I ( along with my twin sister and husband) were able to attend The Oddities and Curiosities convention this year in February before the pandemic forced a cancellation of most of this year’s dates. Many of the wonderfully weird artists, dealers, and taxidermists that usually assembled have scrambled to find new ways to sell their offerings. In the spirit of shopping small this holiday season, I decided to feature the venders that we purchased from this year and in 2019’s show. I’ve already become a repeat shopper for The Pickety Witch, the Krampus ornament above is one of her holiday offerings. Coffin jewelry box by Spooky Twins, @spookytwins13, spookytwins.etsy.com Gravestone impression art by Gravestone Girls, http://www.gravestonegirls.com. Lapel pin, The Pickety Witch, thepicketywitch.etsy.com, @thepicketywitch Gravestone impression art and magnet by Gravestone Girls, http://www.gravestonegirls.com. Lapel pin, The Pickety Witch, thepicketywitch.etsy.com, @thepicketywitch Art print, Eclipse Afterglow Studios, eclipseafterglowstudios.com Art print, Loft 817 Studios loft817.com Page from Russian anatomy book, @3ringtravelingapothecary Other venders I bookmarked for later: Skulls and Stones Jewelry Little Fox Knots Presley Print Shop Amy May …
Spotted during that strange time in August when Halloween and Christmas collide, and both holidays still seem out of place a few aisles down from patio furniture.
Our local weatherman here in North Carolina has been promising vivid foliage since September. Last week, a combination of unseasonal warm temperatures and high rainfall finally produced the yellows, oranges, and reds I’d been waiting for. And I’m glad I was able to take a few sunny walks to enjoy them before the remnants of hurricane Eta blew them all off the trees yesterday.
Sometimes it’s not so hard to see where horror writers get inspiration for the monsters they create.
2020 seems determined to constantly outdo itself in terms of strangeness. The Saharan dust cloud that wafted over the Southeastern US at the end of June was its latest effort, triggering a slew of news stories about quality warnings and potentially vivid sunsets. When it arrived the dust coated the sky in a visible milky haze, subtle and dramatic all at the same time. It was indeed strange to pause in a strip mall parking lot and ponder that I was inhaling dust from Africa while running morning errands.
Summer’s may not officially start until tomorrow, but signs of it are already popping up along my neighborhood trail.
The heat and humidity of June has brought out the reptiles in my neighborhood (and the office!)
Around noon on Tuesday, it was announced that all bars would be closed, and restaurants would be limited to take out and delivery only. It was quite a subdued St. Patrick’s Day here in the Queen City. The next morning, Charlotte was shrouded in the thickest fog I’ve seen all year. Taking a morning walk, I couldn’t help noticing little hints of spring peeking through the gloom. Birds, greenery, and pink blooms could not be completely concealed. By noontime, the sun had chased the fog away.
Last month I got an infusion of creative inspiration at the Oddities and Curiosities Expo during it’s Charlotte stop. It was well worth it to pay a little extra for a VIP pass for early entry, and have some time to quietly browse all of the artists and vendors before the crowds. I only took some far away shots of the booths, and it’s generally considered a faux pas to take a close up of an artists work. There is one close up of everything I bought of course. The whole event was a nice reminder that there is a place for art of all kinds. I find myself getting a little discouraged during the submissions process when I see so many publications that don’t accept genre work, particularly horror (my favorite to write!) I just have to keep pushing forward, the right home for my work is out there somewhere!
Earlier this summer I braved thunderstorms to visit the Gamrath Glass exhibit at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. I love visiting all of their nighttime exhibits, and was particularly excited about this one. The event promised not only delicate glass flowers embedded amoung the garden, but carvious plants as well. And although all of the glass blooms were beautiful, it was extra fun to see delicate pitcher plants, Venus fly traps, and a monstrous corpse flower among all the usual greenery, Corpse flower Venus flytrap Lady slipper Pitcher plant Pitcher plant Phalaenopsis Pitcher plant Phalaenopsis