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I was so disappointed to miss my Halloween haunters prop-making group’s meeting last week as we were hit with the snowstorm here on the East Coast. With 30 inches of snow to shovel, it was too difficult to get out of my driveway no less get off the island!

I’m reblogging this GIF for now until I can start posting some really cool prop-making ideas and things I’m working on for the upcoming season. Hope you don’t mind for the time being…Enjoy!

The Year of Halloween

Lois had spent three months researching the particular book that her husband Steve needed to complete his collection of occult texts.  She had paid a fortune for the tome and could not wait to show it to him.  That Valentine’s morning she watched out the window as he pulled out of the driveway.  Already talking on his cell phone.  He works so hard, she thought.

She watched until his car was out of sight and turned smiling back to the kitchen to warm up her coffee.  She saw Steve’s cell phone on the counter.  Wait.  If his phone was there, what was he talking on in the car?  He had two cell phones?


Tears stung her eyes as she tore the house apart.  After she was actually looking, evidence of the affair was all around her.  How could she have been so blind?

Lois noticed the book of spells she had worked so…

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Horror GIF of the Week: The Eye

This is SO COOL!

The Year of Halloween

Horror GIF of the Week - The Eye

When Eva asked me to come up with a gif every week and write about it I thought it was the perfect job for me.  I get tired after about 35 words so talking about a little animation seemed to be right up my alley.  I was so excited I ran all the way to my gif folder to find something.

Then she told me she already picked something: this eye.

Eyeball stuff freaks me out and Eva knows it.  She is testing me.  Trying to make sure I am tough enough to, uh, do a…weekly post on her site?  That makes zero sense.  It’s my first day.  Why would she be scaring me with a scary eyeball?  What did I do wrong?  😦

If any of you guys know clue me in.  And watch my back for me.  Eva obviously wants to do me harm!

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Happy Birthday Oreo

It’s November 1st and I’m a little sad for two reasons.  First, Halloween is over.  It was somewhat of a mess, with Hurricane Sandy blasting through our neighborhood.  Second, it would have been my cat Oreo’s 9th birthday and I miss her.

I wasn’t sure if kids would be trick-or-treating yesterday but since school was still closed (due to the storm, scarce phone service and no transportation), I figured I should set some of my decorations back up just in case they came.  They did; about 40 of them.  But I suppose my enthusiasm disappeared as I didn’t even dress up as usual.  After the last small group rang my bell at 8:20pm, I came back inside to relax.  Then I began thinking about Oreo. 

Oreo found us…she appeared one day in the back of my outside cat’s house.  I recall hearing a little “mew, mew” on the front porch and noticed our cat, Harvette, wouldn’t go back into her house.  When I pulled back the blankets and padding in her house, I found a tiny ball of black fur with two bright green eyes staring back at me.  It was love at first sight.

After taking the kitten inside, our family discussed where it might have come from and what to do with her.  We discovered there was a pregnant black female stray seen around our neighbor’s house and this must have been one of her litter.  No other kittens were found.  The mother was spotted occasionally, but couldn’t be caught; otherwise we would have had her spayed.  In any event, several months prior, we had lost our other cat, Whiskers and after that I vowed not to replace her.  But how could we resist?

Over the course of several months, we had Oreo spayed and declawed as she was to remain our inside cat.  A couple of months later, we noticed something in her abdomen; she had a tumor, a quarter of her size.  Back to the vet to have that removed which was a success.  For almost 6 years, Oreo was our beautiful, loving pet.  Her fur was soft as silk; her disposition friendly and perky.  She was a little neurotic though, but that only intensified her personality.  Then one day, she suddenly became ill.

After the vet examined her, she said Oreo had kidney failure and would need IV injections twice daily.  She also suffered two seizures.  She was beginning to fade fast; not eating, drinking or urinating.  Even with the medicine and fluids, she only lasted a week.  One Sunday evening, while I was lying alongside Oreo with my daughter hear her head, she passed away.

If anyone has ever experienced the death of a pet, you’ll know how tramautic this was.  Some people may not take it hard, but because she became ill quickly and died so suddenly, it was heartbreaking.  We buried Oreo in the backyard next to Whiskers.  In her box we placed a flower, her favorite toy (a tiny red felt Christmas stocking)  and letters my husband and I as well as my daughter wrote to her. 

Each Halloween, when all the kids have gone home, I think of Oreo.  I remember how she used to curl up by my neck or behind my knees when I reclined on the couch or in bed.  I still see her beautiful green eyes and bent tail with tiny white tip.  She’ll always be my sweet Halloween kitty.  The following Spring, Oreo’s half brother and sister showed up on our porch.  Ike and Mike are still around, lively as ever 9 years later.  Their presence reminds me of their beautiful little sister Oreo and how I’ll always miss her.

Screamin’ Sandy

Power just went out again, so I’m posting this quickly.

Hurricane Sandy has forced me to take most of my props inside to safer territory.  Gusts are between 30 and 70mph and are expected to worsen in a few more hours.  We’re waiting out this storm but will probably lose power shortly.

Halloween…Wednesday looks much better.  The storm will have passed and we will be left with just a few showers and some light wind; nothing like we are experiencing right now. 

I can put my decorations back up Wednesday morning and look forward to a handful of brave Trick-or-Treaters working their way up my path.  For now, I’m sure it will be a very long night…

Two Days and Counting…

It’s almost Halloween.  I’m trying to get into the Halloween spirit by dressing a little “halloweenie” when I can.    Unfortunately, I had to take down some of my props today because the wind started to pick up due to Hurricane Sandy.  We don’t have rain yet, but it’s expected to come tomorrow and be very, very heavy. 

Although I put together a nice little movie from video I took at a Make-and-Take gathering I went to back in August, I had forgotten how to do it.  Last night, I took some video on my camcorder.  Not too bad under the circumstances.  The music adds a nice touch.  I just wish I could have set up all of my props.  But there’s always next year.

I hope all my friends in NJ and PA are okay over the next couple of days.  Speaking with several online, I found most have disassembled their haunts due to the storm.  What a bummer!  Working all year for this one night and then having to take everything down because of the weather.  The main thing is that everyone is safe and hopefully, nobody has any structural or water damage.

There are still a few things out on my lawn including all my tombstones.  Keeping my fingers crossed that “something” is left standing by Wednesday!  We’ll have to see.  In the meantime, maybe I’ll bake up some goodies before my electricity goes out.  At least they’ll taste better than whatever canned food I may be stuck with!

Finally Finished

My other blog, details the completion of my Halloween decorating chores for the day so I won’t repeat it here, however I will say I’m glad I’m finished.  Due to the impending storm, some of my other props will remain in the lab, gathering more dust for next year!  As it is, I dread the thought of taking in all the lightweight props and decorations once the rain comes!

I managed to take a fairly decent video tonight with my camcorder, complete with some background horror music, fog and the rocking granny/Mrs Bates in action.  Once I do a little editing, I’ll post it.  It’s a lot nicer than my previous ones, taken with my cellphone and you’ll be able to see it on here, without heading over to YouTube.

Until tomorrow…thanks for perusing.  Ciao!

Whatever You Do, Don’t Fall Asleep…

I took some video of the outside this evening with my camera phone – in 4 installments.  I’ve never taken video with my phone before and uploaded it to YouTube but I did tonight.  Don’t even ask why I did it that way.  Probably because I didn’t want to try it with my regular camera or put a new disc in my video camera until everything is set.  

These are just preliminary.  I sill have a few more static props to display plus my coffin and rocking Mrs. Bates.  I’ll be getting those out tomorrow and should be finished by Saturday or Sunday the latest.  Of course, I’ll be adding music and fog.  Hey, it’s not Halloween YET!

Hurricane Sandy is headed our way and she’s expected to start pouring her heart out in our area this weekend.  I hope not.  I’m getting up very early in the morning, going down to my laboratory and finish the last of my props.  I will probably post some still shots by Saturday and save the final video for Halloween.

Crossing my fingers the storm doesn’t ruin Halloween for the TOTs this year.  It’s bad enough it Halloween is on a schoolday – if it rains I might not get anyone but the neighbors ringing my bell. 

One last thing; I haven’t decided on a costume yet!  Ha ha, nothing like leaving minor details like that till the last minute!  I’ve already had a handful of kids come into our cul-de-sac checking out the props and tombstones.  They said they love coming to see what I have each year because nobody else in the neighborhood really decorates for Halloween.  My pleasure is not so much in the decorations as in scaring the kids.  I’ve startled quite a number of them over the years (only the older ones).  The little ones I throw in the cauldron for a snack if they get out of line!

Soon children, very soon…

Weathering the Storm

Let me apolgize for the quality of the photo.  Night setting didn’t come out too well. I have to fool around with the flash more.  I took six shots, and this was the best I could show.  I’ll be working on it shortly.

For the past few years, Halloween day and night has been pretty mild here on Long Island.  However, the weeks leading up to Halloween were filled with severe thunderstorms and high winds.  Several tombstones cracked, my characters fell over and lighter decorations were tossed about.  The recent weather has been unpredictable.  Needless to say, I am leery about putting out my mechanical props until the weekend before Halloween, but I may change my mind. 

This afternoon, I managed to put up my witch but my LED spotlights aren’t working.  I’m not sure if I want to reconnect them with vampire clips on landscape wire or what.  For the time being, I have regular floods lighting what I have up so far.  I’m not too impressed.  There’s still more to do although I have almost everything ready to go.

Tomorrow Michael Myers, Scream, the Grim Reaper, Rocking Granny and my coffin will be put out.  I made the mistake of trying to repaint the coffin and I’m not happy with the brown paint.  Maybe I’ll add some wood designs and handles and change the color again.  All my medicine bottle labels are printed but I forgot I tossed my old shelves out last year.  Gotta see if I can dig up some spare pieces of wood and make another medicine chest… quick!

I still have a little time left.  I actually like to watch the scene progress in bits and pieces as props are completed.  It gives me something more to look forward to each day!

“We both know, that he’s alive. But you know where he is!”~ Dr. Loomis to Laurie – Halloween Movie)

I’m Getting Crazy

It’s the second week of October and I’m still not finished with my Halloween decorations.  Okay, so I’m preoccupied with school and stuff, but that’s no excuse.  I did manage to put out a few more things today but the weather really hindered me for the past 5 days.

I managed to get a few more things out today, a few more tombstones, but I’ll be removing the spotlights and replacing them with my LED’s this weekend.  They are less conspicuous.  I NEED MORE TIME!  Yikes, I can’t stand it!

My dirty rat is finished…not too bad for the first try after his surgery! 

I have boxes and boxes full of deocrations downstairs and none of my creatures are out yet!  This is the first year I’m so late and it’s killing me!  Part of the reason is that my “help” has gone off to college; the other being I don’t want to put out my animated things with the weather being so bad.  What a conundrum!

Setting my alarm for extra early tomorrow.  I think it’s supposed to be partly sunny.  Hope so cause I have lots to accomplish!

23 Days and Counting!

I’ve been unexpectedly busy the past two weeks; way behind in my Halloween decorating and I’m frantic trying to get everything set up outside before this coming weekend.  Today I had unexpected (but much welcomed) company so I’m posting these photos a little late.  Tomorrow I plan on working dawn till dusk and will have much, much more set up outside to show you!  I’m so excited.  A few of my older foam props were splitting apart so they needed some repair before I could display them.  Unfortunately, that’s taking longer than I thought.

“You dirty rat!” gave me a headache.  This creature was splitting all over.  I had to perform major surgery on him and he’s still drying.  My sutures were masking tape, then a coating with liquid latex.  I added some pieces of paper toweling over the latex while it was still wet to give it structure.  After that dries, I’ll add one more coat of latex, let it dry then paint. 

Warning:  I never used liquid latex before.  When I opened up the container, there was a latex “plug”, something like you’d get when you open a bottle of glue; that little hard bubble of gunk before the real stuff comes out.  Well, I learned my lesson.  I squeezed the bottle too hard and the latex spurted ALL OVER THE PLACE!  On the floor, my tombstones, on the table, my exacto knife and accessories, paintbrushes, cups…EVERYTHING. My efforts to clean it up were futile – it smeared and left a tacky residue on the floor, table, chair, supplies and of course, my clothes!  Needless to say, I’m leaving the rest of the cleanup until after all my prep work is complete; who knows what may happen next! (I still have painting to do!)

The latex leg wasn’t too bad.  I had already taped over part of the foam with red electrical tape which held up pretty well for two years.  Again, I used a foam brush to cover it with latex, followed by some torn paper towel and will apply another coat before final painting.  I’ve also decided to give Mrs. Bates skull a latex facelift.  Not sure where I’m going with this one yet; maybe a little more dried flesh on the skull!

Some of the tombstones need to be touched up with paint and they should be ready for display tomorrow too.  I already have the holes made for the dowel inserts which will go half into the foam stones and half in the ground.  Even in strong wind and rain, the stones have held up over the years with only a few mishaps.  There are a couple of tombstones that still need detail painting but I don’t expect that to take too long.

While the tombstones, rat and leg are drying, I’ll be building my creatures.  If I can coat the coffin with a paint sealer, I’ll put that out early this year.  I used to wait until a few days before Halloween so the weather wouldn’t destroy it.  We’ll have to see.  By tomorrow night, I should have all the spot lights hooked up and will test my fog machine.  Still haven’t decided if I should make a creature for the pond.  I knew I shouldn’t have sold that old wet suit!

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