Thursday, May 27, 2010

Zombie Walk - Downtown, Vancouver - Summer 2010

2010 Zombie Walk in Vancouver!

Saturday, August 21, 2010
Time: 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Location: Downtown Vancouver


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Halloween props & Anything else with a Surface can be Painted! anytime of year ;)

Some may beg to differ but as an avid 'I really need to change the color' person I will stand far ;)

Being a Halloween haunter and avid crafter/home decorator I've been known to throw paint on just about anything believing that anything with a surface can be painted...and so far (knock on wood) I've been right. My secret is spending quality time doing the prep work for each project.

The surface of whatever you may be painting needs to be lightly scuffed with a very fine sandpaper first then thoroughly cleaned of all dust particles. Then the secret paint/primer is required and I always, always, always use the Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 Water Based Primer since back with my first home project in 2000!

What does this have to do with Halloween? Everything because you can change the look of anything with a simple coat of paint which makes it an economical choice for creative tasks other than home decor ;) Halloween props often require some form of paint to create the illusion of spooky like blood, tombstones, spider webs, sayings, faux rocks or wood, coffins, boxes like the Hack in the Box prop, even masks and costumes can be touched up or enhanced with paints.

If someone says 'that can't be painted', prove them wrong but do it quietly on the side first just to make sure you are right ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paper Mache Halloween Props - DIY - Torn Torso Body Part... Haunted Tree & Broken Leg!

Instructions to create a Torn Torso out of Paper Mache for Halloween home haunts!

... all thanks to inspiration from Martha Stewart. I watched, took notes then headed to the hardware store for some supplies. This was a huge!! project for me to undertake and by the time this and a few other projects were complete, I had ample unwanted paper mache experience. These projects were the messiest, most time consuming props I've ever made but, in the end also the most rewarding. 

I have previously written and posted the DIY instructions for all of the paper mache props on my Squidoo lens so I'm just posting the instructions for the Torn Torso... to view the haunted tree, broken leg and the three eyed martian just click here

This gruesome torso would look fantastic in a bloody butcher shop, kreepy kitchen or stewing pot in the graveyard!

How to Make Body Parts out of Paper Mache

Supplies needed...

To make the form - chicken wire, thin gauge wire for threading, silver tape, metal snips, white glue, newspaper, thin stake, garbage bag, gloves.

To make papier mache - newspaper (rip into thin strips), flour, water, white glue, paper towel and container.

To finish - primer sealer, paint brushes, paints in flesh tones, reds, black, blues, yellows and white(I wouldn't recommend using oil paint) to simulate blood, tears, cuts and bruising and red tissue paper.


;) please remember this isn't an exact replica of the body!

Step 1 - Get the chicken wire, snips, thin gauge wire and gloves. Snip the sharpest tips off of the chicken wire to prevent future gouges. Wrap a good sized piece of chicken wire around a garbage bag full of newspaper (made into the general form of a torso).

Step 2 - Pull the chicken wire firmly around your form. Make a smaller waist and wider shoulders as you determine the basic shape. Be sure to leave an overlap so you can secure the joins with the wire. You will need to nip, tuck and perhaps sew on the arms, depending on how you made your form. Secure the stake to form at this stage or skip it if you wish to display differently.

Step 3 - Make at least three bones by simply cutting thin strips of chicken wire and folding them a few times. Then wrap the tape around the entire piece.

Step 4 - Get your mache paste ready, if you havne't already and keep your supplies handy in case you need to make more paste or tear more paper. Be sure to keep openings for the bones you made.

Step 5 - Do at least 4 or 5 layers of paper mache and let them dry completely. On the last last couple of layers begin building up the rib bones, collar bone, spine and any torn holes in the skin.

Step 6 - After many days your torso will be dry. At this point, wedge the bone part into the openings. Make them stick out, as though they were snapped off. Crumple up newspaper and place it tightly around the openings, to fill in the rest of the hole. Secure with tape where ever you have to.

Step 7 - Begin by painting your entire torso with a base coat of primer and let dry. Then paint the entire torso in flesh tones. Using darker colours to create the deep gashes. Yellows, browns and dark blues are great for creating bruises. Just blend, layer and build up the colours as you go along. Add lots of reds, purples and blacks for fresh blood and dried blood on the wounds. Darken deep cuts and highlight the upper most areas with a lighter shade, to create depth. You will need more than one coat of paint, so don't do any fine details until the final coat of skin is finished. Let paints have a chance to dry, even as you are building up colours. This colour palette will get muddy really quickly.

Step 8 - Grab a few pieces of red tissue paper and smoosh them up, this will give them some texture. Pour glue onto the ends of the openings, but not on the bones, then place the tissue paper onto the glue. Press gently to set in place. Push raw edges into glue or add more glue if necessary.

Step 9 - Use red paint and touch up all around the end openings and paint down any loose tissue pieces.

Step 10 - Admire your latest creation as you are now finished!! Congratulations on the making of a paper mache torso!

There are a few key tips n' things to keep in mind and they are available with the other project instructions (just click here)....and remeber that rain is not your friend with paper mached props! Be sure to protect your Halloween artwork from the elements or display them indoors only.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Get a Fog Machine for your home haunt, you won't regret it! - Halloween Prop

Enhance your Halloween home haunt and props by adding a fog machine to your repetoire! When an eerie fog creeps along the ground and moves amongst your set up it not only looks amazing but hide a multitude of ground sins such as wires, cords and basic tricks of the trade. For us, purchasing a fog machine for our home haunt was a worthwhile, affordable investment that I couldn't imagine living without! 

Fog machines are readily available at most big box stores and the price has dropped dramatically compared to when they first became available in retail markets. What once cost hundreds of dollars is now available for under $100. Our fog machine was purchased a few years ago at Walmart for around $70 which included the machine and two extra containers of fog juice. We won't need a refill of juice for Halloween 2010 either.

Fog machines can be placed in any safe, out of the way location then directed where ever you'd 'like' such as hidden on porch, in the corn field or graveyard even inside your house. The only limitation having the ultimate creeping fog is wind, wind is not your friend as most natural weather elements at this time of year ;)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ouija Board

Every scare fanatic, past the age of 13, has at least heard of the Ouija board if not tried it. Having a seance and talking to spirits from the dead dates way back historically to Greece 540BC and has only been recently popularized.

It seems that regardless of your age the chill of anticipated fear and 'what if's' is still exciting, at least for me. Many will stay away from the board completely while I just can't seem to help myself from curiosity. The Ouija board concept intrigues me enough that I'm always the one to initiate a 'game' and on occasion I've even 'played' in the graveyard at night, in the dark. That was a little bit scary but I think it was more my own imagination combined with my cohorts.

Ouija boards are available in stores but the older one's with a wooden planchette (the heart shaped pointer) look a little more authentic, are less commercial and way harder to find. According to legend a real Ouija board must stay with the original owner or else! Why and what?, I'm not sure. True, not sure ;)

Either way, having a seance is a great night to spend amongst friends. Just grab a Ouija board, some candles and a group of friends who are at least open to the concept of a what a spirit board is and does. Loudmouths and scaredy cats will end the seance rather quickly due to laughter and lack of concentration. I think it's a mood, vibe thing... if only one persons energy is focused while others are causing distractions it's just harder to talk to the dead, lol?!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Conversations with Dead People BoardI'm not saying I believe or disbelieve but what I can tell you is that I've used the board a lot and you can tell when people are pushing it (I think ;) but I've also used it on one occasion where myself and two other people had a freaky experience. My boyfriend at the time, his brother and myself sat on the living room floor cross-legged in a triangle with the board resting on our legs. We each reached out and put our fingertips onto the planchette and once all six sets of fingers made contact the planchette  immediately began to swing back and forth. It was pivoting on an exact spot very quickly causing us to swing our arms back and forth like a swoosh, swoosh sort of motion. If one person released their fingers it stopped immediately. When two of us got on nothing happened, then the other two and nothing happened but with all three of us, swoosh swoosh. It was kinda going crazy! Real or fake? Not sure but both of the other people involved I trusted but who's to say they weren't just really good at faking it?

If you've had Ouija board experiences I'd love to hear them, the good the bad and the cheesy!