Friday, October 25, 2013

friday fixations: weird and wonderful stuff for halloween

{31 days of halloween} I've been so fascinated by these strange and spooky tales. Comprised of true stories, it's kind of like a macabre learning session.

{mica angela hendricks} This illustrator drew pictures of people's heads then let her 4-year-old daughter draw the bodies. What results is creepy but in a cute way.

{the richard balzer collection} Some crazy zoetrope gifs just cuz.

{harry potter butter beer} Get it at Starbucks or make it yourself (you know, take a rest from all that pumpkin you've been ingesting lately).

{halloween music} My Paper Crane provides a mix of vintage songs (she does one every year. It might be worth it to look through past mixes, too), while Hello Emma's got some newer spooky tunes, and Design Sponge went with some "lesser-known, low-key tunes" to inspire your halloween festivities.

{pumpkin templates} Still haven't carved one yet? Maybe these can help.

{skull decor} Everyone needs a stylish skull somewhere in their home, right?

{easy halloween-y recipes} Zombie boogers, mummy hot dogs, monster guts (although I would do these with pistachio pudding cuz I don't really like the idea of eating plain Cool Whip and food colouring -- good as it may be), bloody used bandaids, healthy boo bananas and orange pumpkins, and pretzel bones.

{stick figure costume} I'm very rarely entertained by baby costumes, but this one really made me chuckle.

Friday, October 18, 2013

diys i didn't: modern and simple halloween

simple halloween

First, since we're in the process of getting rid of (hopefully almost) everything we own, I don't want to get too carried away with Halloween; and second, I'm pretty obsessed with simple and modern Halloween decor this year anyway. Maybe my design mindset is already starting to turn Nordic.

Here're some DIYs that I thought would be simple and modern for an understated Halloween:

{1} Wired pumpkins: I like the casual yet graphic feel of these pumpkins. There's something about their imperfection that really interests me. The fact that they're black doesn't hurt either. Black and white and grey are my yes words right now.

{2} Printable cat decals: Not exactly spooky cat, but I think it's entirely all right if Halloween went cute for just one year (you'd be doing something really different from the normal which makes you... interesting!). Besides, you can't really go wrong with cats during Halloween, can you? (Final thought: you don't necessarily need to download the template. They're pretty easy to freehand.)

{3} Accordion paper folding: You're probably wondering what this even has to do with Halloween decor, but do you see the round folded object? Imagine that in a pale orange or black. Get it now? Don't add a stem (you don't have to get all literal with it), add a flameless candle instead.

{4} Paper spiderwebs: You know what's great about paper crafts and moving? When you're done with them, you can just chuck 'em in the recycling bin. That's what I like about these. Plus they'd look pretty spiffy in a window with the lights on at night.

{5} Printable halloween paper: I love these papers, but I wouldn't use them as wrapping paper (unless you give Halloween presents -- is that starting to become a thing? I don't like it). I'm thinking placemats, invitations (for that Halloween party you might have), diy foldable treat bags, boxes or origami characters, or a quick replacement for a modern art piece in your home (stick it right to the glass of the frame for a simple switch out). Here's another skull option and some cute ghosties if you need them.

{6} Black paper cats: Cut out three of these in varying sizes and set on a mantle or table top. Slightly Halloween-y but also extra modern and understated (looks like you fussed but you didn't).

{7} Office supply pumpkins: I love how easy these are and how stylish. Not everything about Halloween has to be gory. Pretty coloured or brass polka dots totally win me over (plus it's something I can accomplish in about 10 minutes without getting my hands dirty. And if you wanted to get real thrifty about it, just buy brass tacks and paint some random ones with nail polish. I haven't tried it, but I can't really see it not working. Even more thrifty, you could abandon the tacks and paint dots directly onto pumpkins. It won't give that neat 3D effect that tacks have, but it would do the job. In fact, I've decided I just want a few pumpkins on the steps this year and, even though I love this idea most, I'll probably just paint the dots on mine in the same colour paint as our front door. That way I won't feel guilty about having just purchased a bunch of tacks only to have to get rid of them in another month anyway).

{8} Wire Halloween sign: How about you pop one of these boo signs up in the spirit of this Christmas door idea that I've been dreaming about doing since last year (and please use little strips of pink washi tape to hold it up, too, cuz I super love that. OH! This plus cute cat decals? Hello, cute Halloween! Add some pink pumpkins with multi-coloured tacks and you're all set).

If understated and simple isn't your thing, head over to my fall and Halloween Pinterest board for more ideas!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

halloween desktop calendar (and how to use Photoshop brushes)

I'm feeling little ghosties this year. Admittedly, I sort of cheated with this wallpaper. It was extremely easy to put together because of this great little ghosties brush pack for Photoshop. I love Photoshop brushes, but I rarely get a chance to use them. This was one of those times when it seemed kind of necessary (my first ghosts were upside-down tulips and did not look good). Click here if you want some ghosties haunting your brushes, too. 

{note} A quick Google search for Halloween brushes will find you some really great sets that you can use for invitations, treat bags, and all sorts of things. Sometimes a person's first search for these types of crafts is for clip art but it can be a long hard search finding exactly what you need. Brushes offer a lot of options and are definitely way easier to use. If you're confused on how they work, I have Photoshop Elements, and all I have to do is click on the brush icon, then click on the style of brush at the top. There're some little white arrows to the side of the brushes available, and if you click on that, it takes you to a list of all the brushes you can use. Just click on Load Brushes... and go to the file where you've saved your ghostie brush set. Then you'll be able to choose from all the ghosts available in that set. There's probably a way to save it permanently in Photoshop, but it never works for me so I just load them as I need them. Brushes work as simply as choosing the one you want and stamping it. That's all! Brushes came into my life when I came across some really great sets like arrows, washi tape, and artistic inky brushes. They've proven really helpful for blog posts! I rarely go looking for clip art anymore.

Friday, October 11, 2013

diys i didn't: canadian thanksgiving


We're having a pretty relaxed Thanksgiving this year which means I'm not doing much in the way of decorating except cutting a few berry branches, but there are still a lot of great DIYs that could grace the table at any Thanksgiving meal.

{1} Favour flourettes: I think these look really pretty and, in orange, would look very pumpkin-y and in season. It's also a really easy paper craft that looks like you fussed when you didn't.

{2} Pinecone door decor: I like how this is different from the traditional wreath and you can dress it up with whatever ribbon colour goes with your own home (and my favourite part, pinecones are free!).

{3} Faux agate: This is a little bit more work than I would usually recommend, but I think it's too beautiful not to mention. I would make mine in browns, greys, or golds to tie in with traditional Thanksgiving colours and they'd be presented as gifts on each place setting.

{4} Painted stones: These are great graphically as they are, but if you painted the name of each person right on the rock, they could also double as the perfect natural-modern place card.

{5} Clay wishbones: This way everyone gets a chance at the wishbone! (I wish they weren't painted mint green and were left in their original white, but to each their own.)

{6} Brussel sprout wreath: I threw this in just for fun since I realize that it's one of those things that could either have you gagging or grinning. I just think it's pretty cute even though I love eating brussels and couldn't really imagine myself wasting good sprouts on a wreath (of all things), but it might be a fun addition for the family that doesn't like to eat their sprouts (sort of like Thanksgiving revenge).

What's on your menu this year? I'm going simple classic traditional (easy salt and pepper turkey -- my first fresh turkey ordered at a proper butcher shop; cheating with the stuffing by using Stove-top -- I know, but it's so good, right?; homemade cranberry sauce; roasted sweet potatoes; typical salad), but my biggest challenge right now is deciding on dessert. Classic pumpkin pie or apple cake? I probably shouldn't do both... or should I?

Friday, October 4, 2013

friday fixations

{this spider gif} You're lying if you say this doesn't make you smile!

{flower explosions} Who knew that destroyed flowers could be almost as pretty as whole flowers?

{bird flipbooks} These are so great.

{state flowers print} I love this idea. I just wish she'd do one of Canada.

{unicone} I don't know why I love this photograph as much as I do.

{paper hummingbird sculptures} I spotted the hummingbirds first, but all of his sculptures are pretty damn amazing.

{the nibble pan} Um, yes!

{caramel covered cheetos} I don't even like cheetos, but this recipe really intrigues me (and strangely really screams FALL to me).

{domino magazine} It's returning (October 8th)! The quarterly issues were such a let down for me since they were made up of articles from the older issues (and I still HAVE all the older issues). I'm very excited (and hopeful!) to see some new ideas! (I hope I can get it in Finland!)

{steve martin} In particular, this picture of him with bananas. (You should also follow him on twitter.)

{larry david's rules for dealing with people} No one calls people out on their shit quite like Larry David.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

october desktop

Remember our vacation to Helsinki? Well, you probably figured it was a little odd that we up and went to Finland for the weekend (of all places), but we had a good reason. Idle Husband had a job interview and it went really well...

And are you getting where this is going?

We're moving to Helsinki!

That's a little bit of the reason why I've been so quiet on here for so long. We've been doing so much thinking and talking and discussing everything involved with something like this. We came to the (natural) conclusion that it's not a death sentence and other than the fact that we have a lot of stuff to do and decide about before we go (I have a LOT of stuff to sell or get rid of), the whole thing will be a really great learning and growing opportunity for both of us (and honestly, the idea of a super fresh start really appeals to me).

So in the new year, expect more pictures and crafts Helsinki related!

To celebrate, the desktop this month is one of the little pictures I took in Helsinki (but I'll probably make up a Halloween-style desktop later in the month just cuz that's usually my primary method of getting into the spirit of fall).