A Month of Spookdays

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The Black Sun, Bill Mayer

Sorry for the lack of posts. I was going to say “slackage,” but oh, it isn’t that.

We’re moving. We do this about every two years. That’s not a problem. The problem is that the timeline got moved up, so my life is all bubble wrap and boxes. I’ll pop in as often as I can, but my grand plans are scuttled.

So y’all have extra Halloween for me, k?

I’m gonna say this right up front, before y’all TL;DR: this dough is very soft. Chill it overnight, and roll it between sheets of parchment. I even cut it out on the parchment, picked out the scraps, and put the whole sheet on my cookie pan to bake. So much less hassle, even though it was tough to get a full batch at once.

I love the texture of gingerbread, but hate ginger. These cookies start with a gingerbread base, and use my own blend of spices. Your house is gonna smell so good.  I’d ramble on like a food blogger, but I hate that crap, so here’s yer recipe.

Spice Cookies

  • 3 cups flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon–it’s stronger)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 cup room-temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I use Whey Low Gold or Sukrin Gold)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together with a whisk. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix on low until blended.

Pat the dough into a thick rectangle (easier to roll later), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

Once thoroughly chilled, roll between two pieces of parchment paper to about ¼” thickness. Cut out shapes while dough is still on parchment. Pick out the scraps, and transfer the parchment to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

The scraps will need to be refrigerated for a little while before re-rolling. Trust me on this.

 

I bake the cookies to eating consistency. If you baked them a bit longer, you could probably build a nice haunted house with them. A practice I strongly encourage.

 

 

It is generally acknowledged, by those, by those in the spirit, that Halloween begins today (MY BIRFDAY) and ends on October 31.

The Fall of Dorothy, by Aimee Marie

As usual, I will be blogging daily, along with the folks at Countdown to Halloween.  Every year the list of Cryptkeepers gets a wee bit longer. I highly encourage everyone to head over and do some old-fashioned surfing.

I have a plan for the month, and it’s definitely different, but it will take a few days for me to see if I can pull it off. So you get regular stuff for a little while.

Happy haunting!

Not gonna go all Hallovember this year, but I admit I am still decorating the inside of the house. Halloween tends to take the wind out of my sails as far as spooky decorating goes, but I wasn’t going to spend another year with my beautiful decorations sitting in bins.

So here’s the first bit:

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I always tell myself I don’t need to organize things by type, but it happens anyway. This is Skull Island, all lit up.

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Here are just the LEDs, with a phantasm light.  I had a little fun with my Silhouette Cameo and some black vinyl. That is fun.

I’ll keep poking at this bit by bit, until we have a couple of very spooky rooms to enjoy.

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I am torn. Once again, most of my decorations are laying in piles about the house, uncombobulated.  It’s better than last year, because I spent all my time building really cool shit for the yard.  I’d still like to enjoy the decorations for a few weeks, but on the other hand, I’m kinda burned out.

I think I’ll do this: today, I recover from the six trick-or-treaters we had. Tomorrow, I have a date with a friend to look for art in the woods.  After that, I shall decide. At the very least, I leave out most of the pumpkins, as they’re very autumn-appropriate. I’ve always wanted to do fall decorations between Halloween and Christmas. Hmmm…

Foyer in the day.

Foyer in the day.

Foyer at night

Foyer at night

Ray when the lights went out

Ray when the lights went out

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Got some shots in good light this afternoon.

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Remember kids, safety first!

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Finally remembered to take a pic of the punkins.

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Got most of the window work done. Just one more ghost, and maybe some lights.

Had the idea for the first window soon after we moved in. The owner installed shoji screens for the front windows, and I thought they looked like a bird cage, so I drew and cut out a crow silhouette, and backlit it.  The second window is right by the door. Non-scary jackos. The third window is above the garage, and kinda freaked even me out. It’s just that single slide rocker projector, but man, that’s effective.

 

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I meant to get some pics during magic hour, but I napped instead.

The red bit you can’t really see is the packing tape ghost. Ideally, I’d make one or two more. Don’t think I’ll have the energy.  The purple thing is the Home Depot gargoyle I finally broke down and bought. Got a discount because he has some major chips in back, and one crack I think I’ll have to patch. But he works for this season as is. I lurve him.

Tomorrow, I do the windows. I’ll probably just do the ones over the garage, as they’re the most visible from the street. The dormers will just get pretty lights.

Oh, and I can turn on the fog machine from inside the house! Didn’t have any frozen water loaded up, so I didn’t run it for the pic.

Here’s a little video. I has a pretty yard.

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It’s done! The Spousal Unit is going to help me move it out to the yard tomorrow, so I can spend the day setting everything up.

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Here’s what it looks like inside. We had to mute the inside light a bunch, as it was overwhelming the projection. Now the skeleton is only visible between projection scenes, and is just a suggestion during.

I added a little ambient light, as it will be on the stones. Also, the mausoleum wasn’t visible on camera. It looks better in person, of course, but this is pretty darned neat.