My Top 5 Inktober Paintings

Inktober is the annual tradition of spending a month trying to bend liquid pigment to your will.

Imagine: the days are long; the nights are dark; and you are covered in ink. Your fountain pen is clogged and so is the space under your fingernails. You aren’t sure you’re going to survive to Halloween, but you do. Even though the challenge is over, you still have a hundred-yard-stare. Ink is hard. And you’re not sure you’ve improved much at all.

I do this to myself every year.

This year was particularly intense because my husband wanted me to make a wall of them and use it for part of our haunted house. I couldn’t back out. I had to come through for the sake of our Halloween party.

Let’s all look at my favorite piece:

This is Hadwin. He’s a vampire learning to fly. His entire life, Hadwin listened to stories of great flying raids. He drew pictures of himself flying. He bounced on trampolines, waiting for his moment. Now that he’s finally able to transform, he’s realized: he’s afraid of heights.

Sometimes the things you want most in life turn out to be things you don’t like at all. For example, I’d always dreamed of being a successful New York City designer. Then I tried to move to New York. I realized that I didn’t like New York.

Ah well. I did Inktober from a cornfield. Nobody’s perfect.

Here are my 4 runners-up: 

We gave away these paintings (and the other 20+ of them) at a party, and all four of the these were taken.

Yes, that includes the screaming, shirtless, chest-hair-saturated bunny-man. That piece is hanging on someone’s wall right now. One of my friends apparently thought, “oh yes, this angst goes perfectly with my décor.”

Ah, the malaise that a Leah Lucci Original™ can bring into your home. Accept no substitutes.

Preparing My Mabel Pines Cosplay!

Halloween is my favorite holiday, but my costume often gets short-changed. It’s the season my job is crazy and the Winter Doldrums start tapping on my door. Plus, my husband — the darling Captain Procrastination — requires my Last Minute Mad Craft Skills on his elaborate, enthusiastic, bangin’ costumes.

I have a new policy: Costume Summer.


I’ve started hand-stitching a Mabel Pines costume. For those of you not in the know, she looks like this:


She has my hair and round face, so I don’t have to do a lot to be her. I can pop in my retainers to give the appearance of “braces.”

Also, she’s not wearing an outfit that’ll be cold or revealing in the winter or at a convention.

Because it’s a cartoon, it’s difficult to tell how her sweater was constructed. She’s shown on the show knitting and making crafts. It stands to reason the sweater — or at least the appliqué — was hand-made.

So I hit the craft store with a vengeance. I picked out fun fabrics. I touched all the thread. If I could do a cartwheel, I probably would have.

I was hyped to have a reason to buy an embroidery hoop.


Now my star just needs a home! I ordered a too-big turtleneck sweater on Ebay for $5, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. Then a purple skirt (yay) and a pair of black ballet flats, and I’m ready to rock and roll. I’ll post pictures of the look as it progresses.

In the meantime, here are a few Mabel Pines & Gravity Falls cosplays that are totally knocking it out of the park:


Hope you’re having a great day, Internet!

10 Halloween Party Lies, Photos, and Tales

I took all these photos, but some aren’t of my Halloween party.

I had all of these experiences, but some were only in my head.

1. A rabbit-masked man slashed the head off a pinata with a samurai sword. It was a practice sword, made of wood. Pieces of candy spewed from its neck like its jugular had been hacked.


2. One of the children disappeared. We found her in the crawlspace with the Christmas decorations. She and a plush Rudolph were reading a cookbook by flashlight.

3. A boy dressed as a bumblebee found a tick on his ankle. A boy dressed as a cracked porcelain doll found a succubus attached to him. Unlike the bumblebee, he didn’t put up a fuss.


4. A child with night vision played frisbee in the ink-black backyard. His twin, who didn’t have night vision, was a poor partner for this.

5. A man spent a few hours at the party in a ski mask. After he left, we realized he wasn’t one of us.


6. Someone at the party wore a tee that said “Life.” He spent the evening handing out lemons. I used one of the lemons in a recipe this morning.

7. A mask’s spirit possessed its wearer’s body all evening. The ghost and party-goer had similar personalities, so nobody noticed.


8. Our Ouija board caught on fire. The demon we were summoning was angry that we weren’t taking the seance seriously. We’re on the lookout for another board now.

9. Five people brought cheese plates. The girl who dressed as Minnie Mouse was overwhelmed by joy.


10. The dog was cooperative and quiet all evening. Just kidding. This one’s obviously a lie.

Are you leaving any children out this Halloween?

October is a time to buy a metric shit-ton of Reeces Peanut Butter Cups — then consume half of them before the kids even arrive.

The bowl we offer the kids is a chocolate explosion. No Whoppers, Nerds, or SweetTarts in sight. We’re the “good house” with the pricey candy.

I was always proud of our selection. I’d never considered kids with diabetes or other food allergies. Food allergies have jumped 50% since the 90s, and nobody knows why. That’s more and more kids that will never know the joy of just plunging a hand into the candy bowl without fear.

Teal Pumpkin Project

Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project!

To join, you just put a teal pumpkin out front, and have some non-candy on offer.

It’s not super-complicated.

That way, kids who can’t eat your Peanut Butter Cups can take a glow stick, pencil, or fake fangs. No trips to the emergency room!

Aaaaaaand… more Peanut Butter Cups left over for you.



10 Lesser-Known Horror Movies To Enjoy Before Halloween

I used to be terrified of the dark. I had a night-light until I was 18. I held my pee until I was in agony because I didn’t want to leave the safety of my bed. I made my brother — my younger brother — sleep on the basement couches with me on the weekends.

Now I can’t get enough horror.

I don’t even mind the shitty stuff — but today I’m going to talk about some really great movies. I’ve divided ten lesser-known horror flicks into three groups: funny, ill-thunk, and classic. There’s something for everyone!

Everyone except my childhood self, that is.


1. Final Girls. Contemporary teens get trapped in an 80s slasher flick they know by heart. Can they prevent the deaths of the characters — and themselves?

2. Housebound. In lieu of jail, police ground a fully-grown woman to her parents’ home. (Does this really happen in New Zealand?) The protagonist uses this time to investigate the mysteries of her probably-haunted house.

3. Creep. A man films a shady subject — and his creepy wolf mask.


4. The Shrine. A cult kills anyone who sees the statue they’re guarding. Filmmakers wisely decide to check the statue out for themselves.

5. Absentia. This public service announcement warns about the dangers of running — and of attempting to negotiate with an unknown tunnel-monster.

6. Splice. Rogue scientists decide it’d be swell to mix human DNA into the creatures they’re creating.


7. Six Souls. A man’s multiple personalities turn out to be murder victims. Research into the murders reveals a daisy chain of disaster and creepiness that may be impossible to stop.

8. Red Lights. A professional debunker goes head-to-head with a psychic who might be the real thing.

9. Frailty. A father raises his sons in a religious tradition that involves murdering people in their shed. Then it gets even more messed up.

10. Session 9. An asbestos cleaning crew starts playing recordings they find in a dilapidated asylum. (Maybe, in retrospect, this should go under the “really bad ideas” category, but I’ve already drawn up the graphics.)

If you have any recommendations for horror movies, please let me know. I would love to talk terror with you.