Friday, October 21, 2011

Living in the Jaws of Hell

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Halloween is kind of a big deal on our block. We have one of those neighborhoods which attracts carloads of parents and kids from other parts of town for trick-or-treating. Usually, everyone on the street does some kind of decorating. Not everyone goes as crazy as the house up the street which has a tableau of silhouettes enacting a slasher movie scene in the windows (complete with crime scene tape), a skull-faced ghost mannequin over the front door and enough fake cobwebs to trap all the fake flies in Oakland.

This year, we wanted to do more than just plunking the obligatory pumpkin on the front stoop. I was thinking of the above image which shows the entrance to the Hell Cafe -- a bar in Paris about a hundred years ago.




After a little slap-dash photoshopping, I had a plan for using the hell-mouth image on our front porch.




Fortunately, I happen to live with a brilliant scenic artist with a macabre sense of humor and a love for the spooky.




Lisa painted this over a couple of lunch hours at work this week. It's not the monster green of the original since she was using leftover paint, but that's a good thing since I was concerned it would look too much like the Incredible Hulk.

I installed it today and immediately my across-the-way neighbor was standing in the street saying, "Ooh yeah. I like that." I don't think I've ever heard anybody say, "Now that's different" with such admiration and awe before.

This is what it looked like before installation:


I can't wait to see it night with a red porch light.

As I write this, the sun is setting and I can hear some neighbors outside ooh-ing and ahh-ing.

12 comments:

Bubbaloo Magoo said...

Wow! That is awesome!!! Aside from stamp carving and woodworking, I have no artist talent - nothing to that extent for sure. But that is a great idea and fantastically done! Congrats on your creativity!

allie said...

all i can say is OMFG...i want i want!!

Stefaneener said...

Our area is one of those trick or treating destinations too. I'm still trying to figure out how to make killer bees with an old hive. . .

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I soooo miss Hallowe'en. We're so far in the middle of nowhere, and up a very steep, very heavily wooded hill, that no one dare venture up here. Used to be my 'all-out' holiday of the season though, and I've dress up just to hand out candy. The hell mouth is simply inspired, and looks fabulous grey rather than green. Lisa you did a fantastic job! I'm soooo jealous! I think next year you should sell them ;) I wonder how many trick-or-treaters will be brave enough to walk through it?

greg said...

Oooh, I think you might want to keep it all year round. Seriously though you could add to it for next year. Need any scary sounds?

greg said...

Also if it isn't too much trouble I would recommend mirroring the teeth on the riser of the top step to complete the mouth!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Exactly what I was thinking. For next year, Lisa's been talking about a big Day-of-the-Dead skull.

Rabid Quilter from CA said...

Totally awesome!!

(Missed you two today, BTW)

Gina said...

Liam says "Pretty durn awesome!" I say, "You rock!" This isutterly amazing!!!!

Karen Anne said...

red irises maybe

mary jane said...

that is fantastic!!!!!! go lisa! go you!

Lynne Rutter said...

i may just have to come over and trick or treat you to see this! fabulous!

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