Crafty Time: Caged Birds

About 6 weeks ago, I saw an ad on Craigslist that got my attention.  A former flea seller was looking to unload a few boxes full of primed rattan/wicker birdcages.  Boxes full?  Really?!  When I asked how many he had left, he said he’d sell me the remaining 29 for $40.  He was clearly over it.  Dealio.

So first things first, I had to lose the matte primed finish, so I decided on glossy black and gold.

So what am I going to do with these, you ask?  Well, you know that I’m a crazy bird lady, so that’s a given.  I have a few feathered ravens, but those peeps ain’t cheap, and I have many cages to fill.

Time for paper crafts (again).  I downloaded some clip art (my favorites came from here) and printed off some creatures on a vellum cardstock.  By printing them on vellum, the translucence of the paper allows the image to ghost through to the other side, so you can still get the idea from almost any angle of view.  It was the best way I could think of to make a 2-D figure work.

Once trimmed out, they look like this.

Then I threaded some fishing line through them and hung them from the top of the cage.


I think these guys are going to be a fun addition to the forest,  as well as the buffet table.  I might explore snakes and rats and bats…but for now, I’m liking my birds.

Crafty Time: Tatooine for Halloween

It’s that time of year!  For long time readers, we will indeed be doing the Haunted Forest again this year, bigger and better, of course.  By the time the Things are in college, it will be epic, then no one will care.  Anyway, I created a tag for all DIY, etc… related to the Haunted Forest preparations here.

Last year we cobbled together a lighting situation that I am determined to improve upon for round two. We thought we’d have installed some low voltage lighting on the trail by this year, but the treehouse kinda sucked all the energy and resources for such a project.  I saw this project below and wanted to do something kinda like it, but with a slight twist.

via eighteen25


I loved the idea of creating a big “moon” in the forest with bats affixed to it.  When I discussed this brilliant plan with the Things, I was immediately shot down as Thing One said, “But there’s already a moon.  It will look like Tatooine.”   I countered that it might be cloudy, and wondered since when has a touch of Star Wars EVER been a problem around here?!  For proof, go here.  They relented.

I ordered a 24″ yellow paper lantern to act as the moon and I already had some of these LED battery powered mini-lights.  The less extension cords out there, the better, so I’m hoping if I group a few of the lights in the big lantern, it will give off enough light for impact.

 via Just Artifacts

To test my crafty plan, I happened to have both a small yellow and a white paper lantern up in the attic.  They are a little worse for wear, but at least I could get an idea of how it will look before the big one comes.  I can use them in other parts of the party as long as they are high enough to hide their flaws.

I used a bat template from Country Living, but it was too big for a folded piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, so I ended up freehanding them, and just looking at the template for reference.  I used 80# black card stock.

Here are the “test lanterns.”  I’m excited about how the big one will look in the forest…I think it’s gonna work!  As you can tell, the dining room is officially, Halloween central.  I think we’ll be eating at the breakfast bar, or outside for the rest of the month….

Gold Gourds

As I gathered all my gourds while cleaning up from the party, I took one last snap.  The stripey one was inspired by Happy Mundane’s pumpkins from awhile back, but my lines didn’t come out very clean….amateur!

No matter, because I discovered during our slightly windy party that these gilded gourds made great paperweights….securing the bowl of tats at the tattoo station, the pile of paper napkins…all over.  Very handy these babies…and you know how I love multi-tasking.

Moving on.  Time to call the chimney sweep and settle into the cooler weather.

Six Dollars

For Halloween, Day of the Dead, or just Tuesday…This $6 purchase won’t disappoint the wee ones in your life.

The sheer joy and wonder that a bag of dry ice can bring never ceases to amaze me.  Every corner our house was eerily smoking through the evening.  We even played “Earth’s atmosphere” with the world map placemat.

Now that’s what I call a bargain.

smoke and candles

spider in the mist

stair rats

earth's atmosphere/cloud cover