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The Aftermath of Halloween

I’m happy Halloween is over for another year.  It’s a daunting task to put all my props, lights and decorations away.  The coffin is still out back, my characters have not been undressed or disassembled yet, the smaller decorations and lights still litter my front hallway and my garage and lower den are cluttered with wire, wood, tools and pvc.  Why can’t I be like Samantha Stevens (of Bewitched fame) and just “blink” everything away!

I’m determined to put all Halloween related items back in their places by tomorrow.  More important, I’ll have to remember what tools and supplies to keep on hand for the upcoming Make and Takes where we’ll be building new Halloween props for next year.

Oh, “what a world, what a world!”  I do feel like I’m melting sometimes…but everything will get done, eventually.  I only hope next year, we’ll avoid the wrath of the evil one and the weather will cooperate.  After all, we can’t let the TOTs down, now can we?

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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!

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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