Brewing up a spookily safe party

By: Fran O’Donnell, Contributor

Ghosts, ghouls and everyone in between: are you feeling down this Halloween? Are you looking for a way to get into the spooky spirit (pun very much intended) while remaining physically distanced? Fear not, you’ve come to the right place! As a Halloween aficionado and professional introvert, I have been training my whole life to bring you this list of fun Halloween activities that you can use to keep your celebrations both spooktacular and safe.

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Dress it Up

Just because we’re staying indoors doesn’t mean that we can’t wear costumes. In fact, now is the perfect opportunity to wear whatever you want without having to worry about being too cold in the chilly October air. Not sure what to wear? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Last year, I wrote up a guide to DIY Halloween costumes on a budget. The world is your graveyard when it comes to costumes this spooky season. 

Best of all, you can enter your costume in the Sil’s costume contest! Just snap a photo before 11:59 p.m. on Halloween night and post it to your Facebook or Instagram story for a chance to win. Wearing something fun and having the chance to win free stuff? Sign me up!

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Stream the Screams

Halloween really wouldn’t be the same without at least one movie marathon. Thankfully, you can use an extension like Teleparty (formally Netflix Party) to stream all your favourite movies with your friends. Got Disney Plus? You can watch favourites like Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloweentown and many more. You could also try a horror movie to really get you in the spooky spirit. Here is a handy dandy list of Halloween movies and where you can stream them.

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Scare Up Some Snacks

There may not be trick-or-treating this year, but that shouldn’t stop you from breaking out the candy. You could also brew up some sweet treats of your own, with any number of easy Halloween snacks. Candy apples, snack bars and marshmallow ghosts, oh my!

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Ghost Story Spooktacular

Speaking of the spooky spirit, why not share some ghost stories around the campfire (Zoom call)? Have each of your friends pick their favourite scary story, and then read them to each other through the video call. For an extra little kick, you can turn out all your lights and use your phone’s flashlight to light your face. Oh jeez, I’m feeling scared already.

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Get Crafty

You knew this was coming, right? It’s not Halloween unless you have a little jack-o’-lantern hanging out outside your house (if you’d like to know why, check out this article from last year on Halloween traditions!). Break out the pumpkins and get creative! If you like, here are some stencil patterns to get you started. Pumpkin carving not your thing? Here are some fun craft ideas to get you in the spirit, minus the mess. Decorate your mausoleum to your heart's content.

Remember it is still vitally important to stay indoors right now and physically distance. Please be kind this spooky season and stay at home.

Photos by Catherine Goce

As the freezing cold wind twirled snow into the night air last Thursday, the inside of Centre[3] for Print and Media Arts was filled with warmth. Chai was brewing and connections were being made as members of the community gathered inside for the first Zine Club meeting.

The free club is the first of its kind at Centre[3] and is designed for zine creators, writers, artists and all others interested in the culture surrounding these DIY publications. The meetings are set for the second Thursday of every month.

The club coordinators are Centre[3] program coordinator Sonali Menezes and administrative coordinator Mariel Rutherford. They had no idea what kind of turnout to expect for this first meeting and were overwhelmed as people continuously trickled in from the cold, quickly filling up the prepared seats.

The idea for the club was sparked by a desire to create a space for Hamilton’s zine creators, who often call themselves “zinesters”, and welcome them to the facilities at Centre[3].

“[I]t really came out of trying to engage with a younger membership and trying to show people what we offer… [S]ometimes Center[3] as a printing house can be really intimidating to people who are younger so… we just want people to know that our doors are open,” Rutherford said.

However, it was not just a younger crowd that came through the doors on Jan. 10 but individuals of all ages. Nor were only zine creators interested. While some were zine artists like emerging artist-in-residence Laura K. Watson, others had never read a zine before or did not align themselves with an artistic form.

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The first meeting was structured to get everyone on the same page. After an introductory icebreaker, Menezes and Rutherford passed out various magazines. Together, the group made a list of themes present and feelings evoked. Flipping through, people repeatedly noted the presence of advertisements, advice championing success and models with “perfect” faces and bodies. People commented on how it made them feel broke and insecure.

Next Rutherford and Menezes handed out zines from Menezes’ personal library. The reactions were notably different as participants commented how the zines were diverse, inclusive, informative and funny.

The difference highlights what has drawn people to zines throughout its long history. Zines are traceable back to the science fiction fans of 1920s and 1930s. From the poets of the 1950s to punk movement members of the 1970s, individuals through the decades have been drawn to the idea of being able to share their own ideas in a DIY way.

It is also what has made Menezes and Rutherford zine creators themselves. Rutherford got started recently started making zines of her illustrations last year while Menezes has been making zines for the past seven years.

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“I got started in school… I just really caught on to zines and I just love making them. I love going to zine fairs and sharing zines with people and meeting zinesters. Zinesters are really nice people. Like the best way to make friends when you move to a city is to go to zine fair,” explained Menezes.

In the spirit of zine culture, the meeting was also very DIY. Rutherford and Menezes had participants create a list of what they wanted zine club to be. Ideas ranged from having question and answer, information and skill share sessions and workshops to hosting zine exchanges, hangouts and working on a collaborative zine.

When it finally came to creating at the end of the night, laughter echoed alongside the music playing in the background. The coordinators wanted participants to feel safe, creatively stimulated and supported while occupying the space.

“[W]e want to create… a space where people can find their niche. And like zines are very niche-y and they're very specific. Come find your niche! Like find the spot where you fit in... It's so nice connecting with other weirdos,” Menezes said.

Everyone created a page to be included in a collaborative zine. As neighbours shared glue, scissors and markers, they also shared their ideas and got to know one another. Each person brought their own talents to the page.

100 Word Copy: Centre[3] for Print and Media Arts hosted the first meeting of its first Zine Club on Jan. 10. With a turnout larger than expected, the monthly club will continue to meet on the second Thursday of each month. It is a space for zinesters and those curious about zines to gather, work together and hang out. Will you be checking out the Zine Club?

By: Olivia Mondaro

With Christmas right around the corner, students are finding themselves in the same predicament: how to give great gifts without spending a lot of money. Although candles and Tim Horton’s gift cards are always a great alternative to jewelry and expensive clothes, there is another way to wow your family and friends: homemade gifts. DIY is the new black, and it has something for everyone.

What is something that every mom, dad, aunt, or uncle lives off of? Coffee. And what do these lovely people need to drink their coffee? A mug. One great D.I.Y. gift is a personalized mug, which is super easy to make and affordable, because all the materials can be found at the Dollarstore. First you need to choose a mug — white is the best option because it allows colour to show clearly. Next, round up whatever permanent markers you have shoved in your desk drawers and start drawing. Once the ink is dry, bake it in the oven on medium heat for 30 minutes, and voila! A personalized gift that won’t go to waste.

Another great gift to complement the D.I.Y. mug is a jar of hot chocolate. This gift employs the same draw-and-bake method as the mug. Choose a jar of any shape or size, like a mason jar. Using permanent marker, draw either a name or a pretty pattern, and then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. Once it has cooled, fill the jar with hot chocolate mix and any other ingredients that you love in your cocoa, like marshmallows, sprinkles, or pieces of candy cane. Wrap a ribbon around the top of the jar and you’ve got a fabulous addition to your fabulous mug!

And aside from eating candy and smelling the roses, here are a couple tried and true suggestions on how to spend this day of sweet, sweet love - regardless of your relationship status.

Couples and singles alike 

DIY card

It's about to get all preschool up in here.

Greeting cards bought from the aisles of a drug store are generally thought to be pretty low on the scale of “popped into my mind while showering” to “your happiness consumes my every thought.” Now it’s fine to teeter around the lower end for the acquaintances that come in and out of your life (you don’t want to creep anyone out), but it’s safe to say things are very different for your lover/bf/gf/formal cuddle buddy. So why not get your hands glittery and make one yourself?

I like to create a heart shaped card, complete with ruffles, dainty borders, and sealed with a kiss. The message you leave on the inside is up to you!

Here's a more profesh shot.

You can tell my inspiration was from Design Love Fest.

Valentine’s Day from Ryan Gosling

This one may be for the ladies more so than the fellas, so if you have a special someone who happens to resonate with the RyGos fandom, consider this idea a keeper (like RyGos himself). Have you ever heard of feminist Ryan Gosling? As if our perception of him wasn’t perfect enough, this fictitious side of Ryan Gosling says things like, “Hey girl. Though the day itself originated through some non-romantic, religiously specific events, I’m always thankful to have a chance to celebrate my love for you.” Swoon. Swoon. Swoon.

Couple Ideas

Surprise bubble bath date

Nothing is quite as steamy as a shared bubble bath (literally). Set the mood with some melodic songstresses and have a glass of wine on each tub end waiting. To really drive home the cheesiness of this entire scene, add a single candle (or two, or three). Don’t be embarrassed by the cheese. Cupid has always been a fan!

Sushi date

Trying anything new with your lovely date for V day can be fun, but why can’t it be yummy too? And not just fancy dinner date yummy but feeling damn satisfied with your exotic creation yummy. Feel free to play around with the culinary theme. Italian pasta dishes are especially fun too – everyone looks rather adorable when playing the Lady and the Tramp. But if you do go with sushi, you can have sushi rolling competitions. Whoever wins, gets a kiss. Win-win, eh?

Single Ladies

A date with your movie crush

Every gal or fella has that one unattainable specimen of perfection they lust over from a tragically far distance – aka the distance between the seats of a movie theater and the screen. At least there’s good popcorn. Well, you know what? Up that quality time with your movie crush. Make him your date all night long with a long list of his favourite movies ready to play, a devilishly large bowl of popcorn awaiting, and a friend or two who shares an equally ridiculous obsession. So keep out, boys! One, you have cooties. Two, only fangirls allowed in.

Secret admirer party

Whenever a Secret Santa pops up over the Christmas holidays, I rejoice in the giving spirit that infectiously spreads through us all, because it’s responsible for this wonderful game of guessing who gave you a present. The best type of guessing game ever, if I do say so myself. Well, now you only have to wait two months (but really this can happen anytime you please) for another reason to get a bunch of friends together and gush over the copious amounts of chocolate received. Instead of signing Secret Santa, sign your secret admirer. You can get as cheesy as you like given the date, and go on to list just what you admire about them. Valetine’s Day is about spreading the loooove, even the platonic variety.

 

 

Amanda Watkins & Brianna Buziak
LifeStyle Editor & The Silhouette

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been planning what you’re going to be for Halloween since last Halloween. And again, if you’re anything like us, you’re a procrastinator and have, once again, left planning to the last week. If you’re the person who has a tendency to leave Halloween to the very last minute here are some last minute, easy DIY costumes that can be made in a few hours and are relatively inexpensive.

God’s Gift to the World

What you need:

-Wrapping paper

-Bows

-Bristol Board

-Ribbon

Many people say someone is “God’s gift to the world” in a bad way, this Halloween actually be God’s gift to the world. Over top of your regular clothes wrap your chest in wrapping paper from the dollar store. Get an oversized bow or a handful of small bows and stick them to the wrapping paper. From a piece of Bristol board, cut out the shape of a gift tag and write on it “To: The World, Love: God” and attach with ribbon.

Chick Magnet

What you need:

-Bristol Board

-Baby chick figurines (if not available, keep reading for alternative solutions)

-Yellow feathers (optional)

-Safety pins (optional)

Halloween is the one day of the year to be something you’re not. If you’re not a chick magnet, or are and want to show it off, be playful and try out this easy Halloween option.

Get some black Bristol board and cut it out in a horseshoe shape. Get small pieces viagra with no prescription in britain of white and red Bristol board to add to the bottom of each end of the arc as the North and South Poles. Dollar stores generally have toy figurines of farm animals, if available, get a handful of baby chicks and hot glue them onto the magnet. If you can’t find these figurines, pick up some different sized yellow pompoms and glue them together so there’s one small pompom for the head and a larger one for the body. Glue the “baby chicks” onto the magnet along with some yellow feathers to finish off the look. Wear the magnet like a boa or attach it to your shirt with bobby pins.

 

Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor

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The next few months are going to be consistently hard. And if the stress of the last few weeks has left you with little playtime and makes you want to break and/or burn things, perhaps a new calming routine may be in order.

This beloved Pinterest favourite intended for asshole children who can’t control temper tantrums, can also work wonders on your own case of the terrible twenties. This mixture provides a mesmerizing snow globe-like product that is a surefire way to calm down the midterm-induced fire of your soul. Watch the glittery concoction swirl around the jar and feel yourself drift into a state of ease and relaxation. Mix together this almost fail-proof solution and use it to put your stress at bay.

 

What you will need:

-       PVA glue (if you watched Art Attack, you will know what this means)

-       Boiling hot water

-       Loose glitter

-       Food colouring

-       Mason jar or empty clear container (i.e. peanut butter jar, cleaned)

 

Directions:

-       Fill up a little over ¾ of the jar with boiling hot water.

-       Add 2/3 of the bottle of glue to the jar. Stir.

-       Add in a generous amount of glitter

-       Throw in a few drops of food colouring until the mixture is your desired colour. Stir again.

-       Seal the container. I cannot stress this enough, make sure the jar is CLOSED. If you really need to, seal the lid to the jar with super glue. The last thing you want is a boiling hot mixture of coloured glue spilling all over yourself.

-       Give it a good shake.

-       Watch the mesmerizing patterns of the glitter as it moves around the goopy substance.

 

This concept may sound insane, but if crying alone in Thode or screaming at innocent passerby’s has become a regular activity for you, a calm jar may help control those genuinely insane outbursts. Embrace this toddler-approved anger management tool, and find yourself on a path to self-control. Or at least have fun making a craft.

 

 

Tobi Abdul
The Silhouette

Pinterest can turn even the most un-creative person into a craftsman extraordinaire. Pretty snapshots and relatively simple instructions gives off the impression that anything is possible and everything is easy.

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Soon after making an account, you find yourself spending hours looking at DIY crafts and recipes, vowing to try every single one. And as much as everything seems extremely doable, there are some pins you shouldn't waste your time trying.

1. Cute Baby Pictures

Whether you want to admit it or not, we have all scrolled through the endless family photos on Pinterest, ooh-ing and aah-ing where appropriate and vowing to do the same when we have our own kids. Please don't. As much you may want to stick your kid, sibling, cousin, or any other baby in a pumpkin and take their picture, please refrain from doing so. In theory, this picture is adorable. In actuality, this is one of the worst projects ever. Babies aren't the easiest models to work with. They cry, squirm, and don’t function well when stuck into things that limit mobility- especially when said things are gooey and slimy. How do you even fit them in there? Short of sedating the baby, I don't see this working at all. Save yourself (and the kid) the frustration and wasted time. Just accept that you are never going to get your children stacked on top of one another, or wrapped up in Christmas lights, or looking gleeful as they're being tossed into the air. Just stick to a Wal-Mart studio, florescent lights, and Photoshop.

2. Decorated Treats

It's easy to forget how artistically challenged I am when looking at all the pretty pictures of decorated pastries on Pinterest. But once I attempted to make my own rainbow cake in a jar, I realized that these "easy treats" aren't easy. At all.

Maybe if you have a Fine Arts degree from OCAD or a baking diploma from George Brown, but what I ended up with was a jar of brown looking goop. There are so many creative food ideas on Pinterest that seem very doable: spaghetti through hot dogs, s'mores inside a cookie, but they are all big fat lies. All you'll get is a high calorie plate of disappointment and sadness. Stick to the roast chickens and pastas and leave the creative baking to the professional moms of Pinterest.

3. Sharpie Cups

As a Christmas present, I decided to make all my friends personalized mugs. There were tons of Sharpie decorated cups floating around the Pinterest-sphere so I thought it'd be easy enough. The markers were streaky but after a while, I finished my design and baked it in the oven. The heat caused the marker to run and smudge and the cup burnt around the edges. It wasn't too bad and I fixed the smudged marker and gave it to my friends. I made one for myself and after one wash, all the sharpie had faded and some was beginning to wipe off. It's not really "permanent" it's more like "permanent as long as you don't use the cup for cup-like things".

Sorry to break your bubble folks, but some things on Pinterest are just meant to stay on Pinterest.

The first step into a student home can lead to the onset of one of two decorating personas.

On the one hand, there is the student-turned-TLC decorator who hammers through a house making bold and trendy moves at every turn. They fear no glue gun or collection of nails because they have a team of construction workers standing behind them and a nearly budget-less vision.

But then there is also the unintentionally minimalist decorator, who often uses excuses to mask their décor flaws. Growing up, when asked why their room was so messy, they would respond, “What, it’s easier to find things when they’re all lying in front of me.” The type of person who eats KD every meal of the day may opt for this choice. There are a few half-hearted attempts to add some flare into the room, maybe a poster attached to the wall with quickly fading tape, or a coffee mug that they’ve convinced themselves is art.

But regardless of your decorating personality, the following list allows for style as intensely-TLC or as KD-minimalist as you please.

1.     Scrapbooking Silhouettes

You can make any silhouette by whipping out a huge piece of paper (or smaller ones for that matter) and designing a cut-out of your choice. Once you have your main cut-out, use a heavy weighted craft or scrapbooking paper (available at Michael’s, Curry’s, Wal-Mart, etc.) and cut organic shapes to fill your silhouette with various patterns. It doesn’t have to fit perfectly, because, hey, nature isn’t perfect either. I stayed within the lines and decided to copy the example I saw online. Once you attach them to your wall- we recommend tape- you can Mod Podge (Michaels, $8.95) over the silhouette to keep in place. You can also seal it to the wall that way, with multiple layers.

2.     Faux Flower Walls

If you’re anything like me, having flowers in a room, even if it is going solo in your drinking glass, is inevitably going to boost my mood just a little bit. But then they die, and my mood becomes increasingly lethargic. As the flower wilts, my mood wilts. So I never want that to happen to you. The solution? Faux flowers. Don’t call them fake. That makes it sound like cheating. Any local dollar store should have some fake ones, along with craft and art supply stores. For a fun feature, string them vertically across your wall.

Shout out to Elsie Marley for the super DIY.

3.     Washi Tape

The greatest invention since light itself: washi tape. In all its colourful variations, this tape can literally light up a room with joy. How I have evaded the existence of this glorious tape is beyond me, but I am so in love with it. Generally cheap to purchase (search up “washi tape” on Etsy and be amazed) and it can act as the perfect frame to any picture you’ve been itching to show off. It’s especially cool when paired with thicker, more conventional frames because those photos start to really pop out (use stickers from Home Hardware or even Titles to do so).

4. Quirky Cork

Look to your oven. Now look back at me. Oh, you’re not in the kitchen? Because what student cooks more than microwavable KD? Okay, agreed, but even the KD minimalist should take note of the simplest way to add an unexpected quirk to your room. Trivets, otherwise known as a surface to put your scalding hot pots and pans on after some *gasp* cooking, are essentially circular corkboards. Put to rest the conventional rectangular corkboards that have been up in your dorm or childhood bedroom since the beginning of time. It’s time to get funky with yo’ cork.

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