The promise of Halloween in the air…

This weather reminds me of Autumns long past spent reading archeology books and Ray Bradbury. Would you keep your window open at night to feel the cool air, the change in the sounds the animals would make and the smell of plant matter falling, as I did? When as a child you hoped things could be scary or spooky but not cruel and vicious? I smell the whispering of Halloween on the wind today.

Thankfully the stores are starting to stock Halloween and Fall products now that many of us are in the mood for  the change in season! While many out there might not feel they are not as artistically demented as I, there are many fun crafts and ideas out there! Remember though many craft and art stores will start now to have sales if not outright liquidate their stock by the beginning of October to make room for other upcoming holidays. So get your goodies while you can!

One of my favorites this year is the more readily available paper mache skulls out there, from full mini skulls to calavera masks these are wonderful to work with. While many of the mass produced ones are made from molds each one because of drying and glues made are different from shapes to size. I was able to pick up quite a few that are full of character, one thing to always remember when painting do not soak the paper mache with to much paint, do layers and wait for each layer to dry before putting on another coat to maintain shape.

A quick and easy project, Black pine garland (6 foot from Discount or Craft Stores), 3 bunches of purple flowers (spray paint them mostly black), a bag of little plastic skulls (Again Discount stores or Craft stores).

I love scouring thrift stores and odd antique stores for interesting find this time of year, many people forget to go to stores like that not realizing the treasures they might find! Just the other day I found yards upon yards of fabric, from black linen to open weave lace, these I will do a simple “mold look” dye style for a frightfully antique look table covers and curtains.

What is “mold look” you say? Well simple, cheap and quick to do, basically a splatter paint style on fabric with very common staining kitchen ingredients and simple acrylics or fabric dye (I have allergies to salt base dyes so I have learned to find less agitating dyes). Cheap tea and coffee in really strong brews dropped on top of fabric stain like mad, giving it a wonderful aged look. Boiled grass, berries and even stain all types of wonderful colors. Always remember layers is better than dumping stain all at once, wear junky clothing, wear gloves and let the fabric set with the dyes overnight (the longer the fabric sets the better the intensity of color but always expect to finished color to be more muted). You add some extra color with the tube acrylics with a fabric dye stabilizer added to the paint, but water it down to give it that more ghoulish look.

Keep a look out in bargain bins for old horror movies and campy music, not only are they great for parties but the also make great gifts to friends. One of my favorite delightfully ghoulish bad movie hosts is going to be back on the air! Elvira Mistress of the Dark!

Until next time ghouls and goblins… 😉

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