Tag Archive | Halloween

Halloween House Tour

I’m taking it down and I’m ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas but I wanted to share a few fun bits.

Pro Party tip – put a tablecloth on the wall as a splash guard.  Ask me how I know….  This is the drinks station from the party and to further protect my paint I stuck up the plastic table cloth with wall decals.  Big impact and the best part was no spills on the wall and the white table cloth is still white.


The ‘thing’ of the year this year was the skeleton animals.  I had zero to start and I collected about 7 over the weeks coming up.  They are so creepy but in a classy way, like I’m an eccentric collecter…  The bell jars for my specimens are vases.


This was my really out there creation for the spooky boo-fet at the party.  The original one on Pinterest looks so much better but I did ok.  I searched the internet for ideas of what to put in the middle of the meathead and got zero answers so my meathead is on a cabbage – dense, inexpensive, and isn’t too weird looking when you start eating it.  The one it the pictures uses mini sausages maybe?  I used a giant summer sausage cut up into strips.


This mobile could be its own post.  I was trying to get something to suck up some of our echo in the room.  I think it helped, hard to say.  The family each made a glue and fabric ghost and I strung/balanced them onto 2 6f pieces of metal.  I’m thinking of changing the ghosts for snowflakes soon, we will see.


This is a fun substitution – where the skulls are used to be flower baskets.  They were an impulse buy and gave nice color to this odd corner.  I peeled off the basket and added skulls, for the 22 seconds, it took to actually do it got an admirable amount of attention.


A better shot of both my new picture rail (I’m very excited) and the collection of all our costumes from the last 11 years.  I took them down and the wall looks so empty but I have a plan for Thanksgiving and then this is the future home of all Christmas cards we receive.  We also moved a bench that we use as seating when we have big dinner parties into this room, it really works.  It is also the #1 place for sneak cat attacks, beware what lurks behind the drape….


What do you do with outgrown treat buckets that actually have holes in the bottom because we had them on our porch lights at the old garage?  Well, I put them on top of a cabinet for a cool pop.  I see this as soon as I walk in and it made me happy all season.


I could not take a picture that did justice to this window.  The candles are LED flicker style and I think it is simple, spooky, and elegant.  We don’t have a mantle or a fireplace so this ‘piano window’ is my go-to centerpiece spot.img_2654

Final picture – we did have lots of Halloween shirts but these two are favorites of mine.  I made them 3 years ago and they are still going strong.  Lace, ribbon, and zigzag stitch.  img_2804

Halloween is officially going into the boxes.  I’ve picked my fav’s of the photos to print for next year, and the giant haul of collected candy has been divided 80% to be donated, 20% to be kept.

Anyone else do something cool for Halloween?

Happy Halloween – costume edition

I hope everyone had a great night with their trick or treating or hanging at home being cozy.  For once, we had a day go *as planned* with nearly no issues or problems and it was fun from beginning to end.

Kids went off to school, 1 in costume, 2 bringing costumes, and a bag full of treats to share (if they were allowed).  ::aside:: I’m glad I’m getting this teacher for #3 third so I already know the ropes because there was zero communication on what permutation or combination of holiday fun was happening in her room.  She is the more kind teacher so I asked for her but she isn’t as on top of the note sending.  ::tangent over::  I collected them under bright and not so cold sky and we zipped home to wait for Lars to finish work.

Everyone knows the drill and thankfully they all still love to pose for me.  We did a photo shoot for each costume and then had a meat and cheese tray for early dinner and went off to meet friends and then traveled in a mob house to house.

This year #1 went as Athena.  She is still in deep love with the Greek myths and legends but at least this goddess had some very easy to identify items so at least 3 people could guess who she was.


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Medusa head shield, spear, and then general Greek-ish clothing fit for a Goddess.halloween 2019-005 Her shield was drawn by me but colored and contoured by her.  It also has the ‘feed me’ feature where candy went into the mouth and we had a ziplock bag on the back.  We had to empty her fairy regularly into a normal size bag but making Madusa puke out candy was also kinda fun.halloween 2019-007

Her outfit is really quite pretty and while not mundanely reusable it will absolutely go into the garb collection.  Her costume was 100% hand made (except for the laurel leaf hairpiece) and you can’t have a real hand made Halloween without a little tin foil.


#2 As ever, is a little on the wild side.  She is a Pirate Parrot with a pair of Pistols.  It was a fun costume to collect and I’m really happy with how it came together.

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I think we hit the blend of Pirate and Parrot nicely.  She told one friend that her mom was a pirate and her dad was a parrot…  well, maybe we work on the reality of genetics some other day.halloween 2019-009

I’m really happy with the mask.  It is all fleece (leftover bits from the wings and tail) and I machine sewed the majority and hand sewed the beak on and into a curve.  This is not actually the best picture ever because usually it fit right up over the silly pirate logo on the hat for a pretty cool look but I wanted to get that smile in the picture.

She had fun with the pistols too although they did get put in their holsters and forgotten about for the rest of the night (thankfully).  I think having hands free to hold a candy bag and ring doorbells is an important trait in a costume.

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Hard to say this is a totally hand made costume since she is wearing a red T-shirt and normal pants and a store-bought hat/pistols, however, I made the wings and tail and mask.  So hand made parrot, store-bought pirate?  Regardless this won’t have too much future use other than dress up box but I might remake the fleece into cozy pillowcases.

#3 went a bit classic – she is A devil (not The Devil).  She is certainly impish plenty of the time so pretty suiting persona to put on.halloween 2019-003

She declined wings or a cape or a fluffy skirt in favor of the very classic horns and a tail.

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Her costume is possibly the least homemade as it is overall very simple.  I couldn’t resist the sparkle headband horns and it came with the pitchfork.   We found a blouse at goodwill that was the perfect color and I really loved the lace since it would dress up a dull red dress nicely.  I cut the shirt apart and resewed it to fit.  The tail was my only from scratch item – tube with stuffing and a bit of wire attached to a ribbon to tie on.  The tail did end up with some abuse over the last few weeks but 12 gauge wire is pretty flexible stuff.

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Her outfit is technically just a dress but I have low expectations of her wearing it not as dress up.  Who knows!  you might see it at Christmas, it is a very festive red.  Hornes were declared too itchy so they might get donated right away so another little devil can have the pleasure next year.  Overall she was comfortable and warm since I made it roomy enough to go completely over her winter coat (and I’m glad I did)

Here are all three, having some fun while we waited for 5:30.  You can see in the background my photo wall of every costume, it is a real fun project and it is so fun to see the costumes every year.

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I had been crossing my fingers the weather would be ok for the outside walk.  It was nearly perfect, clear and crisp and not too cold.  Sure we had to be creative about bundling up and double socks but everyone was warm.  We went to the same neighborhood as last year that really does it up, tons of kids running around and superb decorating and hospitality (fires and warming spots).  We came home at 7:30 and popped in a pizza to eat while watching a Halloween movie.  Everyone was happily asleep by 10 and I wasn’t far behind.  I love having an outlet for creating something fun and helping them become characters they love.


Fur cloak, wings are quite warm plus we had a red sweatshirt to replace the t-shirt and devil dress fits over her coat.  I’ll take credit for planning indoor/outdoor costumes thanks 🙂

Today the decorations come down but I’ll take pictures before I do for a slightly late Halloween House tour tomorrow.



Hi there – it has been a bit.

I’m sure you can imagine (if you imagine me any other time than the 3 minutes you are reading) that I’ve been doing all the things that make the world go around here.  Driving to and fro, trying my best to remember what day it is to remember where what child is going where.  They tease parents on tv shows when they drop off a kid with a binder, but seriously children are actually just a collection of if-then statements with ever-changing variables.

I have been chipping away at my project list as well as prepping for a fairly large Halloween party.  They are related in a way, I was doing projects but then put an event on the calendar where people will see that I don’t have finished window treatments or any pictures on the wall after a YEAR and that puts me in gear.  There is plenty to do still but a few things will be off the list.

Other years I had tons of kids in Halloween shirt posts.  They are still wearing them, but, I have been missing the photo ops.  I did, however, get all my favorite shirts of the past that they have outgrown and made them into throw pillows.  Let me tell you, there are way easier ways to make pillows, like using normal shape fabric not a 50x washed tshirt size 3T….  I’ve made them different ways over the years, this year I cut the cool part of the shirt and appliqued it onto a regular piece of fabric and then made a pillowcase like normal.  img_2653

The kids have chosen their costumes and I’m in process on a Parrot, a Devil, and a Greek Goddess.  Can you guess who is who?  I would say I am pretty close to done on 2:3 but still have finishing touches to go.  I waited too long and now I have to make something I could have purchased but now delivery is after Halloween.  I’ve learned to look carefully at the delivery dates, hard lesson but one can not make the shipping faster.

I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole for Halloween party ideas.  We invited kids from each class and their parents/siblings so I have no idea who is coming from that group but we will probably have a crowd.  We are doing a more adult party after and I have a better idea of who is coming to that since I did the invite online and people do RSVP so it puts the event on the calender.  I think it will be a good bunch and hopefully, we have enough food/room/parking.

Speaking of parking… one of my odder longer-term projects is coming together.  I am expanding our driveway by 5 feet on one side, and, adding 2 generous parking spots so we have the possibility of 7 people parked in the driveway and less chance of running off the driveway when it is snowy.  This project took a while, had a few setbacks, taught me a ton about pavement and class 5 and the different types of class 5 and I had the rock delivered on Tuesday and tomorrow I get the machine to help move the class 5 rock into the spot that has been cleared.  I rented the machine for 24h so hopefully, I get this job done in a few and I can use the machine to do a few other jobs while it is here.  Who knew being a stay at home mom would translate into being a minor construction contractor?

The project bop is at a frantic level because I keep switching to what I can do best at the time so not too many things are in a *complete* status yet however the next few days should be good for finishing up stuff and putting away the tools etc so I can just enjoy the done-ness for a moment before party prep and Halloween events next week take over.

Wish me luck with my excavating equipment tomorrow, I hope to have pictures and success and not just a day full of what not to do.

Where am I?

Good question!

I’m about 17 different places.  I think I’m developing ADD because I do a little bit on a project then run to the next thing and do something and off to the next.

Yesterday I laid out all the Halloween costumes to make sure I had all the bits and pieces and I didn’t so I had a crafty afternoon.  Still a bit to do but nothing too major.  When I post daily in November I’ll have DIY Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and Supergirl posts.  I’m already too late for this year, might as well do them right instead of rushing.


still missing a few things, better pictures to come!

I’m mid-major library wall project.  We would be further along but we got all the shells up and decided the center unit was too small so we had to go back to the store and that is a trip all on its own.


All of the tall ones will get taller, we were just doing the layout.  Don’t mind the clutter, yes, that yellow is last min Halloween costume making… 

Campaigning is an on and off thing.  I’m not a ‘major candidate’ but I still feel like I need to attend everything and keep an eye on issues on Facebook.  This grabs chunks of time and attention at unexpected times.

I have an entire post in my head about how we have entered the ‘taxi’ phase of parenthood.  A quarter of my brain is dedicated to the logistics of getting 3 other humans to the places they need/want/have to be.  It is fun overall and the things I hear in the car are priceless, especially when I have an extra kid in there.

Random house projects are still chugging along.  The garage has quite a bit of shelving now and we can, most importantly, park in there now.  I have acquired curtain hardware for the entire house, and fabric for upstairs, and we are working through getting that done.  Given we live in a giant field, privacy isn’t that much of an issue and now that the sun isn’t rising until past 7am I think we actually waited out the situation.  Curtains might be waiting until spring when I get a 5am face full of sunrise.


Family and friend dynamics, like always, are ever in need of attention.  Happily given but those who feel maintaining kids, marriages, friends and family and hobby relationships take no effort might look around one day and have very few.  Same with the poor neglected blog; I feel guilty that I can’t do more with everyone, the house is like a newborn!  Thankfully I hope everyone who matters understands.


And that is all I have time for today.  I need to get back to all the things before they get worse and spawn dangerous things for the neglect…

Happy Halloween!

Wow, I’m so behind!  Well, I’m keeping it together in real life, just neglecting my online duties.  These are the things I have to recognize but don’t have time to do right at the moment.  They are on my list:

#1 – I was nominated for a blogging award.  I’m always flattered when people think my blog is good 🙂  I’ll be doing a better job on receiving it and passing it on ASAP.

#2 – I was also tagged for a 7 days and 7 black and white picture (no people) challenge and I also really want to do it.  It just has to wait a couple days.

#3 – I still intend to do the blog every day in November, I need to sign up officially but I again, miss blogging and even have a list now in my book of lists of topics to write about.


Here is what I have been keeping up on;  The Election is under a week away, this time next week I will know if all the work went into something productive or if the people who hate taxes won.  Seriously, I don’t like taxes, I do like safe streets and our town moving in the right direction.  The schools need to be funded.  period.  When I hear someone complain in the paper about how their taxes will increase by $500 a year I do a little mental math and see that their house is APPRAISED for TAX (not what it would sell on the market for mind you) at over $500,000.00.  The tax is under $10 per 100k of home value.  Please don’t cry on my shoulder about how you can’t afford it as you sip your $5 latte and type letters to the editor on your brand new laptop.  I digress…  We pledged a positive campaign and we are sticking by it.

In this last week we have a rally on Saturday, we are doing some last minute press in the paper, and I’m increasing the volume on all our social media.  I do hope it works, the alternative is really not fun.

Halloween.  I don’t know if the kids noticed but this year we didn’t do as much as normal but I still pulled off a few fun things.  The world also wasn’t helping, 2 events we were supposed to go to got rained out.  They were all super excited heading out to school today for their Halloween adventures.  1 is going to the pumpkin patch so she had to put on cold weather gear since this week we are at freezing temps.  1 is in the costume parade and 1 is watching and I’ll be there too taking pictures.  Tonight we are going to trick or treat door to door with friends and then go to the fantastic indoor party we love.  I’m also making the skull-shaped pizza for dinner.  Last night was mummy dogs, I’ve been sneaking spiders and eyeballs (fake) into lunches and snacks all last week, and today this is their snack.img_4366.jpg

I also gave them the once yearly treat of cereal with marshmallows.  Who does not love Halloween theme cereal!img_4358

And as always we did the shirts for 2 weeks before, here is the final day and while I didn’t do my normal daily picture this outfit was too cute to ignore.  img_4368


you can tell by her face she knew that maybe she went too far with her pattern mixing. Please note she is hiding her watermelon leggings.


we did the pumpkin carving thing, only one did actual carving and the others painted.  It looks pretty idealized in the picture but in reality, I was so tired I could hardly help so they got free reign on design.

We also did get out to two events, a trunk or treat that had a fun little ‘spooky’ music play after.  Given that it was at a church they could not resist throwing in some all saints day things and that was actually pretty cool.  They also let the kids do a bell song and even with no practice (they held up cards for the color bell) they were ok.  Some kids just rang the entire time but they must have special church bells that work together so it was loud but not horrible.


the other event was the Highschool spooky concert.  I love that they get so into it and even though the selection of Halloween style music arranged for a band, orchestra and chorus must be limited, they have been different every year.


And I think this is long enough.  I have to get out and do some things before the events for today get rolling.  Tomorrow we start daily blogging so I’ll put up the costumes in their completeness 🙂  Hope you all have a happy Halloween.



This year with all the extra work I’m doing I can’t handcraft each costume so step one was the thrift store for all 3 girls.  We scored on 2 (Amazon took care of 3) and here is my incredibly easy Jasmine costume.

  1. We got lucky at the store to find a women’s skirt in the right color and with gorgeous Indian beading.  I was really just looking for a skirt in the correct color and gauzy fabric so I think that even if you don’t find something beaded you can find something ‘right’img_4236.jpg I took some ribbon and stitched it onto the top to make two straps.  We were lucky that the fit was pretty good otherwise but my plan was to make a few tucks if it was too big.  The extra perk is that the length lets us get away with normal leggings, not poofy pants, and, since it is so pretty she doesn’t notice that it isn’t the belly showing style that Jasmine actually wears.  This works much better for a 5 year old.

2.  For the iconic hair, I got a simple black wig and some foldover elastic in the right color. It was easy to tie 3 spots to make just the right hairdo for Jasmine.  Foldover elastic is easier than ribbon since it won’t slip.


3. The key to costumes is getting some details right and for Jasmine, the headband with the jewel is the most memorable.  I used Sculpey clay and got a pack of ‘gems’ that had a big one in the right blue.  The only trick I did was in order of operations;

  • make the round piece of clay and press the jewel into it to make an imprint.  Remove jewel and poke 4 holes in the imprint like buttonholes
  • bake Sculpey clay
  • sew the gold onto a length of foldover elastic, just like a button
  • glue gem into its spot, covering the sewing
  • position the headband onto the wig and pin/sewimg_4295

We tried to make the gold necklace and hoop earrings also out of Sculpey clay.  The earrings worked but I’m not sure they are worth it since the hair covers her ears and the clips hurt her after 10 min.  The necklace was a failure, broke in 5 min so we scratched that and just used the pretty chunky necklace in the right color (also a thrift find).

This entire thing had about 10min of hand sewing, some creative shopping, preschool level sculpting, and hot glue.  I won’t be winning any cosplay prizes but I think she captures the spirit of the princess and she loves it.  It cost about $15 total and I think she will actually wear the dress again and NOT look like a costume.