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That's Scary, Baby!

 I saw this incredibly CREEPY idea at the Roger's Gardens 'Night Gallery' Halloween House...
another stellar and original visual effect created by the RG visual team!

It's simply baby doll heads, painted in ghostly gray tones,
swathed in gauze or netting, 
and then plopped into glass canister jars.

Displayed en masse on dark shelves, they create a 'library' of ghoulish frights:
You could even use tiny doll heads in baby food jars, for a miniature version!


One LAST Sneak Peek!

 I was very surprised to learn that my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins 
have been published in the November issue of Romantic Homes Magazine!

[and no, that red oval announcing my pumpkins' inclusion is NOT on the actual cover!]
I'd like to offer my gratitude to writer Beth Livesay and photographer Susan Frick,
for including my lil' product in this issue.

Now, on to
 that super dooper sneak peek   of my BRAND NEW PRODUCT for the Holiday season
that I promised to share with you today!

 I am thrilled to share these new creations with you...
They were inspired by my pumpkins
and some Christmas decor that my daughter Bethany and I made together [SEVEN years ago]
and a few nudges from my mom... she kept suggesting this idea, and I repeatedly balked at it.
"I don't want to be a one-hit wonder and just make things from SWEATERS!"
was my constant argument.
I finally (wisely) got to the point where I realized
"Oh, for Heaven's Sake, Deb... when life hands you sweaters, USE THEM! "

... and I did:
Made with vintage and vintage-inspired components,
 these Original Sweet Sweater Snowmen will warm up any room...
I'll have all of the snowmen, women, and babies shown PLUS a few MORE
[ some are tiny, some are HUGE, and they are all one of a kind! ] 


Wicked Easy Chandelier

I love great decorating ideas.
I REALLY love huge visual impact that comes from SIMPLE, easy methods...

I saw this idea at the Roger's Gardens 'Night Gallery' Halloween House displays,
and it perfectly fits my 'Fast, Cheap and Easy' TM decorating mantra.
 Take your shabby chic decor into the realm of the undead with one simple move:
drape lengths of netting from your crystal chandelier!

Buy this inexpensive yardage and then cut it into long strips @ 18 inches wide,
so that it will puddle on the floor way down below the chandelier.
You can use black, as shown here, for a ghoulish effect,
OR use white for a ghostly effect.
[ TIP: IKEA sells 90" long white netting curtain panels 
in sets of two for $5! CHEAP!]

If you added flickering bulbs to the chandelier, it would be even more wicked
over your dining table, in your entry, in the powder room, or even outside in your garden...

Either way, it's a sure-fire trick to get BIG effects without spending big bucks... which is always a treat!
View more of the AMAZING visual effects and displays on the Roger's Gardens blog


Tutorial: Pumpkin Pails!

 Today, I'm re-visiting a seasonal craft that I created nearly 20 years ago!  

Waaaaaay back in 1994, I painted some tin cans with jack o'lantern faces,
then added wire handles to make them into fun little pumpkin pails to sell at street fairs.
And because I had an endless supply of cans from a restaurant owner, I kept coming up with ideas....
I ended up creating all kinds of cute little 'painted pails' for every season FOR YEARS!
[ I might share some of the others in  upcoming seasons, we'll see ;) ]

Recently, I found a photo of that street fair booth (above)
and decided to make a NEW version of this craft so that I could share a tutorial with you!

This is an easy craft project that makes use of an everyday item,
is a perfect teacher's gift, and.... it's a timeless idea!
Painted Pumpkin Pail Tutorial

tin cans - any size, clean, dry, and with one end removed.
white spray paint (satin or gloss)
clear spray paint (any finish)
craft paints in orange, yellow, white, and brown
various sized artist's paint brushes
water to clean brushes
an old fashioned bottle opener (has a pointed end)
a screwdriver with a long shank
 thin baling wire

Project Time:
@ 30 minutes
+ can be made in multiples at once
 1. Sit the tin can in a protected area for spray painting with the can bottom facing up.
2. It's easy to place two boxes together as shown to create a draft-free mini spray booth.
3. Spray one side of the can with the white paint. let dry for ten minutes,
turn can around, and spray the other side.

You may, at this point, choose to spray the can with a second coat of paint - in ORANGE.
This will enable you to skip step 5 below.
 4. Take the can, now dry, out of the paint box and move it to a table work area.
 5. Paint the can with the orange craft paint, using a large, flat brush.
[ art class #101: acrylic paints work best with synthetic brushes ]

6. Use a smaller flat brush and white paint to paint a jack o' lantern face on one side of the can.
Use two thin coats of white paint for best effect.

7. Clean that brush in water, and use it again with the yellow paint to fill in all of the white areas. 
Use two coats for best effect and brightest color.
 8. You can leave the face as-is, or add more detail using a small brush and paint mixed into more colors...
Shown here, there is a peachy-orange color pumpkin 'flesh' detail,
with a dark edge on the 'inside' and a white highlight on the 'outside', 
to make it look more like a carved pumpkin.

9. When the details are dry, put the can back into the spray box,
and spray it with clear sealer on both sides.

10. After the sealer is dry, remove the can from the spray box and go back to the table.
Place the can with the painted face toward you, and lay the 'old fashioned bottle opener' across the can. 
 11. Using the bottle opener's pointed end, poke a hole in the side of the can from the outside.

12. Reposition the bottle opener to the inside of the can,
 and press the triangle of cut tin up and toward the rim of the can.

13. Continue pressing the point of the tin triangle until it curls under into itself,
presses up against the inside edge of the can, and the point is no longer visible.

14. Repeat on other side of can.

You can also use a drill to put two small holes into the sides of the can.
 15. Cut a length of baling wire @ 18" long. BEND (not fold) it into a large loop, 
and thread each end of the wire through the holes on the sides of the can. 

16. Bend the end of the wire up and around the loop on each side, as tightly as you can to secure.

17. Wrap each end wire tightly around the screwdriver shank to create a corkscrew curl.
slide the curl off of the shank, and bend into position. Repeat on other side.
When complete, your Painted Pumpkin Pail will look like the lil' guy on the left above!
Add a ribbon and fill him up with candy, treats, a plant, a candle, 
or even a Sweet Sweater Pumpkin!


JOYful Home & Life

I am a woman of faith.
I don't bring much of that onto this blog,
but I am a girl who grew up singing at church, and later worked with youth groups and womens ministries.
And I can say with all honesty that I have come to where I am in life only because
I am absolutely certain that God loves me,
 and that my relationship with Him is my balance point in life.

I have been praying for an opportunity to contribute to a faith-based publication,
and a few months ago, an opportunity came right to my [digital] doorstep!
[ I just love it when that happens...]

Today, the new JOYful Home & Life website launches,
featuring a marvelously gifted group of writers, bloggers, and photographers
each sharing wonderfully inspiring and educational ideas - with a focus on faith. 
With content covering the subjects of home decor, entertaining, DIY, crafts,
recipes, holidays, organizing, family life, and even organic foods,
it's a wonderful new community and resource for families.

I am honored to be a regular contributor to this new site, 
and will be sharing simple seasonal decor and DIY ideas on the first of every month.
[maybe more in the future... but for right now, that's what I can handle!]

I invite you to visit JOYful Home & Life today!
You can also find additional content on Facebook and Twitter


Creating Vintage Charm Autumn!

The Autumn 2013 Issue of Creating Vintage Charm Magazine is here!

I am honored to be a regular contributor to this lovely publication, 
produced by a gracious and creative spirit, Sonia Cardona Crouse.
There is beautiful inspiration in each seasonal issue,
with ideas and projects from many incredibly talented designers, decorators, and photographers
... and autumn is packed FULL!
My contribution this season is a soft, warm, natural-themed tablescape,
perfect for any autumn day - and especially Thanksgiving.
[and yes, that's a peek of one of my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins from the issue!]
I'll share more images of my story after the magazine has been out for awhile...
for now, here's a beautiful slideshow preview of this issue that Sonia put together:
 visit the Creating Vintage Charm facebook page!