Thursday, December 22, 2011

Halloween 2011: Simplicity

Well I finally had time to upload the best Images, life got major hectic... 
Got a nice nod from Eric Lowther for my review of Haunted Overload, which was more than a little awesome... worked like mad on a project that didn't get me anywhere... (woot! Failure!) and knocked out finals... so yeah... 
And now there is Holiday. 
Joy to the world.... my time is screwed... 
I really need a mocktail!
Maybe one with an umbrella... definitely an umbrella... 
Okay I'l stop now... okay I'll stop now... 
anyway... How are you? 
Lets get on with the pictures... yes?

All Images by Strublay
Ankle Biter



Colossus, Monster, Ankle Biter

Colossus, Monster, Ankle Biter, Squished

Monster and Colossus

Fun Fact: Monsters rind was so intensely thick, that I actually HAD to use a power drill to carve him. The Drill Bits got stuck about three times.... 
Furthermore... He hasn't rotted yet... 
He lives on, a shell of his former glory. Cracked and bleached from months out in the waning Vegas sun...
Monsters Skull is sitting on my porch, along with the Holiday lights. 
Photo Shoot coming soon.
I hope I can keep him forever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Of Smarties, Chocolate, and my other Loves: Technology and Design.

Confession: I'm not only an artist that is obsessed with Halloween: I am also a Technology nerd. I'm building this crazy love of Web Design and in doing so I stumble through the internet finding cool designers to bookmark as inspiration. Well my recent find will be quite entertaining to you: It's about my favorite Halloween candy (which I still have lot's of... the american version, but hey) Smarties! 

Yeah, I know you hate 'em, but my favorite roll of sugar and citrus does have a small following:
Here is another article on the newer version of his site about Chocolate and Fun Dip:
One last article about the cool house on the block on Halloween.

I think any of the Candy Gram entries would be awesome to read, but i love these the best.
I hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Halloween 2011 #1

Image by Strublay

The Card Reader is FINALLY working!! 
Actually it started working with a secondary update to my OS, however I have been mightily pre-occupied with an awesome little stop motion project for a video cover letter of all things...
SOOO Halloween upload has been put on hold. 
Love you guys, but a potential Job > Halloween. PARTICULARLY in Las Vegas.
As soon as it is done, and I am ready to get back to my life, more postings will happen.
For now, one nice general view of my Halloween Display this year...
*goes off to move a toy, take a picture, move a toy, take a picture, move a toy..... take a picture....*

Monday, November 07, 2011

New Additions to the House of Strublay!

My husband and I welcomed two handsome neutered male cats in to our home a few days ago!
We adopted Panther, our 8 year old Black Persian/godonlyknows mix, and Captain our 4 year old lynx point Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest mix. We are working on Names that fit their personalities, I am lobbying for Panther to be renamed again (He was originally called Jewel, as the staff thought he was female when they received him, due to the extremely long, heavily matted fur... they shaved him and found he was male..... EMBARRASSING.) Panther feels like a Buddha due to his infinite calm and his intense loving nature, and Captain feels more like a Thor-type...  we'll see if he comes more out his shell.
We will put up some pictures, as well as Halloween photographs as soon as we alleviate the troubles with the camera card readers.
*shakes a fist at the camera card reader*

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Freakshow

Image by Strublay

Three of my freak-show, Colossus. Monster and Ankle Biter.
We have been having some serious issues with our card readers in the house of Strublay, and we are prepping for a new addition or two in the form of cats, so I have not gone through the images yet.

In other news: RIP Ankle Biter. 
He generally laid on his back and his grin was wide and terrifyingly sharp, so he folded very, very quickly.
I am hoping next year to have a yard, where my pumpkin creations may languish and rot at their own pace, but unfortunately, a rotting pumpkin in a condo is a scary, nasty thing.
So hes sitting on the dumpster, ready to scare the neighbors, who already are not quite sure about me.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hall of Fame Recipient 2011

So, what is this Hall of Fame crap? Well essentially it is me giving credit where credit is due: If a prop or theme or visual style that does not come from my own artistic tendencies show up in my yearly display then I give the artist who inspired me a Jar, bottle, vial, or some other aspect in my haunt where a name might be used. If I should ever have the space for a cemetery, you might see a name there, or if a box should be a part of my designs, a name will be there. The item will always involve the artists signature styling, things an artist is well known for.

Last year PumpkinRot got a ripped up, stained and crusty label on the side of one of my Witch Jars.
"Monsieur Rot's Plant Re-Animation Powder. (DO NOT USE NEAR GRAVES)"

This year, while bouncing around my blog list trying to come up with a simplified plan for this year, I stumbled upon This Post  by one of my favorite Haunters and this years recipient: Marrow.

I was inspired by the essential nature of these pictures, as well as a VERY early post by Marrow about a bunting he made for his room.
This year I'm making a potion/herb/specimen bottle for Marrow. Something involving ghosts I think. It will be on display next year.
You rock Marrow, keep up your amazing work.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Rules.

The Rules of Halloween. 
DO not break them, or the spirits will get VERY angry.

#1 Wear a Costume

#2 Hand out TREATS

#3 Never, Ever, Blow out a Jack-O-Lantern

#4 Always check your candy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Eve

The sun is slowly setting on my lovely home of Sin City as I write, and the smell of pumpkin is extremely strong in my house. Next to me is a wastebasket half filled with pumpkin guts from the 9 pumpkins I've gutted so far (7 are mine) and two more of my friends pumpkins sit on the porch waiting for the violence to come.
Protip: Walmart sold this pumpkin gutter drill bit for about 6 bucks, and it does a majority of the work in a quarter the time: blasted through the three largest pumpkins in about an hour, and the other 6 took an hour and a half total. Put that on your Day-After-Halloween shopping list. 
The dining room smells heavily of clover and cinnamon, and Witch Jars sit awaiting tea-lights.
Tonight I will carve, and sip sparkling Pumpkin Apple cider from Fresh N' Easy, and watch some old Vincent Price movies, some new Tim Burton Movies, and listen to lovely music such as the track from the video above. I will put the finishing touches on the display pre-setup, and on my costume pieces. I will prepare the treat bags for my few TOTs, Light Candles, and enjoy the holiday I'm known for.

I will post a few more times tonight, with pictures, and music, and other wonderful-ness, but tomorrow, might be barren and quiet. Or I'll be sharing everything under the sun.
Check Up with us tomorrow for a list of required viewing, a reminder of the rules, The reveal of the Hunter that most influenced this years display and their herb bottle in my HoF, and the first pictures of my display.

Now If you will excuse me, I hove more pumpkins to gut.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Does Halloween Smell Like?

Found on Flickr, Image by Chris & Lara Pawluk

Clove, Cinnamon, Amber, Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Frankincense with a little of the dying flowery sweetness of Nag Champa.
Then add in the wonderful scent of candy, screams in the cold night, sweat, and burning jack-o-lantern.

Can I get that in a perfume?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Rejects

The benefit of pumpkin shopping 4 days before Halloween: The rejects are the only ones left. 
We got more freaks this year: warty, green, mis-shapen. 
And we have our monster: a 28 lb pumpkin. 
It does not have a name yet.

This is a light year, and we have 7 pumpkins. 

*sigh* We never do anything small.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Prep continues

Working on a Bunting and my Costume today.
Cheshire Cat has kind of been my totem for the past year, so I'm using him as Inspiration this year.
You know you are a nerd when you buy prosthetic pieces and are FORCED by sheer artistic integrity to "fix" them. I bought these really cheap pointed ear tips, and they are built to simply be placed over your ears: they look like S***. SO I am cutting them down, cleaning up and thinning the edges, and giving them a light coating of boa feathers to give them a furry feel.
All while working on Halloween.
I am SUCH a geek.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Watching the Original masterpiece tonight on AMC with "Story Notes". 
Love it.
One Week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

On getting called pretty by a demonic Ring Master: Haunted Overload 2011

I got out of Haunted Overload about an hour ago, and the smile won't let up off my face. I immediately jumped on the bed here at the comfort inn in Dover and grabbed the lappy to make this post. 
I only took these photos in the front area of Haunted Overload, just because I wanted to respect the establishment, BUT show that yes,  Mr. and Mrs. Strublay was there tonight. 
It was wonderful, everything was hand made, there was not an over zealous glut of scare attempts, all the pumpkins were lit by real candles (the scent of which was delightful)  the coloring was wonderful, and the SOUNDS. OMG THE SOUNDS.

I had the husband stop the rental as we sat in the parking lot area, the screams filled the night, along with a rock-ish track and a couple of chain saws. In one area the sounds of growls made the scare, in another children and little girls laughing upped the creep factor.

I have never been so happy or impressed in my life. I want to do it again. Seriously.

There is this one section of the Haunt where you walk in to this really demented big top, and above you is a ring master. The ring master was screaming down at the girls two groups ahead that her UGG's are the dumbest shoes on earth and are UGLY. The next moment he noticed me and said (yelled? croaked?) sweetly, "Come in pretty one!" 
I was honestly flattered.
They got me a few minutes later, a pop out actor got me with a yell. It was one of two jumps I had through out the night (which is incredible: I have a tendency to be unshakable. My husband hid behind me.) 

Tomorrow is my last day in the North East, we are headed to Salem, MA. Then back to my home in Sin City, where my Halloween will take shape. I have a lot to do, and in one week!
10 days until the High Holiday!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where skeletons dance by the light of the moon.

Well our trip is almost at an end, and I am quickly getting in to the hard-core Halloween spirit. I've decided to share some of my un-edited images with all of you to keep you all entertained until the images from my Halloween display start filtering out this coming week. 
We had a bit of shop displays in Alexandria, nothing in DC, and nothing in Manhattan, and we did not stop enough in the residential areas of Brooklyn or Staten Island to get any photos. Now Mr. Strublay and I are in Lexington MA. 
The Rain yesterday made getting here miserable. How do you north-easterners DEAL with it? GAH!
Tomorrow night, the real fun begins. Haunted Overload baby, doing it, and doing it tomorrow night.  So freaking excited. 
Stay tuned, I might post a bit more tonight.

Finding this place was a nice surprise, the bucky in the window made me smile.

Miss Kitty here was cleaning herself, and did not wish to be disturbed. 

my favorite: freak pumpkins.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Alexandria, Virginia

Is a lovely little city. We're staying in the heart of Old Town, and I'm going out in the next day or so to get some pictures, but pumpkins are on a tonne of porches, and a few places are splendidly decked out for Halloween already. This a wonderful time of year to be here. They also have this apothecary museum... totally going there between the Smithsonian's....

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Scary day

I'm cleaning *OVERLY DRAMATIC SCREAM HERE* after staying up all night to reset my clock too non-nocturnal time. Rough task.
Anyway I just wanted to write, because I got my Calling Cards in!

Image by Strublay

Picked them up from Vista Print, the free 200 thing they had going, It was the only design I even remotely liked, but I think it could have been better. They are good as a starter set of calling cards, to be used when we drive around the country and find something worthy of capturing for the blog. 
Also plugged Halloween Forum, cause I like them. 
Anyway, happy 150th post, and I hope you all have a great night!

I finally saw it!

Saw it on A&E this evening finally. Totally awesome.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Costume Maker

Names of the family members have been withheld at the behest of their relatives.
Statement by Justin H. for the Clark County Sheriffs office, November 2010.
"Well I called (the mother) after work, around 6:30p, and asked her if she wanted to go out to get a drink. She declined as she had work to on her children's Halloween costumes before they got home from their Nana's house. She invited me to come over for some coffee and keep her company while she sewed. When I arrived at the condo, she let me in and we sat at her kitchen table sipping coffee and talked about the NIT funding crisis. She sat across from me hand-sewing a black cat costume for her littlest. The condo felt strange, a little oppressive. It might have been the storms outside, but it felt... different. Like something dark was in the house. It was markedly uncomfortable. I left around 8, just before the kids got home. I didn't know it would be the last time I, or anyone outside the family, saw her."

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

 Image by Strublay

Finally! I knew that a rainy day was coming, so I decided to wait until it came.
I hope you enjoy.

This story is a work of fiction, any similarities to actual events is purely coincidental. 
Clark County Sheriff and NIT are fictional entities.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Antiques from the Pit

Went out to a local Antique Mall today with Mr. Strublay, we were searching through the shops for anything awesomely creepy and old worthy of my haunt this year. We did not find anything of interest, except this single case filled with antique Halloween Masks and Vintage decor. Masks ranging from the 1940's through 1980's. Paper lanterns and "cooky" cutters from the 40's, and finally the most interesting item: a paper cat from 1937. I'm torn if I should purchase such a thing. Can I safely store it? I left the antique mall with nothing but some photographs for you. Enjoy.

Ps, totally posted this from Mr. Strublay's iCrack. Thank you blogger or making posting much easier for me.
Image by Strublay

Image by Strublay

Image by Strublay

Image by Strublay

Image by Strublay