Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Songs!

For today’s Halloween post, I am posting what I think are great Halloween songs. If anyone is considering making a Halloween-themed mixed CD to play at parties, or simply to put them in the Halloween spirit, I think these songs are for you! If for some reason the music videos that I have added from YouTube will not play, please do a YouTube search yourself and listen to these songs.

I will start with a great song by a friend of mine who covered a song originally by Smoosh. This is "The Quack" by Invisible People:

It would be impossible to make a list of great Halloween songs without including something from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. There are probably many other great songs to choose from the 1975 film starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, such as "The Rocky Horror Theme", and "Over At The Frankenstein Place". But for now I am simply including "Sweet Transvestite": Enjoy!

I love this song by The Guess Who whether it's Halloween or not. The lyrics to "Shakin' All Over" are somewhat ambiguous - they can be about the fear of love but coupled with the music they imply to me of fear of something much spookier!

I love "Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs! There's something sinister about this song that makes it perfect for Halloween. I think the popularity of werewolf costumes and Little Red Riding Hood Costumes make this song very appropriate!

This song was recommended to me by my brother Geoffrey, who informed me that it was featured in the 1978 film Halloween starring Jamie Lee Curtis.  This is Blue Oyster Cult with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper:"

Fans of HBO's True Blood will certainly recognize "Bad Things" by Jace Everrett. This song is used as the theme for the show and plays during the graphic opening credit sequence.  If you ask me and my mother, the singer actually sounds like Bill Compton, the vampire who dates Sookie Stackhouse!


This is another song introduced to me by my brother Geoffrey, who informed me that most songs by this group are appropriate for Halloween! The one featured by The Cramps here is called "I Was A Teenage Werewolf:"

The next song comes from first album, Static Age, by The Misfits. "Teenagers From Mars" is a great Halloween song because its lyrics are dark and the subject matter is that of extra terrestrials - teenaged extra terrestrials! It combines science fiction with young people, and much of Halloween celebration is geared towards minors!

And finally, we have the 1978 song "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon.  What I find interresting about this song is the catchy, upbeat melody coupled with both goofy and graphic lyrics!  It reminds me of the sadistic humour of many horrific villains.


Of course, there are always the classics ... "The Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Picket and the Cryptkickers from 1962, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" from 1983, and Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" from the 1984 film.  You might also want to include "Haunted House" from 1963 by Jumpin' Gene Simmons"Purple People Eater" from 1958 by Sheb Woolley, and even "Love Potion #Nine" from 1953 by The Clovers.  I would also include "Do The Hippogriff" by The Weird Sisters from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and "The Jitterbug" from a deleted scene in The Wizard of Oz, performed by Judy Garland.

Use your imagination, and have a wicked Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Witches Tea Party Under The Halloween Moon: Wrapping Halloween Presents

For part 4 of my Halloween-themed blog posts I would like to begin posting my contributions to “A Witches Tea Party Under The Halloween Moon.”  For my first contribution, I am posting unique Halloween gift-wrapping ideas.

Halloween Gifts

As far as I am aware, most people do not give gifts at Halloween other than candy, but for guests at Halloween parties, this could be a great way to give party-favours. After all, a wrapped present has an air of mystery – the concealing wrapping paper causes suspense in the recipient, and Halloween is all about mystery and suspense!

For my gift-wrap projects I used Halloween tissue paper, but you can also use Halloween Scrapbooking paper or experiment with cardstock and construction paper. For my first present I used orange tissue paper, and once wrapped I decorated it using a rubber pumpkin stamp.  To compliment the black ink I topped the gift with a black bow.

For my next gifts I used Halloween Muffin Papers to create elaborate bows. 

For the first bow I made several slits along the creases of the muffin papers with concentric circles. I taped one of these to the centre of the wrapped gift and topped it with some stacked muffin papers. Some of them I attached right side up and some upside down. 

In the centre I attached one of the slitted muffin papers that I had curled with scissors.This effect can be achieved using the same technique with scissors for curling ribbon.  You can experiment by using all curled muffin papers, fold the slits in zig-zags instead of curling them, of using a combination of curled and zig-zagged muffin papers.

For my last gift, I wrapped the box using plain white tissue paper, and cut the centres out of several of the skull muffin papers.

I attached the circles of skulls throughout the wrapped box, and used the remaining creased rings to make an elaborate bow.


Some I cut and curled with scissors – again, similar to curling ribbon – while I taped the ends of the others together.  After creating a long, curving spiral of the creased paper, I rolled them up into a coil, keeping the centre higher in a similar manner to a flower. 

You can experiment by using images from Halloween stationary or scrapbooking paper, or even stickers.  You can also use black, white, or orage streamers to make the bows, or use a combination of coloured streamers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween 2011 Blog Party Hosted By Frosted Petunias

I'm just writing a quick post to say that I am planning on participating in Frosted Petunias' Halloween blog party, entitled "A Witches Tea Party Under The Halloween Moon" which takes place on October 29th and 30th.
 You can reach the party's website by clicking on the icon to the right of my page, or by clicking on the following link:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Jack O' Lanterns from 2010

My internet was down for a few days so I was unable to continue my Halloween themed blog posts.  Nevertheless, I will continue today by posting photos of my Jack O’ Lanterns from last Halloween.  I hope you like them, and I hope you will feel free to leave any comments, suggestions for future Jack O’ Lanterns I could carve, links to websites with great pumpkin-carving ideas, and even links to photos of your own work.  Enjoy!

Mad Scientist Performing Unwanted Brain-Surgery

I got the idea for this when browsing the toy section of Dollarama.  There I came across 2 sets of doctor kits entitled “My Family Doctor,” which contained plastic stethoscopes, syringes, microscopes, medicine bottles, and even toy surgical tools.  Since both contained slightly different items, I bought both.

To create the Mad Scientist, I carved 2 small holes beside each eye so that the round eye-glasses could be attached.  It seemed appropriate to use the round eye-glasses, as every mad scientist I could picture seemed to wear round eye-glasses.  Dr. Finkelstein from A Nightmare Before Christmas is a perfect example.

I attached a small gourd for the nose and 2 larger gourds for the arms using metal skewers, and to attach the syringe and scalpel I used clear Scotch Tape.

To make the syringe look more authentic, I took it apart and inserted a metal skewer through the hole to use as a needle.  I secured the skewer in the tube or barrel using the clear Scotch Tape and replaced the blue plastic pump.

For the Brain-Surgery Victim I simply cut a hole in the top of a small pie pumpkin so that if compared to a head, it would look like the top part of the skull was removed.  Using a black Sharpie marker, I drew a frightened expression which included a quivering, screaming mouth.  I then filled the hole with the seeds and strands or “brains” from my other pumpkins.

Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage

After designing and carving this Cinderella-inspired coach, I enhanced the design by outlining the holes with a black Sharpie marker and adding green Glitter-Glue for a more magical effect.

I included 5 miniature pumpkins in the design – 4 for the 4 wheels, and one which I cut in half to use as a seat for the driver and a platform for the footman.  Attaching those 2 halves was very difficult, and in the process I tried a combination of toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, and a hot glue gun.

For the wheels I drew a design with a black Sharpie marker on the tops of 2 miniature pumpkins and used them for the wheels on the back (left) side.  Similarly, I drew an alternate design on the bottoms or the remaining 2 miniature pumpkins and used them for the front (right) side wheels.  On these, I also added a dab of the green Glitter Glue to what would be the axils of the wheels.  I connected the wheels using green Pipe Cleaners which I twisted and coiled to give the appearance of vines.

I found an artificial green vine that I attached to the stem using a hot glue gun, and also attached some artificial orange-glitter maple leaves.  I thought the orange-glitter leaves alluded to the fairy dust that accompanies any spell, such as the spell a fairy-godmother might cast on a pumpkin to turn it into a temporary vehicle for a deserving scullery maid.

I was very happy with both pumpkins, and I got a lot of compliments on both.  As I expected, girls were more impressed with Cinderella's Pumpkin Carriage while boys were more impressed with the Mad Scientist Performing An Unwanted Brain Surgery.  Though both took a lot of work I was glad that everyone could appreciate at least one of my projects.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Skull Wreath

This is another one of last year’s Halloween craft projects.  I made this skull wreath using a “Floral Craft Ring” from Michaels.  A wreath form would probably work just as well, as would a  home-made cardboard ring. 

Using a Hot Glue Gun, I attached several assorted plastic skulls which I had collected the year before.  I chose to buy many of them after Halloween because the prices were marked down, and I tried to buy them from various stores to so that some could look slightly different than others in shape, size, and colouring.  For example, you can see that the 2 examples of plastic skulls below are not identical:

I would suggest looking for them at Michaels, Wal Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart Dollarama, and other dollar stores.
Before gluing anything, I attached a think black string through one of the holes in the Craft Ring and tied it firmly so that it can be used to hang the wreath on a hook.  After doing this, I glued 3 large foam skulls from Michaels around the stringed hole, covering the surface and the string.  I then began gluing the rest of the smaller skulls around the ring, making sure to cover the surface of the ring, and using the various kinds throughout.  I attached them at different angles, and sometimes would glue one on top of the others – this was useful for covering any areas where the frame was still showing.

It is not neccessary for the wreath to be symetrical ... just have fun with it!