Halloween at Lowe’s

As I was picking up supplies for another Halloween project (updates soon to come!), I spied this collection of Halloween decorations at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Dallas.

The largest decoration was this hanging caged skeleton.  It had a motion sensor that would set it screaming and shaking when you walked past.  To be honest, the shaking wasn’t all that noticeable – I think it needs a larger motor for the size.  It appeared to be about 5-6 feet tall.  Check out the short video clip below.

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There were a few other animated decorations, some of which were were not set up or not yet plugged in.

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This illuminated skull had a interesting lighting effect.  The video below doesn’t do it justice.

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There was a good selection of inflatables this year.  I was especially impressed by the Dragon and Archway Haunted House

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And, other assorted Halloween items…

 

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SceaminScott says “dig it up” at Lowe’s!

 

Feeling Bookish

I found some neat faux book boxes at a Michaels Arts and Crafts store, while looking for Halloween items.  I immediately knew I had to try out Dave Lowe’e Creepy Book treatment on one.  I like the end result on the test run:

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I started with a small book box to test out the idea.

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I used a diluted mixture of Mod Modge, brushed on top of a crumpled paper towel, to give the ‘leather’ effect.  You really have to soak it.  Crumpling the paper towel beforehand will help create creases.  Take care to avoid bubbles.  Even after it dries they will look more like bubbles than wrinkled leather. I trimmed and wrapped the edges around the edge of the cover.  THis was a bit messy, since I didn’t know exactly the dimensions of the crumpled paper towel before it was applied to the book.  I ended up with a very messy pair of scissors as I cut the cluey paper towel  But I don’t know what other way I could do it, since the paper won’t lay completely flat until the Mod Podge is applied.

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After it was dry (about a day), I broke out some acrylic paints for the final step.  I decided on some burnt umber for the outside and black for the inside. The ‘bark brown’ make be used later to dry brushing highlights.

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This is the end result.  The odd partial leather effect on the inside cover is a result of me changing my mind halfway through the process.  I originally intended to apply the paper towel on the inside as well, but changed my mind.  I’ve decided that this was more of a trial run instead of a final product.

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Here’s a closeup of the ‘leather’ effect.  It could probably benefit from a wash of diluted black paint for shadows, and a cry-brush of lighter brown to bring out the highlights.  But I’m happy with it so far.

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So check out your local crafts store.  These books are spring and summer items, and should be heavily discounted.

ScreaminScott says “dig it up!”

 

Halloween at Big Lots

Next in line to stock the shelves with Halloween goodies is Big Lots.  I was shopping for something else so I snapped a few quick pictures.

The most interesting item was the life-sized glow-in-the dark skeleton for $49.99

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Here’s a quick look at the other items

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This witch also has light-up eyes and an evil cackle

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And finally, what would Halloween be without… dancing zombies!

 

ScreaminScott say’s “Dig it up”

 

Halloween at Michael’s

The local Michaels arts-and-crafts stores have been slowly stocking their shelves with Halloween.  Also, they have some deep discounts on their spring and summer merchandise.  Some of these can be used for Halloween too!

First, the Halloween goodies!

The Lemaxx Spooky Town displays have a bit of a canival-like atmosphere this year.  I took some pictures below.

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There are lots of elegant decorations with variations on the skull theme this year…

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…and other stuff (please forgive the occasional blurry picture)…

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The changing portraits were sufficiently creepy

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Check out this video for the full effect

I also saw a good selection of bisque ceramics.  You’d need access to a kiln to glaze and finish these.  There are craft locations that will do that for you (Like Art and Soul in the Plano TX area)

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The stores are also deeply discounting spring items.  One thing that caught my eye was the decorative boxes.

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I especially like the boxes in the background that look like books.  These are just crying out to be altered into some creepy Necronomicon or other spooky book (with a secret hiding place inside for your spell-making ingredients!).  Check out Dave Lowe’s blog for ideas on how to make these into a faux leather creepy book.  Even the regular boxes could be turned into a vampire killing kit, like this one in a video from Shadow of Palms.

ScreaminScott says “dig it up!”

Halloween in the Garden

Garden Ridge (now rebranding as ‘At Home’) has their Halloween stuff out!  My son David and I took a look.  David decided to make a video of some of the items we looked at.  Take a look yourself!

The selection is very good this year.  If you have a store near you, I recommend you check it out!

 

Full Size Skeletons are $49.99 this year

Full Size Skeletons are $49.99 this year

The Garden Ridge skeletons have metal hardware for 2014.  Hopefully this makes them sturdier.

The Garden Ridge skeletons have metal hardware for 2014. Hopefully this makes them sturdier.

more cute signs

more cute signs

Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie

Zombie signs!

Zombie signs!

Skull wreath with color changing eyes

Skull wreath with color changing eyes

What's better than chains?  Chains with huge hooks!

What’s better than chains? Chains with huge hooks!

This guy has popped his head off his shoulders

This guy has popped his head off his shoulders

The lantern in his bony hand emits an erie glow.

The lantern in his bony hand emits an erie glow.

Ghostly pumpkin with color-changing LED's inside the head

Ghostly pumpkin with color-changing LED’s inside the head

This witch shakes and cackles

This witch shakes and cackles

Perfect for a dungeon sceen

Perfect for a dungeon sceen

Standard Halloween candles

Standard Halloween candles

This skull is about twice the size of a normal skull

This skull is about twice the size of a normal skull

The exposed brain on this head is lit with color-changing LED's.  Perfect for a mad scientist laboratory!

The exposed brain on this head is lit with color-changing LED’s. Perfect for a mad scientist laboratory!

Skull with red LED eyes

Skull with red LED eyes

A good selection of Tombstones.  The 3rd and 4th from the top left are actually plaster.  The rest are Styrofoam.

A good selection of Tombstones. The 3rd and 4th from the top left are actually plaster. The rest are Styrofoam.

This guy screams and shakes

This guy screams and shakes

A hanging zombie figure with light-up eyes

A hanging zombie figure with light-up eyes

Hanging skeleton figures with light-up eyes.  Only the top part is a skeleton.  The bottom part is just cloth

Hanging skeleton figures with light-up eyes. Only the top part is a skeleton. The bottom part is just cloth

Ice, Ice, Pumpkin

The north Texas area had some freezing rain and sleet blow through recently.  Complicating this is an extended period of freezing temperatures.  SO everything has been closed and the streets and parking lots have been turned into ice rinks (literally – kids were playing ice hockey in the church parking lot down the street).

One of my traditions during cold weather is to build a snow pumpkin outside somewhere, like this:

Snow Pumpkin

Well the sleet and ice didn’t work with snow-building techniques, so I tried something different.

I give you.. the Ice Jack-o-Lantern!

Ice pumpkin

I took a old plastic jackolantern pail, and cut it in half.  Then I duct taped it together and filled it with water.  However, the duct tape was not as waterproof as I would like, so it took me 2 days of refilling it until I was able to get enough to freeze before it leaked out.

It didn’t freeze all the way through (I didn’t expect it to) so I drained out the water and was left with a hollow pumpkin.  I did put a little battery operated tealight inside last night, which looked OK.  But you can’t really make out the features so it just looks like a ball of ice.

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t cut the pumpkin pail until after the after froze.  Then I might use a hot knife to cut out the eyes, nose and mouth.  But it was a fun experiment anyway!

Someone else online had a similar idea.  His instruction are over at Instructables.com

ScreaminScott says “dig it up!”