Saturday, November 27, 2010

Special Kitty

* Earlier this week, Glen returned from the library with special presents - 2 vintage copies of Better Homes and Gardens! I usually prefer the 50s, but I love seeing stuff I remember from when I was a kid. And one magazine in particular made me very happy.

July 1974, 100 Ideas Under $100. Including a pile of plants on a piano! But what's this at the bottom?

ah ha ha ha ha! Critical Cat is critical! Why doesn't he like it? We don't know. Why did the cat deserve a word balloon? We don't know. Did I love this so much I made it my Facebook icon? Yes I did :)

* Today we took a nice little walk down to the Owl Designer Fair at Fernwood Community Centre. And it was awesome! Soooo much cool craftiness packed into one room.
I came home with a tin of delicious Blue Christmas tea from Traveling Sparrow - tastes of (local organic) lavender and Earl Grey, and smells wonderful. I drooled over Urchin Bags, made from recycled seat belts and air bags (maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas? :) Siempre La Lucha had great cards and tees, including a scare-owl thinking of brains. Love Monkey's felted matroyshka dolls were adorable! And boo I forgot to grab the business card of the woman with the recycled leather and felt purses :( Never mind, found her!

* and now I'm running late - see ya later!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back from the dead.

wow. Not only can I not do 3 posts a week, I can't even do ONE post a week. In my favorite favourite month even. Argh.

Heh, maybe I should just put these in a box and pull them out for my entries! Let's see ...
"Unstoppable human infects movie."
"I like grotesque headshot everywhere."
"The undead outrun insane chewing cadavers."
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

* So, getting ready for dress-up time. Don't forget your make-up! And here's a book to help you out.
By T. William Smith and Michael Carrington, copyright 1981. I like that each of the steps is accompanied by a FULL COLOR and a sketch. If you'd like to be a devil (like the fellow on the cover), just follow this diagram:

or you could be Snidley Whiplash instead :)

Okay, how about a clown?

dude, cheer up, it's Halloween!

uh, as you were.

But wait, I'm a woman, what about me?
umm, something not quite so ... psychotic maybe?

Much better.

* Until next time, whenever that may be, namaste!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


* The Halloween posts continue! (with just a tiny misstep on Monday)

* Old Navy Canada has the cutest spooky clothes for women! One of my fave pairs of pajama pants ever came from them. This year they have the pj pants, cozy socks and tees that I crave. Sadly, the store near me has a minuscule pj section, so they had none of these when I went to look.

* Target seems to have some nice tees as well. My fave is the spider web one. Also looks like they have Nick & Nora Halloween pj sets: Dia de los Muertos style skeletons, paisley owls and far-out fall leaves. And spooky socks.

* Not Halloween! This past weekend we were busy!
On Saturday night Glen, Marilyn and I saw Whose Live Anyway and laughed our butts off. It was great to see Greg Proops and Ryan Stiles live in person. And we were only 4 rows back!
On Sunday we all took the ferry over to Salt Spring Island for the Apple Festival. It was great (but cloudy), and I've never seen so many varieties of apples! We walked around a really wild organic orchard, tasted some apples and saw the cutest outhouse ever. We also visited a cheese farm (goats and sheep) and a teeny bakery.
I love that it's so easy to find local & organic foods around here.

* On Friday I'll try to provide a non-consumer oriented Halloween post ;)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hooray for October!

* I know very well that I can't do a post every day in October, but I'm gonna try for 3 a week (Mon, Wed and Fri). Wish me luck!

* For the past few years, I've made special boxes of candy for my friends and co-workers. No co-workers this year, but the boxes continue. Here are some favorite places to find just the right graphic elements:
  • The UCLA Library site took some digging, but the reward is high-resolution pdfs of the Antikamnia Calendar - happy little skull-headed men going about their daily activities.
  • And of course there's Dover. Their Old-Time Halloween book and CD combo is great, because the CD includes higher quality jpegs.
* If you want a post a day, take a drive to Neato Ghoulville! (don't forget to detour through Weird Hollow, they're dying to see you bwaa haa haa!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

they read my mind

* I took the bus downtown all by myself for the first time on Wed, to buy presents for my husband. I stopped in Chapter's to browse and from across the room it called me ...

zombie! and cross stitch! together at last! The box was all sealed up so you can't preview all the patterns inside but there are a few more pattern peeks on the back of the box. This is going on my wish list. (and the author has a blog over here!)

* In other spooky news, Martha's Halloween mag Best-Of book is on the stands (at least here in Canada). But it's a best-of so I'd strongly advise having a look through before you take it home. Almost all the projects have been in previous issues (tombstone yard, bubble wrap jellyfish costume, black vodka cocktails, etc.) But her costume on the cover is new - I wish I had access to her hairstylists!
edited to add: it is actually a book, and only has 2 ads (one across from the table of contents, and one on the back of the book) so it is alot of info handy in one place.

* So I've been volunteering at a facility, and I met one of the board members (1). His son is an actor (2) and was in Battlestar Gallactica. Lucy Lawless (3) was also in BG. But she was the star of Xena, which often guest-starred BRUCE CAMPBELL!!! I'm 4 degrees of separation from Bruce!!! this made my nerdy fan-girl day ;)

* and on that note ...

Monday, August 30, 2010


(note to self: if you hit Enter after you type the title, the blog will post. you don't want to do that.)

* Gettin' in the Halloween mood. I want to make treat boxes again this year, but on a larger scale. I've been perusing a fantastic book my mom-in-law got me - Ghoulish Goodies! It's really cool with great recipes and adorably spooky illustrations. I'd love to try the pumpkin-shaped cookies with melted crushed candy for the eyes so they look like they're glowing!

* Also nabbed this year's BHG Halloween magazine (the magazine is great but their website is a nightmare!) My fave section this year is the "Dead and Breakfast" front yard ideas, and the photos of an antique shop's decorations. Weathered paperbacks stacked with pages facing out? Brilliant! Wrapping flameless candles with yellowed book pages? Spook-a-licious! Hmm, flameless candles were on sale at Costco last week ...

I haven't seen Martha on the newsstands yet. This year she even has her own costumes for sale at Grandin Road - the costumes that she tells you how to make in her magazines and website, but buying them would save time I guess. (Don't look at the other women's costumes there, it's all that unimaginative "sexy fill-in-the-blank" junk)

Well, looks like Target have started the ball rolling and revealed their mascots for this year - green witch, square-headed Frankenstein and mummy, and one-eyed ghost. Dagnabbit, I'll miss the Jones soda this year :(

World Market doesn't have a specific section on their website, but this branch candle holder would fit right in, these mercury glass votive candle holders are great, and I would love this kinda-retro paper pulp moon & owl.

Okay, I'd better spread this stuff out or I'll be bare by Halloween. See ya next time!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

spooky times ahead?

* Hi to anybody that's left!

* I realized last week that I haven't done a single post about Halloween and it's almost September! Blame Canada. No Target (they'd be on the bad list anyway after donating money to a PAC that then supported an anti-gay rights politician), and I have no idea what nifty mail-order places there are up here. I have scoped out Michael's collection, and the rack and a half at Winners/Homesense, but nothing is calling me. I'm considering making my Halloween treat box bigger this year and filling it with cookies. My sis-in-law picked up some cute cookie cutters on her trip to Oregon so I could break those in.

The spirit is coming, though. Today is super windy and the scent of fall is in the air! And the wind is chilly! Real fall!

* Last Friday night we attended a very special birthday party - Lovecraft's 120th! The giant Cthulhu head with lit-up eyes was amazing! They had spoken word artists, singers, poets, a trivia contest and they showed a creeeepy short film called AM1200 (rent and watch with the lights off).
My favorite parts were:
  • The gentleman in the photo above reading Nyarlathotep (which it turns out I've been pronouncing incorrectly).
  • The singer (Jeff Andrew), self described as "hobo noir," a combo of Tom Waits and Tim Burton, and accompanied by a saw! a saw I say! and a tin whistle!
  • Missie Peters' poem about a rift brought forth through a carving
  • a bouncy little Cthulhu song sung by the host and a robed gent with a guitar
They even served birthday cake.

* That's it for today - thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Swap meet goodness!

* Oh boy I love the swap meet! (except for the getting-up-early part, and the walking-in-the-sun part). It's random - sometimes there's nothing, but sometimes we find something great!About a month ago, found this gem. (not exactly this one cause I haven't taken a photo of mine yet, but just like this except the top says "A classic game for two" and the bottom right corner says "Le Bourreau" because we're in Canada). Vincent Price! Hangman! Once I get some plate holders to hold the box upright, he'll go on top of the bookshelf with Cthulhu, the gargoyles and the jar 'o skulls.

Last week I got a handful of vintage patterns. I had been sticking with the 50s, but these ladies are just so cute! The one on the far right is having a VERY GOOD time, and I covet the shoes of the one in the middle.

He lives! He strikes! No grave can hold him! For $1 I got Tales of the Zombie #1 AND Vampire Tales #1! Glen also got a fantabulous photo album of Elks from the 50s through the 70s. Stuck between a couple of pages was this:

Nifty real human hair net invisible! With hair net enclosed!

Last but not least, the cutest vintage embroidery transfer pattern! One day I will make these for somebody I know. I don't exactly know WHO yet, but somebody deserves to bee relaxed!

Thanks for sticking around! Coming soon, an epic tale of vinyl.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My heart is racing!

* Once upon a time, I met a man on the internet. Last February, I decided to show him how I felt by making him a very special stuffed monkey. He loved it, and the rest is history.

And now! q.D. paToOtieS, the designer of the pattern, has featured the Amazing Love Monkey on her blog! Hooray! Thanks q.D.!
ALM and his jaunty hot rod reside in my husband's studio. Hopefully his head won't get swelled by the attention.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

thrift stores galore

* I've been having sooo much fun up here visiting thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and used book stores. There's a pile o' printed goodness on my desk just waiting to be scanned!

First up, Modern Needlecraft magazine, Fall Winter 1963. A thrift store up-island had tons of this magazine, but since I can neither crochet or knit I only bought one (the purple-and-black color scheme on the cover played no part in the decision ;) I kinda like the sweater on the cover, but as a busty gal it would NOT work on me at all.

There aren't many scan-worthy ads, but the Lane Bryant one is a keeper. IF you're STOUT? How kind of them to notice! And look at the teeny waist on her, with her gloves and pumps.

How about some thrills ... fun ... earn? "If you seek increased independence, greater happiness, and a worth-while hobby, and you feel you have artistic talent, write for this FREE booklet." I have never heard of this hobby before.

The ladies seem to be all a-flutter about Cardigan Cal. And he knows it!

Mr. Dobbs, is that you?

A yarn ad on the back. The woman at the top looks suspiciously like Julie Newmar.

* Thanks to those who let me know I'm not the only one having blogger issues! As you can see I changed some things around, and although Preview still doesn't match, the Compose part is fairly close to the final result.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Well now. Now that Blogger has a new design template interface, I did some monkeying around to fix my preview problem. I did manage to get the text columns wider on my blog, but the preview still doesn't match what shows up when it's published. hmmm.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

blogger issues

hmmm. The Preview doesn't match what shows up on my blog. I think somehow the text box has shrunk in width. Must do research!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

FarmVille is a vampire

That "one post a week" idea? yeah. Blame FarmVille.

* But I did take the time to upload some more goodies to Flickr! The story: way back in March, us newlyweds and my parents took a drive up to Tennessee to visit relatives. While there, we visited a Saturday flea market. Not a whole lot to look at, but a shoebox of sewing patterns caught my eye. How much? $2 for the box. Sold! And voila, 30 patterns, 25 from the 1950s. swoon! I only wish I were a 50s size 12 and my life would be a technicolor dream. I can just see myself flitting around the garden party in that floral number on the left. (I wouldn't trust Red over on the right to get anywhere near my beau, though.)

* In other news, Canada is cold! Well, much cooler than Florida and (according to Glen) cooler than normal for this area as well. Last weekend we used a free hotel room and spent the weekend at Parksville. Fantastic view of the beach from our balcony - too bad we needed sweaters to walk on it! We also had fun watching the bald eagles fly back and forth taking twigs to their nest. Rathtrevor Beach was amazing; the tide goes out for 1 km! I'm sure not used to walking for 20 min just to reach the water ;)

Life here has been quite active so far: trip up-island to see Coombs Market; Lauren's star turn as a wise-guy March Hair in Alice in Wonderland Jr.; watching the amazing Snowbirds and ships from around the world at the International Fleet Review; Buccaneer Days in Esquimalt; Celtic Festival and Highland Games; and Eddie Izzard LIVE!!!!! (I bought a bag that says "Cake or Death" :) I'm enjoying every minute.

Friday, May 28, 2010

spooky time in San Jose!

Considering I’m not working right now, you’d think I’d update this thing more often! I should set some kind of goal, like 1 update a week.

Enough of that – on to the amazing, wonderful, bizarre Winchester Mystery House! I’ve wanted to see this house since it was featured on That’s Incredible in 1980. It’s an oddly designed house that might have ghosts, woo hoo!Last year my friend Michelle took a trip to California and returned with a postcard and stories of how cool the house was.

When Glen and I began our cross-country trip, and decided on what stops to make, this was at the top of my list. You wouldn’t know it was there based on the view from the street, but there were signs guiding visitors on the highway. It was $28 for the mansion tour but only $5 more for that and the behind-the-scenes tour so we went for it. I took tons of photos, but none inside ‘cause they aren’t allowed. Since the house gets their only money from tickets and gift shop (no govt money), it wouldn’t feel right.

The background of the house: designed by Sarah Winchester, widow of the Winchester who made the rifles. Both her baby daughter and her husband died, so Sarah went to a psychic to find out why her family was cursed. The psychic told her that the spirits of the people killed by Winchester rifles were angry. So Sarah decided to outsmart them by building a confusing house so they wouldn’t be able to find her – she lived to be 88 so I guess it worked. That’s Incredible had really played up this story, but our tour guide made it sound more like Sarah was just headstrong and couldn’t decide how to finish the house. Sarah was into spiritualism and was fascinated by the number 13 (13 hooks in a closet, 13 steps on a staircase).

The house itself is GREAT, kinda Victorian and gingerbready. They have a room filled with all the supplies she had purchased but were never used, like beautiful stained glass windows and deeply textured wallpaper. There are rooms that were never finished, so there’s only studs. Some rooms were damaged in an earthquake in 1906; she just left them and moved into another room. Other rooms are beautifully made up and fancy. There are 160 rooms total. None of the furniture in the house is hers, she had it all sold at auction after she died per her will.

There’s a staircase where each step is only 2 inches higher than the previous one, so it goes back and forth on itself and only goes up a couple of feet. Another staircase goes up to the ceiling and ends. She had windows everywhere – the house has more windows than the Empire State Building!There are windows in floors, windows that look into other rooms, stained glass windows she designed herself, spiderweb windows …she even had a window that overlooked the kitchen so she could make sure the servants were working. There’s a door on the second floor that goes to nothing. She built a gorgeous ballroom with an antique organ, but she never had any dances or parties. On one part of the outside of the house, you can see where she decided to add on and simply covered up what was already there, shingles and all. That’s how they were able to recreate the color of the house.

The garden is really cool as well, even though most of the plants aren’t original. She imported plants from all over the world, they know because of some paper records, but since the house was neglected for a long time most of the original plants died. Now they just use educated guesses, based on what plants they know were available in her time. The front courtyard has several statues and fountains, and the original entrance to the estate.

During the Behind-the-Scenes tour we got to see the coal-fired furnace, the water pump that worked the elevator, the batteries for the communication system she used to call servants and some more of the unfinished parts of the building.

All in all very cool and worth the 30-year wait ;) I do wish the gift shop had been better; only a few items were about the house itself (books, videos, pencils, postcards and a couple of tee shirts), but it had lots of generic knick-knacks of sun catchers, plant stands, stuffed animals for kids, bottle openers with flowers, etc. I was tempted by wine bottled especially for Winchester House, but couldn’t justify the price. Now if the grapes had been grown on the property, that would have been another matter entirely.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

don't shoot, you dummy!

* I have been busy scanning in pulp novel covers to post on Flickr (g'wan, have a peek). I've only read the Perry Mason ones so far, but look forward to reading the rest, even if the stories don't live up to the covers. For example, the one above. Did he steal that sexy mannequin and the rightful owner is gonna get it back with a gun?

After our honeymoon in Feb, the hubs and I, along with my parents, drove up to Tennessee to show him off to my American relatives. On the way back, we stopped at a flea market somewhere to look around (my poor dad was outvoted). One little old lady had 2 booths full of paperbacks, mostly Harlequin, Tom Clancy, John Grisham and the like. But there, in the corner, in 5 boxes, were mystery and detective books from the '50s. I scooped up the ones in good condition, for 25¢ apiece. Holy smokes! I can find more up here - Vancouver Island is used book heaven - but doubt I'll ever see that price again.

* We organized our storage room today. Whee fun! We had been just piling up boxes in the room, but it's difficult to get to what you want that way. Costco had some great and cheap storage shelves last week so we splurged, and now we have a room we can use! Amazing how much stuff the 2 of us have. I have 3 boxes of Halloween decorations and 1 box of Christmas decor :snicker:

Of course the year-round spooky stuff is in my craft room. Last week I picked up some cheap apothecary jars, just right to fill with tiny skulls or plastic spiders ;) Great Cthulhu surveys all from the top of the shelving unit, the 3-headed Boney candleholder grins next to a black tealight lantern from Target, and the hubs gave me a classic Haunted Mansion game for a backdrop. How had I not seen this before?!? It's missing some pieces sadly, and the box is a tad water-damaged, but squee! We visited the Disney World mansion twice during our honeymoon. I can't wait to see the Disney Land one :D

* I'm outta steam. Tune in next time for ... the Winchester Mystery House! ooooEEEEoooo.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is anybody still here?

Sorry I haven't been around lately. To make a long story short, I:
- went to Disney and NASA on a honeymoon
- took a weekend trip to Tennessee to visit relatives
- drove cross-country, Florida to Vancouver Island, in 2 weeks!
- and settled into married life in a different country.

Whew, I'm exhausted!

I'm gonna get back on track soon. Until then, here's a whale (?) in a bathtub courtesy of The Daiso.

Friday, January 29, 2010

baked with love

* I could not resist buying the Feb issue of Southern Living. C'mon, look at those cookies! (sorry, biggest version I can find). Lemon butter cookies with royal icing, mmmmmm. And simplified recipes for chicken gumbo and banana bread cobbler.
... just realized that if I can link to them, they're online. So I didn't have to buy the magazine. duh.

I used to think this magazine was for old ladies and doctors' offices, but after a while living down here I found it had great ideas for places to visit, tasty recipes and advice on gardening. The home decorating features leave me cold, however; my tastes are more eccentric.

Lately I have had a hankering to bake. A couple of weeks ago I was given a bag full of lemons, so I made 2 loaves of lemon bread, one with walnuts and one without. Zesting a lemon on a regular grater was a learning experience, but the juicing went well. Afterwards I remembered the large bag of craisins and now am itching to make more bread.
Baking makes the whole house smell so good!

* The future approaches at a breakneck pace. Glen arrives next Thursday, and 10 days later The Big Day! (then Disney and NASA!) I still don't have everything needed for the momentous occasion, but even if I'm barefoot I'll be happy :)

* It's pouring down rain. Wish me luck shoe shopping tomorrow!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

warning, ranting ahead.

* So here are the stockings! Hand stitched, hand embroidered (pattern from Sublime Stitching). They turned out too small, but at least I got them done before Christmas.

* I am in a bad mood. Bad bad bad. Foul, pissy, grumpy. And watching Premonition didn't help. I'd seen part of it last Sat while the car place was looking at my tire. (They couldn't find a leak, but the air keeps getting out somehow. I should go ahead and get new tires, sigh.) And I was intrigued by the movie, Sandra Bullock is good, so I got it through Netflix. The ending SUCKS!!! With many exclamation points.

At least the weather is warmer down here. Warmer and rainy, but I don't mind rain. Except when I need to go put air in the tire that isn't leaking.

* I packed one box today, in preparation for moving. Put all the candles and most of the candleholders in the same box, that way if they melt it's no big deal. But I keep forgetting that not everywhere has the hellish heat that Florida has.
I also got the serial numbers off the electronic goodies. Some progress is better than none.