A Very Memorable Days Of The Dead Chicago 2019

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We almost didn’t attend Days of the Dead Chicago this year. As some of you may or may not know our dearly departed friend Sid Haig was going to renew our vows at this convention. Unfortunately due to his recent passing in September (my heart is still aching) the ceremony was cancelled. We didn’t want to still do it without Sid. Normally couples don’t even renew their vows when its been 10 years but it also marked 15 years since we first met Sid. We thought it would be a fun way to celebrate together and he was all for it. Without him it just would not be the same.

We had already booked our room and purchased our tickets but were having a hard time deciding if we should still go. The thought of being there without Sid in general was hard to even think about let alone the reminder that he would never be there with us again. But after talking with my Murder Ride sister Nicole and Sid’s wife Suzie I was reassured that Sid would want us to still go. So we packed up our bags and hoped we could make the most of it and maybe even possibly bring us some closure. Ironically enough right before we left I was pulling up some files on one of my flash drives and found my old Captain Spaulding’s Chicken Shack Cheerleaders questionnaire (from around 2006 or so) that was used for his previous website. I didn’t even know I still had it. I considered it a sign from Sid as it brought back some great old memories of fan girl moments from the earlier days. I have since added it to my Sid Memorial page.

We decided to bring the key to our heart necklaces that we had exchanged at our wedding. We had added sun and moon charms to them to represent 10 years and words from our vows and were going to re-exchange them during the renewal ceremony with Sid. Bringing them with us made it feel like Sid was still with us in spirit.

Once Frank and I were at the convention we decided to focus the highlight of our weekend to being time spent with each other in our element and also being able to gift a few of my art pieces. The Soska Sisters as well as Skeet Ulrich were added to the guest list. Unfortunately Skeet cancelled at the last minute but we were able to see Jen and Sylvia again. As always the ladies brightened our spirits and it felt good to be reunited with them.

They loved that they got to keep the original of my “Twisted” Demon Twins of Berlin portrait that I drew of them. Sylvia even told me that the American Mary barrettes I made them are displayed on one of their special alter. She also educated me on the “god cell”. These ladies are both entertaining, beautiful and smart! What is there not to admire.

As you know from our convention adventure photos we always stop to support projects that Sid was passionate about. This includes one of his recent movies High On The Hog. The first time we met these guys at Flashback Weekend a few years back we could feel the love and the genuine admiration they had for Sid. Since then if they are at a con we always stop and talk to whoever is running the booth wither it be Tony. Kevin or Ben and try to buy something and shoot the shit. The last time we saw them was early September at Horrorhound where we had just learned that Sid was in ICU on our drive to Indy. This time it was even harder as we were all in pain of losing Sid and we were all feeling that emptiness of him not being there with all of us. But in turn it was good to be around other like minded people that understood the struggle we were feeling that we could actually talk to.

To our surprise Sid’s pig prop from the movie was there and Kevin and Ben let us take a couple special photos with it. Including one that included our special wedding keys. So I am so glad we decided to bring them with us. From the beam of light in the photo of Frank and I we definitely think Sid was happy we met up with these guys again and he was definitively there in spirit.

Later in the day Ben actually interviewed us for the Sid Haig Documentary. A project that Sid had given them his blessing on and was in the works well far before he had passed away. None of us expected it to become a tribute but the interview was actually very therapeutic for Frank and I. Not only did it make us smile thinking and sharing some of our many happy memories of Sid but it made us feel better knowing we may be a part of something that will help keep his memory alive for everyone that loved and admired him. Now let’s just hope I am not an ugly crier ha ha. Even if I am so be it. The feelings are real and from the heart and we are honored to be asked to be a part of it.

So in a nutshell this was a hard convention to be at but in the end Nicole and Suzie were right. Sid wanted us to be there and we are both glad we went. It felt like we were in the right place at the right time and with the right people and it actually did give us some closure. It will never be the same without Sid but like he told me when my Uncle passed away earlier this year “He may not be in body anymore, but as long as you and all who love him remember him, he’s never gone.

Stay Spooky!
LDG NIcole

Days of The Dead Chicago 2018

This weekend was yet another epic one for horror fans like us attending Days of the Dead “Chicago”. For my husband and myself, we were celebrating another horror-themed weekend away for our belated wedding anniversary. A stay-cation, scare-cation or whatever you want to call it. Either way, it was a nice end to a stressful work week for us to unwind and be surrounded by all things creepy.

Thursday evening I got convention prep ready and bagged up my original Chop Driftwood and #SELFIE art pieces to gift to Bill Mosely and David Howard Thornton.

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On Friday we got checked into the hotel, settled in and got a bite to eat. When the convention opened we went downstairs to find Bill’s table first. I loved the way he really took in the art piece when I handed it to him. He looked it over and was smiling at it and loving the whole concept of it being 2 of his characters in one piece. He even put it up behind him on his little display table and gave me a big hug as well as some Chop Top buttons and stickers. We bought a Chop Top metal plate for our collection and he signed it for us. Another memorable moment added to my art bucket list as well as a new memory shared with Bill that we can add to all the others from over the years.

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We saw that David Howard Thornton was at his table so we went directly there to meet him next. Not only was he as nice as we had expected, but he kept telling me how talented I was and loved getting to see my “Art” piece in person. He had commented on it on Instagram so he had seen it before. But he was even more pleased that I was gifting it to him personally. On top of all my art bucket list excitement, he had my favorite Terrifier scene in an 8×10 photo for signing so I had to have it. He gave us a great deal as a thank you.

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But it gets even better…. when we went to take a photo with him he let me hold Art The Clown’s horn!  Let’s just say I was a giddy living dead girl and you can see it all over my face in this photo…

2018-11-16 Days Of The Dead David Howard Thornton Portrait

As you can see I arrived at the con rocking one of my favorite shirts from one of my favorite movies, Repo The Genetic Opera. That was not just because we would be seeing Bill. The convention added a few late guests to the list and the one and only Paul Sorvino was one of them. My husband (who also loves Repo) and I were in complete awe when we met him. I mean it was Rotti Largo right in front of us.

Paul Sorvino

Not only was he very welcoming and happy to meet his fans but he got a huge smile on his face when we told him we wanted him to autograph “keep those vultures guessing” on our photo. He started to say the lines from the movie and it was all around epic. The next day at the convention we actually even heard him sing!

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Epic didn’t stop there. My husband and I got to live out a childhood dream nightmare come true. We got to meet THE CRYPT KEEPER! That’s right, we got to meet John Kassir and actually hear him say Boils and Ghouls as he signed his autograph for us.

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He was a really funny guy and even laughed like the Crypt Keeper when we were taking our photo with him.

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I told him how I use to sneak watching Tales From The Crypt. I would turn it on late at night in my room when my Grandparents would fall asleep. He told us he actually hears stories like that a lot and it amazes him how determined so many young ones were to watch the show. He also told us we were a great looking couple. So we are now officially Crypt Keeper approved ha ha. I mean what better way to add a chapter to your love story than to tell people the Crypt Keeper thinks we look good together.

I wanted to also give a shout out to our pal Sid Haig who was not able to attend the convention this weekend. We missed you Sid, but we are so much happier knowing you are home with Suzie and still safe right now from the fires in California. Love you and we will catch you at the next one.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Life Of A Dark Artist: 2017 Milestones

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wp_20170610_13_07_41_proI just wanted to thank all of you for supporting my work. 2017 has been a year of many milestones for me as an artist. Even though I have health setbacks I keep trucking along and your support helps to keep me doing what I love.

Here are just a few milestones I am grateful for in 2017…..

  • I marked a TON of Art Bucket List items off my list this year. I created so many things that I have put off for way too long. Knowing this makes me feel so accomplished as an artist. Thank you to those who always give me feedback on my work and inspire me to keep creating!
  • I enjoyed creating custom and commission pieces from both return and new clients this year! Thank you for believing that I could make your visions come to life! Thank you for all of your Freaky Fanatic photo submissions and reviews! You guys have no idea how much happiness I get from receiving these and being able to share them with the world!
  • I participated again in Woman of Horror Month which helps bring awareness and supports the woman that make the horror genre what it is today!
  • I started selling my portraits as Ghoulish Garments which have been a hit. I have been wanting to do this for years and finally found a DTG Printer that fit all of my needs. To know that you guys want to display my art is one thing. Knowing you want to wear it is a compliment on a whole new level. Thank you for all of your t-shirt orders. 2018 may open doors to even more products so stay tuned!
  • I got to meet the very talented and fun Kelly Doty at the Villain Arts Chicago Tattoo Convention and give her a Dead Girl Decay Barrette inspired by her. While I was there I was able to network with other artists. I also got my Captain Spaulding tattoo done by my very talented friend Dave Togtman of Black Devil Tattoo.
  • My “What Nightmares Are Made Of” Tim Burton and Jack art piece was selected to be put on display at the new Beetle House Tim Burton Bar in California. As scary as it was to mail off my original work, it made it there in one piece and is on display in their dining room! I am still in awe of this and hope one day I am able to travel there to finally see it on display in person. Thank you to those of you who have shared photos with me of it on display. I love living vicariously through all of you!
  • I got to finally meet Art Alexakis and the rest of the Everclear band. Even though this doesn’t directly have to do with my art it was a dream of my since the 90’s and their music has inspired me in so many ways!
  • I vended again with my fellow hearse collectors at the big Hardcore Hearse Club Show and sold double the amount I did last year! For those of you that were not able to buy something but visited my table, you are important too! You took a business card to spread the word, ordered from me online later or even just gave me positive feedback to keep me doing what I am doing! Thank you for bearing the heat with me again this year. And to my husband and my friends and family that help me each year with set up, watching my items when I need a break or making sure the weather doesn’t destroy anything.. you are my rocks and I couldn’t do this without you!
  • Thanks to helping out the hearse club, I was able to attend Days of the Dead in Indy where I was able to do more networking. I also was able to give more of my work to my dear friend Sid Haig for his birthday and catch up with him over dinner and drinks. Sid is not just a guest and not just a friend but a true inspiration to me.
  • I was “crowned” Best Horror Shop by Morbidly Beautiful Horror due to the massive support of my Freaky Fanatics who voted, posted and did everything the could to see me outbeat the big guys! I am still in awe of this and in all of you! This also allowed me to give back by teaming up with Morbidly Beautiful to give away my work to one lucky winner. And that winner didn’t just win the item. They proudly posted photos and video of what they received! Including their logo pin displayed on their bad ass vest!
  • You helped me raise money for the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation. The limited edition 10 year anniversary barrettes I made were sold out in only a couple of days!!! I even had a friend of Sophie’s contact me directly to reserve one so she could wear it for her wedding day!
  • I painted the 3 largest canvases of my life after being in the ER and out of work for a couple of weeks. This technically falls in the above category of commission pieces but I feel it stands alone as it was a big artistic milestone for me. They were not just large canvases but they were of a landscape which is not something I do on a regular basis. Thank you, Uncle Lou, for believing in me. Thank you to my husband for putting the canvases together, putting up with me and all the basement space I hogged up to get it done. Thank you to my Dad for all his advice and my brother and friends who kept telling me “you got this!”
  • I finally accepted Amazon’s invite for me to start selling on Amazon Handmade. I was nervous about doing this and knew it would take me forever to get my items all set up in my shop. However, my cousin Pat who is also my Accountant gave me the advice to push me forward and I am so glad I did. Since opening my shop I have had consistent orders coming through including return clients. During the weeks up to Christmas, I was packaging up orders every night after work to the point I had to stop and post a thank you. I am so happy to be able to reach more Freaky Fanatics through another outlet.
  • I entered the Rick and Morty Hot Topic T-Shirt Contest, and even though I did not win, I am still in awe of all of you that took the time to vote and comment on my submission. Some of you even followed up asking when it will be a shirt so you could buy it. I threw together a quick sketch so I could enter before the deadline. It was a vision I had for quite some time and I am glad I was able to participate. Stay tuned as I have plans for that design in 2018!
  • Frank and I did a lot of networking at Days of the Dead Chicago!! I was also able to give Sid Ghoulish Garments for him and his wife Suzie. I was also honored to give my work to Felissa Rose, Fairuza Balk, and Lisa Marie. To top it off I was able to finally meet the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia Soska AKA The Twisted Twins) who remembered me from the American Mary barrettes I made them.
  • Frank upgraded my printer/scanner for my art studio for Christmas. This was something I wanted but also needed. With me getting more print orders it just made sense for me to be able to do more of them from home vs going to a printer all the time. The much larger scanner also saves me from going to a printer to scan larger art pieces. Next goal… a DTG printer of my own (a girl can dream)!

With 2017 being such a great year for me artistically I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. One of the gifts my goddaughter Ava got me for Christmas is a really nice hardcover notebook that says “Enjoy The Little Things”. I plan to use it to jot down all creative ideas. So get ready Freaky Fanatics and……… Happy New Year!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Days Of The Dead Chicago 2017

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My husband Frank and I just got back from another eventful Days of The Dead – Chicago. One of our favorite horror cons to attend. When I got strep throat a week ago we were nervous that I wouldn’t be well in time to go but everything fell into place after a week of feeling like hell. We always know that Saturdays are a mad house at any con so we planned everything we wanted to do celebrity guest wise on Friday, leaving us Saturday to enjoy the con.

I have been begging our local cons for years to get Fairuza Balk at one of their shows. Well, Days of the Dead delivered. She was the first table I headed for when we got into the con and she was beyond “punk rock” in person. It was one thing to be able to give her my “I Bind You Nancy” split face portrait. But it was another to have her hold it and just stare at all the detail and really take it all in. She pointed out how well I did the eyes. I told her they were the hardest part because her eyes are so beautiful and I really wanted to capture that. Then the look of joy on her face when she realized she got to keep it and all the hugs that followed. It meant more to me then just an actress receiving my art. She too is a very talented artist and to get that type of reaction from her really meant alot. It was a 90’s Teen Artist dream come true!

Artist Living Dead Girl Nicole with Actress Artist Musician Fairuza Balk

The next table we hit up was Lisa Marie. Another actress that I admire and had an incredible time meeting. When I handed her my “Siren” split face portrait she recognized me and the art piece from my Instagram posts. She seemed shocked as well when she asked it if was a print and I told her no it was the real deal and it was all hers. We took multiple photos together. She had us test out the lighting in various angles until we got the best shot. I never thought I would be giving Lisa Marie a piece of my art let alone get to have a little photo booth session with her. I thought it was great that she really wanted the photo of our memorable meeting to be the best it could be. Out of all of the ones we took this one is my favorite..

Artist Living Dead Girl Nicole with Actress Model Lisa Marie

We waited for Jen and Sylvia Soska to return to their table and as soon as they arrived we paid them a visit. As you all know I am a huge fan. I had missed an opportunity to meet them the last time they were in Chicago. I had made them American Mary Dead Girl Decay Barrettes and ended up having to mail them because of my surgery. They were kick ass and emailed me photos of themselves rocking the barrettes for my site. It made me feel really special that they went out of their way to do that to cheer me up during my recovery. And it felt really great to finally be able to tell them that in person. As expected they were a blast to finally meet and Frank and I enjoyed all the hugs they gave us. They genuinely were into knowing how my recovery went and were really interested in knowing what all had happened to me and how they fixed it. They were even super stoked to get to see a picture of my large intestine on Frank’s phone ha ha.

Artist Living Dead Girl Nicole and Husband Frank with Directors Actresses Jen and Sylvia Soska the Twisted Twins

After that we were excited to hear that Felissa Rose was back at her table so we headed that direction. She had already seen my “Happy Camper” portrait on Instagram and I had given her a heads up that I was bringing it for her. When we got to the table and I pulled it out she immediately gave me a hug and put it on display at her table for everyone to see. She also told me she already knows where she plans to hang it in her home and that her husband is going to love it as well. Another scream queen who genuinely appreciates her fans. This is our second time meeting Felissa and it was just as memorable as the first time we met her. She is really a ton of fun and you can tell she really loves her fans.

Artist Living Dead Girl Nicole with Actress Felissa Rose

Actress Felissa Rose displays Living Dead Girl NIcole's Happy Camper art piece on her table at Days Of The Dead Chicago

Since our good pal, Sid (Haig) was taking a break from the con, we decided to roam, shop and meet Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and Strangeland, He was really laid back. A super cool guy. We are going to hang this photo next to the ones we have with legendary rockers Henry Rollins, Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper.

Artist Living Dead Girl Nicole and husband Frank with rock musician Dee Snider

When the show started Saturday we made sure to see if Sid was at his table first. We were worried when we didn’t see him the day before, but he was feeling better and was already full speed a head meeting fans at his table. When he saw Frank standing there amongst the crowd, his face lit up, he pointed him out and said “HEEEY!” Then he saw me and I plopped a squat next to him at his table like I always do to shoot the shit with him. Seeing him is like being re-united with family. It never gets old and it makes your heart smile every time. And when you part you can’t wait until you see them again.

Artist Living Dead Girl Nicole and husband Frank with actor Sid Haig

I gave Sid the shirts I had made for him and Suzie of my “Shit The Bed” split face portrait (that I had given him in July in Indy). He seemed to really like them. When we said our goodbyes and started to walk away, we noticed he pulled the shirts out of the bag to get a better look at them. He then proceeded to hold them up so the crowd around his table could see them. Frank captured this great shot of him.

Actor Sid Haig holds up his Living Dead Girl Nicole shirt

Before leaving the con we picked up a few more things to add to our convention haul. Some being items we wanted to buy previously online but knew we could wheel and deal price in person and also not have to pay shipping. And with this being our belated anniversary celebration we splurged a little.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Creature Feature: Nights With Alice Cooper

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Thank you Nights With Alice Cooper for featuring my Days of the Dead Eulogy (Blog) post across your social media channels! Much appreciated and totally made my day when I saw it! Glad you liked what shirt I HAD to wear when I met Alice 😉

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Days Of The Dead 2016

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Well the anticipation is over. This past weekend was mine and Frank’s belated anniversary celebration. We decided to hold off doing something for our anniversary (Halloween) and splurge for Days of The Dead since it was only a few weeks after! It worked out perfectly. We got a hotel room and had a blast.

The hi light of the trip was giving Alice Cooper my Zombie Alice head prop. I prepared like I did for Chandler Riggs and made a special box to put Zombie Alice in. I decided that “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” was the perfect song title to use on the outside. I then just painted the box in the colors that are used on the shirt her wears on stage/on his album cover.

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Due to the fan chaos of him being there we decided to only stand through one long line for the photo op and not do the autograph line. We were smart to do it on Friday because as expected Saturday was absolutely insane. Another reason it was smart to just get the hotel for the whole weekend and not stress. This was me in our hotel room just moments before going to get in line for the photo op. I was stoked!

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We stood in line for quite a while because it was a bit of a cluster at first. The staff working were a little bombarded on what to do with all of us. Once they got the hang of things and Alice arrived things moved a lot more quickly. When Frank and I walked up to him and I handed him Zombie Alice. His first reaction was “Wow! You made this!” and then he shook my hand. Then I told him I made it for HIM he said “It’s gonna be so fun getting this on the plane when I fly home” ha ha. He was making little jokes with everyone that walked up to meet him and was so laid back and easy going. It really was a “nightmare” come true. We have never been able to afford the meet and greets at his concert so even though we only got a brief moment with him it was an incredible experience.

This is a scanned copy of our professional photo op…. EEK!

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The next thing on our list was to play catch up with my dear friend and favorite “clown” Sid Haig. We waited until his line died down for a little bit on Saturday to stop by and shoot the shit with him. Of course I had to get a picture to add to my millions of Sid moment photos. sid-haig-9
It was so nice to see him once again and catch up. He said he really liked my Halloween costume and I of course thanked him for my hot dog shirt. It went by too quickly as the line started to build again from us chit chatting and we didn’t want to hold up all the people looking forward to meeting him (and some for the first time). A girl who was buying something at a vending table later on in the day went on to me about what a class act Sid was and how some others were not so kind. I didn’t bother to tell her how many wonderful memories I have had with him since 2004 and how I now consider him and Suzie friends. Instead I let her ramble and agreed 110% with her. I remember how it felt to meet him for the first time and I remember feeling the exact same way about him. It’s so great to see people getting that same feeling from him all these years later. There are some celebs you meet at these things that just seem to go through the motions and some who you know really care about their fans. Sid cares and always has. He is a rare gem!

While visiting him we had him sign us a mini bucket of Captain Spaulding chicken. He had them for sale at his table and are replicas of the ones used in the Rob Zombie Pin Ball machine. One of the most meaningful things we got all weekend.

Another meaningful piece was this statue we saw that immediately drew our attention because it made us think of our departed Sabbath (Sabby Girl). See she liked to spill things just for fun. This included always trying to knock over my cup of water/brushes when I would paint. She also had a bad habit of knocking her water bowl across the kitchen or spilling cups we left out over night. She would tip them over, watch it spill and literally walk away. She was crazy but we loved her.

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We bought a lot of other really cool things. I won’t bore you by listing them here but if you really want to know leave a comment and I can fill you in. I know some of my fellow horror fanatics might find them amusing! The vendors there had a great variety. We got life like props, t-shirts, limited edition collectibles etc. Here are just a few pics we posted on Instagram during our con venturing showing off a few.

Overall this past weekend at Days of the Dead was the perfect little getaway to celebrate our belated 7 year wedding anniversary. So memorable!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

 

Adopt The Undead: Zombie Alice

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So I put the finishing touches on my latest zombie creation last weekend but then felt under the weather and was down for the count for a couple of days. So… I waited until this weekend to take a trip to the cemetery and got some good shots of it. Let’s just say, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” here!

Behold Zombie Alice Cooper…….


I can not wait until this weekend. I am already counting down the days! Stay tuned!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole