Monday, 22 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: You've Been Slimed!

I had my hands in a lot of "pumpkin slime" this weekend. Not only did I have to gut my pumpkin for carving, I also scooped out my sister's, and my mom's.

For not being GIANT pumpkins (they were medium—biggest we could find), they sure had a lot of guts.

Even after I showered, I could still feel the slime under my fingernails. You'd think I'd be sick of it, right?

No way!

In fact, today at school, we're going to make PUMPKIN SLIME and I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty.

Want to make your own?

For today's Halloween Post—nine more sleeps!—I'm sharing the recipe and directions for the ultimate pumpkin slime. Remember to use the ingredients I've specifically indicated for best results—most importantly, Elmer's white glue. (We have about 10 bottles of it lying around our house anyway, but if you don't, you'll want to pick some up.)

Ready to get slimed?

Here's what you need:

1/2 Cup Elmer’s White Glue
Unscented Shaving Cream
Orange Food Coloring
Mason Jar
Black Construction Paper
Saline Solution
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Pumpkin Scented Oil (optional)

Here's what you do:

1. Add 1/2 cup of Elmer’s white school glue and 4 cups of shaving cream to a bowl. Mix well and then add in a some drops of your orange food colouring. Stir to mix in the colour. Optional: You can add in a few drops of pumpkin scented oil after you mix in the food colouring—no problem if you don't want to, though. The slime isn't stinky on its own.

2. Next stir in 1/4 tsp of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Then add contact solution about 1 Tablespoon at a time and mix.

3. Keep adding a little more contact solution and mixing until your slime begins forming into a ball-like form as you mix. You’ll notice this is when it starts to turn into slime and becomes less sticky. It will begin coming off the sides of your container and sticking together.

If your slime is still sticky add some more saline solution by starting small and adding a little as you go and continue to knead it. The slime will take on a fluffy marshmallowy consistency—you'll know because you won't be able to stop touching it. <grin> 

When you’re finished you’ll want to store your slime in an air tight container. 

At school, we'll be creating our own jack-o-lantern jars by cutting out the faces from black construction paper and using some Elmer’s glue to glue their faces to the mason jars. 

I've already started thinking about what kind of "face" I'll be giving my jar of pumpkin slime.

Speaking of faces, I'll show off our family Jack-O-Lantern carvings closer to Halloween—we like to surprise the neighbours with how they turned out, and some of my friends in the area read my blog. 

Did you carve this weekend? Go ahead and share!

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow for more pre-Halloween fun.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Painting Zombies

Yesterday was so busy!

After gobbling down Mom's delicious pumpkin pancakes, we finished up the outdoor decorations for our creeptastic Halloween display. Well, almost—we still have to set up the fog machine and add a couple more flood lights. But even while setting up, a few kids stopped by to check things out. They'll be back Halloween night for sure.

Then, Dad took us shopping for Halloween candy, and Amelia and I started stuffing rubber gloves with it and tying on the ribbons. Yeah, we give a "handful" of candy away each year. <grin>

We also prepped for pumpkin carving tonight, and THEN, Mom went to the store and came back with six mini cactus plants, some acrylic paint, and small clay pots.

She says that because yesterday was SO busy, today, Amelia and I are going to spend some quiet time making these:

Amazing, right? Mom says we can use them as place settings for when Grandma and Grandpa come over for Halloween feast.

Gotta jet! I'm already scrolling the Internet for some fun zombie pot paint ideas. My grandparents always say they don't know where I get my imagination from...I'm pretty sure they're just joking, though, because Mom comes up with some pretty great ideas!

See you tomorrow. #10sleeps

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: The Joke's On You

Good morning! With just 11 sleeps until Halloween my To Do list is piling up BIG time. We're carving pumpkins today, finishing the outdoor decorations, going to the Goosebumps movie, and planning the menu for our annual family Halloween feast — so much to do!

Mom even made Jack-O-Lantern pancakes for breakfast to fuel us up for a busy busy day.

We have so much to do that it could be stressful (not for me, I love it, but maybe the rest of the family), so I dug up some pretty funny cartoons this morning.

Scroll down to see what it would be like in the animal kingdom if animals celebrated Halloween. I dare you not to laugh!

Hilarious, right? That last one made my stomach hurt I laughed so hard! And the bear going as Facebook? <grin> Amazing. 

Well, I've gotta jet. Halloween activities start...NOW! 

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 19 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: It's Carving Time

It's happening THIS weekend—the annual Duffy Pumpkin Carving Event! We've picked out four amazing pumpkins, selected our designs, and gathered the tools. (Dad always brings out his power drill as a joke, but his pumpkin isn't even that big!_

Carving the best Jack-O-Lantern is great, but you know what's almost better? The feast afterward! I'm talking about pumpkin seeds of course. Tradition in our house means that my sister and I help Mom get them ready for roasting, while Dad digs out one of our Halloween movies.

When the seeds are ready (finally!), we separate them into four bowls—and eat it like popcorn whilee watching Frankenstein or something equally as awesome. Delicious!

So, how does Mom make the perfect pumpkin seeds? I thought I'd let you in on her secret for today's Halloween Countdown post. Don't worry, she said it was okay.

The most important step is to wash your seeds thoroughly. You want to get rid of all the pumpkin fibres (guts), so when you think you've cleaned them enough, clean them again. And again. (Seriously, it takes us like an hour to clean them!)

The other BIG rule is that you have to keep a watch on them while they're cooking. Set the timer for 10 minutes, check on them, move them around, set the timer for another ten minutes, move them around, and repeat until they're done. If you leave them alone too long, they'll burn. And trust me, burnt pumpkin seeds are NOT the same.

So what to put on them? Well, Mom says there are a few different recipes if you want to look them up. But here's what she does....

You need:
½ teaspoon of Seasoned Salt
½ tablespoon of Canola oil
Dash of salt

This is enough "topping" for two pumpkins worth of seeds.

After you've cleaned—and cleaned—the seeds, let them soak in a bowl of water for about half an hour. Fill a pot with water and a dash of salt. Bring the water to a boil, and then add the pumpkin seeds, cooking for about 10 minutes.

Drain the seeds, and put them in a bowl. Toss the seeds with the canola oil, and then lay them out on a cookie tray. Sprinkle on the seasoned salt. (My mouth is watering already!) Cook the seeds at 350C for about 40 minutes, making sure to turn them / move them around every 10 minutes.

I know this is the hardest part, but take them out of the oven and allow them to cool before gobbling them up.

And there you have it—perfect pumpkin seeds.

Gotta jet! Have a great day. I'll be back tomorrow for more Halloween fun. Oh, and don't forget to post your Jack-O-Lantern pics for a chance to win a copy of Beneath The SOIL—the most spooktacular graphic novel in the Superman Duffy collection.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: All About Werewolves

I'm a fan of the usual Halloween monsters—Dracula, mummies, Frankenstein (my favourite!), but I've never been much into werewolves. I can't even remember a book I've read with a werewolf in it.

But this year, Gordon "Lightning" Smith—my arch nemesis on the track—says he is going to dress up as a werewolf for Halloween.

Suddenly, I'm very interested in learning more about them.

I started scrolling around on the Internet, and I stumbled across this great CBC article: 7 Spooky Things You Didn't Know About Werewolves. Click the link to get the full story, but here are the highlights:

1. Did you know that there are about 50 people in the world that suffer from a medical condition called hypertrichosis? The condition causes an unusual amount of hair all over your body—like a werewolf!

2. Apparently, if you want to keep werewolves at bay, keep a plant called wolfsbane in your garden—wolves hate the smell. (You could also put silver or iron objects at your door—they're just as effective.) Huh, I wonder—if I put a silver nickel in Lightning's shoe, would that slow him down in race day?

3. There is more than one way to become a werewolf! Family curse? Being bitten? Witchcraft? Drinking water from a wolf's paw? Try to avoid all of those things! (Not sure why anyone would try drinking water from a wolf's paw...)

4. Think your friend is a werewolf? Here are some things to be on the watch for:

  • Paces the room when the sun goes down
  • Has reddish, sharp nails
  • Has animal-like strength
  • Has a unibrow (my dad has one!)
  • Is pale and tired after a full moon
  • Has eyes the colour of the sun
  • Tends to fly into a rage before a full moon

5. There are a few famous werewolves from the storybooks—like Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter books.

6. The word werewolf means "man wolf." (Should have guessed that, right?)

7. A group of werewolves is called a pack, or a route.

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow...right?

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Monster Cookies

Hi! *waves*

Did you know there are just 14 sleeps until Halloween? That's two weeks. TWO WEEKS! And I have so much to do.

Like carve pumpkins, and figure out this year's costume, and plan the rest of my classroom monster bash.

While looking for recipes for spooktacular snacks, I was flipping through the Superman Duffy book, TASTING MY STORY. In it, cartoon me goes on a quest to find a special family recipe for Monster Cookies.

They're BIG cookies with lots of great stuff in them...but they're not very Halloween looking. Which is why I can't use them for my class party.

But how about these cookies?

Awesome, right?

Today at school, I'm going to suggest to my teacher that we have a "cookie bar." We can each bring an ingredient—icing, sprinkles, popsicle sticks, candy eyes...that kind of stuff. Mom says she'll help me make the cookies ahead of time, so we'll just decorate them as one of the party activities.

I'm so excited!

Gotta jet! But here are the directions so you can make your own.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Turn It Up!

You probably think that I'm the only one in my family that gets excited about Halloween. It's true that not everyone is as excited as me, but actually, my entire family gets pumped about the season—even my grandparents.

Grandma isn't so much into the scary stuff—she prefers cute ghosts like Casper and dancing skeletons instead of zombies that moan and groan—and Mom likes to decorate the whole house with twinkle lights and candles, but one thing we can all agree on is MUSIC.

And in MY house this week, we're singing along to spooky songs—like Michael Jackson's thriller, or the famous Monster Mash. (It was a graveyard smash...)

Here are the top three on our Halloween playlist. Turn the volume up!



Get dancing!

I've gotta jet, but I'll see you tomorrow for more spooktacular Halloween fun.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 15 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Making A Pumpkin Patch

As you know, I'm counting down to Halloween on the blog this year with craft ideas, book recommendations, and creative writing prompts. Only 16 days to go!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know quite a bit about me and my family—my grandparents own a canola farm, I like to run, my friends call me Superman, I want to be a writer (or a runner) when I grow up, and my (sometimes) annoying sister's name is Amelia. That's just for starters.

What you might not know is that my mom is OBSESSED with pumpkins. Not baking with them—though she does make an incredible pumpkin cheesecake—but decorating with them. We have mini pumpkins all over the house...not even counting the four giant (ish) ones we've picked out for carving.

So today, I'm sharing a craft that will help Mom add even more pumpkins to her already pumpkin patch-like decor. YARN PUMPKINS!

Aren't they great? And they're simple, too. All you need is balloons, orange or yellow yarn, glue, and green and brown pipe cleaners.

It doesn't make sense for me to go through the instructions, when it's explained so well on this blog.

Easy peasy, right? In fact, I think I might show this blog post to my teacher and see if we can make some yarn pumpkins in class too.

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Building A Haunted Mansion

I found the perfect...PERFECT!...Halloween project for a Sunday morning—and Dad says he's going to spend the day helping me and Amelia make it. Just look at this amazing haunted house!

Isn't it spooktacular? The best part is that it's made out of different shaped boxes and cartons—which I can find lots of in my garage or in the recycling bin. From there, it's pretty much a "use your imagination" project. And everyone knows, *I* have a great imagination.

Here's how you can make one too.

First, you ask your parents for help cutting the cardboard into the shape you want. Don't forget to make windows and doors.

Once that's done, you can spray the whole structure black. (Hopefully the weather stays okay so I can do this outside.) Then, you add your accents using cardboard, construction paper, or whatever you find.

Click here to see how this Pinterester finished up their Haunted House—but remember, you can make it anyway YOU want to. I'm excited to get started.

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow for more creeptastic ways to countdown to Halloween. And don't forget to send me pictures of your spooky houses!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Class Treats

Halloween night is so close now that I can hardly stop the fluttering in my stomach.

It's mostly excitement, but I'm also a bit nervous about everything I still have to do—like pick a costume, carve my pumpkin, and decorate the outside of the house. (Mom already took care of the inside.) So today, I'm knocking off at least one of the items on my very big To Do list.

Every year, I give my fellow classmates a Halloween-inspired treat. One time, I put candy in latex gloves for a creepy "grab bag" <grin>, and my mom made caramel popcorn balls once. But last year, I made these Lollipop ghosts—and they were a big hit. So I'm making them again...Mom says she's relieved because it's not quite as much candy.

Spooktacular, right? And who doesn't love a Tootsie Pop? Make your own by scrolling through the pictures below to see how they're done. All you need is tissue, ribbon, a black felt marker, and Tootsie Pops (or another kind of lollipop with a similar shape).

I know my class mates are going to love them. I might even make some for my parents to hand out when people come trick-or-treating at our door. Not that I'll be there...I have some trick-or-treat plans of my own!

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow...right?

~ Chase Superman Duffy 

Friday, 12 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Gearing Up For NaNoWriMo

It's clear that Halloween is my favourite time of the year, but a very close second is the month of November—which kicks of National Novel Writing Month, a global event that challenges writers of all levels to write 50,000 words.

Obviously that number is a bit high for me (I usually aim for 5,000, which is about 167 words a day) but I love knowing that millions of people are pounding away at their keyboards, or furiously jotting things down in their notebooks.

I'm planning to do NaNoWriMo again this year.

And because it was such a hit last year, I'm combining my two favourite months to write one creeptastic Halloween story—again. (I really am best at masters!) Below, I've found seven spooktacular story prompts to get your (and my) imagination gurgling.

Take a look, and see if something stokes your writing fire.

  1. If you could create your very own monster, what would it look like? What would it be called? What types of things would it do to scare people? Where does this monster live? Share everything there is to know about your monster! 
Do you love trick-or-treating? Dressing up in costumes? Haunted houses? Scary movies? Write a poem about your favorite part of Halloween, telling why it is special to you. (You don't have to write a 10-page sonnet, why not try a Haiku like in the Superman Duffy graphic novel 5-7-5 Errand Boy?
Write a story about a kid who goes trick-or-treating. Start from the minute he or she puts on his or her costume and finish when he or she gets home and put on normal clothes again. What are some of the adventures that happen in those few hours?
If your parents threw you a Monster Bash, what would you want to see? How would you want them to decorate the house? What types of food and activities would you have? 
What was the best Halloween you ever had? What made it great? What would make this Halloween even better than that?
Write a spooky story to tell around the campfire. Remember, you want to build suspense using onomatopoeia and alliteration. Don’t forget to have a big finale to frighten everyone who is listening.
  7. If you could design a haunted house, what types of rooms would you have? Describe, in detail, three of the best rooms in your haunted house—and who is haunting them.

So, will your write about your favourite part of Halloween, or draft an adventure for a curious trick-or-treater?

Or maybe you'll pen a spooky story for your next campfire. Whatever you write, I'd love to read it!

Send your short stories to me, and I'll send you a copy of Beneath The SOIL, the spookiest book in the Superman Duffy series.

Gotta jet! Get writing—but don't forget to take a break tomorrow for another Halloween Countdown post.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: It's A Blast!

I'm REALLY hopeful that the weather isn't too bad today because my teacher found us the coolest science project in celebration of spooktacular October.


Okay, to be fair, my mom found this activity last year on Pinterest, and my sister and I definitely had a blast setting them off, but I'm excited to try them out with my classmates.

Sure, I'll have the inside scoop, but that just means I'll be able to help my friends out, right?

What are ghost rockets? I'm so glad you asked. Check these out!

Awesome, right?

They're easy too! All you need is an empty film canister (or something about the same size), corn starch, a black Sharpie, Alka Seltzer, and a stir stick.

Want to make your own? Good. Start by drawing ghost faces on your canister.

Once the ghost face is dry, add some corn starch to each, and then fill about ⅓ of the way with water. Stir it up.

Take a piece of Alka Seltzer and break it into three or four pieces. Drop a piece into the canister, put the lid on, and flip it upside down. Set it on the ground and stand back!

I am so excited to see these ghost rockets go flying—again! Click here to see the original Pinterest post with full directions.

Gotta jet! Have a spooktacular day!

~ Chase Superman Duffy 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Vote For This Year's Costume!

As you know, dressing up for Halloween is one of my favourite activities of the season—even though half the time, I end up going as Superman, the best comic book character in the universe. (Well, besides "comic book me," of course!)

But when I was on the Internet looking for pumpkin carving ideas (and wow, did I find some AMAZING ones), I kept clicking on costume options as well...and so, I'm conflicted.

Superman is my go-to costume. It already fits, people know it's me when I come to their door for treats (or tricks), and "Superman" is my nickname. But I also love Frankenstein, and I look pretty cool as a green monster. It's just that neither of those costumes is very warm, and judging by the weather already, I predict a cold Halloween.

So, I could go as one of the creatures from Beneath the SOIL — like the spider, which is pretty creepy. The costume itself is furry, and warm... Or, there's always my astronaut get-up where I channel the great Canadian astronaut, Robert Thirsk. He's featured in the Superman Duffy graphic novel It's A Blast!

So many choices. And don't get me started on some of the cool costumes I've seen at the stores—characters from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and so many more! It's mind boggling.

Which is why I need YOU to make a decision. No, really. I can't do it. Scroll down to see what I look like in each of the four costumes I mentioned above. Vote for your favourite...or leave an idea for something different in the comments below.

See, they're all pretty great, right? I know, there's still 21 days to Halloween...but it goes quickly. (But not fast enough!)

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow for more Halloween Countdown fun.

~ Chase Superman Duffy