31 Days of Halloween, Days 28-31

It’s been a busy weekend, and I haven’t had time to post (or watch many horror movies, for that matter…).  But I did do many things to celebrate Halloween so here they are!

On Saturday morning I ran in the Costume Dash 5K, which was my only costumed event of this year.  My friend dressed as a cookie and I dressed as a carton of milk.  There were lots of Mario Karts, mermaids, and super heroes.  It was fun puzzling out what some of the costumes were meant to be, and I got a pretty good time (for me, anyway) of 36 minutes.

Saturday afternoon involved a hike to the Freetown State Forest in Fall River, MA (home of Lizzie Borden!).  This forest is located in the Bridgewater Triangle, a hotspot of strange paranormal events.  Specific to the forest:

  • Creatures called Pukwedgies by the Wampanoag are claimed to roam there, causing all kinds of dangerous mischief such as kidnapping people or pushing them off cliffs (to their deaths).
  • The quarry (which I visited) is a site where many people claimed to feel a sense of foreboding, and a number of suicides have occurred there.  Also, President Ronald Reagan apparently saw a UFO here?
  • UFOs, Pukwedgies, and apparently Bigfoot have all been sighted here.
  • A number of murders have occurred in the forest.  One missing girl was found dead and tied to a tree, and a prostitute was found brutally murdered (murdered by her pimp, who was also a Satanist).  In 2001, two bodies riddled with bullets were found on Bell Rock Road (which we drove down to get to the hiking trails…).
  • Other reports of Satanic cult activity, reports of an aggressive pack of dogs, an escaped emu, and as recently as May of this year, wire was found stretched across the trails at a height meant to decapitate dirt-bike riders.  Yikes!
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Not far into the trail, we came across what I call the “Death Camper” – a totally trashed trailer inside a locked fenced-in area.

Later we watched a few fun Halloween movies: Teen Witch (again) and Hocus Pocus.

Last night I attended Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns, which involved lots of professional pumpkin carving.  There were some amazing horror movie themed pumpkins, such as this one:

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mv5bmtm2otm1mty5nf5bml5banbnxkftztcwnjawmzkymq-_v1_uy268_cr20182268_al_Then last night I watched a doozy of a horror (?) movie called Brain Damage.  The description called it “surreal” and I certainly got that… It’s about Aylmer, some weird phallic-looking worm, that can give people drug-like trips.  In exchange, while you’re high, Aylmer likes to eat brains.  He also likes to sing… There were some bizarre deaths, including one where a girl goes to give Aylmer’s host a BJ and instead ends up with Aylmer in her mouth.  Just bizarre all around.  Recommendations if you enjoyed this one?  The only one that comes to mind is Eraserhead

Tonight will probably involve watching The Walking Dead, so I will leave you with a simple Happy Halloween!

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finally – the halloween costume post!

Inspiration: steampunk circus inspired by The Night Circus.  I based my look off of this Simplicity pattern:

Rather than buying the yards and yards of fabric that would be needed make the overcoat, and then having to actually SEW an overcoat, I decided to use what I had on hand:

original coat

This was my winter coat from several years ago, and I decided to cut it up since it was too big, didn’t really have any shaping to it, and was sort of pill-y and covered in lint, etc., and having three or four other winter coats in my closet… You can see the cutting lines I drew.

photo (2)

Cut off the collar and shaped the bottom hem line… Then I needed the ruffle!  I had just the thing: a butt-ugly sheer shirt (part of a dance costume for Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” but I won’t say anything more about that!) I was more than happy to cut up.

photo (1) photo (4)

I had to make some major alterations to the jacket that had me wondering if altering was easier than sewing an entire new jacket, mostly because it all involved hand sewing, which I hate!  I added three panels into the “skirt” of the jacket to make it flare out, and also a false lacing up the back.  I also had to make the jacket double-breasted inside of single, which meant learning how to sew buttonholes.  That was much easier than I thought it would be.  ALL OF MY FUTURE PROJECTS WILL NOW HAVE BUTTONS!

I also had some red and white striped fabric for the corset, and some velvet I had used to make a jacket years earlier (which is how I knew I did not want to make another jacket…).  Made some little lace gloves out of some scraps I had, found a little top hat at Savers that I added some tulle and a fabric rose to, and voila!

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I opted for leggings and boots rather than making a full skirt, just for ease of wearing and because I kinda ran out of time toward the end of October.  I’m not sure how many people “got” what I was for Halloween, but I did receive lots of compliments on my costume.  And on Janina’s Snow White costume:

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what i’ve been up to

Since the end of Camp Nanowrimo – or, let’s face it, midway through Camp Nanowrimo – I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing.  I did get a good 28,000+ words written on Scavengers, but I got sidetracked when I realized that my map for Scavengers was way off from my map for Hitchhikers.  This led to me discovering an awesome new way to create a fictional map on top of a real map.  Google Maps actually allows you to insert “pins” and write little notes about various points on the map.  So instead of finishing Scavengers, I ended up combing through Hitchhikers and Scavengers and mapping them out.

Two other big things have been eating up my time (three if you count Candy Crush Saga…): my handbalancing class and my Halloween costume.

My friend Lisa has been taking handbalancing at Esh Aerial Arts for about 6-8 months now and since I’ve always wanted to be able to hold a handstand for more than 2 seconds, and since I’ve set flying trapeze aside for the time being, I signed up for a 7-week session.  Turns out a solid handstand is going to be a long journey for me.  Lisa is getting to the point where she can almost hit it, but I can barely kick up sometimes.  I’ve also started developing some shoulder discomfort, so I think I’ll be alternating sessions of handbalancing with a second silks class.

My Halloween costume this year is inspired by The Night Circus – so steampunk, black & white, circus-y, with a pop of red.  I love this Simplicity pattern on the right, but I have tried to make a jacket for myself and it’s a huge pain in the ass.  So I dug in my closet and found a long black wool coat that I’m going to rip apart and refashion to look like this.  Plus it will actually be warm should we get another Halloween blizzard.  I have patterns for corsets and skirts so those shouldn’t be a problem, and I found a tutorial to make the mini top hat.

So, this is what I’ve been doing instead of writing.  Now that the fall weather is creeping back in, I’m looking forward to actually getting more writing done.

top 5 news stories

In writing news…

Just got word today that my short story, “His Type of Girl,” was accepted for an anthology called I’ll Never Go Away, to be published in May 2012 by Rainstorm Press!

I’ve also been working on a short story for another anthology.  I found this anthology listed on Ralan.com, a great site if you are a writer of speculative fiction (e.g. horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or any combo of the three).  The working title of the anthology is Steampunk Cthulhu which inspired me to write something new… so far so good!

In sewing news…

I finally got down to the fabric store so I can finish my kitchen curtains.  I had already made the valance:

but for the tier curtains I needed a matching shade of red:

 

 

Curtains are necessary and all, but they’re not the most thrilling thing to make… but lately I’ve been thinking about this year’s Halloween/RenFaire costume.  My costume is inspired by this one worn in the trailer for “Mirror Mirror.”

Mirror Mirror costume

I love this bodice and I love the color of the top.  For my costume, instead of having the bottom be black pants, I’m going to make the top into a long chemise.  The chemise will be fairly easy so it’s step one.

Although I did see a few really cool Steampunk-style patterns in the Simplicity catalog…  Maybe I’ll have time to make two costumes this year?

Material for my costume

In movie news…

I went to see “Silent House” with my friend Melissa last night and it was really good!  I had read that the movie was one continuous shot, or at least the Spanish original was, so I was watching to see if the same would be true of the remake.  Luckily the way the movie’s plot went, I did not have to sleep with my lights on or anything – although in the beginning I was getting really freaked out and thought I might have to.

In circus news…

My aerial silks classes are going well, mostly working on strength and doing short sequences.  Last week I forgot batteries for my Flip camera so it will be yet another week before I can make a new video.  In flying trapeze I’ve been working on the flexus for a few weeks now, but have yet to attempt to catch it.

In Hunger Games news…

I will definitely be going to the midnight show!!  I’m buying my tickets right now!!!  Can you tell I’m excited?????