Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Tip of the Hat to Dame Mavis

I came upon an inherited fur stole while digging through the costume boxes and bins last month. The obvious next step was putting it on Mavis. The next obvious steps after that are digging up costume jewelry and and pearl encrusted antlers. Mavis dresses for Thanksgiving Dinner, because she's a real class act.

Ramon is a Tyrannosaurus rex which means he's over 65 million years old and while he doesn't care one way or the other about pilgrims of any sort, he does come from a generation that appreciates quality haberdashery. He'd tip his hat to you, but... you know, those short arms.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Odds & Ends: Autumn 2015

Around here we've been up to lots of smaller projects and chores. Mostly these involve preparing for winter. It was time to take down the screen-doors-that-are-not-screen-doors, call Mike to deliver the firewood to fill the woodshed, rake all the damn pine needles off the long, long driveway, put away the patio furniture, et cetera and so on.

I finally got the new name sign for the base of the road finished! Maybe this means neighbors will start thinking of our place as something other than "the Alexander place." Possibly not. 

Before pictures here.

Look at this lovely sight! Holy cats, there's just something so comforting and satisfying about a nice stack of firewood, especially when it's stacked in your new woodshed. 

So much wood! It doesn't go all the way to the roof at the front, because we thought it would be easier to measure for payment. 3.73 cords if you're interested.

Awhile back I got a special price on some of these laser cut monograms. I have always loved monograms, so it's fun that Eric and I share one, even though we don't share a name. 

White washed antlers and copper leaf initial F.

I bought the antlers for general gate display, but I couldn't resist this turkey for November. Heck, since we have wild turkeys wondering around the neighborhood we could legitimately leave it up all year.

Faux stained turkey with red variegated metal leaf initial F.

Snow on the Bass Creek Crag! The tamaracks have turned! There has been some real rain and snow! Chance of snow at our place this week! WHEE!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's a Treat to Trick Out Betty!

We kept it pretty low-key for Halloween decorating this year. After all the hubbub of shed building, house guest hosting, adding a kitchen island (post coming, I promise), etc., it just felt like a few well-placed favorites would be enough to get in the spirit. Of course, there are more favorites around and not all the favorites were put out, but next year, boy howdy!

I found the extra small vintage marching band uniform (left) for $5 at a flea market in the valley in September and knew it would fit the skellies just right. I dug up some academic award medals from junior high and we named him The Commodore. Later I brought the sombreros in from storage and started making the mariachi jackets.

Just wrapping a length of fake barbed wire around the chandelier made it kind of creepy.

This just goes to show you that Mavis will not be chained down.

Last year I added this headstone to the Bitterhill Boneyard. It seems some squirrels or similar chewed a bit on the "carvings" while it was in storage, so it was very roughly "repaired" before installing in the 'yard. This one went to the office, as is appropriate based on the design.

I set up all the bleeding candles in the kitchen this year. Since last year I found a couple of killer sales on these flicker flame light bulbs, so they're extra spooky now!

House decorations aside, I did get to contribute to Eric's office celebration. His team did a Mexican theme with the lucha libre and Dia de los Muertos* accents. One of his co-workers was a calavera catrina mariachi musician which worked out perfectly, because I had made mariachi jackets for our 5' skeletons to go with the mariachi hats we just happen to have on hand. Eric and Betty were a luchador team! Photos from the office courtesy of their Photo Editor, who does not know I am using them here, but probably won't mind, right?

I made Betty's costume from the ground up, then Eric's shorts, belt, and gauntlets. I had made his boot covers several years ago for a Ziggy Stardust costume, the luchador mask was a special premium from Sol Neelman's first Weird Sports book.

You may recognize headstones from the Bitterroot Boneyard.

Betty was a champion (as indicated by her belt) throughout the whole costume making and wearing process! She loved the attention and spent lots of time wagging her tail. She loves Fritz, the calavera mariachi, but his mask was throwing her off a bit.
Here's the arty, moody, movie star shot of Betty in her lucha mask! Note the antlers.
And these shots of the costume were taken by a rank amateur at home with a phone camera, but dang it... Betty is just so cute in this costume and who doesn't want to see more photos of dogs in costumes? No one I want to know about, that's for sure.

This was the first full "dress rehearsal" for La Cazadora (The Huntress)! She's fierce.

A closer look at her pink, orange, and black spangly camo pants! Note the "boots" at her ankles and her IT champions belt. Obviously, La Cazadora is a winner!

A little side-eye action modeling her mask. 

A closer look at the new parts of Eric's Diablo Rojo costume...

A champions belt to match Betty's, vinyl cauntlets to coordinate with Diablo Rojo's uniform, and shorts to keep the costume safe-for-work. Note the subtle flame motifs on the red fabric. Fun Fact: the only material purchased specifically for Eric's costume was the red-flame fabric for the shorts. The rest was from stash or left over from Betty's. WOO!

Now, Delia was not left entirely out of Halloween shenanigans, you guys. It's just that she really hates outfits and costumes and she doesn't like going to the office, either. So she celebrated by a) not doing those things and b) wearing a gross eyeball Collar Cozy and c) not holding still for a photo unless she was asleep.

*Missoula has a big Festival of the Dead celebration with a parade and activities leading up to it. We can't quite figure out how or why a place with so little other Mexican culture goes big on this, but it all just happens anyway.