Monday, October 29, 2012

pixy stix

Earlier this year, Idle Husband alerted me to this super awesome site, Stop Zombie Mouth. There you can find some coupons for a free P.C. or Mac download of Plants vs Zombies to give out for Halloween. (Plants vs Zombies is one of my all time favourite games.) 

This started me thinking. I know the coupons are meant to be given instead of candy (you know, to stop "zombie mouth"), but it kinda feels wrong not to hand out candy on Halloween. At first I thought it might be fun to attach the coupon to those smaller-sized suckers, but then I discovered pixy stix at the dollar store.

I haven't officially tasted these (I'm not really keen on having a mouthful of sugar), but Idle Husband seemed to really enjoy them. He sampled one of each flavour and orange is his favourite.

I printed out one sheet of coupons (8) because I'm only going to give the coupons to kids who look old enough (I don't remember there being a lot of older kids -- and by older, I mean waist height -- at our door last year). Then I punched a hole in each side of the coupon and threaded a pixy stick through. Easy!

Download coupons here and test out the game online here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY: crow door decor

We love birds around here (even when Hermes is being an angry little dictator), so I thought the most appropriate decoration for our house this year would be crows (last year, I made a monster and went crazy with spiders).

This whole plan almost fell through because I could not find a single acceptable black crow. I was about to default to the Pacman and ghosts idea, when I stumbled on the perfect little crows at Superstore. And just like that my original idea was back on!

For the birds, all you have to do is find some silhouettes of crows through a google image search. Print them out at various sizes (to give the appearance of distance) and cut them out for templates. I used black poster paper that I found at the dollar store for the finished bird.


I also didn't worry too much about detail. Some images have every feather and foot perfectly outlined, but I just wanted to cut out as many as I could in as little time as possible, so I rounded the wing and tail feathers and just used wavy cutting to simulate feathers. Occasionally, I put in a feather slice but only randomly.

I had to do some testing with how to stick them up because tape takes off the paint on my doors. I found that sticky tacky actually does hold in the cold weather (I tested it in my freezer) and I'm even more impressed with it because I put all of this stuff up (in what seemed like) the hour before we had the biggest wind storm of the fall. I was so worried that night cuz I thought I'd go out the next morning and find a door covered in blobs of sticky tack and all my crows blown away, but I only lost one (and that wasn't on the door, I've got some around the window, too). And to further prove it to you, I put these crows up last week and these are pictures I took today. Everything's still holding strong.

The fake crows that I found at Superstore were only $3 which I didn't think was too bad (considering the larger ones I'd found). They did need a little fixing as their legs easily pulled out (and that's the main attaching part), so I added a little dab lot of hot glue and pressed them back in again. They do have wires on their feet for attaching and that seemed pretty good, but I didn't want to chance it, so I used some floral wire to further attach them to the branches of our front tree.

I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out (and I'm a little smug to see that other houses along our block have also now added some black paper crow cut outs to their Halloween decor, too). I did the spider web thing last year and putting it up was kind of a hassle, but taking it down? Trying to get all the webbing off my house was more of a nightmare than Halloween itself (there were STILL small web remnants left on my tree even through summer). This will be so much easier (and my heart bleeds for the house down the street that covered their junipers with spider web this year. Good luck getting that off!).

Friday, October 19, 2012

friday fixations: cotton flowers

Last year (around this time, maybe), I received a package from Danielle from Dinosaur Toes and Girl and Parrot (she's got some of the best jewelry -- I've got this, this, and this and I love them! -- and prints -- I want this and this). Inside that package, I found quite a few carefully wrapped, fluffy cotton flowers.

I had mentioned in some random comment (that I can't even remember) how much I loved them and wished I could have some seeds to plant and (as if by magic) Danielle remembered and sent them to me.

You see, here in cold Alberta, we don't grow cotton, but I thought it would be so awesome to get some seeds and grow them as an annual for bouquets. But once I finally had the pretty cotton puffs, with their seeds, in my hands, I just couldn't bare to pull one apart. And before I knew it, June came and I didn't think it would give them a long enough growing season. So they've spent the summer sitting in a decorative bowl on a table in the living room. 

I decided that I was going to find a branch and attach them to it so they'd look a little more natural (even though I don't really know what "natural" would be for cotton flowers). Then I remembered I had a lot of fake cherry blossom branches.

I sacrificed one and pulled off the plastic cherry blossoms and attached the cotton flowers to the bare ends with floral wire. It was incredibly easy and I think it looks pretty nice. It sits in a vase near the kitchen and I've added some random grass seeds to it for filler.

Now I'm thinking I should figure out how to brown the leaves and I really should spend some time taking the brown dead bits off each little cotton fluff. (But it was kind of impossible as they're like little velcros!)

Anyway, I love my little cotton flower branch and I think it makes for really cute fall decor. Thanks, Danielle! Hopefully I'll work up the nerve to harvest some seeds and then I'll have more branches to add to my vase next year!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY: easy halloween

{lighted ghost garland} I'm just going to get this out of the way now. I am completely over garlands. For a while there, I was really smitten with them until I started to think about how I'd use them. So. I really like this idea because it's not a pointless "garland" it's just a fun way to punch up some lights for Halloween. If I were doing ghosts this year, I'd use my Christmas lights and string these up along our porch.

{black paper cats} The only annoying thing with these is that you have to sign up to the website to get the free template. They're still cute enough to bother, though, and I think they'd be great as a cluster of three (vary the sizes) on a mantle or table.

{pacman and ghosts} Another garland, hey? Well, initially, I was going to use this idea and do something similar to the paper bats (see next photo) on my door, but then, as usual, I changed my mind back to my original thought (which I'll be blogging about soon!). Now I think they'd look really cute in a window in proper Pacman formation (the fact that there're two pacmen with the ghosts bothers me immensely).

{paper bats} Now that you know I'm totally over garlands, you should also know that I'm totally over wreathes. If I see one more wreath I think I'll gag. I was cleaning out our front closet and I found my old fabric wreath and was about thisclose to throwing it out. Don't worry. I kept it. Maybe I won't have this extreme distaste for wreathes next year. Anyway, I thought this idea was pretty clever for door decor. It's more interesting, it's got movement and life, and it's definitely more unique than a boring ol' wreath.

{misfortune cookies} This isn't a DIY link. You could have purchased these at some point in the past, but I figure they'd be really easy to make. Take a round piece of black paper, fold it in half, then bend it down into the appropriate shape. Vague, but you'll figure it out once you're in that position. I think these would be cute as invitations to a Halloween party or place cards for said party; therefore, I'll never use this idea (unless something mysterious happens in which I find myself throwing a Halloween party! haha right).

{spiral ghosts} Um, how easy are these? Not too spooky and more kid-friendly (Actually, browsing Halloween things with mom this year made me realize that not everyone likes a spooky ghost. Things I didn't even consider spooky were apparently "way too scary!" for mom).

{hole's scary plant ideas} There's this pretty famous greenhouse here called Hole's (and if you haven't been you should really go. It's got way more stuff -- an organic grocery?! -- than just plants) and this year they came out with this little online zine with Halloween ideas. It could've been longer and more plant inspired, but I did love the small amount of planting ideas on page 8. The most doable one is the hand in a pot, I think (hands, arms, feet are all available at the dollar store). Since the weather turns freezing by the second week of October, other plants (like the cute cabbage with eyeballs) would look shriveled and dead by the end of the month. Unless that's the look you're going for -- which is a pretty good look for Halloween.

If you need more inspiration, I've got a few more pins on my Halloween Pinterest board!

Friday, October 12, 2012

friday fixations: pink pumpkins

They kinda don't look pink right here, but I assure you. In person, they're pink, bordering on pink-orange in one case.

I wasn't only attracted to the pink, though. I love how bumpy and irregular they are. When compared with the usual pumpkins, they look more real and less commercial if you know what I mean.

I think these are the Porcelain Doll hybrid, and most sources I found said that we can eat them. So when I'm done lovingly staring at and caressing these, I plan on cooking them up.

I should cook and save a few seeds too, but I have this weird dilemma when it comes to pumpkin seeds. How on earth do you eat them? I always see them seasoned, in the shell, but have you tried cracking open that shell? Are we missing something? (you don't eat the shell, do you?!)

Anyway, I'd really love some blue and white pumpkins, too. Have you seen any of those kicking around Edmonton? (I found these at Save-On Foods but haven't seen them anywhere else yet.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

happy thanksgiving!

We had our Thanksgiving meal yesterday and, even though it's just the three of us, I made this little graphic for a fun invite. I decided to declare this year a "pajama" Thanksgiving, meaning that there would be no need to get dressed up for the occasion. I thought it would be a funny little joke, but mom arrived expressing extreme relief at not having to get all fancied up. So we may have been eating off special china using silverware (cuz I still love that stuff!), but we were dressed in our pjs and lounge clothes and extremely comfortable (which is great considering all the eating that went on). Pajama Thanksgiving is definitely going to be an annual event for us!

Friday, October 5, 2012

friday fixations: kristen wiig halloween costumes

We never do Halloween. I mean, sure, we hand out candy occasionally when we feel like it (and frankly, if we still have enough of what we bought for the kids and haven't eaten it all ourselves), but we never go to Halloween parties or bother to dress up (I don't really like dressing up. I'm too aware of how fake I'm being, and I suppose that's the point, but I don't like it. It's makes me feel super uncomfortable). Anyway, every year, I still like to look at Halloween costumes and admire all the creativity and work that goes into them!

These costume ideas just happen to be my favourite costume ideas that I would actually do if I had to. You know, cuz there were those three times in my past where I found myself suddenly having to dress up, so it's good to have ideas in your brain at all Octobers (and yeah, they just happen to all be Kristen Wiig characters. I like her a lot, okay?)

{garth and kat} Cuz Idle Husband and I would do this so well. We're always making up songs. Not quite this terribly, but we're still so funny and random that it could work. Plus matching sweater vests and turtle necks!!

{the target lady} I'm always drawn to costumes that are super easy and aren't really costume-y (plus I can't help but yell to myself, "approved!" every time I swipe the credit card). Idle Husband doesn't like dressing up either, so I think he'd be on board with this one cuz he could dress as the disgruntled customer which would just be his every day clothes (he's always a disgruntled customer).

{gilly} Have I ever mentioned how my secret wish is to have an afro? NO? Well, guess what? It is! At least being Gilly would give me the opportunity to act on that wish even if just for a night. (Idle Husband = annoyed teacher?)

{dooneese} This is (little) hands down my favourite costume idea. I've been thinking about it It's probably the most difficult to do, but I already have (much of) the forehead (there's a reason I have bangs) so the rest should kind of fall into place. (Idle Husband would obviously dress as the announcer and carry bubbles around with him so I could pop them with my doll hands all night, right?)

Monday, October 1, 2012

october desktop


I bought this climbing vine rose in late summer when everything went on clearance and it's been blooming like crazy ever since. We've been enjoying it so much because it is literally the most neon pink I have ever seen in a plant ever before in my life. I realized a couple weeks ago that I hadn't taken any pictures of it so instead of having the normal "here's a rose and some leaves" picture, I decided to get a little artsy with it. Then I really wanted to figure out how to get it into words and now that's probably going to be my little trick for a while. I've been having way too much fun fiddling around in photoshop lately. Here's what the proper calendar looks like:




I also realized that when I choose backgrounds for my iPod, I like the lock screen and the home screen to relate somehow, so I made two each for the iPod/iPhone and the iPad. One with the floral words and one with the floral pattern. So you can put the October words on the lock screen and the floral on the home screen or vice versa -- er, if you're as weird about it as I am (I save a lot of nice iPod wallpapers and then never use them cuz I don't have a second picture to match them with...sigh).

I also made a moody October desktop because I just really loved this photo of one of our pond lettuces and I couldn't NOT show it off plus October = Halloween = moody, right?


Get all the sizes plus printable calendars (if that's more your style) on mah Flickr page as usual.