Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Halloween Hauntings-A Peek-a-Boo Project

As you well know Halloween is our favorite holiday and we believe it should be celebrated year round. But what you might not know is that I use to be a ghost tour guide in a small historical town in Maryland, named Ellicott City. I was in their media promotionals featured on a billboard, postcards, posted on backs of local buses, featured in a newspaper article and even filmed for a local news story. All of these have faded much like the ghosts in the stories I told. These are the inspirations for this artwork.
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Haunted House Oval, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Creepy Sign Post, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Rickety Fence with Cats, 6.5 by 7.5 inch substrate- I Used Bookboard, Magazine Landscape Picture, UHU Gluestick, Sanding Block, , DecoArt Matte Gel Medium, Paintbrush, Variety of Markers and Highlighters, Neon Acrylic Paints, Weldbond

1.  Gather Supplies.

2.  Measure a 6.5 by 7.5 Inch Substrate- I Used Bookboard.

3.  Find a Magazine Landscape Picture of Your Choosing.

4.  Glue Picture to Substrate Using a UHU Gluestick.

5.  Once Fully Dry Distress the Edges With a Sanding Block and Gently Over all of the Image.

6.  Use TH Pumice Stone Distress Stain to Add Patina to the Picture.

7.  Seal With DecoArt Matte Gel Medium.

8.  Use a Variety of Markers and Highlighters to Color GSLC Haunted House Oval, Creepy Sign Post and Rickety Fence with Cats.

9.  Add Highlights with Neon Acrylic Paints

10.                Once Fully Dry Glue all GSLC Pieces to Substrate with Weldbond.

11.                Dry Pressed Completely Flat and Weighted Down

Some Final Thoughts.

Back to my ghost tour days, excerpts from The Washington Examiner article, Ellicott City: Hotbed for the paranormal: "JD Lowe looks like an extra from a Marilyn Manson music video, with a close, blond crew cut and goatee.He's wearing all black, a leather coat, leather boots and a kilt, and his temples and forehead are painted with icons of the sun, moon and stars. A healthy portion of glitter is sprinkled over his body.

The ghost tour snakes through the town and stops off at destinations that are supposedly haunted.

Only five people on the tour admit to actually believing in ghosts, which Lowe said is about on par: "Most people are skeptical." However, two stories capture the crowd's attention: the tale of the murdered woman at the Tiber River Tavern and Al the car mechanic.

The woman at Tiber River Tavern has been seen by many restaurant employees and patrons including Lowe. She dresses in white Victorian-style clothing and is prone to crouching in a tavern corner, as if mourning, Lowe said. According to legend, one evening an audacious tavern employee who was closing down the restaurant alone decided to test the woman.

He called out to her: "If you are really there, why don't you come out and have a drink?"

He reportedly heard a woman's voice yell back: "Line them up!"

Since then, no Tiber River Tavern employees has been allowed to close the restaurant on their own, Lowe said. He also tells the crowd about Al, the owner of a local garage who died of a heart attack while working on a car. Al has been known to haunt the current tenants of his old garage, which until recently was the furniture shop What's In Store.

Al reportedly also likes to walk around with the Ellicott City ghost tours after the stop at his garage.

Two 13-year-old Elkridge boys roll their eyes at that anecdote.

But by the end of the night, Baltimore resident Jessica Nelson says she thinks she's captured some ghosts on the tour. She proudly shows off a photo from her digital camera of a cobblestone alley, where a Confederate soldier was supposedly shot to death.

There is a tiny ball of white light floating on top a nearby staircase.

"I love it," Nelson said. "I'm a believer."

When the Ellicott City tour ends, several people noticeably quicken their pace back to their cars. Running late for dinner, perhaps? Or meeting friends? Or maybe they don't want to give Al the mechanic a chance to jump in their back seat.

Happy Hauntings, may your Halloween be full of Magical Surprises.

Halloween Wishes-A Poem

Since this is the time for goblins and bats,
Halloween spirits, ghosts and cats,
Weird-happenings and witches brew,
These are the things I wish for you.

May the only spirit you chance to meet,
Be the spirit of love and warm friends sweet.
May the tricks that you are asked to do,
Be a trick to help you gain a friend or two.

So, by tomorrow, pick three friends sweet,
And give them all a Halloween treat.
You only have one day, so hurry!
Leave a treat on the doorstep, then flee in a hurry!


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Oktoberfest Observations-A Peek-a-Boo Project

October is one of my favorite months as it a time of changes and hopefully the return of cooler temperatures. A long ago tradition of one of my dearest and longtime friends to host an Oktoberfest on one of the uncles wooded farmland outside of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I wrote of this property in this April 2021 Blogpost. I have also been lucky enough to attend an Oktoberfest-type Celebration when I traveled to Europe the summer after graduating from college so many years ago. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Hearts Playing Cards, Copies of Vintage Kem Cards Featuring  Oktoberfest Themed Face Cards, Vintage German Script Pages, Scissors, UHU Gluestick, Saddle Brown StazOn Ink Pad, Blending Tool, Embossing Pad Reinker, Seth Apter Vintage Beeswax Embossing Powders, Heating Tool, Fine Tip Sharpie or Pencil, Shades of Red and Florescent Pink Acrylic Paints, German Silver, Oil Rubbed Bronze, and Slicked Smoke Embossing Powders, Wendy Vecchi Black Embossing Paste, Weldbond,

1.  Gather Supplies.

2.  Make Copies of Vintage Kem Cards Featuring  Oktoberfest Themed Face Cards.

3.  Use Top Part of GSLC Heart Playing Cards Frame to Cut Cards to Proper Size.


4.  Use UHU Glue stick to attach Face Card Images to Vintage German Script Pages.

5.  Once Fully Dry Use Saddle Brown StazOn Ink Pad and Blending Tool to Soften the Edges of the Cards so They Appear More Unified.

6.  Use a Paintbrush to Carefully Coat Prepared Pages with Embossing Reinker Gel.

7.  Randomly Sprinkle with  Seth Apter Vintage Beeswax Embossing Powder on Both Sides.

8.  Ever so Carefully Using a Heating Tool to Cure the Embossing Powder.


9.  Use a Fine Point Sharpie or Pencil and  Top Part of GSLC Heart Playing Cards Frame to Cut Prepared Pages to Proper Size.

10.                Use a Paintbrush and Shades of Red and Florescent Pink Acrylic Paints to Randomly Paint Bottom Portion of GSLC Heart Playing Cards Frame.

11.                Use a Versa Mark Pad and German Silver, Oil Rubbed Bronze, and Slicked Smoke Embossing Powders, and Heating Tool on Top Portion of GSLC Heart Playing Cards Frame.

12.                Once Full Dry Add Wendy Vecchi Black Embossing Paste to Top Portion to Make it Look More Vintage.

13.                Use Weldbond to Glue Prepared Images to Back Inside of Top Portion of GSLC Heart Playing Cards Frame.

14.                Use Weldbond to Glue Top Portion and Bottom Portion of GSLC Heart Playing Cards Frames Together.

Some Final Thoughts.

I grew up in home where alcohol was  never consumed not even a beer, and it was grape juice served at communion on the Lord's Supper at our small Baptist Church. I went to a small Christian College where we signed a policy waiver saying we would not drink alcohol or use any controlled substances. But I was a rebellious lad and did go off campus drinking and even got called to the dean's office for having Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers hidden in my closet. I  was turned in my roommate Willie.

In my twenties and even early thirties I was a big beer drinker actually I enjoyed a variety of alcoholic beverages, some may even say I was a binge drinker or an alcoholic.  I know I drank more than my fair share and I'm happy that it no longer consumes me nor do I need it to escape or interact in social situations. I still enjoy a drink with friends or socially when out to eat.

So in my younger years I looked forward to the Oktoberfest Celebrations hosted by my dear friend on one of the uncle's wooded farmland properties. It was a family affair with a huge firepit, many tents, and lots of lovely food. So much merriment and camaraderie.  That sense of community and belonging is the spirit of pubs that I visited with one of my other college roommates after graduating from college so many years ago and what my above friend has created near our hometown in Williamsport, Pa. If you are ever in the area be sure to visit the Moon & Raven Pub.

While in Germany and Austria my roommate and I would take our evening meal in one of these Old Style Pubs reminiscencing of our days adventures. We also visited his families homeland is Oslo, Norway, stayed on a friends farm near Kalmar Sweden, named Ă–land Island, seeing sites of where Sound of Music were filmed, the majestic Matterhorn reflected best in a puddle, going to Lucerne, seeing its famous lion monument, reconnecting where my father had visited while stationed in Germany during WWII, attending a Oktoberfest type beer garden with its huge soft pretzels and even larger beer steins, watching U2 in concert, taking a Rhine River tour are but a few of the events I will forever remember. It was my first time flying and traveling outside of the US. My roommate should have been sainted for taking me with him as I now know I was not very helpful in planning all of our stopovers. He has since gone on to become a world traveler with his family and has been to all 50 states in the USA.

May the memories you make along the way come to cheer you on some of your darker days. Godspeed. Prost! Zum Wohl!