Friday, September 30, 2011

A Spooky Mantle

I will start this post by admitting I have never been much for decorating for Halloween. I have always enjoyed Halloween, as in, the day of celebration. But it never seemed like a month of holiday to me... if that makes sense. Then..... I had two boys. Those of you with boys probably realize that this day of holiday becomes more of a year of; let alone a month of holiday for them. I have fought my boys since at least March with them digging into the Halloween bins in the basement trying to get things out. They love skeletons and bats and spiders and anything else creepy and spooky. So as of last year I decided that we would play it up a little more in our household. For me, playing it up only includes a mantle. I don't have the energy to do more that that. But the boys seem to be enjoying it. Most of the projects for this were actually done last year and I don't have pictures of the process but they are very easy and really don't require much more than an explanation.

Here is  a picture of the overall mantle. I don't like things too over the top creepy. And to keep it from becoming too overwhelming I tried to keep it pretty monochromatic. With the exception of the orange candles and the green spooky sign there is no color. 

The skull lights you see dangling are something my boys have been begging for the last two years. They play the theme song from Halloween and light up different colors when  you push a button. Not my first choice, but worth it because they LOVE them!

Here is a closer look at the two sides of the mantle.

I covered my pretty pot with burlap to make it blend better. Is there anything a little burlap can't do???
The candles I found at Target last year. I love the creepy wax dripping effect!

I used some books to stagger height just a little. Obviously with my tv up there I don't want things getting too high. I found the little bat decals at Target the other day and thought they would be a fun addition to bring the decor up to my windows. I think I bought the "dead" roses from the dollar store last year. 

These are some of the projects I completed  last year: 

Stacked on some of my "antiqued" books I have a simple print out from The Graphics Fairy in a thrift store frame.

I made these Pottery Barn knock off hurricanes with old vases, spanish moss and a skull garland I found at The Dollar store last year.

Another of my projects was these little spiders you see crawling everywhere. I think I got that idea from the Pottery Barn catalog as well. I just hot glued wire onto the bottom of some rocks, bent them to look like spider legs and sprayed them all with black spray paint. I love having them crawl all over the rest of the mantle.

My haunted tree also from Target I believe (are you seeing the trend here?) The spider pictures are ones my husband took of a creepy little being living in a tree in our front yard last year. I just flipped the picture and did a negative color scheme and placed both pictures in a thrift store frame. Simple simple!

And one last added bit of fun is to draw a spooky scene on our chalkboard door. 

My 4 year old helped me by suggesting the lightning and adding the eyeballs. (That is what those four little things around the ghost are :) )

Hope you are spooked!!! Happy Halloween month!!

Linking up to:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Angry Birds!

Any other parents out there have children who have discovered this game waaaay too early?? My kids are obsessed with this game. If you have in fact been living under a rock somewhere (like I was until about two months ago) and you don't know what Angry Birds is, it is a game for the iPhone. It involves loading a bird into a sling shot and flinging it toward little green pigs resting on different tower/fort thingies.

Like so...

Now, while I don't mind an occasional video game, it was starting to get out of hand around here. The kids were constantly sneaking off with my phone. And call me crazy, but I would rather have my children using their imagination, playing real games. So, what to do, what to do???

Enter... stuffed Angry Bird toys from Build a Bear, Melissa and Doug blocks, pvc pipe and rubber bands! We created a real Angry Birds game for the boys to set up and play. 

We actually bought the stuffed birds and pigs as a coming home gift when my husband and I returned from a week long getaway. Then we stopped by Home Depot and bought one 3/4 inch pvc pipe, a T and a couple of elbows. My husband cut the pieces down to size and put together the sling shot. We just tied some plain ol' rubber bands together and put them over each side. Then for some extra stability he drilled a hole in a two by four and stuck it down inside. 

It has been so fun to watch the boys create different "levels" and sling that bird across. They are having a blast and I feel much better about this version of the game for a four and three year old.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Feeling blessed

As I ran downstairs  on a shoe hunt for one of my children this morning I passed the window next to my front door and saw this through it. 

This, if you can't tell from this picture, is the small rose garden my husband planted for me in our front flower bed. See, I have always dreamt of having a rose garden. I'll admit I my dream may have been of  something on a slightly larger and grander scale than this. But those visions of grandeur are not exactly practical in our current home. But last fall my husband ripped out all of the boring bushes that filled our front flower bed, dug up all the dirt and did a soil analysis (he does nothing half way), and fertilized so we would have an ideal home for my small rose garden. He took me to pick out a variety of roses and planted them for me. Since then, he has been amazing to make sure they are watered, fertilized and dead headed to help them grow. He is an amazing man!!! 

Anyway, this morning as I ran by that window I was completely distracted from my shoe mission by the sheer beauty of simple rose bushes coated in last nights rain drops! Of course I had to stop what I was doing immediately, grab my camera and run out into my front yard. Yes, I was barefoot and in my pajamas, but I think as you look at these shots, you will agree that it was totally worth the weird looks from my neighbors. 

I hope this post finds you all seeing small reminders of just how blessed you are as well! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Barbie Box

Mmmm-k. So remember that girl project I said I was going to share.... ahem..... a week or so ago???? Well, better late than never right??

Clearly, I don't get a chance to work on girly projects very often unless they are for me. Well, we got invited to a a sweet girl's birthday party and I saw a chance for a girly craft. Apparently August was a popular month for baby having because we had also recently been to our local Build-A-Bear store for a birthday party as well. If you have been to Build-A-Bear, you know that you bring home your new "bundle of love" in his own little house box. Well, my boys don't use those to nicely put their bears away each night. (I know... shocking!) But they are such neat little boxes I didn't want to just pitch them either. So I started brainstorming and I came up with the idea for a box/tote for toys. Originally I was trying to think of how I could make it into the Fortress of Solitude or Bat Cave. But I love any excuse to use pink so I decided to try it out for this party.

Here is what I started with.

Then I gave it a base coat of pink. Look, it even has a sweet little door that opens!

Then I found this awesome glitter pink craft paint.

I cut the sponge brush off one of those super cheap foam brushes. and used it to stamp stone bricks like a castle. A PINK castle! Love!

I finished it off by adding some silver paint to the door and adding few other little details. I did some silver around the window and tried to make the top look kinda like a crown. 

After I finished the outside of the box I lined the inside with some pink felt I had found in the remnant section at Jo Annes. I just used spray adhesive to adhere it to the inside. Then used fabric glue to make some pockets for barbies to fit in. 

 And.... done! Barbie Rapunzel and her brush can rest all cozy in their new home that is easy to tote around. 

It is not one of my fancier projects, but it was fun to do. I love to think outside the box!! Hahahaha. I couldn't resist that one!