Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Decor Inspiration

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Even as a kid, I loved to spook up the house and scare the trick-or-treaters.  Each year, I try to top the year before - but it's SUCH a challenge to do something new with the same old material.  Here are some clever ideas to spookify and creep up the house without looking cheesy or too campy.

Classic: Skeleton + Pumpkins
New and improved: Decayed Urn + Owl
The idea is GROUPING items together.  Hanging the skeleton is old news, but have it sitting with a pumpkin in his lap = much creepier!  Add some lights (orange or purple) so the display can be seen at night.  Oh, and did you notice those cool candle lights??

I'll always love the classic Jack o'lantern, but these add another level of awesome when carved and painted!  Instead of cutting a hole in the top, cut out the bottom.  Standard carving tools will work great for this.  Paint your stencil and then start carving! But be careful not to carve all the way through.

Mummies!  If done well, mummies can really add that extra scare to your halloween decor.  Don't have a mannequin lying around? No problem.  These were made using T-shaped plywood, muslin, batting, and a foam wig head.  You can purchase the heads at Sally's Beauty Supply for just a few dollars! (Don't worry if your house doesn't look like this one.)
Source: via Kerri on Pinterest

Scrounge your local department stores to find some tossed mannequin legs for this project.  Add some striped pantyhose and black shoes, and you're in business!
Source: via Kerri on Pinterest

Wreaths can let your guests (or victims) know what's in store for them.  Wreath base + cheesecloth (or bandages)!  Add some black ribbon and the skeleton hands.  Be creative and make it your own ;)
Source: via Kerri on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Halloween Decor DIY

Halloween Decor DIY: 
Have any cool Halloween DIY ideas to share? Leave a comment! I'll be sending out some FREE Printables!

1. Halloween Paper Bats: Using 4-6 sheets of construction paper, good scissors, printable bat template (download below), and scotch tape.  Create a "path" for the bats to travel along rather than hanging them randomly.

Halloween Paper Bats

2. Black and White Halloween decor: Group some black spray-painted frames and mirrors and hang. Use a black tray or platter to display mini white pumpkins.  Use white candles on a chic black candleabra.  Spiderwebs over everything to give the extra creepy effect!
Black and White Halloween Decor
3. Creepy Halloween Party Food:  Replace your Jello Brain Mold this year with instant Flan (find it near the jello boxes).  It already has that creamy look, but by adding a few drops of red food color to the caramel sauce, it looks quite bloody!  Take it to the next level by displaying it with a large knife or cleaver.  For the Bread Bones, get a can of french bread dough (e.g. Pillsbury) and divide into pieces with a sharp knife. Roll into finger sized pieces, and cut each end about 1".  Round out the ends and bake in about half the suggested time.  For a "dirty bones" look, sprinkle black sesame seeds on before baking.  Serve with a guacamole!
Halloween Party Food - Brain Flan (or Jello), Bread Bones
4.  Witch's Bottles of Potions - Use old wine bottles, beer bottles, and jars.  Soak in hot water to remove labels.  Use some twine and a little Elmer's Glue to wrap around neck of bottles. Soak a green or yellow highlighter in water for a few hours to overnight, pour into the jars and turn on a black light.
Want some free printable labels? Leave a comment below!

5. Black Light Decor - Get black light paint from a craft store like Michael's, Use a neon posterboard, draw a scene with sharpie, and paint areas with black light paint.  Use an old beat up frame and splatter some of the black light paint on the frame for a 3-dimensional look.
Black light paint & Poster paper in a frame

6. "Black & Cheese" - More party food! You can use homemade or out of the box mac & cheese - creep it up by adding a few drops of black food coloring to the milk and cheese at the end.  Looks disgusting, but tastes delicious!
"Black & Cheese" - My version of Haunted Mac & Cheese - just add black food coloring!

Bat Paper Cut-out Template - fits 8x10
Bat Template - Click to enlarge & download

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Halloween at the Percy Manor!

Mr. Percy always gives me "the look" whenever I want to decorate for Halloween... in early September.  But it's one of my #1 favorite days of the year, so I decided I'd wait a few weeks to get him eased in to it.

I went garage sale shopping Saturday, and found some great little Halloween decor finds!  These homemade wooden stakes are so kitschy!  I decided to buy them, and then upcycle them by painting them myself.  We have an owl, a crescent moon, a skull and a bat.  Props to the maker who spent time cutting these out, but didn't do quite as well on the painting skills.

Here is what I did to them:

I haven't finished the crescent moon yet, still sketching.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vintage Goodies on Etsy

You gotta be quick on the draw, because within an hour of posting, these items just sold!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Warm Fresh Bread

Yep, that's butter.

Ok, I know I tend to flip from one thing to another, pretty often.  But nearly everyday, I'm in the kitchen.  Nearly everyday, I'm watching (or listening to) a cooking show.

I've been wanting to tackle making my own bread, completely from scratch.  I've collected recipes on websites and blogs, looked to the pioneer woman for advice.  I have a bit of a bread fear.  I've tackled homemade pasta, pretty successfully, and many other chemistry-based baking, but never bread.

So, I decided to take the first step.  I saw this Krusteaz bread mix in Publix, with the optional Artisan Bread recipe, and I had to get it.  Today, I took the leap! And it was so ridiculously easy, I'm ashamed to even say it was any work at all... mostly babysitting the dough. 

Here it is:

I got the Krusteaz Country White Bread Mix (it comes with the yeast)
I checked out the directions for the Artisan Bread Directions, and it just looked too easy.  It was.

In a large bowl, I added the yeast packet to the mix.

Add 1 1/4 cup Room Temp water (75-85°F)

Mix well by hand with a spoon, it should be sticky and moist.

Now, find something to do for 2 hours.  Like paint something cool, read a magazine, watch TV, do laundry.

Make sure you cover the bowl, and set it in a warm, dry place while you're doing your thing.

It should double in size.  With about 4 tsp of flour sprinkled on the dough, carefully transfer to a pan, cookie sheet or dutch oven.

Now it's time to do something else for about 40 min.  Just let the dough rest uncovered. Heat oven to 450°

20 minutes in the oven, and you get THIS!  Don't burn yourself trying to eat it right out of the oven. NOM NOM.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Halloween Decor and Party Invitations

Check out all the new Halloween items in the Etsy store!  2 brand new hand made crow magnets, and 3 different DIY printable Halloween Party invitations... All equally creepy!

I'm working hard this week on getting more handmade stuff out for Halloween, so keep checking back!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Halloween Crow Magnet!

She's a crow! She's a magnet! She's a Cragnet...?

Brand new handmade item in the Etsy Shop: This is a hand-crafted polymer clay folk-artsy sculpture of a black Halloween Crow. She has an Orange clay button for an eye, and orange ring around her neck, and small orange dots on her wing. She has lots of texture on her wing and body, and the large magnet is attached to her reverse side.

She measures about 4" from beak to tail.

Expect to see more like her!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Witch - a Treasury

Bird Skull on 18" Chain, by mrd64
I love making beautiful treasuries, and this one: The Witch is no exception. I've already started thinking and planning for halloween, as I'm sure a lot of you are, and although the witch is categorically the most popular costume, I thought I'd look around etsy to maybe bring up the style a notch or two.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Super Special End of Summer Discount!

If you're like me - and I'm guessing you are - you LOVE a discount.
I'm a couponer, and I love a good sale.
My shop just hit 50 sales! In honor of my great customers (that's you) and the upcoming end of summer...

Between August 15-26, I'm offering you 
15% OFF
your purchase from Love&Anarchy's Etsy Shop.

But there's a catch. Do these 3 things, and I'll e-mail you the coupon code :)
- Follow Love&Anarchy Blog
- Leave a comment with your e-mail address on this post

It's THAT easy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New on Etsy - Custom Halloween Invitations - Printables

What's so great about Halloween Parties? Everything!

Every year I attempt to out-do last year's party, and it all starts with the invitation.  It can really set the mood, and get people excited to see the decor and costumes.

I create these as printable PDFs so that anyone can print from their home printer, and still have a professionally designed invitation.

Bazaar of the Bizarre - Custom Halloween Party Invitation - Printable PDF $12

Damask - Custom Halloween Party Invitation - Printable PDF - choice of Orange and Black or Green and Black $12

Crow - Custom Halloween Party Invitation - Printable PDF - choice of Sepia or Green $12

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Themed Parties - Rustic Cowboy Baby Shower

My BFF and I love to plan, organize and host themed parties, so when she was about 7 months pregnant, we started planning her Rustic Cowboy themed baby shower. Within a month, we had everything set and ready to show off our labor of love.

Brooke borrowed several "cowboy" items from a friend's collection, I borrowed some boots from my parents and a few saddles from a friend, and the rest - we crafted ourselves.

Her grandmother, husband and I made all of the food, including the hand-cranked curly fries.  Brooke and I mixed up some BBQ dry rub and I packaged them as favors - which turned into the best selling item in my etsy store.  We even set up a photobooth area with a backdrop of baby clothes hung on a line in front of a vintage quilt, and the props included a washboard, cowboy hats, and a hay bale.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Art Show- First Friday Downtown Lakeland Florida + New Paintings

Black Swan Bazaar hosted an Artisan Market (Art Show) for August's First Friday in the streets of downtown Lakeland, along Kentucky Avenue and Bay Street.  Tons of people were out and about for the "Back to School" themed event.  I was posted in my spot on the corner of Kentucky and Bay with a perfect view of the band.

It was hot and muggy, but the excitement was contagious and everyone seemed to be having a blast.

Dia de los Muertos Diablo

Black and White Dia de los Muertos Roses

Dia de los Muertos Skate Deck

Wood and Stone Mosaic

Aqua Muertos

 Yellow Flower Muertos

The Bride

Lime Dia de los Muertos


Handmade mushrooms + Panda Nesting dolls (Panda-Muscles-Skeleton-Guts-Soul)

Jason's handmade arrowheads... my husband beats rocks for fun!
+ Nicolas' handpainted cow skull. (my stepson)

All of the artwork you see here is still for sale.  If you're interested in purchasing a piece, leave a comment! 

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