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Graphic skeleton print makes gothic portrait

  • March 5, 2012 9:46 pm
Skeleton romance

A skeleton couple makes a gothic portrait

Roses blooming skulls surround a happy skeleton couple in this portrait. I thought this was a great graphic when I first saw it on a T-shirt. The only problem was the size. It was too small, but I loved the print and didn’t want to sell it or trash the image.

So I cut it out of the shirt and and tore the edges to make it appear like an ancient document that had deteriorated with age. Next, I glued it to an oval-shaped canvass and painted the white edges a somber grey to cover up the fabric edges. The glittery black spiders were a nice touch I found at Michael’s.

The new artwork filled an empty spot by the piano and is the perfect grim picture to hang in any haunted parlor. I’m glad I was able to save this great Halloween find. Let me know about any of your Halloween art projects, and feel free to send pictures! After all, it’s even more satisfying to create a Halloween memento yourself than purchase one that everyone else may possess.


Four-legged friend gains eight for Halloween

  • March 5, 2012 9:33 pm
Spider pet costume

Rudy gazes out of his purple spider costume

Spider dog costume

Rudy attempts to walk through a black glittery spiderweb

Rudy, a Sheltie with attitude, doesn’t take kindly to silly sweaters, shoes or any kind of restrain at all, so I always try to choose a costume that is both cute and comfortable for Halloween. Last year he was a little more menacing as Count Dracula. His black satin cape flared around his shoulders and ended in a red ruby clasp. The swishing attire and growl at the front door when trick-or-treaters approached was pretty scary.

I thought this purple and black spider costume was more cute than menacing, but the black legs do cast a foreboding shadow on the floor. They also flared with life as he bounded to the door to greet guests. Other top costumes for 2011 included  a hot dog costume — perfect for Dachshunds — dinosaur, fairy and skunk.

I can’t wait to see what retailers come up with for 2012, although Rudy is not anxious to dress up anytime soon.

I’d love to hear your ideas for pet costumes or photos of your pet dressed up for Halloween.

Witch Boot Boasts Halloween Blooms

  • September 23, 2011 10:14 pm
Halloween floral arrangement

This old witch's boot offers an orange and black display


Something old, something black and weathered. I was looking for the perfect container for this year’s Halloween floral display and found it with this great “shoe” from Midwest CBK on It looks like a boot that has weathered much in the life of an active witch.

Rides on a broomstick on chilly and wet nights and exposure to the blistering heat from cauldron flames surely contributed to their antiquated state.

The understated black exterior allowed sparkling pumpkin vines and purple spiral glittery twigs from Michael’s to stand out. The arts and crafts store once again outdid themselves on Halloween florals. I found high quality black glittery maple leaves, miniature black and orange pumpkin sticks, black glittery brambles and small black ravens to stick in the center of my orange zinnia flower.

I had a blast arranging this and I can’t wait to see what Michael’s has in store next year. The next challenge will be finding that perfect container.

Share any Halloween floral arrangement tips of your own that have made Halloween special. I’d love to read your comments!

Scares for Less

  • June 27, 2011 2:17 pm

 Sometimes, the best ideas are the one that cost lest and involve a little more creativity. This was the case with my flea market find below. A twig hearth broom had the right look for Halloween, but it was a little plain by itself. Some black crows I found at a floral store transformed the plain broom into a witchy piece for Halloween.
The birds look as if they are ready to take flight and scare anyone entering the front door.

straw broom

Crows land on a witch's broom


candy corn jar
Candy corn serves as both a treat and decor
Candy can also serve as both treat and decor. This jar is filled with a mix of traditional and Indian candy corn. The colors are so bright and cheerful on a kitchen bar or table.

Crafty Projects

  • September 7, 2010 11:35 pm


watermelon jack-o-lantern

A melon gets in on pumpkin fun

It’s September and pumpkins have appeared in stores. Some are black, some are fuchsia, but real orange pumpkins have yet to appear. I could purchase a fake pumpkin to carve, but I crave the real thing. Fortunately, I had a great crop of watermelons this summer, and there were a few to spare , so I thought watermelons could perform a double service of providing a little Halloween fun on Labor Day and offering us one last sweet summer taste.

I didn’t scoop them out. Instead I used a chef’s knife to carve faces into Black Diamond and Jubilee watermelons. Although their smiles weren’t lit with candles, the sun cast its rays onto the pink flesh with an eerily different kind of effect than traditional October pumpkins. 

So thanks to these two watermelons for creating a little bit of Halloween magic at summer’s end.

watermelons as pumpkins

Two watermelons start off the Halloween season early


witchy woman
This witchy woman has cat green eyes and a feline hat

This blank Styrofoam head had been staring at me all year long, waiting to be brought to life for some purpose. I had a witch hat that really didn’t belong anywhere in particular, so I thought about combing some old Halloween wigs from previous years with this hat.

I wanted to create a more attractive witch for something a little different. We so often see witches with green, craggy faces, hook noses and the requisite black mole.
Her skin tone came out a little too rosy, but I think her eyes are evil looking, with a coat of peridot acrylic paint and black eyebrows that go up in an angry slash  angle.
She’s on the mantle this year with the more traditional witches, and so far, she has had a startling effect on guests, with her realistic hair and sort of haughty expression. Best of all, this look didn’t cost much. In fact, I didn’t buy anything new this year except the hat, which I got on sale at Cracker Barrel.