Friday, December 12, 2008

Jeepers Creepers

They say that the devil's in the details and I couldn't agree more. There's an unlimited amount of little things you can add to your costume to make it unique. One of my favorite devilish details is the Halloween contact lens.

For years Halloween and costume fanatics drooled over the creepy contact lenses used only in cinema. But now we mere mortals can experience the special effects lens. There are contacts for nearly every character you can imagine.

Your first stop for choosing contacts should be to your eye care professional (aka your optometrist). You know you've been putting it off anyway so if this is what it takes to get you in for an appointment then so be it.

Federal Law requires all lenses, even plano, (that would be a non-prescription strength lens for those of you with excellent eyesight) obtain an eye exam and a valid prescription. You will undergo a contact lens fitting so be prepared to have someone sticking things in your eyes. (If you're gonna wear these you'll have to get used to it anyway.)

Once that is completed you can have your optometrist go over their selection of available lenses or you can shop for them on the web.

We really like the layout at Here you can shop by lens color or style. Some of my personal faves are LeStat, Manson, Creepers and Black Sclera.

The site also provides some excellent information on the wear and care of your lenses as well as tips and trends.

Another thing we like about EFX is that they require the eye exam. In other words they aren't all about the money. I'm sure you can find several sites that allow you to bypass the prescription but be careful - it's required for a reason. Remember your eyes are the only ones you've got. I'm sure Darry would agree.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Like Totally

80's retro hour. That was my first clue that I was "over the hill". When the music you listened to in high school is now dedicated to one late-night hour in the middle of the week your time has come...and gone.

The Halloween costume scene is riddled with remnants of someones youth. There's the 50's poodle skirt, the 60's hippie and the 70's disco queen. It was inevitable that the 80's would also join the ranks of the has-been.

I had to laugh (and then cringe) when I saw this costume hit the shelves within the last couple of years. God what were we thinking!?

We can roll our eyes at the male hair band example all we want but we Ghoulies weren't much better. No? Let me jog your memory - leggings, big hair (brought to you by Aqua Net), bat wing sweaters, leg warmers, neon, preppy, and of course, shoulder pads.

One of the greatest influences on the fashion scene was the pop singer who wanted to (and I quote) "rule the world". Madonna. The chameleon of reinventing her style had us all jumping through hoops. (Not to be confused with the Karma Chameleon of bad hair and makeup, Boy George.)

The material girl led us on a freak show of fashion with such classics as the layered look, skirts over pants, poodle perms and the infamous pointed bustier.

Unfortunately it appears that no lessons have been learned from the era of the fashion disaster. Some of these fashion faux pas are making a come back. [Cue: Iron Maiden's Run For the Hills]

The good news? It's perfect if you want to relive your youth and dress the part at your next Halloween party.

Well, you go ahead and reminisce. This former head banger is going to crank up the volume, fire up my concert flame and chill out. Yeah, totally.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Halloween Nuptials

I didn't get married on Halloween. I did get married in October - the 27th to be exact. Yes that's me (below) over 19 years ago. A friend who saw a "from the waist up" version of me in this get-up thought it was a costume. Yes, I'm the local Halloween freak so who would of thought I would have had an actual wedding gown?!

October 2009 brides are already knee deep in planning their big day and it looks like the wedding industry is being very accommodating to the Halloween theme. From cakes to gowns - everything is available for the corpse bride. If I were to get married on Halloween in these modern times here are some things that would catch my eye...

These gothic styled invitations will clue the guests to the fact this is not your average bubble gum wedding. Go to Better Home and Gardens for the how-to:

Or maybe something a little more in the Halloween vein? Try these black and orange invites from

The Maggie Sottero "Edwina" gown is hauntingly elegant.

Or, maybe I'd go with something like this Maureen Myring Kesterton Ribbons and Roses gown in black velvet:

Love this gothic style wedding cake I found on flickr by breedbate: had several themed cakes that would be perfect for a Halloween wedding but this one is my favorite:

Of course I'd have to get married in the perfect gothic cathedral ... preferably in Europe .... with a horse and carriage for my limo ... Well, a girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Controlling the Chaos

I have too much holiday stuff! I know this because my husband keeps reminding me plus I can never find anything when I need it. (I can blame that on my parents - the original pack rats.)

Until last year I lived under the delusion that I functioned in organized chaos. Well the chaos thing was correct but organized?? I finally decided to do something about it. Unlike some previous attempts at organizing my holiday stash, this one seems to actually be working so I thought I'd share it.

First, I gathered up all the containers of Halloween items I own. No easy task as they were scattered everywhere. I started with one container at a time to keep things in order.

Next I grabbed a notebook and logged each item in the container.

Then I took a picture of each item. (This is where you separate the ghouls from the goblins as it takes an incredible amount of time.)

I assigned the container a number (ex: HL-01 for Halloween container 1), labeled it and noted this next to the item description in my log book. (If you're a bit anal like me you'll also want to enter the container description. This is a great backup in case the label falls off.)

The last note in my log book was the location of the container (ex: attic, basement, etc.).

Finally, I uploaded my pics and entered them as well as the other information I had noted into a program called HomeManage 2007 from Liberty Street Software which I purchased for $39.95. The program allows you to categorize your items (obviously I did mine by holiday). You can search by the item, category, location, and a dozen other variables.

So, the million dollar question - did it work? Ghoulies it was amazing! When I was ready to assemble the haunted graveyard I just searched each item I wanted in the program, noted it's location and container info and gave the list to my husband. I kid you not - 5 minutes in the attic and he had gathered everything I needed.

The process took a lot of time but to be fair I have well over 75 containers of Halloween and another 50 of Christmas. I only worked on this in my spare time - I started last January and I'm not completely done. BUT - it was well worth it. There's a certain comfort in knowing where all your severed heads are stored.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shop 'til You Drop

I'm exhausted. For some reason my hubby got a wild hair up his hiney and wanted to go Christmas shopping yesterday. Tracy and I always go Christmas shopping together - without husbands. It's a tradition. Unfortunately we weren't going to be able to work the shopping trip in this year so hubby stepped up to the plate.

Now understand, the man hasn't ever been Christmas shopping in our 19 years of marriage. Oh, he may pick up a gift or two but the shopping marathon is alien to him. I was sensing disaster on the horizon. I mean one does not just jump into this kind of thing lightly. Heck, Tracy and I can spend over 2 hours at Super Target alone. This is serious shopping. Nevertheless I relented and off we went.

During the course of our day my husband asked me several times what I wanted for Christmas. Now I could send him to the blog but then he would see his drag queen picture and that, my friends, would be suicide. So, I told him we would need to go to Lowes for my gift. Yep, the woman needs tools!

"What do you need tools for?" he asked over and over. Finally I said "I need some things to make some new tombstones for the yard". [Blank look] "Ya know, for Halloween." [Cricket chirping] The poor guy just cannot get his brain around the fact that I like to make creepy stuff.

I've always been into Halloween but I will admit that he had no idea what he was signing on for when we married. I was mild back then. Now I'm a hardcore, everyday is Halloween, addict. I do this for a living but I know he's always wondering when I'll get over this Halloween thing. (I'm sure my mother thought I would outgrow it as well.)

Six hours later we arrived back home and we have still not made it to Lowes. I have to wonder if he's hoping I'll ask for something a bit more conventional if he gives me some time to think about it. The man would be thrilled if just for once I asked for a diamond earrings or something frivolous. No, I think I'll head out to Lowes this afternoon and pick up his gift for me. I'm sure I'll love it!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sharpen Your Halloween Nails

Being the Ghoulie Girl that I am I just love nails. I don't love my own nails which is why I trek to the salon once every 2-3 weeks for my acrylic nail fix. I love modern technology, especially the kind that makes me look better.

A few years ago I wanted something for Halloween besides the predictable black nails. My stylist came through and I had a candy corn look done with orange, white and yellow acrylic powder. (I love my stylist - waves "hey" to Christy!!)

There are so many fun things we girls can do with our nails from colored powders, to paint, to decals to nail jewelry. Makes me giddy just to think of it all!

With so many choices what's a Ghoulie Girl to do? We say try them all! Here are a few that may inspire you:

OPI is one of the hottest brands in nail color. Shown below: 2006 Ghouls Night Out! Collection (don't ya just love the name?!), 2007 Glow Out Nail Collection and 2008 Get In-Spider-ed. Each collection features 4 mini bottles of nail lacquer and a set of creepy decals. If you missed it fear not! OPI comes out the new collections every year and you can probably still find these (hint: think ebay).

Acrylic powders require a professional application but there are tons of options and your stylist can lead you in the right direction. If you look closely you can see my nails done with the powders (the crazy freak on the left is my stylist - see you become good friends when you get together over nails every couple of weeks):

Last but not least there is nail jewelry. This is where it really gets wild. These golden serpent rings from NY designer Jules Kim will set you back $830 for the set (ouch).

Don't panic! If it's sparkle you desire pick up some rhinestones, glitter and charms which are a heck of a lot cheaper and very easy to apply.

So Ghoulie Girls now you've got an excuse to go get your nails done! (And if you spring for the nail rings send us a pic.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Queen For A Day

My husband pretends he doesn't like hosting the Halloween party or getting into costume but come the big event he's fretting about details and what he's to wear. Men. He usually leaves his costume up to me and I usually have free reign to costume him however I see fit. Well, that's the way it used to be.

My right to choose his costume ended several years ago. Oh, it started out innocent enough. The conversation went something like it always does:

Me: What do you want to be for Halloween this year?

Him: Are we doing that party again? (Translation: "I don't wanna.")

Me: Just tell me what the heck you want to be so I can get it done.

Him: Whatever.

Me: No, pick something because I don't want to hear about it later.

Him: I don't care just do whatever.

Me: [sigh]

So be it.

The party in question had a theme were you needed to come costumed as a couple or a group. I worked through several scenarios but finally honed in one I really liked - Pimp and Hoe. Catch was I would be the pimp and he would be a lady of the night.

I hit every thrift store in town looking for the perfect pieces to complete his ensemble. By the time I was done I had: a hot pink mini skirt, dreadful pink/black/yellow splattered jacket, fishnet hose, red curly wig, earrings, heels and a black bodysuit. (Did you know that women's snap-crotch bodysuits don't work well with the male anatomy? Tip: think bra extender.)

The evening of the party I presented him with his costume and went about directing him on the ins and outs of dressing like a "lady". If only you could have seen him trying to navigate the fishnets - hysterical! I then did his makeup and off to the party we went.

My husband has the best legs and butt so from the back he could have passed for a woman but catch the profile and the Adam's apple and 5'o clock shadow turned him into she-male extraordinaire. I think he did manage to get a few butt pinches, numerous cat-calls and possibly even a couple of marriage proposals before the night was over.

There are few things that could bring my marriage to the verge of a divorce: hiding his remote, me barking out instructions as he attempts to assemble the newest widget we've acquired and dressing him as a woman. I've been told in no uncertain terms that his days of "dude looks like a lady" are over. So, keep this on the down-low - here he is in full drag. (Was kind of hard to get him to stand still for a photo op. Hmmmmm - wonder why???)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Inspiration Day

God I love free time! Not that I actually have a lot of it but when I do I hit the web and look for inspiration. I have more picture files than you can shake a stick at (what the hell does that mean anyway? - shake a stick at what exactly?) and my "favorites file" is really too much to manage but I still mark everything that might inspire me to create something.

So, today is inspiration day - just random stuff that I've stumbled upon in my search. Click the pic to go to the source.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Halloween Rabbit?

Ok so it's October nineteen-seventy-something (there I go giving away my age) and the one thing on nearly every child's mind is "What am I going to be for Halloween?" Ahhh the dilemma of picking out a costume. I swear I could change my mind a dozen times in as many days. Halloween only rolled around but one time a year and I needed to give this some serious consideration. Or, at least, that's the way I remember it.

My mother recently sent a few childhood pictures of me and my sisters. (Funny, seems my parent's camera only worked on three occasions: Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Yes, Kodak moments were rare indeed.) Anyway, she sent me several with us girls decked out in our Halloween duds. Yes I said duds. What the hell was up with the plastic mask thing and why did we kids fall for it?

I bet the sales pitch at the local Duckwalls went something like this: "Hey lady, have your kid throw on this jumpsuit that has a picture of an astronaut on it, and top it off with this cheap, ubber fragile plastic mask with a thin elastic strap that will sever an ear if they make a wrong move. They'll feel like a real space explorer!"

Apparently my mother bought it because I am the proud owner of several vintage plastic masks. (Being the official Halloween freak in the family anything related to the holiday is immediately pawned off on me.)

Ok, and explain to me this... what the hell does a bunny rabbit have to do with Halloween? Shouldn't that be an Easter costume?

I know this picture is from Halloween because I (the oldest of course) am wearing some sort of green witchy mask with blood dripping down it. No, maybe that's a zombie gypsy? Whatever, I'm not sure what it is.

My middle sister created her own costume (nobody ever accused her of being a dummy). She's the creepy little old man.

It's my youngest sister that is the most disturbing (in the photo and in real life - hee hee). She's a freaking bunny! What the...??? Though I do admit, the bunny mask has a bit of deranged look to it so maybe it's a psycho bunny??? Yeah, we'll go with that - psycho bunny!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ghoulie Girls Quick Project

Ok, here's a riddle for you. What does your local garden center have to do with Halloween? They carry great cemetery props for your haunted yard. No, really.

Work with me here... Several years ago I purchased a cheap resin bird bath and set it outside (exactly where one would expect it to go). Last winter the bird bath started to crack and finally it broke into pieces (I mentioned it was cheap didn't I?). The well of the bird bath was surrounded by three small resin birds that were attached to the bath by a peg. Though weathered they were all still in one piece and I got to thinking that these would be a nice little addition to a handmade tombstone. (Now don't pressure me. This is just one of many ideas banging around in the ol' brain. I haven't actually got around to doing it yet.)

All types of resin products are sold through garden centers. Everything from statuary busts to stepping stones to finials. At the end of the season you can probably even pick up a few on the cheap. (We love cheap!)

I place several architectural style pieces amongst our tombstones. I left them as I found them but you can certainly paint, weather, dry brush, or distress them to get the look you want. Smaller resin pieces can be incorporated into handmade tombstones or add them to store bought pieces for a unique look.

In the picture below you'll see the white resin piece nestled in a bush with a crow perched on top:

You don't have to wait until summer's end to do your shopping. You can often find resin pieces year-round that would be the perfect creepy addition. And, best of all, if you can get these for a few bucks on clearance and just slap them up you've got a great look that's Ghoulie Girl quick!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blame It On Mom

I blame my mother. I know it was unintentional but I blame her just the same.

Our entire family enjoyed the Halloween season but aside from a few disposable decorations like crepe paper, honeycomb pieces, die-cuts, etc we really didn't have much to display. We always carved pumpkins and we made the corn stalk tee pee but that was about it. With one exception. My mother always placed a plastic light-up in the front window. The light-up featured a grinning Jack O' Lantern in a top hat balanced on a hunched back black cat with a skull between his feet. Around the base were several flying witches.

The lighting of the Jack and Cat signaled that Halloween was upon us. Every night from mid October until the 31st the black and orange plastic cast an eerie glow in our window. It was a magical time.

Several years ago my parents were cleaning out their basement. (Thank God because they are pack rats and I would hate to have to have done that after they were gone.) My sister and I showed up to help. Well, we showed up to stake claim to certain things anyway. I told my mom that I wanted the plastic Jack and Cat. I was surprised when she couldn't even recall what I was talking about. After relating the entire story as I have here she still couldn't remember it so I figured it had been tossed out.

We cleaned throughout the day and at one point I looked up in the rafters and... did I mention my parents are pack rats? Thank God they are because there it was! Tucked away and dusty but in great shape.

And so it began. My obsession with those vintage plastic light-ups. My collection now includes 25 of these relics from the 60's and 70's and it's still growing. I blame it on my mother.

Other pieces from the collection:
Vintage Light-Ups 1
Vintage Light-Ups 2
Vintage Light-Ups 3

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Beast

This past Halloween season the Ghoulie Girls took a quick trip to Kansas City, MO to take in a few haunted houses: The Beast, The Edge of Hell, The Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe and Macabre Cinema. All four are owned and operated by Full Moon Charities Inc and benefit the Variety Children's Charity.

While we enjoyed each haunt (and we'll likely end up reviewing them all) by and far we preferred The Beast. Opened in 1991, it holds the title as "The Largest Haunted House" in America. 45 minutes (give or take) of heart pounding action. It took us at least 45 minutes (and I know this because Tracy had to pee 5 minutes after we entered the building).

We screamed a lot and we're not especially easy to scare but it was just too much fun. This is an open floor format which means you aren't just herded through a maze but rather left to wander each area. In some areas it's hard to find exactly where you're supposed go and if you're like us some haunt actor will mess with your mind and send you to a dead end.

Dark as hell in some places and stairs everywhere (I have no idea how they pass code), uneven floors and live actors that get up close and personal. The creme de la creme is when you near the end and they hand you a butt size piece of wax paper and send you hurdling down a 4 story slide back to the bottom. Tracy lost a shoe on the way down [insert hysterical laughter here].

The best thing is that all four haunted houses are within walking distance of each other but, if you prefer, a tractor pulled hay rack ride is available. Lines for The Edge of Hell and The Beast can get rather long so we highly recommend buying your tickets online in advance. This also allows you to get in the VIP line which gets you in pretty fast. If you plan on visiting more than one haunt, the combo tickets are the best deal. Parking is crazy but there are parking attendants who are very helpful in giving you directions and other necessary information. Another tip: If you're planning to stay overnight check for package deals. This past season The Sheraton and the Hyatt Regency included haunt tickets with your room.

We'll definitely go back.

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