Gothtober Day 16: Mom and Son Haunted Battle Collaboration!

Visit and click on DAY 16 to see a haunted battle!
I made friends with Kendra in the year of 1990 when I knocked on her dorm room door and asked her if she would be my friend. She said YES she would be my friend even though she BARELY KNEW ME, which is one of the reasons she is such a quality person. The last time she made a Gothober piece, it was probably about 10 years ago or more, and it was about spider fear. She thought that perhaps she’d do a Gothtober piece this year, and asked her six year old son, Miles, to be the director.
The two put their heads together, and built a really cool haunted house, then had fourteen days of intensive storyboard meetings, concept exploration, and technical assessments. There were, like all good collaborations, some creative differences. When all the details were hammered out, they then put on their animator hats and went to work, and recorded their own sound, and I must say, the Haunted Battle is quite a SUCCESS!

The stage is set with a moody storm, there are skeletons and there’s lightening and WHAT’S THAT?!? Do I hear broad swords? The clashing of metal? Smoke and the creaking of haunted doors? What will happen next? Guess you better watch and see!

Find out more about the mother/son team known as Scribble Scrabble  here! 

Gothtober Quinceañera Day 10 with Moonhouse Productions!

Visit and click on DAY 10 to see quite the party from Moonhouse Productions!

Day 10 is brought to you by Moon House Productions, also known as Paprika Clark and Emily Hansen. Emily and Paprika are multi-talented creative types. They met after college and have known each other for over 20 years – but they never played with dolls together until they brainstormed the idea for their Quinceañera-themed Gothtober project.

The characters starring in Dia de La Quinceañera started out as previously loved Bratz and Monster High dolls tracked down on Ebay and garage sales. Each was carefully auditioned and screen tested, then hand painted and costumed in (mostly) custom made clothing. The Moon House crew managed to spend weeks designing the characters and crafting the look and style of the film without dancing the dolls around and talking for them…. Much.

In the end our favorite character ideas were the ones that filled out the film as background artists – the Ghost of Frida Kahlo and our Dia de los Muertos figure, who are both at the party repping the ancestors. Long live our honored forebearers!

After many layers of artist’s acrylic paint and Mr. Super Clear sealant and some strategic use of polymer clay, the dolls were ready for their closeups. Emily’s son, Trenton, improvised and performed the musical score, and Emily put her magical effects and editing skills together to make the gem you see before you.

We enjoyed these creations immensely, and look forward to making many more variations on these themes in the future. If you would like to see more on the doll-creation process (and possibly buy one of the “actors” for your own collection), please visit

Find out more about Moonhouse Productions and other Gothtober contributor bios are here! 

Hand-Crafted Deck Tarot for Your Talons • Gothtober DAY 5

Castle Leibenstien, where Christy and family came up with the idea of making home made German Tarock cards!

If you’re a Gothtober Crafter, you certainly have your work cut out for you now for Gothtober DAY 5 (Click the book titled Of Lice and Men). We gave you a needlepoint project, then we showed you how to carve and dry apple heads and now here’s another fun assignment! All the way from Germany comes a pack of cards you can print, cut out, glue sides together and you then have your very own Tarot Deck! 

Germany is getting darker and colder by the day, but fall there (called Herbst in German) is beautiful.

We have a Gothtober correspondent who can verify this information for us, she lives there! Yesterday was German unification day and The Chambers family will probably celebrate their long weekend by taking a walk in their local forest to photograph mushrooms (yes, the red ones with white spots featured in the cards).

The entire deck is hand illustrated by Christy Chambers. Yes, we’re talking ALL 78 cards, proving yet again that Gothtober contributors are a pretty dedicated and crazy lot, of which we are quite thankful. What inspired this ambitious project? Here’s her answer:

The crazy idea for the cards came from a short vacation at Castle Leibenstien this summer. When sleeping in a castle, there is no TV or Internet…. This can be alarming to a modern 10 yr old. So since we were unprepared for an unplugged evening, my mother and I started to make simple cards to entertain everyone. How fun it would be to have a fancy detailed deck made by our family! I started to research German traditional card games and found that the most popular game Tarock, is played with the 78 card tarot deck. The only problem is that everyone plays with different rules depending on which part of Germany you are from. Honestly, the game is so complicated I can’t even understand some of the rules!!! Anyway, I guess I will have to stick to fortune telling. Who knew that that would be the less complicated part. I started painting, and well, here are the cards!
You’ll notice also on Ms. Chambers’ Gothtober piece, a devil doll in the background. Naturally, we wanted to know more, here’s what Christy had to say about the little devil:
The Devil is a family heirloom from Brian’s side. We have no information about him but we love him. He seems to like playing cards, Nigel says he cheats, but I think one should expect that from the little Devil.Today at the flea-market or “Flomart” in German, we almost came home with a creepy gnome with an axe but the pair of them together would have clearly been trouble.
Click on DAY 5 Gothtober 2014 to get your set of Beautifully Illustrated Tarot cards by Christy Chambers!

How Ya Like Them Apples? Day 3 With Dianne Chadwick!

vintage_applesDianne Chadwick has done it again with a classic seasonal craft that we can’t WAIT to try! This project was posted early on the calendar for maximum Halloween decor potential. Visit the Gothtober Calendar and hit the book titled “East of Eatin'” (Book 3.) 

Upon asking Professor D.M. Chadwick about this year’s Gothtober Apple project, she sent back a very analytic and scholarly stream-of-conscious email that said some great things about Pomme de Terre, as they are fondly known as in fancy France.

Apples are lovely, apples are nice…

I always thought it was strange that apples have this perception of being the most wholesome of fruits, and yet it was the APPLE that led to Adam and Eve’s downfall. So…there’s something kind of appropriate in turning the deceptively wholesome apple into a crinkly, creepy ornament. I’m not sure why shrunken apple heads had their zenith of popularity in the 1970s, but with the DIY aesthetic that’s been booming for awhile now (I’m looking at you, Etsy), I figured the time was ripe for a tutorial for the Gothtober masses. Start now and you can have oodles of tiny, devious faces looking at you from every corner of your house by Halloween. I taught a class on making shrunken apple heads this summer at ScareLA in Los Angeles and one attendee told me she was planning to make a wreath-like necklace of shrunken heads. I can’t even begin to imagine how fantastic that is going to look!

The Gothtober masses couldn’t be happier with this opportunity to dehydrate as many “heads” as possible, thanks, Professor Chadwick!