Sunday, October 30, 2011

We are the bad guys from the Ninja Turtles

Yesterday night we ran into some girls in their early twenties dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They had no idea who we were supposed to be.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Costume Progress - bits and pieces

Random photos of the costumes in the works...

Where to buy Halloween stuff

While Chris and I obviously make most of our costumes, often it is considerably easier and surprisingly cheaper to buy some pieces premade.

This year we’ve gone to so many different stores that I wanted to take notes, so I’ll remember where the best deals are for next year. And if you haven’t finished your costume shopping, maybe you can benefit from this too.

Value Village

We always start with the thrift and vintage stores. While there are plenty of thrift stores that have better deals and politics than Value Village, VV always has the biggest selection of second hand stuff. So if we don’t have a full day to spend combing through the racks of Ottawa’s vintage shops and charity stores, Value Village is the best bet.

Starting in September, VV stocks a wide selection of brand new costumes and accessories, but you’re usually better off looking for the real vintage items. Case in point: this authentic military cap cost less than $3, the cheap vinyl costume version was closer to $30.

Spirit Halloween

These stores that pop up in the fall and then pack up and leave the first week of November have a great selection of accessories and props. The prices are fairly high and the quality is pretty low, so I usually only go there when I don’t think I can find what I’m looking for anywhere else. This year they’re offering a 20% off coupon on their website, but the best deals will be the day after Halloween when they usually mark everything down 50%.


While it has the best quality stuff, Malabar also has the highest prices to go with it. You can often find some of the same accessories available at Malabar for cheaper at Value Village and Spirit Halloween, but the really cool stuff you won’t find anywhere else. While you’re at Malabar you should pick up your tickets for the Great Pumpkin Ball.

Party Packagers

I always forget about Party Packagers until we’ve already gone everywhere else, and then I find out that I could have saved myself a bunch of money, since they carry many of the same things as Spirit Halloween and the Value Village Halloween section.

This year I looked everywhere for cheap toy grenades. The ones I did find at dollar stores were ridiculously tiny. After almost giving up I finally found the perfect set at Party Packagers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The undead invade the capital!

 on the hill

Hundreds of zombies flooded the streets yesterday for the Ottawa Zombie Walk.

 zombie Chris

Chris and I have been meaning to go for years, and I'm so glad we finally made it.

zombie Allison

There were so many zombies! The shuffling, moaning parade stretched over several city blocks, stopping traffic and leaving a trail of fake blood along the way.

zombie Moammar Gadhafi? I thought they shot him in the head

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fun dining al fresco

On Saturday we joined 750 other darring diners for Harvest Noir, Ottawa's first pop-up picnic.

The organizers were inspired by the famous Dîner en blanc events in Paris, New York and Montreal, and they wanted to prove Ottawa isn't always the stuffy government town it is made out to be. Guests were instructed to dress all in black and prepare local food for a fancy picnic in a secret location.

 Chris, clearly thrilled to be without an umbrella

Even the strong winds, cold weather and the occasional rain shower couldn't keep us away.

After the picnic, everyone was able to warm up inside the Museum of Civilization with drinks and dancing.

We'll definitely go if they do it again next year, but hopefully they'll pick a warmer date and a location on the Ottawa side of the river.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Z-fenbunker

As promised, our entry for the 2011 Zombie Safe House Competition is now available for your viewing pleasure (and apocalypse preparation research).

When the zombie outbreak hits, our plan is to head for the Diefenbunker, Canada's biggest Cold War nuclear shelter. Built in the late 1950s and capable of withstanding a blast equivalent to 5 million tons of TNT, the once secret underground bunker is now open to the public as a museum.

A group of determined survivors could easily convert the site into a sustainable colony, safe from the hordes of undead roaming the earth.

Originally designed to hold 535 government officials and military personnel for 30 days, the 4 underground levels provide ample space for 50 people to live indefinitely.

To make the bunker fully self-sufficient, the survivors need only install the equipment for power generation and farming. 193 solar panel arrays on the south-facing hillside would produce enough energy for the entire complex. While the surrounding area is ideally suited for agriculture, survivors could produce all they needed within the safety of the walls.

 based on this design

The site also has many useful features including a parking lot that serves as a helicopter landing pad, a functional radio tower and full communications studio, an underground garage for heavy equipment and a community library.

You can vote for our design by giving it a thumbs up here. Be sure to check out some of the other entries, there are some really impressive ones!

I wish we hadn't run out of time and computing power, our Sketch-Up drawings look pretty crude compared to some of the truly gorgeous renderings. Some of my favourites: z1611, z1505 & z1629

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fun in Photoshop

I recently downloaded a bunch of fun fonts and brushes for Photoshop (mostly to use on our Zombie Safe House project). I wanted to play around a bit with them, so I offered to make a concert poster for a friend.

poster inspired by this great tutorial

If you've never been to Zuni Grill I highly recommend you go to taste their coconut shrimp. Yum!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Chris and I went to Beau's Oktoberfest again this year and had a fantastic time. What's not to love about the perfect combination of good beer, good music and great friends?

We camped overnight and I'm so glad we had Bertha to sleep in. The folks in tents must have been very brave, or very drunk! It's definitely starting to feel like tuque and mittens weather.