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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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Giving Yourself a Hand!

Yeah, This might be a little strange.  While perusing one of my many boxes of Halloween decorations, I came across the one housing my hands.  Well not mine, but those for my creatures.  I wanted to lay them out to see which types I have, which I don’t like, how I may want to use them and which I need to make more of.

The creepy bubbly type skeleton type hands were actually my very first pair made with expanding foam.  OMG, using this stuff is extremely tricky to work with.  I made a pair about 5 years ago and still have little wads of foam stuck to my garage floor.  I’ve learned how to make different, yet similar type skeleton hands since then and need to put a couple together for my grave grabber or cauldron creep. 

The problem with the foam is that it isn’t pliable.  I think I’m going to use the plastic tubing, wire, cotton and latex method for making my new set.  This way they look will be more realistic – skelly looking.  It’s always a good idea to have an extra pair of hands around.  You can never have too many, I say!

Tips courtesy of HauntersHangout.com

After that, I’ll be working on my blucky corpsing.  Unfortunately I haven’t purchased my first official bucky yet (yes I know, I’m bad) but hopefully I’ll be able to nab one after the holidays at a more reasonable price.  In the meantime, I’m still sorting through my boxes, shed, garage and other hiding places in my house where I’ve stashed Halloween supplies I’ve purchased or made during the year.  It’s like trying to find a coccyx in a crypt!

Funny how around Halloween building props and decorating is paramount over anything else.  LOL!  I bury myself deep in my work and burn the midnight oil.  Thankfully, I have an understanding family who give me space and let me delve into my dark world undisturbed.  (I just come up for an occasional breath of fresh air when I need to cook dinner or else we’d all starve!)

 “Listen to them: the children of the night. What sweet music they make.” ~ Dracula

Get a Grave Grabber to Go!

At the last Make & Take meeting I attended with a group of my HauntForum.com friends, we tested a really cool Peppers Ghost projection from Hi-RezDesigns.com.  I purchased the Grave Grabber illusion which I will reflect off a tombstone on the lawn.  This will make the zombie girl appear as if she is climbing out of the grave.  See the video below:

I still have to create a background scene surrounding the tombstone, complete with old branches, a dirt pile and some other accessories (maybe a shovel?)  As soon as I figure out which device I want to use to project the image (TV, laptop or video projector), I can test it in the evening.  It may take a little time to figure this all out because the angle of the plexiglass needs to be just right as well as the position of the projector and the color/object I’m projecting off of. 

This is really going to be cool.  I can’t wait to try it out!  There are more videos online.  You can check them out at http://www.hi-rezdesigns.com/online_store_updated/

Here’s the set up you’ll get:

I have a lot of projects going on and time is getting short.  But Halloween only comes once a year right???  Until next time…

Under Way!

  Okay, I tried to pick up more paint today for my tombstones but the two stores I went to were out.  I like to use the spray “stone” effect for my stones (as opposed to flat like many people commonly use.)  The problem is after I attempted to fix some of the lettering, I had to use flat paint as a touch up.  Now they’re half and half and need one more quick coat of stone.

I’ll have to see what I can find tomorrow.  In the meantime, this is a dangerous time of year for me to be alone at the stores.  I am tempted to pick up more Halloween items than I need.  The new products are pretty cool this year.  But alas, I promised my purse I’d hold back.  So into the store I go tomorrow, with blinders on!  Damn, that stinks!

Madmomma’s Halloween Haunt

Welcome to Madmomma’s Halloween Haunt where I hope you enjoy reading about my passion for Halloween. 

HAPPY HAUNTING!

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