trudge onward to the microwave...

The scalloped edging looks a little less disturbing. Someone somewhere in some lab had to come up with this, you realize that, don't you.

Tastes like a thick, stale bacon flavored potato chip. Kids WILL know the difference!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A little blowing off of steam

I haven't really blogged lately about any real personal stuff I've been going through. This week has been weird. For one, our company checking account was forged by a group of crooks. They got a copy of a check of ours, duplicated it (forged) on a computer and cashed it to the tune of 850.00. The bank caught it the next day (the magnetic ink was missing therefore it was not able to read the check and it spit it out). They tried it again yesterday and ran out of the bank before they could make out with 950.00. The bank of course put the money back into our account but still it's scary. They said that this is common now and getting more so as the economic downturn progresses. The local police here have turned the whole matter over to the FBI because it's becoming so widespread and they can't handle it.
I haven't felt good today, probably my nerves are shot. Business stinks, but we have low overhead so we can scrape by. It's a scary time right now. I have been considering getting a second job if I can find one to try and save some money since all my retirement went bye bye last September.
But even as I write this, I feel somewhat better just getting it out of my head and into print. Mrs. Macabre's business is booming and I'm thankful for that.
On a lighter note, I got a short e-mail this week from an amusement park manufacturer that they liked Harry the Hitcher. I was more than a little flattered and thanked them for the kind words. My dream one day is to construct a ride through haunted attraction kind of like Disney's Haunted Mansion (on a much smaller scale of course). If anyone can help me gather information on homemade ride systems, I would be most appreciative because I have no idea who what when where and how to do it. I think I can haunt it but I don't have any idea how to ride you through it. I have several new inspirations for ghosts for the Final Unresting Place this year. Hallowe'en falls on a Saturday so this year is the biggie.

Anyhow, believe it or not, I feel better. Thank you everyone for frequenting this blog. I really appreciate and value each and every one that reads these posts, both the good ones and the bad...and the Pickle Surprise ones too.

Aka. Mr. Macabre

I'm Sorry

I'm so, so sorry, I have put this off for as long as I could.

It has nothing to do with Hallowe'en, the American way of life or fine Judeo-Christian values that have shaped our great nation for the last 200 years. But for some reason, it's like Napoleon Dynamite; you might not get it or like it at first but after the 8th or 10th time watching it, it becomes a favorite of yours, after the mental hemorrhaging.

And yes, that is the famous RuPaul.

Dancing Skeleton

Short, sweet and cute. I like this little guy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Macabrely Dining--Part Two

This idea comes from my dear fiend, Sausage Von Trapp. I remember her calling me all excited when she saw something like it on HGTV but done with a wooden artist's mannequin hand. She told me of it and I ran with it from there.
Napkin rings are cool, they can set the mood of the table and be a focal point in and of themselves. But we need something a bit more...dark. Try this on for size...

Forgive the cocktail napkins, I couldn't find my Hallowe'en linens.

These are especially easy...first, procure some skeleton hands from EBay or otherwise (and if you choose otherwise, bring me a couple!). They're not expensive, usually around 5 to 8 dollars each, free if you dig them up in a forgotten cemetery!

All you do is cut the springy looking wires holding the knuckles together (don't cut the wires that go through the fingers!). Decide if you want palm up or back of hand up and use Liquid Nails to cover the side of the wrist bones that will lie on the table. Let dry. Bend the fingers into the shape of a grasp and wire together the best way you can (I would definately suggest that you make the grasp as wide as you can to accomodate a large napkin easily). Glue the joints with Liquid Nails on the side that you will not see (facing down or away from you) and the fingers and thumb together. Let dry, at least 2 days. Liquid Nails is good stuff but it does take a long time to dry no matter what the tube says. You don't have to use Liquid Nails if you can find something better; I simply use it because it's cheap, tough, and mostly has the same texture and color of the skeleton hand. When done, you can either leave it like I've done, corpse it up right (look on the Internet on corpsing techniques, there's a ton of them out there), or do a little bling with a ring, fingernails if you want, whatever your table dictates. But most of all, have fun with these! They're easy, fun and great looking on a table!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weight Watchers Update

And the verdict is...195! I made my goal in a week! Yaaaahhhh!

Actually, it's still 218. Damn plateau.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Episode 1--Macabrely Dining

First of all, I have an advanced degree in interior design and graduated with honors from my school so what I say goes because I have a piece of paper that says I have good taste.
Tee Hee, I've always wanted to say that. Actually, Mrs. Macabre reminds me on a more or less consistent basis that the only taste I have is in my mouth. It is true that I do have an advanced interior design degree and I did graduate with honors but it's also true that I can't decorate for myself to save my life. I say this to stress that there is no good or bad taste, there is only different and I'm going to show some ideas and different ways of decorating macabrely, or at least I'm a'gonna try to...

Dining macabrely could mean something like (and rest assured that if I step on any toes, I sincerely do not mean to) a plate from a Spirit store shaped like a skull or a Frankenstein's monster's head (and I do have the skull plates myself), a plastic cup or wine glass shaped like a mummy from Michael's and something like a cauldron in the middle of the table with dry ice bellowing smoke from it with some small plastic spiders scattered about. And you would be right, that would indeed signify the season and be very Hallowe'eny. But there's more. I had an assignment in college to design a restaurant around a movie theme. The example that the professor gave of a "C" grade was Superman (the very first Superman movie. Yes, I'm old). Green crystal chandeliers, blue and red accents, a poster of an aerial view of the Manhattan skyline would buy you a "C" grade. He didn't give an example of an "A" project (the B@*&%$#@!) but we got the drift. Give the flavor of the supernatural without "sledgehammer symbolism".

Let's start from the ground up, what do you eat out of? Right, a plate. When you think about plates, what do plates do? Right, they hold food. I was taught that your plate shouldn't distract from the presentation of the food, unless you make some of my dishes and you will need all the distraction that you can get. Ok, most plates of finer restaurants are plain white but since I eat out of white dishes everyday (paper plates), we will compromise with a simplistic design. I found some dishes that I love and collect:

These are Casa Yalos Murano and technically they are chargers, which are just over sized plates for pretty. If you serve different courses, you simply change out a clear glass over plate (found at most any party supply store or restaurant supply), keeping the decorative charger at the place setting.
But you say, "I can't find these dishes! You outbid me on EBay every time!" to which I reply, "Yes, I do and will continue to do so to the best of my ability." But get creative, make something personal, make your own. Pick up a charger blank at a crafts/hobby store or get a glass charger and reverse paint it with the design you want. The sky's the limit! Paint a set of Jack Skellington faces with different expressions on each, a simple stylized skull, a pumpkin, anything!
There's something else you can do to make it all the more magical...Uranium Glass. Also called Vaseline Glass, this is glass that has usually around 2% uranium up to 25% uranium in it. A ghostly bright green in color, this glass is perfectly safe to eat or drink out of.

However, put a black light on it and the real magic happens...

Quite ethereal, isn't it? Think of the fun you can have with a set of these. But remember, take a portable black light with you to an antique or rummage store before you buy; many people simply do not know what is and isn't Vaseline glass and if it doesn't glow, it's not much use to you if a ghostly tablescape is what you're going for. Ebay always has skads of Uranium glass for auction and Buy It Now also.
These are just some ideas to get you started, to get you thinking outside the coffin and by far, not anywhere near a conclusive or definitive list.

More Macabrely Dining...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ok, Last Tea Post, I Promise

It was gorgeous yesterday, 70 degrees, not too sunny, one of those days where you walk around the yard just looking around, not doing a blame thing. Decided to light the chimnea on the back porch last night and try a new brand of flowering tea, Tea Posey from Target. Was very nice with a pronounced jasmine flavor. This one bloomed with a little arch of white flowers above the rose colored flower and greenery.

Ok, so I'm a sissy.

Next up...a series that was going to go into a book that I was going to write on Macabrely Living Elegantly, Elegantly Macabrely Living, Macabrely Elegant Living...oh $%^#@& that's why I never wrote it, couldn't get past the title!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gorilla Boogers

If you want to be a hero, nay, a god/goddess to anyone under the age of 13, make Gorilla Boogers for a party treat. I have made them and have my own shrine that several children have erected in my honor.

Simply make Rice Crispy Treats except substitute Frosted Flakes instead of the Rice Crispies. Shape in irregular booger shapes, adding a touch of yellow food coloring to your hands when shaping (I use surgical gloves to keep my hands from being stained). When cooled, add a tiny bit of red food coloring to your hands and dot it over here and there for, well, you know, you pick your nose at a traffic light just like I do.

Actually, I like them better than the original treats...and if you make them out of Fruity Pebbles, you get a sugar rush that makes Red Bull look tame!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My New Computer

We got us a new computer...

It's an HP Touchsmart, one of the ones that you can move the curser around the screen with your finger. Yeah, that one. It runs Vista 64 bit too.


It's pretty, the screen is nice and sharp, but there's so many bugs in the program it will lock up if you don't hold your mouth just right (a Southern expression). So children, heed Mr. Macabre's warning, don't buy one of these things...there's more bugs than a lice outbreak at an elementary school in this thing!

I did get the ergonomic keyboard from Microsoft...I love it. This thing has a wonderful 'feel' to the keys as you type and a curve in the middle that puts your hands in a relaxed, natural position. I might put it on my old XP computer and use it instead, I hate this thing, and I can't take it back either.

Magic Tea--The Pumpkin Tea Arriveth, Tea Time!

Hello Dearest Friends and Fiends,
I received my pumpkin teapot and tea from the other day. Shipping was fast and everything was packaged very well. The teapot is borosilicate (Pyrex) and stovetop safe and my two favorite words of all--dishwasher safe. It's very pretty and comes with a steeping insert so that loose tea can be used.

The tea comes in a little dried ball, rather unimpressive. The bouquet is just, well, that of a fine tea, I didn't pick up on any pumpkin aromas.

Placing it in the teapot, I poured hot water around it and watched it 'bloom' into a little pumpkin with leaves at the base.

I tasted it after allowing it to steep a bit. Still no pumpkin taste or aroma but that's ok, it has a wonderfully delicate green tea taste. I tried a little sweetener (after all, I am a Southerner and we do like our sweet tea), first of all aguave sweetener (barely tasted it) and then honey (ahhhhhh, very nice). But then I pulled out my Demerara sugar cubes and...perfect.

Overall review, although no detectable pumpkin or spice scent, this tea has a wonderful light flavor and a nice floor show as it blooms in the pot. The pot itself is beautiful yet made of tough glass and something I noticed was that the pouring spout was carefully shaped that I didn't spill any liquid or didn't drip down the spout. Well designed and pretty.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Insane amount of talent...

This isn't a photograph, it's a drawing of a kitty. This is crazy.

Don't believe me? You callin' me a liar again? See for yourself...

More of this really gifted artist's work, Mr. Paul Lung, here on Deviant Art.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weight Watchers $&%@!! Update...

And the verdict is...a #$%&*@!!! plateau! 218.0. I should be grateful that I'm holding my own. Oh well, going to keep on keeping on, can't give up!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My 100th Post! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

This is my 100th post! I was saving this one for later but what the H E Doublehockeysticks, here goes....

I guess that eye moisturizer cream was a little bit out of date...

Oh Me Oh My!

Ooooh, pretty! I could see this on my dresser, easily! Via Pushin Daisies, a great store for all your stylish dead and decaying needs!

Razor Blade Cake

This post is questionable to say the least. I am not right, I know that. No angel food cake was harmed in the making of this parody. I did this a few years back, I don't know why but it was the right thing to do at the time. The 'blood' is raspberry sauce.

I need help.