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Detours off Britta Blvd


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Halloween season has begun!
Halloween season never really ends for me, since my brain is making new plans all year long, but it is highly apparent that the rest of the world has a ramp of interest that begins in August, reaches its height by Oct 31st, then drops off like a cliff. This year I have Google AdSense giving me a sense of my website traffic, and July was the Harry Potter frenzy of course, with $36 July 1st through 21st, but by mid-August, Halloween had outpaced Hogwarts by miles! My August total was $66, and now only halfway through September, I'm at $80 more already! Obviously not enough to live on (yet?), but enough to inspire me to get my act together, finally update my Halloween Recipes page after 7 years with no new content (I've been working last week & this week, and I'm SO close to finishing - just need to do the final formatting & image placement!), and try my best to get Halloween 2005 & 2006 pages up this season. Of course this is difficult since working on new Halloween projects is SO much more fun than documenting ones I've already done! hahaha...but speaking of new projects...


The first test "mojitoes" were made last night! No, that is not a typo - heehee! The inspiration was from last year's party, when Kevin S. & Cyd were making mojitos and Kevin commented about "Britta should figure out how to make mojiTOES!" Funniest to me is that I wasn't even in the room, so I only know this because of the video footage! I agreed that was hilarious, but how to do it? Jello shots or ice cubes seemed most obvious, but I didn't want to exclude kids & teetotalers, and ice would be too difficult to keep intact throughout the party on display. So, if I made just a gelatin mojito mixer toe, that could be eaten by anyone, then the toe could be placed in a glass, rum poured over it to dissolve the gelatin, then stir and instant mojitoe beverage! I made a couple Sculpey toes, since I have looked and can't find any toe molds let alone plastic toes that were good to mold, then I used food-grade silicone putty I only heard about earlier this year to make molds of the toe originals. Adding the gelatin mixture & waiting overnight with them in the fridge, I have my first "mojitoes" so successful proof of concept! I was concerned that the 20% real lime juice in the mixer might be too acidic for the gelatin to set, so I'm very glad that worked. I think I would rather have them be more opaque, so the next test batch will have evaporated milk. I originally thought that might taste odd with the lime and mint mojito flavor, but then again the raspberry and milk heart tastes fine, and so does the pineapple with cream cheese & marshmallow eyeballs, so it might work. Now whether they dissolve easily in rum is still to be tested this weekend...plus since mini candy canes won't work, I've ordered some white mint stick candies online that should be perfect to add into the toes as the bone sticking out of the severed end that will also function as a "handle." :)

First Test Mojitoe!

Ghostly Greenery

I already finished this project...Ghostly Greenery! I found black plastic pedestal urns for really cheap this past year, so my thought was to put lovely pale gray and fuzzy dusty miller in the urns in separate removable pots, and put dry ice in water in the space between the interior pot and the urn. When discussing this idea with my parents, my dad was afraid the dry ice temperature would kill the plants so recommended less contact. Group brainstorming led to my thought of getting a plant saucer to match the width of the urn, cutting it around the pot to fit just below the top lip of the urn and hot-gluing the saucer to the pot to be watertight. That will not only limit dry ice chill in contact with the roots, but also will limit the amount of dry ice and water needed for the fog to escape out of the urn. I scored on large heavy-duty clear plastic plant saucers for only $0.25 each, and had saved gallon grower pots in my shed, so I hot-glued the cut saucers to the grower pots, checking with water for a tight seal and regluing where necessary. The actual plants I bought were in gallon pots which fit inside the saucer pots, so the only part that hasn't been tested is the dry ice. I can't wait to see the fog rolling out of the urns onto the ground under the fronds glowing in the moonlight! :)

Ghostly Greenery

Glowing Mad Scientist Display?

Ever since I changed my mad scientist display to a drink station, I haven't had anything glow, which I miss. The old glowing mad scientist display is just water with the tiniest bit of fluorescent paint added to still be transparent solution, but enough for the particles in suspension to glow in the black light underneath the glass table. I thought about having glowing containers in the back, but I didn't want anyone confused about which were drinkable or not. I did get glow bracelets to be drink stirrers, but that just isn't enough, and this has been bothering me the past couple years, so I keep thinking. My non-toxic fluourescent poster paint solutions are not even 1 tsp to 1 qt, much less concentration than a kid licking paint off a finger, and we drank some for fun way back the first black light year to no adverse affects, but it tasted chalky. I immediately though of the alcohol being the strongest flavors, so those would probably work, but again I don't want to exclude kids or non-drinkers from the fun of glowing beverages, plus most of the alcohol is leftover so gets used for other non-glowing uses. If I put the paint in strong flavored transparent drinks like the sports drinks or cranberry juice, might the flavor be okay and still glow? Hopefully some testing tomorrow and I'll find out. If any of my guests are concerned about having the tiniest bit of paint in their own drink, they don't have to drink anything that's glowing. I can even provide duplicate sets, plus anything opaque wouldn't glow anyway, so pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, milk, cream liqueur, etc, will all be completely normal. Another option is to have a weak solution of paint & water in a flask with a pipette, so people can add luminescence to their own drink...hmmm...

Other new Halloween projects underway:
  • sexy red devil costume - found some fun cheap accessories, so might as well continue the recent "Halloween archetypes" costume theme
  • backlit window stencils finally! Idea since 2003 that hasn't happened yet
  • functional doors on my shed that will look medieval - including cast aluminum door straps, sliding bolt lock, etc
  • window sheer curtains with a stenciled "lace" pattern, inspired by the Haunted Mansion eyeball wallpaper, including glow in the dark paint on the eyes
  • pirate corner, dressing up a skeleton in my pirate outfit sitting by my newly-constructed treasure chest
  • biohazard, radioactive, etc, labels for mad scientist display - images downloaded 2 years ago but not used yet
  • pipe organ I hope, but might run out of time & need to postpone until next year
  • assorted minor projects & possible new recipes we'll see if get done before I reveal ;)

    Happy Friday everyone!

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    MojiTOES! Ha ha ha ha....ouch.
    I can't wait.

    - R

    One club I went dancing at was all black light lit. There were drinks that glowed along with the white clothes. I think it was just club soda or tonic water.

    Doing a goggle search on glowing drinks gave me the following link http://drinkoftheweek.com/blogs/2004_10_01_question_archive.html
    that states it is tonic water.

    And there is this link about a number of edible things that glow under black light: http://chemistry.about.com/b/a/257707.htm

    Might be worth looking into.

    I look forward to reading whatever you come up with.

    Thanks! Yes, I've been told about quinine tonic before, but I've tried several brands of tonic, making sure each contains quinine, the past couple years and none of them seem to glow in my black light. Perhaps it needs less ambient light, which wasn't the case with my paint effect. :( I will be testing more things with my black light to see what I can come up with naturally. The other issue is that the old display was static, so I could hide the black light well, whereas if people are moving the bottles and not putting them back in the same place I'll need to have less hidden black light...even more to test!

    I've also thought of the mini-glow "mouth" lights in glasses or bottles, but there could be risk of swallowing those, plus the liquid itself doesn't actually glow. You can also buy glow cups, but same thing...the liquid itself isn't what's glowing, which is what I want! :)

    Hi -- Halloween question

    Hi -- I was just on ebay and I saw a Halloween Party Recipes, Crafts, Decorations Idea Ebook by user Jewel_Fairies....
    Is that you, selling it?? Because, if it is not -- they have all your party pictures (and recipes) as selling points!!?? Just curious if you knew (if it isn't you...)... I have been following your holiday pages and love what you do -- and I remember you having a problem with your Harry Potter invites. So just wanted to give you a heads up.
    HOpe your Halloween Season is SPOOKY! :)

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