Oct 18, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 18 - Halloween Old Maid

Three years ago, my Ebay search for Halloween games turned up these original Old Maid cards by Justine Ehlers. You may know her on Twitter as @justine_oct31 or from her blog, Justine's Halloween. Since Halloween games are so scarce, let alone ones with original artwork, I had to get them.

Old Maid Halloween card game by Justine Ehlers

The cards are about a half inch larger than index cards and professionally printed.
There are 37 cards featuring 18 pairs of cards and the lonely Old Maid.
Even if Old Maid's not your game, these are great for putting around the house as decoration. Or you could even use them as a memory match type game with the kids.

Old Maid Halloween card game by Justine Ehlers

Who knew that I'd end up becoming tweet and blogger buddies with her down the road?
I convinced her (ok it didn't take much) to be my first interview for the blog.

A: Was there something that got you into painting or did you pick it up at a young age?
JE: I've always loved creating art as far back as I can remember, so there wasn't a specific incident that got me into it. Creating art is just a part of me. I started painting more than drawing during college, probably because paint is more freeing to work with. You don't need to have complete control over that medium.

A: Do you have any particular influences, whether artists, TV/movies or music?
JE: Yes, I've always been fascinated by Edward Gorey illustrations. I'm told that I used to run into the room when my parents were watching Mystery! on PBS just to see the Edward Gorey introduction to the show. I must have been really young, because I have no memory of doing that. I guess the music drew me into the room and I'd sit there mesmerized in front of the TV until the introduction was over. I believe his art has always influenced mine. It's influenced my compositions and the tone of some of my work, though my artistic style is very different from his.

I'm drawn to mysterious art and organic shapes. That's why I also feel influenced by 1960s poster art and the French poster designs from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Actually anything from the Victorian era, whether it's art, fashion, or architecture is an influence for me.

As movies go, I'm not sure if any movies have consciously affected my art. I say consciously, because I often watch movies while I'm painting and what I'm seeing is probably affecting what I'm creating. That's why I try to choose movies or music that fit the mood of what I'm trying to make. I remember a time when I was painting a figure of a man while watching an old VHS tape of the Dark Shadows show. The man I was painting ended up looking an awful lot like Barnabas Collins. I was surprised to see the resemblance once the painting was finished. So that just goes to show that I should be careful of what I watch while painting!

A: Most people's love of Halloween starts when they're young. Do you have an especially fond memory of a Halloween past that you'd like to share?
JE: Oh wow. There are a lot of fond Halloween memories I have from childhood, so it's hard to choose one. An especially happy memory I have is from when I was in grade school, probably around second grade. My family had a Halloween party and everyone was dressed up. We had doughnuts hanging from the basement ceiling on strings and people were trying to eat them. That story probably sounds goofy, but I'm sure the hanging doughnuts were part of a party game like bobbing for apples. I don't remember anyone being too successful in getting the doughnuts, but it's a funny memory.

A: If you had the opportunity to do a large "over the fireplace painting" like you see in the movies, what would you do?
JE: Hmm... That's something I've never thought about. Well, in the kind of movies I watch, the painting over the fireplace is always a portrait of a long gone relative. The portrait always looks very serious as if it's watching all the characters in the movie. I don't think I'd like to paint anything like that, but a large forest scene would be cool.

Big thanks to Justine for answering my questions!
This may be something I test out a little more down the road with other bloggers, stay tuned!

You can find Justine online at the following sites
Etsy store, where you can buy these cards
Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 
countdown to halloween 2012 logo


  1. Pretty cool. I like her style, especially the creepy Old Maid herself looking down her nose at everyone. I've never been much of a card shark and I'm terrible at poker, so games like this and Go Fish are more my speed.

  2. Hey Dex! Thank you so much for featuring my cards and interviewing me for this post. :) Yeah, how cool for you to have some of my art years before we even became friends! I hope you feature a few more interviews on your blog. It's always fun to learn a little more about people. So have you been playing any games of Old Maid or do you use these more as a decoration?

    Jaime ~ I just read your comment and thank you! :)

    1. Nope, no scorching games of Old Maid in the Dex household.

      I really like your Halloween memory because I'm all about the retro stylings of the holiday.

  3. I have Justine's fabulous Halloween Old Maid deck too! :D I bought it soon after discovering her blog. A great interview! I love reading posts like this. It's always so interesting to learn a little more about the person behind the art!

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping to be able to do more in the future so readers (and myself!) can get to know some of the people I interact with regularly and get them to check out their blogs/projects as well.