The Front Room
Technically, I guess this the living room, but we always call it the front room on account of the fact that we call the dining room the living room since that's more what it was arranged as until Dani moved things around and we got a pool table.  Whatever.  They were all fun to decorate.

This page is more random than most on this site because this room gets kind of randomly decorated every year.  Pictures from several different years are interspersed without much of a system.




We sometimes call it the guitar room also for somewhat obvious reasons.  It looks better in person where you can see all the individual details, so let me do my best on this page to do close-ups and show how it all came together.

Dani cut out bats a few weeks earlier while I was working on the plumbing under the house (accessed from beneath the kitchen sink).

Dani and Kristin (the other side of the mirror) cut up fishing line...

...and the place went batshit crazy.  Incidentally, can guess who Kristin's favorite superhero is?

Hint:


A wide shot looking toward the front door and my office.

A little further to the left.

Either Dani or Kristin got the undead couple off the couch and placed them on the curtain rods.  Not my choice, but I didn't have any better ideas what to do with them.  I was thinking maybe something in the back yard, but I never got around to it.

I put the undead skeletal faces in the window which I thought was perfect for both an indoor and outdoor decoration.  That's the first thing you see as you're heading up the walkway.


Dani looks like part of the house-keeping staff with her scrubs on as she dyes a bolt of fabric for drapes...

...which came out like this.  We enclosed the living room so that the blacklight effects would be undiluted by light from here or the kitchen on the opposite side.

This demon bat (borrowed from Shanna) was the leader of the flock.  I had only placed him here temporarily, but then this became the bat room* and it make perfect sense here more so than anywhere else.

*Each room had sort of a theme going on in 2008.  This was the bat room.  The living room became the "undead room" (get it?!) with ghosts and such, and the kitchen was populated by spiders.


Santa Claus?!

The fireplace is just decorative, although I believe it was at one time functional (the house was built in 1925) since there is an actual chimney.  As it is now, the flue angles back, so I used some thread to tie the ends of the bones to a small brick and placed it over the ledge inside.  Worked great!

Update: In 2009 I removed the brick façade to expand the space and added an insert so that it's a working fireplace now.  You can see a picture of it elsewhere on this page.  There's usually a surround panel around it, though I leave that off in the winter.  I had planned to add a light inside the insert and some decorations like a glowing skull or something, but time didn't permit.




A Shining typewriter
This was Beth's favorite prop of the night.  You know that scene in The Shining where Shelly Duvall finds out what Jack Nicholson's been writing all winter?

Heh.

More about the typewriter here.




The guitars
As I say elsewhere on this site, I'm not a fan of decorating for autumn, but I inherited a lot of scarecrows from my mom, so I needed to find something to do with them.  I set three of them up behind and around some of the guitars.  The result of the initial mockup was sort of a cross between The Wizard of Oz, Children of the Corn, and This is Spinal Tap.

Among the decorations I borrowed from Shanna were puppet ghouls like this one.  They're just a head with a shroud around a nonexistent (or at least intangible) body.  You can use them as finger puppets, but they looked great on the heads of the guitars...

...or around the necks in this case.  This one had actual arms to work with, but all he wanted to play was "Touch Of Grey" by the Grateful Dead.

Across the mantle I scattered plastic pumpkins (found on sale at Home Depot last year for 50 cents a piece!), autumn leaves (from Mom), and plastic rats (from Shanna).

Here's another one putting a skeletal head on a skeletal, headless bass.

The rest of the puppets and some fake moss (also from Shanna) ended up around a lamp Dani picked up at a friend's garage sale.

A bunch of the ghouls ended up on the lamp again.

We didn't do this for the party.  Dani set the skeletons like this just for fun while we were supposed to be decorating.  Jerry Garcia is rolling in his grave.

In addition to Shanna's, I bought some more little ghouls of my own when they went on sale last year.  This year (2009) we moved some of them other places, like tacked beneath the mantle, on the curtain rod, and some more in the hallway.

More ghouls on the guitars.  The GT/GL model (white one) is sometimes refered to as "the broom" because of its shape, so I should have put a witch on it to see if anyone caught what I was going for there.

Shanna also loaned me a bunch of scary birds like this vulture who rested on the shoes dangling from the headstock after we couldn't find a way to convincingly mount him on the neck or body of the guitar.

More stuff (this pic from 2009):
  • Crows.  I bought a couple new ones last at the end-of-season sales last year to add to Shanna's flock (aka murder).
  • Skull.  From a drugstore (maybe Walgreens?).  This is the best looking, most anatomically-accurate model I've seen, plus a good paint job.  Solid resin.  Why can't they all be this nice?  I bought another one like this in 2010 and then three more in 2011.
  • Happy Halloween blocks.  Gift from Dani's friend Jessica.  You flip them around and they say "Happy Birthday," "Merry Christmas," etc.
  • Boney Barney v.2.0.  A prop Target sold last year and this.  The original version was much scarier and sold out before we got one.  The newer one is more cute than scary.

Misc. crap.  We rearranged yet again, obviously.

You really can't make it out, but on the lamp is an inflatable tick we picked up at Pug-o-ween this year (2010) that they were giving out as a promotional item for a flea and tick preventative.


The scarecrows didn't do their job here either.

I love these resin skulls ($6 from Walgreens!), so I had the ravens snacking on whatever bits of brain were still oozing from the socket.

Wider shot from 2009.  The Ganesh statue was our friend Rich's that he gave us when he moved to London.  I put a goofy vampire necklace on it just for Halloween.

The next year (2009) we used a decorative birdcage Dani's never done anything with and placed the vulture in it with some of Shanna's fake moss and some random bones.

I never did much decorating in my office, but we have French doors throughout most of the living areas of the house, so I slapped these bloody handprints up while Dani whittled away on our costumes.

I also added another pair of handprints plus the blood drips to the front door.  (From 2009.)

Finally, a wide shot that covers most of it (except for the skull-bat that blocked the middle of the frame and so was moved to the love seat.  That's a potty pad in front of the fireplace, btw, for the older, somewhat incontinent dog (she's on heart meds).



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