Friday, October 30, 2009

Feel Good Friday!

Thank you Bronwen for the picture. I'm not sure who's this little boy belongs to but the picture cracks me up. 

Another week in the can! I am ready for some Halloween fun. Yahoo! Let's get the festiviites started. Scary but cute costume-CHECK! Candy that only I will like incase we don't get any trick or treaters-CHECK! Scary places to go-CHECK!

If you are in the Portland Area and want some history mixed up with your haunting. Check out The Lone Fir Cemetery tours. For only a $5.00 donation you can take a brisk 45 minute walk and learn about the unsavory characters that make up Portland's history. I went last year and it was awesome!

So let's say that you have decided to stay home and want to make some last minute decorations. Look no farther my friends than Craftster's new videos. You can find them in several places around the internet and if you look real close, you can see a familiar face.

I LOVE this little monster by melissastanley727. Her stitching is crazy!

Allsorts  has the cutest blog . I can spend hours over there looking at some many different ideas, stitching, and pictures. It's just all around greatness. I think I might want to be her when I grow up. If you want some truly awesome Halloween ideas, check out her Halloween Blog

Hopefully these things will keep you out of trouble for the next week. If I know you guys like I think I do, I should be expecting phone calls from the police or other mothers around town telling me to come pick you up.Troublemakers!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dias de los Muertos

So the final October Halloween collection really has to do with October 31st through November 2nd. For those of you unfamiliar with Dias de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It is a Mexican celebration and holiday honoring those who have passed on. We celebrate it at our house every year, leaving food and drink and presents for our loved ones who have passed . We light candles and have sugar skulls to decorate alters for our dearly departed.

We have a huge collection of Dias de los Muertos icons. These are just a few pieces that are our favorites or that are unusual.

I'm not sure where these came from or what they are actually called. If someone out there knows the history,
I would love to find out more. They each have little coffins that pop up and have people in them. The yellow one represents a chupacabra, the middle one is a wedding and the orange is a Halloween scene. If you look very closely, you can see witches in the trees.

These are also pop ups. The purple car is actually a space ship with little aliens.

One more set of pop ups. They are both caskets with people that pop up.

We also collect Day of the Dead skulls. Since OMP is a drummer, this is perfect for him and the three dogs represent our three puppers.

I love these guys hanging out in a tree getting drunk with the puppy barking at them.

Another skull music scene with the Lady of Guadalupe behind them.

Don't forget your special loved ones this weekend. Pour yourself a drink and bake up some  Pan de Muerto to celebrate their visit and the memories that you shared with them. Here's wishing you a happy Halloween and a joyous Dias de los Muertos.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alexz and the land of misfits

When I first saw Alexz's work I was totally blown away and then when I got to know her better I realized that she is a sassy, sweet and just down right adorable young lady(I can say that cause I'm old). First off, she loves Tim Burton, so you know she has taste but when I found out she also loves Meatloaf, well I just about died! How awesome is that? Let's find out more about her obsessions with misfits, Tim and Meatloaf.

Tell me a little bit about yourself
Hmm...Do you remember that part in Beetlejuice where Lydia says "live people ignore the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual." That pretty much sums me up. Okay, so I am not nearly as depressed and dark as Lydia but I am really kind of strange! Simply put, I am a 23-year-old girl who grew up in Ontario, Oregon and I am just stepping foot into the real world. I grew up in this tiny town as somewhat of a misfit. Listening to Meat Loaf records and watching old re-runs of The Munsters and The Addams Family were how I spent my days as a child; thus the personality shaping began! I became a little goth girl with a love for all things cute and creepy! I think the wholesome values of those 50s/60s shows rubbed off on me though, because I am such a goody-goody, yet I love Halloween and all creepy stuff. I guess I am a walking contradiction! Anyways, I just recently finished up a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at Western Oregon University and I am about 3/4's of they way through an art degree. Right now I am living back in Ontario with my parents -yup- I am a boomerang child! There seems to be a lot of those kids these days! But my plans are to save up some money this year by working and then move back over to the Portland area and pursue a career in stop-motion animation.

You do such amazing work-what's your favorite piece and why
Wow, thank you! It is hard for me to pick a favorite, because it seems like I go through phases of working on certain types of mediums and projects and that moment, I LOVE them! I made a little steampunk skeleton a couple of nights ago, and I am really loving it lately. I have been getting requests for him left and right and commissioned work is always a huge excitement for me since I am broke and college loan payments are arriving in the mail. He is made completely of junk! I save everything I own that is salvageable, because I know I will be able to use it eventually. This piece is particularly special to me because I rarely make 3-dimensional work and he turned out so well for just being constructed from things I have found lying around the house or in the streets. Not to mention, he combines all my favorite things: goth, steampunk, Halloween and skeletons! So I guess for the moment, he is my favorite piece!

 Who/What inspires you
I come from a family of black sheep who are all extremely creative. My dad is an incredible artist! Our tastes are completely different but his work and talents never cease to amaze me. My mother reads more than anybody I have ever known and she is so incredibly smart. Both my parents inspire me everyday and I owe all my success to them. They encouraged me to be whoever and whatever I wanted to be. My brother is the same way and also very smart and creative, and he supports everything I do. I really look up to him. My family is huge to me and are one of the biggest pieces for my creative inspiration. I also have a boyfriend who has introduced me to so many new things and he encourages me in every way he can. I can't thank him enough for all the ways he inspires me and how much he embraces my quirkiness.

I obviously have GREAT influence from Tim Burton. The first Burton Film I ever saw was Edward Scissorhands and it had a profound effect on me; I fell in love with Edward and his vulnerability. I also grew up on Disney and developed an almost-obsessive fascination with Walt Disney. His drive and willingness to try anything astounds me and I think he is probably one of the most incredible people to ever live. And then I can't leave out Meat Loaf. I know that sounds so weird, but I grew up on his music and I just love the guy to death. He is so intense and passionate that he inspires me to pursue my own dreams with the same vigor he has.

Any advice for fellow crafters?
Well, I am still so young and making tons of mistakes myself but I can tell you that I have already experienced tons of rejection and I have been knocked down plenty of times in my artistic endeavors. But you have to just get back up and keep pursuing your dreams. I spent my first three years of college working towards my art degree and while Western has a good art program and some amazing students and art teachers alike, it is definitely a more traditional curriculum there. My skeletons and zombies were not appreciated and I ended up crying almost everyday because of a comment made by my teachers. But you just have to keep going at it and not succumb to what other people want you to do or be- and that goes for everything in art and life in general. I live in such a small conservative town, I spent a lot my years being what everybody else wanted me to be. But now that I fully embrace the strange, little weirdo I have always been, I have never been happier! You just have to be who you want and let that inspire your creativity.

What does the future hold for you?
I really have no idea where I will go, or who I will become, and that feels awesome! I will admit, I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety over my future since graduating college but at the same time, it is strangely exhilarting. I feel like I can go anywhere or be anything. My dream would be to become the next Tim Burton- or marry him. Either way my future would be set. Ha! Just kidding. In all seriousness, I really love stop-motion film and would love to end up in a career with that. But when it comes down to it, my main goal in life is just to make sure I end up in a creative career where I can reach people with my art- even if it just a small handful of people. I want others to know that is okay to be odd and a misfit. Tim Burton and Meat Loaf taught me that and I want to do the same for others like me who feel like they don't fit in anywhere.

Bonus Questions:
If you could be one Tim Burton character-who would it be?
Oh gosh, that is a tough question! Tim Burton's movies seem to always have a theme where the main characters are all completely misunderstood and do not fit into their surroundings. Jack Skellington, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Bloom, etc. They are all so misconstrued and unappreciated. And I think that is because they are all emulating Tim Burton himself as he feels, and that is essentially why I relate to and admire him so much. So I feel like all of them! But I guess if I had to choose just one character it would be Edward Scissorhands. He is so shy and sensitive which is my personality to a tee. That is kind of strange to think about though, because I have a huge crush on him!

You can check out more of Alexz's work on her flickr account and watch out for her etsy to open up soon. I really hope that she remembers this little interview when she's famous and I hope that when she wins her first oscar for her stop motion animation that I'm mentioned in the thank you's. What? A girl can wish can't she?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tie One On Tuesday!

Well we are a few days away from the night of tricks and treats, and what better way to spend it then getting blind stinking drunk. Obligatory safety warning – Please drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive! Don't drink and bike! Just stay at home and have a cocktail!

Now, with that said – here are a few items you can try out during the festivities.

A bloody eyeball Martini - this one has been around for a while ( I think I saw Martha do it) but I love the look of it.

Basically you are going to take a red radish and a vegetable peeler and strip off some of the red outer peel, exposing the white meat underneath – thus making red veins into the surface of the radish.  You also want to cut the front off of the radish and carve out a hole big enough to insert a green olive w/Pimento into. Once completed you have a scary looking eyeball garnish for your party. You could also put these in an ice tray and freeze them for cubes put in other drinks. Be careful though – when they thaw they may be a little messy.

Now for the drink to put them into: Your basic Martini:

2 oz Vodka (I prefer a Gin Martini but what have you)
1/2 oz. Vermouth (dry not sweet!)

If you want a real dry Martini – try this. Swirl the Vermouth in the martini glass and then discard what is left after coating the glass. Add Vodka and your eyeball – ENJOY!!!

Next up – the Headless Horseman with a twist thanks to our friends over at!!

2 oz BLACK Vodka
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Ginger Ale
Slice of Blood Orange

Take 2 oz. Of Black Vodka (basically filtered with charcoal – perfectly safe mind you) put it into a Collins glass. Add 3 dashes of bitters and top off with ginger Ale. Garnish with a slice of Blood Orange. Creepy looking as all get out!

Last but not least on the Halloween chopping block is the good old fashion Bloody Mary. It just isn’t for breakfast anymore!!!

1 oz. Vodka
3 oz. Tomato juice
2 dashes hot sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
slice of lemon
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients into shaker (squeeze the lemon of course) and mix until blended. Pout into a pint glass and garnish with one of your eyeball radishes on a stick (or pike as it were)!! A little extra special secret – BEST Bloody Mary I ever had, the bartender added a splash of green olive brine to the mix – Yummy!!

Have yourselves a safe and Happy Halloween my little dinklets! Here’s to your glasses in the air and your feet on the ground – and god forbid it is the not the other way around!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Another Sunday, another Scrappy Dog Sunday-but wait a second-what's a CAT doing on Scrappy Dog Sunday? Well, it's simple, I chose to put him up here. HA! Felix is a very silly little man that has all the qualities of scrap and although he's not a dog in the physical sense, he is in spirit (plus, he smells really really good!)Take it away Mr. Felix! 

Felix, you are a very scrappy cat. What's your deal?
Well, when my human mom and dad lived in Miami, they took my cat mom in off the street. Since my cat mom was basically feral, they took it slow and didn’t force her to stay in the house, they would just sit with the door open and let her come in a snuggle as she pleased, and leave if she felt uncomfortable.  Well, my cat mom had her first heat before they were able to leave her in the house by herself.  She met up with another feral cat that my human parents named Demon. They say it’s because he was evil. After my cat mom was pregnant, they made her stay inside.  They decided that they would keep one of her kittens and find loving homes for the rest. Well, they didn’t know it but I was the only one in there! No brothers or sisters.  I’m too important for siblings. I’m so important that my human mom even helped my cat mom have me. She even cut my cord.  She was at my service before my eyes were even open.  Buahahaha!

What's your favorite thing to do during the day?
Sit on my mom’s lap as she’s typing (like right now).  Get up into the window in her office and munch on the catnip plant. Mom tells me I need to wait until she takes a piece off for me but that’s ridiculous. It’s right there! I should be able to monch on it as I please. Oh, and I like playing king of the mountain, even if it means getting somewhere I can’t jump down from.  Hey, my human parents have hands! They can get me down.

Are you really a Foofie?
I’m the foofinest foofinator that ever foofed.

If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
100% of the attention at all times. Even though my mom stays home all day now instead of leaving the house she still works and that is unacceptable.  She should be following me around and watching me be awesome and then petting me whenever I want!

Bonus question!
My favorite place to hide is......
I don’t really hide. I want to be right out in the open, because, as I mentioned earlier, I need to be the center of attention AT ALL TIMES.

Mr. Felix! You get the Lola 100% Scrappy Seal of Approval! I can't wait to see you again and shower you with kisses. You are the scrappiest little foofie I have ever met!

*Now for all you readers out there-if you want your pet to be a part of Scrappy Dog Sunday, hit me up. I love scrappy dogs, cats, goats, llamas, rats,chickens.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Feel Good Friday!

Man! Was this a LONG week! Well never fear-the weekend is here! It's time to kick back and relax while watching the leaves blow into your yard and wishing your dogs have thumbs so you could send them out to rake. Wait, is that only me who has that wish? Okay, okay, I'll get to some feeling good stuffs!

It's no secret that my husband and I LOVE Lucha Libre (Mexican Professional Wrestling to you gringos). Firecracker Press has the most amazing Luchador poster not to mention other great stationary and zines. If Luchadors aren't your thing (heaven forbid!) then check out their other great products. You will not be disappointed.

Can I tell you how much I love Craftzine's blog? The gang over there rock my socks! They have the best articles, tips and just plain greatness over there!  You can find them on Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. Currently I am loving the scary knitted mask and the creepy costumes they are showcasing. Oh yeah and remember my interview with Rachel? Well, she writes for them so you know it has to be uber super duper cool. Head over there now and you can also get a killer cookie recipe from another amazing chick, Giggly Mama and Family .

Two things I love-Halloween and cuteness (okay, I love lots more but for the sake of October, I'm loving Halloween-I always love cute things) Fiberartsy stitched up the cutest Frankenbunny! I want to squeeze him! So stinking cute!

When I was a little kid, I loved this cartoon. I still sing this song as an adult. Watch it now before Disney sends me a letter telling me that they are going to sue me for everything I'm worth and put me in the "Disney jail".

Well, there you have it! I hope everyone has a nice relaxing weekend. I'm gonna watch all those dog training shows to see if I can teach the beasts to do my bidding for me. Something tells me I'm out of luck.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Glowing Light in the Window.

When the late 1960's hit the world like a ton of bricks and change was  
in the air - changes to Halloween decorations followed. I have one  
word for you - Plastics! Gone were the paper mache' Jack-o-lanterns  
and candy containers of yesteryear. In came the blow molded soft  
plastic of a new generation. As the name implies, liquid plastic was  
plopped into a mold and air was introduced to the mix and the mold was  
lined with the goop. When cooled it retained the shape of the mold.  
plain and simple.
The main manufacturing company for years was Empire Plastic out of  
North Carolina. There were other but they were the biggest. Most of  
what you see here (90% are Empire). These little fella's were made to  
be used indoors or in windows. That is why you see a lot of them faded  
on the front from Sun exposure.

This is a fairy common decoration with many  
different variations. The one on the left has a ring of Skeletons  
around the base, the one on the right Witches. The one in the middle  
has the Treat on the opposite side

A couple variations on the Scarecrow theme.

Always popular - dressing up the Jack-o-Lantern in  
a witch hat

These are a couple of rarer blow mold's. The  
Ghost hangs on a wall.

The Haunted House is fairly rare especially because it was molded in  
Green plastic instead of Orange. There is a modern day reproduction  
using the same Empire Mold done in Orange.

Any child of the 60s and 70s remembers carrying  
either a pillow case or one of these! Yeah there was the paper bags  
but they didn't quite hold the amount of loot you could fit into one  
of these babies. Of course the Pumpkin has Treat on the other side and  
a smiley face. The Devil bucket is made by a company named TopStone -  
known for making crappy rubber Halloween masks seen in the back of  
Monster Magazines. There is also a Pumpkin Pirate (if you have one - I  
need it!!).

These particular decorations were made for years using the same molds so it is really hard to nail down an exact date for them. But they are all fun regardless of when they are from. Only 9 more days till Halloween!I hope your house is decorated with lots of scary fun and magic!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That Paulette! She's a doll!

I know many of you in Craftster land have come across Paulette's amazing dolls. She has crazy insane talent not to mention that she is such a sweetheart. She always has the right things to say and makes you feel like one of the family. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself
My father was in the US Air Force and we lived all over the US. Because of this I will talk to almost anyone, anywhere, which sometimes embarrasses my family. I am the eldest of 4 children and like to take charge. I have five children, 3 boys, 10 yrs, 8yrs, and 5yrs, and two girls, 2 1/2 yrs, and 1yr. My husband is incredibly supportive and rushes home from work when I need him. He usually cleans up the yucky stuffs, and generally treats me like a queen. He also gets excited about my crafts and helps with advice.

You make the most amazing crafts (especially dolls!) How did you get started?

My Mom was always making something. I remember her at her sewing machine late into the night making Christmas presents or some crafts to sell. She also did other crafts like toll painting, and stained glass. It was just natural to sit beside her and craft with her. When I moved out I was dismayed at how much stuff I no longer had at my disposal and began to build my own cache. I've always thought that home made was better than store bought and so, I started crafting for my kids and to decorate my own home. I'm not happy unless I'm creating SOMETHING! I try to do everything as cheaply as possible, and so I incorporate found items and items that I buy at thrift stores into my crafting. Most of what I've learned of making dolls was pulled straight off the internet.

What/Who inspires you?

There are so many talented doll artists out there! Every time I pick up an issue of Art Doll Quarterly, I am inspired. I love Crafstster because there are supportive artists who inspire. I love the works of Russian painters who depict fairy tales, and I love the challenge of bringing a character from a book "to life."

Do you have a website?
My blog:
My Etsy store:

What's your next big project?
Christmas gifts for my family. This is always a challenge. I have to make things that are as good as last year. I always think that I've run out of ideas, and then inspiration hits!

Happiness is....
Giving neck kisses to your 2 year old, and having her say, "that tickles." and then I say, "that's why you like it." Date night on a Friday when you get to leave the kids behind and be just a couple for a few hours. Reading Harry Potter to the boys before they go to bed. The family sitting around the table and eating home made muffins. Shopping and lunch with just the (adult) girls. An hour long conversation on the phone chatting with my sisters or my Mom.

Awww, I get such a warm fuzzy feeling from this reading this. Paulette is so wonderful!  Make sure you check out her blog, etsy and say hello to her on Craftster!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tie One On Tuesday!

Well the seasons are changing, there is a nip in the air and it is time for a refreshing Fall beverage. Many of you probably don’t know this, but I am not a beer drinker. I haven’t really had one for quite a few years now. I guess I imbibed my share back in my punk rock days and I have a more sophisticated, refined palette now. But there is something I love that comes in a brown bottle that is sweet and tasty and for all I know is good for you too. I am talking about Hard Cider – heck it is made from natural stuff so how could it not be good for you! I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the reason I like cider so much is the girl drink drunk in me. I like sweet tropical cocktails, so in essence I must like Cider (for the record – I use to drink California Coolers in High School too)!

So here are my recommendations for some outstanding Ciders I have tried recently:

First off we have Warwick Valley Winery Doc’s Draft Hard Cider. It has a nice effervescent pop to it that will make you nose tingle as well as a great apple taste.

Next up is possibly one of my all time favorites, from the Rabbit’s Foot Meadery is their Apple Cyser Extra Dry Apple and Honey wine. More of a mead then a cider but oh so tasty with a taste of pure Oregon wildflower honey!

Following the Cyser, is a nice sweet tasting (yes another one) cider with a little twist from Bellwether. Bellwether’s Cherry Street Hard Ciders name says it all. It is an Apple hard cider with a Cherry finish. Oh soo good! Bellwether makes a regular Cider as well but I prefer the Cherry taste.

Last up for this installment we have something from across the pond (that’s Europe there Smapte) 
Dry Blackthorn Cider – the home of Hard Cider.  is a staple in Britain and for good reason – it tastes really good! And at a price point you can afford to really tie one on!!   

So, in conclusion, let’s review: Apple cider? It’s good for children and old people (keeps them regular) – Hard Cider? It is better and gets you loaded with out all that heaviness of repeated Brewski’s ! Keep in mind of you don’t like the taste of Apples then you probably are not going to like these recommendations. But who doesn’t like Apples?

Happy Bobbing TOOT’ers!  

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Got A Rock.

I love a good animated movie and Halloween seems to have it's share of them. Some are good for kids of any age while others should only be viewed after dark.

One of my all time favorite Halloween movies is the stop motion animation classic created by Rankin and Bass entitled Mad Monster Party. This campy light take on some of your favorite monsters and some new faces will bring giggles and wiggles for everyone involved. Dr. Frankenstein decides to retire and throws a party to find his successor. There are lots of awesome 1960's songs that will get stuck in your head for days and days. Rankin and Bass are the kings of stop motion and this one does not disappoint.

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown isn't necessarily a movie but it is classic animation that has typical Charlie Brown optimism. While everyone is getting candy, he gets the proverbial rock.  The story doesn't center around Charlie Brown this time but instead around Linus and his faith in the Great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin will bring presents to good little boys and girls who believe in him. This animation is such a classic that it has been parodied on such awesome shows as The Simpsons. A little side note-I always got presents from the Great Pumpkin. He always had a pair of socks or a toy when I got home from trick or treating. I kind of miss that-maybe I need to start believing again or dropping more hints to OMP.

Another one of my childhood favorites is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Okay, not so much Mr. Toad (I would always fast forward through that one) but The Adventures of Ichabod is still  one of my favorites. This 1949 Disney cartoon features the voice of Bing Crosby and classic Disney artwork. The story is a retelling of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow and although it's light hearted and for the kids, it contains some really scary and amazing art work. 

Three things that I love are Tim Burton, stop motion animation and Johnny Depp. Corpse Bride has all these things and more. If you're not familar with the story, it tells the tale of Victor who is reluctant to get married and ends up hitched to a dead woman. He is transported to the world of the dead, where he spends the rest of the movie trying to get back to the land of the living.

Last but not least is Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Were Rabbit. This movie is just way too cute and for some reason all of Wallace and Gromit movies makes me want to eat cheese...wait, where was I? Oh yeah, Curse of the Were Rabbit ...Wallace and Gromit are out to solve the mystery of the missing veggies in their garden and other gardens around them. The mystery becomes more convoluted when a love interest flutters into the picture.

Well, there ya go! Not very scary but great movies to watch after a long night of trick or treating. Remember to save some candy for the kids and don't give out those crappy boxes of raisins unless you want your house egged (and I do it too! ). Until next week!