Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Stewart House of Haunts

Welcome, foolish mortals!  I'm here to give you a peek into our haunted house, and hopefully share some thrifty tips for making your house boo-tiful this time of year!  This door sign I crafted digitally using Haunted by My Mind's Eye, and mounting it with Mod Podge on a wooden sign painted black I found at a local craft store.

The mantle - a picture of last year's Halloween costumes, spooky lighted garland and candles, and a newly-made "Boo" sign out of vinyl lettering, backless frames and Halloween scrapbook paper. Oh, and some spiderweb fabric draped over the mirror.

I fell in love with the Halloween countdown calendar from Pottery Barn last year and wanted to re-create it for cheap. It definitely turned out to be a labor of love, but the kids love it and so do I!

I loved House of Smiths' Halloween candy jars this year, so I did my own version!


I added some Lizard Tongues...

and Witch Warts, which have been suspiciously disappearing...

Almost all of my lamps have been draped in spooky spiderweb fabric.  I love the effect.

I made some more Halloween pillows this year...I couldn't pass up Targets cute placemats & tablecloths, so I butchered them and made covers for my pillows, and table runners for my piano and dining table!

I fashioned some deadly black flowers out of fabric and attached them to the pillow cover.

Gotta love the dollar store black crows - here's one perched in my fall foliage. 
You also gotta love the dollar store pumpkins...I spray painted mine off white and hot glued a fun ribbon around it.

Every year we have what we call "Halloweekend" with my parents and sister's family in early October.  The girls do a Halloween craft as part of the's what we came up with this year, inspired by Li'l Luna.

I change these frames above my cupboards is more of Haunted by My Mind's Eye.

A shot of the dining room...runner made from Target tablecloth, black cake plate made from a black bowl and plate, dollar store pumpkin & moss, and Target creepy bird and tree decal.  The magnetic chalkboard I made from a large piece of galvanized sheet metal (found at Home Depot), chalkboard paint, and framed out with decorative foam molding from Lowe's that I spray painted with Heirloom White by Rustoleum. 

Bo-Bo Bones guarding our home office! We made him a few years ago out of paper plates!  

Simple Pumpkin topiaries, and my old autumn wreath made over by wrapping a cheap autumn garland around the old one! The bats for the bat cave were created with stiffened black felt, but you could use black cardstock as well! Here is the template.

I used a chandelier decal from Target and a black cat silhouette from Martha Stewart to create this spooky scene.

Thanks for visiting the Stewart House of Haunts!  Until next year!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kids' Halloween Dish Towel Aprons

These are so easy to make, you just might want to make one for every holiday!  To make one, you will need:

1 new Halloween dish towel (I would avoid the terrycloth kind)
2 yards of coordinating ribbon
coordinating thread (plus needle or sewing machine)
*if you want to add embellishments, try rick rack, felt to cut into ghost, bat, spider shapes.

1.  Lay out your dish towel and establish the "top" of the apron.
2.  Make a template of a right triangle (I used cardstock) that is approx. 3"x9".
3.  Place the triangle upside down (3" at the top, 9" at the side) lined up with one of the top corners of the apron.
4. If you trust yourself, cut the towel along the diagonal line of the triangle while holding the template in place.  If not, trace the line lightly and then cut.
5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the opposite top side of the apron.
6.  Fold the cut edges over 1/4" and press with an iron.  With your sewing machine (or a needle and thread), sew along the folded edges.  I used a zig zag stitch to prevent fray, but you could use a simple straight stitch.
7.  Cut your ribbon into 4 18" pieces. 
8.  Sew one ribbon to each of the top corners of the apron.  Sew the other two to the middle sides (the other end of your newly sewn seam).
9.  To prevent fray on the exposed ends of the ribbon, take a match or lighter and GENTLY hold the ribbon above the flame until it melts it and seals it.
10.  Embellish as desired!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Attention Fabric Lovers...

Oh, danger.   DANGER!!!  Oh, the danger of reading other creative people's blogs.  Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy has just introduced her readers to Hawthorne Threads - an online fabric (and more!) shop that has taken my breath away with its darling factor.  Oh!  I am so in love.

I won't bother to re-invent the wheel but instead will send you over to Lindsey herself to sell you on why the shop is so great.  It's worth a look.

One thing she doesn't mention, however, is their incredible selection of patterns.  Amy Butler, why oh why must you tempt me with your darling patterns?  Now I have to learn to sew FOR REAL!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review: The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

This was a great book.  I love all books set in the Depression era.  It makes me want to do my dishes by hand.  This particular book also made me want to take up quilting's been a while.  It was entertaining and kept me guessing until the very end.  If you're looking for that boost of charity that makes you want to serve others, pick it up.  You'll feel sisterly in no time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Evolution of a Craft Room: Part One

I'm cheating on my kitchen.  Seriously, I was in there yesterday to make dinner and had to say to it, "Hello, old friend!  I've missed you!"  The other lover?  My new craft room.  Or office.  Or croffice, as we have been calling it. 

We have been madly involved with making our former guest room into a real, live, place for the lady.  Our former "croffice" is now the new guest room, and both spaces are so much happier now.  I debated about whether or not to wait on posting and make it a "big reveal," but in reality I'm too excited about the little changes happening to be patient.

Weekend One:  I wish I had done a better job of taking "before" pictures, but here is the one I do have of the room, just before we Peter painted:

Just imagine a treadmill stuffed in there, a table with a t.v. and LOTS of crafting supplies piled on the bed.  That's how you would catch this room on any day of the week.  We sold the treadmill & t.v. on craigslist, tried five different "tiffany blue" patches on the wall, and came up with this:

EXACTLY the color I was looking for - Benjamin Moore's "Waterfall."  I didn't have a Tiffany's box to compare, but if my memory serves me correct, it's a perfect match. 

Weekend Two:  Find & install my girlie chandelier.  I found it at Home Depot and it had everything I was looking for - a white antique finish, crystals, and the ability to hold 60 watt bulbs.  I think every lady needs one of these somewhere in her home - especially if she does not have girls!

Peter painstakingly made my dream of crown molding come true.  I wanted something simple, and this was perfect.  And we learned that we need to invest in an electric miter saw for any future projects :).

I found these faux red tulips on clearance at Wal-Mart yesterday and knew they belonged in here.  My overall color scheme will be the Tiffany Blue with black, white, and red accents.  This purchase confirmed my vision of splashes of red!

Peter also put shelves up in the closet - but I'll post pictures on that when I am done organizing...and oh yes, it will involve me getting mean with a clearanced-out label maker I found at Target!

Friday, February 26, 2010

One Moment in Time

Today is the day!  We are so excited to have our first quarterly activity this year in Primary - the Primary Olympics!  Our themes is "Go For the Gold."  I have been a part of this before in other presidencies and it is always a favorite.  With events like "Who's on the Lord's Side" Ice Hockey, "Good Samaritan" Bobsled Racing (using sleeping bags on the gym floor) and "Lengthen Your Stride" Figure Skating (using washcloths), not to mention the "Word of Wisdom" Smoothie Bar, how can it go wrong?  We're stoked.  

Our awards ceremony promises each Olympic athlete one of these gold medals made from cookies. 
We all know that "real gold = sugar" for Primary children.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Primary Funny

Today I had sharing time in Primary (the organization for the children of my church).  I shared a story about a time when I was moving to a new place to go to college and how lonely I felt not knowing anyone.  I let them know that I knew in that sad time that I could pray to Heavenly Father, and that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, that He would know how I was feeling and would comfort me.  I testifed of how I did feel comforted after praying one particular time over my loneliness, and how it helped me to know that Christ's atonement was real.  There was silence in the room after my remarks, and all eyes were on me.  Then, slowly, a 9-year-old boy raised his hand and asked:

"Were there telephones way back then?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiffany Blue

My taste is evolving on the craft room decor.  Actually, I would say it is revolving.  Last night I got a replica paint sample of "At Sea" by Benjamin Moore (the color in the Country Living office I featured a few days ago), painted, and decided that yes, it is too light.  I want more pop.  So I am re-volving back to my original color choice, Tiffany Blue.  I want a craft room that makes you feel like you walked right into a Tiffany's Box.  I am inspired by the color in photos like these: 

Most photos found at House of Turquoise.  What a pretty blog. 
Back to Home Depot I go for more paint samples!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

Don't worry, no spoilers here. 

Here is my honest take on the book that took up too much of my time...

Gripe #1: Too much detail in the bedroom scenes. Enough said on that one.

Gripe #2: Too much swearing. And words used in ways that are derogatory to my senses.

Gripe #3: Lack of character development. From the author’s description, I had a hard time feeling that either of them loved each other for more than their lusty impulses, especially the last half of the book. I found an emotional flatline in the text.

Gripe #4: Too lengthy/too wordy. Not enough meat to merit the number of pages.

The One Merit: Because I have a great relationship with my husband & children, I was genuinely able to connect with the feelings they might have had for one another through their various trials & tribulations. The tears I shed over this book came in no way from the author’s depiction of Clare & Henry’s relationship, but rather through my own imagination of me & my husband going through it. So I guess the merit comes from the fact that my emotions were actually stirred by this book. But then again, if you stay up until 6 a.m. to finish it like I did, wouldn’t you be crying out of sheer exhaustion at the end anyway?

On a side note, do any of my fellow readers know of a book rating site that rates the levels of sex, drugs, profanity, etc.?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valance a la Tablecloth

The other find from my Prosser trip was a tablecloth that ended the long search for a window treatment in the family room.  I had searched high and low for a fabric that suited my taste, but of course, it would have to come in the form of a tablecloth.  Which was actually to my advantage, since some of the hemming was done for me!

I simply chopped it into three equal pieces (adding room for and sewing up half-inch seams where needed), sewed some chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon to each end, tied them up to some decorative knobs, and voila!  Easy peasy, and I even had enough leftover to make a matching pillow for the loveseat.  Love that polyfil.

Visions of a Craft Room Dancing in my Head

Last Saturday my friend and I headed to historic downtown Prosser for some boutiquing (a word?) and antiquing.  It was fun to get away and have girl time.  My goal in shopping was two fold - one was to look for inspiration and/or pieces for making over my craft room/office.  I was browsing with this recent office makeover (made of a closet!) from Country Living in mind:

I love it.  So lady-like.

I found many, many cute things. 
These little birdies caught my eye, however, and I couldn't leave them in the shop:

A promise for spring and a newly-inspired space to craft to my heart's content.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Better late than never in posting, I say.  Last October, some friends and I escaped to Seattle for a "Wicked Weekend".  We had so much fun being silly and chatting and eating and staying up late and sharing secrets.  Of course, I had heard so much about the musical and couldn't wait to see it.  Having seen many musicals over the years and being a fan of musicals in general, I was expecting to like this one as much as the next - oh, but no.  I fell in love.  The kind of love where you want to shout from the rooftops, or even jump on Oprah's couch, to let everyone know how much you loved it.   My love was rekindled yesterday as I drove solo across the mountains to pick up my kids and blasted the soundtrack the whole way.   I'm sure many a driver thought I was a little crazy as they caught a glimpse of me performing my best Elpheba.  But I had the greatest time.  I even snuck a little in on the way back home with the boys.  And now I have two little men running around the house singing about becoming "pop-yoooo-ler.  lar."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Twitterpated with Pink

This has been a crafting-like-a-maniac kind of week for me.  I like to blame it on the fact that I never see pink in my house.  Seriously, I walked into my friend's house the other day, saw pink pillowcases folded with her laundry, and instinctively exclaimed, "Oh, cute Valentine's pillowcases!"  Yeah.  Of course, pink pillowcases are a staple in their home full of daughters.  But for me, pink is a novelty. 

I finished my heart felt wreath and love the way it turned out.  It was definitely a lot of cutting in front of the t.v., but a nice justification for sitting on my rumpus to watch those poor souls suffer on the American Idol auditions.  I still have lots of felt leftover and my b-l-e-s-s-e-d mother is taking my kids away for a few days, so don't be surprised if you see pillows or a table runner pop up on here in the next week...

Another little ditty is this one, an idea I found from Under The Table and Dreaming.  Cute, eh?  And very simple to make.

This one is becoming a trend for me - words spelled in frames.  I couldn't resist when I found these darling white frames on the cheap.  Cut out some white letters, mount with tape on scrapbook paper, and voila.  Instant art, I say. 

And it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a pic of my Valentines, the Three Men.  A dollar store frame, hot glue, and a ribbon.  A lovely ensemble.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Heart Plate Displays

After an unsuccessful search for cute valentine plates for my plate hanger this year, I decided to try & make some on my own.  I found these 10.5 inch plates at the dollar store, bought some acrylic paints in the colors I liked, and went to town.

First I cut a 5 inch heart template and traced around it onto the plate with a dry erase marker.  Then I used Q-tips to make different sized circles inside of the heart.  After the paint had dried, it was a snap to clean off the marker with a damp paper towel.  The best part about this is that I got what I had pictured, but couldn't find, for cheaper than I would've paid for something I didn't like as much!

I tried a perma-glaze product over the brown heart after it had dried, but ended up making a little mess of it (I ignored the fact that my acrylic paint should've been permenamel paint - oh well!)  So, if you are going to do this and glaze it, make sure you use a glaze that is compatible with acrylic paint.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Felt Valentine Topiaries

When I saw this idea on one of my favorite craft blogs, The Idea Room, I knew I had to make it.  Most of what you need you can find at the dollar store.  I'm also planning on doing the felt heart wreath - just waiting for the wreath form in the mail, since they were all sold out at JoAnn's.  For a tutorial, click here.