Bats and Mummies, Oh My!

I’m not a very naturally creative person… I can’t paint, draw or anything traditionally ‘artistic’ however, I am AWESOME at mimicking things.  If I see something, I can usually re-create it. I found these two pins on pinterest here and here and decided they would look pretty good combined! So I picked up a straw wreath form from Michael’s. In hindsight, I probably should have left the plastic wrapping on… this thing is MESSY.


I used a packages of 6 yards of cheesecloth and wrapped it around the wreath form (The cheesecloth comes folded into several layers and I left it folded for this part of the wreath so it would cover the straw color.


Once it was wrapped it completely I twisted the end and cut it off.


I wanted it to be a little rougher around the edges so I took the remaining cheesecloth and pulled it apart, wrapping it around the wreath very loosely and cutting the edges roughly.


Once I had it wrapped up the way I wanted it to be, I took it out to my patio and sprayed some scotch guard on it.  My front porch is covered, but since this would be hanging outside, I wanted it to have a little more protection.


Next up was adding the bats.  I don’t have the patience to cut out 15 bats for my front porch wreath, but I thought I could manage three.  I freehanded a bat on paper and then just traced the paper onto some black felt and cut it out.



Then it was simply a matter of spraying spray adhesive to the back of them and placing them on the wreath. I found some halloween (ish) ribbon to hang around it, and added it to my front door.


Not bad for less than an hour and $10 dollars!



A Halloween Treat

Happy Friday! I love Fridays! I usually have a long list of projects and social events that I have planned for my weekend, and this weekend is no exception.  I’m busy prepping the house for my Halloween Party (see last year‘s and the year before‘s) and I’m very excited about some things in the works for this year! I’m going with a more black and white theme for my table this year and decided to extend that trend with my invitation.  I’ve been loving the chalkboard art that I see on Pinterest and around the blogosphere and decided to get in on the action! I googled around a bit to figure out how to make them and downloaded about 30 fonts (see the bottom of this post I have some listed that I used on these pieces).  I tried to make my own chalkboard background, but ended up finding a better version here for free.  From there I just played around with my newly downloaded fonts until I found something I liked.  And this is what I came up with for the invitation (address and date changed for privacy!)


My mother is excellent at coming up with funny rhyming poems, its just one of her ‘things’, I’m not so great at it, but I was pretty proud of this one! If you can’t read it, it says:

While ghosts and goblins roam the streets

Come feast on some delicious treats

With friends, laughs, and costumes galore

A true Halloween bash we have in store

So don your best duds if you dare

To come and visit MJ’s Lair

The bats are the letter F from font KR Boo Lane– which has some excellent Halloween dingbats (if you aren’t familiar with dingbats, they are little drawings used as a font… kinda like the webdings font that comes standard for Microsoft).

I also have a chalkboard in my kitchen that I usually have a drawing on, and decided this year I would try to create one on the computer that I transfer (haven’t figured out exactly HOW I’m going to do that yet) to my chalkboard. Being the English major that I am, one of my favorite Halloween phrases is a Shakespearean quote: By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.  Its also the title of a Ray Bradbury book that I read in high school and still stands out to me as the most definitive source on light/dark imagery.  But enough of an English lesson for today… here’s my poster:


Most of the fonts I used in the above two pictures can be found on this list (links below) free-halloween-chalkboard-f

1. Haunted Mouse 2. Admiration Pains 3. Lemonade 4. Kings and Queens 5. Burton’s Nightmare 6. Chalkhand Lettering 7. An Unfortunate Event 8. Angelic War


I download almost all of my fonts from or because they are free and safe download sites.  Happy Haunting!


Throwback Friday… Halloween Style

So I’ve shown you here and here how I’ve done Halloween for the last couple of years, but my true love for Halloween really goes back to my childhood. My family does holiday’s up right, and Halloween is no exception.  My mother was a master at costumes and we always had fun home-made costumes (I didn’t even really know stores SOLD costumes until much later in life).  So I thought it would be fun (and torture for my brothers) to take you on a little stroll down memory lane to see some of my favorite Halloween memories of old.  In somewhat of a chronological order:

When you have twins there is only so long that you have to dress them in matching/coordinating outfits until they revolt.  That revolt happened only a few years after this happened:


For those of you who are too young or don’t recognize us (despite our AWESOME yarn wigs) we are Raggedy Ann and Andy.  This wasn’t the only year we utilized these costumes, but I just love the dumbfounded look on both of our faces in this picture.

The next stop on our little trip down memory lane features characters from the ever-present childhood game Cowboys and Indians (and the Karate Kid?).  My older brother is on the right in a costume my mom made out of fake leather.  I’m in an adorable little cowgirl outfit that belonged to family friends (and that family friend had a daughter who sported the same costume last year for Halloween. Thank goodness for recycling… that costume is too good to be worn only once!).  The Karate Kid on the left was an old neighbor of ours who went out haunting with us that year.


Next up features myself playing the role of princess (complete with adorable little red cheeks), my older brother as the fierce looking pirate and my twin brother being super intimidating as the smiling Karate Kid.


For the next year I continue my very girly phase as a fairy princess (apparently I desperately wanted to be some kind of princess).  My twin brother is a Ninja Turtle (Leonardo maybe?) and you gotta love his commitment to the role.  My older brother rounds out the trio as a mummy.


The last two photos are from the same year, but both are such cute pictures I couldn’t pass it up.  My twin brother is recycling the Indian costume from a few years earlier and I’m in an ADORABLE cat costume that my mother made.  I loved that thing… even if it is never cold enough in Texas on Halloween to be sporting such a thick costume, I didn’t care… I loved it.


I’m including the next picture from the same year because it has my favorite Halloween costume that has ever been in my family.  Our foreign exchange student Mizuho drew the King of Spades onto a sheet of poster board for my older brother to wear as a sandwich board for Halloween. I think that costume is A-MAZING.


I hope you are all starting to make preparations for Halloween!! Happy Haunting!