Halloween decorations part 2… Apothecary style

October 20th, 2011

I’ve never really decorated for Halloween before, so that’s why I’m doing it in phases this year (see part 1 of my Halloween decorations). I’m having to design, make, and acquire everything for the first time, so it takes a lot of creative energy, planning and shopping! The main look I was going for was a more realistic feeling with a muted color palate. I also want to have a lot of small details because I find that those are the most memorable parts of decorating.

I have always loved apothecary jars and I have a small collection of them, so I knew that I wanted to create an apothecary display.  I gathered my existing jars and then purchased a few more at Home Goods (where they are super affordable). to balance out large and small. I also got some tiny jars at a local antique/consignment shop.

I was so excited when I found the antique postal scale and it’s definitely my favorite new piece. Oh and forgive my circus posters in the background… the artwork is phase 3 of decorating so I haven’t quite gotten that far yet!

These two jars sit on the mantle (the sparkly one I use for christmas with those very same sparklies).

The next step was to design my Apothecary labels. I had a lot of fun making these, and I created them with the scale and contents of my jars in mind. And since they coordinate so well with my All Hallow’s Eve digital line, I packaged them up and released them in my digital shop this week:

Once all the labels were designed, I printed them and cut them out.

Then I used my glue runner on the back of each label and stuck them on the jars:

Once all the labels were on, I had to fill up the rest of my jars. I stratigically bought items that I WOULD NOT EAT. Mostly so I won’t eat them and partly so that I can keep them for years to come and can just set up the display really quickly.

These are the fillers I used:

black licorice for the “lizard legs”

chocolate sprinkles for “bat toes”

peppercorns for “eye of newt”

white beans for “tooth of wolf”

black beans for “black locust poison”

gold tinsel glitter for “scale of dragon”

coffee water for “tincture of hemloc”

Not appetizing at all…

So that’s my halloween apothecary collection! Maybe I will add one or two jars every year and eventually have a giant collection! What kind of Halloween decorations do you collect?

The Holiday Planner – How will you use it? *Free Download

October 19th, 2011

I will use my Holiday Planner to keep myself organized this Holiday season. I have big plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving dinner will be served at our house this year. So I will be including a shopping list and menu. I will also start collecting any recipes I think I might want to use. This way I can find it all in one place and have them available when I am shopping. How will you use your planner?

Here is a Free Downloadable Shopping List + Menu from Jen Allyson for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and general Holiday that you can put in your Holiday Planner.

Click on the images below to download the PDF files.

Before I can get too excited about the menu, here at the Lake house we are starting a new project…. We need a new wall oven. This means we get to pull out the old one, demo some sheet rock and cut a new hole. After 23 years, wall ovens have changed in size. Lucky for me, Jen posted the most wonderful Project Master List and Project Notes for free download.

And when that new oven is installed, here is a fall family favorite recipe my Grandma Norma always made for us kids.

Persimmon Drop Cookies
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ cup butter
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 egg beaten
1 cup nuts (we use a mix of walnut & pecan)
½ tsp. salt
1 cup raisins
Beat till creamy: pulp, soda, sugar & butter
Add: egg & beat well
Sift flour & spices
Add: flour, raisins & nuts to creamy mixture
Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet
Bake 375° 12-15 min. Makes 3-4 dozen
Click on the form images above to download a PDF version of my printable holiday menu forms. The downloadable PDFs in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany and images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this or any of my forms are available. Forms are a free download AS IS.

The Holiday Planner – create a removable binder cover with fabric

October 5th, 2011

Let’s stay focused and stress free this Holiday Season with a fun yet functional planning binder. Holly Jolly by Jen Allyson is the perfect fabric to cover some old unused binders to create this holiday binder. I dare you to only make one….

What you need to make binder cover:

  • Your choice of binder (I have tons of used binders laying around the office ready to be covered and up-cycled or you can purchase one)
  • ½ yard fabric for front (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask)
  • ½ yard fabric for back/inside (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask, Lost & Found Basic Shades Slate)
  • 2 fat quarters for inside pockets (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask, Red Holly Jolly Dots)
  • 1 piece of fusible batting & optional lightweight interfacing for pockets
  • Optional: lace, ric rack, ribbon, vinyl, binding

First start by measuring your binder. Open the binder and measure from side to side. I just used my cutting mat. This is a 1.5″ binder and the length measures  21.5″ inches. The width (top to bottom) is 11.75″ inches. So to cut the outside of your cover you will add 1″ inch to both the length and width. For a standard 1.5″ binder you will cut your outside fabric 22.5″ x 12.75″.

You will also cut a 22.5″ x 12.75″ piece of fusible batting. Measure from the edge of the side towards the rings to determine the width of the pockets. I cut mine 12.75″ x 10″, you will need 2 (And you will need to cut 2 of the interfacing). I cut the small pockets 6″ x 10″ (red dot).
Once everything is cut out you will need to fuse the batting to your outside piece using the manufacturer’s directions. Then you can start the fun part of embellishing your front…. I cut a piece of the Red Holly Jolly Dots, pinked the edges, gathered it and sewed it down the front on the right side.

I then added jumbo ric rack to the middle of the ruffle stitched down the middle. Next you will need to finish the pockets for the binder to slip into. Take the small pockets and finish one of the 10″ inch sides.  I just folded it down a quarter inch, pressed then folded again and topstitched. You will layer these small pockets with the larger pockets and baste the edges.=

I measured in 2′ inches from the right side on the left pocket for a pencil/pen holder. This pocket will be closest to the rings to allow for room for the pen or pencil. You will bind one 12.75″ inch edge of the 2 pockets.  

Now let’s put it all together with 4 simple strait seams! Lay out the outside piece right side up (you can see the gray Damask in the middle). Lay the pockets right side down, bound edges in the center, on the outside piece and pin the 12.75″ sides. Sew down these 2 sides. Take it back to your cutting table and measure the whole piece and cut your lining piece (Basic Shades Slate) to fit, pink the short sides of the lining. Layer this lining piece right side down on top of the main piece and pin the long edges.

Again sew 2 simple strait seams along the long sides. Turn the lining right side out.

Now turn the pockets right side out.

Now you can slide your binder inside the pockets.

And there you have a covered binder that is sure to keep you in that Holiday spirit…. Now all you have to do is fill it!