Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bewitching Bottles

I love to decorate my kitchen windowsill with bottles. You can see here that I used to collect different colors and change them out for various holiday/seasons. After I redecorated the kitchen/living room those colored bottles didn’t seem to work any longer.

Until Halloween…Then anything goes, right? For the last few Halloweens, I’ve been looking at bottles at the craft store that have spooky labels on them. I never bought them because I always thought they were too expensive. So this year I decided I was going to make my own.

Late August early September I emptied a small bottle of pinoli nuts. I liked the shape and at first I thought it would make a nice tea light holder. Then right after that my husband emptied a glass bottle for one of his meds. Then I realized I could use both of them for something fun and the challenge grew. A quick look around the pantry and in the frig and I realized that in no time I could manage to empty out several bottles and use them to make my “Potion” bottles.
Once I had a few bottle together I started getting them ready. I washed them out and removed the labels.

For the more resistive labels, I used cooking oil on a paper towel to loosen the adhesive. After they were all label free, washed and dry it was time for some paint. I have seen some people use acrylic paints to decorate their own colored bottles but they all seem to look streaky. I heard that oil based paint might work better so off I went to the home improvement store.

I bought a half pint can of high gloss black oil base paint and I was good to go. I poured about a third of the paint into one of the bottles and rolled it around the inside. Then poured the rest out into the next bottle and so on until all the bottles were coated with paint.

While the paint was drying I got started on some labels. I wanted to find some brownish, parchment looking paper but didn’t want to pay for it so I used regular white paper. I found a list of “ingredients” by googeling “witches brew”. I found a few fonts that looked the part and printed them out.

To give the paper and aged look I used shoe polish. First some tan and them around the edges with brown. I tore the label and used a match to burn the edges. Glued them onto the bottles and lined them up on the windowsill.

Now it looks like all I need is a cauldron and I’m ready to get started on a ghoulish concoction.

Here’s a list of the “ingredients” that I came up with…

Old Hag Cackle Extract
Vanishing Cream
Mummy Dust
Black of Night
Eye of Newt
Toe of Frog
Wool of Bat
Toil and Trouble Tonic
Ear of Troll
Dragon’s Breath
Hell Broth
Vanishing Cream
Mermaid Scales
Poison # 26
(Only use after midnight)

Not all the bottles were painted. I kept a few clear so I could fill them with different things. The poison bottle has purple colored water,

the mummy dust is a mix of salt and pepper.

and the hell broth has red colored water.

Did you guess what any of the bottles were used for originally?

From left to right…

Blue Curacao
Green Olives
Red-hot sauce
Tonic water
Pine nuts
Sesame oil
Taco sauce
Red-hot sauce #2

Have a fun Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

No Sew Halloween Costume

I like to make some or all of the kids costumes when I can. This can be tricky if they choose something challenging or when they are changing their minds every few days. I have learned to wait until I get really close to the Halloween before I purchase any supplies. This year my son (3 yr.) started off saying he wanted to be Buzz Light-year. That is what he went as last year and I’m not so sure he understood that he could be something different. Then he said he would be a fireman. Great. We have a hat in the dress up box and his coat has some bright yellow on it so we’re most of the way there.

Then he said he WAS NOT going to be a fireman! Ok, now what?

I asked what he thought about a skeleton and then his face lit up with excitement.

I had an idea that was going to make this the easiest costume for Mama to make.
Wooo Hooo!!!!

I already had all the supplies I needed.

Black pants and a black T-shirt. Already had those items in the dresser.
A sheet of craft foam. Had a large enough piece left from a previous project. (ok, so I’m part pack-rat)
White(ish) contact paper. I had some left from lining dresser drawers and I had used this same stuff when I did the ceiling fan makeover in our bedroom. It looks a little like white/gray marble when you see the whole sheet but cut up I thought it would be perfect as a dirty bone.

I used my seam ripper to remove the pocket from the T-shirt.

I made some rough sketches of bones to use as a pattern. I first cut them out of paper and then traced them onto the back of the contact paper.

It took a little time to cut out all the bones but I sat on the living room floor and watched Jailhouse Rock while I tinkered away at the costume.

I used google images to find the outline of a skull and then traced that onto the craft foam. I cut out the eyes, nose holes and a slit for the mouth and then used a marker to draw in some details. All that is left, is to staple a piece of elastic on and the mask is all done.

I had some gloves that I found last year that have bones on them but you could use the same technique as the rest of the body if you want to. The best part is that I can peel the contact paper off after Halloween and use the pants and T-shirt again.

I think he’s going to look pretty cute.

What’s your easy last minute costume idea???

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Something for the walls... part two

Several months ago I saw this new (new to me) technique to use aluminum foil to give a contemporary look to a common piece of furniture. I came across a blog (I wish I new which one) that had done this technique on a small dresser/ side table. I wanted to give it a try but on a smaller scale.

I had my eye on this tray for a few weeks and it finally got marked down and moved to the clearance section. At $4.00 I couldn’t go wrong. It was already cream but to make sure it blended with the other items in the room, I gave it a light coat of paint.

I cut several pieces of foil into various sized squares and rectangles. Then I used decoupage to adhere them (shiny side down) to the bottom of the tray. I glued a small picture hanger to the back and on the wall it went.

Hmm, I wonder what I can do this to next??????

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Something for the walls...part one

After repainting the powder room I needed to also update the decorations on the walls. I held onto an idea for a while but needed the supplies and the time to put it all together.

I started an obsession over frames almost two years ago. I wanted to find some realty big frames for our family photo shoot in the park. Big enough to hold up around us while we got our picture taken. I found two while on vacation at the beach in 2010 and they worked out great. I just couldn’t stop. I kept finding frames and a new collection by surprise began.

During one of my stops at a local antique store I found this frame for $2.00.

At the time I didn’t know for sure what I would do with it but I couldn’t pass it up.


Ok, so it needed a little love.

I removed the backing and pulled all the pins and staples out. A good sanding and a few coats of paint and it was as good as new. I sanded a few areas a little more to give it an aged look but a clean and pretty aged look.

Next, all it needed was some chicken wire. Not as easy to come by as you might think. I did find small rolls at a local hardware store but the smallest roll was $21.00. I just couldn’t justify spending that and only needing about one tenth of the roll.

Father-in-law to the rescue. We stopped in there for a quick visit on our way to the beach this past summer. (They live half way in our trip East) He has one of those Grandpa like garages that has a little of something left over from every project he has ever done. Low and behold, in the corner behind the fishing rods was a tiny roll of chicken wire!!!! Perfect! (and free)

Tacked a piece on the back of the frame and added some black wire to the top as a hanger.

Now all it needed was a few decorative clothespins. I glued strips of scrapbook paper on the clothespins and sanded the edges.

Now I can pin up cute little notes.

I saw a bunch of frames at that same antique store just yesterday…Should I go back and get them????

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just in case...

No, I didn’t forget that I have a blog. I just put a few things on the back burner for a little while. This time of year is generally busy in this house. This year is especially busy. The In-laws came for a visit. I planned a family party and a kid party for my now eight year old. (Not sure what’s easier to cope with… Hosting my Family or 9 little girls). And on top of that I’m working like a fiend to get ready for a vendor show this weekend. You know, for that little jewelry business I have.

Anyway, since I have re-prioritized temporarily, I need to delegate a few tasks. So if you should happen to be here helping out, there are a few things you might need to know to make life easier.

If you run the dishwasher, you need to twist the door to the right then push down on that side before you close the door. Then you have a 50/50 chance that it won’t leak while it’s running. Watch out for water on the floor when it’s done. My cute little blonde butterfly daughter fell on the opened door twice. (Nope, didn’t learn after the first time she fell)

If you need to use the oven, add at least 25 degrees to the temp you really want. Then once it’s preheated and you open it to put your stuff in you’ll need to turn it off and then back on. Make sure you hear the thermostat click on. Not sure what happened but we think it got fried during a power serge. Just a little temperamental now but it usually gets hot.

If your drive my van and it’s raining, don’t try to adjust the wipers. They started hitting each other last year and we had them “fixed” and now they do what they want. They always work but they just go at what ever speed they feel like. Unpredictable but doable.

If you need to talk to the hubby get eye contact first. You’ll have a better chance that he might really be listening. But be careful, he’ll hear the first few words and try to analyze how to fix the problem before you’re done talking so sometimes the point you’re making gets lost. Good luck.

I think that covers most of the quirks here.

Do you have any funny little quirks that you’re dealing with in your daily life? I’d love to know I’m not alone.