But not forever!
Unlike some Halloweeniacs, I also like Christmas. Not as much, but a lot. So it’s finally time for Halloween (or, well, most of it) to go into storage until next year. Before it goes away, here’s a little photographic tour of the house. Sorry some of the pics are crap. I think I need to clean my lens.
This shelf normally holds a lot of creepy collectibles, anyway. It’s just more festive now.
To the left of that shelf is the entryway. I’d already taken down the stuff in the foyer, but here is one of the several banners. I like banners.
In front of the parlor shelf lives the collection of ash globes. They are sitting on a favorite Target item this year: the ouija board tray.
For the south wall of the parlor, it’s neon and skulls. There’s always a pile of skulls that grows every year. The LED neon was also from Target this year. Love. It.
Entering the dining room is another banner. I made this one a few years ago.
Hutch #1. The vampire hunting kit is part of my normal decor. Because of course it is.
The witches were one of the first things I put up. I repainted two of their faces. They’re new this year, and I’m over the moon with them.
Here they are under cover of darkness.
The view as you enter the family room. This is where I put all the collectibles and kitsch. Yep, that’s a new Stranger Things ouija board.
I like Halloween pillows. There are more in the parlor, but I didn’t get a good picture. Please ignore the cat hair. They like pillows, too.
Hutch #2. I ended up with some Halloween Village stuff from an estate sale. I think this could become addicting.
Closer look at the village.
There were other odds and ends about, but this was the bulk of it. Next, Christmas Atheist gets busy.
Last weekend we made a pilgrimage to Lambertville, where Dolores Dragan, one of my all-time favorite Halloween artists, lives and haunts.
The first day was beautiful, so we decided to see New Hope, where we were staying, and save Lambertville for Sunday, when we’d have all day to wander. That was a tremendous mistake. The day started a little rainy, which never puts us off. We went into antique shops in the light drizzle. It didn’t take long for the weather to get much, much worse. Bad enough that even an Oregon native decided to travel by car.
Despite the rain, I parked by Dragan’s house and took a bunch of pictures of plastic-draped figures. Wonderful, wonderful figures.
The display has expanded down the little walkway between her house and the neighbor’s, where Dolores has put up tented vignettes. These were also covered in plastic, but I discovered gaps in the draping at the corners, where I could just fit my lens without disturbing anything.
I don’t know what she calls everyone, but I think of this figure as “Mourning.”
There are many great displays along N Union, but because of the weather, we didn’t stop to study much. I did go around a block and get back to this one with hand-painted decorations. I’m a sucker for the handmade stuff!
Since the weather was likely going to stop folks from lighting their displays, we headed on home. We may stop again next year on my next planned road trip…to be announced later.
It’s a good thing I planned on retiring the graveyard and mausoleum this year. I think The Great Pumpkin must have seduced Sif, because Thor is pissed at Halloween this year. Not only did my Lambertville plans get rained out (more on that later), but everything but a gargoyle and one tape ghost went down in the yard. The mausoleum is toast. And it didn’t even break at joints–pvc pipe snapped.
I’m not terribly upset. The cleanup was annoying. And dammit, could it not wait ONE MORE DAY? But eh, I have plans. Plans for things that are rounded and low to the ground.
Oh wait, I misspoke…something else stayed up.
See? Build round things.
Yep, the pumpkins stayed on their overturned pots.
This…didn’t turn out like I wanted it to, but it still gives you an idea of what The Glow was like.
See, I bought some fancy editing software some time ago. It had a sharp learning curve, so it took me a while to get to it. Turns out, it’s not particularly stable. Just when I would have started polishing, adding comments, etc., it started crashing. So. Back to Movie Maker it is.
Time for the annual pictures of the yard haunt! It’s definitely best viewed after dark, and I’ll get a little tour up soon.
Margot and her bridesmaids.
I had a full-sized mannequin to make tape ghosts on this year. So much better. 30-second tutorial:
- Put clear plastic garbage bag over mannequin.
- Use packing tape. Tape the neck, leaving a little room on the head.
- Tape face details with small pieces.
- Tape down as far as you want, trimming the bag as necessary. Do at least 3 layers everywhere.
- Cut up back and over top of head to remove. Tape up seam.
- Distress the extra bag at the bottom for a skirt.
- Poke a hole in the balance point in back and stick some wire through to hang, and tape it down.
The mausoleum goes up another year.
I’m using the same AtmosFX ghost bride projection in the mausoleum, but there’s no skeleton hanging inside this year.
The signage rather oversells it.
That’s Sally, the mannequin, in the back there. I still need to put a knife in her hand. I needed something to cover the bottom of the screen, thus the signage. Kinda wishing I’d gone with swirls or something. I’m using the Seductive Siren animation for the screen. It looks pretty cool at night.
Today, we visit The Rattles in 1970. It’s catchy.
This vine arch by Oak Lane Cemetery is a work of art. Hard to believe it’s pool noodles and milk jug skulls!
The video below is just an overview. Here are details on forming the roots. There are about a thousand milk jug skull tutorials out there. Here’s one I grabbed from the side bar.
I love projections, so I poke around for cool ones. Hallowindows by Mark Gervais are some of the most fun I’ve seen. Here’s Hallowindow II. The current one is V. You can get all the iterations at Hallowindow.com.
I have recently developed a serious tendre for Halloween blow molds. Even the Spousal Unit likes them. They are lighthearted fun. I display ours in the foyer (yes, I call it a foyer. I also call the first room the formal parlor) so I see them right when I come downstairs in the morning. It’s a good way to start the day.
Some have lights right now, some don’t, but all are easily fixed, and I’ll light them later.
Back row, left to right:
- General Foam Light Up Skeleton, Gray Cape Edition, early 2000s
- Empire Plastics Cat on a Pumpkin, late 1990s
- Union Products Witch Candle, designed by Don Featherstone, 2006
- Union Products Bela Lugosi, designed by Don Featherstone, early 2000s
- Bayshore Jack-o-Lantern on Cat, 1960s
- Bayshore Haunted House Lamp, 1960s
- Empire Pumpkin Man, 1969
- Empire 22″ Pumpkin, 1990s
- Union Carry Jack, 2000s, on top of two General Foam Big Jacks, 2011
- Haunted House Lamp (see below)
The orange Haunted House Lamp is hard to pin down. Companies sold molds to each other, so this could have been Bayshore, Empire, or General Foam, and manufactured anywhere from 1960 to 2011. Mine has an odd paint job, but those vary.
Why is Don Featherstone important enough to be mentioned? Because in 1957, he designed the iconic pink flamingo. Even if he hadn’t had that distinction, his blow molds designs are unusual enough to catch attention.
I love these things, and could probably fill a house with them. For now, a corner will do.
The first of my indoor displays is up. It’s been out for a month, but was sitting on the table, higgledy-piggledy. I repainted two of the witches so they looked more like sisters than clones. Now the middle one looks unfinished, so it will probably get new paint some time later. I did some alteration, mostly on the witch on the right. She had no colors in her outfit, so she got green trim and accessories.
The cauldron is a fish bowl. I added a layer of tissue for texture, glued on critters, and painted the whole thing with iron patina. The best thing is that it’s glass, and the tissue doesn’t totally cover it, so you get this when it’s lit:
There are three of these lights in the cauldron, set to strobe at different speeds, so I get a fire effect. There is also a fire & ice light aimed at the whole thing.
This is cheering me on a gloomy, dark day: