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Halloween Part 4: Trick-or-Treat Night!

Welcome back to The Chatterbox blog. This will be my final Halloween post for 2011. Next year, I plan to go all out for my little trick or treaters and I’ll explain why…

This year, I recycled my Elvis costume since I had never worn it for the kids in my neighborhood. This was sewn by my Mother in Law and she did an excellent job on it. The kids responded very well. Not only did I have the costume, but I was playing some classic EP music to compliment things. I had a couple of kids come up and ask for a Hunka Hunka candy and then said “Thank you… thank you very muuch.” Very cool. Most of the parents were walking along the road, but I had several come over and let me know how much they were looking forward to coming to our house. At that point, all of the frustrations I had with the season had been forgotten. I ended up emptying all of my candy this year which is good for me because it’ll be less for me to eat :D.

Zoe had a great time with her Bullseye costume for about 20 minutes. It’ll make for a great picture once I put my Lotso costume back on and pose with her.

My cat, Sinatra even got in on the fun. Zoe didn’t care much for him in costume. She got very upset. Here’s how the argument went down…

Zoe: Kee kee can’t wear that!
Me: Why not?
Zoe: Because Kee Kee not a king!
Me: Why can’t Kee Kee be a king?
Zoe: Because he too little!
Me: But Simba was a king as a baby.
Zoe: …
Me: Your argument is invalid!
Zoe: (walks over and rips the costume off Sinatra) Don’t put it on him again!

End of argument

Zoe said she wanted to scare me, and I told her no. She kept arguing with me and so I told her “Well don’t put on that mask because that is toooooo scary and I’ll have a nightmare. So on went the mask. This is why I love having little ones in the house for Halloween. It makes everything so much fun!

In closing, I’m going to ramp up the decorations for next year (more home made ones) and really put on a display for the neighborhood kids. Kids grow up so fast these days, so if I can make them forget about cell phones, mp3 players, facebooks, etc. then I think I’ve done a huge service for them. The more they are encouraged to use their imaginations, the better! We had a lot of family out this year, so it was also great! The more, the merrier is always my thought! I think next year, I’m going to put some of them to work to advertise this blog a little better. Not a bad idea :D. Be sure to leave me a comment, subscribe to my blog, and/or follow me on twitter @Chatterbox4REAL. I’ll be back in the upcoming weeks with LOADS and LOADS of Christmas postings, so stay tuned.

Save Room 4 Love,

Brad (The Chatterbox)


Halloween Part 3: Pumpkin Carving!

Hey! Chatterbox back to share some fun Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns that we’ve done this year and then 2 from last year!

Traditional Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin
This one was done by my 3-year-old, Zoe. My wife, Amber drew on it with a sharpie, then Zoe cut it almost perfectly (with supervision, of course). Proud Daddy right here!

Elvis Silhouette Pumpkin
This was Amber’s Pumpkin for the year. She did a really nice job and will look great on display while I pass out candy this year (dressed as Elvis)!

Disney Rapunzel Pumpkin
I expected this one to be alot easier. I found the pattern on because Zoe absolutely LOVES Tangled. This was not easy at all. All of the tiny little details in her hair were extremely difficult to get right. If you add the cheap little pumpkin saws I was using, and you have yourself the ingredients for disaster. I think it turned out ok though.

Lotso Huggin’ Bear Pumpkin
This was from last year’s set. It matched my costume! I found one of the promotional posters for Toy Story 3 and cropped his face out using Photoshop. From there, I made a stencil and printed it out! The rest is history! My favorite one (that I’ve carved) to date!

Chatterbox Brad Pumpkin
Last year, I had bought about 6 pumpkins and I was running out of ideas towards the end of our carving excursion last year. Previously, I created a high-resolution stencil of my face for another project online, so I decided to print it out and carve my face onto the pumpkin. This one was especially hard to complete because I was laughing the entire time. Who honestly carves a pumpkin of themselves? Honestly? Lol this was pretty outrageous, but I think it was my wife’s favorite. Whenever we start to talking about the pumpkins, she always bring it up. Gotta love her. She puts up with my madness!

In closing, I will do a better job next year of posting Halloween earlier. For kicks and giggles, I’ll include a tutorial on how to create your own stencil and then transfer them to a pumpkin! I’ve got many ways and ideas on how to do these and each year, I experiment more so I’ll be sure to share. In the meantime, please follow or subscribe and I’d love to hear comments or requests. Until next time…

Save Room 4 Love,

Brad (The Chatterbox)

Halloween Part 2: Decorations!

Welcome back to The Chatterbox Blog. We’re going extra spooktacular this month for Halloween, but it’s coming with a few struggles. Today, I am going to discuss my frustrations with decorations!

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved to decorate for Halloween. Even after the initial depression of no longer going trick-or-treating door to door in my neighborhood, I still enjoyed putting on a nice display of lights and decorations to enhance the experience for trick-or-treaters. This year, I am struggling more than ever with getting things out and I blame it on one thing… QUALITY! Since my wife and I moved into our home, I’ve been spending a couple hundred dollars each year to build up my Halloween decoration stash and it has grown rather large over the years (same with Christmas lights/decor). This year, I start to get everything out and over half of my lights no longer work and some of the ones that DO actually work, only half of them work. The pumpkin lights have busted off of the bulbs and so on. This has put a great deal of frustration on me this year to the point where I’m not looking past Halloween! I have my giant spider web in between my two large trees with an inflatable spider and some orange rope lights on the front deck where I’ll be passing out candy. That’s it!

Why is it that nobody makes QUALITY decoration items any more? The same can be said about Christmas decor as well. Growing up, it seemed like my parents had the same few strands of lights and set around decorations each and every year. Then when a bulb went bad, you could actually buy replacements that didn’t cost as much as the original set of lights.

So yeah, this year’s Halloween for me is a bust! I’m not even there yet and I’m not as excited for it. I also think a part of the reason is that my baby girl is 3 this year and pay attention to more things and has become afraid of certain things like Freddy, Wolfman, etc. so it’s hard to get enjoyment out of displaying the things if it’s just going to frighten her.

In closing, I believe next year will mark the year I begin to create my own decorations and bring the display back bigger, badder, and better than ever. Aside from maybe some lights here and there, I will no longer buy Halloween OR Christmas decorations until the quality improves… or until they re-release the inflatable Burl Ives Snowman from The Rudolph Cartoon lol. Until next time…

Save Room 4 Love,

Brad (The Chatterbox)

P.S. Next blog, I will share my Pumpkin carvings. I’ve got a couple good ones this year that I’m looking to do. We’ll see how they turn out! 😀

Halloween Part 1: Costumes!

Welcome back to The Chatterbox Blog. Today I will be discussing Halloween Costumes and how companies aren’t even trying any more.

Halloween is right around the corner and has got me thinking about what I am going to dress up as to pass out candy to the little ones coming up to my door for Trick or Treat night! I’ve decided that I’ll be recycling a costume I wore over 6 years ago just because it’s a killer hand-custom made costume that I’ve never wore it to pass out candy at my own house. However, I did look at the costumes in the stores and I must say that they’re quite upsetting.

First off, they’re overpriced! Who honestly justifies spending $20+ on some cheap costume cloth that happens to look like a Captain America suit or Batman. It’s all really the same pattern of pajamas, but now they’ve sewn in some muscles. Oooooh!

… and for the ladies…

Why is it that everything for the ladies has to be labeled “Sexy” and come with a skanky looking skirt that wouldn’t cover their butts even if they bought 2 of them and sewed them together? There was a big article recently about a JCPenny line of clothing that was “degrading to females” because it said something to the effect of “Forget homework, there’s a new Justin Bieber album out!” because it was said to be downplaying female intelligence. Really? Really! These teen shirts are unacceptible, but Women aren’t allowed to be a Zombie or Batman unless they look skanktastic. Crazy!

Alot of the poor selection of costumes has made me look to thrift stores like Salvation Army and creating my own costumes for Halloween. Peep my previous 3 years in Halloween costumes!

The Joker was my first costume in our home and only cost about 15 bucks to complete! The jacket was bought at The Salvation Army along with the pants and dress shirt and dyed to my liking. The wig was bought on clearance and spraypainted green. Add some clown make-up and viola!

Captain Hook was created out of a Lady’s Red Coat (also from Salvation Army), Hat  and Mustache from clearanced Halloween area, plastic hook from Big Lots, and random dress clothes bought at Salvation army as well.

Lots ‘O’ Huggin’ Bear was last years treat and he was a little pricey, but the result definately show it was worth it. Toy Story 3 had just come out last summer and was about to be released on DVD, so Lots ‘O’ was a fun character to be. The pattern template used was a Teddy Bear costume, but we did some customization for the head. We ended up forming it around a Motorcycle Helmet that wasn’t being used. This was my wife’s first attemtp at sewing for me and it was pretty awesome. I even went the extra mile and used Strawberry/Cotton Candy Body Spray to complete the full effect! The kids went nuts over it! The total cost was probably close to $100, but we still have the costume and it will soon be displayed once I set up an office. Best costume to date!

In closing, I think the store bought costumes could and SHOULD be alot better. I mean, Disney is trying to pass off a Muscle shirt with Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen on them as Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater Costumes. Tna Wrestling is trying to pass off a Muscle outfit, red sleevless shirt with a Championship belt ironed on, black pants, and a mustache as a Hulk Hogan costume! Very disappointing to see what companies feel the consumer should be buying! Anyway, I’d love to hear and see your custom made Halloween costumes! Keep the replies coming and…

Save Room 4 Love,

Brad (The Chatterbox)