Skip directly to content

party

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.

Halloween Party Food Preparation Tip

on October 26, 2012 - 2:31pm

It's Halloween party weekend for many of us. I can feel the anxiety from here, rising like steam from party hosts.

If, like me, you like to make most of the food you serve at parties (or, also like me, you can't afford to have it catered), do yourself a favor and prepare as much of it as you can before the day of the party. 

Many foods like soups and chilies freeze wonderfully, so make them early. 

Prep for dish ingredients - chopping, roasting, grating, etc - can also be done ahead of time, ready to be assembled on the day. 

I put a list of items I'm making on the fridge with 3 columns: prepped, made, served. If dishes have more than one component (for example, herb butter for a squash soup, or homemade dip with vegetables), I list them together. This helps prevent the last minute "I forgot to make the salsa for the nacho dip!" or even worse, you forget to bring out part of the dish when serving. 

As I go along, I add a check mark to each column.

Honestly, this is a life saver. It also is handy for anyone who is helping you serve. They can look at the list and know how many things they should be looking for.

Doing a lot of work beforehand means doing considerably less work on the day of the party. Plus, you are less likely to end up stuck in the kitchen while your guests are there. It's YOUR party. You deserve to have fun too.

Laura Palmer Wall Decoration

on October 25, 2012 - 11:03am

"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." 

It's got to be one of my favourite movie lines of all time. Mainly because of the way it's delivered.

While I am steering away from miscellaneous Twin Peaks references and imagery and focusing on the Black Lodge elements, I knew from the start I probably should include Laura Palmer's death in some way. It's a major part of the overall plot of the series, but it also is integral to the Black Lodge storyline. 

When I realized I had one big blank spot left on a wall in the living room. I decided to come up with something that represented - directly - the death of Laura Palmer. 

I'd toyed earlier with wrapping up my mannequin torso in plastic, putting a blonde wig on her and having an actual wrapped up corpse in the room but it didn't go with the overall feel of the decorations and symbolism I've been using. 

I thought it would look kinda...blatant, crude and clumsy against the other decorations.

Instead, I came up with my...I don't know what to call it...Laura Palmer wreath? It's about 2 feet around.

It turned out nicer than I thought it would. 

So, how did I make it? 

Simple.

Halloween in the Black Lodge

on October 10, 2012 - 7:14am

 

(picture from adaytimesinner on deviant art)

I had a grand theme planned for this year. Several large sculpting projects. One huge build. 

When September 1st hit, I realized I wasn't going to have the time or the budget to execute the plan this year (but maybe next year). As the start of September crept closer to mid-September, I started to panic. I couldn't decide on what to do. Finally I asked myself "if you could incorporate any theme into your Halloween party decor, just for your own enjoyment (as opposed to what I think would look really cool), what would it be?"

Well, THAT'S easy. Twin Peaks.

Huh. 

And just like that, this year's theme was decided.

I'm a big Twin Peaks fan. I would drop everything and run away with Agent Dale Cooper in a heartbeat. I've been to the real Twin Peaks (twice), sat in the real Double R Diner, and had coffee black as midnight on a moonless night with a plate of cherry pie.

I've refined the theme a bit, of course. I could do a general Twin Peaks party, but I wanted to stay true to the Halloween element. I'm designing the decor around the Black Lodge/White Lodge concept (for those who never watched the show, basically it's believed there are good and bad realms the spirit must to pass through, and where evil/goodness presides).

Pages