Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Zombie Food!

For the refreshments at our Zombie Prom Halloween Party, I wanted to serve foods that played on the idea of human or animal brains, flesh, or bones. I had a lot of fun creating the menu, so here is a look at what the zombies ate at my party. I posted earlier about making these zombie eyeball cupcakes.. Here you can see them displayed along with some extra zombie hands. I love that my sister put the food label in the fingers of the hand!

Speaking if fingers.....I nade finger cookies. These looked SO MUCH better before I cooked them! I tried making them a few years ago using regular sugar cookie dough and forgot that they would expand when baked. This year I used a shortbread recipe and they still flattened out and expanded some. They look OK but I will have to keep working on this idea. Of anyone knows the secret please fill me in!

The hot dog fingers were also a work in progress. The original directions called for onion fingernails and string cheese bones. I was running short on time so I just made the knuckle and fingernail cuts in the hot dog and baked them. Good enough for the zombies!

These were SO easy and turned out great! I bought a can of breadstick dough and used exactly the pre/portioned amount. I simply rolled both ends inward, then stretched out the center to create the bone shape.

I made a bunch of ribs. The zombies didn't seem to care what kind of animal they came from, but they were pork and they were good!

There were jello shot brains in plastic skull cups like I have made in the past. This year instead if carving a watermelon brain or a watermelon witch, I made a Zombie Pinapple!

First I cut round holes for the eyes and two triangular slits like a skeleton's nose. I also chose to hollow out my pineapple which was very messy. It resulted in a not very thick skin that I wasn't certain would stay together. It did give me nice dark shadows in the hollow part of the nose and a little fresh fruit to eat. I'm not sure it was worth the trouble though. Next time I might skip the extra work and buy a can from Dole!

I cut the skin only off of a rectangular area below the nose. I worked the now visible areas of pineapple pulp into a few separate teeth like sections. I also inserted the eyes, some eyeball squirters from the dollar store. Because they were squishy, I was able to force part of the eye into the hole and it held itself in place.

The original zombie pineapple that I found online did not have directions but it did mention a laffy taffy tongue. Luckily my daughter received a piece of pink laffy taffy in a Halloween treat bag so I was able to use it on this project. It was already the right size too! I just rounded one end and we were set.

My other fun food creation was a meat and cheese head. I have seen these created using a plastic skull and covering it with ham. I did not have a plastic skull and I wanted to make the whole thing edible.

I started with an aluminum foil ball and added a cream cheese spread. I sculpted the cheese to look like a skull.

Then I layered on the ham to look like muscles or torn flesh.

Finally, I added the other set of dollar store eyeball squirters. When they were finished, I wrapped both "heads" in plastic and placed them in my refrigerator..... Which kind of cracked me up every time I needed something!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zombie Prom Party Decorations!

Yesterday we hosted a Zombie Prom themed Halloween party at our house. So today, while I start taking DOWN all the decorations, let me show you all that we did!

When you entered, we had a balloon arch! My husband made it, while I was being negative and telling him it wouldn't work. (he's a saint!)

We wanted zombies, lots of zombies, so I drew some on large sheets of white paper. Friends and family members painted them black like a silhouette and then hung them in just about EVERY window.

Here's PJ taping a zombie to the outside of the French doors in our sunroom.

More zombies, and this is still in our sunroom, but check out the gym floor! The whole idea of the party was that our house was a zombie high school. The prom was, of course, held in the gym! Since our sunroom floor is still unfinished subfloor, it wasn't a problem to paint the floor orange. This was all my husband's doing. He even laid down black duct tape lines to make it authentic! Way to commit to a theme, Honey!

Also in the Gym, we had a bar with a skeleton bar tender. The best part is that the bar is a COFFIN!!!! My sister MADE it for me!!!! Best early birthday present EVER!

Ok, next to PJ making a basketball court and my sister making a life sized coffin, this is LAME. I made some SIGNS! Ha! They seemed cute until everyone in my family started showing off! They are zombie themed and cute if that helps. One says there is a blood drive on Tuesday and another announces an all you can eat blood buffet on Wednesday! Cute, huh? (have I mentioned that I am sleep deprived from nursing a baby all night?)

The signs were taped to "bulletin boards" that I made. I covered every large mirror and framed painting with paper and then taped up the signs. The cafeteria bulletin board has a zombie food pyramid (all brains)!

Next to the gym, I created a wall of school sports team photos. I found a bunch of vintage team photos and then photoshopped dark eyes and stretched out parts. I even used the clone stamp to sever a few limbs!

Speaking of photos, we made our empty (about to be renovated) bedroom into the backdrop for prom pictures. Our ideas for the backdrop never really panned out so hubby bought a plastic wall decoration from the party store. It was pretty cool and way easy! My sister took the pictures and printed them during the party. She even created a Zombie Prom 2012 banner to superimpose on the pictures! She's awfully talented!

That's me and my date.... Till death (or the zombie horde) tear us apart! And that's all for the Zombie Prom decorations!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Eyeball Cupcakes

Our Halloween party with the Zombie Prom theme is happening tonight. I am spending the day decorating and cooking all sorts of human/ meat/ flesh themed foods.

I am SO happy with the things that I have finished so far that I wanted to share them. These are my eyeball cupcakes!

I got the idea when I found these gummy eye balls at the dollar store.

I made my cupcakes and started with some peach colored frosting. Then I unwrapped and placed a gummy eye on each cupcake.

Then I used a frosting tip with a long thin slash. I am pretty sure it's the one you use to make roses. I used it to make a long thin strip of frosting where the top and bottom eyelids go.

Finally, I used melted chocolate in a piping bag to add eye lashed and eyebrows.

This did take a pretty good understanding of the anatomy of the eye AND of frosting techniques. They also took some time to get the details right, but thats OK. Who needs sleep? My eyes are wide awake!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Awesome Alteration

A friend of mine bought this AMAZING vintage dress at the Goodwill fashion show a few weeks ago. She is planning on wearing it to my Zombie Prom Halloween party. The dress ended up being WAY smaller than the size listed, so I offered to alter it for her.

Luckily, being the vintage beauty that it is, this dress had tons of extra fabric in the skirt.

I cut a wedge from the side seam of the skirt to get the fabric to make the bodice larger. I sewed the seam back together and the volume of the skirt hid the new seam. The fabric will match but it is not going to have the black lace overlay. No worries, I have an idea for how to handle that later.

I decided to add the extra fabric to the back of the bodice right next to the zipper. Otherwise I would have been cutting through, and probably messing up, all those sequins. It means that the zipper wont be in the center of the back, but that isn't all that noticeable.

Here is the new panel sewn in place. The zipper is way over on the left side. It should fit, but that panel looks really noticeable.

So, I pulled out my sharpie marker and matched the lace pattern. I started by making small loops to replicate the netting pattern that is the background of the lace.

After the whole surface was covered in the net pattern, I made a larger flowery lace pattern.

Up close you can tell its not exactly the same.

But from arms length, and especially at night at a party, it's hard to tell that there is anything different. I showed it to my husband and he couldn't figure out that anything was different even up close.

I even drew some lines to match the gathered part of the skirt, but I didn't like how weird the seem looked.

So, I took a nod from the front of the dress and added a big bow. Now the dress should fit AND hopefully the changes won't be noticeable. Awesome!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Watermelon Witch

At this moment, this picture is getting a HUGE number of re-pins on Pinterest and driving a lot of visitors to my blog.

Unfortunately, at the time I posted that picture it was as a footnote to a blog post about carving a watermelon to look like a brain.

If you want the details on the watermelon brain, click here. If you want the details on the fruit salad vomiting watermelon witch, I now have a DIY on the Fly video where myself and Margot Potter demonstrate how to make one.

Looking at them side by side, my witch (on the left) doesn't look nearly as nice as my husband's (on the right). Mostly, I was simplifying to fit everything into a three minute video. (Although I must pay respect to the fact that PJ is a master melon carver!)

Here are the details that were left out of the video. Carve the face just like you would carve a pumpkin. I just made triangles. PJ left slits in the center like cats eyes. He also carved eyebrows and used a toothpick to attach a grape as a wart!
After the face is carved turn the melon upside down and scoop most of the fruit out through the cut at the bottom. In the video I just scooped a little from the mouth. Mix the watermelon with some grapes and strawberries for a red fruit salad and full a bowl with it. That way when you elevate the witch head, the bowl goes right below the mouth. We didn't have a bowl for the video and I realize what a difference that makes in both the illusion that she is vomiting and in the ability of your guests to spoon the fruit onto their plates.