Monday, September 29, 2014

It has begun....So far!

I wanted to get these pics up to let you all see what the front lawn looks like so far. We began this past weekend and got right to it in setting up the circle of ghosts first. This was a bit difficult as I really wanted it in the cemetery itself so no one would mess with them, but as we began to set the cemetery fence, I realized I didn't have enough fencing. So we had to cut off the size of the graveyard to fit. I wanted it a lot larger but I really do not want to buy more fencing, not when we have learned how to make our own and I'd rather we replaced all of these with ones we made ourselves.

I chose to put the ghosts there alongside the blank wall of the house and we have them lit with two green floodlights. I also had to use a shepherd's hook so that the skeleton hammock guy could be stretched across the open area there by the front door. The only bad thing is that it makes the post man and UPS man have to walk around, through the graveyard. Once I close up the gap that we have, they will have to go all the way around or just slide the box under the hammock skeleton. This is the hammock skeleton you see in the stores. It is A LOT smaller than you may think.  

I did add the skeleton wooden chimes I picked up from the Seashell Shop in Rehoboth Beach. They have some awesome fudge there too by the by.

Here is the fencing I mentioned. You can see the gap where it ended there in the upper right corner. I want to enclose it at that point so that kids won't be tempted to just walk on thru and trip over all the cords that I know will end up on the lawn.
I adore those solar tubes, you can see the one there in orange next to the sign. I have another yellow one you can just barely see in the upper left, that isn't working and I will have to see what I can do about fixing it or replacing it. 

In the center there to the right of the pumpkins has become a tribute to Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen from New Orleans. I have a tombstone for her, a voodoo doll I made and some zombie heads there near her and this year, we added some solar weeping willow LED lights to frame it. I really love those willow trees! They are really great and I don't remember where I got them! 

Under the tree to the right is one of those garden gnomes all skeleton, digging. I may make this sort of like the fairy mound and put more gnomes there or something. Honey bees are all over this tree and I can only guess they are after the sap because it's a non-flowering tree. 

The three pumpkins you see are fake and on a haystack. These will be lit with the pumpkin projections I got and I'll do a review of them later on once I get it all set up. I have to build a tomb for in front of it so it can house the projector and iPod and the speaker receiver.

I've added more tombstones to the graveyard and will get some pics tomorrow when the sun comes out more. We got the graveyard lit however with some color changing LED lights. I need to replace the green floodlights under the ghosts with those so we are not drawing so much electricity.

We also were able to set up the Hallowindow/video projections in the windows above the garage. That took some doing as I had picked up new cables and they didn't work for the iPod Classic, only for the touch, so be careful when you buy the A/V cables, make sure everything will work with the type of device you have. I updated that blog post from before too.

I also dry brushed all the skeletons so they are all ready to go for corpsing. I hope to do that this week. I need to get them done, skinned and painted and then attached to their poles so they are out of the way.

We did manage to get a lot of boxes taken over to storage and I began to look through the boxes in the house and found more tombstones so I will get to place those as well hopefully tomorrow. I ordered a few more things that I needed and checked off items in the to-do list. Everything is going pretty well tho' I am starting to run out of time and won't be able to do all that I have been wanting, as usual. I still need to redo my tombstones. That's a huge project. I have all the tools for it, just need time but there are other priorities first so for now, I touched up what I have with some gray paint and the new tombstone I made at the Davis Family's tombstone class, I was able to glue in the pvc pipe to the channels they had cut and painted the back and will sand down any glue blobs and finish painting that area too and then I can place that one out into the graveyard. It's one of my favorites now! 
Eventually, I will redo all the tombstones and get rid of the old ones or commercial ones, resell or give them away.

I do want to say too, that I really feel more like a real haunt this year. Made a flyer and dropped it off at the community center so that kids will know we are here.

I still hope to get to make the paper mache monsters for the cave! For now, still need some rest and want to conk out. Busy day tomorrow!

More pics and updates to come!!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I've Been Up To...

I know I've been a bit quiet as of late but it's because I've been super busy! After moving here to DE and to a townhouse that is a lot smaller than the big home I had in Texas, it's been a big adjustment. 
For Halloween, it meant that I could not use the gazebo, but instead, I had to put together a pvc pipe framework inside the garage and the side workroom. I kept with the same idea of having a haunted cave and a bit of a path to do a "U" turn inside the garage itself and then instead of stepping into the black-lit cave itself, this time, to just go by it. 

The reason I did that instead of having the kids go inside it is because there is a step up to go into the workroom/cave and I didn't want any of the trick or treaters (fondly known as ToTs) to trip or fall. I know many kids can have elaborate costumes and their vision is impaired or compromised while wearing masks and they may not see that step so I felt it was best to just avoid that situation completely. To further dissuade them from not going up there, I've built a half fence in front so they will feel they can't go up there. I started out with pvc pipe frame and I'll be zip-tying some plastic chain link fencing to it that I'll cut to fit in the coming weeks.

This is the workroom area:

Now of course the pvc piping is not the only progress we've made! :) We have already began to put up the black sheets on the walls and cover the ceiling as well. The pvc pipe really helped a lot to make this so much easier. We also un-safety-pinned the camoflauge netting from the black sheets and began to attach that to the ceiling. I used the brown paper for the background in the cave room that I had splooged with black latex paint last year. I'll need to make some more to fill in the few areas that are still bare walls. 

You can see what a difference a bit of black sheet can do and how dark it makes it in there! That's the Evil Entity behind the bars there in the corner of the cave. I will be painting the bars black/dark grey so they look more like bars of a cage. I won't do anything fancy like apply rust to them as the Evil Entity, who we used before as the Spider King last year, moves up and down and rubs on the bars and I don't want him to get stuck or get that on him. So I'll paint the bars smooth and mostly just on 3/4 of the bars and not directly behind him.

We also added some black lights to the cave, two of the long ones, zip-tied them up to the ceiling. I have another I may angle from the floor or utilize in another area in the cave to help light it up well. I might put it more so out into the walkway so that the kids get to light up as well when they reach that point to get their candy.

Now I am hoping to make a large cauldron for the middle area of the cave. I am starting to run out of time however so we'll see how that goes. It's an indoor thing so I can be working on it too all of October which I will probably need a fair amount of time to get it completed to how I want it to look.

Meanwhile, this weekend we will be covering those white shelves with black trash bags and I'll paint more brown paper to match the other sheets already on the walls there. I may also go around and paint some of the pvc pipe black. And yes, ideally, I should have done that before we put them together but we were in a hurry to get this part set up and I thought I would be covering them entirely but turns out no, so I'll have to do the painting afterwards, not a big deal really.

The Evil Entity barely fit behind those bars! I wasn't sure if he would but it all worked out. Not too shabby for mostly eyeballing it and not planning it exactly with measurements! 
Oh and that is the Time piece from the graveyard last year that I had won from the Davis Family's graveyard class at Hauntcon. We had to toss a black sheet over him as this one lady stood out on the sidewalk just gawking at it. We didn't want anyone to really know what we were doing just yet. They'll find out soon enough! Muuahahhaa!

On another note (said I was busy!), I have been reading and following the various Halloween Home Haunters and DIY groups on Facebook. If you are wanting some good quality props and you have Facebook, you really need to join these groups! What a great lot of talented folks there and all so very nice and friendly and willing to help you with suggestions or how-to's! It is nearly overwhelming and hard to know just where to start. I just absolutely love it. And I say good quality props because YOU would be making them and not buying them from a store. I have to say I am becoming disappointed with some of the poor quality some of the stores are putting out. Some places, yes, they have some good quality items but it all comes down to buyer beware and beware inDEED!! It's scary out there. I look at it all tho' like this: if you buy a prop from a store and it breaks, most of the Halloween stores do have great customer service and will help you out, but if not, learn how to fix it yourself or you can take what you purchased and build on it! Add to this prop and make it better.

I never really thought about painting some of the props, like you know the rats? Those plastic rats? Just didn't cross my mind and you know, I saw some people paint them and just wow! How great and so utterly fantastic they look and it didn't take much at all! You don't have to be Picasso or Rembrandt, just a little dab or two or ten and wha~la! you have a grand masterpiece! Of course remembering that it is pretty dark too but still, some items really come out looking so much better when they get a little tender lovin care from you! :)

I want to talk about another idea too that I ran across and I bought the book and I am going to give it a whirl soon but I'll leave that for the next post, coming soon!!

What else is coming? More pics, more props, more book & movie reviews/recommendations/info and lots of creative ideas! And yes, maybe even more recipes! I will also be adding a lot more links too as I get thru everything.

Oh and ummm yes...I know, I still need to talk about Hauntcon and Transworld Halloween Tradeshow and yessss Scarefest!! Stay tuned as I am settling in more and getting everything organized. 

Til then, let the countdown continue!

~*Bugs n Hisses*~