A full week ago was another successful Halloween Shopping Weekend! I love that even with both our lives getting busier every year, my childhood friend Tash and I can still make time to meet in Roseville for our Annual Halloween Shopping weekend! Roseville has superstores of Michaels & JoAnn, and Halloween City in addition to Spirit, plus a great Goodwill, Dollar Tree, and killer 99cent store that rarely disappoint. We start with a pho lunch, keep shopping until we stop for dinner at Strings, then hit Target after dinner, often closing down the store, then the next day we hit the rest of the stores on our lists. Not only do we wear fun spooky clothes, but this year I was inspired by the viral Jack Skellington manicure to do my own Skellingtoes! haha…
By the last store visit on Sunday, my new SUV looked like this! You can’t even see everything that was behind or inside the giant cauldron, but it cracked me up that one pumpkin never fell out after settling into that precarious perch. I did reorganize a lot and consolidated enough room to fit all the cornstalks my dad grew for me bundled inside a tarp that sat over the seats up to the front passenger window. Thanks again Dad!
I still need to get out my previous pumpkins from the shed to see what my grand totals are, then I will still need to buy fresh pumpkins to bring my count high enough! I am finally done with papier-mache (hooray!) so during last week I used over a gallon of marine/spar varnish for all 6 sealing coats (3 top & 3 bottom) on all 13 pumpkins, then on the weekend we sprayed the orange basecoat on all of them! Now for the hand-painted shading to make them more realistic…
Speaking of hand-painting, Dr. Finkelstein is all finished! It was a bit tricky to paint inside his mouth, but I do like how he turned out. He was also sealed 3 full coats with the marine/spar varnish, and he survived standing water inside his head during a freak torrential downpour a couple weeks ago, so that varnish does work! Since even semi-gloss/satin is too shiny, I’m using acrylic paints over the varnish, and that brings the finish back to matte, much better for the original pale skin texture for the Doctor. I propped it up here so you can see his rivets from the front angle, but his head will be fully open at 90 degrees with a plastic tray inside, ready to serve my classic recipe the Bizarre Brain Pate. Yum!
Sally’s gloves are finished with black plastic nails, and her dress has the handstitching still underway and taking forever. I can only do about an hour at a time since my finger loses grip to pull the thick needle through multiple layers of fabric. It should still be done this week at the latest. I will be very glad to have it finished during the first full week of October!
8 new gravestones were carved and painted this weekend, but I can’t show you epitaphs because they will be a new quiz for this year. I can show you this one, since it will be the obvious one. I used my vintage keychain to duplicate the Nightmare Before Christmas logo to use for the 20th anniversary gravestone. When the movie came out, this was the ONLY item the Disney store had at all! It has yellowed over the past twenty years, but it’s nice sturdy metal with enamel design, so I’m sure it will last another twenty! This was the first time I could use my nifty sprayer on gravestones, and actually Jerry painted them for me, getting his chance to try my sprayer…it goes so much faster especially in all the carvings! Now I can use the garden hose with black spray paint aging technique, then hand-paint the detail in the carvings where necessary. I need to finish these soon so I can photograph them to be a new set of Tasty Tombstone cookies!
Outside building has begun! Rotting fence boards scavenged from my parents’ spring house projects plus tons of branches collected from neighborhood spring cleaning are transforming my yard. They’re not finished yet, but can you guess what these will be?
Scary Jerry has an amazing Halloween village collection for which he designs custom carved and painted foam base structures to arrange all the buildings and accessories…so of course I asked for his expert assistance carving the foam base for under my gingerbread Halloween Town! All this foam will be covered in foil, the light strings will poke through the foil, then covered with buttercream frosting, and some chocolate cookie crumb dirt here and there, plus chocolate rocks. To save me some strife, I have bought 3 buckets of Duff Goldman chocolate frosting from Michaels using coupons plus a bunch of black & blue decorating spray to cover all this terrain. I will be mixing my own royal icing for all the gingerbread though. The moon you can see in the photo is a glass table topper that is wegded into a thin slot in the foam mountain base. This is such a tight slot that it is holding the glass just fine. Once the glass is cleaned, covered in white fondant everywhere it’s exposed, then hand painted with pale yellow shading, I think the lights behind the glass will make it glow like the real moon…here’s hoping!
As for general party prep status, I was freaking out a few weeks ago because there were no projects actually completed yet, then finally feeling better last week that so many items are at long last being marked DONE on my list…but there is still so much to do, and some really major things are still so up in the air, that now I’m wavering back and forth from optimistic to freaking out…I sure hope enough is successful that I feel accomplished this year! At least I’m sure we will all have a fun party no matter what!