Its coming, its coming!!! Halloween is coming!!

For those of you new to this blog, you may not realize that I am obsessed with the holidays, but Halloween in particular is my favorite time of year. People who come to my house have been known to comment on the decorations around the house…. year round. Decorations like the skulls in my potpourri vases, the skeletal fingers too, skulls on the speakers with ravens atop them, spiders and roaches in the wine glasses that adorn my mantle. Honestly I’ve got something creepy in almost every room of my house and some rooms more than others. I take them for granted because I love all things creepy, but it always makes me grin when someone else comments on them.

As a way to get ready, I thought I’d link back to a few of my previous projects from here (since most are not exactly tutorials) to give me some inspiration and share with you a few ideas as well.

Then I realized that all you have to do is click on the tag ‘Halloween’ to the right hand side of this blog and it will take you to all my Halloween related posts. You can even watch the changes in the quality of my photography ūüėČ

Happy Haunting! I’ll be back soon (I hope) with some new projects for this year’s party.

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Belated Halloween post

I know this year has been¬† a little behind in terms of holiday stuff. School keeps me busy and I’m feeling foggy lately due to my meds that I had to take for my tooth (which is doing better btw yay!) But I wanted to put up a few pictures from our party including the reveal of my costume for this year. My inspiration came from the Starz show Spartacus and I made myself a Roman style dress.

This is Richi and her best friend who also happens to be one of my new awesome friends. We’ve put together our own three muskateers group. Its fun.

J12 with his zombie baby- even zombies are good parents lol

J14 trying to eat the brains of J13’s girlfriend.

J14 in all her zombie glory.

Zombie Jesus… yeah I promise it wasn’t my idea….

My mother in law the pool shark lol

Me in all my barefoot costumed glory.¬† (don’t ask where my shoes were because at that point, I have no idea but I swear I wasn’t drinking so …. well actually I’m not sure if that’s better or worse)

And then I got into the fake blood I made because it was corn syrup and cherry koolaid mix and really pretty yummy.

And then… then I decided, I may as well really get into it and added a bunch of gore.

Here’s all the zombie crew and our heroes as well. Jarell in full commando gear with his SPAS.

My nephew in his post Halloween sale 90% off Luigi costume.

The rest of these were taken by my sister in law. It was a nice treat knowing that I would have pictures of the party without having to stress over everything else I had to do.

Jen (one of the muskateer’s) and her date

A friend of the family and J12 pre zombie makeup

One of my favorite decorations that I made the year before last

J14 eating brains again lol

Well folks, that’s about all for my post Halloween…. post

Thankfuls? well….

I’m way behind so I’ll do a few.

  1. I’m thankful that for now at least I don’t have to have another root canal
  2. I’m thankful that I’m almost done with the antibiotics because they make me sick to my stomach and make me dizzy *sigh*
  3. I’m thankful to have propane because the weather just decided to get cold on us.
  4. I’m thankful for Jarell. Yeah I know that’s a repeat, but we stayed up into the wee hours last night just talking about our lives and how we got where we are, sharing memories from when we first met, and it just makes me all warm and fuzzy.
  5. I’m thankful for my dad who is an awesome mechanic and is fixing a car up for me. Is that another repeat? I can’t remember lol
  6. I’m thankful that I know how to knit because I’m working on Christmas presents and its awesome knowing that I can make beautiful presents for a small amount of money which, with our budget this year, it very helpful.
  7. I’m thankful for awesome new friends and all the old ones who are in my life as well.

That should about catch me up, right?

 

 

November

Holy cow I’ve been busy! So busy/lazy that I haven’t even completed my Halloween costume yet (our party is two days away so I need to get going on that one!!) In my defense, I’m doing school work, making decorations, cleaning (sometimes…..), cooking, running errands, and all the other little things that make up life and blogs and costumes fall very far down on that list of things to do. Class keeps me busy a lot of the time- the one I’m in right now (which thankfully ends Wednesday- just when its finally getting interesting) is Color Theory for Web and Media- basically I’m learning about using colors on the computer. Unfortunately, I’m not a design student and I’m also very left-brained which makes being creative in random fashions quite a challenge. That said, I’m still keeping my 4.0 average (go me, right?) but I feel pretty relieved to make it through every week.

I’m actually here today because I am going to try (notice I say try) to post most days this month. It’s November, and here in the states that means the holiday season is upon us starting with Thanksgiving. I thought it would be nice to post something that I’m thankful for every day here on the blog. (only thought of it today so there goes NaBloPoMo)

In that line of thinking, and since I missed three days already, here are¬† four things I’m thankful for. (don’t get used to it- I’ll only be posting multiples when I’ve missed a few days…. on second thought, maybe you should get used to it…)

  1. Jarell- My husband, partner in crime, best friend, house cleaning aficionado, handy man, favorite comedian, and all around wonderful guy. He makes me smile, he takes care of me when I’m feeling yucky like I have been this last month thanks to bronchitis, works his butt off at a very tough job and tells me he’s glad to because it means I don’t have to work at a job I hate. I don’t deserve this man, but I try every day to live up to the standards he sets by being as wonderful as he is.
  2. Speaking of the job Jarell does, I’m thankful that he has been well employed all summer even if that meant him being gone all week and us only talking for a few minutes each day. Our bills are caught up, we have a car being fixed as I speak that will be mine when its done, propane for the furnace, food in the fridge, and lots of little things that make me happy around the house.
  3. I am incredibly thankful to be in school. Despite the fact that some of the classes get me (they’re short- 5 1/2 weeks long) I love being in school and learning again. The knowledge that I am moving forward with my photography makes me incredibly happy.
  4. Finally as a random one, I am thankful for Fall. I love Spring with its greening grasses and possibilities of a garden ahead, but I was born in January and I love all the changes that lead up to my birthday- the crisping nights, the warm fires, the first time it snows. All these things are magical to me and I love love love this time of year!

Halloween Projects

I’ve been working on various projects for Halloween, but I haven’t been documenting step by steps for them. Nevertheless, I know that the blogging world is full of creative and talented people so I’m going to share a few of my projects so that anyone feeling ambitious can try and duplicate or improve on them.

This is a Dollar store champagne glass that I drew on with a permanent marker. The swirls and dots are random, but you could draw bats, witches, spiders, or whatever floats your boat.

Add a skull platter from the Dollar store with some hot glue and you have yourself a fancy raised platter.

This chipper fellow is also a Dollar store find. I used permanent marker to darken up the shadows because they were pretty week before-hand. The vase and skulls are from, you guessed it, the Dollar store as well and the potpourri was left over from a Christmas project a couple of years ago. Its apple and cinnamon scented so it works nicely. The spider was a ring with the ring part cut off.

Here in the close up you can sort of see the “spiderwebs” made from strings of hot glue across the top of the vase

This is one of three tiered serving trays made from some flea market and thrift store finds. The trays from the flea market are made by a company called Basket Ease and the pillars are various fancy glasses again hot glued between layers.

Last but not least we have the garden turned cemetery. I have 5 very active dogs who carry  everything off so in order to have any outdoor decorations, they either needed to be up high or out of reach of the dogs. Enter my fenced garden that is fenced to save the plants from my pooches.

We live in a field so there are no trees within a hundred yards of our house. This makes me sad this time of year when I want creep dead trees, but this year I found a solution. We have a large brush pile and in this pile are very long branches from a tree trimming my brother in law did at his house this spring. I pulled out 10-12 of these branches and with the aid of the fence, created a spooky haunted forest around my growing cemetery.

In the picture above you can see the ones I “planted” in the center of the garden by digging a hole about 8-10 inches deep, sticking the branches in the ground, and backfilling around them to hold them in place. It gets windy here, but they’ve stayed put so far.

Here’s our larges tombstone (I have more to put out but they’re locked up in the garage and my husband has the key with him at work) with a bone made from rolled up newspaper and paper mache. It was kind of time consuming, but pretty easy. I hope to get a tutorial up for that soon because I need to make a few more anyway.

Here you can see the tomato cage ghost. I improvised today to see how well it would work. I had a white tablecloth and creepy cloth plus a punching balloon and of course tomato cages because this is after all a garden. I turned the tomato cage upside down, pegged it into the ground with sticks, added the punching balloon to the “top” and draped the table cloth and creepy cloth over top. As you can sort of see in the picture, the balloon is yellow which I wouldn’t recommend for daylight hours, but I imagine once it gets dark, it won’t matter too much.

Last but not least, I added a couple more Dollar store decorations to the main tree to add to the creep factor. More will be going out as I have access to that building in the background where all my decorations are stored. The ones I’ve put out are just the ones I’ve bought this year. Did I mention Halloween is my favoritest holiday of all? Even more than my birthday which tends to suck being New Years with the hungover-ness and all.

So now I’ve added a few more items to your list of things to think about for decorations. I’ve got more on the brain, and a month minus a day to get ready because we do our party the week after Halloween to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Halloween is a’comin

And I’m working on getting ready. I love this time of year and if you’ve been reading my blog for long, you’ve probably noticed that I have a tendency to lean toward things that are slightly dark, macabre, and in general spooky and I don’t just do it for Halloween, I do it year round. Last year we spent a lot of time getting ready for the big Halloween party, but with my husband out of state (as he usually is this time of year) I had too much time on my hands and not enough to keep me busy. This year is slightly different. My sweetie is working out of town, but only over in Saint Louis, so he’s home every weekend which means I’m not as lonely. Add to that the fact that I’m busy with my college classes and you end up with a girl who although stoked about the holiday season ahead, is not as desperate for random stuff to occupy her time.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been busy in my own little way however. This year’s costume is going to be based on the costumes of the show Spartacus that I’ve been watching a little at a time on Netflix. I love Lucy Lawless’ costuming and since the J’s are a little older (and being exposed to the Ren Fest which means they’re not as sheltered) I’m not as concerned about keeping my costumes as G-rated which for me is nice.

Today I’m going to share a project I’m working on that’s not quite finished. This isn’t a tutorial because I don’t have step by step pictures, but its pretty straight forward so I think if you’re crafty, you shouldn’t have much trouble recreating this.

The project for today is haunted banners and pennants.

The end result will look something like this

The materials are simple.

I used a canvas tarp from a hardware store (Harbor Freight if you’re interested), and acrylic paints. I also used a candle to burn the edges for that aged tattered look, but that’s up to you and your inner pyro.

  1. Cut your tarp section to the size you want it. I made a large banner that is still in the works and but for this pennant, I cut off a section about 10 inches wide by 20 inches long give or take a bit. Don’t worry about how straight and pretty your edges are because you want it to look old and beat up. You could even pull out threads to fray the edges if you don’t plan on burning it.
  2. Cut the bottom edge of your pennant into a jagged line to give it that ‘I’ve been hanging in a rotten and moldering old castle for the last 100 years’ look.
  3. This is where the burning comes in. If you’re not comfortable with this step, skip it and leave your edges alone for now. If you are burning the edges, I find that carefully running the edge back and forth through a flame til it catches on fire and then immediately using the fabric to smother the flames works well for me. This is dangerous (you’re playing with fire after all) so I also keep a large bowl of water right at next to me in case things get too out of hand. Once you’ve got three sides burned (left, right, and bottom) you’re ready for paint.
  4. I was having a very hard time deciding what to do for this pennant. I thought about having it say ‘Spooky’ and there’s nothing wrong with words like ‘Boo’ or ‘Stay out’ but I also thought about the fact that if this really WERE a pennant from an old castle, it wouldn’t say ‘Spooky’ on it and I’m a stickler about that kind of stuff. So instead I scoured through my collection of Halloween magazines and found my inspiration in last year’s Martha Stewart Halloween magazine. It was a title for an article about 13 Ghastly something or others and the typeface was perfect. You don’t have to go that route. You can look for free fonts (I like dafont.com) and find awesome creepy fonts or freehand it. I looked at the picture and drew it out as best I could. Its up to you how you do this step.
  5. Paint. Fill in the outline of your numbers, letters, or creepy skull. I used just basic black for this step.At this point it should look something like this.
  6. Now add your details. I painted my hand with a mixture of red and brown paint and then smeared it down one side of the pennant to look like a bloody hand print. I brushed the same red brown along the right edges of the numbers to give them a shadowed look and added green and white to the left edges to add more depth. Paint on some blood splatters and you’re set with the painting unless you didn’t burn the edges. If you still want the blackened charred look without the danger of fire, use a mix of black and brown paint to darken the edges of your pennant. This will have the added bonus of sealing the edges a bit which is nice.
  7. Finally you’ll want to make a pocket at the top of the pennant for hanging or you can fold the top edge over and tack it to the walls if you want to go the no sew route.

Like I said- not the best visual tutorial, but its pretty simple and the end result is pretty cool.

If you want to see more awesome Halloween ideas, check out Sawdust and Paper Scraps for her Halloween link party!

Photos from this weekend (Image HEAVY!)

These pictures are of course all clickable and to really see the detail you’ll need to do just that. I appologise in advance but the internet hates me so this was the best I could do.

In order left to right, top to bottom

My baby brother Clifford in all his finery, My darling dearest in one of his many costume incarnations, J11 putting the finishing touches on J13 for his Pyramid head costume, J11 and my MIL as Mrs. Doubtfire, Jarell again in another incarnation of the costume and his mom, J9 as the redneck Spartan (complete with Uncrustables box helmet :), J13 posing in the basement in full regalia, Me in my not Tia Dalma costume, and again me, J13’s back with fake scars and cuts, J’s 9,11,13, and 14, J11 in her costume- how cool are her eyes here, T-bucket in his not costume, A couple of closeups of my make-up – I was feeling bloodthirsty, J14’s full costume- aren’t she and her sister beautiful dolls?, J12- the other twin LOL and yet he’s not the one witht the nickname of Bubba, and the last three (sorry Dana!) are of our pumpkin display and haunted house candle holder.

Photos courtesy of myself, Jarell, and the rest of the J’s.

*oh and J11 went for the Jigsaw from the movie Saw look while J14 was leaning towards the look of a female Joker a la Heath Ledger.

Creepy Projects

Altered book for HalloweenI’m sure some of you were wondering if I was ever going to show you the things I’ve been working on and talking about. Well I have the crappy broken camera so getting pictures is…. a bit tricky…. but I did finally get some taken. This first one is an altered book. The only changes I’ve made at this point are the cover but I may be adding a picture inside that will look like the spell book that belonged to the¬†evil step mother from Snow White. I have it all drawn up but can’t find my sketch book- it seems to have wandered off on its own. The cover of this book is actually paper mach√© made of toilet paper to get a nice leather look. I then coated the whole darn thing with a couple coats of mod podge, spattered on some Adirondack inks, and a bunch of acrylic paints in various orders. I think I like how it looks, but I may decide differently later on because it doesn’t “feel” finished yet.

Altered book for Halloween
These next pictures are of the oft mentioned not Tia Dalma dress that I’ve been working on. The first is the underskirt followed by the dress itself and finally the corset from hell that was a pain in the ass to make but fits great. The skirt is entirely finished. The dress needs either lacing up the bodice or a belt sewn on and then it will be done. I left all the seams unhemmed to add to that whole ragged look and sewed coins from an old coin bra along the hem so that I’ll jingle when I walk.
not tia dalma underskirt

not tia dalma underskirt

  Not Tia Dalma Dress

The corset from hell....
The corset from hell….
The corset needs some bias tape added to it to cover the boning that is actually long zip ties of all things and then it will be done as well. I feel inordinately proud of this costume and can’t wait to get a couple of pictures of me in it so you can get a true feel for the whole thing.

 

Witch's Kitchen Supplies

Witch

Last but not least are the Witch’s Kitchen supplies that I’ve gotten put together so far. The blue jar on the top left is “Jellyfish stingers” made from hot glue, the top right is a headless grows in water snake, bottom right is “Helles Bros. Powdered Pixies” which is really Hills Bros. cappucino mix, and the bottom left is a grows in water Starfish which is huge in its little pint jar. And several of my late tomatoes worked their way into the shot there as well as you can see. Boy my kitchen looks clean here! If only it was like that in real life LOL!

 

Not Tia Dalma Dress

Oh no its that time of year again

The time of year when I feel the uncontrollable urge to make myself¬†a Halloween costume. This year since we’re going to have a fortune telling tent, I thought I’d be a gypsy. And then I thought, Hmmmm gypsy- been that like 3 or 4 times already…. kinda boring….. But I was resigned. And then I watched PotC the black Pearl and was reminded of the character, Tia Dalma.

Now I’m not black so thats out, but the dress is amazing so I can’t resist the¬†chance to make my own version. I found these pictures in my research.

I got a Mccalls Pattern for a dress that is similar to hers and with some alterations it should work for me. Fingers crossed, right. Will keep you posted folks.

Potentially newsworthy but probably not

Ever have one of those weeks where the biggest happening is your visit to the dollar store? Yeah well that was my week and for the most part that is my life. That is not a complaint because I am very happy with the every day happenings in my life- I like things to be calm and reasonable and steady and safe. These are good things. It just makes for a boring blog. I prefer not to bore you with my hours of Spyro the Dragon domination (yes I’m a bit of a video game geek) or my hours spent perusing the internet for that perfect project. My dogs and their antics are rarely amusing altho Tinkerbell is soooo cute when she grabs my hand with her paw whenever I try¬†to stop petting her. Can you tell she’s the favorite? The bits and pieces of my life are very simple and sedate and therefore not necessarily tales worth telling to the general public.

I can tell you that this week I have gotten more objects (of food thank you very much!) stuck in my throat than I care to count. This evening when it was a chocolate chip (that is still a bit lodged) J11 looked at me like I might be a bit slow and asked about my swallowing abilities. I felt like an idiot believe you me, but I know this whole thing is not my fault. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my throat is swollen up from this lovely cold that the young ones shared with me. It feels like someone let a cat loose in my esophagus and that particular cat had a scratching post fetish. The rest of it is because of the pouches in the muscle wall of said esophagus. Apparently my ass ran out of fat retention pockets so now my throat is installing built in storage.

In other news I have begun the final countdown for Halloween. We’re planning a big party this year and I’m all about the decorating. My current project searches I will share when I’m not feeling so lazy about doing the link and photo thing. Currently in the works are such wonders as the creepy growing starfish in a jar, Jack Skellington’s head (maybe), A fortune teller’s tent (in our tent from this year’s camping trip), skeletal hands made from Crayola model magic clay, and maybe even a costume if I have enough time.

Finally the truly newsworthy. Well maybe just to me, but eh we’ve had the talk about whose blog this is, right? So I didn’t marry my husband for his looks and the sex- those were like super bonuses on this pleasure cruise that is my life. (As an aside because I know you can’t hear me, I am not being sarcastic here- I love my husband and my life and I’m not afraid to brag about it) Well he is especially wonderful when I’m sick like I am right now. So the other night (and here comes a bit of an over share) we were in the mood if you know what I mean and he’s kissing nuzzling my neck when all of a sudden out of the blue he asks, “Hey would you like a massage?” And in my head I’m going, “Dearest is water wet?” But since my voice is almost gone from this nasty cold I merely sighed a wheezy yes. Well he snags this massage oil that I bought at a craft fair once apricot oil in some delicious scent called fruit salsa and OH MY GODDDDDD I turned into a large slightly feverish puddle of me. Sorry about the bragging for those of you not fortunate to have your own love god(dess) but this is the interesting parts of my life. That and our evening watching the sunset yesterday in the back of his sexy ’79 Blazer aka the Ultimate Redneck Mobile.

Picture this- a field of blowing grasses bordered by trees on three sides. If you zone out enough the sounds of the nearby highway could be a babbling brook (okay maybe if you had enough hallucinagenics) and the sun sets in a ball of fire. We chat happily about this and that, snuggling together because there is a brisk breeze and the cap is off the back of the Blazer. He tells me he loves me and calls me a brat. I tell him I love him and call him a butt head. We have a very special relationship- very romantic. LOL. In all reality tho, he makes me happier than any one else ever has. Yes I know- make myself happy and I can, but Jarell makes me happy too. He’s a wonderful man and the perfect fit for me.

So a simple life, but a very good life.