Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Olfactory Manifestations and Other Paranormal Occurrences

People say that the sense of smell is probably the most primal, the most likely to bring back old memories, of our five senses.

The inside of your nose is kinda gross.  I'm just sayin'.

Yes, there may be 6 senses, not just 5.  I have the power to see goats.  Yes, goats.   oooohhhh...spooky...
"Do you see those goats, mister?  They're scary."  "No, I don't see them, little boy.  But I sure do feel like shooting Hans Gruber at Nakatomi Plaza.  You wouldn't have a 9 millimeter, would you?"

I remember once finding my old orange plastic candy bucket (shaped like a jack-o-lantern, with the black plastic strap for a handle) from decades ago, and then getting a whiff of the inside of it.  Memories of Halloween when I was 9 years old came flooding back to me.  Getting sick from candy over a friend's house, the thrill of wandering around in the dark, wearing long underwear underneath my costume because it was SO cold outside, and just the thrill of dressing up and getting free candy.  I remembered that old excitement and nervousness that I had, in anticipation of doing something REALLY special.  I remembered all this because of a cheap plastic candy bucket that probably cost $1.95 at Kmart way back when.  And I wouldn't throw it away for the world.

I hope they never stop making these things...

 Nostalgia is a funny thing.  People say you shouldn't live in the past, but they also say you can't forget the past, either.  I think those people are right about both.  So much of our tastes, our fears, our likes, our dislikes, even the way we dress and behave hinge on childhood memories and experiences- even if some of them are memories we'd rather forget.  I mean, most of us remember getting the flu at a young age, and ending up vomiting up our last meal--which ends up being the one food we refuse to eat as adults.  A certain cartoon still holds a fascination for us for no other reason than we thought it was the coolest thing (or weirdest thing) ever when we were eight.  Or avoiding wearing a certain color because our mom ALWAYS dressed us in that color for school. 
Remember the Herculoids?  Man, they were weird.

I haven't actually thrown up from Dos Equis, but I kinda wish I did.

  In my case (and in many other people's lives too, I'd imagine) it affects my parenting, my recreation, and even my work.  By work, I mean my artwork. Childhood images from books, cartoons and movies are consciously or unconsciously put into almost everything I make.  I guess it's nearly unavoidable.  Childhood memories tend to be the strongest, right?  Which kinda makes me wonder- when does childhood really end?  I don't mean, "when do we physically grow up and become adults".  When do we stop thinking and feeling like children?  In my case, I still have some thoughts and feelings of a child.  Is this good, or healthy, or "normal"?  I have no idea.  I guess it depends on which thoughts and feelings, and how we handle them.  But I tend to believe that I need some of that aspect of childhood to do what I do.  Obviously, it has to get pushed aside a little when I'm at my day job, or driving, or doing taxes- but even then, it's in the background like a barely audible tv in a house, 3 rooms away.  Sometimes closer.

Growing up is for suckers.  I choose to be a monkey.

Okay, enough of this nostalgic clap-trap.  Are you getting ready for Halloween?  YOU'D BETTER BE!! There's lots to do! Spiders and skeletons and ghosts- oh, my!  We still haven't nailed down a theme yet!!  I will give myself 3 more days, then we have to commit to a theme.  I hope the kids don't suggest things like "Speed Racer" or "cheese" as themes.

This cheese scares the poop out of me!  Have you been to those places??

Hey, have you seen this?  I was selling them at River Days when I had my little show a couple weeks back.  FLASKS!  Spooky flasks!  All the cool kids are buying them, and I'm sure you don't want to be left out....
When you drink out of these, you receive spooky magical powers.  Like the power to conceal beverages.
My Etsy stuff is changing almost weekly, as usual.
 And I'm working on a new series of paintings, and they are VERY cool.  Well, the concept is cool- I haven't actually painted them yet.  But the sketches are just about done, and I can start Friday or so!  Woohoo!  Hope you like them!  Maybe I will FB my progress....

I am so tired. But, at least I had Indian food tonight.  Now I need some orange sherbet or maybe a fruit pie.  Perhaps I should combine the two....hmmm.  Where's my blender, confound it!?

Goodnight, kids.  I've got a blender to hunt down, and a 1920's artsy spooky movie to watch.  Now go.  Shooo!!  Get out of my blog.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see...

Is it weird that the pumpkins we are growing are turning orange already?

Is this bad?  I have no idea.

Every year for the past 4 years or so, we have planted pumpkins in our little planting bed by the house. 
As you can see, just this ONE PLANT takes up a lot of room!  The other plant is almost as big.
Carlos made the copper plant markers for the kids.  You can see the scale of these leaves!! Yow.

This year my husband bought 2 pumpkin plants, one for each kid.  We have some copper plant labels that he made, too- just in case there is any argument about whose pumpkin plant is whose.  But this year he bought the super giganto mega freakish-sized pumpkins from Meijers.  He figured it might be worth the extra couple of bucks to get the big ones.

 I don't know about you, but the FIRST thing I will think of when the giant pumpkins are full grown, is how to hollow them out and make a boats out of them.  Yeah.  Or maybe make a doghouse out of it.

 It's the first week of September and only one plant is producing pumpkins.  And the pumpkins are over a foot across already, and orange!  Will they start to rot now, or will they get bigger? Should I destroy the plant in case it's evil?  We have no idea what we're doing.  But apparently the fertilizer worked. Well, on one plant, anyway.

One of the pumpkins actually did call me "Seymour".  I don't mind telling you that I'm scared.
Yes, we are hoping the Great Pumpkin will visit our pumpkin patch this year.  I have to admit, we have a very sincere pumpkin patch, if I do say so myself.  Man, those things take up a bunch of room!!  The vines go everywhere!   These mutant giganto ones have even bigger vines than last year. We had kind of a Japanese theme going on, but the pumpkins are an interesting contrast to that. Hmmmmm....maybe this year we can do a Japanese theme for Halloween..?  Japan has TONS of mythology, ghost lore, demons, and bizarre legends to draw from.  This might be a possibility.

Insert caption for the guy on the upper left...

She's a little creepy!  Yeah, "The Grudge" and "The Ring" were damned scary...

 I hope the Great Pumpkin gives money.
  We were thinking maybe a traditional ORIGINAL Halloween theme- meaning 3,000 years ago in Ireland Halloween.  Carlos is already buying turnips to carve.  Pumpkins are from the Americas, and Europeans didn't use them as Jack-o-Lanterns until fairly recently.  For centuries, it was turnips that were carved into lanterns.  They switched to pumpkins as they became available because of their ease of carving and pleasing color and shape.  Sure beats the hell out of a turnip for sheer coolness, too.  We will probably end up eating the turnips with the can of haggis we've had in the cupboard for 2 years...

Read up on the legend of Stingey Jack tricking the Devil, but being doomed to wander the earth with his lantern...

 We were also thinking an Edwardian or Victorian theme- but that has been done to death.  Maybe Day of the Dead?  Classic Universal films motif?  Strictly ghosts?  Insane asylum?  I have no idea what to do.  We have to decide on something quickly because we only have a few weekends to do it!  Carlos has assembled some parts for animatronics, but he can't start working on them without a theme.  Any other suggestions? 
Maybe this is our new theme.  Purple dinosaur overlords.  Kinda like Barney, but less humiliating.

Well, hopefully inspiration will come to us this weekend.  Did I tell you we took the family to a Renaissance Faire last weekend?  We go about every other year up to Bristol.  The kids like to see all the stuff there like the crossbow games, falconry, sword fights, and the food!  The day was really nice (74 degrees) which was perfect for walking around all day.  Check out what Carlos got for no particular reason-
Yes, he got a goatskin.  Maybe he is going to make a really creepy "dream catcher"...
Well, he is always getting weird things.  He wanted to get a badger pelt also, but it was a little too pricey.  Kinda glad he didn't get the badger.  He'd probably make it into a sock puppet or something.
He also got this iron bell from Hobby Lobby today at half price.  He spray painted it black and is looking for a place to hang it.  His plan is to put it in the planting bed with the pumpkins, I think.

Hey, have you checked out the new stuff we have on Etsy lately (now THAT was a seamless segue.  Pretty smooth, huh)?  Got more t-shirts for sale, and a couple new items in the works.  Here's a link, if you have the time and inclination to check it out-

I also have an art show next weekend.  Plainfield (the town where we currently reside) has their River Days next week, and the art show will be at noon on Saturday the 10th.  Lots of artists will be there, and I will have my tent full of art goodies, and maybe a few give-aways for you folks.  Just look for the crows....

I am SO tired.  I gotta work on 2 more paintings, and the other items we are going to be selling on Etsy.  Time for some caffeine, I think. Aahh, old friend.....I think I'm gonna shotgun one of the big cans.

I've had enough of blogging for one night.  And I don't feel like doing the rest of my work either!  To quote a Meatloaf song, "You can't run away forever, but there's nothing wrong with getting a good head start".

Nothing to see here, folks.  Move along.