Sunday, June 3, 2018


Le goal
One of the main projects for this year's Halloween is several demodogs from Stranger Things.  I've started on one of these already with a 2 liter bottle body and some prominent ribs.  A long windy tail is present, and at this point the only thing missing is a head.  But I've got some styrofoam balls that I'm intending to shape some petal pieces around to simulate the petal head thing in various levels of open.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Appropriate Facebook filter

Awwwwww!  There was a facebook filter that was just a little too perfect for where my mind is lately.  Adorable Dart crawls around on top of your head and poses. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New toy!

Normal picture of the sketch
App picture of the sketch
Technically this isn't officially a Halloween thing...except that I'm going to use it for Halloween.  So thus it becomes a Halloween tool.  Yes. SO.  I found this thing called Elfinbook online.  And it was on sale for $20, and I figured hey, if it turns out crappish, only $20 out.  So it calls itself a digital notebook, which is slightly deceiving, but what it allows for is to do a sketch and then in conjunction with the app, allows you to take a suuuuper clean picture of the sketch to use say, on a blog:)

I was skeptical, obviously, but it actually lives up to the hype.  It takes an amazingly clean pic of the sketch.  So I took a normal pic of the sketch, and then one using the app.  Now I could probably achieve the quality of the one on the right eventually with photoshop, cropping, etc.  But this does automatic cropping via a dark border all around the sides, and then brightens the contrast without losing any of the quality or pieces of the writing.  I was impressed.  Also impressive is that if you use the correct erasable ink pen, you can pop this notebook in the microwave for a minute (or wipe with a damp cloth) and erase the whole thing after you've loaded all your sketches into the app/cloud.  So it's very reusable.  I've been using a series of notebooks which are nice...but I tend to lose them, or end up just using a piece of paper so I can get it into my phone or blog so I can access it anytime without having to search for the notebook.  So this seems like a possible solution for me.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Halloween 2017

Well Halloween has come and gone and now I'm trying to recall some of the more fun moments.  Let's see.  First off, my actors.  Oh my gosh.  So Hannah had several bits/sketches that she adapted for different age groups.  She warned them of the snakes on the ground as they approached, sometimes holding her 'torch' up to the snakes to ward them off.  Her main bit was to warn them of booby traps on the porch, but that she would lead them through the grid system safely.  She managed to get small kids and teenagers alike to follow her on one of the funniest looking (from my perspective waiting at the end) games of follow the leader.  I took over at that point by telling them they had to choose, but to choose wisely.  Choosing once also got added as it turned out that most kids didn't quite understand the concept of 'choosing' and instead shoved their hand in all three holes before picking a prize.  Once I figured out the choose once phrase to use, a lot of them were a lot more nervous about picking anything.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A haunting we will go...

Went for a wee family outing in search of some other haunts.  Or as Sam put it, "checking out the competition."  We first went to my personal mecca, on 1152 Stratford Ave, 1145 E. 84106  It's on a corner and it's this lovely haunt that this woman has been doing for 25 years (#goals) and there's not really a theme other than just ALL THE HALLOWEEN!  It ranges from spooky to more scary,  but there are at least 80 (more like a hundred at this point) pumpkins, mostly foam, some real.  And lights.  Oh, the lights.  This woman knows how to do Halloween display proper.  You don't. neglect. the. lights.  I try and stop by every year and gawk.  Got to chat with her this year and she pointed out some of the new stuff--there's always at least one or two additions.  She picked up some fancy lights that she used really well.  Just lovely. 

The second stop was to the now infamous 9th street (900 S, 1700 E.) that does amazing designs (dragons, pirate ships, trains, etc) but that are over the top epic.  This year was King Kong.  We almost missed it driving by just because the trees out front somewhat hid the lights.  But the building is like a full story taller than their house.  I checked out the how to that they did--which is incredible to see how it all came together. 

After that we drove by a couple of side streets with smaller decorations.  Mom knew about one that had a full on haunted graveyard complete with hearse.  But as it turned out, NO lights.  *gasp* Like, what is the point of doing a haunt that NO ONE can see at night.  I was a little offended, not gonna lie.

Anyways, a great little last Halloween jaunt.  I picked up pizza for my actors for tomorrow night, and I've spent the day giving the pumpkins baths, freshening them up so I don't have to do it tomorrow--because I have to put down the chalk at some point.  I'll make a run for some dry ice around 4ish, then it'll be settling in to make sure everything gets turned on.  Most things are on timers, but I do have a few things that need to be manually set up--mostly the snake projector and some tea lights in the goblets, but other than that we should be all set.  Getting excited!!

Halloween previews

Sam did a couple shots me all dressed up.  I always forget to get some the night of, so here I am all ready to go.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

8th, Final carving of 2017

Last pumpkin.  Zombie Pumpkins came out with this one and had to do it.  David S. Pumpkins pattern.  Accompanied by some skeleton cut out.  Because? They're part of it. ;)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

6th and 7th Carvings

A snake pattern that was picked after it didn't have any holes in the pattern that would disturb Sam, and a few spider patterns to complete the Indiana Jones patterns. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

5th Carving

I ended up deciding to go with Indiana Jones themed patterns this year.  Mostly because there weren't any that really cried out to me that absolutely had to be done.  Except for a few Game of Thrones ones, but I'm considering a Game of Thrones theme in the future and wanted to save them for that.  So.  The next carving was a little difficult to find, but I was going back over Zombie Pumpkin patterns cause I really do think he makes superior patterns, when I came across "Tarman" which is apparently from The Living Dead, but I also think it looks like that scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark when the main nazi guy gets his face melted off.  I have no nazi stuff in my haunt for super obvious reasons, but I'm fine with having the one representation of nazism in my Halloween haunt from when they get their face melted off and they die in an extremely painful and agonizing way. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It had to be snakes

Yay! The snakes are up!  And that right there is something I never would have thought.  Ugh.  So. Many. Snakes. So Sam came up with the idea of getting a video of snakes and using my projector to cast them all over the driveway.  I scoffed.  Surely not.  This is impossible.  Then I found some stuff.  Aka, a dvd made for projectors that involved the ability to loop video of snakes crawling around.  Also I found a mini projector I had bought years ago tucked away in a closet because it was too small (it was meant for more like business presentations and such).  But it's perfect to use for the driveway--not because it's all that big, but because it's not a couple hundred dollars like my nice big projector is.  So I'm not risking as much.  This is important.  So after some tweaking of items, I figured out a way to hang the mini projector (also easier to do when it's not a large one) so that it fell on the driveway.  There's also a setting on the dvd that allows for different light modes, one of which is a moving flashlight.  This is perfect, as the area the projector hits isn't that large, but it gives the illusion that it's larger than expected.  And when all was set creepy.  I mean even Sam, who has no real phobia of snakes...was creeped out.  So YAY!  That was the last real bit of setup for Halloween decor, except maybe some dry ice in the water bucket on the day of.  But I'm super happy about getting something that's so awesome set up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

3rd and 4th Carvings

I finished the 3rd and 4th carvings of the season, though technically the first ones that were on real pumpkins.  I wanted these to have a bit of Indiana Jones, though I'm debating about future ones being similarly themed.  I prefer to feel like I can do whatever pattern comes along rather than be constrained by my theme of the year.  But I admit it does look cool when they do go with the theme.  Oye.  I've got to think about it a bit more.  I've already got 2 more already gutted, just waiting for some carving, and a few that haven't been touched.  So I need to decide soon.  In the meantime, I found this Indiana Jones one on a new site I discovered.  They're not great at doing portraits, but it was the most doable Indiana Jones pattern I could find.  The "Samhain skull" (which is a bit kali ma esque) though is from my usual (favorite) Zombie pumpkins site.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2nd Carving of the season

I'm in the midst of trying to decide my pumpkin lineup and I was looking for an Indiana Jones themed one when I came across a pattern I had to do.  On a foam pumpkin.  BEHOLD!  Lil Bub for Sam.  She was very pleased with it and made squealing noises. 

Pumpkin Nights (part 2)

So we went again to Pumpkin Nights with Mom.  Partly because we got tickets...and because it was awesome the first time around.  This second time was pretty cool just because I wasn't quite reacting like a total dork and actually caught a lot more the second time. 

Carving Night 2017

Had a lot of fun this year, got to see people I hadn't talked to in quite awhile.  Definitely a good kick off to Halloween week:)