Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nailed It

Haunt on!

Costume Quagmire

Yesterday I went over the basic plan for our 2012 costumes. Why so vague? It's nearly August and I don't have anything definite. Normally by this time my entire costume would be planned out, in progress and set in stone. Panic should be setting in right?

Well, here's the deal... I ain't what I used to be size-wise. Have you ever crossed the path of a mirror and said "who the hell is that?!" only to realize it's your own reflection? Ack!

Size, in of itself, is not the issue as the costume manufacturers finally got a clue and offer a wide range of sizes. Plus, I can sew and conjure up my own. Besides, I don't care what size I am I will always have a Halloween costume. No, that's not it. It's that I don't know what size I will be in come Halloween.

My youngest, Gabe, who will be entering Junior High in just a couple of weeks, informed me this summer that he wanted to run Cross Country. In a spur-of-the-moment, lack of good judgement kind of call I said "Great! I'll train with you!". What ever was I thinking?!

We started a great little program called Couch to 5K. Yes, it involves running. I hate running. I haven't ran on purpose since I was in Junior High. To make matters worse, because I can't do anything half-@ssed, we are running on a trail...in the woods...and we've had 28 straight days of 100°+ heat plus humidity. It's dreadful, it's hard, I sweat (eww) and have I mentioned that I hate running?

Apparently there's an up-side to this training. I'm losing weight. Seven pounds in three weeks to be exact. I'm starting to like this running thing.

I'll figure out my costume but I wanted to put a little positive word out there for anyone who may not be comfortable in their own skin. Ok, I realize that that's every woman regardless of size. There is a costume for you! No matter what your size, shape or style there is something and if you can't find it you can make it. Yes, even if you're not crafty you can make your own.

Over time I will try to add to this conversation with finds and ideas that may get your creative costume juices flowing. For today I'm going to show you a little something that's quick and easy.

One of the hottest trends in costumes is tutus. This video shows you how to make a no-sew tutu for a child but it's the same process for adults. You can make it as long or short as you like and in any color you want. (The video shows the waist being made with ribbon but you could also use elastic.)

Now that you know how to make one here are some fun ideas on how to wear it.

This blog features several tutu costumes that she wears for runs but this is one of my faves:

picture source: life's a wheeze

Make the back longer and create something like this:

picture source: Glamtastik

Oh, and for you Ghoulie Guys out there? Yes, you too can wear a tutu:

picture source: Best Race Costumes blog

Haunt on!

Monday, July 30, 2012

If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Pin On It

My BFF Google is green with envy. I have committed the ultimate sin. I've been spending my time with another source for my haunt fix. Pinterest.

I just pinned this:

Isn't it divine?

I wasn't unable to locate the actual, true source for this. A downfall of Pinterest, but we'll still be friends.

Sorry Google.

Haunt on!

Party Planning Part 4: Our Finest Frockery

I don't know about you but I take this costume thing seriously. As I should being a costume retailer and all but it's rare that I shop from my own shop (hell of an advertisement there Marsha). There are some very good off the rack costumes out there and I'm not at all opposed to wearing one, it's just that I really enjoy creating my own.

To keep with our theme as proprietors of The Manor I'm thinking something of a grey ghost lady for me and a sophisticated ghost gent for the hubby.

I've found a few inspiration pics thanks to my BFF Google and my new buddy Pinterest.

For her - The Lady Grey:

Love the hat, the jewels and the shawl here:

picture source: Benjamin's Lure

This is different, an adult, full length tutu. Hmmmm, there are some possibilites here:

picture source: MirelaOlariu on Etsy

Love the makeup, simple enough for a busy hostess to pull off:

picture source: Ziaria on DeviantArt

I like this wild and crazy hair example, or perhaps I'll just stuff my hair under a hat?:

picture source: A Goth Hipster

For him - Master Smith:

I have several tux tailcoats so I'm thinking about just doing a little tweaking to one of those. For example, I love the cuffs on this:

picture source: Tansy Firedragon's blog

I also love the hat and found this great little how-to to pull off something similar:

picture source: Badia on Instructables 

A pair of black dress pants, shoes and some pale makeup should complete the look for Master Smith.

How will this all turn out? Honestly, I have no idea but as soon as I find out I'll let you know!

Haunt on!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Name My Newest Pet Contest

I took a little time away this past March to check out the TransWorld Halloween Show. We had a great time and were in haunt overload by the time we left.

I met a lot of great people including two of my favorites; Chad Savage (Sinister Visions) and Edward Douglas (Midnight Syndicate).

By now you've seen all kinds of glorious gory goodness from the event so I won't rehash everything so far after the fact. I was drawn to a lot of the independent artists at the show and one in particular had the most "adhorrible" little artifact. Meet my newest pet:

My girlfriend who I had dragged along with me, and who is not "that" into Halloween, took one look at it and said "If you don't buy it I'm going to have to". Enough said.

Yes, it is real.
Yes, it died of natural causes - or so I was told.
Yes, I carried it around like a newborn child for the entire afternoon.
Yes, I was stopped often. Even Phil Morris stopped me to chat about it.
Yes, it is awesome.

I haven't named the little guy yet (or girl....hmm how do I tell what it was?)  - but it will play a small part in this year's Halloween party scavenger hunt as The Bat Of Belfry.

If you have any clever name ideas toss 'em my way. If I choose yours I'll send you a little something-something. I can't wait forever for a name so be sure to post your suggestions by midnight CST, Sunday, August 5th. I'll announce the winner Monday, August 6th.

Haunt on!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grandin Road (Again)

Seems that Grandin Road is promoting their Halloween Haven even more than last year. This morning I received an email featuring a video of their behind the scenes catalog cover photo shoot:

Haunt on!

Ghoulie Tunes

Back with another collection of Ghoulie Tunes. Crank it up and crank out some props!

Let's start out full throttle with this feast for the freaky. Fallen Leaves by Billy Talent.

No official video for this one yet but I certainly can't pass up a song about my alter ego. Halestorm's, Hello, It's Mz Hyde.

And finally... in this, the age of The Walking Dead, who couldn't go for a little zombie romance? Zombie Love Song by Your Favorite Martian.

Haunt on!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

FDU: Playmobil Haunted House

Another page from the Final Destination Unknown files...

Just when I thought the slogan "You can find it on ebay" had evaporated like the fluids in a rotting corpse I stumbled upon this lovely:

A custom Playmobil Victorian mansion complete with wallpaper, furnishings, rugs, paintings and an assortment of skellies.

Ahhh, and it has it's own little cemetery.

Not a detail was overlooked as it even comes with lights and sounds:

Even the description features a creative text layout:

All of this and more can be yours for the low, low price of $599 plus $50 shipping.

Before you run out and buy your own be sure to check out all of the amenities that this fine piece of real estate has to offer here.

Haunt on!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ashes To Ashes....

So I was snooping around Grandin Road's site anxiously awaiting what they may have in store this year (pun intended) and came upon this little treasure:

I like it and for the price I may just have to have one. It's not my birthday or anything but I'm sure I deserve it.

Get your own here!

Haunt on!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Commercial Break....

Thank you Hefty for making a product strong enough to handle aliens. Hmmmm, I wonder if Falling Skies has heard about this?

Haunt on!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Party Planning Part 3: Save The Date

Something new for this year's Halloween bash is my Save The Date pre-invite. This will hit my guest's inbox in a couple of weeks. I have a very small guest list this year (six couples) so I'm trying to insure everyone can come.

Since my guest list is so small I tried to take into account what would appeal to them when making the video. I would have ended it after the first minute but I added another minute or so just to get the guests in the mood and create a more fun, party atmosphere. You see, none of my closest friends are into Halloween the way I'm into Halloween so while a dark, creepy mood gets my blood flowing I knew I needed something more to get them excited.

A bit of an explanation here... This is essentially two parties in one: Halloween and the hub's 50th birthday. The guests will be participating in our regular scavenger hunt but also on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth (to save hubby's youth). Both are referenced in the video.

This was made the way a lot of youtube fan videos are made - by piecing together someone else's work to background music. The only thing original to me is the editing and text. With that said, I give credit where credit is due:

The Fog movie trailer
Phantom of the Opera movie trailer
From Hell movie trailer
Sleepy Hollow movie trailer
Born of the Night - Midnight Syndicate
Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo

Monday, July 9, 2012

Party Planning Part 2: Overview

Haunted Hotel Bones the Bellboy Costume (discontinued)

For those of you following along, this is where it begins. An overview of the master plan:

The Theme:

For this year's Halloween party we'll be working in a creepy, haunted mansion style theme. The idea is that the guests are being invited to The Manor on The Hollow, an old estate that's been converted to a hotel that sets on the grounds of a cemetery known as The Hollow.

In early October each guest will receive a packet from our fictitious attorney, Alfred E Beggley, ESQ. asking for their assistance in saving Master Smith's (the hubby's) youth. Included will be a letter from Beggley outlining the details, a The Manor on The Hollow visitor's brochure, their room key, The Grey Lady and Master Smith's calling cards and assorted clippings regarding the estate and the Fountain of Youth.

The Hunt:

We host a scavenger hunt with every Halloween party. In the past these have been pretty extensive (more on our hunts later) but I'm going to tone things down for this one. This year guests will have to do things like find where a specific prop is or figure out home many tombstones are in the cemetery. Once they've got the answers to all of those questions they will take those answers and use a key to locate the Fountain of Youth. One wrong answer from the hunt and they will fail to find the Fountain.

The Interior:

Since the scavenger hunt will be limited to just our property this year, our guests will be in nearly every room in our home. That means each room will need to be decked out to fit the theme. (What was I thinking?!)

The idea here is sheets over furniture and lots of webs, creepy cloth and gauze as a base and add props from there. We'll go room by room later.

The Exterior:

Not only is a cemetery theme my favorite, it's the easiest for me to accomplish. I have several (store bought) tombstones and skellies but there's plenty of things I want to add. The bulk of the construction list will be here so here's where you will see the most things that do not get finished. (Remember not everything will get done.)

And so it begins.

The Time Is Near...

Grandin Road's email hit my inbox this morning. The Halloween Haven countdown is on!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Party Planning Part 1: List-O-Mania Realities

picture source: TheMetaPicture

I am a lover of lists. Lists rule! Lists are what make my dark little heart skip a beat. Sonnets should be written about lists.  The only thing better than making lists is crossing things off of lists. Oh yes, I looooooooove my lists!

Every Halloween party starts out with a list. My parties start out with a notebook of lists. First I conjure up  the party theme or if I already have a costume in mind I match the the theme to it. Then a list for the decor which leads to lists regarding staging, construction, purchases and gathering from my ever-growing stash.

There's an invite so I have a list of potential designs and details. Costumes for me and the hub means another lists of ideas and designs plus purchases and construction.

Naturally I have a list of possible menu items with links to their recipes which when whittled down leads to a grocery list and a list of appropriate tableware. This, in turn, leads to a list of menu staging items for the buffet.

Let's not forget the scavenger hunt. We are known for our hunts so this is serious stuff. Another list of teams, clues, destinations plus design and delivery.

Among all of these lists are what I refer to as mini-lists. Little scraps and sticky tabs that get scribbled on as ideas come when I'm away from my notebook.

Whew! That's a lot of lists, but lists are the easy part. Just because you have a list full of wonderful plans don't think for one second that everything on that list will be accomplished. Quite the contrary. My lists demonstrate what I would be capable of completing if I were cloned or if I had a Martha Stewart size staff. If there's one thing I can be certain of it's that there will always be something on the list left undone. So be it. Knowing that is half the battle.

Remember no one will know your original plan for your party. The fact that you did not complete your animated Frankenstein with Jacob's ladder prop will have no bearing on how enjoyable your guests find your party. You sulking around because you did not finish Frank will, however, make for a miserable evening for all.

Prioritize. If you've spent all your time crafting our Frank example but forget something essential, like cups and plates, that's just going to stress you out. Get the must haves done first and well in advance, everything else is just icing on the cake.

Here's another dirty secret. That prop/decoration/display that you worked late into the night for weeks on end? Often those go without fanfare while the last minute thrown together idea steals the show.

Also, let's try to avoid comparing our yard/decorations to the professional haunt, the online haunt that's been running since 1998 or the next door neighbor. Your haunt/party is yours and unique to you which is what makes it great.

You do not have to have a block buster budget to pull this together. My goal for this party is to use items from my stash as much as possible. Keep in mind I've been a Halloween retailer for over a decade, hosted Halloween parties for 15 years and I've accumulated a bunch of of haunted goodness. (I'm not a good example if you're just starting out.)

Two new things I'm shooting for this year. One is to be realistic and keep the construction list to a minimum as I know damn good and well most of it likely ain't gonna happen. Case in point: I have pink foam destined for tombstones that's been taking up space in the garage for years. It will still be there come 2013.

I'm also adding a save-the-date video which will go out mid-July. I'm happy to report that job has been completed.

I'm going to show parts of my list as we go along on this journey and you will see what doesn't get done and what morphs into something else. But, here's the thing, parties are meant to be fun. As the host if you aren't having fun why bother? Make your lists but don't be a slave to them.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Care To Go On A Journey?

I am emerging from a year of college inquiries, scholarship applications, ACT/transcript monitoring and the high school graduation of my oldest. I had no idea what I was in for when this began nor did I realize the enormity of the "Momma-Do" list.

It is finished. As Fall nears we prepare to send him off into the world of higher academia and his little brother heads off to Junior High. I am exhausted. Not so exhausted that I don't have a trick or two up my sleeve for the fast approaching Halloween season. Care to go on a journey with me?

Let me explain....It was 2007 when we last hosted our annual Halloween party (number 15). I miss it but I find it hard to muster enough energy to take on the huge task that our previous parties, which usually involved renting a venue, hiring a dj and playing host to 100+ guests, entailed. (Makes me shudder just to think of it.) No, that is not an option. But I have a solution.

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

It just so happens that this November 1st is the hubs 50th birthday. I have managed to throw a surprise party for him on both his 30th and 40th birthdays and I would hate to drop the ball now.

So, my dark darlings, here's the plan. A birthday bash wrapped in the cloak of a Halloween party for six of our favorite couples. I've been conjuring up this idea for several months. Lists have been made, invitations drafted, decor planned and menu ideas gathered. I invite you to join me in the making of a Halloween party - Ghoulie Girls style.

Stay tuned.....

Blog Widget by LinkWithin