Friday, November 20, 2009

The Wizard of Oz and Thai green curry

My how time does fly. It seems like only yesterday I was posting for Halloween. Now here I am planning Thanksgiving feast and trying to get a move on on my Christmas creations. You can find some at SpookyTimeJingles or on eBay under seller hohohhalloween of course.

I digress, most of last week as I was working away on whips TV in background, I notice that a lot of stations kept playing The Wizard of Oz. That film holds special meaning to me besides the obvious reasons, an American Icon, Fantasy, costuming, sets and of course Judy Garland at the onset of her meteoritic rise to fame. The following pictures are from that experience.

Many years ago, (Oh my this phrase seems to be creeping in on my vocabulary more and more, eegads!) I had a Murals and Finishes Business, a friend of mine recommended me to his client for a project that he thought I would be perfect for. The project involved a surprise birthday party for a family nanny that had not seen her own family in over 20 years. It seems this wonderful nanny's favorite all time movie was of course the Wizard of Oz. I know, I know the obvious comes to mind, "there's no place like home" click your heels and nanny is flown back for reunion with longing family members.

Well sort of, you see the plan was to recreate some of the sets and characters at the party then spring the family on the unsuspecting nanny (she had no medical conditions we checked LOL). Costumers, make-up (friend and me) and set designers (me) were brought in. It was one of the most magical experiences I ever had and challanging. Those backdrops where about 30' x 50 long, We had 3 weeks to prep. Needless to say the logistics and planning required a production coordinator, luckily we had all been in the film industry at one point or another so that made things easier.

The research was phenomenal I poured over every book on the making of the film, googled costumes, characters and ebay, and elndlessly watched the film. I primed, drew and painted to my hearts content as you can see in the pics.

How they managed to keep the nanny away from the house for that long I'll never know! We also had time for a bit of fun. One day some of the costumes that were too complicated to make arrived from Western Costume. One of those was the Flying Monkey. I had just finished the backdrop of the Yellow brick road that leads out of Munchkinland into the land of Oz. The temptation was too great. I donned the costume (it was hot! and didn't close at the back). Luckily this was a grand house with a landing that overlooked the Great Room where I was working and the set was laid out. I laid out on the backdrop in my best flying monkey pose and my assistant snapped away.

Next came the Emerald City. This was to be the backdrop for the actual Birthday dinner. Surprisingly that was done fairly quickly despite a little glitch in painting. My assistant, I discovered, has a classic color blind sensitivity to the color green, I'll say no more other than the Horror!

We came into the last week of madness. Final make-up and wardrobe test were completed and then the big night.

We pleaded to be there for the reveal of course, and as long as we stayed out of site and did not interfere with the events it was copacetic.

All the guest were hidden, the players in place when the Limo arrived. It pulled up to the Port-Coche. Out steps the Nanny who was under the impression she was to pick up and escort the children to the airport. She was greeted by Glenda who informed her that she had been such a good nanny that she would be taken to OZ. She was then escorted by the lollipop gang into Munchkinland, little houses and flowers included. They were of course interrupted by the Wicked Witch who was scared away by Glenda. Then she was greeted by the lullaby guild who took her to the Lion (the nanny's husband in disguise), they in turn met up with the Tin Man, and Scarecrow who finally took her to Oz. There she met up with Glenda again who told her to click her heals three times and close her eyes. When she opened them there, in front of her stood the her Parents and siblings (5 in all) and her husband revealed. The reunion was no less moving or joyous than the movie.

At that time we decided to exit quietly through the kitchen, sampling some of the catered affair.

the start of something big

Jorge went up the hill....

The costumes arrive

a little fun and some photoshop

Th crowd gathered at the Emerald City Hall. Don't it look like an MGM luncheon?

The three of us were starved the closest thing around was a Thai restaurant. As we sat there, reveling in having been a part of such a magical experience and how it seemed that we had somehow been transported back in time to work in the movie, the waitress arrived.

"what would you like this evening? We all looked at each other and almost in unison said "green curry anything" .........of course what else.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Trick or Treat! I'm late !

Apologies for the late blog entry. Been down with a cold and trying to jump into Christmas. Before I start that I must let you know of the Tricks and Treats that pulled on me this past Hallows Eve. With the help of some friends I decide to go all Bogie Book and Martha Stewart Halloween Party. That was the Treat.

On went the baking, cooking, concocting, sewing and general last minute insane preparation that alone I could not have accomplished right now. That day my studio space and home were transformed to Bogie Book Heaven.

First to set out were the appetizers, concocted with the finest ingredients of witches fingers, warlock toes, quick sand dip and petrified cheese roll.

Then the Trick the phone began to ring with cancelation after cancelation. Eeeh Gads! The four of left decide to bravely go on, mostly going to the bar and blamed the waning Moon.

But of course the treat was yet to come with the sound of the doorbell as those missing began to pop in! Hurrah! Upon such a splendid trick being pulled the revelries began. Cameras were forgotten, or pictures too blurred to post, but still some survived to tell the tale.

For the squeamish that's pretzels, humus, and herbed dyed cheese. Don't it look yummy!

After such fortifications one needs a little liquids to help with the digestion of such varied and exotic fare. Of course one finds the potions center.

Where one can quench their thirst with these devilish concoctions. A pitcher of Bloody Mary's or Pumpkin Slush spiked with dragons eyes.

By now after a couple of swigs and bites, one's appetite does grow and you can turn to the main event.

I love the color of my Blood dressing for the swamp greens and root salad. It went wickedly well with the main course as you can see. Who I ask can resist Albino Bat Chili with Serpents eggs. (chicken and white bean chili) Skull shaped corn bread, and Raven Black Rice (dyed brown rice).

After such hearty fare witch or warlock needs a little sweet to finish off the feast. What could be better than a another table full of treats


Hemlock cupcakes with bug brownies always make for a tidy ending.

Which is more than I can say for this poor fellow who sums up the end and the reason for the lack of pictures.

Happy Belated Halloween to All

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Countdown and Halloween Frills!

Hello all, I can see I'm not the only one that's been busy with shows, commissions, and sales. The Spirits on First was a great success for it being the inaugural. We had people come from all over the state and even some from across the border in Georgia. Which is wonderful cause it lets us all know that there is a growing market across the country. I'm already looking forward to next years events there and at Halloween and Vine.

Well I thought I needed to take a break and start getting ready for Halloween in earnest. First off please check out my listings on ebay under the seller hohohalloween of course! They'll probably be my last halloween items.

I have a couple more commissions left that I hope to finish this week and then I plan to relax till the big shingding next week. Actually it's just a Halloween dinner with friends and family but I go all out for my favorite holiday, so I'd thought I'd share my Halloween home decor with you all. Mind you I just started there's more to come.

I try ti mix old and new all around the house. The vintage items mostly stay in a cabinet due to our lovely Florida weather which loves to eat away at ephemera.

As you can see, my decor starts at the front door with a great wreath I picked up at Home Goods one year. It just sets the mood for what's to come.

You step into Halloween right away with orange vases, witches and cat throw pillows and of course my Halloween tree. It's a whopper! Department 56 put it out several years ago. This one's the 4 foot one that's been retired. Still not enough room for all my goodies.

At the base I have one of my favorite vintage pieces, it's an Owl luminaria from my best guess is the sixties. It stands next to a modern Target cat luminaria.

Up the tree you'll again find some vintage with modern glass ornies


Here is a Larry Fraga spider with bee victim and a Large Radko JOL.

I've been told by my friends that I must have posed for this Slavic Treasure skull since we both have the same crooked smile and have follicle challenges. LOL. Another Larry Fraga and more Slavic Treasures


Some of my JOL collections ranging from the Illuminations Jack o'lantern to made in japan vintage plastic.

I'm happy to have acquired a William Bezek hula girl skull to add to my growing Skull grouping. Thanks William I love her, and also you Witch candy container that fits right in with my other witches.

In one corner I have my cats which include a Johanna Parker candy container that sit next to the Devilish corner. I love making the crepe paper lamp shades to add that vintage feel you see in the old Bogie Books.

Even my coffee mug gets into the act. I love this halloween mug. As I drink the little treasures reveal themselves, in this cas it's a witch.

And of course the scenario wouldn't be complete without that little lady herself ..........Talula, getting into the act. Say CHEESEEEE! .

I'll try to post again before the big day, but just in case HAPPY HALLOWEEN Everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Hey all not much of a post, just a note. Been prepping for the upcoming "Spirits on First" the inaugural, annual Halloween Show in Sanford Florida. You can read more about it in a blurb in Celebrate 365 Magazine.

Hadn't had much time or energy, (shoulders acting up again) to make anything new. Keeping up with commissions during show is madness. You are sooo sweet and patient in understanding the limits of this human body. It should all come back to NoMRal! next week before the mad Christmas rush. I'll be getting all those special gifts to petaluma out to you, as well as wrapping up some commissions.
I can only say thank you for the support and encouragement shown September 26 at "Halloween & Vine" and everyday on the blog and through emails.
Those of you in the Orlando area come check us out this Saturday 10 from 9-4. It's 10 Minutes from orlando and you'll find lots more to do in Historic Sanford. There is also a Harley Convention in town.
Well.... better get to bed early so as to be fresh for travel and setup tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Finally! Halloween & Vine

Halloween & Vine 2009

After being MIA, I Finally have come down from the cloud that is Halloween and Vine to post. That, and taking a breather from prepping for next weeks inaugural show of Spirits on First in Sanford Florida.

Where to begin. As if being in a show with all that amazing talent wasn't enough, the welcome from them was the icing on the cake.

I was warmly welcomed by Ginny Betourne, Scott Smith and Christy Silacci upon arrival. Then the fun began, I said hello to all the other artist Laurie Hardin, Johanna Parker, William Bezek, Susie Scott and all the others. Everyone was busy either setting up their tables or helping setup the hall. There was a sense of camaraderie as everyone did there part.

Christy Silacci and Laurie Hardin helping out.

I must admit, being my first time I was a bit overwhelmed with setting up and was not able to help as much as I'd liked to. Evidently,to my surprise,I brought so many pieces that my table looked like a carnival, colorful and jammed packed.

The hall looked great even the lighting got into the act after festive lamps and streamers were added.

After a long day of setup we all had a wonderful dinner together , I was too busy eating to take any pictures, by this time I was starving.

The morning of the big day I arrived early for last minute adjustments and was surprised to find fans had formed line outside the hall since 5:30 AM. The excitement was palpable in the air.

After a warm welcome and pep talk from Scott the doors were swung open.
The collectors were so enthusiastic and generous in their praise and they expressed it with their support by buying anything that wasn't strapped down. It was hard for the established Artist to keep up with the pace, so you can imagine us new kids on the block. What fun we had! It was so wonderful to see the faces of the people as they browsed in wonder at all the goodies to be had.
I met so many wonderful collectors and I thank them each and everyone, for their support.

I had time to meet Dani Nelson from Spooky Time Jingles in person. Fellow artist and collector who flew in from the east coast to participate in the event. She is a wonder of support and marketing wiz for all of us that are part of that family.
The following pics speak volumes of the talent of each and every artist that participated and the smiles on out faces lets you know the fun we had. I hope I able to be a part of this show again in the future and developing the new friendships from artists and collectors alike. Enjoy, see y'all next year!

Laurie Hardin and Scott Smith at her table moments before the doors were swung open.

Some of Scott's marvelous creations

Susie Scott's amazing table.

Katherine Webber at her Table filled with halloween goodness.

Johanna proudly showing her wares and those fun leggings.

William Bezek and his fantastic characters!

Finally but not least Twinkle who had a great time and will be on her way next week to her home with Robert Brawley of Halloween Fanatic. A great collector and supporter of us all and a budding artist as well. Read more about Robert in the current issue of 365.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Final Strech

Had a wonderful couple of days with friends here in San Francisco showing some sights familiar and some out of the way. It was a beautiful day at Union Square, a little warm for SF but hey I'm from Florida. It seems everyone is getting ready for Halloween and Vine next week.
We went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for an Avedon photo exhibit and ran into a great vignette of modern furniture by a local Artist, (shame on me for not taking note of the name) that was in keeping with Halloween. It was a chair, table and floor lamp inspired and done like bones. Note the spine of the Chair. Brilliant!

The following day we went to the Cantor Center Museum at Stanford University, and I fell in love with an exhibit of Pacific Northwest Indian inspired art. This mask caught my eye and I'm sure you'll see a figure or ornament come from it.
The next day prepared myself for what I thought would be a long wait for UPS delivery of my shipment. I was pleasantly surprised to have them arrive by 11 AM.
To my horror some of the packages were pretty banged up. After spending the rest of the day unwrapping them again I was pleasantly surprised to find very little damage. A big sigh of relief!
Now I'm really in the home stretch, can't wait for show on Saturday. Hope those that can make it to Halloween and Vine will stop by my table and say Hi! If you can't make it, make sure to check out the site and discover a world of wonderful artist.