Friday, October 21, 2016

Witches in Fiction 2016

Firstly, I'd like to thank Magaly Guerrero for hosting the Witches in Fiction blog event for the sixth year running, and welcome you to my little corner of Blogland to peruse my humble contribution to the proceedings.

I have to confess, I feel like a bit of a fraud participating in Witches in Fiction, being that I'm neither a practicing pagan nor a writer. Even more so as the theme of this year's WiF event is "Spelling Healing into a Rotting World" and the "entry must include some sort of magic and a fictional storyline". I suspect the parameters of that rule will be stretched further than the elastic in a worn out pair of underpants by the time I'm finished, but anyhoo, here we go...

I want to tell you a tale about a magical animated film called The Iron Giant (1999), which is loosely based on the novel The Iron Man (1968) by Ted Hughes. Set during the Cold War in the fictional town of Rockwell, Maine, the film relates the story of nine year old Hogarth Hughes befriending a giant, mysterious, weaponized robot that has fallen out of the sky.

Now, I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen the film (and if you haven't seen it, I urge you to do so), but what I will say, is that against the backdrop of escalating Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, The Iron Giant is a celebration of friendship, tolerance, loyalty, individualism, misfits, and even art. One of my favourite characters is Dean McCoppin (voiced by Harry Connick, Jr.), who is a beatnik junkyard owner who creates sculptures out of his scrap metal. I defy you not to fall in love with Dean! But the main reason I chose The Iron Giant to spell healing into this rotting world is the film's central message:

"You are who you choose to be!"

We may feel powerless to do anything about the depressing events being played out across our TV screens on the nightly news, but we do have control over our own actions. We can each choose to be "Superman" rather than "Atomo the Metal Menace" (watch the film!), and then, just maybe, we might inspire others to take the higher road with us.

I hope I have convinced you to give The Iron Giant a watch, (or perhaps, a re-watch). You're bound to feel uplifted and positive after having seen it, and what could be more magical than that?!

Thank you for dropping by for a visit with me, and now, please head off to Magaly's blog for links to the other participants. There are also six giveaways to enter (SIX!!!), including a chance to win one of my crows, pictured above.

And The Burton Blog Bash Winner is...

I assigned a number to each comment in the order that they were left and the winner was chosen by the RANDOM.ORG Random Number Generator.

1. Sunshineshelle
2. Chris Hewson
3. Rommy
4. Living Dead Girl Nicole
5. Sharon Rawson
6. Debra She Who Seeks
7. Debi Livsey
8. Sarah
9. Magaly
10. Gina
11. Miranda
12. Lesthi
13. Ladan
14. Holly
15. Dr. Theda
16. Insomniac's Attic
17. whitejenna
18. Sary Walrus
19. Melancholy and Menace
20. Magic Love Crow

And the winner is:

Number 7!  Debi Livsey!

Jack will soon be winging his way to you, Debi!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated and/or visited during the Burton Blog Bash 2016.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Welcome to the Burton Blog Bash 2016

Welcome to my wee corner of the Burton Blog Bash, which I am co-hosting with my lovely bloggy friend, Holly, of Holly's Horrorland.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I'm mad about Tim Burton! When Holly suggested we throw a celebratory blog bash to coincide with the release of the great man's new movie, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children... well, I was on it like a seagull on a hot chip, people! Tim Burton is responsible for some of my all-time favourite movies: Beetlejuice, Batman Returns, Dark Shadows, Sleepy Hollow... and the list goes on!

So, to pay tribute to Mr. Burton, I have needle-felted a Jack Skellington ornie for a giveaway. As I'm sure you all know, Jack is a leading citizen of Halloween Town in Tim Burton's stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. So if you'd like a chance to win him, just put the words "Pumpkin King" in the comments below.

As always, I will assign a number to each comment in the order that they are left and the winner will be chosen via the RANDOM.ORG Random Number Generator. (Please make sure you leave me some way to contact you if you win.) I will announce the winner in about a week's time.

Holly will be posting a list of all the other participants in the Burton Blog Bash, so please do visit her blog for a bit of a mingle with the other guests.

Thank you for stopping by!

* This giveaway has now ended. The winner will be announced soon. *

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Burton Blog Bash 2016

Hi bloggy friends! As you may have noticed, I'm not around Blogland too much these days. Lack of time has meant that I'm really only here for parties, but with Halloween nigh (woohoo!), celebratory bloggy-shenanigans abound!

Holly (Holly's Horrorland) and I are throwing a wee Burton Blog Bash on September 30, which coincides with the release of Tim Burton's new movie Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. This is just a bit of fun, so if you're a Burton fan, and you think you might be interested, just click on the link for more details!

And while I'm here, I also want to mention that my adorable friend Magaly is once again holding her Witches in Fiction blog fest. This event is now in its sixth year! For more information just click on the link.

'Tis the season! Hope to see you at the parties!

Monday, June 13, 2016

And the May Monster Madness Winners are...

I assigned a number to each comment in the order that they were left and the winners were chosen by the RANDOM.ORG Random Number Generator.

There were 24 entries for Cousin Itt:

"You Rang?"

2. Jo who can't think of a clever nickname
3. Kara
4. Sari/Granne
5. Maynard
6. Laura M
7. Nautical Knitter
8. Rommy
9. Deborah Decker
10. Debra She Who Seeks
11. Holly B. Strange
12. Claudia Valle
13. Ladan Soodmand
14. Magaly Guerrero
15. Sharon Rawson
16. The Professor
17. Sylvie D
18. Jane K
19. Sary Walrus
20. Desta Sirrine
21. Gina
22. Magic Love Crow
23. Chris Hewson
24. whitejenna

And the winner is:

Number 16, The Professor!! 

As soon as I get your address, Professor, I'll mail Cousin Itt off to you!

There were 22 entries for one of 5 Morticia quote magnets:


1. MonsterMartha
2. Jo who can't think of a clever nickname
3. Kara
4. Sari/Granne
5. Maynard
6. Laura M
7. Nautical Knitter
8. Rommy
9. Deborah Decker
10. Debra She Who Seeks
11. Holly B. Strange
12. Claudia Valle
13. Ladan Soodmand
14. Magaly Guerrero
15. Jane K
16. Desta Sirrine
17. Gina
18. Magic Love Crow
19. Chris Hewson
20. Ms Misantropia
21. Mama Zen
22. Sunshineshelle

And the winners are:

1. Number 19, Chris Hewson

2. Number 1, MonsterMartha

3. Number 15, Jane K

4. Number 5, Maynard

5. Number 2, Jo who can't think of a clever nickname

I'll be contacting you all for your addresses and your magnets will soon be winging their way to you!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated and/or visited during May Monster Madness 2016!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Welcome to May Monster Madness 2016!

Hello and welcome to the 5th annual May Monster Madness blog party! (Which is usually hosted by Annie Walls, but I'm keeping her seat toasty until she resumes hosting duties in 2017.) Thank you to Magaly Guerrero, Holly's Horrorland, Maynard's Horror Movie Diary, and Not This Time, Nayland Smith blogs for generously offering to assist me in this task. And thank you also to the bloggers who signed up to participate in this year's May Monster Madness. I'm looking forward to seeing all your monster-y posts and hope that everyone will try and get around to visit with the other participants over the course of the weekend festivities.

I love all kinds of monsters, but I was once again inspired by my beloved Addamses for this year's MMM. One of the many things I adored about the sixties incarnation of The Addams Family was the way the show utilized irony. The Addamses may have been peculiar and macabre, but they were also unwaveringly decent, honorable, tolerant, and generous. The so-called normal, upstanding citizens, however, who regularly crossed paths with the Addams clan were invariably judgmental, rude, opportunistic, and dishonest. This paradox was amplified in the case of the family's resident "monsters", Cousin Itt and Thing, who were never anything other than benign and helpful, and yet the mere sight of them would send visitors screaming for the exit.

Just recently I have begun teaching myself needle felt sculpting, so to celebrate the monster-y madness of the Addams household, I made a Cousin Itt.

If you would like an opportunity to win Cousin Itt, just comment below with, "You rang?" (Please note that Cousin Itt is a decorative piece designed for display. He is not a toy and not suitable for young children.)

If you would also like to win one of five, "Black is such a happy color.", fridge magnets, just comment below with, "Happy".

As always, I will assign a number to each comment in the order that they are left and the winner will be chosen via the RANDOM.ORG Random Number Generator. Please make sure you leave me some way to contact you. This giveaway is open internationally. Entries close on Tuesday, May 31st, at 11:00 p.m. US Eastern Daylight Time.


Little Gothic Horrors
Magaly Guerrero
Something wicKED this way comes...
The Curious Professor Z
Holly's Horrorland
She Who Seeks
It Came From The Man Cave!
Maynard's Horror Movie Diary
Little Corp Goth Girl
Goth Gardening
The Walrus Room
Winter Moon
Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog
Writer on Wheels
Kara's Creations
Dream in Darkness
Not This Time, Nayland Smith
Kestril's Rhythms and Groove
Witchery Grove
Dr. Theda's Crypt

Thank you for visiting! Happy May Monster Madness!!

The giveaway is now closed! Winners will be announced soon!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May Monster Madness 2016!

Click HERE for the May Monster Madness Blog Party!

The annual May Monster Madness blog party is nigh! Well... actually...  it's on Saturday, May 28, to be precise!

May Monster Madness is usually hosted by writer Annie Walls, but Annie is taking a little break this year, so I'll be taking on the hosting duties with the much appreciated assistance of Magaly Guerrero, Holly's Horrorland, Maynard's Horror Movie Diary, and Not This Time, Nayland Smith blogs. These guys are all wonderful, so if you don't happen to know them already, just click on their names to visit their blogs.

If you have a blog, and you would like to join the monster-y madness, simply sign up using the linky at the bottom of this post. If you're interested, but you've never participated in a blog party before, please don't be shy! The more the merrier! Blog parties are fun, inspiring, and a great way to meet other people in the blogging community. If you're confused about anything, feel free to email me (

All you need to do is create a monster-themed post ready for the party on May 28. It would also be great if you could try and spread the word a little on your blog or other social media. You can take the picture above and pop it into the sidebar of your blog with a link back to this post.

Ideally, please try and have your post up as early as possible on May 28 to give everyone plenty of time, in all the different time zones, to see your brilliant contribution over the course of the weekend. Once your May Monster Madness post is published, just leave a link to it in the comments on my MMM post. I will be putting up a list of links to the party posts so everyone can easily mingle. And remember, the secret to a great blog party is mingling! Try and make your way around to see the posts of other MMM participants. 

Every year someone inevitably asks, "What does "Monster" mean, exactly?" Well, first of all, don't stress about it! Interpret "Monster" in pretty much any way you want. For example:

* Vampires
* Werewolves
* Zombies
* Mummies
* Demons
* Yetis
* Frankenstein's Monster and/or the Bride
* The Creature from the Black Lagoon
* Evil Monsters
* Scary Monsters
* Misunderstood Monsters
* Lovable Monsters
* Heroic Monsters
* Cute Monsters
* Cartoon Monsters
* Fairy Tale Monsters
* Mythological Creatures
* Urban Legends
* Heinous Humans

You get the idea! Your post can be dark, light or somewhere in-between.

The sky's virtually the limit with the type of post too! Here are some ideas to mull over:

* Fiction
* Poetry
* Article
* Art
* Craft
* Movie Reviews
* Book Reviews
* Cooking
* Gardening

Whatever interests you, as long as it is monster-y in some way!

So... If this sounds like your cup of tea, just leave your details in the linky. If you change your mind, or are unable to participate, just email me and I will take you off the list.

Looking forward to sharing the May Monster Madness with you all on May 28!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Vampire's Day Soiree 2016

Once again, the fang-tastic Holly of Holly's Horrorland is hosting the season's most sanguinary sensation, The Vampire's Day Soiree! I bid you all  welcome to my... er... neck of the woods, and hope you enjoy my little contribution to the evening's entertainment at this most bloody of bashes.

When Groovy and Gothic Collide!

My introduction to vampires began with Hammer's 1971 film Lust for a Vampire... or more precisely, the toned-down-for-television To Love a Vampire. After what was probably incessant pleading, my father let me stay up late to watch it on TV with him. It was the first horror movie I had ever seen, and had a massive impact on me. It really is spectacularly silly in parts, but it not only spawned a life-long love of the vampire genre, but also a soft spot for something that I personally refer to as "groovy-gothic".

Lust for a Vampire gave rise to a lasting impression in my youthful psyche that female vampires were seventies dolly birds who wafted through eerie graveyards in revealing, diaphanous gowns, and that crumbling castle ruins went hand in hand with far-out musical montages.

This groovy connection to the gothic was further consolidated with movies like Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), Count Yorga, Vampire (1970), and The Return of Count Yorga (1971), which took the gothic vampire and placed him in a contemporary, swinging seventies setting.

Dracula A.D. 1972 even featured American band Stoneground performing two songs, Alligator Man and You Better Come Through for Me. For many, this was a decidedly low point for Hammer Studios, but I adored all the gloriously groovy nonsense!

The groovy-gothic vampire also bared his fangs on the small screen in the form of Barnabas Collins in the Dark Shadows soap opera (1966 - 1971). I didn't see the original show, in fact, I don't think it ever actually aired in Australia, but Tim Burton's 2012 Dark Shadows movie is an absolute favourite of mine.

Interestingly, I've seen interviews with Tim Burton in which he mentions not only how much he loved running home from school to watch the Dark Shadows series, but also that Dracula A.D. 1972 was a big influence on his career.

So as much as I thoroughly enjoy a traditional gothic vampire tale, I will always have a sentimental attachment to the sublime, and sometimes cheesy, groovy-gothic vamp. Even having Bela Lugosi's incarnation of Count Dracula juxtaposed with the 1976 cover design of Dracula Classic makes my heart sing.

Thank you for joining me for a little groovy-gothic, vamp-tastic fun! Please feel free to mingle with the other passionate-for-plasma partygoers here.