I love an excuse to celebrate — even better when there’s a double celebration… such as the Second Anniversary of the Dark Side Downunder blog coinciding with Halloween. Which means…. If you read on to the end of this post you’ll find details of a giveaway or three :)
Every year we decorate the downstairs computer room window (it’s the perfect room because it faces the street) with a Halloween theme to encourage little ghosties and ghoulies and other assorted monsters to trick or treat us. We’re not big on tricks, so there’s always plenty of treats for the littlies (and not so littlies!). And part of the fun for our teenagers is peering out the windows to watch the little kids venture up the driveway. It’s a hoot watching their faces doing startled little owl impressions as they check out this year’s Halloween display, and betting how long it’ll take them to pluck up the courage to bang the door knocker after some encouragement from their parents. It’s a two-way treat: they get a handful of sweets from the great pumpkin bowl, and we get to admire their costumes and giggle over how cute they are when they take a deep breath and shout “Trick or treat!”
But fun as Halloween is, every parent knows it can be darned stressful trying to sort out costumes. And if, like me, your sewing machine has given up the ghost (not that you were that skilled with it anyway), and your teens have gotten past the pirate, witch, cat, or bat-man stage and want something a little more from their Halloween costume, it can be expensive and frustrating. We’ve done the whole hiring costumes thing. It’s not cheap. But I have fond memories of DH turning up to his sister’s Halloween party dressed as Beetlejuice, and her not recognizing him for half the night. Sooo worth the cost of hiring the outfit.
As for DIY costumes with minimal effort, last year DS’s mates came round to our house with the idea of going trick or treating. Except they had no costumes. Quelle horreur! No way were they going trick or treating without costumes. So I gave them each an old sheet and a pair of scissors, and told them to go for it. The result was… interesting *g*
But what do you do if you haven’t got a bunch of old sheets you can sacrifice?
Well, one of the easiest reusable costumes we ever made involved fake surgical scrubs (drawstring pants, tunics and masks) bought super-cheap from The Warehouse, and a tube of fake blood. DH laid the scrubs out on the back lawn and went to town with the fake blood. He even scrawled a “menu” of the gross surgical procedures we were willing to perform on the back of each tunic. Boy, did we get some startled looks when we parked the car and walked down the street to the party. Fun and super-easy.
Another great resource is contact lenses. You’d be amazed by how much a pair of red contact lenses can transform you. I got mine (below) from Fantasy Eyes. One caution: they take a bit of getting used to if you’re not used to wearing contacts, so it’s a good idea to start wearing them a week before the event — just for a short time each day, and building up to longer periods. I can only manage about two hours, max, if I haven’t “worn them in” prior to the event. These are proper soft contact lenses, too, BTW. So as long as you follow the instructions and don’t overdo it, you won’t harm your eyes.
After three years of attending the Armageddon expo (see my previous Armageddon post), we’ve come to appreciate prosthetics. This year’s Armageddon theme was zombies, and the liquid latex grossness was out in full force. And after the expo I was curious enough to hop on YouTube and waste an entire afternoon checking out these DIY liquid latex prosthetics are done. And to my surprise, with a bottle of liquid latex, a box of tissues (or a roll of toilet paper), a brush, some makeup or face paints, you can achieve some incredibly realistic wounds and other icky stuff. The cool thing is, you don’t need to be an expert makeup artist to do it. I’ve already found two online stores that supply liquid latex, so I’m keen to give it a go.
Here’s a super-easy YouTube tutorial showing how to make realistic-looking facial burns using liquid latex:
Some of the ready-made prosthetics you can buy these days are incredible. DD got a “cat pack” with ears and cat muzzle, and she’s already tried out the ears for a Halloween Party last weekend. We’re going to try applying the full kit for her Halloween party this weekend. And I scored an already painted “steampunk” wound that I hope to try out on Wednesday. Love the nuts and bolts you can see in the slashes. I’m thinking the right cheekbone?
Handy Hint: you’ll need a special adhesive for these sort of professional prosthetics– ours came with the adhesive. (From what I gather you can also use spirit gum, but I’d check with the supplier so you don’t risk damaging the prosthetic, depending on what it’s made from). When removing the ones we purchased from Body FX, I was advised that something “oily” will help the removal process. I used a cotton bud soaked in canola oil to work beneath the edges of DD’s prosthetic cat ears as I peeled them off. It was an easy and pretty painless process.
Well, that’s it for costume ideas from me. If I do find time to do apply this “wound” for Halloween, I’ll try and remember to take a photo.
Now to the Blog Hop and giveaways!
**MAREE’S HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY**
As a participant of the blog hop I’m offering up two prizes:
- a signed print copy of the Secrets Volume 30 Desires Unleashed anthology, which includes my erotic romance novella Kat On A Hot Tin Roof.
- your choice of two eBooks from my Books page. There’s 11 books with a range of “heat” levels to choose from, including a couple of YAs, so hopefully something for everyone.
To enter my giveaway:
- To be eligible for either prize pack, please leave a comment telling me about your most memorable Halloween experience, AND which prize pack you’d like to win: Print or eBook.
- To be eligible for BOTH prize packs, please leave a comment telling me about your most memorable Halloween experience, AND post details of my contest on Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus. (Please let me know via the Contact form how you’ve pimped my giveaway.)
Other stuff you need to know about this giveaway:
- Giveaway closes Midnight 4th November.
- No purchase necessary to enter.
- Open to international commenters.
- Winners will be drawn using random.org, and posted here on 5th November.
- If you haven’t left an email for me to contact you, please get in touch within 48 hours to claim your prize.
**DSDU HALLOWEEN BLOG HOP & GIVEAWAYS**
Darksiders’ 2nd Anniversary Halloween Blog Hop:
- To be eligible to win a prize on the blogs participating in the Blog Hop, the commenter must do as instructed on each blog by 11.59pm 4th November Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
- To be eligible to win the main blog hop prize of an Amazon voucher, the participants must comment on each participating blog. Only one comment needed. Multiple comments will be ignored for the purposes of the contest.
- Have fun!
DSDU Halloween Special – 2nd Blogiversary Participants
|1. Eleni Konstantine
2. Mel Teshco
3. Nicole Murphy
4. Imogene Nix
5. Christina Phillips aka Christina Ashcroft
6. Amanda Ashby
7. Jenny Schwartz
8. Shona Husk
9. Maree Anderson
|10. Kylie Griffin
11. Lilliana Rose
12. Nicole Hurley-Moore
13. Eden Summers
14. Erica Hayes
15. Sandra Harris
16. Keziah Hill
17. S E Gilchrist
Looking forward to reading your comments.