My Eerie Elegance Halloween Scream Team decided to take a road trip to a new Halloween festival in Long Beach! This was only the second year for Midsummer Scream, but we had seen good reviews of last year and we had a great time. Interesting panels, good instructional demonstrations, lots of inspiration, I had fun wearing a pinup girl style spiderweb dress I barely finished before driving down plus a graveyard skirt mashup outfit, but we actually didn’t buy anything since I had just received my new Hot Wire Foam Factory electric knife set and foam coat products the night before for my birthday! It was fantastic to be able to quiz the company owners and see products in use! Since the costume ball was on board the Queen Mary, we decided to stay the weekend there in the vintage ship hotel and also attend a couple of their ghost hunter tours, with me wearing my Madame Leota dress with crystal ball earrings for Dining with the Spirits…and I thought for sure something gory would win the costume contest at the party packed full of hundreds of people, but guess what?!? Keep reading for the whole story and photos!
For 2017 Britta Blvd presents Eerie Elegance Eats: A Halloween Coookbook of Creepy Cuisine! This new book celebrates over twenty years of delightfully disturbing both children and grownups alike with Halloween recipes in a niche between gory horror displays and cute but tame kid-friendly foods, making the world smile with a touch of spooky style. Over thirty exclusive new recipes plus all your favorites from both previous Eerie Elegance books are now available as one convenient Cookbook of Creepy Cuisine organized in eight chapters:
Mad Scientist Body Parts
Beverages, Brews & Potions, with safe dry ice and edible glow effects
Creepy Cuisine Contest Champions
Spooky Spiders & Skeletons
Dia de los Muertos Delights
and Gingerbread Goodies, including the giant Ghoulish Gingerbread Haunted House!
Autographed copies of Eerie Elegance Eats are now for sale directly from the author for $24.95 +S&H, Amazon is selling it worldwide, and a digital version is coming soon! See the order page for details!
I am sooooo behind on updates but at least for happy reasons! I have been able to post a few photos every so often to Facebook throughout the year while we’ve been working on Halloween, so I will link those here for posterity. You can follow the Britta Blvd and Eerie Elegance pages on Facebook, and Britta Blvd is also now on Instagram. Eerie Elegance is specifically for Halloween and spooky style, but Britta Blvd is for all my creative pursuits like parties, steampunk, costumes, edible art…and will also soon include projects for my own wedding in April! 😀
Since I had never seen the old classic monster movies, we started watching them in January, and I insisted on spooky selfies with the monsters…heehee!
Haunted Hollywood Scream Team 2017 with our buddy Boris as the Mummy
Haunted Hollywood Scream Team 2017 attacked by the Wolf Man!
We have been saving up the free Amazon points from my Prime Visa card all year to finance as much Halloween as possible. This has been immensely helpful since red velvet ropes and officially-licensed premium quality monster masks are not cheap, and getting them on Amazon completely FREE is infinitely better!
Free Amazon credit card points are already being invested in monsters for Haunted Hollywood! Fresh out of the folded flat box these already look good, and with some coaxing back into shape they will look great!
The two newest additions to our Haunted Hollywood crew have arrived!
Successful Haunted Hollywood Scream Team meeting today! New recipe testing, several display ideas solidified, front show outline well underway…glad we have several months since it’ll be a lot of work!
Ghoulish Glen and I took a quick trip to Florida in May…guess where we went? 😉 I bought the Madame Leota and Haunted Mansion wallpaper dresses at the new Dress Shop in Disney Springs, and we almost bought everything at Memento Mori, including “spirit photography” custom lenticular portraits! Now back to working our own Halloween projects this week…
Halloween hacking last night revealed we will need to explore pneumatics after all, but also produced our first “live” monster for Haunted Hollywood! I hacked an old motion-sensor candy dish whose hand disintegrated years ago with a plant puppet on loan from Scary Jerry. This result is hilarious as is, but if we can change the audio to “Feed me!” it will be even better!
Haunted Hollywood work continues! We think we have most of the other monsters dressed with thriftstore finds and easy fabric wrapping, but Nosferatu has a distinctive button-front coat that I will need to sew. I think one of my pirate patterns can be adapted easily enough by adding a collar. I could make stuffed dummies myself, but I can use $44 of free Amazon points to purchase these dummies, where buying fabric & stuffing must come out of my actual Halloween budget, plus my time to make them! We can always add PVC skeletons, wire, and more stuffing where applicable. Most of our monsters need special gloves anyway, but it is nice that these dummies have plastic hands already attached.
Gothic garden and ghostly greenery update! I’ve been nursing along the dark purple calla lilies I bought in pots during Halloween season for several years now hoping they would rebloom, and it’s not the right timing for Halloween unfortunately, but one has finally bloomed again! If I can track their bloom time reliably, maybe I can figure out how to force the bloom time to Halloween by when I plant the bulbs. Several dusty miller starts are growing well in pots and in the ground. My Japanese painted ferns had to be moved and I don’t think they’re getting enough sun for the new growth to be mottled, but my striped and solid purple secretia plants are so happy that I need to prune them more regularly!
Haunted Hollywood Scream Team writing day today! 8 hours of writing our front show today, a good start but still more to finish before August filming! Also, after attempting to carve my own foam heads, it looks like fabric stretched over a molded foam head might work best for a projected face.
Finally made it back to the electronics flea market but we bought more chemistry glassware for our Library Laboratory than electronics! We did score a nice vintage wooden & brass RCA Victor cathedral radio with stripped insides for only $20 which will be perfect to insert our own Bluetooth speaker!
Imitation is flattery? Spirit is now selling a Jack figure whose movement is eerily familiar. I guess we should have expected corporate copycats after we posted our how-to video of #JackSkellington for #Halloween2013, our very first #animatronic figure: https://youtu.be/cnm00b4ttWg #EerieElegance #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloween #animatronics #spirithalloween #stilllikeoursbetter
The #WebmistressOfTheDark was hard at work this week signing pre-ordered copies of #EerieEleganceEats: A Halloween Cookbook of CreepyCuisine! Get a personalized autograph in your own book by buying your copy from EerieElegance.com! …but did you notice the new bling? Ghoulish Glen proposed with a stunningly sparkly and naturally fluorescent diamond that glows in black light!
The moon has risen again! Haunted Hollywood is underway…
It’s so much easier to work outside in the cool of the evening that I was able to sketch and carve the entire vintage movie theatre proscenium header for the garage screen. Ebony snuggled up with some of today’s Halloween purchases, and enough work got done that we can enjoy a chocolate liqueur nightcap in our new spiderweb glasses from Target’s Halloween 2017 collection.
Sunday Halloween progress in 95F heat…ugh! The pipe organ is out of storage needing some minor repairs as expected but is in place for the Silent Silver Screen! My new hot foam knife made slick work of the Hollywood Hills, but I kept carving freehand scrolls & leaves with my woodburning tool in place on the garage until I finished the entire design. Edge cutting then painting will happen on the ground…
I hacked some cheap blowmold fancy skull frames from Michaels to fit our Haunted Mansion ghoulish portraits, plus the Haunted Hollywood Main Theatre Screen projector is now mounted and ready to be hidden by the chandelier! It was tricky since it couldn’t be centered on the window anchored on a ceiling beam, so I found enough scrap wood, shelving, nuts and bolts and had Ghoulish Glen as human clamp to make it work!
More tech Halloween progress last night: Glen found an amplifier on Amazon that made it an easy hack to play vintage radio in our vintage radio case! It took a $90 Thunderbolt to dual-link DVI adapter also from Amazon, but I am now up & running with Glen’s 30″ Dell monitor for video editing, starting with our buddy Bela…so much easier to see than my 15″ Retina Display MacBook Pro screen! I even got the Bluetooth Magic Mouse set up too!
By the end of this weekend, the Hollywood hills were painted and anchored to the moon with wooden reinforcements against the wind, and the carved foam garage proscenium was covered with foam coat, sprayed black, and back anchored in place around the garage, almost completely handpainted gold. Tonight I am absolutely exhausted but glad for this much progress for Haunted Hollywood!
Here’s a summary of this week’s Haunted Hollywood Halloween progress at Eerie Elegance! The 8 ft moon is rising over the Hollywood hills near the gilded vintage proscenium for the garage movie screen, and the living room is beginning to look like a theatre with the red curtains and custom carved foam frames ready for gold…and there’s even a center medallion for a crystal chandelier designed to hide the ceiling projector!
Stay tuned for Haunted Hollywood projects to continue after Annual Halloween Shopping Weekend!
My dear friend Natasha and I have kept up our Annual Halloween Shopping Weekend tradition for over 15 years now…wow! This year we crammed almost all our regular favorite stores, plus all day Saturday was wedding dress shopping and a bridal fair on Sunday afternoon, and she will be my matron of honor! We were so busy shopping, catching up, and planning, and I had my car so tightly packed with breakables, that I didn’t take my usual Halloween Haul photos, but here are a few for fun…
Click to see even more shopping photos!
Look who has a guest post today on MyScaryBlog.com! Scary Jerry is too humble, since he much more than “The Human Clamp” on our Scream Team…he inspires me too as a true Halloween kindred spirit!
Aaaah! Only TEN days left until my big party, and the front show must be ready before then since for the first time ever there is a citywide Halloween decorating contest, and I might have a chance at winning! Here’s how far along we are, with more behind the scenes details than the Eerie Elegance Facebook page…
As of the first October Friday, we were getting to the point where I must be careful about giving away any surprises! Ghoulish Glen has been working on our first pneumatic prop, the Webmistress of the Dark is getting a new scratch-sewn outfit including a new steel-boned corset, and the front projector is hidden in final position, but I can’t show you any projections until it’s all finished!
Ghoulish Glen and I have been hustling constantly the past couple weeks, with me staying up to 4am way too many nights in a row, but as of last night we finally have all our classic movie monsters in position out front! Some still need to be padded and dressed, and the Mummy just needs some aging, but his custom-carved sarcophagus is waiting for some special supplies to arrive before it can be painted this weekend. Video work is still underway since I really want the front show ready to run by Tuesday night, then it’ll be 3 whole days off work for party food and finishing arranging inside decor.
All along I had been hoping to have fun making the Mummy’s sarcophagus detailed and realistic, but it was coming down to crunch time two weekends before the party and I hadn’t even started yet. Thankfully all the foam we thought we bought for monster exhibit backdrops was exactly enough to build a life-size sarcophagus of stacked foam deep enough to hold the Mummy figure we made, and all my new Hot Wire Foam Factory tools & products were essential since I could never have carved this much detail with my kitchen knife or jigsaw! We already ran out of the sample kit of Foam Coat and we both think this sarcophagus is worth protecting for years to come, so we are hoping a rush order of more Foam Coat will arrive by the weekend, and Glen has bought a texture sprayer to mix black paint with Boost & Foam Coat so it’s protected from elements, nicks and scrapes, and has a basecoat of color in one step before I have fun painting it gold with traditional Egyptian blue stripes. Yes, all the hieroglyphs are authentic and translatable!
We have had plenty of fun along the way as always. We finally got the tree and skeleton built for the werewolf last weekend, hacking a fake ficus tree Glen had at his house, so I used foam scraps from the sarcophagus to rough in the tree trunk shape large enough to hide the werewolf’s torso. Glen said it looked like the werewolf was wearing a dress, so I joked to Scary Jerry that it was my first draft of my wedding dress! haha… I continued the next day by using brown packing paper I’ve saved for years to make bark texture, strategically hotgluing to the base form and twisting roots at the base. I’m out of time so it’s not proper papier-mache, but it has been covered with three coats of spray varnish so far, and it still needs some brown accent paint before it’s done.
At least our costumes are very close to complete! My updated modern Webmistress outfit is almost done! The spiderweb mesh lace cape has new support for the standup collar that works much better than the 18-year-old original plan, plus I cut apart the teal web cape we found at Target as a second cape layer plus around the sleeves and inside the collar, and I absolutely love it! Even Ghoulish Glen was impressed at the collar! The steel-boned waist cincher is complete with laces, and I made a new dress from the same pattern as years ago, which now just needs to be hemmed after I try everything on together to check the length. I’ve also made a red brocade vest to update one of Glen’s several cheapo vampire outfits, but it still needs buttons & buttonholes, and I’m still hoping I can throw together a lace cravat better than the shiny ruffles attached to the costume shirt.
I am stressing that no party food has even STARTED yet with only ten days left to the party since in years past I’ve usually been more ahead of the game foodwise, but thankfully Ghoulish Glen has offered to help with any non-artistic recipes, so next week he will stir & mold all the gelatin body parts, make his family recipe cheese ball in a special surprise shape, and he is already an expert at the Violent Vertebrae from several years of experience, so that will be a huge help!
Hope all your Halloween projects are going well! Wish us luck getting everything finished, and I hope my next update will be public front show details… *crossing fingers*
Here we go…our Haunted Hollywood front show will be ready by the Friday deadline for the citywide decorating contest, perhaps Thursday if the programming goes well, our costumes are ready, and there are 25 unique menu items still to prepare for my big party on Saturday night!
Ghoulish Glen got me a whole kit from Hot Wire Foam Factory for my birthday, and the hot knife cutting tools have been fantastic for all the foam carving I’ve been doing this year. The kit also came with several of their coating products meant to protect foam sculptures. Our first major foam coat attempt was the garage proscenium arch, where we painted it with brushes that quickly got ruined, but we must not be applying enough coats for any real protection, since corners still crumble off easily, but adding more coats risks filling in the engraving I’ve done. Glen was so impressed the sarcophagus I built for the Mummy that he wanted to protect it. He rushed to buy more foam coat, concrete pigment, and a texture sprayer since he saw a video that the texture sprayer set to fine stream coated the foam with a thin coat. Everything arrived for Saturday spraying spread out on a tarp in the backyard, but the nice smooth foam carving I did with the heat cutting tools ended up looking more like a popcorn ceiling, plus barely catching the corners still chip off, so that was a big fail. The foam coat allowed cans of spray paint to work for the large areas of gold (normal latex paint with my sprayer would have done the same), and at least the delicately-carved hieroglyphics didn’t fill in too much, but all the detail painting of straight lines and face detail took much longer due to the bumpy texture, and none of the gold is smooth enough anymore to shine. Ah well…it still looks impressive at least!
We had rain forecasted last Thursday night, so Glen taped all the electrical junctions while I bagged the monsters, just after I had finished dressing Nosferatu, including hotgluing all his tiny buttons in place, and wrapping the Bride in bubble wrap, packing materials, dishwashing gloves stuffed with polyester batting, and a big roll of silver duct tape. The wind was worse than expected, and it poured so hard I couldn’t hear myself think, so I ran back outside to tie the bags better around the monsters. Those made it through fine, as well as the brown paper tree that had no glue but three coats of spray marine varnish…whew! I painted the tree with three dry-brushed layers of different brown which looks a lot more realistic now, then after painting I could finally pad and dress the werewolf in his red flannel lumberjack shirt.
The front show videos are ready (Ebony keeps trying to sit on the monitor shelf right where I need to see!), with last placement adjustments completed Monday night now that all the front monsters are in final position, fully dressed and lighted. The show is two separate videos synced together to show on the garage screen and the front projector on the monsters in the yard and the moon above the Hollywood hills on the roof. Now Glen gets to program them in VSA so they stay synced (see last year’s frustrating attempts to sync 2 videos via QuickTime where it never loops exactly in sync!), plus add a new fancy programmable LED strobe light with the show for some last surprises!
We did get the canopies up this weekend with the backyard furniture arranged a bit, and one of the movie poster slideshows is already set up on the lighted movie marquee on the back fence! Starting tomorrow I’m taking three days “vacation” from work to decorate inside my house and backyard, and plow through all the food prep for my big annual party on Saturday night! We have two interactive displays featuring famous monsters that are still in progress and depend a lot on Glen’s time, so I think I will leave those as surprises for now! Thankfully my dear friend Natasha is coming early on Saturday with her daughter so they can be house-elves, and Glen has already offered to help with food in the evenings too, so I have high hopes we can get most everything done in time!
Hope everyone has a happy Halloween weekend!
Last year I thought I might finally have enough Halloween shirts, jewelry, and accessories that I might be able to wear a different outfit every day in October, even to work! This year I posted on Instagram and Facebook, plus I have even more jewelry and new outfits, so I collected them here to save them as Halloweenwear 2017…bwahahaha!
My #Halloweenwear2017 began on Friday September 30th with my new #skullsandroses #pinupgirl dress, handmade #spiderweb handbag, #skull earrings, bracelet & necklace, #skeleton hand hair clip and big red rose! Monday was my first workday for #Halloweenwear, so I went for more subtle with a spiderweb tee with teal pants, teal #spider earrings, web headband, and webbed toes.
More workday spiders & spiderwebs for #Halloweenwear2017, including a new purple tee and new web earrings that happen to match a ring from my stash, my favorite spiderweb tee, spider brooch on my trusty black velvet blazer and handmade spider necklace and earrings, then more handmade spider earrings and spider ring with sheer web scarf and teal!
First October Friday means the #WebmistressOfTheDark returns, this time #pinupgirlstyle with #bat web shades, #web scarf bow on black felt hat, #spiderweb & #spider jewelry, and a #skeleton on her arm. 😉
#Halloweenwear2017 continues this week with more work-appropriate #spider earrings and brooch on #spiders & #web scarf, again with teal, then my last work-appropriate #spider jewelry and sparkly teal tee! My new Halloween watch finally arrived! Love the sparkles around the bats flying on the face! #EerieElegance #WebmistressOfTheDark #Halloween2017 #halloween #Halloweenwear2017 #spiderweb #web #bats
Workday #Halloweenwear moved onward to #blackcat in crescent #moon earrings to go with the #moonandstars on my new #spiritboard tee with #Ouija #planchette necklace!
Starting #skeleton workday #Halloweenwear with new jewelry from three different shops that all happen to match! Pro tip: use another hair clip as a lapel brooch!
Casual girl power #Halloweenwear for dinner tonight with flying #witch earrings and my best Bride of Frankenstein hair streak to go with my new #FrightLikeAGirl tee from Scary Jerry! Nice to have a Scream Team dinner out together!
What does the #WebmistressOfTheDark wear to a haunted house? #spiderweb stretch lace and black PVC buckley bodice with black beaded choker and earrings with pewter #spider charms of course! 🙂 Fun night out with Ghoulish Glen, Scary Jerry and crew at Fear Overload Scream Park!
Four more workday Halloweenwear outfits! Monday was more #skeletons with flowery #skeleton tee matched with #skullsandroses earrings, #ribcage necklace and skeleton hand hair clip on my lapel.
A subtler #skeleton ribcage tee for Tuesday’s work outfit with dangly white plastic skeleton earrings, #skull bracelet, hand clip lapel “pin,” and fun #Halloweeen mashup scarf that includes #bones and #skulls!
My boldest skeleton tee and rhinestone skeleton hands necklace might be a bit much for workday Halloweenwear, but my new silver dangly skeleton earrings go well with the hand pin on the black blazer.
Thursday workday Halloweenwear proceeds with #pumpkins, easing into #pumpkin bling tee, tiny #jackolantern earrings, and a bling post earring as a lapel pin.
#EerieElegance #WebmistressOfTheDark #Halloween2017 #halloween #Halloweenwear2017 #Halloweenwear
We took a break from frantic Halloween work for another fun dinner with friends we hadn’t seen in a couple weeks! My Halloweenwear tonight was my handmade black cat graveyard skirt and scarf as hatband, with sparkly post earring as lapel pin to go with the pumpkin bling on my shirt. More black cat jewelry with orange bead accents completed this look!
Last four workday Halloweenwear outfits, two last week and two this week! I got out my homemade black cat graveyard skirt a couple more times, including today with my sparkly Happy Halloween tee over web lace shirt with witchy shoes with web buckles, a new sharkbite tunic yesterday with a haunted house, black cat, pumpkins, bats & webs with my bat-web shades, and my orange scarf and lightest-weight BOO tee last Tuesday when it was 90F again!
Last Halloweenwear for 2017 but nowhere near least, my new Webmistress of the Dark outfit of homemade dress and flocked web steel-boned waist-cincher, with dark peacock wig, teal web mesh added to the sheer black web cape with standup collar I made 18 years ago, a new spiderweb necklace with teal beads added, spiderweb fishnet stockings, and witchy shoes with web buckles! I wore this ensemble for trick or treaters and for my own big annual Halloween party on Saturday night. Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!