Skeleton Fights!

Skeleton Fights!

My first childhood encounter with skeleton fights, thanks to Sinbad! How do you kill a skeleton?

 

What?? Stop motion!!

 

The most famous skeleton fight.

 

And the creators behind it!

 

I’d say they’re in a pickle.

 

Skeleton battle, Minecraft style!

 

Skeletons vs zombies? If I had to choose sides? Skeletons!

 

Skeletons vs skeletons!? How do I choose?

 

This one’s bloody, but… what’s the word? Epic? Invigorating? Giants vs giant skeletons!

 

I’m so confused.

Animals in skeleton paint, and other weird pet costumes

Animals in skeleton paint, and other weird pet costumes

I love animals. I love skeletons. I love animals masquerading as skeletons. Before PETA gets their  knickers in a knot, this paint is non-toxic and washes right off after the haunting has ceased. I’m thinking these animals probably enjoyed the stroking and attention, and the fact that they dodged the bullet with all the cloth and elastic their owners could have instead strapped them into. What say you?

 This? horsesdraped

via Farm Girl Pink

…or this? skeletoncow

via Earth Porm

painted cats5

via Lii’s Peacock Notes

My cats would never sit still for this. The attention whores would be rolling over for belly rubs or rubbing paint all over my pant legs.

horseanatomy

Via Pinterest

This isn’t a costume! It’s a training aid for horse masseurs.

horseskeletonpumpkinrider

pumpkinriderskeletonhorse

via Making History

Where is this?? Williamsburg? I want to go live there and hang (no, not from a rope) with the skeleton crew that does this! Please go have a look at their blog post… it’s ghoulish!

knotjustropehorse

knotjustropeapocolyptichorse

Skeleton Horse and Apocalyptic Horse at Knot Just Rope in Ohio. I’m living on the wrong side of the country.

 

andywarholcow

via Sulekha

I have nothing against Andy Warhol, but I’d find this funnier if he were replaced with John Malkovich.

 

hulkdog

via Herbs and Heart

This is Incredible.

sullycat

Sully?

Want to paint your pet?

Mortifying Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using any links. This is to help pay for my domain, and any spooky adventures I may post about in the future.

petpaintwhite

PetPaint Whippet White

petpaintbassettblack

PetPaint Basset Black

petpaintbonestencil

PetPaint Bone Stencil

But, really, just freehand it, or make your own stencil.

And I leave you with…

chaplincatbutt

pikachucat

via Lush Home

Spooky Kitchen Stuff

Spooky Kitchen Stuff

corelledishes

Corelle 16-piece Dinnerware in B & W

blackreddinner

Gibson 16-piece Dinnerware Set, Black & Red Flowers

blacksquaredinnerware

Gibson 16-piece Dinnerware Set, Black & Flowers

catdish

Pyrex Spooky Cats 4-cup Storage Dish

I have this… it’s lovely!

anatomymugcoasters

Anatomy Theme Mug & Coasters

anatomysquarecoasters

Square Anatomy Coasters

calaverameasuringspoons

Calaveras Measuring Spoons

wallhand

Ceramic Wall Hand

For assistance in holding your messy spoon or tea towel.

skeletonravendishtowel

Skeleton & Raven Dish Towel

dishtowels

Chambray Tea Towels, Set of 6

vampcoffinsaltpepper

Vampire & Casket Salt & Pepper Shakers

VampireBiteSaltPepper

Vampire Bite Salt & Pepper Shakers

gravesaltpepper

Headtones Salt & Pepper Shakers

I seem to have just figured out I have a thing for salt & pepper shakers.

DOTDsaltpepper

DOTD Salt & Pepper Shakers

newlydeadssaltpepper

Newlydeads Salt & Pepper Shakers

batwitchsaltpepper

Bat & Witch Cupcakes Salt & Pepper Shakers

JekyllHydesaltpepper

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Salt & Pepper Shaker

bridefranksaltpepper

Frankie & Bride Salt & Pepper Shakers

Mortifying Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using any links. This is to help pay for my domain, and any spooky adventures I may post about in the future.

A Spooky Fondness for Blow Molds

A Spooky Fondness for Blow Molds

I found this really interesting site about blow molds and how to repair and restore them. The site is about Christmas blow molds, but we’ll just pretend it’s about Halloween, m’kay? Carrie Sansing at Planet Christmas tells you how to strip old paint from, fix holes in, and repaint vintage blow mold yard decorations, and it just tickles me to death! I love it that someone took the time to become the blow mold repair expert! And I love it more that it’s a woman, because it feels like I found a kindred soul.

So I have this thing for blow molds. Both Halloween and Christmas, but Halloween blow molds are the only ones I collect. My collection is small (five is a collection, right?) and most are in the rafters in the garage, waiting for Halloween, but I just found two that escaped the curse of the Halloween storage…

GhostBlowmold

This one I’ve had since childhood, and I totally defiled it with red candle wax. And, for some reason, the face is all rubbed off. I think I’ll restore this, as the state of this ghostly beauty is tormenting me.

JackOlightBlowmold

I picked this one up at a thrift store a couple of years ago. When I find something like this, it feels like I’ve won a prize, I swear. It’s not obvious from the photo, but this Jack is flat and hangs on the wall. It casts a lovely orange glow. I call it mood lighting.

Have you ever seen a mid-century blow mold candy bucket or decoration with “Made in China” stamped on the bottom? Maybe some of the new ones, but not the vintage. It’s classically American, this blow-moldiness. I think I have seen one made in Japan (I collect mid-century Japan/Christmas and specifically look for “Japan” printed on the bottom of stuff), and I just read about some from the UK, but mostly the ones we see in the U.S. are made in the U.S., and I like that… buy local! Even if they were made decades ago.

The rest of my collection is candy buckets. Jack-O-Lanterns, to be exact. They’re not easy to find at thrift stores, but you’ll definitely know when you do. Everyone’s seen the multiple shelves of shocking-orange-pink-purple-blue-green at big box stores, and they pretty much all look the same aside from color. The vintage ones come in five colors (that I know of: orange (usually), white, grey, red, and black. The new ones are prone to just large and goofy grins, and they’re fairly limited to just candy buckets. The vintage ones often have much more character, and you’ll find a multitude of lighted tabletop and yard decorations in addition to candy buckets. They might be grinning goofily, but they might also include words, masks, moustaches, hats, and even cats! They also come in other shapes, like haunted houses, monsters, cats, witches and ghosts. I used my Google-fu to find you some examples. I hope you’re as enamored as I.

blowmold1

via Apartment Therapy

blowmold2

via Retro Chalet

blowmold3

via Pinterest

Apparently, someone out there has a less-trashed version of my ghost!

blowmoldadvert1

via Pinterest

This vintage blow mold advert is all kinds of fantastic!

blowmold4

via Halloween is Life

I’d like a setup like this. In this blog I will eventually teach you how to make a “cast iron” fence to display your spooky wares.

blowmolddevil

via Pinterest

blowmoldcornwitch

via Pinterest

Here’s one I didn’t know existed, and it has me stupid excited! Too bad the Pinterest link is a dead-end, or I’d be hunting this corn-car-witch thing down to nab it!

blowmoldowl

via Pinterest

Whoooooooo wants some candy?

blowmold5

via Pinterest

Someone has a beautiful collection of Jacks.

blowmold6

via Pinterest

You know, it’s really starting to piss me off that these Pinterest links lead to nowhere. This one should have led to Flickr, but led to a hostile 404 instead. /rant. I’d really like to locate that “treat” Jack. He looks a little drunk.

blowmoldwinker

via Etsy! Finally, a link that goes somewhere! This silly winker is like one of my guys up in the rafters of doom. He’s approximately a foot high… tall, orange and handsome.

blowmold7

via Pinterest, but with no link because it leads to one of those horrifying pages that makes you think you’ve been hacked and need to download some sinister fake file thing to save your computer from being hacked. Which is oh-so-ironic. Nope nope nope.

This is where I quit posting and allow that last one to leave you with one of my childhood favorite songs…

The Perfect Fake Blood Recipe

The Perfect Fake Blood Recipe

There’s a huge debate amongst theatrical and special effects makeup artists as to which faux blood recipe is superior. Even Scientific American has inserted itself in a lightly scientific approach to developing color, viscosity, and flow.

There are dozens of blood recipes out there in the web world, some more believable than others, but mostly just… not. Most involve some amounts of corn syrup or chocolate syrup and red food coloring, and are entirely edible. Then there’s the famous “Dick Smith Blood“, which is poisonous, as it contains Kodak Photo-Flo. Let’s not go there.

I’ve been a theatrical makeup hobbyist for the last 27-ish years, and never really tried making my own blood until just a year ago. It took me that long to wake up to the fact that the costume shop fake blood is FREAKIN EXPENSIVE. And it doesn’t look that good anyway.

Last year I started developing an online course on casualty and zombie makeup (which I’ve yet to finish), and needed a reasonable amount of blood for my lessons, but the popular corn syrup + red food color thing wasn’t working for me. I needed it to look realistic. I tried several recipes I found online, and they were all lacking one believable element or another. I found most to be too transparent and too pink, or too purple. When I bleed, it’s just red. And it’s not syrupy or transparent. It’s thick, but thin enough to drip. And when it runs down a vertical surface it leaves a red trail, not tiny beads of sticky goo. Also, none that I tried were storable long-term. They all developed mold after a few weeks/months, being largely made of food.

This one at Steve Spangler Science is spot on regarding color, and I’ve tried the recipe, but find it to be too grainy due to the addition of cocoa powder. And, I assume, as above, it may develop mold after a few weeks.

I bleed a color somewhere in between Pantone 186c and 200c. Yes, I checked. I poked myself with a sterilized pin and compared my own blood with the Pantone formula guide (my husband is a graphic artist, so this was just laying around and was really convenient).

pantonecolorguide

Let’s put the corn syrup aside. I won’t go into every recipe I tried or developed. I’ll just give you the one I really love. It’s non-toxic, so you can ingest a bit of it if really necessary, but I don’t recommend it, as it is not meant to be edible.

You’ll need three common ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white school glue (no specific brand… just get it from the dollar store)
  • 1 teaspoon black strap molasses (any brand)
  • red food color (I used Watkins, you can use anything)

schoolglue redfoodcolor
blackstrap_molasses

Simply mix these all up in a disposable, lidded container. That is all.

It’s fairly thick. If you want it to be thicker, leave the lid off to dry the glue a bit, stirring occasionally to avoid forming a film on top. If you want it to be thinner for, say, blood splatter, just add small amounts of water until you reach your desired consistency.

So far my batch has stored for several months, has kept its consistency and color, and has yet to develop mold.

blood_cup

Here it is on my arm and hand, in the sun and in the shade. I’ll add photos of what it looks like on cloth later.

blood1

blood5

blood6

Don’t accidentally smear this on the side of your house and forget about it. It ends up scaring the neighbors and/or gardeners.

blood2

blood3

Cleanup is a breeze (that is a lie). Being glue-based, it dries. On the plus side, it stays put. If you kept it thick, you may be able to peel most of it off when dry, but I just scrub it off with some warm water and dish soap. Expect some light staining to your skin, which will dissipate after a couple of hand washings, and definitely on clothing.

If you try my recipe, I’d like to see how you use it. Please share in a comment :)

Astrology Costumes for Cosplay or Halloween

Astrology Costumes for Cosplay or Halloween

I’ve collected some of the most interesting astrology-related cosplays and costumes for you to browse. I wasn’t able to find all of the original sources, though I tried. Enjoy.

Aries. March 21 – April 19

AstroAries

via FamilyHoliday.net

AstroAries1

Unknown.

AstroAries2

via Acre Residency

AstroAries3

Unknown.

Taurus. April 20 – May 20

614-02003862 Model Release: Yes Property Release: No Taurus

via Masterfile

AstroTaurus1

via Ashley Selberg Designs

AstroTaurus2

via Lux Cosplay

Gemini. May 21 – June 20

AstroGeminiGradyTwins

The Grady Twins count as Gemini, according to me.

AstroGeminiWitches

Unknown. Gemini witches for the win.

AstroGeminisiamesered

Unknown. The prettiest siamese Geminis I ever did see.

Cancer. June 21 – July 22

AstroCancerCardboardCrab

via The Cardboard Collective

AstroCancerKidCrab

Unknown (believe me, I followed so many dead-end links for this). Kid King Crab!

AstroCancerCrabAttack

via Mylenium. I believe this is from Cirque de Soleil. Giant crab attack!

AstroCancersexycrab

Unknown. If you’re good with EVA foam (I’m a foam crafter myself, aka “foamsmith”, I guess), you could be a sexay crab for your next Under the Sea party.

Leo. July 23 – August 22

AstroLeogirllion

via Wanelo

AstroLeoKidLion

via Pinterest.

AstroLeoSimba

via Mundo Cosplayer – Simba in the tall grass.

AstroLeoCosplay

via Tumblr – Another Simba, ultimately pretty.

Virgo. August 23 – September 22

AstroVirgo

via Pinterest

AstroVirgo1

Unknown. White for virginity.

Libra. September 23 – October 22

AstroLibraVintage

via Pinterest

AstroLibra

via Pinterest

Scorpio. October 23 – November 21

AstroScorpio

It is with stinging sorrow that I literally cannot find any good Scorpio costume ideas. Accept the challenge?

Sagittarius. November 22 – December 21

AstroSaggitarius

via Imgrum

AstroSaggitarius1

via My Beauty Queens

AstroSaggitarius2

via Pinterest Australia

Capricorn. December 22 – January 19

AstroCapricorn

via Pinterest

AstroCapricorn1

via Pinterest

Aquarius. January 20 – February 18

AstroAqua

via Cos Couture

AstroAqua1

via Pinterest

AstroAqua2

via Pinterest UK

AstroAqua3

via Pinterest UK

Pisces. February 19 – March 20

AstroPisces

via Citizen Arcane

AstroPisces1

via Costume Pop

AstroPisces2

via Pinterest

Extra astro bits:

AstroGoldUniverseQueen

Gold Universe Queen by RMQuintiroli at Etsy.

UniverseVintage

via Tumblr.. I say she’s Miss Universe.

Sweetly Dark and Ominous: The Music of Derek and Brandon Fiechter

Sweetly Dark and Ominous: The Music of Derek and Brandon Fiechter

Mortifying Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using any links. This is to help pay for my domain, and any spooky adventures I may post about in the future.

I originally discovered Derek & Brandon Fiechter during a search for creepy carnival music. I go through phases: creepy carnival, creepy circus, creepy theremin, creepy this, creepy that, creepy creepy, and Weird Al, REM and Beck for the sunnier days. Digressing, I’m so grateful to have found this dastardly and brotherly (I assume – I can’t seem to find much about them aside from residing in Indiana) duo. They really know how to delightfully darken a mood. From creepy dolls haunted carnivals, elven music to ambient space music, I think they’ve got everything covered.

Please enjoy listening to a bit of their genius…

You can buy Enchanted Ballroom here.

I believe Dark Cemetery is my somber favorite, but to choose would be stifling… wouldn’t you agree?

You can buy Creepy Amusement Park here.

It’s Time to Desecrate Your Goth Garden

It’s Time to Desecrate Your Goth Garden

Blue-Rose-Wallpaper-1080x607

This is the first in a series of Goth Garden posts. To keep your goth garden amongst the living, you must commit to continual change. Plants live, plants die, and some plants come back from near death if you tend to your black thumb. I won’t pretend to know your climate and what lives and dies in your zone at various times of year… that would be up to you. But I will give you ideas to mix and match in your garden to make it spooky, eerie, or even somewhat disturbing. Some of the best ideas aren’t even plants, and will survive anything short of disaster. And that’s what we’re going to start with!

Mortifying Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using any links. This is to help pay for my domain, and any spooky adventures I may post about in the future.

vampirebusttosacna

Nosferatu the Vampire Bust

I don’t know about you, but I’d be damned with giddiness to perch this fanged savage at my garden gate. Problem is, I don’t have a garden gate. But when I do (and I will), this is going to attract creepers and invitees alike to my twisted garden lair. He serves as a warning that chances of survival are bleak.


veiledmaidenbusttoscana

The Veiled Maiden Sculptural Bust

This gloomy beauty is eerily melancholy. If you have a faux (or otherwise?) cemetery included in your goth garden, the Veiled Maiden will induce feelings of dread as she welcomes your victims guests to the afterlife.


skeletonraven

Crazy Bonez Skeleton Raven

batskeleton

Crazy Bonez Bat Skeleton

skeletoncat

Crazy Bonez Cat Skeleton

No goth garden is complete without deceased wildlife. Especially deceased wildlife that looks pissed off. This sinister trio may (we can hope) induce anxiety in that beastly little deer that keeps chowing down on your black elderberry.



HantedMansionApron

Disney’s Haunted Mansion Hostess Apron

This is what I would choose to do my ghastly gardening in! Who out of their right minds wouldn’t want to cosplay as a gardening ghost host? Your neighbors will think you’ve lost your marbles, but you can respond by smothering them with kindness.


hauntedmansionplaque

Disney’s Haunted Mansion Plaque

When hinges creak in hidden garden chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the trees… Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still… That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight! Grim garden ghosts come out to socialize!


rubyredmonardabeebalm

Ruby Red Monarda (Bee Balm)

I shan’t leave you without an ominous flower. Blood red and solemn, this Ruby Red Moranda glooms in the summer and the fall.

Ghoulish Gardening to You, Foolish Mortals.

Give a Friend a Spooky Book: 9 Eerie Favorites

Give a Friend a Spooky Book: 9 Eerie Favorites

wallpapereerieautumn
It’s nearing summer, and if you’re like me, that fills you with dread. Not the good kind of dread, but the ready kind of dread. At least if you live in a state where the weather can top 100°F for days in a row, and you’re a delicate flower petal who wilts in the heat. All summer long you pine for autumn, with its crisp breezes and the best holidays ever.
There’s a need that has to be filled for those of us who count the days ’til autumn… a psychological need to line up one’s neurons with reminders that dreaded summer will not last foreverrrrrr. I equate autumn with eeriness, and if you’re reading this, you quite possibly do as well. So, what better to caress the hope and make the wait tolerable than to sink one’s brain into the eerie world we hold so dear? Books! Spooky ones!
I’m asking you to read something that reminds you that fall is just around the corner on the grand scale of time, something spooky or eerie or dangerous. Pick up something from an actual bookstore… not an iBook or a Kindle. You want something you can curl up with in bed that won’t keep you awake with obnoxious blue lightwaves. You want to flip pages and smell paper. I want you to fall asleep reading your spooky book every night. And when you finish it, I want you to give it to a friend. Because you have some extra love for those friends who covet autumn as much as you do, and you want to show it.
Here are 9 of my personal favorites to get in the mood…
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife – Mary Roach
I’ve given this one before! It’s not scary, but it is spooky, and it will leave you wondering and quite possibly believing.
bookspook
The Shining – Stephen King (far more disturbing than the movies)
The lawn animals. What? They didn’t show that in the movie? I was seriously stressed out.
booktheshining
Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay
How is a butcher of humans just so likable? Admit it… you can relate to his mindset.
bookdarklydreamingdexter
Ghost Story – Peter Straub
I admit I haven’t read this one, but if it’s scarier than the film you’ll not be sleeping.
bookghoststory
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Oh, Dr. Montague… why did you have to play this game? The house is hungry.
bookhauntingofhillhouse
The Thief of Always – Clive Barker
I read this when it was released. It’s been a long time. Good ol’ Clive normally writes for adults, but this one’s for children, though adults are allowed as well. I think I’ll read it to my kids. They could use a good, fantastic mind game.
bookthiefofalways
Where are the Children? – Mary Higgins Clark
You’ll keep your children on a leash.
bookwherarechildren
Creepshow (the comic book) – Stephen King
My mom tried to jack my comic book because she’s the Stephen King collector. Nope! Not quite as creepy as the film, but way more fun. If I give this to a friend, it’s going to have to be a newer copy, as I’m pretty attached to mine.
bookcreepshow
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
In fact, read the entirety of the Vampire Chronicles. Pass them along one by one.
bookinterviewvampire
Fireflies

Fireflies

firefliesinflowersandgrass

I’ve been fascinated by fireflies since I first saw them near Houston, Texas when I was 7 years old. My aunt Joan took me out to her backyard acreage for a treat, not telling me in advance what I was going to see. That was ::cough!:: 40 years ago, so I may not remember details exactly, but I vaguely remember sitting on a 3-person canopy swing with my mom and Aunt Joan at dusk, and being fascinated by the little light show that was starting to twinkle and blink. I don’t think there were many, which isn’t surprising since fireflies mostly reside in the eastern states, but there were enough to start a lifelong love. I was enamored!

I’m worried, as I keep reading that firefly populations are dwindling, and may one day be nonexistent. It hurts my heart. I’m a native Californian, and although we supposedly have a smattering of fireflies somewhere in this state (don’t ask me where, as I’ve never seen one here), I’ve longed for years to live in a place where they’re common. I’ve heard we have glow worms – which, again, I haven’t seen, but they don’t really count because they don’t illuminate fields like runaway Christmas lights.

Some theories as to why fireflies are disappearing are development, light pollution, and pesticides. Development replaces firefly habitats with homes and businesses, obviously. Light pollution prevents mating by dulling the signals male and female fireflies use to find one another (the loneliness!). Pesticides just plain kill them (thanks, Monsanto).

This website can tell you more about the disappearing firefly, and how you can help populations in your area (unless you’re in California, eh?) recover: Firefly: Enigmatic, Enchanting, Endangered

If you have leaf litter in your yard, keep it rather than dumping it. Set aside a space in your yard for it, or start a compost pile. Same with rotting logs, where some species of larvae develop.

Turn off the outdoor lights so the little sweeties can locate each other and get it on.

Avoid chemical pesticides. They’ll eventually kill you, too.

Protect wet areas like streams, ponds and lakes from chemicals, and consider adding water features to your property. If mosquitoes are a problem, look for firefly-safe methods of controlling them, like mosquito larvaecides.

Avoid firefly bits and pieces by not over-mowing your lawn. Give them time to develop and mature between mowings. Also, consider plantings of long grasses, a preferred habitat.

And, please, spread the word. If there’s anything worth getting activist about, it’s these sparkly little beauties! Talk to your neighbors, talk to your city council, make informative fliers, or even host an information-packed firefly party at which everyone requires a light-up hiney (hey, just an idea)!

All that said, my family is considering a move away from firefly-free California (for many reasons) to an area where they still somewhat abound… perhaps central Indiana. And while we may try catching them in jars just for the experience, we will indubitably set them free in hopes they’ll go make more!

And here I’ll leave you with a magical video…