Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finally a bit o' fall inthe air!

Last night, we opened some of the windows in the house before going to bed.  The fresh air smelled good coming into the house and you could feel the slightest bit of a coolness on the breeze.  Yes, folks, autumn has finally come to Florida!  Last night's low was around 58° here in the Jacksonville metro area and was a PERFECT companion for the annual bringing down of the Halloween boxes from the attic.  All the main decorating boxes have been stacked with care in the main living areas of the house and now we have to weave through the  maze of them to get around.  I'm excited to finally get the gossamer up on the walls today and transform the beiges and tans in the house to the Halloween blacks, grays and reds.  It's crunch time, and I've only just started, but I'm hoping that the cooling off from our 90°+ weather helps to speed me along in my attempt to "git 'r dun" in the 24 days I have left until the party.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Images, images and more images!

I found a lot more images today on my quest for graphics to use with my invitations.  There is one site that stands out in particular, mainly because of its HUGE collection of public domain images that deal with religion, ancient signs and symbols, medical reference (skeletal charts), literary images, tarot, and so much more.

I could peruse this site for hours!

Printables for Halloween

While I was perusing the interweb today for some vintage graphics for my Halloween party invitations, I stumbled upon a nifty craft blog with some links for images that you can print out for your bottles and jars for Halloween displays.  A couple of the sites listed I was already aware of, but some new ones were on there that  I really enjoyed.  This image from Love Manor was the one that caught my eye:

Image source:

Take a gander at Free Printable Fun:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dollar Tree's offerings for 2009

I decided to get in the spirit of Halloween by visiting the closest Dollar Tree today with my daughter and we picked a few things out to bring home with us.  They had some usable new stuff, a lot of the same boring stuff as every year, and some really cutesy stuff that I totally passed right on by.  I saw a few painted signs I liked, so I grabbed them to put in my kitchen:

They had some of those small resin tombstones again as well, but I only snagged two of those that I didn't already have:

There were some small crows, so I picked up a few of them.  I wish they'd had these small skeletons last year when I needed them.  I paid like 5 bucks a sheet for 8 of them last year at WalMart, when this year they are a buck for a sheet of 4 at Dollar Tree.  I plan on making some of Willy's Fairy Art with them, so I bought a few sheets of them.  I also got a small black sparkle skull too... dunno why.  It looks more like it's coated with tar than glitter, but that's fine by me.  :)

I found some bottle labels that looked alright too.  I have about 50 wine bottles that I picked up off someone via FreeCycle, so I can use them for some of those.  I thought about using the wine bottles as invitations and making my own labels... but I decided against it.  Anyway, there are 8 labels in the package, 4 different types - 2 of each.

And I totally could not resist these socks!  

Bugs, bugs, bugs... and other things

I love my children. :) Chips off the ol' block for sure. My daughters are always on the look out for interesting things for me to use in my witch bottles and other assorted Halloween projects. Two days ago, my youngest daughter brought me a gift that she and her sister found out in the driveway:
They also bring me cicadas when they find them, knowing that they used to be called "tree nymphs" back in the old days because of their "singing".
They keep an eye out for spiders as well, since I have a nice jar 'o arachnids that I'm collecting. This particular beauty is one that my husband found in our bathroom and called me to come retrieve:
I've just decided to start using our beach findings in the display as well. I found a really nice sea urchin skeleton on our last trip to the beach:

I love mermaid's purses as well, I remember the first time I found one at Little Talbot Island. They're actually shark/skate/ray egg cases and are also called Devil's purses. They sound gross, but they're lightweight and dry somewhat hard. I was thinking of making a papier mache "Devil's Purse" on a much larger scale to add to the display. This one is from our last trip out to Talbot and is about 3 inches long:

I think a walk around the yard is in order now...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Invitation inspiration

FINALLY! I have been inspired! I was perusing the party section of, and I came across this thread:

I absolutely LOVE these invites (Cover shot pictured above)! Kudos to BevAnn for coming up with these fun little spell books. Very creative, and lots of room for individualizing them. The more I think about what I want to do for my own invites for this year's party, the more I really am leaning toward doing something like these little gems. I have been really getting annoyed, because my mind just is not cooperating with me in the Halloween sense lately, and seeing these mini spell books totally jolted me into creative mode. Exactly what I needed!

So, I was thinking, if I did something like these, of how I would give them an overall look. I'm leaning toward the usual tea-staining (I really love tea-staining, the whole process is fun to me) and maybe aging with paint like I did on my foam witch spell book. (Pictured below)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wow... September already!

Time is certainly flying right by. I can't believe that it is September already and that Labor Day is almost upon us. I have not done a single thing toward this year's haunt. Not one. I think I lost almost all of my "mojo" as my husband put it on our way home from lunch yesterday. As with last year, I am just not feeling it. I'm hoping that will the annual "get it down from the attic" day next Wednesday will spark some kind of inspiration.

Anyway, on to better topics! A few weeks ago in August, my daughters were out with their father on their weekly "Day with Daddy" and my 12-year-old, Taylor managed to talk him into visiting the pet store, and subsequently the Dollar Tree next door to the pet store. Apparently, the Dollar Tree had some Halloween goodies out, and she bought me a little gift to start the season. I love my girls, they always know what Mom will enjoy:

My son, Brandon, was looking at some really cool masks for air-soft safety back in July, and came across some really cool ones in interesting shapes with wicked designs, flames and other assorted cool-as-hell paint jobs. Then he wondered if he could make his own, not necessarily for use during games, but just to have. So we busted out the papier mache and he learned to make his own masks. So far, he's only done three of them:

He painted them all by hand, doing a black base coat, then dry brushing and accenting. Not too bad for the first attempts. To make the paint jobs a little more interesting and fun, he decided he wanted to learn airbrushing. Yesterday, we busted out the compressor and the air brush kit and I let him have some fun with it. He practiced for about an hour, then decided to do a practice mural on a sheet of styrofoam that I had sitting in the garage. He calls it "Bowling with Bananas". I think he'll be pretty awesome with the air brush:

I'm looking forward to seeing his progress... and using his talent to paint my Halloween stuff... lol