A Pumpkin Carving Party

Deviled Egg Monster Eyeballs

Wow.  Five months since a post.  Oh well, I was a little busy…but I’ll get into that later.  Now, a pumpkin carving party!

Someone in my work group decided that we (our studio) should get together and carve pumpkins.  As I’m newly moved to Richmond, and have an excellent space to do it, I volunteered to host a little party!  It was great fun, and it was wonderful to see all the creations people made.

Carved Pumpkins

Carved Pumpkins

I know this is NOT a good picture, but it’s the best I could get with my phone.  Some people used stencils from those carving kits, others went free-hand.  Mine is in the very back and is more surface carving than an actual jack-o-lantern.  I thought everyone did a really good job.  For our tools, we actually found the carving kits to be easiest and best to use.  We also had a surface carving kit, and I had some wire clay working tools (from a ceramics class I took years ago) that worked really well for details.  We also discovered that with the pumpkins that are mostly surface carved, you want to make sure you have an air hole or two for the candles (if you are using a real flame), and two candles give you a really good glow.  Otherwise, it can be hard to see the design.

I also set up a spread of food for our revelers.

Pumpkin Carving Party Food Spread

Pumpkin Carving Party Food Spread

I made deviled monster eye eggs, pumpkin bread, chili (with all the fixings), mummy dogs, and had candy and a veggie platter.  Drinks included blood orange soda, Ed Hardy Sangria, Black Cat Reisling, and Sparkling Apple Cider.  Everything was really yummy, especially the mummy dogs.

Mummy Dogs  Hot Dogs

Mummy Hot Dogs

They are so easy to make!  Take two cans of crescent rolls, and two packages of hot dogs (14 dogs in total), and cut the cresent rolls into thin strips and wrap them around the hot dogs.  You can leave a little opening for the “eyes”, but I didn’t bother.  Wrap about 4 strips around each dog, and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees in the oven.

I was proud of how my eyeball eggs turned out too, except I wish I had a little more white showing.

Deviled Egg Monster Eyeballs

Deviled Egg Monster Eyeballs

A little food coloring goes a long way. I made the eggs as I normally would make deviled eggs, except I addded two drops of green food coloring to the yolks when mixing them up.  To complete the look, a toothpick with some red food coloring to draw on the veins, and a sliced olive for the center.

They are pretty simple recipes, and you can find them all (and lots of variations) online.

And one last picture- this years Halloween Hearth

Halloween Hearth 2013

Halloween Hearth 2013

I took some cuttings from some plants in my garden, and used my old Halloween decorations.  I know this picture is not very good, or show much detail, but it’s all I got for right now.  Soon I will share more pictures of my new house and garden… mwhahahaha!

This little party was so fun, maybe it will become a yearly tradition!

 

All Souls Day Craft and Last Minute Decorations

Gourds

Last year, hubby and I were at the National Museum of American Indian and stumbled across a delightful little exhibit on decorated skulls for All Souls’ Day.  I am fascinated by this holiday, and the crazy cool decorations that abound.  I wanted to try my own hand at a little craft to celebrate this holiday, and had a few extra supplies on hand to create a little something.

Supplies for All Souls Day craft

Supplies for All Souls Day craft

I bought a little $1 frame at Michael’s last year, took some leftover glitter paper (from my mini glitter tealight houses), some scrap white paper, a sharpie, glue, scissors, and small foam squares.  First, I detached the plastic film covering the opening of the frame and took the paper insert out.  I cut a piece of glitter paper to fit, and inserted it into the frame.  Next, I cut out a skull head, and decorated it with my sharpie pen.  The shape is easy enough- a circle with a smaller square on one end.  For inspiration for the skull, I looked online at All Souls Day decorations.  (Skull candy is a good term to search).

Cut out and Draw on Skull

Cut out and Draw on Skull

Attach foam piece to back of skull

Attach foam piece to back of skull

And finally, just glue the little foam square to the back of the skull and then to glitter paper.

Glue skull to glitter paper

Glue skull to glitter paper

And voila!  Your own little shrine to the dead.

Happy All Souls Day!

Happy All Souls Day!

The rest of this post I wanted to show a few more pics of things I’ve been doing for Halloween decorations this year.

Gourds

Gourds

These are some more of the crazy gourds I bought at Miller Farms this year.  For filler, there’s an osage orange, and some mini fake pumpkins.

Vignette

Vignette

Here is what I settled on for a vignette on the Larkin chest.  One of my smaller chalkboard painted planters, a ceramic skull in an old silver jewelry dish, a fake spider, and a pair of silver candlesticks with black tapers.

Skull with photo

Skull with photo

Last year, I spray painted this foam skull black.  I was thinking about making it a glitter skull, but I liked it plain.  Another project I have in mind is to use a white paint pen and decorate it in a Mexican All Souls Day fashion.  Right now he’s just hanging out on the sewing table in the front foyer.

Rockin' Out Skeleton

Rockin' Out Skeleton

Also hanging out in the foyer is this Rockin’ skeleton.  I picked him up a few years ago in a shop downtown, Walker Home Furnishings.  Unfortunately (for me), they moved their store up to Arlington.  But they always had lots of fun and cool antique Chinese furniture and modern ware.

Bubbling Cauldron

Bubbling Cauldron

Below the skeleton I threw together this old plastic cauldron with some fake spider web material in it, and topped it with a bow.  The whispy material of the webby stuff sort of looks like fake fog bubbling up.  I bet at night, with a few tea lights inside, it could look more realistic and spooky!

Cat Candle

Cat Candle

I love putting these candlesticks out every year.  They have these black cats all over them with rhinestone eyes.  Another (after Halloween on sale) purchase in downtown Fredericksburg.

Happy Halloween and All Souls Day!

 

I’m linking to these parties:  House of Hepworth

Spooky Craft Houses

Spooky Craft House

This is a short post about a craft I made following an online tutorial.

Spooky Houses

Spooky Houses

The original post, with tutorial and printable template was created by Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made.

Seriously, these are really easy to make.  It takes about an hour to do everything (plus drying time), and the cost is one sheet of glitter paper (which you can usually find on sale or get a coupon), and two flameless tealights.  The tealights were by far the most expensive part of this project, but I managed to buy some at 40% off.  This time of year you can find discounts and coupons on all sorts of Halloween goodies.  You can make two houses per sheet of 12″ by 12″ paper.

Spooky Craft House

Spooky Craft House

I basically just used the same paper in the tutorial, but there are so many neat choices out there.  Also, why not dump white glitter on the roof of some brown, or red houses for a Christmas treat?  Make a bunch of little green houses for little leprechauns for St. Patty’s day!  These things are so cute, you could use them all year long if you really wanted.

 

Halloween Craft: Chalkboard Magnets and Ceramic Pots

Ghost Magnet

 

Halloween Craft Project – Chalkboard Magnets and Ceramic Pots.

Now, this craft is not limited to Halloween, but I felt the natural orange clay of flower pots plus black chalkboard paint would be a perfect combination for this spooky time of year.

Halloween Chalkboard Flower Pots

Halloween Chalkboard Flower Pots

The project is SUPER EASY, and requires only a very few things:

1.  Clay flower pot(s) and /or Wood cut-outs

2. Chalkboard paint

3.  Paint brush

4. Chalk

If doing the magnets:

5. Magnets

6. Hot glue and glue gun

Halloween Chalkboard Magnets

Halloween Chalkboard Magnets

I did 3-4 coats, and applied the paint as directed on the packaging.  I found Martha Stewart’s new crafts line at Michaels, and bought the paint with a coupon.

Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard Paint

This stuff is great, and it says it works on a variety of surfaces.  I only needed a small amount for all the projects seen here.

Boo!

Boo!

Each coat took about an hour to dry, and when it was all done, I lightly rubbed a little chalk on the surface and wiped it off.  You can then do whatever you want!

Chalkboard Pot

Chalkboard Pot

I really wanted to paint one pot completely, but just the rim on the other.  Martha Stewart says that by painting just the rim you can easily label what you are growing.

Here is a vignette I pulled together with the pots, before I found my chalk, with a black and gold ribbon tied on the pot.

Table Vignette 2

Table Vignette 2

I think they could also look cute with the all black pot with some fancy, spooky ribbon glued around the top.

Making the magnets is a simple as hot gluing a magnet to the back. You should be able to find these kind of magnets at any number of craft stores or even someplace like Walmart.  I’ve had these for years.  I bought the cut-outs at Jo-Ann’s, but I know any craft store will have some.  Make sure you look at the overall shape of the cutout to make sure it reads how you want it to.

Magnets Hotglued to back

Magnets Hotglued to back of wood die-cuts

I love these little chalkboard flower pots!

Halloween Chalkboard Flower Pots

Halloween Chalkboard Flower Pots

And Halloween magnets!

Ghost Magnet

Ghost Magnet