2,000 of these in the beginning of October. We ran out last weekend, I have been printing them a few at a time on our home printer, but we keep running out. Just had my printer drop off another 500 for the weekend!
They are helpful in that if I did not have these, I could stand out there all day and answer these questions over and over....sometimes I have to hold myself back from saying to a visitor that says "can I ask a question?" . . .only if it is not on that FAQ sheet. :D
Next year we have to add the question, "how long does it take you to set everything up?"
It takes about 20 people a weekend to get it all out in the yard (including setting up the church facade). It takes another weekend for about a handful of us to go around and put in all the details - webbing, lighting, moss, candles, crows, flowers, touching up paint, and setting up and testing all the effects.
The back has ads for the local haunts and information on the dancers for Halloween.
Husband and I will also be happy to help any haunter that needs help editing their video or working on creating a slide show. Just don't all ask us the week before! :D
Husband and I took over the awards a few years ago when they were in danger of going away. We knew what an inspiration they were to us and could not bare to see them go. (Big thanks to all the volunteer judges from 2008!)
In fact, this year, with the help of our new sponsor, (I will announce that later) we are going to add several new categories and divide up a few existing categories - this should allow for many more winners. We expect to have the website updated by the end of next week.
I know now is the worst time to ask this favor, only do it if you have the time.....but in this case if you can tell other bloggers about theHaunters Video Awards and link them to the website, I would be so grateful!!!
Here is a picture of the door prize table. I meant to get close ups of all the items, but...well, you know how those things go.
(If you click the picture to make it larger, you can just about make out everything.)
I just wanted to give you highlights on some of the cool items that I got from my fellow bloggers. I figure that I rather spend money supporting someone creating art that just run the Spirit or some other Halloween store and give them money on over priced plastic :D
Two custom made Davis Graveyard logo bottle top necklaces from Good Mourning Glory. (I had lots of people ask me where they can get those. I will have to work with Diane to see if she can make them to order.)
I also had some Davis Graveyard Jones Soda and Davis Graveyard travel mugs, along with a few store bought items I picked up.
Oh, and I even offered a couple of the Voodoo dolls I had left over from my trip to New Orleans!!
I have to say that the handmade gifts went over well. I was not sure how my crowd would go for them ......I thought maybe they would be too refined .....I mean I have had them on a diet of annoying cheap plastic stuff for years.....but I am happy to say that everyone loved them. Very cool, next year, all handcrafted pieces for the door prizes.
100+ party guests to mingle? We have a large party area, there is the driveway, the fireplace patio, and the two floors of the shop. People hung around in groups in one area through the whole party....and husband and I ran around like mad, trying to make sure that we introduced everyone. That was clearly not working. Husband and I debated over this for a couple years and then he came up with what I thought was the stupidest idea :D It is called Graveyard Bingo.
It works like this:
You make up about 115 passes(similar to a backstage pass) on lanyards for all the guest, one side says R.I.P. (really important person) with the Davis Graveyard logo, and the other side has a number. Even though the RSVPs were in the 130's, there are always people that never show.....and we know who you are and you know the rules - three years of not coming to the party boots you off the guest list permanently! :D
Anyway, the pass makes it easy for us to identify a guest over someone who, for example, hops the fence (and we had a few of those this year)....and it gives them their "number". They also get a bingo card and a pen. The objective is to go around the party and find the numbers on their bingo card and have them initial the card. When someone gets "bingo" they get to draw from a prize bucket. You can get bingo several times through the night.
Well, we have been doing it for three years and I have to say I was wrong (again) about it being "stupid", it is a great idea, everyone gets to mingle and they love it. The guests that have been to the party for years are eager to help newbies understand the game....likely they are just looking for their number, but anyway, works for us :D
Well, thanks husband, it is a great idea. It is a bit of work (and a bit expensive), printing, cutting, and laminating the passes and creating the bingo cards...but it is worth every penny! :)
Yeah winners!! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org your mailing address and I will get these out to you ASAP!
Thanks for all the support everyone. I have been noticing that a lot of you celebrate milestones like 100 followers and stuff like that with a drawing....I kinda missed that and since we are a bit past that mark, I will come up with a cool prize pack of stuff to offer up in the next few days.
Frog queen is not feeling well, so she is going to go back into hiding for a bit. Many, many fun stories to tell about the party....I will get to them out there soon.
that involved the police was our big screen....which is actually, as you can tell from this picture....is just a white sheet. We put a projector in the garage and show old horror movies during the party...until we start the singalongs.
Which this year included:
Stephen Lynch’s Halloween
Storm Large’s 8 MILES WIDE from her hit one woman show Crazy Enough
Just in case here are some of the Dr Horrible Songs too.
The song in question, which now that we think about it should have been the first song on the list, was the Storm Large song "My Vagina is Eight Miles Wide"
Funny song from her one woman musical that she did her for 3 sold out months....I hear that it is on it's way to New York later this year. We wish her good luck!
Actually in all the years we have been having this party, that is the first time we lost track of the time. We were not paying attention and were doing a little singalong with about a 100 people a little too late into the evening :(
The other night husband and I were eating dinner and my crazy Dorie cat hops up on the buffet behind my chair and crawls into this space between the top of the cook books and the next shelf and wedges herself in there.
"Dorie, what are you doing?" (that is her full name)
She blinks at me and rolls on her back with her paws up and when I go to remove her she becomes what we like to call "sharp on five ends" and will not let me get her out of there without blood loss.
Fine, just don't cause any problems, little demon cat.
Anyway, back to eating and I hear this sound....I know exactly what it is. You have got to be frinkin' kidding me!! Seriously, you little.........you didn't just......
"I noticed that you are usually farther along than you are now for your party decorating....do you want me to come in for a few hours on Saturday morning?"
Crap! I was trying to tell myself it is not as bad as I think it is!!
Even she noticed....it's bad, really bad.
I would have taken time off work (or just worked a nice normal 40 hours a week), but there is probably the biggest project of the year for me happening.....about now. I can tell you I was not in the planning meeting when it was put on the calendar!!!
Note to self, don't miss planning meetings!!!
(No, those are not the decorations for my party! Frog queen has not lost her mind yet. I was looking for scary Halloween decorations....and those made me gasp in horror!! What has been seen cannot be unseen...sorry everyone!)
up for my lame blog posts this month...and my very failed attempt to keep both this blog and Davis House news updated everyday....the shame....I feel I need to make it up to my fellow bloggers.
So here we go.
My brother made 10 skulls from the mold he made from the skull he bought in Disneyland, the original, in California - long before the other parks were built :), for the dance team to sell as at the open house to make money. We sold 8 of them...I know, what is wrong with these people!!
Anyway, I have two left and I am going to hold a drawing to give them away, since most of you will want these before Halloween...this is quick drawing, I am going to draw the winners Tuesday morning and get them out that same day, priority mail. (just get me your mailing address ASAP!)
These are great skulls, they are solid resin (a bit heavy, perfect for throwing at someone...oh, did I say that out loud!?!) and my brother even filled and sanded out all the rough spots and made them perfect. They are painted white with black antiquing, but they can be repainted any way you like.
Just leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, 9:00 am, PST, October 27 - Good luck my fellow bloggers.....and back to prop building!!!
there is this big party at the Graveyard. You would think with all that cool stuff in the yard, that I would have these awesome party decorations.
No, not really. In fact I really did not start decorating (seriously) for the party until about 3 years ago. As time and funding allow, I am growing my collection.
With the help of some friends, like my friend Judy who is painter and volunteered to paint the inside of a church on the black fabric panels that I use to mask off the outer edges of the downstairs of the shop. Here is what she did for us last year. It is about 12 panels, most of them painted.
She did this in October....it was freezing in the shop (even with the heater) and the fabric was just hanging from the ceiling so it was very loose. Poor thing, but she got it done.
We finished hanging it back up in the shop last night. We think it looks great.
Tomorrow....pictures of the pews that husbands dad made us. I mean, you cannot have a church without pews :)
that the Davis Graveyard loves Raymond at 13th Door (a local Portland haunt.)
He runs the site portlandhaunts.com - if you check it out, guess who is on there - The Davis Graveyard. He made us a banner in the right hand corner.
Wow, we are just a home haunt listed up there with all the big guys!! So cool.
Thanks Raymond, as always you are a great guy and one of my favorite haunters.
We try to help out all our local home haunts by printing a list of haunts on the back of our FAQ sheets that we print so the people that are disappointed that we are not a haunted house, can find themselves a place to get scared!! :) We like to help out where we can.
If you have not found it yet, you must go over to the fabulous All Together Dead blog. It is a great blog full of inspiring ideas and images....not to be missed. Follow along with me and we will a become Halloween geniuses!
She is having a give away of some of her very creative labels....you need a set, they will make those plain glass bottles and empty containers into awesome props for our witches cabinet! Go over to her blog and find out how to win yourself some!!
that most of you do not read the Davis House News blog. (The blog for mostly the Davis Graveyard.) - Don't worry, either do I. :D
Husband keeps up that blog but for the countdown to Halloween I foolishly signed up both blogs and tried not to duplicate too much.....but that is not working.
So, by popular request, here is one of the videos for the Thriller routine during the open house. This was taken by our friend Nick - the talented Marci's husband. Cameras are just part of their relationship :)
MJ visited the graveyard for our open house. We were not sure he would show, we knew he would be busy this time of year :D Actually, the Michael Jackson part for the dance team was an on and off thing, so we did not say anything about it because we did not want to disappoint anyone.
But about a week before the event, the dance teams hip-hop coach decided that he would love to do the Micheal part for both the open house and Halloween. So, we paid about as much in shipping as the coat costs to get one here on time. It was all shinny and new, so our friend Matt used a bit of paint on it to make it look a bit creepier.
I have to say that the first time I saw the routine and saw the reaction of the crowd, I got goose bumps. :) It was worth every penny.
He did a great job dancing with the team and was the hit of the event. I don't think he got much down time, since every kid (and quite a few adults) wanted pictures with him.
Very fun event. Thanks to Tim (aka MJ) and the entire dance team. We raised almost $700 that day. They will be back on Halloween night selling concessions and taking donations!
I want to send a big thank you out to The Captain and Full Moon Industries for getting the Davis Graveyard a whole lot of moss! (I mean a serious mountain of moss!!) I would have taken a picture of the pile...but I was in a hurry to get it in the yard and running in the house to get the camera seemed a luxury I could not afford at the time :) You are going to have to trust me, it was impressive! :)
The Graveyard looks fantastic....the moss is a perfect touch. More graveyard pictures with the moss adornment coming soon!
You bloggers are the greatest people! Thanks for all your support.
A thank you gift is going in the mail to both of you on Monday.
Usually pumpkin scented things are more pumpkin pie/pumpkin spice - but this is more like pumpkin frosting. As clean, sweet smell. I know, sounds weird, and I am not a big fan of sweet smelling lotions, but for pumpkin scent I will make an exception.
And this product lives up to the rest of their product line, being a great moisturizer that absorbs quickly.
So now that I have done the sales pitch I am going to give one away (thanks to my sister) - So leave a comment on this post and I will draw a winner next Friday.
He is not done, but I thought I would give you a look at how unorganized my prop making ideas are. :) Now that I have the bulk of it up...here is where I am at.
One very important thing that I do every year is take pictures of the props as soon as they are in the yard and then watch them in a slide show on the TV. This gives me a new perspective of the prop, I notice little things (flaws) I do not notice when I am looking at them in the yard. I then make notes and head out into the yard do make adjustments.
This is a perfect example....I see many things that need to be changed.
I knew that I wanted him to be traditional body, but now that I have attached the head, I am not lovin' the combination. Too late to change it this year, so I will file all my notes for Scarecrow '10. Likely two scarecrows next year :)
I have a few changes to the hat that I will tackle this weekend. The brim is too wide and covers his face, I am going to do some seriously work with scissors and utility knife and some thin wire woven through the hat to hold it up and out of his face.
The hat leaves his head every time the wind blows so I am going to nail it to his head. Literally, I am going to find some old square nails (we have a vintage home improvement store in my area) and hammer them into his head. Not sure how that fits in the story, but I like the idea.
Since this is in the back yard (where no one can see it), there is a chance I might do the same with his arms with railroad stakes. Yes, I know what that will look like, but I don't care. My display - don't look if you don't like it.
I am debating on whether or not to take the ribcage out (or parts) of a Bart and put it in the chest and have part of it show through the shirt by the neck and one of the sides......might try it and see what happens.
He definitely needs a bit more bulk...
I did some work with watered down black and brown paint on the clothing, but now that the prop is good and wet (been raining all week) and am going to back out to finish aging it. The paint absorbs into wet fabric for more of that dirty clothing look rather than I just painted it look :)
Husband being a programmer....I would call these pictures the beta version - version 1.0 will be released next week :)