Halloween Inspiration

Friday, October 5th 2012

I am trying to find a way to match my kids’ excitement about the upcoming Halloween celebration.  They anxiously and patiently waited until yesterday, the fourth day of October, when Daddy hauled the three huge decor boxes out of the basement and yelled, “Let’s decorate, Guys!”  (Mind you, this ritual usually happens on the 1st day of October.)  So, off they went.  Z put himself in charge of blaring the Halloween CD as he stuck ghost-puff stickers all over his face, while Jada wrapped the balusters in cob webs and fake plastic spiders, and Aris tore out all the orange lights by demand of his father and plugged them all in making sure they worked.  Borris the Spider is now greeting anyone who dares come to the front porch doorway, and Dead Bones lay glowing around the front yard gravestones.  I love watching the family work as a team, deciding where each small decoration goes…and,… I. did. nothing!  Notta!  I did not decorate one Halloween thing…yet.

I am a bit behind in my excitement, you see.  I am usually the one yanking the heavy boxes from the basement, or pleading that it be done, way before the 1st day of the month.  But this year, everything seems so fast….

Okay, so I went out searching for a little inspiration, internet style, of course.

Check it out! Chevron pumpkins!  Someone else loves chevron as much as I do?This looks like it would be easy with a little painter’s tape and spray paint.

Under the Carolina Moon via Polyvore

Country Living

Such cute little ghosts!  Are these those accordion wedding bells that you can buy at craft stores?  I think so!

Laura Lindquist / Pinterest via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

Simple decor idea.


Cobweb mat and broom stick, Simple.  I love it!  Too bad our front porch is filled with a fog blower, Borris, and a screaming Zombie head!

Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Craft Projects - Country... via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

A bigger front porch idea.  There are so many things I love about this arrangement…#1 No Spider!…#2 The trees…#3 the black candles in the lantern with white pumpkin…I could go on and on.


Loving the white pumpkin look, of course.  These even look a little sparkly, too.

halloween centerpiece halloween-decor

This simple wreath looks like a spray painted craft wreath; silvery-white, ghosts and ribbon.

#halloween decor

And, for the little monsters…

I was considering this, but I know it would get ripped down way before Halloween! However, I still might do this for Trick-or-Treat night.  Too cool! Glowing eyeballs, perhaps?

Totally doing this

Ha Ha!

My daughter would LOVE this.

And, of course, some yummy treats…

Boo! I’d serve these with a Witches Stew!

Fun idea for Halloween

I must admit, after a good three hours of searching and pinning and searching some more,  I am getting a bit more motivated and excited about Halloween.  I found a lot of yummy recipes to try, along with some fun-looking crafts to tackle, if time.

 Who knows, we just might happen to cross paths with a pumpkin patch this weekend?

Halloween decor garden


Images 1) Countryliving.com, 2-3) Martha Stewart blog, Halloween section, All others searched key words Halloween Decor on Pinterest, origional sources unknown.

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Grow ‘em! Holiday Decorations…

I am all for ‘bringing nature in’, to decorate with.  But, most of the time when that happens at our house it includes piles of  rocks with a special sparkle in them or some live creature that has found a fond place in the heart of our four-year old.  For a while we had a collection of leaves in every-shade-other-than-green possible…

Anyway, I saw these fantastic white bulbs and since I love how white looks against my everywhere gray interior, I decided to drag my three kids to the flower shop during Thanksgiving break (no worries, they have a fish pond there with floaty ducks.  Enough to give me a good 20 minutes of shop time!).

(Image from Whole Living December 2011)

I just had this idea to grow them in my own home to adorn my mantel, but then I happened into Hobby Lobby one day during their 50% off glass sale, BINGO!, and I ended up leaving with many, many glass jars for my Paper Whites!  I figured that I could bring them as Hostess gifts during the allotment of holiday gatherings.  My fabulous neighbors might even find one on their doorstep with a plate of cookies one day, too!  A simple and beautiful way to spread the holiday cheer without blinking lights…

They are super easy to plant, too.  Dirt (or this pretty white stuff), bulb, and more dirt, in that order.  Leave the top a bit exposed and make sure the roots are down and not the shoot.

After planting I tied some twine around the top of one to attach a small handmade holiday card.  I think it’s a cute idea and the recipient of this particular one thought so too!

I included a little note in the gift bag, as well, explaining to keep the soil moderately moist until the green shoots appear.  It usually takes about 1 week for the shoots, and a few more for the flowers.  If they are planted now, they will be flowering before Christmas.  They are supposedly very hardy and fragrant.  I actually bought the less fragrant variety; the others can be strong!  But they are beautiful!

I even planted some in a few holiday mugs that were sitting in our cupboard and never actually get used.

I will post an update of how they turned out.  I planted these this past Saturday and my shoots are already appearing quickly.  Hopefully I can add some Paper Whites to my mantel soon!



Images: 1) Whole Living Magazine, December 2011  2) All others Laura for Monkeysonmyback.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

My four (and a half) year old son recently made an astute observation on one of our dark, after dinner walks.  “Mom, it seems like everyone is skipping Thanksgiving and going right to Christmas,” he said.  Walks, these days, are in the dark after all and the Holiday lights are already gracing out neighborhood streets.  But maybe his comment was two-fold; holiday lighted walks and our barely decorated house.

His comment really got me thinking.  We I have been so mentally drained from our Halloween decoration extravaganza that I have neglected to specially decorate for Thanksgiving.  Yes, of course, we have hand-drawn turkeys tacked to our bulletin boards and the a small turkey marking the important day on our kitchen calendar.

I did have big plans for Thanksgiving this year as far as decorations go.  The Thanksgiving box has not even been yanked from the crawl space, however…and, we are already talking about where to put up the Christmas tree.  So, I guess four-year-old Aris’ observation really got me thinking.  My mental exhaustion has downplayed a very important holiday; one with unmatchable tradition for me.

Here, we live in a beautiful and sunny state, where on Thanksgiving day it’s supposed to be 60-some degrees.  My mind is etched with memories of Thanksgivings of old, sitting in a Northern Wisconsin cabin, surrounded by orange hunting pants strewn near the log fed fireplace. Where imagination was our only entertainment and frigid weather did not keep us inside.   As a kid, this was my favorite holiday.  We packed our trusty Jeep full and headed Up-North 4 hours, sometimes 6 depending on the snow, to meet up with more family in our 800 square foot cabin.  (Okay, I am guessing on the size, but it seems smaller than my first apartment).  There, 10 people shared one bathroom, three beds, and one 6 person table.  During the day, us kids scampered among the towering trees, bundled like crazy in the freezing Northern Wisconsin weather, and at night we came inside with the Hunters to sit by the fire and play cards with our family.

Thanksgiving  recreates itself these days for us; a family of 5, occasionally  extended family grace us with company.  I wonder what my children’s memories will be of this important day? Well, Aris’ observation put me in the crafty mood and I pulled out an inspiration piece from Uppercase Living which I ordered earlier this month.  While listening to Superbowl Highlights in the next room (yes, from last year!), and ignoring my frozen turkey friend, I did this …

The following is a picture tutorial of sorts.

Inspiration. Simple idea from Uppercase Living 2011.

I had to cut around each letter, otherwise the sticker pulled off the words of the old encyclopedia pages…that became tedious.

No, I did not think of photographing the same letter in order as I did this. (These products are like a paper tattoo; peel off the back, apply, rub, and remove top paper.)

Anyway, long story short…

…the end result!

I like it.  My favorite part is the orange twine, or actually maybe the old encyclopedia pages.  Well, it’s not a bad little reminder of the importance Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.  For me, a reminder to be thankful for our family and to focus on creating new memories for our children.  To remember to cherish the little things, and not get wrapped up in the big hustle and ideals that can sometimes swoon us at this time of year.

Yes, I am hoping my kids don’t think we would ever want to pass such an important holiday by…

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback.com   Inspiration page photgraphed from Uppercase Living, Idea Catalog 2011

Getting Crafty

It’s very Halloween around here these days.  October first brings out the excitement of, “Finally a holiday!”  And, so arrives our Halloween boxes.  This time they were hurled out of the dark space in which they live at 8:30am on non-other-than October 1st.  I think even a few spiders, dead and alive, emerged with the boxes this time around.

Can you picture three kids, with sticky, syrupy fingers, tearing through two boxes of Halloween decorations, flailing fake spider webs and smearing window ‘stick-‘ems’ in an oh-so-slimy circular motion on the nearest (clean) pane of glass?  Yeah. Not impeccable timing, but we will leave that thought alone right there…

On to more fond memories of the day;  Halloween Craft Time.  Found the idea of these spooky bat pumpkins and wanted to give it a try…


~ Spooky Bat Supplies ~

  • Black Spray paint (primer and paint in one otherwise it will flake off). We used Rust-Oleum Universal.
  • Toothpicks
  • Long wooden Ka-bob spears (which look like gigantic wooden toothpicks).
  • Black craft foam
  • White craft foam (with peel and stick back)
  • scissors
  • black duct tape
I could tell by, “O ooh! That’s so cool!”,  as soon as the first pumpkin was spray painted black, that the kids were hooked.  We also had much discussion about bats versus unicorns, the kids and I, and decided finally to tape off the stems before painting.   Taping off the stem is not necessary,  however, we didn’t want our little bats to take on some kind of  ‘unicorn-effect.’  
 Jada drew the ears and cut them out all by herself.    We did not use any  pre-drawn templates but found it very easy to copy the first ear, wing, and eye that we liked.
The toothpicks and Ka-bobs are taped with the black duct tape to the back of the ears and wings, leaving a bit of the ka-bob end exposed so that the foam is secured tightly into the pumpkin.  Our first attempt at this led to a sad little boy and a broken toothpick or two.   Perhaps a mom’s job…
Aren’t they just batty!?  
(I believe that these pumpkins have also received names, which escape me at the moment, and a birth order.  They may have even been included in the latest game of ‘Baby Dragons’?)
And, so our months upon months of holiday excitement are in full swing.  
Happy Halloween…