This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Dec. 21-26, 2015

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

My Christmas gift to you:

We are hardwired to get along, you know.

Christmas isn’t really my season, but I miss you all so I took a look a what’s available this week. I’m pretty excited to share two things in particular:

 I’ll be back to regular blogging soon. 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYBODY!

~THE MOVIES~

NETFLIX STREAMING:

The Ref (1994) R

Available streaming on Netflix.
I was so excited to see that this is available on streaming this year, so I could recommend it to you. I’m going to give you a fan-made trailer here, because the professional one is just dumb. This is perhaps my favorite modern Christmas movie. Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey are terrific. Dark. Funny. Satisfying.
On IMDb here.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (2003) PG

Available streaming on Netflix.
Another favorite from recent years, but I usually watch this around Halloween.
On IMDb here.

Most of my other  modern favorites are NOT available on streaming right now, but in case you have alternative ways to access them, here’s the list:

White Christmas (1954)

Available streaming on Netflix.
My go-to classic. I’ve actually seen it playing on a variety of cable channels, but if you’re looking for a pure, commercial-free, watch, queue it up on Netflix. (I have a huge crush on Danny Kaye.)
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

The Twilight Zone “The Night of the Meek” | METV | Christmas Eve at 2:30AM/1:30C

Here’s the first five minutes of the episode:

Art Carney as a down and out Santa who finds a magical sack of gifts and seeks his redemption. Set you recorder. This is a great one. It has its own IMDb listing here. EDIT: When I set my DVR, I found the program description says this is a REMAKE of the classic episode. It’s possible the guide is just wrong. I hope the guide is just wrong!

ABC’s The Year: 2015 | ABC | Tuesday | 9/8c 

A year in review news show. I’m betting there will be a ton of commercials, so I think I’ll record it and watch it on time delay.

The Jinx | HBO | On Demand 

Nothing Christmas-y about this one at all, but I just marathoned it and enjoyed it immensely. If you need a break from holiday cheer, you could do worse than this documentary.

I don’t recommend a lot of premium cable shows. We often confine ourselves to a basic cable package, so I don’t have reliable access. Our provider screwed something up recently, though, so they gave us a few months of HBO.

I made a bee-line for the six-part documentary, Jinx, which I’d heard about and coveted. It was well worth the time investment. The first episode is the weakest, but I found myself intrigued anyway. By mid-way through the second episode, I was hooked. Over the hours, I developed an opinion, changed my mind, changed my mind again, and got literal goosebumps at the end.

Here’s the homepage.

 

~***~

Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

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.

This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Oct 26-Nov 1

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Danse Macabre


recommended by Joanna Wagner at Danse Noir

This week, I’m most excited about:

HALLOWEEN ITSELF!

For this installment of M&M Media, I looked for stuff that seems particularly appropriate to this very special week. At Netflix, I’m concentrating on the best scary films that are currently available on streaming.  Many of them are classics, others are more recent entries into the macabre & mysterious genre. (Click on the linked title to add the film to your Netflix streaming queue or to watch straight from your desktop.) When it comes to television, I’m highlighting nostalgic programming. See the TV listing info provided and set your DVR appropriately.

Speaking of retro, check out THREE fabulous Halloween safety videos, over at Patrick Keller’s Big Seance blog.

~THE MOVIES~

BEST OF NETFLIX FOR HALLOWEEN 2015:

classics:

Note: there’s a big difference between the R rating of today (which usually indicates a lot of blood and gore) and the R rating of classic horror (which usually indicates adult themes.) There’s something telling about that, isn’t there?

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) R

On IMDb here.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) NR

On IMDb here.

The Omen (1976) R

On IMDb here.

The Fly (1958) NR

On IMDb here.

Metropolis (1927) NR

OLD school sci fi.
On IMDb here.

Children of the Corn (1984) R

Perfect if you’ve got a trip to a corn maze planned for later in the week:)
On IMDb here.

Laura (1944) NR

Not remotely horror, rather noir suspense / mystery. If you haven’t seen it, and it you want something involving but not scary, per se, give Laura a go.
On IMDb here.

Barbarella (1968)

This is one I have not actually seen. After watching the trailer, I’m not really inclined to change that. All I can say is WOW. Interestingly, Netflix says it’s R, while IMDb days it’s PG.
On IMDb here.

ghost stories & hauntings

The Others (2001) PG-13

A pretty gentle ghost story, nice if you don’t want much blood or gore.
On IMDb here.

The Awakening (2011) R

Ditto.
On IMDb here.

Dream House (2011) PG-13

I’m sharing a short clip here, because the actual trailer really spoils the movie. This movie is somewhere between horror and drama. I loved it, but it is sad.
On IMDb here.

The Sixth Sense (1999) PG-13

Pretty sure everyone has already seen this on, but sometimes it’s fun to let a  classic play while one’s attention is on other things, like carving pumpkins, or putting final touches on costumes or decorations.
On IMDb here.

Housebound (2014)  NR

I’ve raved about this movie before. If you haven’t seen it yet, it really is great fun (and well written) and quite spooky to boot. (A bit of gore but that’s not the point.) It’s more understated than the the trailer suggests.
On IMDb here.

The Pact (2012) R

A great haunted house story with a female lead character who isn’t an idiot.
On IMDb here.

Others

Let the Right One In (2008) R – Original Swedish Version

Yes, it’s subtitled. I think this is superior to the American remake, in part because the kids seem more like kids, which is creepier.
On IMDb here.

Byzantium (2012) R

Not the easiest  or most straightforward film, but lovely in its own way. This is a real drama wrapped in a real vampire story. It’s a bit annoying in some parts, but overall, I think it’s worth the time it takes to watch it.
On IMDb here.

The Corpse Bride (2005) PG

Tim Burton doing his thing. 
On IMDb here.

V/H/S (2012) R

An anthology style film with a lot of fans. Some segments are better than others. Note that R rating. It’s earned.
On IMDb here.

Silence of the Lambs (1991) R

Another that you’ve probably seen, and perfect for background ambiance. 
On IMDb here.

We Are What We Are (2013) R

A darkly beautiful, slow burner. Yes, it is about what you think it is, so no surprise there, but the performances and the atmosphere are memorable.
On IMDb here.

The Addams Family (1991) PG-13

My favorite love story ever.
On IMDb here.

Nightbreed (1990) R

This is fantasy, not horror. Very Clive Barker. Very 1990.
On IMDb here.

Stonehearst Asylum (2014) PG-13

A fairly faithful retelling of the Poe tale, The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether (You can read the short story at this link.) Lovely to look at. Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine. This is a great movie for anyone who doesn’t want grue & violence but does want something macabre & mysterious. Again, I’m sharing a clip rather than the trailer which gives away the plot. (What’s up with that anyway?)
On IMDb here.

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) R

I’ve recommended this before. A brave, absolutely stunning performance here by Jill Larson, who plays the title character. The first 2/3 of the movie is the best … really, really creepy.
On IMDb here.

Twixt (2011) R

A surreal, beautiful film. A bit of a challenge, and (as is so often the case) it devolves toward the end. There’s some sharp, witty moments in the writing … especially about writing. Quirky. I love it for the look and feel more than the story.
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

MeTV HALLOWEEN EPISODES

(Check you cable/satellite provider directory,  or go here to search for it. You probably have this channel which features retro TV shows. I’ve shared the original air date, but most of us saw these in syndication.)

Svengoolie presents “Frankenstein”

James Whale’s 1931 horror masterpiece for Universal Pictures returns in a gorgeous new print. See Boris Karloff’s monster in crisp detail. What better flick to put on for Halloween night?

See it on MeTV on October 31 at 10PM | 9C

*

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW “THE HAUNTED HOUSE”

Original air date: October 7, 1963

 Beware that old Rimshaw house! Opie and his pal hit a ball into the decrepit manor. They hear eerie noises inside. Andy sends Barney and Gomer to investigate, and those two get spooked as well. We won’t give away the ending, but anyone who’s watched Scooby Doo can surmise it’s not supernatural.
 
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 9PM | 8C.

*

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES “TRICK OR TREAT”

Original air date: October 31, 1963

 This early episode, the sixth overall, has a premise that seems unlikely to modern ears: The Clampetts have never heard of Halloween. The new Beverly Hills residents make the rounds to meet neighbors and are delighted to earn candy along the way.
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 8AM | 9C.

*

CHIPS “TRICK OR TRICK”

Original air date: October 21, 1978

 Thirteen black cats jump from a van in front of Ponch, kicking off an array of lighthearted Halloween capers. The saddlebags are filled with candy and costumed kids — sporting some great boxed Ben Cooper costumes of the era — are about. It all makes for one of the most enjoyable CHiPs outings.
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 6PM | 5C.

*

HAPPY DAYS “HAUNTED”

Original air date: October 29, 1974

 The gang sports some great costumes here. Richie wears a classic skeleton suit, like the punks in The Karate Kid. Ralph is Alfred Hitchcock. Potsie is a superhero. Fonzie is, well, the Fonz with a mask. At one point, Joanie tells Richie that it looks as if, “Bela Lugosi sucked all the blood out of you!” Learn how Fonzie bobs for apples.
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 9PM | 8C.

*

LAVERNE & SHIRLEY “HAUNTED HOUSE”

Original air date: March 22, 1977
Laverne and Shirley and Lenny and Squiggy head to a supposedly haunted Ramsdale Manor for a couch. Shirley warns, “Beware the legend of the Ramsdale Hairy Thing!”
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

*

M*A*S*H “TRICK OR TREATMENT”

Original air date: November 1, 1982

Just as Cheers was starting, George Wendt appeared as a guest on this late M*A*S*H— as a Private with a pool ball stuck in his mouth. Again, there are some fantastic costumes here, perfect for a deep reference for your next Halloween party. Hawkeye is Superman, BJ is a clown, Hot Lips is a geisha, and Potter is a cowboy. A psychologist would have a field day with those decisions.

 See it on MeTV on October 30 at 7:30PM | 6:30 C

*

PERRY MASON “THE CASE OF THE DODGING DOMINO”

Original air date: November 1, 1962
The wonderful Ellen Burstyn is in the horror hall of fame for her role in The Exorcist, a genuinely disturbing film. A young Burstyn plays a part in this Halloween mystery, too. Saying any more might give away whodunnit!

See it on MeTV on October 28 at 9AM | 8C.

*

MY THREE SONS “MONSTERS AND JUNK LIKE THAT”

In  “Monsters and Junk Like That,” father Steve is stuck wearing a costume of a Tin Man.

See it on October 30 at 6AM | 5C.

*

Elsewhere on the airwaves:

On History

The Real Story of Halloween 

 “A look at how our modern-day Halloween traditions have ancient roots.”

See it on Oct. 27 at 4PM | 3C OR Oct. 31 at 6PM | 5C

*

On PBS

American Experience: “War of the Worlds”

“Recalling the 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles and his “Mercury Theater on the Air” crew, which occurred on Mischief Night. Some listeners believed the program’s account of a Martian invasion to be true and panicked due to the format, which featured “reporters” breaking into “regular programming” with realistic accounts of an in-progress attack. Included: remarks from film historian Peter Bogdanovich; and Welles’ daughter, Chris Welles Feder.”

See it on Oct. 27 at 8PM | 7C

Secrets of the Dead: “Vampire Legend” 

This episode follows a group of scientists as they uncover ‘deviant’ burials dating back to medieval England, pointing to a belief that the dead could rise from their graves. Predating Eastern European legend, these discoveries force a reexamination of modern vampire lore. The show features an interview with a modern-day vampire slayer, who, for the first time publicly, gives his account of the vampire-slaying ritual.”

See it on Oct. 27 at 9PM | 8C

*

On ABC

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

“An hour-long special that includes the original Peanuts classic and the bonus cartoon “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown.”

See it on Oct. 29 at 8PM | 7C

*

On FXX (Look up your channel here.)

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror

“All 25  episodes air in consecutive order.”

Oct. 31 from 12PM-12:30AM (Central time:11AM-11:30PM)

*

DON’T FORGET THESE SERIES, WHICH START THIS WEEK:

Wicked City | ABC | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Oct 27

Ash vs Evil Dead | STARZ | Saturdays| 9/8c (?) | October 31

~***~

Find links to (nearly) all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

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.

Fun, 1 inch, collectible, buttons for Halloween!

Regular readers know that my creative and talented daughter has an Etsy shop where she sells original designs on 1″ collectible buttons.

size

BTW, a one inch button is about the size of a quarter. Thanks to the movie Office Space, many of us think of these little gems as “flair.”

Pooka’s buttons can be purchased in a pin-back style ($1.25) or as a magnet ($1.75). (Oh, I almost forgot that she now offers key chains too, for $3.)

The magnets can be used to decorate any metal surface, of course, but they can ALSO can be worn in a pendant (which Pooka Creations sells.) Here’s a video I made about it a couple of years ago, that shows how it works. (I think all the designs shown in the video are still available.)

HALLOWEEN HERO BUTTONS

Just last night, Pooka listed this year’s limited edition Halloween Hero button for the 2015 season.

HH2015-CollageFinished

Does that look familiar? She chose this year’s design in honor of my cross stitch project.

I have written about Halloween Heroes in the post, Twisted Ding Dong Ditch (Reverse trick-or-treating the Halloween Heroes).

At the Pooka Creations shop, My girl describes the intent behind these buttons, and why she began to make them. Here’s an excerpt:

On Halloween 2013, I went through neighborhoods looking for thirteen houses that had decorated fabulously and were handing out candy to kids. I gifted each of those houses with a special “Halloween Hero” button I had made just for the occasion, and I thanked each of them for keeping my favorite holiday alive and well. I thought others may enjoy collecting these designs for themselves, or may want to hand them out to awesome Halloween Heroes in their own neighborhoods.

HH2015-4WM

OTHER SPOOKY BUTTONS

Now seems a fine time for me to share a selection of my daughter’s Halloween-appropriate wares. There’s plenty of time for you to order some as tokens for the Halloween Heros you know, or to choose some favorites, from all of her designs, to be special hand-outs on Halloween night.

Pooka Creations is known for careful craftsmanship, quick shipping, and helpful (and charming) customer service. (Check out her nearly-200 five-star reviews.)

Aside from the designs shown in the video, here are a few that I think are especially appropriate for the folks who find their way to this blog:

Then there’s the special things:

pooka creations steampunk set

… and this REALLY special thing:

necklace

This post-apocalyptic styled necklace is the first piece she’s offered that branches away from her beloved buttons.

(… Well, the SECOND piece, really, because the first one already sold.)

Clicking on any of the stand-alone images in this post will whisk you to Pooka Creations,

where you can browse through even more designs and place your order.

Otherwise, click the following link to go to the shop’s main page.

www.pookacreations.etsy.com

 


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: October 5 – 11, 2015

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Star by Luluc

–Don’t give up until you hear the cello … that’s when the song takes a turn into a beautifully creepy place.

This week, I’m setting a goal to watch some of the films I was excited about, that are now on streaming:

american-horror-story-hotel

And, of course, this on Wednesday!

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Air (2015) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox Oct 6.
Norman Reedus. Hmm. I had no idea this was out there.

From IMDb: In the near future, breathable air is nonexistent and two engineers tasked with guarding the last hope for mankind struggle to preserve their own lives while administering to their vital task at hand.
On IMDb here.

The Daughter of Dawn (1920) SILENT

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
A totally not-on-topic outlier, but fascinating. NPR wrote an article about this movie that caught my eye, so I watched the film over the weekend. Here’s the article: Rare Film Is Glimpse Of A Distant America. I’ll let you decide if you want to check it out.
On IMDb here.

Dogs on the Inside (2014)  – DOCUMENTARY

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Another outlier, but it looks interesting. (I’m a sucker for any story that underlines the symbiotic nature of the relationship between  dogs and humans.) I believe there is a similar relationship between horses and humans, at least to some extent, but for me it will always be about the dogs.

From IMDb: Filmed in a Massachusetts prison, DOGS ON THE INSIDE follows the birth of a relationship between abandoned rescue dogs and prison inmates as they work together toward a second chance at a better life. Giving a voice to a forgotten dog and a forgotten man, the film is a life-affirming testament to the power of second chances.
On IMDb here.

~STATUS CHANGES ON PREVIOUSLY FEATURED MOVIES~
(See original listing, with updated info, by clicking movie title.)

IN THEATERS:

 Wow. Well other than the stuff I’ve already featured, I’m just not seeing anything very exciting in the theaters right now. I did get to see The Martian this weekend, and have updated the original listing with my thoughts.

~***~

~ON TV~

The Widower | PBS| Sundays | 10/9c | THREE-PART SERIES

From the homepage:
The Widower is the 3-part true story of Malcolm Webster — an infamous wife-killer who marries, and then attempts to kill, a succession of woman to mask his debts and cash in on their life insurance policies.”

Sorry I missed giving you the heads-up on this last week, but if you can’t find in replaying on PBS,  or available on demand, you CAN watch part one at PBS.

For the latest on TV premieres, check out the special edition of M&M Media that went up recently:

Fall 2015 television schedule:
TV for lovers of horror, suspense, mystery, paranormal, super-normal, and the like.

~***~

~***~

Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

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.

This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Sep 28 – Oct 4, 2015

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Black-Eyed Dog by Nick Drake

This week, I’m most excited about:

martian & irongiant_250x375_r6

~THE MOVIES~

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

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix streaming Oct 1
Not Available from Redbox.
Yeah, I don’t care. I suppose I ought to see one of these, though, huh?
On IMDb here.

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.)

IN THEATERS:

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.

~***~

~ON TV~

For the latest on TV premieres, check out the special edition of M&M Media that went up recently:

Fall 2015 television schedule:
TV for lovers of horror, suspense, mystery, paranormal, super-normal, and the like.

~***~

Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

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.

Halloween Hobbies: Free Cross Stitch Patterns

FREE HALLOWEEN CROSS STITCPATTERNS:

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:

Two of the projects pictured in the gallery have specific links:

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.

Image of Cross Stitch Carpe Noctem by Renae Rude

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.

cross stitch day 1

Cross Stitch Pattern Carpe Noctem by Renae Rude

Questions for experienced cross-stitchers:

  1. First off, and most importantly, does this seem like a viable project?
  2. 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!

Halloween Index

RETURN TO THE HALLOWEEN INDEX

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.


Halloween Hobbies: Free Knitting Patterns

FREE HALLOWEEN KNITTING 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 knitting 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 knitting … 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 this post and my Free Cross Stitch Patterns post have almost identical introductions. You are not going crazy.

Find the patterns at the following links:

New in 2015:

From years past, but checked for availability:

What will you make? What would you LOVE to make?

In 2015, I think I’m going to go after Sam Haim – the little ghoul from the movie, Trick ‘R Treat. (Though the gorgeous Fair Isle Scarf is calling to me.)

Halloween Index

RETURN TO THE HALLOWEEN INDEX

NOTE: All above photographs and images of knitting 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 the orange and black scarf in progress, used on the main Halloween index page, is Work in Progress by Jere Keys.


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