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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). 

Second Batch of Black Lodge Pictures

on October 30, 2012 - 3:02pm

"Through the dark of futures past

The magician longs to see

One chants out between two worlds

'Fire walk with me'

I'll catch you with my death bag

You may think I've gone insane

But I promise

I will kill again"

Here is the second batch of pictures.

You got to see a preview of the Laura Palmer decoration earlier, and now here it is up on the wall.

I do like the simplicity of using crumpled brown craft paper for the quote "She's dead. Wrapped in Plastic". Something earthy about it, and a sense of being disposable (easily thrown away in the trash). 

I used the craft paper for cave symbols across the room too. And of course, the brown paper bags for the Sycamore tree lanterns. 

The chess game and playing cards with the faces changed are hat tips to Windom Earle, and the poker chips are for "One Eyed Jacks". 

First Batch of Pictures for Halloween in the Black Lodge

on October 30, 2012 - 1:35pm

What's a Red Room experience without Agent Cooper?

Here are the first set of photographs from Sunday's Party. The theme, as you know, was Halloween in the Black Lodge.

I'll be posting more images as the rainy afternoon goes on. 

Having some technical difficulties with the site, so I can't put them into the Art Ghoullery just this moment. For now, here's some smaller versions while you wait for the originals to be posted.

In this set, you'll find sycamore trees at the entrance of the Black Lodge; Owls (of course); doughnuts (a bit fancier than what they had on the show); Tibetan rock throwing gear (to determine who "J" is/who killed Laura Palmer); a box of spiders for Leo Johnson; Waldo, the dead eye witness Mynah Bird; and the map from Owl Cave that tells folks how and where to find the Black Lodge. 

More to come!

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).