Wednesday, October 31, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-What to do with Halloween Candy-55 Days and Counting

Happy Halloween!!
How excited were your kids this morning?  Did mentioning it's Halloween help get them moving?  It sure did for mine!  We are all looking forward to tonight.  As soon as they are home from school we will start the makeup and dress up process.  I'm just as excited as they are, this is truly my time of year!!  Finally the wind has calmed down and hopefully we won't freeze our tush's off tonight, but just in case we will be layering up under the costumes.
Oh and remember the Zombie Costume I made my daughter?  Here's what she looks like in full costume and makeup.

I'll post some more at the end.  For now, let's talk about all that Halloween candy they will get tonight.  What do you do with all of it?  Eat it?  All of it?!  My kids end up with 2 trick or treat buckets slam full and I don't want them consuming ALL of it.  Here's what we do:

Always, always, inspect your child's candy before they eat any of it.  If anything is opened, torn, looks suspicious or is not wrapped-toss it.  When in doubt, throw it out.

~Put all the melt able chocolate in one pile.  Find a container and stick this in the refrigerator.  Hide it if need be.
~Take away all the candy you DON'T want them to have.  You know, the kind that will pull out fillings.  Or just any you are not comfortable with them having.  Don't toss them yet.
~Take away all the candy you know they won't eat. 

~Put all that yummy chocolate in the fridge.
~Put all the other candy they can have in a zip lock bag or fall container.  In my house I have to hide it in the very top of a cabinet or my 2 will tear through it and eat every little piece in one night like mighty mouse.  (We had a "mighty mouse" once.  That little booger could not be caught and it would eat anything: medicine, sugar, anything in a bag, and would eat the dang cheese from the trap without setting it off.  Kid.You.Not.  It finally ate through the package of rat poison and committed suicide.)
~All the candy you don't want them to have or you know they won't eat, SAVE.   You can do 1 of 2 things with it.


Typically local churches will ask for any unwanted candy to fill goodie bags for the homeless on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Bag it up and send to one of them.


Save it for making a Gingerbread House at Christmas.  We always by a base kit and there is never enough candy to truly fill one up, so we save all our unwanted candy to add to it. 

Finally, before you go out Trick or Treating tonight, remember safety measures:
1-Stay in a group and never let your children out of sight
2-Carry a flashlight or glow stick
3-For dark costumes, make sure you have some type of reflector or glow stick on the front and back of your child
4-Watch out for other people and cars, as much as you watch after your own
5-Never let them eat any candy until you have inspected it all
6-Bundle up
7-Have fun!

From our house to yours, have a BOOtiful and FRIGHTfully FUN HALLOWEEN!

Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva

Monday, October 29, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-Mummy Pail-57 Days & Counting

I can't believe it's been a week since I got to post last!  I've been busy making necklaces and ornaments, getting ready for an upcoming craft fair, as well as photographing everything along the way for this blog.

Today I want to show you a really fun and easy craft that you can make together with your kids.  But, be prepared to get messy!

Mummy Pail

You need:

A Pail (this could be a beach bucket like I used, or an old paint can or extra Easter bucket you may have lying around)
Mod Podge
Paper/plastic plate
Large Google Eyes
Thin white cotton fabric or gauze

Take the white cotton fabric and hand tear it into strips.  This creates a more "mummified" texture.  Or, you can also use a roll of cotton gauze.

Take some of the Mod Podge and pour onto the plate.  Take the strips of fabric and run it through the glue.

Then start wrapping it around the pail.

You can also use an old paint brush to smooth on some of the glue and help it stay in place.

Keep wrapping around and around until you have the desired effect.  Then just add your google eyes and you are all done!

Now you have a creative centerpiece or a new Halloween Treat Bucket! 

What other creations could you make with some scrap fabric and a bucket?  Frankenstein? A bat?  Let me know what you think!

Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva

Sunday, October 21, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-Kitschy Picture Frame-65 Days & Counting

What is Kitschy you may ask?  Well if you live in the dark like me I'm sure you are asking this question.  From a little "googling" I have found that the best definition for Kitschy is: tacky, lame, mismatched.  Attractive right? 

I was reading through my emails last week and came across this little blog post counting down the days to Halloween.  On day 19, there is the title Kitschy Pumpkin, linked to Cool2Craft.  (If you are not following this blog, you should.  Crafts and instructions of all kinds, it's awesome.)

Anyway the little project intrigued me.  You use a bunch of buttons, resins, broken jewelry, just any little thing you have laying around.  In the Pumpkin piece I read, she had her husband carve her out a wood pumpkin.  For some reason this turned on a light bulb in my over worked head, and I remembered purchasing some unfinished wood photo frames last year that I had never used.  Then I thought about all these resins I had been sent as a RAK (Random Act of Kindness-look for a blog on this in the upcoming month).  I had no idea what to do with them, but I wouldn't let them go.  Perfect time to use up some craft stash.

RAK'd resins and some from my current stash

Plain 5x7 picture frame
The process from here is very simple and fun.  I took 2 of the frames and painted one red for a Christmas theme and one purple.  Once they were dry, I just started hot gluing the resins in place.  For the Christmas one, I used tiny little ornaments I purchased last year (hoping to use as centers for hair bows) and just cut the strings off that they were to hang from a tree on.

That's it!  I may add a little to the Christmas one later on.  The purple one I plan to give to my niece for Christmas!

Have you ever heard of or tried Kitschy crafts?
Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva

Friday, October 19, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-DIY Halloween Accent Pillow-66 Days & Counting

DIY Halloween Accent Pillow Made with Scrap Fabric.
I had a completely different idea in mind when I started this project.  My first idea came from another blog I saw, making slip covers for existing accent pillows (of course I can't find that blog anywhere now and could have sworn I pinned it.) 
I started out with scrap pieces of fabric and cut various widths, 9 inches each.
Next I started lining them up on my cutting board to get a pattern.

I stitched them together length by length, 2 sets, and then stitched the widths together.

Next I folded it in half (right sides together), right on the width that I just stitched together.  I stitched the bottom, long side and half of the top side.

Clip your corners.
Grab the stuffing-mine is a polyester fiber fill.
Here is a good tip if you have never worked with this before:
Open the bag and search for this little tool.
It was hard to take a picture of the package, but it's this great little wood rod.
And then read this fantastic little tip.
I didn't read this until after the fact, and had also filled my pillow halfway before finding this beauty.  It says "for best results, separate poly fiber fill through your fingers before use".  Wish I had known this ahead of time.
Another (duh) thing to remember, once the pillow has been constructed, turn it RIGHT SIDE OUT before starting to fill it with the fiber fill.  Ding dong here started filling it while it was still wrong side out.  I believe I was a little too tired to try this!
Start stuffing it and use that tool to work the fiber fill into the corners.

Once you have it full enough it's time to close it up.  I tried to sew mine with the machine but was not successful.  I just slip stitched it closed by hand.
And that's it!  I used fabric I had on hand and purchased the fiber fill at Joann's for less than $4, plus I had a 40% off coupon. 
You can make as many of these as your heart desires and in what ever size you are willing to make.  My finished pillow was about 8" by 18", and used only half a bag of the fiber fill.  The kids love it and I plan to make more for Christmas and other holidays.  I always have scraps laying around (part of that craft hoarder side of me) that I just can't part with.
Let me know what you think!  If you decide to try this out please let me know!
Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva






Tuesday, October 16, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-Halloween Party Favors-70 Days & Counting

I told my husband I wanted to throw the kids a Halloween party this year.  His response: "Are you crazy??"  Well dear, yes, but that is way besides the point!

I don't know why but I love party planning.  Even though when it gets down to "the day" I may be overly stressed and things will be chaotic, I still love it.  I am high strung, I realize that and embrace it.  I don't like to sit around and wait for things to happen: I make them happen.  And I can do this in a very affordable way.

Here are some links to a few great Halloween party favors I wanted to share with you today.

Jack-o'-Lantern Party Favors Jack-o'-lantern Party Favors by Martha Stewart

  Pumpkin Treat Bags also by Martha Stewart

  Witch's Broom Treat Bags by Martha Stewart. (Yes, I'm a HUGE fan.)

Laughing Jack Cups Craft Laughing Jack Cups at Free Kids Crafts

  Halloween Treat Cone (HGTV).  This would be great for any occasion, just switch up your card stock!

These are just a few of my personal favorites, although I have not been able to make any just yet.  I'm hoping to get brave enough to throw that Halloween party, but we'll see.

Do you plan or attend a Halloween party each year?  What are some of your favorite party favors?  Please leave a comment with your ideas, I would love to try them out and even post a blog on each one.  Feel free to leave a link to your own blog and I will hop on over for a visit.

Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva

Sunday, October 14, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-Pumpkin Patch-72 Days & Counting

I hope everyone is enjoying the Halloween season so far!  Today we made our annual trip the the "Pumpkin Patch".  It's actually a local church that brings in tons and tons of beautiful pumpkins in all different sizes.  All the proceeds go towards the youth missions too, which I love.  My kids look so forward to going and then spending the day painting them.  I really don't know what gave me the idea to start painting pumpkins...we were painting them long before Pinterest was around!

I wish I had pictures of them picking out the pumpkins, but I was to busy helping them find just the right ones.  We bought 8 medium sized pumpkins, then 9 "little spookies", 4 tiny gourds and 4 minis. 

Back at home I covered the counter in newspaper and set out paper plates to place the pumpkins on.  I let both kids pick their favorite colors of acrylic paint and let their imaginations take over.

Those little bitty ones in the back I did, but my art skills are not as creative as my kids.  Check out the cupcake mini pumpkins my daughter made at the front left.

I attempted one more, a spider pumpkin.  The legs are made from pipe cleaners and they are barely stuck in the pumpkins.  I didn't want to really puncture it and take a chance on it dying to quickly.
What are your Halloween traditions?  Do you paint or decorate pumpkins other than traditional carving?
That's all for now as this Dixe Diva is tuckered out from weekend of ball games, shopping, cleaning, and of course painting. :-)
Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-Zombie Bride Costume-76 Days & Counting

For the past couple of years I have been making my daughter's Halloween costume.  This year she wants to be a zombie bride and I had a lot of ideas.  First I was going to go looking at consignment stores or thrift stores to find an old white dress, maybe even a used up flower girl dress, and add some rips and a little black and red spray paint to fix it right up.

But then we went to good ol' Wal-Mart and glanced at their costumes.  The prices this year are actually a lot less than before.  Some of the cutest costumes for $15.88 or less!  They had all these cute zombie/ghost girls' costumes that made me think of the Monster High dolls.

Seriously, how stinkin' cute and so cheap!  You can find all these and more on Wal-mart's website or your local store.

Anyway, I thought I might just take the easy route out.  I really didn't think I could make one any cheaper.  Then my little Diva said she wanted me to make her one instead.  Okay.

We're on a tight budget so I was determined not to spend a dime if I have to make it myself.  And I didn't.  Everything I used came from that craft hoard of mine.

First, I used up some stretchy knit black fabric and made the dress using the Brooke Dress pattern I had purchased a long time ago YCMT (see link on right).  Because I used knit, I actually decreased my measurements a few inches except on the length--I added length.

Then, I took some red tulle I had in my stash, wrapped it around the little Diva to see how we wanted it to lay, then stitched it in place just on the back collar.  Now she can wrap it, tie it, or just let it hang without fear of loosing it.

I took a plain head band and some shinny sequin fabric and hot glued the fabric to the head band.  I didn't even measure.  I glued it on then cut what we needed.  She's a zombie, so accurate straight edges are not needed.  The more jagged the better.

And for added fun I took some more of that red tulle and did the same.

I don't have a picture of her wearing it yet, but she did try it all on to make sure it fit.  The great thing about this is that she can layer regular clothes underneath for warmth.  It seems to get really cold on Halloween night around here.  She will be able to put on a black turtle neck and pants under her costume and you'll never realize it.  The turtleneck will  blend right in with the dress.

Hopefully this weekend I can get some pics of her in full get up, along with makeup.  She's very excited.  Personally, I still like the ones at Wal-Mart better, but you can't get much better than FREE considering I used only supplies I had on hand.

Will you be making or buying your costumes this year?  I'd love to hear from you and all your ideas!

Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva

Monday, October 8, 2012

100 Days of Holiday Inspiration-Spider Web-80 Days & Counting

Pipe Cleaner Spider Web Decoration
This is a really cute and fun craft to make with the kids.  All you need is some pipe cleaner, pom poms, google eyes, glue and your imagination.

Start by taking 2 pipe cleaners and make an X.  Gently wrap them around each other to secure.

Next add a 3rd one and twist around the middle.

Take a 4th pipe cleaner and lay it out to make a circle in the middle.
Start twisting around each of the stems sticking out.

Continue around...

until you have a circle.

Now take 2 more pipe cleaners to make the top circle.

Once you have them in place, begin to "shape" the pipe cleaners with a little more dimension to look like a spider web.

For the next part, lay out some pom poms in the shape of a centipede.  Glue them together (I used hot glue but you could also use glue dots).

I took some smaller pom poms and glued my google eyes to them.


Add to the end of the centipede.
Make some little insects the same way.  Use a larger pom pom for the body, smaller for the head and attach google eyes and short pieces of pipe cleaner for the legs.
Then start gluing your little critters to the spider web and you are done!
I hope you are enjoying the Halloween season as much as we are.  My daughter and I just finished watching the Halloween Wars marathon on Food Network.  It is so fun to watch them transform pumpkins and cakes.  We have set our DVR to record all the creative Halloween shows coming on this week.  What is your favorite show to watch this month??
Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva