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Halloween

Retro Halloween Pictures Starring Ghoul Friday

on October 16, 2011 - 10:33am

On the About page, at the very bottom, I've added a little collage of pictures of me as a little ghoul at Halloween.

The banner leads to a full story of my favourite Halloween memory (a guest post I'd written for another blog in 2010). 

AND there's now a link to the image of the fabled spray painted tombstone on the wall (on the About page too), with the first prop I ever made. 

Paper Monsters

on October 8, 2011 - 8:36am

Macula has offered up some free paper toys with Halloween themes.

And there's quite a lot of them!

Witches, pumpkins, Frankenstein monsters, vampires, zombies, cyclops, unicorns...any scary creature you can imagine.

They are all posted at the top of the page. Simply scroll through the images, click the one you like, and download.

Get out your trusty-dusty scissors, a bit of glue (or tape) and get going!

I think it's a great way to spend a Thanksgiving weekend. Sadly, unlike most of my Canadian counterparts, I have to work.

Have a Happy Gobble Gobble Day, everyone!

Who Says Plastic Doesn't Have Panache?

on October 6, 2011 - 11:16am

Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Who's the ghoulish of them all?

Wait. Don't answer that. Let me pretend it is I.

Here is the first makeover mystery item from buycostumes.com.

In this post I'll show you how to add simple detailing anyone can do. I'll then continue with uncomplicated dressing ideas, and eventually (as it isn't dark in my part of the world right now) I'll share with you how this style can be dramatically altered using lighting.

I have a store-bought mirror that reflects images upside down.

The frame and "glass" are made of plastic (issue number 1 I'll be focusing on).

The size is 14" H x 21" W which is pretty decent. Placed in a hallway or a nook of the room, it would work well as a focal point. But if you want to display it on a large wall, it suddenly looks smaller than it is (issue number 2 I'll be focusing on).

Plus, the mirror itself has a curved back (in order to create the upside down effect). The dressing approach I use will camouflage that as well.

Let's begin with adding depth and texture with acrylics.

The Return of the Children of the Candy Corn of the Damned II

on October 4, 2011 - 11:51am

Andrew Bell is the artist behind the monsters on The Creatures in My Head.

He constantly updates with illustrations of playful creatures - often drooling and with bad posture - that always make me smile (even the ones that are decidedly sad).

Today was no exception, for what should appear in my blog feed but a post entitled "Out Out Damned Corn (Patient 0)" with this new figure.

At 4″x7″ high (including the glass dome with wooden base), I think I could certainly make room for him in my house. 

Be sure to follow the links above and check out all the images.

(Updated: Oh look! He has a friend)

Halloween in a Box

on October 3, 2011 - 10:44am

As you know, every year I choose a different theme for my Halloween parties. Based on that theme, I assemble a collection of ghoulish goodies to display: some I make from recyclable items you find around the house; some are store bought items that have been given a makeover of some sort.

I've shared with you my work so far this year - the lanterns, the candle skulls, the ingredient jars and the organ specimens.

Now comes the fun part.

The folks from buycostumes.com have sent me a box of haunter treats to play with.

Five items, to be exact. And they've arrived.

Two will be getting a simple paint upgrade.

And the other three - including two larger items - will receive more attention as they will be the stars of this year's theme.

What is this year's theme? You know I won't reveal that just yet. I will say it's more like a scene telling the story of a lost soul. And an unfortunate soul.

Project Idea: Skulls, Candles and Books

on September 16, 2011 - 1:19pm


For this Misgivings Day Weekend, why not make one of these? It's super simple to make. And I mean, who doesn't need a Skull Candle Holder?

Closer to Halloween, I will be adding webbing (using a webgun), but for now here's the (almost) finished image. All you need is a skull (the ones from the dollar store work great), PVC pipe (or you could use a paper towel roll or tall can), hot glue gun, paint, and whatever you want to attach your skull to (I used fake books).

Most of the skulls you find at the dollar store look like they are from the the dollar store. But if the shape of the skull is good, then you can easily spruce it up with some paint.

When I first bought the foam skull, it was yellow (see the side-by-side image below). I took some watered down black paint (a wash) and added more shadows around the jaw, the eyes...basically anywhere there was a contour.

Using PVC for Candle Projects

on September 16, 2011 - 7:17am


Last September I hosted a make & take where Hector of Blackstone Cemetery showed us his tricks for making PVC candles.

While it's possible to make candles using paper towel rolls or cans, you may want something sturdier. PVC pipe is a good choice (assuming you have the tools to cut up the pipe).

He showed us his different methods of creating a shelf inside the PVC pipes where the LED candle lights would sit. The first option was using expanding foam (see the image below, far right). Basically, you fill it up, let it dry and slice off the overflow so it's flush with the edge of the PVC pipe. Then you need to cut out a circle in the middle to drop the candle light in. There are various drill attachments you can use to do so, or you're faced with the task of doing it by hand.

The second method (favoured by Hector over the first method) is using simple pipe insulation.

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Vice

on July 19, 2011 - 10:04am

snake in a jar
To round out my jar project, here are some specimen (or ingredient) jars.

I haven't finished putting them all together, but you get a sense of where I'm going with this.

How are they made? Simple. I coated the inside with watered down white glue and let them dry. Then the fun part begins: figuring out what I have around the house that could be creepy ingredients.

The cool thing about the glue-haze is it allows me to use items I might shy away from normally, because the grimy-screen blots out the details of the item inside. For example, the tiny rubber snake (pictured right) would not strike fear in a four-year old, but placed in the jar, and carefully glued into place with a little epoxy at certain angles, it suddenly looks a little more plausible that my critter is alive.

Jar Lanterns

on July 16, 2011 - 5:37pm

The second project with the jars was to make simple lanterns (or candle holders, if you prefer). Pictures and a quick how-to below.

Sundays Are For Candle Making

on July 11, 2011 - 9:34am

I spent most of my hot and humid Sunday hidden away in my office, trying to forget the heat outside. The best way I know to do that is to make things for Halloween.

A total of 19 candle stubs are ready for their part in my jar project. They are made with hot glue, acrylic paint, toilet paper rolls, and LED candles.

If you're waiting to see the final product of the jars, it'll be posted soon (not quite done). If you'd like to learn more about how I made these, I've included some pictures and basic instructions below.

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