Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflection, gratitude, and a wish for you

As 2011 draws to a close, I'm reflecting on the events of the past year. Blog-wise, I learned a lot of things this year. I learned while researching topics for my blog posts and from reading all of your blogs. I made new like-minded blog friends and feel like I'm part of a community. It means a lot to have a group of people who understand my goofy references and are interested in my spooky adventures.

Blogging has made this past year rich and interesting. I've found myself talking about blog-land to people in my everyday life. I've wanted to share the things I've learned from chatting with all of you. I've basically become Nigel from Crossing Jordan. Remember Nigel, who was always going on about his blog? All the characters would be hanging out in the morgue and Nigel's blog would still be his top priority.

Watch the first few minutes of this clip and you'll see what I mean. Nigel is so busy going on about his blog while making a snack, that he doesn't even notice a man being abducted! I found this weirdly relatable.

Nigel: Blogs my friend, blogs are the future.

Bug: Blogs?

Nigel: Oh I'm sorry, haven't you joined the twenty-first century?

He was always my favorite. On a side note, how cool is that shirt he's wearing?

Yes, it's been a year to learn about Day of the Dead symbolism, Victorian architecture, Plague Doctors, Voodoo ceremonies, Prohibition, Scandinavian Easter Witches, and Chinese Tomb Guardians, among other topics. I've taken day trips and night adventures, all the while considering what I'd say about these experiences in my blog. I've purposely searched for the dark side in everything this year, in hopes of having something to photograph and share. Overall, writing and assembling these blog posts has made me a more interesting person with more to say in my everyday life. Thanks to all of you for keeping the conversation going with your insightful comments through 2011. Here's to even more interesting conversations in 2012!

Now, being that this is a spooky blog, there's no way I can let this post go without mentioning the 2012 conspiracy theories. No, I don't think the world is going to end in the coming year. I do think there has to be some significance to the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, though. I say this because the Mayans predicted many major events in history. Depending on how the Mayan calendar is interpreted, they predicted World War I, World War II, and 9/11.

Some people have suggested that the Mayan calendar ending in 2012 symbolizes a huge change in consciousness. They say that there could be a major spiritual transformation at this time, and in a good way! I'd like to believe this is the case, because the world overall could use a positive spiritual transformation right now. I'm feeling positively about 2012. I can't quite tell you why, it's just a feeling. I wish you all a wonderful year. Hopefully 2012 will be a year of positive changes and happiness for you. I look forward to reading all your interesting blogs in the coming year!

I'll leave you with Auld Lang Syne, but not the traditional depressing version. This one is being performed by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers (not to be confused with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers). I've seen these guys a few times at Irish Fest in Milwaukee, and they're lots of fun. So enjoy and Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year!

    I'm glad to have met you. Now get me some tea. ; )

  2. Pensive ~ Happy New Year to you too! I'm glad to have met you as well. :) Oh, I'd be happy to fetch you some tea if I was still lurking around. I was feeling a little psychic after the Vicar of Dibley incident the other night! I just watched all of the episode I sent you two. I'd forgotten about the dirty jokes at the end of each show!

  3. What a lovely post! I can relate to everything you've said here. Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me, and I feel part of a community in "blog-land" too!

    Haha. I had completely forgotten about Nigel and his blog. I used to watch 'Crossing Jordon' when it was on. Great show! Blogs were probably a bit of a mystery to me back then.

    I'm guessing that's a duct tape pumpkin clock in the top picture. Very cute! Is that one of your creations?

    I don't believe the world will end in 2012 either. Partly because people are constantly saying the world will end. Danny's always telling me about his grandmother seeing Halley's comet in 1910 when she was a little girl living in an Italian fishing village. They all thought it was the end of the world then. And remember the Millennium Bug? Just this year 'The Rapture' came and went too. I've also heard the interpretation that it is about a change in consciousness. I agree with you that that would probably be a very good thing. I have to admit that it has also occurred to me that with the Mayans being so associated with the Ancient Alien theories, maybe the end of the calendar coincides with the "aliens" returning. :)

    The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are fun! Love the orange mohawk! Just to end on another reference ('cos I just can't help myself), bagpipes remind me of a quote from another of my favourite silly comedies, 'I Married an Axemurderer':

    "Alright, we have a piper who's down. It's alright, he's just pissed. We have a piper down, I repeat, a piper is down!"

    I'm very glad we met in blog-land this year, and I wish you all the best for 2012! Happy New Year!!!

  4. Happy New Year Justine!
    Wishing you many blessing for 2012 and look forward to sharing this world of light with you.

  5. Happy New Year to you too!

    I share your feelings about the blogging community. Starting my blog this year was probably one of the most significant things I did this year and it allowed me to connect with some great people.

  6. I am SO glad to have connected with you through this crazy world of Blogging! You are so lovely and an amazing artist!!! Here's to another year of friendship and frivolity!

    Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year. Awesome post. Love the Red Hot Chili pipers!

  8. Happy New Year, Justine!

    I really love your blog. I love the fact that you research everything before making a post, it's like a little history lesson every time I stop by, and the fact that we all share a love for the weird and wonderful makes discussions over given subjects even more interesting!

    Can't wait to see what you have for us next year! xxx

  9. Happy New Year Justine! You have really summed up the reason we all blog perfectly. There is so much going on in blogland, creatively, spiritually and educationally. Wish I could get more friends blogging. Thanks for all your amazing posts and sharing your gift of writing with all of us, it's been a blast. Looking forward to all your 2012 posts!

  10. I haven't had a TV in ten years and so movies and TV have sort of washed out of my mind. Interestingly, Blogs have started to fill that vaccum. I love the variety and creativity. And after years of being alone in my Halloweeness, I finally feel like I not alone, and I love it! I'm looking forward to following your career as an artist - you are curently sucessful and I wish you even more success.

  11. Happy New year, Justine!!

    You said it all, 100%. I just got serious into blogging this year, too and have met a lot of interesting & talented people.

    Loved the Pipers!

  12. I love what you said about the Mayan prophecies. I agree with you. The changes predicted will be positive. Happy New Year!

  13. All the best in 2011 Justine. Thanks for all the great and informative posts over the past year.

  14. I am looking forward to reading what you have in store for us next year.

    Happy New Year!

  15. Thanks for all the kind comments everyone! I'm seriously touched by your thoughtful words and wishes for the new year.

    Little Gothic Horrors ~ The blogging community is meaningful to me, since it's pretty much the only community of like-minded people I've been a part of. I've had friends I related to one-on-one, but not a whole group. I've been considering this the past few days. This has been a year for me to feel a lot more "normal" because of my new blog friends and what he have in common.

    Oh, Nigel was the best! Not that I didn't like every other character too. He was just so funny. I'd forgotten how he and Bug went back and forth. That was such a great show! I wish that some reruns of that would come back on TV around here. Yeah, blogs seemed like this mysterious and advanced concept a decade ago. :) There was LiveJournal, but that's about it as I recall. So when Nigel talked about his blog, he seemed quite technical! By the way, if you google "Nigel's blog" lots of imitation blogs and various other weird sites appear.

    I'm not sure what that pumpkin is made from, but no it's not one of my creations. It is inspiring, isn't it? I'd like to make a pumpkin clock! I found it on a site where a person had assembled a bunch of images they liked, so I have no idea where they found it. The person seemed to like Martha Stewart stuff, so maybe this was a Martha creation?

    There certainly have been enough times people thought the world would end. I was actually fairly psyched over Y2K, so I guess I've mellowed out over the past decade. :) Oh! Speaking of the Mayans and the aliens, I ended up watching a YouTube clip you might find interesting:

    This "serpent" equinox thing is similar to the Stonehenge solstice thing. It's not like they straight out say anything about aliens in this video. It's just one of those things where you have to wonder how the Mayans came up with this stuff. Either they had a little help, or people have seriously dumbed down over the years...

    Thanks for the "So I Married an Axe Murderer" clip! That was great. I love that movie, but I haven't seen it in years! I think I need to rent it again. I love the Chilli Pipers! They have an amazing amount of energy live.

    I'm very glad we met this year too! Happy 2012 to you. :)

    Goth Boots ~ Thanks for the nice wishes! Happy New Year to you too. I like the "world of light" part of your comment. Very positive!

    Dex ~ Happy New Year! Oh, I forgot your blog was that new. I feel like you've been on here a long time. Yeah, I didn't think that starting a blog would have this much of an impact on my life. Blogging has been one of my better decisions as well!

  16. LuLu ~ Happy New Year! I'm really glad we connected too! I've enjoyed seeing your art and jewelry as well. You're quite talented, yourself. "Another year of friendship and frivolity" indeed. :) I look forward to reading about more of your adventures ~ It's always entertaining!

    Vivienne ~ Happy New Year to you as well! Yeah, the Chilli Pipers are great. If they ever travel to where you are, be sure to check them out! Seeing them perform is a really fun experience.

    VainGlorySinner ~ Happy New Year! :) Thank you. I really love your blog too. I was excited to see you writing again, because I'd missed checking in to see what's new with you. The research process is one of the best parts of blogging for me. I started researching heavily, just to make sure I wasn't making mistakes. Especially with the posts about other cultures. Then it turned into something I enjoyed doing. Like you, I'm a big history person. So, thanks for the history lesson comment! That's great if those reading my blog are learning along with me. I have a few blogging ideas in my head for 2012, so I think it will be another fun writing year!

    Art Bliss ~ Happy New Year! Yes, I think there's something for everyone in blog land. A few of my friends from my everyday life blog, but I'd like to get everyone I know involved. I think most people would be surprised to see how much they have to say, once they get blogging. I've been surprised by the amount of topics that fall under a general spooky theme for my blog. Blogs can really take on a life of their own! Thanks so much for your kind words. :) I'm looking forward to the next year in blogging too.

    Matt-o-Lantern ~ I heard that a lot of people are letting their TVs go, and just watching shows online. Almost everything gets posted on the internet. Off the local channels, anyway. That and you can just watch DVDs on your computer now. Blogs have really taken a lot of my time for entertainment too. I find myself reading people's blog posts more than picking up a magazine or newspaper. I know that the topics here will fit my interests. Plus being able to communicate with other bloggers adds a lot. With a magazine, you can't write back and forth with an article's author, although it would be great if you could. So being able to participate in the blogging world has an extra element of fun.

    I know exactly what you mean. I had left a comment above about how it feels great to fit in with a group of people with the same interests. I did have some friends who are into Halloween and obviously my Mom is too. Having a whole community of Halloween people is a new cool thing, though. It's fun to have a group like this to share ideas with. I know everyone here appreciates the creativity and time the others put into their projects. We know from doing this stuff ourselves, that it takes work!

    Thanks for the sweet comments about my art. 2012 feels like it's going to be a good year art-wise, so we'll see how things go! Happy New Year. :)

  17. Lisa ~ Happy New Year to you too! Yes, there are so many amazing, and creative people with blogs. It's fun to connect with those I wouldn't run into in everyday life. I think bouncing ideas off one another makes everyone more interesting. I find myself bringing up topics I've read in people's blogs all the time! Yeah, the Pipers are an awesome band. They have so much energy!

    Jessica ~ Happy New Year! Thanks ~ Yeah, I hope to see some positive changes in the world this year. I'm really hoping for that. The Mayans seemed to really have it going on with their calendar, so 2012 has to mean something! :)

    The October Boy ~ All the best to you too! I'm glad you enjoyed this year's posts. I enjoy reading through your blog and looking at photos of your outstanding haunt. Can't wait to see what you do with it this year!

    Adsila ~ I'm looking forward to this year of blogging! I have some new ideas rattling around in my mind, and hopefully I'll have lots of new adventures to share. Happy New Year to you too! :)

  18. Happy New Year to you as well! I am also new to blogging and love it -- it's so hard finding peole "in my real life" that want to discuss the same topics I do. Look forward to reading in 2012 :]

  19. BeWitchy ~ That's one of the best parts about blogging - being able to connect with people from all over who have your same interests. I swear there's a blog for every topic! Happy New Year. :)

  20. Sneaking in - late of course - to cheer on another grand year of blogging, Halloween celebrations, and strange findings from across this strange world!

    I'm also quite enamored with that pumpkin clock. And bravo for the Nigel appearances in this post! Onward, 2012!

  21. King Unicorn ~ A January 2 blog comment isn't late at all for a New Years themed post! There's no need to ever worry about how late your comments are, because I check for my latest comments every day. Even if you're months late in commenting, I'll still respond. :)

    Thanks for the cheerful wishes! The world seems to be full of strange and delightfully creepy things to blog about. It's a lot of fun for me to find those things.

    Cool! Another Nigel fan! I hope to see Steve Valentine in another role soon. I probably haven't seen him in anything since Crossing Jordan.

    Onward, 2012 indeed!

  22. Justine,

    So glad to be counted among your blogging friends. I know what you mean about the community aspect of it. My outlook on life improved dramatically this year, mainly due to feeling like a part of something.

    BTW, my blog is having its first birthday on the 15th. How should I celebrate?

  23. A belated Happy New year....From us at the Crypt...... Been getting things together for my display of my 1/6th scale Villains and Monsters figures.... I will give the Joker his own shelf in the display.... At the Public Library ....
    They liked my display of my "Joker" Collection well over a year past....
    Thus , as with my Blog, I get to share My Favorite "Monsters" with others !!!
    take care and our best of wishes to you and yours...
    ...The Doctor

  24. Marvin ~ Thanks. :) I'm glad to have you as a blog friend too! I know exactly what you mean. I think it's so important for people to feel accepted and a part of something. Meeting so many nice people online has encouraged me to reach out in other ways too. It's always good to be reminded that there are positive people out there.

    Hmm... A first blog birthday... It would fun if you wrote a special post of some kind to celebrate. Otherwise, I guess have a beer, eat some ice cream and sing happy birthday to your blog! :)

    Dr. Theda ~ Happy New Year to you as well! Be sure to post some photos of your display on your blog. I'm curious to see it. That sounds like another really cool way to share your collection. Occasionally, a collection is showcased at our local library too. It's fun to look through the glass cases at what comes in. It's mostly quilts and carved wood ducks. So, your collection sounds a little more hip. :) Not that there's anything wrong with quilts and ducks...

    Best wishes to you too!

  25. Thanks for the Nice Complements of my collection..... The Doctor

  26. I just watched that YouTube clip about the Mayan calendar. So interesting! I just love that stuff. I didn't realize that it had 4 more parts, so I'm going to watch the rest of it later. You've got to try and see 'Ancient Aliens'. I think it would be just your cup of tea!!!

  27. PS: I was kind of freaked over Y2K as well! I did buy a lot of bottled water... just in case! :)

  28. Dr. Theda ~ You're welcome! I'm curious to know where you acquired some of those. They're all so different, and some look like they're vintage.

    Little Gothic Horrors ~ Yeah, after posting that video, I realized it was a bit of a downer. I only meant to share the serpent part. The History Channel seemed to be buying into the whole end of the world thing. I don't understand where they were connecting the dots in that video. I didn't connect the shadow of a serpent to the apocalypse anyway. Still, they always put together something interesting. I will try to find 'Ancient Aliens'. Then we'll have lots to discuss! Not like we don't anyway. :)

    Oh, yeah. I remember the bottled water flying off the shelves around here. I know my Grampa was stocked up! The idea of Y2K stood to reason. There are always little glitches here and there. It seemed plausible that not every computer would be set up for the new century. It's not like we had computers around when past centuries began. So, who was to say. Glad that was all worked out properly!

  29. Belated Happy New Year! Glad to have ran across your little world in The Blog-verse.

  30. wicKED ~ Happy New Year to you too! Thanks. :) I'm glad to have run across your blog as well. You always have such creative projects going, and I like the Lilly updates!

  31. Well Hello and Happy New Year Justine! So nice to meet you! I liked this post because I could relate to it so! It really IS nice to find a like minded community of Halloween lovers isn't it? In my real life...TRUE Halloween Heads are hard to find. So this place is always my favorite spot to come to get the creative juices flowing, and to get me all excited once again for the coming of All Hallow's Eve. Such a great group of genuinely nice and creative people here. I showed up here in Halloween Town several years ago and never left...why would I really?! Ha! I feel at home here with all my spooky friends! Haven't had time to look around much yet. But at a quick glance of your sidebar, I see some terrific looking artwork...looking forward to checking out more. Best wishes for a frightfully fun 2012!

    All my best,

  32. Wendy ~ Hello and Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for following. :) I feel the same way ~ Every day I learn something new or am inspired by something I read in blog land. I like the "Halloween Town" term too! It's very Nightmare Before Christmas. Yes, this does feel like a nice, comfortable place to discuss all kinds of topics! Thanks for the compliment on my art. :) Best wishes to you in the New Year!