fright night minus light

Throwing a Halloween party in the middle of a blackout is some kind of tricky. However, it's not impossible, especially if you're lucky enough to have a gas grill and a generator.

We lost power at the start of Saturday's snowstorm, just as we began party preparations, and didn't get it back until late Monday night. (Not complaining, for real. Just about cheered when I saw the CL&P truck pull into my neighborhood. I know others are going to be stuck with a longer, colder wait.) This means the electric stove was off-limits, there wouldn't be much in the way of lighting, and half our party guests were already sleeping on couches since our furnace was plugged into the generator and their house was like an icebox.

Laura and I pretty much had to throw out our original cooking plan, but luckily have seen enough episodes of Top Chef to think we might be able to bake on the grill. Lo and behold, grilled brownies, grilled cupcakes. They're, er, a little charred on the bottom, but baked pretty well otherwise! We also did Rice Krispy treats and a vat of chicken-vegetable soup, as well as the uncooked treats like popcorn mix, sherbet punch, veggie dip, chips, candy, etc. Guests brought pepperoni bread and pizza to round it out.

The only sad thing, in the end, was that we got only one group of trick-or-treaters. The kids at our party couldn't find any open houses, either. I guess the outage really killed the holiday for most people.


Meesh as Endor Leia
poncho: made with my own sweat and tears. especially tears.
leggings: JCPenney
boots: Macy's
belt: NY&Co

Laura as Born This Way Gaga
jacket: The Limited
shirt: back of Meesh's closet
pants: back of Laura's closet
bowtie: iParty
hairpieces: Epic Cosplay


costumes of halloween past: femme fatale fashion

left to right:  Harley Quinn, female greaser, Irma Vep, forest witch, Slytherin girl

I don't know that you could really call Harley Quinn a femme fatale, but hey: all goofball villainesses welcome.

Today was kind of a bust as far as this year's Halloween costume goes, so I ended up browsing through some more successful past costume attempts to cheer myself up. I tried fiber reactive dyeing for the first time, and after letting the garment cure for a day, the colors are significantly lighter than when applied. Kind of scared to see what it'll look like once it goes through the wash cycle. Although considering I also found out that the hairpieces I need won't be shipped on time, color accuracy is probably not something I should worry too much about!


ninety-five percent anticipation

Yeah, I know. The socks kind of ruin the whole outfit. It was laundry day, what do you want. And I still haven't figured out how to make leggings work with flats when bare feet are totally impractical, like with today's surprise cold weather. Guess I have to finally kiss summer warmth goodbye.

Practiced a little indoor photography today, in anticipation of snow months when I won't want to go outside for pictures. The lighting situation at my house creates quite a problem, however. It's great if you want subtle bits of natural light streaming into a shadowed room for portraits, but good luck getting a clear, crisp figure shot without bringing all kinds of extra lamps into the place. I'm just not cut out for that much planning! Hence these somewhat grainy, blurry photos from this morning.

It's been a busy week here, and there's plenty more to come, what with Halloween approaching and neither decorations nor costumes being finished. I love this holiday, but it could not come at a more hectic time. (Okay, that's a lie. If it happened during the November-January stretch I'd probably cry.) Hope to have some pictures of this year's projects posted soon.


ruffle shorts/leggings: Forever21
tunic/flats: Charlotte Russe
cardigan: New York&Co


super-cute ghost mugs: Target's awesome Halloween section
refrigerator decoration: all silhouette paper cutouts by me
little pumpkins: the sad, bizarre result of this year's backyard pumpkin crop


Me and the continuous timer, this time!


friend friday: halloween edition

Modly Chic hosts a Friday group posting series called Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, and I just had to join in this one after seeing that it's Halloween costume-themed. Head on over to the post to see what Katy and the others have to say about their Halloween activities.

1. Do you have plans for Halloween? Sure do. A few years back, Laura and I started doing a small Halloween party so that we weren't just sitting around watching movies and waiting for the six whole neighborhood kids to come by trick-or-treating. (When you don't have your own kids, there are few local events, and no one else you know is into the holiday, Halloween can get kind of depressing.) Due to popular demand from family members, we've kept it up. This year's going to be a bit smaller due to the timing, though. Mid-week Halloweens suck.

2. Where do you go for costume and makeup inspiration? Movies, television, stories...and then straight on to cosplayer forums to find out how to get the general look without spending $200 plus. (Although I would love to be able to put several hundred into materials someday. The problems I run into with making costumes add up to about 25% time limits, 25% accessory availability problems--ie they don't exist and can't be made, and 50% money.)

3. What was the best costume you’ve ever donned? Good question. The best-made costume I've ever worn was a full Victorian gown with a corset, but the best look was probably Miaka from Fushigi Yuugi (although that was way back in high school, so it may not have looked as accurate as I remember!)

4. What’s the most creative costume you’ve ever seen? There've been so many that they all start to blend together after a while!

5. No holds barred if you could dress up as anything, what would it be? This year I was desperate to go as wedding!Beetlejuice, because it's such fantastic makeup. However, I ran into the same problem as my Ben Linus idea--there are no decent wigs with a man's receding hairline. Or even a high hairline so that I could do a femme version, really. I'd honestly be better off cutting my own hair short than using the options out there!

Any other costumers out there? What bugs you the most about putting together an outfit for Halloween?


fill in the blank friday

After a long night of working on my (rush job) Halloween costume and feeling too tired to do anything but browse the internet, I decided to link up with The Little Things We Do for this week's autumn-themed Fill in the Blank Friday.

1.   Nothing says fall like      the faint hint of smoke in the cold air from freshly-lit fireplaces.

2.   My favorite autumnal tradition is   picking apples with my family and then watching my dad, despite having made apple crisp hundreds of times by now, screw up the recipe again .

3.  My favorite fall treat is   apple crisp, although these days I have to have the lesser cinnamon-free version due to intolerance. Serious downgrade.

4. Fall makes me think of    home    because    it's the one season I can't imagine experiencing anywhere else.

5.  Autumn free form word association, go!    yellow damp silver spice whoosh (oh shush).

6.  My go-to outfit in the fall is     leggings, a dress with half-sleeves, and a light jacket.

7.  My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving)    If you've been following my posts at all, Halloween is the obvious answer. Better food, better clothes, better parties, and no cranky family members getting mad because you dared to change the mashed potatoes recipe this year!

What do you all like best about this season?


don't burst my bubble

Is it wrong to take style cues likely meant for girls 12+ years younger than me? Most people would probably say, "Um, yeah, you're getting kind of old for this," unless they were really into certain Japanese street fashions. But the way I see it, sure I'm getting older...but not taller. Let's face it, many of the so-called "age appropriate" styles that get foisted on women after 30 (or if you're a guest on What Not to Wear, 20) just plain don't work for me. I don't want to have to choose between "dowdy" and "looks like she's playing dress-up," people. Let us shorties use what we've got, yeah?

Personally, I can't wait for age 65, when "does not give a goddamn" suddenly becomes a viable fashion style.

In other news, Covergirl's "embrace" shade of lipstick is my new favorite accessory. I was wary of it at first, but it's light enough that there is no color scheme it does not look good with, and bold enough that I don't really need eye makeup at all. (A bonus for the lazy amongst us.) It also stays on for most of the day and doesn't smudge too much, even after eating. Honestly never had a lipstick do that before.

(I'll be glad for the pop of fuschia come winter, too, considering that a cursory survey of my wardrobe revealed mostly grays. Blech.)


skirt/shoes: Charlotte Russe
shirt: found in the back of my bottom drawer
tights: Danskin
bracelet and ring: gifts
lipstick: Covergirl "Embrace"




halloween doppelganger doll project

A few years ago, when Coraline came out on DVD, Laura and I were so totally enamored of the opening dollmaking sequence that we decided to make our own doppelganger Other Mother's spy doll for our cousin's birthday. (Kind of a creeper present, but that's just how we roll.) I kept meaning to make more later, so that we'd have some ourselves as well, but never got around to it.

Now that Halloween's approaching, I totally regret it. How great would these look as party decorations? If you wanted to be super creepy (and had a lot of extra time), you could make your guests and hand them out as party favors.

The dolls themselves aren't so difficult once you've got a basic body pattern, just time-consuming (especially if you decide to hand-stitch the whole thing, like us morons did. Gave up on it once we got to the clothes, just so we'd finish in time!) It helps if the person you're making has a distinct personal style or outstanding features. In my cousin's case, red hair, freckles, a tattoo, and an outfit she always wears made her a perfect candidate.

I'd still like to make one for Laura, and fix the pattern issues I remember having. (Protip: Don't try to base your pattern off the doll body in the movie's opener. It's a different body, put together together differently, in each shot, if you look closely.) I promise to post a tutorial if that day ever comes!


cinematographic: clue

In an ideal game of Clue, you'll have had to add more than the standard set of characters to accommodate the number of players. Especially if you're doing a live-action roleplay party version. This is why you'll see some welcome additions to the usual suspects if you pick up the film version of this game. (My silly Miss Berry not included!) The movie's premise involves our iconic characters having separately received mysterious invitations to a nighttime gathering at an old mansion, which quickly devolves into blackmail, murder and mayhem.

Basing a movie off of a board game or other non-traditional franchise is a risky venture, and doesn't always end well. For every surprise blockbuster like Pirates of the Caribbean, there is a Haunted Mansion. For every Resident Evil, there is the sequels a Super Mario Brothers. Luckily, Clue falls into the former category, as a totally watchable, fun murder mystery parody made in that unreproducible 80s screwball comedy style. Seriously, there is no other movie like this. (If there were, I would be all over it.)

We had a long power outage the other night and popped Clue into the portable DVD player by candlelight to pass the time. I am now convinced that this is the best way to watch this movie, in lieu of an interactive group watch. I will never understand why this movie isn't given the same treatment as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. To make a long story short (too late), it'd be a hoot.

Dream house y/n?
When I was a kid, I thought this took place in the 20s. That would also not be a bad setting for a murder mystery.
Our host, Mr. Boddy.
Mrs. Peacock, the Senator's wife.
Mrs. White, the black widow, played by the fabulous Madeline Kahn.
Yvette, the overenthusiastic French maid.
Colonel Mustard, a.k.a. the principal on Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.
Wadsworth, the butler, played by a very energetic Tim Curry.
Professor Plum, not actually wearing plum, and Miss Scarlet, looking stunning.
Mr. Green and his crooked glasses, hangin' with Yvette.
Trying to figure out who's missing from each scene is one of the best parts about rewatching this movie. That and the one-liners.
Ladies first!
During these sneaking-around parts, the power suddenly came back on with a screech. I jumped about a mile. Let's just say it's a very good thing this isn't a serious scary movie.
This dress is really fantastic. I mean, she's clearly being strangled by the bustier she's got on underneath it, but I might wear that too if I'd look like this!
Secret passages FTW. Someone add this to my house now.
I laughed for a good five minutes the first time I watched this scene.
Imagine the Halloween decorating you could do with a house like this.
Mrs. Peacock, your color scheme is shockingly in-season.
I strongly recommend choosing to watch all three endings of this together in the DVD options, and not just because the last has the second greatest final line of a movie ever. (The first is in It Happened One Night. I'll tell you about that another time.)


the festival

And by "festival," I mean our town's annual Apple Harvest Festival. (Emphasis on APPLE, not HARvest. Don't think we didn't hear you, out-of-towners.) It's the last weekend and the weather was uncommonly sunny, so I went downtown today to check out the craft booths and grab a few snacks.

Apparently, so did the rest of the known world. Sunburn and cranky, jostling crowds are not the best circumstances for taking photos. Or walking. Wish we'd documented it Friday night instead, when it was mostly random gangs of middle schoolers and people gathered to applaud the festival's version of American Idol. (I stuck around that only long enough to hear a contestant change the lyrics of Gaga's "You and I" to "My cool [our town] guy". Haha, no. The Connecticut radio version is lulzy enough, thanks.)

The only thing I ended up buying (besides food) is a bubble-blowing gun from one of the vendors. It's not that there weren't some nice things there (a beautiful carved puzzle box, some pretty coral pendants, hand-painted wooden Halloween decorations), it's that I'm so super broke this week! Might have made an exception if the pewter guy had been there. My mother has a whole collection of little pewter animals we've picked up over the years from previous Apple Fests. Haven't seen that booth in a few, though.

So long, festival season. Unless tomorrow I can't stand it, and just have to run out for one last enormous, cheese and sour cream drenched, fair-style baked potato. (What's that? I can stop any time I want to!)


skirt/top/shoes: Charlotte Russe
undershirt/tote: Aerie
sunglasses: gift



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