It is my deep, dark pleasure to announce the annual Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Tour! This is my "treat" to you all, a special way to celebrate my favorite season, share some exceptional art by artists I personally admire and raise money for animal charities. With this blog, I hope to keep you up-to-date with proceedings and progress as we approach the yearly "launch" on October 1st!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Solstice and the end of the world

Well, it is the end of the Hallowe'en tour for 2012:  the auction is finally all finished and I can finally close and lock the gates.  Timing is everything and it so happens that Bat World Sanctuary is again in the running for a prize on the Modzilla Firefox Challenge!  I checked with the President, Amanda Lollar, if I could "send in" the auction money by way of the Challenge and she said "YES!" and so you can see a $250 donation on the site!  Thank you again to everyone who participated in the auction! 
  Right now Bat World is in 4th place and the charities in 2nd and 3rd are just a wee bit ahead!  Please consider donating, even $10 can make a BIG difference (and if you type LUCY in the comment field a generous bat supporter will match your donation!).  Click here and follow the instructions, it's very easy and you can set the "fee" at $0. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Grim Statistics...

...are anything but grim!  We did good!  Our tour raised a minimum of $1155 for the bats and our 23 artists had 38 sales!  2017 unique trick or treaters visited the tour and, most importantly, 65% of sales were to new customers! 

So we achieved all our goals: we shared our love for Hallowe'en, a significant amount of people purchased our art and we helped save the bats, all while educating people about White Nose Syndrome!  This is fantastic!  I doubt there are many shows that can boast these figures, with 78% of the artists having at least one sale. 

On the down-side, I'm exhausted and I simply can't keep up.  All of my own projects have been on hold for too long (4 years??) and I'm not going to commit to the time necessary to host the tour again in its current form.  This is how I feel: 
Along with a complete report, all the artists have received a list of questions so I can see how they might be willing to help, either by finding new artists to participate or setting up their own studio pages or ??  Who knows?  Maybe someone will have a great idea!  After all, this is one of the most creative, resourceful and imaginative bunch of people I have ever had the good fortunate of meeting, so the sky is the limit!  An eerie moonlit sky full of dancing ghosts and flying witches to be sure! 
(This awesome illustration is from Zombie Tales Omnibus: Outbreak published by Boom!, Sept 2011. If you like zombie stories, get a copy, excellent, covers all the bases: some stories are sharp commentaries on humanity (Headshot, Backbiter), some are uniquely touching (The Bakemono..., Bait) others go for a laugh (Zombie Come Home). Overall: bitingly good!)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Post Mortem

It's done for another year... our tour has closed and it's been the best year ever!  2071 visitors trick-or-treated with us and we had 38 sales!  Not only that, but our auction brought in a lot of good bids, most of which goes directly to the bats! 
Thank you, everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Two days left!

As you may have noticed, our tour has been extended to November 7th for all you last-minuters and too busy Hallowe'eners.  Only 2 days left to get some gorgeous items, perhaps do some early Christmas shopping? 
Our auction winners are getting ready to receive their items, it was a pretty good turn-out this year and we raised a nice sum for the bats!  Also, our Creaking Door Prize winner was picked out of the witch's cauldron and D. Lexa won the cupcake wraps and picks and the Martha Stewart treat bags.  (The mystery item was a human skeleton.) 
Here's a funny picture that artist Deborah Downey took and that's exactly how I feel!  Exhausted, but happy!  Deborah still has some incredible pieces on her page, check out
and see items like this one:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scare Fair and the Twilight Zoo

The Twilight Zoo is on our tour and this weekend was the Scare Fair!  There are lots of photos on the Twilight Zoo's tour page, but here's one from yesterday!
This is our corpse bride in the cemetery that Mom and I created in this little fenced-off area beside where the Twilight Zoo was installed. 

And here is Zoltan the Adequate performing his incredible show on Saturday!  Yes, his tongue is on fire! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Come see the new treats!

New items appear whenever an artist has a sale and replaces the old with the new!  There have been 22 sales, so...
Here's one of Beth Hutchison's new offerings, find him on the tour and many other new treats!
Take a peak, you may fall in love AND a % from each item goes to the bats!

Monday, October 8, 2012

new bat necklace

well, here is the Bat Necklace to replace the one that found a home.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Week #1 statistics

This year our tour is flying high with the bats!!!  There have been 11 sales already with 847 unique trick or treaters!  This is an absolutely excellent week one for us!  And who knows how many people have learned about bats and become supporters?! 
  So if you want to help out, please bid on an auction item and take a look at all the amazing things our artists are offering in their studios!  As most creations are one-of-a-kind, don't take took long to decide!
These are Pam Pontious', check out her studio!

coming to the tour

I am trying to finish another Bat necklace for the tour, since the first one sold

Friday, September 28, 2012


To celebrate Culture Days, our tour has now opened!!  Come trick or treat with us, be dazzled by the artists' amazing offerings, bid for an auction item and learn about bats!

Culture Days this weekend!

So we're all set up for the big weekend:  Culture Days Sept. 28-30!  This is the bat display where folks can learn about how wonderful bats are.
And here is the corpse bride that stands in another area of the warehouse "handing out" our Studio Tour pamphlets! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

whoooo whoooo

here is the owl for the tour

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Harold the Zombie Hamster
I'm super excited about the Halloween Artist Studio Tour this year.  Although I didn't have as much time this year and only managed to get 2 pieces done, I think this will be a great year. I have peeked at many of the other artists pages and am blown away by the art! Karen has done an amazing job with the pages once again, I think they are the best yet! Hope we gets lots of sales and even more help for the bats!


I have gotten some of my treats finished for the upcoming Halloween Artist Tour -- here is my Bat necklace.  (got an owl and a  Jack o Lantern  bear too)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Going, going...! Our 2012 auction items

These three glorious photos are close-ups of the three auction items my sister Doris created and is donating to our tour!  ALL of the proceeds will be going to Bat World Sanctuary, so bid and win not only a lovely hand-knitted accessory but also give a gift to the bats!!  What could be better?

(There are also 3 hand-knit bat dish towels, a soft sculpture rat by Diana Ussery, a unicorn and faery pair by Sarah Forrest and other treats that will be auctioned off!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The deadline for the participating artists has past and the art is coming in!  WOW!  I can hardly believe how incredible the submissions are!!  You are truly in for a treat!
Here is a little teaser:  Adrianne Kinsella of "Kissinglass" created a gorgeous piece of recycled glass art.  This is just a close-up of one little part of this stunning piece... you'll have to wait until October 1st to see the rest!

Friday, September 7, 2012

It was a dark and stormy... year!

Carl Chalupa, one of our terrifyingly talented artists, has the main spread this month in the "Haunted Canada" calendar!  Here it is:
Carl is going to thrill you with his hauntingly beautiful and ghastly photographic works come October 1st, and if you're keen on having your own 2013 calendar, visit Hector Turner at  Yours truly submitted a photo and hopefully Carl submitted another yummy treat!

Thank you, Hector, for putting Haunted Canada together!  Love having Hallowe'en on my wall all year long!

In print!

We're in the brochure! The Culture Days brochure is now out! A big thank you to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for designing this terrific full colour brochure, which you can download here!
When it comes to Hallowe'eners,
culture... is a warm corpse!
Thank you again, Eileen, for all your efforts in getting this together!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Playing our part

To my spooktacular tour artists,

This posting is a little long but please read through to the end.

I received an e-copy of the Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Club Newsletter produced by Terry and Susan Quinlan and it inspired this letter to you all, my fellow artists. Regardless of how you may feel about the Quinlans (and they have certainly not endeared themselves to everyone), two points in their August 2012 issue are worth bringing to your attention concerning the state of art as a business (no matter what your art) and the place of artists in securing their own success. (For those not familiar, the Quinlans created the “Susan Quinlan Doll & Teddy Bear Museum and Library” in California, are huge collectors and currently run an annual convention.)

Firstly, we have to find new markets for our work. The attendees to the Teddy shows, or the dolls shows or the art shows already know we exist and understand what they are coming to see. We have to go out and find new audience members and show them how awesome we are and what incredible things we create. Artists need to get active and get noticed, by getting into newspapers and non-art magazines, taking part in non-traditional venues and informing potential new fans. Our Hallowe’en tour, I’m happy to say, does this very well: with 22 000 receiving Bat Conservation International’s e-newsletter (according to BATS magazine, Spring 2012 issue) and 26 000 Facebook “fans” of Bat World (according to the President Amanda Lollar) we are reaching out to a huge group of people that (except for potentially a small set) never knew we were out there.

Secondly, we need to work as a team, “working as a single profession toward a common goal”. Working as isolated individuals is not the best way to function but as a group we’re boundless! Consider again our tour: alone, I can’t reach too many people, I can only advertise so far, but if each artist pitches in we, as a group, reach a HUGH number, everyone of us sharing our pool of contacts and our community networks for the benefit of the entire group. Times are tight, money is tight, so consequently there is no room for “free-loaders” any longer. I believe the Quinlans were sadly dead-on with their statement that “We have too many “takers” in the artist doll and Teddy Bear world”, too many who expect others to do the work for them, hurting their own profession. In my own experience co-organizing a local craft fair, I was startled by fellow artists who were downright resentful and angry when asked to help participate in the promotion of the event, as if it were beneath them. “How dare you ask?” was their reply, direct or indirect, and one even said it was enough that he create his art and show up at our event, as if he was doing the event a favor. Again, I return to our Hallowe’en tour: with participation in the tour set at $28 which goes directly to the bat conservation groups, there is NO money for advertising, it is ALL word of mouth and signing up means you agree to help spread the word. This can be done in many ways, both virtual and physical, by using your online options like your websites, Facebook pages, twitter accounts, blogs, etc…, by getting the tour included in show listings, and by hanging posters, distributing bookmarks or pamphlets (all available here: at shows, leaving bookmarks at your doctors’ offices, your public libraries, etc… I hope some of you seize this opportunity to write to your local papers, etc… to say “Hey, do you know about bats and the trouble they’re in? I’m taking part in this great show to help raise awareness.” (If you want additional bat information for your article, just ask!) What a boon to you, our tour and the artist community!

So, there you are. Do you have an opinion? How do you plan to be an active participant? What do you think the role of the artist should be in today’s climate? Please feel free to express yourself and share with the group. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We're out there

Well, we're back from our week-long stay near the Pinery Provincial Park!  There's nothing like their dog beach!  (I'll put some pictures up here.)  But, as regards our tour, I was able to put out some advertising.  There's a restaurant/gas station on Hwy 21 that now has our bookmarks and, most importantly, the Lambton Heritage Museum, right across from the Pinery, has our pamphlets, along with the Elora Hallowe'en Scare Fair postcards and April Norton's Oct. 14 Doll & Teddy Bear Show in London. 

At the campground where we rented our cabin, they had a Hallowe'en weekend which sadly was rather half-hearted... but I thought what a great opportunity to advertise!  So the morning everyone was to decorate (only 4 campers did) I hung out our bookmarks and pamphlets and Elora's Scare Fair postcards in the trees surrounding our cabin.  (String?  Mom cut apart a firewood sack and we used the orange fibers!)  When we came back from the beach, they were all gone!!!  The managers felt it was "too distracting"... okay, then all decorations would be distracting, now, wouldn't they?  Anyway, they said we could hang 2 or 3 but no more.  I hope bats poop on these rather hypocritical individuals.
  Anyway, on 3 nights we enjoyed bat-gazing while they swooped and dove to catch their dinners.  They are just so neat to watch!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

International Bat Night August 25-26, 2012

Obviously, this is true of everyone taking part in our tour (or at least everyone really likes bats) so let's get out on August 25th and celebrate International Bat Night!

Yes, it it the Year of the Bat (as declared by the United Nations)!  It's so important to inform everyone how important bats are to the planet's health... and so to our health.  Just think of all the insects that are NOT getting eaten because so many North American bats have died due to White Nose Syndrome.  More bugs means more pesticides, more poisons in our food, water and air... 
So celebrate our bats!  And share your love for these incredible creatures!  How about posting here how many bats you see on Bat Night? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We're a Culture Days event!!

We're part of Culture Days!!!  For those who don't know, it's a Canada-wide event that celebrates every aspect of our culture!  Including Hallowe'en art and our tour!  Click here for our listing; yes, it needs an edit but Eileen from Perth Arts Connect is on top of things (thank you, Eileen) and I'm so happy for us! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

One lost life...

Last Tuesday, on our morning walk, Willow and I came across a dead bat.  S/he was still relatively fresh but very dead, and the ants were busy already.  Still, it was a rare opportunity to see one of these stunning creatures so up close.  And it was a somewhat strange meeting as we normally walk on the other side of the street, on the sidewalk. 
The white arrow points to where the little one was lying.  My guess is that it's a Little Brown Bat.

I phoned the Canadian Center for Wildlife (1-866-673-4781) to ask if they wanted him/her.  The very nice fellow at the Centre said the bat probably died from trauma and that they don't normally collect specimens found along roadsides.  Still, he took my information and said that they keep such reports on file so that if more dead bats are reported they have a history and can investigate if something appears to be wrong.  I could, he said, either bag him and put him in the trash or leave him for the scavengers.  I figured at least someone should benefit so left him there.
Poor little guy... hope it was at least quick.  There seemed to be quite a bit of damage on the underside...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Elora is awesome!

Yesterday we travelled to Elora, ON, to pick up my sister's commissioned pendant from artist Carla Drimmie.  Imagine my joy at hearing that Carla loves bats and is very sorry to personally witness their decline in her area, as she used to have lots of bats swooping and zig-zagging over her property...  So I invited her to our tour!  This is the pendant she made for my sister, it reminds me of the infinity symbol, with the world, or perhaps a single soul, hanging in the balance.  She mentioned she would like to make a bat, and if you look on her website at other examples of her work you'll see it embraces fluidity and a very uncluttered grace.  Wow, can you imagine her interpretation of a bat?  I'm VERY excited!  Let's keep our fingers crossed that she'll join us!   Please?!

We also went to the Visitor's Center to take advantage of the upcoming "Monster Month" in October and dropped off a stack of pamphlets and a poster for our Hallowe'en tour.  (The poster is already up!)
  We lunched in the beautiful park alongside the gorge close to "Lover's Leap" and then visited with the Monster Month Queen herself, Julie Denneny.  First we glimpsed the INCREDIBLE new creatures Tim Murton is working on for the Twilight Zoo, and for the new park in Elora he's bringing to life a stunning Unicorn!!!  WHOA!!!!  Tim used to work in Hollywood in set creation... I hope to have an opportunity to see more of his work.  Julie was at her Bed and Breakfast so we enjoyed walking there admiring the stunning, unique houses!  Wiggit Hall is very welcoming (named after her beloved cat) and we enjoyed sitting on the porch and discussing Scare Fair, the cemetery that we'll be putting up and so many other details about this incredible event!  If you're in the area, consider getting involved:  Julie would very much appreciate your extra hands!!!!  Anything Hallowe'en!
  Before heading home we walked around the downtown area a bit (a beautiful place to spend some time, by the way, I highly recommend it) and brought home some delicious almond croissants and other pastries from Pastry & Fine Cakes (135 Metcalfe).  And we still got home in time to feed Willow her dinner!   
Here's a close-up view of one of the beasties from last year's Twilight Zoo. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Scaring up the ghouls around Ottawa

I was out and about visiting my sister in the Ottawa area and happily displayed tour bookmarks and pamphlets at three locations:  the Bonnechere Caves, the Carp branch of the Ottawa Public Library and the Comfort Inn in Peterborough.  Also, I left a pile of both with my sister to put out closer to September.  Sadly, we didn't get around to the Haunted Walk of Ottawa, we were simply too tired by nightfall to head out again!  (There's more about our visit on my other blog.)
  My clever sister was inspired to knit a batty dish cloth!  I think it's really a great idea for the bat or Hallowe'en enthusiast: subtle, fun and practical.  As you can see, it's roughly 8 1/2 inches square, made in 100% ultrasoft cotton and can be machine washed and dried.  Perfect!   
  She hopes to have 2 more ready for the tour, but if you're keen contact me:  we'd love to hear your enthusiasm!  We have not decided yet if these will be auction items on the tour or if they will be for sale on her "studio" spot.

Friday, July 13, 2012

ScareFest 2012!

July 7th found us haunting the 8th annual Toronto ScareFest!

Wow! The creativity blew us away!  This was our very first ScareFest and are they all like this?!  Unless you were there, you have no idea how awesome these artists are.  Dead bodies everywhere, in various stages of decomposition!  Cut-off fingers galore!  Monsters!  Zombies!  I was so in my glee!

And there were two artists I hope very much will join our tour:  meet Carl Chalupa and Ghoul Friday!  Carl is a photographer with an excellent eye for balance and composition, and gory bits!  There were so many incredible images in his booth, I invite you to visit his Room 57 website and get lost in his dark and delicious vision!  And ask him to come play with us on our tour!

And here's a view of Danielle's Ghoul Friday table.  I've been eyeing her work for awhile and was tickled to death to get to see her paper clay and other creations in person!  I found it too hard to choose only one so two came home with me:  Hubbert and Beezle.  Their stories drew me in, beautifully written in Danielle's creation book...  And a copy of the book "Brains vs Coffee" was the perfect, witty, well rounded philosophical debate on the merits of these two kitchen essentials.  Please give her a boo and visit her website, and beg her to come and play with us on the tour! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hallo there! I'm Darien, and I'd like you to meet my friend Kheiravesh. He's one of the orphans in the Snuff Stuffy Orphanage, and he and his friends have been busy preparing for this Hallowe'en show, making friends (literally!). I can't wait to show you the snazzy bits and bobs I'm putting together for you :)
Visit Kheiravesh and his buddies at:  or Custom Cranium Facebook

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ready, Set, Boo!

Here it is!  Ready for the 8th Annual ScareFest this weekend in Toronto, this pamphlet features all the artists who are participating in the
Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat and who have submitted their donation to either Bat World or Bat Conservation International
What an awesome group!
Give a round of applause to these amazing artists!
I'm so proud, this is going to be our best year yet, and it's only the beginning of July!  I hope still to get more artists involved, please contact me if you're interested: woosel{at}

I've printed and folded about 160 copies so far, I also have about 100 bookmarks ready to go.

If you'd like to print out some copies and hand them around, we'd LOVE it!!  Click on the image above for a full sized copy; this prints nicely on a regular sheet of paper.  Then fold along the middle, the long way.  Fold along the black lines: the panels are NOT even (especially the front and back panels).  Then fold in the two ends so that the poster is the "cover".  And thank you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Batty about bats!

Here's a super cool bat craft to share!  Sure, it's nice for Hallowe'en but it can be used for any environmental program as well.

Just click on the pictures for larger images. 

(I found this here.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Want to know more about certain species of bats?  Try Bat Conservation International's profiles at this site.

This sweetie is an Evening Bat.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hallowe'en thrills in July!

We'll be there!  I picked up a lovely, black foam tri-fold display at Staples yesterday and will have a "fun and informative"! presentation on bats for everyone to oogle!  What species are in our area?  Why should you care about their plight?  What can you do to help them?  All these questions will be answered!   
Please join us!  Check out the ScareFest's website for all the details and see the incredible listing of super-spooks who will be there!  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Too good to eat!

Has someone ever done something so nice for you, so utterly unexpected, that it makes you pause and wonder?  Like maybe wishing for a zombie apocalypse wouldn't be such a good thing? Perhaps, just perhaps there's hope for humankind after all?   I had such a moment this week, when I received in the mail a small packet.  Inside the packet were a number of tasty morsels but none compares to this incredible gift:  a postcard featuring a Krampus cookie being eaten by 2 rats!  (Okay, maybe you think they are mice but I know they're rats!)  

Wow!  Since I recently "discovered" Krampus (thanks again Eric!) I have been in love with him!  And you know I love rats!  So perhaps you can imagine how happy this card makes me!  (I also love baking cookies, so there!)  
Here's a closeup of the rats.

Thank you, Rose, from the very bottom of my inky, pessimistic heart to the very tips of my imagination and inspiration!  You are a wonder!
I hope to make you feel at least a bit of this happy very soon!

And thank you to the Hallowe'en Queen herself, Pamela Apkarian-Russell, for guiding this card into Rose's hands.  It couldn't be appreciated more!

This post is also on my clawscratches blog but the Hallowe'en nature of it made me think it also belongs here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Your turn!

Dear Hallowe'en Artists,
  It's been a real treat getting to "meet" all of the new artists who have joined our Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat and hearing encouraging words from artists who have signed on for a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th year! Your enthusiasm means a lot to me, thank you!
  Please note that your donation of $28 is due June 15th... I know, I know I hate this part too but this is how we help save bats! So please send in your $28 to either Bat World Sanctuary or Bat Conservation International. Remember that your placement on the trick or treat map is set when I receive word that you've paid, so why delay? Besides, the only part about hosting this tour that I realy, really dislike is having to remind you to pay, so please get it over with! If you need to review the guidelines, please see
  And if you do it now you can help either charity win $25 000! Yes, there's a contest ending May 14th and both Bat World and BCI are in the running for the three prices! Would it not be amazing if your donation helped them win? Imagine what $25 000 means to these organizations, and the bats they help!
  So please use  to select Bat World or  to help Bat Conservation International and simply forward to me the e-receipt so I can mark you off as paid!
  If you haven't yet joined the tour but would like to, please email me and I'll answer any questions you may have.
           Boo to you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day of the Dead bears by Amy Thornton

Amy Thornton is set to go and show off her new creations at the Philadelphia Doll and Teddy Bear Convention but she posted this sneak-peak on her Facebook page.  WOW!  Day of the Dead Teds!!!  I think they look amazing and I love how she combined the bears and iconic Day of the Dead elements!  Spot on! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Haunting in April we did go!

Check out my review of the Canadian Haunted Attractions Conference at, just scroll down to the poster and click.

And mark your calendars: April 12-14, 2013 will be the dates for next year.