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Halloween progress
parties
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Well, I'm nowhere near as far along as I should be on my Halloween projects due to the whiplash, plus I got a nasty cold over my annual Halloween shopping weekend that's made me even slower. Forcing myself to slow down is one thing, but laying down to rest my neck properly requires absolutely no drawing, painting, computer work, even eating, so that's a work stoppage to me. Very foreign concept to watch TV without doing any projects at the same time, but at least I'm fairly caught up on the new shows this season. ;)


Halloween shopping weekend was a success as usual. My friend Natasha & I have SO much more fun shopping together, especially with her young son. I did find McCormick's Neon food coloring, so I'm eager to see if it glows in black light. I'm set for black candles from previous years stock, plus IKEA has unscented plain black 3" pillars so I scored there already, so I bought only things I'm pretty sure I'll use. For the 2nd year in a row I have not bought any more prizes, since the treasure chest is STILL full! I wanted red bat-style wings to go with my devil costume, but was having poor luck finding any, not even at Spirit...but we walked into Party America and they had not only red wings but with FLAMES on them...talk about perfect! I will add glitter to the flame design to match with the glitter flames I will be adding to the dress, but I still can't believe that. I still need a good name for my devil costume that doesn't imply the Bay Area connotations of "flaming." ;)

The store where I spent the most money was Target, not surprising since they had so much cool new Halloween stuff this year that I couldn't resist, like the rubber fake iron look spiderweb doormat, skeleton bath mat, skeleton fleece blanket. I would have bought more but they were out of the mini-gargoyles at that Target. I even found orange brocade fabric at JoAnn for $2/yd for my next year's costume! I had the idea about a month ago after I'd already bought all the devil stuff, and it'll require more design & more time than I have right now, but I'm already excited for next year's Halloween costume. To have found an excellent fabric for only $2/yd is even better! ...and no, I'm not telling you what it is yet!


So I have spent a pretty penny on Halloween already this year and I haven't even bought most of the party food or beverages yet. However, November 5th I'll be receiving my AdSense payment for August & September combined, which will be just shy of $300. Since October is already $150 in the first 10 days, I think my entire Halloween season might be paid for this year! That's a very nice feeling!


Other project status:

pipe organ - caster wheels have been added thanks to Dad's help lifting it, but due to not wanting to exacerbate the whiplash, I'm postponing until next year. *sigh*

shed doors - almost done! Dad & I added bracing behind the sheets I had cut already so they won't warp, added the hinges, hung the doors, made sure they actually open vs. the brick patio in front, but I still need to take them down to seal the screws that will rust in the winter rains, plus paint them to look more like real wood.

chapel facade - foam needs to be recut to accommodate the new shed doors, then repainted & re-aged. If I have time, I'd like to add some more decorative foam carving detail before painting, but we'll see how this weekend goes. At least I know have my own electric knife, scored at a garage sale for $3, so that should make the foam cutting much easier!

entryway columns - hopefully I have enough foam to do these. I'd like a pair of columns to flank the entry arch door that will help hide the foam wall seams. These could also be where my matching guard dog gargoyles could perch. We'll see if this happens this weekend.

"lace" pattern curtains - design sketch underway, now intricate enough I think I'll make a stamp vs. a stencil. The painting won't take long, so it's all the design & stamp construction that needs to happen first.

pirate corner - still not sure exactly where this will go, but got a tattered Jolly Roger flag and received my new padlock & hasp to improve the treasure chest

new mad scientist display - Figured out a shelf effect to hide the black light on the display table. Found neon food coloring so will try soon. Still trying out cheapo drinks in case they glow. Most don't, so I'll have to think up a new drink that uses tonic water, vitamin B-12 & something to make it taste better. ;)

window silhouettes - skeleton is up, looks good with the purple light, paper all cut to window size, need to draw, then paint. Extra clamp lights purchased, but various color bulbs purchased in the years since original idea in 2003.

Batato Chips - grand success with purple potatoes found at Draegers! Waiting to bake the rest until closer to the party for freshness.

Mojitoes - will try adding melted marshmallows ala the eyeballs in hopes of more opacity, the mint sticks didn't work and I haven't found a substitute yet. Still can't figure out how to melt the toes into a drink without heat, so I think I have to give up on that part of the idea.

spine rollups - obviously needs a better name, but from waiting in the chiropractor's office, I've been thinking the purchased Party Swirls in my freezer could be arranged into a realistic spine...maybe matching cheese slices inbetween for the cartilage discs? Still thinking on this one...might be easier to get a more realistic shape by rolling the tortillas myself before cutting to add the vertebra flares since vertebrae aren't just round...hmmm...

Hope everyone is enjoying their October so far!

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spine rollups - obviously needs a better name, but from waiting in the chiropractor's office, I've been thinking the purchased Party Swirls in my freezer could be arranged into a realistic spine...maybe matching cheese slices inbetween for the cartilage discs? Still thinking on this one...might be easier to get a more realistic shape by rolling the tortillas myself before cutting to add the vertebra flares since vertebrae aren't just round...hmmm...


HAHAHAHAHA For obvious reasons this snack just amuses me to no end. I may steal borrow the idea, only to mine I have to add a straw or something to part of the "spine" :D

Glad you're amused, and I can understand your revenge factor for all your trials lately! Would you be adding fluid to shunt out through your straw? Eeewww!

I know what you meant for your straw, but it got me thinking of an actual spinal cord. I was originally thinking the easy route of a spine horizontal on a long platter, but if you sanitized a good thickness of sturdy electrical wire, you could curve it into the spine shape, set the wire into a sturdy base so the top of the wire is and thread the rollups onto the wire. Then people could pull a verterba up & off the wire for serving, but this won't work with the grocery store rollups that just fall apart when you pick them up off the platter. You'll need the tightly-wrapped Party Swirl kind so they'll hold together instead of falling off the wire, but the cheese cartilage discs could help it hold together...uh oh, I think I have yet another new elaborate recipe idea & I was going for easy! The irony is that I have a real 100+yr-old human spine I can use for inspiration! ;)

Well guess what - I have a sore neck too. Not whiplash - woke up this AM as usual, jumped in the car and found I couldn't turn my head more than 30 degrees left or about 60 degrees right without yelping in pain. Really really painful spots on top middle of the left shoulder and the top to mid part of the left shoulder blade area. Drove to chiropractor, got a 30 minute DEEP massage, got more neck mobility, drove to work (STUPID thing to do), lasted all of 2 hours, drove back to the chiropractor for another 60 mins of deep massage from the same therapist, another adjustment and went home.

I can move my head freely to the right but only 70 degrees left. Some motions are sore or painful. Get this, when you make a right hand clover leaf from like Foothill expressway up on to 280? That hurts when I lean my body to compensate for the G-force pulling my body to the left! Ouch!

This all happened after my first night of some relatively minor abdominal strengthening exercises from a physical therapist I saw 8 years ago for my bulged disk problem. Apparently my "hip pain" is a case of sciatica or close by nerves being irritated, possibly due to week abdominal muscles. It was pretty obvious to her and I that my stomach muscles were pretty darn week. Grrr...

-Kevin "he who cannot bowl right now..."

Oh Kevin, how horrible! I hope you recover soon! :( Good luck!

glow in the dark drink

(Anonymous)
I found that Meijer store brand frozen margarita mix (or limeade, I can't remember) reacted to black light. A dim green glow, but a glow none the less. So I had it in a glass punch bowl in my laboratory setting.

Andrea Irish

Re: glow in the dark drink

Thanks! So far in my black light testing, it seems that anything pale & pulpy enough (lemonade, mojito mixer with 20% lime juice) has a very faint glow, but that seems more like reflecting the light than true glowing like the tonic or B-12. So far nothing glows as brightly as they do, even drinks that include B-12 in them.

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