It figures. Over the past week or so we have enjoyed an Indian Summer type weather, which don’t get me wrong, as I have thoroughly enjoyed walking outside with the dogs in flip flops again, but Mother Nature should not do this to us. She sneaks in this nice weather and we get sucked in, hook line and sinker… then she drops the bomb on us. Just yesterday, I was outside in my flip flops cutting the grass with a tank top on, and today I am heading outside with my Browns cap on, winter coat and rain boots. (but, I’ve got the cutest pair of hot pink rain boots!) I guess I should not complain, as this is exactly what we expect around this time of year in our part of the world, and we know what kind of weather we are expecting for Halloween night – cold with high winds and a good chance of rain. Now that sucks! Every year we deal with the winds (but that is why we changed from those flimsy styrofoam tombstone to our wood ones – cause we won’t have to chase them down the street!) but if we get the high winds of 70 miles per hour that they are calling for, we are sure that we aren’t going to have many trick-or-treaters ringing door bells. (if that’s the case, then WE are going to have lots of candy for ourselves!)
Our front yard is getting quite a lot of attention lately. Ever since we added the three skeletons and homemade “pallet” coffin, cars slow down or even stop in front of the house to take a closer look. We could not be more happy with the fact that everyone loves what we have done to the yard! On Friday, I noticed that someone had got out of their car to check out the graveyard and I went outside to say hello. Frank, was his name, and he was a financial planner who loved our homemade “economy” tombstone with blood dripping from the words, as he said that sums up how the economy is. He even took out his cell phone and took a few photographs of it and he said that he was going to post it on his blog. How cool is that!? Frank even liked the skeletons that we added to our home haunt and I told him that we got them at KMart, so I told him that they might have some left and I think he headed up to the store after we talked to check. We hope that Frank could find some in the store and that he stops back on Halloween to see the rest of our props that we will bring out.
Over the past few days, I have been messing around with a paper mache project. I am attempting to make a huge pumpkinman head for a prop in our graveyard. I started with a large plastic bag from the store and filled it with more plastic bags & crumpled newspaper, and when I got it to around the size I wanted, I ran masking tape from the top of the bag to the bottom pulling in the plastic bag slightly so it makes the indents you see in a regular pumpkin. That part turned out well. Then I made the “stem” to the pumpkin by rolling up newspaper and attaching it to the pumpkin with masking tape.
Now comes the part where I have to paper mache it. I had asked in a prior post for any recipes for paper mache (since the last time I did anything like this was in high school) and I got a few responses. (thanks!) So, I ended up using a flour and water mix to come up with a kinda soupy to thick mix, then cut up strips of newspaper and dipped them into the paper mache. I ran my fingers over each newspaper strip to remove the excess mix and placed them on the pumpkin bag form in all directions. (I heard that you should not just lay the strips in only one direction – makes a lot of sense) So, I got the top half of the pumpkin done the other day and let it dry overnight. I was amazed by morning how hard the top half actually was and was pleased so far with the results. Then I completed the bottom half, which is drying right now. The next step will be to design the face I want on the pumpkinman and this will be the fun part.
I have seen so many interesting techniques online for creating pumpkins of this sort, and what they have done is to cutout the eyes, nose and mouth of the pumpkin, then add additional strips of thin boxes (like a cereal box) around the eyes to give them depth, and of course, I would have to do the paper mache again around this part after I attach it with masking tape. So if you are planning a project like this, plan on lots of time to complete it as I am learning along the way on how time consuming this actually is. I’ll keep you up to date on how I am coming along with this project and hopefully I can get it completed before Halloween night!
I thought that I would share with you some great photographs that I have taken since we adopted Bella in September, as I have done a horrible job in keeping up with this, but with me being under the weather for about a month with a nasty chest cold, it made it difficult to do. Nikita and Bella have become best friends and Bella cries when Nikita is not in the room with her. We know that Nikita has tolerated quite a bit with Bella, her nipping at her legs and such, but Nikita has been a good sport. When Bella gets too rough with her, Nikita will put her in her place with a stern growl, and that usually makes Bella back off a bit. Lately, we have seen Bella trying to snuggle up with Nikita on the floor when she is napping, and Nikita is ok with this, until Bella nips at her feet, then she moves to another location. We feel that when Bella gets a little older/bigger that they will be napping together, but for now, Nikita is doing her best to keep her feet and legs away from the sharp puppy teeth.
In the first few weeks that Bella arrived in her new home, she has already learned her name, how to sit, shake, down, and she is learning how to beg now. She is a little shaky on holding her beg position for too long, but she is close to getting it. I tried to teach her how to roll over, but that did not go over too well, as when I tried to “roll” her, she freaked out and ran under the table. Maybe perhaps we’ll try that trick a little later.
One thing for sure that we know is, is that Bella has gained some weight. She was so tiny when we brought her home and when we weighed her last week she has doubled in weight! I can tell for sure because it is not as easy to just whip her up off the floor to pick her up. That is good, because that means that she is one healthy puppy. Her latest fun thing to do that I taught her (since it is getting hard to pick her up) is when we are heading out the back door, she waits for me to open the door, lets me step out, then she “jumps” out the back door as if she is diving into a pool. It cracks me up every time to watch her do this as it is the funniest thing to watch. She still can’t climb “up” the step to get back into the house, so I have to pick her up on that part.
Another hilarious thing happens when I vacuum, as this household chore happens a few times a day to keep up with any dog hair. As you all know, Nikita does not mind the vacuum and she lets me actually vacuum her so I can remove any loose dog hair. Bella, on the other hand, thinks that the vacuum is a big play toy and chases it and lays behind the vacuum to bite at the air coming out of the back. Silly dog!
So stay tuned for more photographs and silly stories of Nikita and Bella and our Halloween updates!