Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Little Known Fact:

Female werewolves have French manicures.

I make silly stuff at work sometimes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

From Bad To Good

As easy as your first step.


Last Christmas, niece Devin's belief in Santa Claus was wavering. In her annual letter to him, she asked for a picture of one of his reindeer. Her parents suspected she wanted proof he exists.

Well, sure enough, on Christmas morning, Devin found a framed photo of Dasher under the tree, with a letter from old St. Nick himself that read

Dear Devin

Thank you for writing. You asked me for a picture of one of my reindeer, although they are very shy and dislike being photographed, I do have one photo of old Dasher as a young buck many years ago that I can give you.

When Dasher was still learning to fly, he would "dash" off in all directions, often landing in odd places. That's how he got his name. In this picture taken by Mrs. Claus, he landed on the workshop roof one day. It's always been one of my favorites. I hope you like it.

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Reindeer Sketches

And this one I think, one day, I've got to make a life sized prop for my own Christmas house decorating.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rooftop Reindeer

Home & Family producers wanted holiday decor on the roof of our house set location. I pitched this prop concept for the chimney. They liked it. Progress photos and a "making of" soon.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Awful Blogger

I know I've been a lame blogger these past weeks. Worse though, not taking time to publish the comments many of you have been leaving lately. That's just rude on my part when you took the time to write one. I apologize.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get back to it fairly regularly. And resurrect my long dormant web comic Para-Abnormal soon.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Decorating

I'm hoping to find time and decorate the front yard tree by turning it into a toy making Elf's cottage.

Monday, November 23, 2015

DIY Google Glasses

Because I try to remain on the cutting edge of technology, I made my own pair of Google Glasses this week.

It's still in the prototype phase.

50 Years Ago

50 years ago yesterday, Walter Cronkite reported one of the most tragic events in our nation's history. 

My mom was there, working in the CBS newsroom. She was even caught on camera in the background amid the chaos that afternoon checking the news wires for information.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


So I decided it was time to replace my old cell phone from 2006 with this new fangeled device called the IPhone. Have you heard of it? It's pretty neat.

One of the first apps I downloaded was Instagram. I was curious to try it seeing so many friends using on Facebook. My Halloween lawn zombies were fun first photo subjects.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Well Organized Prop Department

Light saber, check. Dust broom, check. Fencing sword, check. Sledge hammer, check. Dust pan, check. Audio cable, check. Electric cord, check.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Halloween 2015- Haunted Hosts

Haunted portraits I created for the Home & Family Halloween show set of hosts Mark Steines and Paige Davis.

And here's how they looked on the wall (photo courtesy of prep chef Hayley)

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Beginning

Here's the first page of a brand new sketchbook. My 52nd.

I get a fresh start feeling whenever I break the spine on a new one. They're visual journals for me, so each one represents a chunk of my life. 

The last one took a almost a year to fill up. Those months, despite many great and wonderful moments that did happen, generally, have not been ones I'll look back on with happy memories.

Hoping this new sketchbook inspires putting the past behind and a new beginning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The 2015 Halloween Yard Portfolio

Although this year's display had no new props, and far less time spent on it than any other season before, it turned out better than I expected.

One change that worked out great, and will definitely do again next year, was the longer path winding through the front yard for Trick or Treaters. Not only did it make the display more interactive, but gave it a sense of depth it never had.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween 2015: The Awful Blogger

My apologies to all for being an awful blogger this October. The month went by in a blur of orange and black spending countless 12 -16 hour days at work. I do have many good stories to tell though, and will share in a post I'm working on recapping all the Halloween highlights.

Until then, in brief, Halloween night was scaretastic. We had somewhere around 300 trick or treaters meet Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. This doesn't count the many who where afraid to walk up, and ones scared off by Jason lurking around the yard and sidewalk.

The fiancee put together a video of a few scares she managed to capture on her camera this year. It's dark, but that's my fault, I hate bright lights. Kudos and thanks to my brother Ted for another outstanding performance as Dr. Frankenstein entertaining kids and parents all night long.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The 24th Hour of Halloween - The Creepy Walk

Earlier today, I shared what niece Devin's costume was tonight, a creepy undead doll.

For my final Halloween eve post, I share with you her creepy undead doll walk.

Have I mentioned how much I love this kid? And how much she makes me laugh?

Hope all had a great day and night.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The 22nd Hour of Halloween - Home and Family Part 2

The entire prop crew worked late into the night the other day to dress the set with me for Home and Family's big Halloween show.

Paul discovered tying a noose is easy, but securing the victim was hard.

Cory was a master window silhouette carver...

But a lazy pumpkin carver. Kids these days, he used a Dremel tool. Back in my day, we only had blunt and broken popsicle sticks to carve with, and happy to have them.  

Tara ran around insisting we include baby dolls in the creepy decor. I reminded her this was for the Hallmark channel and that might be a bit too much. She said "Just parts of babies then?"

I kid, that never happened. I missed getting a picture of her working hard that night, the above is the only one I have from a whole other show.

And speaking of not having a picture of, fellow Halloween haunter, Derek Young, of Van Oaks Cemetery and Better Haunts and Gardens, joined us that night to help. Derek was more than willing to cut the baby dolls up for Tara. Awkward.

The 21st Hour of Halloween- Where Monsters Walked

Universal Studios' Court of Miracles set where Chaney and Lugosi once walked, as it looked tonight, just as I was leaving work.

The 20th Hour of Halloween- A Better Jason Mask

Making a cheap Jason hockey mask better. To the left, the before. To the right, the after.

Improving it was easy. First, being soft foam, I shaped into a more character accurate curve by heating with an ordinary hair dryer. Then it was just aging. I cut some chips and dents into the edges for a more well worn appearance and gave it a wash of watered down dark brown acrylic paint. Next I actually rubbed muddy dirt on it here and there. Once dry I sealed it with a very light coat of matte finish clear spray. Finally, a couple of random splatters of stage blood and done. Took a 1/2 hour to do. 45 minutes if you count drying time.

Photo by Jeremy Lee

The 16th Hour of Halloween: Home and Family Part 1

One upside to not being able to have my own haunt this year is using my horde of props to decorate the Home and Family set at work.

We have a signpost outside the set for the tour trams that go by. I thought a fun place to add our new crew member Mr. Myers.

The 15th Hour of Halloween: Creepy Doll

A sneak preview of niece Devin's costume this year - a creepy, undead doll.

Her idea, I love this kid.

Happy Halloween!

A happy Halloween to all.

My hopes to blog more this October have been thwarted, but I'm going to make up for it overloading today with posts counting down the hours left during the best holiday of the year.

First, a sad announcement, my own yard haunt and decorating is on hiatus this year. I've had to cancel my big night of fun for 2015.

My life has changed over the past several months. I'm no longer living in the home I did. The reason why is a long sad personal story that I don't want to dwell on today.

Needless to say, I'm going to be a bit down tonight not being what I hoped it would, but I'm determined to enjoy it all the same and look forward to next year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

4 Days 'til Halloween: Set Decorating

A note passed to me by a senior producer at work in regards to decorating the Home and Family set for the Halloween show on the 31st.

They've released the kraken!

Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Days 'til Halloween: Goblin Brain

We had the family over for dinner on Sunday. Niece Devin arrived holding something clutched to her chest, hidden by her arms wrapped tightly around it. It was a belated birthday present for me.

"I have a story to tell you" she said.

Apparently, her softball team had an away game that day. In Russia. While there, they visited a national park. The park ranger showed them were an ancient tree once stood, before it mysteriously burned down. It was said to have a goblin living in it. In the ashes, something was found.

Her tale told, Devin handed her old uncle his gift, a custom prop, she made herself.

No cabinet of curiosities, anywhere in the world, has an oddity as wonderful and special as this one is to me.