Saturday, October 20, 2012

Look a Craft Project!

I finally finished a craft project that I have been wanting to do for some time now. I am addicted to interior design magazines such as Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware and spend many moments lost to bliss flipping through those pages. This is an idea that I got from the 2011 Christmas/Holiday issue of Pottery Barn. They had taken an old picture frame and segmented wires horizontally along the interior of the frame. Then Christmas cards had been placed on the wires creating a pretty nifty display for cards and mementos.

A few weeks ago when the cats destroyed our hallway mirror the frame was left intact. It is a pretty great frame and I knew that if I thought about it long enough I could do something with it instead of throwing it away. That is when I remembered the wired frame that I had seen in Pottery Barn.

I did not have any wire, but I did have twine...and duct tape...and friends, that frame got redneck rigged. Now, I have a fantastic place to put my favorite postcards! Also, Grant and I have been wanting to make a "gallery" wall above our bed and this gave us an excuse to work on that project. We are pleased with the results.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Malleus Maleficarum

Obviously the best witches of all time.
As a medievalist I get to read a lot of fantastic material. Inbetween my studies of early scientific texts and medical treatise and looking at marginalia that include ass trumpets and inappropriate animals, I get to read things like the Malleus Maleficarum.
The Malleus Maleficarum, or the Witches Hammer, was written in Speyer, Germany in 1487. The book was written as a treatise for the systematic persecution of women and men (but mostly women) accused of being witches. Heinrich Kramer the primary author of the treatise had made an earlier attempt in 1484 to promote the widespread persecution of witches in the territory of Tyrol. However, he was thrown out the territory, and his writing of the Malleus is considered to be his act of revenge. Scholarship is divide on the issue if Kramer received the papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus in 1484 to begin the inquisition and the persecution of witches on a large scale. The Malleus became the handbook for secular courts throughout Europe through the High Renaissance.
The Malleus is divided into three sections that assert the elements necessary for witchcraft. The first is the witch. The second is the help of the devil. And the third is the permission of God. The treatise also tries to persuade those who do not believe in witchcraft that such an evil was plaguing the world. The treatise describes how women and men fall victim to witchcraft and that women are more susceptible to becoming witches because of the inherent weaknesses in their gender. Usually women who were accused of being witches were those that acted outside of the gender roles of the medieval period, in particular those who were outspoken and leaders of their communities.
Due to the invention of the printing press the Malleus took hold of most of continental Europe and feed the flames of witch hysteria, a period known to us as the Burning Times, that lead to the wrongful deaths of over 25,000 people.
I was hoping to leave you with the work of a wonderful artist who has made commemorating the women who died during the Burning Times through her art, however, I am unable to remember who she is! She is a bronze sculptor and I saw her featured on the PBS series Art:21 in college. If anyone knows who I mean, please let me know! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Sky

This has been such a rainy weekend and I am truly enjoying it! So far, this weekend has been one wonder after another.

The first, that I did not become lost on a lone Kansas highway at night. In moments of doubt I just channelled Sam and Dean Winchester and all was okay.

The second, that I got to spend the first half of my weekend with some of the most wonderful people on the earth.

The third, that I found the best americano outside of Doubleshot...however, it is constructed with love in Kansas...not Oklahoma.

The fourth, people in small towns know how to decorate for Halloween and this pleases me beyond words.

The fourth (subcategory A), Small towns that don't try to be big towns are the absolute best. Are you listening, Norman???

The fifth, did you know that Emporia, KS is where celebrating Veterans Day was born?

The sixth, The Art Therapy Association of Kansas put together a gallery show of art made by veterans suffering from PTSD.  It was truly amazing. All of the soldiers had made paper by boiling down parts of their uniform or gear and then pressing it to make paper. There is an actual technique for this, but I forgot the terminology. After the paper was ready, they drew or painted on it. The symbology of this process was so moving to behold.

The seventh, that my cousin can make waffle syrup with just brown sugar, water and patience. She is magical. Also, eating waffles and watching British sitcoms with those nearest and dearest might possibly be one of my favorite things ever.

The eighth, this evening in Norman the sky was a fantastic yellow during the heaviest part of a rainstorm. Not sure what all that was about, but it was pretty nifty.

The eighth (subcategory A), since it is rainy I am planning outfits around wearing my cowboy boots.

The ninth, I love meal planning for company. I love cooking for people and sharing a well prepared (well, some times a haphazardly prepared) meal together. Clara and Joe are staying with us on Monday night and I am already thinking of what to make.

The tenth, spending time with Grant tonight. I love those Saturdays when I am not at the library until 11pm and can just spend some time at home. Kasey Chambers is playing in the background, lulling the animals to be calm and cuddly. Grant and I both had naps this afternoon while listening to the rainstorms, and inbetween articles, I even painted my nails!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Here are some gore-geous girls to get you through to the weekend! What a cool costume idea, too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Codices of the Occult

A list of some of my favorite books that deal with terror, horror, and all things that go bump in the night. What are some of your favorite scary books? I am always up for another chilling tale!

I am Legend
-One of the first books of horror I ever read and one that I still love.

Planks of Reason
-A volume of essays confronting the genre of horror films

The Hair Wreath and Other Tales
-I randomly picked this up during the Borders liquidation (mostly for the cool cover art), but I was not disappointed.

A Cannibal's Letter Home
-This is a great piece of writing by my friend Rachel Richardson, an up and coming creative writer of incredible talent.

The Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
-Oldies but goodies.

The Handmaid's Tale
-Not really a horror story, but terrifying none the less.

The Stepford Wives
-Surprisingly simple and truly creepy.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
-Seriously, what rained out recess in elementary school was not made better by reading these aloud? And those illustrations! Fantastic!

World War Z
-Truly chilling, for me, these stories got to the heart of terror.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Death Note

All through college I threw Halloween parties and one of my favorite things about throwing these parties, besides decorating like a crazy person, was selecting the background music for the party. I got really lucky some years, one time my roommate's boyfriend mixed music and made me a custom playlist! I have always been in search of alternative Halloween tunes (I am not a big fan of Thriller, sue me) and here are a few of my favorite Halloween party sounds. What are some of your favorite Halloween songs?

1) Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult 
    Note: The Alana Davis cover is pretty fantastic if you're a fan of the song.
2) O, Death - Jen Titus
3) Death Letter - Edward Shearmur
4) The Grave - Don Mclean
5) Versions of Violence - Alanis Morissette
6) Pagan Poetry - Bjork
7) And When I Die - Blood, Sweat and Tears
8) Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
9) Season of the Witch - Donovan
10) Lady D'Arbanville - Cat Stevens
11) Dark Lady - Cher
12) Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Rivival
13) I Put a Spell on You - Nina Simone
14) The Monster Mash - Bobby Pickett and the Cryptkickers
15) Witch Doctor - David Seville
16) Li'l Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs
17) Spooky - The Zombies

Friday, October 5, 2012

I am not there. I did not die.

I have always been fascinated by unusual gravestones. I hope that when I am dead and buried, that my grave marker will be in that grand old Massachusetts style, think Salem circa 1700.

Is that a Cthulhu on the left?!?!
Father Time and Death are homeboys.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pot Roast Boast

Our Ghoultide Centerpiece
I have finally done it! I made pot roast for dinner! Not only did I make a pot roast, but I made a loaf of dutch oven bread to go along with it. We even had ice cream for dessert! I have always been so intimidated to make pot roast, there is almost a mythology surrounding the creation of a pot roast. As if you can only make it for Sunday dinner, or you have to make it for at least a gathering of six, or some other such business. Well, screw that. I made a pot roast. I even made it on a Monday and it was just for the two of us. Ours was made in the crock pot and it could not have been easier. I am adding this recipe to the list of company appropriate, easy to assemble meals.

No Fear Pot Roast

Chuck roast, 2-3 lbs
2 cups sliced carrots
5-6 diced potatoes
1/2 cup green peas
1 cup a yellow onion roughly chopped
2 cans beef broth
Optional: red wine

Spray Pam or some other non-stick cooking spray into your empty crock pot, this will help with clean up later. Toss your veggies, except for the peas, into the bottom of the pot. Next add the roast and pour in your beef broth. Add enough liquid to just cover the roast. Put on the lid and turn the temperature setting to low. I cooked ours for about 9-10 hours. The last hour of cooking I added the peas and a good pour of red wine for flavoring. Serve with a hot and buttered slice of the dutch oven bread and you have a match made in heaven.

Helpful Tips:

1. Season the roast before cooking it. Spread some salt and pepper (I added curry powder) onto a cooking sheet and rub the spices into the meat. I used kosher salt for this step.

2. Add some roasted garlic cloves to the mix. As well as a few bay leaves, a sprig or two of rosemary, and a good dash of cumin.

I promise you, darlings, this recipe cannot go wrong. I hope that you add this to your list of go-to recipes like I have!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ghoul La La.

Vintage Halloween pin-ups for your eyes only! Aren't these just great! Trick or Treat, babies!