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or, The First Trick-or-Treaters
October 2010

We have been married so long that we have these little rituals which might seem silly to someone else, but always make us laugh.

For instance, my husband gets up early and enjoys the quiet of the kitchen as he drinks his first cup of coffee and works on the crossword puzzle in the morning paper. Then he brings a cup for me, sets it on my bedside table, shakes my hip and says, "Here's your coffee, dear."

I roll over and smile and say sleepily, "Thank you so much! You are so sweet!"

And as he leaves the room, he says, "I know," and we both laugh. And I either start doing my upper body exercises while I sit on the side of the bed and drink my coffee, or I go back to sleep!

Occasionally I will interrupt this ritual by saying, "Hon, I had this strange dream ...."

Which is what happened yesterday when he set my cup on the coaster. "You interrupted the neatest dream, dear," I said, sitting up to take a sip of coffee. "I was way back in time, in the outer fringe of a jungle, and heard and felt this loud thump, thump, thumpity thumping.

"I looked up and these trick-or-treaters were coming toward me."

"Trick-or-treaters? In the jungle?"

"Yes! And they were little dinosaurs! Four of them, with their little trick-or-treat buckets hanging around their necks!"

"They were all smiling at me, too!"

"It was just awesome!"

"I was wondering, though, what in the world I could give them!"

"One was very tall, even if he was quite young, so I really had to tip my head back to see his face! I'm not sure if he was kind of slow, or his eyesight was bad, because it hadn't apparently occurred to him to look down. I think he was just sort of tagging along with the others."

"You know," I continued, "that's probably the last year the parents of the other three will let their offspring go off with the oldest one.

"Frankly, I hate to say it, but I wouldn't have trusted my dinosaur babies with that velociraptor, no matter what its age!"

"Good grief!" DH said, walking toward the bedroom door. "Dinosaur trick-or-treaters! You really ARE strange! I am going to go finish the crossword puzzle."

"And get this!" I hollered after him. "They were skeletons! "

"Well, I always knew you were weird, dear! Drink your coffee."

And I lay there, letting my coffee grow cold, as I wondered what they were getting for treats, and reflecting that maybe it was a good thing I woke up when I did.



I found these dinosaur skeletons at a local Dollar Tree; two to a package. Instant Wanna Karma!

They were a sort of pinky beige, and somewhat shiny. I first put on a brown wash, but wasn't satisfied.

Next I used a black wash, letting it settle into the eye sockets and mouths.

Much better! So I extended the black wash over the entire bodies, letting it settle into all indentations, then wiping off with an old rag.

The trick-or-treat buckets were in my stash. I had to give them new longer wire handles to fit around the dinosaurs' necks, except for the one I hung from the velociraptor's wrist. For some reason my super glue gel was not working well; I had a devil of a time getting the wire to stick inside those little resin buckets. I keep reminding myself to pick up new super glue EVERY time I go out because this happens too often for me.

I wanted to use an 8 inch high dome, so did some test fitting to see how many skeletons would work within this also 8 inch wide dome base.

I didn't take pictures as I worked on the base, but followed the same pattern as I have throughout my website with all my dome settings. You can see this process from beginning to end in the tutorial for Mossy Glen.

In this case, I glued three thin layers of cardboard together to make the base and left the circle under the heavy wooden base to dry while I worked on the skeletons and found the other materials that I wanted to use for my prehistoric environment. I remembered, also, to brush water on the bottom of the cardboard base - if it's wet on one side, it should be wet on the other - in order not to warp. My standard dirt mixture of sand, coffee grounds and model railroad foam formed the ground cover.

Because I had four dinosaurs to fit on that small area, I decided an over arching giant fern tree would be enough to suggest the prehistoric jungle environment. This stem from my stash had fern leaves and was quite flexible. It worked perfectly because it could be bent as needed to fit within the upper curve of the dome.

The only other thing I used was a few pieces of bark and this "prehistoric staghorn fern" from the collection of leaves in my stash. I used bits of foam to elevate the base for the two plants.

I used a picture printed on regular printer paper for my deliberately misty background for photography purposes.

I had a couple of extra dinosaurs, so they are confronting each other outside the dome.

And there we are: Jurassic Halloween!


Lots of people have written about this setting, to my great pleasure. Among them is Gail West in Goshen, Indiana, who suggested some treats the dinosaurs would love might be cupcakes with bones, chocolate bunnies, and candy corn on the cob!

Also Linda Gale wrote, "I'm watching a program on TV tonight about what REALLY 'did in' the dinosaurs.. and they're suggesting that the dinos got sick from various intestinal bugs and viruses - and actually starting dying off before the big meteor that has been said to wipe them out.

But - seeing your Halloween vignette of mini dinos that are trick or treating - I wonder if they REALLY ate too much candy! (or a dinosaur equivalent).



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