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FEA Halloween Home at 630 Acklin Avenue decorated for Halloween.
Home at 630 Acklin Avenue decorated for Halloween.
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Published: Tuesday, 10/29/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

Tricked-out hobbies for Halloween

Creativity exercised in creepy crafts, home decoration

BY ROD LOCKWOOD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Jane Ochoa, of North Toledo, has spent the better part of a week assembling and putting up her various Halloween decorations. With everything ranging from skeletons to aliens to the Wicked Witch, Ochoa's front yard is ready for the holiday. Jane Ochoa, of North Toledo, has spent the better part of a week assembling and putting up her various Halloween decorations. With everything ranging from skeletons to aliens to the Wicked Witch, Ochoa's front yard is ready for the holiday.
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There’s more just wallowing in the ghoulish and macabre when Halloween rolls around every year.

Jackie Koepfer and her Walking Dead pumpkin, featuring character Daryl Dixon.  Koepfer carves pumpkins in her Swanton, Ohio living room. Jackie Koepfer and her Walking Dead pumpkin, featuring character Daryl Dixon. Koepfer carves pumpkins in her Swanton, Ohio living room.
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For some folks it’s a chance to exercise their creativity and give their artistic side a good workout in the form of intricate pumpkin carving or high-stakes yard decorating.

Paul and Noelle Zeisler, of West Toledo, have home built almost all their Halloween decorations, including a 20 foot tall spider web with a mummy in its center. Paul builds the spider web each year from scratch, using PVC pipe, rope and bagged cobwebs. He estimates the cost of building the web new each year to be between $75 and $100. Paul and Noelle Zeisler, of West Toledo, have home built almost all their Halloween decorations, including a 20 foot tall spider web with a mummy in its center. Paul builds the spider web each year from scratch, using PVC pipe, rope and bagged cobwebs. He estimates the cost of building the web new each year to be between $75 and $100.
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Perhaps the height of finding the art in the season is expressed by Jackie Koepfer, whose pumpkin designs are elaborate and time-consuming works of beauty. The Swanton-area graphics artist takes days to bring her pieces to completion, painstakingly carving at least three layers on a big orange gourd in designs that range from an homage to The Walking Dead to much simpler works that feature corporate logos.

“People lose their minds when they see my pumpkins,” she said, when asked what she likes most about doing the work. “Not to brag, but [I love] the feeling to know my work is being appreciated and it lights people up.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo residences' Halloween decorations

RELATED CONTENT: 2013 Trick-or-Treat schedule

Just don’t go pumpkin shopping with her as she methodically looks for just the right gourd. “I drive everyone nuts when I go pumpkin shopping because I try to find the flattest pumpkin possible.”

She started doing the work 13 years ago and will do five to eight in the course of a year. By the time she creates a pattern and does the carving, it can take as long as a week to finish one, and it’s a process that has a love/hate vibe for her.

“I dread doing them and once I’m into it I’m in that zone and I’m gone,” she said.

To see more of her work, go to Facebook and type in “Jacqueline Koepfer.”

When Halloween rolls around for Paul and Noelle Zeisler, their Old Orchard yard is populated by zombies, a massive spider web, and any number of Halloween-oriented spookery.

They have been decking out their 3224 Kenwood Blvd. yard for four years and each year it gets a bit more elaborate Mr. Zeisler said. It takes him several days to fashion the giant web out of PVC pipe and rope.

The process of making the dummies and designing the props is a good stress reliever for the computer systems analyst and father of three children.

“It’s fun. I tend to be a night owl and everyone tends to go to bed early so it stems from these little projects. It’s stress relief and it gives me a chance to use creativity.”

It also makes his yard a magnet for trick or treaters, which is Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Toledo.

“Now that we have done all this display we attract a good many trick-or-treaters. It’s fun for the kids to come around,” Mr. Zeisler said. “We’re sort of well-known in the neighborhood for that.”

Contact Rod Lockwood at: rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.



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