Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Halloween Decoratin'

     Fall is officially here, and along with the turning of the leaves, a certain holiday is on my mind alot lately . . . Halloween! It used to be my favorite holiday, before I started knitting and sewing quilts, which are more suited to Christmas and recently, Yule. But this year, I have a secret weapon in my sewing basket that will make the coming months that much spookier . . .
     No spoilers! It's not done yet- you will just have to hold your horses and get in line with the rest of the mooks!
     There is something which I can share with you ghouls this week- my decorating plans. We don't generally like a gruesome Halloween around our place. I actually start pulling out decorations and make some idea lists around the Autumnal Equinox- also known as Mabon, or the Witch's Thanksgiving. I love the imagery of a Witch's Feast, particularly the kind you see in the Harry Potter movies. Long, old wooden tables piled high with every imaginable Fall themed dish; goblet and platters bigger than your head; candles floating above in midair . . . what? You don't have floating candles? Alright, alright- keep it down over there! I will outline my more, um. . . modest Fall decoratin' plan for you here. Just ignore the, ah, costume draped over the mirror there . . . 

     First up, the Wreath. (yes with a capital W! I've got my eye on you rabble-rousers!) It must contain brightly coloured Fall leaves, perhaps some berries, twigs, maybe a bird's nest or some small pumpkins. And this year I'll be building it on a grapevine form. The old one is nowhere to be found since we moved this summer, and what self-respecting Witch would be caught with a store bought wreath? 
     Secondly, an infestation or two. Hmmm, Rats look good this year. They are civil enough to keep to their Holes if I place enough Cheese nearby. What else? Oh yes, the Bats. I don't have a Belfry, so the light fixtures will just have to do. 
     Of course, we can't forget the Pumpkins and other Squash. It is so hot where I live though, I have to be careful and check them every couple of days to keep them from rotting. Normally, winter squash can be kept for months, but the heat does make them wilt amazingly fast if you're not lucky. I don't carve my pumpkins until a day or two before Halloween Night, but they make beautiful still-life displays around the house until then. 
     Spooky-House Curtains are my trade secret- but you might be able to figure it out once you see them up in the windows. Not sure if these will be featured this year, as I am going for a more elegant look this time around, rather than creepy-decrepit.
     Oak tables dressed with Black Velvet Tableclothes. We will just have to see if the same effect can be created from a stark white table. Ahem. 

Bats and pumpkins, black velvet and fall leaves. Maybe some more black- wrought iron perhaps? And definitely some crystal and silver or gold in there somewhere. Hmm, did I mention Harry Potter earlier? Maybe I can conjure up a setting reminiscent of one of the House sitting rooms. But I can hear the wagons of the Gypsy Caravan coming up the road this year as well. Decisions, decisions . . . 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trolls...There's a Troll in the mod!

     Um...yeah. There was a Troll in the mod this weekend. And you know what is good for Trolls? FIRE! And that just happens to be my forte` in this crazy, time-tripping, magic-wielding world of  role-playing games I find myself in this year. Yup, it happened again- I am a rpg-junkie folks. We played two- count them, two! Pathfinder Modules on Saturday, which was a blast-O-fun, a real drama-O-Rama, thanks to our GM (thanks! ) and our table-full of brave, noble, inspired, helpful,  and devious players. However, Ahem. Never go anywhere without a wand of healing. I'm just sayin.
     Sunday we played another two mods of some 4e variant, which turned into a fun day of spicy food (Doritos are my downfall!), beautiful drives into the back country, scary drives in the dark out of said back country (ahem. it was a character-building experience.), kitters stories- isn't it funny how we all just adore our pets? And will tell the silliest stories of our babies if given even half a chance? And lots of fun, laughing, learning and maybe even a little pouting. And I'm not talking about the girls at the table. ahem. There might even have been a few spine-tingling tales of horror in there at the end...rats? In the trees? At the end of the driveway that I then have to drive down in the dark . . . 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


     Vampires have been on my mind lately, mainly because I am reading "A Discovery of Witches", a book all about a witch falling in love with a vampire. Tre`s tragique! Oops- did I mention he's french? Halloween is also coming up soon, and vampire's get a lot of screen time around our house then, too. Movies, decoration,'s hard not to think of vampire's this time of year.
     But I want to think of vampires in a slightly different...vein, this year. So I am brainstorming on vampires this morning, thinking of all the different forms they take, areas they inhabit, myths they star in. I am wondering about their hit dice, specifically, and their points of origin, generally.
     Where can a vampire logically be located? Why does he have to be there, and nowhere else? Is logic a part of his appearance, or can he be thrust into the realm of the incongruous without damaging his credibility? Does he still work if everyone notices him?
     If you notice something out of the ordinary, it can create one or two responses. The heightened awareness works for the event, or it works against the event. It can break a game to have to specific a rule, or it can make the fight that more realistic and visceral. That monster in my bedroom can be scary, or it can just be explained away by my bored mind.
     Vampires have been in the public eye now for decades; in role playing games, television series, several modern fantasy books and many, many  movies. Do they still evoke a sense of drama, a slight frisson of delicious fear and revulsion- or do they vanish in the light of logic's reason, like a puff of smoke...