What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

No, this does not have anything to do with Tombstone Pizza, rather it has all to do about Halloween Tombstones!  We make handmade wood tombstones from pressed wood for Halloween (not sure if you knew this) and we sell them on our eBay store.  We got this idea last year as we were frustrated with our own styrofoam tombstones falling down in our yard every year from the wind, so we set out to design some tombstones for ourselves, and when they turned out better than what we originally thought, we decided to add them to our eBay inventory and they have gone over well. 

We have a lot of designs to choose from, so take your pick!  Here’s what we do for you:  We hand cut your wood tombstone from pressed wood, then sand it smooth, then we cut a wood base for you, and also include the screws for the base and the two 7″ spikes to pound into the ground.  What do you do?  When you receive your wood tombstone, you paint & finish it the way you want or add some creative tombstone epitaphs with stencils, then make sure you add a clear coat when you’re all done to help seal the wood from the outside elements. 

Here are some of the designs we have for sale on our eBay store, and keep checking back, as we will be adding more designs before Halloween. 

Listed below are some of the tombstones that we have finished / painted for our front yard, just to give you an idea of how you can paint or stain your own tombstones.  Be creative, as the more creative you are, the better your tombstone will turn out. 

We know that it is just June now, but with Halloween about 127 days away, planning for the witching hour takes time.  Even if you are planning on purchasing some new Halloween props this year, our advice to you is to SHOP EARLY as all of the places that sell Halloween props & decorations always sell out early and they don’t restock their inventory either!  Once it’s gone, it’s gone!  So, shop early to get the cool stuff you want, or you will only be left with the items that no one else wants.   Here is the link to our eBay store, and where you can purchase a tombstone for yourself!


Make A Donation – Win A Doormat Giveaway

NIKITALAND and THEMES N THINGS are dedicated to collecting donations for the APL for their 2012 Pledge For Pets fundraiser this year!   Warmer weather brings new challenges for the APL, because each Spring they find cardboard boxes left outside their front door filled with unwanted and frightened kittens and puppies.  They have no mother, no home, and no hope at life until the APL steps in.  You can help by making a donation to the APL.  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/themesnthings/2012-doggy-dollars-kitty-kash   Any dollar amount will help, raid your piggy bank, add up your pocket change, as it all adds up!  If we all work together collectively, we can help those animals that need our help, the ones left in cardboard boxes because someone stopped loving them.

We are giving away one of our Halloween props, a Skull & Web Doormat that measures 18″ x 30″ and is made of light weight durable Eva foam.  You can put this doormat by your front door, in front of your kitchen sink, or even use in front of your bathtub.  Our Giveaway starts today and runs until the end of April.


Here’s how our Giveaway works:
* Make a donation to Pledge For Pets
* Reply back to us in this post that you made a donation
* Once you donate & reply back to us, your name will go into the drawing for the Skull & Web Doormat
* At the end of April, we will announce who won the doormat & we’ll contact you to get your mailing information

With your support, and our continued efforts we will be able to help the animals who need it and help them find a forever home & a chance at life and love.   Thank you!

Don’t Lose Your Head

Cement Skull

We think about Halloween all the time, and there’s only 266 days left until it’s here!  We are always looking for new & unique items to bring to you to enhance your Halloween decorating and enlarge your prop collection. 

We are proud to announce our new CEMENT SKULLS for Halloween that you can use in your own “Home Haunt” or hang on your wall in your home.  No matter where you decide to place it, it will definitely be a conversation piece!  Skull weighs in at a little over 3 pounds 11 ounces and is approximately 7 1/2″ x 5″ x 2 1/2″.   Each skull that is made will be slightly different from the photo shown due to how the cement dries.  When you place your order for your skull, we will start your mold for you and it will take a few days for the skull to completely dry before we can ship it to you.  Any questions, let us know!  We are here to enhance your scare factor for Halloween!  Keep checking back on our website for additional cement items, as we will be adding more items!  www.themesnthings.com
And for an example, you can even add “eyes” to your stone skull for a more eerie look! 

Frosty Corpses

It happens this time of year.  The weather changes to that bone chilling can’t seem to get warm feeling, “I’m not ready for the weather to change” thought in your mind, and you wake up to see frost in your graveyard.  Don’t worry, these corpses don’t feel a thing, or do they?  Their faces and torsos are covered with a feathery-looking frost, the tombstones look furry, each blade of grass is covered in white, and you are glad that the flood lights don’t turn on now because they would all shatter.  It’s that time of year, like it happens every Halloween, the weather gets worse while you are putting the finishing touches in your home haunt, the winds kick up making it impossible for the light weight items to not blow away, and you are bundled up in layers of clothing just trying to keep warm for the two hours you have to stand outside and hand out candy.  Is it all worth it? 

It’s funny, because we get excited every year for the arrival of Halloween and can’t wait for it to come, then when it actually arrives, we complain because we have to stand two hours out in the cold freezing, you can’t feel your hands because they’re numb, your nose runs….and then…it’s over.  Halloween trick-or-treating is done for another year.  Now comes the fun part of picking up all the props in the yard, all the extension cords, the flood lights, the stakes that you can’t seem to find all of them afterwards, and try to put everything back in its storage box for the next year.  So, is it worth it?  We would answer a definite yes! 

This year for us, we were able to enjoy the home haunt a lot longer than prior years because we made all of those wood tombstones, primed them well, so they could withstand the weather conditions and not blow away and actually got our home haunt in the front yard setup weeks ago so we could enjoy it.  We’re glad we did.  Halloween is on Monday, and we can’t wait!  We’ll be digging out the animatronic props this weekend and all of the other items we could not put in the yard as they are too expensive to leave out, so we only bring them out the day of Halloween. 

It’s a lot of work we won’t deny that, but the look on the trick-or-treaters faces when they see Michael Myers trying to slash their necks, is priceless.  Some of the kids won’t even come up the driveway for candy when they see him, so we have to walk down and hand them their candy, while others can’t wait to get a photograph with Michael or Freddy Krueger, they are the brave souls who venture near! 


Milk.... It Does a Body Good!

WOW, what a great Labor Day weekend we had!  Daddy had Monday off, so we got to spend a lot of time together & had a lot of fun!  We headed off to PetSmart on Saturday and got to meet a whole bunch of really nice people and tons of furry four-legged friends too!  I met these two nice girls who came over to meet me and they said that they saw me come into the store and just had to come over and pet me!  (thanks!)  Mommy gave these girls one of my Blog Calling Cards and told them that they can check up on what I am up to by viewing my blog.  One of the girls even said that they did not know anything about blogs, and said that they might start one about their cat!  If they do, I hope they read this post and let me know what their blog site is so I can visit them too!  Good luck! 

I even had a guy that rubbed my belly and said I was adorable and I thought it was funny because he had a whole shopping cart filled with cat food, but he was giving some “lovin” to me instead!   I even got to meet a really adorable four month old German Shepard and we got along great!  Mommy wishes she did not forget her camera at home on this trip or I could have posted a photo of this aborable puppy.  But, I met another dog who I growled at (sorry) and I feel bad, as he did nothing to me.  I guess we can’t all get along, but I normally don’t growl at others, as I am a happy puppy.   

As you can see from the photo’s above, you don’t always have to play with your own toys as you can find fun sometimes in simple things – like empty milk cartons!  LOL  I had so much fun with this thing, chasing it all over the house as it rattled and flew down the hallway and through the living room, until I chewed too much of it and we had to say goodbye.  Oh well, while it lasted, I had a blast with my 2% milk – it does a body or dog good! 

Mommy & Daddy are still trying to figure out what I should be for Halloween and since no one has given me any suggestions, we are still stumped.  Mommy tried on my fairy wings from last year, and just as we suspected, they did not fit.  We got them on me, but they were way too tight!  Amber, the PetSmart trainer said that I should be a Mummy for Halloween, so we might try to figure out how to make me into one.  And, while shopping on the Old Navy website over the weekend, Mommy saw that they had a really adorable “Postman” dog Halloween costume that was really funny too!  This costume even came with a little blue hat and had a blue shirt with a brown mail pouch over the shoulder with letters in it too!  Ahhh, Halloween….you gotta love it! 

Also, we’re still keeping a close eye on Daddy’s pumpkin too.  Ever since August 25th when some deer had a field day munching on Daddy’s pumpkin vines, we are glad to announce that the pumpkin is just fine and is growing by leaps and bounds.  Although Daddy is sad because we think that there could have been more pumpkins instead of just one, if the deer would not have damaged the main vine.  (Darn deer!)  We are just amazed on how BIG his pumpkin has grown in less than a month.  Look at how small the pumpkin started off as and how BIG it is now!  Even check out how the color has changed in the pumpkin too!  We are wondering as to when it will start to change it’s color to orange.   I will have to keep you up to date on its progress! 

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and yes, it’s Tuesday not Monday Daddy.  Oh yeah, thanks again for all of the birthday wishes that everyone sent to Daddy on Friday – he appreciated them all! 

P.S. – Get your Halloween Props soon, or you’ll find out that all the good stuff is gone!  www.themesnthings.com 

Are You Ready for Halloween?

Did you know that Halloween is only 60 days away?  Yep, we’re counting it down and getting ready too!  Mommy is getting her creative side in gear and is trying to make a cemetery gateway out of boxes to put in the front yard this year.  Making your own Halloween props is not that hard, but you do need a good imagination to pull it off.   Once Mommy gets a little further in her gateway progress, we’ll will post some photographs so you can see.  When this gateway is finished it will have approximately 40+ boxes, masking tape, bricks for weight, and lights or a black light in the cemetery sign on top.  WOW, that sounds so neat, can’t wait to see it when it’s done.  I have been helping her by trying to chew on the masking tape roll!  (what is it with tape rolls that I love so much?)  Who knows, but I love helping Mommy with her projects! 

Shipping Halloween Products

Getting ready to setup your own home haunt?  Well, by using a few pieces of  grid paper, you can draw out your yard and use it as a plan as to where to place all of your tombstones and props in your yard.  Don’t forget to draw out all of the extension cords and flood lights you will need too, as they are an important part of your home haunt! 

I have been busy helping Mommy shipping out tons of Halloween props and accessories too, but if someone accidentally gets one of my toys in their box by mistake, can you ship it back to me?  (I may be missing one or two)   

This is a MUST do for every pet owner!  Why would you dress up for Halloween and not dress up your pet too?  They want to get in the fun too, not to mention all of the fun photographs you can capture when they’re all decked out in their costumes.  PetSmart usually holds a Halloween Pet Photo weekend where you can purchase your photo for a minimal charge and it’s fun too!  Last year, I was a fairy, but I can’t fit into my tutu any longer (as it only fits around my neck now), so we need to figure out what I am going to be for Halloween.  We’re thinking of making me into a bat with black wings and a black mask, but we’re still deciding on this one.  If you have any suggestions on what I should be, let me know!   

Don’t forget to also check out Daddy & Mommy’s website if you are looking for some awesome Halloween Props & Accessories – they have a huge selection to pick from!  www.themesnthings.com

Back to School – What Does it Mean to You?

School Crossing Zone in NC

What does “Back to School” mean to me?  It will definitely limit what I see & watch out the front window, from the packs of kids walking the sidewalks at all times of the day & night which whom I bark at everytime, the ice cream truck will probably stop driving down the road now, (but that’s ok because I hate this truck), the loud music from the kids cars that drive by the house all day, (why do they have to play their music so loudly anyway?) the baseball games that attract a lot of traffic on our road to cars speeding too, these are all the things that will definitely change when School is back in session. 

Put Your Hands Up!

But, with all the things that will change when kids go back to School, some things will never change – crime. We were playing a Wii Monopoly game last night and the police stopped these two kids at KMart.  We are not sure as to what the reason was for “checking” these kids out, searching their pockets, and looking under their hats, and making them stand in front of the police car with their hands on the hood, but it sure made for something interesting to watch.  We’ll have to check out the Police Blotter for sure now to see what happened. 

On Patrol

I am always on patrol, even when you think I am sleeping.  I maybe laying there looking all adorable, but my radar ears are always listening.  When I hear something, I spring to my feet, run to the window just in time to woof at a dog, a car, or some kids walking by.  Don’t let me fool you, I am not sleeping, I am napping and there is a difference.  I am still awake, but on patrol!  Even when Daddy tries to leave the room for something, I hear him, pick up my head and check as to where he’s headed. 

Back to School probably means a lot of different things to many people, perhaps if you are a parent, you’re looking forward to a little break now, or if you’re a Halloween enthusiast like us, you may be thinking that time is running out to purchase your props.  Don’t let time pass you by, make plans & be prepared!  Back to School means that the seasons will now be changing, and we even saw Halloween decorations at our local craft store last weekend, and soon they will be bringing out the Christmas items next.  (we all know that you’ll see the store front at Lighthouse Pools & More all lit up with trees soon!)  With the seasons changing now, we will all stop complaining on how hot it is outside, and start complaining on how cold it is or how it stinks to have to shovel the drive again, whatever the case may be, it is inevitable….seasons do change, and all we do is adjust for them. 

So, what does Back to School mean to you? 


Things That Go Bump In The Night

Werewolf WOW Window Poster

Halloween is just around the corner (only 86 days away) and you have probably started thinking about what you are going to do.  Every year you tell yourself that you are going to start planning earlier “next year”, but then next year comes around and you find yourself in the same situation.  Strategic planning for decorating for Halloween takes time when you want your own home haunt to turn into something spectacular. 

If you have a huge supply of Halloween Props and Accessories stored away, now what?  What are you going to do with them, where are you going to place them?  What kind of dramatic special effects do you want to use?  How many props are too many?  Are you going to incorporate any music in your home haunt?  All of these are good questions, but it all depends on you and what you want accomplished. 

The first thing to do is take inventory of all your Halloween Props.  Figure out what you want to use and start carrying all of these props out to your yard.  Don’t worry on where everything goes right now, because you will probably move your props around quite a bit before finally finding a good place to put them in your yard. 

The next thing to consider is lighting.  If you don’t already have colored flood lights, you will need to purchase some.  You can find these at most any hardward or DIY store.  The best flood light colors to use are blue, red, and perhaps orange as these will make great lighting effects on your props.  If you have any prop that is mostly white, perhaps a ghost or two or a few skeletons (not the ones in your closet), using a black light on them will make them glow.  Don’t forget that you will need a lot of extension cords to hook up your lights to, but try to use the darker colored extension cords instead of the orange extension cords, as using a darker colored cord will help hide it in your lawn. 

Now that you have your props and lighting taken care of, you can now add a few fog machines to your home haunt.  Fog machines come in a variety of sizes and wattages, and the higher the wattage of the machine will produce a much heavier fog.  (don’t forget to stock up on fog juice too)  If you are going to  purchase a fog machine, try to find one that has a wireless remote control so you can turn on your fog when you want it, perhaps when those unsuspecting trick-or-treaters are coming up your drive!   With all the lights that you have added, including the fog that is now hovering over your tombstones and around your props, you have successfully taken your scare factor to the next level. 

One of the last things that you can add to your home haunt is sound.  A Gemmy Halloween Light Show with Timer is a great way to add music to your scene.  Just plug in a few of your lighted props or fog lights to the light show, upload your own music to your MP3 Player or iPod or use the included songs on the unit, then step back and watch the show begin!  Your lights will now dance to the beat of the music with the two included speakers and you will definitely impress your neighbors and anyone driving by. 

Halloween is just not for kids any longer, as more and more adults crave this once a year witching time! 

You know you’re a Hauntaholic when:

  1. Your house contains nothing but Halloween Props
  2. You have names for the skeletons in your closet
  3. Your dog ignores masked intruders breaking into your house
  4. You can’t watch a horror movie without writing down ideas
  5. You find yourself thinking that one corpse is more attractive than another
  6. You have more than 10 sound effect CD’s
  7. You spend more on Halloween than your spouse’s birthday
  8. You get more excited over a fog machine than new clothes
  9. You shop for Halloween props all year round
  10. Your electric bill is higher in October than December

NIKITALAND Got a Face Lift

Takin a Break

I’ve been one busy puppy today!  I just finished giving NIKITALAND a face lift and upgraded to a new modern look!  So what do you think?  Do you like the new design?  I am always trying to bring you FUN and interesting stories about my life and what happens every day, so giving Nikitaland a face lift was the next logical step.    So enjoy the upcoming stories, as I am always up to something! 

While I was busy working on my blog, Mommy was busy working in the garage on creating tombstones for Halloween.  Yep, we plan early around here, you have to, in order to be ready for the witching hour.  If you remember anything about what we did last year for Halloween, you will remember that it took Daddy and Mommy and entire day to setup all of their props, tombstones, flood lights/black lights, ghosts & goblins and their animatronic props, just to be ready in time for all the trick-or-treaters – – only to have trick-or-treat time end in just a few hours.  Then, they had to bring everything back into the house on the same night because a lot of their props are too expensive to leave unattended outside.  It is a lot of work, but they enjoy it. 
Have a great creative day!  Puppy kisses to you, Nikita

30 Days Until I’m an Adult

It hits you when you’re not looking, it creeps up on you day after day, heck – it even lurks around the corner.  What is it you ask?  Adulthood!  I just turned 11 months old today and it hit me like a ton of bricks, that I now have 30 days until I become a full grown adult and remove myself from the puppyhood category.  WOW, now what do I do?  I’ve never been an adult before, so what changes?  I know one thing for sure, that my eating habits have changed in the past eleven months.  When I was first adopted and Daddy & Mommy brought me home, I scarfed down my food like there is no tomorrow, I am not even sure I chewed those little kibbles of Science Diet, and now, I take my time, chew each and every morsel in my bowl, and even take a few pieces out and play with them on the floor before eating them. 

So what’s this thing call Adulthood?  Am I going to have to apply wrinkle cream every night to my face, or will I start seeing a “pot belly” or “spare tire” around my waist now, do I have to exercise more, will I stop being carded now when I buy beer, will weird hair grow out of my ears (no wait, I’ve already got that going on), do I need to start trimming my nose hair, or the best yet…do I get to park in those handicap spots that are close to the building?  All of these are good questions, and even though I don’t know the answer of “what’s next” in this thing called Adulthood, I look forward to finding out. 

So, do you love Halloween as much as my Daddy & Mommy do?  I had my first experience with it last year when I was about three months old, and I never knew what would show up in the kitchen.  I ran into Michael Meyers & Jason Voorhees while entering the kitchen for a cool drink of water, and a black cat crossed my path while running under the kitchen table.  (isn’t that a bad thing?) So, to start off the season (you have to plan for Halloween early) Mommy started drawing some life-sized tombstone templates that her and Daddy are going to cut out of wood.  I gave Mommy my two cents worth of ideas while I laid next to her on the kitchen floor when she was drawing…. oh wait, I think I actually told Mommy that looks like something I could pee on in the yard! (ha ha)  She did not think that was funny! LOL    They make a really neat “home haunt graveyard” every year, but have a major problem with the foam tombstones falling down or blowing down the street from the high winds we get, so they decided this year to cut some wood tombstones.  After the tombstones are cut out, a base will be made for them and it will be attached to the tombstone.  A few drill holes in the base will be used to secure them into the ground with some gutter stakes.  And, of course, the most important part is painting them to look old, adding some cool embellishments to the tombstones (RIP) or even some moss glued in the right places will turn these simple tombstones into an awesome home haunt.  When you get the chance, no hurry, but check out their website at www.themesnthings.com to see if you can find something haunting for your own home haunt this year. 

Hey, don’t forget that Father’s Day is tommorrow!  You still have time to shop!

Love ~ Birthday Girl Nikita

When Puppies Turn Into Vampires

“I Want to Bite Your Neck”

With Halloween only 147 days away, I am starting to have a little fun and getting into the spirit of the haunting time of year.  The BIG question is, what am I going to be for Halloween this year?  Last year, when I was a lot smaller, I was this cute fairy and wore an adorable pink tutu and a handmade two-toned pink collar with beads and a boa, but now…my tutu only fits around my neck.  So the quest begins on what should I be this Halloween.  I am taking all suggestions into consideration, so please help me out and give me your thoughts!   (did you notice the little ghost that appeared in my picture when Mommy took this of meSpooky, eh?)  And don’t forget, if you are looking for some great awesome Halloween Props & accessories, check out Daddy’s website www.themesnthings.com   (the best time to pick up your Halloween props is early in the year, because the longer you wait in the year, all of the good stuff will be gone

Anyhow, my weekend was full of fun like it is every weekend, and we took a trip to PetSmart to pick up some things.  I wore my new Sporn Halter that Daddy bought me a few weeks ago, and I walked around the store like a champ with no pulling!  You gotta pick up one of these for your four-legged friend because these really work if you’re a dog or puppy that pulls alot when walking on a leash.  This Sporn Halter corrects that, instantly!  Upon walking into the store, I saw the coolest thing…  I saw this bright colorful….BIRD!  Yep, I said bird.  This lady took her bird shopping with her and her bird had a leash on too!  I laughed all day about that, because I never knew that birds wear leashes. 
I got to see all of my friends at PetSmart like Brett, Amber, Jane and Chuck and I even met a few new friends that took a shine to me.  I saw Amber in the training center, but I did not want to bother her since she was busy, but she saw me anyhow and snuck me a few treats. (Thanks Amber)  I even noticed this nice lady walking towards me and she was carrying a few stuffed animals.  One of them was a stuffed bunny….and I wanted it badly!  When she bent down to pet me, I snuck the bunny out of her arms!  LOL   I don’t even know why I did this because I don’t even touch the toys in the aisle, I just sniff em, but this bunny had some nice long ears that must have attracted me!  (I crack myself up some times!)  Anyhow, Daddy treated Mommy to lunch at McDonalds on our way home and we got to go through the Drive-Thru and Mommy snuck a photo of me dreaming of french fries! 
Since Summer time is for planting flowers and watching them bloom, we are happy to see Daddy’s prize flowers starting to open up and bloom.   Mommy even got a neat flower to put in her “Doggie” planter.  I think it was called Phlox and it should bloom red.  While Mommy and I were watering the flowers this morning, she got a great photo of a rainbow that appeared out of nowhere in the spray of the garden hose.  How cool is that?  I did not know that Mommy could make rainbows! 
Anyhow, I hope you have a great Monday and try to create your own rainbows today! 
Love always,