Halloween Countdown Day 1: Ghosts

Let’s jump right in shall we? What says Halloween more than ghosts? Spooks, ghosts, haunts, specters, poltergeists… Slimer from GhostBusters – there is no more fitting time than right now to break out the sheets or the shovels and start prepping for H day.

To see all 31 of the Halloween Countdown round-ups as they’re posted, visit the Masterlist!

Ghost Decorations

This is one of the freakiest child ghost props I’ve ever seen. Perfect for a haunted house, all you need to do is spray paint a doll white and put into a white background. It’s amazing what you can do with a little paint, right? Spotted here via Babble.com.

Little feet shuffling up to your door may always be in danger of tripping on something, so lighting the way gives you an opportunity to decorate and ensure safety at the same time. Eighteen25 has this great idea for a super simple pathway light using only 4 items. It’s a great way to recycle your plastic bottles at the same time.

Mommy, it’s a floating head! What an ingenious idea to take simple Styrofoam heads and fabric to create this spooky prop. I think some lighting from below would really make them stand out on a porch or hanging from trees. Great idea from Simply Designing with Ashley Phipps.

These DIY Lawn ghosts form Listotic would be great in a little clearing between trees. Just a few materials will whip them up and you can place them in a playful dancing ring or off in little groups. They’ll look great when the death shrouds move gently in the wind.

This is probably my favorite one yet. Mysterious and ethereal, but completely frightening if you just catch it out of the corner of your eye. Wacky Archives shows you how to make these ghostly figures out of simple chicken wire to scare the pants off your neighbors.

 

Ghost Recipes

The amorphous classic besheeted ghost is such and easy form to replicate, so it has spawned quite a few cute and delicious recipes perfect for Halloween.

Meringues are one of my favorites, and here is a recipe from Smart School House that turns the classic on its dead head. They take only three ingredients to make and one to decorate so it couldn’t be easier!

I love Peep’s holiday shapes and little ghost marshmallows are always fun to play with. This is especially fun for kids to help in the kitchen. You can use cookies and other items to put the ghosts into a little graveyard setting too. Find the full recipe for the Haunted Halloween Ghost Brownies at Blommi.com.

Ready for more marshmallow ghosts? I love this idea because it’s so simple yet so effective! Family Fresh Meals brought this idea to life and I love all the possibilities. I’m thinking little ants floating in your cup would be fun.

So I’m just gonna go ahead and call this the healthy ghost snack option because, you know, fruit. Miss Candiquik has this quick recipe for white chocolate covered strawberries for the Halloween buffet table to treat your guests.

Ghost Costumes

Okay, so we all know the best ghost costume is a simple sheet with a few eye holes cut in them. However, if you’re looking for something a little different and want to pay homage to the best ghost movie of all time, here are three kickass Ghostbuster costumes you can pick up for your trick or treating. I can’t promise you won’t want to wear them year round. I mean, I would, but you don’t have to tell me if you do too.

Need a Ghosts Reference?

Pin the image below for a quick Halloween reference for next year too!
Halloween Countdown Day 1: Ghosts

01. October 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Crafts, Food | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween Countdown Masterlist 2014

Below you will find all the daily posts of the Halloween Countdown for 2014 corralled into once place for easy browsing. Have ideas for another countdown? Let me know in the comments below!

Check back every day in October for more!

 

Day 1: Ghosts

30. September 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Featured | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My October To Do List – Fall Activities

I love Fall. Seriously, love Fall. I get super flaky because all I want to do is wander around outside with apple cider and look at leaves. This year, I’ve got a lot of things that I want to get around to, so here is my list.

 

1. Corn Maze!

I’ve always wanted to do one, but never quite got around to it.

Here are two close-ish to me that I’m considering.

Uncle Shuck's 2014 Corn Maze

North Georgia Corn Maze 2014

2. Apple Festival

I used to go once every few years with my mom to the Apple Festival in Ellijay, GA, but haven’t gone in years. I’m not set on a location, but it’s high time that there was another apple festival outing.

3. Jack-o-Lantern

When is the last time you carved a pumpkin? For me, it’s been a while and that needs to change.

4. Oktoberfest!

You seriously have no idea how many times I’ve made plans to go to Oktoberfest and not gone. Not this year, my friend! Not this year. I’m considering either the one in Stone Mountain (which is closer and has a beer tasting) or the one in Helen (which has a more “authentic” setting). The one in Helen is also, apparently, the longest running Oktoberfest in the U.S. Hmmm.

5. One really decadent, slightly involved Fall dessert.

Pumpkin croissants? Some kind of caramel apple (which I count as involved because holy hell, I can’t get caramel to the right consistency to save my life)?

6. Halloween Countdown

I’ve also got plans to blog every day in October featuring a round-up of tutorials, recipes, and inspiration for a different Halloween theme. Wish me luck and check back daily for new posts!

29. September 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Life | Tags: | Leave a comment

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

Nobody really talks about this crap. Is it a secret? Is it the lost Grail? Does everyone else just have this figured out and I’m so far behind it’s ludicrous? Maybe. Don’t answer that last one.

But for anyone else dying to know, here’s my experience - we can learn together.

My shop is still young, so I’m still playing a lot with pretty much everything about it. There are a lot of things that I’m getting better at and totally proud of, but there are some that are still lingering. Namely, my shop looks totally incoherent.

See Mable, my dress form, allows me to take some great pictures. Overall, they’re not too bad. I’m getting better about focusing, highlighting details, and editing my pictures. They’re still not great though and one look at any one page of my shop is just an unorganized collection of junk. Not appetizing, but what am I supposed to do?

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

Mable says hi.

My old point and shoot camera is so old that it’s ridiculously slow and everything comes out blurry unless I steady it. So I bought a tripod. You know, to make less blurry bad pictures. At this point, I was reminding myself of one of my old mottos that I say in my head (and never ever out loud). The gist is that if you’re spending your time perfecting a detail that’s already pretty good instead of working on the big picture which is crap, you’re wasting your time.

I was laying in bed one day, drifting in and out of sleep when it hit me. Photoshoot! Live nude models! That’s the way to go.  Then I realized the only person I could get to model was me, so I groaned, rolled back over and passed out.

However, my stupid brain won’t shut up once I’ve had an idea, so I had to seriously consider it. The key that you’re missing here is that I’m one of the most picture-averse people alive. There is literally a melted patch of carpet in my parent’s house where I burned pictures of myself in a coffee can. I was young; we don’t talk about it. I deleted my old Facebook account because people were posting pictures of me and I was so INTENSELY uncomfortable that the best solution was to scrap it all and become a hermit for a few years. Live modeling sounds like one of the circles of Hell so foul that Dante was ushered quietly away from it because Satan just thought ‘maybe this dude’s had enough’ and pat him on the head while steering him towards some ice.

But was it necessary? Unfortunately, I thought so. That’s when I started intense, Oprah-flavored pep talks with myself. It’ll be fun. You’ll learn a lot about product photography. It’ll give the shop a cohesive look. You can bury your face under makeup. And most importantly, if I look like a hobo, I can delete the pictures and nobody will ever have to know. Hey, I’ve got a tripod on the way to free up my hands so I can actually do that now.

I had to find the perfect location though. Here were my options.

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

Perfect.

I am not part of the selfie generation. I think it’s lame, but harmless. Holy crap. I have so much more respect for people who take selfies. It’s hard as hell. I even experimented with smiling. It was not successful. It makes me look either terrified or terrifying. No in between. More practice needed.

I am ridiculously, horrendously aware from personal experience that I look awkward as hell if I am just standing there posing. There was never a shadow of an idea that I could just pose, so I had to do something. Even a little something was okay. Enter: hair fiddling, looking around, and props.

Overall: There are about a dozen items I would like a better shot for. I have more complicated photoshoots for later on that I’m actually looking forward to. How the hell did that happen? Also, I think my shop looks better for it.

 

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

Before

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

After

Things I have learned:

Product photography is better on a person. It allows you to get a clear idea of sizing, fit, and color in a way a dress form or light box does not.

My face will not melt the internet.

A tripod is the best purchase ever.

Selfie game is weak. Wobbly dismount, but improving. Solid 5 out of 10 for effort though.

Photoshoots are exhausting.

 

Bonus: Here are some of my behind the scenes rejects that I thought were hilarious.

Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop Etsy Product Photography: Updating and Unifying Your Shop

19. September 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Crafts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Etsy Treasury – Bright and Quirky

I’m still getting the hang of making an Etsy Treasury, but am absolutely loving the learning process. My Ingenuity Team always has a lot of amazing items and I’ve complimented them with a few others that have caught my eye and heart. Bright, quirky, and eye-catching home decor rounded up for your viewing pleasure. Click on the image for more information.

Etsy Treasury

04. September 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Crafts | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Row of Flowers Mitts – New Knitting Pattern

Row of Flowers Mitts Pattern - Fanofstuff.com

Like fingerless gloves? Need to whip something up with a chunky yarn because you “forgot” a gift?

I thought so.

Row of Flowers Mitts Pattern - Fanofstuff.com

I had a hank of lime green super bulky that wanted to be turned into something with a floral motif. Despite my love of color, I’m not actually brave or, you know, tan enough to wear lime green on my head. Or around my neck. Or anywhere close to my face really, so relegating this yarn to my hands felt bright and fun instead of making me feel like an albino.

These fingerless gloves give you the chance to practice a more advanced lotus knitting stitch that embeds itself into a smooth, clean background. This stitch would be gorgeous in a variegated yarn or something with some nice sheen. The mitts fit most hands well, but the knitting pattern also comes with small and large sizing.

It also has the distinction of being my first knitting pattern in the shop! I’ve got it listed here on Etsy and here on Ravelry.

Row of Flowers Mitts Pattern - Fanofstuff.com

17. August 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Crafts, Knitting | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

New Summer Sale in my Etsy Shop

I’ve already hit a couple of milestones in my little shop. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have a few sales and some interest under my belt. However, I’m closing in on another milestone of mine : I have almost 50 items in my shop! In the next few days, I will probably be over that hurdle. I love experimenting and learning new things to make so it’s all been a lot of fun so far.

In honor of my next milestone, I’m having a summer sale. Get 15% off anything in the store with the coupon code BEACH15. There is no minimum purchase and it is good on both made to order and ready to order items. Hurry, sale ends August 31st, 2014. Click here or on the Etsy banner to the left.

New Summer Sale in my Etsy Shop

06. August 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Crafts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dog Days of Summer BBQ Side Dishes

Dog Days of Summer BBQ Side Dishes

As you doggedly brave the heat, bugs and sun, it sometimes helps to remember exactly why you do it. Namely, the heat, the sun and the supreme BBQ buffet stuffed with everything you’d prayed for over a long cold winter. I won’t presume to know how you feel about bugs.

Here are my top 9 quintessential BBQ Side Dishes that no outdoor spread should be without:

  1. Minted Watermelon and Feta Side Salad
  2. Cowboy Caviar Dip and Salsa Recipe
  3. Southern Baked Beans
  4. Cajun Cole Slaw
  5. Quick Broccoli Salad
  6. Panera Macaroni and Cheese
  7. Sweet Honey Cornbread
  8. Pioneer Chewies Blondie Recipe
  9. Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream – Instructions with and without an ice cream maker

And don’t forget keeping everything cool! My favorite idea is to fill a cheap kiddie pool with ice and setting your dishes on top. Don’t forget the pooch either. Fido needs to keep cool under his coat just as much as you do. Also, you can’t resist something this cute!

Click Picture for Source

05. August 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com

30. July 2014 by Zylo
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Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com

Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com

Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com

Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com

Wordless Wednesday - Fanofstuff.com

23. July 2014 by Zylo
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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