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

Spitting Image: Chop Driftwood

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Chop Top Bill Moseley TCM2.gifAnother well overdue portrait has been checked off my art bucket list. I have been a huge fan of Bill Moseley‘s ever since I was little and watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. The funny thing is I watched it with my family on Thanksgiving ha ha. And to top it off it was my Mom’s idea to rent it after someone tried to cut the turkey pretending to be Leatherface. I will never forget how funny it was when she spit her cheesecake out during a scene when Chop Top grossed her out. Sometimes I feel like I connect with horror movies because it brings me back to good memories spent with her. I miss cuddling with her on the couch and watching scary movies. Whenever she would get scared and jump she would then laugh about it afterward. She really introduced me to the genre and look at me now.

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I have had the honor of meeting Bill numerous times. He is such a character even in person. The first time my husband and I met him was in 2004 when attending our first horror movie convention, Flashback Weekend. He put his arms around us and laughed his creepy laugh in our ears. The photo is pretty priceless and I swear I can hear that laugh every time I look at it. I remember thinking, “I wonder what my Mom would think of me actually getting to meet Chop Top Sawyer and hearing that creepy laugh!” She was probably watching over us and laughing right along with the three of us.

As avid convention goers we have crossed paths with Bill many times since. And each has been just as memorable. I remember one time we had him sign our big Devils Rejects mugshot poster. He was impressed that we were able to get all 3 of them to sign it. “That Sheri is a hard one to get!” he said. Then I told him about how Sheri got us backstage at one of Rob’s shows for a Total Skull Meet and Greet and that the poster actually survived in the mosh pit ha ha. He was even more impressed. That poster is now framed and hanging in our dining room. Another time I was working outside a Haunted House as a zombie girl promoting a low budget horror film. He was a guest there meeting fans that were waiting in line and asked to take a photo with us. So got to add that one to my collection as well.

Well now that you have read my fan history with Bill, here is the art piece I finished inspired by him. I call it “Chop Driftwood” (catchy name right?!)……

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I think the name says it all. I did a split face portrait of him as half Chop Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and half Otis Driftwood from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. I would have loved to have been able to also incorporate Luigi Largo from Repo The Genetic Opera (as we all know how obsessed I am with that movie and have seen my art piece of Blind Mag) but I didn’t think it would be a good fit. Maybe a future piece? Either way, I am really happy with the way it came out and can’t wait to give it to him in November. And for his birthday week none the less!

If you are also a big fan of Bill and these characters, I have prints and custom made-to-order t-shirts available in both my Etsy and Amazon shops. Perfect for convention goers! Art prints make for unique items to have signed and the shirts are like nothing you will find anywhere. Stand out from the crowd!

See more of my portrait art on the Spitting Image page of my portfolio site!

Stay Spooky!
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LDG Nicole

R.I.P. George Romero

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So saddened by the news today. Thank you George for making this moment a reality. I will never forget it or your kind appreciative soul.

Stay Spooky,
LDG Nicole

Loves: Happy Birthday Sid!

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Thank you Sid for making all these memorable moments a reality for Frank and I. We are honored to call you our friend. Happy Birthday!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Spitting Image: Well Shit The Bed!

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I finished an art piece last night that I am not ashamed to say … I am very proud of. I can’t help but look at it and smile because it came out just how I envisioned.  So here is a little background of how this piece was master minded.

The other day I was reminiscing over this specific photo…

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….and more so the moment it was taken.  It is a special photo to me because it was taken by my husband Frank when I was reunited with Sid after years of being M.I.A from horror cons (and pretty much life) because of all my health scares, surgeries, hospital stays and recovery. Sid and Suzie were following my journey on GoFundMe along with the rest of my family and friends so he knew just how happy I was to be out and able to see him. He stopped me in the hall, pointed me out of the crowd and said “you’re out amongst the people!!!” and gave me a big hug. It was such a nice reminder of how far I had come with my health and how I was finally getting back to life and being out doing what I love and seeing the people I admire so much again.

Now as you all know from all my Sid related posts that this photo is not of the first time I met Sid.  I have been blessed with many memorable moments with both him and his wife Suzie and consider them friends.

And as you also know this is not the first time I have been inspired by Sid either.  I even dressed up as a female Captain Spaulding last year for Halloween and also have a Captain Spaulding tattoo. I also drew Sid and Suzie and mailed it out to them as a surprise gift when they got married back in 2007.

sidBut the first time I drew him was back in 2004. Rob Zombie’s old website had a very active message forum and they posted they were looking for House of 1000 Corpses art for a fan based book. I immediately got to work at drawing Sid as Captain Spaulding and Howdy Folks was created. I remember being so pumped that I actually finished it in only a few days! The sad thing is I dropped the piece in the mail and it has never been seen again. The book never happened and despite including a self addressed stamped envelope and a letter saying to please return it if it was not selected… it is still unknown what ever happened to it. There are 2 prints ever made of the piece and Sid and myself are the owner of them. So I guess that makes the prints that much more special. But with gifting out so many of my originals to celebs that I admire and Sid being so much more closer to my heart, I wanted to give him an original to replace the one I was never able to give him.

Since my split face portraits give me more of a challenge and allow me to be more creative, I decided to to do a new one that reflects his fun personality and why I love him and his Captain Spaulding character so much.  I couldn’t help but call it “Well Shit The Bed!” because it’ a fun joke about the first time we met and my screen name on his site.

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I already emailed it to Sid and can not wait to see him again to give it to him and see his reaction.

For those of you that admire Sid as well you can purchase prints and shirts of the piece in my Etsy Shop!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Remains: 10 Year Anniversary Gift

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Over the weekend we drove out to visit our friends Mike and Heather. We joined them along with their other friends and family to celebrate their milestone 10 year wedding anniversary.

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Heather’s Instagram post showing all of us at their wedding in 2006 and then all of us celebrating their anniversary now in 2016

 

My husband and I decided to make them a gift. I got to thinking of various ideas and then it hit me.. our recent Philly trip with them!!  Then I thought how perfect it would be to make one of our wood wall hangings of the Philly Love statue. Not only because it says Love on it but also because we shared a pretty funny adventure trying to see the real thing (due to road construction and a man dressed like Jesus preaching and praying with people around it). Needless to say we did a lot of drive by photo taking of the statue and never actually got to see it up close.

So Frank and I got to work. He got the wood, I drew it out, he used the saw to cut it out, he sanded it and then I painted it. We decided to use a gloss top coat to seal it because the real statue is actually very reflective and shiny.

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They loved the gift. Heather opened it and immediately started to crack up. She totally “got it”. She even started planning out where she wants to hang it in the house.

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It was a great time with great friends. So happy to have them in our lives. Here is to many more years of friendship as we all grow old together.

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See more of our wooden wall hangings in the Remains section of my portfolio website!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Back Bone: Donating Some Magic

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I did some major bedroom cleaning/rearranging this weekend to prepare for our Yogabed to arrive this week. My back is still hating me. Hate me as it will… it lead to 3 bags of donations for good will and more……

I was talking to my friend Heather about it all and told her how I also have all these high school dance dresses and bridesmaids dresses that I no longer can wear that I would like to donate but don’t want them ending in a pile of donations never to be seen by someone that could really use them. Or smashed in a garbage bag on my back porch waiting to be picked up and throw in the back of a truck. So many memories and meaning comes from each of them that it sort of broke my heart thinking about it. Hence why they are still in my closet. I told her how I had looked into some of the Prom dress donation websites but I had more then just prom dresses. I had stuff I wore to Homecoming and Turnabout as well. Short dresses that would not qualify and others that might be considered out dated by some of the charities even though the styles I wore were pretty timeless.

That is when Heather came up with an insanely AWESOME idea! She asked if I would be down to donate them to her friend, Emily who is the head of the drama department at a high school. She told me not only could they be used for some of their theatrical performances but also some girls who don’t have a lot come to her friend when they need dance dresses because they can not afford them. She also informed me that Emily does all the fundraising for the drama dept and a lot of times they are in dire need of items. My heart smiled! It was no longer hard to let go of these memorable pieces of clothing. I knew just from hearing this that this is where they belong! As one artist to another I know Emily will reuse these dresses and make someone feel magical all over again. Emily is insanely talented with a heart of gold! 🙂

When Emily saw the photos of the dresses she told Heather “It’s like Christmas!” and when she saw my old pink prom dress (I always referred to as Glinda meets Clueless) she was stoked. She is doing a production of the Wizard of Oz! This made me especially happy because this dress is the hardest for me to part with because it holds a lot of meaning to me. Not only because it was one of my prom dresses from the year I was on prom court, but because I specifically wore pink in memory of my Mom who passed away from breast cancer and always told me she liked me in pink when I was a kid. She might not have been able to be there to help me pick the dress out, do my hair and makeup with me, take photos with me etc. so this was my way of sharing that special moment with her. To know this dress will be used in such a artistic, memorable way just makes me so incredibly happy. It literally brings a tear to my eye. I know Emily can take that dress and turn it into something unbelievable.

Some of the others that are hard to part with are the dresses I wore to dances and prom my senior year when I was dating my husband, Frank. Just knowing those will either make another young girl happy or be used on one of the stars of her plays just makes me that more excited to donate them.

After hearing the drama dept was in need of items I also went through some of my old costumes that I have worn for Halloween and past photo shoots (back in my ole alternative modeling days).

Last night I reminisced about the dances I went to, the weddings I stood up in and the fun Halloween parties and photo shoots I took part in as I boxed them all up. It made me smile to know that someone else will get to share that joy!

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Stay Spooky + Support The Arts!
LDG Nicole