Trick or treating

Only one lot of trick or treaters called round tonight. One of them had a pumpkin on his head that was lit up with LEDs. There were three boys and they were soaked to the skin because it was raining so heavily. We gave them fifty pence each because I don’t usually get sweets or candies for Halloween night. I have to say they seemed a friendly bunch so I didn’t mind it, but it’s not my most favourite festival. I actually prefer Carol singers, and I encourage them to sing a couple of verses because often they come round and sing one line of we wish you a merry Christmas and expect to get money for it. I guess I’m a bit like Scrooge! Oh dear!

Digital cat

Using a digital filter can steady down analogue drawings. The splodginess of felt pens can get blurred out and the line work becomes more even. I used photodirector to change this drawing. I used the ‘effects’ AI filters and I think I used filter number five on the landscape choice. Somehow the top of the pumpkin looks like a bat….

Spider, beware!

I don’t mind spiders, snakes or bugs

Sometimes I like to give them hugs.

At Halloween I feel quite itchy

When creepy crawlies make me twitchy.

Arachnophobia, I hear you say?

But give those bugs another day.

They eat up flies, or rotting veg

You find around the gardens edge.

This silly poem now must end

A witches cauldron, over it I bend.

Doodled Halloween costume.

I decided to doodle a mask for Halloween 🦇, but it ended up being more of an extravaganza! Sharp and spikey with googly eyes…. The face has half a mask, half face, but with green lipstick and yellow contact lenses… I’ve never worn anything like this. It might be a laugh to make it up, but I haven’t got a clue how to create it!

Cat carving

I know there are better carvings, but I really enjoyed creating this. We didn’t have posh carving tools, just a few knives. I’ve seen pumpkins where just the outer rind is carved away so you get a shallow relief effect. I like it but I guess you would have to use clay modelling tools?

Apparently wild animals can eat the remains of the pumpkin once its been use for decoration. I don’t think hedgehogs like them though? I’m not sure feild mice would like one carved like a cat? Anyway it was fun to do. And it works as a ginger cat, X

Scared?

Walking round the back of the old house, looking for a way in. The rain was cold and icy, falling hard and freezing on the ground and branches as it touched them….

She needed somewhere warm to dry out. No-one in at home and she had lost her keys? But next door was empty, if she could find shelter she could be OK till the morning?

She pushed on a soggy back door, it gave slightly under the pressure. Then the catch slipped and it flew open into a dusty hallway. Cobwebs hung down from dirty bannisters and old bedsheets covered the victorian furniture. She stepped further in. Moonlight and the sodium coloured streetlights filtered through the grubby windows.

A black cat rushed past her, fleeing out of the open doorway. Somewhere in the distance she heard the distant sound of an old fashioned phone.

Stumbling across the old parquet flooring in the darkness, she started to look for a doorway into a living room or reception room. Anywhere that would be walmer. She gently pushed on a old oak door, it opened a crack, it started to creak so she held her breath and waited. Nothing happened. She pushed again and could see light, orange candlelight. A glow coming from a carved pumpkin, almost out, flickering in the slight breeze from the doorway.

Quickly she stepped in, pushing the door behind her. A covered sofa looked like a good place to hunker down for the night…. She slowly sat down, gently, to make as little noise as possible. She felt something slither across her feet. She looked down, and saw to her horror, a dark gloved hand extending through the floor and reaching up to grab her ankle. A flash, so bright and blue lit the room for an instant. In a second she had disappeared. Gone.

Trick or treating?

I have sometimes opened the door to trick or treaters and shouted ‘boo!’ at them. Then tell them ‘that’s your trick!’ Only after being pestered several times…

Trick or treating seems to have arrived in the UK in the last several years. It didn’t really happen before that as we had a lot of celebrations around the fifth of November. (Bonfire night) ‘remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot’. This was when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament several centuries ago.

I don’t dislike Halloween but children have always made Guy’s (effigies) to burn on top of bonfires, and sat outside at the end of October and start of November begging for a ‘penny for the Guy’ to buy fireworks that are set off on the fifth of November.

So Halloween and spooky goings on are not really traditional here, but the have gained a foothold. X

Black and white filter

One of the problems with taking photos in artificial light with a smart phone is that you cannot always get a good exposure. My solution after trying to alter the contrast and exposures of these two photos was to use a black and white filter. Once I posted them on my Instagram account I used the filter on there which bought out more details in the photos.

Maybe I should have used a fill flash or changed the setting to manual but I don’t know if that would have helped.