Adventures in Decorating: Halloween dining table

Indoors is done. Pics are taken. Here is a sneak peak of the dining room
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Lola’s Christmas Decor 2012: First set of Pics

I’ve got lots to say about the projects I took on this year, as soon as they all are done I will get the  details, tips and tricks written up, hopefully. I may have taken on a but much this year plus work is crazy right now.  This is what is photo sharing ready. 🙂

 


Put some Easter Decor up and I did an Egg Tree

I  took a day off for me with the hopes of getting outside in the  dirt and sunshine later.  I can see this is the start of my series of months where I take a  day or two off and just try to relax and do what I want.  Which is usually write,  garden or if I haven’t been training regularly, run. Later I’ll be running 6 miles but for now I’m finally getting around to putting up these Easter Decoration pics.  I have collected egg ornaments for a while, but recently had to curb my collection because I was running out of room on my metal egg tree.  This year I had an idea that I could make an Easter tree like I made a Fall tree.   I  was slightly concerned I might not like having a tree out so close to Christmas, but as it turns out I think it looks kinda neat. I was even able to take the metal egg tree back down to 2-tiers from 4 this year.  Which also mean I now have more room for new egg ornaments. It’s a win!  The rest of my sparse Easter Decor is mostly just stuff i picked up here and there. I did change the ribbons on the mantle for the season though and I really like them. I think this opens up the possibility to change the ribbon for the season and leave my DIY topiary trees up all year round.  I have another one of the candlesticks too so I am now officially even more bummed I didn’t find 3 of those little clearance tree cones.  Oh well, it can’t always be an “all rainbows shooting out of a Unicorn’s butt” day can it?  Here are the pics, enjoy.


Home Made Swags and Other Holiday Decor

Happy Monday Lovies.  Somehow I found the time and most of the energy to run around and take some pics of the Holiday Decor I  put up this year.   I usually have 2 indoor trees, but after doing all of the swags  I ran out of time and energy and decided to let the smaller artificial tree go for this year.   We get a real tree every year and place it in a rather large open corner of our living room.  We have 9 foot ceilings and it has to be wide enough to fill the space without looking puny.  This one isn’t nearly as big as some of the trees of Christmas past, but at least it didn’t fall on top of me while I was trying to move it and require my daughter to go ring the neighbors doorbell so he could come rescue me like a few years ago.   I found the ribbon at Sam’s Club and you may not be able to tell but all of the red on both kinds is actually glitter.  When I was done putting the tables and mantels together it looked like Santa’s Glitter Den up in here, and all over my face.   Totally worth it because it looks far better than it photographs. I had Mini Boobs make all the bows as she is my go-to bow maker and she works really cheap!   The swags are a mix of  4-5  different kinds of greenery I bought fresh in bunches at the local nursery where we get our tree every year and the backdrop for them is the bottom cuts from the actual tree itself.  I used a set of pruning shears and a lopper for the larger branches. It takes awhile to match them all up kind of evenly and then work in the other top layers, but it looks really nice for not a lot of money.   I also got the loading guys to allow me to take  a whole pile of tree pieces from the other trees that had been cut before the greenery girls came over and turned them into swags they sell there for at least $10 each. And those aren’t for anything layered like mine.   The wreath on the door is boxwood and matches our front bushes.  I used plastic  garland ties to hold the swags together and when I  ran out of those I used green garden tie tape that easily rips and has a little stretch to it.   Just start with your biggest branches of greenery and then work in your others in layers to position as you like before tightening.   Take the screens out of your windows and hang with big suction cups.  They should stay up all season long.   I chose white ribbon for the outside of the house because white shows up really well in shade and dark.   We have led lights along the house to in bright white but I didn’t get a pic of those.  For the tables and mantels I  mixed in my silk  garlands  and other floral things to add some sparkle and depth.  I’m no decorating genius but it  is good enough for me! Enjoy!


Finally got started on the Thanksgiving Decor

We won the neighborhood  Halloween  Decorating Contest for  Best Overall Yard. It netted a $100 Gift card  that we can use to dine at a cool restaurant in the arts district downtown.   I hurried and got  all of the indoor decor down and put away before The Ladies came to clean.   They aren’t  doing so hot, we are on crew number 2.     In the past I would of also made the transition to Thanksgiving  decor at the same time.    This year I enjoyed the  clean empty spaces on all my surfaces for a little bit before I dug back in.   I am even thinking I’m not putting out Dept 56  Christmas Houses this year.   But we will see how I feel once Thanksgiving gets here.   It’s the first Thanksgiving in a while I can eat when I want, where I want and we are eating at 6 at my house.  I’m buying The Husband a new fabulous electric smoker for his coming Birthday, and he is making a turkey breast and something beefier.  The rest we will work out later, but I did promise homemade croutons and spinach salad.   It’s nothing super special, but I’m  sharing mostly because I like looking at what other people do and getting ideas.


Random Musings and detailed how to’s for the Halloween Decor

Hello lovies!  OK here are the how to’s for the Halloween Lawn decorations in this post and some of the rest of the Halloween/Fall Decor along with probably side bars and random musings about my week and life.

Little hanging ghosts

The little hanging ghosts are made of  cut up sheets, styrofoam balls in various sizes, 2″,3″ and 4″ from the craft store and white pipe cleaners.  Hang with filament or fishing line and for the bigger headed ones it helps to put a thumb tack or  eye hook or screw tack if you can find them into the top of the head . Wrap the filament from the neck to the tack ont he top of the head and them those should  hang a little straighter.   I made these a few years ago, but I think I cut pretty large squares  from 1-2 king  flat sheets I bought at Target.  They have held up really well and the edges now have a sort of frayed worn look which I think is pretty cool.   Just this year we are finding that the filament needs to be changed or added to most of them.   Now my savvy decorating neighbor who I totally stole this idea from also made ground ghosts.  I  don’t know for sure how she did it, but I imagine it could be done with the exact same materials plus a cut up  small round dowel rod shoved and hot glued into the base of the Styrofoam ball head, like a  little ghost lollipop.  Hmmm, that gives me an idea for next year.  We are pretty stuck to doing ghosts and spiders each year because I’m saving all of this stuff in my huge basement that’s never likely to get finished before my kids can enjoy it anyway.  Of course, if we wait then I can claim it as Lola’s Boom Boom Room and make a long bench throne for the bad girls and I to sit on.   I digress.

Big yard ghosts

The bigger ghosts are 4′ shim boards we used for the grid lines for the Square Foot garden.  cut one end on an angle.  The heads are those plastic store trick or treat pumpkins, Dremel out  a notch in the bottom so they slide tightly onto the top of the stick.  Cut off the plastic handles and then pound the whole thing in the ground with a rubber mallet.  We tried lighting them from the inside of the heads this year with battery operated pumpkin lights, but it isn’t working so great.  Next year I will try battery operated light up X-mas lights.

Now the sheets on the kid ghosts are all from Goodwill.  In order to get the best results you really full size or larger. But I also scored a white tablecloth and a white shower curtain and I cut those worked just fine.   Don’t shy away from mostly white sheets with a trim of  something.  I found two like that and just cut off the patterned trim edge.  Also I had several sheets that were fitted, rather than flat.  I needed a lot of white sheets and I made a round trip to 4 Goodwills to get white sheets.  I cleaned all of them out of everything they had that might work because I didn’t know how lucky I would be at the next one.   So I had probably 3 fitted sheets with the elastic edges.  I cut the elastic off all around each of the fitted sheets. Guess what?! This gave me white elastic long and sturdy tying material for the necks of each ghost when I went to tie up the sheets to the heads.   So if you are going to try this don’t shy away from those fitted sheets!

Spacing them is really a two person job , but I did it by myself on Friday morning before the contest because the Husband’s back is still out.   I’ve been sleeping alone for over a week now, the flash backs are gone, but it’s  at that really lonely but about to become what I’m used to stage.  I hope he can sleep on his side soon :-(. I really don’t like sleeping alone, ever.

Ghost Jack- o-Lanterns

The ghost pumpkins are just regular jack o lanterns, carved with ghost faces and covered in a cut up sheer  curtain panel from Goodwill. This is the only craft I designed myself. Everything else I stole from a decor savvy neighbor years ago or looked up online and put in Pinterest to try out this year. Left over sheer window panel made a great ghost costume for Edwin the spider. Who is hanging from the porch light and ringing the doorbell.

Fall tree and wreath

Oh, the Fall tree was also mine. I’d seen them in the craft stores and had one inside last year. This year I skipped that and drug the outdoor Xmas lighted porch tree outside early.  It is shoved full of  some of the same fall flower picks and pumpkins  that I had in my stash. then I added the orange little lights and white ghost lights. I also put in a few spiders and a Halloween ribbon on the top.  On November 1, I will pull all the Halloween off and put in the Thanksgiving fall stuff. Same concept with the grape vine wreath.  I never glue anything to my grape vine wreaths because that way I can change them out as often as I like for less money and less  storage.    

Spiders

Here is a little background about the spiders. My Husband HATES SPIDERS!  So  being his loving family we of course think it is funny to torture him with them every Halloween.   It started with Charlie and Beauregard and then this year we added umm, whatever we named the other 3.   I’d add more to my collection but I don’t want two that are the same.  I’ve got to take a trip to Micheal’s in search of a grey one.   In the same fashion we have had the two plastic rats for years and years.

The big spiders are made from random balls around the house wrapped in either trash bags or landscaping fabric or both.   Ours are anchored with spray painted black wood blocks to give them stability and also raise them up a bit all over or just in back.   The legs are nothing more than 1″ PVC pipe, cut with a hacksaw very easily into legs. Then joined together with PVC joints. and covered in cut black pipe insulation.   We left the knees white but if it bugged you one could spray them black as well.   Then we cut those long tall bamboo or thin metal covered in green plastic poles for the garden into long spikes.   For the 1’x1′ legs I cut them about 12″ or so long, so one 8′ pole in  my garage made 8 spikes for anchoring the legs.   For the 3’x’3′ legs we cut them about 18″ or so long.  Then drive the spikes into the ground at a sever low angle to the ground very near the spider body.  Slide the pvc legs onto the spike and repeat  until you have all 8 legs on the ground.

The Husband took my cheapy black glitter spiders from Walmart and drilled a tiny hole in each one’s booty with a Dremel. Then we hung them from the ceiling of the porch .  It’s difficult to capture on film and creepy as heck.  I hope no one freaks out and falls off my porch, seriously.

Ghost  Milk Jug Lanterns

This was a Pinterest project.   It looked cute and sounded great. In reality it was a bit of a pain but I have a a great start now and can add as I like to them. First you  have to beg everyone you know to save their milk jugs for you and get enough to make an impact.  I suggest you start now for next year if you the all along the walk , the driveway, the front edge of the yard and maybe even the garden grandiose plans like I did.   I ended up with enough, THANK YOU MILK JUG FAIRIES,  to do both sides of the small walk way.   Keep em coming lovies!

Anyway you need to rinse them out well. And just use a small exacto craft knife to cut a round hole near the back bottom edge . Then use a big smelly sharpie to  get high, I mean draw cute/scary/KISS ghost faces on the front of the jugs. The  whole family can help with this as you can see from our jugs.   Hmm, just got another idea for next year.   You could draw anything on the jugs and use this idea.  Words, spiders, anything!!!! So it makes it a cute idea for more than just Halloween. I  am rarely smart enough to come up with these kinds of realizations on my own, and you just got to witness one.

I put some river rocks in the bottom of each jug.  I’ve had them in the bottom of my guest bathroom sink for a few months and they have been cleaned but needed a good airing out anyway.  Then I used the big blue bulbs we have for our favorite Football team lights on the house during Xmas and shoved one in the back hole I cut.   I played with the position and they looked best facing out toward our sidewalk and then in toward the path on along the house vs. facing each other.

I’m traveling this week for work, including a day of 10+ hours of back to back to back meetings.  The kids have Fall break this week and I’ll be working from home while they play quietly in clean rooms,  I mean drive me nuts  Have a great week lovies!


Our Spooky Yard!!! Pics; How to’s coming in another post

These are pictures during the day of our yard and porch as decorated for Halloween  and the neighborhood decorating contest.  I will try to grab a night pic of it all lit up and add to the gallery.

I’m headed out the next two nights and I’m traveling for work Monday and Tuesday. But I will come back here at some point this weekend and give details on how we made all of the crafty things.