Great pic of Lily Munster

I’ve been watching a lot of The Munsters to get into the Halloween spirit.

I saw this great expression on Lily Munster’s face today and took a screencap:

 

It’s perfect, because I’ve been wanting to paint something for an old wooden oval picture frame that I found in a thrift store. I have this other thing I did on cardboard a few years ago for a Halloween prop, and have wanted to do something similar:

ghost girl prop

With Lily’s prefect expression I think I’ve definitely found inspiration for my next painting!

Autumn is pumpkin pye tyme

After a spate of heat waves, we finally have cooler weather in Santa Barbara, and it was even overcast today! That means several things, most importantly that scones and pies may now be baked, at my leisure (as is my wont).

Today I stocked up on pumpkin pye stuff, and am now ready for scarfing some grimace proportions of lovely, life-sustaining pumpkin pie in the coming months.

You see, one dreadful year there was a pumpkin shortage. After that horrid event, when I was forced to make sweet potato pie instead, I always stock up early just in case.

2014-10-14 19.41.10 2014-10-14 19.42.27

 

Salem and Providence Halloween pictures

I was in Salem and Providence last year right before Halloween. I wanted to experience some crisp fall weather and get into a good Halloween spirit :)

In Providence I did this cool HP Lovecraft walking tour and got to visit a graveyard where both Poe and Lovecraft had hung out. Overall I had a really atmospheric and wonderful time. Walking around the neighborhoods of Salem and Providence at that time of year with blustery autumn weather provided the perfect Halloween feel that I was looking for. Here are some pictures I took when I was there.

 

 

 

Just got back…

I just returned from an Autumn-y Europe and New England trip. Saw some epic graveyards, H.P. Lovecraft sites, Salem MA, etc. I will post some kreepy pictures  and stuff in a bit…this site was not dead – just dreaming.

More Halloween crafts: Stained glass spiderweb and Jack O’ Lantern

I used to make a lot of copper foil stained glass but it’s rather tedious, toxic, and requires a dedicated work area unless you want glass shards all over your house.  On one of my journeys to the craft store I bought a ton of this Gallery Glass stuff which is just a liquid that you can use to make cool stained glass-like art.

I recently made a spiderweb and a Jack O Lantern scene. I did them on the 8×10 glass from a store-bought picture frame and then hung them up with fishing line in my window:

Spiderweb stained glass

Pumpkin in graveyard stained glass (gallery glass)

On the spider one I painted it on with craft acrylic after I had finished the main design.

This stuff is fun and easy and the best part is if you mess up a bit, you can easily cut out the part you don’t like with an exacto blade and redo that area – I did that on several sections of the pumpkin one and it ended up looking great in my window…it won’t last as long or have the same effect as real stained glass, but it’s about 1/100th of the effort so for now I am going to make a bunch more of these things 😀

Getting crafty for Halloween – Floral arrangement thingy

I’m gunna post at least 3 different craft-type things I’ve had fun making in these days leading up to Halloween. The first was the easiest to make but was super fun and I’ll keep it up year-round cuz I love the way it looks.

Halloween floral arrangement

I have been going to Michael’s craft store a lot lately, I love the drive out there (here in Santa Barbara) and they have a lot of cool stuff. Almost everything I used for this floral thingy was on sale, I had no idea what I was doing but I looked at their pre-made arrangements to get some ideas, bought some mini pumpkins, pomegranates, black and burgandy flowers, and some peppercorn-looking things, and stuck ’em all in some styrofoam stuff in this cool urn thing that was 60% off…fun!

Favorite Halloween songs

I’ve been thinking about my favorite Halloween-mood-inducing songs…I like to listen to them while I’m driving around to buy Halloween stuff and whilst painting spooky graveyard scenes and carving creepy pumpkins by candlelight in the dead of night. These don’t all have Halloween themes but I think they set the right kind of spooky Halloween ambiance and conjure images of leaves blowing through the graveyard in Autumn and dark misty glades with glowing eyes peeking from the foliage and sullen sinking mansions filled with bats and cobwebs.

Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead / Hollow Hills / Slice of Life

Danielle Dax – Pariah / 16 Candles (I gave myself a nice scare listening to Pariah last Halloween while driving a lonely foggy road ’round midnight)

Tiamat – Alteration X10 / Teonanacatl / Whatever That Hurts (these were immediately staples of my musical diet when I first heard them)

Siouxsie & the Banshees – Desert Kisses / Arabian Knights

Dead Can Dance – Black Sun / The Cardinal Sin (“Lucretia waits in vain for the child of her dreams…within her aching womb there burns a funeral pyre.“…and that’s from the less-grim song of the pair :))

California Guitar Trio – Toccata And Fugue In D Minor (gorgeous)

The Damned – Grimly Fiendish (did you ever see the Damned on the Young Ones?)

Oingo Boingo – Pictures of You (ooh this is a very unique song, super cool and creepy lyrics on this one!)

Misfits – Halloween (yay)

Trance to the Sun – The Nun V.V. (“Different evil fates await each and every one of my friends“…wow)

45 Grave –  Dream Hits / Phantoms / Slice of Life / Surfbat / Riboflavin Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood (no explanation necessary…one of my all-time favorite albums is Autopsy)

Alice Cooper – Years Ago / Steven (“I must be dreaming…please stop screaming“…whatta creepy song! Every time I hear it I wanna watch weird 70’s horror movies like “Martin”)

Bishop of Hexen – Crossing The Borders Between Light & Darkness

Halloween Hootennany – (A great psychobilly-type compilation with a version of the Munsters theme, an awesome Halloween poem by Zacherle, etc etc)

Airn LeBus / Spectra Mori – The Well (OK that is shameless self-promotion but it’s muy spooky I swear!)

Insane Clown Posse – Halloween on Military Street (gross and funny lyrics, lol, etc)

What did I miss…do any of you creepy visitors have favorite Halloween-related music or stuff to carve pumpkins by or drive around enjoying the Autumn Halloweentyme air?

Pumpkin Stew

pumpkin stew

 

You must have nourishment in order to cope with the dark and creepiness that abounds around Halloween, or in order to be dark and creepy yourself (depending on your mood). Nothing provides those spooky vitamins and minerals like a yummy bowl of Pumpkin Stew!

Recipe originally from my friend Sarah here in Santa Barbara, so thanks to her for what is now a seasonal tradition :)

Pumpkin Stew (Airn’s version)

1 small pie pumpkin, skin removed and cut into chunks
2 medium-sized carrots
1 can white beans
1 onion
2 bell peppers, one green, one red or try mini sweet peppers
1 can peeled diced tomatoes (do not drain, add juice)
1 box chicken or veggie broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. thyme (dried)
1/2 tsp. savory (dried)
1 or 2 tbsp. corn starch dissolved in cold water (add to stew at very end to thicken, see notes below)
cinnamon to taste (optional)
paprika (optional)

notes:
– brown the garlic, peppers, and onion in olive oil first…try putting a little cinnamon in
– add pumpkin last since it cooks fastest…I brown the peppers and such, then combine everything except pumpkin and corn starch, cook until carrots almost done, then add pumpkin last…once it’s all done put in the corn starch so it thickens…very important to have it thick, dish is much tastier that way 😀
– I think it’s easiest to cut skin off smaller pieces of pumpkin with paring knife rather than using a peeler…also use a little pumpkin carving kit to cut and scrape out the innards, way easier than a knife
– plan on about 30 min for carrots etc + another 30 after adding punkin…whole process is 1 1/2 to 2 hours including cutting everything etc.
– punkin should not be stringy, cook it longer if it is

Awesome Halloween advent calendar

I just got this awesome Halloween advent calendar and put it in an old frame that I found at an antique mall. It looks so cool I just have to show you all 😀

Halloween advent calendar from Ghastly Greetings

The calendar is from Ghastly Greetings. FYI I had to trim it a little to fit it in the 11×14 frame but it didn’t seem to mess it up. It’s now hanging on my wall, much admired, as I happily open the little window things each day as I count down to my favorite holiday.

Noche De Los Muertos art show

Throughout the month of October there is a great show here in Santa Barbara with Day of the Dead and Halloween art. It’s called Noche De Los Muertos and it’s at the Muddy Waters Cafe:

Noche De Los Muertos
Muddy Waters Cafe
508 E. Haley St., Santa Barbara, California
(805) 966-9328

The reception for the show is Oct 18th at 7PM, all ages, or go by Muddy Waters any time this month to see all the dark and creepy art!

Here’s the flyer:

I have my own Halloween painting in this show:

Jovial Jack O Lantern oil painting