Maybe it’s the season, but the moment I saw this week’s photo post theme, I knew I wanted to take a shot of a fence around a cemetery. Halloween is, after all, when “the veil between the living and the dead” is at its thinnest.
By the way, I went in search of the source of that phrase and couldn’t find it. I was expecting it to be attributed to a poet or a mystic, but it seems the concept is so old, and so widespread, that no one knows its origin. If any of you happen to know more about when and where the idea was born, please drop me a comment.
Find all my photographic projects at Haunting Photos (there’s also a link in the blog header.)
- Halloween Photo Hunt (like a scavenger hunt, but digital)
- Index to my other PostAWeek entries
- Haunting PhotoAWeek Challenge (pending)
- Haunting Photos Gallery
Here are some of my favorite entries for boundaries from others:
(I’ll add more as I have time to browse, so feel free to check back.)
kittens | Dusk, the Languorous Boundary | Fences and Fear Makes Good Boundaries | Eiffel Tower | rock wall in the autumn woods | On the Other Side | Auschwitz Birkennau | especially the cemetery wall | 9 gorgeous shots | I don’t know what to call this – just click | storm | islet in a sea of clouds | narrow rock path into fog | Jack O’ Lantern guard? | cannon | Autumn in South Korea | The Great Wall of China | black skimmers | chocolates | 3 boundaries in Cornwall | Venice | baby in a basket | gator boundary | in North Carolina | haiku | public nudity prohibited | sphynx cat | of the same mind | sun breaking through clouds | sun breaking through clouds too | sea, sky and sand … and a rainbow | framed flowers | a ha-ha ditch explained | windswept | child pondering fence | seasonal wall | especially the Sleepy Hollow cemetery shot | mirror | a wall for each vine! | sparklers | six word story | typewriter | of the same mind II |
What have you been doing to celebrate the season?
Me? Well, for one thing, I’ve been busy updating and repackaging some of my Halloween content classics for inclusion in the new Halloween index page, Your Guide To Halloween Season. (I keep going back and forth … should that be Your Guide to THE Halloween Season, or should I leave it as is?)
This week, I revised my:
- 2014 Soap Factory Extreme Haunt review
- Twisted Ding Dong Ditch / Halloween Heroes idea
- F/X Makeup … which includes a pretty terribly attempt by me to do a tutorial, and a collection of good makeups by pros.
Some cool photos are coming into The 2015 Halloween Photo Hunt from individuals who are intent on filling in their galleries this season. (And I’m working on mine, of course.) There’s a new companion post, available from the hunt’s home page, too:
Off-line, I’ve been making progress on my Hotel Novel and some personal projects. I’ve been getting out into the pretty season as often as I can, and I’ve been working on my cross stitch project (though not as much as I’d like.)
Other than that, just this:
And so October begins … the time is going by SO fast! I hope you are having a great season so far :)
Most of us have done a regular, item-gathering, scavenger hunt at some point. Such a hunt can be fun, but thanks to the proliferation of the cell phone camera, the classic game can be raised to a whole new level. In a photographic scavenger hunt, you don’t need to approach strangers to ask for random objects. You don’t have to buy (much of) anything. You don’t have to manage a growing collection of bits and scraps as the game goes on. You don’t have to race to an object before anyone else gets it.
Instead of counting on luck and the power of persuasion to do well, you can rely on your intelligence and creativity.
(If you lean toward being introverted, or have friends who skew that way, this is the scavenger hunt for you.)
WHY HALLOWEEN IS THE PERFECT TIME FOR A PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT:
The Halloween season is ideal for a photo hunt. In most parts of the US, September and October are the months most likely to give us gorgeous, temperate days that make us want to get outside and do something. Why not use the hunt as an reason to get out and enjoy the season? After all, the landscape itself showcases objects and vistas that are iconically associated with Halloween. Starting in early September, shops begin displaying seasonal merchandise. By mid-September, towns and neighborhoods may start to decorate. By October first, many of us are fully immersed in a world painted in autumn colors and populated by monsters, ghosts, witches and other Halloween-y creatures.
ORGANIZE A TEAM-BASED HUNT:
Organizing a scavenger hunt may be the easiest way to entertain during the season. Because the hunt happens outdoors, in a public area, you don’t have to clean your house or cook. And you don’t need a big group of people to make it fun.
All you need is a list of inspirations, a digital camera or cell, some friends to “compete” with, and whatever amount of time you all agree to dedicate to the hunt.
To make it even easier, I’ve created a printable list of inspirations for you:
This list is appropriate for all ages. When you print the Halloween Photo Hunt list, you’ll find a couple of blank lines at the bottom. Allow teams to add their own found items, or customize the list ahead of time, to suit the location where you will play. (Here in White Bear Lake, MN, many residences and businesses display polar bear statues and signs, so it would be logical for us to add a bear to the list.)
GENERAL HOW TO:
Create your teams.
- I suggest keeping the teams small – 2-3 players – and making multiple teams, rather than dividing a large group into just two.
- Also see the VARIATIONS section below.
Define the time frame.
- See the VARIATIONS section below.
Determine your rules.
- How far in advance can participants see the scavenger hunt list? (I suggest each team member have equal time access. If you know everything on the list, you’re already thinking about how to capture some items. Don’t be a cheater; let others think ahead too.)
- What are the boundaries of the search zone?
- What method(s) of transportation are acceptable while on the quest? Is it okay to use a car, or will you restrict travel to that which can be done on foot or by bike?
- Are purchased props acceptable? How much money can be spent to obtain a photograph? (We had set an allowance of $10 to facilitate shots, but we only paid a few cents for an aluminum pie plate during our hunt.)
- Are videos allowed, or just still snapshots?
- Also see VARIATIONS section below.
#1 – The Simplest Version – In 2-6 hours.
This is the most spontaneous way to do the hunt. You only need a few people, a nice day, and a couple of hours. (Plus, of course, enough photo-capable cell phones so that each team has at least one.)
- Depending on the weather, a hunt could last anywhere from two to six hours.
- Confine the hunt to a small town, a defined section of a city, a neighborhood, or the site of a seasonal attraction (like an autumn fair).
- Set up a meeting place to begin and end at appointed times.
- If you will be out for longer period of time, considering also setting a meeting time and place, for a shared lunch or snack, in the middle of the hunt.
- At the end, get all the teams together, tally checked-off items on each team’s list, and share favorite photos by passing phones around.
- If you need to proclaim a winner, base it on total number of items checked off.
- For extra fun, have everyone send their pictures to one person who will create a digital album or slideshow that can be sent to all participants later.
The following video is the album from one of my family’s photo hunts:
#2 – The Extended Version – In a weekend or other multi-day period.
~For far-flung social groups and/or adults who want to range farther, over a longer time, or who want to create more elaborate pics.
- This variation is not about getting together with a group, but rather about working closely and creatively with your partner(s).
- Make arrangements with another team (or several) in which you define a time frame during which everyone is free to obtain photos, wherever they are.
- Teams will share / compare results after the fact.
- Make sure all teams know what the goal of the hunt is — Completion? Creativity?
- This extended version may lend itself to more elaborate photographs, set-ups, costumes, makeups, etc. Make sure teams are on roughly the same wavelength.
- Emphasis may be placed on satisfying the requirements of the right-side column of the list.
- Be clear about the length of time for the hunt AND the length of time before photos should be submitted to “opposing” teams. (Make a deadline.)
- Decide if digital photo manipulation is acceptable.
- Alternatively, teams could text or email photos to each other as they are taken, through the course of the hunt.
NOTES: It’s perfectly fine to stick to the basic hunt list that I’ve provided above, but if you’re going to do a more elaborate, extended, hunt, you could also work from a more challenging, extended, hunt list which is available in two formats. Please visit: The Halloween Photo Hunt Homepage to locate and print either format of the extended list, if you prefer.
At the homepage, you’ll find another way to play the Halloween Photo Hunt game, AS A TEAM OR AS AN INDIVIDUAL. Check out the option, and consider participating that way too.
Any original photo, taken in the six weeks before Halloween 2015,
inspired by any prompt, on any version of the hunt lists,
is eligible to be displayed in a personalized gallery at the HPH Homepage.
There are some guidelines at the homepage about what I will and will not publish in the galleries.
~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~
Black-Eyed Dog by Nick Drake
This week, I’m most excited about:
NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:
Agatha Christie’s Poirot – Season 12
Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix Sep 3o
Not Available from Redbox.
I THINK this is going to make one of my recommended Halloween-themed films available to us all. Season 12, which is supposed to come to Netflix on the 30th, includes the episode Hallowe’en Party. Netflix is adding season 12 now, but there are many episodes of previous seasons available too.
On IMDb here.
Curse of Chucky (2013) NR
The Nightmare (2015) – Documentary
Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix streaming Oct 1
Available from Redbox.
About sleep paralysis … otherwise known in some circles as visits from succubi or aliens. This has been on my DVD queue (which moves very slowly) so I’m pleased to see it coming to streaming.
On IMDb here.
~HEADS-UP ON MOVIES LEAVING NETFLIX OCT 1~
- Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) ~ On the Iconic Horror Movies list.
- The Devil’s Rejects (2005) ~ A Rob Zombie film that I know I should watch while I can.
- The Exorcist (1973) ~ Now that I think about it, this SHOULD be on the Iconic Horror Movies list.
- Interview with the Vampire (1994)
- Phantom of the Opera (1989) ~ Starring Robert Englund. Hmm. On IMDb here.
- This Is Spinal Tap (1984) ~ I know it’s not my genre, but it is a classic.
- Twilight (2008)
~STATUS CHANGES ON PREVIOUSLY FEATURED MOVIES~
(See original listing, with updated info, by clicking movie title.)
- Cop Car will become available in Redbox on Sep 29
- Dark Was the Night coming to Netflix streaming, Oct 1
- Several of the returning TV shows featured on the 2015 Fall TV Guide list, will be releasing the 2014 season to Netflix streaming.
The Iron Giant (1999) PG
In limited release (2 shows) NATIONWIDE – Sep 30 & Oct 1 See the Fathom Events page here.
This movie is very special to my family, as both of my children loved it at the same time, even though they are 10 years apart. (We wore out the video tape at least once.) One of the finest “children’s movies” I’ve ever seen. This will be our Sunday family movie. (Sadly my daughter is too far away to join us, but she may be in a theater at the same time.)
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
On IMDb here.
The Martian (2015) PG-13
In general release Oct 1
The previews for this look fantastic. Both the Ogre and I want to see it, so it’s likely to be our Saturday date movie. (Ogre is going to be so pleased … two theatrical movies in one weekend.) UPDATE: A very good movie while we were watching it, but I’m not sure it will be memorable in the long run. I want to read the book now. I get the sense that this started out as an intelligent and technical story that was softened a bit when it was translated to film. There’s something about the … gung-ho quirkiness(?) of the main character that didn’t ring true to me. Yet it was that exact attitude that made the movie more fun than it would have been otherwise. (In other words, there are some great one-liners in there.)
From IMDb: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
On IMDb here.
A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
In general release Oct 2
This looks like it’s going to be a GREAT Christmastime rental. William Shatner!
From IMDb: Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.
On IMDb here.
For the latest on TV premieres, check out the special edition of M&M Media that went up recently:
The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.
Here at the blog this week, I’ve been mostly working on expanding and repackaging some Halloween content:
I also shared my thoughts about:
The next edition will go up on Monday, as usual.
A few submissions are coming in for the:
And I need to get out there and take some more pictures for my own gallery.
Beyond that, my Halloween-y activities have included finding the shirt for my costume at Goodwill, and buying a package of expanding, honey-comb, tissue-paper pumpkins :)
So, what have you been up to?
FREE HALLOWEEN CROSS STITCH PATTERNS:
I realize folks could arrive at this page at any time of year, but the majority of readers will visit in the late summer or early autumn, when their thoughts first turn to Halloween. Starting a cross stitch project at this time of year is the perfect way to get into the spirit of season without freaking out the neighbors by putting up premature decorations.
(What’s premature? I’m not a good judge. Some of my “Halloween Decorations” stay out all year round.)
The weather at this time of year is volatile. Depending on the date, and your location, it could be hot and thick, as summer has its last hurrah; or it could be cool and rainy, as autumn comes on. In either case, it seems there are more opportunities to settle in for an evening with some cross stitch … and, perhaps, a great scary movie. (Maybe an iconic old horror film, or one about Halloween or ghosts?) It’s also a busy time of year for many of us, as back-to-school demands fire up. Keeping all that in mind, I’ve featured projects that range from quick and easy, to elaborate and complicated. There should be something here you can finish in the time you have before Halloween.
Note: Yes, I used my Free Halloween Knitting Patterns post as a template for this one. The wording IS almost identical. You are not going crazy.
FREE CROSS STITCH CHARTS:
If you hover over the image in the gallery above, you’ll see that each featured piece is captioned with the name of one of the following source sites. The “hover-title” is the name of the pattern, and the designer. These images are just a sampling of what’s available … have fun browsing each site for just the right project.
Find the charts at the following links:
- 55 free designs from cyberstitchers.com
- 24 free designs from kreinik.com
- 11 little embellishment patterns from hobbyloco.com
Two of the projects pictured in the gallery have specific links:
- Haunted House by freepatterns.com (You may have to register at this site – I already was.)
- Halloween Topiary by DMC
What will you make? What would you LOVE to make?
I’m going to do something really scary:
I plan to stitch a project from a a chart that I designed myself. I’ll share my plan, but I DON’T recommend that you choose my design, unless you can see from experience that it will work for you. I’ve never done this before, and I have no idea if it will turn out well.
As I was finishing this post, I decided to go looking for some kind of program that would allow me to create a chart for a project that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. I found MyPhotoStitch.com. I played with the tool to get an idea of what kind of image would work well as a base design. (I already knew I wanted the design to read ‘Carpe Noctem’.) I dug through my photo files to find a pic of the moon, against a pure black sky, that my Ogre took. I imported that photo into Kizoa.com, which is a free online photo editor. There, I added the Carpe Noctem text, and a piece of owl clip art that Kizoa had, to my re-sized photo. THEN I imported the new image into the MyPhotoStitch chart maker tool. I had to play with the setting a fair bit, but I think I’ve come up with a workable chart.
My plan is to work on 18 X 12 piece of black, 14-count, Aida cloth. MyPhotoStitch says the finished design will be 7″ X 5.5″. I designed the project to be workable in ten colors or less. The chart ended up suggesting nine. I won’t know if the recommended floss colors will be right … I’ll check tomorrow, when I go shopping for the supplies. (I’d actually like the brighter edge of the moon to better match the brighter parts of the text.)
Here’s the link to the PDF chart (on 4 pages!) that MyPhotoStitch gave me:
CAUTION: (Edited the next day.) If you print the following PDF, you will use A LOT of black ink! Thank goodness I went to Office Max to have it printed, so I didn’t kill my cartridge. Ogre will fix it this weekend, with his magic Photoshop, and a pattern with a WHITE background will be available too. That said, I actually like being able to see the pattern against the black, because the fabric I’m working on is black. So, if you like that idea, be sure to take it somewhere where a color print doesn’t cost much.
Questions for experienced cross-stitchers:
- First off, and most importantly, does this seem like a viable project?
- Would you stitch in the owl and branch with black, or just leave the black Aida cloth showing there? (I’m leaning toward filling it in, but I don’t know how to blend the lower branch edge into the Aida cloth, or if it will look weird if I just end it at the edge of the moon.)
So that’s it for now. I will update as I progress with the project. Cross your fingers for me!
NOTE: All above photographs and images of cross stitch projects were obtained from the site of the original source of the free pattern and are used for the purpose of referring readers to the website that offers the content. At posting, all links are current and active. I have NOT made the projects, so I cannot guarantee that patterns are correct.
The photograph of box of embroidery floss, used on the main Halloween index page, is ready to stitch! by Claudia Marchán.