Who Behind the Mask

Who Behind the Mask

by Marla Sloane, Ph.D.

Who Behind the Mask
Who Behind the Mask

Halloween is a great time to wear a mask and set aside your inhibitions to become somebody else for a short time. It’s a lot of fun because you get to choose who you want to be. On this one particular night, you can be someone totally different from how others see you and it is accepted. You can be anything you want from Frankenstein to Einstein or from Cinderella to the Chainsaw Killer. But what if someone else chooses the disguise for you? In our lives we are faced with this dilemma all the time. People will try to give us masks to wear, and in the right situation we will be willing to wear them.

Who Behind the Mask
Who Behind the Mask

When we are children our parents have certain expectations of what they expect of us. We are told that we are expected to go to college and become someone special. We are taught to have manners and to respect others. We are advised to obey laws and to set lofty goals. These set of expectations are healthy and positive. Oh, if only we were that lucky to have these sets of masks! What happens if our parents put a different expectation on us? “You will never grow up to be anybody.” “Your mother and I expect you to run the family business.” “Since you are a girl, you really don’t need an education.” “You are such a disappointment in the family.” “You just can’t do anything right can you?” When we hear these kinds of words from our parents, we have a different vision of our potential. We will do anything to make them right.

Our subconscious mind is wired that way. We will wear those masks to make others happy and in return we will feel that we have earned their love. These masks however are destructive and limiting. But since they are so subliminal we put them on and act out that character to perfection. We will wear a mask to fit into society. We will wear a mask to be accepted and loved by our families. We will wear a mask to have our spouses be proud of us. These masks, unlike the Halloween masks are invisible, yet very powerful. These masks are harder to take off because they are hidden and somehow along the way we have made them part of our psyche. If the mask doesn’t fit and we want to take it off, now there are consequences involved. If I remove my mask will I still be loved? If I remove my mask will they find out that I am an imposter? “If I remove my mask I won’t feel safe anymore.” Isn’t this the age old fear: what if I’m just myself and they don’t like me?

After wearing many masks growing up, I discovered that we have two choices in life. We can choose security or we can choose freedom. Security involves going with the flow and not making any waves; being accommodating and wearing the masks that are expected. There is certainly nothing wrong with this choice; but it is safe, and since very few risks are involved, there is little chance for growth. The other choice is freedom. Freedom involves removing your masks. Freedom is living life on your terms, but this requires risk and the high potential of failure before you get it right. When you remove your mask, you will automatically change the dynamics of your relationships; some will improve and some will end. The fear of losing certain people in our life is too much of trepidation to bear; therefore we place the mask back on. It is like the battered wife that goes back to her abusive husband. She knows that is not the best choice, but because of fear and the risk of losing her security she goes back. The gay community faces this predicament; do I come out and remove my mask or keep things safe, just as they are? Children from close knit families have these decisions; do I make my parents happy and work in the family business or do I defy them and choose my own career? It’s all about the masks we wear and the choices we make and our choices will create our future.
Halloween is a night of choosing a mask that can be an adventure for one evening, but it can also make us conscious of the masks we wear in our real lives. While we are having fun on this ghoulish occasion it can give us insight to discovering who we really are and who we aspire to be. The important thing to remember is that a mask can be a good thing as long as it fits and it is our choice.


 

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Kids Easy Costumes

Kids Easy Costumes
by Patricia B. Jensen

Easy Kids Costumes
Easy Kids Costumes

What happened to the ” good ol’ days” when a Halloween costume was your Dad’s old shirt and cap, and a burnt cork beard? Kids costumes don’t have to complicated to be cute! Each of these quick and easy costumes starts with a few simple materials like hooded sweatshirts, sweat pants, posterboard, craft foam, felt, face paint, and a little imagination.
Pirate
Black sweats, white shirt, red sash and bandanna, cardboard sword covered in foil, parrot beanie baby, stubbly face made with burnt cork or tobacco sprinkled on vaseline covered cheeks

Kid Hit by Lightning
Gray sweats with large yellow felt zigzag pinned to the back, blackened zigzag tears in here and there on suit, hair gelled to stand straight up, burns on cheeks

Wrapped Present
Cover a large box with colorful wrapping paper. Make a hole in the bottom and invert over child’s head. Add lots of matching ribbons in child’s hair.
Pair of Dice
Paint two large boxes white and add black dots on each side to represent a pair of dice. Cut hole in bottom and invert over children’s heads. You need a friend for this one!

Box of Popcorn
Cover a large box with white butcher paper. Add wide red stripes with markers or colored paper. Make a hole for child’s head. Hot glue some popcorn to the top of the box. Wear red or white tights or sweat pants.

Placard Costumes
Another quick and easy idea for kid costumes is a “placard costume” in which the child wears a hooded sweatshirt and pulls front and back cardboard panels (the placard) on over it. Shape the placard (poster board works fine) as needed for the costume desired, and design it with markers or felt pieces. This type of costume can be adapted to many different themes, such as:

Ladybug
M & M (two kids of different heights can be “plain” and “peanut”!)
Soccerball, Basketball, or Baseball
Apple or Pumpkin
Deck of Cards
Favorite Book

Sunflower
Yellow sweat suit. Staple craft foam flower petals end to end onto a wide ribbon and tie around child’s face to make the flower. Paint the face reddish brown with black spots. Make a couple of bright green leaves from craft foam and pin side by side onto front of sweat suit.

Bunch of Grapes
Start with a purple sweat suit. Blow up several purple balloons to the same size and attach to the sweat suit with small safety pins. Complete the look with a green knit cap with a couple of large green felt leaves attached.

Bag of Trash
Make two leg holes is a large sized trash bag. Have child step into the bag, then add balls of crumpled newspaper to hold a round shape. Make two armholes in each side and secure around the neck .

Little Old Lady
An old house dress with torn stockings and slippers. Curlers in the hair or white wig. Glasses, blacked out tooth, old fashioned pocketbook.

Tourist
Hawaiian shirt or other loud clothes, camera, hat with pins all over it, maps sticking out of pockets, sunglasses.

Crayon
Sweat suit in the chosen color of your crayon. Design the crayon wrapper from poster board, felt pieces or craft foam and baste or pin onto the sweat suit. Add a like-colored plant pot for a hat, or use a large round of poster board, cut from edge to center and make into a pointy hat. Secure under child’s chin with a wide strip of elastic stapled to the hat.

Static Cling
Start with sweat suit of your choice, pin on small clothing items such as socks, hats, mittens, and underwear along with a few dryer sheets.
Cow, Pig, Kitty, Doggy
Hooded sweat suit in the appropriate color ( white cow, pink pig, brown dog). Embellish with felt scraps to make spots, ears, tail, etc.
Backwards Costume – Put clothes and hat on backwards, sunglasses on back of head, say “Treat or Trick!”
Mummy
Tear a white sheet into strips. Paint face white and spray hair with white paint. Smear black under the eyes. Wrap child dressed in white long underwear with sheet strips, securing with clear medical tape, leaving eyes and mouth open.
Angel
White sweat suit with wings of tulle stretched over shaped coat hangers. Glittery headband made from wire circle covered with foil and colorful curling ribbon. Wand made from thin dowel with cardboard star attached to one end, painted silver or gold with glitter and curling ribbon added.
Clown – Sweat suit with colorful felt or fabric paint polka dots. Clown collar made from felt triangles attached together in a circle to go around child’s neck. Colorful clown wig, nose, and oversized glasses. Facepaint simple blue crosses over eyes, red cheeks, and large red mouth.
Cook
White sweat suit, chef’s hat, large wooden spoon, cookbook under the arm, curly mustache drawn in face paint.
Nerd
Too small pants, shirt buttoned up wrong, pocket protector, hair slicked back, old pair of glasses with tape, white socks, large textbook to carry under the arm.

 


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Boo Activitys

Boo Activitys

Ghost---Boo! Boo Activitys
Ghost—Boo! Boo Activitys

If you want to get your neighbors in the Halloween spirit, be sure to engage them in a little game known as “Boo!” It’s a popular game in some parts of the country, while in others, nobody has heard of it.

You might live in a neighborhood where you think nobody will participate in a round robin type of event as this, but you might be surprised. Sometimes during the holidays people will step up and get involved where before they wouldn’t. It’s possible, anyway.

The game goes something like this, and then will be described in more detail later. You print up a few poems and instructions on colorful paper (likely, orange). You get a treat bucket, or bowl or something and fill it with candy. You can also “Boo” people with candles, Halloween socks, and really whatever your imagination comes up with. You “Boo” two people at a time, leaving the items anonymously on their doorstep. You leave it with the instructions and the poem and hope they “Boo” other neighbors. Once you are done, you tape up a large “Boo!” on your door so neighbors know not to hit you up again.

Specifically, here’s how it’s done. Start this game around the very end of September or very beginning of October. If you want until everyone is decorated for Halloween, you’re probably too late. You want this to spread around the neighborhood and that takes time, so you want to start it right as the season starts (or a little before, perhaps) and just as people are starting to think about Halloween. If you start too early, however, you might be out of luck as far as being able to purchase items goes.

So, it’s the right time of the year and you’re ready to go. Find a “Boo” poem and photocopy it. There are many variations of the poem. Here is a sampling:

“Boo!
To our good friends on the street;
Our homes’ locations made us meet;
You now have been Boo’d, but who would we be?
We’ll never tell, it’s a secret, you see.
We placed these goodies for you and yours;
Then we ran fast, after knocking the door!
Happy Halloween!”

Or it might be a big longer, something like this:

“The air is cool, the season fall
Soon Halloween will come to all;
The neighbors are after things to do
In fact, a neighbor brought this to you;
“Boo” is a sign of friendship power
Just hang it up and watch it double by hour;
On your front door is where it works
It wards off solicitors and scary jerks;
The treat that came with friendly note
Are yours to keep; enjoy them both;
The power comes when friends like you
Copy this and make it two;
Then others here among our friends
Will give warm fuzzies that will not end;
We’ll all have smiles upon our face
No one will know who “boo’ed” whose place;
Just one short day to share your Boo
You must be quick so they don’t know who;
And don’t forget a nifty treat
Like something cute or something sweet;
Please join the fun, let’s really hear it
And spread some “Boos” and neighborhood spirit!
Be sure to include a cute graphic of a ghost or something else that looks like it might say “Boo!” You might want to include some details on the flyer about what should be done next, in case you think the poem itself won’t be clear enough. Then attach the poem to the goodie bag, basket, whatever you have created, and run out one night dropping your goodies on peoples’ doorsteps. If you are just getting this started in your neighborhood, be sure to do more than 2 houses. You might find that some people don’t participate and in that case, you want to have “Boo”ed enough people that you will get adequate participation.

What you’re striving for is a neighborhood full of “Boo” doors by Halloween night!

 


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Glowing Goblins

Glowing Goblins
by Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes

Glowing Goblins
Glowing Goblins

This project is perfect for the artistically challenged or those who prefer instant gratification. My young sons completed theirs in just 15 minutes.
Supplies
Glass Votive (any size or shape)
Solid Black Halloween Stickers (bats, witches, ghosts, etc.)
-OR-
Stencils, Stamps, and Black Acrylic Paint
Orange Tissue Paper, Torn Into Pieces
2 TBSP White Glue
2 TBSP Water
Craft Brush

Directions
1. Adhere stickers onto the outside of the votive –OR- If using stencils or stamps, paint heavily enough that no light shines through the shapes. Let dry completely.
2. Mix glue and water. Paint glue onto the outside of glass, on top of the stickers.
3. While the glue is wet, layer pieces of tissue paper and glue until the entire votive is covered and the tissue is saturated.
4. Turn the votive upside down to dry (a hairdryer speeds up the process).
5. Once dry, add a tea light and let the glow from these festive candles welcome the neighborhood spooks.

Glowing Goblins: A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous grotesque dwarf-like daemon or monster that appeared in European stories and accounts during the Middle Ages. They are ascribed various (sometimes conflicting) abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin In some cases, goblins are little creatures related to the brownie and gnome. They are usually small, sometimes only a few inches tall, sometimes the size of a dwarf, and have magical abilities; they are greedy, especially for gold and jewelry. (from Wikipedia)

 


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Face Paint Recipes

Face Paint Recipes

by Patricia B. Jensen

Face Paint Recipes
Face Paint Recipes

These easy face paint recipes show how to make homemade face paint using common household ingredients. Mix and store in baby food jars or discarded film canisters. Be ready for your next kids party or dress-up event.
HOMEMADE FACE PAINT RECIPES
Facepaint Recipe #1

1 tsp. Cornstarch
½ tsp. Cold cream
½ tsp. Water
Food coloring (variety of colors)

Mix together cornstarch and cold cream until well blended. Add water and stir. Add food coloring one drop at a time until you get the desired color.
Facepaint Recipe #2

3 tblsps. Cornstarch
1 tblsp. Flour
3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
½ tsp. Liquid food coloring

Mix cornstarch and flour together in a bowl. Gradually stir in Karo syrup and water until smooth. Divide mixture into individual containers as needed and tint each one with the food coloring of your choice. Leave one batch untinted.
***************************************
Clown Make-up

Blend on a paper plate:
2 tblsp. shortening
5 tsps. cornstarch
1 tsp. flour
Dab of Vaseline

Add food coloring for various colors.
***************************************
Fake Blood for Halloween Party Make-up

Karo brand corn syrup
Red and blue food coloring
Milk

Add some red food coloring to the corn syrup, then just a drop or two of blue to get a more realistic dark color. Milk will make the blood appear more opaque and more realistic.
Note: This mixture is sticky and can stain clothes.
****************************************
More Fun Make-up Tips:
To lightly blacken faces, carefully burn a cork and when cool, rub on the face.
For a ghoulish look, add a dusting of flour to already made up faces.
For a stubbly bearded look, sprinkle tobacco over a thin layer of vaseline.

 


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Scary School Games

Scary School Games

Scary School Games
Scary School Games

Most children love all things Halloween. As adults, we assume it’s because Halloween means candy and children generally love candy. But many children love more than just the abundance of candy at Halloween time. They really get into the ghoulish aspect of the holiday and delight in the displays of goopy brains and squishy body parts.

Halloween games, therefore, can be really fun and goopy, if you wish. The kids will go with it, don’t worry.

First up, a brain game. There’s a fun game on store shelves where you pick through a rubber “brain” to figure out what’s in it. You can create this easily yourself. Make some jello and fill it with a variety of items, like gummy worms and other gummy candies, some small candy and trinkets and other items. Tell the children to root around in the bowl of jello (call it a “brain” if this will get the kids more interested) to figure out what’s in it. It’s goopy and messy and kids love it. Best yet, color the jello black so it’s too dark to see what’s inside and it looks more like goopy brain matter (the way kids see it, anyway).

In that same, or similar vein, kids love the spaghetti game. Be sure they are wearing a smock over their clothes or are wearing play clothes before playing this game. Make a big bowl of spaghetti and fill it with all kinds of items, like plastic bugs, gummy worms and other items that might feel a bit strange. Make the children feel around in the bowl of spaghetti and identify the items they feel. Once they are done and cleaned up, have them list as many items as they can remember. Whoever gets the most items listed (and right) gets a prize. Spaghetti, anyone?

Another similar game that’s always popular is to take a cardboard box and paint it black, both the inside and outside. Carve a small hole in the top, really just large enough for the children to get their hands into, and fill the box with a variety of items. They can be related to Halloween (like a small pumpkin) or not (wrapped Tootsie rolls or a tiny toy Hummer car). Have the children guess what’s inside the box and award the box itself to the child who guesses the most number of items correctly. To make this goopy and silly, be sure to include some items that might feel like body parts or brain matter.

Kids love creating silly fictional stories, often with absurd plotlines. Halloween is the optimum time to let them run wild with their imaginations. Have them spend a bit of time writing out the scariest story they can think of. Some children might need some direction not to make it ridiculously grotesque, so use caution with these children in your clarification of this assignment. Once the stories are written, have the children hand them in and then have a guest reader for each one of them. Each child will come to the front of the class and read the story with as much dramatization as they can muster. Once the story is read, everyone has to guess who wrote the story. The writer should play along, otherwise everyone will know it was their story! The winner is the child who wrote a story so intriguing and unusual that nobody knew it was his or hers!

Kids love the word find games when you give them a word or words relating to a holiday or something else and have them find words within those words. In this case, give them Halloween-related words and ask them to find as many scary words as they can. For example, you might give them the word “Halloween” and see how many scary words they can make from the letters. Or you could give them a series of words and let them rearrange the letters in all of the words to create scary words, or even create a story from the scary words. Put a time limit on this game and award a prize for the child who creates the most words in the least amount of time.

 


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Scary Halloween Crafts

Scary Halloween Crafts

by Angela Maroevich

Scary Halloween Crafts
Scary Halloween Crafts

Looking for some great Halloween crafts for your Halloween party, haunted house, or just for trick-or-treaters?
A fun craft is something that can keep you occupied for hours on end especially if you enjoy it. Here are some ideas that will hopefully set you on your way in preparation for your next Halloween…
Halloween Crafts Part 1:
If you live in a house that has a wood-burning fireplace, then chances are that you have access to tree stumps or large blocks of wood. These are great for making stands for your Jack O’Lanterns. You could use a chisel to slightly hollow out the middle of the stump so that the lantern can sit stably or simply use some Blu-Tack or Velcro.
Get some small or mini pumpkins and hollow them out to use as candle holders. If open flames are out of the question, you can put glow sticks instead of candles for a different effect. You can carve, draw or paint faces on the pumpkins too. Instead of pumpkins, you could use apples as well. Ensure that you choose apples that sit well and flat or cut off the bottom to make a flat surface. Remove the stem and cut around it deep enough for the candle. It is best to use taper candles for a better fit.
Get a large pumpkin and hollow it out to use as a salad bowl or to serve fresh vegetables. Cut off the top, hollow and clean it out and let it dry in the sun. You could carve a jagged edge design on the top. Do the same with some smaller or mini pumpkins to use for dips or salad dressings.
Make a scarecrow in your front yard. You need two pieces of wood, one put into the ground and the other nailed across for the arms. Use old jeans and a shirt and stuff them with newspaper. Add some straw for effect. You can use a plastic pumpkin for the head and draw a face on it. This makes a great Halloween craft for the whole family.
Tie glow sticks to helium balloons and let them float around the house. Ensure that some string extends below so that people can easily reach them if they get stuck somewhere or simply to play with them.

Scary Halloween Crafts
Scary Halloween Crafts

Use publicly available Halloween fonts on your computer to make banners or invitations for your party. It’s a fast, easy Halloween craft you can use instantly to enhance your party theme. Print them onto inkjet iron-on transfer paper and put them onto your favourite t-shirt or Halloween outfit.
Halloween Crafts Part 2. OK, Now We Are Getting Scary…
A visit to your local hardware store for some basic items and you could make your own tombstones transforming your garden into an instant graveyard. Paint them grey to resemble stone. Do not worry about the details as it will be dark, but do put on some exciting or scary wordings. By the way, your local hardware store is loaded with Halloween craft ideas.
Going trick or treating? Why not make a special jug to collect candies? Cut off the top two inches of a gallon milk jug. Soak to remove any labels. Paint orange. Once dry, paint or stick on eyes nose and mouth resembling a Jack O’Lantern. Use fluorescent paint for a nice effect. The jug can be kept for future reuse.
Using six pipe cleaners, you can make your own skeleton. Bend one pipe cleaner into two for the backbone. Twist another around the bottom of the backbone to make into the legs. Do the same for the arms. Join two pipe cleaners and twist them around the backbone leaving some space forming a ribcage. Twist the last pipe cleaner for a head and glue on some eyes. Hang with a rubber band for a bouncing effect. Your kids will love making halloween crafts with pipe cleaners. But be careful when cutting and keep them out of their mouth.
Using glue and food coloring, you can make a see through painting. Paint a Halloween image onto a piece of plastic wrap. Before the mixture dries, put another piece of plastic wrap on. Cut it out and hang it in front of a light source for a see through effect. You could also frame the plastic pictures using wood or cardboard if you want them to be longer lasting.
Halloween Crafts Part 3. The Real Scary Stuff…
Make some hand printed spiders. Apply black paint to your palm and 4 fingers leaving out the thumb. Place palm onto a piece of paper. Turn the paper 180 degrees and print again making sure the palm overlaps. Add some wiggly eyes using either paint or sticks. This is suitable for even 2 or 3 year olds.
Make your own blood. It is less expensive than buying ready made blood from the Halloween shops. It’s not difficult; all you need is Karo syrup and food coloring. While you’re at it, why not make some slime using glue, water and borax powder. This is an advanced Hallween craft, so take your time and be careful.
Using apples, you can make dried, shrunken heads. Peel the apples and coat with a mixture of lemon juice and salt to prevent browning. Carve out a face of eyes, nose and mouth. Do not worry about the finer details as they will probably be lost when the apple dries. You can use whole cloves for the eyes and rice grains for the teeth. Let the apples sit out in a warm place for about 2 weeks. If you don’t have 2 weeks, you can speed up the drying by putting them into an oven on the lowest temperature for about 45 minutes and then to dry out naturally for the next 2 days or so. Once dried, they shrink and deform into weird and scary looking faces.
Says Angie Maroevich, “You don’t have to spend a fortune on commercial Halloween supplies to have a great party. There are many inexpensive alternatives laying around the house or at your local store you can use to create a Halloween theme that will impress all your friends.”

 


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Carve A Pumpkin For Halloween

How To Carve A Pumpkin For Halloween

by Brian Johnson
If you just want to take a steak knife and hack out your every day pumpkin face, then this article is not for you. We’re going to take a look at gourmet pumpkin carving for true Halloween connoisseurs. OK, maybe gourmet is a bit of overkill, but why settle for just another carved pumpkin when you can have a prize-winning jack-o-lantern instead?
Success starts with selecting your design
Before even thinking about buying or picking your Halloween pumpkin from the local pumpkin patch, you need to plan the design. You can take the easy way out and buy ready-made pumpkin stencils, or you can design your own.
There are some great on-line sources for free Halloween stencils that you can download and use, or you can hand sketch it. Here are two great places to grab some nice designs. If you’re looking for a really unusual stencil, here’s one that will drive you bats!
I’ll cover how to transfer the pumpkin stencil to your favorite pumpkin after we take a look at actually selecting the pumpkin.
How to pick the perfect pumpkin
The pumpkin’s shape and size will determine what type of patterns and designs you can use. If you are using pumpkin carving stencils then it is essential to purchase a pumpkin that matches the stencil’s size requirements.
If you don’t plan on using a stencil then make sure that your pumpkin is tall and wide enough for the free-hand design that you have in mind.
Look for a pumpkin that’s not too ripe. It should be the right color orange and not have any soft spots or bruises. Look for a sturdy stem and never, ever lift the pumpkin by the stem. Sturdy or not, it’s a short trip from “nice pumpkin” to splat.
Hold the pumpkin and smell it around the stem and top. If it smells very strong and “pumpkiny” then there is a chance that it’s too ripe, pass it up and look for another. Thump the pumpkin and listen for a solid “thunk”. A hollow sound is bad news.
Carry your pumpkin carefully and transport it home safely. A bruised pumpkin rots quickly and might not make it through the Halloween season.
How to prepare the pumpkin for its coming facelift
1. Cut a circle around the top of the pumpkin without damaging the stem.
2. Remove the top and put aside.
3. Remove and discard the pulp and seeds unless you want to make Vampire Fingernails snacks for your Halloween party.
4. With a putty knife or similar scraper, gently scrape down the inside of the pumpkin to remove any moist flesh clinging to the sides. Be careful not to damage the wall of the pumpkin.
Now it’s time to transfer the stencil
1. Wipe the outside of the pumpkin so that it is free of dust and other foreign material. If you need to wipe it down with a wet rag, allow it to become thoroughly dry before proceeding to the next step.
2. Tape the stencil to the side of the pumpkin that you have chosen to be the face. Tape the top left corner first, then the top right, bottom left and then bottom right. Smooth the stencil out as you are taping it. If you have to crease the stencil to make it lie flat then be sure to pick areas that are not part of the design.
3. Using an ice pick or a pin-point punch awl, gently poke holes through the stencil and into the pumpkin. Follow the lines of the stencil carefully. It’s a lot like paying connect-the-dots games. Space the dots out however you see fit but remember that very complex designs are easier to work with if the holes are close together.
4. Check carefully to make sure that you have transferred the entire pattern and then remove the stencil. Keep the stencil handy to refer to in case you get confused while cutting.
Time to put your patient under the knife
Although many a pumpkin has fallen under the standard kitchen knife, it’s both the wrong tool and a very dangerous tool for pumpkin carving. For best results get yourself an X-Acto knife with a #5 knife blade and a #15 keyhole saw. See your home store for both items.
Using the saw for long cuts and the X-Acto for the close-in and intricate cuts, just follow the pattern carefully and, before you know it, you’ll have the pride of the pumpkin patch right there on your table!

 

 


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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

by Susan Dunn, MA

Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is an exciting night for children and a busy time for their parents. With such excitement, it’s easy for children to forget basic safety rules.
When emotions are running high, it’s a good time to remember to “use your head.” Plan ahead and plan to have a safe Halloween. Raise safety awareness with your family before the festivities begin. We do the right thing, but we don’t always explain it to children. As you place a saucer under each tea light, or “stop, look and listen” at street corners and in parking lots, tell your child why. They don’t always connect the dots unless you point it out.
Here are some Halloween Safety Tips to keep in mind:
1. Stay sober and alert.
It’s amazing how many family Halloween celebrations involve adults drinking. It’s impossible to monitor children’s safety or your own when you’ve had too much to drink, so don’t.
2. Avoid cuts and burns when decorating.
Carving the pumpkin, placing luminaria in the driveway, and hanging spooky skeletons all present opportunities for injury. If you’re decorating with candles, observe fires safety. Have a good fire extinguisher handy and make sure everyone knows where it is.
3. Observe ladder safety regulations.
According to the NASD, accidents involving ladders cause an estimated 300 death a year in the US, and 130,000 injuries requiring medical attention. Review ladder safety rules and observe them.
4. Make sure “treats” aren’t “tricks.”
Many people these days choose to go to fairs or private parties instead of trick or treating for safety reasons. If your child is going trick or treating, go with them. Make it a rule that nothing is to be eaten until it’s first been inspected by you.
5. Caution your child about strangers and dogs.
Keep your children with you and remind them to avoid people and dogs they don’t know. Many people are taking their dog companions out in costume these days, and even the most gentle of family pets can do something unexpected with all the excitement.
6. Accidental falls is the number one cause of injuries on Halloween night (National Safety Council).
Choose your child’s costume with this in mind. Hem up the hemlines. If you choose a mask, choose one that doesn’t obstruct sight. Stay sober and observe safety rules when decorating.
7. Four times more children are killed in pedestrian/automobile accidents on Halloween night than on any other night of the year.
The CDC suggests these factors make it a high risk: short stature, inability to react quickly enough to avoid a car or evaluate a potential traffic threat, lack of impulse control, and all the exciting distractions.
8. The holiday syndrome.
The excitement, more candy, more parties, less sleep, less nutritious food, and getting off schedule all mean less attentiveness and also possibly illness. Keep routines as normal as you can.
9. Choose safe and sensible costumes.
Choose fire retardant costumes that allow children free movement and good visibility. Be careful about accessories. Even toy knives and swords can cause harm. Give each child a flashlight.
10. Set a good example.
Show that you care about safety and make it a top priority.

 


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Halloween & Hounds

Halloween & Hounds

by Jennifer Shryock

Halloween & Hounds
Halloween & Hounds

Halloween is “fright night” for humans not dogs. Screaming, running, spooky children in masks make many dogs uncomfortable, nervous and frightened.
Halloween costumes are fun and are meant to disguise our normal appearance. Dogs do not understand this change in appearance and may become frightened. Costumes that change the way a person walks, stands, or their general appearance may cause a dog to react different then usual even with those they know.
Keep in mind that children on Halloween night are excited and doing their best to be scary. This is not a fair or safe situation to put even the best of dogs in. Even the normally terrific tolerant family dog can find this night hard to handle.
Along with costumes being frightening to a dog there are some that may become interesting too. Swords, tails and dangling things may be fun for an excited dog to chase and toddlers certainly won’t appreciate that.
Every child and every costume is a new opportunity for different reactions from the same dog.
I recommend setting up your dog with their own private Halloween bash in a safe quiet spot with a yummy treat of their own. Here are some tips to help make this safe haven most comfortable.
1. Stuff a food dispensing toy with yummy mush and freeze it until it is “Halloween” time.
2. Use a fan or radio for white noise. Something consistent is best.
3. Be sure the blinds are down or the dog is not watching kids coming and going by the window. This will only frustrate him and allow him to practice barking and carrying on at the window.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Put candy in a safe spot.
Many dogs are stolen, poisoned or injured by Halloween pranks. Keep your dog safe and sound inside your home.
Be safe and aware and have fun!

 


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