Friday, October 31, 2014

a holiday project: last minute halloween fun

I wasn't planning on any decorating or craftiness for Halloween this year but then a competition was announced at my office and when I dug out my decorations to take into work, well I couldn't help but add some of my vintage Halloween items at home... even though they would only be up for a couple of weeks.

Then last Saturday I had a day all to myself and decided to hit up all of my favorite places in my local small town.  One of my stops was my favorite "fun" store, Grandiflora.  They had posted pictures on facebook of their second floor all decked out for Christmas and I couldn't resist a peek nor of course a purchase!  While standing at the check out counter I checked out their Halloween display and they had the cutest black and white paper straws with a bit of raffia on the ends made to look like witch's brooms... I got to thinking that I needed to make my own version and this is what I came up with.

I had black and white chevron paper straws, black and white baker's twine and lots of washi tape but no raffia... what to use, what to use?  Then I noticed this bit of wrinkled packing paper that had come in an Amazon order and thought, why not try it?


 Grandiflora's straws were full length but I decided to make my brooms a little smaller so I cut my straws in half.


Cut off a length of my wrinkled paper and started cutting just short of end to end.


About a 6 or 7 inch piece ready to go.


I used bright orange and bright green washi tape.  Added a small piece to start the "bristles" and then started wrapping the remaining paper around the straw... not trying for perfection.


Used a longer piece of tape to wrap around the raw edge and cover it... added a bit of black and white baker's twine and scrunched the paper "bristles" just a bit more.

And voila!  A cute little witch's broom.  And what to do with these cutie pies?


Well I had ordered these Halloween tags recently on etsy.  This store on etsy makes the cutest holiday tags and I couldn't resist the vintage looking Halloween tags.


The seller even included a couple of cards... one my all time favorite Halloween photos!


And all of this fun Halloween goodness?  Well it's to add to a couple of special little Halloween gifts... for my daughter and son-in-law.


And for Miss Bee that's a bit too young for candy and glittery witches... a cute Halloween story.


Looking forward to a quite Halloween evening at home since Red Gate Farm doesn't get any trick or treaters... Then a weekend with Miss Bee.


Have a safe and special Halloween,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

hocus pocus, finally getting a bit of focus


 I feel like I should start this out with a "knock, knock" or a "hello??"... I've been a bit, well, absent these past few months.  We spent most of the spring and summer getting ready to be grand parents and getting ready for an October wedding here at Red Gate Farm so I feel like it was April and then I blinked and it was October!  Now the pace is slowing down a bit and I feel like I have a minute to catch my breath finally.

Back in July I was contacted by a company, Chalk This Way, that sells chalk markers on Amazon.  They wanted to send me a set and you know me and my love of chalkboards so of course I said "yes!".

I picked their fall set knowing those fall shades would come in handy for the upcoming October 4th wedding.

As well as some fun fall chalk images for fall around the house.

One thing I really like to use chalk markers on is glass... take an old frame, line the back with either black paper or paint the back/reverse of the glass and you have a fun and easy to reuse "chalkboard".

 Of course my vintage slate boards work well too... chalk markers wash off of real slate boards and glass.  With a wipe of a wet rag/towel you're ready for a new work of art.

 Having the opportunity to add color for the first time was fun!  The deep fall tones really added the finishing touch to my board that I update for seasons and holidays.

And all those markers came in handy for the wedding that was a couple of weeks ago... October 4th to be exact.  I think chalk markers are so much easier to use than real chalk which can smudge pretty quickly, especially on a board like this that was used instead of individual wedding programs.

And although I'm planning a post about the wedding and all the to do around it I can't resist just a little sneak peek for you...

Here I used some picture frames, black paper and made four of these to place around the wedding to remind folks to share their photos of the happy day, happy couple.  Each one used a different color like yellow, brick red, sage green along with the traditional white...

A thrift store frame painted with chalkboard paint (it's actually a mirror) and the newlyweds have a keepsake for their new home.  Chalk markers aren't really recommended for using on DIY chalk boards but if you want a permanent piece of chalk art OR if you're like me and don't mind painting over the previous image then go ahead and use it on a board like this.... I have a few boards I've painted over multiple times with no problem covering old messages at all.

We even re-used a few frames from my daughter's wedding like the one on the bar... just a little update to the types of beer and wine...

And for the menu...

A scrap piece of masonite and a couple of 3M velcro hangers let everyone know that the hot chocolate bar was ready to enjoy.

Complete with another chalk board listing all the options for your hot chocolate on a galvanized/tin chalkboard.

I even took a beat up Ikea poster frame (originally bright turquoise) and painted the frame with ASCP to look like zinc or galvanized metal... it was a "thank you" message from the bride and groom placed near the favors.  It was also super light weight since it was Plexiglas and not real glass.
So if you're in the market for a chalk marker or two... in white or color... the Chalk This Way markers were a big hit!

And I have to show off my assistant...

Miss Bee was my assistant on the Friday before the wedding and as always, was such a big help!