Category Archives: Halloween

Halloweenin’

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was planning on making some Halloween glitter banners, and here they are!

I’ve never had orange glitter before and it is a pain & a half so it’s available in VERY limited quantities!

The purple bats have acid green paper on the reverse.

I think these little ghosts are so cute!

This black glitter banner has bright red paper on the reverse.

You can find these all in my etsy shop; click on the pictures to go directly to each listing. Also don’t forget to “like” the Unicorn Parade Shop on facebook!

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Any Minute Now

I swear these dogs are thisclose to becoming best friends.

Fuzzy Frenemies
Fuzzy Kisses

Since it’s September 1st, I figured it was about time I got started on some Halloween crafts. I’m planning on some spooky glitter banners, but I need to get more black and white glitter sheets, and try to suss out some orange- for some reason it’s basically impossible for me to find orange glitter! I thought I found some but as it turned out it was orange glitter paint, and it’s not working the way I want. You have to do a billion coats and once you put down one, the glitter in the successive coats just gloms on to where there is already glitter, leaving some parts chunky and clumpy and others patchy and bare.

ANYWAY in the meantime I’ve whipped up some micro-bunting (remember micro bunting?) in Halloween colours. These are 12″ long and priced oh-so-reasonably at just $1.80, although if I’d thought ahead a bit more I’d have made them 13″ for even more spookiness.

Three Halloween Micro Buntings

In black, orange, white or any colour you want!

Speaking of crafts, my friend Rhiannon pointed out my space shirt tutorial was featured on craftzine.com today!

My Space Shirt on Craftzine.com

I swear, I never need to make another craft or write another blog post. I’ll just coast on that one shirt for the rest of my internet career.

Halloween Wrap Up

I’ve been living in this neighborhood for eight years now, and every year we have more and more trick-or-treaters. The first year there was only a couple, but soon parents clued into the fact that as the last intact block of actual houses downtown, there were more trick-or-treating opportunities here than in blocks full of apartment buildings and condos. Usually at least one person in every house is giving out candy, and some people go all out with the decorations. It’s really fun!

Taylor had to go to bed early since he was working last night, and Sym was going to be trick-or-treating with her dad and stepmom. I didn’t want to sit at home like a sad sally, giving out candy by myself, especially since the dogs bark their tiny faces off every time someone knocks on the door. I decided to give out candy at the front of the house and teamed up with my neighbor Matt, who was having a little get together. He and some of the neighborhood kids had put out some pumpkins and spiderwebs, but I want to up the ante a little and raided my holiday decoration cupboard.

Halloween at Mole Hill

I added the jack o’lanterns we carved on Friday night, more cobwebs, a cardboard skeleton and honeycomb-paper spider, some mini-Halloween wreaths and my favorite- long streamers of black crêpe paper that fluttered in the breeze like tattered shrouds. Matt’s friends Aaron and Darren provided the giant spiders and our house was Halloween night ready!

Matt, another neighbor named Katherine and I combined all our candy, and it was a good thing because this year there were HUNDREDS of kids! Altogether we had about 20 lbs of candy and by eight o’clock we were tapped out! It was crazy! Some of the kids had really great costumes- there were some amazing homemade cardboard Transformers, several little Lady Gagas, and one boy with a bloody rag tied around his had carrying a bloody cauliflower- a no-brainer. There was no contest for my favorites though!

Three Totoros
totoro-sprout

Colleen, Symphony and Clay as the three magical creatures from My Neighbor Totoro! Colleen made these from hoodies, which I can appreciate since sweatsuit costumes are my oeuvre. I like how Clay’s Totoro hoodie has the big teeth! Very cute.

Now that Halloween is over, I can finally focus on Sym’s birthday party, which is OH GEE this Friday! This happens almost every year- I spend all of October focusing on Halloween and suddenly it’s November and I have four days to throw together an awesome party.

A True Tale of Horror: The Clown

For Halloween, a story from the creepiest summer of my life, the summer of 1992.

One day in July, my parents went gone down to Victoria for the day leaving me in charge of my sister Zoe (14) and my brother Owen (11) at our house in the country. Zoe and I shared a bedroom upstairs. It was a huge room, about 25 feet wide and fifty feet long. The east wall had four big windows and the south wall had one, which was right by my bed. The door was also at this end of the room. The south window looked out over our driveway and the house next door, belonging to this fisherman named Tony. Being a fisherman Tony was often away for weeks at a time, and happened to be away then.

It was a Saturday and we were supposed to clean our rooms, so at around one o’clock I was lugging the vacuum cleaner up and when I went into the room I happened to glance out the window and that’s when I saw THE CLOWN. He was standing on Tony’s patio, a man in black boots, black pants, black turtleneck and black gloves, topped by a creepy clown mask- a big white rubber face with red tufty hair, red nose and a huge freaky grin. He looked like Pennywise and he was LOOKING RIGHT AT ME.

37151410

I immediately dropped to the floor and called my sister over from her end of the room- I made her walk along the west wall (no windows) and drop next to me. We peeked around the edge of the curtain and there he was, THE CLOWN, LOOKING RIGHT AT US. We were like HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK. We ran downstairs and locked all the doors and grabbed my little brother, making him come back upstairs with us. I guess we should have called the police but instead we spent the rest of the afternoon up in the bedroom, staying away from the windows. We didn’t see the clown again and when my parents got home (before dark, thank god) and we told them what we’d seen, they went over to Tony’s house but didn’t find any signs of forced entry, and when he came home a few weeks later he never said anything about a break in. Our parents thought Zoe and I had imagined the whole thing but we know THE CLOWN was real.

Mini Doughnut Party/Pumpkin Time

doughnut party banner
cursed bones edition

These doughnuts (or should I say bonenuts lol no, that was terrible) were a total disaster to make! The batter was easy enough to mix- just a 1/4 box of chocolate cake mix, some Dr Pepper (I KNOW, I HAVE A PROBLEM) and some black food colouring to spookify it a little. But when I went to scoop it into the pastry bag, disaster! I’d used a heavy Pyrex bowl and it was hard to hold up and I sort of half-dropped it onto the pastry bag (which was propped up in a cup). Batter went everywhere and I had to call Taylor over to help me.

Then, while I was piping the first batch into my mini doughnut machine, the end of the pastry bag BLEW OUT. The coupler burst right out of the bag and again, batter went everywhere! I was able to finish filling the machine with spoonfuls of batter (albeit sloppily) and while it was cooking I scooped the remaining batter from the burst pastry bag into a smaller one. However, I don’t have any tips for the small bag with a big enough opening so I had to use a fancy decorating tip, which dispensed weirdly and I overfilled the machine, which made another mess.

HOWEVER. In the end it was all worth it, because look at how they turned out.

The Cursed Bonenuts

ARE YOU KIDDING THESE ARE GREAT! The bone sprinkles are from a spooky Halloween decorating set I bought in September and I FINALLY made a successful glaze! The trick is to use EIGHT TONS of icing sugar and just a teeny bit of milk, plus some white food colouring to make it more opaque. Perfecto! Too bad I wasted so much batter with all my mess-making and disasters because I only got twelve doughnuts out of all my work.

My regular doughnut tester was being recalcitrant about having her picture taken (quelle surprise) so I enlisted Taylor’s help. His verdict?

Taylor Tests the Cursed Bonenuts

Super delicious!

Recently I found myself in a Halloween funk. I didn’t put up any decorations or carve any pumpkins, I didn’t have any Halloween plans and I put off making my costume until the night before I had to wear it. Earlier this week I decided it was time to GET OUT of my funk, so on the advice of my e-friend Brooke, last night I invited some friends over to carve jack o’lanterns, eat Halloween treats and watch Hocus Pocus.

hocuspocus

Taylor picked up four pumpkins after he got home from work at 1:30 and I spent the afternoon making an awesome three and a half hour long spooky music playlist.

Dogs Love Jenn
as soon as Jenn arrived all the dogs swarmed her

Taylor and Jenn scooped and scraped out all the pumpkins since Sym, Rich and I find it too disgusting. Four pumpkins hold a lot of guts! I carved mine, and I also ended up carving Taylor’s for him since he was delirious from being up for 30 hours and I was worried he was going to cut his thumb off/smash his pumpkin with a hammer. Jenn and Sym teamed up, and Rich did his with a cordless drill!

Pumpkin Quartet
My Star o'Lantern

I did mine with cookie cutters. For the big stars I made an imprint on the pumpkin with the cutter and then cut it out with a small knife, but for the little ones I just pounded the cutter right through with a rubber mallet! So easy.

Taylor's (and my) Droid o'Lantern

Taylor wanted to do the Android logo but he made it too small and it got messed up, so I printed out a bigger one and carved it on another side. I didn’t do a great job (I was a few glasses of wine in at this point) but I think it still turned out okay. I was going to do the eyes with little pieces of pumpkin rind on toothpicks, but then I found these crystal-tipped ~party picks~ in the cupboard so I used them instead.

Jenn & Sym's Cat o'Lantern

Jenn and Sym did a cat and also utilized my crystal-tipped party pick technique for the eyes.

Rich's Matrix o'Lantern

Rich didn’t want to carve a pumpkin because he said he lacks skills. This one would have been nearly impossible to carve traditionally anyway because the rind is like, four inches thick! I had the idea to do a pattern of holes with a drill, and after a couple of test drills I made him take over. He did a series of vertical lines and when one of my LED fake candles is flickering inside it, it kind of looks like the Matrix. Really!

It was really fun, and definitely helped to launch me out of my funk! Today I’m in a great mood- I had the bite on my replacement filling from two weeks ago fixed at 8am and now I’m no longer in horrible pain, I’m going to spend the day making decorations for Sym’s birthday party on Friday and I finally found a bag of my favorite Halloween candy: ROCKETS (I think these have a different name in the US).

Rockets!
two pounds of tongue-dissolving goodness

Every year I eat a billion of these and spend the first half of November with a gross, raw tongue. IT’S WORTH IT THOUGH.

Happy Pre-Halloween!

All (okay, most) of the kids are dressed up today so Georgie and I are as well.

Baby Deers
Baby Deers

The ears aren’t quite right but that’s because I rushed them- I threw both of these together last night with some simple clothes (dress & leggings for me, hoodie for Georgie), felt and double stick tape. I feel EVERY costume dilemma can be solved with these three things. In addition to our fawnstumes I used this technique last year for our family corn suits and the year before, when I was that bus in Alaska where Christopher McCandless died (unfortunately no pictures of this exist).

Mini Doughnut Party

doughnut party banner
spooky halloween edition

I made these Halloween doughnuts for Symphony’s class party tomorrow. I used the same recipe as the cinnamon-sugar/lemon glazed doughnuts, just replacing the nutmeg/lemon juice with vanilla. I dipped them in melted butter and black, purple and orange sanding sugar from the EXTENSIVE collection of Halloween sugars and sprinkles I picked up this year.

Halloween Doughnuts

This is my doughnut making set up:

Making Halloween Doughnuts

I work from right to left, so first is the pastry bag of doughnut batter, the mini doughnut maker, the monkey-shaped spoons I use to flip the cooked doughnuts out of the machine, a bowl of melted butter, 3 little bowls of sanding sugar, and last of all the cooling racks. Please ignore the sink overflowing with dirty dishes, I actually washed them all while I was waiting for each batch to cook.

Since one batch of batter makes about a million (okay, 42) doughnuts, I decided to save the last batch for Sym, the daycare kids and myself. For these ones I mixed all the leftover sugars together for a black-orange-purple mix.

Halloween Doughnuts

It just happened to perfectly match the Halloween shirt Sym wore today.

Sym Tries the Halloween Doughnuts
Sym Tries the Halloween Doughnuts

Her verdict: Delicious!