Removing Splinters

This time of year is always busy for me, as I hang out in the garage a lot….making wood tombstones to sell. I love creating new designs and definitely, working with any wood project that I might get into!  Right now, I am smiling from ear to ear as I create some awesome tombstones that everyone loves. Thanks so much, if you have purchased one of my handmade designed wood tombstones – – removing the splinters from my fingers is my reward for your happiness!

Working Hard

Here’s me and my good ole Craftsman Evolv Jigsaw hard at work!

Boogie Tombstone

This is one of my wood tombstones as I work on cutting out the boogie man’s face in the tombstone. It is not as easy as you may think to do this.

Tombstones Made by Val

Here are five of my many wood tombstone designs, with varying heights and widths. Each come with a wood stand that gets screwed into the bottom of the tombstone and two eight inch metal spikes to hold the tombstone into the ground. If you know of anyone that would love to purchase one of these, get a hold of me!

Gosh, do you love love love Halloween as much as I do?

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How to Make a Quick Halloween Prop

We all know that the countdown to Halloween has begun, and we know that our time is sometimes limited due to our hectic schedules. But there is a quick and easy way to create an almost free Halloween prop in a few minutes. Let me show you how!

HOW TO MAKE A QUICK HALLOWEEN PROP

First, grab your branch cutters or a little hand saw and head out into your woods. To make this easy, look first for little branches that might be lying on the ground. If you can’t find any, which I would find it hard to believe that you couldn’t, you will need to saw or snip off a few small branches.

Carry those branches back home and snip off any little pieces of branches so you are left with just one long branch. Now carefully lean them into each other to kinda make a branch t-pee. Once you get them in a shape you like, take some jute and tie them up where all the branches meet. (I would suggest you do all of this “where” you are planning on putting this prop in your yard so you don’t have to carry it afterwards) Make sure you jam each stick a little bit into the ground for stability.

The next thing that I did was bring up one of our black witches cauldron from storage. At first, I wanted to “hang” the cauldron from the sticks, but the cauldron did not have any hooks, so I had to MacGyver something. I took one of our tomato cages and cut off the bottom section with wire cutters and placed the cauldron on top of it. THIS WORKED OUT PERFECTLY!

The next item I grabbed was some fire wood we have behind the garage and stacked them around the cauldron. This is making the effect that the cauldron is stacked on top of wood. Next, I balled up a set of white Christmas lights under the cauldron (inside the tomato cage frame) and turned them on! WOW! When I took this photograph, it actually looks like a fire underneath the cauldron.

I am going to also add an orange set of lights underneath the cauldron too, to give the “fire” a more realistic look. Now comes the fun part…I am going to grab two of our skellies and have them stand around the cauldron! I will have one posed as if he is “warming up his hands” by the fire, and the other one will be “roasting a marshmallow”!

This Halloween prop was made for free, because I already had the cauldron, lights and tomato cage, and the wood & branches were free! Yeah!

Hee hee, don’t you just love Halloween!

Halloween Decorating Has Begun

I can officially say that I started our Halloween decorating today! I started pulling out all of my paper mache pumpkins, my paper mache mummy, my paper mache witch head that I am still working on, and the paper mache fireplace. I have had a few people ask to see the finished fireplace, so I made sure I got it in the photo!

MY PAPER MACHE PROJECTS

I still have a lot more pumpkins to unpack for our inside Halloween decorations, and I always bring out our lighted Halloween Willow Trees too to give the living room a nice eerie glow. Everything in the photo above, is made in paper mache!

I have also been working on a paper mache torso and I hope to get him finished before Halloween!  In case you are wondering how I created this torso, here’s how I started off:

HOW TO MAKE A PAPER MACHE TORSO

I wrapped my own body with clear packing tape from my waist to my neck. When you do this, the first layer of packing tape must be sticky side out so it does not stick to your clothing. Once you get the first layer of packing tape around your entire torso, you then keep wrapping with the sticky side towards you. What you are doing here, is making a nice form for a torso. Once you get enough packing tape around you, the next step is to get the form off of you. Either have someone cut the form off of you, or you can do it yourself, but be careful not to cut yourself!

Now you have a quick torso made! Just tape up the place where you cut yourself out from the form and you are now ready to paper mache your torso. I am sure that there are tons of other ways out there in the Halloween prop making world to thicken your torso other than paper maching it, but for now I am using the paper mache process. (just a reminder, my paper mache recipe is just water and flour made into a kinda pancake batter consistency)

MAKING HANDS FINGERS AND ARMSThe next step is to make some arms for your new torso. I just opened up the newspaper and took one sheet and rolled up some long strips, then rolled a few more sheets around that first one. Tape up the side so it does not unravel. Make two arms. Now you need to make the hands – just ball up some newspaper for the palm and tape it, then roll up some shorter strips of newspaper for the fingers. Tape the fingers to the palm. Don’t try to be too exact in the length of the fingers, because you are making a scary Halloween prop, ya know! The weirder the better, if you ask me. Now that your fingers are attached to the palm, attach them to the arm, and you are now ready to attach the arms to your torso.

TAPED UP HAND

I know that some of this sounds a bit too much, but it goes really quickly. Nothing has to be perfect at all because you don’t want a perfectly formed Halloween prop. Once the arms are attached to the torso, you can bend or crease the newspaper arms to whatever shape you want. Do you want your prop reaching out for you, or do you want it to be reaching up in the air, the choice is yours so make it any way you wish.

PAPER MACHE TORSO IN THE WORKS

Here is what the torso looks like now, just a few more layers of paper mache to go. HINT: For anyone attempting to make anything in paper mache, make sure you have lots (and I mean lots & lots) of layers of paper mache around your prop, otherwise can cave in. The arms on this torso prop are hard as a rock right now because it has many layers on it.

I will be adding a head to him this weekend so it will make him pretty close to completion. I am still tossing around the idea of putting him out in the yard, but I will need to seal all the paper mache really good so the weather does not ruin him. Flex Seal is what I would use on this guy if he heads outdoors.

It feels pretty good to look around our living room and see all of the paper mache items that I have made over the years. They were all easy to make, but they just take a lot of time to complete. Have you started on any new paper mache Halloween items this year?

 

Peeking Out The Window

I pulled out one of our many Skellies over the weekend because I am so ready for Halloween! This one I placed in our bedroom looking out the window that overlooks our neighbors back door. Hopefully, I did not scare them too much when they peeked out their window and saw this looking back at them! LOL

SKELETON IN WINDOW

HELLO FALL! How to Make Paper Mache Pumpkins

HOW TO MAKE PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS

Welcoming Fall is always fun, because I can start making more paper mache pumpkins! If you know me, you know that I have made many paper mache pumpkins, a paper mache mummy, and a paper mache fireplace. I had a thought that I wanted to try, and I decided to go “smaller” this time around with some cute paper mache pumpkins.

Here’s how I made them!

I started off with blowing up two balloons nice and small. I did try tying a string around one of the balloons, but it did not make a difference, so I did not use it on the second one.

PUMPKIN SMALL1

Next, I mixed up some flour and water and made a paper mache paste. That is all I use when making my pumpkins, and you want the paste to be like a pancake batter, not too thick, not too runny. (use a wire whisk when mixing up your paste)

Now comes the fun part! Make sure you have lots of little strips of newspaper cut up, dip each piece in the paper mache paste, and run the strip through two fingers to remove the excess. Then place piece by piece on your balloon. Run your fingers over each piece so that they are laying flat on the balloon. Keep going until the entire balloon is covered really well. Let your paste dry. I normally get out my small heater and place it next to my object to get it to dry faster. Once it is good and dry, you need to add another layer of paper mache newspaper strips all around the balloon. Let that layer dry, and keep doing this step over and over until you have a pumpkin that is so hard that you cannot push in any part of it. THIS PART IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

PUMPKIN SMALL2

Once your pumpkin is formed and nice and hard, you are now ready to draw a face on your pumpkin. You can use a pencil to draw your face on, or a Sharpie Marker.

PUMPKIN1

Once you get the face drawn the way you want it, you carefully take your sharp knife out and cut out the face. Go slow in this process so you do not slip and cut yourself!

PUMPKIN2Since I am making really small pumpkins here, the openings on the face are too small for me to insert a battery operated tealight in it, so I cut a round opening in the back of the pumpkin for this purpose.

PUMPKIN5

Wait, I am not yet done yet at this point. Since the face and the hole in the back are now cut out, I want to make nice smooth edges around what I just cut out, so I placed a few more pieces of the newspaper strips dipped in the paper mache mix around the face and the hole in the back. Let it dry.

PUMPKIN4

Now it is time for the paper mache pumpkin to be painted. What I do for all of my paper mache pumpkins, is to lightly and I mean lightly, spray paint the pumpkins with flat black paint. I do not cover the entire pumpkin all in black, but rather get it slightly covered as a base coat.  Once the flat black has dried, I am ready for the orange top coat.

PAINTING BASE COAT

Just like the base black coat, I lightly spray paint my orange top coat over the pumpkin so that some of the black shows through. I think this make the pumpkin look so much better.

I decided that my pumpkins needed something. I felt that they needed to be on display, and what better way to display them than with a cute base! I used a $1 glass candle stick base that I found at the Dollar Store, and spray painted it with a Hammered Black paint. I went over the candle stick two times just to make sure that it was evenly coated. The last thing that I did was to spray paint a clear coat over the pumpkins to keep the paint sealed.

PAINTING THE BASE

BASE

The last thing that I did was to glue the pumpkin onto the candle stick base, and I now have an adorable pumpkin decoration! One thing to note when lighting up any paper mache pumpkins, is to never ever use a real candle in your pumpkins, as they could definitely catch on fire! Always use a battery operated tealight in them for safety!

PAINTING PUMPKINS ORANGE

My finished paper mache pumpkins are approximately 6″ and will definitely add some flare to my Halloween decorations around the house! Now that I see how cute these turned out, I have already started on a few more because I know that they will look great in every room of the house! Now, back to the Dollar Store for more glass candle sticks!

The Boogie Man Is Coming

With the arrival of August, there is only one thing on my mind…Halloween! I am starting to get into full Halloween mode and have already started a few more paper mache pumpkins which I will be posting about soon. But, I wanted to show you my latest Halloween craft project, the Boogie Man.

If you don’t already know, a few years ago I started creating wood tombstones because I found that I was tired of chasing our Styrofoam tombstones down the street. The Styrofoam ones are really neat, but they are not practical with all the high winds we get around here in October. So the creation of wood tombstones was born!

I quickly filled up our yard over the last few years with nice durable wood tombstones in varying designs, shapes, and sizes and I no longer have to chase them down the street.

I am always doodling new designs and I came up with the Boogie Man. He looked really good on my sticky note, so I decided to try to hand draw him bigger. I started off by cutting a large box open and lay it flat on the floor, as this will be my template for when I cut it out of wood. Then I go to work hand drawing the design onto the cardboard. I lightly draw my design until I get the right size and shape, and then trace over it with a Sharpie Marker.

BOOGIE MAN DESIGN1

Then, I use an X-acto knife to carefully cut out the cardboard design. This part is really time consuming and you need to make sure that you have more cardboard under your cardboard piece so you don’t cut the floor or your carpet accidentally. (I am very careful with this step)

BOOGIE MAN CUTTING IT OUT

Once the design is all cut out of the cardboard, my template is now ready to trace on a piece of wood. I normally use pressed wood for my tombstones, but I got a nice free piece of 1/2″ plywood and decided to use this for my Boogie Man. (getting a free piece of wood is like candy to me!)

BOOGIE MAN FINISHED CUTTING OUT DESIGN

Now that my design is all traced onto the plywood, I need to drill a nice sized hole in the areas that need to be cut out. I do this so I can insert my Jigsaw blade into that area.

BOOGIE MAN DRILLING HOLES

I carefully insert the Jigsaw blade into the drill hole and start cutting out my design slowly. The first thing that I noticed is that cutting plywood is so much nicer than pressed wood because the wood does not splinter with the blade.

BOOGIE MAN STARTING TO CUT OUT DESIGN

I really love working with wood and creating new Halloween props! By the way, this Craftsman evolv Jigsaw that I am using is variable speed and you can change the blades really quickly.

BOOGIE MAN ALMOST DONE CUTTING

The Boogie Man is almost complete! Isn’t he adorable!

BOOGIE MAN COMPLETE

The only thing that I need to cut out is the base for the wood tombstone.

BOOGIE MAN

This is the completed Boogie Man tombstone that I designed. I love the open design and I am now thinking a bit further on how to make this tombstone better. Since most tombstones you place in your yard are only seen from the front, I might take some frosted thick shelf liner and glue a piece behind the design, then add a light so the Boogie Man lights up. I am sure an awesome red or purple glow behind the Boogie Man will do the trick. I will do an updated post on what I decide to do to finish off the Boogie Man.

So, what are you doing to prepare for the arrival of Halloween? Have you started any paper mache pumpkins this year? I hope so, because it takes time to complete these projects, so you need to prepare in advance!

 

Post Halloween Highlights 2013

HALLOWEEN YARD 2013

Halloween 2013 was a typical night for us.  It rained the entire day and it rained (rather poured) the entire two hours of trick-or-treating.  It was miserable.  I felt bad for all the little trick-or-treators who were bundled up from the cold, their costumes were covered up so they could keep warm, as they walked door to door under their parents umbrella.

NIKITA AND GHOST

BELLA AND GHOST

We were all ready to bring up all of our expensive Halloween Animatronic props to set in the driveway for the kids, but due to the rainy conditions, we had to leave all of our “cool props” inside so they would not get ruined. We were bummed.  We could not even bring out our cemetery gateway on Halloween because that is only made of boxes, masking tape and some spray paint, and that would have been ruined by the rain, not to mention the winds.  Another bummer.

DADDY WEARING WIG

I spent about a half hour applying my Halloween makeup to transform myself into my favorite Johnny Depp character, Edward Scissorhand. All I kept thinking while I was standing outside in the rain was “I hope my makeup does not run”.  I stood there freezing my butt off in my costume and could not wait for the two hours of treat night to be over already.

EDWARD1



We stood in between our front bushes next to the house trying to stay out of the rain and keep dry as we awaited for the kids to walk up the driveway. One by one, the kids arrived.  Since it was raining, we did not get the large groups we normally do in the first hour of trick-or-treating, so that means that we have lots of candy leftover.  (I guess that is not a “bad” thing), but we would have rather passed it all out to the kids.  

EDWARD2

I am not sure if Murphy’s Law had anything to do with Halloween night, but the day before Halloween was absolutely beautiful weather (as we even enjoyed a fire pit that night and had our neighbors come over), and the day after Halloween was overcast, but no rain.  We are used to these weather conditions, always hope for the best…..but we never get what we want for treat night.

Here is a quick video of our front yard home haunt with music, two fog machines going, and yes, Nikita barking in the background at the trick-or-treators!  (LOL)  http://youtu.be/aJKSQm9OTVQ

 

What’s In Your Halloween Treat Bag?

With Halloween quickly approaching, we are all scrambling around trying to find the money to purchase the gobs of candy we hand out to our trick-or-treaters, because money does not grow on trees ya know.  We know that purchasing enough candy for the two hours of fright night is hard to judge, and the last thing you want is angry kids who are told that you ran out of candy.  YIKES!  (if that happens, get ready to get your house egged!)

Yes, it happens.  You mis-calculate the amount of treat bags every year, and I created a little something to help you with your candy consumption.

candy-counterOk, now that you have your candy under control and know exactly the right amount to purchase, you still might be missing something in your treat bags.  What is it you ask?  Now that is a good question, thanks for asking! For me, I look at Halloween Treat Bags as a golden opportunity.  They are a golden opportunity to spread the word about YOUR BLOG!  And who doesn’t want more traffic and more followers to your blog?  We all love it when we get a new subscriber/follower, and we love it when our views skyrocket, and treating your Halloween Candy Bags as gold is another great way to spread the word about your blog!

HALLOWEEN CANDY BAGS

I create every year, a new blog card to insert in our Halloween Treat Bags. We get about 200 kids in our neighborhood and I can’t pass up this opportunity to hand out 200 blog cards.  This year, I decided not to use the typical treat bags, and rather used the small “Snack Bags” to fill up with candy.  They worked out perfectly!  And, you all know that the parents always check their kids candy when they come home and what will they find in your treat bag?  Your blog card!  Of course, curiosity will get the best of them and you better believe that they will hop on their computer and type in your blog’s address, and if they like what they see, you have just gained a new follower!  Now, isn’t that easy?

If you need some assistance in creating a quick blog card that you can printout at home, let me know and I can help you out!  You don’t want to miss out on this golden opportunity to spread the word about your blog, and this is just another way to do it!  Personally, I carry around my blog cards wherever I go and pass them out, to…everyone!

So there you have it, I have successfully helped you figure out how much candy you will need for your Halloween treat bags and have given you a golden opportunity to make your blog stats soar!  We always have room for another friend, right?

Also, on a side note, I have seen all over the place and on Pinterest where people are designing little match box covers.  Of course I thought these were adorable and are for the little square match boxes with the little wood stick matches.  I had to try to make some for Halloween.  The little Match Boxes are 2″ x 1 1/2″, and yes it is a small area to design something on, but I was up to the challenge.

HALLOWEEN MATCHES

I just used my Microsoft Publisher software and opened a blank page.  Then I created a box the size of the match box, and added some clipart and my blog’s web address.  Once I liked what I created, I just copied the image a bunch of times to fill an 8 1/2″ x 11″ full sheet sticker paper, printed it out, cutout the design and then stuck them on the match boxes.  (NOTE:  I am going to pass these out to the parents on Halloween night and these match boxes will not be placed in the kids treat bags as kids should not play with matches)  This is just another way of getting the word out about your blog, and everyone needs matches to light candles in their homes, right?  What better way to “keep” your blog in their sight!

A Wickedly Fun Weekend

The weather cooperated for us on Saturday as we began to carry upstairs from storage, all of our Halloween prop boxes.  Oh the many trips up and down the stairs with all of our wicked delights for the front yard.  The detailed decorating has begun.  (the photo below is a little ghostly effect that I used to enhance our yard)

FRONT YARD GHOSTIFIED

As I worked on carrying up all of the props, Roy went to work unpacking them and positioning them in the front yard.  Our Home Haunt has started to come alive!

TOO LATE TOMBSTONE

With each prop carefully staked into the ground, a colored flood light was also placed in front of each item to illuminate it at night.  It was like watching a synchronized swimming routine as we worked in sync putting the yard together.

ECONOMY TOMBSTONE

Once we had all the props and lights set in place, Roy had to connect all of them with extension cords.  Yep, you guessed it, we have “tons” of extension cords!  So far, if we did not lose count, we have approximately 15 flood lights, 13 extension cords, 14 tombstones, and at least 15+ props right now in our front yard.

FRONT YARD HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS

Our wickedly fun decorating weekend definitely caused a stir in the neighborhood, as people slowed down to look and/or stopped to say what a great job we were doing, and even our neighbors stopped by to check out our new prop additions.

ORANGE PUMPKIN MAN

Even our favorite police officer, Houston, stopped by say hello as he was patrolling the neighborhood for speeders on our side street.  (he even ticketed about five speeders and stop sign crashers this weekend alone while we were outside!)

HOUSTON

And, just so you know...WE ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING DONE DECORATING WITH OUR PROPS!  We still have lots more elaborate props to bring out in the yard, but we don’t display these until the day of Halloween because they are too expensive to be left out in the yard as they could be stolen.  We have 6′ tall animatronic props like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, a Ripping Reaper of Souls who rips open his chest to reveal all the souls he has captured, and Freddie Krueger, along with LED lighted ghosts, and metal orange lighted willow trees to light up our graveyard.  Dapper Death and Count Dracula will also make their appearance too!

Lunging Mad Demon DogWe have a new freakishly scary Halloween prop on order to add to our graveyard and we are certain that this prop will scare the pants off all the trick-or-treaters.  It is called a Lunging Mad Demon Dog that growls then lunges forward when anyone passes by.  Hee hee hee, we can’t wait to see the reactions of the parents too as they stand on the sidewalk and watch their kids walk past this guy!

BeFunky_GREEN MAN

FRONT DOOR GREEN MAN WOW WINDOW POSTER

The green guy in our front door is from WOW Windows and all that it is, is a piece of plastic that you hang over your windows and then just turn a light on behind it.  That’s it!  Nikita was peeking out the front door under the green guy to see what was going on outside.

If the kids want candy, they have to walk through our spooky Cemetery Gateway on our driveway (which we put up on the day of Halloween), walk through the low laying fog that covers the front yard, and past a few scary props just to get candy.  Why make it easy on them, right?  That is what Halloween is all about, scary stuff and things that go bump in the night, so beware if you are heading to our house on Halloween!  (the photo below is from a prior year, and this is not yet up in the driveway)

2011 Home Haunt Photo

Stay tuned for more Halloween posts and our final spooky post after Halloween, as we should be able to include a video of our yard in action, along with music too.  Oh, did I forget to mention that all of our lights are hooked up to a Gemmy Light Show? Yep.  Roy hooks up everything to this expensive piece of Halloween equipment and all of our lights “dance” to whatever spooky music is playing through speakers that are placed in the yard.  He adds all the Halloween themed songs to his iPod and then hooks the iPod to the Gemmy Light Show.  It is definitely a show that you don’t want to miss!

Things That Go Bump in the Night

FRONT YARD

It’s official!  We have started our Halloween yard decorating (one week late) and the first thing we always work on is the “Focal Point” of the yard. Keep in mind, that the photograph above is the start to what’s to come and I wanted to show you how empty it looks now…just wait.  I did the last front yard mow for October because once we add of our lights, props, and extension cords, you cannot mow around anything. November 1st, everything is taken down and the lawn gets a much needed haircut.

The focal point is Skully and his friends carrying a handmade pallet coffin.  Skully & Friends always attract a lot of “gawkers” that drive past the house, and also lots of people stop to take photographs.  If you are new to Nikitaland, please take the time right now & subscribe as you don’t want to miss what we have coming up!  

I have to remember to do this again this year, and tally for you how many things we have placed in the front yard.  For example, a few years ago I did this and was shocked to find out that we used something like 17+ extension cords!  It is amazing on how much time is involved in just setting up Skully & his friends.  I had to stake up each skeleton into place, then get the coffin up and off the ground by more stakes, position the skeletons so they are doing what I want them to do, (they had other things in mind, but I had to tell them to knock it off and all Skully wanted to do was mow the lawn again), then tie-wrap them to the stakes, and then my Sweets came out and placed all the lights around each skeleton just perfectly!  (he is my lighting and sound effect guy for sure)

HOOKING UP THE LIGHTS IN YARD

We had to do a little surgery on the coffin yesterday, as it appears that it sagged a little sitting in the garage all this time.  I rummaged around in the garage and found some nice scraps of wood to use as braces, grabbed my drill and electric screwdriver and firmed up that saggy coffin!  It’s definitely the little touches that make or break a Halloween display!  After we got Skully and his friends up, it rained, and rained hard.  Phew!

SKELETONS IN THE RAIN

I have one more of the huge pumpkins to paint yet that I paper mached, but it is lit up in the front window for all to see.  I am in the process though of making a smaller pumpkin that I will place in the hand of one of Skully’s friends in the front yard.  This pumpkin I will have to use Flex Seal on it (found at KMart & other hardware stores for around $13) to protect it from the elements and to make sure that the paper mache pumpkin does not rot if it got soggy.  (Side note:  In case you don’t know about Flex Seal, it is used a lot in gutters to seal up any small cracks to prevent drips, and I have seen it used to seal up a cracked flower pot, and much more!)  I need to get a can anyways for our own gutters, and I will have enough left to cover the pumpkin inside and out.  Flex Seal can be painted too!

SKULLY AND FRIENDS

Our living room has come alive and it screams Halloween!  It has such an awesome orange glow that lights up the room.  I never had a Halloweenish display before inside the house, and that is why I worked so hard to make something special for us.  Now, I can enjoy our favorite holiday and have something to cherish every year!  We even found a little stuffed Jack Skeleton at Walgreens yesterday and he now sits on top of the fireplace.  So what do you think?  Do you like how our living room turned out?

LIVING ROOM

Stay tuned to see what we add to the front yard next!  Don’t forget to subscribe & follow along with us!  Who knows what you might learn, but we make it worth your while!  Stick around!

Halloween Snuck Into My Weekend

It does not surprise me, or probably you if you know me, that Halloween snuck into my weekend in a big way.  You all know that I have been busy working on all of my paper mache pumpkins and paper mache fireplace, and this weekend I kicked it up a notch and got the chance to get some painting done.

WORKING ON MY FIREPLACE

I got the final black coat of paint on the fireplace and let it sit out in the sun today to dry.  I missed the entire Brown’s home opener game, but that’s ok as I heard that they lost in a big way. (does not surprise me at all)   We went to Pat Catans craft store this weekend in the hopes of finding a diamond stencil to use on the front & sides of the fireplace, and we had no luck.  So instead, I found a Zig Zag stencil that I am going to use to stencil a white zig and a lot of zags across the fireplace.  I can’t wait to get started working on the stenciling part, so hold tight for a little bit to see the results!

PAINTING INSIDE JACK SKELETON

PAINTING JACK SKELETON

As for my Jack Skeleton paper mache pumpkin, I had to cutout a slit in the bottom of the pumpkin so I could get the camping light inside.  The hole I originally cut was only just big enough to pull out all the stuffing, but not big to insert the camping light, so I had to make a little tweak to getting the light in.  I spray painted the first coat of Rustoleum Marigold inside the pumpkin, as I have read that you should use a color that is bright so your light glows brighter.  I then lightly spray painted the outside of the pumpkin black so it covers the newspaper well.  I will then spray paint the pumpkin orange on top of the black to finish coloring the pumpkin.  After these colors dry, I will seal the pumpkin both inside and out with a clear sealant.

Our Jack Skeleton pumpkin almost caught on fire tonight too when I put the camping light inside of it.  I turned on the light and walked outside to take a photograph to see how the Marigold color looks and when I came back into the house to set my camera down, I turned around and smoke was coming out of his eyes!  I ran to Jack and saw that the camping light was smoking and got my Sweetie to pull the light out.  We switched batteries in the camping light from regular AA batteries to a Lithium battery and they must have been too much for the camping light as it got fried.  So now we need to head back up to the Dollar Store to purchase another one.  Thank God the pumpkin did not catch on fire with all the fresh spray paint on it!  When we get a new camping light, we are definitely only going to use regular AA batteries in it this time!

WOOD TOMBSTONES

Keeping up with the Halloween weekend, we sold a few of our wood tombstones that we have on eBay.  I just finished cutting out and sanding these two and another sale came in for one more.  WOW!  I guess everyone is thinking of Halloween, and it’s not only just us!  (and yes, I know how to use power tools too!)

FRONT PORCH FLOWER POT

PUMPKIN LIGHT ON PORCH

Our front porch has a little Fall coloring going on too, as our Marigolds are blooming in bright colors and I added our little glass pumpkin to the planter and lit a tealight in it tonight.  Right on the step of the porch sits my cement X & O and cement skull to add the perfect touch!

BAT ON OUR MAILBOX

And just when I thought the weekend was over and all the Halloween stuff was done, evening set in and provided yet another remarkable Halloween scene.  The sun was setting in beautiful colors that illuminated the black wood bat that proudly is perched on top of our mailbox post.  What a great weekend we had full of Halloween!  I wonder what next week will hold for us?!