Halloween Tree

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As I blogged about earlier this week, I decided to make myself a little Halloween Tree with the great branch that I found on my Sunday afternoon walk.

I had fun finding some different paper ornament ideas on Pinterest, and I will link to them all here.

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The quilled pumpkins were super easy, I would just recommend either glue-gunning the paper together, or using clips to hold it as the glue dries.

I love these bats, from Rachael Ray which I sewed together. They had the instructions on where to fold them, so they look 3D.

I used up some ancient scrapbooking paper on these beautiful pleated leaves. I shrunk the template to about 25%.

I was inspired by these fabulous pinwheel-medallions by Starshine Chic. I made a ton of these kinds of decorations for one of my Christmas trees last year, and I had forgotten how beautiful and simple they can be. My witch silhouette is pretty basic, with a hint of glitter, but I love her just the same!

My friend, Brittney suggested that I could have made kleenex ghosts to add too, like her kindergarten class made. Thanks for the great idea, Brit, but I just didn’t have any more free branches!

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I’m now feeling so inspired by the medallion, that I’m working on some bigger layered ones for my front door. Stay tuned!

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Bringing the Outdoors In.

We’ve been having some super intense weather, here on the wild wet (west) coast.

Yesterday, there was a slight break in the afternoon, and I seized the opportunity to take the kids away from their wii and out into the great outdoors.

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I’m so blessed to live in a great place in the world, and in a wonderful neighbourhood. Behind my backyard is a creek and a forest with a walking trail, and this is where we headed to, as my Nana used to say, “blow the stink off ya.” I was on the hunt for some creepy branches to add to my Halloween mantel-scape, which is still a witchy-work-in-progress. I love the way the moss hangs off the trees, and the lichen gives a spooky element to the branches. Isn’t my garden hedgehog adorable?

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Whilst out on our walk, I also cut a fabulous branch that I’m turning into a Halloween tree. I bought this amazing milk glass vase ages ago (for $4! omg, WAY too much!) and I’ve been waiting for the perfect use – and I think this is it! I put a bunch of river rocks inside, to stabilize it, and hold the branch straight.

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I also cut a bunch of rose-hips, that I thought were a great shade of orange. I lay them on the branches, adding little pops of colour. I’m making paper decorations to go on it. Including: quilled pumpkinsfolded paper leaves, and potentially this pac-man and ghost garland (although, I’m also debating this for below the mantel, and I’m going to change up the colours.)

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I’m on the hunt for some more paper ornaments for my tree. Let me know if you’ve got any great ideas!

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Birthday Cake Bunting

Here’s a quick and easy way to snazz-up a birthday cake.

cake 1I’d seen a ton of these buntings all over pinterest, etc, and thought I’d give it a go myself. I love the idea behind it, as you can adapt it to ANY colour scheme, theme, or occasion! My friend, Tammy, got inspired when she saw mine, and completed one for her son with a silver flaming arc above the words. Cool!

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The most time-consuming part was stringing the triangle flags together. While I used a needle and thread, my friend, Krista pointed out that I could have just glued the letters. huh. yup. But not as authentic, right?!

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Notice how I used the scissors to create a little notch in the skewer. I didn’t want the thread to fall down.

Want the recipe for this delicious upside down pear cake? Here it is. I’ve made this three times already this season with pears off my tree. Brittney got the last of them! Enjoy!

Witch Board

frames 5Whilst out garage-sale-ing yesterday, I came across these awesome vintage brass picture frames (made in Italy!) I sifted through the box and found six different ones, all different sizes and KNEW I had the start of the perfect Halloween display. Also loved the price (by donation.. I gave them $3).

Tonight the Coven of Crafty Ladies is meeting, and I had the idea of doing something with silhouettes. My pinterest board was being filled up this week with silhouette ideas. I particularly liked the one by Number Fifty-Three who backed the silhouette onto a book page, in a white frame. However, I was so pumped about these frames, that I finished the project last night. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll come up with some other bewitching idea before 7 pm!

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After I took out the pictures from the frames, (no easy task.. there was plywood on the back that had expanded with the years!) I took them outside and sprayed them white. Then I went to good old Graphics Fairy and started searching for Vintage Halloween Clip-Art.

SpiderVintage-GraphicsFairyWhile I had intended to make these into silhouettes, I love all of the vintage zoological black and white prints that she has, that I just decided to go for it, and use them as is. I decided, after an HOUR of scrolling through, to stick to just animal prints.. although there was this fantastic bat lady I’m going to have to use for something else! batladyb

Oh, and I used a great chalkboard print that I found for the largest frame, I thought it was kind of like an incantation or a spell, which, when centered kind of brings it all together.

After printing the images, I spent a whole Scott & Bailey cutting. I actually love cutting.. it’s why I became a primary school teacher.

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It ended up working out using the vintage images as is, rather than as silhouettes, especially as, when mounted (ie: glue stick-ed) onto the dictionary pages, they just look like prints from an old encyclopedia. (Yes, I am super anal and did mount them to the correct pages.. ie: Moth is on the Moth page, near the Moth definition.)

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Meanwhile, I was a little concerned about how I was going to display these fabulous frames. I poked around my big vintage frame collection (as in large frames, not a large quantity) and came across an old cork board. This has had umpteen million reincarnations (including the CHeopardy board for my CH party), but for this project, I decided to paint it with a grey latex paint that I had found in the

mistint section at Walmart. I actually really love how this turned out – because of the cork texture, it looks like cement.

After everything had dried, and all of the pictures were framed back up, I used T-pins (like from men’s shirts) to hang the frames onto the cork board.

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I embellished the frame with a spider web (from my Halloween box) and used some black netting along the base on the mantel. While this isn’t going upstairs on my living room mantel until AFTER thanksgiving. It looks good on my downstairs mantel for the time being.

Because I wanted an excuse to buy these birds from the $store, I decided I needed just a few more details. I added a hurricane candle holder to either side, and the wicked raven and owl!

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this little project. I had a blast making it! (and playing around with the photo editor!) Here’s one last look. Have a Spook-tacular Night!

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Fall Mantel & Glass Pumpkin

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There’s been a fall-flu hitting my crafty lady circle: it’s called Mantel-itis. And when my friend Krista posted her “symptoms” over at the Happy Housie, I knew that it would only be a matter of time that I came down with it too!

This mantel project actually started with another pinspiration (I think I should copyright that term!): this fabulous mercury glass pumpkin project over at Thistlewood farms. I had been eying up a glass pumpkin at my local thrift store for a couple of weeks, but could not justify the $4 asking price without having the perfect plan in mind. When I saw this pin, I thought it would be perfect to try!

Here’s how I made it:

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I love love love the way that this turned out. I didn’t have the looking glass paint, and as my union was on the precipice of a strike vote, I couldn’t justify the purchase.. so I just made due with some soft glittery gold spray, and it worked like a charm.

After it had dried (mostly) I went upstairs and started editing my current mantel, and taking stock of my Thanksgiving decorations. I was determined to make use of what I had, and not purchase anything else! It was time to give some items away, take some to school, and I even trashed a few.

I had fun creating various Harvest-scapes and took way too many pictures.. but here are two variations.. you can play spot the differences with the two right hand pictures below!!

pumpkin 4All in all, this was a very productive hour, and I love the <$5 cost!

pumpkin2Beware of mantelitis… it may strike your home next!

 

Decorated Dishes

I’ve been totally jonesing for some new dishes and had a trip all prepared for Ikea this week. However, the workers are on strike.. and as I might also be on strike this fall, I couldn’t in good conscience cross the picket line. So I decided to fancy-up my plain boring dishes.

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I had actually been planning on doing this to some mugs for a while. At the end of June, I had been given a mug from Starbucks that came with a ceramic pen that the kids used to sign the mug. The awesome thing about this pen, was that there was black ink and white ink. I picked up some plain white mugs for 10c at a yard sale a few weeks ago, and gave it a go last night. But I’m super pumped to try the white ink on dark matte dishes.

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I made “yours and mine” mugs, did both sides (with the way we like our tea and coffee!) and the inside. Actually, this would have made a cute anniversary gift. hmmm!

I had so much fun doing up these mugs, that I decided to keep going and do some bowls! I had fun playing around with fonts and designs. I decided to name each one a different language.. so far only four. (I didn’t want to go too crazy with all of the dishes in case my hubby hated it, or I got really sick of them!)

mug3I baked the dishes at 450F for 20 minutes, as the pen directed. Love them! Tonight’s activity: plates and dessert plates! Fun!!!

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CH-party

I LOVE a good party.. I love to plan them, to attend them, the eating, the drinking and the game-playing! To fete one last time this summer, and by request of my girl-friends, I decided to have a CH party!

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The origin of the CH party actually comes from my Aunt who lives in California. Upon remarking one day, that all good things in life start with CH ~ CHocolate, CHeese CHampagne, she decided to throw a CH pot-luck where guests brought an item starting with CH. I loved this idea as a kid, and always wanted to have one, so last year I decided to go for it! It was a major success, and the gals expected a repeat this year.

I didn’t make any pretty invitations, as I see most of these girls super often, and since the advent of Facebook, paper invitations sometimes seem superfluous. However, I do enjoy them, so perhaps next year I’ll whip some up. Today, I’m here to share the party games with you as well as the sweet little favour boxes that each guest went home with.

Games

ch gamesPicMonkey CollageI came up with 4 games: CHeopardy, CHattegories, CHalderdash and of course, CHarades, and my friend, Courts also sent me a Food and Drink CH Trivia game that she made up. You’ll be happy to note that I’m providing all of my pdfs here! For the CHeopardy CHallenge, I cut and pasted it all of the clues onto a cork board, so that friends could see all of the values. We played it exactly like the tv game show, and I even sung the theme song for the Final CHeopardy!

CHeopardy cheopardy2 Cheopardy1

CHattegories, CHarades  & CHalderdash Chattergories & Chalderdash

CH Trivia – Food and Drinks CH Food and Drink Trivia

Prizes

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Of course, you can have games without prizes, especially with my group of gals! Initially I was going to wrap up used CHapter books, but then I realised that wouldn’t be much of a prize if you had already read it! So I had a CHapter book exchange basket, where people could pick and CHoose and made CHampion CHewing Gum, wrapped in CHeetah print paper, instead. It was a hit! Here’s the PDF for the labels: chewing gum

Favours

PicMonkey Collage CH favourI had picked up these sweet little favour boxes at Michaels, and then had to figure out how to fill them! I knew I wanted CHocolates included, and something to do with words. I decided to make the magnets that I made for my parent volunteers in June, but use CH words instead of “thank you” words. I actually bought a dictionary to cut up (cheaper than photocopying, as I would have wasted too many pages) and had a blast modpodging away. I was excited to find a package of “Merci” CHocolates at Walmart earlier this week, as that’s the sentiment I wanted to share. I packaged them all up, placed them in a basket by the exit and printed “please CHoose a favour.”

This party was a great success, and I’m already looking forward to the third annual, next year. If you’re looking for some pot-luck suggestions, here’s a list of what my friends brought:

CHorizo CHili, baked CHeese with CHerry preserves, CHutney and CHeddar, CHarcuterie, fresh CHerries, CHeddar and CHipoltle seasoned popcorn, CHips, Hawkins CHeezies,  CHeese dip, CHocolate CHeese cake, CHocolate bars galore – including a CHili pepper CHocolate bar, roasted and seasoned CHickpeas, CHi-CHis (blended drink), CHardonary and(CHeap) CHampagne

Oh, and I also got some theme-appropriate hostess gifts: a CHili pepper plant, CHai tea, CHardonnay, CHocoate covered CHerries, CHapagne!

PS: Auntie Gail, we are coming for CHristmas.. and I’m bringing all my games with me! Should be a rolicking CHood time!

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Fall-ing for my Autumn Decor

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I have this sweet owl bunting that I picked up a few years ago from Extra Foods that I love to hang around Labour Day. It’s made from tweed and felt and spells out “Autumn”. I thought it would be the perfect starting point for some fall decor in my entry way.

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Last years, I deconstructed, and re-made this adorable owl wreath. Initially it was just the owl on a grape-vine wreath (also purchased from Extra Foods). Boring! Last year, I decided to add my own touches, and spelled out “Whoo is ready for school?” in scrabble tiles on a shoe lace. I also added a fresh new pencil on the right to balance it out. I love this wreath!

I decided this year to add some new pillows to tie in with the suit/tweed fabric of the wreath and bunting. What with my success, lately, of 3/$1 thrift-store finds, I tried my luck, once again, at the Sally Ann. It just happened to be “yellow tag day” and I got 2 men’s suit jackets, and a sweet little top for myself for $1. (yes, ONE DOLLAR)

Making these pillows was slightly painful. I went at the suits, hacking away, so I ended up with not very straight edges and a mess of a project. I was tearing my hair out, trying to figure out how to use the jackets, without wrecking the integrity of the initial shape, and yet maximizing the fabric. I decided to use the suit jacket lining as the back of the pillow-case and the front as the front. This way, when I cut the suit, there was an almost instant pocket to slide my pillow form into.

fall 2I was having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to sew the final seam shut. I couldn’t do it envelope style, as I have in the past, because I didn’t have enough fabric to fold over. I was getting more and more annoyed. I was glue gunning another project when I just grabbed the pillows and started gluing the seam closed!

Guess what? It worked, and as the fabric was purchased for a song, I don’t really care if I have to cut it to get the forms out for my Spring/Summer decor! It was fast and easy. I even used some of the extra buttons from the sleeves to add a little “je ne sais quoi” to the top seams.

I’m happy with my look – even my new pet hedgehog Georgette approves!fallaThanks for stopping by!

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Fishing for Fun

Pêche pour la plaisir:

Drama-based Games for Filling Five Minutes

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In my ‘regular’ life, (apart from my fairy crafting life, I mean), I am a French Immersion teacher. That means that a lot of time is spent translating cool Pinterest ideas into French. Here’s one that I’ve come up with for the French Summer Camp I’m running starting tomorrow (!) and I’ll bring it to class after. Now, I cannot take all the credit for this, I found this idea somewhere.. and I’m sorry, I can’t find the original source.

Start with a Fish Bowl. Clean it up and adhere a funky title, in English, French, or whatever! This was my first time using a spray adhesive before modpodging (trying to avoid those bubbles) so it went on kind of cock-eyed! oops!

Then I went and found a gagillion different websites and copied and pasted mostly drama games, and added a French title. Yes, I am nice enough to provide you with this PDF!!  drama games explained (NB: at the end of the final page, is the Title I used on my fish bowl). All the fonts are based on those nautical ones from my birthday reminder!

Then I found this great template and cut and paste just the titles into each fish. Here’s the PDF for the outlines and titles. drama games fishThe thought here, is that the kids will take turns “fishing” for a game, and if I can’t remember it (or if there is a substitute teacher or something,) then I can refer to the cheat sheet of the games explained!

fish 1PicMonkey CollageAfter hours of cutting, I’m done! Looking forward to seeing this in action soon!

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