Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Halloween Home Tour 2017

Starting when PhD boy was in college, I started to change out my Halloween decor. I wanted a more grown up , hopefully elegant, and gothic look. So for the past few years I've added things each year with an eye towards a unifying color scheme around black and white and gold. Being a hardcore believer in "high impact / low price" I have had fun making a lot of the pieces!

This year's mantle focal is a skeleton head I picked up for next to nothing at Big Lots a few years ago. I made him paper Top Hat last year to dress him up. 

He sits atop a collection of Edgar Allan Poe (can't have Halloween w/out Poe!) perfectly bound in black and gold. 

I fell in love with the metal pumpkin sculpture you see here which Mr. Chocolate surprised me with for my birthday last year. He was a welcome addition to my Halloween decorations. Shown here w/ a Creepy Crackled gold leafed ceramic skull from a couple of years ago, and one of the Drop Cloth Pumpkins I made this year. 

His twin sits atop a wooden "Wicked" sign I made last year ( $1.50 box from the Japanese dollar store Daiso, painted, and then vinyl applied)

In the background are some decoupaged coffin boxes embellished with Gothic metal accents. 

I like to incorporate holiday decor into my regular decor so I added some ribbon and tulle to a candleabra on my coffee table, filled a glass dish with some  glittered skeleton heads and threw in a bag of plastic skeleton heads as filler. 

Having a September birthday I've often gotten Halloween themed things as presents, like the wood ghosts and ceramic tea light holders here. 

I made this mask last year that went on a pumpkin that I think got put away with the Thanksgiving stuff so just tied it to my candleholder. 

I did strip everything off my side table and did a Witch themed vignette. 

I use a lot of tulle at Halloween! It's an inexpensive way to create a "feel". 

I've loved "The Wizard of Oz" since I was a little girl so another gift from Mr. Chocolate was a Wicked Witch ornament who sits in a glass bowl filled with more tulle. 

The rest of the table is filled with vintage style Witch Hats I made a few years ago, more decoupaged coffins, spooky trees and a black and white pumpkin ( orange $1 pumpkin from Dollar Tree, decoupaged with Halloween paper). 

Since last year was our 25th wedding anniversary, I made a Halloween Bride and Groom. Vinyl on canvas embellished w/ rhinestones and washi tape. 

I have one more place to decorate: the railings. But here's a sneak peak. 

Thanks for visiting! Hope you weren't too scared.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Girlfriend Gift: Glass Block Sugar Skull

One of my girlfriends loves Sugar Skulls. Like she dressed as one for Halloween one year loves Sugar Skulls, so her birthday present was easy peasy this year...both the decision on what to make her and making it! 

I used a textured glass block that I had in my stash. I thought it was perfect for this since the texture reminded me of melted sugar. 

  • Glass Block ( you can find these at every craft store)
  • Black Vinyl
  • Misc. Embellishments ( I used cording, rhinestones, and tassels from  my stash)

I looked for and found a Sugar Skull image I liked in the Silhouette Online Store, purchased, and downloaded. Sized it, cut it and proceeded to do my least favorite thing in the crafting world, weeded it. 

Lots of little bits and pieces to make sure to remove but SUCCESS!

Centered and applied the vinyl. I cleaned the surface of the glass block with alcohol to make sure and get up any oils etc. so the vinyl would stick well. 

I debated about putting lights inside and tried it and decided I liked it better w/out the lights since they competed with the detail of the vinyl image.  Plopped the thingy that seals the opening into place ( and gave her the extra toppers that come w/ the glass block in case she wants to fill it with anything or add lights) and then finished off by tieing several types of ribbon and fiber around the block and finished it all off with a cluster of misc charms and beads. 

I also added some clear self adhesive rhinestones which are hard to see because they blend into the glass. They stand out much better in person. 

To package it, I pulled some paper scraps from my stash and cut out some flowers using a Tim Holtz die. Repurposed a kraft paper bag using the papers, flowers and some of the Washi tape that was part of my last year's birthday present from the same girlfriend.  She knows me too well because look what she gave me this year: 

SWOON! A collection of gorgeous papers in my favorite colors to play with! See that Sugar Skull paper? Yep it will be coming to another gift for her lol.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BFF Open House Link Party

Another very tough week for our country folks. No words. I hope this little party is a bit of respite from the news of the world. 

DIY art? Check. Alcohol ink? Check. Technique? Fire. Yes you read that right. FIRE! You really have to check this out (and my husband is going to think I'm off my nut when I eventually try this) AMAZING idea from Sharon and Alex. The effect is a combination of marbling and faux fused glass. My mind reels with the possibilities! 

Let's go from fire to rust. Loving what Artsy Va Va did with a piece of old rusty metal. Being a total sucker for white pumpkins, I adore this piece. The elegance of the pumpkins against the aged rusted metal. Gorgeous! 

I like decor that can go past one holiday or season. This beautiful arrangement by Jenny Louise Marie does the job, combining dried hydrangeas and faux florals with seasonal pumpkins that can go all the way through Thanksgiving, and housed in a fantastic old wooden dough bowl.

Even though we are not big entertainers, every year I look at all of the amazing barware at places like Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma but can't justify the price . These DIY Skeleton Goblets from Bird's Party are just the solution to that problem! 

OK let's see what everyone's been up to this week and thanks for taking time out of your week to stop by! 


Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello October! Fabric Pumpkins , Leather Leaves

Hard to believe it's October already yet here it is. Even though I'm not a Pumpkin Spice fan, I do love to decorate with pumpkins from Halloween through Thanksgiving. I've had fabric pumpkins on my to make list and finally made some! 

October Lettering Doodle

Everything's new when it's the first time you do it right? My twist on these was to add leather leaves. 

  • Fabric of choice: I used my never ending fabric dropcloth from the HW store, and some black and white swirl fabric from my stash
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Fiberfill
  • Leather Scraps
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Jute Twine and Cotton Cord
  • Charms
  • Twigs
For the dropcloth pumpkins, I used a standard size dinner plate as my template. For the black and white pumpkin, I used a charger.

Trace your pattern and cut out your fabric:

Using embroidery thread, do a loose running stitch around the edge of your fabric, and then pull to gather together. 

I didn't care about the contrast in thread color because I knew I'd be covering up any exposed stitching. You'll have a little sac ( which reminded my of my favorite Taiwanese dumplings). 

Stuff your dumpling, I mean pumpkin, with fiber fill until you are happy with the size etc. I kind of rolled mine around to make sure the fiberfill was even. Then pull you stitching tight and tie off. 

I chose to do this step before adding my stem but I suppose you could add the stem and then do this. For the stems, I used a cedar branch I'd cut during the Summer that was now thoroughly dried. 

Leather Scraps

A while ago, for no specific reason, I bought a bag of leather scraps at Michaels or JoAnns. Now I knew the reason! I grabbed some coordinating colors and cut leaf shapes from them. 

I glued in the stem and attached the leaves and then used twine to wrap around the bottom of the stem and cover up my glue schlubs. I then added some ribbon and charms from my stash to finish. 

I used the same process for the black and white fabric pumpkin, only instead of wrapping the stem with twine, I used cotton cord and maple leaf charms insttead of hearts.