Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I really waited till the last minute to decorate for Halloween this year. This stuff all went up Saturday, and the township trick or treat was Sunday.

I just didn't feel much of the Halloween spirit this year, and wasn't sure how much, if any, decorating I'd do outside. Inside? Riiiiight. No party this year, so I didn't really feel the need to trash the place for just the two of us, and then have to put it all away again. The last couple years I think I did SOME indoor decorating (again, even though we didn't have the party) - like decorating indoors for Christmas. Only with Halloween, there's less expectation to do the "holiday decorating" I think. Brett probably wouldn't care either way, so it's more for me or anyone we're having over, and we just had the guys over in company plans on the schedule right now.

This creepy guy went together really quick actually. I took the "easel" I made last year (that I had the fake pumpkin head on), put an eye hook in it, hung the big skull I used to hang above the patio door (already set with string on the back), and then draped all the black curtains, pleather "table cloth", tea-stained cheese cloth, and various creepy dangle-y things over it.

As I was setting up the wooden frame (which is lightly pushed into the mulch, but since it wanted to tip over, it's actually sitting on top of a shrub for support), I decided I wanted to improve it from last year, found a couple 1x2s in the basement, and grabbed some zip ties. Five minutes later the frame had an "arm" sticking off've it - using one piece of wood for support, the other is the arm sticking forward. And that arm piece already had hooks in it from a previous Halloween project, so it was easy to hang the lanterns and fake barbed wire from it to support the lanterns.

Brett noted that a skeleton hand would really improve it - I don't have a loose hand floating around, but might keep an eye out for one in post-Halloween sales this year.  It would be the only Halloween purchase I make this year - but there's been more than once in previous years where I felt we could use a skeletal hand, and this proves it once again.

I looped several strings of purple lights at different lengths, hanging from the "neck" and hidden under the black curtain fabric.  During the daylight, they don't really show up unless you're right up close (same with the lights in the lanterns), but at twilight they looked pretty cool.

Man, I really wish I had some way to animate something on this guy.  I thought about bring out the old smoke machine to put underneath, or playing creepy voices from a speaker inside him, but again, I was feeling pretty lazy.  With the trick or treaters coming around Sunday, I found the guy was too tall for some of the little kids to even be aware of his presence, while others did expect someone inside to scare them.  Sometimes it's the expectation that's the most scary anyhow.  ;-)

As you can see here, I did end out putting a little something in the foyer - mom got me the sign last year, and I hung the old spider wreath that usually goes up this time of year.

And once it started getting closer to twilight, my grim reaper guy looked a lot better!

Unfortunately, after dark wasn't so exciting - not enough front lighting on the creepy guy. Oh well - not like we really have many folks going by at night anyhow. There was the one group of neighborhood kids coming around after their Halloween party Saturday night, and they were just a fast traveling mob of kids wanting candy candy candy, so who knows if they even noticed much...  They were cute - smashed up against the storm door so much I couldn't even open the door.  I had to tell them "back up!  if you want candy, you've got to let me open the door!"  The dogs were barking, and the kids were yelling at each other "little kids in front!  let the little kids in front!"  Cute - I'm guessing they were well coached before heading out.  There were some parents out at the sidewalk supervising everything, and the kids said that not many houses were even participating Saturday night.

Sunday...Wow...Trick or treat was 3-5 Sunday, and I think we had 115+ kids, and that was by the time I ran out of candy after an hour and a half.  The number of kids we get usually tapers off by the last half hour, but I still think we had a record year for the number of kids, annnnd they seemed to be better dressed this year.  Some years (like last year when the weather sucked) we don't get a ton of kids and they looked like they barely bothered with costumes.

We also had a few different people ask where all the usual decorations were...  I just told them I didn't do as much this year, but then started to feel like I'd let them down (it was the parents, not the kids, asking).  So next year I'll need to really go full force again!

One more picture (sorry) - this time - FUN WITH FILTERS!


anne marie in philly said...

looks spooky; you did a great job!

Jeph said...

Thank you! :-)

Betsy said...

I think this turned out spectacular, Jeph!! I do have a skeketon hand around here somewhere. It is supposed to hold a votive candle in the palm, but is pretty realistic. Not sure where I stored it though. Maybe a bit petite for your Death Lantern guy though.