All posts tagged halloween

And The Holiday Push Begins

Published August 1, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

It’s July. July. October and Halloween are 3 months away. Since Halloween occurs at the very end of October, one could even say Halloween is 4 months away.

And yet, my local Jo Ann Fabrics has Halloween decorations out. Some are already on sale! I bought a tiny poison bottle from the Halloween collection, and it was already marked 30% off. In July.

For a moment I thought Well, Jo Ann’s is always pushing the seasons, this isn’t any different. Last year, they had all the Halloween stuff out, and were beginning on Christmas by August. No one needs Christmas decorations in August. Honestly. No one.

But after Jo Ann’s, I stopped at the local Dollar Tree. They also had begun the Halloween stuff. Granted, Dollar Tree wasn’t shoving a full-blown display at me, but they already had little pumpkin and witch votive holders out on a shelf. By the way, Dollar Tree also puts out Christmas crap an aisle over from Halloween crap.

The crap sediment aside, I truly love Halloween. I have built up a cool little display (well, I think it’s cool) from Dollar Tree Halloween buildings I’ve repainted to actually look nice, to thrift shop finds like my witch mannequin hand.



Everything in the photo is from the Dollar, a thrift shop, or a garage sale. Except the bottle labels. I bought those on close out at Jo Ann’s one year. Even those paper lanterns are from the Dollar Tree (they light up purple). And yes, even the little lights in the houses are Dollar Tree lights .

So yes, I do love Halloween. I love having all my creepy crawly stuff out. I love looking for more little things to add to my display (last year I got a skelly vulture on after Halloween clearance. I’m looking forward to perching him on a shelf somewhere). What I DON’T like is how retail shops are pushing and shoving holidays at us earlier and earlier every year. It is truly getting out of hand when I can buy a Halloween decoration, on sale, in July.

And as I stated earlier – no one needs Christmas decorations in August. The retailers are also trying to sell us heavy coats, gloves and winter scarves in the hottest month of summer. SUMMER, people. Who the heck wants to try on a down jacket when it’s 90+ degrees outside? And trying to sell us swimsuits in January is not really off setting that.

I don’t know about you, but this all makes me tired. It also tends to suck the joy of the holidays out of me. It’s too much thanksgiving /Christmas/whatever-you-celebrate/New Years for me. I much prefer my holidays one at time. Then I enjoy them. I don’t feel like it’s all been shoved in my face to hurry up and do, so I can move on to the next one.

Too bad retail shops can’t figure that out.




‘Tis The Time For Halloween! And Seasonal Employment.

Published October 5, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



October it here. Where I live it was ushered in riding on rain and overcast skies. This is a nice break from the heat we have had of late. The leaves are beginning their change. I see sweaters and boots making their early fall appearances. I often need a light sweater in the morning.

Gus is still chugging along. I can see some decline here and there. I know that time is running away from us., but we are still here, still together, still wishing Artemis knew what personal space is (Artemis is my second dog. She grew up with Gus, often sitting on his head, his back, his haunches. She has no clue about personal space). I changed his diet a bit and his appetite has improved.

I have snagged a seasonal job. This means I have to make changes in Gus’ day to day routine. I am no longer here to let him out every two hours. So now I have to plan to triple pad him and make sure his bladder is empty when I leave for work. I have asked for 4 – 6 hour shifts, explaining to my manager the situation. My manager is a marvelous, understanding young man. He has scheduled me for 8 hour shifts with an hour for lunch so I can come home and take care of Gus. I repay that kindness by working harder.

The job is a retail gig at a pop-up Halloween shop. Pop-up stores are so named because they pop-up for the season only, then are gone as fast as they arrived. I am on the floor helping people find their costume, accessories, and make-up. My theatre past has already made me the go to person for make-up and costume ideas. I stock, keep aisles clear and put back things that have wandered to the wrong section.. My organizational skills have also been noticed, and I am often asked to re-display a wall of items to make more sense and have a better presentation.

I hurt from head to toe, though that is passing as my body gets accustomed to the new found exercise routine. My feet are not liking all the walking, but they t00 are getting the hang of it. And I bought a little tub to soak them in when I get home. I must be kind to my feet. My managers are great people. So far, most of my co-workers are good to work with. Overall I am enjoying it.

I won’t make much because they don’t pay much. Surprisingly though, they pay a little better than some of the permanent jobs here. It is part time as well, so again – I won’t make much. I am hoping it will cover my living expenses for October so my only worry will be November. One worry at a time, eh?

I have applied at the post office for seasonal work there as well. I am worried about the hours there. They begin between 2 and 5 A.M.. That will be a struggle for me. I am no night owl, and I find sleeping during the day very difficult.

I won’t know for a while if I even have that post office job, so until then I will just worry about tomorrow.


The First and Second Hurdles

Published October 13, 2015 by mindfulofchatter

I am already having ‘issues’ with my choice of Halloween costume. I ordered a wig from Amazon. It is a cheap costume wig, nothing fantastic. But the wrinkle came when the tracking number showed it as delivered and I had no wig. Not even an opened box on the porch to show it had been there at one time. The porch and surrounding area were searched in vain.

I have had issues with the post office in the past. This is the third package that has gone missing. The others were eventually found or delivered later. I have rang the postmaster several times and gotten a long list of excuses as to why my mail is not delivered, the box is left hanging open and things the should have been delivered to house shoved into the box instead. The situation with the carriers and the postmaster here is deplorable. And now I have yet another problem with both.

I dutifully filled out the online complaint form including the tracking number, and waited for a response. In the meantime, the package made itself known. It had been delivered to the storage cabin at the front of the property. The RV tenant kindly brought it to the house. Once again the postal carrier isn’t doing their job properly. The postmaster and I will have yet another conversation. That is if he answers his phone.

Wig was a little squished from the factory. They make them and shove them into flat, square packages that are not curl friendly. A little online research told me how to fix the wig. After a couple false starts, I got it looking nice.

Marie Wig

I am very happy with the outcome. Believe it or not, this wig is light and easy to wear. That tall top is hollow and breaths. I won’t roast while wearing it. This is a very good thing.

The next little issue was the fabric. Because it is a one way pattern, and the skirts are very full, I did not have enough fabric. While this is sad news, it also means that original, busy, wavy striped fabric will became a bustle gown at some point. Good for the bustle gown, bad for the 18th century gown.

After spending my entire morning driving to all the local fabric stores, I settled on this damask print:

Damask Fabric

The background is actually white shot with silver gray and the print is a brilliant royal blue. It is cotton and not silk, but this is a costume for Halloween and I do not have a silk budget.  The photo looks a bit yellow from the lighting. I’ll try to get a better shot next time.

I found this at my local Wal Mart. Not only is it eye catching and bold, but it was very inexpensive. The 100% cotton fabric was $3.97 a yard. Just about right for a Halloween costume. I am going for a historic-ish look, not fully historically correct. The zip in the back tells that tale all on its own.

As I laid out the pattern pieces, I remembered that I needed to ‘match’ the pattern side to side. thankfully I remembered this before cutting anything out. The pattern and fabric make it easy to do that. When I am finished, everything ought to line up.

Let’s cross our fingers.

All Hallows Eve Approaches

Published October 5, 2015 by mindfulofchatter

pannier dress


Now that I have my Bonnet completed, I can turn my mind to a new project. Halloween is coming up and I am encouraged to dress up for work, because I work the weekends on will be there on Halloween – yay me.

I work at a retirement community, so there are guidelines for costumes. No masks, no heavy make-up, nothing too scary, and I must be able to perform my job duties. Let’s go ahead and just suck the fun out of Halloween, shall we? But I understand the whys, so while I cannot do what I may want to do, at least I can still dress up and have a bit of fun.

My lovely sister, of Threading Through Time fame (no really, if you sew, go read her blog), gave me a pile of fabric she did not want. She thought the colours were no-so-1970’s, as she put it, and was disappointed when the fabric arrived. It is a busy print in wavy lines with flowers in dusty blues and pinks. I immediately saw a bustle dress. All that busy, wavy print would look fabulous morphed into a bustle gown.

Then came October and the encouragement from my workplace to dress up. Hmmmm…

After some consideration, and more stupid ideas on my part, I settled on Marie Antoinette. That busy fabric will look nice with the panniers and a fancy-ish under skirt.

I have not made an 18th century dress before. Thankfully, this is not meant to be period correct. I choose the Simplicity costume pattern that even comes with the pattern for the panniers. It has a zipper (cringe), but I can hide the zipper if I need to.

I have ordered a wig and plan to find some close-enough-for-a-costume pumps to remake into 18th century looking shoes (thank you Mod Podge). And no, it is not going look like the photo. That is a real 18th century gown. I’m not ready for that quite yet.

Stay tuned for the agony.

Holiday Haze Is On It’s Way!

Published September 30, 2014 by mindfulofchatter



September is drawing to a close. October is already peeking out from behind September’s last page on the calendar. Soon the walnuts will begin to drop off the trees. Halloween is just around the corner. And I love Halloween. Well, actually I love any excuse to dress up. Halloween is grand because it means the chance to attend fancy dress parties, haunted houses and practice the art of FX make-up. Perhaps even attend a zombie walk or two.

The local Dollar Store is great place for Halloween goodies. They have loads of skull glasses and mugs, witchy hats, little zombies to haunt your little graveyards, twisted trees, trick or treat bags, treats, garlands, stockings, Santa faces, holly, ornaments……

Hey! Wait one cotton pickin’ minute! Santas? Holly? Stockings? That is CHRISTMAS stuff!! Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Who started this grand idea? Christmas in September?? No. No, no, no, no, NO! September is ‘back to school’ month. September is the beginning of autumn. September is colder mornings and warm afternoons. September is NOT Christmas. It’s not even close to Christmas.

I hate this. The retail community keeps forcing Christmas on us earlier every year. This has got to worse if  you don’t even celebrate Christmas. It isn’t even October yet. We haven’t had Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving. Can we please have one frakin’ holiday at time? Huh? Can we try doing one at a time, instead of all at once?

I understand the craft and fabric stores putting out christmas fabrics and crafts. If you are making gifts, it takes time. But can we just leave the Christmas decorations in the boxes until it’s a wee bit closer to actual Christmas time? Here I am happily perusing the little gravestones, twisted trees, tiny zombies and mausoleums. I turn the corner and am smacked in the face with gaudy gold reindeer, stockings and all sorts of Santa items. Okay, it might help if I watched where I was going, but you get the picture. I don’t want Christmas slammed into my face months before the month of the actual holiday.

I also know that the months of endless Christmas carols is sneaking up quickly. It is in stealth mode, waiting pounce upon those of us innocently listening to the radio as we drive. ‘Raise Your Glass’ will suddenly be followed by ‘Jingle Bells’ (Can we please not over play ‘Jingle Bells’ this year? Pretty please? With sugar on top?) and we will find ourselves sucked into singing along. Again. And it won’t even be Thanksgiving yet. Maybe I ought to just put up the Christmas tree now and call it happy.

A local radio station here goes all Christmas Carols All The Time in December. This sounds pretty cool, if you like Christmas carols, but I swear they only have about 10 records. Okay, make it 15. They play the same versions of the same songs over and over and over again. How about this year you guys play some Sing Along With Mitch? You know, break out of the box and play something ‘new’.

I understand the world of retail. I really do. But this decking the halls months before the holiday is getting a bit old and worn. I like to shop for, and enjoy, my holidays one at a time. Let’s romp through Halloween before we hit Christmas. Let’s give thanks before we run out and deck the halls. Let’s slow down a step or two.

Let’s remember what the Season is all about. And let’s try to remember that little tidbit all year long.