Monday, August 27, 2012

The Hallowe'en Tree, pt. 2

Welcome S&P-brains!

Hope you are all enjoying your late summer days and nights -- school is back in session for most every student in our twisted neck of the woods, and most vacations are now but a memory -- as Autumn breezes its way ever closer to our favorite time of year.

In preparing for The Greatest Night Of All The Year, I have been trying to gather and build, color and shine and polish and very little is finished. But I am enjoying the start of that time of year once again.

It's good to be back in the dungeon, in the lab, shaping and plotting.

And since this year's display will have a decidedly Bradburyan twist, I felt that our who-knows-what-will-actually-happen Hallowe'en Tree needed its real Caretaker...

... a certain Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud.

 Even without colored lighting, he looks pretty Moundshroudy...

He's not as spot-on cool as the mask of the cartoon version made long ago by Robert of Brandywine Cemetery (do yourselves a huge favor and read all about that awesomeness here via Shellhawk), but because he already did the cartoon version so perfectly, I thought I should whip up my own mix of that version and Joseph Mugnaini's original vision:

He's going to be a static (non-animatronic) fella, made of my usual things -- foam head, mache', Model Magic compound, hot glue, whatever else I have/find -- and come painting and finishing time he'll be a pale, sickly color, with some wispy hairs here and there, and an all black suit and cape that will look rather smart leaning against our Hallowe'en Tree.




Look out.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rest In Tranquility.

(photo may have been altered from original)

Neil Armstrong
1930 ---- 2012


Monday, August 20, 2012

Memorable things.

Hello again, S&P-brains.

August is dwindling away; Fall is tapping Summer on the shoulder with a knowing, pumpkin grin.

And at the S&P, we are preparing.

Ideas are forming, and inspiration is coming from all sides.

One inspiration in particular has been surefire, surely fired... and Shellie fired!

Folks, meet the newest member of our menagerie miniature:

Yes, this little goblin gourd was made by the amazing Shellhawk -- I've mentioned her before, her 'Shellhawk's Nest' has been in the links to the right almost from day one -- and I couldn't be more pleased with the piece nor proud of the procurement.

He looks pretty with green -- hey!
What's that inside there...?
 Could it be...?

 It is!

I guess my little Mini-Boo found this Shellhawk sibling and had to get in
on the photo shoot.

This is truly a fine piece, and Shellhawk has a limited amount of her handmade, Raku-process-fired jacks and other goodies at her Etsy store, Shellhawk's Creations.

I highly recommend a visit. I also recommend a purchase because not only will you own a one-of-a-kind piece of artful wonderment, but whenever she sends something, there are always a few extra goodies:

Spooky booty!

Thanks again Shell, your craft is truly impressive.

Another memorable thing. I couldn't let a post go by without mentioning today's passing of an entertainment legend, comedy genius and feminist hero (whether she ever knew it or not)...

Phyllis Diller
1917  -- 2012

I enjoyed every single film, TV appearance, game show, panel, talk show, anything I saw or heard her do -- especially her turn as the iconic Rankin/Bass character The Monster's Mate in their madcap Mad Monster Party (1967).

 "The LAST time you had a ROVING eye, I KEPT it in a JAR
for a WEEK, a-HAH-HA-ha-ha-hahaha!"

In her honor, I've added to our jukebox Diller's song from that film, the bubbly waltz You're Different.

You certainly were, Phyllis. 

I'm afraid we may never see her likes again.

Then again I'm afraid we might... a-HAH-HA-ha-ha-hahaha!

 (Come on, she would've said it herself).

A toast to Shellhawk, to Phyllis, and to the honest-to-goodness beginning of our Hallowe'en season coming so very soon.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Hallowe'en Tree, pt. I

The world's least 'thought-through' idea?

Quite possibly.

I am finally beginning to think and feel my way into building Hallowe'en 2012, and have many, many miles to go before I can even see it taking shape -- but one idea (thank you Aunty!) is already rooting, branching, twisting its way into existence.

The Hallowe'en Tree.

Oh, S&P-brains, we will be having a madness of a time carving, lighting and hanging  jack o'lanterns from the big tree in our yard, just above where the Great Pumpkin usually holds Hallowe'en court.

I'm kind of wishing, given that it's on the same side of our yard, that this ol' place may actually kind of look like this come Hallowe'en night:

Maybe not, but I'd love to find someplace in this world
that looks like a living Mugnaini work.

Oh sure, they're all going to be foam pumpkins, and lit with LEDs and whatnot.

But they will each have been carved by family and friends from all over the country, and will result in a beautiful tree that may look enough like this to make it worth everyone's while.

One can hope.

If you would like to participate, simply carve yourself one o'them foam pumpkins and send it to:

The Skull & Pumpkin Pub

215 Lone Pine Road, 
Branson MO 65616

Mr. Bradbury, it is my hope that even if we don't come close to your vision, we may come close to the spirit of your creation.

Here's to the Hallowe'en Tree, to Ray, and to all of us Autumn People so willing and mad enough to try it at all.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Yet another goodbye.

Welcome, dear S&P-brains.

I keep finding myself without time to devote to my more ghoulish, spooky pastimes, and getting in to the ol' S&P on any kind of timely basis remains one of the casualties of my schedule and grown-up life.

Still, when one of the great heroes of fantasy, sci-fi and horror has passed on, I must find a moment to honor that legend's memory and life's work.

Rest now after your long illness, amici...

Carlo Rambaldi
1925 -- 2012

Signore Rambaldi was a pioneering, accomplished and much-studied special/mechanical effects artist, probably best known for creating the world's most beloved alien castaway, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial.

But before E.T. came along, Rambaldi had already been responsible for two other iconic aliens featured in our pop culture cinematic nightmares and dreamscapes since the '70s, one for an earlier Spielberg outing...

... and the other for Ridley Scott and H.R. Giger.

He created many remarkable beings, and bits of beings (arms, hands, heads, tails etc.) for many films in the '70s, '80s and into the '90s before sickness began plaguing him.

Rambaldi's artistry resided in his uncanny ability to make organic the complexities of mechanical motion, his genius for making magical life from the most mundane bits of spring, wire, wood, foam, metal... any wonder that he was one my first and greatest artistic inspirations?

He even made some very big arms and hands -- that moved well! -- for the wonderfully rotten, badly brilliant De Laurentis 1976 remake of the classic King Kong.

Carlo Rambaldi's work has been studied, admired and much beloved by special effects artists old and new, and thanks to his iconic contributions to cinema's A-list non-humans, we can be sure of it staying that way for a long, long time.

One of my earliest heroes. 

Thank you for being here a while, and brightening our lives with your light.

Ristorare in pace, Mr. Rambaldi.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our second award!

Yes, dear S&Pers, it's been a long time since I've gotten in here to discuss, divulge, dissect, and d-rink with all of you, and I feel terrible about it but work and life are demanding right now and it's taken all the computer life out of me.

I don't like it, but there are far worse problems I could be suffering, so I'm not going to gripe any more about it.

And in fact, we have something to celebrate.

In addition to our Versatile Blogger award, the Skull & Pumpkin has just been awarded the iDigYourBlog Award, bestowed upon this humble house by the always wonderful Marsha from her always fabulous Ghoulie Girls blog!


Now, just like the Versatile Blogger award, there are a few rules attached to the honor which require a bit of exposition for me.

No problem.

Firstly, accept the award. This, of course, was simple.

Secondly, link back to the person who awarded you. This is also simple, since I've had Marsha's Ghoulie Girls blog on our 'Rest Of The Neighborhood' links list for a long time now, and just linked to it in this sentence and above the award image. Hell, I'll link to it again here. AND again here.
Just please go, will you? It's a truly worthy Hallowe'en blog run by a nutcase Autumn Person just like the rest of us.

Thirdly, write three interesting things about yourself.

Let's go weird on these:

1. I love old '50s and '60s stock music cues, the kind heard in old educational films, cartoons and lower budget features from the era, in animated fare like Gumby, and later cartoons like Ren & Stimpy and Spongebob Squarepants. I have several hours of such music on my MP3 players and listen to them like you listen to your Top 40 radio, latest podcast or archived jazz collection.

2. The transverse lines on both of my hands (heart and head lines in palmistry) are connected and straight across the entire hand, a rare condition known as a simian palmar crease, or simply the simian line, and it's especially rare to have it on both hands without the presence of a chromosomal disorder such as Down's syndrome, or a nervous disorder (not anxiety/depression, which I do endure once in a while, but things like peripheral neuropathy).

Not my hands, but the same thing.

3. I have been known to drink Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce straight from the bottle -- a friend and I used to each have a cap full while we were cooking with it. Strong, spicy, like a Bloody Mary without the blood or the booze. Or the Mary. It's melted anchovies, how can you not like it?

Fourthly, bestow the iDig Your Blog award on five more blogs you... well, you dig.

Now, like the Versatile Blogger award (which required fifteen blog choices!), I am going to simply say that I absolutely have sent the award to five very worthy blogs and they can talk about it and pass it on in their own time and manner. Some of them have been good friends of the S&P for a long time and are listed in that Rest Of The Neighborhood links list I mentioned previously.

I wish the iDig Your Blog award could look like this in real life:

That's something I could really dig.

I wish to thank Ghoulie Girl Marsha for her consideration of this little pub, and her kind comments about my writing, and most especially for simply being such an exemplary Autumn Person. You rock, Marsha!

Now we have two awards! SO cool!