Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday Coffee Talk/ Oct.8: Author, Genella deGrey

Today on TCT I have a special lady that I've gotten to know better in the past couple of years. I first met Genella at an Romantic Times convention and since, I have discovered not only what a talented writer she is, but a genuine article, great human being!

Genella has some books coming out this next year that I hope we can nudge her to talk about, but I asked if she would tell us a bit about her tenure as a resort decorator for Disney in Anaheim, Ca.

Can you imagine a more fun job? This from a woman who got to go Disney back lot  in Orlando with a group of band students performing in the afternoon Main street parade. It's all very tight security and I was just in Disney heaven!
So to honor her chatting about her Disney days and costumes (her other love!)

I've taken liberty of hunting down and dragging, inviting a few live actiion Disney heroes to our cozy kitchen today to help keep our toes warm on this chilly autumn day! See how many you can name(real names)  and what DISNEY movie they appeared in. Post your answers in the comment section and I'll pick one winner at random to send a special treat! ( No tricks involved and I can tell you its yummy sweet!)

Come on in here G. and grab a cuppa!

Hi Amanda - happy Autumn everyone!

This is my favorite time of year, for several reasons – Halloween being one of them.

So in honor of the modern way in which we celebrate Halloween, let's talk costumes and decorations!

Do you dress-up every year (whether you have kiddies or not) or only for Halloween parties?

Where do you get your ideas for your costume?

Do you plot and plan your ensemble out or do you head to your local Target and choose from the "what's popular this year" selection?

Do you go all out and do hair and makeup, too or just make it work with a decent hat or wig?

One of my favorite ways to plan a Halloween costume begins all the way back at the beginning of September. (In case you don't know it, I'm a total costume spaz.) I like to "haunt" the local thrift stores way in advance and see what sparks an idea. If I see something I know will likely be snatched up by another costume hunter, I grab it then and there. Thus begins my journey into the perfect costume.

Now for the decorations. Atthe Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, (for the Resort Enhancement Team, anyway) Christmas begins in June/July. Crazy, huh? I worked there in 2003 and thought it jarring at first when we began dragging out the old decorations, refurbishing them and/or bringing new ideas to life. It didn't take me very long to totally fall in love with decorating, no matter the season. (I obviously don't bat an eyelash anymore when Macy*s brings out their Christmas trees in early October. LOL) 2004 was the first year The Disney Resorts began decorating for Halloween. I had the privilege in 2003 of seeing some of their Autumn ideas they would execute the following year. Given my adoration for Disney and my unabashed love of Halloween, I can only imagine I would be salivating all over the place had the position with the Resort Enhancement Team been a permanent one. It must be illegal to love a job so much. :)

Here in Los Angeles over the passed five years or so, I've noticed more and more people are decorating their houses for Halloween – not just by hanging their kids' pictures in the window, but going ALL OUT. Some go spooky and turn their front yards into grave yards with smoke and black light. Others do it up with Jack-o-lanterns and orange or purple light strings hung kind of like traditional Christmas lights. Still others have a harvest theme with scarecrows and tons of uncut pumpkins and strangely twisted gourds and squash. I must confess: I love it all—so much so that it makes me giddy.

However you choose to decorate or for whichever holiday, try putting a theme to your creation. For instance, if you are doing a Christmas wreath and decide that Angels are your theme, (and you could probably go to any dollar store or craft store to find the following items) begin with a pine wreath (faux or real with a bit of gold spray glitter around the edges) try placing white angel feathers, little golden harps, white twinkle lights and anything else you can pull from the theme around the wreath.

If you'd like to add a winter theme, sprinkle in tiny snowflakes (either wired in or glued) and use blue twinkle lights in place of or in addition to the white ones. I can never get enough of twinkle lights, but that's just me. ;)

See how we jumped from Halloween to Christmas? Another reason I love this season is because it kicks off the holidays.

Thanks for having me, Amanda!

Hugs to everyone –



Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Good Morning Ms. Genella!! And of course good moring to you Ms A! Oh... are these fine gentlemen pouring the coffee this morning... if so, I will have each one of them. Oh, I mean a cup of each! LOL!

Well, I am sucky at names and movies... So, I will gracefully bow out! But I DO LOVE THIS POST!!! Why... um... cuz... my bday is the day before Halloween!! And I absolutely love dressing up and decorating my house all Orange and Black. Growing up when I was younger, kids thought I was nuts because my favorite colors were orange and black! Well *shrugs* lol! But oh man, Genella, what an awesome job to have! That must have been very cool to do... decorate the resort. I am just happy decorating my house!
Well, ladies I shall return in a little bit... must go to the kitchen to get me some more coffee... with all these delicious men!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Hey Cecile! Oh you could easily do this but since everyone might not be a Disney freak like me;) I'm going to give you a hint...starting at the top here are the movies:
1)Pirates of the Carribean
3)Escape to Witch Mountain(new version)
5)Princess Diaries

now, just look those movies up and you ought to be able to come up with the names!
Another lure:
we're talking GODIVA chocolates here....
come on, you know you want to go for it!


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Oh damn... such a big time sucker for Godiva!! Going hunting right now...
1. Johnny Deep as Capt Jack Sparrow
2. James Marsden as Prince Edward
3. The Rock dont know his character! But he is hot
4. Patrick Dempsey as Robert Philip
5. Chris Pine as Nicholas Devereaux

Okay... with the help from Ms. A, I was able to do this... How did I do?!

The things I do for chocolate!!! LOL!!

Amanda McIntyre said...

I fear I don't do much at Halloween other than transform my yard in to Linus and his Pumpkin patch..okay, so there is the giant inflated lighted pumpkin and the floodlighhts shining on Snoopy rising in front of a giant full moon behind the bushes...and the music that I play everytime the doorbell rings...

so it takes my entire family to set out the pumkins and haul handfuls of leaves to cover all the lighting cords.

It is so worth it to see the little ones eyes light up when they come to the door!

My kids will tell you that I've never been into the moderne day version of Halloween--I made them make their costumes always--except for occasional accessories...
I even tea-dyed old sheeting once on the stove to make my sons mummy costume...

yep, those were the days...
I do have one tradition though and thats to watch Rocky Horror and Hocus Pocus...


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

I was in dancing when I was younger, so my Mom recycled my costumes from dance revues. Which was cool with me, because that meant being a ballerina again! And how cool is that!
Now that I am older... To give candy out on Halloween, I do not dress up. Here, by the time you get home from work and trick or treating starts, you don't have time to do anything. But my garage is always decorated... normally from my bday party. Last year was spiders and bones. This year... it is gorge! The Chop Shop! But outside my house and inside my house... it is all pumpkins, cute and Snoopy too!
Now for my bday parties... I do dress up in full get up. But I am normally something I do not want to the kiddies to see me in **Evil grin** Yea... I turn into a sex kitten... no just joking!
And of course Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin story is going to run a few times, Hubby will watch the Gorgy movies on Chiller or whatever channel they had, Hocus Pocus is playing and Halloween Town on the Disney channel will play non stop too!!
OH gosh I love this month!!!!!!!

Genella deGrey said...

Hi everyone!

Johnny just topped off my coffee with two fingers of rum. Not complainin' - just sayin'.

What a great month for a birthday, Cecile! I use my Floating Holiday from work every year for Halloween. This year we will be going to Disneyland on the 30th (anyone surprised? LOL) so I'll raise an icy-cold diet Coke to you in honor of your b-day, hon! :)

Amanda! Linus and his Pumpkin patch! What a GREAT theme!! Just last year I introduced all three Charlie Brown holiday DVD's to my youngest son. He loves them as much as I do.

I would love to see pix of your yard when you are finished – day time and night pix, if you please. (I don't want much, do I? LOL)

With my first two kids I was a stay-at-home mom. One year on a thrift store run, I found enough goodies to make my son Captain Hook and my daughter Tinkerbelle. I'm most proud of those two costumes. I found a long green shirt for her and cut the bottom into points. For him I found a red blazer and we built the costumes from there. I have pix somewhere . . . but remember, that was a LONG time ago. :)

My traditional Halloween movies are (of course, the list grows every year):

- Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (HUGE Tim Burton fan, here!)

- Beetlejuice (Tim)

- Peanuts Halloween (but I can't seem to see just one, I have to see Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.)

- Sleepy Hollow (Yup, another Tim Burton film.)

- Edward Scissorhands (check!)

- Corpse Bride (double-check!)

- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tim)

You have no idea how excited I am about Tim's "Dark Shadows." You know that will be added to my list – and likely Alice in Wonderland, too.


Amanda McIntyre said...

well lucky you Cecile!! email me at with your snail mail and we'll get you soem yummy chocolate to scarf down whilst you read!! LOL


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Oh yayayyayayayaayya for me!!! I sent you an email!! I want to thank Ms. G for hanging out with us today!!! It is nice getting to know new to me people!! It was a pleasure to offically met you... I have seen you at the LIT place, but it was nice to see a glimpse of your side!
I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!!!
You rock Ms. A!

Anonymous said...

Blowing kisses to Cecile**

I hope to meet you in the flesh at RT this April, Cecile!