Sites for the spooky season

John Gushue
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Orange and black have taken their annual pride of place, families are stocking up for trick-or-treaters, and kids are giddy about the one time of year when they love to get scared. Our column this week includes some bright ideas about the darkest season.
• Crafty Crow
My son, who's eight, is about as excited as you can get about Halloween; he started mentioning costume ideas long before Labour Day came to pass. Crafty Crow is, as its name suggests, all about craft-minded things you can do around the house, often with ordinary household objects and with not that much effort. Halloween themes are dominating at present, so click around a wealth of ideas for decorations, games, amusements and other things you and the kids can take on together.
• Pumpkin Way
So-called extreme pumpkin carving has become quite popular over the years. Here's a gallery of knock-out carving samples, with three dozen vegetables given fantastic new faces.
• Carving templates
Of course, you don't have to knock yourself out to get a terrific pumpkin for your doorstop. Here you'll find a variety of templates you can download and print for carving your pumpkin.
• As Worn In
With Halloween around the corner, I was looking the other day for a site about costumes … and wound up here. As Worn In is a tribute to costumes you may (and, to be fair, may not) recognize from the movies.
• Halloween Snacks
If you're motivated enough - and it wouldn't take long - you could quickly find a cookbook's worth of Halloween-oriented recipes online. Here's a handy list of 50 links compiled in a post on the She Knows Parties blog, for cookies, pizzas, snacks, desserts, drinks … and something called melon brain.
Elsewhere this week
• Tip'd
Amid the haywire-crazy headlines of the last few months, it's been hard to keep up with all the news from the global financial crisis. Well, here's another source to consider. Tip'd is a socially networked site that's frequently updated, but also frequently fascinating, with pointers to stories, trends, commentary and oddities in the business world.
• Hotwire
Looking for a bargain on the road, and willing to take a bit of a risk? Hotwire is a travel site that lets you find bargains for airfares, hotels, etc., with reputable companies … but the catch is that you don't find who you'll be doing business with until you commit to the booking. It's known in the business as "opaque" sales, in that you see the key details, but not the vendor's name. Hotwire does business with airlines and hotels that need to clear vacancies quickly, which is where the deals come from.
• Tradebit
Untold thousands of people sell their wares over the Internet, and some use Tradebit as their shop window. You can download a lot more than music over the web, you know; vendors on Tradebit sell software, books, photos, video … pretty much anything that can be drawn down to your desktop. (Or phone, for that matter.) It's PayPal-compliant, and pretty easy to navigate.
• IconLook
Jazz up your newsletter, presentation or even e-mails with some icons. IconLook offers a variety of sizes and styles, all with a sleek finish. The search engine is easy to figure out, but to get a sense of what's there, click on "random icons."
John Gushue is a news writer for in St. John's. E-mail: Read past Surf's Up columns and daily updates at his blog:

Organizations: Hotwire, PayPal

Geographic location: St. John's

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