Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just a quick note...

to say I'm alive. I had flu, clogged milk ducts, and a few other things so it's been interesting here. Let's just say my husband makes a much better wife than I do. He took care of me, our kids, cleaned the house, and even told me I was pretty on what I'm sure was my death bed. So, when I get things wrapped up and my head back together I'll be posting. 

For now, you should check out this Secret Pumpkin Gift Exchange. It's in April for those of us that miss the grey days of October, and as long as you promise to send your gift, you can sign up for it. Jenna over at The Art of Darkness explains it all. I'm looking forward to it. {:

Monday, September 19, 2011

41ish Days - Precautions. Or just a zombie killer costume.

I do not believe in a zombie apocalypse. I'm sorry, I just don't. However, because of the fear instilled in me from movies like 28 Days Later (Shutup, I was scared. Plus I thought it was 28 Days with Sandra Bullock) and only one episode of Walking Dead (I had nightmares. And hubs banned me from horror movies.) I present to you the Maunsell Sea Forts:

The debate now is can a zombie swim? I say no. I think they walk along the bottom of the lake/river bed, sea floor, etc. like a hippo because they don't need air. 
(I know it's from Twilight, but the gist is the same.)
But that presents the possibility of a shark smelling the blood, biting the zombie, and becoming a zombie shark. But I'm not sure how a zombie shark would differ from a normal shark anyway. While awesome creatures of the sea, they're all scary with too many teeth.

Back to the people zombies. Well, and sharks in a way.
Behold, the SharkSuit:

With these suits you still feel the pressure of the bite, but the teeth aren't able to go through. I'm thinking, if a shark's teeth can't make it through, there's no way a zombie's could. Eh? EH?

If you're anything like me, you don't exactly have $23,000 to shell out for a shark suit. So always stick with long pants (no shorts or capris, denim is preferable) and long sleeves. I don't care if it's 110° or the hot chick in the movie survives in nothing but her undies. LONG, people.

Weapons of choice:
Machete - just needs sharpening from time to time. Lightweight and sheathed easily. (Two-handed pictured below.)

Baseball bat - for when I don't have time to sharpen said machete. Lightweight and one can easily add straps and throw it over the shoulder.
Don't get me wrong, I love guns. But carting around ammo when I have no idea when I'll get more just doesn't appeal to me. I prefer something a bit more dependable.
I would imagine small shovels would come in handy too.

Vibram FiveFinger Shoes - lightweight on your feet. Easy to run, climb, and simply just get away.
About those forts, the only problem with them is they are in Europe. In the Rivers Thames and Mersey to be exact. I am in Utah. Do you see my dilemma? Perhaps I'll have to build my own and stock it with goodies. Like the aforementioned things (^) and much much chocolate...

P.S. There's a fun little quiz over at the Walking Dead site. I was an Alpha Male. Apparently I'm prepared for the apocalypse, but my selfishness could be my downfall. I answered the first question with get my family and some guns. How can I be selfish? Maybe it was because I said I'd kill my friend if they were bitten...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

46 Days - Cagey Decor

This is a... erm, lovely bird cage I found at the DI a bit ago. This is the before picture, mind you. I have since gutted it of it's flowery entrails and painted it a nice matte black. It's sitting on my balcony, waiting for me to finish the little fabric birds (free pattern found here, thanks to fern and freckle) and maybe add a little moss. I'm still debating on whether or not I should make one of the birds with wings out and ruffled.

Because I already had the paint, the fabric (which used to be a shirt), and a few other things, I spent a total of $1.50 on this project, which is what I paid for the cage. Not bad, eh?
I'll post the after pics once it's all together. 

How are you getting ready for Halloween?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." -Albert Camus

Jen from I Believe In Love posted an exciting picture of the first signs of fall (Yes, it's exciting. Say woot gosh-dangit.) And asked "What season do you most look forward to and why?"

Oh, just glorious Autumn. Fall. Autumnus (in Latin.) I told her it used to be summer. When I was younger that meant I was out of school and my small town would become crowded with extended family and friends. It meant the 4th of July parade, bbq's, and firework. And the possibility of a sweet, short, summer romance.

Now that I'm older, have kids, and am married to the love of my life (and am living in a city where it's 10 degrees warmer during the summer than said hometown) I find myself in love with Autumn
I love that the trees look like they're on fire, but the weather is tame and cool. I love that there are pumpkins at EVERY store giving me the excuse to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread and cookies and pumpkin pie and baked stew in a pumpkin.
I love that I can decorate with cozier, more neutral colors, and even get ready for Halloween. 
And in a few weeks (hopefully) I'll be able to pull on my comfy boots, and wrap up in my favorite scarves.
I know it won't be official until September 23rd, but we're close enough, right?

These are just pictures of the view from my apartment balcony. There are many trees out back and when they're changing color and the sun is setting, seriously, it's amazing. I'll try to catch a picture in a few weeks so I can show you. I'm really looking forward to getting a real house with a yard and a fence and not being able to hear my neighbors shower.
But I'm REALLY going to miss the view. 

At Fish Lake (I mentioned it in a previous post) there is a group of trees that change before any of the others. This group is pretty cool in that it is in the shape of a heart. So while everything is still green, for a week or so, there will be a lovely red heart on the mountain. My grandma worked there when she was a young girl. It's where she met my grandpa. She said that people used to trim and groom the trees, but they were told they couldn't anymore. It had to occur naturally. The red heart shows up anyway.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

52 Days - Bloody French Tips

I feel the need to listen to Final Countdown, maybe even belt it out with my fake mic in hand. In case your needs match my own, the link above will help out with half of it.
Back to work...
Klaire de Lys posted this Halloween Vampire Nails tutorial way back in September of 2009, but I only discovered it last year. It's one of my favorites and definitely one of the easiest tutorials out there. It is also one of the more authentic-looking ones.
When she did this, she had long nails. I keep mine short because otherwise my kids get gouged and it is not pretty. So, here is my experience with Bloody French Tips, as I like to call them.

What you'll need:
  • Red polish - I used L.A. Colors Nail Lacquer in Really Red (It's actually really pink, but it was 88cents at my local dollar store, so I'm not going to really complain.)
  • Black polish - L.A. Colors Nail Lacquer in Black Velvet (It too was 88cents.)
  • Clear top coat
  • Regular makeup sponge
  • Paper - just something to put down that you won't mind putting polish on.
  • Q-tips
  • Polish remover

Start by putting a few drops of the red on the paper. Using the sponge, dab it on to the ends of your nails. Try to keep most of it on the ends and let it fade as you move down. It's okay if you get messy. I figured I'd just use the q-tips and polish remover to clean up my fingertips when I was finished, but I kind of liked the end result. And besides, pulling a person's heart out of their chest isn't exactly a clean ordeal.

 After you get the red on, it's time for the black. The black will stay strictly on the ends of your nails, and you will use much less. This is just to make the "blood" look a little darker and thicker. Think coagulation.
You'll do one last coat of the red, again keeping it thicker on the ends and fading. After that last clear coat, you're all finished, unless you want to clean up. If you're going to be using your fingers for eating, I'd suggest getting it off of your skin.

Because it was so pink, mine looked more like I had binged on a raspberry bush and less like I had slaughtered a group of drunk teens. In a remote cabin. On Fish Lake* mountain. But I like it anyway.

If you want to make it look like your nails are bleeding and about to fall off, using the same techniques, put the polish all around your nail against the cuticle. (Similar to a changing Wikus.) If you try this either way, send me some pictures. I'd love to see!

*Random fact: Fishlake is located 15 minutes away from my hometown. I worked there one summer as a waitress at Bowery Haven. If you ever get the chance to go, do! It's fabulous!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's the Final Countdown!

As of today, there are 53 days left until Halloween. I know, I know. You're thinking, Good grief, she's obsessed. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. But I am. Obsessed, I mean. So each week I'll throw out a post having to do with Halloween (or Autumn.) Stalkers, get ready for tuts on costumes, recipes for homemade candy, a few makeup tips, or just my thoughts on the Salem witch trials. It's going to be fun.

I was looking around Pinterest, and I noticed there are many different kinds of wreaths, one for every personality. There are those wrapped in yarn, in tulle, some more natural-looking with moss or leaves glued on, some are colorful with purples, greens, and oranges while others are simply elegant with grey and black. I'm sure there are hundreds. There are quite a few I like, but here are some of my favorites:


Oh, and check out this cute mummy doll:
He's super-easy to make, and he's a little Waldorf-esque. Don't you think? Anyway, I've decided to make my own version of a wreath that incorporates a bit of everything you see above. Well, most of everything. I'm not Martha Stewart for Pete's sake...
I really like the witchy-ness of the first two wreaths, the raven from the third, and the gauze from the last two. Plus, I have a half-mask that might be kind of fun to throw on. Tomorrow will be my first official countdown post, so check back.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Support

My cousin, Laura, is writing a book. Not only is she writing a book, but she is married, just had a baby, and now has 4 kids. So, she's pretty busy. But, besides taking care of her kids, cleaning her house, cooking, laundry, etc. she's also a blogger.
She has just over 30 followers right now, but she deserves more.
Now, this is the fun part.
When she reaches 75 followers, she plans on giving away her novel as an e-book. You have to be a follower for a chance to win, but by getting others to follow, you can have extra entries. So, while I'd love to win the book, I'm doing this more because she's an excellent writer, a lovely cousin (it's true, really) and an amazing mom.
Go check out her blog and leave a comment or two. You won't regret it.

Here are some of my favorite entries: