Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween from Doughboy & Remy!

We couldn't let Halloween go by without warm wishes from these two characters. Doughboy and Remy had a tough time choosing their spooky attire for this year, so they would like you to pick your favourite(s). Don't forget to click on the Halloween music link at right to get the full October fashion effect. They are starting with their Pastry Chef & Cupcake costumes...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Halloween Apothecary 2012

We do get excited around here when it's time to set up our apothecary cubby! I keep an eye peeled throughout the year at thrift stores for interesting jars to add. I'd better quit looking as there are quite a few potions that didn't even make it onto this display this year. But a witch has to have some selection, right?

 We painted small rocks with chalkboard paint for Macy's party this year. Macy wrote all the girls' names on them and they were used for place markers. The girls each took them home as part of their loot bag. No... no one was named Eeeeek.

My 25 year old IKEA mortar and pestle fit right in and the glass jar holds lavatera seeds handpicked by my neighbour friend Louise. The black lacquer pot belonged to my great grandparents. I emptied out the little baggies in my bulk spice leftover bin to fill new jars. Old peppercorns, celery seed and poppy seed make great bottle fillers. Hydrangea blossoms are perfect as well.

This little Spell Book was totally inspired by Robin Sanchez from Once Upon a Pink Moon's wonderful miniature books (complete with tutorial). It measures 2.25"x3" and is one of the crafts the girls made at Macy's party last Friday afternoon. Macy and I chose the images for the book (most were from The Graphics Fairy); I resized, printed and sliced them up. (I use a quilt ruler and my rotary cutter for almost all of my cutting. It makes life soooo much easier!) I also cut and folded the pages ahead of time. The girls glued everything together and chose where they wanted their pages. We added a single black bead and charm. Thanks so much Robin for the idea. The girls LOVED their little books!

We included miniature versions of our spells from the Spell Book we made last year...

Skeleton's depicting Macy and her friends
(as she is a head taller than most of them).

The book contained 12 different images, this being the last of them.

The crow on the pedestal is new this fall -- a regular priced splurge at $7.99. After all, I can display it year 'round at my Crow's Feet Chic desk. I'm not really happy with his beak though. Not very crow-ish. I think I'll get out the Dremel soon and do some shaping. Hopefully he'll look better and not like a hummingbird when I'm finished. The bottle of Swamp Fog is another of the party crafts the girls made. I just saved medium sized jars over the past year and added a bit of moss and a small bit of thinned out batting. Voila. Easy peasy and cheap  inexpensive.

I just love sunflower heads. Nature is amazing. Not so much the snow I had to trudge through today to the front flower bed to snip them though.

Another new item this year is the Slug Juice. If you knew how many slugs we picked out of our flower beds this summer you know this could be real. I used about a tablespoon of vegetable oil, water, and a couple of drops of liquid gravy browner. (Which, by the way, I only use on pork gravy. Much to my mother's dismay. She would rather have pale gravy than use that stuff.) Shake like crazy, and it makes a grand jar filler. I empty and wash all of my liquid display jars for storage. Makes them much lighter and no chance of spills!

The black lidded jar is a $2 thrift store find - formerly an Avon container, sporting a Japanese blossom motif on the other side, it now houses the all-important Red Devil Potion. The stone and shell covered jar was found at a nearby lake town's thrift store. The base is an old brown bean jar. I don't know if you had brown beans that came in those jars in the US, but I know we did here in Canada in the 60's. So I've heard.

Still one of my all time favourites is the Pure Canadian Garden Gnome Heads. It was my first ever label I made for our apothecary a couple of years ago.

Another NEW for 2012 label I made is the Werewolf Treats. Max offered a few of his mini Milk Bones to sit in this lovely old mason jar from my neighbour friend Louise. Thanks Louise!!

The labels on the two wee bottles on either side of BOO are from a new to me source of amazing apothecary inspiration -- Marilyn at Seeing Things; a fellow Canadian blogger who happens to be a fabulous artist. Her apothecary is very authentic looking and you have to check out her witch shoes. Real works of art. The image in the picture was an Etsy purchase a few years back... I may be able to find the source if anyone would like it. I'll list my sources for the labels I didn't make at the end of the post.

By the way, the flames and the smoke on my candles are courtesy of PicMonkey. Our BBQ lighter is out of fluid and we don't own a lighter or matches it seems. Thank goodness for digital fire. Might be a problem if I need to start a fire when stranded in the wilderness though. Wait. I don't hike. All is well.

Another new label I made this year and a favourite for obvious reasons. I picked up a card of three different crow charms about two years ago. So happy I finally used one! I think this is the pattern I used for my crocheted garland. It was a year ago. I'm amazed I even remember that I made it.

Thanks so much for stopping by for a peek. Label sources are as follows:

Itty Bitty Spell Book interior pages, bat art images: The Graphics Fairy

Teeny Tiny Medicine Bottle labels: Seeing Things  Marilyn also has a wonderful tutorial on making homemade apothecary jars and more labels to print.

Earthworms, Swamp Fog, Werewolf Fur, Toadstool Clippings, etc: Love Manor

Red Devil Potion, Wise Woman Blend: How To Haunt Your House

Label Blanks: Cathe Holden

Wart Growth Serum: Magic Pug

Slug Juice, Irritability Elixer: Gothic Geek

If there is anything else you would like a source on that I missed just shoot me an email and I'll do my best to find it!

Linking up to my favourite parties:

Rooted In Thyme
Common Ground

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paranormal Portraits Mantle 2012

New, and maybe improved for 2012, here is my paranormal portrait mantle. I added two new pictures and therefore needed a bit more elbow room. Set up was a bit tricky on our wafer thin mantle, but we haven't lost anyone over the edge yet. A near miss on installation, but that disaster was averted by a quick moving 10 year old. We had the pictures up and ready for the annual party on the 19th.

Eight giggly girls kept me busy Friday (said girls AFTER some major fun on PicMonkey -- the moustaches and fangs weren't added in). If that wasn't enough Mr. CF and I installed hardwood in the master bedroom on the weekend. 

Well.... this isn't really our bedroom, but I assure you it looks darn good. This was our third -- and smallest job ever but somehow my body feels like I just laid hardwood in an arena. Ouch! I did manage to get my legs moving and set up the tripod and take some photos of the 2012 mantle.

My favourite new addition is this cute photo of my Dad, my Aunt Marlene, and their dog Micky. I think this would have been taken around 1940.

The other new photo is of my great Aunt Marie and her husband (in the fur coats). I had to add another string of lights for the two extra pics. I think next year I'll add another new photo and do two displays. On a deeper venue.

The parents that were picking up their girls on Friday after the party quite liked our Paranormal Portraits and were surprised to find out they were all relatives. 

Macy was a big help this weekend. She cleaned up the whole kitchen after the party, rearranged the counter displays AND added to our Halloween decor. Can you tell that we purchased the Madagascar 3 move this week? She also made us lunch on both Saturday and Sunday so we didn't have to stop working to make a bite to eat. A big thank you too to my mother-in-law who arrived Saturday morning with her crock pot loaded with roast, carrots, onions and potatoes. All we had to do was plug it in and we had supper Saturday night. It was really nice to wake up this morning to new floors. Next job is the whole main floor. Just don't tell my body.

An early evening view. For the original source and the link to the instructions you can check out an earlier post here. Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to my favourite parties:
Rooted In Thyme

Common Ground
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Party Preparation Panic

2nd Annual Lunch & Crafty Halloween Party 2011
NOTE: This blog will be temporarily ignored while I do the three million things I have yet to do for Macy's party tomorrow afternoon. I don't want to disappoint these sweet goblins. I will be recovering about 5pm tomorrow afternoon with my feet up, an ice cold Diet Coke (this is when I really wish I liked wine) and a bag of Halloween treats. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Little Bit O' Boo

By now you may know that I love decor with a personal touch. Especially for Halloween. With Macy staying overnight at Grandma and Grandpa's, all I needed this morning was a photo of relatives, my Mac, and an ice cold Diet Coke with Lime... heee heee heeee.....

Mamie Jane's

I was inspired by Jane's spooky vintage cabinet card. BUT, since the only item I had to work with was the pant hanger that I got free at a garage sale a few weeks ago... I had to improvise. 

This is what it really looks like with out the PicMonkey Macabre Tarnish and darkened edges. Seated is my great-grandmother Mary Emma, and behind her, (which is where you'll see I got my love of BIG HAIR) are my great aunts Eva, Emma, Carrie and Sophronia. I found some lovely Salem style millinery on the web and gave them a little Halloween twist. They lived in Oak Gulch, South Dakota in the early 1890's before moving to Wisconsin -- thus the inspiration for the title.

I was hoping to find a vintage 5x7 mat in my stash to spook up but when I didn't have that I came up with my own idea. I used on hand digital paper and elements, printed them on matte photo paper and covered a plain 5x7 mat. Voila. My newest Halloween decor.

Credits: Patterned paper by Leora Sanford; All Hallow's Night.
Witch and border by Rebecca McMeen, Moon Whispers.
Font: CM Old Western

We are just getting started with our Halloween decorating and must be ready for Macy's annual party on Friday. Now where's my magic wand when I need it?

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up to:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hello Dolly!

Last Friday I came home from my parent's place with a few new-to-me treasures. My favourite is my mother's doll. The carriage belonged to Mom and her sister Shirley (the watercolour artist) and I drug it down from the attic on a hot day in August. The two, circa early 1940's, are together again... albeit like they've never been before. Dolly is sporting a Build-a-Bear witch outfit, nicely concealing a little secret.

Mom and Shirley, spring 1942, with another carriage. Where that one is no one knows. The blue buggy above was repainted, probably in the 60's, but it was originally a dark teal colour. My sister and I played with this carriage when we were kids; it's got lots of miles on it!

Mom and Shirley; doll sweaters knitted by Grandma or Great-Grandma and Mom in summer. I'm sure my mother was gentle with the few toys she had, but note how she's holding Dolly in the photo at right. That may partially explain Dolly's secret: she has a torso, but is limbless. 

She is now sporting temporary prosthetic arms from the anonymous donor above, pictured pre-surgery, freshly home from the Thrift Store.

Dolly does appear a bit surprised that she can hold things again... like her friend Squeaky here. Good thing she can hang on for dear life -- this old buggy doesn't ride like it did when it was new and that's just fine with me. I love it and Dolly just the way they are.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rooted In Thyme
Common Ground
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Owl Be Thinking of You

It's been a busy week here at the Crow's Nest. We celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving over the weekend with not one, but two delicious dinners (and lots of laughs) with family. I finished my big family photo wall(s) for my mom on Friday. Now it is on to thinking about Miss M's annual Halloween Party.

I've also been thinking about a friend I have made through blogging who is busy too. She's working, watching grandkids, and helping her Mom who is having some health issues right now. It's a joy to connect with people over the internet. I have made some good friends in the last few years. People I may never get to meet in person, but whom I think of every day. And care about.

So these little Owl Mug Wraps are for She. And her Mom. Perfect for keeping your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate toasty warm and your fingers just the right temperature. They will be in the mail today and will fly across the continent to arrive with get well wishes for Grandma M.

I use this pattern with a couple of tiny changes. I use Bernat Softee Chunky yarn and a G hook. I also single crochet along the top and add a HDC, DC, TR, DC, HDC, SC, repeat for ear type thingies above the eyes. 

Thanks for stopping by and for being part of this blog world where we can create, share, laugh, inspire and support each other. It's a good place to be.

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