All posts for the month October, 2014
Since our house tour for Christmas last year was such a hit….We thought we’d do the same thing for Halloween.
We just love the graphic orange of the pumpkins in the flower beds surrounded with green cacti and agave.
There are tutorials for the Square Leaf Wreath, The Autumn Leaf Garland, The Pumpkin Arrangement, and the Ghost Brownies.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Y’ALL
I seriously hope y’all remember what a mix tape is. (I think it’s refered to as a “playlist” now)
Shifting through my Itunes, I pulled an eclectic mix of songs perfect for your festive Halloween mixer, or a night at home carving jack-o-lanterns with the kids:
Either way, enjoy.
Science Fiction Double Feature – Rocky Horror Picture Show
Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett
Witchcraft – Book of Love
Who Can it Be Now – Men at Work
Sweet Dreams – Marilyn Manson
Frankenstein – The Edgar Winter Group
Black Magic Woman – Santana
Eaten by the Monster of Love – Sparks
That ol’ Black Magic – Louie Prima and Keely Smith
Dark Lady – Cher
Weird Science – Oingo Boingo
Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra
Riannia – Fleetwood Mac
Evil Woman – ELO
The Ghost in You – The Psychedelic Furs
Grave Digger – Dave Mathews Band
Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Crazy Train – Ozzy Ozbourne
I Put a Spell on You – Nina Simone
The Killing Moon – Echo and the Bunnymen
Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
Season of the Witch – Donovan
I’m Your Boogie Man – KC and the Sunshine Band
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo
Bad Things – Jace Everett
Pet Sematary – The Ramones
Little Red Riding Hood – Sam the Sham and the Pharos
Highway to Hell – ACDC
People are Strange – The Doors
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Any songs y’all think we left off (other than the obvious movie themes) we’d love to add them.
(If you know anyone else who would put Nina Simone right after Ozzy on a mix tape, I’d like to meet them)
We present to you: Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony – “The Skeleton Dance”.
In 1929 “The Skeleton Dance” was Walt Disney’s first in the Silly Symphony series. After executives at Columbia Pictures saw it they were determined to sign Disney and his Silly Symphonies to exclusive distribution. This contract only lasted 4 years, as Disney felt he was in direct competition with Columbia’s other animated star, Betty Boop. He was, she was much more popular that Mickey Mouse. The Silly Symphony animated shorts were a platform for Disney to experiment with processes, techniques, characters, and stories in order to further the art of animation. That proved crucial to Disney’s plan to create feature-length animated films. (Something that no one else at the time thought would be possible or even profitable)
He proved them wrong.
Over 10 years, Disney produced 75 Silly Symphonies, wining the Academy Award for Best Animated Short 7 times.
…….and I think he eventually produced a few successful feature-length animated movies as well.
Everybody loves S’mores.
Why limit them just to summer campfires?
Try our Halloween brownie version……..staring Ghost Peeps. The only candy with a cult following.
For the Graham Cracker crust start with:
- 1 Cup Crushed Graham Crackers
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 4 TBS Melted Butter
Mix everything together and smash into the bottom of a 9X9 greased baking dish.
Pop it into a 375 degree oven for about 4 minutes to “crisp it up”.
Then mix a box of chocolate brownie mix according to the package directions and bake it on top of the graham cracker crust. (HINT: Instead of oil…use melted butter. You’ll thank me)
Chill in the fridge overnight, then remove the single large brownie from the pan and spread a layer of chocolate icing across the top.
Not too much. Just enough to hold the ghost Peeps in place.
Ohhh yeah, the Peeps.
Use a sharp, wet knife to slice the ghosts apart…..and line the little guys across the frosted brownies. Pressing in gently.
15 ghosts will line-up across a 9X9 brownie just perfectly.
Now the fun part.
PLAYING WITH FIRE!!!!!!!
I’ve had this hand-held kitchen torch for years. Not something I use that often.
I set it on the lowest flame setting a pass it around the edges of the marshmallow Peeps. Charing them just a little.
It works best if the brownies are cut apart.
Also……. avoid the ghost faces. The heat melts their tiny little eyes.
Peeps never tasted so good…
You’ll want a glass of milk with these..
And, as always, you’re welcome.
Before Universal Studios began producing monster movies, we didn’t have those iconic images of creaking staircases, decrepid cobweb-filled mansions, spooky mists, or even mobs of angry villagers with torches and pitchforks.
But most importantly, we didn’t have the monsters.
Well, we did……in our imaginations. But It was Universal Studios who put them on the big screen.
Universal lead the pack in producing scary movies from 1923 to about 1960; with the success of films like The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. For about 40 years, movie-goers lined up to see how their favorite horror actors; Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr., would scare them next.
A tremendous success at the box office, Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired Universal to produce the studio’s first true horror film in 1925, The Phantom of the Opera, based on the mystery novel by Gaston Leroux. Lon Chaney designed and endured a torturous make-up regime that exceeded the demands of his previous role as the Hunchback. The highlight of the movie is when the timid Christine removes the phantom’s mask revealing the sunken-eyed monster underneath. Chaney left Universal and signed a contract with MGM, unfortunately dying before he could make any more monsters.
Frankenstein, (loosely based on the novel of the same name by Mary Shelly), was released on December 4, 1931 and grossed a whooping $53,000 in just one week. The most well-known image of Frankenstein’s monster in popular culture is derived from Boris Karloff’s portrayal in this movie. There are stories of audience members passing out in terror the minute he appears on screen. His makeup was created by movie-makeup legend Jack Pierce. It was Pierce who designed the iconic “flat head” for Karloff’s monster, although director James Wales tells a different story. There’s no musical soundtrack in the film, except for the opening and closing credits; adding to the “creepy” factor.
Frankenstein was a huge hit with both audiences and critics, the film was followed by multiple sequels and is still considered to be one of the best horror films in movie history.
Bela Lugosi was performing as Dracula in the stage play of Bram Stoker’s gothic novel when Universal bought the rights for the film. Having been born in Transylvania, he was a natural choice for this 1931 talkie, although not the first. Director Tod Browning wanted his dear friend Lon Chaney for the part, despite the fact that Chaney had just signed with MGM at the time. Chaney’s death sealed Lugosi’s fate with his “signature” role….and the character he could never shake. There is no denying that Bela Lugosi will always be the true Dracula; handsome, mysterious and alluring,
……but he was forever typecast as the Count.
Originally titled The New Adventures of Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein proved that resurrecting dead monsters would earn massive profits for Universal. Elsa Lanchester was a small actress at the time, and didn’t even get billing for the title role. The opening credits simply list The Monster’s Bride as played by “?”. But we all know it was Elsa; she also played Mary Shelly in the opening scene of the film. With a gravity-defying hair-do inspired by Nefertiti and a hiss she learned from swans, Elsa steals her scenes from the magnetic Karloff. Who, by the way, was forced to talk in this picture by the Universal studio heads…..so he only used 40 words.
The Bride of Frankenstein cost an astounding $8.5 million to produce (in modern figures, of course) and is considered by some to be one of those rare movie sequels that is actually better than the original.
Billed only as “Karloff” for The Mummy, Boris Karloff’s make-up took make-up artist Jack Pierce, who else?, 8 hours to apply. Maybe that’s why the bandaged Karloff only has a few moments of memorable screen time. The rest of the film he appears in less elaborate make-up….and wearing a fez. There were no sequels for this thriller, but Universal did make several more “Mummy-themed” movies.
None were as chilling as Karloff’s portrayal.
In 1933 The Invisible Man, also directed by James Whale, was Claude Raines first American screen performance. Well, sort of. He’s invisible, or covered in bandages and goggles through most of the movie. Audiences were wowed with the groundbreaking visual effects. Several tricks, like Raines undressing to reveal emptiness under his clothes, were shot with The actor covered in black velvet and filmed against a black velvet background, then overlapped with existing background footage. The results are still remarkable and have inspired generations of special effects artists. Writer H.G. Wells was never fond of this telling of his novel, but movie patrons were.
The Invisible Man was Universal Studio’s biggest hit since Frankenstein.
Lon Chaney Jr. has the honor of being the only Universal actor to reprise his character of The Wolfman in all of the 1940’s sequels. 4 in total………and a few “werewolf” themed ones as well. Unlike our modern myth, the wolfman in this movie doesn’t uncontrollably change in the light of a full moon, not until the sequel at least. Once again, make-up artist Jack Pierce hit one out of the park with latex and yak hair. The make-up sessions were grueling on Chaney Jr. but well worth it.
His wolfman is just as iconic of a monster as his father’s Phantom.
Universal’s last great horror film was 1953’s The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Even though the 3-D fad was quickly fading by then, the movie was released in 3-D in major cities, and a “flat” version simultaneously released in more rural areas. Usually, the monster in this flick is refered to as “the creature from the black lagoon”, but his real name is the gill-man. You may remember that in The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe says that she feels sorry for the creature because, “He just wanted to be loved.”
And who couldn’t love all that latex? The Gill-Man is still inspiring monsters over 60 years later.
Y’all can thank Universal Studios for these monsters,
…….and the countless nightmares they’ve inspired.
Yeah, you can do that.
Old wood is awesome, but not so easy to find in the sizes I need.
Can be a little “pricey” too.
Here’s a quick trick to age new wood to look a little weathered……or a lot weathered.
Shred a handful of steel wool and add it to a Mason jar of vinegar.
After a couple of days….It looks like this muck.
Use this to “paint” on wood.
As it dries, and the mixture soaks into the wood, the colors start to age.
Now, this is important. Different woods will react differently to the vinegar mixture.
Yeah, the cedar bled a little, but I think y’all get the idea.
I brushed it all over the pine shelves on my plumbing pipe fixture in the living room.
Here’s the before:
And after a coat of the vinegar mixture…..
I’m not sure where the “pink” tones came from…but there they are.
I promise, it looks much more grey/brown after a few days of drying.
“How does the vinegar and steel wool make the wood change?” you may ask.
The only plausible answer is “Science”.
Science is why.
Use this knowledge only for good.
This was bound to happen eventually.
If you read any sort of “Home” blog in the internet………you’ve seen this a thousand times. Maybe more.
Time for us to catch up with everyone else.
The only wall in our living room has been begging for some shelves since the first time we stepped foot in the Cavender house.
There were some “modernish” chrome/black glass ones there for a few years. Thought we could live with them, they were so cheap, but I just couldn’t any longer. Black Glass????
We’ve been using plumbing pipe for projects all over the house; like the Rolling Log Holder, our Vintage-Looking Dog Bed, and in the Garage for storage. We’re going to use even more in the closets and maybe even as a shower curtain rod. Stay Tuned
After much rooting around the Home Depot plumbing isle, here’s what we came up with to hold our 10 foot wooden shelves together.
Here’s a footing, completely screwed together….
I spaced 4 of these babies across the wall and attaches the back flange to the wall with drywall screws.
Ignore the tall pipe on the left. I was just getting a feel for how tall I wanted it. 4 shelves including the top…..43 1/2 inches from the floor.
The wood shelves, almost the entire length of the wall, slide down on each pipe and rest on the “T” joint.
I use a 1 inch paddle bit to make 1 inch holes in my shelf boards for the 3/4 inch pipe. My pipes are set 30 inches apart, and 15 inches from each side of the end of the shelves.
The boards rest perfectly on the “T’ connectors. 1 in the front and the second in the back
Lots and lots of measuring, but connecting the pipes and sliding on the wood shelves was a pretty easy process.
One shelf at a time, and attaching each back flange to the wall with drywall screws.
Looking good so far.
The final posts are topped with flanges just like the feet.
I carefully measured so that each one is exactly 42 1/2 inches from the floor. They easily twist to adjust the height.
…and 14 1/2 inches from the back wall.
I leveled a 10 foot “cleat”, made from a 1X4, across the back wall……again, I attached it with drywall screws.
……with 1X4 inch notches cut out and lined up perfectly with my flanges.(See where this is headed yet?)
14 1/2 inch supports, cut from a pine 1X4, fit in these notches and rest on the flanges in front.
And the top boards sit on the supports.
A 1X2 trim piece hides all the ugly and makes my cap shelf look more substantial.
I didn’t want to stain my shelves, so I aged them a little with a mixture of steel wool and vinegar….(More on that to come later)
…..and then filled them with crap. Like so…..
Good place to fit the overflow of books from the den.
I’ve been collecting the vintage locker baskets to use in the closets someday. (big sigh) But for now, they hold paperbacks and CDs. Yepp, we still own CDs.
But who’s even going to notice what’s in the baskets……
…… when the shelves are so freakin’ cool?
Pulp magazines are inexpensive fiction magazines published from the late 1800’s through the 1950’s.
Printed on cheap paper, the typical pulp magazine was about 7 inches by 10 inches and 128 pages long……just the right size to fit in a pocket. Because they were published so cheaply, pulps usually had ragged, untrimmed edges. There was little advertising for these cheap reads, so the cover had to do all the attention grabbing. They were most often covered in scantily clad vixens with gravity defying blossoms.
As y’all can see here, even the horror stories benefited from the lure of the fairer sex.