Halloween 2008


Halloween season has definitely begun – Eerie Elegance on sale now!

Each year I’ve been posting when Halloween season begins for me, but this year it’s here in a REALLY big way! Finally, the big news I’ve been hinting at is here! I am VERY pleased to announce that my first book is now for sale, just in time for Halloween season!
Eerie Elegance
How to Host a Haunt and Other Fabulous Frights
Britta Blvd Publishing 

$19.95 + S&H + US sales tax where applicable
available worldwide

Eerie Elegance Banner 625x153


For those of you who have been asking why my Halloween pages on Britta Blvd have not been updated in recent years, this is why! I have been working on this book since the summer of 2006! It contains my large collection of Halloween Recipes with a few new ones not even on my website yet, with extra how-to photographs and explanations, plus the decoration & display how-tos I have been asked about via emails for so many years. Everyone who asked “How?” helped me refine my explanations, so thank you for asking! I really appreciate not only the support from friends and family, but especially the support from Halloween fans I’ve only met online, who all said I should write a book. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now begins the “marketing” campaign! There are already links to Eerie Elegance all over Britta Blvd, and the book will soon be listed on Amazon.com as well as my own e-store, but I would appreciate any help or ideas any of you can provide. If you have a blog or website, please spread the word, and there are banners you can use on the Agonizing Accessories page on the Eerie Elegance website. Next on my list is a press release I can send to the several newspaper reporters who have interviewed me for articles over the years…then who knows what else? ๐Ÿ™‚

I also plan on filming a few video podcasts of individual recipes and/or projects as teasers for the book, so here’s a poll for you to vote which recipes or projects should be the first 3 to be filmed:


Enormous thanks to…

  • my editing and development crew, whether early on or in the final crunch: Natasha, Tracia, Nathania, Teje, Robin, and my mom Diane.
  • all my fellow Halloween fans from all over the globe. It is always so much fun to hear from you!
  • all my party guests, friends & family over the years for being my captive audience! I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had!Everyone’s encouragment and support over the years caused me to write this book, so I couldn’t have done it without you all!

    I hope you enjoy Eerie Elegance!

    P.S. Alaska was a blast, but the proof copy of my book was waiting for me when I got home, so this takes priority over documenting the trip. Never fear – full Alaska details should be here later this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Eerie Elegance update

    This just in! Eerie Elegance is now available on Amazon as well as my e-store!
    Eerie Elegance Cover
    $19.95 + S&H

    Eerie Elegance Banner 300x75
    $19.95 + S&H


    I checked yesterday on Amazon but it wasn’t there yet. Funny thing is my mom’s friend found it this morning & bought a copy before I even knew it was available! I had been warned in the FAQs it might take up to 15 days to be listed so I was planning on being patient. Maybe having already sold 16 copies in the first 2 days without Amazon’s marketing machine encouraged them to get a move on. ๐Ÿ˜‰ After you receive your copies, if you feel so inclined, please write a review on Amazon!

    Thankfully my nasty cold is finally on the way out, so tonight I hope to be able to start organizing my Alaska photos and writing my trip summary. I hadn’t been sick since early last October, but if not being sick for 11 months kicks my butt like this cold did, I’ll gladly take a lesser cold every 4 months or so instead! ๐Ÿ˜›

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    quick update

    Too much going on, so only a quick update right now! I’m finally completely over my cold, but also played piano for a wedding on Saturday which occupied my entire day, so I haven’t even had the chance to sort through my Alaska photos, let alone write up the trip, and I want to do that soon! However, here’s the latest on Eerie Elegance

  • 54 copies sold as of this morning, slightly more via Amazon than my e-store, but it’s all good!
  • Amazon now shows my product description, plus it’s showing Martha Stewart’s Halloween book in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”…good company, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Books have now arrived in Germany, Norway, Tucson, Tacoma, and Foster City (so the crazy-far-out delivery estimate they gave you when you ordered thankfully isn’t very accurate!)
  • 3 video podcasts have been filmed this week, but not yet edited, and I’m hoping to film a fourth tonight. Thanks to the four of you who voted! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m hoping to release a podcast per week on Sunday nights up until Halloween.
  • I’ve figured out how to setup a reseller discount, so now I need to make up a flyer I can take to bookstores, party stores & Halloween stores in hopes they would like to stock my book.What I do need is to improve the Eerie Elegance website, especially with customer testimonial quotes if possible, plus reviews on Amazon. Now that books are getting into people’s hands so you’re seeing the real product firsthand, if anyone would like to help out by writing an Amazon review or providing me a quote for my website, I would really appreciate it! You can either email me or comment here…just give me permission to use what you say as advertising! ๐Ÿ™‚
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    Eerie Elegance update

    Another quick update on Eerie Elegance…

  • Book flyers are at several local costume stores, Wishing Well in Roseville, Affordable Treasures in Los Gatos, and Spirit Halloween stores in Roseville, San Jose & Santa Clara
  • Resale flyers have been given to Books Inc in Mountain View, and Borders & Barnes & Noble in San Jose, but I’m not expecting much since their Halloween displays already look set
  • 83 books sold in September, 87 total as of today, and still going!
  • 5 reviews now on Amazon.com, all 5 of 5 stars! I am SO happy everyone is liking the book so much!
  • First video podcast (Bizarre Brain Pate) WILL go up Sunday night, but I’m still editing this weekend
  • I’ve set up PayPal and USPS stuff so that I can sell & ship books personally with flat-rate USPS Priority Mail print at home postage & customs forms…but that means I need to GET my books first! I’m still waiting for my 10 I ordered on Sep 15th *sigh*So, whoever still wants autographed copies you can order directly from me via the PayPal link on my order page…and if you all already bought your copies already, that’s fine too…no setup costs to me for the PayPal or USPS stuff, and I learned a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now there is one more non-Halloween project that MUST get finished this weekend but I’m very close, so I’m hoping to start this weekend on new Halloween projects. Last weekend’s annual shopping trip was successful in many ways!

    Happy October & Happy Friday!

    P.S. I saw this Nightmare Before Christmas Ultimate Collector’s DVD Set at Borders and I SOOOO want it…*drool* I must have a talking Jack Skellington!

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    Eerie Elegance video podcasts!

    The first Eerie Elegance podcast is now live! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Eerie Elegance has its own blog now, with its own RSS feed, mainly for the podcast releases.

    iTunes also approved my podcast already! It isn’t searchable yet, but you can find it directly at this link and subscribe if you like!

    Subscribe to Eerie Elegance on iTunes!

    It is also on YouTube but since it’s 13 minutes long I had to split it into two parts:

    The archive will also be here on the Eerie Elegance website.


    This was the very first project we filmed, unscripted live, so forgive my rambling with random extra words, and we were still figuring out best techniques & lighting in my home kitchen. I had to film all the others myself, but I think I got better at the rambling…Hope you like them!

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    Halloween press & projects, plus books shipped!

    I just got off the phone being interviewed by the Canadian Press, an agency that feeds stories to news outlets across Canada. They have no idea which outlets will run the Halloween article, but anyone in Canada please watch for my eyeball recipe and quotes from me about how Halloween just keeps becoming more popular. She thinks it’ll be the week before Halloween, so please let me know if you see it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    In Eerie Elegance news, I got my first 10 books finally this week, but they have already all been shipped out today since you guys already bought them all…wow! I didn’t expect that many people to want autographed copies! To quote Sally Field, “You LIKE me! You REALLY like me!” hahaha! I clicked to send the email shipping notification from USPS so hopefully that will work. Everyone who had purchased as of this morning was shipped today via USPS Priority Mail, and there are 20 more on their way to me to replenish my stock. Also, review #6 showed up on Amazon today, and reading it I got a little verklempt! aawww…not sure if Lori from PA is a blog reader but just in case, thank you SO much!

    Interestingly my ad revenue is half the rate as last year at this time, so I don’t know if that’s because I have more recipes on my own page leaving less reason to click away, or if my book ad is taking attention away from the Google ads, but it’s still not shabby. I have already more than made up for the difference in ad revenue by book sales profit since I’ve hit 110 books sold as of today!

    Two new Halloween projects have been completed this week…a new front door wreath of 40 pairs of mini skeleton hands plus a skull door knocker, and very eerily elegant pewter spider charms on the end of black silver-caged beads. One will replace the stupid spider hanging from my new web tier tray from Target, and I’m not sure where the rest will hang yet. They would also be lovely jewelry so I might make some more into new Webmistress of the Dark jewelry for myself…LOL!

    More Halloween projects this weekend I hope, plus editing the witches’ fingers podcast for Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!

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    Eerie Elegance Episode #2 – Freaky Witches’ Fingers

    Episode #2 is now live – Freaky Witches’ Fingers!

    Subscribe on iTunes!

    Podcast Archive


    (This one was 11 minutes, just barely too long for a single YouTube segment. For some reason when splitting the segments, Part 1 is fine, but the YouTube encoding goes out of sync with the video for Part 2. I have no idea why since my split QuickTime version I uploaded to YouTube was fine. Watch the QuickTime version here, from iTunes or EerieElegance.com for best results.)

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    quickie update

    These are fabulous Tim Burton-inspired wedding cakes…I would LOVE to make something like this if I only had the time! I have to save my gingerbread haunted mansion idea for yet another year (going on 11 years postponed idea now *sigh*) but my hope is to have little figures all around, maybe from all sorts of different spooky movies then it could be a quiz also? Maybe next year!

    I’ve gotten a lot of work done on my costume thank goodness, but no sewing quite yet, and the pipe organ is probably half-finished so I think I have a chance of finishing that today. There’s another long-postponed idea that is finally happening! The witch is hanging with her brew stand in a different place this year, the foam walls are in place but need touchup since the giant windstorm had blown them into my neighbor’s yard this past winter, and several decorations are setup inside the house, so there is progress being made. No flagstone walls up yet nor any party food prepped and only less than a week to go, so it’s definitely frantic mode already!

    I’m sore from yesterday’s all-day party work, so I thought I’d use my slow start this morning to update here…now I’ve gotta get stuff done!

    P.S. 130 copies of Eerie Elegance sold, but the 2-day shipping I paid extra for isn’t doing much since I’m still waiting for my next shipment, so 6 people who have ordered autographed copies are waiting for books to arrive at my house. Sure hope they come soon!

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    episode 3 & party prep update

    Episode 3 is live! One of the most frequently requested “how did you do that?” questions over the years is answered in Eerie Elegance: Glowing Mad Scientist Display! Only one more episode for this season, and I’m thankful the editing can wait until AFTER my party! ๐Ÿ˜‰


    In party prep news, the pipe organ has made huge leaps & bounds of progress over the weekend but is not finished because Liquid Nails takes too *%& long to dry *sigh* but the shed is cleaned out & black curtains have been hung to hide my storage with room for the pipe organ to be inside the graveyard chapel. For my costume my crown is mostly done, the bodice lining & fabric is cut & pinned, and the skirt cut out but will need experimentation so plenty left to do on that unfortunately. Some new LED candles are complete which won’t give off much light but will be safer in the wall sconces (someone actually lighted the decorative candles in the bathroom that made a mess onto my Halloween towels last year!). My Beware the Brocade Victorian-inspired lampshade is done which matches the new purple sheer spiderweb curtains. The piano window facing the street has the giant cat eyes window cling, which I absolutely LOVE! I swear it looks like Ebony since it is her eye color, and Onyx never has that same mischievous look on his face. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The gargoyle columns are still fine since I was able to fit them in the shed all year, but the foam walls for the chapel & patio suffered in the giant winter windstorm, flying into my neighbor’s yard so I had to collect the broken pieces, so I knew those might need some help. Some of the foam was eaten away so will need to be repainted as “distressed” but there was only one small piece completely missing that is easy to repair & hide behind a column, so it could have been much worse! The touchup paint can wait until later this week.

    My to-do list is so huge I will not inflict you with it here…ack! No food is done at all, and there are usually a couple batches of cookies baked by now…ACK! I only found tiny purple potatoes so far, so we might not have Batato Chips after all, so I’ll hit a few more stores this week to see if I can find any. Also since my new kittens last year shredded a few of the flagstone gossamer walls trying to climb them, I just ripped them down & shoved them in bags, so that won’t be easy to put back up, so I keep postponing in case I have to keep the walls white – yuck! Wish me luck getting everything done!

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    last episode for 2008

    Savory Spiders with Gooey Guts is now live!

    My annual Halloween Party Post-Mortem with photos will be later today I hope!

    P.S. I don’t want to jinx anything since it’s not for sure yet, but let’s just say please send your positive thoughts about me to Chicago since you might have a really cool reason to watch Oprah on Halloween day! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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    Halloween 2008 Party Post-Mortem

    Whew! Another fun Halloween party is over! I must remember quality over quantity, since my quantity of guests has been dropping the past couple years, down to 31 this year, but I’m sure that number would still inspire “guest envy” like in that one Amazon review. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can say my quality of enthusiastic guests has remained fabulous, with fantastic costumes, and even clever food, and what I like the most is seeing my friends’ creativity!

    The Party

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    newspaper article

    The Contra Costa Times & Oakland Tribune ran a Halloween food story in today’s paper that includes my book and quotes from me. If anyone knows anyone who gets those papers, I would really appreciate any copies you can collect! Here is the online version of the article which doesn’t usually include the same photos as the print version.

    A Halloween feast for guests and ghouls

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    more press!

    I forgot to google myself for the Canadian Press stuff until after the other article came out today…here we go! Looks like these came out on the 20th/21st so I’m late to the party! No wonder I’ve been getting autographed book orders from Canada the past week! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ghoulish or gross? Finding the right balance for Halloween entertaining
    (This seems to be the longest version)

    Halloween party food that takes guts to eat

    Halloween entertaining: drawing the line between ghoulish and gross

    ‘Eyeballs’ are a versatile ingredient on Halloween menus

    ‘Eyeballs’ are a versatile ingredient on Halloween menus

    Eerie eyeballs to eat
    (too bad they didn’t use my actual eyeball photo provided with the CP article! :P)

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