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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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Madmomma’s Rockin’ Granny Bates

  Meet my Rockin’ Granny.  Actually she’s my Rockin’ Mrs. Bates.  Once I put her skull and wig on, she resembles Norman’s mom.  At least that’s my intention.

  I used a wiper motor for the rocking mechanism in the back.  When connected to a power pack, the chair rocks back and forth with an eerie sound.  The motion is a little too fast right now, it rocked her shoulders off last year so I’m tweaking it.

  Once I get her all fired up I’ll post a finished photo and one of the mechanism as well.  By making this prop myself, I’m saving quite a bundle.  Plus it looks more authentic than the ones you can buy at the store.

I have heavier, old fashioned “nun” shoes (no disrespect) for her which will give added weight to the chair.  I need to add a little more bulk around the shoulders, get her head and hair back on and she’ll be ready to rock and roll!  I may exchange skeleton hands for the gloved ones, although I like the look of the old-fashioned lace gloves.  I also may replace the sweater with a shawl; not sure yet.  

I love to see the look on the kids’ faces when they watch granny rock…with horror music playing in the background, fog on the ground and other assorted props going on and off…it gives them quite a nice little scare!   Cool!  Till next time…

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