Temps in the 70's this week. Cool breeze blowing through the office window. Paper weight finally doing its job.
Farewell Summer. Scram.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Hit up a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store today to see what they had on hand. Not too shabby. Had a bunch of fun and bought some cool stuff. Here are some pics:
One of the neat things we picked up hanging out in its new home.
We ordered this cool item from the Yankee Candle company. It photographs really well, but the orange glass surrounding the witches has a ton of glare and the witches are difficult to see. I'm thinking frosted glass would have worked better. I'm still glad we bought it. The witches' features are wonderful. Looks great with the orange glass removed.
Friday, August 28, 2009
It's going to be a fun weekend.
Grabbed some magazines and candy while we were driving around today. Martha Stewart's Halloween issue is out. Some old and new stuff in there, and certainly worth having. And Blood Orange Bat Dots are pretty darn good.
We went to Michael's for some supplies and we picked up a GREAT strobe light sound effect device. Just something to have around the house. I shot a video of the strobe effect and the wonderful old school ghost sounds against my Crypt Corpse prop. A ton of ghosts and chains and so many weird sounds in the background. Reminds me of all the houses I loved on Halloween night. The ones with fake spider webs and strobe lights flashing and a sound effect cassette playing in the background.
I love this thing (click the pic to watch):
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Neat article on assessing the possibility of your home being haunted, and what to do if it is.
Even if your house is not haunted, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that it is, thinking every bump and creak you hear is something ghostly. And it's not long before your family picks up on your fears, and begins hearing the "unexplainable" sounds and seeing the resident "ghost."
This Old House.
Never had anything ghostly happen to me that would make me a solid believer, but I've known a few people that have had neat experiences. Two that come to mind involve my parents and a friend of theirs. My mother's mother passed away when I was in grade school. Shortly after she did, my parents were watching TV one night and my mother and father heard my mother's name called. Loudly, and from the top of the stairs. My father jumped up and was rather disturbed, "WHAT THE HELLLLLL WAS THAT?!" They said it was the voice of my grandmother.
Granted, it could have been a noise that was perfectly tuned to sound like a name being called, but it makes for a creepy little story. The second is somewhat more solid. A friend of my parents died in his house while his wife and son were down in the living room. Very sudden. Very devastating. Many years after the man's passing, his wife shared a story with my mother. A week after his death, she was watching TV with her son and looked to the top of the stairs and saw her husband start to descend the stairs, but then looked as though he had forgotten something and quickly turned and rushed back up. She was telling the story to my mother because her son, all these years later (about fifteen years), had recently told her a story of the time he saw his dad, a week after his death, start to descend the stairway, turn, and go back up into the darkness.
She said she and her son kept it from each other for all those years after the incident, thinking they were each just a little crazy from the grief and the shock. Each thinking they were the only one who saw it. She told my mother they cried and hugged after that. For a long time.
I love the wet log being used to level this big guy. Jack O'lanterns look amazing sitting near natural elements, though for the most part you almost always see them sitting alone on a smooth concrete step or porch. It's only recently that I started to push them further into the bushes around the porch or sprinkle a pile of leaves around their bases, making sure one or two land on the lid. A bundle of sticks tied at the top would look neat resting behind a few pumpkins. If you grow your own or pick your own at a farm, leave the runners on the stems or clip a length of vines and leaves to stuff in-between your pumpkins on Halloween night. I think messy is good when it comes to natural elements. A jack o'lantern whose face is obscured by some vines, sticks, or leaves is an entirely different animal.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
My father worked his whole life in a gasket company's shipping department. We grew up hearing horror stories about how the old building was freezing in the winter and an oven in the summer (he once lost seven pounds in water weight in one day, so the story goes). He often said that he'd eventually DIE there (he didn't). I remember early grade school and one of those awful sizing-up caste system events where you go around the room and say what your father did for a living. It came out "My father makes caskets," and I honestly can't remember if it was deliberate or not.
His job provided him with an unlimited supply of cardboard. Damaged pieces or sheets that couldn't be used to build shipping boxes ended up in the back of his station wagon rather than the dumpster. He'd bring them home and use them under his car when he changed oil or as a drop cloth for when he painted something. To this day there are sheets of cardboard standing against the wall of their garage with weird stencil images of things he spray painted throughout the years. Can't tell you how many of those cardboard sheets ended up in a Halloween prop. Rolled cardboard is a great filler for large props. The Pumpkin King's entire body is made of massive sheets of folded cardboard. The giant spider was made from strips of cut cardboard.
Once when I was really young, my brother and I built a cave in the garage. We made rock walls by softening up those cardboard sheets by mashing them down and folding them and crumpling them. Imagine how an aluminum foil ball would look if you unwrapped it back into a flat sheet. Now imagine it five feet by fifteen feet and made of cardboard - a perfect cave wall. We made tubes from the stuff and crawled through with our flashlights (garage shut and lights turned off). I'm sure at some point the excitement wore off and one of us dove on the tube when the other was in there. Claustrophobic horrors. I remember being crushed in a refrigerator box once. Listening to my brother laughing and shifting his weight on the top of it trying to squeeze me into a shrinking corner. I'm sure I lied/yelled/pleaded about my arm being crushed and possibly broken. But that never ever worked.
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