Ok, my hands are killing me, but I wanted this post done before Halloween’s over. Here’s the Cliff Notes version:
Back in September, I covered my sunflowers with old white curtains to protect them from frost. My neighbor thought I was just decorating early for Halloween! Which was a great idea; I’d already tried coloring eyes and mouths with Sharpie but was a failure. I was muttering about the problem when Paul (aka Mr. Wonderful) suggested using fabric. “But it hurts to use scissors!” I whined. Then I remembered the cutting board and rotary cutter I invested in a few years when Cook got a quilt shop (Thanks again, Susan Covey of Cabin Quilting!)
Sewing hurts too, so Paul suggested fabric glue. Woohoo! We were business. I have almost no range of motion in my wrists lately, so he helped position the ghosts, too. One of the best things about making Halloween decorations is that they don’t have to be perfect! Get a kid to help. Or someone with crappy range of motion. It could be therapeutic. 😀
Another Halloween craft project that’s fast, cheap, and easy. Like my sister. Just kidding! Please Pin, Like, Share, or comment this project, or better yet, do it yourself!
A couple of years ago, youngest spawn was unexpectedly at my house for Halloween (it wasn’t my turn), without a costume. My sister came to the rescue and we took a quick trip to the closest store with costumes, 30 miles away. The plus side of shopping for a costume on the last day is that everything was on clearance, which worked great on the low-child-support budget! It felt so cheesy just grabbing something last-second, that I wanted to do something creative to the whole thing.
He chose a creepy werewolf mask and hands set that freaked me out. The clothing part of the costume was pretty cheesy so I got to thinking.
I wanted it to look like he was bursting out of his clothes, so we grabbed some jeans and a white button-down shirt from before the last growth spurt that were ridiculously small on him. Then came the hard part—talking him out of a toy that had similar coloring to the hair on the gloves and mask. No go.
Lucky for him, he has two older sisters, so I was holding out hope that I could find something…some doll or ratty stuffed animal no one would miss. I tore through boxes and totes from the basement to the attic, and the only thing I could find happened to be mine. Remember Beanie Babies? When the bottom dropped out of that market (thank you Ty, for flooding the market and thus reducing demand), Ty Co. created a line called Beanie Kids. They were homely yet cute in a Cabbage Patch kind of way. We ended up stuck with hundreds of the damn things, so I had one of each stuffed in a box in the attic.
When I got out the scissors, he bolted. When his sisters saw the remains they asked, “WTH happened here?”
I TRY to be a good mother, honest I do.
I scalped the dolls and sewed the pieces into holes we tore in his shirt and pants.
And he swears he wasn’t scarred from the experience since he didn’t have to watch me cut off the faces.
Not bad for $10 and an hour of work!
Here are a few other posts you may like: Feel free to Like, Share, and Pin away!!
Dancing in Graveyards
I made a Fairy Cemetery for Halloween this year. It seemed appropriate, considering what a year of loss 2013 has been.
I’ve always liked cemeteries. We grew up close to the Cook (Owens Twp.) Cemetery. Micki, Melissa, and I would meet there on bicycle and ride around the circular drives, marveling at the children’s stones and looking for relatives.
When we got older, Lois and I would take dad’s pickup for an unauthorized joyride, we’d be forced to go to the cemetery’s circular drives (because it was a standard and finding reverse was tricky.)
As an adult, I spent some time mapping, cleaning, photographing and transcribing stones at a few small local cemeteries for a genealogy project.
This year, unfortunately, has been a year of visiting friends and loved ones at Hillside, a beautiful local resting place. And you know what? The closer I get to 40, the more names I recognize on the stones.
This year we lost Karla A., Katherine L., Vanessa C., Cindy P., Mrs. Oles, Rich W., & Dave B., and others in our little town. And though they are not human, the loss of Mr. Stinky Droolface and Mad Bird and The Dollar Barn has been hard, too.
If you or someone you love is grieving a loss (and really, who isn’t??), maybe something here will help:
Delta Rae, Dance in the Graveyards is a song our friends Kris and Dan shared with us. It helped them; it helps us. I hope it helps you, too. Please, please, please watch the video!! “When I die, I don’t wanna rest in peace. I wanna dance in joy. I wanna dance in the graveyards….And while I’m alive, I don’t wanna be alone, mourning the ones who came before, I wanna dance with them some more, let’s dance in the graveyards.”
Bertram’s Blog is about grieving, and I have found the author’s writing to be empowering and soothing.
It also helped me to be able to know that all these fricking FEELINGS will pass. It’s all part of the process. Check out The Five Stages of Grieving. Chop chop. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance will come and go, usually when you don’t expect it.
This week, I started decorating for Halloween. I don’t feel like it. I hurt physically and emotionally, but am trying to do something I would normally do were I not grieving.
So back to my Fairy Cemetery… A year ago, I found this lovely old Planter’s Peanuts cookie jar (it was probably my grandma’s), and decided it would make a lovely terrarium for my Venus fly trap, Audrey Two. This year, I found some Halloween miniatures and added them to the terrarium for Halloween. Fast, cheap, and easy. And it makes me smile,
As usual, thank you for reading. If you found this useful, pass it on. Like, Share, and/or Pin at will.
Ice Candle Tutorial
This is northern Minnesota.
Bitching Bragging about extreme winterness is in our Nordic DNA. When hell freezes over, Minnesota schools will start 2 hours late. There are four seasons in Minnesota: Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter, and Road Construction. The majority of cars and trucks have block heaters, standard. And on and on…
I used to
hate detest abhor dread winter. Winter can be cold, dark, expensive, depressing, and we love to complain about it. However, as part of my ongoing quest for better health, personal growth and general serenity, I have been looking for ways to be more positive. I have come to realize that hating winter does not make it shorter, dreading winter does not prolong its arrival, and preparing for winter internally and externally reduces my stress levels about it. Less stress translates into less physical pain and reduces depression. This may be first-grade stuff to most people, but for me it was a revelation. Winter may never be my favorite season, but I can accept hate it less and find its unique moments of beauty and joy.
You will need:
2 containers of Cool-Whip
2 plastic tumblers
rocks or sand
First, eat the Cool-Whip. If you are from North Dakota, mix it with Jell-O and cottage cheese. If you are in Minnesota, combine it with a can of fruit cocktail and Jell-O to make a “salad”. Wash out the Cool-Whip containers, after licking them mostly clean.
I brought everything outside, having had a VLE (Valuable Learning Experience) while making Ice Gems/Marbles . I centered the rock-filled tumblers in the Cool-Whip containers, then filled them with hot water* from a teapot and added a few drops of food coloring. *I was told that the boiling water would make the ice less cloudy and add cool bubbles, but with a project this small, and my overuse of food coloring, it didn’t seem to matter.
Freezing times vary, depending on climate. These small containers freeze faster than their traditional 5-gallon bucket counterparts. And I can lift these without hurting myself. Once frozen, I tapped the whole works gently and popped the tumbler out.
Tah-dah!! Add the tea light candles for another craft that’s fast, cheap, and easy. 🙂 And hopefully, something to make winter feel a little less…blah.
As usual, if you enjoyed this post, let us know. “Like”, share, or comment. Loveyabye.
PS: This is just another glowing example of how I am working ’round the clock to help Cook Dollar Barn. This is Employee of the Year stuff, if you ask me. Vote for me here. Or send my sister a postcard. Better yet, bring us a plate of Christmas Cookies and tell Lois in person that LAURA ROCKS!
Chicken Wire Ghosts
These ghosts made out of chicken wire were one of my first discoveries on Pinterest. I messed around with chicken wire for the Dancing Ghost Bride, and it was trickier than I thought it would be. They are beautiful, ethereal, and I want to make four of them at least, using real pajarigirls for the forms. I’d love to have the whole backyard filled with non-creepy dead people in foofy dresses.
Finding the original source has been tricky, and this is as close as I’ve gotten:
Thanks to The Candy Corn Chronicles & The Modern Mourner for sharing on Pinterest– I can’t wait to explore these blogs further. 🙂
I also Googled chicken wire ghosts and found another post with two tutorials for making them at www.bedifferentactnormal.com. Thank you!
Eight Great Uses for Plastic Spiders
1. Good Parenting: Encourage spawn to clean their rooms more often by hiding a big one in their bed. Place it close enough to the top layer of detritus so they will see it. She still cusses and hits me when I bring it up. Tears still run down my leg when I remember that day…
2. Being a Good Sister: We TRIED to scare Lois and Bigguy by putting big fake spiders in the camp chairs they borrowed. She names the real-life huge hairy spiders on the Funny Farm…(Charlotte, of course.) I should have known this would flop. If your big sister is a big baby about spiders, try it. Note: This is not just a Halloween trick. More effective other times of the year, actually.
3. Being self-sufficient: Can and eat them.
Not really. Use an old jar, food coloring and plastic spiders to make a fast, cheap, and easy Halloween decoration.
5. Be a good wife. I found this one on Pinterest, too. This lady Delia is messing with her arachnophobic husband. She hot-glued spiders to magnets to show her love.
6. More good parenting: What little girl wouldn’t LOVE spiders all over her head?? We have some really cute spider rings at the Barn.
7. Good Housekeeping: I was doing something else with plastic spiders, and left one on the dryer by mistake. Startled me and the family a few times. Now I kind of keep the top of the dryer cleaned off so the spider shows.
8. Your turn. I’m almost out of ideas, and there are lots of spiders left. Leave a link or a comment with your great idea.
For four billion other great ideas, check out my Pinterest Boards. Most of the ideas are like what we Pajari girls eat: fast, cheap, and easy. And most of the supplies can be found at Cook Dollar Barn!
Dancing Ghost Bride
I loved my wedding dress; it was the marriage that was the problem. So, after one of my daughters wore it to a formal, we decided it would make a great Halloween decoration.
Tomato cages are the best option I’ve found for making ghosts; this time of year I am taking them off all the plants, anyway.
Because I didn’t want her to blow over or away while dancing in the wind, we pounded a few large stakes to hold down the fixture.
Tomato cages have three legs; I used two for her chest and one to hang off the frame.
Another GREAT, fast, cheap and easy idea brought to you by the Pajari Girls 🙂 (pronounced, PIE-ree)!
There was this great idea I saw on Facebook…Cut eyes in toilet paper rolls and put a glow stick inside. Then hide them in the bushes for Halloween. I love the idea, but in northern MN, we have wind, rain, long nights, and usually snow this time of year.
It took a couple of weeks to figure out a way to make them Minnesota-proof , but the project came together with:
1. Driveway reflectors,
2. Gorilla Tape (everybody knows gorillas are stronger than ducks), painter’s tape, or masking tape, and
3. Black spray paint.
First we broke off the metal bugs, then cut desired eye shape from tape and placed it in center of reflector. Three light coats of spray paint later we had heavy-duty creepy eyes for the ditch. (We did this to both sides.) Once they were mostly dry, I peeled off the tape and ta-dah! Creepy eyes that glow every time a car goes by. (Feel free to wait until paint is completely dry if you are a firstborn and have lots of patience.)
There is a rogue asparagus gone wild next to the house, and it’s perfect for hiding the reflectors.
Another GREAT IDEA that’s fast, cheap and easy…brought to you by the Pajari girls. 🙂
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