At the Movie Theater Concession Stand Halloween Costumes

Halloween is over all ready. November 1 starts my unofficial boycott of Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas. I love it! But I’m sure like many others, I like to enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving, rather than rush into the holiday. It gets old by the time December 25th comes around.

So my boycott begins by again dwelling on Halloween. This year we were “At the Movie Theater Concession Stand.” The weather was beautiful this year. Jack joined in with Trick-or-Treating with his older cousins. I think he enjoyed the walking better than the candy, although he did dip into his bucket a few times during the walk. I took Daisy along too. Her costume was so good, most people didn’t even know she was there!

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Like last year, I made costumes for almost everyone so we could walk as a theme.  I based the theme off Daisy’s costume: the popcorn bucket. I saw a version of it on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do it months ago, but my version was a bit more extreme. My version was made with a felt blanket I painted as a popcorn bucket using stencils I made from my Cricut. I used tissue paper as the popcorn and glued it to the blanket and to a baby hat for daisy. I just wrapped the blanket around Daisy’s carrier and tucked it in the sides. Her little head stuck out but was covered with the popcorn hat. I put on some 3D glasses and it looked like I was just walking around with a giant tub of popcorn at the movies.

angelaanddaisy

 

Jack went as a movie ticket and Matt was the Box Office Ticket collector, both costumes made with cardboard, Cricut cut vinyl, paint, and ribbon. The “over the shoulder” type costume was good for Jack because it was easy to put on and take off when he was fussy.

matt-and-jack

 

The rest of my nieces and nephew also joined the theme. I made 3 of their 6 costumes. I made Laila a cardboard Kit-Kat bar costume (I have a lot of cardboard on hand between boxes of diapers and wipes.) Olivia was Button candy, made with an old dress and painted Styrofoam balls. Myla was our cup of Coca-Cola, made from a small hamper, craft paper, paint, and vinyl. I especially liked her straw hat (complete with “Diet,” “Regular,” and “Other” buttons).

lailaoliviamyla

 

The store bought costumes were cute too – Craig was also popcorn, Angelina was an M&M, and Jenna was Nerds. I think we made a really cute concession stand!

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Our Halloween in Florida

Monsters Inc for Halloween on the road.

Monsters Inc for Halloween on the road.

Myla's Surprise Party

We gave Myla a surprise party, and oh she was so cute! She really was surprised.

It’s just 2 weeks after Halloween, but if you walk into any store you’d think Christmas is next week. I even got sucked in buying a Christmas book for Jack and catching myself planning Christmas decorations. So, I’d like to regress and talk about Halloween, my vacation, and how Christmas can wait so it doesn’t get stale by December 25!

Jack, Sally, and Zero

After driving down to Florida (about 18 hours), we started the vacation by going to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It was a blast. Adults are allowed to dress up and the park is open until midnight.

Splash Mountain in Costume

Since most people crash around 10, the park became pretty empty for the last 2 hours. We even met the Seven Dwarfs, a very rare occasion that only happens on Halloween and Christmas.

The Rare Seven Dwarfs!

We found out that the secret to going to Disney’s Not-So-Scray Halloween party is to go the day after Halloween. That way, we still trick-or-treated, there was (I think) less of a crowd, and the tickets to the party were less expensive

We all dressed up as characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. For the most part, I made the costumes. My favorites were The Mayor (Jenna), The Boogieman (Olivia), and Dr. Finkelstein (my mom, though she didn’t take many pictures in the wheelchair).

Boogieman & Mayor Dr. Finklesforth & Ax Head

The three little ones were Lock, Shock, and Barrel, my dad was the character with the ax in his head (We gave him the most minimal costume), and Angelina was the demented vampire toy. Jack was Zero, but it was so hot he could only wear his hat in the park. When I post how-tos, I’ll post the whole of all the costumes.

Happy Halloween!

Matt was Jack Skellington and I was Sally, and they were the only costumes I didn’t make. I bought my dress at Hot Topic rather than a costume store. It was the same price, much more comfortable, and the pattern went around the whole dress, not just the front like the costumes. The most home made thing I did for my costume was my makeup and nails.

Sally's Dress Nails

We went to all the other Disney parks and Universal Islands of Adventure, and met some celebrities. Did you know Mickey Mouse TALKS when you meet him in Magic Kingdom!? I was starstruck!

Mickey Mouse

Then we finally crashed at the beach in Daytona for a few days. There was a heat wave our whole vacation, so it was about 100 degrees, but by the beach, the breeze felt awesome.

We needed some beach time!

On the way home, we spent the day in Charleston, South Carolina and spent the night in “The South’s Most Haunted Hotel,” Charleston Embassy Suites. We didn’t witness any ghosts, but there were some noises and creaks, and all the drawers in one of the dressers were inexplicably open (Ok, so maybe Giacomo opened them when I wasn’t looking, but that’s not fun.)

Haunted Hotel

Now that I’m home, I am in full end-of-year mode. I’m playing around with some recipes for Thanksgiving, and I’m starting to get ready for Giacomo’s first birthday! I can’t believe a year is almost here! I’m so excited to give him a fun birthday, even if he won’t remember it.

Simple Halloween Wreath

This week has been one of the most emotionally, physically, and mentally draining weeks of my life. One day I’ll be able to write about it with enough composure for a public blog, but in the meantime I’ll share my other stress coping mechanism: crafting of course. I made a very simple light up wreath for Halloween.

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I started with a black wreath and wrapped it with berry garland. The berries are orange, black and purple, and some are glittery. I made sure all the berries were arranged towards the front of the wreath.

You could keep the wreath just like this, but I found these LED lights in the floral section. They have a lot of different colors (and I might have stocked up on a variety), so I used purple for the wreath.

One strand of the lights are not long enough to wrap around the wreath, so instead I only kept the lights to the front of the wreath by threading the lights around the berry garland.

I hid the switch in the back and it’s all finished.

I could definitely add to this, but I haven’t decided what yet. Maybe I’ll cut some cute things out with my Cricut, but in the meantime it’s ready to go.

I couldn’t go all out with the Halloween decorating, partly because of a hectic life but mostly because we are going to be on vacation for Halloween. That’s my other crafting project. I’ve been making costumes for everyone. My parents, nieces and nephew, Matt, the baby, and I are all going to be characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. When I’m finished all be posting the costumes. We’re going to Florida and will be in Disney for Halloween. It’s the only time of year adults are allowed to dress up in the park. I am so excited! I’ve been having such a great time making the costumes not to mention that I definitely could use a vacation!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Unfortunately my hands have been so swollen and my carpel tunnel  has gotten worse, so I haven’t been as crafty as I’d like to be. But even still, in these past few weeks I’ve certainly have had a lot to be thankful for. Two weeks ago, my family threw me a beautiful baby shower. They really surprised me, too. I thought my shower would be the next day, so when I walked into a room filled with my friends and family I was truly surprised. Based on a bunch of owl ceramics I’ve made for the baby’s nursery, my sisters and mom planned an owl theme shower, complete with a cake and even an owl basket.

Owl ThemeOwl Theme

The amount of loved ones and the generous gifts they brought for my baby was so overwhelming.

My Wonderful Guests My Awesome Family

I still haven’t disassembled my diaper cakes, owl, or carriage because they’re so pretty!

Diaper Creations

My favorite gesture was all the books everyone brought to start baby’s library.  My friends at my weekly ceramics class also threw me a small shower. Even though I haven’t been able to paint, they still made sure I had opening gifts and eating some adorable cupcakes.

Ceramics Shower

Since the showers I’ve been spending my spare time putting together baby furniture and toys (which takes a lot longer with swollen hands)and trying to get everything in order.  I could go any day now! I actually really enjoy being pregnant. I’ve been very lucky. I didn’t get any morning sickness, and my biggest complaint is some back pain which mostly comes at night.  It’s so amazing feeling a little person dance around inside me. I think feeling the baby’s movements is what I’ll miss the most.  Of everything I’ve ever been blessed with, this baby is the greatest gift I’ve ever received.

Owls!

Last night I designed a Thanksgiving shirt to show my gratitude. I designed the shirt on my computer and printed it on iron on paper I had left over from a few other shirts I’ve made. You can buy iron on paper and print your own designs to custom make anything. The shirt may only be good for one time use,  but I love it!

Thankful

Thankful Me and Mom

Halloween Week

Happy Halloween everyone! This is a favorite holiday of mine. I love Halloween week, especially!

I’m trying not to watch scary things while I’m so pregnant (I don’t want my heart racing too much), so we’ve been watching more fun Halloween movies. Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus,  and all the fun Halloween TV show specials. Matt did try to sneak in one of the Friday the 13th movies, because I’ve never seen them, but I couldn’t stand how cheesy it was. I’m more into psychological thrillers like The Shinning or Psycho, or ghost/possession stories. Not so much the gory slasher stuff. They are always too corny. Last night we watched Adams Family Values and put together our crib, and I was thrown a work shower, complete with crafty decorations from my buddy Meg. This baby is starting to feel more and more real!

Work Shower

I worked from home on Halloween, so I was able to see all the trick-or treaters. I was surprised how many little kids loved my address pumpkin!

Address Pumpkin

Obviously I didn’t go out this year, but it didn’t stop me from dressing up. I used a Styrofoam sheet we got from the packaging from a crate to make my costume. I just cut a hole in the middle, measured out my belly, and then cut the edges in a sloppy circle shape to be an egg! I used Lilu’s costume from last year, a piggy, so we could be ham and eggs together :). If Matt didn’t have work, I’d have made him be a slice of cheese (aka himself). I made my nieces and nephew special little cauldrons of candy, complete with ghost pops. All you have to do is wrap some tissue paper around a lollipop, tie with some curling ribbon, and draw a ghost face. Aren’t we a cute bunch?

Halloween_2014

Tuesday was the season finally of my favorite (and very Halloween-esque) show, Face-Off. If you don’t watch it, you should! It’s a movie makeup competition show but with no drama or negativity, and based solely on the talent of the contestants. They even help each other even though they’re competing against each other. For the occasion, I made dinner with our baby wine.

So what’s baby wine? For my bridal shower, my bridesmaids gifted me a basket of wine. Each bottle had a special label designating the bottle for all out “first” occasions, including Christmas, new year, dinner party, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and our last bottle, our first baby.

Here’s the poem written on our baby bottle if you want to recreate it:

“The news that a baby will soon share your life
will make you a mother, not only a wife.
You’ll see it through good times and sometimes through bad,
Angela the loving mother and Matt the dearest Dad.
Sadly Matt must drink this one alone and Angela with an empty glass.
Sit back and relax; nine months will quickly pass!”

Baby Wine

Since I can’t drink the wine, and Matt didn’t want to drink the whole bottle alone and on a work night, I finally busted open our baby bottle to use in my FaceOff dinner.

I don’t really measure, but I don’t think you could mess this up.
I first sautéed spinach with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and a few cloves of diced garlic. When the spinach is nice and wilted, remove from the pan and add some more oil and a few pats of butter. When the butter us melted and hot, add a diced onion and LOTS of diced garlic. I probably used 9 maybe 10 cloves. After the onions and garlic are sautéed, add in frozen shrimp and cook until they are almost done, then remove from pan. Add about half the bottle of wine, a ladle of pasta water, and some some oregano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.

Baby Wine Dinner

Simmer away until the alcohol is burned off. Put in the pasta, shrimp, and spinach back into the pan and toss it all together with a handful of breadcrumbs and another handful of Parmesan cheese. The shrimp should finish cooking in the sauce, and you’re ready to chow down! We had some fresh mozzarella with balsamic on the side, and I pretended to be fancy with my water in a wine glass. It was great food, a great finale (my favorite contestant, Dina, won!), and a great Halloween week.
Baby Wine Dinner 2

Felt Button Pin to Jazz up my Coat

Oh how I love springtime! My first flowers started to bloom outside my house, and the smell is amazing!

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Spring also means lighter colors and clothes. I can finally put away my thick winter jacket and pull out my pink pea coat. I love the bright color of my jacket, but I decided I needed something to jazz it up.

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 Just last month, a JoAnne’s Fabric opened up right down the street from my house. Now there’s a Lowe’s, Target, Petco, and JoAnne’s in the same plaza which is directly across from a plaza with a Micheal’s and a DSW. Now I’ll always be broke.

I found these felt flower buttons at JoAnne’s. At first, I thought about sewing them onto the collar, but then I decided to make a pin instead so I could keep changing the style. I got the felt flowers in bright and earthy colors to make a spring pin and a fall pin.

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This was super easy. I just layered the buttons how I liked and used hot glue to glue them all together. One I glued them and made them one unit, I glued the whole thing to a pin.

Now I have a spring pin

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and I can use this coat again in the fall.

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I can’t wait to think of some other uses for these cute felt buttons. Maybe some pillow, candle holder, or picture frame embellishments.  

Sparkly Paper Mache Decorations

It’s very close to Halloween, which means lots of sales on Halloween inventory. WooHoo! I picked up these paper mache pumpkins and witch’s hat at a sale at Michael’s and figured I could decorate them with whatever I have in my crafting supplies. Glitter, glue, and paint is all you need.

I used a pencil to draw swirls all over the hat and pumpkins, then I used hot glue over the swirls I drew. You could use caulk for the same effect. I painted the pumpkins orange, the bottom of the hat purple, and the rest of the hat black. Spray paint works well for this and is the easiest way. I love to change furniture and decor with spray paint and rarely ever use a whole can, so I actually have a bin full of spray paint colors.

After the paint is dry, use a paint brush to brush on regular Elmer’s glue over the raised areas where you hot-glued. Sprinkle on glitter and tap off the excess.

I went with orange glitter on the pumpkins for more subtlety, but I love the contrasting purple on the black hat. I’ll probably leave the pumpkins out through Thanksgiving. Let me know of any other last minute/sale Halloween crafts you’ve done!

Have Your Pumpkin Forever! Carve Foam Pumpkins with a Hot Knife

Welcome Halloween!

On the way to Halloween! I finally finished decorating. I wonder how long my spider webs will last before my cat eats them all…Unfortunately a basement flood (and not even from Sandy) ruined a lot of my outdoor decor. That’s okay, though. That just means at the end of the season I can go nuts and get what’s on sale.

OoOo

Last year, Matt and I carved some foam pumpkins. We figured it’d be less messy and we could keep them forever. We used the same tools that came with a regular carving kit. We Carved a haunted house and a werewolf. This year, I discovered the hot knife tool.

Hot Knife

The hot knife made foam pumpkin carving one hundred times easier.

Wtch with the Hot Knife

The hot knife is an electrically heated blade, and you can find it in the wood crafting section of the craft store. I actually had to go to Michael’s twice to get the hot knife because it was sold out the first time.

Fixing up the werewolf!

 The knife cuts through the foam like butter, and the edges are nice and smooth. I even went back and cleaned up last year’s foam pumpkins.

Before and after - fixing last year's pumpkins with the hot knife

Make sure you have a glass cutting board to cut on, just in case you drop the knife. (You won’t burn glass). First cut out the hole in the bottom for the battery candle. Cut a little smaller than you think. You want the candle to be snug, plus you can always cut more out but you can’t put the foam back.

Carve a circle for your candle

Tape your pattern to the pumpkin and use the scoring tools to score the pattern onto the pumpkin.

Score Pattern

Carve the pattern with the hot knife. Don’t use a sawing motion, just guide the knife across the pattern.

Carve

Now I want to  carve more foam pumpkins! I was thinking of doing our home address and/or our last name for outside.

 Happy Halloween!

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all