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Today’s Quote

“Who is this irresistible creature
Who has an insatiable lust for the dead?”

~Rob Zombie (Robert Cummings), from Living Dead Girl

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Countdown to #Halloween!

Only 23 days until #Halloween2017!

Here is a great tutorial from YouTube on how to make your own magic wand using mostly items you can buy at the dollar store:

Make your own witch, fairy, wizard, Harry Potter wands!

And here is a tutorial from YouTube to make your own Elsa Ice Queen crown, also using items you can buy from the dollar store.  If you don’t want to make an Ice Queen crown, you can use the same basic steps and glue whatever suits your fancy, such as fake flowers, gems, and so on.

Make your own Elsa Ice Queen crown!

Countdown to #Halloween!

Only 25 days until #Halloween2017!

Here’s a fun weekend project:  create your own custom shoes for your costume or to use as decor!

Although the following steps are for a pair of witch shoes, the possibilities here are endless.  You can create princess shoes with a very simple pair of heels using spray paint, hot glue and embellishments, sexy Victorian inspired heels using hot glue and lace, and so on.  Hit some of the holiday sales this weekend to get your supplies and have fun!  This is also a super fun, family friendly activity you can do with your kiddos if you feel so inclined.

Ok, first and foremost, before you begin, always make sure you are working with a clean surface.  The best way to insure that your spray paint, glue, etc. sticks is to have a clean surface, especially if you are using old shoes that have been worn.  To get any dust, dirt, or oils off the outer parts of your shoes (including the bottoms), wipe them well with an old rag or towel that’s damp with warm water and Dawn dish soap, then again with just a damp rag to remove any soap residue.  Before you begin painting or gluing, make sure your surface has thoroughly dried.

If you are working with glossy shoes, sand them before cleaning to remove the glossy finish.  Remember, if you plan on spray painting, make sure to do it in a well ventilated area away from heat or flame; though a mask is not necessary, it’s always a good idea to reduce breathing in the fumes.  Also, the tutorial mentions using black paint, but if your final design is in a lighter color, such as purple, blue, yellow, etc., use white paint.  That way your final result is a pretty, bright color.

The following tutorial is from Dale Detalles (I translated and rewrote parts).

1.  Use a bit of aluminum foil to shape the toe, and hold it in place with masking tape. Cut out the front and back shapes using the cardboard from a box of cereal, and hot glue them to the shoes.  Fill your toes with sheets from a phone book or newspaper and tape them together.  Filling your toes with paper will strengthen your shoes as you go through the next steps.

2.  In a bowl, dilute white glue evenly in water.  Cut small strips of paper from a phone book or newspaper, dip in the bowl of water and glue, and paste to the slipper until you have covered the entire surface.  Allow this layer to dry and then apply another layer for strength.  Just a note, phone book paper is thinner than newspaper and will be a thinner surface.  When the paper and the glue dries completely, use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the bumps and lumps.  Apply a layer of black acrylic paint to your shoes.  Let them dry.

3.  With a brush, apply a layer of glue on the outside of the shoe (not on the inside).  Do not let the glue start to dry.  With a spoon, sprinkle glitter or tiny crystals.  Press the glitter or crystals slightly into place with the back of the spoon.  Continue working this way until the shoe is covered.  Let it dry.  With the cardboard from a cereal box, cut straps and buckles, and apply paint and glitter the same way as you did on the shoe, then carefully hot glue the straps to the shoe. Embellish with anything else that suits your fancy!

 

Here are a few variations for more inspiration:

https://i2.wp.com/www.daledetalles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/zapatomurci%C3%A9lago.jpg

Halloween-Wedding-Heels

@Katy Maxwell Huntsman - too bad you aren't Elphie this year!

Great Idea of the customes

 

Countdown to #Halloween!

Only 28 days until #Halloween2017!

Less than 30 days to go! 😱

If you are the dress-up type, you have hopefully started thinking about your costume, or maybe already started getting together what you need for it.  There are so many options out there, it’s almost overwhelming – but, there’s always Halloween again next year!  Whether you prefer to buy a ready-made ensemble, or completely DIY it, the only limits are your imagination.  So, here are a few pointers if you are new to getting all dressed up, or if it’s been a while or would just like to see my take on the process.

There are many choices for locations to purchase costumes and accessories, from major sellers such as Halloween Express, Spirit Halloween, Amazon, Wal-Mart, (and the list goes on), to local mom and pop stores.  Keep in mind that some of these places offer coupons that can be used both in-store and online; usually you have to provide an email address to get a coupon, sometimes you can google search to find codes.  Also remember – many major sellers only get in a set amount of stock per Halloween season, so once it’s gone, it’s gone for that year.  I have learned this the hard way myself by waiting too long to purchase an item.  As for local stores, check with them to find out their policies and how they handle their stock and sale prices.  And speaking of policies – it’s always a good idea to double check with the store where you are making your purchase regarding their return policy.  Some places do not accept any returns, or they have strict limitations on returns.  So if you have any inclination that you may need to return something, double check before you buy.  Also make note of what is actually included with your costume purchase.  Most stores advertise a photo of a complete costume (and that photo is often on the front of the package), but only certain pieces come in the package.  Most items such as shoes, makeup, wigs, and many accessories, are not included and must be purchased separately.  If you are on a budget, like most of us, then that can start to add up quickly.  But don’t despair!  Get creative with your accessory pieces by shopping around different websites, local thrift stores, or by making some of them yourself.  I will  add some easy tutorials to make costume accessories in the coming days.  Another idea to remember, if you fall in love with a costume idea but can’t afford it right now, there is a possibility it may go on sale the day after Halloween.  Again, it may sell out before then, but I always try to shop the day after sales to grab items for future Halloween use at huge discounts.  And I mention the possibility to go on sale because some retailers do not mark down certain items, or they only mark them down a tiny amount.  Something else to keep in mind.

For those who love to DIY their costumes – (of course I’m stating the obvious 😜) make sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan and find where and how to purchase the items you need to piece your costume together.  The options here truly are endless – hit up your local thrift stores, hardware stores, and/or craft stores to find what you need.  I personally love to put together my own costumes, and I often mix in ready-made pieces to bring it together and save time.  I also love going with a different theme each year, and try (but sometimes fail) to get my husband in on the act.  And now that I have a little one, she gets to be part of the fun!  I also have a particular thrift store down the road that I love supporting because all of their proceeds go to the local women and children’s emergency shelter; these types of stores are everywhere, so if you are interested in making sure what you spend goes to a good place, do some searching to see what you have nearby.  Of course, with thrift store shopping, you will likely need to make multiple trips to find what you are looking for, and sometimes you may not find it, so have a backup plan.  I have also learned the hard way, don’t ever wait on buying something you eyeball at a thrift store because if you wait, it most likely will be gone when you go back the next time!

The most important thing is have fun!  If you are needing some costume ideas or inspiration, here’s some from bestproducts.com.

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Today’s Quote – several quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I find myself today in a very sad, heartbroken place; the senseless violence from the mass shooting in Las Vegas, how Trump hatefully spoke out on Twitter about the people of Puerto Rico over the weekend, people being angry, nasty, and spiteful about others utilizing their right to peacefully protest in the U.S., and the injustices going on in other countries, where people are trying to be peaceful and live out their lives but are being oppressed, murdered, and enslaved.  I think what saddens me the most is when I see hate and ignorance spreading like wildfire all over social media, and people jumping on ideas and ‘news’ that may or may not be accurate, simply because it fits their idea of what is right and true and they have no desire to seek out the truth about whatever is going on.  It hurts me deeply to see members of my own family posting some of these things, and they refuse to listen or learn the truth (I plan on writing more on this later).  I so desperately wish that the lines of communication would open for all sides so that we can all come together and start moving forward.  So, in light of all of this, I am sharing a handful of quotes from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who bravely gave his life fighting for justice, love, equality, and peace, and worked hard to make the world a better place.  I know this is a bit lengthy, but there is so much to Dr. King’s legacy that needs to be shared and remembered, especially now.  My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by recent events.

“It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence.”

“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

“An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizons of his particular individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. And this is one of the big problems of life, that so many people never quite get to the point of rising above self. And so they end up the tragic victims of self-centeredness. They end up the victims of distorted and disrupted personality.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

“Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.”

“It is not enough to know that two and two makes four, but we’ve got to know somehow that it’s right to be honest and just with our brothers. It’s not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines, but we’ve got to know the simple disciplines of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don’t learn it, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own powers.”

“We must meet hate with love. We must meet physical force with soul force. There is still a voice crying out through the vista of time, saying: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.” Then, and only then, can you matriculate into the university of eternal life. That same voice cries out in terms lifted to cosmic proportions: “He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.” And history is replete with the bleached bones of nations that failed to follow this command. We must follow nonviolence and love.”

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”

“There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”

“…violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”

“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.””

“There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

“The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for “the least of these”.”

“Together we can and should unite our strength for the wise preservation, not of races in general, but of the one race we all constitute – the human race.”

“We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.”

“Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.”

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929 – 1968