Posts Tagged ‘witch’

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Do It Yourself – Witches Broom

August 20, 2012

Mr. Frights

So I went out to a craft store today to pick up some more stuff for Halloween. I’m getting more and more back into the do it yourself stuff these days. I used to do that a lot as a kid. It’s cheaper (if you know what you’re doing) and you can usually make things the way you want them rather than just taking what’s given to you. Sometimes that’s better.

Anyway, went to the craft store and I was picking up a few things when I noticed they were selling witches brooms. This place is rather expensive anyway, so most times I don’t by anything they have that’s already complete. You can get brooms at Halloween stores and online for like $10 bucks or so, but I’m a cheap bastard to begin with, so I stuck up my nose at this once I got the idea in my head to go home and make my own.

I literally live on the edge of a huge wide open field that has a nice little tree line separating the apartment property I live on from the houses on the other side. There’s a few dead trees or trees with some dead sections on from the storms this Summer so I know I can get some branches there. I got lucky and actually found a big one for the broom handle just laying on the ground waiting for me. The little ones were easy too as all I had to do was snap off a bunch from the dead parts of these trees.

I don’t recommend ruining trees or doing this with live trees. Only dead ones and only ones that it’s not going to hurt the living tree.

Picture of the fishing string & some burlap string I used for the moment.

I gathered up my branches and went home to sit on my patio and start tying branches to the big handle. First things first though. I had to go through all my branches and pull off any tiny twigs to make sure they were as straight as possible. I used any twigs large enough for the last pieces to go on the broom. After pulling the twigs off I tied the end of my fishing string around the main handle part at the bottom so I had a hooking point where the string could just be wrapped as I went along without needing a third hand.

I then put the largest branches around the broom stick and with each one I wrapped the fishing line around it to hold it in place. Then continuing in that fashion I worked my way from the biggest branches on the inside to the smallest branches on the very outside. I separated my sticks into piles based on sizes and I would tie off the fishing line between lengths of sticks because I had to put the broom down every now and then. I found that the first bunch of sticks wasn’t nearly enough so I had to go back for more.

Once I was done wrapping the sticks around with fishing line, I went on to tie that off and cut it so that it was secure. To make it more secure I tied and wrapped a length around a lower part of the broom sticks. After all if you look at any broom it has been tied off at two places. This will keep the sticks straight and help keep them more secured to the large branch.

I’m still not satisfied with it, but I’m going to try to add some straw or something to build it up a bit. I also want to get some brown twine or string of some kind so I can cover up the fishing line better and make it look more authentic. I have a few different types of trees where I am, but I ended up using some evergreen branches as they were the thinnest and the most flexible.

Picture of the full broom

I also tried to keep in mind that I wanted the broom to taper from the outside small branches to the inner large branches. It hasn’t worked out that way just yet, but when I add the straw it might pick up that shape.

This whole thing cost me nothing. The string I used was old and I’ve had it since I was a kid. I thought about using the hot glue gun, but opted to ignore that since I wrapped so much string around the sticks. Plus, I’m going to end up putting more around them once I get the brown string.

It looks kind of plain so I want to maybe add something to the top of the handle. A ribbon or a bat nailed to it or something else. Maybe just some more of the brown string. The whole point is to make it a decoration. I did try to use it to sweep up the leftover twigs off my patio and it worked pretty well, though I wouldn’t recommend using one of these to actually sweep with.

Oh and I might cut some length off the handle too because it’s a bit large, even for me and I’m 6’2″. That white knot at the bottom is actually about 5″ from the tip of the broom. And just FYI, I’m not keeping the pumpkins there like that. I’m actually gonna try to put real pumpkins in there.

If anyone has tips on making one of these things I’d like to hear them. If you’d like some of my tips based on my experience making this thing, let me know. It didn’t take but an hour to make and that’s with finding the sticks and branches and the cleaning of them and the tying.

– Mr. Frights

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Today’s random Frights playlist video: Wicked Old Witch – John Fogerty

August 8, 2012

 

Mr. Frights

 

John Fogerty – Wicked old witch – YouTube.

 

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REVIEW: Halloween Nation by Lesley Bannatyne

May 18, 2011

Do you remember Halloween from when you were a kid? Your favorite memory? Your favorite costume? Do you remember what Halloween meant to you then? What about what it means to you now?

The new book from LESLEY BANNATYNE will take you for a walk through those thoughts and memories. Halloween Nation explores, quite thoroughly, the different perspectives, interests, and offerings of things to do surrounding our favorite holiday as well as how Halloween is found in our every day world.

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I had so much fun seeing the different perspectives on the holiday through the eyes of those that walk the various paths from fans of the one night to those who live it 365 days a year – and what it means to the different folks she spoke with, including some names of people I know, which added to all the fun in discovering this book!

I also enjoyed exploring facts and traditions and places about Halloween I didn’t know. It’s very eye opening to see that there is all this diversity to the holiday, in the way people celebrate, in the way people exist with it, and in how people perceive Halloween. This book feels like Lesley gives us a free pass to open that dusty old mysterious trunk in the attic and allows us to rummage through all the darkness and excitement and fun that hides inside. It was a real thrill!

It’s not just a book about memories on Halloween though, it’s about what Halloween is to us today and how the influence from our past has turned us out in the present to relate to the holiday the way we do. It’s also about the experiences of those who deal with the creepy and macabre things from Halloween on a daily basis delivering ghastly stories about ghosts and those who see them, intriguing insights into what a medium is and don’t leave out magicians, witches, zombies, and the like.

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There’s also a real world relation to this exploration where the author takes us on a tour of education institutes and individuals qualified to answer questions about how we handle things related to Halloween such as death and the dead themselves. She asks THE questions we all think about but barely ever bring to the surface in order to find out more about our fascination with all things scary and why those thing might be scary to some and not to others.

The photos that accompany the reading are really fun too. There’s lots to see and enjoy and even photos you’d think were pulled straight from your own albums of Halloween and horror fun. You’d surely recognize images of the hoards of corpses filling up streets for zombie walks.

This book makes me wish it were Halloween right now! It delivers some spooky vibes and some fun things to which I caught myself laughing out loud. It gave me ideas for my own Halloween fun for the future and I found some things I’d like to look into more. It opened up a whole other level of discovery for me… and that’s awesome!

More than reviewing this book in the absolute positive and telling people they should buy it and just indulge and soak up the Halloween-y goodness, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Lesley for this wonderful trip through her world – through OUR world of Halloween.

You can pick up a copy at Amazon.com.

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– Mr. Frights

 

You can also check out my interview with Lesley Bannatyne here: http://www.mrfrights.com/lpbannatyn.html

 

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