Friday, September 30, 2016

Candy Corn Marquee Lights

I saw this craft on Jennifer Perkins blog that she did for DIY Network late this summer. I was really bummed that I had found it so late because I thought I wouldn't be able to get the products at Michaels anymore. I had put it out of my mind, but was perusing the clearance room at my store and was really excited to find these! I decided three was a good number. 

I've linked her tutorial above if you're interested in reading the article. I used painters tape to make sure that I got clean lines. The pendants are made out of paper and the paint dried pretty quickly so it's great for those of us without much patience for waiting for paint to dry! 

I decided that I wanted to take this one step further and coordinate the light covers with the  color of the stripe. They had orange covers in the Heidi Swapp Halloween display, but I couldn't find any yellow ones online or otherwise, so I decided I had to make my own. I first tried dying them with turmeric to keep costs low on this project. Thus far my only investment had been the clearance pendants and a pack of orange bulbs that I of course bought with a coupon! Being vegan, we eat a lot of tofu scramble which means we go through a lot of turmeric. It stains things very easily, usually much to our chagrin. It didn't work this time, unfortunately, so on to the next! Michaels stopped carrying the Martha Stewart glass paint and I couldn't find any other glass paint besides spray paint. I didn't need that much paint, so I didn't want to go that route as it would have been wasteful. I decided to try iDye Poly before buying the spray paint. I had used it to dye synthetic tights many years ago when it first came out and was pleased with the results. I figured if it dyes acrylic fabric, it can dye other forms of it and it worked!

iDye Poly has great packaging that dissolves in water so you don't have to worry about spilling the concentrated powder everywhere. I put the dye pack and the intensifier in the water and brought it to a boil. Then I turned it down to low and waited for the water to stop boiling and cool down a little. I didn't take any temperatures because I am not familiar with melting points or anything, I was just winging this. The bulbs did melt a little and become misshapen in the open end where the string of lights are inserted. This made it a little difficult to get into the pendants, but not impossible. The result wasn't exactly what I was hoping for because they have a matte finish instead of the original shine. They are also weirdly tacky, but my main concern was getting them yellow and that worked out. So while I wouldn't call this a 100% success, it worked out well enough to satisfy me.

I can't believe today is the last day of September and Halloween is almost over! I haven't managed to get nearly any of the things made that I wanted to because my studio is still a store room for shop inventory and I've been working like mad to be ready for move in day. I was hoping that would have come already, but I'm crossing my fingers that we can get a lot of work done on the new space this weekend! Now I have to go catch up on household chores I've been putting off >_<

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Halloween House 2016 and What Halloween Means to Me

As I said before, I have had all my Halloween stuff up for a month now, but I'm simultaneously purging to bulk up my shop inventory for our big addition next month and trying to have a yard sale yet this month. I had to clean up the studio, aka the non-walk-in closet, so I decided to just take out all of my Halloween to avoid moving all the stuff multiple times. Everything has finally gone back into that room and it is still a non-walk-in... I keep telling myself by the end of next month it will all be gone, but it is really overwhelming. My mom always makes comments that imply that she thinks I'm a hoarder. For example, she was visiting this weekend and she told me that I could get rid of half of the stuff I have on display at the moment and nobody would even be able to tell. Rude and not true! Everybody has a different need for stuff in their lives and I just happen to be a collector by blood. I can't help it and I shouldn't have to apologize for it.

Not only is my collectorism hereditary, it is also a symptom of my environment. I was bullied my whole life. My friends were my bullies. I came home from school crying every single day. I skipped school starting in elementary school because the kids and the teachers both were so mean to me. I was also living undiagnosed with a slew of anxiety disorders which are debilitating for me to this day. As a result of all of that, my cat and my stuff became my best friends. Stuff never made fun of me and it was always there for me.  Stuff is comforting and I don't like empty walls with nothing interesting to distract me when I'm in the thick of battling my demons. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who can relate to that. 

As for Halloween, I didn't come out of the closet until I moved out on my own. My mom hated Halloween. In an attempt to relate to her and make her like me, I said I felt the same way, but I didn't feel it in my heart. The glow of a jack-o-lantern, the colors, stuff in the stores, it all gave me this warm hug that made things feel okay. I remember the day that my mom brought home The Nightmare Before Christmas on VHS and I watched it right away. I so desperately didn't want the story to end! I fell in love with Jack and the whimsical, spooky world he lived in. It was cool to be weird, which was a total departure from the small town conformity I was used to. When I moved away for college, the first thing that I bought was this electric foam jack-o-lantern. I named him Gordy and he has been a treasured friend for a decade.

Since moving away from that small town, I have grown into the person I've always been inside, but was too afraid to be on the outside. My dearest Babie was born on Halloween and I always had so much fun celebrating with her when it was just us in our first apartment. She died on the first of September five years ago. I found comfort in all of the Halloween things that hit the stores because being at home where she died was just too painful. Halloween helps keep her in my heart and gives me a community of people who don't think I'm too weird to live. So that's why you can find me jamming to Halloween music and Halloween dreaming all year long!

Scary Grant likes to hang out with his cat Fluffy all day. He doesn't help around the house. He basically lives my dream life. Fluffy recently got a mouse from World Market. Exciting stuff!

I had to rearrange the door shelf to accommodate all the new Boneys from this year. I have never bought more than 2 Boney Bunch pieces in one year because they're so spendy, but BJ treated me to a shopping spree this year. I know that a lot of people weren't impressed by the line this year, but I really liked most of it. The way Yankee handled the release, the coupon situation, and their failures in running the online store is another thing. Get it together!

The top shelf is packed to the max.

Cat Nap ended up being my favorite this year. 

I've got all my vintage Halloween smalls setting on the "window sill"

I decided to focus more on actual Halloween than Pyrex for this display this year, but had to set up my favorite stack of all, candy corn!

I wanted to work Pet Cemetery into the middle shelf so it would be near my fur babies' cremains because I'm morbid like that, but it didn't work out. The paint on it is sadly not great... Punch Rockers looks pretty good though. I really wish my disco ball would fit in this display for them. How cute with that be?!

I found a place for my new spooky boyfriend. Hopefully he deters a certain Assholebelle from playing with the items on the shadowbox. Those little lanterns are from the Dollar Tree!

That flocked candy corn kills me for being in the wrong color order, but I couldn't leave it behind. Luckily there is no shortage of correctly colored corn around here.

I found this huge rubber and foam gargoyle at the thrift store this past weekend. BJ was out of town so I had to text him a picture of it. I was prepared to leave it behind because I thought he'd say no, but he surprised me by saying he really wanted it! 

Want to come take pictures with these cute photo booth props? Nobody wanted to at our wedding!

I added the large lenticular picture from Michaels to the closet door this year.

This is one of my favorite things to do for Halloween decorating! I call this my bat cave. I went to Lush last year and looked at the bat bomb they had and was wearing a bat necklace. One of the workers there said, "oh, you like bats..." and backed away from me as if I was dangerous. Bats eat mosquitos and pollinate plants, everyone should like bats! Watch out, there's a creep at the end of the hallway!

Everything here is thrifted, except the lenticular lady. She came from Target 5 years ago.

The big bat from Target was only $10! Of course he had to live in the bat cave!

Even the bathroom gets a spooky makeover for Halloween!

I found this Dennison at an estate sale last year for $1! I love his cute face.

Lily Munster rip off from the Dollar Tree this year.

I love this wall so much I might have to keep it this way year round!

I really like this year's Halloween Hutch! The candy corn carafe on top is one of my favorite parts of it.

A little Terra and Daisy Pyrex because they're Halloween colors.

Three new stones in the graveyard this year plus a couple pictures from Target Dollar Spot.

I added a bunch of lights everywhere this year that were from the wedding.

Halloween touches everywhere!

The eyeball lights are weirdly uneven, but I love the archway this year!

Hammy's table is full of vintage!

Maximalist mini aluminum tree because more is more!


This is my cat section >^._.^<

Candy Corn and Pumpkins

I don't have enough batteries and light kits to light everything up at once, so they took turns for photos.

I got this spooky cute guy from Michaels this year! 

Blow mold pumpkin pails make my heart sing!!!

More candy corn colors in Pyrex!

Ghosts need a spooky house to haunt!

I had the hardest time finding Spider Witch this year. I fell in love with her at the thrift store many years ago.

Frankenweenie came out the year Babie died, so it was extra relevant to me. This guy was Limited Edition from the Disney Store that year and my BFF there let me use a coupon on it although it wasn't eligible for one. I'll always remember his kindness!

I bought a set of pillows that says 'Treat or Treat', posted a picture of it, and nobody told me! I didn't notice until I had already cut off all the tags, so I bought a new set that I made sure says 'Trick or Treat' and gave the first set to the kitties because all they care about in life is treats, treats, and treats! Fun fact: Scary Grant named the little skeleton on the left Cletus Fetus. He prefers cats over babies, so they don't hang out.

Well, there you have it! A long winded walkthrough of this year's Halloween decor. I think I'll go catch a catnap with this little chunk!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Target Dollar Spot Halloween 2016

ZOMG YOU GUYS!!! I was SO excited when we walked into Target last night and saw a full display of Halloween goodies in the dollar spot! We stopped at our usual store where we found Halloween in the dollar spot on Saturday, but they didn't have any more than they had before. It was organized this time instead of hiding under other items, which was promising. I saw a picture on Instagram that someone took of their seasonal section being filled with Halloween candy and back to school being cleared out so I wanted to go see if our stores were doing the same. BTS is still in seasonal, but there are tons of sold out signs, so that's a good sign! So we decided to hit up our super-secret-special-they-usually-have-it-when-no-other-store-does Target. Since they didn't have anything when we visited on Saturday after finding stuff at our usual spot, we weren't hopeful, but boy did this visit pay off big!!! I'll take you through my visit and my haul.

I ran for a cart as soon as I walked in the door and saw all the orange and black! I was grinning like a happy jack-o-lantern and throwing one of everything in my cart! I did try to show some restraint, but man is it good this year.  They had little sets of pillows that say trick or treat and hocus pocus. I had just seen the trick or treat ones on Instagram earlier in the day and thought they were really cute, but probably from somewhere out of my price range. What a surprise that they were at Target for $5!

They have such cute stuff that you could expect to find at Joann's, Michaels, or Home Goods for a ton more money, but here you'll only be spending $3-5! I wanted that skeleton pillow, but BJ didn't think we needed it... It was $5.

They have some fun kids' Halloween activities. I almost got the glow in the dark stickers because I'm a magpie with glow in the dark stuff, but decided I didn't need them right now. There was another section opposite to this that I forgot to take a picture of. It had the washi tape and banners that I had already purchased plus some really cool beakers. I thought about getting some, but don't have room for them. Sigh...

As you can see, they have a wide range of styles, from spooky elegant to whimsical fun. I like a little bit of everything. They have really fun scientist vile party favor kits that I really wanted to get, but I have literally no friends and thought it would be pointless to hand out party favors to BJ and myself at our annual Halloween party by ourselves... 

I wasn't very impressed by the stationary this year. I got a blue cousin It looking pen, but held off on the list pads and post-it type pads. I'm sure as I keep visiting, things will grow on me and will find their way home with me! Once again, the really fun socks are for kids, but I did get a pair of regular Halloween socks and a pair of fuzzy ones. Last year our stores didn't even get the Halloween sock section in the intimates department which was really disappointing, so I hope they get it this year because Halloween socks are my jam!

Here's what came home with me! I got the tombstone that says Happy Halloween on one side and October 31 on the other and a trick or treat sign.

Here's the other side of the tombstone. I also got a 31 block set. Since we got married on October 31, I felt that I needed these! I think I'm going to get another tombstone so I can display both sides at once.  All of these things are $3.

I picked up this cute set of battery operated jack-o-lantern "mason jar" lights. I liked a set similar to this at Gordmans which is $13, but these are only $5! I was a little disappointed that the lights are white instead of orange, but they're still cute. I also picked up a couple boxes of purple battery op wire lights- one bat shaped and one regular. They are $3 each and there were also orange regular and pumpkin sets as well. The bats are a garland banner and were only $1.

Isn't this so spooky cute!? I love it! This was only $3. Can you believe it? 

These are so fantastic! I think that I did get one of each design from this section, but I'm going to keep checking to make sure because these are only $3 and are pretty nice quality. The skeleton one reminds me of something they'd charge $25 for at Michaels, but it is small. The frame is a heavy pressboard and looks really fancy. The crow is flocked, which I love!

I hung the spider right away when I got home last night! This one is also $3 and has the same kind of frame as the skeleton above. I was thinking that I needed some Halloweenie things to replace the everyday pictures and I found them! I found an ikea frame at Goodwill and painted it black and used paper from the new 6x6 Halloween paper pack from Michaels as the matte for the vintage Dennison black cat die-cut I got recently. That one is covering up a landline phone jack that doesn't even work. When we moved in we had a phone line as part of our Comcast package and I tried plugging in one of my old phones and it didn't work! I don't need a landline, but what if I did want to use it? Our fridge door handle broke off over a year ago and I'm still waiting on the "two weeks" for the new handle to come in... Give me a break. 

This lantern was only $5. What?! It is so cool and something I'd expect to pay a lot more for at another store! The candle doesn't come with it, that's an electric candle I found at the thrift store.

They have really cute heavy tombstones! They're a little bit bigger than the ones that I have been collecting from Dollar Tree and Michaels over the years.

Here's a picture of it next to a Dollar Tree one for comparison. I've had my apartment fully decorated for Halloween for about a month now, but have held off on showing it because there are so many haters out there whining "TOO SOON!!!" I was so happy that there was another girl shopping the dollar spot who had a cartful of Halloween and she asked me if I was as excited as she was! We're out there, Halloweenies! Don't let the haters put out your Halloween light! Every time I hear "I can't believe there's Halloween out in July/August!!!" I want to go punch them in the face and scream, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN YOUR WHOLE LIFE?! DON'T YOU REMEMBER THAT YOU BITCH ABOUT THIS EVERY SINGLE EFFING YEAR?! IT ISN'T COMING OUT ANY SOONER, YOU'RE JUST NOT COOL ENOUGH TO REMEMBER HOW AWESOME HALLOWEEN IS ALL YEAR!!!!" Seriously!

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! I waffled on this cute little spider pillow. It's only $3! BJ said, "you could make that!" I said, "Yeah, you're right, I could... but I couldn't make it for less than $3!" So we decided it was worth getting. It is already turning a hairy shade of white and Annabelle hasn't been anywhere near it... Life with a white cat. She loves little pillows so I won't be surprised if she claims this. 

I've been MIA again because I'm such a loser. Life kind of shat on us lately. BJ's grandma died and I learned that buying a suit is not as easy as I had imagined. The funeral was on his birthday, so he got to have a funeral birthday party! Happy birthday, I'm sorry for your loss! It's all so sad that we just have to laugh. As we were driving from the church to the cemetery, we drove past where she worked for most of her life, then past her house!!! HAHA! Oh my goblin, it was hilarious and creepy!  We were saying, wait, are they driving to the house? Did someone forget something? No, they wouldn't do that... But they did drive right past her house to avoid one of the roundabouts. 

I made myself get my act together a little bit and finished the elements for a new Halloween design. I've got a couple designs finished, but want to make at least a couple more to fill out the collection. That should be available soon. I've got previews up on Intagram, so go check them out! I'm going to try to stop sucking at life so hopefully that works out and I can be better at updating! I've got to finish the cleaning that I quit doing almost a month ago before I can take pictures of the Halloween House 2016 and get some batteries for my lights. I have no idea how I only have 3 working batteries. Where did they all go? Wherever the bobby pins and hair ties go, I guess. Anyway, check back soon because there are a bunch of things happening that I want to share!!!