Sunday, October 18, 2015

Halloween Swap Ornaments

Look what came in the mail!  This year's ornaments from Sarah's Halloween Ornament Swap in all their spooky-sweet glory!  They're all fabulous additions to my silver tinsel tree and the mini-mantel behind it:

 Delores made a two sided felt house, with a ghost on one side and a spider in its web on the other...

 Robin made this paper cone full to the brim with orange, black and sparkles...

Michelle and Ashley made this sparkly witch's broom...

 I love the vintage-y feel of Kim's scarecrow ornament- you should check out the rest of her family's Halloween decor!

Beth made this skeleton gal, all dolled up and ready to party in her twirly candy cane skirt and spider/boa fascinator (her toenails are even polished!).

Marci made this dandy- love his top hat!

Keri made a little fireplace vignette- look at the teeny-tiny mouse in the lower left corner!

Sarah managed to get this little mouse to wear a witch's hat and perch atop a glittery pumpkin, INSIDE a very small glass bulb!  Oh yes, this one is hung ~well~ out of reach of Buck-the-Cat.

Something delicious (or carnivorous?) must have been brewing in this witch's cauldron from Beth the Second!

Meghan made this super glossy acorn jack-o-lantern, another ornament that would be v-e-r-y tempting for my cat!

What ornaments did I create for these wonderful swappers?  Last year I came across a bag of vintage cupcake picks- I actually REMEMBER seeing these jacks, skellies, cats, and witches on bakery shop cupcakes when I was a little girl:

Dumping them out onto the middle of my craft table, they were quickly joined by autumn colored yo-yos, floss, beads, ribbon, tatty lace, star spangles, mini-tins, batting, and denim.  I decided to make little Halloween dancers.

 Then I finished them off with star hanging hooks:

Bagged and tagged, the ornaments were mailed off to Sarah, who divvied them up, repacked boxes, and mailed the exchanged ornies back to us in time for Halloween!

Thank you for the lovely ornaments, ladies, and Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Halloween Tree

I've finally participated in enough Halloween ornament swaps: this year I have a Halloween tree!

When I purchased the silver tinsel tree on clearance after Christmas last year, I thought it would be perfect for ~this~ Christmas, but when I encountered it as I was pulling Halloween decor out of storage, I realized it would provide the perfect backdrop for many of the darker ornaments I've received.

A tabletop tree also helps immensely with Buck the Mouse Killer, Houseplant Digger and all around Messer-Upper roaming these premises:  

Yes, that's Cool Whip on his nose.

But I digress.

Skulls, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, spiders, witch hats, haunted houses and bats all fit on the tree:

Even Edgar Allan Poe has a place of honor reserved for him among the branches:

Other sweet decor keeps some family photos company on the window ledge:

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, thanks to these wonderful ornaments and the crafty friends who created them!

My ornaments have been made, bagged, tagged and mailed to Sarah over at Makin Projiks for this year's swap.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has made that will be added to the tree!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Photo-Ready Sunflowers

Though we've lived in Kansas for ten years, we've never stood in a field of sunflowers ~until today~.
Dear Husband, the Fourth Grader and I decided to drive to Grinter Farms, about a half hour away from where we live, to see the sunflower fields that many of our friends have shared photos of via social media.

Early morning rain made the colors ~pop~, and we were soaked and muddy by the end of our walk.  But let me tell you, the extra load of laundry was worth it:

The Fourth Grader was excited to see how tall the flowers were, and enjoyed roaming through the field.  He was soaked by the time we finished.

Can you say GORGEOUS?

Where's The Fourth Grader?

"It's as big as my head, Mom!"

The Fourth Grader wanted to take a photo too:

I had to take a sunflower selfie before the rain chased me off:

We brought five sunflowers home with us, leaving a donation at the farm's entrance.

Once they've bloomed, sunflowers only stay photo-ready for about two weeks, which is why rain or shine, today was the perfect day to see them.

What a fun way to spend Labor Day!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Treasures

My much-needed three day weekend came just in time.

The beginning of each school year is exhausting.  Every September, once I've caught up on sleep, I'm still in need of some personal b-a-l-a-n-c-e.  Driving to nearish antique malls and wandering up and down their vendors' spaces yanks my thoughts from my classroom, taking my brain and energy on a creative ride.

Today's ingredients:

Drink: iced tea, half sweet, half unsweetened
Shops:  Parkville Antique Mall and La Bottega
Music:  my "wake up" mix, with some Kings of Leon, Walk the Moon, Noah and the Whale, and Robert Palmer

Some treasures came home with me.

Black floral tole trays are a favorite of mine, but this one is more square than rectangular, and a size I've not seen before.  Will it remain in my crafty nook, or find a home elsewhere upstairs?

Black and silver eyelash yarn is a must for Halloween and winter holiday crafting.  That reminds me- I need to check on Sarah and see if she's hosting her annual Halloween Ornament Swap!

Four matched doilies, shaped like pennants.  These could be a base for a lovely bunting.

Four packs of ivory floral lace medallions.  Takes me back to my Gunne Sax days.

Lace remnants.

... and a sweet little book.

Other than the tray and black yarn, everything else is pretty muted... neutral.