Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Enchanted Evening

In the Wonder Years episode where Kevin asks Winnie if she likes him or if she like likes him, she offsets the awkward moment by offering up a corny knock knock joke: 'Knock knock' 'Who's there?' 'Sam and Janet' 'Sam and Janet who?' (sung to the tune of 'Some Enchanted Evening' from South Pacific) 'Sam and Janet evening..' It was corny.. just like this Halloween party idea from a 1959 book called Party Perfect by Gay Head and the editors of Co-Ed Magazine. Illustrations are by Hertha Depper.

There's enough time for you to cobble together.. One Enchanted Evening. Just don't invite any real (or former real) witches! (all following text written by Gay Head)

"What is there about October that turns the moon into a big orange pumpkin and changes every shadow into a creeping black cat? There's Halloween magic in the air! Just the time for you to plan 'one enchanted evening.'


Try this bit of verse written in white ink on black paper cats or witches' hats.

Sunday night's the night that you
Shall be enchanted on witches' brew;
Come all 'cats' and share our treat--
Food and games that can't be beat!
If you can come, reply: Enchanted!
If you can't come, reply: Disenchanted!


Turn yourself loose in a variety store full of Halloween fixings. Decorate your party room with black cat figures, skeletons, pumpkin heads, and autumn leaves. Make moonlight magic by hanging an orange crepe-paper moon in front of a light. Dangle witches from the ceiling. Make a cauldron of a big black kettle, filled with witches' brew (apple juice or cider). For your table centerpiece, use a jack-o'-lantern which can be bought at the dime store. Fashion the hair out of strips of crepe paper and pull each strip just a little to give it a curly effect. Set a small wooden dish of nuts on the 'head.' Stick a corncob pipe in the mouth and put glasses on the 'nose.' Place your centerpiece on autumn leaves or on paper cut-outs the shape of leaves."


"APPLE-SNAPPING is a switch on the old ducking-for-apples game and it's much dryer! Suspend a strong cord from the ceiling. Tie the end to the middle of a yardstick. On one end of the stick hang an apple on a string; on the other hang a thin cloth bag of flour. Twirl the stick. Together the boys, hands behind them, try to bite the apple. Those you do will 'make money' in the future. Those whose faces get snapped with flour will have fun. For the girls, the apple means 'a husband,' the flour means none.
MURDER. Before the party, make a pile of as many playing cards as you have guests, and be sure that the ace of spades and the jack of hearts are among them. Ask each guest to draw a card without letting anyone else see it. Tell them that the person who draws the ace of spades will be the 'murderer' and that the one who draws the jack of hearts will be the 'detective.' After everyone has drawn a card, explain that you will turn out the lights, and that after a moment the murderer will choose a victim and 'kill' him by pretending to choke him. Then the murderer will move away from the scene of the crime, and the victim will scream before dropping down 'dead.' The detective will rush to turn on the lights and try to discover the murderer by asking questions of everybody. All except the murderer must answer truthfully, and the questions continue until the detective spots the man."

MENU - Baked Ham, Jamboree Baked Beans, Assorted Relishes, Corn Muffins, Pumpkin Tarts, Apple Juice or Cider

Ladies, let me know how your apple-snapping turns out for you! Happy Halloween from Curly Wurly!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crafts from the Crypt and Beyond!

There's still time! There's still time to scare the bejeezus out of the entire neighborhood, to put the last touches on your costume, and to start laying out the rest of your pre-Christmas holiday decor! Highlights for Children suggests a few ideas on how to add that last ooky touch to your holiday in their JUMBO Holiday Handbook (1963).

Actually, this is the Pumpkin King. The Jointed Pumpkin Man is credited as Tim Burton's major inspiration for both the utilitarian Edward Scissorhands and Jack Skellington.

This headpiece (Rabbit With the Whirlabout Smile -- doesn't that sound like a Decemberists song or the title of some twee indie rock album?) is meant to be an Easter craft, but the possibilities are endless. If you're struggling to come up with some sort of creepy headpiece for Halloween night, you might want to give this concept a whirl! The first picture looks more like some disturbing headgear with a large moustache. The second illustration shows the back of the mask as modeled by Michael Stipe.

Oscar, the Owl looks much like Peppy, the Wise Owl. While this would make a good Halloween decoration, it's also perfectly appropriate decoration for the rest of the season.

Never too early to get started on disturbing Thanksgiving crafts! We live in a country that likes to glitzify everything from jewelry to denim to teeth, so why not bestud your turkey wishbones with rhinestones or the like? It's not hideous, it's ingenious. I would like to submit this craft idea to Amy Sedaris. (These last two crafts are taken from another book, Don't Throw It Away! ('a treasury of unusual craft projects ... turn household throwaways into objects of lasting value') by Vivian Abell, copyright 1973)

To the right is the "Nutty" Centerpiece and a Coffee Mug Recipe Holder. We can tell that these are especially nice because they have attracted a flocked woodland creature figurine. If you look closely, you can see that there is a googly-eyed mouse peeking out of the mug.

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Speaking of googly eyes, yesterday's Martha Stewart Show taught us how to make googly-eyed bangle bracelets, a 'clever accessory for Halloween.' The promo for the googly-eyed bangles also showed googly-eyed bowties (because googly eyes shouldn't just be a girl thing) and, as you can see in the photo above (copyright Martha Stewart Omnimedia), googly-eyed platform shoes for the fashionista. She also decorated gourds with googly eyes in lieu of traditional facial carving! I had no idea Martha was such a proponent of googly eyes, but I approve wholeheartedly! You can watch the clip (from the October 25 episode) online. Thank you, Martha, for your ghoulgly-eyed ideas!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fortnight Of A Thousand Faces

Feeling lonely? It's easy to make friends! Let Curly Wurly and Highlights Magazine show you how! Whether you want to make friends out of organic materials like walnuts; dehydrated apples; and eggs (or egg shells) or trash including old paper cups; burnt-out lightbulbs; kitchen utensils; and balloons, you can be the center of attention in your home in no time! Get started now, and you can have your house completely covered in staring eyes by Halloween! Click on images for craft directions.

Little Pecan-head Dolls | Paper Cup People

Apple-head Dolls | Light-bulb Creatures

Easter Eggs (make one that looks just like Spring Byington!) | Puppet

Crazy Faces (Karl Malden and Dr. Phil or Harpo and Groucho?) | Papier-mâché Wall Masks (didn't this guy fall off the wall in the Brady Bunch Goes To Hawaii episodes?)

A Mask (a perfect Lady Elaine Fairchild!) | Mr. Egghead With a Crewcut