Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Make Your Own Coffin-Shaped Trinket Box

My local Michael's has unfinished wood coffin boxes in the dollar bin right now.  I'm assuming yours does, too, as most Michael's stores carry the same things, right?  (Right?  Let me know if I'm wrong.)  Anyway, it's easy to decorate these things up and use them for all manner of spooky Halloweeny stuff, like your collection of unearthed fossilized fangs, or your dried herbs for potions and spells, or your annoying pile of flash drives that you can never seem to find a place for and they're always laying all over your desk driving you crazy.


So, here's the one I did:

What you need:

Black paint  (or Black Sharpie permanent markers)


Glue  (I use Elmer's Craft Bond Extra Strength glue sticks)

Your computer's printer, or....

Possibly scrapbook paper, if you'd rather use something with just a pattern on it than actual images

Embellishments of your choice:  metallic Dresden trim, skull beads, ribbon, etc....

The decorating part is very simple:

Paint the coffin black

Wait for it to dry

Glue some stuff on it

That's really all there is to it.  I glued some silver Dresden on the cover, and glued some print-outs of coffin innards into the inside and that was it.  The only real tip I have for this one is that it does make things a lot easier if you take off all the hinges and the clasp and completely separate the two halves of the coffin while you're doing the painting part.

I made my own coffin innards in Photoshop, and that ended up being the most involved part of the whole thing.  It was easy to find an image of some ivory satin that I could digitally turn red, but finding the pillow was way harder.  After spending an hour in Google Images trying to find a picture of a pillow that I thought would look right in a coffin, it finally dawned on me to search for "ring bearer pillows" and that was finally that.  In Photoshop, I used "Hue/Saturation" and "Selective Color" to age the look of the pillow to something less bright-white and fresh-looking. 

After the aggravating amount of time it took to find the pillow image, I thought I was in the clear, but finding an image of a skeleton I could use turned out to be impossible.  There are tons of images of skeletons to be found online, but every one of them was, like....posing, I guess.  Not a one of them looked like it was laying flat out.  So I ended up taking a photo of one of my little plastic skeletons and using that.  It's suddenly occurring to me as I type this that I could have detached its forearms in Photoshop and crossed them over its chest.  Oh, well.

So, there it is.  Have fun!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Make Your Own Three-Sided Hangy Ornament Thingie

I made one:

There are a bunch of different ways to do this.  The way I did it was to insert black-and-white tarot cards into it in Photoshop, print it out, and color it in with markers.  But even if you're not down with the computer graphics-making, you could just print out the template and add images manually, with paints or markers or cut-paper or stamps or whatever's your thing.  Cut it out, score along the lines between the sections, fold it, tape it together, and there you go.  Three-sided hangy ornament thingie.

Here's the template.  Click on the image to get the full-sized version.


101 Songs - Be Excellent To Eachother!

Because come on.

It's Bill and Ted.


September Tarot Day!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Papercraft - RAWR!

Leave it to Ravensblight.com to come up with rockin awesome Halloween papercraft.  Click the link to download some....



Thursday, August 25, 2011

101 Songs - That's The Stuff

I discovered this tune when I got a copy of "Halloween Stomp".  The song's not particularly Halloween-y in tone, though.  I think its name is what led it to be included.

"Shivery Stomp" by the Frankie Trumbauer Orchestra

"Halloween Stomp" is, unfortunately, long out of print, but you can download the whole album at the following link:

The Wonderful Wonderblog


The Book Of Destiny

A vintage set of oracle cards from France called "The Book of Destiny", dating back to the 1860's:


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

101 Songs - Eliminate The Ninnies And The Twits!

An anthem for anyone who doesn't fit in and feels perfectly okay with that:

Devo - "Through Being Cool":


GONE!!! Too Late For Herpicide!

I don't know if this is still done as much as it used to be, but lots of companies used to have playing card decks made as promotional items.   Here are some card backs from a few of the more interesting decks I've found:

Isleton Butter:

Mickey Mouse:

Lowry Coffee Company:

The Owl Drug Company:

Mistletoe Ham And Bacon:

The Emporium And Golden Rule Bazaar:

The San Francisco Bohemian Club:

Jack Sprat:

Herpicide - which appears to be some sort of hair re-growing product.  I'm using the joker for this because, while it used the exact same picture, the card back was sort of a photo-negative type thing and much harder to fully make out:


Monday, August 22, 2011

101 Songs - Hopping Into Puddles

Two purposes for today's post:  One - to call attention to the actual song, and Two - to call attention to my favorite fanvid ever.

Someone took "Hoppipolla" by Sigur Ros, which is already a joyous, moving piece of music on it's own, and used it to make an exceptionally well-done fanvid for "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen".  If you're not familiar with the movie, this video is a really great teaser, and seriously, if it doesn't make you want to watch Baron Munchausen five times in a row, then I just don't even know what.


Friday, August 19, 2011

101 Songs - Like Some Cheese-Eating High School Boy

I spent from junior high through to graduation listening to CFNY out of Toronto.  This was when it was still The Spirit of Radio, the frigglydigglin' awesomest radio station there ever was.  Then it turned into (blarg) The Edge, and ironically, lost every single iota of whatever "edge" it may have previously had.

I'm still in mourning.

Anyway!  "I'm An Adult Now" by The Pursuit of Happiness was a mainstay back then.  So, here it is for your enjoyment.


Color Your Own Tarot Cards

I found this purely by accident when I wanted to make some ribbon charms but had no color ink in my printer.  Taking regular color images of tarot cards and desaturating them in Photoshop so I could color them in with markers wasn't working.  So I went to the ever-useful Google Images, and that was that.

Color Your Own Tarot Cards!

There are two decks available at the link:  the Coleman-Waite 1910 deck and one based on the Vacchetta Tarot of 1893.

If you decide to hit this up, send me images of your custom colored cards and I'll post them here in the blog:



Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Made My Own TARDIS Necklace!

I've been wanting a TARDIS necklace for a long time, but haven't gotten around to ordering one.  When I was at Michael's yesterday, squeeing over the beginnings of this year's Halloween merchandise bonanza, I noticed some blank pendants, and thought, "Why the hell not just make my own TARDIS necklace?"

So I did.

Blank pendants make things very easy.  All you have to do is measure the blank space, and print out a picture to fit.  Mine ended up being 0.7x1.7 inches.  Then, I pulled out the trusty desktop laminator, which added a glossy sheen to the image, and will also protect it from fading.  Then I used permanent double-sided tape to stick the picture in.  I decided against using glue or epoxy because I figure if the picture gets ruined, I can peel it off the pendant and put in a new one.

Lastly, I swiped a chain from one of my other necklaces, and voila!



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

101 Songs - Should I Try To Do Some More?

I grew up with early-era Chicago, since they were one of my dad's favorites.

Best song about getting high EVER.

And am I the only one who finds it impossible to stop myself from singing nonsensical lyrics along with the horn section in this song?  Seriously:


Chicago - "25 or 6 to 4"


Paper Theatres - I Can Hook You Up

Want to make your own vintage paper theatre?  Here's a link to where you can get the materials:

Agence Eureka on Flickr.  It's definitely a daunting set-up.  There are 1434 images in the set.  And you'll have to do exactly what I did: spend a very long weekend afternoon picking through every damn one of them.  But, if you're looking for a vintage paper theatre, or a vintage paper carousel, or a vintage paper car, or a vintage paper dollhouse....well, it really is totally, totally worth it, because this chick's got some insanely rad stuff available.  And there's a bunch of different kinds of, for example, theatres.  There are really simple ones that don't take any actual building, all the way to really complicated ones that can take a whole afternoon to put together.  I'll re-post photos of a couple of the ones I've built:

And here's a direct link to a particular theatre that she put in a separate set.  I have this one printed out and ready, but I haven't built it yet, so, sorry, no photo:

The Brittania Theatre, Featuring The Play "Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves"

Monday, August 15, 2011

101 Songs - Born To ♥ Volcanos!

I spent all of high school listening to The Dead Milkmen.  There was this guy in drama club that was sort of the ringleader of any mischief that happened to crop up, and he had insane taste in music.  He was always in charge of the boombox on our numerous (and I mean numerous) drama club fieldtrips, and "Beezlebubba" was always in strong rotation.  That, and the soundtrack to "Pretty In Pink"....

Anyway, the Milkmen's early stuff had a grittier punk sound than their later stuff, which over time got more melodic, and some really pretty sounds could be found floating around inside a lot of their tracks, especially on the exceptionally rare "Soul Rotation" (which I have an original copy of.  Woot!).  I mean, even "Stuart", (which is a hilarious parody of a redneck rant against alternate lifestyles), has surprisingly hook-y, smoothly flowing music playing underneath the monologue that makes up the song.

Here's one of my all-time favorite Dead Milkmen songs:  "Born To Love Volcanos".  I'm a PBS fan, but I have to admit, this song does have a point....


Tarot Weekend Is Nearly Upon Us!

Don't forget!  This Saturday, August 20th, I'll be in my booth on Main Street at the Newfane Town Celebration, offering tarot readings.

Newfane Town Celebration Website

And this Sunday, August 21st, Marjim Manor Winery will be hosting my usual monthly Tarot Day, from 12 - 6pm.  No appointment necessary!

Directions to Marjim Manor

Sign For This Weekend's Street Fair

A desktop laminator is a hugely useful purchase.  I won't need to worry too much about these signs if the weather is wet, as long as it's not windy.  The funny thing about it is that the laminator itself seems like a pretty economical buy, (a Scotch brand one is only, like, 30 dollars) but the actual laminating pouches seem fiendishly expensive by comparison.  I think the last pack I bought was around 20 dollars.  It's actually probably a good thing.  If laminating pouches were cheap, I probably wouldn't be able to resist laminating everything I could get my hands on.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

101 Songs - He's Out Lookin' For A Head To Swap!

I know it's the wrong time of year for this, but I couldn't resist.  Great memories from childhood.  We used to go to my grandparents' house every year for Halloween, because we lived out in the country, and they lived in town where trick-or-treating was actually feasible.  Before we'd go out, we'd eat and watch Halloween specials.  Disney used to play holiday-themed clip shows, and the Halloween one always included this song:

Bing Crosby - "The Headless Horseman"


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sharpie Markers - Painting For Lazy People

I'm one of those people.  If I see something that has no color, I am filled with a nearly insatiable urge to add some.  When I was a kid, I gave in to it pretty much 100% of the time.  Most notorious was the time when, after I'd gone to bed on a summer evening, I painted my white My Little Pony with sparkly pink nail polish by the fading light of the sunset through my window.

These days, I can restrain myself, because I'm able to see ahead to whether or not I'll actually be ruining the object I'm trying to spice up.  Well, sometimes.  Sometimes, the ruination happens anyway, and the birdhouse I colored a hideous red-and-purple ends up spending the rest of it's days hiding in shame in the back of my closet because I completely forget that it's possible for me to merely paint over it.

I love skeletons, and usually I leave them alone, but this time....I just couldn't resist.  And I'm actually really happy with the way it came out:



It's like a futuristic robot skeleton!


Friday, August 12, 2011

101 Songs - I'll Tell You All My Secrets But I'll Lie About My Past

Tom Waits is for serious.  Any cloudy and/or rainy day is tailor-made for either "Rain Dogs" or "Mule Variations", preferably both.

Tom Waits - "Tango Til They're Sore"


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Budget Fortune Telling

Went looking for stuff today that I could use to dress up my booth at the upcoming street fair.  Who wants to have a tarot reading off a bare table in a plain blue tent?  But the problem was my really severely ludicrously sad-sad-sadly limited budget.  I wasn't optimistic.  But it just goes to show that....well, we should always be optimistic.  The first place we stopped was The Dollar Store.  And, happily, it delivered:

Click the image for a larger version.

Yay!  I wanted to find things that would be nice and vintage fortune teller mysterious without being too obviously Halloween-y.   But we're talking serious budget issues here, like, I couldn't spend more than around 10 bucks, which had me really worried.  But, things might work out alright, after all, thanks to Stuff That Costs A Buck.

The tablecloth issue was the thing that was bothering me the most.  I knew that buying yards of appropriate colored or styled fabric was going to be outside my budget.  And I just couldn't see myself doing readings on a red gingham oilcloth, you know?  Creepy Cloth to the rescue!  Instead of ripping it full of holes, as per the picture on the packaging, I'll just drape both the black and grey over the table.  Issue resolved!

I wasn't the only one excited over the paper silhouettes.  Ma bought some, too, when she saw them.  I just skipped the spiders and rats and black cats, and only bought the ravens and owls.  My tent has a back wall/curtain-type thing.  I can hang them on it, along with other things.

The candelabras come with stands, although I'm wondering about those.  They're nice and stiff, but very thin.  I don't know if they'll stand up to even a slight breeze.  We'll see.

The decorative ceramic fleur-things....I was squeeing over them.  They're one of those things you see in a particular themed section of a store that don't seem to have any kind of real purpose or reason for being, but they just go perfectly with whatever the theme is.  I love them.  For no apparent reason.  I'm going to set them on either side of the space where I'll be laying out the cards.  So cool.....

And the goblets.  They were the real find.  I went in looking for some kind of cool vase-type thing, because I want to be able to burn candles without them either being knocked over or blown out by the breeze every five minutes.  But the vase-type things the store had to offer were very iffy for that purpose.  The glass was too thin for my taste.  Not only easily breakable, but with burning candles inside them they'd get freaky hot.  But then, Ma found the goblets.  Whether or not they're deep enough to keep the breeze from attacking the candles is up for debate, but they'll sure as hell look awesome, one way or the other.  And the glass is super-thick.  Bonus!

So, I spent 12 dollars instead of 10, but that's still pretty rockin', considering.  I have some ink in my printer and a pile of cardstock already, so I can print out some nifty images to finish off the decorating.  Just need to find some good ones.  I don't want to do, like, pictures of crystal balls and gypsies and stuff.  I want to make it look like an actual room, with....I don't know....portraits on the wall.....I'll figure it out.  I think I've got some photoshopping to do....


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Working on signage for my booth at the Newfane Town Celebration.  Want to make something look vintage and steampunky? Look no further than the classic pointing hand.  The ONLY thing I could find to like about the dentist's when I was a kid was the awesome hand pointing to the offices:


101 Songs - You're Right! I CAN'T Commit....To You.

Ben Folds.  William Shatner.

Enough said.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Monday, August 08, 2011

101 Songs - Sweet Song Of Love!

Rhythm Heaven for Nintendo DS is horribly addictive.  I long ago erased my first file on the game just so I could start from scratch.  Here's my favorite song, played over the "Airboarders" game:

Rhythm Heaven - "That's Paradise!"


It's A Lady With A Bird Head!

My candle snuffer is a part of my daily life, as I do a lot of candle-burning.  Mine's a simple plain old unfancy snuffer, but these.....soooo cool.  Too bad you can't buy them anymore....

Made by the Royal Worcester company in the 1800's:


101 Songs - The Life And Death Of Amy Pond

Some of the music Murray Gold writes for Doctor Who is just beautiful.  This one is my favorite.  It builds and swells to a tear-jerking level, and is incredibly well used in the show.

Murray Gold - "The Life And Death Of Amy Pond"


Sunday, August 07, 2011

It'll Be A Whole Tarot Weekend!

On Saturday, August 20th, from 11am - 4 pm, I'm going to be available to do tarot readings at the Newfane Town Celebration:

Newfane Town Celebration Website

And then on Sunday, August 21st, from 12 - 6 pm, I'll be at Marjim Manor for my monthly Tarot Day there.

Directions to Marjim Manor

It's $20 for a three-card reading at both events.  No appointment necessary!


Saturday, August 06, 2011

101 Songs - Transcendence

"Curtis Lane" by Active Child is an album I ran across by accident while surfing emusic for new stuff to listen to.  The samples sounded interesting, so I downloaded it, and once I heard the whole thing, I went immediately and shamelessly wild for it.  This is my favorite song from the album, not only for the wonderful 80's new wave feel of it, but for the lyrics.

"Take Shelter" by Active Child:

While I was looking for Active Child videos on YouTube, I found this:

New album!!!  WOOT!


Friday, August 05, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

101 Songs - La La La La, I Wouldn't Care

Harry Nilsson was a huge pop influence in his day.  Back when I first started getting into his stuff, I couldn't believe how many hits he wrote and originally recorded.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Monday, August 01, 2011

You See What They Did There?

From Wikipedia:

A transformation playing card (sometimes referred to as a transformation deck when assembled into a complete set) is a type of playing card where an artist incorporates the pips of the non-face cards into an artistic design.

There are some very cool transformation decks.  This one isn't as seamlessly artistic as some, but it's incredibly charming.  It's called the "Vanity Fair Transformation Deck No. 41" and it's from 1895.


101 Songs - Plinky Synth Perfection

Today's song was supposed to be "Too Pieces" by Yaz (or "Yazoo" as they're known everywhere else on Earth except America), but I couldn't find a youtube video for the original studio track, so, for this entry, I'm going with my next favorite song by Yaz, which is "Midnight".

"Upstairs at Eric's" was an important album for me when I was in high school.  I loved it so much that I remember that when I finally got my hands on Yaz's second album "You and Me Both", I was so disappointed in it I felt sort of cheated. 

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