decorating with dodi

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Parties and Luncheons and Sewing, Oh My!

So once again I have been missing in action for a few days but this time for a good reason! I have been participating in the fun that autumn brings!

This past weekend I hosted a small luncheon for some teaching friends from years gone by. For these gatherings I usually set up my centerpiece ( is it still a centerpiece when it isn't in the center of the table? ) at the end of the table. We can then sit on the sides and other end with the food in the middle. This just makes reaching things so much easier not to mention seeing each other!

It was very simple by my standards because this has been an especially hectic year, but we had just as much fun as ever and literally sat and talked until it was time for dinner!

I couldn't help myself - I bought another one of those skulls from Family Dollar but I didn't like the gold color glitter that covered it so I gave him a nice new coating of MS orange-my favorite. Then I put him under a cloche and filled in with 2 small tombstones, another skull, the obligatory raven and some moss. I used my spooky candleabra, some flowers and another one of those creepy photos. I was missing some candle light ( as I don't like to burn the tapers since the one luncheon where we left the room and they burned completely down and totally ruined everything with melted wax ) so I threw in a votive the kids and I made several years ago. We simply covered a clear glass holder with ripped pieces of printed Halloween tissue paper and then let black puffy paint drip over the edges. This was a quick to throw together vignette and although it may not be what I would have done if I had had more time, it more than worked for the occasion.

I also had the privilege of attending the party that daughter #3 threw for her oldest sons class - plus some siblings and parents. They have recently moved back here to her home town and she thought it would be a good way to meet some new people.

Thank goodness the weather decided to co-operate. After the very real threat of rain and a LOT of wind, the sky became a crisp blue and the temperature hovered around 75 degrees. The party ranged through dinner time so the menu included mummy hot dogs, witch finger veggies and dip, bubbling cauldron cheese dip and orange and black corn chips, spicy black bean dip for the parents, fruit kabobs ( can't remember their "spooky" name ), ghost mix munchies, ogre eyes, and decorate your own cookies. Plus there was a yummy slime punch full of squirming worms!

The kids really loved the ogre eyes and they were probably the simplest thing to make. She just took a marshmallow, topped it with a gummy lifesaver and filled the hole with a chocolate chip.

There were all sorts of things to keep the kids busy. This is the "decorate your own cookie" station. Always a favorite and always a contest to see who can load the most icing onto one cookie!

Here we are playing "wrap a mummy". These are 2 of the younger siblings. Notice that Presley never missed a beat with her drink of slime juice! The older kids had some pretty good mummies but I can't show you all of the pictures because they would give away some costumes and the BIG, FAMILY reveal isn't until Saturday night! That is also why you won't see any pictures of Harrison at his own party. He loved his costume so much that he kept it on the whole time and there are some snoopy eyed people who read this blog. Names are not necessary-you know who you are!

The kids always love the doughnut on the string game. These 2 apparently got tired of waiting and just grabbed them and ate away!

There was also an ogre eye relay race, bobbing for apples. weave a web game, mask and glittery bat craft station and Halloween decals-plus, goodie bags for all! It was a really fun afternoon and all of the moms commented about how much fun it was to attend a good, old-fashioned kind of Halloween party. That always makes me feel good because sometimes the old stand-bys are still the best.

Lots of other fun things happening this week as well. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creepy Cloth

O.K. In my "circle", I am not necessarily known as being a frugal person. I LOVE to shop and will usually buy something if I REALLY want it. That being said, I mean I will buy something I want within certain parameters. I am not a "money is no object" sort of girl and my taste is good but not 18 carat gold faucet kind of taste.

All that being said, I came very close last year to spending $80 a panel on black lace Halloween sheers. I saw them and fell in love. I wanted them-no, in fact, I thought I needed them! But, I wasn't sure of my front window size and how many I would need. Since I found these at a little independent boutique, they couldn't be returned. I headed home to measure fully intending to go back and get them the next day. Then, as life will, something came up and I was busy the rest of the month. Other things of real importance took over and I never thought of them again.

Fast forward to 2011. I started to think of them again. But wait, I had just purchased some "creepy cloth" for my decorating and thought I would give it a try. I love how this turned out!!! As you enter this room, you just get a feeling of foreboding.

I have since made 2 more "emergency" trips to Dollar General ( I bought out my $ Tree) for this stuff. It is $1 a package. Yes, $3 total for this window compared to the $240 I would have spent last year and because it is raggedy instead of lace, I like it all the more!

You can't go wrong with this stuff. It is so easy to work with. If it stretches a bit and creates a hole, all the better! I tried to make this harder than it needed to be. My drapes are up with clips and I was trying to attach the cloth under each clip. That was easy enough, but a bit time consuming as I tweaked. Then I realized that all I had to do was loop it over the top of the clip and I could move them around to my heart's content.

Once I had this, I started thinking about how else to use this magical stuff.

How about draped over the kitchen pass through?

Of course as table covers!

Mantle cover.

Or, how about simply thrown over a lamp shade for a bit of an eerie cast on the wall. And, if you happened to pick up a package of $1 spiders, all the better!

And if one lamp is good, how about 2?

And if 2 is good, well you know the drill.... This one has just a little piece that I was actually on my way to the trash with when I spied this little lamp and thought I would give it a try. I like!

I have several more packages just waiting to be ripped open and used. As a matter of fact, I think I will run to the store and buy all I can find before this post reaches everyone and you buy it all up when you see just how wonderful it really is-ha-ha.

I am having a ladies luncheon on Saturday and plan to use some of it on my table. If I come up with something cool, I'll share. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Odds & Ends

I was going to take you to the front of the house next but, since I haven't taken those pictures and it was kind of dreary today, I thought I would show you a few little odds and ends. The above is a banner I downloaded last year from Chickabug blog. I just got around to putting it together. All I did was to simply adhere each pennant to black cardstock and cut a thin border. I put it together with gold brads instead of stringing on ribbon or twine because I had a feeling it was going to be long and boy was I right. With the brads, the pennants overlap just a bit so I think it is as short as it can get unless you chose to spell out just HAUNT. This is the only place in my house that was empty and long enough. Not ideal and I may start decorating with this next year before all the good places are taken, but it is fine for now.

If you can get close enough to this you can see all of the wonderful detail-which in my house right now would necessitate standing on a chair-oh well. I do love the designs and someone else did all of the work for us!

This book jacket is something else I downloaded last year from ( I think-it was a year ago ). I just cut it out, assembled and slipped on an old book.

I added it to the coffee table in the family room. That is one of the spots that has been bugging me. Still not there, but getting closer. I guess the "rule of 3" being more pleasing to the eye. is really true.

This is one of 2 Gothic candleabras that I have. I got them from Illuminations. Boy do I miss that store! This year I separated them-the other one is in the living room in the Poe display. I have been trying to keep the dining table decor to a minimum as I use this table for crafting, sewing, and yes, sometimes even eating this time of year and this makes it oh so easy to clear off.

I love this table runner. It is from Bombay Co.-miss that store too. It is just different from anything else I have seen.

My last little addition is this vintage banner I got from penniwig. I bought the download and matted it in black after printing on cardstock. I seem to do that a lot. I think the black frame just helps make the design "pop" a bit more. This one is small, so I strung it on ribbon to help it stretch across the window valance.

Many costumes still to make and a Halloween party to attend today, so I am off. I've been having a blast with "creepy cloth", so that will be my next post. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 17, 2011

One More Room

I always decorate my guest bathroom for the holidays or season but I have never posted pictures before. Now I know why. This isn't a particularly large bathroom and getting pictures from the angles I wanted was nearly impossible. Never-the-less, I have a few to share with you today. I like to decorate this room as it is the one my grand children use when they visit and they enjoy seeing what is here.

It is hard to see, but even Colgate is co-operating now by putting out tooth paste in Halloween containers-gotta love it!

Yes, that is a Halloween shower curtain. As my husband would say "doesn't every home need one?". In my defense, I found this at Kohls 2 years ago the day after Halloween and it was probably 65% off. I really like it and now that I no longer have the curtain hooks built into the rod, changing it out is a snap! Oh yes, I also found the pumpkin curtain hooks at the same time. How could you possibly have one without the other?!

The tassel in the above picture is one I made back when everyone was hanging tassels off of everything. Nobody does that any more but it took so long to make that I can't bear to get rid of it. Hence, it now hangs here. For no reason other than it can.

As I look at these pictures I realize that the bathroom isn't really very imaginative. Maybe it will go on the list for renovations next year. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And On We Go...

The kitchen is pretty much as usual. It sort of has to stay functional so most of the decor is also usable. Seems I do more cooking and entertaining in October than most any other month of the year!

The above cookie jar was a bargain from Target many years ago. In fact, I got a lot of my Halloween dinnerware and serving pieces from them. They don't have that kind of stuff any more but they do have some nice plastic stuff this year that I have picked up. I am so holiday crazy that I change even all of our dinnerware for the occasion. I have so many sets of Halloween dinnerware that it is almost embarrassing but most of it was bought at the end of a year, so I got lots of bargains...and I really use it...and who knows when I might have to serve 50 people a Halloween meal on "real" plates...and, there, have I justified my obsession yet?

I love this witch! I got her at a cute little shop in Mt. Dora. She is noise activated, so if a cabinet door closes too loudly or a pot lid bangs or a grandchild runs up and slaps the counter (which truly is one of the first things any of them has learned to do) she cackles and yells "Happy Halloween". Now, I never tire of hearing it although I will admit that she sometimes still scares me on occasion. My husband is another story!!! He is NEVER prepared for her cackle. I guess I should be worried about a heart attack but I still somehow find pure enjoyment in it. I guess I have a warped sense of humor. Yes, I am one of those people who laugh when you fall-but only after I know you aren't hurt. But, I digress!!

Anyhow, I think I have mentioned that I am out of town at least 2 days every week. My hubby and I have a bit of a game going during October. Every time I come home, the witch is missing and I set out to find where he put her this time. She is usually found facing some far off corner. I guess I could just show him how to turn her off but you think he would have thought of that himself by now so maybe he enjoys looking for new hiding places for her as much as I enjoy the thought of him walking around and doing the same! Did I mention that it doesn't take much to get a kick out of life once you pass a certain age!!!

I added the wine bottle candleabra this year. It is from Yankee Candle and matches the 3 wine bottle votives I bought last year. And, if you look closely you will see some small mice scurrying around. They were a gift from daughter #3.

This guy was going to hang in my living room this year, but after Morgan and Olivia made me the chandelier and I had a black & white theme going, he was relegated to his old spot-plus the nails were already in the right places. I really don't like the words behind his head-maybe I'll use some of my leftover over "creepy cloth" and cover that up!

This year I hit the $ Tree early and scooped up more of their $1 crows. There was something in the back of my mind from last year that I knew I wanted to do and needed many crows. Apparently it was so far in the back of my mind that I can't remember what it was so instead of just letting the birds sit in a storage box until I remembered, I set them in the branches of my twigs in the bucket. I actually like this as they are most often in silhouette when you come into this room because of the way the light enters from the sunroom. It gives a rather eerie feel and, after all, isn't that just what we're going for this time of year?

The bucket that the branches sit in was an inexpensive flower bucket from Michaels. I painted it with chalkboard paint and can write any message I want. I actually did this many years ago-long before everyone else started painting things with chalkboard paint. How about that-I must be a trendsetter!!!! Who Knew?!

I have a room or so left to show you and then I have done a bit of tweaking I want to share so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For Your Dining Pleasure

So let's start with the hutch in the dining room. I have definitely tweaked it a bit since last year. I put some new potion labels on some of the tired, old jars. I also added a new mercury glass candle holder and candle that I found at Target. The candle has silver skulls so it fits right in to the theme.

I also added a mercury glass votive holder that has a skull and a black, cut glass holder also. Both of them are from "The Barn" in Lake Alfred. They are really pretty when lit at night.

The votive holder that you see in this picture was made by my grand daughters Caitlin and Olivia. It is hard to see but it has a painted web and 3 dimensional spider on it. You can also see the skull that I downloaded from The Graphics Fairy and printed on an old book page.

The top of the jelly cupboard has a few new elements as well. I found the marker at Target and the skull candle and skull votive holder both at Michaels this year.

There's still more to see. You know me, more is more! Stay tuned!