Sunday, June 14, 2020

Summer Escape to Halloween

A dear friend, some costumes, and photoshop!

It's hot, lots of vacation spots are adhering to lockdown rules, and most of us are wondering what we're doing for a living to pay bills. Summer may not be a big getaway this year, but that's not reason why you can't escape the heat and bring on a little Halloween planning to reduce stress and look forward to a fun time of the year.
Keeping cool. 

One of the simplest ways to remember fall is air-conditioning, fans, frozen slushy drinks, and dashing through sprinklers at nighttime. 

Keep frozen grapes, bananas, apple, pear, blackberries in the freezer. A little plain Greek yogurt, apple juice, walnuts and pears and you have a super smoothie OR bananas, grapes and blackberries with cranberry juice - you have a cool slushie. 

Carrying the scent.

Pumpkin and cinnamon candles, incense-scented and licorice-scented bath salts and air fresheners are all good. It's pretty simple to take witch hazel, grain alcohol, or vodka and add essential oils in a spray bottle and make a linen/body/room spray. Some oils to consider - 

Prepping the mood.

Perhaps the best way of all to prep the Halloween mood is to watch favorite scary movies. "The Haunting," "Night of the Living Dead," "Phantasm," "Halloween," "Sleepy Hollow," "Trick R Treat," "The Exorcist," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Hocus Pocus" are just some!

Darken the room, grab a blanket on the sofa, light a candle, and feel the vibe of shorter days, longer nights.

Getting a jump on it.

The photo at the top of the post of my friend and I in costume was taken in the summertime. We had fun putting our characters into all kinds of settings. 

A day of scary movies, costumes, makeup and photo taking lead to lots of Halloween cards plotted out for the season ahead, as well as some fun laughs and concepts for Halloween decorating.

Wanting to work makeup techniques, my friend Julie and I decided to try the severed head makeup.

That led to us working on makeup concepts for the coming Halloween, costume ideas, and led to a renewed interest in special effects makeup, something I had been very studied in during my youth. 

Planning your decor.

From simple crafts like cheesecloth ghosts to elaborate electronic music and light shows, Halloween decor can take some time. Once you pick your theme, the layout is essential. I sat down one time with a plan for "The Fog" and took Photoshop to plot out how it could be set up.

I began with a black-painted cardboard cutout of one of the ghost sailors attached to a screen door. The front door wide open, a blue light would be inside the room. When people got to the door, there would be a figure in the screen door with blue backlighting. Beside the door, an audio of the musical score from the movie.

I moved on to the garage part of the layout. More black cardboard figures inside an open garage with a blue light and fog machine going. They would have red LED eyes. The sounds here would be Stevie Wayne calling out to the boats in the bay. 

The last plotted aspect was at the base of the driveway where a cardboard lighthouse with light would have the sounds of the ocean and foghorns with fog billowing out onto sidewalk. 

All plans for Halloween take time, as well as the logistics and design of moving parts, lighting, fog machines, and decorations. 

A simple creep-out for most is a window display of creepy dolls peering out.

Or create a doll island -

In the case of this one, I projected a Brothers Quay "Street of Crocodiles" film on the sheet, the dolls being part of the stop-motion doll film. 

Craft projects for Halloween and autumn make summer bearable, especially this summer of purgatory.

I planned out a fall that I believe satisfies my desire to not spend $ and to make something authentically creepy without any store-bought plot lines.

I will utilize items from the woods to make some creepy folk art, effigies, stick figures, and mossy monsters and the like - 

This Halloween expect the blog to explode with a theme that resonates in 2020 - Halloween for Free! Recycling and utilizing things from nature for themes that bring families together on craft projects and create scripts we haven't seen yet. Rather than see Frankenstein and zombies, stick and moss scarecrows, lines of pumpkins and props made of re-used pallets and water bottles will surprise people with plots that aren't spoon-fed to them. Create a postapocalyptic playground, a demented farmhouse, or an abandoned swamp cottage. The possibilities are endless!

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