Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shopping Season Begins

Small Halloween sections are starting to pop up in local stores, and it can only get better!

Online, I was happy to discover that Grandin Road has their Halloween Haven section up now. It's all wishing for me, but I'm going to spend some time here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Autumn & Skully Items in my Shop

I've temporarily opened my Etsy shop and have added a few fall/autumn and skull-print items:

Bag and Pouch Mosaic 2 Fall

If you mention that you came via this blog, I"ll throw in a a little extra something related to the best season there is.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Show and Tell: Zombie Swap

I just mailed off a package for a zombie swap (zombie apocalypse preparedness, to be more precise) and figured I'd show off some of the goodies. I'm 99% certain my partner doesn't read this blog, but even so, I'll use the versions of the pictures that have any identifying info. obscured.

Tote: This is my favorite part. My husband designed the head for me. I added some Heat n' Bond to the back of the black fabric and glued the printout to the peel-off layer (this way, you only cut once), then he did all of the cutting for me (he is far more precise than I am).

After I made the parts of the bag (exterior, interior, pockets and straps), but before I sewed it all together, I peeled off the backing (and printout) and ironed the applique to the contrast panel.

I'm not at all girly (pink is not a favorite color), but I do love the juxtaposition of the zombie on the very girly tote.

All of the swap items were sorted (by category) into plastic zip-lock bags and placed in the tote, which fit perfectly into a "medium" flat rate Priority box.

One of the requirements of the swap was that we communicated to our partners the reason we included the items in the package. It was up to us to decide if we wanted this to be a serious or silly package, and we could also decide what kind of zombies we were preparing our partners for.

I found an aged index card graphic and added various bloody smears and splatters (5 or 6 different styles) and made one card per category. Most of the items could be used for any purpose but could also be used in a real emergency kit (power outages, etc.), so I explained what was in each set and what else in that category could be added to a real emergency kit.

I'm not going to share all of the contents, but I will show a couple of the sets. This is most of the Leisure set (there is also a CD), which contains portable entertainment: cards, dice, and rules for several games divided into three booklets. (They're multi-page booklets, printed on both sides and stapled in the middle.)

Because this swap is for knitters & crocheters, we know these crafts to be highly portable, helpful for relaxation and they yield a usable item when the work is done (hat, etc.), so yarn was a necessity.

Zombie-themed CD Mix
  1. He’s Dead, But He Won’t Lie Down (Gracie Fields, 1938)
  2. RE: Your Brains (Jonathan Coulton)
  3. Living Dead Girl (Rob Zombie)
  4. The Gonk (Herbert Chappell, Dawn of the Dead, 1978)
  5. Zombie Me (No More Kings)
  6. Zombies Ate Her Brains (The Creepshow)
  7. Return of the Loving Dead (Necromantix)
  8. Walk Like a Zombie (Horrorpops)
  9. Early Sunsets Over Monroeville (My Chemical Romance)
  10. Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  11. Here's a Litte Something For Ya (Beastie Boys) (not-zombie themed, but it mentions a shawl, and again - this is for a knitter or crocheter)

Health & Rest set: Everyone knows that during a zombie apocalypse, you might not get to sleep at normal times. And the sound of the zombies moaning might just drive you nuts. Also, in day-to-day life, naps are good. So I made a flannel eye mask for my partner and included some ear plugs, along with some other items: decaf tea, a compressed wash cloth, a mini first aid kit and a bandana.

One of the reminders on the card was to remember to pack all your meds, so I got a pill box and put a few stitchmarkers in each slot.

Food & Beverage set
  • Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out - I have this book and thought it would be a fun addition. 
  • Spork
  • P38 Can Opener with directions
  • Various treats - candy, trail mix, jerky & chocolate milk straws (I really wanted to include chocolate, but it will melt in transit).
  • Finally, I put together some directions for making a stove out of tin cans, cardboard and wax.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Show and Tell: Skulls in the Kitchen

A couple of recent acquisitions to share! Both items were found in the last couple of weeks at HomeGoods stores, a new favorite.

The salt & pepper shakers... well, how could I resist? They were with a bunch of pirate-themed items (skulls & nautical motifs), which were fun but not what I'm into. They also had candlestick holders, which were fun, but I had to pick just one item, so these had to come home with me.

I don't have the packaging for the shakers any longer, but I did hold onto the brush package so I could look up the company. The brush isn't available, but the shakers are still available on their website. I now have my eye on the scrubby holder!

Now, pink is just about my least favorite color. I don't own any pink clothes (except for the pajamas that also have margaritas on them) and don't decorate with pink. However, they only had the one brush in stock, so it had to come home with us.

We don't have a dishwasher, and anyone that knows me well knows that I hate doing dishes. However, I've been trying to get into the habit of making sure all of them are clean every night before bed. It really is true -- taking a few minutes every day (or even after each meal) is so much better than waiting until they pile up. I've also been on a candy-making kick (caramels and marshmallows so far) and it's essential that you a) start with a clean kitchen, and b) get everything into a sink of hot-hot-hot, soapy water the second you're done with it. Having fun accessories in the kitchen makes it all more fun. (So many of my tools are orange - it's not Halloween-themed, but it is chipper!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Now this is just sick

Valley Glen, CA (aka Van Nuys?) is on a mission to outlaw Trick-or-Treating  by the year 2015. Get a load of this announcement in their recent newsletter:

Here's the text, if you have a hard time making it out:
What's happening at City Hall that affects Valley Glen
Halloween decorating...On March 15, Councilmember Mark Newhauser introduced a motion, with Coucnilmember Mary Ellen Simmons, to regulate Halloween home decorating throughout the city. This increasing popular trend offends the general public with themes including witchcraft, the occult and gore.

"It's unsightly, disturbing and a horrible influence on our children" says Councilman Newhauser "It's a small step in our goal to stop the dangerous tradition of "trick or treating" all together (sic) by 2015."

The motion calls for a design committee that homeowners would have to submit ideas to for approval. Newhaurser adds "Traditional fall decorations such as pumpkins, pleasant sunflowers and happy scarecrows will probably be unaffected. Any carved pumpkins with faces although would also have to be approved."
Seriously? Let's skip right past all of the other inane bullshit and jump to the part where they want a committee (probably paid for out of the homeowners' taxes) to approve each and every jack-o-lantern. The whole thing is ludicrous and an example of bad, bad leadership, but that part? Moronic.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Crafted Monsters

If you're a crafter and you love Halloween or monsters in general, hopefully you've already discovered the great selection of monster patterns!

Before Giftmas 2009, I discovered Danger Crafts on Etsy and all of her fabulous knitted monster patterns. I immediately ordered several, although I've only managed to knit one. She's on Ravelry, as well. (The benefit to ordering from Etsy is that you can order a collection and save a little money. The benefit to buying via Rav is that your purchases go into your library and stay there in case you lose them. Oh, and there are some freebies, too. I've made several Monster Chunks!)

There's a new book, too: Big Book of Knitted Monsters, The: Mischievous, Lovable Toys, which I am planning to order next paycheck.

Anyway. I knit Olivia here for my honorary niece, M. Olivia was pictured with a tutu (which I tried to make, but so failed at) and M was into ballet, so I thought she'd get a kick out of it, even though there ended up being no tutu. Well, she loves this toy. It's not necessarily connected, but now she's totally into monsters, so I've been happily planning another monster for her (no harm in planning way ahead when it comes to Giftmas knitting). I didn't have time to knit a monster for her this year, so I got her Little Monsters Cookbook instead.

Have some monster-loving kids in your life? Even big (adult) kids? You? Okay! In addition to Ms. Danger's patterns, check out:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More treats onna stick

I'm so into lollipops (or any food on a stick) that people have started to send me links. This does not make me sad. My Amazon wish list has a nice selection of books on it (I'll share some links below). I've also started a nice collection of chocolate molds, for sticks and pretzels both, most of which have been presents. I'm dying to try the brain sucker molds my husband got for me, and the Halloween pretzel molds my family gave me. Pics to follow, I promise!

My sister-in-law, "C", sent me the link to this darling treat: Halloween Cookie Suckers. I'm snagging one of the blog pics so you can see that the link is totally worth a click.

The mummies are candy-covered Oreos! Of course, anything with candy eyes is automatically cool, but this while arrangement is excellent! Directions are linked on the above page.

Once upon a time, I made regular candy-melt lollipops for my nephew's birthday party. I stuck candy eyes on blue starfish and bam! Doubled the coolness/cuteness factor.

If you like treats "onna stick", check out some of the following:
Candy molds


PS: I know it's been awhile. The entire actual Halloween season, and then some. What can I say? I'm not a consistent blogger! I'm not even going to promise to post more often. I do have some things lined up...just need to get some pictures taken.
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