Thursday, October 08, 2015

Terra Cotta Pumpkin

 There is a house in my neighborhood that had a terra cotta pumpkin sitting out on it's porch....all year.  I thought it was January I was just curious how one acquires a terra cotta pumpkin.  I don't know what they paid, but now that it's in season again....I think I'll add my own.  I promise to put it up before Valentine's Day.
I did the cheater way.  I bought a pumpkin pale...I found these mini's at Walmart for 77 cute will these be as little gifts for friends this Halloween?  I drilled a hole in the bottom so it would drain.  I yanked off the handle, and then painted it with terra cotta paint.  I got this in the Martha Stewart section at Michael's with a coupon.  It took about three coats to cover up the black.  I could have sprayed it orange first so the black wasn't an issue, but....I just slapped on a coat every time I passed it.  The end.  It would be cute to add mums to a bigger pail.  I know for a fact...I've been looking at one all year.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Glow in the Dark Pumpkin

 I saw this glowz spray paint used for just about everything...including pumpkins.  I'll be sharing four different pumpkins on GMT today (I'll post the video here later, and the last project tomorrow on my blog)...this one will be tough to share the finished product b/c short of bringing a black light or sticking around until the evening just have to trust me that it works, but look....
I love this b/c you can paste whatever face you want on a pumpkin, or even one on both side-I used vinyl, but you can use painter's tape, or contact paper as well.  Spray it down with the glowz spray once your face is in place.  Peel off the face...and during the day you have a plain pumpkin.  At night...a jack-o-lantern.  It recharges with the sun.  Give it a few coats so you don't have splotches  It really is camera just doesn't like to take night photos.  You can do this with the real deal, or these funkins from the craft stores.  I also got some from the dollar store I sprayed white and then did the same thing with.  Orange works as well, but I love the glow of the white!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Canning Lid Pumpkin

I made this little pumpkin at the request of one of the GMT producers.  She saw one of these last year at a craft show and fell in love.  I'll be sharing this and a few more pumpkin crafts on Thursday on the show, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peak.  
 I found some old canning lids for 69 cents at a thrift store.  You may have some floating around, or you can also order them (or buy them a the store).  I took about 16 and threaded them through a pipe cleaner.  You could also use yard.
I tied it with a little wiggle room so I could maneuver them.  I sprayed them with orange spray paint.  You can do this before or after you thread them.  Just move them around a bit and get all the overlapping edges if you do it afterwards.  I added a stick to the middle and tied a ribbon for the leaves.  I might go back later and add some washi tape to every third or forth one just for fun ,but...easy and cute.  I have plans for the flat seals as well....but...that's another blog post!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Book Paper Pumpkin

 I'm putting together a collection of pumpkins made out of every day materials. I've seen book page pumpkins for a few years,'s my version.
 I took a book that was going to book heaven b/c it had lost it's cover...and's reason for existing.
 I drew a template using the back cover with a little curve to the bottom edge (though I left the bottom flat so it could sit up) and a curve to the top.  I traced it on the page and cut about 10 pages at a time.  Traced again and repeated.
 I then glued a stick to the spine and then glued to the two front/back pages together.
 I took an orange ink pad I had and just rubbed it along the edge of the pumpkin pages.
 When you first open it, it will look something like this.....just start bending the pages where you want them.
I added ribbon for the 'leaves.'  And more every day pumpkin added to my mix.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Pumpkin Treat Jars

 This summer I went to my friend's house for a painting tutorial.  She does amazing work and she was willing to teach me some skills.  More on that later, but here's an easy one that sort of explains itself.
Another friend of mine brought me about 50 old baby jars she had in her attic.  I painting the lids with a dark orange (Americana-Paprika).  It took about two coats, but no other special paints to get it to adhere to the lids (I wasn't in case you have that question).  I let that layer dry and then painted a face with black paint.  After THAT dried I took a thing white brush and outlined them a little (not fully).  I then took a paint brush and white paint and 'flicked' some paint on the lids.  This is probably my favorite finish-it just looks flat to me without those little flecks.
I added a clear gloss on top so it wouldn't scratch and then some twine I got at the dollar tree.  
I'm sharing this tip b/c I spend a small fortune on ribbon...and seriously...a buck for three?  I didn't even put a dent in one and it makes a nice finish.  

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Bugs and Kisses in the Mail

 The idea of kisses and bugs isn't new for Halloween, but I three a twist into the mix and filled an empty water bottle with these and mailed them to some little ones.  I cut a slit in the middle, stuff my rings and kisses inside, then sealed it off with tape and a fun label.
I mailed this for less than two bucks....I give my cousin's kiddos lots to talk about around the dinner table.  I was informed that spiders weren't technically bugs, but....I think I'm allowed to take creative license when it comes to the aesthetic affect I'm going for....and the spider rings were fun colors that popped around the kids can just be confused a few more years....

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Spell Books

I have a stack of old books from a project I did last year.  I've slowly, but surely, been crafting my way through the remainder of the box!  I painted some of them black (with a can of 99 cent spray from Walmart) and then I took some black glitter paint and painted the edge of the pages.  I tied them all together and then added some little phrases on the spines.  You could hand write these, but I used a cricut b/c my hand writing has lots of room for improvement.  I used some sparkle tulle to put them all together, and then added a little spider and bottle (I paint the end of the bottle green by dumping green paint inside and turning it upside down so all the sides were coated and the excess dripped out).  Easy and quick-and now....I have a few less books that are taking up space in the box by my door where I left them almost a year ago.....oops!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Caramel belongs to fall.  I visit it a lot throughout the year, but....when it's fall, it's a mandatory part of my home.  I made these last year for a meeting and they were they should be....caramel and chocolate?  As if there was any, if you need a little goodness in your life.
Ingredients:  32 caramel squares (unwrapped), 1/2 c. heavy cream, 3.4 c. butter (melted), 3/4 c. brown sugar, 1 c. flour, 1 c. rolled oats, 1 t baking soda, 6 oz semisweet chips
Instructions:  Combine caramels and cream in a small pan over low heat.  Stir until it is completely smooth and then set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and soda.  Pat half of the oatmeal mix into the bottom of an 8x8 greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.  Pour caramel mix over chocolate chips.  Crumble the rest of the oatmeal mix over the caramel mix.  Return to the oven and bake for 18 minute (until the edges are lightly browned).  Remove and cool before cutting.
*You can use caramel sauce instead of the Carmel and cream mix-use 1 1/4 c of sauce.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Primitive Fall Wreath

 This summer I went to a quilting retreat.  In a very uncharacteristic move...I didn't bring too many projects...which meant I have time...and some stuffing to fill that time with.  I started googling ideas for primitive Halloween projects.  It's currently my obsession.  I saw a wreath like this on etsy...and so I put together a few characters.
 Here is a free link to the crow pattern.  There are a lot of things I'm pretty mediocre at, but when it comes to free form's a weird skill I excel at....I drew a pattern of this bird before I sewed him together.  I added a button eye and a scrap for his scarf...b/c crows wear scarves.  You could also paint his beak, but....I didn't have my paints, and I didn't have my motivation when I got home!  I used some primitive-ish looking fabric I got at JoAnne's.
 I cut rough circles out of brown fabric, stitch a loose stitch along the edge and then pulled it shut after adding stuffing.  I cut two more circles with yellow and fringed the edge and then glued it to the back.
For the pumpkin I cut out a rectangle, sewed three sides, stuffed, and then put a stick in the middle and gathered the top.  I wired on some Spanish moss to a grapevine wreath and then glued these guys down and added a bow.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Meet my current obsession.  I've made it twice in just a few weeks (and I'm not someone who repeats a meal....almost EVER).  I love trying new things, so when I go right back to the same thing I just's time to put on the breaks.  This is the nod to the last of the summer vegetables....though Texas hasn't got with the fall weather program yet...the growing season is over....even if it's just because the vegetables were all scorched from the August sun.  Regardless, the great thing about this salad is you accidentally get a bunch of vegetables in every forkful....crazy!  So...if you are in need of vegetable downed in a tasty way or just another great summer (or winter) salad recipe, I give this an A++ from Just A Taste.  Just a note-the tortellini makes or break it.  Go with the fresh.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Ingredients for the Pasta:  1 lb tortellini, 1 red onion (thinly sliced), 1 pkg cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 cucumber (sliced thin), 4 oz feta cheese
Ingredients for the Dressing:  1/3 red wine vinegar, 2  lemon juice, 1 t sugar, 2 t oregano (dried), 1/2 t red pepper flakes, 1/2 c. olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste)
1.  Prepare tortellini according to package instructions.
2. Toss together the vegetables, feta and pasta.  
3.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over pasta.  Toss.  Serve at room temperature or chill and serve.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Candy Corn Sign

I promise to do an extended tutorial on wood signs (just in case someone is curious),'s a finished project, in case *you* already know all about the ins and outs of wood (and could probably teach me a thing or six).  I bought some stakes at home depot and a sheet of wood.  I drew a bunch of candy corn (they could also be gumdrop) shapes.  There were cut/sanded, then painted.  It didn't have to be perfect lines b/c I went back with black paint and made all sorts of little squiggles and lines and flicked it with black paint.  Paint flicking covers up a multitude of painting sins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cat Dictionary Page

I posted a dictionary page tutorial last week.  I've been using my search engine to find more primitive/vintage pictures and creating a whole dictionary collection.  Here's Halloween dictionary picture #2.  I found some black frames at the dollar store and instead of a second piece of glass, I used a clear sheet of laminating.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Galveston 2015

 Over Labor Day I went to the beach with my Mom, cousin, and aunt.  We do this every few years.  We love to go to Galveston Island.  I've blogged about Galveston a lot.  It's about six hours from my house.  We spent some time on the harbor near the Strand.
 My cousin loves sea life, so we took a dolphin cruise one morning...and you couldn't NOT see dolphins if your eyes were open.
 I'm sure all the shrimp boats fishing here help.
 A few years ago the island was devastated by a hurricane.  A lot of my favorite shops closed, but....I was excited to see them opening again.  In the end, some of the places are even better than before, definitely a beauty from ashes story.
 My favorite place to spend the afternoon is on the strand.  Once upon a time this was a bustling place thanks to the port, many well to do families settled and shopped here.  It's next to the cruise ports, so cute shops and fun restaurants remain.  I always hunt down cute things for the house...and an ice cream.
 Back on the sea wall they've built a pier with rides and restaurants where a hotel stood before the hurricane....but before that amusement park.  Full circle.
 Sea gulls.  Hard to miss.
 We spent one morning at Stewart Beach.  I was stung by a man o' war here once upon a teenage years.  I now do more wading at the edge.
 We also tried out two relatively new restaurants.  Jimmy's is built on a pier over the water.  The atmosphere was fun, the big wooden seats were neat, and I watch the Baylor game and met fellow alumni.  Just a word of warning, at times the mosquitoes dig this area, so...bring your spray, but...when we were there the wind kept them away.  It was a friend who later went who told me about the bugs.  They came in with the rain b/c I found them the next day too in other spots.  We also ate at a little historic home in the middle of the island called the Mosquito Grill.  The food was excellent.  The line waiting outside can attest to their quality.  It was worth the (relatively short) wait.
We also took the ferry across to the Bolivar Peninsula.  We also got stuck in a 4 hour traffic jam....ooops.  But....I got to see the light house.  I'm a fan of light houses, windmills, and church steeples, least this was that greeting us once we got off the ferry.
It was a relaxing weekend.  I've written about Galveston a few dozen times, but....I'm sure I've got a few dozen more in me before it gets old, and I love that I still get to discover new things in familiar places.