Monthly Haiku Corner – February 2020

barbed wire

barbed wire
love takes no prisoners
eternally bound

Recipe of the Month – January

January dragged by like a zombie with no legs. While not quite on par with the disastrous January 2016, when we lost our beloved David Bowie and Alan Rickman, this month was a cacophony of leftover holiday vibes, hopeful optimism, failed resolutions, global despair, and finally, the tragedy of losing another global icon, former L.A. Lakers Kobe Bryant.

I’m not ready to give up on 2020 and you shouldn’t be either! Despite all the pink, February is a perfectly good month for Halloween fans to hijack, and what better way to usher in the month of unrequited love than with the Superbowl! Somebody is gonna go home in tears. Between losing to the Vegas odds and those tearjerker Budweisser commercials, you’re gonna need some comfort food, and no decent Superbowl party would be caught dead without a good taco dip to catch our tears. So, when I found this recipe over at The Tipsy Housewife for a festive Halloween Taco dip, I knew the lunar new year has not forsaken us.

Bookmark this one, my creepy friends, you’re gonna use it again in October.

tacodip2
Halloween Taco Dip Photo by The Tipsy Housewife

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can of Frito Lay Bean Dip (found in the chip aisle)
  • 1 C of Prepared Guacamole
  • 1 C of Sour Cream + 1/2 C for making the web.
  • 1 Pouch of Taco Seasoning
  • 8 to 10 Black Olives, reserve two to make the spider, dice or slice the rest
  • 1 C of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Tomato, Seeded and Dices
  • 1 C of Kale, shredded very thin

For the full recipe and instructions, please go here:
https://thetipsyhousewife.org/2018/09/29/halloween-taco-dip/

tacodip3

©The Tipsy Housewife

Don’t let the mention of kale scare you off, just replace it with lettuce.

tacodip
Halloween Taco Dip Photo by The Tipsy Housewife

Wicked Art Wednesdays – Grayson Fogg/Richard Moore

Grayson Fogg appears to be the creation of Richard Moore, or perhaps, it’s the other way around? Then again, they could be two entirely different people altogether. In any event, they make wonderful art!

 

Artist: Grayson Fogg/Richard Moore
Where to purchase goods: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheAutumnlands
https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/5-richard-moore/shop
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/richardmoore

Happy 2020! Happy Wolf Moon!

Happy New Year, everyone!  

January’s full moon is nicknamed the ‘Wolf Moon.’ It’s believed the howling of wolves could be heard more during the time.  Today’s Wolf Moon marks the first full moon of 2020, which coincides with the lunar eclipse. 

This is a sign.  

Earlier this week, I rebooted the Monthly Haiku Corner. After spreading myself too thin in 2019, and failing to accomplish my goals, I’ve decided not to write weekly haiku. This year, I’m choosing quality over quantity.  Although I’m a sucker for monthly holidays and pop culture, I am dedicated to writing darker, more, haunting haiku than before. 

I’ve found that writing haiku is a learning process. I’m not the most talented or skilled writer but this is all my heart really wants to do. I love horror and over the years, I’ve started several novels and abandoned them. This year, we answer the call. Only courage can navigate the dangerous waves of fear. 

Make no mistake, I am still committed to sharing the love for Halloween, movies, entertainment, and creating cool, spooky original content for this blog. That won’t change. Besides, April marks the second anniversary of Halloween Haiku and I have big plans to celebrate!  Plus, I’m already drawing up a game plan for this year’s Halloween. Halloween 2020 falls on a Saturday this year, under a full moon, a blue moon, no less. 

Yes, this is truly the year for us selenophiles.

Creepy scary kitten by Dugore
Creepy scary kitten by Dugore

 

 

Happy Caturday! January 2020

Happy first Caturday of 2020!

I’m so excited to share the artwork of artist and jewelry designer, Natalie L. Ewert, who hails from Southern California. Natalie’s art features animals, fantasy, steampunk, and macabre themes. She also takes commissions.

Halloweenblackcat Natalie Ewert
Halloween Black Cat ©Natalie L. Ewert

Artist: Natalie L. Ewert
Company: The Creatornat
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/CreatorNat/app/151858328287166/ or
https://www.instagram.com/natlewert/

Shop:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/natamon aka”The Dishy Thicket”

https://www.icanvas.com/canvas-art-prints/artist/natalie-ewert

 

Haiku of the Week

Recipe of the Month – December: Spiderweb Soup Halloween Recipe

A day late and a dollar short, that’s what’s going on my tombstone.  Apparently, I was naughty this year, so Krampus brought me a nasty cold for Christmas. Not sick enough to die, luckily, but sick enough to miss my blog post-deadline. Mea culpa. It’s been a rotten week.

The good news is being sick means you get to eat soup, cuz soup is great for colds. It’s also great for cold, rainy days. So, thanks to the folks over at the Gourmet Food Store for this perfectly simple and tasty recipe for Spiderweb Soup with Halloween shaped croutons: https://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/spiderweb-soup-halloween-recipe-15336

spiderweb-soup-halloween
Spiderweb Soup from Gourmet Food Store

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp. ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 2 tbsp. Chopped fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary)
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 16 peppercorns (pink if available)
  • 7 oz. crème fraiche
  • Special equipment: Halloween-themed cookie cutters, piping bag

tomatoes

For the full recipe and cooking instructions, please go here: https://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/spiderweb-soup-halloween-recipe-15336

If you still have leftover ham, this soup pairs fangtastically with a ham and cheese panini.

ham and cheese chef Akis Petretzikis
ham and cheese – chef Akis Petretzikis

 

Best Xmas Gifts and Stocking Stuffers for Halloween Lovers, 2019

Halloween fans are dreaming of a dark and moody Christmas. Forget the goofy grandma sweaters and wicker baskets full of over-processed cheese and stale crackers, this year, slay the holidays with some frighteningly awesome gifts for your favorite Halloween lover or yourself!

THE STOCKING STUFFERS

Halloween miniatures, $2-$20

Help your Halloween fan get a jump on creating a miniature display for next season with these adorable little Halloween miniatures.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLittleHedgerow?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=562375513&ga_search_query=halloween+miniatures&section_id=11989979

Halloween and horror pins, $5-20

Pins make the best stocking stuffers. Most are cheap but the collectibles can be more expensive.

https://lunarcryptco.com/search?type=product&q=pins

Vintage-style Halloween magnets, and stickers from Vintage Spooky Company, $5

Graphic designer Gary makes all his own original Halloween and monster art, inspired by vintage Halloween wares and other spooky stuff.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Vintagespookycompany

Batteries, $8-$40

Don’t laugh. Everyone needs batteries. Sure, you could go for AA or AAA, but I suggest those CR2032 batteries that go in tea lights and animatronics. Those little guys get costly. Believe me, they are so appreciated.

https://www.amazon.com/JOOBEF-Electronic-Cell-Button-Calculators/dp/B06VX7XDKJ/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=batteries+for+tea+lights&qid=1575660693&sr=8-5

LAST MINUTE BUYS FROM AMAZON

Llewellyns 2020 Magical Mystical Calendar featuring artwork by Lisa Parker, $15

Llewellyns make the best mystical, spiritual and witchy calendars, and they’ve once again teamed up with renowned fantasy artist Lisa Parker for 12 months of magical felines

https://www.amazon.com/Llewellyns-2020-Magical-Mystical-Calendar/dp/0738760056/ref=pd_sbs_14_1/136-9589722-3958451?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0738760056&pd_rd_r=22c842eb-d06b-497a-a1ef-ebb8f002945c&pd_rd_w=vq6An&pd_rd_wg=gcDFK&pf_rd_p=5873ae95-9063-4a23-9b7e-eafa738c2269&pf_rd_r=5Q1F0CPNNRM83FN8H2XT&psc=1&refRID=5Q1F0CPNNRM83FN8H2XT

Gracula Garlic Twist Crusher, $16

gracula.jpg

The kitchen is one of the hardest rooms in the house to decorate for Halloween fans and this little garlic crusher is simply delightful. This little novelty item is probably not good for serious cooks and heavy usage but seems perfect for once-a-blue-moon meals.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076CTTZKX?creativeASIN=B076CTTZKX&linkCode=w61&imprToken=xu4iVfROQtjjhHAB4lUGoA&slotNum=41&tag=bfheather-20&ascsubtag=5212165%2C11%2C107%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Cbf-bshp%2C776%3A1

Black Candle Pillar Holders, $20

retro candle holders

Every good witch needs a little iron and light to help ward off evil. Black candle pillar holders come in many shapes, sizes and styles, start here:

https://www.amazon.com/Cylindrical-Festival-Birthday-Candlelight-Decorative/dp/B074C34NZ9/ref=pd_sbs_201_t_0/134-2838771-8268900?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B074C34NZ9&pd_rd_r=a7fe565d-31e8-4617-87c0-2b45ff25b47e&pd_rd_w=CvVsX&pd_rd_wg=N3Y9u&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=3G0D4ZGEY73RD6R2NMKM&psc=1&refRID=3G0D4ZGEY73RD6R2NMKM

Haunted Skull Cake Pan, $28

pizza skull pan by nordic

The Nordic Ware Haunted Skull Cakelet Pan is an absolute treasure. You can make pizza skulls, skull muffins, skull burritos, Dia de Los Muertos cakes and whatever your imagination can come up with. This quality cast aluminum, non-stick pan is a must-have for any Halloween lover’s kitchen.

https://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Haunted-Skull-Cakelet/dp/B00Y6PRETK/ref=asc_df_B00Y6PRETK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167152175681&hvpos=1o25&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15619877883895473149&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031194&hvtargid=pla-166479118326&psc=1

TIME TO SPARE

Poe Ornaments and Tea Ball Infusers by Annabel Lee and Me, $9-10

Annabel Lee and Me specialize in Poe centric and gothic wares. After you put up your dark and spooky Christmas tree covered in Poe ornaments, sit back with a nice cuppa hot tea.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/677381427/edgar-allan-poe-tea-ball-infuser-goth?ref=shop_home_active_114

Prints from the Edward Gorey Collection, $12

Eccentric artist Edward Gorey liked to draw creepy creatures and cats. He even drew the Prince of Darkness in a whimsical scene. If you’re ever in Yarmouth Port, MA, stop by the Gorey House Museum.

https://goreystore.com/

The Ghoulish Grimoire books by artist Diana Levin and author Shawn Givens, $12

Now on the 7th issue, these unique horror anthologies feature stunning black/white pen and ink illustrations, accompanied by two short stories, sometimes poems and other musings, which are always the perfect blend of creepy and macabre imagination. Back issues from this talented couple are still available. Get them before they’re gone!

https://www.ghoulishbunnystudios.com/books

Horror Movie T-shirts from Fright Rags, $25-40

frightrags.jpg

Halloween fans and horror lovers can represent 365 days a year with these officially licensed T-shirts and other cool merch from the most iconic horror films of all time.

https://www.fright-rags.com/

“United” Halloween flag 3×5 ft by Rhode Montijo, $25

UNITED_Halloween_Flag_by_Rhode_Montijo_A_1024x1024

Halloween fans can now let their freak flags fly with this giant orange and black striped jack-o-lantern flag that will look great hanging on the wall. Don’t forget to pick up some adorable Halloween prints and buttons too!

https://rhodemontijo.myshopify.com/products/pre-order-for-large-united-halloween-flag

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Gris Grimly, $25

frankenstein gg ms

Citing the monster as a childhood favorite, acclaimed artist Gris Grimly jumped at the chance to illustrate the very first, full-length novel using the original 1818 text from Mary Shelley. This beautifully haunting book with stunning artwork is one-of-a-kind. Pick up a copy at his newly reopened online store.

http://grisgrimly.com/product/gris-grimlys-frankenstein/

Fine Art Prints from Killer Pumpkins, $30

Welcome to the colorful and spooky world of artist and designer John Pelico, whose digital artwork is simply mind-blowing. Whoever thought grim could be so cheerful. Only prints are available online but if you catch Killer Pumpkins at San Diego Comic Con or other So Cal conventions, sometimes they carry unique merchandise like coffee cups and lamps.

https://www.killerpumpkins.com/store

Infernal Creatures: A Collection of Rare Occult Artworks book from Century Guild, $35

infernal creatures Century Guild

Century Guild is a private museum and gallery, now based out of Southern California, that specializes in fine arts between 1880-1920s, particularly Arte Nouveau and Symbolism. This exquisite hardcover book features full-color, professionally photographed art and posters, printed on the highest resolution paper. Fascination with death and the occult is not a contemporary concept

https://centuryguild.net/collections/books/products/infernal-creatures-rare-occult-artworks

Horror Movie Burst a Box, $50

A unique twist on a centuries old child’s toy, which still features the chilling ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ tune. Choose from Billy, Chucky, Freddy, Jason, Pennywise, or Sam.

https://www.mezcotoyz.com/category/burst-a-box-cg/categories/burst-a-box/1.html

Need more ideas? Check out last year’s blog posts for great stocking stuffers and Christmas gift ideas for Halloween fans.

zombie christmas card

Tips for Handling Post-Halloween Depression

Well, it’s happened. Another Halloween season has come and gone, and it’ll be 11 long months until our favorite holiday comes back around. Post-Halloween Depression is real.  There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do during the month of October. While it’s easy to fall into the trappings of woulda, shoulda, coulda, guilt never brought back Halloween any sooner. If you have a serious issues, get help.  Young folks, talk to someone. For reals. Maybe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is the loneliest time of the year and it doesn’t have to be.

If you think you got a handle on it and you’re just looking for ways to squeeze the spookiness outta the holidays. Here’s a few helpful tips:

Find Your Tribe

Life is simply too short not to hang with people who don’t engage your interest, inspire your creativity or support your vision, even if it’s just turning your front yard into a cemetery every October.

Halloween groups on Pinterest, Reddit and Facebook are great places to find likeminded fans. Commiserating with others helps us not feel so alone, and trust me, you are not the only one who cannot bear to watch Freeform’s sugary programming on repeat for the next two months.

ALL my Friends are Spooky

Shop ’til You Drop

Don’t put away that credit card just yet because shopping for Halloween items is even better after Halloween. This is the time when stores are blowing out their stocks and have slashed prices from 50-80% off.  Spirit stores, Michaels, Joanns and World Market, just to name a few, all have big sales still going on. Never underestimate the power of retail therapy.

Scare up Your Next Halloween

There’s no time to cry when you’re a notebook deep full of ideas for next Halloween, and next year is gonna be a doozy. Halloween 2020 will be on a Saturday, there’ll be a full moon and that’s also the day we set our clocks back. Sounds auspicious already!

Let Autumn Linger

I don’t understand why people insist on rushing into Christmas when we have the beauty and wonder of the harvest to celebrate. Pumpkins, scarecrows, fall leaves, much of what we love about Autumn is what we love about Halloween, and nothing is better than natural spookiness of fall.

dark-autumn-days-inge-bovens

You can always decorate with autumn lights and harvest candles. Hang a fall wreath on the front door or somewhere over the mantle. Instead of the Christmas tree, put up an autumn tree during the month of November. Check out this fantastic autumn home decor from All for Fall & Halloween member Megan Sanders:

Give Thanks to Dark and Moody

Maybe you’re one that needs to feed your gothic soul all twelve months outta the year. Well, Wednesday, keep your striped socks on, because it’s quite easy to flip the holidays to satisfy our love for all things dark and brooding, as seen here in this incredibly beautiful dark holiday photography:

For more photos like these, check out our Dark and Moody Holidays board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/halloweenkristy/dark-and-moody-holidays/

Celebrate Bad Santa

Of all the bad Santa origin stories in the world, Germany’s Krampus is the clear winner. The half-goat, half-demon, schnapps loving, children whipping, horned god of the witches is the most recognizable of all holiday bad boys and has been depicted in numerous way, but the consistency has always been his long twisted horns, a long tail, snake-like tongue, razor-sharp claws, and black hooves for feet. Additionally, he often wears a long heavy coat, wrapped in heavy chains, with some type of big bell attached.

Krampus is bad cop to Santa’s good cop. He carries a bundle of birch branches for whipping naughty children and stuffs the really, really bad ones into a basket or sack that he takes home to torture, drown and eat.

How this devil ended up as Santa’s evil sidekick is a mystery but he’s the only one celebrated internationally, even has his own designated night, Krampusnacht on December 5th

Embrace the Spooky Side of the Holidays

Krampus is more proof that Halloween and Christmas go together like peanut butter and jelly. Artists, creators, and movie makers have been genre-bending and making the holidays scary for decades.

From twisted Santa histories to spooky holiday tales, there are plenty of the dark or supernatural elements to admire or revere during the holiday season.

So, dry your tears and get to planning, cuz the holiday scares are just beginning. Put some fangs on your snowman or hang some bloody reindeer antler bones on your front door and your relatives just might behave on Thanksgiving day.