There are so many wonderful things about fall that we try to take advantage of every year and one of the absolute must-do’s on our list is to enjoy the fall foliage. Last year was our first year in New England and due to some bad weather the fall colors were not as vivid as they usually are. This year is a whole different story. The golds, reds, yellows, and oranges are spectacular and breathtaking. We took a day last weekend to drive up through New Hampshire and Vermont and immerse ourselves in the splendor of fall.
I could wander down roads like this forever. It was so peaceful and beautiful.
We drove through this small, quaint town in the mountains of New Hampshire that was having a fundraiser to save this historic water mill. I really hope they succeed because this is a beautiful piece of history and scenery.
We talked to a very friendly local (always the best thing to do when you are traveling) and he directed us to this lake. It was off the main road and we would have driven right by and missed out on some of the most picturesque views of the whole trip.
We followed the road into Vermont and were treated with even more stunning colors and charming towns. I “oohed” and “awwed” every time we went around a corner and snapped a ton of pictures. The colors were so bright it was almost as if they had been painted on. Is it any wonder fall is my favorite time of year?
I so was obsessed with all the colors that I had to collect some leaves as mementos. And this was the perfect time to bring out an old technique from my elementary school days. I’m sure many of you have done this before but it is always good to remember and if it is new to you than I hope you take advantage of this easy way to preserve leaves.
You’ll need leaves, wax paper, an iron, and two cloths. Leaves that are not too dry yet work best. If the edges have started to curl then they are too dry.
Layer one of your cloths, a sheet of wax paper with the wax side up, your leaves, another sheet of wax paper with the wax side down, and the last cloth.
Iron on a low heat going slowly over the leaves so that the wax melts evenly. After the paper has started to melt together you can increase the heat and the pressure to seal it. Let the wax paper cool completely and then cut around your leaves. You’ll want to leave the tiniest edge around the leaf as a seal. These leaves are perfect to save in a scrapbook or to use in your decorating. I’m keeping mine nearby to use in my Thanksgiving Holiday Shelf decorations and a couple in our scrapbook as well. I know that when I look at them I’ll remember the gorgeous fall day we had and the wonderful memories we made.
Ahh, Halloween. What a great excuse to eat lots of chocolate and candy. Perhaps while you are munching on some delicious snacks yourself you can leave a fun little surprise for someone else as well. And attaching this ghostly tag really makes a treat out of it!
Let’s face it. In this world of emails, texts, and Facebook sending a handwritten note is a lost art. There is a way to digitally answer every question, wish someone a happy birthday, or say thank you. But I think that a handwritten note is one of the loveliest ways to tell someone how much they mean to you and one of the best surprises to receive in the mail. Plus I’ve always had this weird obsession with stationary. Seriously, walking through the school supply aisle gives me a high.
This gift idea brings back the sweet days of the handwritten note. It is easy to put together and pretty when arranged in a cute box or basket. All items in these pictures came from the dollar bins at Michaels. They usually have a great selection of matching stationary. Here are some ideas of what to put inside:
-Blank Note Cards & Envelopes
-To Do List
-Nice Pens or Pencils
And nothing would be more appropriate than including a handwritten note from you. Just remember to leave out the “LOL’s” and actually spell “you”, not “u.” :)
And make sure you are stocked up on eye of newt, have a fresh batch of bat wings, and plenty of toadstools on hand. We are brewing up one great Halloween craft today.
To begin you’ll need a book that you don’t mind “ruining.” I suggest a trip to your local thrift store, the older and more battered the book is the more authentic it will look. Thrift stores usually have a large selection of books for really cheap and sometimes you can find some really cool looking ones. If you only have a selection of more modern books once you remove the jacket covers the outside is usually plain anyway so it will still work. Knowing that not every person would be able to find a book the exact same size I’ve given you a little room on the printable. Your book can be up to 6 inches wide and 9 inches tall but no smaller than 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall.
Now please, please, please if you happen to find a very old book take two minutes to Google it and make sure you aren’t about to turn some priceless piece of history into a Halloween decoration. For the love of books, please! A quick Google search convinced me to use the larger green book (worthless) instead of the smaller black book (might be worth something. Not a lot, but enough to just keep it as is.)
There are two different pages in this printable and like I said earlier I’ve given you a wide margin to trim your page.
After I cut my pages to fit my book I took a gold ink pad and dabbed it all over the page. It is kind of hard to see in the pictures but the gold splashes across the page really look good and add a touch of magic.
If you are wondering the “spell” on the left page is the Three Witches scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. And the ingredients is just from me. :)
Open your book to the center, or wherever it will lay flat when opened. And then all you have to do is glue the spell pages onto the pages in the books.
Let it dry completely. And I would let it dry open as well so if there is any glue that escaped from underneath the pages you won’t accidentally glue the book shut.
This project came out of an afternoon with nothing much to do and some plain boring candles. It was a total experiment but I really love the results and if you want to make some spooky candles for yourself I’ll show you the easy how-to.
You’ll need a pillar candle (any size you’d like), some taper candles (really cheap at Wal-Mart), a paper plate or some newspaper, a lighter or matches, and a half hour to an hour depending on the size of your candle.
This project does take a little time but it is really, really easy. If you can sit and watch TV for an hour and hold something in your hand while you watch TV then you can make these candles. Begin by lighting your pillar candle and just letting it burn for a while. You don’t want the top to be perfectly flat so wait until you have a good hollow in the candle.
After it has burned for awhile blow out the flame and light one of your taper candles. The tapers should be the same color as the other candle. Hold your taper over the pillar candle and let the wax drip down from the taper onto the pillar.
Repeat. That is it! As the wax from the taper slides down the side of the pillar candle it will harden and form the little drips. The longer you holder the taper over one spot the thicker the drips will be. Every once in awhile rotate the pillar candle so you cover the all sides. If you pick up the pillar candle and hold it at a slight angle the wax will slide down slower and give you all different levels of drips. The paper plate or newspaper is important here to catch any drips that might not land on the pillar candle. Soon your drips will start building up:
Sometimes a little bit of soot or smoke will get in the wax dripping off the taper but that is okay. A little black mixed in only adds to the creepiness.
Let the wax drip until you like the look or your taper candle runs out. I suggest letting it sit for a few minutes after it is done just to let the wax cool and harden completely.
And then put them on display!
The smaller candle took me a half hour and I used one taper, the tall candle took about an hour and used two tapers. They are such fun Halloween decorations! And I actually keep the tall candle out on my bookshelf all year when I’m not using it for Halloween. When it is surrounded by old books it looks antique, not creepy. Double decorating duty! So cue up your favorite show on your DVR and go for it!
Halloween has made it’s way into our home! I decided to branch out this year and decorate in an all new color scheme. (New to me, I mean.) Usually I just add a few pumpkins to my generic fall decor but this year is full of spooky sparkle in fun, whimsical colors! Enter lots of green, purple, orange, and black + glitter. My husband Sam, like most men, is a big fan of glitter. His favorite thing about it is how whenever you touch something glittery you are then immediately covered in glitter for the next week and it also ends up on everything around you. He loves that. So babe, this holiday decor is for you.
Glittery scrapbook paper cut into stripes makes a cute display in the frames, along with a sparkly pumpkin, black raven, and spider web from the dollar store. The Beware sign came from CVS and I put together the little vase arrangement myself.
I picked up a few floral picks (these were actually in the Christmas section at Michaels) along with some pipe cleaners. Oh, I mean…chenille stems. Sounds fancier.
Then I use the super difficult very secret method of twisting the pipe cleaners around a pencil. Tell me that did not just blow your mind.
I really like how this little arrangement turned out, it isn’t your typical floral arrangement which is perfect for Halloween.
The other area to get a little scary makeover was my sofa table. I’ll break the elements down for you. The spell books you should recognize from this post where I show you how to make them. If you haven’t made yours yet be sure to go grab your free printable and get to work!
A trip to the thrift store brought me some glass bottles to hold all my scary potions! Or my potions may be water colored with food coloring and a jar full of flour.
Aren’t the potion labels fantastic? I found them for FREE from Over the Big Moon and if you have a few minutes you really need to go check out her bottle display. The bottles she used are amazing and I want them all!
Some other odds and ends like this cute green sign and black netting from the dollar store complete the look.
Later this week I’ll show you how I made the open spell book as well as the spooky candles. Eeek! Things are getting scary here!