Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Parties!

Last week I had two Halloween parties; one that I hosted for the girls at work and the annual costume party hosted by my boss. The "ghoul's" party was a cocktail happy hour at my house with drinks and nibbles. I served pumpkin martinis, Zombies and wine. The pumpkin martinis were something I just made up. Here's the recipe:

2 oz pumpkin infused vodka*
1 oz pumpkin pie spiced simple syrup**
1 oz half and half

Pour vodka, syrup and half & half in a martini shaker with ice. Shake and serve in beakers.
*The pumpkin vodka is 1/4 cup pumpkin puree mixed into a bottle of vanilla vodka.
**The simple syrup is made with 1 cup sugar, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. Heat in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved.

Zombies are cocktail from the 1930's and are very strong, so I served them in test tubes. Here's the recipe I used:

1 part Dark Rum
1 part White Rum
1 part Spiced Rum
1/2 part Apricot Brandy
1 Dash Sugar Syrup
1/2 part Lime Juice
1/2 part Pineapple Juice

Finally, I served a red wine and a white wine with the bottle decorated with Martha Stewart labels.
Here's the drink table.

On Saturday, my boss hosted a costume party at his house. I went as Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren's character) from The Birds. I was coming down with a cold, so my nose is pretty red in this picture.

David went as a goth/emo. He's wearing my purple hair extensions and lost of black makeup.

Party shots:

I'm still trying to kick this cold before Halloween, so I'm off to take another nap.
© 2008 Haunted Yard

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Props-A Mummy and Coffin

For years I've wanted a coffin with a corpse in it to tuck away into a corner of my yard. Every year, it seems like the project gets pushed back and I say to myself, "I'll do it next year."

Well, this year, I finally did it!

I started the project by corpsing a "Blucky" (cheap plastic skeleton found at most retailers).

There are numerous tutorials on how to make a corpse with a Blucky, so I browsed a couple of sites and decided to just wing it.

I started by cutting some of the plastic away from the ribs and limbs to make the skeleton look a little more realistic. I also swapped out his head with a Styrofoam skull. I thought the scale was better and it looked more realistic.

I wanted to make my Blucky look a little mummified, with just the skin left attached to his body, so for this corpse, I decided to use the following supplies:
latex floor adhesive
paper towels torn into small irregular pieces
Mod Podge
Minwax wood stain-Walnut

Working in a well ventilated area (the basement since it was raining outside) I applied a thin layer of latex followed by a few pieces of paper towel and another layer of latex. Here's a tip: when working with tacky substances such as latex floor adhesive, have a small pile of baby powder near by. I dipped my sticky fingers into the powder to keep them from sticking to everything else and each other.

After the latex was dry and no longer tacky to the touch, I aplied a generous layer of Mod Podge (matte finish). This gave the skin a much needed stiffness.

Once the Mod Podge was dry, I brushed on the wood stain and then wiped off any excess.

Once he was dry, I wrapped him in some torn pieces of coffee-dyed cheese cloth. He's now ready to find a home in his coffin!

The coffin is a basic toe-pincher shaped coffin. I found plans to make the coffin with a single 4X8 sheet of plywood here. Instead of using a sheet of plywood, I decided to use a sheet of Styrofoam bead board insulation. I wanted to be able to move and carry the coffin with ease!

Using a marker and straight edge, I drew my coffin pieces according to the plans. I used my jig saw to cut the pieces out. It's a little messy, but very quick! Once all the pieces were cut out, I used Duct tape to affix the sides to the base.

A quick coat of latex paint later, I secured the mummy into the coffin with zip ties. My porch just got a little spookier!

© 2008 Haunted Yard