Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frankenstorm is coming!

Champion says.....YES!

Should I be concerned if, upon waking up this morning, my husband said,

"I need to make sure I get the pickax out today." 
???

Yes it would seem like an odd statement, although we did watch The Shining last weekend, but we've got Hurricane Sandy headed this way. And my husband wants to have the pickax handy in case he's got to break up the ground around our window wells when if they start to fill up with water. At least that's what he told me. Maybe I should be concerned . . . (Joking people...no worries here!)

Just last year, our little town of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey was hit with Hurricane Irene, named after my mother...still processing that connection. In fact, the hurricane made landfall in our town, and we were on The Weather Channel map - so of course I had to take a picture of the TV:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars, easy how-to from The Shed blog


September 2013 update: I wrote this post last year, just 3 days before Hurricane Sandy hit our town hard. Thus, I never had time to share it via social media. So if you see it popping up on Pinterest this year, that's why! And I appreciate your pins on this project too! 


Halloween is less than a week away. Can you believe it?

Today's project got its start when I first saw these gorgeous Halloween printable labels created by my friend Karen, aka The Graphics Fairy. I'll wait while you click over to see the labels. . .

Gorgeous, right? I love the ivory and black combination. A little bit gothic, a little bit dark Victorian, a little bit elegant too. I knew I wanted to make a set of apothecary jars, which I've seen examples of all over Pinterest. All I needed to do was carve out a small bit of time to make them. Sometimes that's easier said than done, right?

I've been hoarding collecting jars for quite some time to use for craft and decor projects. Each time we empty a jar of something, the label comes off, the jar is washed, and I add it to my ever-growing stash. No, they aren't all "mason" jars, but they work just fine for mason jar crafts.

And speaking of mason jar crafts, you should check out my friend Johnnie's fantastic list of 50+ Mason Jar Decor Ideas on her blog Saved By Love Creations. You will definitely be inspired by all the mason jar eye candy there, plus each image links to more info on just how to create each project.

Supplies for Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog
Supplies . . .

The supplies needed for this project are pretty simple:

Clear Glass Recycled Jars
Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Black Acrylic Paint
Foam Makeup Sponge
Acrylic Sealer
Halloween Printable Labels, printed and cut to size you need
Vintage style trims for embellishments


Start with clean jars. I didn't do anything special to clean these, other than running them through the dishwasher.

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Sponge on black paint.

Using a makeup sponge - those foamy triangle-shaped sponges you can buy in large quantities at the drugstore - I sponged black acrylic paint all over the jars in a random pattern, making sure to cover the entire jar. I wanted each jar to look like it was covered in black soot, so I varied how heavy and light I applied the paint. I gave each jar three light coats in this manner, letting them dry for about 20 minutes in between each coat. After the third coat, let the jars thoroughly dry. (I let mine dry overnight.)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Spray each jar with a coat of acrylic sealer. Let dry.

Mod Podge labels to jars.

Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of each label, as well as to the part of the jar where each label will go. Place the label carefully onto the jar, smoothing out from the center. Wipe any bits of glue that seep out from the edges. (I just used my fingers in this instance, because the look of the jars is a bit messy to begin with.)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Use a brayer to smooth out.

I use a brayer when I Mod Podge to make sure every part of the paper is smoothed down and adhered all the way. Again, you'll get bits of glue that might seep out, just wipe those away with your fingers. (Or you can use a damp paper towel to wipe the glue away too.)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Roll the jar around.

Huh? Yes, that's what I said. Take your jar and roll it back and forth over some scrap paper or cardstock, as shown in the image below. Even after using my brayer, I will do this extra step when Mod Podging onto jars because it gets any remaining Mod Podge out, plus the slight pressure applied when rolling the jars gets those labels super smooth.

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Repeat the above steps for each jar.

As these jars will be placed on a half-wall in our home, I want them to be decorated on the front and the back. So I chose 3 more labels to adhere to the back of each jar, as seen below. Repeat the same steps above to adhere each of these labels to the jars. Once dry, I applied some Mod Podge to the front of each label all the way just past each edge so that the glue goes ever so slightly onto the glass surface. Wipe away any excess. You want to make sure each label will be completely glued down.

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


 Embellish the jars! Now comes the fun part . . .

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog
I scored this awesome trim at a neighbor's garage sale recently!

First, I measured out the trim needed to go around the top of each jar. I applied a line of strong tacky glue around the upper rim of each jar, and pressed the trim into place.

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Next I added some jute twine just below the trim, where my finger is pointing in the image below. Again, I measured out a long length of twine for each of the jars. All that was needed was a tiny bit of strong tacky glue to hold the "start" of the length of twine, and then another small amount to adhere the other end of the twine once I was done wrapping it around the jar several times. (Long sentence!)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Here's what the jute twine looks like close up. (As it was drying, I stuck those little hanging bits of the trim inside each jar, otherwise with my luck those darn things would have somehow become attached to the glue that was drying in the various crevices of the trim. Know what I mean?)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Once everything was dry, it was time for pictures!

I added battery-operated flickering tealights, which I found in the Christmas section at the local dollar store. (And right there is a good reason to be happy that stores put out their Christmas merchandise so early. The fake tealights came in a set of four, with the packaging specifically mentioning Christmas. Score!)

These aren't great photos of the flickering lights in the darkness, but you get the idea. (Hopefully!)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog


Since the mood lighting wasn't doing it for me, I took everything outside.

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog
The front of the jars...

I couldn't resist adding two black glitter spiders to the jars. You can see one of them on the center jar above. And you can see the other glitter spider on the left jar below. (The Graphics Fairy had an image of a spider hanging down just below the word "spider" so I thought it was the perfect spot to put the glittered version!)

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog
...and the back of the jars

Here's a close-up shot so you can see the paint effect I created just by randomly sponging on the paint. I really love the way it looks - like the black soot I was imagining.

paint detail of Vintage Potion and Spell Jars | The Shed blog
Extreme close-up, so you can see the paint effect.

Here's another angle so you can see more of the black soot "look" to the jars.

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog
the front...

Vintage Potion and Spell Jars for Halloween | The Shed blog
...and the back

I love the way these jars turned out! And now I'm (finally) ready for Halloween!

How about you?

~Laura

I'm linking up to these great blog parties, below! 
Click on each button and check them out for tons of crafty and DIY inspiration!

         Weekend Bloggy Reading        
 
Glitter, Glue & Paint
           
                     homework

Monday, October 22, 2012

Completing my Halloween Mantel #BalanceRewards

Completing my Halloween Mantel #BalanceRewards #Cbias


Yesterday was a gorgeous Fall day, and after cleaning up from our weekend Oktoberfest party, I decided to finish my Fall decorating. I needed a few things to complete my Halloween-themed mantel, and decided that I wanted some fun candle holders to balance everything out. I decided to check out Walgreens for Halloween ideas.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Oktoberfest Party



This Saturday - um....yes, that's tomorrow already! - is our 2nd annual Oktoberfest party for our neighborhood! We have an amazing neighborhood of close families and friends, and our Oktoberfest is a chance for us to host everyone plus say thanks for their hospitality (at their own parties and neighborhood events that we've enjoyed throughout the year) too.

Last year we lucked out with sunny weather which made it easy to decorate and set up a few days ahead of time. This year? Well... today it is raining. And it isn't expected to completely end until tonight. My husband and I have been planning like crazy, so that we can whip everything together tomorrow morning before the party begins since today is a washout. Hopefully our backyard will not be squishy wet from the rain. If that happens, we will hold the party in our front yard instead. (I'm rooting for the backyard and hope the weather gods hear me!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Easy Glow-in-the-Dark Bat Mobile

Easy Glow in the Dark Bat Mobile from The Shed blog #ilovetocraft


Awhile back, I sent out a tweet asking if Halloween could be pretty. I already knew the answer - Halloween can be whatever you want it to be. For some it is goth and vampires, for others it's zombie time, and there's always the creepy crawlies too. Usually I like black cats and the usual colors of orange and black. But this season, I've been decorating in a combination of teal and orange for Halloween. Imagine my excitement when I received this package of Tulip Glow in the Dark Dimensional Fabric Paints from iLoveToCreate!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Books I love to read

Books I love to read - The Shed blog

I love to read. This love of reading definitely began when I was a little girl and my parents would read stories to my sisters and I. We listened to stories that were classic tales read to us, and we listened to adventures made up by our parents. Once I was old enough to read, books were some of my favorite gifts to receive. Yes, I played with dolls, yes I threw a football back and forth with my dad, but books were always there to provide adventure, fun, learning and discovery. Some of my favorite books I remember reading – and loving – as a child: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham; Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry; and Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures, Book Review and Giveaway courtesy of Lark Crafts

Book Giveaway: Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures by John Murphy


This is a review of the craft book Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures - Evolutions, Mutations, and Other Creations, by John Murphy, published by Lark Crafts as part of their Crafts/Sewing category. I love the title, as it sounds like a campy movie title. And that would be one movie I'd love to see: a bunch of adorable sock creatures taking over the world. Somehow I think the world would be a better place if there were more sock creatures in it.

But I digress.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Busy with Bubble Magnets!

Gray and Black Floral Magnets, acrylic bubble magnets, by PetScribbles on Etsy
Gray and Black Floral Magnets, Set of 6, Retro Vintage Style | © Pet Scribbles LLC

All of us, in many different ways and for many different reasons, are now into the full swing of the busy Autumn season. And October seems to already be completely filled up schedule-wise. My husband and I are busily planning to hold our second annual Oktoberfest party for the neighborhood in less than two weeks. The day after our Oktoberfest will be our 6th wedding anniversary, and is also the rain date for the Oktoberfest.

The Autumn season - usually right around mid-September - is always the signal that people are shopping much more in anticipation for the various holidays that occur between now and January 1st. My Etsy shop stats have shown me that I'm getting a lot more traffic than in the Summertime, and this was true in prior years too. And the special orders are starting to come in, from those savvy planners who want a custom made gift for someone special. (I wish I was a savvy planner like that too, but I always seem to be doing at least some of my gift shopping at the last minute every year.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fireworks Goldenrod: Light up your late-Summer, early-Fall garden!

Fireworks Goldenrod - The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles
Fireworks Goldenrod in our patio bed, October 2012

The title says it all, so I'll get straight to the point: if you want an easy way to light up your late-Summer, early-Fall gardens, then plant some Fireworks Goldenrod! Plant it once, enjoy it for years to come. No fuss, no muss! And no matter how much the sun beats down on it, or how much heavy rain falls, Fireworks Goldenrod remains upright - so no mess either!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Whole Made: Maybe I didn't get the words wrong afterall...

Whole Made: Maybe I didn't get the words wrong afterall... from The Shed, a blog by Pet Scribbles
Ornamental grass, November 24, 2011, in our backyard...

Do you see my "About Me" section in the sidebar to the right? I came up with that years ago well before I started this blog, and so I have somewhat blurred the words into the back of my mind.

Um... Laura, are you OK?

Of course! I'll explain: There are many times when the words we write - whether as bloggers, as artists, or as moms as many of you are - become so routine with us that we don't see them even when they are right in front of us. It isn't that their meaning isn't as true or as heartfelt. It's just that we've seen the words so often that our mind summarizes them for us and then we're off to the next bit of words, or the next image, or the next item on our ever-lengthening To Do lists.

Case in point:

On Monday, after I published my latest Handmade Earrings Addiction post, I went over to my Etsy account to "Convo" [message] each jewelry designer to let them know I had featured them. This also is a routine task, although one I enjoy as it usually results in some enjoyable conversations back and forth with other Etsy folks.

Here's where it gets interesting. One of the many replies I received was from Cyndia of BlackWaterSiren on Etsy. (Cyndia's earrings that I featured are these stunning handmade Skull Pirate earrings.) In just a few sentences, Cyndia snapped me back into the present, where words you've written and seen over and over are not merely blurred into the back of your mind.

Here's part of what Cyndia wrote:

Thank you for choosing my earrings! I am very honored. I've posted the link to your blog on my Facebook page. I was skimming through your About Me part; I don't think you got the words wrong on the whole-made cards, I think that's a lot more accurate of a description of hand-made. We artists use our whole beings to create art with. I think you were very astute, as children often are, and absolutely correct. Out of the mouths of babes, as they say, you said the truth more simply and accurately than most adults could ever admit to. Whole-made = Bravo!
Cheers,
Cyndia

Wow. I just sat there, actually seeing my words again through someone's eyes who read those words for the first time. And I loved her reaction to those words. Very much. So I wrote her back to thank her, because she truly made my day, giving me something to think about and bringing me back into the present. I also asked her if I could share her words here with you, to which she agreed.

And she added this:

Of course, you can put it on your blog. It's great to know that something I said had that much impact. 
It's just that I see so many people, particularly artists (and including myself sometimes), sell themselves short because we have swallowed the introject, the myth, propagated by jealous peers that it's not appropriate to "show off" - when all we are doing is being natural and reveling in our own joy of what we have achieved. Instead, we start to doubt our abilities, believe more in what others think rather than our own wisdom, shroud our light until it is so diminutive it becomes unrecognizable, even to ourselves. 
You'll see how prolific this introject has become by observing how many people say, "I'd love to do that but I'm not at all creative." What bunk. If we all would just stop this social nonsense and start putting ourselves back together again, back to the way we began, we could make ourselves whole again; whole-made.

Wow again. I so love and agree with what Cyndia wrote, that I had to share it here with all of you. I hope her words inspire you like they inspired me.

And I hope you will take a look at something you've written and see it with a new clarity. 

I sure did!

~Laura

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do You Ear What I Ear? My Handmade Earrings Addiction: Halloween!



Earrings for Halloween. Does it make you think of kitschy earrings? Cheap plastic things that you hope won't break before the costume party ends?

Well, think again. The following earrings are Halloween-themed, yes. But you won't find any cheap plastic here. Instead you will find gorgeous handmade earrings, out of metals, glass, original artwork and more.

Wear any of these earrings on Halloween and you won't need a costume. But you will get the most compliments at the party!

Silver Ghost Earrings Silver Wishes Etsy
Handmade Fine Silver Ghost Earrings | Silver Wishes | Brandenburg, Kentucky

Entomology Red Beetle Earrings Jezebel Charms Etsy
Entomology Red Beetle Earrings | Jezebel Charms | Sherborne, England

Halloween Black Raven Earrings For The Cross Jewelry Etsy
Halloween Black Raven Earrings | For The Cross Jewelry | Billings, Montana

Spider Earrings Gold Michelle Chang Jewelry Etsy
Tiny Spider Earrings in 14k Gold with Diamonds | Michelle Chang Jewelry | Los Angeles, California

day of the dead earrings chili crab etsy
Dia De Los Muertos - Day of the Dead Ear Studs | Chili Crab | Wedemark, Lower Saxony, Germany

Black Bat Earrings Sun Tribe Designs Etsy
Black Bat Earrings, Sterling Silver and Bronze Mixed Metal | Sun Tribe Designs | Quitman, Georgia

moon face amber and silver earrings denim and dia jewelry etsy
Sterling Silver Earrings with Hand Carved Amber Moon Faces | Denim and Dia Jewelry | Oliver Springs, Tennessee

Handmade Copper Cat Earrings Copperista Etsy
Copper Cat Earrings | Copperista | Bergen County, New Jersey

Pirate Skull Crossbones Silver Earrings Black Water Siren Etsy
Skull Pirate Sterling Silver Heart Earrings with Black Onyx | Black Water Siren | Sapphire Mountains, Montana

Handmade Pumpkin Lampwork Earrings | Glass River Jewelry | Frederick, Maryland

Still want to see more handmade earrings?  Click on the links below for the previous editions of Do You Ear What I Ear? below:

Denim Blue Earrings - click here

Leather Earrings - click here
Copper Earrings - click here
Spring Earrings - click here

And follow my Handmade Earrings on Etsy Pinterest board for even more stunning designs!

Enjoy!

~Laura


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