Halloween

So Long Spook-Fest

Halloween is officially over, and the rest of the holidays for the season are fast approaching. Today also means the Halloween decorations I want for next year are on sale! Since I finally got back on-line with a camera, you will mostly see photos from my decorations today Also, I am still recovering from my sugar coma. Enjoy (finally!)

 

Spooky Mantle

Details

My new camera has an ‘auction’ feature that compiles multiple photos into one composition shot. Detail “H” if of my Happy Halloween banner I made in MS Word, and added cut-outs of craft paper.

Skull Votive Holder & Game Books

I got a bunch of the Skulls at Michael’ last year on clearance. Creepy!  With the mantle taking on the spooky, I went with more basic fall decorations in the dinning area.  This will make it quicker, and easier to transition themes before Thanksgiving arrives.

 

Dining Table

I bought 2 grapevine wreaths, and one small raffia wreath while they were half-price at Hobby Lobby.  I used coupons to buy moss, plastic spiders, feathers and google-eyes to spruce them up.

 

Front Door Spider Wreath

Mini Mossy Wreath

Watching You Wreath

And finally, our outdoor decorations included my Tombstones, Post Sign and Witch That will definitely need more light for next year…not as spooky

Base Paint with Faux Stone Spray

Adding Details with Craft Paint

R.I.P. Tombstone

E.A. Poe Tombstone

 

Witch Cut-Out

 

~Hope everyone had a great Halloween~

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Glamour and Ghouls

I must apologize for my lack of postings in the way of my personal projects.  I have been camera-less since a trip in August, and just haven’t managed to remedy the situation yet.  Soooo…you’ll have to do with one last set of inspirational ideas, before I can get back in the saddle with my own photos.  In light of the new Home Goods store that opened last weekend, I thought I would take a look-see at their website, and found a truly awesome photo montage of a Glam Halloween party. Oxy-moron…right? And now I totally want to do this next year, maybe for a ghouls (girls) only cocktail party. Kim of TomKat Studios did a genius job in mixing glitter, creepy, elegant and spooky all in one.

Great colors, and love the idea that the flowers could possibly be old and creepy, but they still sparkle.

I need to learn how to make the tissue poms that I keep seeing everywhere, because they look darling and would be cheap and easy for any holiday decor.

Always fun to play around with creative fonts, and the contrast of calligraphy and block letters is sweet.  Plus, I need to find me some of those ruffle edge cake platters.

I’ll get some of the few photos up, from our carving party, as thankfully my pal Melanie is never without her camera!  Check our her spooky encounters, and awesome photos from a weekend hike.

Sneak Peak of my mantle…

 

Mantle Preview

 

Monster Menu

With less than two weeks to go, before Halloween, it’s about time to get a delicious theme menu planned. There is an abundance of great recipes out there for holidays, ranging from easy (yes, please!) to over the top. I usually scope out about a dozen or so ideas/recipes and narrow down my choices, once I know my guest list. For example, if you are having a small and spooky dinner part with six guests, you might be more willing to try new, complicated recipe like Martha’s Spinach Ricotta Skulls…

 

Spinach Ricotta Skulls

Or Ladies Fingers for dessert…

Ladies' Fingers Recipe

For a casual get together with about 20 people, the easier the better! Plus, it’s great to be able to make most of the items the night before, so you aren’t slaving away in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party. Our party is closer to the latter, so here is the menu :

Finger Foods & Appetizers

Guaca-Moldy and Bat Chips

Petrified Cheese and Crackers

Candy Corn Colored Veggies with Ranch Dip

Blue Cheese-Ricotta Dip

Demon Eyes

Cheese Eyes

Main Menu

Twice Dead Potatoes

Spared Ribs

Oven-Roasted Ribs with Barbecue Sauce

Spare a Rib?

Dessert

Sugar Cookies

Guests Choice!

I don’t think any of these require much of a recipe other than the twice baked potatoes Hello Betty Crocker!, but more so entail construction of the food. **NOTE** Be sure to consider food that kids like, if they are included, because some can be picky eaters.  BH&G has a great recipe for a Whoo-hoo Hooty if you need some interactive food fun. Plus, don’t forget to have plenty of non-meat options for the vegetarians.

When our friends gather we usually partake in an adult beverage, like wine or beer.  But after finding some really great cocktail mixes I couldn’t wait to try one.  But with fear of the daunting task of trying to keep up with all the ingredients needed to stock a full bar, I decided to pick a Signature Drink and just get those items.  Turns out you can make 2 festive drinks with just 3 ingredients and some accessories.

 

Spooky Halloween Spirits

We are hosting the Screwed-Up Screwdriver and the Berry Scary Martini…though I’m not sure how available cherry juice would be, so I suppose another scary berry might be making an appearance.

 

You’ll notice that the dessert will be “Guest’s Choice” and that is because I have wonderful friends who hate to show up empty-handed I know the feeling! So when I send out invitations I usually make a suggestion as to what they might bring.  Sometimes it’s an appetizer, sometimes we each bring pickies to share, sometimes it’s a cocktail mix. By guiding them in a direction, they can be as creative as they want and contribute to the feast! Should anyone show up with food other than dessert…FINE BY ME!

Here is my plan (and let’s hope all goes accordingly) :

5 days before party….send reminder to guests to ensure accurate head count

4 days before party…..table decorations and finalize menu

3 days before party….wall decorations and grocery shopping

2 days before party….kitchen decorations, Costco shopping, cut out cheese shapes and bake cookies

1 day before party….make potatoes (refrigerate overnight), roll out cheese log (refrigerate overnight), marinate ribs, chop veggies and more decorating

morning of party (starts at 5pm!)….set up carving tables outside, last-minute clean up, bake potatoes, make guacamole, and get the spread laid out….BBQ ribs after most of the party arrives so they are finger lickin’ good

I also have the added bonus of great friends who like to help and pals who done care if it’s picture perfect. Though I still like to try.

Planting A Seed

A Pumpkin Seed!

 

Photo from Better Homes & Gardens

Halloween is a little more than 2 weeks away, and what better way to celebrate than with a Pumpkin Carving Party. I can’t really say why it is that I love Halloween so much.  Maybe because it is the beginning of Fall? My favorite season. Or because adults can act like kids in a candy store. You can’t return leftover candy,so you might as well eat it. You can also have great fun crafting and creating costumes. If it’s home-made, no one will have the same outfit. I love that cooler weather is on the way, and would really love to enjoy a day with friends. I adore the the idea of sending out, IN THE MAIL, party invitations…but time permitting I had to go digital. Here are some really cute ideas for invites from Martha:

 

Masquerade Invitation

Skeleton Invitations

Severed Finger Invitation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am totally in love the finger one…Don’t Forget! Anywho, E-vite has me hooked because they have some really great pre-made layouts, you can customize your message AND it allows people to RSVP via their email.  You can keep track of how many party goers you will have attending on one handy little site. If I’m planning a larger party (more than 8 people) I try to get the word out at least a month in advance.  If you go sooner you run the risk that people haven’t thought that far in advance, or they may forget once the date finally rolls around.  Less than a month, you run the risks that plans have already been made, and that’s especially true around holidays.

Once October first rolled around I was finally about to get out my decorations, so now I have two weeks to finish adding the final touches.  Plus, now that I have more of an idea of the number of guest I can start to brainstorm food ideas.  It’s not too late for you to plan one, so I will leave you with a couple of websites that have great ideas for putting together a party.  Happy Hosting!

Few come close to Martha’s expertise at entertaining, and I am sure that her pumpkin carving parties are spooktacular.

Nothing sounds greater than a Real Simple fall festival with friends out on the farm.

Can it be?? My favorite store can give you Halloween party planning tips too…I don’t know if Pottery Barn can get any better. Download their handy printable version (PB Halloween Party Planner) and add it to your party notebook (more on that later).

Photo from Real Simple

Laundry List – Accessorize

A trip to Goodwill resulted in some great finds for the laundry room.  Now just a coat of spray paint, to coordinate with the folding station and I’m set!

 

Jars & Paint

 

I also managed to get some hard-core jigsaw work done to cut out this witch and these tombstones for yard decorations.  I couldn’t find the 2″ foam, so I am working with 4×8 sheets of plywood. They too just need a bit of painting, spraying and detail work to complete the project.  Finished pictures to follow!