Monday

Halloween Wrap Up

Since Halloween is tomorrow I figured I better get the last October post in so I can move on to completed furniture projects and then Christmas decorating.

 I got lucky at a thrift store the last time I went.  You know, lucky as in there was actually something I wanted.  Forget the weird prices of $1.91, all I saw was glass that could be turned into cloches.


 The tall one fit on a metal candle holder I got somewhere else, so I just stuck in a wood candy corn.  I will use both these for Christmas decorating somehow.


When we open up our dining room table to seat more than 6, the light is way off center.  We put this branch and birds on it Saturday to balance it out.  It worked so well I'm thinking of putting turkey's and leaves on it for Thanksgiving dinner.


I have had these dollar store skeleton hands for years, they are glued on to rocks to hold place markers.  This is one of the names of the Mystery Dinner guests, it's a fake name because they are all fake people.  Well... real people who arrive in the character of a fake person. 
In real life I don't know anyone named Margo. 


Fortunately I have quite the supply of plates for smashing into mosaics.  I just go out to the garage and look for a color or pattern and make due with what I have for what the occasion is.  I chose white, black, and a dark pattern in keeping with the Halloween theme.  Maybe next year I will do a Halloween mosaic project and smash these plates.


My daughter helped me set the table and we wanted the ghosts on the napkins to look like they were floating up off the plate so we just sort of made our own folded tee-pee and plopped it down in the center of each plate.


I made a few more of the light-globe pumpkins to use as a centerpiece and put dollar store battery lights inside them.  I plan to use these for thanksgiving too.

I also used the Recycled Name Plate Tags I made to mark decalf, regular, creams and other coffee flavor stuff.

I didn't carve the pumpkins, but the masks were my attempt at the cute ones I've been seeing on the internet.  We lit all the pumpkins and grouped 5 of them in two spots with a 6th on the porch.

 This bottle was a gift from some friends, they thought the old bottle was pretty cool and thought I would like it.  It has it's original liquid inside. 

I would love to see if anyone can guess what kind of a bottle this is.

I had a good time Saturday night and I hope my guests did too.  It wasn't as easy as I thought to cook for 12 and also be a character in the mystery dinner.  The next morning this is what I looked like...............
Happy Halloween



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Sunday

Projects That Go Bump In The Night

Last Sunday feeling a little deprived and depraved because I had no Halloween party to plan this year, I decided to get my spooky on by hosting a Mystery Dinner for a group of 10 friends.  In anticipation of their arrival I went to my Pinterest board to see what I had pinned that I actually thought I could accomplish on a weeks notice and still leave me time to clean my house, set up and cook.



First up was converting a couple of Good Will silver trays into chalkboards.  Brawn cut out two pieces of thin plywood to fit the bottoms and I painted them with chalkboard paint. 


You might recognize the brooms, they have been all over the internet, but I got the inspiration right from InspiredByCharm.  Michael did a whole wall.  I was pretty proud of myself for freehanding the brooms and I intended to go back and write the *names* like his, but never got back to it. 
 
After I saw an amazing haunted dining room at BeauxR'eves,  I knew I had to copy her Madame Leota from the crystal ball in the Haunted Mansion at Disney.  I didn't get any photos of Ms. L. last night - you know I got busy enjoying my guests and not once picked up the camera - but I stuck a couple glow sticks in her skull and she looked pretty creepy, and I loved it.
 While you are admiring Ms. Leota's beauty, look on top at the bird.  I also copied Shannon at FoxHollowCottage(If you are keeping track that is three copies so far in this post).  Shannon tore apart a simple stainless steel scrubbie (.50¢ each at the dollar store) and used it as nest filler.  Yeah, I pinned that great idea and then did it. 

The Eyes Have It
My absolute favorite project last week was the Paranormal Portraits that I copied from Tracy at CrowsFeetChic.  I took a few photos from the internet, and the rest were photos of the guests at the party that I turned into black and whites.  Cracked. Me. Up.  Third person from the right is Dii, my one BFF who knows I blog.  (Hi Dii).  I had plenty of frames, just took out the glass and got lucky that the lights stuck right in without tape.  I think the secret was foam board as the mat.

Eventually I will get around to doing a post about the above dresser from helll redo.  That monster of a dresser keeps showing up in my posts but the horror of it's conversion is still too fresh in my mind and I just can't bring myself to blog about it just yet.  I hope you understand.  I'm traumatized and may never pick up a paint brush again.

Last, lest you think all I do is copy everyone, I do have something that I didn't copy.  My oldest daughter is a stained glass artist.  She worked in that trade for I forget how many years six maybe?  Before she left, she took me to the studio, and since she got the patience gene in our family, was able to teach me how to make a simple project.


Yes that is a glass block stuffed with a string of half lit orange lights.  But no, that is not a sticker on the front or around the edges.  That BOO is cut out of stained glass, and the edges of the block are done in mosaic with the pieces and grouted.  I love it, but mostly I love it because I got to spend the day with my daughter.
Close up of the edge

The glass block works as a night light till Halloween.  I should make a stained glass Christmas block.  I wonder if my daughter has any patience left to do another one with me?


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Friday

Landscape Timber Pumpkins and Wood Candy Corn

I hear an elephant never forgets, but in my world a blogger never forgets.

In October of 2010 I was searching for something easy to make for prizes at a Halloween party.  That's 2 years ago (a year and a half before I started a blog). 

And in case you think all I make are creepy Halloween projects I have to prove you wrong.

I stumbled across some pumpkins made from wood posts as well as some wood candy corn.

I also never clean out my email.  So today when I decided to give credit where I found the idea, I still had my original email asking the blogger a question.

Now don't laugh at my question, this was a few years ago remember! .....
Q.  "One of your steps is to distress.  I need help with figuring that out."

It's true, I didn't know what distressing meant or how to achieve it.  

Boy have I come a long way!  

And today I need to do as I promised.  After Jessica from Chapman Place gave me distressing tips, she asked me to send her a picture if I made the pumpkins and candy corn.  

Today Jessica, I'm gonna show you how the projects inspired by you, turned out.

Landscape Timber Rustic Pumpkin Fall Decorations Bliss-Ranch.com


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Wednesday

The Woods have eyes, and an outhouse


 Things start to get spooky around the ranch right about this time.  Normally in a week or so the annual party would be taking place in the back shed.  But this year vines have grown over in a few spots.  The candles won't be lit, no food to prepare.  The party is taking a year off.

Your journey would begin as you make your way through the deep dark woods, lit with glowing things like pumpkins and ghost milk jugs and blue moon light.  This is where it comes in handy to have a few kids who like to jump out and scare people.  While buried under a pile of innocent looking leaves.  Gotcha.  Every. Single. Time.

The trail is the only way to get to the back shed where food and merriment, or scary-ment, await.

You might see some flickering lights through the one window and know you are getting close to being safely inside.  And the light would be flickering from the hanging fixture taken out of the free bin at a garage sale.  You know - those dated kind that folks toss out when they update.  
Trash to them.  Treasure to the possessed October Bliss.


Spray paint and some flicker bulbs, and before you know it hanging in your husbands storage shed is some wonderful year round ambiance.

Nothing like going out to fetch something from the shed in March and seeing that.


Pre-web, this light looked like it came out of a mid-EVIL castle.  It was hard to imagine someone had it hanging in their house.... recently.  The guy almost begged me to take it, along with the matching sconces.  I felt I had to explain why I wanted it, I couldn't have him thinking my decorating taste sucked.  But it was perfect for a haunted shed.

And the sconces were perfect for the inside of a haunted outhouse.

When 'ya gotta go, 'ya gotta go, so round up old boards and build the perfect, creepy outhouse.  Because seriously, would you want to walk back through the haunted forest to the bathroom in the house?  I didn't think so.  Mostly only the ladies used it.  The men went...... ummm, well in the moon light just because they could.

Then, because someone was not a blogger yet, she didn't take any pictures of the totally cool decorated outhouse interior.  With a talking fortune teller.  Who felt it necessary to repeatedly tell me I need to lose a few pounds.  She was a borrowed head, and motion activated.  Esmerelda didn't start to talk till you had a seat.  She scared you when you were most vulnerable and could not get up and run.  That is cruel huh?  Truly gave new meaning to scaring it out of someone.

Emerelda didn't exactly say I needed to lose a few pounds.  
While her eerie music played she told me;
"Ohhh, you have come for my wisdom....I have but one recommendation for you - 
eat well and stay fit - you'll die anyway, but at least you'll look better."  
I guess she told me I was ugly!



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Monday

Martha Stewart Silhouette Windows - Thrift Store Version

Last October I decided to make my version of Martha Stewart window silhouettes.  I followed her tutorial here.

Well, I kinda followed it.

Actually... just now reading through her tutorial, I didn't really follow it, so I think it would be better to say her windows were my inspiration.


I love me some Martha but I think Ms. Stewart over complicated the process, plus she had more time and money than I did - she used chiffon over her fabric.  My windows were not for inside my house or to be seen by neighbors from the road.  They were to use in our back shed for a party. 

The Martha-Stewart-Bliss-Version-Window-Silouette-Tutorial

1.  White sheets.  I stumbled on half price day at the thrift store.  Picked up all the old white top sheets they had.  Think it cost me $3.00, I have extra.
2.  Get old windows.  Mine - 100 year old ones from our old barber shop building.  I used some that had divided glass, some without.  Cut the sheets to size.

3.  Have a talented daughter or husband who can draw things free hand, then all you have to do is slop paint between the lines.
4.  Buy cheap dark gray interior latex paint, or do like I did, get the really cheap black paint and add some white till you get the dark gray color you want.  Do not paint on the sheet while it is directly on your dining room table.  The paint will bleed through.
5.  Let dry a good long while so it doesn't smudge.
6.  Staple gun it to the back of your window.

My way allows you to skip Martha's whole template enlargement and grid thing.  Which just seemed like drawing it twice anyway.  But if you want your template enlarged by all means follow Martha.  My template is plenty large already thank you very much.

This ghost window was behind junk yesterday, but it was hanging in the window so the ghoul was glowing from the sunshine. The others are just hanging up behind the glass. 

This is what they look like with lights behind them, in this case some pumpkins and moonlight.


Before the Sheer Curtain
7.  While at the thrift store, also pick up some yucky haunted house looking window sheers to use as your curtains.  

After with the sheers in front

The idea was to create the illusion of being inside the haunted house looking out at the creepy things in the night.  The sheers were hung on branches, because branches are free and curtain rods are not.  The sheers were long and they dropped down behind our food table.  We evenly spaced them along that wall and experimented with what color bulbs to hang behind them.
I should mention these windows were heavy and big.  And yes those are suitcases on the food table.  Sorry the photos are not up to snuff, they were back in the olden days 2011 BB (before blogging).



Getting Creepy at:
Newbie Party with a Twist @ DebbieDoos
Craft O Maniac Monday @CraftOManiac
 What's In The Gunny Sack 
Mod Mix Monday @ ModVintageLife 
Make It Pretty Monday @ TheDedicatedHouse 
Make the Scene Monday @ AlderberryHill 

 Tuesdays Treasures @ MyUncommonSliceofSuburbia
 Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
 Knick of Time Tuesday with Angie
Be Inspired @ Elizabeth&Co. 

Overflowing with Creativity @ItsOverflowing
Sunday Showcase Party @ UnderTheTableandDreaming 
Pinworthy Projects @JustUsFour 
Tutorials & Tips Link Party @ HomeStoriesA2Z 
All Star Block Party @InTheOldRoad & FullCircleCreations 
Cowgirl UP @CedarHillRanch 

Live Laugh Linky @LiveLaughRowe 
Potpourri Friday @2805 
Tutorials Tips & Tidbits @StoneGable 
Happy Hour @ CraftyScrappyHappy 

Show and Tell @BeDifferentActNormal



Windows featured at:
Made in a Day 
It's Overflowing

MyUncommonSliceOfSuburbia

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Ghost Gang

So when I last left you I was getting creepy.  Creepy to me isn't cute.  You might think the little ghost gang is cute, I think ghosts are creepy, a traditional Halloween creepy thing.  Spiders are way creepy to me.  Witches are creepy.  Birds are creepy.  Bloody ghosts and spiders eating people is not creepy, that's gross.  Well maybe spiders eating people would be creepy, I'll think on that.  I like creepy.  Not gross.  In other words, I like my witches ugly.

11 months out of the year I am a regular bleacher sitting God fearing mom.  But something comes over me in October.  I do not like to be scared.  But I LOVE to scare other people. 

Meet my kids.  It won't be what you are expecting.  Maybe some time I'll put up some photos of my good looking gang.  They have gotten a bit taller then these toddling ghosts.

One of my two daughters.  She is wearing her original little pants and shoes.
Just like her 5 siblings below.


Six little trick or treating ghosts line my entry way every year all dressed in clothes my kids actually wore.  I had to take one apart this year to fix his shoes and restuff his britches, so I took a couple photos of how easy these are to put together.
Little Footie form
They are a simple wood form, use what ever scrap wood you have laying around because I know that's what Brawn did.  Yes one of my son's had wild little plaid pants.  They were popular in the 90's.  Remember Zubaz?  Started here in Minnesota.  Remember the wrestling duo the Road Warriors who wore Zubaz?  Also from Minnesota.  One of those is making a comeback, you decide which.  These plaid pants are not Zubaz, I couldn't put the prized little zebra pants on a ghost.  I should have.  The whole family had Zubaz.  Cracks.  Me.  Up.

I thought about updating the ghosts and had some good ideas, but four of them were made 17 years ago and it didn't seem right to change them now.  We added the last two ghosts as we added more kids.  So I just dust them off, pull up their pants, knock the stuffing in their heads around, and they're good to go. 

I also baked last week.  The Crow is ready to devour this piece of cake.  I'll tell you what Pinterest cake was a huge hit next time.  So much so I made 3 of the same cake within 7 days.

Today's costume installment,  a Witch Doctor, or Head Hunter.  Witch-ever.  Real fur coat sleeves as leg warmers and hat.  Yes those are real bones.  How did a bone get attached below my nose?  Super glue of course.  A very very very small dot, worked perfect.  In case you are thinking you didn't read that right... yes I super-glued a real bone under my nose



Newbie Party with a Twist @ DebbieDoos
All Star Block Party @FullCircleCreations 
Wildly Original Link Party @IGottaCreate 
Halloween Spooktacular Link Up @MadeInADay 
Creative Inspirations @EmbracingChange 
Party @ 36thAvenue
Live Laugh Linky @LiveLaughRowe 

The Ghosts were featured at:
Full Circle Creations

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Friday

Halloween is for the Birds

So today I started to get my creepy on. 

Lest you think I ran out and bought birds because ravens are all the rage, let me show you a thing or 25.

Those black birds are expensive at this time of year. 

So lets say last year you needed a whole flock... I don't know.......... maybe so you could sew them on a dress and resemble someone from an Alfred Hitchcock movie or something bizarre like that.  You might find white wedding birds really cheap by the dozen and order those. 

 
And those pretty white doves and love birds... well if you spray paint them black they make a decent looking ravenous black bird.

And then the next year you can spread them around your house, you know, use them in your creepy decor, a'la Hitchcock style.


If you happen to have a bird dangling a plucked eyeball by a tendon, along with a skeleton head missing an eye - great - they will compliment each other.
 
Why yes.. yes.. that is my cheese-dome-faux-cloche (of which I now own three) glued onto a candle stick, and some free readers digest books with their covers removed.  I know what you are thinking ...... my how crafty of you Bliss.  I used the spines in a craft too.  That would be BOOK spines, I'm not that creepy.

Plucked eyeballs are about as gory as I get but there is no limit to what I find creepy.

Now forget you saw this woman, or you might want to pluck your own eyeballs out.  If you look to the top right, it's hard to see, but one bird has this poor ladies hair in its beak.  On the left side the darn blackbird has plucked out her eye leaving her with an empty socket and little bloody bird claw prints on her dress.  She won't be wearing that again, they pecked right through that 80's dress.  Those birds must be revenge seeking friends of the crapping quackers that live at the ranch.  But isn't that the cutest little vintage purse?


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BB
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