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!