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Halloween Party Prep Progress
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I've been in a whirlwind of party prep so far, and excited that Eerie Elegance book sales finally cracked the 800 mark this week, but first a little bit of news...Karen Waschinski was kind enough to post a nice review of Eerie Elegance and a few of my recipes as part of her Halloween Studio Tour website, a group of artists banding together to benefit Bat Conservation International. Karen makes very cool plush sculptures...her miniature rats & bats are adorable, but my favorite is the dragon!

Now for the party prep progress! Food first:


  • 4 dozen witches fingers safely in airtight tins
  • 5 dozen meringue bones in airtight plastic (larger bones this year so not the usual 14 dozen)
  • 6 dozen pumpkin pasties in the freezer
  • 5 dozen mini jack o lantern pumpkin spice donuts in the freezer
  • 4.5 dozen gingerbread gargoyles ready for piping decoration
  • shrimp already ground & refrozen for the brain later
    (since the food processor was out for the pie crust dough, this way I don't have to clean it again for this party!)

I think that's almost half the menu, which is awesome! The fresh stuff & gelatin body parts have to wait of course, but I feel much better having this all done already, especially since the gingerbread mansion must be assembled this weekend since I'll be gone most of the week before my party on my work trip!

As of 3am Friday morning, Miss Hermione G. Wells' leather buckle bodice is ALL DONE, so I can finally put the sewing machine away! Since the top hat is already done, and the rest is reused from last year, with a couple more accessories on the utility belt, that's my costume finished a whole week before the party...thank goodness!

As for decor, it's beginning to look a lot like Halloween! :D I was lucky & very thankful to have a house-elf appear last Saturday afternoon for several hours! Not much outside decor yet since I'm afraid of more rain this weekend like this past weekend, but if even I don't get to decorate any more inside, Castle Brittahytta and the Library Laboratory will still feel nicely spooky!


  • skeleton hand lights in front corner bushes
  • started new aging technique on gravestones & foam stone walls
  • both backyard sheds covered in flagstone gossamer to match
  • purple web fabric cover for front porch light
  • 12 new pillow covers in 3 spooky fabrics - more elegant than the old cutesy pumpkin pillow covers
  • new inside wall decor - plaster wearing away from stone walls - filmed for a future podcast
  • spooky portrait gallery in hallway
  • gargoyle collection arranged on fireplace mantel
  • living room tapestry & web curtains
  • black candles in all candleholders (thanks Melanie!)

  • new canvas curtains hanging in patio - had waited until after summer season over (thanks Melanie!)
  • all bookshelf wallpaper murals ready to hang to cover all patio walls this year, but not hanging until party time in case it gets moist outside
  • all spooky drinkware in place on the bar bookcase - fills 4 shelves! (thanks Melanie!)
  • patio garage door & fridge are "hidden" bookcase functional doors
  • wine fridge & side of patio fridge covered with woodgrain contact paper
  • 13 frames all in place & 8 images already edited for new quiz "Where in the World is Miss Wells?"
  • skull fountain reinforced & in place over the skull lace tablecloth on a sturdier table in the corner
  • shelf-safe potions already in lab bottles with new labels (thanks Melanie!)

  • new permanent patio bar chalkboard = Michaels half-price frame sale (but still $50!) + $3 thin MDF + $5 chalkboard spray paint = invested since will be year-round, especially Cinema Brittahytta in summer!

  • curtains behind pipe organ on outer patio
  • rewired pipe organ so iPod & keyboard play through built-in speakers
  • new gold & black foam carving detail for pipe organ
  • same foam stone walls for arch door on patio
  • outer patio furnished more as another interior room, including Creepy Cuisine table
  • Name That Tune quiz audio clips already edited & arranged in playlist
  • finished new gravestone aging techniques - painted moss plus vines - filmed for a future podcast

Still on the list:


  • decorative frame around the plasma TV back in place against the wall, with digital photos as the artwork cycling through (has to be landscape format though). Haven't chosen the photos yet, not sure if I should use canvas fabric, paper, or cardboard, for the fancy frame.

  • revise projected ghosts to higher contrast - Zoombox/DVD projector will work sitting on gate arbor & shooting onto house wall, but last year's DVD only shows white blobs so needs more detail. Tested new projector but the ancient DVD player won't play the new burned DVD and I need the PS3 for the living room TV.

  • finish 5 more Miss Wells travel photos but shouldn't take too long since images already selected & prepped.

  • finish new ruin aging techniques - painted moss plus vines

  • new quiz sheets Miss Wells, gingerbread mansion, 2010 voting - need to design, print & cut

  • prize trophies - have had this idea for 4 years I swear, so hoping it finally gets done with a new cooler brainstorm from this week

  • all the fresh party food of course! Waiting for menu signs until the last minute in case any items need to be cut from the menu


Wish me luck getting the gingerbread mansion done this weekend, even with moist weather forecasted! :-O Hope everyone is enjoying their Halloween season!

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