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!

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.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hallowe'en party planning

Yes, it is never too early to start planning for a Hallowe'en party! April 31st is the 6 month mark to the big day, so why not start now?

Here are a few planning aids that you might find useful to get organized.Also take a look at for a helpful guide to staying on top of things.

With 2012 marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, why not host a Titanic party? Your guests can arrive in period costumes, either dead or alive, and you can assign each one an identity in a sealed envelope. At the end of the dinner or party, each guest can open their envelope and read their fate.

And too funny!!! You can get ice-cube trays to make wee Titanics and icebergs! I have to say, while the sinking was a tragedy, it's so fraught with human error and stupidity and greed I don't feel guilty about this sort of fun. (Thanks, Doris, for finding these!)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

From Saws, to Hospitals, to Dremel Bits and Screens...The Way of Gothic GG

As I'm getting ready for the Canadian Haunted Attractions Conference in Hamilton, next weekend, AND Shockstock in London, I thought I should write a quick post about some of the things I am making, considering they involve bats.  I mean, what good spooky crafter wouldn't make something with bats in it!  

The first 'bat' pumpkin I ever carved. 
This is a picture of one of the first pumpkins I ever worked on.  It's not super...I made it in a hospital in October while waiting for a diagnosis of MS.( The bats were actually drawn on a piece of 'paper' made from relatively transparent gauzy tape that I found in the locker, which worked well since I wanted some light to show through the bat drawings).  I was worried about the haunt that was NOT getting finished at my house and wondering why my legs weren't working.  My aunt gave me foam pumpkins and a basic serrated pumpkin saw, and said, "You went to art school  You can draw.  So, draw and carve!"  

And I did.  I carved so much that I am now considered a 'professional' pumpkin carver, having done interviews on syndicated FM radio, teaching seminars (one this can still sign up), having people from all over request commissions, and my tools have changed from the simple saw to everything from various dremel bits to burnishing tools used by the crafty sculptors that make wooden bird replicas.  I have even been known to use an ingrown hair eyebrow plucker and an emery board. If you want to know why, sign up for the seminar, or look for a PDF book sometime, once I figure out how to make PDF's, that is...

I gave this pumpkin away, every though it has sentimental value, to a woman with end-stage MS whose struggle to survive has inspired thousands of people with MS that have undergone treatment for CCSVI (google it, as they say).  I have a picture of us together, but am not posting it anywhere because I refuse to use her, or anyone, for publicity's sake.  She's one of my inspirations, and not a celebrity to use for promotion.  Just so you know.  I did it to show her that without people like her, I wouldn't have happened upon CCSVI and been treated for it (twice) and that I need to keep fighting for treatment to be available for everyone with MS.  But, I digress...have you noticed I tend to go on tangents?  Hang on, dear reader.  

Corset design No. 17 in a series...
At any rate, for these upcoming conventions, I won't have a lot of foam pumpkin sculptures.  This may disappoint some people.  It disappoints me.  I haven't had time!  It is Easter weekend, and with kids, that means 4 days of doing nothing but being a slave, cook, butler, maid, nurse, teacher, mom, etc. etc.  so there won't be much time for carving or making florals.  But, I did make some super bat pendants, and am currently going to stay up all night, every night of the weekend if I have to (which isn't good for MS, or anyone frankly) to continue screen printing a new series of shirts, based on Alice in Wonderland, and old French corset advertisements. I was thinking for the October Studio tour, of making a shirt design of antique bats or something.  Gosh knows I browsed the Internet last night for 2 hours and found a bundle of free bat brushes.  That would make a good post (*mental note*.)

That being said, I am, and always will be, Gothic Gourd Girl, the carver (and the ghoul that got treatment for MS that managed to pull of haunts at her home every year afterwards).  Long live angioplasty and long live my favourite dremel bit!  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Canada Haunts

If, like me, you can't wait until October for Hallowe'en you can get relief from your addiction by attending the Canadian Haunted Attractions Conference on April 13-15! Yes, we Canadians know how to scare the poop out of each other and we're gathering in Hamilton, Ontario, to share our experiences, expertise and enthusiasm. Please join us, I'll be there on Saturday, probably wearing my "bats online" t-shirt. Please say boo and talk to me if you'd like to take part in my online tour.

PS One of our artists, Stacy Saman, is presenting at the Conference and is even pictured on the poster!