Wednesday, October 26, 2011

STJ Sneak Peek!

Updating on the 13th of November.  Two gourds; a buffalo gourd and a mini bottle are joined to form this ornery Party Animal.  Cat is 11" high to the tip of his tail and 10" long (base measures 7" x 5½").

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

STJ Preview for October!

Eeek!  It's almost that time! 

My October offering for Spookytime Jingles is a Fright Night Special with a vampire that's got a few bats to peddle. 

And I've spiffied up Septembers' Pixie and transformed him into Santa, the Little Helper.
Hope you like them!  See you there!

Wild Mushroom Hunting

So I’ve taken a (very) strong interest in wild mushrooms. A year ago my I saw on my son-in-law’s facebook page pictures of morel mushrooms that he, my daughter and two of their friends went hunting for. My curiosity was piqued as I am a nature-loving hiker. What a great combo, I thought: hiking with a purpose. I told my daughter to let me know the next time they go as I would like to join them to see what I should be looking for. Since morel grow in the spring the opportunity to search for them is limited and was passed at the point I asked to join them.


I googled morels and read up a small bit on edible wild mushrooms. Then one day this past September, shortly after the heavy rains here in the northeast U,S. of Tropical Storm Lee my husband & I went on a hike to a scenic overlook with a pasture-like setting near the Susquehanna river. Coming back down the hillside to the car I spied a giant puffball mushroom and plucked it from the ground remembering what I’d read about this type being edible. It was absolutely divine after I sautéed it then added it to our roast beef gravy. Needless to say, I’m hooked.

Now I had to educate myself as to how to identify the edible from the poisonous. Hubby is way more cautious than I and falls into the easily-scared off category concerning my mushroom finds so I usually have the majority to myself.

Several books later and numerous hikes since, I have found & sampled Hen-of-the-woods (too bland), Chicken-of-the-woods (too chewy/tough-may have been getting old) and my latest find: Bear Head Tooth or Lions Mane mushroom. We were on our bikes on a paved trail that borders the river near Marietta, Pa. All of this area was underwater for several weeks following Lee so I thought it may be wet enough to foster an outcropping of mushrooms despite a lack of rain. I was having no luck other than finding small artists conks – inedible bracket fungi that grows on the trunks of trees and a few others that I thought were probably poisonous but now suspect (I only took one so I could take a spore print) http://www.mushroomexpert.com/spore_print.html were honey mushrooms.

So this trail is about 2½ miles one way & the first time we ever went from one end to the other. About 2 miles in & on the way back I was going slower and really paying attention when I spotted a huge stump with the side covered in these bright white growths that look like ice formations.
I suspected what they were instantly and hopped off my bike to investigate. I ended up using a broken portion of a Styrofoam cooler to cradle my huge find and had to balance it on my handlebars to get it back to the truck.



After cleaning it I looked up how it should be cooked: broken up into nugget-sized pieces and sautéed in garlic butter. Yum! The description was correct, it has a bit of a seafood taste.


Apparently I was very lucky as my find was a rare one. Usually they grow up high on dead tree trunks so maybe the river flooding brought this particular hunk of tree trunk down to my level.




I’ve yet to find any chanterelles of horn-of-plenty’s but hey, I’m just getting started!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So I realize I 've been severely neglecting my blog.  I can only say in my defense that summertime finds me outdoors a good deal of the time.  I'm not overly bothered by the heat & when I am I simply retreat into the air conditioning.  I am one of those die-hard cold weather haters and wonder every winter what we are still doing in Pennsylvania.  And of course, as it starts to cool down it's time to kick into high gear creating more art for the Halloween season.

Some of the things that kept me busy this summer were the rebuilding of my pond by ripping out the stream bed and building a real waterfall mound.  I also built a gate for our deck to keep the dog around.  I DO miss my old Jack Russells, Rocco and Pippi who could be let out onto their ungated deck that leads into our unfenced yard & I could trust them to do their business and return in due time.  Willow, just over a year old, tends to be more like the traditional Jack Russell with way too much prey-chasing instinct so unless bound by fence or leash would take off  into the wild blue yonder chasing rabbits and squirrels.  Before I built the gate we used a pain-in-the-butt baby gate & once or twice forgot that it was not in place before leaving Willow onto the deck.  He ran to another block in our development & stole the ball a grandmother was tossing to her grandson.  I'm sure Willow thought he'd won a grand prize by thieving that ball and bringing it back to our house.  Thankfully the grandma-grandson duo thought it was 'cute'.  Regardless, we now have a gate that swings and latches -Yay!

I also built a ladder for our new shed.  We (finally!) bought a new barn-style shed with overhead storage on either side so I made a ladder that can be moved back & forth.  Hubby asked why not just use the step ladder?  To me that would mean that is where the step ladder would have to be stored & not in the attached garage where it is now & we can conveniently retrieve it for use around the house. The ladder is not perfect but it will do the job.

He has finally begun to work on changing our electrical service from 100 amps to 200 so that should allow him to finish the room that is SUPPOSED to become my art studio. Then I can vacate the spare bedroom/computer room and make it into an actual bedroom for the grandkids's sleepovers.  I've got my second on the way & due in February!

And as usual, aside from my day job I've been busy creating art.  I've been redoing some of my unsolds and offering them on eBay.  I just don't have the room to store them so it's either sell them at bargain basement prices or redo them & try to make them more appealing.  Here is my current redo, a little witch - I've repositioned her eyes and traded her cat for a pumpkin.


 Li'l Witch on eBay

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gone Missing....

Didn't realize it had been that long since I posted so my sincerest apologies for being so boring and unattentive but I really have been keeping busy.  Anyway, a new post will be forthcoming shortly!

Till then my dear friends...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bootique Offering - Double Trouble!

Blogspot is giving the administrator of the Castle Bootique fits this month & so she is having trouble posting July's offerings so I will offer a view of Ed & Ned Dread here, two brothers who are as close as two brothers can be!  It's picture day at Ghoulie School & they are excited & grinning like fools.

7" high x 7" wide
 

The Florida Keys


Sorry, my lovlies, that I've been scarce.  Very, very busy working & trying to create. Enjoyed a week in Florida a month ago, had gorgeous weather and a lovely time.  We only fly somewhere every 5 years.  Went snorkeling for the first time & absolutely loved it.  Next time I vow to buy an underwater camera.  I must have seen over 50 different species of tropical fish!  Even saw the tail of a small reef shark swim quickly away from us!  We stayed on Long Key and used the week to explore the keys below us.  Key Largo did not impress and Islamorada, although being told by several people that is was their favorite didn't charm us as much.  Bahia Honda and Key Biscayne were my favorites.  I'd definitely go back.

The lighthouse at Cape Florida in Bill Baggs Park on Key Biscayne


A polydactyl (six-toed) descendant of Hemingway's cats on Key West

The chickens that roam everywhere on Key West.


The fabulous views from the 7 mile bridge.

The Southermost House on Key West - A bed & breakfast.  Stunning architecture!

No explanation needed but it was a trick just to grab a pic with no one near!

Our resort apartment was 2 short blocks up and canal-side but this was the view from the main resort which we were able to enjoy as well.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spookytimejingles.NET!

 Zoinks! *** You will not find us tonight at spookytimejingles.com - we've encountered a problem!  Please visit us at Spookytimejingles .net
See below for the official announcement:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to a serious problem with our domain registrar, our website update will take place at www.SpookyTimeJingles.net this month. www.SpookyTimeJingles.com is currently unavailable due to circumstances beyond our control. We are working on the problem and hope to have it resolved soon!. THANK YOU! 

Hope to see you there, I have a yummy moon man this month!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Great National Halloween Convention!

Wendy taking a break near the bookcase of the Victorian parlor.



Last weekend was the annual Nat'l Haunters Convention in King of Prussia, Pa.  And Dani Nelson (founder) and Wendy Lamont (co-owner) put up a spectacular and flawless Spookytime Jingles display - this is STJ's third year at the convention and the second to win an award for the best display.  Each year we move closer and closer to the entrance as the convention managers realize what a big draw we are!  They had lots of help; hubbies and other STJ vendors were there to help set-up and run the sales table and they did a fabulous and spooktactular job!

Once again, we had a wonderfully successful showing and I am excited to say 6 of my 8 pieces sold!  I am especially flattered to find out that Bill Frazetta (yes, son of famous fantasy artist Frank Frazetta whose artwork I've drooled over since high school)  has personally collected two pieces!!  My tall Celebrate Oct 31 witch and the piece that was on STJ last month-the masquerading skelly bobber bust!  Bill is a big collector of Halloween art and the owner of Frazettas Costumes!  I'm going to have to make sure I have a bigger inventory to send next year!

A HUGE thanks to all of you who have supported my wicked art habit, especially my regulars - you guys keep me in art supplies!  I love ya's!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Boney Bobber WIP aka Mays Bootique Offering

May first @ noon this guy goes up for sale at the Queens Bootique...
BoneyBobberWIP

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Busy-Busy!

Never got around to posting my update for STJ.  I've been busy trying to ready several pieces at once to send along for the Spookytime Jingles booth at the upcoming  National Haunters Convention  in King of Prussia, PA on May 5th-8th so I've been neglecting my blog as well.

 Below are a few pics of some of the things I'm sending.  I have a few more days before I've got to pack it all up & send it so I hope to have a total of eight at least.  I was aiming to finish the witch (below) to offer for STJ's April update but it just didn't happen so I offered this Cute Li'l Devil and I am so flattered that he was purchased by Dani Nelson herself-founder of Spookytime Jingles!

This gal is pretty big - just about 16" high.  Her head/hat is a dried banana gourd with the rim a piece of round cut out of a birdhouse gourd.  Her body/dress armature is made of a bell shaped plastic cap I recycled from a huge toner cartridge I use at work.  I use these caps for armatures fairly often as they are a great shape. It's been covered with plaster cloth and finished with a smooth skin of paper clay.


There will be a spider dangling from her hat brim at eye level and she'll hold a banner that says Oct 31. And of course, the base will be improved.













These creepy kids were lots of fun to make as I used dried gourds that I grew in my yard last year for their heads.  I used Jiffy Foam for their bodies.  This stuff is really cool as it is uber-lightweight and super carveable (now sold as Balsa-wood).  I gave the bodies both a hard shell of powdered mache and each got wool hair that I dyed myself. 

 

Since the pic was taken I've  made and applied a decal to the boy's shirt that says "I Heart Brains".














A nod to Mardi Gras ~ The Voodoo Priest.  Here's another head done on a dried gourd.  A large pear gourd.  This one has been attached to a metal candle holder so it's pretty hefty. He has a flocked  and beribboned top hat adorned with a skull, bones and some pheasant feathers.  Since this pic was taken I've made him a bone necklace embellished with turquoise glass beads.

 The rest are in more beginning stages so I'll wait till they are further along to post.  Hope you enjoy looking and hope some of you can make it to the convention!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

STJ Goodies for March

Another skelly but much more involved - this is a 7" bust called "The Party Guy"...


And a 4" wood carving of an Easter bunny...


 Tonight at midnight @ Spookytime Jingles! And that would be BEFORE daylight savings goes into effect. Be sure to do the circuit so you see all the great art offered by the many talented artists of STJ this and every month!

Monday, February 28, 2011

ARGH Matey!

Here's a Boo teaser for the imminent update on the Queens Marketplace! He's a pirate skelly ornamant who's passed on of scurvy about 250 years ago.  He's about 10" high with the hanger.  He's got a gold tooth, an eyepatch and breath like death.  Jack Sparrow he ain't, but he's still pretty gnarly!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bad, Bad Girl and STJ Teasers..

I've been such a bad and neglectful blogger to have stayed away so long but truth be told I have been so busy I've not had time.  In fact, I had planned on participating in the final OWOH and just couldn't manage to finish in time so my apologies for saying I would then reneging. 

I promise to be better. Forgive?

Tomorrow night at midnight's the night for the February SpookyTime Jingles Update! There are lots of good things a-coming if the STJ flickr group pics are any indication!   And here is a sneak peek at my goodies... My Halloween page features this sweet vintage-style guy who's a bobber/nodder with just the right amount of weight to his head.  He's encircled with a festive array of paper-clay candy corn.
And those of you who follow my art know I have a fondness for creating Humpties.  And this years Easter Hootenanny gives me just such an opportunity to create him once again in another incarnation.  This years guy is a brown-egg Humpty and once again he bobbles on the edge of a wall.

Hope they whet your appetite!  See you there!