We’en it up
Here’s a list of venues for scouting out this year’s Halloween costume or stocking up on discounted items for next year’s haunt.
606 WATER ST, 726-2996
This weekend garage sale store has transformed into the Witch’s Closet where storekeeper Alison Sturge displays specialty costumes for kids and adults she herself has sewn. Orange and white ‘Cinderella’ pumpkins are available too, making this downtown’s most convenient pumpkin patch. Open Thursday to Sunday, 10am-4pm until October 31st.
STANDOUT ITEMS: Bayman, a Batman-inspired costume for men complete with cape, crab shell medallion and a mussel shell utility belt. “A pair of rubber boots is key,” says Sturge.
183 DUCKWORTH, 722-2777
The downtown vintage carrier has one-of-a-kind used costumes imported from NYC. If you’re looking for pieces that nobody else will be sporting, this is the place. The store will be hosting a special costume event on Monday, October 26, 7-10PM. Costume viewings for groups are also offered upon request, call the shop for details.
STANDOUT ITEMS: Period costumes.
56 KENMOUNT ROAD, 579-3107
The store for your pre-packaged costume and accessory needs. Find aisles filled with a variety of sequined and feathered masks, wings, wigs and fake body parts.
STANDOUT ITEMS: Sequined wang (‘penis envy?’), ginormous boob, Stephen Harper.
161 KENMOUNT ROAD, 726-5200
If you don’t have a costume idea, try sifting through the used clothing racks, and hopefully the items themselves will inspire. I once dressed up as a lady of the night with a macramé vest, go-go boots and a froofy wig… and only one of these items was actually located in the Halloween section. That’s the magical randomness of the Double V.
STANDOUT ITEMS: You never know. This is the place where old toys become props, or a curtain can be altered into a cape, veil or dress. Huzzah!
Dollar stores sell make-up, glitter and fake hair for next to nothing. Fabric paints, craft items and other cheap tricks are also found here add a personalized touch to your costume.
Pharmacies, department & accessory stores are good spots for cheap stockings, nail polish and fake eyelashes that actually stay put all night.
MICHAEL’S ARTS & CRAFTS
36 STAVANGER, 576-1400
This warehouse sized craft store is packed with all sorts of pre-made and DIY Halloween props. Creepiest fake birds ever!
Drumming up business
Handcrafted Drums is a St. John’s-based company that manufactures hardwood drums and kits. Stephen Little is the drummer boy behind the brand who, under the tutelage of drum-making books and Internet blogs, decided to take a crack at drum building.
“I pieced together everything that I researched and started making some different.”
And different can be good. Instead of relying on the conventional ply method to build a drum, where a mold, sheets of wood, and glue form the drum’s circular frame, Stephen uses a coopering method. Coopering is a process dating back to the first barrels and wine casks, where woodworkers would create a liquid-tight curved surface without bending the wood. Here, wood pieces of all equal sizes, called staves, are fitted into a round, concentric shape.
Coopered drums can retain their circular shapes longer than drums made using alternate methods and less glue is used in their design, keeping the drum’s tone clean, says Stephen. “Glue is acoustically dead. Glue in the conventional drum traps the sound qualities of the wood in and doesn’t resonate.” He claims to use about 600 times less glue than in mass-produced drums.
Stephen joins the city’s small drum making population with the likes of local musician Brian Downtown, who also makes his own kits and drums for resale. (Info is available at Drum Garage NL Custom Drums & Repairs Facebook group.)
For more information on Stephen Little Handcrafted Drums, visit www.handcrafteddrums.com. —SB
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