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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

2013 Jack O'Lantern

on October 29, 2013 - 1:57pm

I thought I was being a good girl by leaving my pumpkin untouched on the porch. I bought it a bit early, and while I've read that some people carve their pumpkin as early as a week ahead of the big day, my pumpkins never last that long (mainly because they spend part of their evenings in my office). 

I left him on the porch to stay cool and happy.

However, the milder weather we've been having seems to have caused my pumpkin to get some moldy patches.

I rushed it inside, chopped off the bottom, carved out as much of the mold as I could, and I have him soaking in a water bath with a bit of bleach in the hope to help it stick around until at least Friday morning. 

Here's what he looked like prior to his soaking in my sink ;)

Happy Halloween, folks! Two days left! 

Hang on, Mr. Pumpkin. 

Joshua Hoffine's "Black Lullaby" Kickstarter Project

on October 28, 2013 - 8:53pm

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know I'm a fan of Joshua Hoffine's photography. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife (then fiancée) Jennifer a few years ago when I bought his print "Death" a few years ago.

Before you pick up that discounted copy of a B-horror film, or buy a pumkin spiced latte, or buy clearance Halloween items, let me direct you to a better cause for your $10 to be spent on. 

And I say $10 specifically because I know money is tight everywhere. Believe me. I know. 

But even that little bit of cash can help to support something pretty cool. 

He has a kickstarter project called Black Lullaby which I just pledged $30 towards. He's in the process of making a short film inspired by his collection of photographs and needs some help with shooting the final monster appearance plus all that post production goodness. Watch the video below to learn more directly from the man himself.

The Weekend Before Halloween

on October 26, 2013 - 9:04am

While Halloween is the official night, this weekend is the star of the season when it comes to celebrating. Many people are running around trying to get last minute decorations up and grocery shopping done for their parties tonight. Others are still figuring out what to wear to these parties. 

Me? A few years ago I switched my party date from Saturday to Sunday. Since my gatherings are more laid back and often include dinner, I decided to free my faithful guests from the burden of choosing which invitation to accept, or which party to leave early so they could get to the next one.

I really like the laid back feel of celebrations on a Sunday evening. And as we get older, and my friends have children and careers, I find my guests appreciate it too. They come by after 6, and folks start heading home around 10, leaving a few of us chatting until midnight.

I've run out of time to do any additional decorating. I have work, then grocery shopping. Last night I put up some last minute fun items: the red sign (top left) that reads "Hell: Where Afterlife Means Afterparty" (much more exciting than Heaven's sign of "Purgatory is Temporary. Heaven is Forever", top right).

I put up two old school black silhouettes painted on craft paper (you can see the spider bottom right).  And played with lighting. 

This post is dedicated to all the host and hostesses who are rushing around like maniacs today, worrying that the spider cupcakes aren't going to turn out, or regretting they didn't have enough time to get that prop in the bathtub. 

Have fun tonight kiddies. Be safe.

 

Little Red Souls

on October 23, 2013 - 11:43pm

It looks like the heavenly display is close to finished, so tonight was dedicated to getting 4 of the souls who chose Hell hung in the dining room.

Instead of using cheesecloth, I re-purposed the fabric from last year's Twin Peaks Black Lodge red waiting room. Folding, pinning, and hanging each one into various forms, I tried to get some interesting shapes and hints at stance and mass. 

I think they'll look pretty cool under proper lighting.

I still have 6 more to get into place. Hopefully that will be completed tomorrow night. 

Getting into that stage where it's about last minute final touches. A layer of material here. A sign there.

Some of it is still not quite right, but those should sort themselves out.

Sunday night is the big reveal.

I still have to grocery shop and put together the menu that goes along with the theme. 

And then there's that pesky work thing that always gets in the way.

But for now, it's time to sleep. 

 

Making Heavenly Souls

on October 22, 2013 - 3:42pm

I'm still adding finishing touches to the these souls, but so far I like how these simple props are turning out. 

They still need proper lighting and a bit more cheesecloth, but overall I've achieved the effect I wanted with little cost.

I only had $30 to soend on this year's projects. It's a drop in the bucket compared to past years. Luckily I had picked up the paper mache masks on clearance last November. All I needed to buy was the cheesecloth. 

5 packages of 15 ft lengths of cheesecloth. 

Budget spent.

Everything else I had around the house including:

  • paint
  • wire
  • paper towels
  • paper towel tubes
  • tape
  • black tissue paper
  • glue & glue gun
  • invisible thread
  • those packing pillows of air. I have no idea what they are officially called. It's literally a square of air. 

These would look nicer with more cheesecloth, but I think I did ok. Besides, these are not 'really ghosts, they are souls in my mind. For some reason I don't think souls have arms even in a physical manifestation, and that saved on material.

I've taken a few pictures of the process I made up as I went along. Are there better ways to build them? I am sure there are, but this worked for me and my limited resources. Let's jump into the quick how-to.

Revival Poster

on October 21, 2013 - 11:38pm

While I don't feel Heaven would promote itself to recruit souls at the end of the world like Hell would (in my imaginings, anyway), I do think they would offer their own itinerary. 

Luckily, I was able to find a vintage publication advertising a revival by John Rice, the man who wrote the book that inspired this year's theme.

I've printed it out and attached it to the official sign-up-in-Heaven's-good-book I put together. 

Pictures of that soon, but in the meantime, click the photo if you want to see the large original image of the revival ad. 

 

Enticing Souls to Hell

on October 19, 2013 - 9:19am

What if Hell took a tradeshow approach to entice souls to choose the fiery pits for their eternal stay? This is what I asked myself when I read a theory that souls actually must choose hell instead of just being cast down (as I was traditionally taught in childhood). 

What could Hell possibly offer that might sway spirits to their side? In a very tongue-in-cheek way, I came up with a list. I thought about not only traditional sin, but items various churches or religious institutions across the Christian bodies have banned or decried sinful.

And I've started to build a basic booth for my Halloween party theme of "Judgment Day: the Last Revival".

First thing is books (as seen in the sample here). I chose Harry Potter, To Kill  A Mockingbird, Astrology, and Darwin's Theories.

Next I played with the idea of recreation: trips to Vegas, Horror Movie Nights, and classic cartoons for the kids (and the kids in all of us). 

Theme for 2013 is "Judgement Day: The Last Revival"

on October 18, 2013 - 4:27pm

It looks like I may indeed get the house decorated in time. It's a theme that's been waiting to be brought into being since last year when I spotted this book, When Skeletons Come Out of the Closets by John R. Rice.

Here's a description of this collection of sermons:

"When Skeletons Come Out of Closets was preached in a red hot revival service. Preacher - here is the way it's supposed to be done. Christian - there is water here if your soul needs an oasis. Seeker of truth - if you are worried about life after death, about how to have peace with God--here is the answer from God's word, the Holy Bible. 'Everybody that goes to hell gets exactly what he deserves. He walks up to the ticket window and pays his own fare to hell -- in wages! But everybody that goes to heaven rides on a free pass.'"

John Richard Rice was a Baptist preacher born in Texas in 1895. He wrote more than 200 publications, apparently selling 60 million copies of his work. He had a radio show called  the Voice of Revival that aired on 69 stations in 29 states, broadcasting his evangelical sermons to folks at home.

 
I have always been intrigued by old fashioned American tent revivals.  They always seemed like such intense spectacles, full of extreme spiritual enthusiasm, and a little frightening to behold as a big city Catholic girl.
 
When I saw the book online, I did some research. Not only did I learn about Dr. Rice, but I actually found a recording of him (note: link works in Chrome, but not in Firefox) talking about what happens when the skeletons come out of their closets at the time of judgement. And it's a frightening story, far more terrifying than any horror movie.
 
I was instantly hooked. My next theme was picked before I had even had that year's party. 
 
I started to brush up on my Revelations knowledge and the various theories about Heaven and Hell that are held under the Christian umbrella and its different houses. 
 
I toyed with the idea of doing a frightening end of the world spin, but wanted to play more with Judgment Day and revivals.Besides, there's so much that can be done with Revelations on its own, it really demands more time than I have.

Hell No: The Sensible Horror Film

on October 15, 2013 - 11:29pm

The horror movie I've been waiting for.

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Neon Halloween and Disney Souveniers

on October 14, 2013 - 11:59pm

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. I'm thankful for Halloween. 

To show just how thankful I am, I spent a bit of time decorating my office. 

The best part of decorating my office is that unlike the rest of the house, I feel like I can decorate any way I like. I don't care if it matches a theme or looks artistic or spooky. It's about what makes me smile. And this year, that's Disney. And neon.

A friend picked up some neon signs on clearance last year and was kind enough to send a box of them my way. I was excited to break them out and light them up. 

You can see in the picture on the right the first glimpse of Disney. While waiting for some vegetables to roast, I passed the time cutting out some Mickey Bats which are ridiculously cute. 

The last thing I need or can justify buying is a stuffed animal, but on my vacation I could not resist the Frankenweenie plush. 

You can't leave Disney without a set of Mickey Ears. I am pretty sure security tackles you to the ground near the exit if you are earless. I decided to pick up the Jack O'lantern Mickey ears made more adorable by the fact that you can lift the stem of the pumpkin top to reveal Chip and Dale inside.

But the coolest thing is easily the Haunted Mansion Hourglass.

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