Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rest in Pieces

Happy New Year to you all! I hope your holidays were filled with love, friendship and lots of presents.. :) I apologize for the lack of posts over the past several weeks. I'm not even going to bother with excuses. Instead, I'm just going to declare blog bankruptcy, and start fresh this year with a clean slate. I do, however, feel really bad about the twitter cliffhanger regarding one of the collectibles, so lets get to that story... one I actually stared about 20 days ago... before yesterday's earthquake.. more on that later...

This post is hard for me to write because I'm saying a final farewell to beloved collectible, or make it 3 collectibles. I've posted about our Hitchhiking Ghost Masks in the past, but I don't think I've shared just how much we adored these masks. That's why its pains me to have to share with everyone that our masks are the unfortunate victims of Time's cruel affect on latex. Over our stressful summer we were unaware that Time had taken a deadly grip of our latex masks. We knew this process would happen, but we figured it would be a much slower undertaking. It seems that Time knew that we were distracted with our thoughts and concerns on other issues, so Time snuck in under a radar and sped up the deterioration process. Within a few short months, our masks were nothing but a fragile shell of what they used to be. We tried to make their move to our new house as painless as possible, but the more we tried to handle them, the more they fell apart. Ezra's faring better than the others, but that doesn't say much considering that Phineas has no face left and Gus is hanging by a thread of his beard, literally. The beard is all that remains. I didn't even have the strength to take his final picture.

Back in November 2007 I posted about our masks. You can see it here and check out for yourself just how devastating Time can be on latex.

I know using a vacuum handle to display Phineas is absolutely offensive. I'm in mourning, folks. I'm not thinking clearly.
Please forgive me.

As I said, no pics of Gus. It was just too difficult to get past the remnants of his face, scattered around and amongst his beard. Just too painful.

So now what? It seems so disrespectful to just throw these pieces away with the kitchen scraps. What do I do with them? Bury them with our pets in the backyard? (Not likely seeing that we just moved. Thankfully, we haven't had to bury anyone...yet.) Does latex burn? Should I scatter the ashes in the Mansion? (Also not likely. I'm really not supposed to condone that sort of thing.) Anyone have any good suggestions?

This is what I had finished writing some 2 weeks or so ago and had intended to finish it last night when our house started shaking. Now, the USGS claims that it was only a 4.5 magnitude earthquake, but seeing how the epicenter was 2 miles from my house (ok, 2 miles south of my town) it sure felt much larger than that. As badly as the house shook, I only heard one picture fall over downstairs, and it was completely unharmed. My nerves, and my children's nerves didn't fare as nicely. It took awhile for everyone to calm down and come out from under the tables. So it wasn't until this morning, while looking for clothes in my upstairs closet, that I noticed something. Awful.

Remember this picture from when we first moved to our new house?

Well the stanchion and the gargoyle were still on that very shelf in my closet as of yesterday, until an earthquake at 7:49 pm sent one of them flying across the closet and landing on the floor in multiple pieces. Care to take a guess which piece it was?

It was of course, my absolute favorite piece in my entire collection! The one that I waited for years to get my hands on, and will probably wait years more if I am so lucky.

It was the gargoyle. I warn you now. These pictures are not for the weak collector.

Just rip my heart out while its still beating!

I more angry with myself than sad for not finding a better place to house this piece. But truth be told, there was no other place. We left the large entertainment center where our collection was previously stored at the other house, because it was just too cumbersome to move. It was a Big Lots special, not a family heirloom. My closet seemed out of the way, and therefor I thought it would be safe.


So friends, readers of this blog, let us have a moment of silence for this masterful piece.

Screw the silence. I'm heartbroken and want to commiserate. Have any of you lost a favorite piece and were heartbroken over it? How did you ever recover? Please, share your story in the comments below. Your story will be very helpful to us all.

*Ugh* I hate starting the New Year on a sour note. Nothing like a little Merchandise Event to bring me out of my sorrow. Don't forget.. tickets go on sale in 11 days!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Haunted Mansion Event Announced

Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Merchandise Event 09-09-09 (also happens to be my daughter's birthday) If you haven't been saving your pennies, you better now. Tickets go on sale Jan. 20 and 21st.

More info here.

Also, there is a Coctail Reception with Shag on August 8th in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Mansion.

More info here.

I'm recovering from a wicked cold, but will be posting soon about the devistating loss of our beloved HHG masks. They're doomed...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Master Gracey

We have a Master Gracey hanging in our collection, but it had been awhile since I really admired this piece.  This piece is a fan-made lenticular that I came across sometime ago and was fortunate enough to acquire 2!  We left one in its original form, and cut the other to fit an oval frame.  The oval frame is still packed up, waiting for its new location, but we came across the original, uncut piece and it really is amazing!

email subscribers..check out the blog for a cool video clip of Master Gracey!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Moving news...

So for the past 3 weeks, we've been moving.  Doesn't that just sound ridiculous?  It feels even more so!!  We are lucky that we can take our time to move, but frankly, I think its better to just get it done and over with in one shot.  

I'm pleased to report that none of the larger, more delicate collectibles were damaged in the move.  Knock on wood.  Seriously, someone knock because I'm sure I just jinxed myself.  :) We've moved all of the framed art pieces, all the big figs, all the lenticulars, and of course, all of our favorite pieces.  We still have all the little chotskie pieces to pack, and hopefully that will be finished this weekend.  It feels so strange seeing the collection dispersed around the house in such ordinary places  - a gargoyle and stanchion hanging out in our closet, stretching portraits resting along the wall next to the dog kennel, a bride and her ghostly beau sitting on the kitchen table.  I can hardly wait to redecorate!

Now onto the really fantastic, super-duper, its-about-friggin-time-news!  Sam was offered a job and the best part is that his commute to work is less than 10 minutes!!  We are so thrilled! We're still waiting for the official compensation package, but Sam was informed that the company was extremely impressed and looking forward to having him on their team.  That team, by the way, is Perot Systems.  Thank you Ross Perot!!  Life is looking brighter and I know everything is going to be ok.  Thanks again for all your encouragement and prayers!!  

I'm still getting to the many emails from all you wonderful readers. I promise I will be sharing your pics and answering your questions just as soon as I can.  I also want to say that all the items I had up for sale, here and on ebay, have sold!  The revenue from these sales helped to keep us afloat.   Not only did the all the pieces go to great homes, but I got a chance to meet some great people!   Please stay in touch and I look forward to seeing pics!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all you boys and ghouls!  I hope you all get lots of treats, and maybe just a few tricks :)

I just love a Disney Halloween.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back Online!!

Greetings Foolish Mortals!

Today we have internet and all is right with the world again!  I can't believe how much I missed it.  What a sign of the times, eh?  Thanks for all the emails while I was away.  I promise I will be responding to everyone shortly.  

We are living in the new house now, but still have tons of stuff to move from the old house.  What a pain!  Who ever said moving just a few blocks away will be easy should be shot!  Wait, that was me....  I was so misguided.  We still have collectibles in the old place needing to be packed, collectibles in the new place dying to be showcased and a beautiful modern home waiting to be transformed into a habitat suited for 999 happy haunts.  I can't stand all these white walls and I miss my demon eyes wallpaper!  As I start anew, I look forward to sharing the process of decorating for the spirited collector.  It should make for some fun posts!  

Monday, October 6, 2008

Haunted Mansion Holiday Scary Teddy on Coffin Bobble

Greetings Foolish Mortals!

Today's collectible shows how attention to detail can make a ho-hum collectible into something really cool. I'm not all that into bobbleheads.  When I think of bobbles I think of my kids' Littlest Pet toys or Dwight's bobble from The Office. Ok, I admit Dwight's bobble is kinda cool, if not a bit scary.  In 2004, the Haunted Mansion Holiday event released a Scary Teddy on Coffin Bobble. Beyond the fact that its a nice resin piece of the "Lemme outta here" coffin guy, at first, the piece doesn't appear to be all that special.  However, upon closer inspection, you start to notice all the beautiful layers of details.

click on picture for larger viewing

I love the roses carefully placed at the head of the coffin, but I love even more the scattering of the delicate petals around the coffin. Also atop the coffin is a bat adorned christmas tag. What about the meticulously painted fingernails? And of course, Scary Teddy sitting on top of it all, like a proverbial cake topper, flashing his mischievous grin. For a relatively inexpensive piece, originally selling for $25.00, there's quite a bit of bang for the buck. I love examining all the textures and details of this piece. Did I mention that it is limited to 500 pieces?

** Update**

So we believe that all things happen for a reason.  We might not understand what the reasons are, or even accept them at first.  In our case, we were really hoping to move to New Hampshire with our friends, the Bell's.  Well, as you may recall that move never happened, and now we like to say there was reason for us not moving out of state.   In two weeks, we are, in fact, moving into the Bell's old house, here in Southern California.  Go figure!  The house will afford me to expand my home business, providing my family more financial security.  The house also has room for extended family to live with us, allowing us to help another family member in need.  We are so excited about this move and feel like we're heading in the right direction.  Sam has had a few jobs with a temp agency and is doing very well with the interview process at a local hospital.  Remember crossing those boney fingers?!  Keep 'em crossed.  He's moved onto the 3rd round of interviews with one more to go.  :)

Also, thanks to the readers that have contacted me about purchasing some of pieces offered here on the website.  I'm proud to say that the Maid Costume, the Gracey Lenticular pin, and the Jack Lenticular have SOLD!  Thank you so much for your business and I'm confident my babies are going to good homes!

Still available for purchase are :***ALL ITEMS ARE SOLD.  THANK YOU!**

If you are interested in purchasing either of these pieces, please email me at

As we are packing away, I will be pulling aside more collectibles for sale, so hurry baaack!

And I haven't said it enough recently, but I really appreciate everyone who stops by this little ol' blog of mine.  I can't believe how much the viewership has grown in just a few short months.   I love to hear your comments, so do stop by and say hi!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Haunted Mansion Holiday Lenticulars

In honor of Haunted Mansion Holiday, I thought I'd share some HMH collectibles for the month of October.

First, let me say that I love the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. I loved it outside of the Haunted Mansion, but never collected any of the myriad of collectibles available. Of course, that all changed once the two were married into the spooktacular attraction that is Haunted Mansion Holiday. We decided to only collect those items that were directly related to the Mansion. The Haunted Mansion Holiday Events were the best sources for some cool stuff, but you can still find items at Disneyland today. In fact, most of the Haunted Mansion souvenirs available at Disneyland are, indeed, Haunted Mansion Holiday.

So here are a couple of pieces that were available at the Haunted Mansion Holiday Event in 2002 and 2003.

"Inspired by the changing portraits in the hallway of the Haunted Mansion, these lenticular portraits create the illusion of magic as they transform from season to season." -Event Merchandise Brochure

The first one here is the "Jack" measuring 21" x 18" (framed) and limited to 150 pieces. (Click on the images to view larger)

The following year they released "Oogie" measuring 19" x 16" and limited to 120 pieces.

I'm particularly fond of the Oogie print because the colorful bugs that make their way across the pumpkins.

I'm also fond of this print because I gave it to Sam for Christmas several years ago completing his Haunted Mansion lenticular collection.

There is one other Haunted Mansion Holiday lenticular, but I'll save that for another post, primarily because I ran out of light, and the pictures were crappy. But also because it is the one HMH lenticular we're holding on to. These other two lenticulars will be going up on ebay tomorrow. I wanted to share with you fine folks first. If you're interested in purchasing one or both of these pieces, please email me at

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today is Sam's birthday! You all know what kind of year its been for our family, but I have to say that through it all this man has continued to be my inspiration, best friend, and kindred spirit.

Have a most spooktacular birthday, Sam. See you at the Mansion!

P.S. Keep your boney fingers crossed for us. He had an interview yesterday and they called him back for a second interview on Tuesday. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MPC Model Kit - Grave Robber's Reward

I've never constructed a model kit, but if I had the time, proper materials, and a bit more patience, I could probably get into them. I love recreating scenes from the Mansion for our halloween yard haunt, so I can see how these miniature models could appeal to someone like me.

MPC released four Haunted Mansion Model Kits in a series with the new concept of ZAP/ACTION! ( I had to capitalize the zap/action because that is how it is on the box.. MCP must have been excited about this new concept. har har) What I found interesting about these kits beyond the ZAP/ACTION motion, is that 2 of the scenes aren't actually in the Mansion at all, including this first one. When I first saw this kit listed on ebay, I mistook Grave Robber for Grave Digger, you know that scaredy-cat character with his emaciated dog located just outside the gates of the cemetery? Yeah, I guess we actually call him the Caretaker, but anyway, I thought that was the character in this kit. Even after I bought this kit several years ago, I thought the person holding the shovel was the same guy in ride...until I actually read the side of the box.

Did you know there is a little background story to each kit on the side of the box?

I wasn't expecting the picture to show up so tiny, so let me give you the transcript for the story.

1. A lonely light illuminates a dark deed.

2. "They said Ebeneezer's fortune is hid under his coffin" Spoken by the grave robber

3. "Said he was going to take it with him."

4. But a touch of ZAP/ACTION and suddenly...up leaps the ghostly grabber!

5. Grave robber continues to speak, unknowing that the ghostly grabber is almost upon him: "I'll soon be rich... and get to go to college."

Ok, lets stop right here for a moment. College?!?! Really? Is this Disney's way of validating this dark deed.. so this guy can go to college? Maybe this guy was a mortician, because he obviously has no problem hanging around a bunch of dead people, but decided he wanted to be doctor or a lawyer, a much more respectable and profitable career, but didn't get that scholarship to Harvard. Sorry, let's finish this little sordid tale...

6. "Your money's not safe anyplace nowadays," says Ebeneezer!

This just cracks me up! Perhaps the caretaker standing outside the cemetery actually IS the grave robber frozen in fear of Ebeneezer's ghost. After all, he is standing there with the shovel in one hand, and the lonely light in the other, with the same scarf and coat. Circumstantial evidence? And I can't help but wonder if the lure of higher education is what's kept him there for nearly 40 years.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tightrope Girl Tattoo

Susan sent me an email of a tattoo she found on the internet. Its not hers (and I invite the owner of said tattoo to email me PLEASE!), but she thought it was so amazing, she had to share! I had seen this tattoo on doombuggies, but I forgot to save the picture, so thank you, Susan, for reminding me of this inspiring piece of work!

This is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen!! And Susan, when you get your HM tattoo, be sure to send us a pic!

On a personal note, I want to send a thank you for all the emails of encouragement and support. I'm truly touched by your words, and feel the embrace of your thoughts and prayers.

As difficult as it has been to let some of our favorite pieces go, I find joy in knowing that others will have their own history with these pieces. And the money I've made has gone to pay our mortgage, so its going to a really good cause!! :) We're not out of the woods yet, and we have other pieces in mind to sell, so be sure to check back in!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Transformation of Master Gracey Lenticular Pin

"I don't collect pins. I don't collect pins. I don't collect pins."

That was my mantra for the longest time...until I saw this pin. If you don't know by now, Sam loves his lenticulars. Its a sickness, really. He saves them off of cereal boxes, kids toys, junk mail mailers, and of course, anything related to the Haunted Mansion. When I saw this piece on ebay a few years ago, I watched it like a hawk and I couldn't believe it when I won the auction. The good news is, this pin is in excellent shape. The bad news is the box is no longer available. Last year, during spring cleaning, I threw it away! I was making space for other things and I remember saying to myself, "self, you will never get rid of this pin, so why are you holding onto the box?"

Never say never.

This pin is now for sale. **UPDATE** Listed on ebay. See the listing here

Limited Edition of 250 pins: The Transformation of Master Gracey Lenticular Pin by artist Ron Burrage for the WDW Happy Haunts Ball in October 2002.

The pin is a big boy at 3.75" x 2.25". It is encased in a hinged black shadow box, ready for hanging, that measures 11" x 8'. The lid opens up to reveal the lenticular pin, surrounded by cardboard 3-D curtain and fireplace, creating a dramatic and eerie backdrop for this fabulous pin.

Might I add that this little sucker is a tough guy to capture on video and in photographs. The reflective quality of the shadow box proved challenging in all my shots.

email me at

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scary Hitchhiking Ghosts

One of the more unique pieces in our collection originated from the Haunted Mansion Comic Book franchise. One of the artists for the comic book, D.W. Frydendall, had a booth at the Black Market for Bat's Day promoting the comic. Something came over us when we saw this piece...we had never seen any Haunted Mansion art take on a darker, more sinister look and we were drawn to it. We made an offer for this one of a kind piece, he thought we were nuts, and he may be right, but we were thrilled when he agreed.

This piece is a huge at nearly 4 feet across and 3.5 feet tall and is mounted on foam board, making it very light for hanging.

We've loved displaying this piece in our home, using it during the Halloween season in our large picture window to scare the bejeezus out the kidlets. Now we are offering it up for other Haunted Mansion fans to enjoy. As far as I know, this is the only one of its kind. Shipping could prove tricky, but the great folks at my local UPS store are awesome and will figure it out. If you're interested, please shoot me an email.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bankruptcy:Thy Name Is Disney

I remember seeing that catchy title on sometime ago during a discussion about the merchandise release for Disneyland's 50th birthday celebration. I partook in the discussion...partook.. ha ha that is a funny sounding word, and joked about how I would use my kids' college money to get the items Sam and I so desperately wanted. Chill out, Internet, I was just kidding, of course. My kids were going to have to pay for their own college anyway. I didn't take any money from them. :)

But the sad reality of my current situation, is that Sam has been unemployed since February, and while we had savings to hold us over for a few months, that has come and gone (and then some) and we are now bankrupt. For the first time in the 10 years of home ownership, we were not able to pay the mortgage on our house and I realize that the collection with which I have surrounded myself, no longer means anything if I don't have a roof over my family's head. Maybe this was the big lesson I was meant to learn in life. Whatever. I get it now. Lesson learned. Can we move on?

I will be selling certain items of the collection, starting with the Maid and Butler costumes that are pictured in this post. How much has changed in a few short months, back when we thought that we were meant to move to New Hampshire.

Anyway, I want to give my readers a chance at the collection first, because it is far easier to part with pieces when I know they are going to a loving home. (Sounds like I'm adopting out a pet, sheesh!) :)
If there are no serious offers, then I'll probably put them on eekbay, but seeing as how I'm pinching every penny, I'd rather not have to go there. For serious collectors, you might know me as Leotas Child on Doombuggies, so you know I'm an honest collector.

Please email me at with offers on the maid and butler uniforms. Serious offers only, please.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Haunted Mansion Merchandise has really outdone themselves this year with Haunted Mansion themed Halloween home decor.

It seems the folks at recognize that Haunted Mansion fans are infatuated with the Hat Box Ghost, so this year they were sure to not disappoint with a release of a poster.

That's right, folks. A vinyl poster...

It looks as though they recycled the concept art from the Hat Box Ghost Big Fig they released a few years ago, when still loved their Haunted Mansion customers and came out with real merchandise.

I don't mean to sound so sour. Its just that I've come to depend on Disneyshopping to provide the coolest Halloween merchandise for Haunted Mansion fans, and it seems in the past couple of years, the merchandise has lacked creativity and durability.

Here are some other releases for this year.

Tombstones - All these tombstones were released in previous years, but in the past, they all had a plug in light which provided an eerie glow. This year's release eliminated the light feature, which brought down the price a bit, but also lowered the wow/creepy factor the original tombstones had.

I'm not positive, but I wonder if the size is smaller as well. I'll have to pull out the tape measure to confirm.

At any rate, I should be glad that there is anything at all. Who knows, maybe this is just the first round of merchandise. If you've shopped with Disneyshopping at all, you're probably familiar with the fact that often items are released in stages.

Should I be worried to see what they come up with for the 40th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Extinct Attractions Doombuggies Swinging Wake DVD

I'm so pleased to hear that the Doombuggies Swinging Wake DVD by Extinct Attractions is here! This DVD highlights the events from the 10th Anniversary Swinging Wake, along with the special get-together at the Napa Rose with the Disney Legends, including the late Harriet Burns, Bob Gurr, Blaine Gibson, and X Atencio. Neil Patrick Harris was also present. Who knew he was Haunted Mansion freak like the rest of us? :)

You can check out a preview of the video here. Just scroll down a bit.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Snowglobe and a No-Go

OK, So the name that collectibles game was a flop. I'm sitting here, red-faced and feeling the heat from embarrassment coming thru my pores...

while listening to the crickets chirp....

But I can't just leave the question floating around out there like Madame Leota's head.. juuust in case there is that one guy or ghoul who is dying to know... what was that mansion collectible?

If you were thinking the teeny tiny mini mansion snowglobe thingy.. you were right!
try saying that 5 times fast.

This cute little gem plays Grim Grinning Ghosts; it almost sounds like a midi file, and honestly I can tolerate listening to it once every 6 months or so. But I love the little bats that swirl around the Hitchhiking Ghosts, so I find myself picking up this piece quite often just to give it a shake. We bought one several years ago, and they are still available at Disneyland for $12.00.


On a personal note, Sam and I decided that right now is not the time to move to New Hampshire. He is still looking for work, and sending resumes to companies in New Hampshire, but that dream is on hold for now. Sam just had an interview for job working help desk, of all things, and was turned down for being overqualified. His spirits are low and he is very frustrated, so please keep good thoughts for my husband while he is going thru this very challenging time.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

In Memory of Harriet Burns

I am so saddened to hear the passing of Harriet Burns. While our time with her was brief, she left an indelible impression with me and Sam. My heart goes out to her friends and family in this sorrowful time, especially to Blaine Gibson. He and Harriet lived in the same community and he looked after her with such love and admiration. The friendship between them was almost palpable.

Sam and I are sitting here reminiscing about that fateful 24 hours with the Disney Imagineers. I'll never forget how she was so thankful and appreciative of my driving. Sam and I had rented a Town and Country MiniVan for the trip in hopes it would be the most comfortable and roomy of the vehicles available. I had put together a basket filled with a variety of healthy snacks, gum, and bottled water for our guests to enjoy. Because we were late in picking them up the second day, the basket of goodies was a hit on the drive home. X opened the package of gum, while Harriet and Maureen, X's wife, enjoyed the carmel and chocolate mini rice cakes.

Just on the outskirts of town, Harriet mentioned that she needed to pick up a prescription at the local drug store. We offered to take her there, since we were going into town anyway. She was pleased and impressed that I could park that big car into such a tiny parking space. That memory makes me smile. When we said good by, she gave me a kiss on the cheek.

As Sam said, the time spent with Harriet, Blaine, X and Maureen, felt like a road trip with old friends. Its hard to believe that we had only just met. I will miss her dearly.

Harriet Burns Disney Legend Imagineer Bio

Harriet Burns 1928-2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Name that Collectible!

Greeting Guys & Ghouls!

I just feel terrible about the lack of posts lately! You've all been too kind with the emails of encouragement about the move, and the fact that Sam STILL does not have a job. He's trying to go out to New Hampshire by himself to stay for a week to find a job, and somehow, someway, we'll.....follow? Ugh. I don't really like the sound of that, but the man's gotsta getta job!

I mean, seriously. How else are we going to continue our little obsession...especially with the 40th around the corner. Come on people! We need to stimulate the economy here!

Oh, and paying the mortgage would be a good thing, too. See? I have my priorities in order. :)

Ok, so I took some fun shots of this next collectible and as I was picking out the pics I wanted to use, this idea for a game came to me. If it doesn't work, eh.. we won't do it again. But it could be fun. So let's try it!

*in a loud Michael Buffer-style voice*

NAME.... THAT..... COLLECTIBLE-ble- ble-ble.....


So the first person who guesses correctly gets....nothing! Except for my deepest gratitude for playing and utmost respect for your knowledge of Haunted Mansion Collectibles! And if you complain that there is no prize, can I please direct your attention to the beginning of this post. Thank you very much!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Olszewski Disney Pokitpals

Thanks for the emails friends! I appreciate all the suggestions on packing up the collectibles, especially the one that saves me all the packing and I give everything away to a certain unnamed Haunted Mansion fan. Yeah, that gave me a chuckle. Laughter is good, though, during these stressful times. It seems that everything is in order for the move...well, almost everything. You see, there is this one teeny-tiny detail that hasn't quite worked out... but its just a little thing, really. The little thing called a J.O.B.! But more about that later, because right now there is this other teeny-tiny thing I need to share that I'm sure you're all more interested in anyhow...

A few weeks ago Sam and I picked up this nifty little piece called a Pokitpal by famed miniaturist Robert Olszewski. Bonus points to anyone who can tell me how to pronounce Olszewski. Is it Ol-che-ski or Ol-sews-ki? Help me out here, please!

The Haunted Mansion Stretching Portrait Pokitpal is part of the second series released for Disney. This piece is finely crafted with nice detail all around. See for yourself.

Is this Pokitpal actually stretching.....?

Or is it your imagination?

Pay no attention to the chubby fingers...

This piece is just so cute! I only wish they had done the rest of the portraits, as I'm sure every other Haunted Mansion fans wishes. HINT HINT Olchestki, Olshesski, Ol...UGH! I love your work, Robert, and please forgive me for not knowing how to pronounce your last name.

This piece is also special because it will probably be the last Haunted Mansion piece we'll be getting for awhile, with the impending move. Besides, we have to save up to head back to the Mansion for the 40th, so there will be no more buying for awhile! But never fear, there are plenty of other pieces for us to share, that is if we don't sell. Can you believe it? Sam and I actually discussed selling our lenticulars to help fund the move. *gasp!* That is how desperate we are to move to New Hampshire. Thank goodness Sam came to his senses and halted that thought. We'd rather sell our furniture and first born before we sell our Ghost Ship!

Ya'll know I'm kidding about the first born... no hate mail, please! :)

So wish us luck that the right job comes along for Sam! We're thinking about sending him out there without us to get a jump start on things.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Greetings Haunted Mansion fans!

You probably don't remember, but way back in my post about my 24 hours with the Imagineers, I mentioned that in February my husband lost his job. I'm not gonna lie to you. Its been a tough couple of months, but we do believe that everything happens for a reason.

Currently, Sam and I reside in Southern California, about an hour away from Disneyland, which is mighty helpful with an obsessive condition such as ours. So the decision to move away from here hasn't come easy, but in fact that is what is most likely happening. We're not talking about moving from our 4 bedroom house to the town next door. Nooo-oh-ohhh! That would be too easy for us. We're moving 3000 miles away to the opposite coast.

To New Hampshire!

To a 20 acre farm.

Did I mention it was over 3000 miles away? We've google mapped it. That's one looong road trip, folks!

I'll give you a moment to absorb that.

I need a moment, myself.

Actually, our family is extremely excited about this new adventure in our life. Sam is hopefully flying out this week to interview with a company out there. We've already found a house out there, and have a renter for our home. All the pieces seem to be falling into place. So keep your boney fingers crossed that Sam gets this job!

And if there are any Haunted Mansion fans in New Hampshire, lemme know! It would be nice to have some friends in that neck of the woods.. and woods.. and woods. Did you know that New Hampshire is the second most forested state in the nation?

Here are some interesting facts about New Hampshire. Our kids are fascinated with learning as much as they can about their new state. I'm so thrilled they're excited. Being a native to Southern California, I'm most afraid of #48.

The other thing I'm most afraid of is packing up this expansive collection of ours. Seriously. I need advice. I never thought I'd move, so I didn't save boxes to the bigger pieces. So, if any of you fans have some moving advice or lessons learned from your moving adventures, please share. Please. Don't make me beg.

Here's a picture of our Haunted Mansion room, where the collection started and from where it has since spread. This was taken back in 2006, so the collection has expanded quite a bit.

I think a playful spook must have left that black hairbrush on the tile. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mummy's Day!

Mummy's Day, ha ha. Get it?

Bad, I know. But let's be honest. You don't come here for my humor. Thank goodness. There are plenty of other super terrific blogs for that.

Collectibles, that's why you're here. And have I said thanks lately for stopping by? No?!
Well, thanks friends for stopping by! We have new friends from Kuwait, Portugal, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Viet Nam, New Zealand, Greece, India, Italy, Argentina, Ecuador, Ireland, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Croatia, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

Hey, It's Mother Day. I can be proud of my baby.

Oh yeah, I'm kind of fond of those 2 kidlets I birthed some years ago. :) I really appreciated my breakfast in bed today.

So, looking around to find a Haunted Mansion collectible with the mummy on it was a little difficult. Although in all honesty, I didn't really spend a great deal of time looking. Outside of comic books and pins, I couldn't find anything. So if you collectors out there know of something I've missed, please let me know.

I'm not a huge fan of pins. Pin collectors, don't hate me! Think of me as one less competitor! :) But Sam and I did pick this set up when it hit the clearance bin on I do like it because of the display quality and the nifty storage inside the house. I can keep other collectibles inside this one and I do. And that's good. Because we are running out of room.

Hmmm, pins are compact, easy to store, don't weigh a ton. Maybe collecting pins isn't such a bad idea after all....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Avanzino Signing Event at the Disneyland Resort

I had a nice, but interesting weekend at the Disneyland Resort. It was my birthday and I wanted to go to the Food and Wine Festival to meet Dave Avanzino for the Artists signing. Apparently, there is an unspoken, unwritten rule about what Dave can sign. The Disney Gallery website stated that the Artists could only sign their respective merchandise, limit 2 per guest, and no personal items.

So I thought, silly me, that I could have him sign the Haunted Mansion Shadow box (that we purchased from Disneyland about a month ago) and his Room for One more piece (from the Happy Haunts Ball event). I thought we had understood the small print on the Disney Gallery website fairly well. But Martha, you know Martha, she plans all these events, was there to make sure that Dave only signed items that were purchased right there at the park, on that day. Boy, are we stupid or what? How did we miss that? According to Martha, all collectors know that rule. According to her, she's been doing these events for years and has never had anyone not understand that the Artists will only sign if you purchase the item right then and there.

Dave, who had been willing to sign the pieces, looked embarrassed, and Sam was clearly frustrated. He even tried to tell Martha that we had purchased the shadow box at Disneyland earlier in the day, but then Martha wanted to see the receipt. Ooops, foiled again! That's when I remembered my phone, and pulled up the website and zoomed in on the small print on the Disney Gallery page. It didn't say Artists can only sign items purchased at the park on that particular day. So I showed my phone to Martha, we had a nice conversation about the rules, which now I completely understand, and she allowed Dave to sign our Shadowbox piece, even though we hadn't purchased it that day. She wouldn't allow him to sign the other piece because it was from a Disney Florida event.

Ok, so even though we are collectors, and have attended several Disney events, we are obviously incredibly naive. It was our second time meeting Dave, but the first time we had ever attended one of these Artists signing events.

So the weekend was interesting. I did get to tell Dave that his shadowbox is one of my all time favorite pieces. He said it was one of his, as well. He also mentioned that he is currently working on something for the Haunted Mansion 4oth event. Oh, and Martha mentioned that she would have to change the small print for future signing events.

Didn't mean to be such a troublemaker...

To top off my birthday weekend, Sam surprised me with the Olszewski Haunted Mansion miniature. I was not expecting to ever to get this piece. Sam, you're the best husband EVER!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Thanks Friends!

My friends Guy and Natalie gave me the coolest cards and gifts for my birthday! They’re so thoughtful.

With a starbucks carmel frappuccino in one hand, and my camera in the other, I’m on my way to Disneyland for a weekend of magical birthday family fun. I’m hoping to get some spooky shots of my home away from home...The Haunted Mansion.

I'm digging my new Randotti replicas! Thanks Guy