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Lorina's Blog

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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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My Life in Costumes

I had the greatest childhood ever. In retrospect, anyway. Sometimes it didn’t seem so great growing up, when my brothers would tease me or kids would bully me or my parents wouldn’t buy me a pony, but overall… totally awesome. Especially when it came to Halloween.

We didn’t “do” store bought costumes. Ever. Even if part of the costume came from a store, the rest was homemade. Or fashioned out of vintage or repurposed clothing. Maybe I’m a Halloween snob, but that’s how it should be. Don’t just buy some overpriced plastic or polyester piece of crap from a store. Be clever. Be creative. Be inventive.

Apologies in advance for this being crazy long, but here’s my life, in Halloween Costumes…

I don’t remember years 1972-74. I’m sure there were some kinds of costumes, but nothing I recall, or recall seeing in photos. (And since my memories begin at about age three, I’m not entirely convinced I wasn’t abducted by aliens at birth and returned to earth in 1975.)

Planet of the Apes

1975 – Planet of the Apes. I’m the littlest Chimp, with my brothers Terry & David. The masks were from a store, but Mom paired them with wigs and made our outfits.

Puppy!

1976 – Puppy! I wore this costume again when I was in 3rd grade. Yes, I was such a puny kid that I was the same size at 8 as I was at 4 years of age.

Leia and Darth

Leia and Three Darths

1977 – Star Wars! Princess Leia with my brother David as Darth Vader in a mask he made himself over a motorcycle helmet, and a couple of the neighbor kids in the store-bought version.

Miss Piggy

1978 – Miss Piggy. A few weeks before Halloween, I fell at the playground and busted up my nose. I was so worried it would hurt too much to wear my mask! It didn’t.

1979 – No photo, but I remember I was a witch.

1980 – No photo, but I was that puppy again. I thought it was hilarious that I was paired with a kid dressed as a tree in the Halloween Parade at school.

Medusa & Me

1981 – This is the only year from my childhood that I don’t remember what I was. But I do remember this was the first year my brothers started decorating the yard, and this was the Medusa they made.

Geisha

1982 – Geisha Girl. Before it wasn’t PC to dress as other cultures. And you know… I don’t see it as offensive. Sure it COULD be offensive, but I see it as paying tribute to the beauty of other times and lands. I’m not offended if someone who’s not Scottish wears a kilt. I’m happy anytime anyone wears a kilt! Also, parents… the gift box presents are really cute, but your poor kid can’t sit down.

Snake Charmer

1983 – Snake Charmer. The rhinestone pin on my turban was my Mom’s, and also worn with my Leia costume, and then much later as my “something borrowed” on my wedding gown (to keep my bra strap in place on my back!).

Witch

1984 – I volunteered to take the neighbor’s daughter trick or treating, just to have an excuse to dress up.

Cats

1985 – Cats. With my best friend, on our way to a school dance in 8th grade. I won a prize – a gift certificate to a record store – and used it to buy Madonna’s Like a Virgin.

1986 – I – gasp! – didn’t dress up this year. Not officially. I probably dressed as a zombie of some sort to hang out in our very decorated yard.

Glam Witch

1987 – A glam witch, semi-inspired by KISS. Since I was 15 and “too mature” to go trick or treating, I went with my friend to an under 21 club for the first time. It was a culture shock, going from being the biggest nerd at my school to having BOYS think I’m CUTE! It was nice having people not know me… not know that I was an uber-dork.

Little Red Riding Hood

1988 – Little Red Riding Hood. I still think this is adorable. Just short enough to show my gams, not so short as to be slutty.

Vampira

Axl Rose

1989 – My first year doing a twofer. To go to the under 21 club, which was by now my second home, I was Vampira, of a sort. I didn’t have the cleavage (and Wonderbras weren’t around yet) to go full-Elvira. Also dressed as Axl Rose to go Trick or Treating one “last” time.

Vampira, Again.

1990 – I lied. I wasn’t done with Trick or Treating. I wore my vampire dress again, to go with my best friend and her nephews. It was for the kids. Really. (Not really.)

Genie

1991 – Genie. The first costume I sewed myself, made by chopping apart a couple of old gowns.

Egyptian

1992 – Egyptian. I did a ridiculous amount of research for this costume, making the collar and belt historically accurate. Or as accurate as it can be when it’s done entirely in sequins.

1770s

Scarlett O'Hara

1993 – Another twofer year. My then boyfriend, Mr. Yuk, and I were of the 1770s era. I made both our costumes. I also made the Scarlett O’Hara dress, but didn’t get a photo of me in it then. The photo is from 1999, when I sold it on ebay because I couldn’t zip it. It had a 22″ waist. And I didn’t anymore.

1994 – No photo, but I was a hippie chick, wearing some vintage and some of my own clothes.

1995 – No photo, but Mr. Yuk and I were 1820s era vampires inspired by Interview with a Vampire.

Victorian Dress

1996 – Victorian Lady. One of my best costumes, the skirt was made from drapes (so Scarlett!) and worn over a genuine bustle that I bought at a church sale. I wore this to a ballroom dance party that was advertised as a Halloween dance, and was the only one in costume. I looked so amazing, I didn’t care.

Egyptian

1997 – Slight revision on the Egyptian costume, with a different dress. Some idiots thought I was Pocahontas. Dafuq? I made the velvet jacket and brocade vest Mr. Yuk is wearing, and a full year after we broke up, he emailed me asking if he could have it. HELL NO! I don’t think he wanted it for Halloween, either.

Glamour Girl

1998 – Glamour Girl. The vintage gown and feather boa were a fabulous thrift shop find. See my old cat Sheba in the box by the door? Silly Sheba. Last year with Mr. Yuk. Yay!

Disco Queen

1999 – Disco Queen. Vintage 70s pants suit worn to a work party, when Fritz and I first started dating.

Lita

2000 – WWF’s Lita, before the WWF became the WWE. I love that tank top.

Punk Schoolgirl

2001 – Punk Schoolgirl. We never did leave the house that night. Bow chicka wow wow!

2002 – 2003 – Didn’t dress those years. That was when my TMJ was wicked bad and nothing was fun.

Pirate

2004 – Pirate at work when I was a vet tech. I squatted to pick up a dog, and my vintage velvet breeches split. I had to stitch them shut wtih sutures in the bathroom.

Bravetart

2005 – Highlander, but I called it Bravetart. Wore that to the animal hospital, too, and after a while, forgot I was in costume. Until I went into an exam room to take some poor guy’s dog to be euthanized, wearing a dirk about my waist. Awkward.

2006 – Devil. No photo, but after Bravetart, I kept it simple and just wore red scrubs to work with devil horns.

1987

2007 – I was “1987.” I wore my actual clothes from 20 years before: leggings, lycra mini, oversized shirt (with tails) and my pink suede fringed jacket, with my hair teased sky-high. There were a number of doofs in that backward community where I worked who asked why I wasn’t in costume. I worked in the Land that Time Forgot.

2008 – Didn’t dress. Mom was in the hospital then. I did have a great collection of Halloween themed scrubs that I wore all month long.

Highlanders

2009 – Highlanders! I wore my Bravetart costume again, adjusted a little, and made Fritz a kilt by sewing fabric over a pair of shorts.

Pirate and Highlander

Sugar Skull

2010 – Another twofer year. More if you count the 70s  and Halfway to Halloween parties we went to earlier in the year. I was a revamped pirate, and Fritz liked his faux kilt so much that I made him a real one and a Jacobean shirt. I also did Sugar Skull makeup in a second costume.

Celtic Pict and Viking

Pirate

Jay & Silent Bob Zombies

Sugar Skull

2011 – The Year of the Costume! Prior to Halloween-time, we also went to a 60s party, an 80s Prom, and the Warrior Dash, in costume. For Halloween itself, I was a Celtic Pict to Fritz’s Viking, re-wore my pirate costume for a 5k, dressed as Jay & Silent Bob Zombies for a Zombie Walk, and a Sugar Skull to greet Trick or Treaters.

Resident Evil

Zombies

Spanish Inquisition

2012 – More multiple costumes. Alice from Resident Evil, then Umbrella Corp (Resident Evil) themed zombies for the Zombie Walk, and the Spanish Inquisition. Which no one expected.

And that leads us to this year, where we’ve already dressed as Headbangers and Zombies, and are planning to be different zombies tomorrow afternoon, and then Game of Thrones characters tomorrow night.

Yeah, maybe I tend to go a little overboard. But I think of it as carrying on a wonderful family tradition. I’m so thankful for my parents and siblings who helped me dress up when I was little, who inspired me when I got older, and allowed me to be a messy creative little kid. Oh, and Fritz, too. For being an enabler. Because – glancing around me, at fabric scraps and bits of paper and paints, and glitter… so much glitter – I’m still a messy creative little kid.

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