posts filed under the 'halloween' category :
October 28th, 2011

happy halloween!!!

Hello lovely friends :) I hope you are gearing up for a spooky weekend; we here at 4389 certainly are (whoa, 406 no more!)! However, with the move-in, things have been MUCH tamer this year with regards to Halloween (much to poor Jeff’s disappointment :( ). It’s just been difficult to find the time with the unpacking, working (Jeff), job-hunting (Me), and all around getting settled.

BUT! Are Spooky Chew and Icky Vikki going to let a Halloween just pass them by!? NEVER! Behold! The Buoy Bird Halloween Craft of 2011:

Good House Keeping Spider Pumpkin

image from Good House Keeping

You might recall last year when I came up with this spooky little treat: great fun :) When I found this year’s craft online last night I thought why not share it with you and make the BB Halloween Craft an annual event!

For this year’s craft you need to meet the following requirements:

  • NOT have Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
  • NOT have Arsonphobia (fear of fire)
  • NOT have Cucurbitophobia (fear of pumpkins… seriously, google it!)

Must procure:

  • cute mini pumpkins (color of your choosing)
  • black pipe cleaners
  • tea lights (dip into that bag o’ 100 that everyone has in a drawer somewhere)
  • tracing devices, knives, and fancy carving tools of your choosing

spider pumpkin suplies

First, remove the wax portion of the tea light from its casing. It makes tracing the diameter on top of the pumpkin much easier. Trace your circle, erring on the smaller side so that you don’t end up with too big a hole (which would allow your candle to fall right in).

trace your tealight

Next, pick your carving tool and lop off the top of that gourd! Again, keep on the inner edge of the circle: always better to be too small and make it bigger later.

knives and kitties

Spot the mischievous feline? BLK (bad little kitty).

Next, gut that cute little guy (the pumpkin, not the BLK)! Scrape out as much pumpkin-goo as you can, and take a big whiff: it’s the smell that brings you back to childhood pumpkin carving; a special smell usually encountered only around this time of year (unless you are a year-round pumpkin pie maker: I’m looking at you Doms! xo)

gutting the pumpkin

Next, return your candle to its casing, and squeeeeeeze your candle into the hole. The tin-cased tea lights have some give, so you really can wedge it in there, but if need be, widen your opening a little, but make sure to keep it a snug fit. Push it down to be as flush as possible without it falling into the pumpkin. When it does fall in (which it will unless you are an expert unlike myself) fish it back out, wash the pumpkin-goo off your fingers, and try again.

insert your tealight

Next, mark out where you want to place your spidey legs. Fake being a lefty if need be for the sake of getting a non-blurry shot with your dominant hand. Use a sharp knife to make tiny circles into the pumpkin flesh, deep enough so that the pipe cleaners will push into the softer flesh with ease.

cut leg holes

Fold your pipe cleaners in half and cut in the middle (4 pipe cleaners = 8 spidey legs). Insert your pipe cleaners into the leg holes, until you end up with what looks like a scared spider, all 8 legs raised in surprise!

insert legs

Bend the pipe cleaners at the tip to make little feet, and then again in the middle-ish of the leg to make “knees”.

bend legs

Find somewhere spooky for your new friend, and light that bad-boy up! TA-DA! There you have your very own spooky spider pumpkins! You can add eyes, a face, etc. if you wish, but I liked the classic, clean look of the white pumpkins. Even without creepy bug eyes, you get the picture.

pumpkin spiders

Oh! This is a good time to mention: NEVER EVER EVER leave your candles unattended, especially if you’re working with home-made holders. Trust me: the Christmas Party Fire of ’08 was a close brush with disaster (another story for another time), and I don’t want a cute Halloween decoration turning into tragedy. There, due diligence done! :)

I hope you enjoyed this year’s craft (original inspiration found here)! If you have any holiday crafts you’d like to share please add ’em in the comments section¬†(I’m even already prepping for *the-holiday-with-the-¬≠big-jolly-red-guy-that-is-not-to-be-mentioned-until-after-Halloween* ;) )!

Happy Halloween Everyone! xo

ps: I’ll be back next week with more new-house updates, promise, promise!

November 3rd, 2010

post fright (…or fright post)

I don’t think anyone, myself included, realizes how much time I put into holidays. I’m sure that MANY of you can empathize with this, but I think that for the majority of people, the holiday that they get carried away with the most is dead girl

Such is not the case in my house.

Don’t get me wrong; I go full tilt for Christmas. But I honest-to-goodness believe that a more concentrated, prolonged effort goes into celebrating Halloween here at 406.front porch

So you will forgive me for being absent as of late. But what is a Halloween (and a HUGE Halloween party) without tombstones, cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns, and spooky edibles!?food collagetypewriter

Check out my Mummy Dogs: hot dogs rolled in phyllo pastry, and dipped into a blood bath (ketchup) or pus (mustard). A last minute idea to turn our cheeses into tombstones with clove-marked RIPs was captured only after many people had already devoured their share of cheese.

I turned my vintage typewriter into a lost love’s last letter, penning a farewell note, only to be cut short with a spattering of blood from behind. Our guests that discovered this little “easter egg” found it quite amusing.creepy hostswitch of the east

Halloween 2010 was no year to skimp on the costumes! Jeff as the Wolfman (check out that face!), and myself as Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl”, we set the bar high for our guests and their creations. And let me tell you, we were not disappointed! Top prizes go to our Frankenstein’s Monster (see below) and The Wicked Witch of the East. Yes, that is Dorothy’s house that fell on her head. How ridiculously clever is my best friend <3 (she also handmade ruby slippers… talent abounds!)spooky boysjackolantern collage

The party on Saturday was a booming success, and on night two (actual Halloween) we had a couple close friends stop by in their Sunday best to help spook the trick-or-treaters and to pass out candy. The boys carved some mean jack-o-lanterns so that all the little ghosts and ghouls knew that they were welcome here on 406’s door step. A few creepy flicks later, and Halloween was behind us for another year.

But the spirit of Halloween lives on 365 days a year here at 406. And to ensure that, we always have the scariest thing ever to remind us that something spooky lurks this way. Buoy Bird readers, you’ve been warned……pug bag


Happy Belated Halloween! xo

October 27th, 2010

bloody candles!

“Four more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! Four more days till Halloween, Silver Shamrock!”

No folks, I haven’t gone completely crazy. Just a little ditty from a special Halloween flick; kind of a theme song at our house around this time of year.bloody candelabra

So, I hope all your Halloween preparations are going well! Things at 406 are moving along nicely, but I hit a bit of a road block the other day. Did you know bloody candles are hard to come by? Sacrilege, right!? Well, I’m not one to let a formality hold me back, so when you can’t buy it… you make it!!!what you need

For these spooky candles you will need:

~ as many plain candles as you’d like to blood-ify

~ paro-wax

~ red food coloring

~ red crayons

~ two pots to make a double boiler; one medium sized, one small

~ a spoon you’re willing to get all waxy

~ a holder for your candles (again, willing to get all waxy)

~ optional: perfume oil to scent your wax withdouble boiler

Create a double boiler by filling your larger pot about half way full with water, placing your smaller pot within it, making sure no water can seep into the smaller pot.melt your parowax

Add about half a cup of paro-wax to your smaller pot, and use a medium heat to warm your water enough to melt your paro-wax.pot of blood

DO NOT do what I did, and add your food coloring, expecting your wax to turn bloody red… it won’t. Instead, remember the crazy projects you use to do as a child, thank the lord that you are still as kid at heart and actually have crayons in the house, get yourself a couple red crayons, and melt them into the wax, turning it the perfect shade of blood red. Add your perfume oil at this point if you’d like. Mmm… strawberry scented blood.drip your blood

Using your candle holder to hold your candle upright, CAREFULLY drip the red wax over your candles, one at a time, until you achieve the desired effect. Allow the wax to dry, then remove from your holder, and continue to do as many candles as you wish, adding more and more gory goodness to your home with every additional candle.bloody candles

Distribute and enjoy your new creations, and maybe do as we did on Jeff’s advice: leave a bloody candle in your original holder, seeing as it’s already super bloody – aka: super spooky.spooky lady

I hope you enjoyed my creation! A special thank you to my Mama for letting me play with wax and heat even in my young age, thus encouraging projects like this! xo

October 18th, 2010

roadside finds – the gorgeous shade

Hey hey! Time for the second installment of roadside finds!glass shade

I stumbled upon this beauty a week ago about midway up my street, and I fell in love. I would die to have a long, dangling fixture with a shade like this in a corner of my home, so I tossed it in my bag, with every intention to create just that.

It then dawned on me that it might take a little more work, and possibly a little outside help, to turn this stand-alone shade into the light fixture of my dreams. So in the mean time, I had to find something to do with this so that it wasn’t just another piece of *junk* hanging out by the front door, waiting to have its true artistic nature pumpkin and leaves

Keeping up with the pumpkin theme, I came up with this! You like?add some candles

I decided to go a little further in inducing some warn autumn charm into the house by putting a couple battery operated tea lights underneath, and voila! Glowing antique glass pumpkin!glass pumpkin

Keep your eyes peeled folks! You never know when you might come across a holiday appropriate find to add some unique flare to your decor!

October 15th, 2010

the great white pumpkin

Oooooo! Things are starting to get spooky around here! In case you didn’t know, Halloween is one-half-of-the-human-population-at-406’s favorite holiday. Seeing as my boyfriend is commonly referred to as “Spooky Chew”, I’m sure you can guess which half I speak of. But don’t get me wrong, Halloween is VERY near and dear to me, and although I didn’t think it was possible (my mom made Halloween very special for us as kids), I might actually like Halloween more now as an adult than I did as a child!

Getting geared up for the night of horrors and haunts, 406 is typically transformed into a deathly graveyard; a house of spooks and ghouls. This year is no different, so it is time for the Halloween projects to commence!

This eerie little treat is inspired by one of my daily emails from Better Homes and Gardens. They’re always sending me tips on home decor, crafts, and allllll the good stuff I love. My favorite time is from now until the end of the year, when my inbox is flooded with BHG articles, split between my top two holidays: CHRISTMAS, and Halloween.white pumpkin

For this project, one needs:

~ a pumpkin in the color of your choice (I opted for a fake-y so that I can reuse my creation year after year, but I have every intention to do another on a big orange real guy.)
~ black paint
~ a paint brush
~ plastic spiders
~ fake spider webbing
~ your trusty glue gun and glue stickspaint vertical lines

Step One: Paint vertical lines down the veins of your pumpkin. Work your way around, and use a wet cloth to wipe off any wobbly bits if you have an unsteady hand.paint horizontal lines

Step Two: Paint scalloped lines across the pumpkin, connecting the veins and emulating a spider’s web. Like the BHG example, I only worked half way down the pumpkin; those spiders still have some work left to do!silly lady and spiders

Step Three: Cut any unnecessary bits off of your plastic spiders (mine had rings).

Step Four: Take a break and take a photo of your ridiculous cat.

Step Five: Proceed to glue your spiders on to the surface of your pumpkin.finished pumpkin

Step Six: Continue attaching your spiders in a haphazard fashion; use as many as you’d like for your desired effect.

Step Seven: Use your fake spider webbing to really creep out your pumpkin, dragging it between the stem and your spiders’ legs.

Step Eight: Place your creation near something scary in your house, like a bowl of skulls, or a messy kitchen counter.creepy spider pumpkin

And you’re done! I hope you all enjoy, and I’d love to see photos of your Halloween creations! If you have any projects that you’d like to share, PLEASE send them my way, as I love crafting new, ghastly decorations. Keep me in mind for any upcoming Christmas treats too. ;)

If you’d like to receive home, decor, and craft ideas, sign up for Better Homes and Gardens newsletter at I highly recommend it!

Jeff just made the point that a white pumpkin works best for this project because it “makes it look like the spiders sucked all the blood out of it”. Did I mention the moniker Spooky Chew? ;)