Friday, December 30, 2011

The Wicked Cottage

After-Christmas, that most holy of time when traditionally septuagenarians bash each others skulls out to get a santa's head that's 75% off, my husband and I like to poke around the little town buildings to see if there's anything we can fix up.

A few years back we got a Vineyard that I turned into a Vampire Blood Bath for under $10.

This year, the town stuff was a little on the sparse side but my husband zeroed in on a cottage so quaint it made Garrison Keillor vomit up rainbows.

While it would work well for the old ladies that were working over the kidneys it was all wrong for our Halloween Town.
Not pictured are the trellis and dog I zapped with the heat gun before attempting to pull off which wound up with the dog's head snapping off.

Out came my black paint, the easiest way to spooky up anything, wetting the brush I added a layer of the runny, drippy darkness:
I impatiently let that dry before adding another coat of black, followed by rimming the various lines to make the windows and such pop. Oh and then killing the foliage.

Now that's a witches cottage!

For one final touch I gave the chickens red eyes because I'm sure if they had the option they'd prefer emu eyes.
And that's why I only use my powers for evil.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Keep the Pagan in Christmas

Due to my Ostrich lifestyle I managed to miss most if not all of the fabricated War against an impenetrable concept (which is rather sad as I had some lovely candy can missals all rigged up this year).

At least until braving the relatively empty stores two days after the holiday to find someone sporting a window decal with a silhouette nativity and the dreaded phrase "Keep Christ in Christmas."

So I felt the need to respond in kind, not so much to him but to the universe in general.


Oh I also made a painting yesterday, it was supposed to start out looking one way but I got mad waiting for paint to dry and the sky cracked a bit. This is why I should never have superpowers.

What do you mean you're out of caramel? I SHALL DESTROY YOU ALL!

Anyway, it's a tree with a shattered twilight background:
Paint? Why you no dry faster?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TerraFae - Preview

Greetings from the other side of Christmas! It's rather warm over here, surprisingly, with piles of papery debris that I swear move in the corner of your eye.

With the winter holiday behind me, this is my time to get started on some long term projects. There's the mage staff I've been eyeballing since early October, a scarecrow that would scare the piss out of all manner of murderous avian, and - oh yeah - that novel thing.

Well I have some sort of good news, I've given my larval stage tale a pass through so I feel confident in sharing the still young first three chapters for a preview.

TerraFae: Immortality is for the elves


  Branches yielded back to the tracker on the scent of new prey - a strange slide of leaves here, a broken blade of grass there told a story anyone literate in the hunting and stalking game could read.
      
      "I'm gettin hungry; it's been 'ours. Canna we take a break?"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Elf

You've already started your holiday weekend haven't you? It's all right, you can tell me the truth.

I can take it.

Well everyone who's already off making merry and holly jollying and sledding naked down the snow pile in a walmart parking lot won't get to enjoy this.
Happy flee from your relatives day everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An early present

This is the week that will never end, isn't it?

It has to be at least mid January by now, or somewhere around MLK day but it isn't even the 23rd of December yet! Has anyone checked on the Tardis lately? I fear it may have exploded again.

But the Christmas break is nearly upon us so it's a good time to spend 50 minutes in front of youtube reliving memories for childhood:











Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas - Introverted Style


Twas the night before Christmas, fire on the yule log
Not a creature was stirring, except for the dog.
The stockings were left by the chimney alone,
In hopes that a mouse would not call them home.

The tv was cooling its power now undone,
From visions of alien ufo's and other reruns.
And me in my toe socks, covered in sheep,
Gave up and decided to head to sleep

When out on the road there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over the dog and ripped my leg a gash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
I limped to the window and what did I see,
A strange old man with a sack full of trees.

He looked out of his mind and covered in puke
I knew in a moment it must be some kook
Tipping this and that his belches rattled his frame,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called out by name!

"Now Thrasher! now, Lancer! now, Rankor and Licksen!
On, Vomit! On, Stupid! on, on Dumbass and Nixon!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As only a drunkard's focus a ladder he raised,
 

His hair was matted and his eyes were crazed.
So up to the house-top the coursers they climbed,
I'd say something here but nothing rhymed.

And then, in a thud, I heard on the roof
At the man tripping, my dog gave a woof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney the transient came with a bound.

He was dressed all in spandex, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of cans he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his breath like a brewery!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard full of food was best to forgo.

The stump of a bottle he held tight in his teeth,
As most of the booze dribbled out beneath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he stumbled, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right frightening old elf,
And I screamed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And swiped all the liquor, what a big jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And grabbing a rope, up the chimney he rose!

He slipped off the roof, to his friends gave a whistle,
And away he flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, we're gettin' hammered tonight!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Robot Santa

Our Christmas Tree already houses a Tardis with a weeping angel watching, a Planet Express Ship and the recent addition of a Gun Turret from Portal "I see you."

But that is not enough. No sir! We require more proof that this is not a normal Christmas tree burning brightly with the souls of long forgotten bandits who wandered into the Will o' the wisps lair and never came back.

This one was pretty much all my husband's idea. It kept him busy while I was putting a Tardis in the Snow. He created the model using polymer clay and then I took out some paints, a vaguely steady hand and together we gave birth to Robot Santa:

Now he can decide who'd been naughty and who's been REALLY naughty on our tree.

I hear my husband's next plan is for a Krampus, so I expect a giant war to break out over who gets to punish naughty children at some point on the tree.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tardis in Snow

Last week I got a for me somewhat hefty commission of the painting onto canvas type in the form of a Tardis in the Snow on a 16X20.

I will admit I was a touch terrified that there was no way I could possibly get it done before Christmas and that it would get caught shipping in that nebulous dangerous time along with all the other boxes hoping for a home.

Not to mention the fact I hadn't really picked up a brush and put to canvas in ages due to this thing called Hallowritinglife. It's a real time suck I swear.

But after making a quick run to the craft store (where I only had to clobber 10 grannies to make it out alive) I sat down with canvas and ruler and sketched out the Tardis.

Once it was there in all its boxy glory I painted the first layer brown, so now I know what the Tardis would look like if one day all the paint fell off. There was a method to my madness but it had something to do with cute hats on newts so it's not really worth mentioning.

The addition of some classic Tardis blue over the top and tada, the beginnings of the blue box:
After that I added all the signs and gave the box some more depth with shadows and a few more layers for a summery cut.

Oh and the tree, the customer wanted a Tardis by a tree. I swear I don't just put trees everywhere I please, generally.
So that's my Tardis in the Snow painting and also why I'm only getting my Christmas cards out now:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kwanzaa Cake

If you haven't heard of the Kwanzaa Cake I'll wait while you watch this video to get all caught up. Don't worry, no rush.

Truly you must see this in all its WTF glory.



Done?

I have one of those mythical on-line friends who likes to hate that thing so I figured what would be a better ornament than the mythical kwanzaa cake?

It's a fairly easy shape for my husband to cut his teeth on until he gets to the sculpting point of making me a dragon. I want a dragon on my christmas tree damnit!

He make the angel food base poorly frosted, the "acorn" corn nuts along the base, the apple pie filling mercilessly jammed into the hole and the candles to pretend it's Kwanzaa.

Then I pulled out my paints and got to work.

I finished it off with some epoxy in the center to mimic the pie filling gel and then covered it all in a clear acrylic coating so it shined in all its horrific glory.

Hope you enjoy glaring at it Dawn.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snowman Poop

It's that time of year again, it's always that time of year instead of being that time of the decade or millennium.

Christmas is knocking around in the walls demanding its fish heads so I decided to get a jump on the cookie plate by making my snowman poop and elf crap, which are quite possibly the easiest cookies in human existence.

And they're better frozen so they can be made rather early in advance.


Curious how to make them yourself? Well I just happen to have an old recipe post kicking around for all to enjoy.

Merry Mad Dash to the finish line.

I would like to introduce you all to the best cookie ever.

You don't need to have any baking skills at all to make them. Hell you don't even need an oven or pots or pans. Everyone loves them and they're gone before you can even turn around.

I have no idea what their real name is but we call them "Elf Crap" and "Snowman Poop." I've been making these bad boys since my Sophomore year in college when my best friend and I started a weird tradition of trying to make Christmas cookies in the dorms with no kitchen.

The first step, get yourself a huge bag of oreos and put them all in a zip lock bag (you may even want to double bag it).

Next pull out your beating utensil of choice. I've used everything from a hammer to a biochemistry textbook to a bottle of wine. This year I picked an ice cream scoop.
Then just start swinging:

While you're working out the stress of the day (it really helps to imagine you're punching that nosy relative who is sure to ask "Should you really be eating that?" in the face) have some almond bark melting in a crock pot. Or if you don't have a crock pot a microwave works just as well (and if you are in the middle of the woods with neither just start sitting on the almond bark til your body heat melts it).
While all this was going on you should have had a package of cream cheese (8 ounces) warming on the counter. What do you mean you didn't do that? Saying I didn't tell you is no excuse.
Well when you do pull that out and your cookies are thoroughly pulverized dump them into a bowl. After the cream cheese has warmed add it to the cookies and mix, mix, mix!
This is the best part as you get to goo up your entire hand in chocolate cream cheese goodness (and of course you have to lick some off to test it):
Once you're done mixing it all up together, and have finished cleaning up your hands (licking is perfect acceptable as I doubt any human being with taste buds could resist) it's time to make the Snowman poop.
Just form the cookie cheese mixture into a small ball and dip it into the almond bark. Then let them set out on the counter for a half hour or so:
All that work will yield a wonderful crop of poop related treats in neat little rows:

We always make chocolate as well (my personal favorite).Now just try to not eat them all up while they're sitting there. One word of warning, make sure to only get the Oreos with white filling. The dyed ones (you know in Red & Green) do horrible unspeakable things to almond bark (that was a really fun year trying to fix that mess).
They may not be the prettiest cookie out there but I bet even Martha Stewart would gobble a few down when no one is looking.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Blunder Land

I'm in denial that it is really December.

Oh sure I'm grateful that November is dead and buried but that hasn't slowed down the business, if anything it's been this strange ride slowly up from October as more and more shit jumps up demanding attention.

At this rate the January plummet shall cause my ears to pop and possible nose bleeds. And then maybe one of those loops in February.

The first snow hit here on Saturday and kept hitting until everyone was shaking their shovels at the sky asking why? WHY MUST YOU BLIGHT US ALL?!

But everyone gets that way with the first snow. For the first hour it's pretty to watch, then as an inch accumulates it's exciting. By hour 4 you're gazing at the long since lost driveway thinking maybe nature can knock it off.

Come hour 10 when one should be sleeping but is instead gripping a mug of hot water glaring menacingly at each new white flake as though it killed your hamster snow madness has finally set in.

For me a fresh snowfall usually means picture time and this was no different.


Of course just because it was snowing didn't mean we couldn't not play with the dog so she was bundled up in her new coat (which she hasn't let us take off since) and since we couldn't make it to the dog park off to throw the ball in the miniscule wooded area in walking distance.

 Out front our little gargoyle has remained from Halloween guarding over our few steps from evil spirits. I don't think he knew what to make of all that white stuff:
A few more hours in and the branch above him had practically obscured poor little Gargoyles vision, you can't frighten evil when trapped under mounds of snow. I think:
And because I have a skeleton and an axe I did my own reinterpretation of Skyrim. Loot the corpse! Loot the corpse!
More snow is supposed to come tomorrow so I'll either be photographing it on top of a tea service kit or really going out of my mind.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Geekiest Christmas Tree

December has just jumped up and kicked November hard in its giblets.

Temperature dropped a good 40 degrees over the past two days and there are talks of the first snow which means everyone is running around like a guillotined poultry.

So I thought this was a good time to show off the Introverted Christmas Tree and our more particular brand of crazy ornaments.
Surprise surprise, the tree is mostly blue with some white and green thrown in. I've been searching for a replacement LED star topper that doesn't change colors or do other weird shit and well I finally gave up and got one that switches from blue to green. At least it's not every skittle color in a manic attempt at a Disco.

But what I really wanted to show off were the Ornaments my husband started working on at the end of Christmas last year and accomplished sometime between then and May.
Don't blink, blink and you won't get any presents. He did all the crafting while I did the painting.

To go with the old Hallmark Millenium Falcon and handful of Starships we have a Planet Express ship:
This year I saw that Think Geek had a little Portal turret flashlight that would be perfect for protecting the tree from any snoopers or other people who destroy their companion cube:
I see you. Rat-a-tat-tat-tat

And those are our more unexplainable ornaments (we don't talk about the cucumber) most homemade because idle hands are the devils playthings and he's charging by the hour.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

Like Fairies, Bogeymen and a margarine that actually tastes like butter I have troubles believing in Cyber Monday.

Back in the early exploration days of the web perhaps there were a handful of the super nerds living inside their giant jars with electrodes hooked to their brains navigating the five online shops to purchase gifts after coming up empty on the Black Friday weekend.

But now stores start their on-line madness the week of Thanksgiving. Who hasn't been watching the Amazon scroll, particularly when you grow tired of your relatives and need something, anything to keep you away from the knives.

In the spirit of Cyber Monday and its little cyber week I decided to put aside my doubt and spend the week or so highlighting some of the neat small business stuff on the web that I'll happily vouch for. Parking is such a bitch on-line.

To begin I decided to show off the billions of things I have stashed around the internet for sale in various forms or another:

First there's my paintings, okay there are very few of my paintings actually. They've become a bit rarer over the year as I've been busy with other things keeping me far from brush.
You can spot more at my Etsy store here.

If; however, you had an eye on one of my old paintings but would like a fancy print you can find some here of some of my more favorite trees and things:
I have all manner of bits, bobbles, t-shirts, mugs, mousepads, and bric-a-brac candy for sale in my zazzle store. It's having one of those if you click here you can get 50% off ipad case type sales going on all week:

If you dig through a bit there are a bunch of Rifftrax inspired things towards the back and speaking of Rifftrax, my husband and I have some shorts for sale as well. (I told you this was going to take a while).

I suppose it's best to end on that book thingie I spent last year struggling through. You can get it in Kindle, Nook, Paperback, and scrawled across your bedroom walls.
Well I think that's pretty much it, you know for the sake of this post let's say it is it (shoves three headed barter monster back into the closet).

Happy Clicking!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Green Bean Casserole not from a can

Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!

So far thing are looking okay, and I don't believe we shall see a repeat of last year where due to illness on the other end my husband and I had 3 hours to prepare a Thanksgiving feast on our own.

Boy that was a lot of fun, shopping at 7:30 on Thanksgiving to pick up what for everyone else would be last minute things and for us was well everything. Fast brining turkey bits, whipping up two sides in the same oven, keeping them warm and then roasting the turkey. Yup, grand ol' time.

But sometimes I like to enjoy the festive holiday season for as long as I can and occasionally one just wants green bean casserole. Except I'm not crazy about the traditional get a frozen bag of beans, a can of soup and the always necessary fried onion strips. It's sort of well quintessential 1950's fair with the flavors muddied under heavy amounts of sodium.

So I was extra excited to find a from scratch green bean casserole recipe, I did alter it a bit because I have a terrible habit of doing that.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • About 1/4 cup of dried onions
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry,(or in my case the cooking wine)
  • As many fresh green beans I could rescue from the rotting bag
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
First thing I did was prep the fresh green beans. Frozen's always a good option to, it's just our local grocery store always has a bag of fresh that I like to get. So I slice and dice a lot and plop they go into the water.

To a pan add the oil and onions. You can be a normal person and actually slice up an onion or be me and despise the thing aside from a handful of forms. Let those get flavorful and then add the mushrooms and spices. Cook them for about 5-7 minutes to escape the tasty juices and mix together flavors.

I should warn you since we are using thyme it will smell like Thanksgiving in your pan, so use caution and try to avoid any turkeys with a grudge. Once those are looking nice and dessicated sprinkle the flour over the veggies and add the milk and sherry. Bring that to a simmer for a few minutes to thicken up (and oh will it). This is a good time to taste and adjust your flavors accordingly (I probably added more thyme here).

Now plop in the green beans and the sour cream. Stir and stir until you have this ooey gooeyness:
Now here is where I go completely off the recipe, because half the point of making green bean casserole is the french's fried onions. It's really a vehicle for eating them without having to do it huddled over the kitchen sink at 4 AM.

So instead of making their fancy topping I tossed a few of the pre-bought stuff (oh the horrors) into the pan and then added the entire green bean goo into a dish and topped with more fried onions:
Into the 400 oven for 15 minutes to come out looking like this:
And how does it taste? Both warm and familiar but with a bit more pop, you can really get a good feel for the mushrooms instead of the vague idea a mushroom was near it from a can. Its also a lot more filling than the usual can stuff. I was a bit low on the beans so I came nowhere close to filling my dish but there's still quite a bit for leftovers.

It's a lot more work but I say it's worth it for the homemade green bean casserole.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doggie wardrobe

I'm still doing that chasing butterflies thing but I thought we could all use a picture of a dog in pajamas.
Silly Essie is built like a supermodel, tiny chest and insanely long so either her clothes are super baggy and sometimes catch her back feet or well look like that.

Either way yes I know I have a dog that loves clothes, it's downright disturbing how excited she gets when I pull out a sweater or set of pajamas. We mostly indulge her because it keeps her sleeping longer and we'll do anything to get a break from the psychopath in black fur.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Awareness Aware Month

My brain's still churning out indecipherable words at about 3,000 or so a day but every now and then it needs a nice break.

Writing a first draft is like trying to catch butterflies in a hurricane. You lopsidedly pin down what you can before the other words flee.

So I needed a little creativity change of pace and created my first Post Secret:
On the other side of someone said something and then for made me do it, my husband in talking about how October is pink boobies month wondered if there was a Death Awareness month. Thus was this poster conceived, gestated and born in my head (I have no idea how Zeus did it, I'm still craving pickled cauliflower).
Now back to the text mines.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finished! Well, kinda

Perhaps the most addictive part of NaNoWriMo for me are the stats. I can get rather competitive but only with myself (or against computer controlled shoes that try to screw you over during Monopoly).

Just look at all this tasty tasty data:
There's a line chart, tracking how much you accomplished in a day, how far you have to go, and more than likely when you will finish.

As you can see I passed the 50,000 mark sometime yesterday. Alas it wasn't as exciting as the first time when Neil Gaiman responded to one of my little brain goo tweet as I was limping across the finish line. (Though I still jump up and down in little circles whenever I remember that he actually liked those posters I whipped up *bounce* *bounce* *bounce*).

But my point, right right, the point is that way back on day one or two as I'd upload my daily gains the little you will be finished on box intoned I would be done by November 17th. Sure, I laughed and angels will fly out of my dog's butt (in retrospect that is a bit more likely considering the weird crap she eats).

And yet, there I clickity clacked away and looked up to find 50,000 words (and a good 1/3 of the story left to go) ruminating on my hard drive on yes the seventeenth. It's rather eerie really, I wonder what else the magical line chart/bar graph can predict.

*When will I die?* *When will I eat a Reuben sandwich?* *Will the Reuben kill me?*

Ask later? The 8 ball got to you didn't it?


Obligatory celebration graphic and now I'm off to keep writing, this thing will get finished even if I have to drag wild horses to a bar and make them be the designated drivers!