Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Skeleton Krewe — That’s how we roll!

Published by Manning on February 3rd, 2018

Just a fun animation I made; indirectly related to my paper maché skull masks!

Skeleton Krewe - That's how we roll!

A thing I used to keep quiet on this website but have gotten more in the habit of mentioning is that I’m a member of a Mardi Gras marching krewe in New Orleans called Skeleton Krewe. That’s (obviously!) the reason I make all my paper maché skull masks and skeleton clothes. I’ve been a full-fledged member of Skeleton Krewe since 2013, so I’ve made six skull masks so far. I’ll be unveiling my new one on Mardi Gras morning, February 13th!

Anyway, back when I was first joining the krewe I was warned to keep it a secret if I didn’t want to invoke the wrath of our chief (called Le Grande Poohbah), as was the tradition of the old Mardi Gras krewes that more or less operated as secret societies. However, in recent years with social media and everything this rule has become very relaxed, for our krewe at least, and it seems that we’re allowed to post about it.

Anyway, this animation features Skelly, who is the krewe’s oldest mini-float and basically our mascot. I always thought her origin story was that she was rescued after being discarded as part of a big Mardi Gras float, but a fellow member just informed me that she was actually a decoration that covered one of the tractors that pull the actual floats, in the krewe called Rex. All of this was way before my time!

The krewe painted up Skelly to be a skeleton and they added wheels, and she’s marched/rolled with us ever since. The graphic of Skelly in the animation was made by another krewe member, and I used it to whip up this animation in Adobe Animate (formerly Flash), exported it as a video, and then used GifCam to capture it as a gif, and then I did a tiny bit of editing/formatting in Photoshop. I love making animations like this! I mostly do animations for my Halloween party invitations every year, but this was a nice diversion.

The real Skelly has hidden compartments for water bottles, snacks, an mp3 player and speakers, etc. There’s a good pic of her on the Skeleton Krewe website, here, from a few Mardi Gras ago. And I was just pointed at this old pic of Skelly or one of her clones, back in her old float-pulling days in Rex! Amazing! Apparently all of the Rex tractors had the same golden horse on them; I wonder where all the other ones ended up? I hope they’re all as cherished and well-cared for as good ol’ Skelly.

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