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Halloween decorating and making your own spell book

I hate scary movies, but I love creepy Halloween decorations. Go figure. 

So every season my son and I dig out the skeletons, skulls, and other creepy-crawlies to liven up the front yard. I really wanted to do something different this year – less cheesy. Less cheap scare, more Fall, with a touch of the hair-raising, in a subtle way. But, it didn’t happen. I had hoped to have a hoard of time and money to shop for new things. Neither happened. So, we went with our usual. 

The only part of the outdoors I am really happy with are the crows. Why? Because the pizza delivery guy told me that this one scared the hell out of him! I don’t blame him. (Have you seen Hitchcok’s The Birds??)
Here’s a couple of the indoor vignettes…

The only real fun I had with decorating for the 31st has been the “mad-scientist lab,” as I like to call it. I saw this idea on Pinterest and more or less just stole it!

To think I bought these apothecary jars for a baby shower I hosted last year! This one now holds my son’s rubber snake!

These lovely cloches were scored at Great Gatherings during a 75% off sale! I got such a deal on them! And doesn’t the skull look creepy in there!
I found these jar labels online. Gotta love free printables! I can’t remember where I found these. If you Google search images for Halloween printables, you’re bound to find them!
Another snake in a jar, with little mice scampering over things on the table!  I wish I had a realistic looking frog! How can a household with a 7-year old boy not have a fake frog??
My only real project was making this spell book. This was also an idea found online – and easily recreated! Below are the simple steps (so simple you don’t really need steps, but I’ll list them for you all who insist on complete tutorials)!
I bought this big dictionary at a local used bookstore. Only $1.00!! And fortunately for me, it already had a black board cover. Look for a thick book – it doesn’t matter if its old, you can make it look old.
1) Find a big, thick book, with black board cover. If you can’t get a black cover, paint your cover black.
2) I used a wet sponge to moisten all the edges of the pages. Let it dry. 
3) Design two sheets to look like an old spell book. Again, there’s a lot of wording examples on the net. I found both of these “recipes” on the net. I used an old-fashioned gothic style font and designed using Adobe InDesign. I downloaded the free skull and snake images from The Graphics Fairy
4) Next, open to the center of the book. Spray each side with spray-mount glue and stick down your newly designed sheets.
5) Then, I antiqued the page edges and two new sheets with Annie Sloan’s dark wax. I just brushed a small amount on with a paint brush and it looks beautifully old!
6) I took my wet sponge again and went over the edges of the pages and started to roll them with my fingers. They dried slightly rolled up and look great!
7) Last, I grabbed an old black ribbon, cut a forked end, and just draped it across the open book, and tucked the other end under the book. I didn’t even attach it, as I don’t expect anyone will be touching this evil-looking thing! (insert bewitching laugh here)
And that’s it – the hardest part was driving 30 minutes to the used book store!
Now that the house is all decked for Halloween, I can’t wait to take it all down and start putting up my Christmas things! Damn, two more weeks until Trick-or-Treat.
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Valentine’s Day Hey Girl Link Up Party

You’ve probably all seen those posts on Pinterest and Facebook with Ryan Gosling – the Hey Girl posters? They look like this…

And one of my fav’s would be this…

Well in honor of Valentine’s Day, several bloggers are hosting a link up party, where you create your own fun Hey Girl images! I’m all over that, because I think my honey is way hotter than Ryan Gosling!
So here we go!

Ahhhh, isn’t hubby just adorable holding baby Saxon? I love this photo – they both warm my heart!

Hee hee, crystal in the gun cabinet! I crack myself up!

Hubby would say this one is blasphemy!

If you don’t hear from me in several days, send help. I may be in deep sh**@% over this picture! (but come on now, he’s way hunkier than Ryan right!!!!)

And I had to include a Hey Girl from the other love of my life…my little dancing machine! And you know what, he would dance every slow song at a wedding with me if I asked.
So there ya have it, my contribution to the Hey Girl link party. Don’t miss the hosts of this party:
Michelle at Decor and the Dog, Chelsea at Two Twenty One, Bliss at Bliss Ranch, Ashley at Domestic Imperfection and Kelly at View Along the Way.
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Why am I blogging about home stuff anyway?

Hi there friends, family and complete-strangers-off-the-street whom I probably begged to start following this blog…I’m at it again, with a new blog about all-things related to beautifying my home. Why? For a couple of reasons really.

First, I’ve done a few things around my house – do-it-yourself type stuff. I’m talking easy things here, no power tools-needed kind of projects. Like the curtains below. They were too short when I got them home. And buying those really long ones were super-expensive. So, I found some pretty fabric and hot glued it to the bottom. Voila! I want to share these easy how-to’s, so my neighbors and friends can try their hands at it (and stop asking me to come do it for them).  Kidding of course!

Reason 2:  I like to write. I studied Professional Writing in college, and still haven’t written a book. Blogging might be as good as it gets.

Reason 3: I like sharing photos of my house. It makes me feel all warm and happy inside when people compliment the things I’ve tried. Like a glass of wine! And I’m addicted to Pinterest, and nothing would make me as giddy as seeing one of my pics end up there. No subtle hints here.

Reason 4: I am trying something new, and this is a good place to document the results (more on that in my next post!)

So there you have it, that’s the gist of why I am blogging about home stuff. I’m certainly no expert. I have no special degrees, certifications or other piece of paper saying I know what I am talking about. I don’t. I just know what I like to look at. On my walls, in the corners, around my windows and on the mantel. And talking about it here is fun! Let’s share the good, the bad, and the “wow – that did not turn out as I hoped!”

I hope you’ll come along, and tell me what ya think! Thanks!