Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween 2012

Thanks to Halloween falling on a Wednesday this year, most of you have already had your Halloween parties - and I'm no exception.

Most of my design inspiration came from Dollarama, and the rest from Pinterest this year. I started decorating almost immediately after (Canadian) Thanksgiving, adding decorations here and there throughout the house...

I had pumpkin and spider lanterns hanging from the curtain rod in the living room, as well as in the dining room. I also put these great gel window stickers up in the living room:

This door hanger is a 'relic' from years ago - I bought it to decorate my apartment door for Halloween in 2009. If it looks a bit off kilter, that's because it is - originally the large pumpkin was centred with two on either side. I cut the last one off though because it didn't fit on my door!

The night before the party, a friend and I created some vampire pumpkins by cutting a hole in the side of the pumpkin, adding fangs, and adding sewing pins for eyes. We got the idea from this tutorial, found on Pinterest. It took all of 15 minutes, and the results look great. We didn't even have to gut the pumpkins!

I finally put the Fireplace Candle Holder by PartyLite to use for something other than sitting on my fireplace. The middle bowl was later filled up with gummy worms. I have chocolate jack 'o lanterns in the left bowl and chocolate eyeballs in the right.

Another candle holder by Party Lite that got some use this weekend. They advertise it around Christmas to put a wreath in usually, but it worked perfect to hold my skull shaped ring pops.

I also had a bowl full of gummy body parts, including an anatomically correct heart, severed fingers, and eyeballs. The table looks pretty scarce in this picture, but it filled up fast! The tablecloth and napkins are also from Dollarama.

This little cubby usually has four glass shelves in it, full of my trinkets. For now though, it is a spider's lair!

Guen decided that he wanted to help decorate too. He was "great" with the streamers, and got very excited about the concept of pulling on the witch's broom (just visible at the top of the photo).

See, the table really did fill up! The vampire pumpkins moved to the table, as well as chips, party snacks,and lots of alcohol.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween for the Healthy

As Halloween approaches, my inbox has been inundated with 'tips to keep from gaining weight this halloween', 'halloween treats under 100 calories', and 'how to keep from eating all your kids' candy'. Some of the suggestions that have come in are interesting and thought provoking... others are laughable. Admittedly, as someone who is trying to lose weight and have a "lifestyle" change, I've clicked on almost every one. Some of my favorites...

Best Advice

10 Tricks to Avoid Halloween Temptations! - Web MD
Control Halloween Candy Cravings - About.com Running & Jogging
(I'd like to add - give out something OTHER than candy, that is still acceptable, like microwave popcorn!)
20 Better-For-You Halloween Treats - fitbie
(Honestly I don't agree with a lot of their suggestions, but it gets you thinking at least)

Worst Advice (IMHO)

The Trick to Eating Treats Fearlessly - CalorieCount
(Really? Because I'd just eat the entire bowl anyway...)
Halloween Treats Calorie Calculator - About.com Walking
(Just read the label. Then don't eat it. Already ate it? Do as much exercise as you can, don't base it on a calculator.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Vases

Image courtesy: PepperWood Miniatures

One of my favorite trends this season is pumpkin vases. They have been featured in several different places, including Chatelaine magazine, Martha Stewart crafts, Country Living magazine, and several crafting blogs. They are simple to make, and make a great fall statement.

I didn't make one of my own this year due to timing, but I do have some questions for those of you who did:
- Did you put real or fake flowers in them?
- Did the water (assuming you water your flowers) affect them negatively, or did you put a different vase inside?
- Assuming you kept your pumpkin vase inside and on some sort of table (ie/ not refrigerated or cooled in any way), how long did it last?

As I mentioned before, there are several great examples of pumpkin vases to look at this year. Here are some of my favorites:

Small & Simple:
Courtesy: The Crafty Crow

Big & Elegant:

Courtesy: Better Homes & Gardens

Girly & Cute:

Courtesy: Chatelaine

Bright & Bold:
Courtesy: Shelterness

Timeless & Classic:

Courtesy: Budget Brides Guide

Did you make a pumpkin vase this year? Send in your picture to be featured on the blog!

- Hardly Martha

Welcome to Hardly Martha

Welcome to Hardly Martha!

The intention of this blog is to bring everything I love in life together. This blog will be a compilation of my craft projects, decorating, outdoor adventures, cats, personal life, and so on. To start though, I'd like to offer a big thank you for stopping by my blog, and encourage you to follow it either by checking in or adding me to your RSS feed reader. Being a new blog, I'm sure that I will be adjusting the format for a little while - please keep that in mind if you notice the design shifting and morphing, it is simply so that you will be better served by this blog.

So welcome. Welcome, and I look forward to our journey together.

- Hardly Martha