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1  1940's Murdered Nurse and Mental Patient tuitoral (IMG HEAVY) in Halloween Costumes by GenaG on: November 05, 2011 12:40:07 PM

I had posted my Halloween costume on the Halloween Costume Challenge page, and had a few questions about my outfit. This is my 1st tutorial, so I hope I follow proper etiquette. I am a visual person, so I have TONS of photos. Sadly I underestimated my own creative awesomeness until about 1/3 of the way into the project, but you guys really don't need photos of me hitting up the thrift stores. My costume did not take long to make. An experienced crafter or sewer could have cut hours off of the project time. I can't even sew a straight, straight stitch, so I learned a few things in the making of this project. Fun.....

I found a white lab coat (nurse costume) and a set of XL scrubs (mental patient costume) at the thrift store. Excellent find for only $1 for each item. Smiley


Next, I painted a red cross on the side of my coat. While I had the paint out, I also stenciled "Bryce State Mental Hospital" to the back of Hubs costume, and "Patient #666" to the front. Trying to keep some historical accuracy, Bryce was the largest mental institution in Alabama at the height of Mental Asylum Institutionalization.

This photo was taken after I added the fake blood splatter, later in the project.

I made my own red cross pattern. No significance for using cork, it was just what I had on hand. I taped off the pattern on my coat, and painted.

The biggest challenge with this project was the nurse hat. I wanted to have some historical accuracy to my costume, and being a craftster, I couldn't bring myself to buy the cheesy, over done, nurse hat at the Halloween store. It was also far cheaper to make my own. This hat cost me approximately only $3 to make. Much cheaper than a purchased one and far better looking. This was my 1st attempt to ever use interfacing, or to hem in a curve. I had never made a pattern before either....so going into this, I knew JUST ENOUGH to get myself in trouble. I started off with a tee tiny paper nurse hat for a teddy bear. From that, I loosely drew out and scaled up a size. Folded the scaled up pattern and made some measurements to see why it was so ugly. After seeing what was wrong with the scaled up pattern, I then took those measurements and ratios, and scaled up my pattern a 2nd time. From the second enlargement, I then traced out my pattern allowing for seam allowances (not pictured). I ironed my hems down, along with the interfacing, and finished it up. I have little sewing experience, so I have no clue HOW I knew to do any of this, I am claiming divine intervention. I really know nothing about sewing, pattern making, or any of that stuff. It just....came to me....I don't know. After the nurse hat was completed, I traced off and painted a red cross, similar to my coat.

Before all the blood....so white and pretty, almost too nice to get all bloody.

The second most difficult part of this costume was the syringe prosthetic. This was also the most expensive item to make. I poured out some liquid latex on wax paper, and proped up the syringe so that the tip of the syringe was in the liquid latex. I allowed it to dry, then added some additional coats of latex around the syringe tip for added support. The syringe was sitting at an approximate 70ish degree angle to the latex. I just used whatever junk I had laying around to support the syringe until the latex dried. The white piece was actually a piece of foam plate. My idea was to paint this like an eye, so my eye appeared to be drooping. It didn't work outt. I work in a Chemistry Lab so the syringe was one of a million we have at our disposal.

Once the tip of the syringe was covered in latex, I could no longer put the plunger back in. I wanted the syringe to have the appearance of an injectable medication, but the ONLY food coloring I had at home was red. I really wanted a bright lime green. To get the plunger and the liquid in the syringe, I took a hot needle, and pierced the lower back of the syringe. After adding my liquid, and pushing the plunger to my desired height, I placed a small piece of packing tap over the needle hole. I used food coloring instead of fake blood because I didn't know the chemical com patability of latex to propylene glycol.

The knife in my chest was real. I purchased a set of wood handled steak knives from the thrift store for about $3. Hubby cut one of the knives in half, dulled all of the metal edges, and welded the knife at a 90 degree angle. We then made a sheath out of cardboard and some elastic, and the knife literally sat in my chest, in the sheath. I wanted it easily removed from the sheath for safety. Not real excited about traveling in the car with a knife in my chest that I couldn't remove from a knife sheath. Smiley

Hubby's accessories were a cheap $4 hockey mask, cut and painted to resemble a restraint mask. The real deal at the Halloween store was insanely expensive. The wrist restraints were 2, thrift store leather belts (at $2 each) and some lenght of chain purchased at the home improvement store, attached with some large D rings. The real chain was heavy, but hubs is a big man, he can take it.

All costumes were coated in a nice spray of fake blood. Getting ready took a while. I first did my makeup, outlining where the prosthetic was going to be; then I did my hair. I wanted to do all this with 2 good eyes. Smiley I curled my hair, and then pinned it up in a 40's style, and pinned in my hat. I applied my prosthetic with sport gum. Since it was top heavy, the sport gum was not holding, so I literally used masking tape to tape the top part of the prosthetic to my face.

Next I used the toilet tissue, liquid latex method to blend the prosthetic into my skin, and to give the appearance of hanging, folded, bloody skin.

I then added some fake blood, a little bit of "clown red" to the prosthetic, and using my fingertips and some purple, blue, and yellow eyeshadow, I created my bruising. The bruising looked better in person. The sheen of the eyeshadow was not present in real life, only in the photos. I also attached my cardboard knife sheath.

Please excuse my dirty home......I was too busy crafting! Wink

The finial product.... my opus....

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2  1940's murdered Nurse and Mental Patient in Halloween Costumes by GenaG on: October 31, 2011 03:34:44 PM

This is my first contest to enter, so I hope I do everything correctly.

I purchased the white lab coat and the scrubs at the thrift store for a $1 each. I made my own nurse hat from a TINY teddy bear patter than I sized up to fit me. I made my own latex syringe prostetic, as well as the prostetic knife in my chest. I painted the lab coat and added red quilt basting around the sleeves to make it look more like a nurse coat. I made my husbands hand restraints using some wide leather thrift store belts, some D rings, and lenght of cut chain from the home improvment store. The Hannable mask was too expensive at the Halloween store, so I made his by taking a cheap hockey mask from the dollar store, cutting it, and painting it. The back of Husbands scrubs says "Bryce State Mental Hospital" in block letters, painted in a fadded gray.

I made quite a stir at the Halloween party. Smiley
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3  Homemade Plum WINE - IMG heavy in Recipes and Cooking Tips by GenaG on: September 22, 2008 08:09:41 PM
So I have been working on this little project for over 3mo now and documented every step just to share with you guys! I am so excited.

So a coworker gave me approx. 30lbs of plums. I froze most of them for use later but used some to make homemade wine. It came out well! It is a dry wine, much like red wine. Next I want to try a sweeter wine, however it will require a few more chemicals. Enjoy my photos and feel free to ask questions. I am going to start my second batch this coming weekend. Please ignore my dirty kitchen in the background of the photos.

Free plums from coworker. I removed the skins and seeds, mashed them and added it to my nylon bad. I added some of the skins (not all) for tannins to add body to my wine.

plum mash in nylon bag. Next I add chemicals, water, sugar and wait until morning.

Chemicals....the chemist in me just loves this!!!

one day after primary fermentation

2 days after primary fermentation. It kinda stunk.

after primary fermentation, ready for secondary. The mash in the bag was pretty nasty.

Secondary fermentation.

ready to rack (siphen off the wine to leave the sediment behind)

racking, this is actually done once a month over approx 3 months to help decrease the amount of sediment in the bottles.

more racking

sediment left behind from racking




I actually made wine and not vinegar! Not bad either. My husband and I enjoyed some and gave the rest to friends.

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4  Canning - Pickled Okra in Recipes and Cooking Tips by GenaG on: September 22, 2008 07:47:27 PM
It has been a while since I have done this, but I am just now getting around to posting about it. Between work, MBA, volunteering, family and friends... I have been busy.

So here is my attempt at pickled okra. I LOVE spicy foods so I played around with the recipe and added successive amounts of crushed red pepper to my pickling mixture. I haven't opened a jar yet, but they sure are pretty!

I packed these just as you would regular dill pickles, except I added a clove of garlic and crushed red pepper.  Shocked

Let me know what you think!   Grin
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