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Happy 2014 everyone. Miss me?


So, well if you were following last year, you might have noticed I didn't really add a whole lot last year. Around April, we got word of a possibility, and the whole focus of the year changed. We spent the better part of last year putting our house in order. Paying off bills, lowering the house payment, all that good stuff. And, come January, that possibility turned into reality as I lost my job and have since been unemployed for the first time in my life.

So, I've mostly been absent from here since Christmas learning about all this fun stuff and I could go into lots of stuff on how and what and why and this. But, now that we've been going on for a couple months and we've got everything settled in knowing we're not going to lose the house and are going to be able to keep everyone fed and all that good stuff, it's time to just worry about my personal depression.

Well, if you followed last year much as I didn't work on anything, you know me not working on things is not good for my depression. So, it's time I find a project. Haunter's gotta haunt.

So, I'm taking it on as a challenge to do this on a shoestring budget this year. I honestly don't know how/if we can afford to put on the big party we normally do every year without some good news sooner rather than later, but we are going to FIND a way.

Now, I had enough warning that I kinda planned on this, and bought tons of raw materials last year thinking I could just go on for the next two years....

Well, I forgot a few things, namely primer and paint. I can BUILD a lot of stuff, I can't FINISH a lot of stuff.

Well. I got lots of rotting wood from putting together the bridge. Lets build some coffins. Little bit cliche from my normal stuff, but you know what, if I decide I don't like em, I know I can probably sell them easy enough.
 

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Chocolate is my BFF!
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the fact that you can still work your materials and make anything. But do not forget Goodwill, Thrift stores, you may want to check that out and see what is what. You never know what you can get on a shoe string budget. Alot of us work on a shoe string budget. I am sorry that you are going through hard time, but never fear. We are right here if you need us.
 

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Check the Internet for a freecycle link to your area. Or check FB to see if there are similar things there. We have many free links on FB to garage sales and things people are giving away. You never know what you will find. If not, set up a FB page yourself for pay it forward things to be donated for free. People often have paint that they won't use and might be interested in getting rid of it.
'
Good luck and welcome back.
 

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Habitat for Humanity is a great place for cheap paint. And so is the OOPS paint at Home Depot and Lowes. Even Walmart.
If you decide to go for the party this year, don't hesitate to make it a pot luck type thing. Most people like to bring food or maybe just desserts. Have a big pot of chili & beans. Start buying one thing a month, if you can. Plates, napkins etc.
I'm sure you know and have heard all of this before but wanted to put it out there.
And nothing helps my depression more than to get out in the garage and make something. It's great therapy.
 

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Sorry to hear about your misfortune,

I think the Davis country dump has a "hazardous waste" drop off for liquids and you can grab what you want there. I haven't been to that part specifically since they built it a couple of years ago. It used to be over at the burn plant.
 

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Welcome back, UnOrthodOx. Sorry to hear about all of the hardships. I was unemployed for a period of over two years (collecting funds during some of that timespan), then I found a seasonal job and worked for about three months (getting very few hours), and I have been once again out of work for many months, this time with no income whatsoever. I can relate to the depression issues, trust me. I do not know how much you are into music, but that is one of the main ways that I keep my mind off of things and is a recommendation for the times when you begin to feel too overwhelmed. I am glad that you seem to have a supportive family, which is a bonus. Hope that things get better for you all soon.

A suggestion for very cheap props is this ghost mask project by Paint It Black: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-crafts/72519-showcase-your-most-recent-craft-406.html#post1593366
 

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Far Away Eyes
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Keeping busy sure does help. I had to "retire" a bit early myself a few years ago.

You already have a great display, but I know what you mean about needing projects to work on. That's why I do the Secret Reaper exchanges. They are a challenge to do some things I would not have thought of doing for myself. But even that costs money for materials and shipping.

A suggestion for the wood projects. Instead of painting, can you just age the wood with that vinegar/steel wool method?

Also, you could make lots of menacing signs out of the wood, using some cheap "oops" paint or craft paint. My neighbor gave me some of her leftover house paint to use for my props. And we made a green color I needed out of a couple of leftover cans in our own garage. Last year, I got all the red paint I needed for my carnevil for just $2 at Home Depot's "Oops" area.

Just about all my projects have to be on the cheap because I do like to stay busy with so many of them. But I feel like you are more pro at all this than I am, and so I mostly just wanted to show my moral support. I love all the ideas I get here, and also on Pinterest.
 

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A local painter used to give me all of these half-empty cans of paint. Not usually my favorite colors, but with a haunt, mix enough colors together and you might have a dark brown, which is good for hiding things in a semi-dark place (And We ALL Do have some of that hiding to always do, don't we?)
I finally had to tel the painter I couldn't use anymore paint.. because I couldn't.
Stay as busy as your mind and body can keep you. Good things happen then, real things.
 

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So glad you are back UnorthodOx. I hate to hear about your job. Things like that are hard enough but when you throw depression in with it its double trouble. You for sure need some projects to work on. I know this because I to have depression, meds and all. I have to say the forum is the best mood booster for me. I understand wanting to keep busy. That is why I do the Secret Reaper exchanges. Keeps me focused on something.

now about your haunt and cheap projects. I think PrintersDevil is onto something. You should sign up on the pay it forward thread. List that you are looking for any kind of supplies that people are not using. Im sure you would be surprised. I love the pay it forward idea. Any time I am feeling not my best if I make something or find something for someone else I feel better so needless to say I have a list of pay it forward people to send to. Something about others getting excited about Halloween stuff like I do just does it for me. lol

I guess im saying you guys and your haunts are my therapy. haha.....

one more thing.....making things on a shoe string budget can feel really great. Its a challenge but when it turns out you are so much more proud of it. You have to work harder but the benefits are awesome. You stay focused and save money!
 

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What are the main costs of the party? You provide the pumpkins, I think?, because of them becoming part of your decorations afterwards, so that and food? Are there other costs? Carving kits? It seems like a neighborhood tradition that people enjoy - I doubt they'd like to see it go away. Do you think if you told your neighbors that usually come that you're unemployed this year, they would volunteer to bring their own pumpkins, like a carve two leave one, and/or use tools from prior years, or at least help with the food?
 

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Also, I know the things you make are ususally impressively large-scale - critters, tombs (!) But if you made something ship-ably smaller, or even where bits of it were small enough to ship, you might be able to sell those things. So maybe you make some smaller woven heads or lawn creatures, and then you sell the ones you don't like as much to cover the materials for the rest. Or if you did find a way to make something larger on a low-to-zero budget, ex: you've scrounged up material to make an arch covered with carved faces, then maybe you plan on making extra of the faces and selling off the non-favorites as a way to support the rest of the endeavor?

You could set out the plan of what you're making and find out if people would be interested in buying versions of it ahead of time and what they would pay, if the above seems too speculative. Like make a trial one and see if it goes and for what, on etsy or elsewhere.

Not thinking this would be your new job, just a way to work on projects without dipping into money that's needed elsewhere.

(Plus, other reason for this suggestion -> then I might get a shot at acquiring a woven head! :))
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What are the main costs of the party? You provide the pumpkins, I think?, because of them becoming part of your decorations afterwards, so that and food? Are there other costs? Carving kits? It seems like a neighborhood tradition that people enjoy - I doubt they'd like to see it go away. Do you think if you told your neighbors that usually come that you're unemployed this year, they would volunteer to bring their own pumpkins, like a carve two leave one, and/or use tools from prior years, or at least help with the food?
We grow the pumpkins, and I've already got the seeds (mostly saved from last year), so it's really down to the food. We tried the potluck thing the second year and it didn't go well, so I'm hesitant to try that again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Also, I know the things you make are ususally impressively large-scale - critters, tombs (!) But if you made something ship-ably smaller, or even where bits of it were small enough to ship, you might be able to sell those things. So maybe you make some smaller woven heads or lawn creatures, and then you sell the ones you don't like as much to cover the materials for the rest. Or if you did find a way to make something larger on a low-to-zero budget, ex: you've scrounged up material to make an arch covered with carved faces, then maybe you plan on making extra of the faces and selling off the non-favorites as a way to support the rest of the endeavor?

You could set out the plan of what you're making and find out if people would be interested in buying versions of it ahead of time and what they would pay, if the above seems too speculative. Like make a trial one and see if it goes and for what, on etsy or elsewhere.

Not thinking this would be your new job, just a way to work on projects without dipping into money that's needed elsewhere.

(Plus, other reason for this suggestion -> then I might get a shot at acquiring a woven head! :))
We actually typically sell off the monsters and tombs every year. The idea was to run everything at-cost, and have for the last few years. That's how we paid for the family vacation last year, actually. We even have a few thousand in the halloween account (was considering a skulltronix or something), but of course, it's not going to be touched in case we need it for other things in the current situation.

Woven heads, you talking the jim skulls?

On the surface, I don't have any rope/string to make those right now...but I do have tons of that jute netting and lots of time to unravel it. I'm not sure how I feel about selling those, however, as it's a blatant copy from a real artist.
 

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Are you making any refreshments that require apples? If so, you might want to put a few aside to make apple shrunken heads. A couple of those hanging around a crude altar in dim lighting would look amazing. If you base the scene around a witch, you could even make "Blair Witch" figures using sticks and twine (or unraveled jute netting.
 

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We actually typically sell off the monsters and tombs every year. The idea was to run everything at-cost, and have for the last few years. That's how we paid for the family vacation last year, actually. We even have a few thousand in the halloween account (was considering a skulltronix or something), but of course, it's not going to be touched in case we need it for other things in the current situation.

Woven heads, you talking the jim skulls?

On the surface, I don't have any rope/string to make those right now...but I do have tons of that jute netting and lots of time to unravel it. I'm not sure how I feel about selling those, however, as it's a blatant copy from a real artist.
Ah, right - those were an "inspired by." So not those, then. But it seems like you're already on the right track to cover costs for projects. So then you should just pick something you'll enjoy as a distraction.
 

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If you have access to a vehicle take a drive through any industrial areas near you, a lot of places put their old wooden skids at the curb for anyone that wants them. Some people with pick up trucks and/or trailers make a business of picking them up and selling the wood for firewood but they're there for who ever gets to them first and a lot of the ones I see have good wood that could be used for anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you have access to a vehicle take a drive through any industrial areas near you, a lot of places put their old wooden skids at the curb for anyone that wants them. Some people with pick up trucks and/or trailers make a business of picking them up and selling the wood for firewood but they're there for who ever gets to them first and a lot of the ones I see have good wood that could be used for anything.
Yeah, not really feasible with my Tercel. We won't be going into the whole pickup situation right now.
 
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