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Hi everyone!

Happy Halloween!

Well it’s that time of year again. The holidays have officially begun or at least they have in my book. I always considered Halloween as the official onset of the Holiday season ending with New Year’s Day, so this month I send out my love and blessings to my friends and family in my extended network. I’m sure you all know who you are.

Anyhow, for those of you who are wondering what I’ve been up to lately, I’ve been doing a lot of painting and it’s not just face painting. I posted a couple of my Halloween storefronts, one with a werewolf that reads “A Howl Of A Deal” and another with a witch that reads “Brew Up A Great Deal”. They are posted under new photos, along with a few new others.

Currently, I am brainstorming a concept for the H. Stephan Pugsley project and  contemplate a large scale wall mural as well as other intricate design considerations. I am thinking along the stylistic lines of artist Gris Grimly meets illustrator, Edward Gorey.

This Halloween should be an exciting events as I plan to attend “The Stanley Hotel” Halloween Extravaganza in Estes Park, Colorado. For those of you not familiar with The Stanley, it is the monstrosity resort hotel that inspired Stephan King to write “The Shining“.  It is notoriously haunted with ghost tours offered daily. During Halloween they offer a special package deal which includes a night in a deluxe room, dinner and two glasses of Redrum punch, plus a live rendition of The Shining” re-enacted  on an theater stage, a costume party with a live DJ and a dance floor. I got lucky because they were out of Deluxe Rooms and upgraded me to a Romantic Suite at no extra charge.

The party requires a mandatory  Halloween costume as the dress code.  I spent all last week contemplating what to wear. I started by searching the internet for  costumes and found that the newest craze are costumes that look like bar drinks. I remember seeing a margarita and a martini …or maybe it was a pink lady. *Ummm, okay… whatever…  oh, my clock is slow*  Anyhow the  minutes went by like hours and then it was two days later and I still did not find the right costume. Yeah, I saw what I wanted but it was over $600.00 and was in Europe. I decided to inquire about the timely shipping matter and found out that they were backordered until the 1
st of November anyhow so forget that!

Finally, the next night I found what I was looking for at a comfortable price, in the right size, a rare find vintage item as well. You see, I didn’t want to settle for (what I call) a cookie cutter costume. I didn’t want an assembly line dress. I could never understand why some of the top movie stars all shop at the same Beverly Hills boutiques.  I mean how boring can you get? Just imagine the humiliation of spending $12,000 on your anticipated knock em dead Chanel dress for the Oscars, just to find your photo in The National Enquirer two weeks later under the subtitle “Double exposure“ with the words “Who looks better in this dress…. Kate Hudson or  Cameron Diaz?”  Now, I’m not implying  that either of these women shop at the same stores in Beverly Hills, or that they have a lousy taste in fashion, or that they even follow the same, boring, typical norm.  I’m just giving a worst case scenario of what could happen if two women shop at the same store and end up in the same place at the same time.

As I said before, I found myself inspired by a European fetish couture designer that I stumbled upon while browsing the internet. There is where I came across a particular design that gave me the idea as of what to wear for Halloween. I decided to title it “Gothic Southern Belle“. When I first eyed the outfit I thought “How beautiful and feminine yet dark and mysterious!”. It contained the perfect balance of all the elements. It was sweet yet seductive, with rows of innocent frilly ruffles mixed with “don’t mess with me” black and purple dominance.  “Where else could I find such a blend of perfect balance?”,  I thought. It was total vamp with attitude written all over it.  Now that’s what I call a winner.

I once heard someone say you marry the prom queen and you keep the cheerleaders on the side. To be completely honest, I never really fit in to either of those categories.  To me a prom queen is up there with the Miss America types and beauty pageant contestants. I could never imagine myself fitting into those shoes. Okay so it’s talent showcase time and “Tattooed in Skin” or “Crucified” begins, a raspy Janis Joplin growl is amplified throughout the auditorium speakers, while broadcasted across the nation… then cut, “You are watching the Annual Miss America Pageant 2005, and now a word from out sponsors…” cut to the commercial. (yeah, right) 

Or it could be that part where they ask you the really heavy questions like “Do you believe in the death penalty?” I actually saw a Miss America pageant once where asked one of the finalists that exact question and I’m thinking to myself, “If that were me up there how would I answer that?” …The first thought I would probably have is  “How would Rob Zombie answer that?“ I saw the interior of his house in some interior design book and he has a real electric chair in his lair. “Does he use it?”  I wondered. If I was invited to a house like that and I was alone, I would  probably take one look at that and say “I’m outta here ” even if it was just for kicks or kinks… not necessarily death. Next my mind would probably drift to the scene in the “The Green Mile”, you know, the one where the sick sadistic jerk with the evil grin intentionally didn’t soak the sponge and the guys head caught on fire? Yet on the other hand… what if someone brutally murdered a loved one… wouldn’t I want… About that time I would probably blurt out something sarcastic like “I thought this was supposed to be a beauty pageant… Do I look like Hillary Clinton?“  Yeah, I guess I’m not exactly the prom queen type.

And for the cheerleader… I don’t fit there either.  For one thing I couldn’t do a cartwheel if I tried. I am a high-school gymnastics team reject. Although I have some grace, I don’t walk balance beams and perform triple flips in the air. The gymnastics part, I think would be fun . It would be way cool to pull off some rock star stage antics like David Lee Roth but bottom line is… although my body flows well with the music, I don’t do flips. However, as for the cheerleader,  I find no excitement in the thought of  reciting “2-4-6-8... Who do we appreciate?” while all dolled up in a polyester outfit with matching pom-poms. (sorry cheerleaders) … and aren’t those kind of girls notoriously known to compete amongst themselves for the attention of guys with names like Biff,  the egocentric, quarterback that spends more time flexing his muscles in front of the mirror than he spends with his girlfriend? … and Biff rhymes with Jif. Any guy who’s name rhymes with a leading brand in peanut butter… well, never mind. I’ve never dated a Biff in my life and I have absolutely no intention to in the future. Whenever I think cheerleader I also think screamer, and though I am not in the least silent, I am definitely not a screamer.

So I decided to be a Goth southern belle this Halloween in black lace tiered ruffles and bows with a deep purple metallic overskirt and matching corset with lace overlay. I’ve added a black lace parasol and the Victorian hat that I used in the video “Quicksand” along with some black opera gloves and an absinthe colored bracelet. Edgy, heavy rock, mixed with sweet southern hospitality at it’s best.  I hope you enjoy it.

I am scheduled for some other events in Denver as well, including a stay in the tower room at the Castle Marne, a Victorian bed and breakfast historical monument of old world charm, while partaking in some nightlife around the corner from the hotel at “The Church” a fabulous cathedral turned full fledged nightclub with extra’s including a  wine tasting room, sushi bar, and cigar room. It‘s going to be a blast! Care to join me? Who knows I could look across the room and be pleasantly surprised by a warm familiar face. Now that would be nice. If not, I will post photos of the trip so stay posted.

Much love,
Karen