Monday, November 2, 2009

Great ! Ghoultide Gathering 2009

Ghoultide Gathering Postcard 2009

Just almost 4 weeks ago was the amazing Ghoultide Gathering. I arrived in Michigan a bit beat up after a long road trip of 10+ hours from NJ. This road trip followed a good dose of jet lag from 2 days earlier when I had departed San Francisco (Halloween & Vine 2009).
So, needless to say, I was a bit worn. Of course the car trouble along the way in Pittsburgh didn't help nor the fact that we were stuck inside a 300 acre historic cemetery when the hose decided to take its hiatus.

The good news was that I was instantly transformed into my 'ole self quickly. Our hotel was fantastic (Hampton Inn in Northville, MI) and I quickly made the room all mine (important factor in my traveling experience) and readied myself for the evenings festivities.

Dinner at the local Macaroni Grill with a group of fellow Halloween artisans and collectors from all over the US!! What a treat! The biggest treat for me was to get to meet Kristen Beason & her hubster Chris in person. A total delight these two are. Gosh, how I LOVE nice people!!!

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Chris & Kristen Beason

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Joyce Stahl with collector Hugh sharing artwork!

Afterward was a lil chitty chat in the lobby with the group staying at the same hotel and I got to sit and talk with with a bunch of collector-guys & girls and "peeps" from EHAG, Pfatt. One of my highlights was to talk with William Bezek. So friendly, so likeable-just an all around nice guy. And again, I love nice people. I understand not everyone is as friendly or as chatty Cathy as me but crikey, does it help if can at least fake a smile! I have actually stopped buying from a few artist's over the years because their personality ( or lack there of) is in the crapper. So, needless to say I can continue to buy from Mr. Bezek for many moons and everyone is happy except perhaps my bank account ;)

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I arrived at Ghoultide, a gorgeous lil destination in itself to find oodles of rain and people. The rain most certainly did not damper anyone's mood. The excitement could be heard & felt. Scott Smith's 5 foot + Pumpkin men flanked the tented entrance and dared all to enter. I willingly obliged ;)

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Two lines formed outside two quaint buildings, housing the sought after artisans. I came prepared to shop! I had my LED lighted spooky purse

Morning of Ghoultide Gathering!  Ready to shop!!

and a Halloween tote to carry my soon to be scored goodies. Great to carry a tote with you because shows always have so many takeaways to snap up! The doors opened and everyone flew in like the ravenous pack that we were .

I quickly found Debra Schoch's table of OMG's! I knew I wanted one of her "Bat Girls" and was hoping to find one that spoke to me. I quickly found a tall Skeleton that sang & a SO worthy Bat Girl. As I pondered this dilemna, I looked to my hubster, Michael. What is a girl to do, you ask...BUY BOTH I replied to myself in desperation! I left Michael to abscond with my goodies while I ran to do more damage to our savings account.

Over the next 3 hours I scored:
A sa-weet witchy poo painting by Irene Gates, who had yet been on my Halloween radar but is now FIRMLY planted there;)

A swanky needlefelted pin with a big black satin ribbon bow (yummy) by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm was a must have accessory!

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And the surprise buy of the day was yet another piece by William Bezek (just saw and bought from him in Cali)!! It is the coolest skelly meets ghostly like luminary character I have ever seen! It is a different style than I have seen before from William and he mentioned that it was a piece created sometime ago and that he had decided to put it up for sale. Yee ha he did!! I adore such sweet & spooky characters and this belonged in our abode.

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I was able to meet so many truly wonderful people, that it is an experience I won't soon forget.

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Lori Davis (Nana) & Joyce Stahl

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Kristen Beason, Me (Dani Nelson) & Elaine Thomas

I look forward to 2010 with a (so far) total of 4 shows already scheduled to attend. I hope to meet many of you along the way and to share in what we love, Halloween Destinations~

Halloween Travelista Dani Badge

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween in the Ozarks - Part 3

"Do you have an old cemetery in town, off the beaten path...the creepier the better?" - Mulder, The X-Files

In this third and final installment of my "Halloween in the Ozarks" report, I take you to two cemeteries I visited in Springfield, MO: Maple Park and Hazelwood Cemetery.

I've been photographing cemeteries since 1995 when I first visited the above-ground tombs of New Orleans. From the smallest towns in the Southern U.S. to the largest cities in Eastern Europe, I am fascinated by "Cities of the Dead" and always discover something I've never seen at each one I visit. Each graveyard has at least one unique tombstone design or material I've never seen before.

I took these photos in Springfield on a gorgeous fall day. The temperature was cool and perfect, and there was a light breeze blowing. I usually take my cemetery photos in black and white or sepia tone, but the spectacular fall foliage of the trees demanded that these be taken in color.

Click here to view all the cemetery photos I took that day.

And if you want to view all my cemetery photos taken throughout the years, visit this page!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween in the Ozarks - Part 2

Springfield, Missouri, a town of about 400,000 (and home to several good friends of mine) sits atop a plateau of the largest mountain range in the country - the Ozark Mountains. Downtown Springfield is one of my favorite areas to explore when I go visit. It has charming restaurants, coffee houses, theaters, and shops.

Downtown Springfield has much to offer the Halloween enthusiast. Here are some photos I took of downtown stores and attractions that will be of interest to my fellow Halloween travelistas!:

Posters were on display advertising the production of EVIL DEAD: The Musical at the downtown Vandivort Center. I wish I could have stayed in town long enough to attend a performance!

The Good Girl Art Gallery and store displayed spooky and beautiful items in its windows:

The Hotel of Terror, I am told, is an annual Springfield tradition... is the downtown Halloween Pub Crawl:

Just minutes from the heart of downtown Springfield, however, is where I hit the Halloween shopper's jackpot! Betsy's Hallmark store at 2934 E. Sunshine had the most spooky-licious window displays and Halloween offerings I encountered on my road trip.

Manager Debbie Kirk was kind and helpful, and explained that they were "getting low" on Halloween merchandise, although you couldn't tell by the inventory on display!

I walked away with the Department 56 Witch Leg lamp in the window (I couldn't resist):

Betsy's has all you need for perfect Hallloween party planning:

A fashionable witch greets you at the window as you enter:

...And one last shot:

I took the photo above on a stop in Branson, Missouri on my way home when I stopped for lunch. This shot is from Dick's 5 and 10 - a Branson landmark. It was chock-full of shoppers getting into the Halloween spirit!

Next up: Springfield Cemeteries!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween in the Ozarks - Part 1

On Thursday, October 15, 2009 I hopped into the Batmobile (my black Miata) and headed north!

I was headed for Springfield, Missouri for the 2009 Springfield Halloween party. This year's theme was "Wild West". Set in the fictional town of "Fairplain", the party took place inside and outside a barn at the Virginia Rose Bed & Breakfast.

It was a chilly night, but guests were undaunted by the cold temperatures, showing up donned in fabulous 19th century costumes. Curtis, the bartender, served hot cider and root beer floats, Milo G. Fountainbleaun (Snake Oil Salesman) hawked his homemade elixir to gullible townspeople, and saloon girls and cowboys tried their hands (and stomachs) at the ring toss and Pie-eating contest.
Above are a few photos from the party, as well as a collection here. I will also have portraits from the party posted soon!

Next year's theme is "Monsters!" Check out the web site and get your tickets for next year now!:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

~My Halloween & Vine 2009 by Dani~


The show was worth the effort it takes to switch coasts for 4 days.
The artist's were dreamy.
The work stellar.
Petaluma, left me smitten.


Here are some pics from Dani's Halloween & Vine 2009
in Petaluma, California!

My first Flight to California (from NJ) just for Halloween & Vine!!
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Got into San Francisco and met up with my Halloween & Vine roomie Wendy!
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Long Line but everyone files in so quickly at "Go Time" that I didn't feel like I missed a thing!
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Hard to judge so here is a pic taken by Jorge of HohoHalloween of the lineup!

Busy, Busy, Busy H&V floor!
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Monkey-Cats Studio is sooo dreamy!

Which way do I go, now...which way do I go?
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Edgar & Edgar Booth has something for every Halloween lover!

Me with Jorge of HoHoHalloween!
Jorge and Me at Halloween & Vine 2009

Look at this lil clip of Jorges table-YUM!
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Some of the amazing William Bezek's offerings!
~found this & below pic online~
Pumpkin Patch
I was able to scoop up one of these!!
William was kind enough to help me choose the right face for me!
We chose the far right middle one with eyes looking upward

But I did miss out on this basket of goodies ;(

See here is my 1st William Bezek goody next to my 1st Arbutus Hunter piece!
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Look at Wendy's Vergie Lightfoot original (Left)
and my Scott Smith Original 2 sided ornament on the right!
The one side has the ticked off kitty!!
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And the other side I have named "stoner" the Pumpkin!
The best part is this 2 sided ornie is squeezable with a squeaker in the center!
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And look at Bat Boy! I am sooo smitten with him!
By Kerry of PaperMoon!
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Here is everything in a lil photo shoot that Wendy & I scored at Halloween & Vine!
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AND here is every last bit of Halloweenery we bought while in Petaluma!
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Why did we buy from local Petaluma shops too you may be asking?

Here are a few windows displays that explain it all!

Marisa's (Halloween) Fantasia
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Another Window of Marisa's
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Paper White
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Let's just say that security checkpoints were very interesting and that TSA agents looked at my carry on bag for 20+ minutes! Now, you know I was SOO NOT "checking" my H&V goodies. Those pieces were carry-ons the whole way baby!

Halloween Travelista Dani Badge

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