Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Roman Crypt

So here we are…HALLOWEEN WEEKEND! And you know what that means…CHRISTMAS EVE is, like tomorrow!!! Oh God!

I’m really more of a jack-o-lantern, black cat, “sheet” ghost kind of a guy. This whole “day of the Dead” thing freaks me out! But because all the latest Halloween decorations are more focused on the “eerie” things I’ve given in.

This table top tableau was fun & easy to do. I used a lot of my (previously mentioned) “Negative” votive candles…AABs (all available BUSTS & Statues) White mini pumpkins & lots of delicately placed spider webbing. One fun thing is to use your computer to print out actual black & white photos of “real” ghosts or monuments & memorials from actual cemeteries. It’s a whole EURO MAUSELEUM LOOK> Put in inexpensive black frames & display. No end to the possibilities.

I’ll probably join the multitudes on Santa Monica Blvd at the Halloween Parade in West Hollywood. The times & the country have changed so much that the actual gay people will be in the minority this year at the festivities!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dah Dah Dah Dumm

Is there an extra week in this month or what? Doesn’t it seem like October is going on forever & that Halloween should have been last weekend? Maybe like Christmas now we start planning for it & looking forward to it too early, say July 4th?

Anyway this Saturday is finally Halloween. And since it falls on a Saturday it’s likely to be a big blowout for many of us. That is if the wind doesn’t sweep the West Coast of the Country away first.

You know I love California; for all its faults. Fires, mudslides, traffic & droughts. It is a land of such extremes. It doesn’t rain for six months then you get six month’s worth of rain in a day! And oohhhh the winds!

It’s easy to forget you live in a desert. Then a scary wind will just pick up with no warning & you swear you’ll be carried along with it. I came home tonight to destruction. Picture frames blown off tabletops, papers from my desk scattered everywhere, vases tipped over, draperies askew. Saddest of all BEETHOVEN died!

He was kitschy & campy but I loved him. I found this old bust at a garage sale & proudly displayed him in my garden! (After I washed off all the gold 70’s paint!) In Spring his head would be crowned with jasmine & potato flowers like some “May King” Yea well all the king’s horses & all the king’s men (nor TheGayGardener) could put Ludwig back together again! Smashed into a million pieces thanks to these godawful winds! On the bright side, the skies will be clear tomorrow what with the smog having been swept away by these same destroyers! I’ll miss you Luddy!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday...

"Come to the edge!" he said.
"I can't!" I said, "I'm afraid."

"Come to the edge!" he said,
"I can't" I said, "I'll fall off!"

"Come to the edge!" he said.

And so I came to the edge.


And I FLEW!!!!!


I wouldn't be here without you & without you I wouldn't want to be here!!!

Happy Birthday Buddy!!!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sweet 16



I like to say that Sam & I met on the last day of my 29th year & that I stayed that age in his eyes, if no one else’s.
Everyone thinks that their pet is special. Mine was specially neurotic. I wish I knew where he got it! Unlike most dogs I see in Los Angeles he hated riding in the car. He would only sleep in his “doggy bed” if it was placed on top of my bed. He lived the entire last year of his life eating nothing but avocadoes & imported Italian Parmesan Cheese (@ $24 per lb!) And oh…he smoked! Yea I am deeply ashamed to admit it but Sam loved a good cigarette!

He was very beautiful & very vain & I think he thought the Parliament Lights kept his weight in check. He didn’t exactly light up. But as a medically diagnosed “garbage eater” ( I paid some vet a lot of money for that insight!) he’d plow though anything in the trash,: rotten food, empty shampoo bottles; he loved a good used disposable razor (& never a mark in his mouth!) and all the ciggy butts he could find! It took me a while to realize this. But on the rare occasion I would happen to light one up (cough! cough!) Sam would start barking at me loudly & urgently; til one day I realized he was asking to bum a smoke…he was completely addicted. Nicotine gum is NOT an option for pets & they don’t as yet make a “Doggy PATCH” So eventually he had to quit cold turkey! He was pretty miserable & did pack on a few pounds but I never said a word about it!

How do you tell the story of your life with a dog? We played fetch, he slobbered on the guests, barked at the mailman, ate a biscuit etc.??
I’m not a “pet person” really. It was my EX’s idea to get a dog. We had just “lost” a cat to the coyotes in the Hollywood Hills and wanted to improve our odds with a larger animal. With no notion or research, we ended up with an English Springer Spaniel we named: “Charmichael’s Canyonwood Sam” (something fancy for the AKC Papers!) Son of Champion “Reverence” & “Cachet”.

His mother was a bitch (we had that in common) DOB: October 18, 1993.

We actually didn’t pick him up from the breeder until December 18th 1993 just in time for my Birthday.

So after the love of my life (ha!) whom I moved 3,00 miles across the country to be with; decided after more than 6 years, that he couldn’t live without the younger, handsomer, caterer he hired for our Christmas party, this despite the fact that the lad nearly poisoned all of our friends with undercooked turkey, I got custody of Willie the cat & Sam the dog…the kids. Oh & $5,000 out of the $1.8 Million he had made that year. It was the best “Severance Package” I ever got.

Somebody once said that to own a pet is a guaranteed heart ache. The odds are just no good that they will outlive you. And so here sits Sam, now on my desk, in a lovely urn from Smith & Hawken; waiting for me, like always, to come home & take him out for a walk.

Happy 16th Birthday Buddy!

I love & miss you

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bubble, bubble TOILE and Trouble

You know what I just love TOILE!! I know…fussy, fancy, very SISTER PARRISH but it works in any number of styles, hides the dirt & LASTS!!

I really love the black & white print. Classic yes but also works great for a spookier kind of décor. Grab a remnant for a Halloween tablecloth or cut sections & place in cheap black frames & place them all around the house.
This is my Halloween Terrace. I’ve gathered some of my garden busts, lots of various sized pumpkins arranged in groups & all placed on a toile remnant. This is one classy Fright Party (if I do say so myself!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween Headquarters

Yep that’s what the 99 Cents store call itself & boy are they right! (BTW any IT people can tell me how to get the “cents” symbol so I can stop writing out c.e.n.t.s.?) Pick up some those “black silk roses” and shove them in every available vase, jar & open container in your house for quick, cheap, spooky, décor!

It may rain or be chilly in many parts of the country this weekend so here’s a little family Holiday project:
A Halloween Chandelier:

Just rake that ripped or stained old umbrella you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Remove remaining fabric. You can hot glue votive cups to the tips of the upturned umbrella frame or you can simply decorate it with spooky craft items: orange Christmas balls (!!) spider webbing** or this great black feather boa (yep 99 Cents Store!) Suspend from ceiling with a large cup hook or use a plant hanger for outside use!

Above is TheGayGardener on one of his first Halloween trick-or-treat nights! I simply refused to wear the mask. I felt I could convey the “TWEETY BIRD” character more authentically just using my own facial expressions. Yes, an affected child, I agree!

** a Note About Spider Webbing: This stuff is as dangerous as tinsel!
One 1/8 of a bag is enough to do the entire front porch, or your average dining room display. Grab a half a handful & stretch it, stretch it, stretch it! I hate Halloween decorations ruined by what looks like a ghoulish PILLOW FIGHT. Really, a little goes a long way!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Nineteen and Counting

Ooh only nineteen days left til Halloween! And of course the rains have started in Los Angeles so I’ll be going as NOAH (again!) on Fright Night

Recycling is so chic right now, isn’t it? Here’s an idea…You know those dreadful dust gathering artificial plants you acquired sometime in the 80’s? That one in the powder room or other dark spot where you were sure no real plant would ever grow? Let’s recycle it (them?) shall we?
Just spray paint the whole dam thing black & viola you have a scary & fantastic Halloween centerpiece that you can haul out once a year & place a succulent or air fern in the powder room to replace the tacky fake one!

Another cool Halloween thing is to recycle those boxes of old photo negatives. Wrap a strip of the more dramatically contrasting ones around a votive candle. Not the “precious” ones of course; but those of folks you hardly know (or knew) or the ones that were too out of focus to actually print photos from. They’ll look very eerie once you light the tealights. This is also a fun décor item for your annual OSCAR PARTY too! It is after all a celebration of film!

Oh & Happy Columbus Day too! I once named my three goldfish: Nina, Pinta, & Santa Maria! I was a strange; yet historically aware child!

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Halloween Deco

Here's an easy one:

One black pot (or black paint to paint a terra cotta one)
One orange kalanchoe and...DONE

P.S. My favorite resource; The 99 Cents Store had some great kalanchoes last week for yea, well you know how much it cost!

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Sign of The Times

There's a cute little retail space on Sunset Blvd. It was actually the original Kenneth Cole Store in L.A.
Kenny has moved on & it now stands empty & has for months & months.
Some clever person has now turned it into a mini used car lot.
So here we have an antique VW "Bug" sitting right next to a used ROLLS ROYCE & NOT the only Rolls in this tiny auto display.
But this particular one is said to have been owned by Michael Jackson.
A car lot /memorabilia space that was once a shoe store n Sunset Blvd!!!

"They paved paradise & they put up a parking lot!" Joni Mitchell

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

That Darn Cat

If I said I saw a Disney movie at the DRIVE-IN with the above title would I be dating myself? Ok then, I borrowed the memory from my much older brother. But it did have HAYLEY MILLS & DEAN JONES in it & Jones was my first movie crush; only to be quickly replaced by KURT RUSSELL!
Anyway for those of you who do not know what the hell I’m talking about but are feeling a little “crafty” at this time of year; why not make this quick & easy Halloween decoration?
All you need are 3 small spice pumpkins, some black paint, a wooden dowel (or even several wooden bbq skewers) some pins & buttons & Bippity-Boppity-Boo you got yourself a dander free pet!
* Take three small pumpkins (you can use small medium & larger) just like you were building a snowman. Cut off the stems. And paint them all black; spray paint is easiest.
* Insert a dowel through all three or use three skewers between the bottom & middle pumpkin
*Cut slits in top pumpkin & attach “ears you’ve made from black folded paper stock triangles.
* Attach buttons for eyes nose & mouth with pins with colored heads. Or use all pink headed pins for mouth
* Add a curled black pipe cleaner tail
*Feather boa is optional (well not in my house it’s not!)


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Monday, October 05, 2009

Suddenly Autumn


OMG!! Can you feel it? It’s fall already! You can practically smell the apple cider in the air…well its L.A. so maybe that’s just Sugar Free REDBULL I smell!?

Anyway, as the days grow shorter we all be spending less time outdoors in the garden now’s a good time to clean up, prune away & cut back. Roses should be given a last pruning & a good feeding before the very cold weather begins. Also a marvelous time to start an indoor windowsill herb garden so you’ll have plenty of rosemary & thyme for all your Holiday baking!

And speaking of Holidays… you can tell Halloween is here because all the stores have their CHRISTMAS Decorations on display! Ugh! In lieu of gardening tips, as is my custom; I’ll start to share with you the Halloween Happenings around thegaygardener home!

And the first tip as always is CANDY CORN!! Again, this stuff costs like $1 per truckload & there is no end to its decorative use. I like to fill all those cheap florists vases with this candy. I use various shapes & heights & fill to staggered depths. You can place votives in the candy filled vases or even flowers or plants (just use a separate container to hole the flowers & “hide’ that container with the candy.

Or if you’re cutting down on SWEETS make your own useful artificial Candy Corn. We gardeners always have an extra terra cotta pot (or 50) lying around. Just take one of those spongy paint applicators & paint a stripe of yellow, orange & white around the pot. Fill with some lovely Fall mums or any of your indoor plants. Do several of varying heights for a lovely display or centerpiece!

Here’s to a BOOtiful Autumn. (which in our modern vernacular now sounds a bit..dirty!

“Yea, I liked ROSEMARY’S BABY…I just like REAL babies more!”

Blogger on The Huffington Post re: Roman Polanski

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