Archive for October, 2008

Inspiration Board: Ghostly Glamour

October 31, 2008

Ghost board3
 

This morning we woke up to pouring rain and no electricity—an unpleasant Halloween surprise indeed! But now that I have my internet connection back, I present to you this Halloween inspiration board. The mood is haunted and mysterious, the palette faded and timeworn, the textures wispy and ethereal. May your Halloween be full of chills down the spine and things that go bump in the night!

For more Halloween goodness, be sure to check out the official Snippet and Ink Halloween offering from Kathryn, aka the Inspiration Board Queen! I adore Kathryn's boards, and her latest one is no exception!

Image Credits
First Row: James Merrell, Thomas Klementsson, Ditte Isager, Paul Massey
Second Row: David Prince, Marie Claire Maison, Tobias Regell, Denise Grunstein
Third Row: Marie Claire Maison, Wild at Heart, Gentl & Hyers, Martin Morrell
Fourth Row: Eric Dover, Roland Bello, Eva Marie Rundquist, Uli Schade

Frighteningly Simple Project: Pet Spider’s Lair

October 30, 2008

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Here's yet another Halloween how-to that literally look me five minutes to make but is SO effective! For me, spiders are amongst the creepiest creatures out there, and there's nothing creepier than keeping one as a pet!

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I got the idea for this one from my homegirl Jen over at Raising Granola. She's discovered that the Halloween crafter's best friend is a can of glossy black spray paint, and it couldn't be more true! Below are the supplies that I started with: an ugly green pillar candle holder and decorative cage (I honestly can't think of a non-Halloween use for this cage!) that I scrounged at Goodwill, as well as a cheap plastic spider from the dollar store. Total cost? Eight bucks!

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This little set-up would look amazing as the centerpiece of a Halloween
buffet table, surrounded by a forest of various sized candlesticks also painted black. And doesn't it cast a spooky shadow?!

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For more Halloween inspiration and devilish DIY's, be sure to check out:

Frighteningly Simple Project: Pet Spider’s Lair

October 30, 2008

DSC_0152

Here's yet another Halloween how-to that literally look me five minutes to make but is SO effective! For me, spiders are amongst the creepiest creatures out there, and there's nothing creepier than keeping one as a pet!

DSC_0167

I got the idea for this one from my homegirl Jen over at Raising Granola. She's discovered that the Halloween crafter's best friend is a can of glossy black spray paint, and it couldn't be more true! Below are the supplies that I started with: an ugly green pillar candle holder and decorative cage (I honestly can't think of a non-Halloween use for this cage!) that I scrounged at Goodwill, as well as a cheap plastic spider from the dollar store. Total cost? Eight bucks!

DSC_0007

This little set-up would look amazing as the centerpiece of a Halloween
buffet table, surrounded by a forest of various sized candlesticks also painted black. And doesn't it cast a spooky shadow?!

DSC_0255

For more Halloween inspiration and devilish DIY's, be sure to check out:

To Die for Recipe: Sweet ‘n’ Salty Cashew Toffee

October 30, 2008

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What would Halloween Week be without a recipe for candy? Salty/sweet treats seem to be everywhere these days—from the unexceptional Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Starbucks to the out-of-this-world Vosges Peanut Butter Bonbons. This recipe is the homespun answer to the salty/sweet trend. It features salted cashews ensconced in a crunchy foundation of sweet, buttery toffee. I don't always eat my own baking—it's safer to send it to the office with the huz!—but I couldn't keep my sticky fingers away from this stuff!

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You'll need a candy thermometer for this recipe (I had to go out and buy one, and it was SO worth it!) but other than that it's totally brainless to make. It's also fun to see how simple ingredients like butter and sugar come together to make something totally different—a real lesson in the magic of chemistry. I think making this with kids (under adequate adult supervision of course) would be so educational for them.

Salty 'n' Sweet Cashew Toffee
Recipe courtesy of Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 heaping cups salted cashew halves

In a large saucepan, combine butter, water, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring all the while. Once the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring and cook until it reaches the hard-crack stage (about 300 degrees) on your candy thermometer.

Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda, salt and cashews. It will fizz when you add the baking soda; this aerates the candy, making it lighter and easier to bite into. Pour the candy mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper an let it cool completely. When cool, it will be hard and shattery; break it into generously sized pieces and serve. This toffee would be terrific packaged up as party favours or even as gifts for the winter holiday season! If you can bear to give it away, that is 🙂

Oh, and just in case you needed it, here's proof that my love of Halloween has been many years in the making!

Halloween clown baby

Absolutely Enchanted…

October 29, 2008

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…by these images from stylist Hannah Read-Baldry. Spooky, sophisticated, and sultry. A rare combination indeed!

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Not to mention spot on trend for fall, what with all that black lace 🙂

Images courtesy of Hannah Read-Baldry.

Update: I just realized that my links actually were to a map of my local election polling station! I have corrected this and apologize for the oversight!

Project: Eerily Easy Halloween Glassware

October 29, 2008

Skull carafe set

In case you haven't noticed yet, I LOVE Halloween! I especially like to browse the shops at Halloween and brainstorm how to recreate similar effects at home. For example, I just adore spooky tableware such as these skull highball glasses from Z Gallerie, but I could never justify spending that kind of money on something that I'd only pull out once a year. So I hit up Goodwill, where I found this red glass carafe and glasses for $6. A trip to Michael's Crafts yielded some skull-shaped rub-on transfers and silver alphabet stickers, and I was in business!

Potion number nine glassware

Obviously the skulls are a one-off (not much creativity to be had there) but the alphabet stickers really got my imagination going! You could spell out anything your evil little heart desired. My personal favourite is the 'Trick or Treat' set below….wouldn't this be an awesome project for kids just learning to read? I think little kiddos (and big kiddos too!) would get such a kick out of seeing their everyday cups and plates transformed for a pre-trick-or-treating dinner.
 Trick or treat glasses

The best part? The stickers and rub-on transfers peel right off. So I could leave these as is and store them for next Halloween, or I could remove the decorations and I'm left with a funky set of glassware! Ooh…I can just see snowflake decals looking awesome come Christmas…

Halloween decals

Stay tuned for more Halloween crafts, recipes and inspiration later today and all this week!

Project: Eerily Easy Halloween Glassware

October 29, 2008

Skull carafe set

In case you haven't noticed yet, I LOVE Halloween! I especially like to browse the shops at Halloween and brainstorm how to recreate similar effects at home. For example, I just adore spooky tableware such as these skull highball glasses from Z Gallerie, but I could never justify spending that kind of money on something that I'd only pull out once a year. So I hit up Goodwill, where I found this red glass carafe and glasses for $6. A trip to Michael's Crafts yielded some skull-shaped rub-on transfers and silver alphabet stickers, and I was in business!

Potion number nine glassware

Obviously the skulls are a one-off (not much creativity to be had there) but the alphabet stickers really got my imagination going! You could spell out anything your evil little heart desired. My personal favourite is the 'Trick or Treat' set below….wouldn't this be an awesome project for kids just learning to read? I think little kiddos (and big kiddos too!) would get such a kick out of seeing their everyday cups and plates transformed for a pre-trick-or-treating dinner.
 Trick or treat glasses

The best part? The stickers and rub-on transfers peel right off. So I could leave these as is and store them for next Halloween, or I could remove the decorations and I'm left with a funky set of glassware! Ooh…I can just see snowflake decals looking awesome come Christmas…

Halloween decals

Stay tuned for more Halloween crafts, recipes and inspiration later today and all this week!

Bloodlusting After These…

October 29, 2008

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Okay, so I know it's Halloween Week here at The City Sage—and these babies have nothing to do with Halloween. Unless you count the fact that I'm frightened by how much I want them…

I'm a sucker for clever color names; these Dinah Riding Boots from Loeffler Randall are 'Elephant' grey. And maybe they're Halloween appropriate after all, because their $750 pricetag had me screaming and running in the other direction! Sigh…

Absolutely Loving…

October 28, 2008

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…these fabulous haunted table vignettes from stylist Tanya Goodwin. How much would you love to attend a Halloween party like this!

Tanyag11

There's that creepy cloche effect again! And do I spy my favourite wallpaper in the background?

Images courtesy of Tanya Goodwin.

Absolutely Loving…

October 28, 2008

Tanyag22

…these fabulous haunted table vignettes from stylist Tanya Goodwin. How much would you love to attend a Halloween party like this!

Tanyag11

There's that creepy cloche effect again! And do I spy my favourite wallpaper in the background?

Images courtesy of Tanya Goodwin.