Tag Archives: photos

Outdoor Halloween decorating and apartment living

30 Oct

Needless to say, it’s a bummer when you’re browsing the aisles of all the cool outdoor holiday decorations, and you’re currently living in a small apartment. Those inflatable lawn decorations – out. Giant tombstones – where would those go? Lights – no roof to hang them. So, what’s an apartment dweller supposed to do?

A few days ago, my mom mentioned that she wanted to decorate her apartment for Halloween, but didn’t have any outdoor decorations. She asked if I could bring some with me that day, so I decided to just surprise her and decorate her front door for her. I’m here to tell you – it can be done! Here’s proof:

MomsDoor2013 - Copy

The wreath. I used is simply a small, plain wreath wrapped with orange and black organza ribbon, featuring a feathered crow, and a styrofoam sign. You probably don’t even need a wreath hanger to display a wreath on your front door – just tie a ribbon to the wreath, and through a door knocker if you have one. Most people don’t use them, anyway! (Just be safe and don’t block the peep hole.)

HuntingtonMeadows Use what’s around your apartment. Bushes and plants can be covered in lights, cobwebs, and spiders. You can sprinkle fallen leaves in the cobwebs for a less scary look. Luckily, there are some logs and large rocks already outside her door that made for great props, along with a fallen branch that still had some autumn leaves hanging on. I stood up the branch to create a “tree,” and started spreading the cobwebs! Spider webs can make a big impact, especially when paired with a black light.

Buy and make decorations that are reusable, and small and/or flat, so that they’re easy to store. It doesn’t take bins full of decorations to make your home festive! I added bird and mice silhouettes, a large plastic crow, some plastic “wrought iron” skull fencing, and a few strategically placed mini skeletons. Silhouettes are simple and effective. They take up no space, and you can decorate all the doors and windows in your apartment without breaking the bank. Add spooky colored lights around the inside of the window frames for extra ambiance. Try using lights all in one color for a cohesive look.

The staircase. At our place, we live on the second floor, so I took advantage of it:

005I added purple lights to our banister, and placed a cauldron on an urn with orange lights wrapped around the base, which I filled with moss, to look like fire. I added a broken limb to stir the brew with, and a sparkling black cat to reflect the lights at night. Then I switched the bulb in our porch light – a quick and inexpensive mood changer.

The house (may have) eyes. I also took advantage of our above garage apartment! From the driveway, the windows create the illusion of a face, so I ran with it and created a purple monster to match the purple lighting. I used black poster board to cut out eye and teeth silhouettes, which I taped to the window, then covered in purple plastic tablecloth.

012 Get a little unconventional. Instead of a traditional wreath like my mom’s, I was inspired by the shape of the small window on our front door and used a wooden frame I found at Michaels. I painted it to match a plaque I’d already begun painting; the plaque was the perfect size to fit inside the frame and hang from an existing nail in the door. Now, I realize that not everyone has a wooden door, or a window on their door, but the frame idea still works well on more standard apartment doors. It’s pretty cute to frame your door number.

001Last but not least, switch out your door mat! I bought a cheap black utility mat and painted a simple spiderweb pattern on it with white acrylic paint. It cost me about $4 to make, but you can also find inexpensive themed mats at dollar stores and hobby stores. If your front door is located in a windy corridor, though, it’s worth investing a few more bucks on a heavier mat that won’t blow away.


Happy apartment Halloween decorating!

Gentle hugs,



“An Evening In Paris”

7 Apr

So, last night was the night to reveal our Victorian inspired costumes at the UTA library’s “An Evening In Paris: Dancing at the Moulin Rouge” celebration. I was working down to the last minute, y’all, and I have the craft wounds to prove it. (It’s been a while since I shoved a pin so far under my fingernail that it only bled under the nail … ouch.) After working on my fascinator, jewelry, and beading my bustier for the past couple of weeks, I was down to the wire sewing Tom’s double breasted vest from scratch, sewing my skirt, which, thankfully, only involved tearing apart an existing velvet dress and adding taffeta at the hem, stitching button holes to tighten them, and adding finishing touches. Picture Tom and I standing in our kitchen, eating Wendy’s hamburgers at the counter, trying to avoid dripping condiments on our outfits before walking out the door.

Here’s what the finished pieces look like:

We walked a few buildings down the campus to the library, dressed to the nines, and catching some funny glances and a few laughs. By the way, that’s right – I said library. The librarians and members of the student organization La Societe Francophone transformed the 6th floor of the library, after hours, of course, into a sparkling, red and black spectacle. There was a large dance floor in one room (with professional DJ playing mashups of modern beats with old fashioned piano and horn, including the obligatory hip hop and “Gangnam Style,) and the parlor next door was filled with tables surrounding a red and black themed candy bar, and “Moulin Rouge” playing on a screen in the background. There was a free, professionally run photo booth in the corner, so we took full advantage.


Our friend, Troy, and his date, Cynthia, were there, dressed in Cynthia’s Napoleonic-inspired costumes. She made all of the medals on Troy’s jacket!


There was a costume contest, featuring 40 entries (there were more guests in costume who didn’t participate.)


We had some serious competition, but we won first place! The couple standing next to the Groucho Marx lookalike, in the brown dress and lacy hat, and black top hat, won second. They were so sweet, and we all spent about the same amount of money on our costumes – a whopping $30.


As we were narrowed down to the top six looks, each person or couple stepped forward to receive applause from the audience. The man next to us twirled his date in her beautiful dress. So, naturally, when we stepped forward, I twirled Tom in his beautiful kilt.

Here are some more photos of the fun:

We had a blast, but I am definitely paying for it today. I think it was worth it, though, to see all the creativity, and to win first prize for all that hard work! The library was very generous with their prizes, by the way – we won an iPod Shuffle!

Gentle hugs (and dancing feet,)



19 Sep

I just had to share my excitement about our work being featured on Offbeat Bride today! Check out our beautiful and talented friend, Tiinia, her husband, Kevin, and their glorious Friday the 13th haunted house wedding:

Click on the picture to read the article and see all the pretty pictures!

If it has feathers on it (with the exception of the bride’s fan,) my mom made it. I made the bride’s bracelet and embroidered her pretty vintage handkerchief. I’m so glad we met and have become friends with them, and got to be a part of this truly unique celebration!

Gentle hugs,