October 26, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: A Lucky Halloween Greeting

Contrary to popular belief, black cats have not always meant bad luck or been associated with witches. In fact, the oldest traditions have black cats as bringers of good luck and white cats being the creepy ones. Having known several white cats, I can see where that one comes from! A white cat can look so unearthly sometimes. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that this Victorian greeting from The Graphics Fairy refers to black cats as being lucky.

Halloween Greeting

Wouldn't it be fun to print it out and send it as a card to all of your friends for Halloween? If you mail it soon, it should get there in time!

October 25, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Free Stuff from Neil Gaiman!

Neil Gaiman is probably the most interesting author out there these days. Not only can he write better than anyone else living (that I know of anyway), but he lives a fascinating life and is kind enough to share it with his fans. For instance, did you know he is a beekeeper? I love his accessibility and openness to fans' suggestions.
Mr. Gaiman also does a lot of work for charity. In this case, everybody wins! If you download his short story "Click-Clack the Rattlebag" from Audible, you get a free story, and Donors Choose gets $1.

Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman

Best of all, it's read by Neil Gaiman himself! If you have listened to his other recordings, you know what a treat you are in for. If not, now is a great time to find out!

I hate to sound like a commercial, but this is a limited-time offer, so hurry up and download! You'll be glad you did. Just a note though--this story is probably not appropriate for children. Just because a writer pens children's books doesn't mean all of their work is for children--most of Gaiman's most emphatically is not! End of fine print :)

Countdown to Halloween: Still no Costume?

Sadly, I fall into this category. I still don't know what I'm going to be for Halloween or what The Precious will be. I'm leaning towards Bellatrix Lestrange for me and a yard gnome for her but am not sure yet.

Anyway, Ecouterre has some great ideas in case you need a costume and can't come up with anything. Best of all, these shouldn't cost you much and you will probably already have most of the components in your house!

7 Last Minute Halloween Costumes Lurking Inside Your Closet

My favourite is the Brawny Man. The only downside: it doesn't really work as a costume for us women.

October 24, 2012

Just Hit it Already!

I got such a kick out of this blog post my husband did about "percussive maintenance," i.e. hitting something to make it work. I myself have experienced the seemingly magical effects of percussive maintenance but never knew that this age-old technique had a word, or that NASA uses it! Click the link below to read more.

Boom Shaka Laka

Card Fail

I decided that since I managed to make a nice card, I should go ahead and reshare my card fail from last year. Back then I was trying to run a blog called Le Bonne Vie Rurale but somehow the tone was more than I could handle. So anyway, here is the post.

"Today is my daddy's birthday, and since we couldn't afford to get him a gift this year I wanted to at least make him a nice card. The problem is, I'm pretty new to card making. I was going for something masculine yet nice-looking, and I think I did succeed at that. I know this is very simple, but for me, it is a great triumph. Except for one part...see if you can spot it.

Yup, I got red ink on my fingers and it smudged on the front of the card! To top it off, I sealed up the card in the envelope before realizing that I'd taken a horrible photo of it--it looked fine in the preview. When I went to give it to him, I found that the acid-free glue stick I had used had not been strong enough to adhere the paper permanently, and the card began falling apart!
Craft Fail, anyone?"

I have learned a lot since then but am still working on finding the ultimate adhesive for cardmaking. Any suggestions?

October 23, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Eerie Skull Wine Glass Candle

Vicki O'Dell has truly come up with a winner here! She has also given me a great idea as to what on earth to do with the glass etching medium I have had sitting around for ages. I would love to make a set of these to actually use as wine glasses and enjoy the creeped-out looks of my guests. Muahahahaha!

Eteched Wine Glass with Gel Candle

A Belated Birthday Card

I thought my friend/former boss Liz's birthday was the 26th and of course it was the 16th. Oops. I decided to go ahead and make a birthday card for her anyway.

I covered the card in pretty paper and then I got out my rubber stamps. I have been dying to use this mouse birthday stamp on a card for her for ages!

I had planned to use my new stamp markers from Hobby Lobby--an amazing buy at only $2.99--to colour the little mouse and his cupcake.

Sadly, only a few of the colours worked, proving that you get what you pay for, if that. Buyer beware! So I ended up using a regular old acid-free dye ink pad instead.

I think it turned out cute, non? But of course I just had to use a few more stamps--they're so much fun. So I added a "made by" stamped rectangle to the back.

And because I was completely stamp-happy by now I decided to decorate the envelope with one too! The last two stamps were from the dollar bins at Michaels, by the way, proving that sometimes there is surprising value for money. Yes, I'm glaring at you, Hobby Lobby!

I think Liz will like it, even if it is late. Now all I have to do is take it to her tomorrow :) And see if I can get the ink off of my fingers...

October 22, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Decor Inspired by Macbeth

It is no secret that I love Shakespeare, and everyone who knows me well will probably be able to tell you that it is one of my great ambitions to someday play the role of Lady Macbeth (reading the part aloud in high school English class does NOT count!). In fact, Macbeth is my favourite of Shakespeare's plays, and I have probably read it more times than any of the others. So of course when I stumbled across this tutorial from The Country Chic Cottage, I had to pass it on.

Macbeth Halloween Decor

How could you do better for Halloween than to decorate with the famous spell from the opening? "Double double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble!" Okay, if I can't be Lady Macbeth, I guess I might settle for one of the witches.

October 21, 2012

Nerdy Quote of the Week

“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin

Ooh, I love this one! It actually was the quote of the day at Goodreads and I thought it was perfect to share here. What do you think? Is this one true or not?

Countdown to Halloween: A Ghoul's Best Friend

Because I love Halloween so much, I decided to do a Halloween blog post for every day of October. However, my love of spookiness will not end on November first! Luckily, I have just discovered an interesting blog to follow: Sweet and Twisted Thoughts of Sara, A Ghoul's Best Friend.

A Ghoul's Best Friend

Sara interviews artists who like to keep things creepy year-round, and features movie reviews for horror movies (nope, I probably won't be watching any of them! I may love Halloween but I am very squeamish when fake gore is involved!) as well as a link to her Etsy shop. Right now I'm getting a kick out of her interview with an artist who makes zombie cake toppers, and I'm not even into zombies!