Friday, October 26, 2012

Poisoned Apple Tree Lights

So because I have the most awesome mother in the world--she was able to recognize these as soon as she saw them whilst shopping at her junk store. They're ice cube lights that are waterproof, freezable, and these particular ones that she found have seven different colors, as well as a setting that rotates through all of them. I've used them for years, but my supply is quickly dwindling because they don't have a replacable battery (due to the waterproofness, you can't crack into them) My sister pointed out that I could put them in the hollow apples that I had hung from the poisoned apple tree and make it really awesome. And so it was:)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Second Night of Carving

Second night of carving. Loki joins the porch.

As well as Captain America 

First Night of Carving

And thus concluded the first night of carving...with a super sore arm. Definitely going to try and get better about gutting in the morning, then allowing several hours to lapse before carving. It might be different if there was someone helping with the gutting by holding the pumpkin. As it is, I make do with propping up the pumpkin upside down in a small wastebasket.

So these two patterns were ones that I was really excited to do--and it just made sense to do them together. I give you Thor! and Mjölnir!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Shopping 2012

Went shopping for pumpkins (and a few other things) today. Found these at Smith's for $.19/lb which isn't the best, but they do have awesome stems, and a couple of white 'ghost' pumpkins which I haven't tried before. I'm thinking I'll do the Avenger's emblem on that one. Also actually remembered to buy the pumpkins first then groceries (I got that mixed up last year) so they didn't even crush the chips.

In other news, I have put back up Audrey II and the Cemetery after the terrible windstorm that knocked down everything. I've used up much duct tape and taking everything down will be a little terrible, but I'm a bit more confident that I won't lose anything to the wind. Also found a strand of battery operated rice lights I put on the fence (with the battery wrapped in a plastic bag and duct taped shut) so I'll see how they look tonight.

Debating about whether or not I want to carve tonight. Ideally they're usually done by carving night, but it's a bit early this year (or rather, far from Halloween) so I could potentially keep a couple to do afterwards. So many to little time...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Audrey II Tweaking

Just a small addition--I keep tweaking and toying with her! Added a plastic severed hand to the mouth, along with a garbage can full of wrapped body parts for 'feeding'. Bit wobbly camera picture--but unfortunately trying to take a picture without the flash results in looking like I'm having a seizure while taking the picture.

Now that it's all finished, a couple of links back to all the makings of posts:

Audrey II Mouth Assembly
Audrey II Parts
Audrey II LIVES!!!
Audrey II (large) Part II
Audrey II (large) Part I

Paper Carving

I've been getting itchy fingers in anticipation of carving this week, so I started a project in an attempt to give them an outlet. I printed out some patterns (most from Zombiepumpkins) I won't be doing this year, but that I've wanted to try, and stapled them onto a black piece of construction paper. I took an exacto knife and cut through the pattern and construction paper onto a piece of cardboard--important not to cut up my desk! These have been very useful in feeling out a pattern before committing a pumpkin to it.

Afterwards, I glued a piece of colored paper underneath for it to show up and put it up on the door--mostly because it was devoid of any other decorations.

Anyway, may have gotten a wee bit carried away, and kind of...kept...going...It's a good thing I'm going pumpkin shopping tomorrow--my finger is now kind of numb from pressing down the exacto knife:(

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Front Yard Display 2012

Couple of updates to the front yard. Creepy cloth and crows on the fence and arch.

And with the inflatable spider up at night

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jack Skellington Plate

A small project, but one that turned out very cool. Another from pinterest. Took a ceramic plate from the dollar store and used a sharpie to put a design on it. Baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to make it permanent. The design was from Zombiepumpkins that I cut out with an exacto knife. There was some leakage from the sharpie, but I took a q-tip and some water and cleaned it up a bit before I put it in the oven. I'm thinking I can make great use of this project for many holidays to come. And hopefully I'll plan a bit better and do a whole set of these for next year's Halloween. For now, I'm content with the one plate:)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY Tombstones

I've been wanting to try these for awhile. They're cool because it doesn't require an exacto knife or cutting into the Styrofoam and making a huge mess. You just have to have some skill with a glue gun.

I found some unused insulation/Styrofoam in a box that was a good size. I cut out the rough shape of a tombstone, and drew some designs on them with a sharpie. The first one was pretty basic--R.I.P. and a couple cracks here and there (Have I mentioned the lack of artistic skill? Yeah--there's none). The second one I tried some Celtic designs, some skull and bones crosses, and a more elaborate outline.

Next step--fired up the glue gun and started tracing over the marker in hot glue. The main thing to remember--especially for the letters, is to go slowly, and squeeze until you have the width you want. This creates a more seamless line, as opposed to going back and forth over the entire length. I made that mistake on the 'R' and it turned out kind of wonky.

The spider on the second one was actually pretty easy--though the skull and bones were a little difficult. The Celtic pattern was very easy, and I was wishing I had done a more elaborate design.

After they had been given time to cool and were firm to the touch, I headed out to the garage to do some spraypainting. Because the insulation was pink, I opted to do a thin layer of (flat) black first. The stone/texture paint doesn't have as good coverage, so it made it easier if I ran out of the paint. Plus, it tends to give it an aged/mottled look.

I just have to attach these to some stakes and they'll be all set to put out on the cemetery.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cemetery Assembly

Finally got up the bulk of the cemetery on the front lawn today. I had previously gotten some wooden letters and spray painted them with a stone/texture paint.

This was after I had an argument with the top on the spray paint can. I won...eventually...after a hammer was brought in for mediation.

I also spray painted one of the cheap dollar store skulls--not sure if I'll use it though.

The main difficulty with the fence has been the weight of the metal, so in an attempt to counteract that, I place them so that they're partially leaning on each other, and duct taped together a bit. I ended up only using three of the pieces. The fourth piece was taller than the others and was entirely too heavy to stand up, and kept bringing down the other sides. I eventually ditched it, and just made a somewhat smaller fence.

To attach the letters, I strung some string back and forth between the spokes of the archway and put them up with duct tape.

Unfortunately, a wind storm started up just at the point that I had finished putting everything up. So I'll need to go back and make things a little more secure. I'd also like to add on some finishing touches--maybe some creepy cloth, the grave digger prop guy with the zombie mask. I'm still tempted to make the reaper, but I don't think it's in the cards this year.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Witch Kitchen 3

The witch kitchen is finally starting to look more finished. Placed a tablecloth underneath, which also serves to hide away the random stuff underneath the table. I also took one of our old stone wall scene setter from years ago and hid the bookcase--looks much better as a backdrop to the witch kitchen. I've also added a few random bottles (oatmeal for 'Ogre dandruff'). I also surrounded the bookcase in the gecko room with the scene setter and placed the large skull on top.

Flower Shop

Got a couple projects done. Mostly just small, wrapping up kind of projects, but they put the final touches on some of the larger ones. One of the main ones was the flowershop stand for the Mushnik's flower shop. I had been herding all of my fake flowers together to put them together onto the garden stand I have set up on the porch. I ended up taking them and taping them down a bit to deter thieves. Also placed the last loose mini Audrey II in a pot among the flowers. I may add a few more bunches of flowers if I can find them in the garage, but this will do if I end up not finding them. I also filled the pot with dirt around the severed hand for a grow-a-zombie plant--though I still need to make the marker.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mantle Lights

Ugh. Finally, FINALLY figured out why the porch lights were being dumb with the timer--turns out, it's a complicated timer. I'm used to the super stupid ones. This one required brain cells. So I sacrificed several in getting it up and running. I think that's all the bugs with them, but the real test will be tomorrow morning to see if they're still on--cross your fingers.

Another electrical project I tackled was the lights for the mantle. They randomly decided to DIE, so I had to unplug them and throw away. Rummaged in the garage in the box o lights and came up with some purple ones. I ended up putting these up higher up to the ceiling for several reasons. The first of which is that the higher they go, the more light they cast in the room. Plus, it lights up the painting I have hanging above the fireplace. I'm also less fearful that the lights are going to pull down the stuff on the mantle which tends to be more breakable and delicate. It would kill me if something happened to my Dracula that my uncle carved for me. And so it's more of a safety issue. I'm generally pleased with the way it is now--though there are still a few things I'd like to add...if I can find them...

Skeleton Baby

Hmmm...this project I'm still deciding on whether or not it was successful. I picked up several plastic baby dolls at the thrift store and have been musing around with what to do with them. Then I found that someone had taken a doll and painted it entirely black and painted on bones to have a skeleton baby. It looked doable, so I tried it out. Part of the problem was that I was impatient and didn't wait until the black paint dried, so it kept mixing with the white and made gray or not quite covered all the way. I may try to go over it again tomorrow and do a second coat on the white bones. These are the times I wish I had some artistic skill...maybe I can put it in a corner and it can be creepy from afar.

Okay, going to count the skeleton baby as a win--managed to thoroughly scare myself with it. I had moved it into the kitchen to dry, forgot it was there, and nearly gave myself a heart attack later when I went to get a drink of water. I wonder how cool it would look if the bones were done with glow in the dark paint....hmmm...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cemetery Fence

Spent today pruning back some bushes in prep for winter, then working on one of the last major projects; the cemetery fence. The rusty fence was obtained from railing that was being discarded and I've been cutting up pvc pipe for the last week or so and making a 'T' frame with it so that I can get the fence pieces to be freestanding. I've got four pieces of varying height and length, which will make for a bit of a wonky fence, but the first step is to see if I could get them all to stand up. They're heavy, so I made these little 'feet' and duct taped them quite a bit. Here are the results. I shoved some pipe insulation around the bottom of the fence to provide a little more stability, but it was mostly the duct tape that was key here. I'm waiting to spray paint them for now, partly because I want to see if they'll stand for a length of time--I don't want to have to figure out a different method with spray painted pipe.


Oye. May have to come up with something more substantial to prop these up. I went out a couple hours later and they were seriously leaning over. As cool as the fence is, I'm beginning to think it would be easier in the long run to opt for the PVC pipe route and just construct a fence out of that.