Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Farewell

All ghoul things must come to a dead end.

There are still several activities from this year's festivities (and last year for that matter)  that I didn't have time to photograph and post about. 

Just a few things include: going to the Fair, making cotton candy spider webs, and visiting a homemade "Creep Town". We also were a part of a Halloween fashion show (we reprised our "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"- Soggy Bottom Boys costumes ) and were in the local newspaper.  They played 'Man of Constant Sorrow' during our modeling and we danced down the runway similar to how the Soggy Bottom Boys danced on the stage in the movie.  It was such fun and the crowd was hooting and hollering.

 We started a new tradition called the Pumpkin Pitch this year.  The Pumpkin Pitch is were one of us gets to drop/ toss/ chunk the rotting jack-o-lantern from the top of a 6 foot ladder to the dirt below to compost away.  I would like to try it from the roof next year!  Already making plans for next Halloween!

Robble, Robble!

Just about every year I have two Halloween costumes.  The main costume is our fam one with a group theme (Amish Folks this year).  I then have another costume that I wear on my own (or couple one with Hubbs) for activities among adults.  I don't usually have the time to take decent and cute photos of those costumes which means they never get put up here.  
But this year I had to show my costume off, even if Halloween is over. 

I was the Hamburglar from McDonaldland!

Complete with my own little hamburger guy from the patch.

The reason I happen to have a fun photo of this costume is because I also entered a Halloween costume contest sponsored by a local thrift store.  The contest required that the majority of the costume be from thrifted items.  I also embellished and made several items from thrifted bits. 

 I added little felt and googly eyed burger guys to a thrifted tie.  The Mcdonald's Boo Bucket was from a local resale shop. 

I made the hamburger guy from a piece of old foam padding, brown felt, and large googly eyes.  I think he turned out super cute.  I carved the foam into 'buns' by snipping away at it with scissors. Since the foam was aged, it had started to turn brownish on the top, which resembled a toasted bun perfectly!  The "unhappy meal" is a MST3K reference, more on it here.

And drum roll please....I won second place.  I got beat out by a baby wearing a leopard print onsie being called 'precious kitten'.  I didn't have a chance.

I happened to stumble on these Mcdonaldland Pinterest Boards containing tons of nostalgic images of the playground and McDonald's birthday parties and chararters.  I wish McDonald's was still this cool.  I would be as fat as Grimace hanging out there everyday to play in Officer Big Mac's head.

Amish Paradise

Been spending most our lives living in an Amish Paradise.
We're just plain and simple guys.
Living in an Amish Paradise.

I never wear buttons but I got a cool hat
And my homies agree
I really look good in black, fool!

I'm a man of the land, I'm into discipline.
Got a bible in my hand and a beard on my chin.
But if I finish all of my chores and you finish thine,
Then tonight we're gonna party like it's 1699.

There's no phone, no lights, no motor car
Not a single luxury
Like Robinson Caruso
It's as primitive as can be.

Hitchin' up the buggy
Churnin' lots of butter
Raised a barn on Monday, soon I'll raise anutter!

We sell quilts at discount price
Living in an Amish Paradise.

You know I shun fancy things like electricity...

If you come to visit you'll be bored to tears
We haven't even paid the phone bill in 300 years
but we ain't really quaint, so please don't point and stare
We're just technologically impaired!

An Amish with a 'tude?  You know that's unheard of!
So don't be vain and don't be whiny
or else, my brother, I may have to get medieval on your heinie!

I've churned butter once or twice
Living in an Amish Paradise.
But you probably think it bites
Living in an Amish Paradise!

Our Halloween costumes this year were inspired by one of our fam's favorite artists,
"Weird" Al Yankovic and his song "Amish Paradise"!
We LOVE Weird Al.  We had the opportunity to see him live in concert during the summer. So much fun...
Mandatory Fun!

It was really hard to pick which song of his to represent because there are so many great ones.  "Tacky", "Like a Surgeon", and of course "White and Nerdy" were all good options.  But I have a thing with liking wearing a beard and Hubs is already bearded so Amish won.

For our photos I happened to find this little local roadside cafe that had the horse buggy on it's property.  We got all of the broken electronics from the local university's discard pile.  PB had waaay too much fun destroying that stuff.  The chickens were a complete surprise.  As we were setting up our camera and getting our beards in place all of a sudden a huge brood of chickens stormed toward us out of no where!  We found out they live on the property next door and enjoy getting handouts from the cafe visitors.  We didn't have any half eaten pizza to offer so unfortunately they didn't stick around for too long.

I like to think I could be Amish sometimes.  I enjoy simple life.  I'm not really into technology. The idea of living completely off the grid and self sufficient is beyond enticing.   However being Amish isn't an option for me, they don't celebrate Halloween... and that's against my religion.

If for some forsaken reason you have never heard Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic, hitch up your buggy here:

Cinnabone Skull

Whenever Halloween is over I mourn it's passing.  The only thing that somewhat helps pull me through is stocking up on Halloween clearance items.   Target is my prime hook up.  My yearly ritual is to visit my local Target on October 31 for my last look-see of what is still on the shelves and make a tentative list.  You see, Nov 1st is my 'Black Friday'.  On the day after Halloween, I am up and out to as many Targets I can hit up in my area.  I am a bit fanatic about it.  
One item on the tentative list was this Wilton skull cake pan.  When it was full price I didn't really think it was much of a big deal.  I honestly thought it was kinda goofy looking.  But during my pre-look-see I noticed no one else was impressed either because there was a shelf full of them.  I then had this idea to bake cinnamon buns in it.  Must.Get.Pan.(on clearance of course

I didn't want to wait till next year to try the idea out so I made us Cinnabone buns this past weekend.  They are just those prepackaged doughy deals in a tube but I think they turned out pretty cool looking.  I think that regardless of whether it's Halloween or not this may become my regular bun pan.  Just add what ever impending holiday color combo sprinkles for a festive flair! 

How to Cook Humans

 I mean, How to Cook for Humans!

Halloween dinner is usually the same thing every year: hot dogs, mac and cheese, peas, and cupcakes.  A meal approved by all four year olds, because that was the request of PB years ago and it has become tradition for Halloween.

 But the dishes get a spookified treatment, turning into:
Mummy dogs, macawebby and spiders, "Rest in Peas'', and coffin cakes.

The mummy dogs are made from strips of crescent rolls wrapped and baked on hot dogs.  I made the eyes from a slice of cheese stick and a bit of black olive.  The web on the macawebby is white pepper gravy with black olive spiders.  The "Rest in Peas" are plain old peas in little coffin dishes.

This year I came up with a clever way to make the coffin cakes.  I bought this Wilton coffins cake pan a couple of years ago (pic below).
The pan makes the bottom section of a coffin with an indention in the top to fill with pie filling, icing, or candy.  I think coffins should have lids though.  My idea to remedy this is to turn the cake pan upside down and fill the indention with cake batter, resulting in a lid!  I only have one pan so it did take some extra time to bake the coffin bottoms, let them cool to be removed, and then baking the coffin lids in the same pan but worth the effort.

I made the coffin cakes from a dark chocolate cake mix.  I filled the inside of the coffin and the outside lower edge with coconut pecan icing.  I crumbled up the puffed up part of the cakes that gets cut away (so they will sit flat) to make the 'dirt'.  The skeletons in the cakes are plastic. I picked up a skeleton candy mold at a thrift after Halloween so I may use it for the 'remains' next year.
Just like the Mayor of Halloween Town in Nightmare Before Christmas...I'm always planning for next year!


Our pumpkin this year...
The Creature From the Black Lagoon!

It's going to be Oct 31st for the rest of the week (or more!) so I can wrap up a few extra Halloweenie things!

For more Creature Features of mine see:
Creature Christmas

And for more 'O-Lanterns drag your wretched bones here.

Look What The Cat Dragged In

 Ellie had two Halloween costumes this year.  She was an Amish Quilt Pusher by day.
But by night, she was Bret Michael's #1 fan.  

 Ellie has quite an extensive wardrobe of fashions, all gifts from her 'grandma'.  One of the oddest things she has is her doggie skankware by Bret Michaels.  Am I the only one that finds it incredibly odd that he is making clothes for dogs?  Some of the designs feature corsets and assless chaps.   Ellie's is more conservative with a pleather mini skirt and metal studded cross.

 The Fair happened to be in town around Halloween and guess who was playing there?

Bret Michaels.

We hoped that Bret would give Ellie some back stage passes but he must have been too busy lookin' for nothing but a good time. 
Poor sad puppy...Every rose has it's thorn.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Treat Sacks... Boo it Yourself!

What ever happened to those cute little paper treat sacks that people would use to hide that they were doling out crappy candy?

Now a days, there are only plastic CLEAR bags. Certainly not as cute and no way of concealing the contents either.

Three years ago I wrote about the idea of making these but finally got around to it this year.

I bought the paper glassine bags at Michaels and adhered printed images of vintage treat bags (images from my Halloween Pinterest board) to the front.  I put one of my favorite holiday flavor combos, candy corn and salted peanuts, in the sacks.  I made these for Hubb's coworkers.  For the trick-or-treaters, I might carry on that tradition of putting crappy candy like werther's originals and starlight mints in the sacks.
We have the worst "Trick or Treaters" come to our house.  We have had to implement a two candy dish system.  One with good stuff and one with crap.
If you have on a costume, you get the good stuff, like Butterthumbs and Two Musketeers.
But if you show up at my house with no costume and are an adult with a walmart bag as your candy receptacle you better believe grandma hard candies are in your future. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Witchy Poo

When asked about what vintage items I collect I generally have to default to "anything that could be in a house".  But that's not completely true...I refuse to collect old rubber baby bottle nipples.  I just have to put my foot down somewhere.  Other than that I am always finding new stuff that I want more of.

Last week a new obsession revealed it's self to me.  I found this vintage kid made construction paper witch on the floor at an estate sale.  I love her.  Look at the balled up paper warts and her tongue is sticking out..with a wart on it!  She has a pocket on her hat but nothing inside.  I need to know what was in there!  Look at her whiskery chin!  Maybe the pocket held her Epilady.

One of my all time favorite posts is by Eartha Kitsch were she stumbled on a box full of kid made vintage Halloween deals.  Among the treasures was a very cool construction paper witch with a folded cloak.

Truthfully this obsession has been lurking for a very long time now. 
One of my favorite things to do is stroll down the kindergarten hall at PB's elementary school to see these kind of wonderful things.  I love kid's art.  I don't care if it's old or new. 
I need more.  PB hooked me up with some when he was younger but I need some new fixes. 

I have seen a million times in parenting mags and other places that parents complain about the growing pile of their kid's art work and what to do with it.  It is generally suggested for them to snap a pic of the item and then discard it.  No, no. Give them to me!  Send me all of your child's crudely cut construction paper Halloween black cats with green glitter eyes and misshaped jagged teethed jack-o-lanterns.  I'll gather them together as a pumpkin patch with the kitties perched on a fence in the background!

I also need some little kids to make Witchy Poo something to put in her hat!
What could it be?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Shrunken Head Apple Deadsert

Add a little voodoo to your Halloween cuisine with these 
Shrunken Head Apple Deadserts!

Did that play on words work?  Deadsert....dessert?  Get it?
With Halloween right around the corner my brain is six feet under.  Maybe I should see a doctor.  A witch doctor that is! Ha!

These little shrunken apple heads are really fun to make, just allot 2 hours for the shrinking (baking). I have a cotton candy making machine so I added a little top knot to these guys turning them into the Don King trio.

To make your own Shrunken Apple Head Deadsert:

Granny Smith Apples
Lemon Juice
Brown sugar
Melted Butter
Cotton Candy 
Cool Whip or Ice Cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Cut apples in half and peel.  Carve faces with a knife.  After each apple is carved set it in a bowl and douse it with lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. Repeat until all heads are carved.  Place heads flat side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.  Take apple heads out of oven and carefully pack brown sugar/cinnamon mixture into the crevices to create shadows.  Brush apples with melted butter being careful to not disturb brown sugar shadow crevices.  Place back in oven for 30 more minutes.  Mix melted butter with brown sugar / cinnamon mixture.  Place a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream in a dish.  Remove each apple head from the pan and dip flat side in melted butter/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place on top on ice cream.  Top the head off with cotton candy for hair.  

I didn't give amounts or measurements because it's not needed.  Use as many apples as you wish and enough of everything else to your liking.

I am on my way to offer some of these deadserts to our village's shaman as a sacrificial offering. In exchange I am hoping for some snake oil...beads. Going to use those in a nice hot cauldron (tub) for an after-the-spooktivies healing ritual (bath).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Salty Sweet Spooky Treats!

Throw a Hallowe'en Party 'round the Pumpkin!

From Woman's Day Magazine October 1947

"All fun-no fuss!  Just have plenty of Premium crackers and marshmallows...and a few twigs scoured and sharpened for the toasting!  Then light the candle in your Jack-O-Lantern for the fire~and share the fun your guests will cook up for themselves!  And what enchanting eating~ those plump marshmallows plopped onto taste-teasing Premium crackers!  Such sweet magic to the tongue... because Premiums always accentuate flavor~bring out any food's goodness in all it's glory!  A fine point to remember whenever you want to serve up a spell-binder!"

How much fun!  I love everything about this vintage idea.  A fun little interactive indoor marshmallow toasting salty cracker eating party!

I, of course, had to mix it up just a bit.
We used a little ceramic pumpkin instead of carving our real one just yet.  I also went with bite size marshmallows and mini saltine crackers.

An extra little spin we put on these treats was adding a dab of peanut butter (like a fluffer nutter!) and/or a dab of nutella.  Now that's some enchanting eating!

 PB has loved this idea so much we have thrown this 'party' two nights in a row so far!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Abby Normal Brain Treats

"Now that brain that you gave me... 
Would you mind telling me whose brain I did put it?"

"Abby someone."

"Abby who?"

"Abby Normal!"

Last Halloween season we went to see a local theatrical production of Mel Brooke's musical, Young Frankenstein.  It was phenomenal!  I wish it would become a holiday staple performance as Rocky Horror Picture Show has become.

Inspired by Young Frankenstein, I came up with these ghoulish Abby Normal Brain jello treats!

How To:
Brain Molds (such as a candy mold or silicon ice mold)
Coconut gelatin
Clear gelatin (such as Lychee flavored)
Red and green food coloring
Jars (I found mine at Joann)

Start by making the brains first.  I used a Vietnamese coconut milk pudding (found at Asian markets) that I tinted with several drops of red and one drop of green food coloring to achieve a brain matter tint.  I choose to use this coconut milk pudding because it is already an opaque white to start with and I didn't have to fool around with adding stuff (condensed milk?) to regular Jello. Follow instructions on package for general mixing.  After brains have set, start making their 'liquid' to float in.  I choose to use lychee gelatin (found at Asian markets)  because it clear and we love the flavor.  I keep calling these products 'gelatin' but they are actually gelatin-like, being made from seaweed extract. They do act a bit differently than gelatin when they are being made.  They start to set at room temperature and set much quicker that Jello.  So if you choose to use these products keep in mind to only make what you need as you need it.  To create the look of the brains floating in the jars mix up just enough clear gelatin to cover the bottom inch of your jars.  Place in fridge and let set.   After set, remove a set brain and place on  clear layer on bottom of jar.  Next mix up and add enough clear gelatin to cover brains.  Place in fridge to set.  Brains are ready to enjoy after final layer is set.

I am not 100% happy with how these turned out.  I was kinda making the face of Gene Wilder as seen above when I realized that the lychee gelatin was not turning out crystal clear as it was shown on the package.  May have to try real clear non-colored jello but flavor it with something that will not add opaqueness, because unflavored jello is no one's favorite flavor. Further experimentation is necessary! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Haunted Hotel Accomo-death-tions

Drag your bones inside the Haunted Hotel.  The Hellhop will assist you with your effects.

We hope you find the quarters to your dismay.

Sleep Fright!

Last November the fam and I took a short excursion to Cave City, Kentucky. (see herehereherehere, and here)

One of the top things we were able to check out was the Haunted Hotel which was a part of Guntown Funtown Mountain. 

The Haunted Hotel was built in 1972 and was the oldest operational walk-through dark house in the country.  Inside the Haunted Hotel were several original attraction gags produced by Funni-Frite industries, a company that specialized in carnival dark rides and amusement park fun houses.

I love that Haunted Hotel.  I wish I could have had the opportunity to go inside, especially when it was in it's hey days.   

As sort of an homage, I created this Haunted Hotel Pillow.
I drew up the design and constructed it from flannel, felt, and puffy paint.

For more on the Sock Skellie see here.

The property was sold at auction several months back.  I don't have the nerve yet to check on it's status.  I fear it may have been destroyed.  Those are the kind of things that scare me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Welcome to the House of Horror!

Step inside and mind the cobwebs.  It took me hours to get them hung just so!

We call this area the Parlor...the Funeral Parlor, that is!

Complete with an Embalming Certificate from 1933, vintage funeral parlor issued smelling salts, and a vintage metal 'Reserved for Funeral' sign!  Hop up on the slab if you need a rest!  

Next we come upon a secret chamber hidden in a bookcase.  Contained within are several old artifacts in keeping with the spirits.

 Speaking of spirits...a couple are approaching!
Let's duck into this nearby dreary expanse!

 Yikes! Keep an eye on these two, they can be a real pain in the neck!

 Maybe a little artificial sunlight will force them back into their coffins in the dungeons.  

I think they are taking flight!  Could have something to do with the garlic soup I ate for lunch though.

The rustling of bat wings within a lovely morbid cemetery wraps up our little excursion!

These are the highlights of my Halloween 2016 decor.  There are still a few other creepy corners I didn't photograph which contain framed tombstone rubbings, jointed paper skeletons, and lots of cob webs.  Every year I spend a load of time setting up everything, trying to make it a little bit different than the year before and improving the arrangements.  I am the most pleased with the dining room wall (above image) enough so that it's arrangement could become my regular Halloween Saturday Night thing...meaning I will probably set this wall up like this each year.  

For more on my Macabre Mausoleum explore these past posts: