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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S

Friday, October 24, 2014

HALLOWEEN PARTY PRINTABLES!

   This comes from www.catchmyparty.com .  Like I always say, it's never too early to get ready for the holidays and gather up different ideas of new things to make and do.  It's never too early!


We’re giving away a whole new collection of FREE “Little Witches” Halloween party printables designed by my friend, Betsy from B.Nute Productions. This collection has the cutest little witches and a retro feel that I just love.
And in addition to the invitation, party circles, “Bewitched” banner, goodie bag labels, and party labels Betsy designed, she also created this adorable “cootie catcher” fortune teller that will keep your kids entertained for hours.
DOWNLOAD THE HIGH RESOLUTION FILES FOR PRINTING:
Here are some photos of the collection in action…



free-halloween-party-printables-party-circles

free-halloween-printable-invitations

free-halloween-party-printables-invitation




free-halloween-party-printables-cootie-catcher




free-halloween-printables-favor-tags




free-halloween-printables-banner




free-halloween-printables-party-labels




The fabulously fun cootie catcher



free-halloween-cootie-catcher




And if you don’t know how to fold an cootie catcher, here’s a video to help.




DIY CRYSTAL BALL!

   This diy was found at www.lifeartcollide.blogspot.ie .   This was another cool and wonderful element to add to your indoor Halloween decor.  Especially, it could be the centerpiece of your kitchen table, with a matt black table cloth.  Happy Haunting!




DIY Crystal Ball









GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES

GLASS CANDY DISH on a metal pedestal, no plastic parts as this will be going in the oven! Works best if the dish has a lip around the top, more visible in the pictures below. I found my dish at a garage sale missing the top and covered in dust, oh the possibilities!!

GLASS GLOBE - NECKLESS TYPE - only the globe not the entire lamp kit. The neckless type will sit level in the dish.The globes also come in clear, none in stock...darn! Picked mine up at Lowes - $8.99.








BLACK SCULPEY - 8 oz. (227 g) block - I purchase my Sculpey at Michaels









WHITE GLUE - WELDBOND - I use Weldbond as it stands up to the heat of the oven.








PEARL-EX in Aztec Gold - again I get mine at Michaels









GLITTER GEM STICKERS - I buy mine at the Dollar Store.








DANGLING EARRINGS - I buy mine at, where else, the Dollar Store.








LIGHT/S - I used a battery powered LED light like the one shown below. Just remove the globe, flick on the LED light and replace the globe...easy!










THE HOW TO'S:


1. Apply a 1/8 in thick x (however wide your dish dictates) strip of black Sculpey around the edge of the dish. **Apply a little Weldbond to the dish where the Sculpey is applied. Lightly press Sculpey into place.














2. Cut out leaves from black Sculpey, add veining and dust with gold Pearlex. Don't apply the Pearlex to the area of the leave that will attach to the black strip going around the edge of the candy dish or it won't adhere.













3. Apply the leaves to the edge of the dish pressing firmly into place. Apply more Pearlex to the band ensursing that all the black Sculpey is covered. Poke a small hole 1/4" from the end of each leaf big enough for the wire on the earrings to fit through.












4. When you're happy with your design, place the entire dish in the oven and bake according to the directions on the Sculpey package.












5. When the dish is baked and cured add a few glitter gems and hang the earrings from the leaves.
place your LED light in the bottom of the dish, replace the glass globe and get ready to tell a few fortunes!!





HISTORY OF THE JACK O' LANTERN!









   Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.



The Legend of "Stingy Jack"


   People have been making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.















   Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
   In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o'-lanterns.

















   In the United States, pumpkins go hand in hand with the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. An orange fruit harvested in October, this nutritious and versatile plant features flowers, seeds and flesh that are edible and rich in vitamins. Pumpkin is used to make soups, desserts and breads, and many Americans include pumpkin pie in their Thanksgiving meals. Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is a popular Halloween tradition that originated hundreds of years ago in Ireland. Back then, however, jack-o’-lanterns were made out of turnips or potatoes; it wasn’t until Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered the pumpkin that a new Halloween ritual was born.




Pumpkin Facts


  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now grow on six continents.

  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.                                                                            

  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.

  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North    America, he reported finding  "gros melons." The name was translated into English as "pompions," which has since evolved into the modern "pumpkin."

  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of        Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.

  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was presented by Chris Stevens at the       Stillwater Harvest Fest in  Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.

  • Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June.       They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.





Thursday, October 23, 2014

FESTES DE LA MERC`E FROM SPAIN!

 

 


La Mercè, Patron Saint of Barcelona

    The legend goes that on the night of 24 September 1218, the Virgin appeared simultaneously to King Jaume I, Saint Pere Nolasc and Saint Ramón de Penyafort. She asked all three to create an order of monks dedicated to saving Christians imprisoned by the Saracens. It was the time of the wars of religion.
    Centuries later in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts, and placed itself in the hands of the Virgin of La Mercè. Once the plague had been overcome, the Council of the City named her patron saint of Barcelona. The Pope did not ratify this decision until two centuries later, however, in 1868.

The Origins of The Annual Festival

   After Pope Pius IX declared the Virgin of La Mercè the patron saint of the city, Barcelona began to celebrate a festival in the month of September. La Mercè really took off in 1902, when under the impulse of Francesc Cambó, the festival became the model the those that are currently held all over Catalonia. However, the history of La Mercè would suffer many high and low points that extended throughout the Civil War and the years of Franco.








The Festival Today

   With the arrival of democracy, La Mercè became a truly popular celebration thanks to the participation of organisations from all over the city. Today it is a festival held in a large number of public places with a programme centred on Mediterranean culture. In less than a week Barcelona brings together a huge programme of events which forces you to choose between them: street arts, street processions, concerts, traditional dances...









Barcelona’s Speciality

   The most traditional activities of the Mercè Festival are, in fact, a compendium of popular culture from all over Catalonia. There is the Gironese Sardana, the human castles and devils from the Camp of Tarragona, dances that still survive today all over the Catalan lands. But the great Barcelona speciality is its street parades, originating from the spectacular processions which took place centuries ago for the celebration of Corpus Christi. They are some of the oldest street spectacles that still exist today. Now, as ever, the organisation of the street parades relies on groups representing popular culture working side by side with the street artists. Their joint task means that we can keep alive the festive and theatrical spirit that these events have always had.


Events

Correfoc - Fire Run
    If you are going to experience the Correfoc it is highly advisable to take protective clothing because often powerful sparkler fireworks are sprayed into the crowds. People should bring hats, protective glasses and thick long sleeved tops that will protect you from the flying sparklers.









    There is normally 2 types of Correfoc on the same evening. One of them is for the children and is a lot more tame than the "adult" Correfoc which happens later on in the evening
    The Correfoc event takes place at dusk. Normally along and around Via Laietana. The road will be closed off and then opens to "The Devils" . The Devils are special community groups that dress up like devils and parade the streets during certain festivals in Barcelona. La Merce Festival is one such festival. The devils run up the streets with bangers and hand held fireworks. Lots of bangs and fire is the order of the day. Fire breathing dragons (or at least sparkler-breathing dragons) also roam the streets with Devils skipping along with spiralling fireworks held in their hands.










    The "adult" Correfoc takes place after the "junior" Correfoc. The main difference with the adult event is that the crowds are actually sprayed with flames from the sparklers - you can see this in the picture to the left and in the picture below. If you are of a nervous disposition then maybe you should consider standing well back from the Correfoc itself.


Castellers - Human Towers
    This event is one of the highlights of the Merce festival and takes place in Placa de Jaume. Thousands of people will pack out the square so it is worth arriving early. The aim of the Castellers is to build a human tower and have a young child climb to the very top of the tower and stand up. It requires a tremendous amount of planning and teamwork to build a human tower and it is quite an amazing sight to see.










Gigantes (Giants Parade)
    The Giants parade is a very popular event for the whole family. Huge giants with effigies of kings, queens and nobles march through the streets of Barcelona. These huge figures tower above the crowds and spin around and around so the crowds can see them in all their glory. The Parade is often accompanied by small percussion groups that beat out a rhythm on drums as the Giants go by.
    The Barcelona La Merce festival will have something for everyone, music, street performances, drama in thousands of venues across the city. Join in the fun with Barcelona's biggest party of the year.

15 FACTS ABOUT HALLOWEEN INFOGRAPHIC!

DIY FAUX BARBED WIRE!

 This diy was found at www.stolloween.com  I thought this was a pretty cool diy  and also pretty easy to make.  No haunt is complete without some barbed wire.




This is a very easy way to make some convincing rusted looking barbed wire to enhance your props or costume and the best part is that it’s safe and inexpensive.

This prop does not involve the use of a papier mache (gasp!) but it does make a nice enhancement to your papier mache props.

The Faux Barbed Wire is made from twine, craft foam and black latex paint.





When starting this project I referenced a piece of real barbed wire and found that the barbs were approximately five inches apart.











The first step is to grab a piece of twine that is twice as long as you would like final piece of wire.

If you want 10 feet of barbed wire then start with 20 feet of twine.

Any type of thick twine will work but I prefer to use polypropylene because it holds together and doesn’t shed fibers.








Take your piece of twine and tie the two loose ends together then start tying loose knots at five inch intervals until you have placed knots along the entire length.










Next the barbs are created using a sheet of craft foam.

Use a paper cutter or scissors to cut thin strips of foam, the thickness of the strips will be the thickness of the faux metal barbs.

Cut the strips into two inch sections, these sections are longer than what is needed but extra length makes them easier to handle.











Take two of the foam strips and place them through the center of the loose knot, make sure they are centered within the knot then tighten.








When the twine is tightened the foam strips will be bend creating a convincing looking barb.

Trim the barbs to the desired length, remember to cut each end on a 45 degree angle to create a sharp looking point.









Once all the barbs are in place and trimmed the entire length of wire is dipped in flat black exterior latex paint.









Using a pair of rubber or plastic gloves remove the wire from the paint, use one hand to “squeeze” the excess paint from the twine.

The length of wire will need to be stretched taunt for drying, I attached one end to a hook in a tree and placed the other end over a stake placed in the ground.

Twist the twine several times before pulling it tight to give a convincing barbed wire illusion.

After the black latex paint has dried, the entire length of wire was dry brushed with a mixture of brown and red acrylic paint to give a rusted appearance.








Now you have a section of faux barbed wire that is easy to make and best of all safe and convincing.