Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Save the Boobies

If you've ever been to the Garage's Yahoo Group (see previous blog entry), you will know that one of the words that you will see there quite often and usually totally randomly - like a team spirit cheer (or a bad case of Tourette's Syndrome) - is BOOBIES. If you haven't been to the Garage, well... now you know. Boobies are one of those things that the men folk of the Garage really like and that the women of the Garage all have a pair of, so it would only be natural that we all stand united to try to save the Boobies of the nation. We all know that our Halloween community is outstanding when it comes to stepping up to the plate to help others out.

Please visit http://www.teamhalloween.org to read about the cause, and donate whatever you can to help fight the war on breast cancer, or buy some really cool stuff from them and a donation will be made from the proceeds. If you own a pair of boobies or just really really LIKE boobies, this is a great way to show your no-underwire support for them, whether with one dollar or one hundred. I happen to hold a set of boobies very near and dear to my own heart, and I did my part to support this good cause.

Don't let our great country's boobies down. They need your help!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Garage of Evil

If you haven't visited the Garage of Evil, then you are missing out! This website is run by two really funny guys, Steve and Geoff, and is chock-full of extremely useful information mixed with some totally humorous High-Life inspired quips. If you're trying or thinking about trying to learn how to control your Halloween props with non-manual controls, this is the place to check out. Steve takes you through everything step-by-beer-drinking-step to show how to set things up and get some action from those props. There are several how-to's, including the supah-bad BAPU (Big Ass Pop Up) and the talking skull Yorick. They have pictures of their own home haunts as well. You'll find links to suppliers and other haunts, some uber-cool technical articles, and all sorts of excellent bits of useful stuff when you poke around at the Garage. You can buy CDs of ambient sounds and other GoE merchandise too. There's also a Yahoo group that you can join, which we lovingly call the "Tree House".

Stop by today and be amazed at the wonders of the Garage of Evil, and tell 'em Ghostess sent ya so Steve will be nicer to me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Looking for how-tos?

Look no further! One of the best and most organized places for a wide range of how-tos on the internet for building your own Halloween props is Haunt Project. I go there before any other place when I have something in mind to build, but want guidance for building it. Perfessor Evil has the site organized into categories for easy browsing. You can add your own projects as well. I have a few on there myself. In addition to projects, there are categories for vendors, media, comics, email lists, forums and groups. Perfessor's got a little of everything and a lot of props to learn how to make. Make sure to visit!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And so it begins...

This past Saturday, my son and I started to unload some of my Halloween boxes and things from the attic. Yes, it's only July, but you can never start too early in my opinion. I considered for a brief few minutes seeing how fast I can completely decorate the inside of the house this week. Then I thought, do I really want to live with the full-on Halloween look for over 3 months? Well, sorta, but I don't think the rest of the family would want to. It makes cleaning more difficult too. So I decided to just go with the original reason for going through the boxes: to decorate the formal dining room. I'm hosting a make and take for the Florida Haunters here at my house, and in addition to being a make and take, it's also a celebration for our one year anniversary for the website and forum. So, in honor of the event, I want to have the dining room decked out in full Halloween glory for our celebratory buffet. Of course, I had to pull all these boxes down, even though there's nothing in them that I'm using in the dining room because I couldn't get to the boxes I needed without moving stuff out. This is only half of the boxes, and no where near half of my stuff. That's 3 rows deep of stuff.

Bird Girl is in need of some cosmetic surgery again this year. My son's friends like to use her as target practice for air soft, much to my annoyance. I have yet to catch them in the act, they all insist it is "friendly fire" accidents. She has many pockmarks now and a large chunk torn out of her hair on the other side of her head. She's also lost one of her bowls again. The lizards love to sun themselves on her. I've seen birds out there perched on her head as well. I'll need to find a new home for her for the off-season since I planted a mimosa tree there in that bed. They sell statues similar to her now at Home Depot in a larger almost 4 foot tall size. I'm seriously considering buying one for myself, and one for my mom.


The voices told me to do it.....

The voices wanted a blog. So, here I sit, waiting for nuggets of wisdom and wit from them to type into this space. Unfortunately, they seem to have taken a nap and I got nothin'.

Just kidding. Sorta....

I've been wanting to create a blog for a while now, one that is separate from the assorted "spaces" that I pop into here and there, one that is "dead"-icated to just Halloween and the fun stuff related to haunting. I love reading blogs when I have the time. I have learned a bit from other people's blogs, gotten some insight into their methods and what drives them, and seen some really wonderful photography and websites thanks to blogs about them. I'd like to be able to do the same, to share a little bit of my own Halloween obsession and musings, and to possibly pass on some good information from other people to anyone who happens to read what I enter here.

With that said, I'd like to start off with a little about myself. My name is Deanna, and I am a haunter. I've loved Halloween ever since I was a kid. It's always been the highlight of the year to me, even more than "the-other-holiday-which-will-not-be-named". It's not that I have anything against "TOHWWNBN"; it's just not my thing. (Okay, well maybe I DO have something against it, but that's for another blog later when it's "that" time of year.) Halloween has always been about being creative, having fun, and celebrating. My sister, who is 3 years younger than I am, was born on Halloween. I can't think of a better day to have a birthday, and I've always been envious of that. We'd all go to my Grandmother's house and have her birthday party, then go out trick-or-treating with my cousins. When we all got older and didn't go to Grandma's, I'd be the one to take my 2 sisters out into other neighborhoods and we'd beg for candy for hours. I didn't stop trick-or-treating until I was 23 years old! My mom even went with us a couple of times. We were all small and petite, so we could all pass for teenagers.

When I was 24, we moved into the house I live in now. Having a child stopped my trick-or-treating for myself and eventually I was a mom pulling a wagon with my little one in tow. Until 1998 came along and I found the internet. I searched "Halloween" and found oodles of sites that were all about my favorite day. When I came across the Halloween-L, it was all over. I joined up and found a whole bunch of people who loved Halloween as much as I did, so much so that they talked about it all year long. In 1999, I had my first official Halloween party. I'd had small get-togethers before around Halloween, but those were for my ex-husband's birthday, which is October 30. This was my first REAL Halloween party. I made enough food to feed a small country, invited about 30 people, and decorated with the stuff I'd collected over the years. I made some tombstones for the front yard, and some dummies that scared my next door neighbor every time she walked out side and saw them out of the corner of her eye. Only 7 people showed up. On Halloween night though, the kids loved the little amateur display I had out in the yard. That made it all worth it, and the obsession grew.

I've learned SO much over the past 9 years since that Halloween. I've learned the joys of Monster Mud, Great Stuff, and Papier Mache. I've learned how to build things from what other people would consider garbage. I've found that I can make almost anything out of PVC and that thrift stores are full of treasures that can be turn into Halloween props and decor. I've learned how to create a website, run a forum, and use all sorts of tools on the computer. I've learned how to photograph at night, edit said photos, and get the lighting that makes the props stand out for the photos. I've learned how to use a variety of tools, power, air and hand, how to make my own tools in some cases, and even most recently, how to weld. I'm always learning new things about painting and finishing touches. I've gained experience in my cooking, trying new recipes and experimenting with old ones. I'm learning something new every day it seems.

Perhaps the most important thing that I have learned is that I am not a weak little housewife who has to rely on her husband for everything. This Halloween obsession of mine has taken me so much further than anything else in my life. I am so shy and I really am uncomfortable around people that I don't know or am meeting in person for the first time. I've always been a follower, not a leader. Thanks to my Florida Haunters, I'm having to learn to step outside of that cocoon I've been wrapped in my whole life.

I've met some of the nicest people on the planet, both on- and off-line. I've made friends and created bonds with people that I know I can count on when I need them and I know that I can be as dorky as I really am, and they'll still like me. :)

So, now that I've rambled on, I'd like to thank Jeff from Drop Gallow for his blog about me. I really don't think I deserve any special mention. Jeff, you are way too kind and I was really touched by your blog. Thank you.

And on that note, I need to leave the computer for a while. There's a pile of PVC that needs to be cut and some plywood that needs to be made into squares for our upcoming make and take this weekend. I hope somebody found this little blog at least a smidgeon interesting. ;)