Tag Archives: halloween

Halloween 2011- Silent Movie Star in Grayscale – costume

Being one of the most creative holidays, Halloween is by far my favorite. It lets you create & become new things. Carving pumpkins, creating costumes and dressing up are some of the best parts. I love costumes that really transform a person. They might be subtle or elaborate but they do something interesting all the same. I’m a huge fan of making costumes and would be perfectly happy being hired to make someone’s Halloween costume (just try to book me during the summer 😉 ).

Here’s this year’s costume-

My main costume this year was a silent movie star. There are quite a few things I’d improve if I were to do it again, but overall it’s not bad. Inspired by (AMC’s ?) Silent Sunday Nights, a night of silent movies on TV :), I decided to go the silent movie star route for Halloween, complete with high contrast gray scale. Think Clara Bow style old silent BW movies.

After much searching and review reading, I found the perfect wig. I never found quite the right jewelry, so I pulled out some old rhinestone pieces that  worked pretty well. Unable to find affordable and appropriate clothes, I pieced together a velvet dress with a layers flowy skirt (both from the thrift store) I wore low to give it a 20’s feel paired with some gray mary janes and black gloves. The wig really made it more than anything.

It was a dramatic transformation that took about an hour. (scroll down for better shots)

The flash really reflects off all that make up! I wish I’d gotten some better shots with more colorful backgrounds to compare it to with better lighting. The makeup is actually a subtle gray that I mixed myself with some kyolan aquacolor liquids with Urban Decay’s all nighter spray over it.

It worked reasonably well but it required so much to be fully opaque that it dried super tight. I have very little variation in expression in the shots because I could barely move my face with how tight it got! It eventually cracked and flaked some. For something that was suppose to be crease and crack proof, I was  surprised. However, the all nighter spray and my novice application probably had something to do with that. It was nearly impossible to apply the rest of the makeup over it the way I wanted because the finish was basically like thick tempera paint. So, the eyes and lips didn’t quite get the way I’d intended and I didn’t bother trying to contour or highlight with such an odd finish.

The good thing was that I didn’t have to worry about it smearing or getting on stuff once it was dry. Absolutely no problems there. And, because it’s water based, it washed off remarkably easily. Really, just some warm water and it was gone! It was the easiest makeup I’ve ever had to take off.

light gray gloves and white or gray tights would have been better but they seem to be really hard to find!

The other thing I wished I’d had was a chalk board to write captions on. The cracking super tight paint makeup really limited expression which is one aspect you really need as a silent movie actress so that was a little disappointing.

Overall, not bad. It surprised people for sure. I think it’d be fun to do with a group of people to a big public party and use the chalk boards and maybe even a musical accompaniment :). Maybe next year!

Happy Halloween!


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Filed under Neat thing I had to show you, New pursuit

Halloween 2011- Hatching Dino Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving is one of my favorite holiday activities, heck one of my favorite activities period. I’m always looking for new things to try.

I carved three pumpkins this year, but I think this one was my favorite. It’s the first pumpkin I’ve done that’s been completely carved with no cutting. It was conceived as a hatching dinosaur but it looks just as much like a hatching crocodile, alligator or lizard.

the pumpkin I used was really a squash but they were right there mixed in with the pumpkins. It seemed obvious that it was meant to be a hatching dinosaur.

The squash/pumpkin is really neat. The outer skin is the gray green color you see as the shell. The inside then goes from a dark green through to yellow and then down into a bright pumpkin orange. I didn’t know this before getting it but I think I’ll look for one again next year just so I can use those colors on purpose.

the head gives a pretty decent look at the range of colors. And I used the seeds as teeth. However, I couldn’t get them to stand up quite right and they were about a thousand times more slippery than any pumpkin seed I’ve seen.

I did cut a hole and hollow it out a bit so that it would sit level. That made carving it easier.

The best thing is that it seems to survive better than the average pumpkin. The day after carving, we put it in the crisper drawer of the fridge. A week later we took it out and it looked exactly the same. I’ve had it out now for a few days and there is no sign of decay, rot or mold. The face is hard and dry to the touch which I haven’t seen happen with a pumpkin, even those I’ve tried to carve in a similar manner.

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Filed under Neat thing I had to show you, New pursuit

Scooby Dooby New – the Etsyfication of those meddling kids

Out of cartoons and boredom we get posts like this. What would a modern day Velma look like? Let us consider the etsyfication of those meddling kids. These collections bring together things they might choose with things that maintain the look and feel of the characters… So I bring you the Meddling Kids Collections- Modern Collections inspired by those meddling kids. Are you a Daphney or a Velma, a Fred or a Shaggy?  And yes, Scooby is missing for the moment…

Velma- Luckily nerdy is quite in and Velma would likely be quite trendy. Who doesn’t love a smart chick in glasses and tons of orange?


In full treasury form here- http://www.etsy.com/treasury/Nzg2NjUxN3w1Mzg5MTEwMjM/velma?index=4

For the fashionista who loves purple. Orchid is a top fall color so I guess Daphney’s got that one down…


For the original preppy boy…


And for the  totally laid back dude whose best bud is a great dane…


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Filed under Outfit Me Etsy!

Outfit me Etsy, Decor for Gatherings in Disguise

Beings that Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday and one that lets anyone be seriously creative, I’ve probably been thinking about it since last year. Yesterday I put together a few etsy treasuries showcasing groups of fun creepy seasonally appropriate items to share.

We all know their are different types of parties and one odd one that occurs year round is the zombie party. SO if you happen to be thinking about just such a thing check out these etsy picks that will help you set the scene, and make you jump when the movies are off.

Zombie Party

  • Severed Zombie Finger tart melts

    $5.95 USD

  • “please specify if you want your fingers with or without blood and cuts. No two fingers are alike as they are hand painted injuries!”
  • Haha, great description. Mind you these are decorative scented item, not tarts like the kind you eat. No chowing down on the fingers ;).

View the full original treasury here

For those who like something more traditional, but not childish, check out these-


Halloween Party

  • Set of 4 Spook'alicious Fun Halloween Bottle Labels Self adhesive Witchs Brew Pirate Poison Ravens Blood Midnight Mead YOU PICK color
  • $5.25 USD
  • I’ve used and made a wide variety of odd labels for parties and they always go over really well and get compliments. Try these out on whatever you are serving. Put them on odd bottles and its even better.
  • Toe Pincher Coffin (Halloween)

    $75.00 USD

  • because you aren’t goign to build that coffin yourself are you? Use year in and year out, store your decorations or costumes in it in the off season, hide inside and spook your friend, or use a dummy and piece of string ;).

Full treasury here

Or you might be looking for something a little eerie, creepy that makes people wonder if your place is just like this year round, near stylish spooky decor with an air of victorian oddities.

Spook in Style

  • Happy Halloween Vintage Style Gift Tags/Labels with Glitter-SET of 6-Ribbon Choice Available

    $7.65 USD

  • There’s got to be something you could use these for right? Crafty DIY handing out candy bags to trick or treaters, goodies bags, favors, just tagging your guests with them, incorporation into some simple but odd party game?
  • Real Scary fangs Halloween Spider Framed Opelma minax 2551

    $69.99 USD

  • eeek, small enough to only be noticed after they’ve been near it for a while, creepy enough to make them jump and you know somebody who would want it on their wall or desk year round…
  • Pre-Sale, Handblown Glass Pumpkin, Midnight Harvest

    $25.00 USD

  • Beautiful, can be used in a variety of places and is reminiscent of the black ceramic pumpkin I made in grade school. Not that they look the same beyond the color though, as this is a supremely elegant pumpkin and could certainly go beyond halloween parties. Like a pumpkin in a long black evening gown.

Full treasury here




More to come…

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Filed under Neat thing I had to show you, Outfit Me Etsy!

Halloween Decorating- highlighters rock

I adore Halloween. It’s one of the best creative outlets that exists. It’s all about the DIY, the creative, the interesting, at least for me. I made our costumes, as usual (Sally and Jack from the Nightmare before Christmas) and I decorated quite a bit for our party. A lot of the ‘decorations’ we end up liking so much we keep them year round. Here are a couple of my favorites from this year.

The first, and my newest pursuit involves black lights and highlighters. Most of us know (and if you don’t you’ll probably want to run out and try it) that highlighter fluid is one of the best things to glow under a black light. I also love that on many surfaces you don’t readily notice highlighter under normal light conditions, like glass, non white paper and of course skin (even better if you rinse your skin after, then you don’t see it at all btu it still glows). So, the idea I had initially was to get a picture or a window, draw a scary face on it and get a flickering black light that woudl only occassionally show off the picture. Well, I couldn’t get a flickering black light but we found a mini adjustable timing black light that I could set to fairly slow. I set this up on a small table where I had placed a magazine I had drawn on with highlighter and several small glass spice bottles I’d written on and drawn faces on. It worked fairly well. You don’t notice at first but once you do, it’s quite intriguing. Faces appear on bottles and on the magazine when the black light is on and disapear when it is off. It’s quite simple but rather cool. I hope to expand the concept next year.

Here’s a quick shot,  hopefully I’ll figureo ut who has the video and post that too…


The second, is our front hall display. This one stays up in some fashion for most of the year. It’s a collection of Venetian Style Masquerade Masks I collected primarily with our wedding planning (masquerade wedding) and some other I’d made or gotten. I tried to make it creepier for the party and the electric tealights make for nice lighting.



Above this was a very large ( like 4 foot) spider web with a spider and several masks stuck in it. (picture won’t load right)

Beyond this I had up our typical window covering (white net lights with sheer fabric with black velvet flowers over it). Need a picture… And then had a cauldron of squid monsters:



skeleton hands and dead flowers:


O wordpress why do you keep flipping my pictures sideways? On the computer they are verticle, in wordpress they becom ehorizontal, flip it in the editor, corp it in editor, save it and it insert it’s own silly version anyway. So I guess turn your head to see that one. Not worth editing in Photoshop atm.

And here are some soda bottle with home made and dollarstore store labels and our punchbowl with a small electronic fog machine with floating coffins.



And there’s more but pictures are not cooperating today. Hopefully next year I’ll do more with some fancier efects and things. I missed our ‘drop in neighbor’, a body that hangs partially through the ceiling of the bathroom like someone fell in. I might bring that one back next time.


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Pumpkin Decay- the Ultrafuzz, not for the squeamish

In my last post I showed you our carved pumpkins. We were quite happy with them. However, the pumpkin crop here in IL has been most terrible this year. And it may be related or not but we had some of the most phenomenal, rapid, spontaneous pumpkin decay I’ve ever seen.

The pumpkins were fine when I went to work that Monday morning. I came home in the afternoon to find the large pumpkin like this: (if you can’t handel icky things, DO NOT LOOK AT THE PICTURES.

This is the eye:


The whole face didn’t fare much better:


The top had fallen in and the entire inside was covered in fuzy white webs:


You really don’t get the full effect from the pictures. There were several candles inside. You couldn’t see them anymore on account of the fuzz…

My pumpkin decayed like a normal pumpkin. It got wrinkles and shriveled and because of its mouth looked particularly like an old person. (need to find pictures still)

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Filed under Mishap, New pursuit