Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Happy Halloween

Click image to enlarge.

Happy Halloween!

I blame my love of Gothic literature on my fondness for the dark and mysterious days of late autumn. Now I'm going to go finish reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and pick out a Poe to finish off the day.

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the beautiful mosaics!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Napkin bucket

When I saw this post at Mustard Seed Creations about painted pails I knew I needed one for the paper napkins in the kitchen. Where do you put things like this that doesn't look ridiculous, isn't in the way, or isn't falling everywhere? In a bucket, that's where.

Of course, calling it a bucket, not a pail, makes me think of this, lolz....

I found my little tin bucket at Goodwill for 99 cents.

Let me tell you I felt like Goldilocks because I kept looking at different ones and setting them down, then picking another up, then setting them down. This one's too tall, this one's too short, this one is too narrow... but this one was just right. :)

The Christmas-ification had to come off of course, but I was able to safely untwine it and I already have another project in mind for these little sprigs.

I gave the pail two rough, dry coats of white paint then applied a wash made with "burnt umber." I was trying to figure out how to distress the paint further but when I dabbed and wiped at the wash it peeled the paint for me. That was the first time I was ever glad for that!

The hook I made from some wire I use in jewelry making.

MMS used an oval chalkboard tag to label her pail and I, in the spirit of thrift and upcycling, used an acorn cookie cutter - it's autumn and I was feeling the acorn love - to cut the shape out of an empty cracker box. I painted it black, wrote the word "napkins" in pencil and painted over it with white paint.

It is the perfect little spot for holding the napkins and I'm so grateful to Marian for the idea!

I asked my brother if he thought I was weird for wanting to make things look old and worn out and he said, "No, that's just what you like." Yep, it sure is. :)

Linking to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage

House of Grace

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Painted pumpkins

I'm not trusted with sharp objects (just kidding) so I usually paint my pumpkins.

I can't have one without a full moon and a bare tree.

I saw an argyle painted faux pumpkin at Real Deals Home Decor and I had to make my own. Just. Had. To. I put glitter on mine too. Weee! I used an argyle sock to get the pattern figured out. No one could figure out why I was toting around a sock and a pumpkin. :)

...And moved inside. No mantel but this old dresser works for setting a stage with my super drippy candles and my pheasant feathers. (Also? those oak leaves on the cake stand have been spray painted gold. Oh yes I did!)

If you want to see a GORGEOUSLY carved pumpkin, check out what Jennifer did over at Gypsy Mare Studios.

Linking to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mosaic Monday - brrrrrr!

Click image to enlarge.

We've had some beautiful but chilly mornings here in my part of Oregon. These are my favorite type of mornings to run outside with my camera and wait for the sun to come over the hill and turn everything to sparkling diamonds. Everyone else in the house thinks I'm nuts but I love it. :)

Several of my sunnier flowers are still going strong and surviving in spite of it. Sadly I can't say the same for that squash vine shown in the lower left corner. Ah well, they had a good run!

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the beautiful mosaics!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Make an Alice-style bow headband

My brother's girlfriend picked out this bag for me a couple months ago and when I was wondering what to be for Halloween it decided my costume.

I don't "go out" on Halloween but I do hang out with a friend and we give candy to the kids that come to her house so we like to dress up for them. And since I'm going to be Alice this year and I don't want to spend money on a costume I had to come up with something I could make with what I had.
I have to recant that a tiny bit because I did buy some Manectric eyeshadow from Shiro Cosmetics. It's beautiful!

I found an old headband and some sheets of black eco-felt.

Measuring how wide I wanted the bow to be, I cut a strip. Sometimes I use one of those rolling cutters (which for some reason I can't think of the name of...oh yeah I haven't had my coffee yet!) but they tend to stretch the felt and I end up with a weird angle on one end.

I glued my ends together with felt glue and held them closed with clothespin/bag clip things.

So that it will look like one continuous piece.

When it's dry, pinch the center to get your bow shape.

Then dab in some more glue and...

...clip it to hold while it dries.

And it would seem some of my photos went missing. Drat. Lemme 'splain. I cut a second strip of felt - slighter less wide than the first - to be the "tails" to my bow. I v'd the ends and pinched and glued it in the middle as well.

Because I've never made anything like this before and had NO clue what I was doing I'm going to let you learn from my mistakes. :)

In the photo you see I've got two pieces, one bow and one tail. My bow already has the center strip glued around the middle and my tail has a bulky center of it's own to contend with. Let me suggest that you hold off on the center strip on the bow until the very end.

Also let me suggest you cut your tail piece into two pieces, tapered at the center end, so you can just glue them under the bow (you won't even see the ends) and you don't end up with that bulk. Also this way your center strip can be glued around the whole headband and help secure it.

As it were, I glued my bow against the flat side of my pinched tail and then glued the tails straight against the back of the bow. Sounds complicated and I completely forgot - in my frustration - to photograph the process.

I did, however, get it all worked out in the end.

I hope you have an easier time of it. :)

UPDATED: Click here to see it in action.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thrifted steampunk display cloche

Steampunk appears to be taking over the world. I love the historical/literature aspect of it and it happens to go with my decor so lucky me! I created this display for around $2.50 using thrifted and already-on-hand goods.

It all started with that glass light fixture globe I bought at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It cost me a whole dollar! Gasp! ;) (read about it here)
Then I added my ten cent garage sale candlestick, spray painted oil-rubbed bronze (read about it here).
Next came the lid off a spaghetti sauce jar, spray painted black, an ornate key my brother found me at a flea market, a spool of pretty ribbon and a twig from the yard.

I needed the lid to create a little "stage" inside my display dome. I first made sure it would fit inside comfortably, painted it, and then (after letting it dry of course) used a huge nail and a hammer to poke a hole in the center.

This will hold my twig. Kindof ignore this twig because it didn't work and I ended up using one off the apple tree instead. I could have fashioned something out of wire, but I really wanted that natural element in there.

Those things go on the even bigger stage of the candlestick. The jar lid helps get my display above those threads along the bottom of the glass dome.

Balancing the key on a nubby off the twig...

And then I had to cut some off the top and it left a bald spot which I covered with this little brass gear.

I have a few thousand old dictionary pages from a falling apart dictionary. This page had a tear in it, so I cut out a rectangle and slid it into the back to create some depth and interest. Then I cut a length of ribbon and tied it around the bottom of the globe to cover the threads of where the globe would normally go into a light fixture.

Et voilà. It goes right with my entryway autumn/Halloween display!

If you're interested in adding steampunk elements to your home, I enjoy the posts at The Steampunk Home.

Linking to:

House of Grace's Twice Owned Tuesday

The Shabby Chic Cottage's Transformation Thursday

Friday, October 15, 2010

Once-Told Tale

Let me tell you the tale of the time I decided to go through the secret keyhole.

I heard tell of the beauty and delights, wonder and magic and treats and clay sprites...

And in! Now for the story to begin!

In the morning the air was biting with cold and fog clings about the fields.

Dewdrops like diamonds decorate the surface of every still thing.

My morning reading I read over and over with no understanding. Familiar words kept coming to me...a chilling fragment of the Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley (husband to ghoul writer Mary Shelley but of course)

O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, thou from whose unseen presence, the leaves dead are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing...

The wind moved outside and the leaves rattled and rasped. Fleeing they indeed seem to be, racing across the green.

I look about and half the day is gone! Have I been sitting at the desk all this time? But there are strange things about me that I have no memory of collecting. Jars and books and secret keys...

A jar of shiny green fairy wings? What magic there must be in those...

Tiny bats and candles of wax.

Pirate ships, secret ingredients and old tales?

The pages of a book are open before me, I must write it down this magical tale spinning in my head. But the tale is really true, it happened to me and could happen to you!

Time traveling apparatus with...

A view to the future? Or the past?

Perhaps I'll consult the gazing ball.

Memories float through the air like unhitched spiderwebs. The sights and thoughts surround me. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg fills the air, warm fresh bread and bubble bubble. Where have I been and am I in trouble?

But the book is closed. I have finished the story. Or is it only just beginning?

But the warmth and memories have already begun to fade. It is already night and a chill is upon my cheek as I wonder where I have gone.

Many thanks to Vanessa for hosting these lovely get-togethers! Thank you for visiting me! Be sure to visit all the other lovely party-goers!

Halloween Party @ A Fanciful Twist

In case you were wondering about a few things...

My quill is a painted turkey feather, not really a hawk feather.

Want to make your own paper bag art like my Percy Bysshe Shelley quote? I have a tutorial here.

Care to make your own jar of fairy wings from maple keys? I have a tutorial for that too! Go here and enjoy!

This is my 300th post, hurray! Perhaps we could do a little giveaway in honor of the fact? A pair of shiny earbobs from my etsy shop may interest you. Leaving me a comment will enter you to win - maybe you could let me know if you'd be interested in winning? Open to anyone!
Poison Berry Pumpkin Patch earrings. Are they little black pumpkins or deadly nightshade berries? Either way they are perfect for Halloween!

(someone mentioned they couldn't win because they don't have pierced ears, but I have clip-on fasteners as well, so if that applies to you, you can still enter and I can swap the hooks out for you no problem!)


Congratulations to lucky winner...

Ana @ A Beleza de Todas Coisas!