Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

Game of Thrones Halloween, The Final Costumes

I’m not saying these are the last times I’ll post photos of these costumes, because I’d still like to get all dolled up and go to this sandy part of the hiking trails near my house and get some really awesome staged photos. If it ever stops raining and dries out a bit, because I’m pretty sure that sandy area is a mud bog at the moment. But the costumes, like Halloween, are done.

I made some changes since I posted my tutorial posts. (Dragons, Ser Jorah, Daenerys and the Dress Rehearsal.)

Since my green dragon broke getting into the car the first time I tried to wear him on my shoulder, I chopped him up and repositioned his tail, so he could perch on a bracer on my arm. Kind of like a falconeer would wear. The bracer was made from woven strips of ultra suede, painted to look like worn leather. Instead of actual laces, I cheated and glued elastic in a lacework pattern, so it could just slip off and on.

Dragon

I wanted fire. I couldn’t think of how to do it. I cut flames from cardboard, painted and added glitter. So much glitter! I figured they already looked very homemade and crafty, so why not just run with it? I used that for the first Halloween party.

Fire!

In the category of completely pointless detail, I added top-stitching to my dress, to make it look more like the original. But if you’re nose-to-waist with my costume, or touching it, you can’t tell.

Detail you can't see.

Detail you can’t see.

The chest piece of Jorah’s armor needed to be bigger, so I remade that piece, and added a few more straps to hold everything in place. And i swapped out the leather cord lacing on his bracer for elastic cord, just to make things a little easier.

 Is that a message by raven? No... but it might be a message about the Baltimore Ravens.

Is that a message by raven? No… but it might be a message about the Baltimore Ravens.

And that was for our first party at a bar last weekend. Sadly, very few people knew who we were. And as such, we didn’t win any prizes. I didn’t expect to. The fun of the costume is the creative process. Besides, the ones that win fall into one of three categories:

1) The woman in the skimpiest Sexy Noun costume. Yeah, we get it. You’re hot. How about showing some imagination instead of ass?

2) The ones with the most friends, when they’re popularity contests instead of judged contests.

3) The ones that are more parade float than costume… the giant productions. I always think, “How do you pee in that thing?”

So… yeah. I’ll never win.

But at least I can eat, drink, open doors and go to the bathroom without assistance.

But at least I can eat, drink, open doors and go to the bathroom without assistance.

After that party, I had a few last minute tweaks. I liked the way Drogon, the black dragon, looked on his dowel, but it was a pain to carry it around. To make him hands-free, I sewed a tube of fabric, and stitched it inside the back of my dress to work as a holster. Bam. Flying dragon, hands free.

Flying dragon.

I still wanted to find a better way to have them breathe fire. I rooted through my Halloween decorations, looking for something illuminated with LED lights I could take apart… hopefully with long enough wires to hid the battery pack and switch somewhere. Most had stopped working. Poop. But I did have some battery operated tea lights that you’d twist to turn on instead of having a switch. And they were about the same size as the dragons’ snouts. Hmmmm….

I used hot glue (squirted on glass, then glued onto the candle) to make the flames longer, then cut the dragons’ noses (to spite their faces?), and glued, taped and paper mached them into place. A little paint later, and I had fire breathing dragons.

Fire breathing dragons

And they’re done. Photos from last night, at a local casino…

I should have made the golden dragon the one flying. He'd show up better.

I should have made the golden dragon the one flying. He’d show up better.

Our numbered stickers for the costume contest didn't stay stuck. The only part of my body mine would stick to was my  chest.

Our numbered stickers for the costume contest didn’t stay stuck. The only part of my body mine would stick to was my chest.

Full length.

Finally, a well lit place to take a photo!

Wind blown

There’s nothing like a wooden rod jammed down your spine to keep you from slouching.

Gambling.

Jorah playing the Black Knight and Dany the Golden Goddess. We didn’t win.

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Zombie Makeup Tips

Like a virus without a cure, the obsession with zombies grows more and more each year. With tv shows, obstacle courses, walks and pub crawls, zombies aren’t just regulated to Halloween itself anymore. Our city’s Fourth Annual Zombie Walk was this weekend, which is a free event and a fundraiser for Toys for Tots.

Zombie Science Set

My donation? A Zombie Science Set.

And what I love best about it is that virtually everyone’s costumes are handmade and creative.

That’s what’s so great about being a zombie… anyone can do it. You’re just an undead human, so any clothes will do. Rip them up and roll around in the dirt, splatter them with paint or fake blood.

Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve turned, your makeup can be as basic as some blood. If you’ve been dead longer, you’ll want to go grey or green and add some black to your eye sockets, temples and under your cheekbones. Everyday ordinary black and grey eyeshadow can go a long way. Add a little black eyeliner on your lips.

Jay & Silent Bob Zombies

Our Jay & Silent Bob Zombies just used some black and green costume makeup, and a little blood.

If you want more wounds and decay, liquid latex is soooo much fun. It’s easy to use, and doesn’t really require any skill. Just paint it on your face, let it dry, and peel it back to have wounds. Apply red inside, and color the outside with whatever makeup you’re using on your face. For thicker flaps of skin, paint the latex on your face, then stick some toilet paper over it, then another layer of latex, and let dry. Repeat until you get the desired thickness, then rip it.

Zombie love.

Awwwww…. Zombie love at last year’s zombie walk, with liquid latex wounds.

For this year’s walk, I wanted to have my throat ripped out.

Swimming pool hose.

I started with a section of hose from a swimming pool pump, cut in half. At first, I thought I’d paint and attach the hose itself to my throat, but (and these are the kind of thoughts that run through my brain when I can’t sleep), I realized I could use it as a mold for my latex, and have a lightweight flexible larynx instead.

Hose with latex on top.

I applied a layer of latex over the hose with a paint brush, then stuck some TP over it, and brushed/dabbed more latex over that. Then I waited for it to dry, then added a few more layers. You’ll want to brush over the wet tissue gently, because it will tear. For rotted flesh, that just adds to the texture, but I wanted the throat a little smoother.

Once painted.

Once it’s fully dried, gently peel the latex off the hose, and paint it with red and white acrylic paints. Next, I applied latex and tissues to my face and neck as described above for flesh wounds, leaving an empty space in the middle of my throat for the larynx. Once my wounds were dry, I “glued” the prosthetic piece in place with more latex. I could have used spirit gum, but I already had the latex poured onto a paper plate, so… waste not, want not.

All assembled

For the makeup, I used a blend of flesh tone, green and black. I started to use red makeup inside my wounds, but it wasn’t red enough. I then switched to red acrylic craft paint. It worked great, was the perfect color, and actually washed off better than the red makeup…. I didn’t end up with blotchy red stains on my skin like I did last year. And it dripped and oozed beautifully. As it dried, it flaked a little, just like dried blood really would.

At the Zombie Walk.

Sadly, I budgeted my time poorly, and was running late to turn Fritz into a zombie as well, so he was a survivor. Since I was wearing my Resident Evil Alice dress (with longer shorts, tights and a leather jacket, since it was cold and windy), we bloodied up his Umbrella Corp shirt from last year so he could be a survivor. I put on rubber gloves and smeared handfuls of red paint on his shirt, leaving handprints as if he’d been mauled, and carried my toy assault rifle.

We had a great time, and got a couple of great photos…

Zombie

Zombie

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Take Back Halloween, Bring Back Creativity!

Another Halloween party, another club filled with girls in short, tight Sexy Nouns costumes. You know what I’m talking about. Sexy Nurse. Sexy Firefighter. Sexy Schoolgirl. Sexy Nun. Sexy Corn. Sexy Bacon. Sexy Stenographer. Sexy Sanitary Napkin. Errrr… Well, I haven’t seen that. Yet. Ooh, how about a Sexy Negative Pregnancy Test?!

I’m not opposed to sexy. I’ve done my share of bare middles, short skirts, and I’d do cleavage if I had the boobies for it. I’m not a prude or ashamed of the human body. I’ll gladly pose in a bikini at the drop of the hat. Or in a bikini and a hat. I don’t find the costumes, in themselves, offensive. Just… terribly boring. Dull. Played out.

The Sexy Nouns and Sexy Characters used to be cute and original. I remember my sister dressing as a Sexy Devil and a Sexy Nun more than thirty years ago, mostly adding some notions (ribbon, sequins) to Danskin leotards and adding a short skirt. I was even a Semi-Sexy Little Red Riding Hood when I was 16 years old in 1989. Maybe more “Cute” or “Flirty” than sexy.

Little Red Riding Hood

Mom wouldn’t have allowed sexy.

But back then, Halloween wasn’t the Big Industry it is now. If you weren’t a child, and you wanted to dress up, you made a costume. It was about fantasy and creativity and ingenuity. Not just popping over to Party City or Spirit Halloween or even the shelves of Target for something out of a plastic envelope. It’s not cute or original any more. It’s mass produced garbage.

And a backlash against it is happening.

Take Back Halloween is a treasure trove of brilliant ideas to make or assemble historical and mythological women’s costumes that are gorgeous and sometimes even sexy, but not overt and provocative. Why be a sexy princess when you can be a queen?

The Daily Show had a hilarious skit on the next logical step in sexy costumes… just dress like a vagina!

There’s an online petition to “reduce the sexualization of women by providing realistic costume options.”

In addition, a glance at the “women’s careers” section makes it clear that the only job for a woman is a prostitute. There are no police, only “Please, arrest me.” No doctors, only “sexy nurse.” The uniforms that actually resemble that of a doctor, astronaut, chef, and so on, are found in the men’s.

It is ridiculous. There should be more options. On the flip side of all that, though, is that the options are absolutely limitless if you use some imagination, which is what Halloween is all about. Fantasy. Pretend. When you’re taking back Halloween, be sure to bring back the creativity. Don’t just settle for what’s out there. And you don’t need to sew or craft.

Want to be a chef? A quick Google search shows this chef’s hat for only $3 from a restaurant supply site, with chef’s coats starting at about $15. So that’s $18, less if you just wear a white apron over a white shirt, or spend twice as much for a comparable costume.

Firefighter? Get a three piece rain suit for about $10 (and it’s actually flame resistant!), some reflective tape and write your department on the back and sleeves in magic marker. You might need to buy a costume firefighter hat, but the whole shebang will cost a lot less than a $50 Sexy Firefighter’s minidress.

Cop? Navy pants, navy buttondown shirt, and some cop accessories like a badge, hat and handcuffs. No reason to settle for Officer Friskmy. I wonder if that’s an actual costume name? Let me search Google. No, but Officer Frisky is. Officer Friskmy is funnier. See? They can’t even be all that clever with the names of their stupid costumes.

Doctor? Go to the thrift store and buy a lab coat, paired with white slacks. Make a name tag by printing out your ID on cardstock and “laminating” it with packing tape. You can get self stick pin-backs at any craft shop, or punch a hole and wear it on a lanyard. Or check at scrub and uniform shops. You can probably buy brand new scrubs for less than a doctor costume. Heck you can even get a real stethoscope for the same price as a costume one.

Zombies

Painter’s coveralls, altered into a Hazmat Suit, which could also be altered into an Astronaut’s space suit. And a thrift shop lab coat for a doctor or scientist. Rotting flesh optional.

Astronaut? That’s a little trickier, but it’s not as though a space suit is such a form-fitting, figure-flattering garment that a men’s costume would look any different than a woman’s. But if you buy a helmet, you can probably doll up some painter’s coveralls with a NASA logo. You could even spray paint the whole thing orange.

But if you want to be bacon, you’re out of luck. There’s no way to take the sex appeal out of bacon.

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