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Jar Lanterns

on July 16, 2011 - 5:37pm

The second project with the jars was to make simple lanterns (or candle holders, if you prefer). Pictures and a quick how-to below.

Sundays Are For Candle Making

on July 11, 2011 - 9:34am

I spent most of my hot and humid Sunday hidden away in my office, trying to forget the heat outside. The best way I know to do that is to make things for Halloween.

A total of 19 candle stubs are ready for their part in my jar project. They are made with hot glue, acrylic paint, toilet paper rolls, and LED candles.

If you're waiting to see the final product of the jars, it'll be posted soon (not quite done). If you'd like to learn more about how I made these, I've included some pictures and basic instructions below.

A Fine Specimen

on July 10, 2011 - 9:02am

Generally speaking, I don't do a lot of gore in my Halloween themes. This year, I need a bit of it for the story I'm going to tell. This was project one of the glass jars (the other plans are much less gross).

What I did was take a few of the jars from yesterday that had been glazed with watery glue. I mixed red and brown paints, watered them down, and mixed them with a touch of glue as well. I poured it into the bottom of the jars and swirled them around.

Then, I dipped my paint brush into the paint mix and splattered it on the insides of the jar.

I took my organs - 2 hearts, a nose, a brain, an ear, lips, fingers, eyeballs, tongue - and painted them as well to give them a more realistic aged look before placing them in the jars.

Ghoul Friday's Halloween Cabinet

on December 5, 2010 - 4:04pm

For years I've wanted a glass cabinet that would protect my art and display my personal collection of items. Thanks to an early Christmas present from ma mere (thanks mom!), all my goodies have a home.

It even has white and orange stripes on the backboard.

With a little creative cutting, I was able to make a hidden opening to run wires through so I could have two of my lamps and a string of lights inside.

The funny thing about it (wasn't funny until about an hour ago when I solved the problem) was one of the main items I wanted protected - the carnivorous plant - didn't fit. I kept trying to be ok with the idea, but finally decided enough was enough, and I pulled out the trusty hacksaw. I always thought the thing was too tall (hey, it was my first plant), and if I end up ruining it, well, that would solve my problem too and I wouldn't have to worry about the darn thing anymore (it hasn't looked right ANYWHERE I put it).

Did you know using a hacksaw on an item you're mad at is therapeutic?

With a little touch up, it all worked out.

Now let me take you on a tour of my cabinet.

Packing Away Halloween 2010

on November 5, 2010 - 3:00pm

Today is the day we all hate. Decoration take down day.

It's depressing enough that all the ghouls and goblins are going away for another year, but the chore of hauling bins and decorations up and down the stairs is exhausting. I resent it with each step. With each ache.

I've suggested to Yetch that we consider getting charcoal or black drapes for the front room. Shockingly, he's open to the idea (we NEVER agree on decorating choices). I just love the look of the dark curtains and sigh when I take down my black fabric. And it would mean one less thing for me to wrangle with each year.

So while I'm putting away the final decorations (there's always a stray spider or two), you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the last set of pictures from this year.

Halloween Fireplace Decor

on November 4, 2010 - 2:51pm

More images put together. This is the fireplace for 2010. Some of these items might be familiar from previous years. More images posted below.

At shows, people often assume my entire house is decorated with my artwork. Truth is, with the exception of large creatures I make for various themes, none of my pieces make it out of my office. And even if I took them out, they wouldn't take up much space.

I have a strict rule about my pieces: I'm allowed to keep one or two of a series. If I want a new one from the same series, I have to trade it out with one already on the shelf. It keeps my personal collection rather small.

There's one or two of you out there who actually own more pieces than I do.

Besides, I like the idea of having someone else's decorations up, especially when they have a vintage flair (I don't have a knack for that vintage style. At least, not at the moment. Maybe one day).

Halloween Window Display

on November 4, 2010 - 12:04pm

This Halloween, since I'd taken the year off from building a theme, I was able to display some of my favourite pieces in my living room. It was so nice to have them out at once (usually only a few might make an appearance depending on the theme).

It was so nice, in fact, that I've been trying to figure out how to bring them out each year (and no, I can't have them all out year-long). I'm toying with the idea of keeping the front room as a classic Halloween decor area that I can build on as I collect and create some goodies.

Then, when it comes to the "theme", I might stick to the dining room and whatever other area of the house I feel like taking over.

And on the years when I want to convert the front room for the theme as well, perhaps I will instead decorate my office (which always has bits and bobs of Halloween in it). Because you know, I really need to bring out my favourite items more often. They lighten my heart.

Here's the first batch of pictures from this year. The focus is the front window. More images to come!

My Halloween Date

on November 1, 2010 - 9:22am

Jack o'lantern
The plan for this Halloween was to go on a haunt crawl with a group, head downtown for a little martini or two, and then get home for the premiere of the Walking Dead on AMC.

Halloween morning showed the first signs of roadblocks. My cold, which has just been a nuisance up to this point, teamed up with a migraine (I blame the brief snowfall we had in the city) and knocked me out for 2 hours.

When I awoke, the migraine was better, but I was goopy. Coughing. Sniffling. A bit dizzy.

I was going nowhere.

A friend of mine came by to visit around 5, and left just as the sun was setting.

I called to Yetch who was relaxing after staying up drinking with friends at a party Saturday night (until 7 am). He'd gone past relaxing and into sleeping.

I tried to gently wake him a couple times but to no avail. I was on my own (insert awwwwwws here).

So I carved myself a companion who didn't care that I was sick and didn't mind staying in with me while I sneezed and coughed.

The doorbell only rang twice for trick or treaters (insert another awwwww here). I even bundled up at one point, shuffled out to the porch, and prominently displayed the pumpkin. But even though children pointed, parents weren't interested in crossing the street for the only house with a light on.

So my little jack o'lantern and I went back inside. I put on a movie during which we had a photo shoot (he posed on the table, I took most of the pictures below from my spot on the couch).

Happy Halloweeen 2010

on October 31, 2010 - 10:12am

Was sent a link to this carved pumpkin last night and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Happy Halloween :)

Unwanted Neighbour

on October 25, 2010 - 10:17am

I've complained in the past about how my street is void of Halloween spirit, but this past week I've been unnerved by a disturbing sight.

Last year the people across the street from me hung a full skeleton on their front porch, much to my delight. But this year another white figure has appeared.

At first he was up against the railing, looking through the bars like a prisoner. Perhaps he's waiting to be picked up, I thought.

But this morning he's sitting comfortably in a chair. I tell myself he might have arthritis and just needs to sit since he's been waiting for his ride for so long. I fear I am deluding myself.

I have my morning coffee out on the porch each day, and with each cup I get more agitated by his stupid smile. What is he doing? Should I call the police? He's an unwanted intruder who needs to be removed.