Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Almost October!

This is going to be a huge busy, busy time for me!
I've been shopping and starting to decorate already as I mentioned, I have to decorate the inside of the house along with the outside! WHEW! Big job!

So to start with, I am going to bring in all the containers of Halloween decorations from the garage. I have a few of them inside now and ordered some fantastic little things from Oriental Trading Company to include in the Trick or Treat bags. I also ordered some of the Zombie items from Party City for my daughter's birthday including, an eyeball pinata! I'll see about pics here for you but it looks great!
I am starting to move some Halloween items I had stored in my office out into the house. I brought out all the lenticular pictures that I had been buying all year long and have moved them upstairs. I was going to line the stairwell with them but I realized since these are the bigger pics, it would look better to line the walls with them upstairs in that one large room that we are not really using. Sort of like a gallery! I am looking forward to seeing that room set up and it should be pretty easy to do. I'll be looking for a fake organ cardboard set up to prop around the small Casio keyboard I have on a stand up there just for effect.

The zombie silhouettes went up on the garage door windows, two of them a couple nights ago. They usually come with some double sided tape but I forgo these and instead, I use velcro so I can attach and reattach each year! I purchased a roll of velcro from Walmart and just snip off what I need, matching the two sides together so you don't have one large piece sticking to a tiny bit.
Then, I just leave the little velcro pieces up on the top inner windows as it can't be seen and then just take down and put up as I need to. The fuzzy side is what gets put on the windows and the curled-comb-teeth side is on the plastic sheet of the zombie silhouettes. I normally use the ghosts here but I decided to change it up! They are not as long as my windows so I got some black construction paper and taped that to the bottoms so it does not look too odd. Turn on the garage light and you can see them glow and the effect is pretty good! I am thinking of cutting that black paper to a few tombstone type of silhouette so it's not just this black block at the bottom....ooooooOOooo eh?

My daughter got the idea to theme each room. I had been thinking that too and so she wanted to put spiderwebs up in the dining area that is an empty room right now. So I added to that idea with changing the bulbs with black light ones and then using all sorts of different colored spider webbing above it! We'll add a bunch of spiders all over it and that room will be about done!
I've already added a black square table here too, that I'll put the few Halloween houses I do have onto it for a little display and I'll add the small stereo also for our party music.

The kitchen will be all witch and laboratory/potions and shrunken heads area. The living room, we are thinking vampire theme but I am not sure how much decor I have for vampires. The entranceway will have some ravens and crows, the stairwell is snakes with the bust of Medusa that I just purchased from Grandin Road on the table at the bottom but I may move her along with the table to the middle landing so you can see her better.

So lots to take care of yet!

Outside this weekend, we are going to put up the Halloween inflatable train in the backyard that we picked up from Seventh Avenue! WOW! From the pics, it really looks great! It is measured at 17' feet long! I haven't opened it up yet but we'll be doing that this Saturday. Also, the car comes out of the garage and the gazebo gets put up and then we work on the Hallowindow! That will be in the front room so we won't have to worry about the haunted cave inside the garage becoming an issue with the projector.  3 big things! Going to be one busy, busy month!

I am going to start to make some more Halloween lanterns too for the garden out of the glass jars and tissue paper. Forget where I saw this unique crafty idea but I think it was in Martha Stewart's Living magazine. I did decide to cancel all those subscriptions for those magazines too and just purchase what I want when I see them. Much cheaper that way, especially with most of them I just want the Halloween issues.

Next up, we'll have to figure out the menu, aside from the pizza and soda. I have to figure out what I am making and when to make it all.

All the above aside, Eric from DFW Friends of Halloween is going to be keeping me busy with all the walk-thrus of the local haunts! We have so many local haunts here in the DFW area, it's just incredible! I missed Haunt House AGAIN! Grrr!! But I will be down at Screams this Friday night for sure. Saturday is supposed to be at Reindeer Manor and Necropolis I think it is, both of which I have not seen  yet so it's gonna be hairy getting to them and fitting them in!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Can you believe it?

It's already 40 days til Halloween!! So much to do and so little time left!!
I am also having a Creepy 18th Birthday Party for my daughter as her birthday is in the middle of October and I will already have most of my Halloween decorations up. So that means that I have to decorate the inside of the house as well! Normally, the inside of my house is trashed with all the Halloween containers and whatnot that did not get outside or utilized, plus all the Halloween candy that needs to be kept cool so it does not all melt in the garage under our afternoon sun that bakes things in there. But this year, I'll have to hide all that and decorate my rooms inside the house.

I've already put up some plastic signs on some of the doors inside the house using the DO NOT ENTER black tape with eerie green lettering. Plus, other signs that say Enter At Your Own Risk or Danger and things like that. I am using them to help block off some rooms that I don't want the kids to go wandering into during the party. Some doors will have full door covers to change it up. So far, it looks pretty cool! We've hung some of the shrunken heads in the kitchen, not all of them as I have a nice big collection of them since last Halloween when I first started to collect them just after the holiday was over. I'll see about getting some pictures up so you can take a peek!

Most of the decorating will wait until after I return from an extended weekend trip. The big decorating won't begin until October 1st as that is when I can put things up outside.

Early preparations for Halloween include bagging the candy. All candy gets put into a ziplock bag so that each person gets the same amount as well as it helps me to keep track of how many kids have come by. Last year, I had 253 kids come thru my haunted cave!! Amazing! I also give away a bunch of other things for the smaller kids like glow bracelets, Halloween bubbles, little stuffed animals and stuff like that. We also have bottled water and cookies and cupcakes.
This year should be even better than last year with the new props and decorations I will have up!  One year we did a Haunted Cafe complete with mummy dogs and chili and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. But it made the inside of the garage, where we had it, smell funky, plus, it was a bit too chaotic so we did not open that again for everyone in our neighborhood. We do still make the chili however for ourselves and I'll be putting up the recipe here for you all.

How to make the Haunted Cave? Well, here is a slide show my son made of how some of it was put together. Hope you all enjoy it!

We'll be making another one for this year with clearer pics and more detailed how-to's!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Returning Halloween Village & Train

After much consideration, I decided to return the Bradford Exchange Halloween Universal Train and the Frankenstein Castle and cancel those subscriptions as well as end the ships from Pirates of the Caribbean and Flying Dutchman subscriptions as well.

The main reason was that they did not fit in with the other houses and items that I had purchased as the scale was completely off. I really do love the ships however and so I'll be keeping them and once I get the rigging in place, I'll go ahead and do a review on them both.

I did really like these items that I am returning but they are just so small and the train would have looked a bit goofy with these huge witches dancing around within the standing stones on the hill that I have set up already.

I do have to say, that the Bradford Exchange is most kind in that they allow up to one year to return their items! WOW! That's really nice! I just needed to get a return shipping label and so I emailed them and they promptly sent me the labels once I identified which items I was wanting to return. How grand of them!! I thought for sure I would be stuck with some of the items but no! :) So kudos to Bradford Exchange!

I am keeping the subscription with them for the Rudolph Christmas village and for the Nightmare Before Christmas village for my daughter. I will end the Rudolph one however once I get the next shipment. I just wanted to be sure that I did receive Bumble and the Christmas tree along with the Misfit Toys, Hermie and Yukon as well. :) So I'll have to look over everything to be sure and then come Christmas time, I'll set it all up and see what I am missing and what I would like and not.

So thank you Bradford Exchange for being so gracious about it all! It is deeply appreciated!