Costume Cavalcade

I love this month in Blogland because a lot of my favorite bloggers have been sharing old pictures of themselves in costume. Here is a look at all of the pictures I could find of my past costumes. For my first Halloween, at four months old, I was a ballerina. At one, my mom dressed as a sheep, and I was a lamb. I look pretty hilarious at two as Supergirl, wearing a Burger King crown for some reason.

I was a ballerina again when I was three, but there's no actual picture so instead you get to see a very awkward picture of me in a tutu. At four I was Dorothy, complete with stuffed Toto, and at age five, my mom made a My Little Pony costume. Our kindergarten class walked in a line through all of the classrooms at school, and I remember being so mad when a few bigger kids remarked "Aw, look at the cute little bunny!" I guess my ears were a bit long.

I was a black cat when I was six but there are no photos. At seven, I was Belle, and carried around my little Beast doll. I was a cheetah when I was eight... gotta love the crimped hair! As a pixie at nine, we had a Halloween party at my house, which I don't remember too well, but I do recall that we bobbed for apples.

I was a playing card when I was ten, and then in a particularly weird and nerdy turn at eleven, my sixth grade class went to see the musical "1776" and I decided to be Thomas Jefferson. I sure do wish I had a picture of that! I still like to wear the velvety jacket from time to time. Twelve was sort of a cringe-worthy year, when I went as Rose from Titanic.

Thirteen was the one year I didn't dress up at all, because we went out of town, and I was pretty sad about it. Here's where photo-taking sort of fell by the wayside for quite a while. I dressed as an angel when I was fourteen, pink-haired Gwen Stefani at fifteen (another I really wish I had a photo for), a Victorian ghost for sixteen, and Wednesday Addams at seventeen.

Halloween during the college years was kind of tough because for most of the time I didn't really have people to celebrate the holiday with, since my cousin Jamie wasn't very interested in Halloween, and most of my friends lived a bit far. I did go with friends to a concert at eighteen, when I dressed as a Swing Kid. At nineteen I roped Jamie into going with me as zombie Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Then at twenty I got her to dress up with me as The Corpse Bride and Bonejangles. Twenty-one was really the year I started doing last-minute costume planning; I guess I was a flapper skeleton. At twenty-two I had to attend play rehearsal on Halloween so I dressed as a low-key Rosie the Riveter. Since then, I've been sharing my costumes here on the blog, so you've probably already seen my Sweeney Todd, Poe's Raven, and Sally costumes from the past couple of years, and my Edward Scissorhands and Lost at Sea costumes from last year.

I still have no idea what I'm doing for this year. I'll probably go as the Black Swan again for one of the days, but I hate to wear the same exact thing more than once so I'll have to try and come up with some other ideas since we have a few festivities lined up throughout the weekend. We'll just have to see! Do you have any exciting plans for Halloween? I can't wait until we have a home where we can throw elaborate Halloween parties!

The Nightmare Tradition

Last week was the opening of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre. Jose wasn't able to go this year, but I carried on the tradition and brought along my friend and fellow Burton-fan Toni. We arrived in Hollywood just before dark, and as we stepped out onto the Walk of Fame, I snapped a few photos of the marquee. A cameraman for a news channel asked to take video of me taking pictures, and then took a shot of the results on my camera display. That was a little weird. We then headed to the theater, and for the first time in my history of attending the show, we had to check all recording devices at the door because they would be sharing some special video clips.

As always, the night started with organist Rob Richards playing the giant Wurlitzer organ (he even played Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor!). Then Don Hahn came out to host the pre-show. The theme for the evening was "Tim Burton: past, present and future," and we got to watch Vincent on the big screen, which was pretty neat. Animator Stephen Chiodo was the guest, and he spoke about the process of making Vincent with Tim. For the most exciting part of the night, we were treated to an exclusive sneak peek of the new stop-motion Frankenweenie, which looks like it will be wonderful!

Then it was time for the feature presentation, so we put our 3D glasses on and experienced Nightmare with blinking Christmas lights, falling snow, overwhelming fog, and the aroma of gingerbread. Once the movie was over, we picked up our cameras, took a few pictures, and headed downstairs to line up for the special puppet and set displays.

Next, we wandered next-door to the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store to have a look around. We decided to share The Oogie Boogie Special, a sundae with pumpkin pie ice cream (wow, so delicious), cookie crumbles, gummy worms, and green marshmallow ooze.

The server came over and told us that they had accidentally made two sundaes, and asked if we wanted the other one for free. Um, yes please!

There was supposed to be a costume contest, but unfortunately that never happened. Oh well, my "always a corpse bridesmaid, never a corpse bride" look will have to be revisited another time.

Happy Haunting House

It's that time of year again, when I make our little home just a tad spookier. There are skulls and lots of black & white out all year long, so it doesn't take much to make our place Halloween-ready. Our portrait masks change every year, but until next year when Jose gets his teaching job, this super-tight budget only allows for the same decorations as always. Good thing I like them a lot, and I have plenty of black construction paper!

Keeping with the Halloween spirit, I decided to have my own Tim Burton movie marathon over the past few days. In mostly-chronological order, I have watched Vincent, Frankenweenie, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, and Sweeney Todd.

I watched most of them with commentary by Mr. Burton, which is funny because he can be a little uncomfortable-sounding but I love to listen to his stories and his musings on things that scare him, like suburbia and normal-seeming families.

Tonight I will be watching Alice in Wonderland and my old VHS of Batman. I unfortunately don't have access to Batman Returns, Mars Attacks, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so those will have to be for some other time. I love movie marathons!

On the subject of Halloween, now is a great time to head over to my Etsy Shop and pick up something spooky, because I'm offering free shipping until November 2nd, with a special code. If you're in the States, there's still time to receive your order in time for Halloween!


A Starstruck Swan

I'm back with a few screen captures to share from the Scream Awards. They're mostly shots of me but I've also included a few of the set and my favorite moments. Here is the only actual photo of my table that I could find, but it's pretty tiny!

This is probably the best one, with all of the other lovely swan ladies sitting around Darren Aronofsky's table. At the bottom left of the photo sits Scott Franklin, one of the producers for Black Swan.

I felt kind of silly constantly cheering, most of the time for people or movies I was very unfamiliar with, but that's what we were there for of course. They used this shot of our table again later on in the show, but mirrored the image so we were facing the other way, weird!

Mr. Aronofsky going to accept his Best Director award, and me being genuinely super excited behind him. The picture quality is kind of bad and he looks a little derpy but I love this one!

I know you are but what am I? In the presence of Pee-Wee and Rainn Wilson... a truly awesome moment! Thanks for indulging me and my little starstruck self!

The Splendiferous Mary Blair

You could say that I'm a little bit obsessed with Mary Blair and her work, so I am always on the lookout for books, movies, and anything else involving her art. Mary would have been 100 years old today, so to celebrate her birthday, I wanted to share two of my favorite Little Golden Books featuring her amazing illustrations. The details are pretty fantastic, to say the least! Here is a peek at I Can Fly, written by Ruth Krauss.

Inspiring, right? I could fill an entire house with her artwork. Here are a few pages from Baby's House, by Gelolo Mchugh.

Another masterpiece! I definitely recommend both books, whether you have children or not, they are great little pieces of art to have in your collection.

I also adore Mary's concept art for Disney, both for films and of course for "It's a Small World." She had such a wonderfully unique style, and she actually influenced many of my favorite artists of today.

I'm off to watch Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros in honor of today. Happy birthday, Mary!