Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Day-of-the-Dead Costume

Husband and I went to a great Halloween costume party. He was the Grim Reaper. Seven-foot-tall Grim Reaper with an antique scythe. Yep.

I wanted something to go along with that, and really love day-of-the-dead dolls so I decided that's what I'd be. Sort of a perfect wife for him it seemed. Plus, I'd look cool when I was by myself too, not like I had to be part of couple.

But here is how this costume/makeup happened. 

Costume party was on Saturday night. I wasn't sure if I was going to be out of town, but as of Friday it was apparent I wouldn't be. Hmmm. That was going to be a problem costume-wise. Out shopping we went. At 7 p.m.

I ended up purchasing a dress that fit like glove at the first store. The dress was for a zombie prom queen but it was perfect. Black with silver and torn looking. Very from-the-grave. It was the perfect length, too. It just skimmed the floor and completely covered my feet. And I could wear flats. No high-heels. Whew. 

Now, I didn't see this coming. Last minute things rarely work out, so I was stunned.

Then, I really wanted to have some bones to keep the day-fo-the-dead doll theme. Do I make stencils and use fabric paint over a long-sleeved black tshirt? Do I paint them on elbow-length gloves? Mind you, this is the Friday night before at about 8 p.m. Well, I decided with Husband this was going to be too much stress for me. But were walking out of Target, which was next door to the costume shop, when I glimpsed a boy's x-ray skeleton costume. !!! This might work!

I have no idea why I thought putting on a child's outfit would work. It was ludicrous and simply begged to crush my self-esteem. Yet I was wild with the thought of its possibility to work.

I tried it on in the dressing room and it fit perfectly. I have wide hips and this was a huge surprise. I mean, it was a childs' costume. A boys at that. But, inseam, perfect. Back closure, perfect. Arm length, perfect. Gloves, perfect. (Which is hard for me because I have small hands, and gloves are always huge.) The legs only came down to mid-calf, but no one would see that.

However, the dressing room was ladies' only, Husband couldn't come back to assure me that I didn't look nuts. So I had to walk out in a skin-tight skeleton suit meant for a child. I was panicking. God bless me there wasn't a single soul in that dressing room or right outside it.

So home we went. I tried it all on together and it was magical. The only thing was it seemed the sleeves were too billowy on the skeleton suit and it ruined the effect of a skeleton-like body, along with the great fit of the dress. So I had Husband pin the arms super tight. It's a stretchy material, so I thought this would work. I stitched it up, my sewing machine played nicely, and I was done in about 45 minutes.

The next day I went and bought some black lace to make a veil. Lucky me, I found out my zombie prom-queen dress came with a black wire tiara. Perfect. Again. Lace got hot glued to it and looked amazing.

Noooow, we have a conundrum. Day-of-the-dead costumes have intricate painted faces. I have never painted my face for Halloween. The last time it was done to me as when I was five and my mom painted me up as a clown.

Well, I had bought a tube of white makeup at the costume shop. But how to make the intricate lines of the dolls? Eyeliners and lipliners at .99 cents and $2 from the drugstore. Bought a pot of cream eyeliner I figured would work to paint in the massive amounts of black for the eyes and nose.

I raced home, as I had been out all day with Husband at our Alma mater's football game watch party. (I am the president of our chapter and it was homecoming, thus we were excited and obligated to be there.) We have one-to-two hours before we have to be there. Oh. Crap.

But, again, somehow everything went smoothly. I found pictures on the web for inspiration in about five minutes, learned to use this white makeup I'd never touched until that day, and managed to paint my own face and make it look symmetrical. Do not ask me how this happened. It's a miracle.

Here's the outcome. I know that's what you've been waiting to see, or already scrolled down saw at first. :)

These closeups were after the party, so the makeup isn't quite as perfect,
but I'd forgotten to get a closeup before.

I hope you enjoyed!

Harry Potter & Halloween Horror Nights

As you know, I adore Halloween. I was so lucky this year to have a bunch of super cool things to do that seemed very appropriate. I went to Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, as well as their Halloween Horror Nights 20th Edition, two weeks ago.

Here are some pictures of that weekend.
Keep reading to see the rest!

One-Off Wednesday

What is One-Off Wednesday? Well, once a week I think I've decided to post a bit about my personal life. Not anything creepy or TMI, but just a bit about what's going on in my corner of the world.

I know I love reading about some of the fabulous ladies whose blogs I follow. As much as their posts inspire me, it's also lovely to get to know them, and how their blogs intersect with their lives. Maybe you'd like that about me. Well, today is my first One-Off Wednesday, so let me know if your thumbs up or down. :)

I'll be making two posts in an effort to keep things from getting too lengthy and neatly separated. First is Harry Potter & Halloween Horror Nights. Second is about the costume party. I hope you enjoy! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spooky Table Centerpiece (& DR Wreath)

I was so inspired by some of the great tablescapes out there, that I had to make one for myself. Now, I didn't "set" my table, but decorated with a centerpiece more or less. Here is how it turned out. I hope you like it!



More pictures after the jump...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Witch Way?

So I wanted my porch to look a little spooky, without it getting too out of hand. So I decided I'd make it look like a hotel for witches to a certain degree. I had a lot of fun and thought I'd share with you how it turned out.

The Front Porch
I found the giant stick when I was out taking a walk with my husband. I just knew it would look perfect poised over the doorway. I added a lot of black birds to its branches, and draped some Spanish moss from them. I found a little sign at Dollar Tree that says "Witches Way deadly desserts" that I hung on the right side of the door. My "inn" had to have a restaurant I thought, besides just serving spells and potions.

I knew my "inn" needed a bigger sign than this small one, but I wanted to use it since it was the starting point for it all. So, I crossed two brooms together to make more of a statement.
*I felt so proud of my myself when I went to Harry Potter at Universal this weekend, because they did something similar!

Witchy Plantings
I went to my local nursery and found some dark plants that I thought would look perfect in a witch's garden. I looked for the darkest purples and reds I could find, along with some silvery ones for effect. Then I crafted these signs and used cheap forks from the dollar store as plant stakes. I thought the forks worked well since this is supposed to be for poisonous concoctions and all! (Plus, the cauldron is just a foot away!)

See more, and the finished product after the jump!

Grain Sacks & Coffee Bags

I want them, I want them! Is that enough of a tantrum for you? I don't know where everyone finds these so cheaply, but by golly, I'm on the look out. If you know of where they are, help a sister out and let me know. :D

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scentsational Sharing

I absolutely love going to people's homes and finding out how they smell. 

I said it. There. 

Every home smells different, and it's indicative of the people who live within it. For example, my friend Laura's home smells of tea, spices and paper. She has a whole cabinet of tea and her husband makes all kinds of strange and wonderful food. They both create a lot of things and she's a designer by trade. There are loads of different kinds of paper and books all throughout her home. When I go there, it smells familiar and comforting. It's her home. When I go home and unpack, my pillowcase smells like her home. It makes me smile.

See, each home has its signature scent. The aromas may change with the seasons, but the background is always there. I don't know if I'm absolutely crazy and it's just me, but I sort of doubt it. I mean, when you go to your parent(s)' house, doesn't it still smell familiar? 
Anyway, I was just thinking about this tonight as I lit some candles. After which, it got me thinking I do change the scents in my home each season. And I bet almost everyone else does to. Thus, here is where I actually round-the-bush and get to the point of my post.

I thought I'd share with you what my home smells like in fall. 

My fall scents are Yankee Candle's Harvest and Pumpkin Pie candles. I have a Bath and Body Works Wallflower in Kitchen Spice. Occasionally, I spray their Autumn scent. 

(Aromatique had a great smell called Fall Festival, which I loved. I don't have much left, but I spritz it on pine cones after I collect them, and put them in big bowl on my dining room table each November.)

I'm always on the lookout, or sniffout, for great smells that just say *Fall* to me. 
I'd love to hear what scents you use for fall in your home. ♥

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Blog Guidebook

I just wanted to tell everyone about this amazing site. They have a lot of need-to-know info for those newbies like me. Plus, they're basically creating a yellow pages for bloggers by category. I'm so pleased that someone has come up with something so useful to help us all! Hoorah!

Get yourself in there ladies!

(Don't you just love the bees, too!)


I just wanted to give a quick update and all I could hear was the sound of a telegraph in my head...

Anyway, I have been good and doing my crafts, so I can hopefully take pictures and show you. Also, I have been doing lots of other "musts". Even though they're fun, they do keep my from blogging. I hope to post maybe one Saturday and Monday, but I'm crossing my fingers. If perchance you drop by, and I haven't been on, I swear I didn't just give up. (Though after seeing all the amazing blogs out there, I do sometimes have some self-doubt!)

So here is what I have on my to-do list that will keep me a bit busier than usual:
1. Oklahoma State Football.
I am the head of the alumni chapter in Jacksonville. And we are really good this year, so we'll be at the watch-party location cheering on the Cowboys!
2.  Halloween Horror Nights.
I am so excited to go to Universal Studio's HHN this year for the very first time. People come from overseas to go to this thing, it is that cool. I'm beyond pumped. I might have just peed a little...
3. Husband has Monday off.
Thus, since I like him, I try to spend time with him while he's here. 
4.  I have real work due on Monday. 
I know, I know, I have a real job. Good thing I love it!
5. I am coming up with t-shirt ideas for my alumni chapter.
Hells ya!

Here is what you have to look forward to me posting:
1. New Halloween Porch. 
Very witchy. Some cool ideas with dark plants and cauldrons. Will be able to carry over into fall really easily.
2. Halloween Dining Room.
I did some fun stuff to perk up that room too, which I'm excited to share!
3. HHN photos.
You know you wanna see some scary stuff this close to Halloween!
4. Scrap-Booking Closet. 
Yep, closet. It was sort of messed up as closets go, and I needed a place where my cats wouldn't play with every tiny little piece of my work. It really became a nice solution. There's even gift wrapping storage included! (And it keeps clutter down, since it I can just shut a door and *POOF* it's gone!)

So, that's my beepin' update!!! See you no later than Tuesday, and maybe before!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

♥ My Room ♥

I'm pleased to say I've finally finished off the majority of my room. A room. Just for me. I'm not a designer with tons of money, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. (I have realized in this process, however, that I really need a better camera. Everything looks pretty cute, but when I take a picture--not so much. So please put on your cuteness glasses and try to see past the bad photography. xoxo)


The terrible shots from when we first moved in:
The vertical blinds!!! Ahhh!
We painted all the woodwork work white, including some shuttered doors you see later.
I turned the closet you see in the back ground into a scrap-booking station, but that's another post in itself, so hang tight and I'll get it photographed soon. It's pretty rad.


I painted the walls "milk-glass pink" by Martha Stewart at Home Depot. I wanted a pink room, but one that was really light to when the light came in the windows it would give a faint glow. A bit dawn-like. 

Here is my "stuff" station. Notes, tools, pens, letter opener... Also, there's a hanger for for things that need to be organized.

I found the chalkboard as a metal memo board, but painted it with chalkboard paint so it could double as a place for notes too. Then, took a $1 black frame and added some cork to make a little pin board.
The tray serves as a place to coral the necessary utensils and keep things from looking cluttered. Since I'm a writer, I picked one that has letters on it, which look like they've been stamped on. A somewhat hidden element that makes me happy.

I made the burlap skirt using a tension rod, and then hand sewing little plastic crystals to the end for a rustic-chic look. (You can find them in the wedding section at Michael's. They come in boxes to scatter about, but they already have holes in them for sewing. Great, right?)

 See more after the jump!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Living Room

Today I'm posting pictures of some of my living room decorations. There's a little bit scattered throughout, but these are some vignettes, if you will.

Here is s look at the "mantel" over the TV. (Hey, you work with what you've got!)

I was feeling particularly in-the-season, so I took some pictures of the mantel with a filter to give things a spooky look. Once you scroll down, there are some regular pictures so you can see it clearly, too.

See more after the jump.

Making Faux Candles Look Real

This is one of the best ideas I've seen this fall. It's really one of those, Why didn't I think of that?, moments. Not to discredit her genius in any way! 

Party Puff: Make your faux candles creepy

I love my battery operated candles in Autumn.  They're stationed around my house and automatically turn on and off every night.  I just got a new box at Costco (4 for $20).  Unfortunately when you get them they don't look very authentic.  Sterile comes to mind actually. 

But we can fix this!  Grab a heat gun,

and start melting away.

Keep melting until you achieve your desired look.  You will get run off down the sides, so put some wax paper underneath for easier clean up.  The wax will also melt and run down the inside of the candle.  I let it build up and then carefully pour it out onto the sides of another candle.  Remember the wax will be hot.

Now isn't that better!  Much more believable.

Great, right?!

*Be sure to check out her other great ideas. She is having a Poe-party for Halloween, and she's posting her ideas/crafts as she goes along. She also is a designer, and does some serious events. She has a great New Moon event party on her site you should see--very cool and great ideas to be inspired by for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Kitchen Decor

Here is part one of my Halloween decorating. In an effort not to have one lengthy post, I'll post a room per day.

For this little arrangement above my sink, I took some random glass containers and filled them first with fake moss from the dollar store. I added some leftover "berry" sticks I had lying around. Then, layered on that, I added some small snakes I found in a package at the dollar store too. I think it gives is a good witchy feel.

I made this little tag by using a pre-made one, then writing in a scripty font with a Sharpie pen. After that, I aged it by blotting it with a wet tea bag. It still looked a little too new, so I singed the edges with a lighter.

I made the apothecary jar by gluing a $1 candlestick to a $1 jar I found at Dollar Tree. The "eyes" are made by adding some water and then some black Styrofoam, floral-arrangement-filler beads. Cheap and creepy!

Keep reading to see the rest.

New Kitchen Backsplash

Hip, hip hooray! I finally have pictures uploaded to show you the cheap, easy update to my kitchen. 

My original backsplash was the same Formica as my counter tops. A little too much beige for my taste. And way too much matching. So, I purchased some bead-board wallpaper and got busy. It's cheap and way easier than hack-sawing real beadboard and trying to make it fit.

See the before and after, after the jump!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween Decorations!

Since everyone loves to check out nifty stuff, I thought I'd share. Here are some items I've coveted  (partially for their definite weird factor) recently.