Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hump Day Humor - Halloween fun in our home

I love Halloween! I've always had a thing about dressing up like someone or something other than myself and parading around town [something I also did on a normal basis in the mid '80s]. I totally get into the festivities.

In year's past, I used to set up a parlor in my driveway. I'd lay out an old rug, settee, table with lamp, eerie sound effects playing in the background, etc. I'd also serve spiced apple cider. Over the years, we've accumulated a lot of decorations including a crystal ball with a floating head, fog machine, and grave stones. One year, I even made a mini haunted room in our garage for the kids to explore. Needless to say, this all took a lot of time so I've stopped doing as much any more. However, I do still like to bring out some props and dress up a bit.

Here is a fun DIY project for the whole family - Bowl of Brains. This is such an easy prop to make. [I did notice today that cauliflower isn't cheap at $4/head.]

Here's what you need:
large glass bowl
red food coloring (gel works best)

Clean the green off the cauliflower and place it in the bowl. With a tooth pick, wipe some food coloring on the cauliflower. The gel appears like blood clots. Add water and more food coloring to your liking. That is it! The glass magnifies the cauliflower and makes it look brainy. You can add gummy eyeballs or worms for extra grossness. Isn't it simply disgusting?! The kids love it!

This is our family friend, Mortimer...

Mortimer is an academic skeleton that was purchased for my husband's birthday when he started residency (6 long years ago). He typically lives in my studio/office closet because he frightens the children who come over to play. [Mort used to stand by the door of the office until I heard the blood curdling scream of a 6 year old one day. We were so used to his presence that we forgot to close the door when my son had a play date. This will be mentioned in at least one future therapy session, I'm sure.]

Mortimer sits in our window during October. He comes out on to our front porch to wed his headless bride (one of my dress forms all dolled up) on Halloween night. Top hat and all, Mort is a classy guy. I'll try to take a photo this year so I can share this blissful wedding occasion with you.

As the boys get older, our decor seems to get a bit more gross. This year, E decided to take sticky body parts he found at the dollar store and place them into one of many skulls we have around the house. Yes, we have many skulls of varying sizes in our home. I never thought I'd get used to so many skeletal pieces surrounding me, but somehow over the years I've become jaded to them. I assure you none are real, although I do believe you can buy them on Ebay.

Next, there is witch Hazel. She is a Martha Stewart silhouette I bought at Michaels one year. I use a tension curtain rod to hold up her "fiery" cauldron which makes Hazel glow in the window at night.

I'm keeping my "costume" subtle this year. I'm just wearing my horns, striped socks and my spider ring - not a huge departure to my usual wardrobe.

Are you dressing up this year? Do you decorate your house? I'd love to see what you do!


  1. That is soo cool! I love the witch and cauldron, my costume this year...I may go as myself in the morning. I think if I answer the door like that it'll scare the pants off anyone on the other side. Great post!

  2. This is awesome. I love parents who get all into Halloween and I am loving that witch!

  3. Thanks! Yeah, I'm not sure who gets into it more...me or the kids!

  4. Why does it not surprise me that you get into halloween? Those brains are GROSSSS!

  5. yeesh -- halloween is feeling more like a to-do this year. i've been really busy and we've all been taking turns being sick. we still need to transform last year's chewbacca costume into this year's woolly mammoth for my 9 year old. saturday is going to be very busy!!! i'll be the mom handing out sample sizes of shampoo if i don't get it together!


  6. I love Halloween sooo much. We have always dressed in theme costumes. At one point 5 of the 6 of us participated (Boo Cam!). Now the big ones pass out candy and only three of us go out. This year's theme. Scary clowns. Yeah.

  7. oooh nice. i've always loved halloween - with my b-day the week before i almost always had a halloween party. my sisters and i would set up a haunted house in the basement - bowls of peeled grape "eyeballs" and pasta "worms"... costumed neighborhood friends jumping out at you. we'd always give the little kids a tour with the lights on, then let them help "scare" the grownups (our friends' parents) who were our only clients....

    nowadays we do the jack-o-lantern thing and dress up the doorway with spiderwebs. i usually make myself some sort of witchy outfit to hand out candy in - also involving stripey socks!!

  8. Love the brains! They're totally gross in a cool kind of way. We're going with a circus theme this year - my daughter is going to be a clown and I am debating between being a lion tamer, the bearded lady, or the person who gets shot out of a canon. Each one has its own certain appeal to it.

  9. How cool is that spider ring! And I especially love the witch silhouette. :)

  10. Regarding your cauliflower brain. Rather than applying some gel food color as veins, you might try brushing some dark food coloring, (blue or green?) into the crevices, and then wiping off the surface with a paper towel. That way you get some detail that both brings out the brain-y form, and also make it look less like a cauliflower.


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