Quick make up and setting spray test for Halloween.

  • Black nails with matte top coat
  • Black mehron Paradise makeup
  • NYX matte finishing spray

Yes, it will be on my fingers and probably half way up my hands. We’ll see. So far the setting spray is definitely matte and not tacky now that it’s dry, except that I can feel there is something on my hand when I bend my fingers. Casually running my other hand over the made up area there is minimal to no transfer! Sweet.

Did you know they make matte top coat? New one on me.

I’ve seen people do some cool things with blackened fingers, but my version will be slap-dash, applied hurriedly between putting out all my lights and candy and the hordes of little monsters showing up demanding their due.

Creepy school girl a la Sabrina. Better keep my fingers off that white collar, just in case.


I love inventive crochet and knitting. By now we’ve all seen the kids’ stocking cap with attached lumberjack beard and the very cool crocheted Viking helmets. Love them.

This mom has been tackling Halloween via crochet. First she made a full suit crochet Predator costume, which was great! As a child of the 80s her other creation holds a special place in my heart – and yeah, of course he glows! Check out Slimer!

It sort of reminds me of the inchworm costume I insisted my mom make me when I was about 5 (only cooler, sorry Mom). I’d totally be Slimer for Halloween.

Slimer! Via Crochetverse via boingboing.

Check out the rest of the story on boingboing.

Check out Crochetverse’s website here.

Happy almost Halloween!

Random street art in the Marigny, just off Elysian Fields Ave. I don’t remember which street, probably Chartres or Decatur.

So I went to New Orleans recently (had a great time, can’t wait to return, again) and that, coupled with my most stressful work event of the year happening late, has officially messed up my Halloween. I just don’t have the time I’d like, or the energy, to make all my fun new Halloween props. This saddens me.

I need to come to grips with the fact that I can’t go on vacation in October and go all out for Halloween in the same year. Not unless I win the MegaMillions (damn you winner in SC, *shakes fist*; please donate generously to charities). Or if I get started much earlier in the year, which clearly I did not.

Also, I’m really not seeing deals on candy this year. Sure there are smaller deals on small bags of candy, but I need volume here. I need at least 100# or I will have to spend like 5 hours hiding from trick or treaters. That is not acceptable.

My revised plan is to cemetery up the yard with my headstones, creepy fence (which has, cough, been up all year), various skeletons, bugs, rats, spider webs of enormous size, my witch and cauldron. I did get two more fog machines, bringing my total to 3, so perhaps I’ll figure out better placement. Maybe I’ll spend more time on my own costume/make up (Witch? Vampire? Ghoul?), which often gets neglected.

Next year – piracy! Cannons!

Halloween 2017, Haunted Bayou side. Like the giant spider webs? They’re crocheted!

It’s Halloween time! Well, soon.

One of the bone guys hanging out in the tree

We get pretty excited about Halloween around here. It’s my favorite holiday. As much as I like dressing up, it’s even more fun to dress up in an appropriate environment. Think of it as a costume for my house! This year my house and yard will once again play the part of Jean Lafitte’s Swamp, in honor of New Orleans and the Golden Age of Piracy.

I live in a great neighborhood for Halloween. It’s very walkable and there are a good number of kids. Consequently we get a lot of trick-or-treaters. Last year my neighbor said he counted 400 kids coming to his door. This does not surprise. We hand out a ton of candy (around 140# is the record – and I mean that much at my house, not the neighborhood).

After seeing the throngs the first year (I left my husband alone at home with only 30# of candy – he was out by 7pm) I decided it would be better to hang out outside all evening the following year. I needed a theme. Somehow I decided on a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, dragged out several tables, mismatched chairs, tea cups, teapots (and yes, tea), snacks, and invited a few friends. It turned into a thing. We decided to do the same basic theme two years in a row, but to do it a little differently in those back to back years.

We’ve done:

  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Party: 1st and 2nd
  • Witches
  • Mad Science (and Steampunk Mad Science)
  • Pirates

We’ve had a couple breaks for vacations and one year it rained enough that the cauldron and lights were about all that went out (and right back in).

This year is the second year of Pirates. I sometimes get a little over ambitious with my projects and I’ve been horrible about blogging them. But they are so much fun. I’m going to try to get some of the backlog documented. I enjoy branching out into creative, non-sewing, projects.

My plans for this year involve:

  1. Covering up more of the house with some “sail” to make for a better backdrop.
  2. Actually doing something with the garage door. The plan is to make a “stone” arch with a “stone wall” behind it and a jail cell inside the arch. The garage door will be covered in a stone printed hanging above the arch. The jail cell bars will be left over pieces from the fence build last year.
  3. Make a cannon that belches smoke. Maybe also a smaller one (no smoke), as a test run
  4. Maybe make some “crates” or possibly drape boxes entirely in canvas with the East India logo on them. I’ve gotta consider storeability when I make this stuff.
  5. Tiki torches because good lighting can be difficult.
  6. We need a big red X to mark the spot. I’m thinking of painting one in a section of drop cloth.

This is the basic arch idea for the jail’s arch. I don’t know how far I’ll go with painting it to look more realistic. Well see what my time constraints are. Image found here.

East India logo to be stenciled on a couple cheap drop cloths

This is the general idea for the big cannon. Not sure how I’m going to bell the front yet. I’m thinking I can store up to maybe a 6ft one. Need to research actual size. Image found here.

The idea for the small cannon. I’m going to make it out of three oatmeal tubes and I don’t know what else yet. Image found here.

Just like last year there will be (more on this stuff in some additional posts):

  1. My Halloween faux fence and the pillar it dies into on the far end (both of which I made, the former with my husband’s help)
  2. Pirate chests (one with candy)
  3. A variety of nets, jewels, creepy lights, skulls and other Halloween decorative goodness
  4. Two full size skeletons getting up to hijinks in my tree and a rather miserably small cage
  5. Huge crocheted spider webs in the tree
  6. Tombstones (me made) in the swamp (yes, I know they don’t bury in the ground in the bayou, but it’s Halloween)
  7. My witch stirring her cauldron, which looks like it’s sitting on a bed of hot, glowing coals. This might be the cauldron’s last year. It’s starting to sag.
  8. Fog and swamp sounds
  9. Pirates handing out candy!

SO much to do!


I love Halloween, so any year that I get to do more than one is awesome! In 2013, we did the usual Halloween set up, which means we had about 100 pounds of candy. Someone said 115 total. Yeah, we go all out. It was year two for Mad Science, but we couldn’t just duplicate the previous year. What fun would that be? Last time we did Steampunk Mad Science, this time we emphasized the Mad.


More after the jump. (more…)

20131026_090927It turns out that I live a few minutes from a fully restored 1890s Victorian Lighthouse, the Port San Luis Lighthouse. I had the pleasure to discover that when a friend asked if I’d like to help at a haunted house. I didn’t know where we were going or what I’d be doing. I just knew that I needed to be ready at 8am and (the night before she told me to) wear something Victorian.

The haunted house was a collaboration between the Lighthouse Keepers docent group and the Central Coast Paranormal Investigators. The CCPI did some ghost hunting in the weeks leading up to the haunted house and made their findings part of the tour experience. We had a cannibalistic fisherman’s family in residence with some gruesome victims – a girl chained to an old iron bed frame, a woman missing a limb in the basement, the White Lady, assorted ghouls and a couple zombies. And blood, lots of blood Each tour group included a plant who was attacked by the zombies. I think we got some genuine fright!


Costume-wise it was more about gore, but I wore some pseudo-Victorian wear and trailed behind the groups to reset doors, etc. I basically recycled my New Orleans Halloween 2010 costume with the newer bolero jacket I made a couple of years later. The skirt was a thrifted a-line wool, which I added a black and white stripped flounce to, a matching black and white top, my green silk waist cincher, a (surprisingly matching gray poly) bolero with black and white striped piping, and my green false top “top hat”. The only thing I didn’t make was the thrifted part of the skirt.

If you have a chance to check out the lighthouse, at Halloween or any other time of the year, it’s worth the trip. Docent led tours are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Link love and lighthouse history:

Halloween is a great time to look at and make masks. I love them. Not the icky rubbery ones that come in an identical succession from the molds, but the beautiful or haunting ones made of leather, lace or feathers, even paper. The ones that embody Venetian Carnival or the wearable artworks I found in the French Quarter. I really started to love them when I started to make them. (Don’t let me give you the impression that I’ve made a lot of masks. I’ve made some, in a handful of techniques). Just writing this post makes me want to take them up again.

Wearable Goblin Mask

The mask above is one of my favorite wearable masks. It’s light and comfortable and the interior is molded exactly to my face. The outside is decorated with cream silk (from my wedding dress – no, I did not wear this at my wedding), gold lace edging and black and gold feathers for the eyebrows.

Pit-Fired Ceramic Goblin Face

I love to make goblin faces. The more the eyes bulge and the bigger and more crooked the nose, the better!

There is no wrong way to make a mask. (more…)