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.