In progress. This year's annual (Ahem...OK, I have missed a year or two) Christmas ornaments, which I make for my family. I hope a few family members (um, most) won't mind getting their ornament by the 4th of July! Struggling...
Norman's mom was a Chihuahua and his dad was a Yorkie, which makes him "Chorkie". Day 1 with us. He was 3 months old and just under 4 lbs.
Last fall, a better shot of his mustache and beard.
Norman about a month ago. 10 months old and 11 pounds, pretty much full grown (we think).
We haven't had a dog for 18 years and had discussed "maybe" getting another dog "someday." Then Norman became available and was pretty much dropped in our laps last summer (they guilted us horribly for months, knowing I have a soft heart). We are not really small dog people either, so it has been an different experience for us. This dog NEVER stops (moving, barking, chasing, jumping, playing, shredding mail/paper, CHEWING ON MY ANTIQUE CHEST, destroying paint brushes & toys, "jackassing" around, you name it)! Full of piss and vinegar. He thinks he is the center of the universe and can't understand why everyone (cats, humans, neighbors, birds, kids walking by to school, etc.) is not giving him their full and constant attention. Having such an active and tiny pup has really been an adjustment and a test of patiences for our household, both cats and humans. Most days, I can't almost believe that we have an 11 lbs. dog AND huge owls and several full grown eagles that nest within a mile from our home....f0r crying out loud! He is turning me into a nut. Whenever he is outside, I run around the back yard looking up in the sky (my neighbors think I'm crazy). Within a 5 minute period, I can swing from "I am going to kill you" or "Are you out of your f@*#ing mind" to an "aww" moment...EASILY about 12 times. Making my Christmas ornaments this year was nearly impossible. While I was sitting at our kitchen island, trying to concentrate while painting intricate/detailed lines, this dog would sit on the floor next to my chair and jump up (waist high) and down continuously for half hour periods. "LOOK AT ME! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! LOOK AT ME!!" I am one of this biggest animal lovers you will ever meet and I thought I was going to KILL him. God grant me the serenity to survive this pup. I love him dearly, but fear he is going to be the death of me or I him. AMEN! Please send your best set of patience my way. Tracy
Here are a few quick pictures of the Haunted House silhouette that we display on our mantel every few years. I don't have it completely set up, but thought I would add some pictures while I am thinking about it. I made this 10 or more years ago and unfortunately, it is really starting to show it's age.
This is a large two piece silhouette, which was cut out of heavy duty poster board. The tree (on left), small hill (that you can barely see on the right) and small flying bats are part of the back piece; which is placed against the wall. The house, grass, gravestones and fence pillars are part of the front piece; which is placed about 5-6 inches in front of the back section. It is lit using a long light, which is sandwiched between the front and back sections.
It's been 10 years, and I still remember this silhouette being a CHALLENGE to make. The poster board was thick and really difficult to cut through. OMG, cutting out those fine details...let's just say, I remember learning several new swear words while working on it. I can't imagine having to eventually redo it. Oh, I do love it though!
So....(I think) this guy is pretty much done. You may remember his humble beginnings in this post. Not sure how I feel about him, but I do think he may be a little too cutesy for my taste. I guess I'll just have to see how he looks, once he is lurking out in our garden at night. I may have to go back and distress him...possibly add some dried blood and just make the poor thing look a little CrAzIeR. I would rather he looked rough, like he just spent a long night digging himself up. If I have time, I will try to get some better shots later. These pictures don't do him justice, since he really does look better in person. All we have to do now, is find him a nice, yet creepy, spot in our garden to hang out.
I recently ran across this wonderful idea for a Halloween wreath. When I first saw it, I immediately knew I had to try to make one for my very own. The original wreath idea came from the very talented Karen, over at "The Art of Doing Stuff". I found her tutorial to be very detailed and easy to follow. Oh yes, and the pictures, for those of us who are a little more visual (like me)...they are great. Can't say enough good things about this whole project. I LOVE how turned out. Go over and check out her tutorial if you have a moment. I highly suggest using her tutorial as a guide, but here is my (quick) footnotes on this project.
Like Karen, I made my own wreath base out of three layers of glued together Styrofoam. The wreath bases I found in craft stores, were too small and really expensive. Hello...a 4x8 sheet of 1 inch Styrofoam was about $4. I have a lot of leftover Styrofoam, which is a good thing, since I will use it on some project in the future. When I finished my Styrofoam base, it measure about 21-22 inches across. After I cut out the inner circle, the ring of my wreath was about 6 inches wide.
I couldn't find the glitter skulls she used anywhere. I ended up buying 3 small Styrofoam skulls at Michaels. I think they were $1.49 each. I poked a short piece of dowel into the back of each of their heads and then painted them black. Once dry, I painted on a thin layer of glue and sprinkled with Martha Stewart's Onyx glitter. After they were covered with glitter, I gave them a light dusting of Martha Stewart's Black Licorice glitter to accent the Onyx. The black Licorice glitter has flecks of blue and green added to black, which sparkles nicely in the light.
Karen used 6 boas, I think I ended up using 8 to cover my wreath.
When it was time to attach my skulls, I cut a few triangles of tulle/netting and stapled them together a few times to form a half clown collar; similar to the ones her skulls have. And yes, I used a normal stapler. The staples won't show, since they will be buried in feathers, so no big deal. I had two different scrap pieces of tulle on hand, one fine and one regular weave, so I used a little of each to give it more interest. I also added three short pieces of ribbon to each collar. After I attached the skulls to the wreath, I grabbed a tulle and ribbon collar and pinned it just under each skull; to look like it was attached.
My finished wreath is HUGE...about 25 inches wide. LOVE IT!!
Completed Styrofoam base.
Skulls before paint.
Netting that is draped on finished wreath.
One of the Tulle fabrics (fine not pictured) & ribbon that I used.
Close up shots of glitter skull on wreath. The photo makes them look silver, but they really are black.
If you are ever in the Twin Cities area, you must take time to visit this store. Hunt & Gather is a wonderful flea market type store in Minneapolis, located at the intersection of 50th & Xerxes. This place is filled to the brim with eclectic antiques and the strangest, coolest, funniest and truly oddest objects that one can imagine. I could spend hours digging through this store. As I stroll through the isles, my mind is constantly spinning with ideas as I turn each and every corner. And best of all....the merchandise is generally very reasonable (a.k.a. - cheap). Their low prices keeps their inventory moving, so the store is always changing as new items are added. Yep...I am in love!
Jennifer Davenport, over at Decorating Ideas Made Easy,has been nice enough to feature our Witch's Urn as part of her recent "Halloween Ideas" post. This post showcases the ideas of several talented folks who share our love for Halloween AND have some truly clever ideas. If you have a minute, take the time to go check it out. Blessings, Tracy
Just returned from my nephew's wedding at the Sirata Beach Resort, in St. Pete's Beach, Florida! Josh and his beautiful bride, Dawn, were married last Saturday. The wedding and reception were so beautiful & I have to say I shed a few tears. We are so happy for them both!