Friday, October 31, 2014

Until Next Year....

Wrapping up these extended Halloween season posts is PB's cute little pumpkin he got at the Pumpkin Patch this year.  He is a slender fellow and only measures about 6 inches tall.  Adorbs!

Let me step up on my coffin soapbox for a moment.
Halloween is absolutely the best holiday.
It is a time where creativity and cleverness are at their peak and encouraged.
DIY and handmade are prevalent in everything: costumes, decor, food.
Because things are to look spooky, nothing has to be absolutely perfect.
Children get to dress up as and be anything they want, which fuels their imagination and instills courage.
And here is the biggie about Halloween:
Everything is optional!
Don't want to dress up, no problem.
Want to go all out with a fog filled cemetery in your front yard...Do it!
Halloween is what you want to make of it.

{This is all in vast opposition to a certain holiday that is approaching and tightening a glitterly garland noose around our necks...}

Let's grasp at the remnants of Halloween...
I leave you with a sampling of bloody Band-Aids to munch on! They are comprised of cinnamon graham crackers, white icing, and red gel icing.

 Keep creepy !

Hot Damn! It's the Soggy Bottom Boys!

Our Halloween costumes this year!
The Soggy Bottom Boys from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

 Name's Everette, and these two soggy sonsabithches are Pete and Delmar!
 Them syreens did this to Pete.  They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad.

A life of aimless wanderin'!
 I don't want Fop!  I'm a Dapper Dan man!

We gotta find some sort of wizard to change him back.

We started out with the intention of being 1930's hobos but soon the consensus view voted toward the The Soggy Bottom Boys, with my being the elected leader of this outfit.

While we seeked our great fortune (the gathering of candy) on a long and difficult road fraught with peril (lack of porch lights on), we saw thangs wonderful to tell! We saw ah coffin...  On the roof of a house! Ha!  And oh so many (ghostly) startlements. We could not tell you how long this road shall be (wraps up about 9 pm or so), but we feared not the obstacles in our path (tootsie rolls), for fate has vouchsafed our reward (Kits Kats, Snickers, Milky Ways!).  Though the road may wind, yea, our hearts grew weary (and our legs), still shall we follow them, even unto our salvation (and next Halloween!).

Time to RUNNOFT !
We got a Piggly Wiggly in Yazoo to knock over (they have Almond Joys and Reeses Pieces!)!

Bone Soup Final Performance

For the past five years, I have read a wonderful Halloween story called Bone Soup by Cambria Evans to Pumpkinbutt's class for Halloween. 
 In the story, the town's folks make a huge cauldron of Bone Soup from ingredients such as imported eyeballs, bat wings, frog legs, and a sprinkling of slime and sludge.   I generally have plastic ingredients to place in the cauldron to make a fake soup as the story progresses. This year I decided to make everything edible and have a huge chocolate pudding cake in the cauldron!  They all would get to share and eat the 'soup' just like the story!

The 'Dry Old Bone' that starts the soup on it's way in the story ....  
I made this bone from white fondant and dusted it with cocoa powder.

The Bone Soup 'simmering'.
Close up:
I had the cauldron sitting on a 'fire with logs'.  The fire is a strand of flicker flame lights.  The logs are the props from our lumberjacking days.
After the story was read, everyone had a serving of the Bone Soup and Ghoul-Aid to sip on!

I loosely used a recipe I found in one of my Andy Griffith cookbooks for something called (How do you do) Mrs. Wiley's Punch Bowl Cake.  It is basically a cake that has been baked and broken up (wadded?) and put in a punch bowl with pudding and other things added in. I started out by baking 6 layers of chocolate cake and making 2 family sized boxes of chocolate pudding a day before the event.  I also gathered all the ingredients: Frog legs: gummy frogs; Imported eyes: candy corn m & ms; Bat wings:  made from Wilton Candy Apple candy melts and a bat mold; Dusting of slime and sludge: candy corn, gummy worms, Halloween sugar sprinkles. 

I came up with a great idea for having several layers of the cauldron cake all made and ready to serve by using my Picnic Pack.  It also fit perfectly into the cauldron.

This one shown is not mine but exactly the same, just so you get the idea.
It has five pans that separate and stack together.  The carrying handle can be removed too.  I use my Picnic Pack all the time.  It is great for carrying cupcakes in.

You may have wondered why so much cake and pudding.  Because I volunteered to be room parent for two class rooms....41 kids total.  PB has two teachers that are each responsible for a class.  No one signed up to be room parent for either I did.

 Last Year, I said I wanted to up the ante for this performance: 41 kids, chocolate cake, pudding,  various Halloween craft projects!  Spooky...or insane?!


I had a few more Halloween activities that I did with PB's class I wanted to mention !

Spooky Bat Cave!
To help everyone get in the spirit of Halloween I decorated the ceiling space between the two classrooms!
I started by making a bat template out of black construction paper and had the kids cut and glue patterns on their bat wings.  I then took photos of all the kids, printed them out, and glued onto their bats. I made bat cave stalactites from shredded black trash bags.
 I then stapled all the bats in place.
 oooohhh! Scary!
It was really fun to see how everything flapped in the breeze!

And oh! no! I didn't just read the Bone Soup story at the party, serve them handmade cauldron cake and drinks.  No, no.  We also had craft activities to do afterwards!

First was "Make Your Own Pet Monster".
Everyone got a ziplock with clay, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and pony beads.  Let the imagination run!  These are the ones PB and I made:

The other craft the kids made were spider web weavings:

I bought a couple of bags of popsicle sticks, painted them grey, hot glued in a star pattern, and glued down a spider in the middle.  I precut lengths of white yarn for them to weave around the spokes of the web.

And don't forget all of this I had to prepare for 41 kids!

Time for a Candy Corn Soda and put my wretched bones to rest!

Terror Trays!

 I needed a few extra serving trays for various Halloween activities this year and of course, had to made my own!

These metal trays started out as ugly 1990 cheap Christmas graphics type deals. You know the kinds,  illustrations of rocking horses with Christmas wreaths around their necks.  I picked them up for 50 cents a piece from a thrift store.  

 I painted the trays with a flat black paint to cover up their hideous designs.  I then cut a circle of scrap book paper to use as a background for the insert.  I then applied a whole slug of these cute zombie finger 'post it' style notes all over.  The dismembered fingers came from the dollar spot at Target last Halloween.  Any cute stickers could work though.
Plans happened to change and I did not need the trays after all....but that's ok.  I plan on making a different style design...Christmas perhaps... on the back side of the zombie paper insert.  I will then get the insert laminated making it food safe and rendering the trays multi-functional at the same time. I see all sorts of themes and design inserts to be used with these!


 Our friends, Mike and Heather, just celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary a week ago. Yay!
I made these cupcakes for them to celebrate... complete with a creepy wedding party and bat encrusted arch.  I made the cupcake picks from halloween stickers and paper straws.  The wedding arch is made from a metallic black pipe cleaner, stickers, and a paper straw.

Ohhhh! The Spook House!

The movie Ed Wood celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  It is one of my favorites!  I could watch it every day and never get tired of it.
 Hey ya'll!  They got Cotton candy!
Going on Ed's favorite ride....The Spook House!

This year we attended the annual fair in our town.  Our favorite "attraction" generally is to see the carnies and the other odd balls that turn out.  While meandering around, dodging lit cigarettes, we were pleasantly surprised to see there was a "spook house"! 

The artwork on the trailer was awesome!
We didn't go on the ride due to the fear it placed in the heart of attending company but we did get some Monster cotton candy!

An added bonus!
I found this scene by scene comparison of the movie Ed Wood to the true scenes in Ed Wood's movies that were referenced ( Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space).  It is amazing how much detail Tim Burton included.

Haunted Lighthouse

 Hubs and I had a ghastly date night this last weekend at the Haunted Lighthouse!
It was built in 1859 and is still operational to this day.
It boasts a gorgeous iron spiral staircase with 177 steps.
 For the haunted tour, the grounds and interiors were all spooked up.
 There were several locations where actors were dead still and appeared to be mannequins, but then would lurch toward someone.  Even when I saw it coming I couldn't help but jump!

 The clown on the staircase of the living quarters was not embodied but I volunteered Hubs to encounter it first. 
  However, beyond all the staged hocus pocus, there is another side to this lighthouse.  It is actually considered to be one of the most haunted lighthouses in the country, having been featured on the Travel Channel and Scifi's Ghost Hunters.
There are claims of a stabbing murder in the lighthouse's past which to this day there are dark stains, appearing to be blood, that will not come off the wood floors.  Other unexplained activity is echoing footsteps on the spiral staircase when no one is there,  low murmuring heard in uninhabited rooms, and icy hands grabbing the backs of legs.  Doorknobs have been seen appearing to turn on their own and doors opening and closing by themselves. There have been claims of faint apparitions of a man with a beard and a woman wearing a dark grey dress in various locations.  A paranormal team conducted a professional investigation in 2009 where electromagnetic spikes, audio differentials, and photographs of shadow-like fogs showed something was amist.
There are even ghost meters for sale in the gift shop to take on the tour.
We did not encounter any spirits on our tour but really loved the beauty of the lighthouse and hearing it's history.   Here's a bit of that history:
The top of the lighthouse still contains it's original first-order Fresnel lens system.  The Fresnel lens was invented in 1822, resembling a giant beehive with a complex system of multi-faceted glass prisms mounted in a brass framework.  The prisms reflect and refract light to magnify it, thereby taking rays of light that would normally scatter in all directions and then focusing them into several  beams.  All of this is mounted onto rotating gears that move the beams around 360 degrees over the water.  It was truly stunning seeing it at night. 

I thought it kinda resembled the Fizzy Lifting Drink Bubble Room from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

Only we couldn't just burp to get back to the bottom of the tower!

Halloween Extension!

It's Halloween!
Which means I am up to my Vulcan tipped ears with activities and projects.  If I was this little vampire girl I would tell my bat minions "Fly! Fly! You keep the cauldron stirred ! You finish the shrouds!  You bake the creepcakes, and don't burn them this time! And you there, extend this holiday season for another week!"   So, with that demand being granted, it will be Halloween for at least another week here at MHICTY!  Once everything is finished up and properly photographed I will post it!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooktacular Halloween Shows

If you are looking for some great vintage Halloween shows to watch while getting all the ghouls and goblins in the spirit here are a few I recommend:

The Haunted House
("Ain't he the one that put chains on his hired man and then done away with him?? With an ax!

Three Wishes for Opie
(You can't talk to Count Istvan Telecky, he lives in the 18th Century!")

Stranger in Town
("something from the supernatural!")
The Darling Baby
(Witchcraft! Just a little on my mama's side!)



 {Any episodes of Twilight Zone, Addams family, Munsters, Alfred Hitchcock Presents work as well!}

More "current" offerings are the awesome Roseanne Halloween Episodes and The Simpson's Tree House of Horror series!

Leave me your suggestions for your favorite Vintage Halloween Episodes!  I know I left a lot out!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spider Bread

Last night to accompany our dinner of goulash (gumbo) I made Spider Bread!

I used a boxed bread mix but shaped the loaf into a spider.  I brushed the outer skin with an egg wash and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds before baking in the oven.

Pass me the neck, Clark!