Wednesday, October 31, 2018

πŸ‘» Halloween: Jolts, Spooky Food and Fun!!! πŸ‘»

Happy Halloween!!

I am in my element today!! :) I've been baking, painting, sculpting and decorating! I hope you enjoy this's my favourite time of the year!! Here are this year's pumpkins. Christopher Lee as Dracula...and the Scream Ghost. That ghost face was hard...carving a little pumpkin is quite the challenge...note to self - next year, carve BIG pumpkins!!!

The theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic this week is Jolt/Double. Have you ever seen the horror movie "Scanners"? It's from 1980-ish...about telekinetic energy and such and such...I wanted to recreate the famous movie poster. That's fellow Canadian Michael Ironside whose head is about to explode!! A jolt indeed!! :)

In the Looney Tunes short "Scaredy Cat", Porky Pig and Sylvester stop for the night at what they think is a run-down motel. In fact, it's a Haunted House!!! 

Sylvester caught a glimpse of the windows...and the scary shadow of a spider and he got quite the jolt of fear!

And to complete the picnic, here is my "Double" painting in acrylic.

I had a lot of fun the last few days making my Paper MachΓ© Pumpkins. It's so easy and a very frugal craft!

Here are my last few "Ghostober" pieces. I really enjoyed coming up with 31 ghosts, spooks and ghouls this month! Yesterday, I included a local ghost story from my home town of Montreal, Quebec. Does your home town have a famous ghost?

"Tulip Staircase Ghost" (watercolour/ink): In 1966, a retired reverend was visiting The Queen's House in Greenwhich, England when he took a photo of an interesting staircase called the Tulip Staircase. When he later saw the photo, the image of what is believed to be a ghost appeared. Some speculate it is the ghost of a maid who died on that staircase over 300 years ago.

"Mary Gallagher" (mixed media): Mary Gallagher was a prostitute who was brutally murdered, decapitated and dismembered in Montreal Quebec in 1879. Every seven years, her ghost roams William street in Griffintown, in search of her missing head.

"Stingy Jack" (acrylic): Stingy Jack was a miserly old drunkard who, accepted in neither heaven nor hell, was forced to wander the earth with a coal from hell stuck in a turnip to light his way. This is the origin of the Jack O' Lantern.

The table is set...I came up with a fun and spooky menu this year!!

My table setting this your fingers...those fangs are sharp! :)

EEEK and Potato Soup served in a Pumpkin Bowl.

Corn Salsa with Goat Cheese and a Bacon Cheddar Dip served in a bread coffin. I remember last year you said you loved that idea Debra, well I did it this year!!! :)

Bat-shaped Tortilla Chips for dipping.

Joyce's Rustic Olive Bread Sticks shaped as snakes.

Pumpkin-shaped "Spooked Meat" Sandwiches (that's smoked meat!)...and Potato Scream Skins with my Homemade Sour Cream.

Count Chocolate Orange Cupcakes for dessert! I made the Meringue Ghosts as toppers.

I filled 8 vinyl gloves with chocolates and candy...we will not run out of sweets soon! The little drink on the right is a Stewart's orange soda with a little clementine pumpkin for garnish.

While we feasted, we listened to an episode of Suspense called The Shelter. Trust me, there were some jolting moments in that show! Does anyone else enjoy "old time radio"? Some of these episodes are more nerve-racking than a lot of the new movies out there today...and you can find a lot of them for free on YouTube!

Besides a lot of fun...Halloween is also a very important holiday for me. As my friends know, I am a Pagan and today is called Samhain (pronounced Sow-wen). It's my New Year holiday. I follow the tradition of my ancestors who lived by the seasons. At the end of Harvest, a new year begins. Happy New Year to my fellow Pagans and Wiccans! I just wanted to mention to those who don't know, I have a blog called Rain's Thoughts. It's more about spirituality, my original Tarot spreads, thought-provoking posts, lore, Nature and Self-improvement. Feel free to stop by any time! :)

I can't wait to see how all of my friends enjoyed their Halloween! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Winter, Canning, Ghosts!!

I can handle ghosts, goblins and ghouls...but cold winter weather scares me! It's snowing this weekend, which is very pretty but as I say every year...TOO EARLY.

Alex and I try to go for walks every night. Last night was fun walking in the snow for the first time this year. I like the silhouette of our hats. :)

Canning season is officially over! I used the last of my Mason jars to preserve 20 pints of apple sauce today. The 50 pound box of apples cost $20, so each pint was $1. It pays to can! :)

Halloween is almost here!! :) I have my menu planned, decorations ready, pumpkin carving tools handy and paper machier pumpkins in the works!! Now I just hope the snow melts!

Here are my latest "Ghostober" pieces I've been posting on Instagram. I have three more days of spooky art for this challenge! One will be based on a local Montreal haunting....buah ha ha ha ha!!! Stay tuned for my Halloween post! :) So much fun! πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»

"Dullahan" (acrylic):  The Dullahan is a Celtic solider of Irish mythology whose head was chopped off and taken from him in battle. He roams the land on horseback, searching for his lost head. If you look at him, you will immediately be blinded. Some stories state that his bitterness causes him to kill innocent people to join him in the afterlife. If he speaks your name, it is your life he wishes to take.

"White Lady" (acrylic):  A White Lady is a tortured ghost who died watching her loved one die before her in a horrific way. She is typically a woman mourning the loss of a lover or a child. She appears in the area of the tragedy and haunts it restlessly for eternity.

"The Ghost of Hamlet's Father" (watercolour):  In Shakespeare's "Hamlet", the dead king appears to his son Hamlet. The ghost reveals that he was murdered in his sleep, by his own brother - Hamlet's uncle who became King and married Hamlet's mother. The tortured ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing his uncle.

"Hellhound" (acrylic):  A Hellhound is a demon black dog sent to brutally kill condemned souls and drag them to hell. If you lead a sinful life; and were visited by a Grim, or heard a Banshee's cry, or heard the voice of a Headless Horseman whisper your may suddenly hear dogs barking fiercely in the distance. As the growls and barks grow closer and closer, your first instinct is to run...but there is nowhere to hide from the Hellhounds.

"Will-o'-wisp" (watercolour):  A Will-o'-wisp is a ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes.  It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from their safe paths.

Psychopomp (acrylic):  A Psychopomp is a spirit who escorts newly deceased souls to the afterlife.

"Poltergeist" (watercolour):  A Poltergeist is a noisy spirit who frightens homeowners by knocking on walls, throwing objects, moving furniture, and other similar deeds. They are said to be the restless spirits of dead adolescents who are only interested in playing nasty pranks. They can be relentless to the point where most people opt to leave their homes. Poltergeists have been known to harm humans if they're pranks don't result in the homeowners leaving their homes.

"Herne The Hunter" (acrylic):  Herne, a skilled huntsman, was fatally wounded while saving King Richard from a charging stag. He was cured by a stranger, who tied the antlers of a dead stag to the dying man's brow. For healing him, the stranger took all of Herne's hunting skills. With no skills left to hunt, Herne went mad, and fled the forest where he hung himself from an oak tree. His spirit was tortured; every night he rides, leading a ghostly hunt, chasing the wildlife of Windsor Forest.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Halloween Ideas...Art...Food...CHEESE!!!

Cheese making has begun!!! I started two wheels of Camembert yesterday and I'm hoping they'll be ready for New Year's Eve! I've recorded the process so far, so stay tuned for a video on Rainy Day Cheesemaking very soon! :)

After our latest fondue night, we wanted something a little healthier (with cheese of course!), so I made a Cheddar and Cauliflower Soup. Very good with warm buttery homemade bread!

I've had a hankerin' lately for Homemade Croissants with some Brie cheese...I decided to make them a few days ago to have with the leftover soup. I can't take credit for this Brie...but when the Cams are ready, I'll be making more croissants for sure. :)

Here are a few more pieces I created for my "Ghostober" art month!

"Mummy" (acrylic): In Ancient Egypt, the dead were mummified because it was believed that if they were not, their spirits would leave their bodies to haunt the people close to them.

"Banshee" (watercolour): A Banshee is a female spirit in Celtic lore who heralds the death of a family member by shrieking and wailing near the doomed person's home. Her cries are terrifying and ear-shattering.

"Demon" (watercolour): A demon is a fallen angel who thrives on torturing humans by possession in order to reap their souls.

Guess who learned how to add a slideshow to her blog??? I love learning new EASY things! The first slideshow has the pumpkins I've carved for the last 7 Halloweens.

And this slideshow shows all of the food I've made for the last 5 Halloweens. Thought I'd give you some ideas!

I'm going to get myself a big ol' coffee and spend the morning catching up with your blogs my friends. Then I'm off to Pinterest to find some more Halloween food ideas!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Scribble Picnic and GHOSTS!!!

Hello Friends! :)

I hope you're all doing well :) The theme for today's Scribble Picnic is "Bottle" (please follow the link for more art or to join in!). The very first Looney Tune cartoon that came to mind when I thought of "bottle" was Carrotblanca. Poor Bugs is hitting the carrot juice pretty hard!

I know "they" say to read your labels, but I honestly have never read the front of my Worcestershire bottle before...brings food alive huh? Hmmm...

This may not turn out well... :) 

We opened up a jar of Absinthe-flavoured cherries we'd canned in the summer of 2017...Oh my, what a great combination of flavours!!! Alex made us some Old Fashioned's to celebrate that success! :)

Sleepy Jack

Time to rest up...Halloween is right around the corner! I'm very excited and have lots of fun stuff planned that I will be sharing over the next few weeks! Do you have big plans? :)

πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘» GHOSTOBER!! πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»

I post these daily on Instagram, but I'd like to share my Ghostober paintings and ghost stories with my Blogger friends too. Here is the artwork I've done for the last few weeks:

"Apparition" (watercolour): An apparition is a sudden manifestation of a spirit who is trapped in a certain place. Usually an apparition will appear out of the corner of your eye, when you turn to look at it, it will be gone! 

"Battlefield Ghosts" (watercolour): Battlefield Ghosts are spirits of dead soldiers who are trapped in the battlefields where so much death and destruction took place. They haunt these areas seeking out their fellow slain soldiers and their horses.

"The Bell Witch" (ink and watercolour): The Bell Witch is a woman who was allegedly cheated out of a land deal by John Bell. On her deathbed, she swore revenge on him, stating that she would haunt his home, his family and all of his descendants. She created poltergeist activity in the home, and caused physical harm to the inhabitants, including the children and the farm animals on the land. It is believed that her spirit played a hand in John Bell's death by poisoning.

"Dryads" (acrylic): Dryads are protective tree spirits and have been known to lure lost travelers into the depths of the woods as an act of vengeance towards humans who destroy forests.

"The Flying Dutchman" (acrylic): The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never make it to port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.

"Grim" (acrylic): The Grim was thought to be invented during the time of the Black Plague. Because death was so rampant and terrifying, people personified the horrors with a supernatural creature who came to claim lives.

"Hungry Ghost" (acrylic): A Hungry Ghost is the spirit of a deceased person who was greedy and envious. They have necks the size of pins and cannot swallow, they roam the earth endlessly looking for food which they cannot eat.

"Madeline Usher" (watercolour): In Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher", Roderick Usher, distraught and mad, buries his sister Madeline alive because he believes that his deadly fate is connected to his family name and his home. Believing that he is the last Usher to survive, he feels he has conquered his doom until one night his bedroom door bursts open to reveal Madeline standing there. He is terrified as she approaches him, she falls on to him, accompanying him into his death, as the House of Usher shatters, sinks into the ground and disappears forever. 

"Mrs. Wessington's Ghost" (watercolour): From Rudyard Kipling's "The Phantom Rickshaw". After being discarded for a younger woman, Agnes Wessington dies of a 'broken heart'. She haunts the man who betrayed her relentlessly. At first he sees her old rickshaw all around town, then he sees her riding in it, then eventually she appears to him constantly until he loses his mind and his new bride to be.

"Oiwa" (watercolour and acrylic): The Oiwa is the ghost of a woman who was poisoned and disfigured by her husband. When she learns of his plans to disgrace her, she fatally uses a sword to cut her throat. In death, she takes revenge and haunts her husband until he isolates himself goes mad.

"Shellycoat" (watercolour): A Shellycoat is an evil spirit and boogeyman who haunts the rivers and streams of Scotland. Calling out this rhyme is a dangerous deed: "Shelly-coat! Shelly-coat! gang awa' hame, I cry na' yer mercy, I fear na' yer name." Those who have recited this rhyme in areas where the Shellycoat resides, end up with broken bones and bruises - IF they're lucky!!

"The Snow Ghost" (ink and watercolour): The Snow Ghost is a winter mountain spirit. She appears on snowy nights to travelers who are trapped in snow storms, she leads them astray with her beauty. Her goal is to feed on their life force, often freezing her victims solid or leaving them to die of exposure. During nighttime blizzards, she has been known to break into rural homes, flash-freezing the inhabitants as she feeds on them.

"The Unquiet Grave" (watercolour and acrylic): The Unquiet Grave is a poem (I also read it's a folk song), about a man mourning the love of his life at her gravestone. Her ghost arises and begs him to move on so she can rest in peace.