It's Almost Halloween

It's almost Halloween! Are you ready? Do have candy for the children that will come by? Costume? Decorated? Well you should be! I have been helping you all month while getting myself prepared for the big night. Here is some last minute inspiration if you need it. And don't forget tonight is the last night to enter for the Bloodlines book giveaway.

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Wicked and Bloodlines Giveaway

Time for another giveaway. Last week I sucked at blogging. To make up for it I will do two giveaways again. So two winners. One will win the book Wicked (Witch and Curse) and the other will win Bloodlines. I would normally do a review of each one, but I'm really running short on time. These are both great books I can tell you that! I'll get synopsis about them from their sites and just fill out the form below to have a chance to win this giveaway! Better hurry!

Holly Cathers's world shatters when her parents are killed in a terrible accident. Wrenched from her home in San Francisco, she is sent to Seattle to live with her relatives, Aunt Marie-Claire and her twin cousins, Amanda and Nicole.
In her new home, Holly's sorrow and grief soon give way to bewilderment at the strange incidents going on around her. Such as how any wish she whispers to her cat seems to come true. Or the way a friend is injured after a freak attack from a vicious falcon. And there's the undeniable, magnetic attraction to a boy Holly barely knows.
Holly, Amanda, and Nicole are about to be launced into a dark legacy of witches, secrets, and alliances, where ancient magics yield dangerous results. The girls will assume their roles in an intergenerational feud beyond their wildest imaginations...and in doing so, will attempt to fulfill their shared destiny.

What I can tell you about this book is that I couldn't wait to read it. I loved the series Vampire Academy. This new series takes a few of the characters from that series and puts them in a story of their own. It's the same world I loved!

Blood doesn't lie...
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

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Guest Post: Design DNA

Today is my birthday! I'm having a few close friends for a Halloween card night for my birthday. I have made lots of goodies and will share them soon. But I have a very special guest blogger today, Corie from Design DNA. She and her family does amazing Halloween decorations! I personally love one of their newest post about their man-eating plants.
I'm Corie from Design DNA and am honored to have been asked to be here by Mankind's Fascination with Self-Expression.
Design DNA is made up of 1 part Big Sister (That’s Me) and 1 part Little Sister (Jaime).  Originally from Ohio, we’ve come from a long line of creative genes!  Grandma and Mom participated in craft shows decade after decade exposing us to all things DIY.  Aunt Merri has been our Halloween Inspiration over the years passing on her passion for creative costumes and creepy crafts. 

I now live in Arizona and Jaime remains in Ohio but that hasn’t stopped our crafting minds.  In addition to Jaime’s 2 beautiful children, her creative passion resides in making people beautiful {she’s a hair stylist} and planning parties.

I’m more of an introvert so the party hosting isn’t where I’m most comfortable – making inexpensive party favors and decorations is what makes me happy.

When our powers unite, think of the things we can accomplish! {Insert evil laugh}

DIY Apothecary Jars

Halloween is my favorite Holiday and I'm very excited to begin planning for my sister's 3rd annual Halloween bash! There is something gratifying about making my own decorations and if I can save money while being creative then what a bonus!

I've seen these specimen/apothecary jars all over the Internet so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

Candy jar and candle stick holder form the Dollar Store

Each specimen jar consists of:

  • A candle stick (Dollar store and Savers)
  • Jar with lid (Dollar store and Savers)
  • Wooden finial (Hobby Lobby) - Chess pieces would work!
  • Wooden base (Hobby Lobby - I only used a base for 3 of the jars)

I primed everything with the exception of the clear jars - then sprayed them with a combination of black matte and black stone spray paint
With a heavy duty glue (I used E6000) adhere all of your pieces together.

"The base bone's connected to the candle stick, the candle stick's connected to the clear jar, the clear jar's connected to the lid, the lid's connected to the finial....."

  • The labels are from the Martha Stewart Collection at Michael's
  • The body parts are from the Dollar Store


This Halloween craft I found in Disney's Family Fun Halloween Edition 2011. It a pretty easy project that you can get some of the kids involved in. Also I only spent $1 on each of them, because I already had the other things (black construction paper, hole punch, modge podge, black paint). More than likely you do too.

I got these glass containers at the Dollar Tree. So $1 for each one you want to do. I got different sizes and shapes to see which would work better.

 You want to take black construction paper and tear strips, then small squares from them. Using a hole punch, punch two holes in each square.

Take the Mod Podge and a brush to adhere these squares to these glass containers. You want them to overlap, but do not cover the holes you punched out.

I found that it was easier to adhere these squares to the square container and the tall cylinder. The round ball shape can work, it just takes a little more work and time..

Once dry, take a small brush and dab small black dots in each hole to make them appear as eyes.

I added the tall one next to my BOO letters and added a candle inside. I found the short ones better because the light from the candle was able to go through the eyes more. But I am very happy how this project went.

Nightmare Before Christmas Giveaway Winners!

I was a very tired and sleepy weekend. I started many Halloween projects I will be posting this week, but didn't finish any. I want to blame my new medicine is just making me too sleepy to do it. Also too sleepy to get on her and blog. Today I planned on showing you a project, announcing the next giveaway, and of course announcing the giveaway winners. Well I will do one out of the three! I hope to announce the next giveaway tomorrow night, so make sure you come back then.

But who won the Nightmare Before Christmas mixed media pieces?

The winner of the Sally piece is...... Ginny!

The winner of the Jack and Sally piece is...... Melissa!

If you can email me your addresses so I can send you your new art. I'll try to message you tomorrow when my body hopefully wakes up.
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Skeletal Assemblage

Well in the September/October 2010 of Cloth Paper Scissors I saw these amazing skeletal assemblages. Last year for some reason I never saw small skeletal heads needed to do it, so I never did this last year. This year I see them everywhere and grabbed several bags of them.

Well I went to Goodwill looking for an old wedding topper or some other doll that had the same proportions of the skeletal heads. Well good ole Barbie was there for me. Barbie did have her head when I bought her, but I got so excited I ripped it off before I thought about pictures.

I hot glue the head on. I would also suggest using E-6000, I just didn't have any at the time.

Sorry there are no censor bars. Barbie doesn't have clothes.

I then attach her to a base with hot glue, a random finished piece of wood I found also at Goodwill.

I took left over scarps of foam board from the "BOO" letter to make tombstones. And hot glued them as well to the wood.

I wanted the skeleton to appear coming out of the ground in a graveyard. So I had to build up a dirt mound on her and also in front of the other tombstones. I used wall plaster/caulk to do this. I also applied it to the skeleton and tombstones to give them a rougher texture.

Next is painting once you let it dry. I had to wait a few days since the wall plaster was so think. I wanted to paint the under layers and build up the paint until I was happy with the look.

I am so happy with the finished piece. Best part is you can make so many versions of this project. Each doll you find will inspire something different.

Pin-Up Girls

I was looking for Halloween pictures and I found all these sexy women Halloween photos. I couldn't believe how many there was. Granted I like the concept of the pictures a lot. Yes I called them pin up girls and sexy but it is done in a very conservative way. Sexy can be done without being provocative.

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Back in September I saw the cutest Halloween letters done over at eighteen25. I thought, those look simple but so nice looking, I can do that. I held off on making decorations until I knew I had a place to call it's home. After getting out our fall decorations, I found the place.
I went to my work to check out the letters we had that could fit the bill. The ones we had was about $3-4 a piece that was large enough (not really made to cover up). Then the ones like Jen had in her blog post we had, but they were too small. I wasn't that happy with the letter choices, also I'm kinda broke. I had to take a cheaper route.

I got a large piece of black foam board.... $6?! Yeah I wouldn't have gotten it if it wasn't for my coupon. Now the extra work to my project, hand drawing out the letters and cutting them out.

I forgot how hard it was to cut foam board. I had a project in my 3D Design class where we had to make a dog sculpture out of foam board. That was easier since most of the cuts was straight not so curved. Here is a picture of that project. Yeah, that was hours and hours of work.

It is also hard to cut these letters out since our craft room looks like this. Not much room to move around.

Once the letters are cut out then you can do the same as Jen. Wrap the letters with yarn. I chose to do mine as candy corn letters. We have the warm colors in our color palette at our house. So I did one white, orange, and yellow.

It now adorns on top of the dresser in the kitchen. I spent maybe $5 on it. I already had the white and yellow yarn. All I had to do was purchase the foam board and orange yarn. I was able to do one letter a night while watching tv. It's very time consuming but not hard at all. Just sit down with a movie or a night worth of DVR shows and just get to it.