Thank You Halloween. Until Next Year.

Last night was a ton of fun. Our teens made their rounds with friends and ended up with a good haul of candy. The weather was not too bad for this time of year and the streets were fairly crowded.

My costume was also a huge success. Many adults commenting on how it brought them back to their childhood. Some kids thinking I was a vulture. But in the end I didn’t scare any kids which was good. I shared a short video of my costume dancing on Instagram: Skesis Dance.

Since Halloween is over, I have already packed up all of our decorations before lunch. Now to do some vacuuming and dusting before the Christmas Decorations come out! I love being festive during this time of year!

Did you enjoy Halloween?

Have you already started to decorate for Christmas?

Please tell me I’m not the only one!

It’s Halloween Time!

Oh my goodness Halloween has arrived! And it feels like it got here a day early. I don’t think I’m ready for it. There’s still things to do!

  • Carve the pumpkin
  • MORE DECORATIONS!
  • Get candy
  • Unfortunately those three things will not happen this year. My last week just flew by. I did buy a pumpkin, but I don’t have the hours remaining in order to carve a good image like I have in the past. Last Year’s Pumpkins took about eight hours to complete. Having no time left is okay with me. I was able to work on my son’s costume and my costume this month instead. Read about his costume here and my costume here.

    Only a few hours remain until we venture out into the evening with friends. I’m looking forward to seeing the costumes that people come up with.

    So have a safe Halloween out there! Make sure you watch for kids on the roads who may be getting excited and forget to be smart as they go from house to house. Oh and give out the good candy- none of those raisins! Let me know which house is giving full size bars as well!

    Happy Halloween!

    My Son is A Ghostbuster In The Making

    I finished making my Halloween costume last week: Building My 2019 Costume. I’m really happy with how that one turned out. I guess it inspired my son to do his own build (With my help). After numerous costume ideas thrown around, he decided he wanted to be a Ghostbuster. Retro at it’s finest. Time to get going on it!

    Of course we hit up Spirit Halloween to see what was out there. I love my son and I love Halloween… but forking over the kind of money this store is asking just for one night is kind of crazy. I did buy one piece to add to his costume. But the rest we decided to make together.

    The Wand

    This isn’t screen accurate at all. But it looks pretty awesome. It’s also the design my son wanted. A few years ago I had picked up two garden lights that had blue lightning effects. But because they used 8 “AA” batteries, I never used them in the yard. One of them I made into a “Steampunk Lightning Catcher that my daughter has used as part of her steampunk outfit for conventions. The other is now for my son to use as his Proton Pack Wand. I modified this one with a new rocker switch to turn it on, a metal grate and some “exposed” wires.

    Proton Pack

    The Proton Pack has been the most fun to assemble. Much like my Skesis head, I used pink foam insulation as the base. I cut the bottom of an ice cream tub for the “Cyclotron”. The top is from an old pressure washer handle and the rest is odds and ends from an old VCR and arcade parts I had laying around. A coat of black paint and some fairy lights hide most of the obviousness of what the items once were.

    Ghost Trap

    This is the piece we bought. As awesome as the Ghost Trap from Spirit Halloween is- I ended up using paints in order to weathering it. The result makes it seem more believable. So I used some techniques I’ve learned over the years. I think it looks good. But now I have to “age” the Proton Pack and the Wand in order to keep the aesthetics similar.

    All that remains is the flightsuit and adding straps to the Proton Pack so our son can walk around. Not too bad for using stuff we already owned that was just gathering dust. Plus I enjoyed working with my son to build his props. I hope to do more like this with him in the future.

    How are your costumes coming along? Do you love Halloween as much as I do?

    Let me know in the comments!

    Making of My 2019 Costume: A Skesis

    During my life I have always loved costumes, Halloween and cosplay. The biggest attraction for me is making the costumes myself. For about a decade we were attending a variety of Comic Cons where we were able to have fun and showcase some costumes. I have written about costuming a few times including a couple of weeks ago where I shared photos of previous outfits: Get Those Costumes Ready

    I also hinted at how I was going to push myself and this year’s outfit. Here is my work for this year. I spent about twenty hours building it. After this Halloween, I’ll probably use it as a prop for decorations in the future.

    I present to you, my Skesis build. MmmMMMmmm

    It started years ago when I wanted to build a Skesis outfit for Calgary Expo. The only downside was we didn’t have room in our vehicle to transport such a large piece from provincial to province. With five of us in the SUV and a metric ton of hats to sell at the show (My wife is still making hats, but we aren’t traveling any more for it. You can still buy online at Ningen Headwear FYI) we didn’t have room for extravagant outfits. My love of The Dark Crystal returned this year when Netflix did a prequel series. It was time to make this costume.

    Research became a quick obsession. Viewing others who had made this costume, searching images, watching behind the scenes footage- you name it and I looked for it. I had to settle on what was going to be feasible in my spare time and what I could afford- my budget ended up being $30. Seriously. I had a lot of the materials readily available from previous Cosplay, thank goodness.

    It started with some designs and foam. Foam insulation boards glued together and a roll of foam floor mat. My artistic ability is mediocre at best. My hope was that doing some of it and taking a break periodically would inspire me. Advice from my family was also key.

    Making the inner framework was a challenge. I needed it to be sturdy and light weight and fit me inside. PVC tubing and a couple of straps are the basic inner workings. I used a heat gun to mold and form the “outer shell”. I also suffered numerous hot glue gun burns to my fingers throughout the entire process.

    Once the foam for the head was dry, it was time to cut out the shape of the head. I mostly used an exacto blade and craved off laters if foam. I used a Dremel to smooth out the edges and add some facial features. The head still seemed blocky at this point. Adding teeth and ping pong ball eyes helped a bit.

    To get the features more realistic, I formed a thin layer of sculpting clay around the head. Once it was dry, I used acrylic paints to get a good base coat of colour onto it. The features were beginning to POP but it was looking far too cartoon like.

    Getting advice from my daughter, I added some dull fading to it and was throughly pleases with the results.

    After spray painting the back shell with black and red, I hot glued it to my fingers the frame and began to add fabrics. Old bedsheets, curtains and sheer material have given this guy some life. I’m happy with the results so far. All that’s left is to try walking around in it. I should be able to see through the black sheer, but this thing might weigh more than I’m expecting.

    I enjoyed the process along the way. I know some things I’d do differently if I were to make this again. I also know that it can look pretty good as a stationary piece later on.

    Hopefully this Halloween, I can get some candy for all my hard work!

    Going To Work Is The Break From Life

    I know it sounds crazy, but I’m happy to be back at work for the next few days. I need a break from being in my house. No, it’s not because of my family and there’s nothing negative going on. It’s just my costume for Halloween is taking over my life!

    I’ve actually been losing sleep over the logistics of my costume. I have some high aspirations for this year. I’m not really wanting to share any pictures until I have it completed. Just in case I don’t complete it. Being ambitious is one thing. Not finishing is another.

    Next week I am on a staycation. But I have some home improvements and maintenance that needs to be addressed first and foremost. That means what I’ve gotten done on my costume is all that I’ll be doing for the next while. I’m glad I started working on it at least.

    But we are also six days into October and I haven’t decorated for Halloween yet! That’s unlike me. Usually October 1st and it’s spooky time. Maybe after work I can rustle up some decorations and have the kids help set them up.

    Are you ready for Halloween?

    Do you make your own costume?

    Let me know if you are like me and am starting to freak out over nothing.

    Get Those Costumes Ready!

    In a little over a month it will be Halloween! I love this time of year! Dressing up in costumes is always fun. Since we haven’t been doing the comic convention circuit over the past while, it means that this is the only time I’ll really be able to express my artistic sense.

    Over the years I have made some great and not so great costumes. I’m trying to push my artistic ability this year and hope it pays off. Usually I just fashion up some clothes and take my attributes (read as being a tall lanky white guy) to create the illusion of my character. I oftentimes have a simple prop that showcases who I am supposed to be. Be it a weapon, bow tie, or dog- it’s the accessories that finish of a costume. But a big part is also embodying the characters. Acting like the person goes a long way into making it more believable.

    Have you started on your costume yet? Or do you prefer to buy a ready made one? Either way is wonderful. So long as you’re letting loose and having fun being something you’re not!

    Only four weekends remaining to get ready! The pressure is on! Cosplay making skills don’t fail me now!

    Costumes are Fun!

    We love to make most of our costumes. On occasion we buy accessories that are obviously store bought for the purpose of our costumes. We also enjoy wearing matching outfits whenever possible.

    I do prefer to create my own look. Usually I wear a different costume each year.

    But I really liked last year’s costume that I am wearing it again this year.

    I hope you all enjoy this time of year as much as I do!

    Happy Halloween everyone!

    Daddy/Darwin Day Looking For a Costume

    Today I spent with our middle child. We went out everywhere shopping. We were on the hunt for a perfect Halloween costume for her. Problem was- she didn’t know what she wanted to be.

    Clearly we don’t have the time to spend making something as intricate or extravagant as some of the previous cosplay. I enjoy the Casual Cosplay with easy costumes of just outfits not needing too much work. So Value Village was one of our stops.

    The VV Boutique has a big selection of packaged costumes. Very generic or simply cheap items. Meant for only a few hours then tossed aside. We tend to keep our costumes for future use or passing onto other people. So cheap crap isn’t our thing. After checking out the store bought costume section, we went on the hunt through the clothing donation area instead. We got lucky and found exactly what we would need.

    Our daughter loves anime. Particularly Hello Kitty. She also loves Aggretsuko. So we went in search of a blue business outfit, a white dress shirt and an orange-ish wig. After a bit of hemming and hawing we found the perfect combination.

    My daughter is super happy with the results. I think this is one of her better costumes that she has put together. Just a touch of makeup and a tail to complete the look. She hasn’t decided if she wants to do calm Aggretsuko or the Karaoke death metal version.

    I guess we’ll see how she feels closer to Halloween.

    Contacts

    I have never needed prescription glasses. The last time I had my eyes checked- I had better than 20/20 vision. Hooray!

    A few years ago I bought a pair of red contacts for some steampunk cosplay I was doing. The first few times of putting them in were absolute hell. My eyes were so irritated and my allergies flared up. Eventually, I became accustomed to it. So a few years later I bought some spiderweb ones for Halloween. I really enjoyed wearing both, but could only do a short time before they felt like someone was using a scouring pad on my corneas. I’d want to gouge my eyes out with a frozen ice cream scoop just to ease the burning.

    Last year I threw out the lenses since I hadn’t worn them in ages. I had forgotten them in the back of a drawer and they had dried out. I kind of like having eyesight, so tossing out cheap contacts seemed like a logical thing to do.

    Not having to stick my fingers into my eyes on a regular basis made me appreciate my eyesight. My wife had Laser eye surgery over a year ago to correct her vision. She’s still not perfect, but does not require contacts anymore. She’s happier now.

    Maybe I’ll buy some new cosmetic contacts again one day, but only when my memory of the pain is diminished.

    Becoming a Jedi

    As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in Jedi Joe:  I finally became a Jedi. (For Halloween)


    With the tremendous help of my wife, I finally looked the part of Obi-Wan from Episode 3. We followed an online tutorial on how to make a Jedi costume with a few modifications for my size. She did a great job on a custom robe and tunic for me. She loved every minute of it. I could tell through all the curse words and yelling.


    My wife had to measure me a few times to make sure it was accurate. I’m a tall individual and there was no room for errors. We used almost all of the fabric we had purchased in order to make my look fairly authentic.


    Because we were using the floor to lay out everything, our puppy had to get the boot outside for a while we worked. He was none too impressed. But at least it was sunny and warm for him.

    Besides being the Jedi model, I did my share to help in the making of the costume. I searched the interwebs for how to videos and tutorials plus a few hundred different images. I was also put to work ironing the material.


    In the end, my wife made me extremely happy. She took the time and perfected the details. Those who saw me on Halloween were equally impressed with her skills and my costume. I look forward to many more years of wearing it. 


    I have now become a Jedi.

    May the force be with you.