Thoughtful Thursday Jack-O-Lanterns

Featured

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

I always wonder how things got started and who started them. With Halloween approaching in just a few days I thought it would be fun to learn about jack-o-lanterns.

The term jack-o-lantern started in Britain in the 17th century. At the time it was common for the British to call a person Jack when they didn’t know his name. So now we know where the “Jack” part of the term came from but what about the o-latern?

The o-lantern term was also commonly used in the 17th century to refer to a man carrying a lantern or a night watchman. And since they may not have known his name the term jack-o-lantern was born. But how did we go from the term jack-o-lantern to carving a pumpkin for Halloween?

Well there are quite a few theories on that. One is it was a Celtic pagan practice to carve out turnips or some other type of root vegetable and then illuminate it to ward off evil spirits. The custom was then carried on by Christians during the feast of All Hallows Eve.

Another more creepy theory is centered around an Irish folklore. There are several versions of this folklore but they all have certain common elements like a man named Jack, the devil and an illuminated turnip with which Jack’s soul aimlessly wanders the earth.

But here in the states during the 19th century, young kids who liked pranks would carve a grotesque face out of a readily available pumpkin to scare unwary people. Eventually this prank became known as jack-o-lantern. Today this has became a widely used and artistic tradition by many for Halloween.

Which is your favorite theory?

Hope you enjoyed this little history snippet. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Share the Happy πŸ’–

Candy Corn Witch Hat

Featured

When I was a kid, candy corns were one of my favorite Halloween treats. They made awesome vampire fangs πŸ˜‚ So it’s no wonder I used them to make a witch’s hat.

For this project I recommend getting clay candy corns. You can use real ones and coat them in Mod Podge, but they won’t last whereas the clay ones will. If you want to get even more creative you could make them yourself 😊

This is a fun and easy Halloween Decoration to make for your home and is great for kids too.

For this Project you will need:

  • Large Paper Mache Witch Hat (about 12 inches tall)
  • Acrylic Paints: Folk Art School Bus Yellow and Black
  • Clay Candy Corns
  • 18″ white netting
  • Black Pom-poms: 1 large and 1 small
  • 2 small wiggle eyes
  • 2 Yellow/Orange Chenille Stems Pipe Cleaners 
  • Letter Rubber Stamps
  • Staz On Stone Gray Ink
  • Small Orange Boa, 18-24 inches long depending on your hat
  • Sponge brushes (makes painting big sections faster)
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/2″ flat brush
  • Clean water, paper towels, wax-coated paper plates for paint palette
  • Mod Podge: Matte for sealing (optional)

Instructions

  1. Basecoat the top of your witch hat in black paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Apply 2-3 coats and let dry in between coats.
  2. Basecoat the bottom and inside of the hat with 1 coat of the black paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Let dry.
  3. Basecoat the rim of the hat, on top in yellow paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Apply 2-3 coats and let dry in between coats.
  4. Using the glue gun, randomly glue candy corns around the top of the hat.
  5. Stamp you letters around onto the rim of the hat. If you’re not going to seal your hat with Mod Podge go to Step 8.
  6. (Optional) Using your sponge brush apply a coat of Matte Mod Podge to the entire hat to seal it. Let dry. Once dry you can apply a second coat of Mod Podge if you so desire.
  7. (Optional) Apply 1 coat of Mod Podge to the bottom and inside of the hat. Let dry      
  8. For the spider, glue the small pom-pom to the large pom-pom using tacky glue.
  9. Using wire cutters, cut five 2β€³ pieces of the yellow/orange pipe stem. Bundle 4 of the pieces and twist the 5th piece around the center of the bundle to hold in place. Spread out the pieces and shape your spider legs. Cut off any excess.
  10. Glue your spider body to the legs with tacky glue. Next glue the wiggle eyes to the front of the small pom-pom. Let dry.
  11. Apply a generous amount of tacky glue to the inner seam of the hat where it meets the rim. Wrap your boa around the hat and cut off any excess. Let dry.
  12. Cut a 12″ piece of netting and tie the center into a knot. Apply tacky glue to the tip of the hat and place the center of the knot over the hat. Let dry.
  13. Gently insert the spider fee into the netting holes and you’re done!

Hope you enjoy making this fun Candy Corn Witch HatπŸŽƒ Thanks for stopping by!!

Share the Happy πŸ’–

Candy Corn Witch Hat

Thoughtful Thursday Halloween Decor

I wanted to share with you some fun Halloween decorations that you can easily make. I love vintage images and had purchased these at a show I was at, but you can find tons online. Please read the instructions first before beginning so you have an idea of what you will be doing. The supply list is at the bottom of this post.

Instructions

  1. Decide how you want to hang your plaques. Based on the type of plaque you have you may want to attach a picture hook to the back or you can drill 2 small holes in the top corners and sand them if needed.
  2. Apply a good coat of gesso to each plaque, front and back.
  3. Find images online and print them on cardstock. Cut them out and set aside.
  4. Paint each plaque in a coordinating color. Let dry overnight. Sand edges for a worn look and wipe off dust.
  5. Steps 6, 7 and 8 are the instructions for hanging with wire. If you used a picture hook in the back of your plaque, skip steps 6, 7 and 8. Another alternative to the wire is to use a piece of fabric or yarn which you would also skip these 3 next steps.
  6. Cut 11 inches of the jewelry wire. From the back of the plaque, put one end through the hole, coming out of the front of the plaque and coil the end with the pliers to knot it.
  7. Slightly off center at the top of the wire, wrap the wire around a pencil, 3 times and slide the pencil out.
  8. Feed the other end of the wire through the second hole from the back of the plaque, coming out in the front. Cut off any excess wire and coil the end as in step 6.
  9. Glue your images on to the plaque with Aleene’s Tacky Glue.
  10. Add a piece of torn autumn fabric to the top of the wire and that’s it!

Supplies:

  • 3 Vintage Halloween Images
  • 3 Wood Plaques fitting your images
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic Paint: Black, Orange, Red or any of your choice
  • Black Copper Jewelry Wire
  • Drill for hanging
  • Picture hanging hook/bracket (optional)
  • Needle nose jewelry pliers
  • Harvest Fabric scraps
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by!!

πŸŽƒ Share the Spooky πŸŽƒ

Thoughtful Thursday – Goals

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At the beginning of the year, most of us set goals, our New Year’s Resolutions. Hard to believe that the first half of the year is coming to a close in another week. Where do you stand on your goals? Are you on track, or did you lose sight of where you wanted to be by now?

Life has a tendency to throw you one curve ball after another. But that’s okay as long as you don’t lose sight of your goals. It can get pretty frustrating when you veer off track and if you go off too far, then you may quit. But I’m here to cheer you on! Don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s been so much going on in the world so staying on track towards your goals can be rather difficult.

I know for me, I’ve had my fair share of curve balls thrown my way. But I decided to go easy on myself, it is what it is and I am where I am. I can’t change the past, nor does it do me any good to cry over spilled milk as the expression goes. So I’m looking ahead and making a few changes to help get me back on track. Here are a few pointers:

  • Start by reassessing where you currently are with your goals and where you feel you should be by the end of the year. What do you still need to do?
  • Next break down your goals into smaller attainable monthly goals. Notice I used the word “attainable.” Be honest with yourself on what you can accomplish in the next 6 months. Don’t set yourself up for failure by piling too much on your plate. For example if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t plan on losing 30 pounds in a month. Realistically, women lose an average of 3 lbs a week (12 lbs p/month) while men lose 5 lbs a week (20 lbs p/month). So be realistic with your goals and set yourself up to win, but at the same time still challenge yourself.
  • Next, take it another step further and break down your monthly goals into “attainable” weekly goals and schedule those into your week. Try to schedule 1 hour every day, more or less to work on your goals.
  • Before starting your day, review your schedule and get your mind ready to tackle your goals and cross that finish line victoriously by the end of the day!
  • At the end of the week, you should have made some progress towards your goals. If you went off course, take a look at the why and take action for the next week so it hopefully won’t happen again.

Your schedule will change because that’s just the way life is. So adjust course and keep going. You’re stronger than you thought and you need to give yourself credit for the wins, however small they may be, they all count!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!!

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in NOT reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” ~ Benjamin Mays

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Witch’s Brew Art Journal

I created this witch with colored pencil on a 4″ square piece of mixed media paper last year for an art challenge. Sadly, she didn’t win but she sure was a lot of fun to make so I had to find a way to use her. In my stash I found these fun Halloween cut outs from K & Company and thought they went well together. I really loved that some were accented with sparkly glitter so I didn’t have to add Stickles this time, lol.

I used my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal for this layout. I started by coating the pages with white gesso. Once that was dry, I painted the background purple. The darker bottom layer was made using the same purple paint but mixed with black paint. While it was drying I cut a 4.25″ square from black cardstock and mounted the witch drawing. You can draw anything you want on the 4″ square with colored pencils, markers, crayons or whatever strikes your fancy. Just use your imagination and think spooky!

Next I used Ranger Black Soot to distress the edges. I picked the Halloween cut outs I wanted to use and glued them along with the witch to the pages. Next I used a little silver paint for shimmering shadows. Last I added more shading with a dark gray Stabilo pencil and that was it!

Hope you enjoy making your spooky layout. Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!!

Supplies Used:

  • Strathmore Mixed Media Journal – 5.5″ x 8″
  • Gesso
  • Spooky Halloween Drawing on a 4″ Square piece of Mixed Media Paper
  • K & Company Die-Cut Cardstock (TC Halloween Pumpkin and Friends)
  • Acrylic Paint: Purple, Black, Silver
  • Ranger Distress Ink – Black Soot
  • Dark Gray Stabilo Pencil
  • Paint Brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue
  • Water

Spooky Halloween Decoration

I found this wooden cut out in the Art and Craft store and thought it would be fun to make it into a Halloween Decoration. It’s fairly easy to make with minimal supplies and would be a great project to make with kids, supervised of course πŸ˜‰

Supplies:

  • Wooden “Spooky” cut out with hanging wire
  • Gesso
  • Folkart Crackle Medium
  • Acrylic Paint: Red, Black
  • Acrylic Paint Pens: Red, White
  • Stickles: Xmas Red
  • Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • 2 Black glitter pumpkin bell ornaments

Instructions:

  1. Paint the wooden cut out with gesso. Let dry.
  2. Paint cut out with red acrylic paint. Let dry.
  3. Paint cut out with Folkart Crackle Medium. Let dry.
  4. Paint cut out with black acrylic paint. Note: While this layer dries, the paint will start to crack and you’ll see the red paint underneath show through. Make sure to let this completely dry before moving on.
  5. Using the white and red acrylic paint pens, outline the letters a little to make them stand out more. Note: If you don’t have the pens, you can also use a liner brush dipped in white and red acrylic paint to make the thin lines.
  6. Add drops of blood to the letters with the red Stickles. Let dry.
  7. Using the Glossy Accents, go over the Stickles blood drops. Once dry, this will give the droplets a 3D effect.
  8. Last, tie on your pumpkin ornaments to the ends where the wires are and that’s it!