Saturday, October 10, 2009

Still alive........but working with the dead

Well it's been a few weeks since I posted anything, so I figured it was about time. The garden is dead, done, gone, over. We got a LOT of rain for several days, and then an unexpected frost, which finished things completely. The tomato's died quickly, as did most of the peppers, though 5 somehow survived. I'll make yet another batch of chili to can with the ones that are left, maybe on Monday. That's really all that's been going on here as far as the homesteading stuff, but that doesn't mean I haven't kept busy....I have....which brings me to the main reason for this post-HALLOWEEN!!!
As (I think) I've said before, we were handed the responsibility of the Halloween party this year that our friends normally host. Though we really can't afford it, we gladly accepted and plan to bury them in the "contest". I think we're gonna do that and then some!

I got the bug to start early 2 weeks ago, and started building dummies. I made two last year from ridgid fencing, and used the same technique this year. I made a full sized one for the front yard, which I turned into a gravedigger, another half one, which is a werewolf jumping out of the bushes, and another one that is a 7 foot Grim Reaper holding a lantern and pointing to the entrance. I dove into the scrap lumber pile with jigsaw in hand, and turned out 11 headstones, which are painted white and misted with black for that old stone look. (they still need epitaphs) There is a decapitaded stuffed dummy with a head on a pole, which is rather funny since it's torso is thrown over the same log I use for lopping chicken heads, lol. I used the old beat up chain link fence from the neighbor to run from the porch, to along the graveyard, to an antrance that I built from old gates. I even made a creepy looking old cemetary sign with our own official name on it, "Dark Gardens". There is a sign reading "Condemned-Keep Out", on one of the gates, and another on posts next to my Reaper that reads "Hell awaits (and candy)"...I just had to toss in a little Chris humor there, LOL. Along the fence are lighted skulls, and old farm impliments with fake blood. (crosscut saw, straw bale hook, hand sythe, bucksaw, and a broken axe. I have two ghosts on nearly invisible fishing line on either side, and am working on a mechanism to make the half buried coffin appear to be jumping back and forth.......I love making this stuff. I almost forgot the real cow skeleton under the awning, and the ghoul hanging from it. (whew!) I have cords ran across the roof to spotlights attached to the gutters, which light the whole thing up at looks incredible.
The living room has a 7 foot solid wood coffin standing in the corner with a green strobe light behind it. Next to it are my giant speakers, which will be covered in black dyed sheers, topped with some awesome old candleabra's, and will be putting out some really creepy organ music. On the table by the window are 4 small fake stone pillars, a skeleton that flickers while it's heart beats and pulses red, a caped skull who's eyes flicker different colors, and a couple small headstones. We dyed some old curtains grey, and covered the iron flowerpot holder with spiderwebs. On the wall by the door is an 8 foot monster, which I hung to appear that he is chained to the wall. Above him is a shelf with a couple cow bones. (can you tell it's a quilt hanger?LOL) The wall opposite that (by the coffin) just has grey curtains, and we put a few skulls and other creepy things in the china cabinet with the black lights where Lisa displays her uraniumware/vaseline glass. The last wall behind the couch has a few of those creepy pictures that change, and some REALLY creepy old pictures of kids with glowing eyes. Lisa ran them off at work and we just cut them to fit inside the frames that were already there. In between the living room and kitchen, I used a heavy duty cardboard tube as a makeshift curtainrod, and hung some pieces of lace on it to seperate the two rooms........which leads me to the kitchen.

Lisa made this AWESOME spider victim from a doll I found at goodwill, and her wrapped webs run to the cupboard and across the room to a shelf. There is a flying witch that is hanging over the freezer, floating above a cauldron with the freakiest looking baby zombie I have ever seen. (another Lisa creation) The usual plant shelf in the window now holds various jars of "specimons" and "witchy stuff", and below it is another cauldron with a glowing/fogging crystal ball. There is a single headstone on the one wall, and a sort of vampire/ghoul/phantom of the opera guy over the walkway to the hall that leads to the bath and bedroom. We have a fake bloody tablecloth, but we haven't putten it on the table yet. Down the hall to the bathroom are various headstones on the walls, a few on the floor, a white strobe light, and soon-a fog machine.

The bathroom is barely started, though it is a good start. We have a shower curtain that has fake blood and the sillouette of a man wielding a big knife. (it has a motion decector that plays the Psycho theme) We're making a paper mache zombie, that will appear to be breaking in the window, and I have another one of my creations on top of the toilet. I took an old tabletop osculating fan, took off the guard and fan, cut off the shaft, formed a head shape with newspaper and tape, fitted it with a Jason mask and wig, made shoulders from pieces of round duct, put on a t-shirt and flannel shirt, and mounted it on top of the toilet. Now, Jason's head turns slowly from side to side, the same motion as the fan did. I *REALLY* want to continue him, making legs that come down and bend at the knees to surround the toilet, but we'll see how that goes. Right on the wall as you walk in is a skull inside a cage. It's motion detected as well, and pops out of the cage yelling "surprise!!".....hehe it's right above the light switch at head level.

We have more planned, and I'll post those as they are completed. I really can't wait for this party, and to hear my friend admit that I kicked his ass in the Halloween challenge. The best part about all of this is that we have spent very little. A lot of this we bought last year after Halloween at 75% off or more. Some was loaned by my friend Ben, who also built the coffin. Some was loaned by one of Lisa's co-workers, and a lot given to us by a few more or them. We'll probably spend more on food for everyone than we have on decorations or props. WOOHOO for awesome Halloween on a budget!!! Below I'll post a bunch of pictures, but I'm not gonna sit here and label each can figure it out. hahaha

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