Dec 20, 2012

Save the Planet!

Dear Friends! Try to do what you can to make this Holiday green, and the New Year too!  The Polar Bears are counting on us, and our future depends on it too! 


This year Solstice is 21 Dec 11:12 (UTC), when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. 

And here are some alternatives to Xmas:

Dec 19, 2012

My Kinda Christmas shopping!

A very cool Krampus Lauf in a Christmas Market in Munich, Germany!  My favorite is at 3:16, very cool!

And Philadelphia has a video:  Okay, it's a start! 

Dec 17, 2012

26 moments of hope

It's been such a bleak Season, when I came across this I just had to share that there IS good out there: . Take a few moments to go through the list, wipe away a tear or two and feel a little bit better about humanity.

Dec 14, 2012

Krampus in dEdmonton

dEdmonton rocks!!  On December 5th Edmonton, Alberta, had its first ever Krampus Nacht and while the Krew was small the Krew was awesome!!!  Look at the creativity!!!  LOVE the variety!

These photos are from the sites below, where you can find many more:
Thank you for sharing! Thank yo

Dec 13, 2012

Krampus treasures

What's it all about?  Xmas is slowly "appearing" in our house as we prepare for guests but it's mostly Mom who's doing the decorating while I'm at work...  We got our tree, it smells nice, the real pine scent can't be beat!
It's such a fake time of year, "peace on earth" while folks speed through red lights, plan hideous murders and set puppies on fire...

    My mood did improve however when I found these awesome Krampus images, in an online encyclopedia!  I've never seen these before, so enjoy!

A 1913 watercolor by Hubert Zwick

An oil painting on wood by Alice Boesch, 1896

From the journal of Carl Baumann, 1813-1825

A 1906 Hungarian postcard, note the prominent depiction of Krampus' mis-matched feet!  Love it!

I wish there were more images of this 1900s sculpture, note the human-like figure in Krampus' basket.

Dec 10, 2012

Fa la la blah

Spent two days making cookies.  Sick of cookies. This is how I feel about cookies:
I'd rather have yummy brains...

Dec 9, 2012

I love etsy!!!

I have to celebrate!  I have had my first AND second sales on my etsy site!!!  On Sunday, December 2nd, my Kenny the Living Stole was adopted (going to the States), and then on Monday Silver the Living Stole found a home (in England)!!!  WOW!!!! 

Here they are, all wrapped up!  They were mailed on Wednesday, off to their new homes!  Thank you etsy! 
(Of course, if you want to see everyone who is availabe AND the sales on right now, visit my .

Dec 5, 2012

Gruss vom Krampus!

Happy Krampus Night! 
Tonight Krampus roams and there are Krampus Läufe and parades in Austria and surrounding mountainous areas and... Edmonton?  Yes, Canada is having its very first Krampus event in Edmonton, Alberta! 
I'll post a link to photos and hopefully video when they're up!  But for tonight here is my very own Krampus.  He was created by artist Beth Hutchison and I think she did an incredible job, capturing all the key elements and adding her own personal flair.  Look at those horns!  The tongue!  The one hoof! 
So I hope you haven't been TOO good and catch a glimpse of the "Devil of Christmas" for yourself!

Dec 1, 2012

Phoenix rising

Have you heard about Phoenix?  On October 29th, 2012, two older teen boys strung up a 16 week old Jack Russell puppy, doused him in lighter fluid and set him on fire.  A woman saw the burning pup and called police and rescuers have been able to help Phoenix as he fights to recover from burns to 30% of his body, a leg infection and other issues.  Yes, his ear tips are burned off.
Please visit the link above and consider signing the petition to demand the highest possible punishment for the two who tortured this dog.
Then also visit the petition site to demand that Phoenix's Law creates stronger penalties for animal abuse:
 Maybe something good will come out of this poor animal's incredible suffering:  maybe we can stop this from happening as often as it does. 
  Please don't be a bystander:  speak out!

Krampus and Friends

Krampus has friends? Yes, indeed! Here's a great article about Krampus and some of his buddies who used to keep the kiddies in line. Ah, the good ol' days...

The dark side of the wreath: Putting a terrifying new spin on the old holiday party
by Meaghan Baxter

Remember all those holiday parties your parents used to dress you up for and drag you to as a kid, where some fat guy from their office got the task of dressing up as Santa Claus? Well, now that you're the adult calling the shots, why not think outside the box for some creative and colourful holiday figures. Be warned, though: you're going to have to find the right kind of party for each of these.


This mythical creature makes getting a lump of coal seem like hitting the jackpot. Krampus is recognized in European Alpine countries and, according to legend, the creature accompanies jolly old St Nicholas during the Christmas season, punishing bad children.

In contrast to St Nick, Krampus is represented as a beastly figure, and quite frankly, a little demonic—covered head-to-toe with brown or black fur, complete with cloven hooves, a monstrous tongue and long, twisting horns. The roots of the Krampus legend are in German folklore and during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of the fifth—also known as Krampusnacht—young men in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia would roam the streets with rusty chains and bells, scaring the bajeezus out of children.

Along with chains and bells, Krampus is said to carry a bundle of birch switches, also known as ruten, perfect for swatting bratty children. Ruten has significance in pre-Christian pagan initiation rites, but in some depictions of Krampus, which vary depending on the region, it is shown wielding a whip or with a basket or washtub attached to its back. If a naughty child got off with a swat, they should consider themselves lucky. The basket or washtub was ideal for carting off evil children for drowning, eating or even transporting them to hell. Being good all year doesn't sound so bad now, does it?


Krampus isn't the only figure in Christmas folklore known for devouring children. In Iceland, naughty children were told they would face the wrath of Grýla if they did not behave. The ogress dwells in a mountain cave, but comes out each year at Christmas time to teach misbehaving rug rats a thing or two. Grýla's dish of choice was a stew made of naughty children, and she had an insatiable appetite. However, it wasn't until the 17th century she was linked to Christmas, by which time she had become mother of the Yule Lads—13 figures who range from mischievous pranksters to slightly more evil characters. Ostensibly, children couldn't handle the legends of the ogress and in 1746 a public decree was issued prohibiting the use of Grýla and the Yule Lads to terrify children.


This character has reformed his ways, but back in the day he was not one to mess with. The story derives from Basque communities, and while the tale varies, a common version depicts Olentzaro as a jentillak—a mythological race of giants. However, he is also represented as a strong man and charcoal burner who crafted toys for children. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Think again. Children were often told that if they did not go to sleep and misbehaved, Olentzero would hurl a sickle down the chimney and slit their throats.

Around 1952, Olentzero traditions were revived in a much more child-friendly fashion, with the more gruesome elements of his mythology being conveniently removed. Modern depictions of Olentzero portray him as a much more lovable figure, varying by region depending on whether his pagan or Christian roots are being recognized. Generally, he is now portrayed as an overweight man dressed in traditional Basque farming attire, complete with a beret and pipe.


Nov 25, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

Okay, I'm a bit obsessed... I've been watching the Season 1 "Once Upon a Time" DVDs and am so impressed!  The costumes alone would make the show worth watching but I'm blown away by the detailed story line and the acting!  Can you guess who's my favorite?  Rumplestiltskin, of course, played magnificently by Robert Carlyle!  Could not be better! 

There's a costume overview here: and lots of images herea   
and lots of images here:
  To hear about Rumplestiltskin from the actor below, enjoy this YouTube:

Nov 23, 2012

Something good about Christmas

It will soon be Krampus Day, December 6th!  In order to find something to get excited about this Christmas season, I'm going to share some Krampusy bits.  Here's a funny and quick little introduction to the magic and mayhem of Krampus:

"It's one of the most wonderful times of the year (after Hallowe'en, of course). “What’s Krampus Day?"you might ask. Well, it’s a lot like Christmas, just replace peace and joy with fear and loathing, wholesome presents with brutal floggings and jolly Mr. Claus with a gruesome horned incubus named Krampus and you’ve got the general idea. 

In old-school German folklore, Krampus filled out St. Nick’s mythic entourage to play bad cop to Santa’s good. For those on the naughty list, Krampus got downright medieval. Traditionally depicted with huge horns, a black mane, talon-like claws (Krampus comes from the Old German for “claw”), and wielding chains and a birch rod, Santa’s enforcer beat, whipped and shamed bad children. Sometimes, Krampus went so far as to shove his victims into a sack and throw that into a river.

On December 5th, Krampus gets his moment in the spotlight with celebrations of Krampustag occurring all over Austria. The tradition includes young men–usually pretty wasted young men–putting on big, scary Krampus masks, rampaging through the streets swinging chains and whips, much to local villagers’ abject terror. According to National Geographic, celebrations of Krampustag petered off in the 19th century due to some church intervention but is now in the middle of a hellish revival. During the 1990s, Salzburg saw the formation of 180 “Krampus clubs” bent on wreaking some serious Yule havoc.
Personally, I can’t wait until some of this unique Christmas spirit crosses the Atlantic. It will be like a second Halloween, but instead of fun and family-friendly, it will just be really, really scary."


You just KNOW those kiddies in the basket are going to be dinner! 

Nov 19, 2012

Dead on time!

I am 2 1/2 weeks late but I made Day of the Dead bread, Pan de Muerto, yesterday!  This was a first and while it isn't quite as good as the bread we bought in Toronto it is tasty!  The orange zest and anise are lovely.  (The recipe is from the book Day of the Dead by Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack.)

  Here's the scary part:  I actually found yeast that grows!  And grows and grows and GROWS!  It didn't STOP growing, overflowing the bowl and oozing onto the counter!  Wow!  Luckily it was easy to beat down!

The house smelled so good...

...and here are the finished loaves!

Nov 14, 2012

Pain in the gl-ass

So how do you ship a unicorn with a glass horn?  This unicorn and faery were part of my own private collection and I offered them for auction on the Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat.  They were won, thank you Tanya, and now have to travel to the States and get there in one piece!  Yicks! 
So I tied them down in separate boxes, like when you buy action figures. And then put them in one big box.
 The unicorn is tied down in 3 places: the stomach, the tail and 1 leg. S/he does not move in the box and therefore the horn doesn't touch anything and won’t get bumped. (I taped to the box a little bag containing the original green hang tags, as you can see in the picture.)
The faery actually proved to be more complicated. She too is attached to the box in two places: both wrists. However, the wings are just pinned on and move a bit and probably will need a bit of fiddling after their journey.  The crown and costume are also very fragile... bugger!  The artist certainly never thought about having to ship her creation!! I bought the pair at a show many years ago, so brought it home very carefully in a box in the car...

Well, it’s been a great learning experience! Now I know that should I ever wish to create something this fragile I’ll have to rethink the design!!! Personally, I’ve created 2 unicorns and in both cases made it so the horn was removable for transport!

Nov 9, 2012

What to do with left-over black beans...

This recipe is excellent!  It's even vegetarian, while still being very satisfying and full of flavour.  Go heavy handed on the chili powder and enjoy!

Boo: the next generation

It seems Hallowe'en is in the blood!  I'm a proud Auntie, here's Asher my brother Eric's boy.  He's just over a year old, looking Hallowe'en happy and pumpkin perfect!  Love the sockies too!! 

Nov 4, 2012

Happy November!

It is so nice to be commitment-free!!!  Yeah!!  Of course we didn't, like, relax today:  we did garden work (overdue) and took down Hallowe'en decorations but there are no lists to stay on top of and no deadlines!!!  **Sigh**
And I feel like something is brewing, a creative surge... what will the future bring?

Nov 3, 2012


I haven't even posted pictures of Scare Fair yet, but here are images from today's Post-Mortem gathering for the volunteers who made the Twilight Zoo and Scare Fair a reality.
What can you say about volunteers other than that they are AWESOME and crucial to the success of any big undertaking that exists solely because of the love and devotion of its creators and the volunteers. So it was my pleasure to open up my Hallowe'en collection of recipes and create a sweet feast for all to enjoy!   (Mom had the tricky task of packing everything so it could be transported by car with the least amount of damage!  Thank you, MOM!!)
Tim and Julie's home was warm and welcoming and this huge long table with its rustic surface was perfect for displaying the treats, along with some Day of the Dead creations.
In addition to the 6 different sweets to choose from we were treated to cheeses and crackers, fruit and a nice selection of beverages.  The apple cider smelled wonderful.

The apricot cake with peach Schnapps and cream cheese icing turned out better than planned, with chocolate Monarchs, white chocolate skulls and sugar rosettes. 
We "buried" a chocolate coffin into this pumpkin cake and frosted it with a pecan/coconut icing which looked like very rocky dirt!

And the chocolate skulls, some filled with raspberry sauce, disappeared faster than you can say "BOO!"
Mom and I are not people-people so it means a lot to us that we never felt out-of-place or on the side-lines.  Everyone was welcoming and full of the Hallowe'en spirit and just thrilled that the Twilight Zoo and Scare Fair exists for them to take part in and enjoy!

Nov 1, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

It is the Day of the Dead and the sky is dark with sharp streaks like rips... the dead are here.
  Don't know what it's all about?  Here's a little information about this most solemn of nights...

Day of the Dead

You won’t find as many people in Mexico celebrating Halloween as you will find them celebrating Día de los Muertos. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which falls on November 1st and is known as All Souls Day.
This is a day of joyous celebration when the souls of departed loved ones (human and animal alike) come back to the world of the living. Tradition states that they come back from all realms of the spirit world, both heaven and other places. Celebration of Day of the Dead dates back to ancient Aztec traditions and by a strange, or should I say spooky, coincidence coincides with the Catholic Holy Days, All Souls Day, and All Saints Day. Day of the Dead is a happy celebration, not marked by tears. The Aztec Elders taught that tears would make the path back to the spirit world slippery and difficult. Food and drink is shares with the departed in a festive gathering. As with most Holiday’s, Day of the Dead is marked with its own special food. Pan de Muerto (or Bread of the Dead) is one of those.

Here is my altar, outside under the wild clouds. 


Oct 21, 2012

Old bones

I wanted to share this process for "aging" bones with you all, using Tim Murton's recipe.  After acquiring your bones (buying them or digging them up from the local cemetery the ol' fashioned way) you may want to "age" them by adding color and dirt. 
So, create a "bath" of 1/2 white glue and 1/2 water, then mix in a bit of yellow paint.  Add just a touch of brown, like raw sienna, until you get a color you like.  Get the bone thoroughly wet, allow the access to drip off and then roll the bone in a mix of dirt and dry moss. 
Allow to dry and voila!  Ready for your cemetery!

Oct 17, 2012

2013 on the horizon....EEEKK!

But at least I'm in the 2013 calendar!  Those are my pumpkins on the August page!   So if "Boo!" is something you enjoy saying all year, check out this awesome calendar, produced right here in Ontario!!

Oct 15, 2012

Come to Elora!

And see our graveyard!  Tim "aged" a whole pile of skulls and let us use them, they look awesome!  This is my favorite, the roots growing in the eye sockets are inspired!! 
Go to for all the details!  We'd love to see you this weekend!

Oct 11, 2012

Oct 7, 2012

Hallowe'en time = treat time!

I feel a little badly that this year's Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat has no "extras" so I thought to post a few recipes here.  It is working well for the tour:  our trick or treaters are finding the art they want without getting overwhelmed.

I have not yet tried these but plan to!  I love the broccoli stem on the cheese pumpkin and the frosting on the kitty cake (no the cake itself).  Thinking of maybe adding black beans to the dip for an extra "ick" factor!

Please click on the pictures for bigger images!

October air

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. -- George Carlin


Oct 4, 2012

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in Hallowe'en time!

I took two vacation days this week and guess how I spent Vacation Day #1? Setting up the cemetery in Elora for Scare Fair! Yes, I'm fully aware that this is not what most people do with their vacations but it was the perfect Autumn day, the colors are glorious and Mom and I got a lot of work done in 6 1/2 hours! Plus we had Willow along so we didn't have to watch the clock. Plus it was far, far away from the computer!!!
  It's certainly not finished but we got the path and 23 graves mapped out and set up some stones and the area is cleaned up and ready for the extra goodies still to come.  Vacation Day #2 will be spent... decorating tombstones!  I love it!

Look at those trees in the last sunlight of the day and all the Zoo critters in waiting!  It's going to fun, hope you can join us Oct. 19-21 for the Scare Fair! 

Sep 28, 2012

Culture Days sneak peak!

Took these shots after setting up for Culture Days (this weekend) at Factory 163!   Here I am posing with our corpse bride who "hands out" pamphlets to our Hallowe'en Studio Tour!

Here's our informative and fun bat display!

And here's my table!  The 8 pieces are displayed like art and look amazing!  And look at the warehouse, what an incredible space, with Desmond Healey stage sets placed around as backdrops!  Wow!

And my new love!  Across from us is a fellow who makes harps... what a beautiful instrument...  I was encouraged to pluck a few strings and the sound and vibration are incredible.  It's easy to think of this creation as a living thing.