Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear Glenn, You'll Always be Divine

I have many obsessions. I consider lip balm, John Waters, horror movies, Baltimore, and Etsy's activity feed to be in my top 10. One of my obsessions stemmed from being a John Waters fan, and his name is Harris Glenn Milstead, but most people know him as Divine. 

John Water and Glenn

Glenn was born in Towson, Maryland and with the help of John Waters and Glenn's own determination for fame,  he became a cross-dressing icon of a generation!

Glenn in High School

Divine was Glenn's alter ego and stage name for when he did films and concerts as a female. Divine was loud in every meaning of the word from appearance to her voice! From the mid 1960's through the 80's he had a role, and sometimes the main role in several John Waters films. The most notorious was Pink Flamingos. Divine's role in this midnight movie gave her a lot of attention because of the films final scene where Divine actually eats dog feces.

Divine in Pink Flamingos

After Pink Flamingos the next big role Divine had was as Edna Turnblad in the 1988 original film, Hairspray. Divine also played a male role in the film as well as Arvin Hodgepile. When the film was turned into a musical the role of Edna Turnblad was still and is still played by a male actor. 

Divine and Travolta as Edna Turnblad

In between doing John Waters films, Divine had toured all over the world as a singer doing disco music. When Glenn toured as Divine he lived up to the loud and trashy stereotypes that his alter ego was known for.

A Greatest Hits Album

In the end, he did very well as a disco performer, but ended up doing more acting before he passed away on March 7th of 1988. 

Glenn's Resting Place in Towson

When Glenn passed away is was in a hotel room in California in the middle of the night. His cause of death was heart failure that doctors believe was set off by his sleep apnea. What is even more tragic than the death of this amazingly talented actor was knowing that later that very same day he was going to sign the contracts to be cast as a regular male role on the hit tv show, Married with Children. He was going to be cast as Uncle Otto, finally giving him the credit as a male actor that he deserved and so greatly longed for! The popularity of this show would have made Glenn and Divine household names all over the US. There's no telling what his career would have amounted to if he hadn't passed away that night. 

News paper clip after his death

If you are interested in reading about Divine there are many books out there about this amazing man! There is one called My Son Divine, which was written by his mother and another that I recommend called Not So Divine that was written by his former manager, Bernard Jay. There are also many films out there and albums too! 
A Biography by his Mother

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vintage and Antique Goods with Movie Maven

It's hard to believe that it is already time for another featured shop post! This week's featured shop from The Etsy Buddies Team is Movie Maven from Baltimore, Maryland! Movie Maven has been an Etsy seller since August of last year and sell vintage and antique items. She has everything from linens and jewelry to books and glassware. I asked Movie Maven a few questions and this is what I learned about her!

Vintage blue glass hen-on-a-nest candy dish

1. How did you get into selling vintage items?

I retired 3 years ago and have committed myself to unclutter the closets, cedar chests and dresser drawers in the house. I've been legal guardian to an elderly aunt, and after she died, I had the task of cleaning out her house, selling her home, cars, etc., and it took over 2 years. Then another aunt died, an uncle....and recently moved my mother into a senior apartment complex, then my brother . and my handicapped sister.

I helped them each move from a full sized house to a small apartment. My car was like a traveling flea market for over a year, constantly schlepping junk from somebody's house to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I thought it would never end.

I love antique linens, and can't help myself at flea markets, estate sales, and auctions. 

Vintage ladies Revlon Love-Pat compact

2. Is there anything specific you look for when you attend auctions or go to antique malls? Like to you look for housewares, clothing, kitchen supplies?

I'm usually checking out the linens, vintage glassware and silver/silverplate items. Linens tend to go for a song, especially at an auction. Folks these days are not into washing and ironing table linens, nor polishing silver. I love taking care of pretty things.

Vintage Whiting and Davis gold necklace

3. Have you ever come across an item you couldn't part with? If so what was it?

An item I couldn't part with?? I adore vintage pillowcases, those that have embroidery, tatting, lace or openwork on them, and have collected more than my fair share. I especially love cutwork on anything - pillowslips, tablecloths, and dresser scarves. I've had to sell a few off, just to make room for more things that fit my tables better. I'm also guilty of spreading the wealth around by giving away beautiful linens, vases, silver, etc to friends and relatives. 

Vintage Old Salem, North Carolina tea towel

4. If you could give any advice to someone that has never gone out looking for antiques and vintage items, what would that be?

Start small. Concentrate in one or two areas initially, and spend a lot of time researching the marketability of what you want to collect. Important to know prices and how it relates to condition. A $300 Waterford vase with a crack or chip won't fetch $10. After gaining some experience in a small area, branch out to other items that you like. Attend auctions and estate sales, flea markets, etc as much as possible. eBay is also a good barometer for what's selling and for how much, but its also a fickle market. What's hot this week can be cold potatoes next. 

Vintage Fostoria "Astral" pattern serving pieces

5. Ohhhh, I also wanted to ask.... since your name is movie maven.... what is your take on John Waters? and who is your all time favorite leading lady?

 John Waters - he's helped give Baltimore some glam and notoriety.

Favorite actress: Bette Davis is at the top of the list. I hated her movies as a kid (I think because they were mostly black and white and were probably too sophisticated for a kid). When I got older, I watched Now Voyager and became an instant fan. Also love Hedy Lamarr, Irene Dunn, Myrna Loy, Mary Aster, Beulah Bondi and Thelma Ritter.

Most of those names aren't recognizable these days, but I'm a movie maven and adore old movies - the golden age of Hollywood (movies of the late 30s, 40s and 50s). 

If you would like what you read and what to see what's in store, just check out Movie Maven's Etsy Shop!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Twilight in Fairy Garden

Hey there boils and ghouls! Starting this week I will begin making posts about shops that I have come across that are filled with interesting creations! To kick off the very first of many featured shops is Twilight in fairy Garden! This shop owners says that she specializes in Irish and Celtic designs, original art, art boxes, handmade jewelry, steampunk jewelry, collage art, and assemblage sculptures. I asked her a few questions and here is how that went. 

1. How did you get started in crafting and making jewelry?

I used to work and go to college full time...BS in Microbiology and Biochemistry and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. I worked full time at a pharmacology company for 3 years. I decided to quit 3 years ago because I never saw my husband and my girls. That is when I started making art and jewelry. I found it to be very relaxing and fun! I am still learning every day and am working on patience and taking my time with my art in order to improve my quality. I always have loved drawing and took classes in college. I also love music and have been in many church acapella groups.

Dragonfly Art Box

2. How long have you been on Etsy?

I have only been on Etsy for about 6 months, somewhere around there!

3. What is your favorite item in your shop now and why?

That is a hard one...right now, I think my favorite item is Doodle Bug...the necklace! But it is about to be my new theatre box! I am very excited about how that turned out! I will be listing it as soon as I find my connector!

Nessie and the Emerald Isle - Necklace

4. If there is one piece of advice you would give to fellow crafters out there, what would it be?

HAVE FUN!!! Take your time!!! There is a visible difference in the quality of the works when you are havind FUN and not rushing through a project! But mostly....HAVE FUN!!!!!!

Altered Time - steampunk, assemblage, collage, altered, antique brass necklace with watch pieces

5. Is there anything new that you are working on for your shop?

I just finished the box as I mentioned earlier, but I will also be working on some candle holders and incense holders! I love re-purposing old objects and making them new!!! But I believe boxes...whether it be painting them, decopaging, or embellishing is my favorite thing to work on. I am going to be adding new items little by little as I will be taking more time to complete my art! Also, I have ordered more jewelry making supplies as well. Jewelry is so much fun! I guess I will be working on many things, and having fun the whole time!

ACEO Block Art Painting

It always makes me glad to hear that others are just as eager to make new and fun things as well as take their time to make them the best that can. Quality is a key factor. Throughout this post I have shown images of items in Twilight in Fairy Garden's shop that are currently for sale. If you are interested in purchasing any of them or would like to see what else is in store this is her shop's link!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Role Models by a Role Model

Anyone that knows me can tell you that if there is one thing in life that I am obsessed over it would be a man named John Waters. As he has said in one of his many books and films, "Life is nothing if you're not obsessed." I had the pleasure of meeting him briefly at a book signing last June for his latest literary  success, Role Models. This book is unlike his others. Usually his books come off as strange and unusual tales from making his films and the people he has worked with. This time his stories are still strange and unusual, but are coming from a more personal place that isn't solely out for the shock value. It's all much more intimate, sort of like seeing a family photo album that you thought they probably had, but never knew they kept and truly treasured. 

John Waters

"Role Models" is a collection of people that John Waters has admired and even met. However, for anyone that knows his work, you should have guessed that his list of role models isn't going to consist of past presidents, fire fighters, or the cliche family member that survived cancer. His list includes people like Johnny Mathis, Leslie Van Houten (known for her involvement with the Manson Family), Rei Kawakudo (Comme des Garcons, fashion), and a local stripper named Zorro. These people have all had some impact on John Waters and unlike most people who just brush people off as no good or trash, Waters has gone out of his way to try to understand these people better. See what is beyond the public view, see what makes these people tick, and how they ultimately became the person they were and the person they are today. He doesn't just see people at one end of the spectrum or the other. He doesn't see good or bad and label people as such. He looks for something deeper, something unknown, and if that something be vulgar, shocking, lewd, or tasteless.... so be it! After all, he is known as the Pope of Trash for a reason. 

I think my most favorite chapter out of this book is the one on Leslie Van Houten. He starts this chapter by saying, 

"I have a really good friend who was convicted of killing two innocent people when she was nineteen years old on a horrible night of 1969 cult madness. Her name is Leslie Van Houten and I think you would like her as much as I do. She was one of those notorious "Manson Girls" who shaved their heads, carved X's in their foreheads, and laughed, joked, and sang their way through the courthouse straight to death row without the slightest trace of remorse forty years ago. Leslie is hardly a Mason girl today. Sixty years old, she looks back from prison on her involvement in the LaBianca murders (the night after the Tate massacre) in utter horror, shame, and guilt and takes full responsibility for her part in the crimes. I think it's time to parole her."

This picture is at the beginning of the chapter. It shows Leslie and John.

The chapter is one of the longer ones, but by the time it's over you wish you could give Leslie a hug and her life back.

John is still hard at work on his book tour! He has been doing talk shows, interviews, signings, and there is even more demand for him with the paperback version coming out this Spring! At one of his many tv interviews he had the pleasure of meeting Justin Beiber. Yes! The Pope of Trash met Justin Beiber who told John that his "stache is the jam!" In fact, the young popstar drew the stache on himself! Ohhh, our John is leaving his mark on everyone these days! 

Justin Beiber with his John Waters stache!
I personally can't wait for his next book signing in May! I will be there waiting in line like the last time, eagerly awaiting my 30 seconds with The Pope of Trash, himself! and what divine trash he is<3

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some Scare for your Neck

Okay Boils and Ghouls, this Girly Ghoul has been busy! Now that I have relaxed from my trip to PA I am starting to post new items in my shop. Yesterday I was able to post more than 60 new necklaces and there are still more to come! Over the next few days I will be adding more necklaces, earrings, flower hair clips, and possibly some soap in the shape of skulls and pumpkins! Also, you want current info on my shop, AGhoulsBestFriend find us on facebook and Twitter! Both are constantly updated on a daily basis and have info on new items, discount codes, horror trivia, events, treasuries, and other things that are strange and unusual. Also, if you add my shop on facebook you will be entered to win an item from my shop at the end of every month! Here is a peek at what new items I have posted!

Masque of the Red Death

Dawn of the Dead 2004

Drink Me

Dawn of the Dead 1978

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Ghouls Best Friend Does PA!

This weekend I attended The Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival in Jim Thorpe, PA. I was a vendor as well as a patron. This weekend was jam packed with vendors, classes, and performers! It was amazing and I don't know how I am going to be able to describe this festival well enough to give it the credit that it deserves. Friday and Saturday nights both had a ton of burlesque performers gracing the stage. There were so many creative acts hat i don't even know where to begin. The headliners were Jaqueline Hyde and Red Hot Annie..... both were amazing. Jaqueline Hyde had a few acts and the one that had me cracking up like no other involved her pretending to be drunk during her performance.... it reminded me of so many nights in which I stumbled home drunk and kicked off my shoes and ungracefully tried to take off my tights and bra. Red Hot Annie came out during a performance with a sign on her front that looked like a short dress and she used paint that matched her skin ton and painted the clothes off before removing the board. There were so many fabulous performers and quite a few from Baltimore! I was giving it up for my local ladies! They really know how to work a stage with just a g string and tassels. everything about this festival was unforgettable! The performers were amazing, the vendors had incredible handmade goods, and everyone was so pleasant! The lady that pulled all of this together with the help of a few others is Madame Corsetiere, Brooke! This woman is so beautiful, so funny, so generous, so talented, and so thoughtful that I almost wish I lived in the middle of nowhere, mountainville, Jim Thorpe too! She owns a shop called Dragontown Corsets and coming soon, Dragontown Vintage! She makes corsets and does custom orders as well. If you are interested in high quality corsets with some of the most beautiful fabrics you'll ever see, check out her site. She has everything from checker board picnic patterns to spider webs! I cannot wait until next year! I have a feeling that this will become a regular event for me to attend and vend at as well! I want to say thanks to everyone that came out and helped make this weekend one of the best that I have had in a long time!