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October Has Ended

I like the title of my monthly round-up posts to have some alliteration but there are no “goodbye” phrases which start with O. I tried to think of a good title, I really did! Anyway, October has ended! (A while ago now I know, but I’ve been busy catching up on sleep.) It was a good month including my favourite holiday, Halloween! Here’s what I’ve been up to this month.

I shared a lot of my outfits this month. This vintage dress that I wore on a bike ride and these checked trousers were probably my favourite outfits, but I also shared a vintage mirrored velvet waistcoat (here), a 90s style dress (here) and my yellow polka dot rain coat (here).

bike ride 1autumn layers 4

I’ve also been embroidering lots of autumn-themed patterns for the autumn stitching club. I think this loaf of bread is so cute, but I’ve also stitched a pumpkin spiced latte (here), a toffee apple (here), and some apple cider doughnuts (here) this month.

asc 14I’ve written a lot of Halloween themed posts! I shared four of my favourite Halloween themed films. I had a lot of fun sticking these cardboard bats to my walls, and I enjoyed making some ghosts to haunt my doorway. I shared a tutorial for my DIY bat costume, and a couple of photos from my Halloween weekend.

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Lastly, I wrote about four bloggers who inspire me to take better photographs! I hope you’ve had a brilliant month 🙂

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Having A Spooky Time

Since I haven’t posted in a week, I thought I’d share some photos of what I’ve been up to lately! I’ve had a busy but good week – I was working 9 til 5, and I had a couple of interviews. This weekend nine of my friends came stay to celebrate Halloween with me! We had an excellent time dressing up, eating ghost shaped cookies and drinking ghoulish green punch before heading to da club.halloween 2013 1halloween 2013 2halloween 2013 3halloween 2013 4halloween 2013 5halloween 2013 6I’m sad that everyone’s gone home, the house now feels super quiet! Did you do anything to celebrate Halloween this weekend?

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DIY Ghost Family

My most recent Halloween decorations are these ghostly visitors! Ghosts, bats and pumpkins are probably my favourite Halloween characters. I like that these ghosts are so mobile and you can prop them up anywhere. If you have a garden by your front door, you could stick them into the lawn like scarecrows! I think one by itself would also be cute, but I thought if I was making one, I might as well make four. Don’t forget to make them different sizes, if you want a ghost family like me 🙂

ghost scarecrows 1ghost scarecrows 2

You will need:
4 Balloons
Kitchen towel
PVA
Paint brush
4 Jam jars
White bin bags
White mesh / gauze / net (as long as it’s cheap and a little transparent!) I used 4 metres
4 sticks
Gardening wire
Wire cutters
Masking tape
Black Card

ghost scarecrows 3

Step 1: Blow up your balloons and cover them in paper mache! If you haven’t done this before, just fill a jar with half water and half pva, dip strips of kitchen towel into the jar and smooth them, overlapping, onto the balloon. Do two or three layers, and put the balloons in jars so that they stay upright. Leave to dry overnight.

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Step 2: Wrap wire around the top half of the stick to form ghost arms. If your wire is sliding down the stick, tape into place.

Step 3: Once your paper mache is fully dry, tape it onto the top of the stick to form the head!

Ghost Scarecrows 6

Step 4:  Cut the handles off the bin bags and pull them over the top of the ghost. Secure the bin bags around the neck by tying with a bin bag handle. For larger ghosts, you might want to chop up the bin bags and tape them together to get a bigger ghost body!

Step 5: Drape your transparent fabric over the top of the ghost body and tie with a strip of fabric

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Step 6: Cut out eyes and a mouth from the black card, and glue onto the ghost face.

ghost scarecrows 8There you have it, a nice family of ghosts to welcome you home until Halloween. Mine are currently inside lurking in dark corners, as it’s been rather rainy… I will put them outside for Halloween and hopefully we’ll get lots of trick or treaters!

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DIY Bat Costume

I have been very organised this year, and finished my Halloween costume! I’ve known for a while that I wanted to go as a bat and I was inspired by this bat wing costume tutorial for kids. I’ve put my own twist on the tutorial by giving the bat wings a long tail and extending the end of the wings using chopsticks. In these pictures, I’m wearing the wings over a black top, my disco pants and some super high heels I bought in sale in Topshop in my first year at York. And here’s how I made them 🙂

Bat Costume 1Bat Cosdtume 2You will need:2 metres of thick black fabric
Glue gun and glue
Sewing machine
2 chopsticks
Measuring tape
Scissoirs
Needle and thread
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Step 1: Take your measurements and sketch out the wing shape. Okay, so this is the part that looks most complicated but it’s actually nto that difficult. First, fold your fabric widthwise. Then take your measurements and use them to draw a bat shape that fits you, using the photo above. Length 1 is half of the distance from underarm to underarm. Length 2 is half of the circumference of your shoulder. Length 3 is the distance from the top of your shoulder to your wrist. Length 4 is half the circumference of your wrist. Length 5 is the length of your chopstick and length 6 is an inch.

Once you have used those measurements to draw on the top of your costume, draw on the loops of the bat wing, until your each the bottom of the fold of your fabric. Then cut out your wings! Phew, that’s the tricky bit over.

bat costume 4bat costume 5

Step 2: Hem the whole top edge of your bat costume (lengths 1. 3, 4 and 5.)

bat costume 14

Step 3: To make the sleeve, fold the top of your costume and sew length 3 onto the fabric. Length A (above) should be half the circumference of your shoulder. Do this for both sleeves.

bat costume 7bat costume 8Step 4: Glue the chopsticks into the fold at the end of your wings (I used my glue gun for this.)

bat costume 9bat costume 10

Step 5: Cut two small strips of fabric from your strips and wrap them around your finger. Pin them in place, remove them from your finger and then glue them in place. Try on your wings and mark where the bottom of your index finger touches the fabric. Glue each fabric ring to your wings at this point, as above.

Ta da, finished!

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I had a lot of fun test running my Halloween costume and make up! I decided that smiley photos wouldn’t be very scary but I’m not sure about my moody face in these pictures! Have you decided what you’re going as for Halloween yet?

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Spooky Decorations Pt. 1

I’m so happy that I have my first Halloween decorations up! These flying bats for my room are the first things I made. I think they’re fun – they’re simple and not too tacky and super easy to make. This DIY is as simple as cutting and sticking. By Halloween my house will be looking pretty spooooooky!

halloween decs 1You will need:
10 sheets of black card
Pencil
Scissors
Blue tack

Step 1: Draw on your bat shapes. I did four sizes of bats – the biggest were the length of a sheet of A4, and the little one’s I cut from the space under the big bat’s wings. Fold the card in half and draw on half the bat  – that way your bat will be symmetrical, and he will look like he’s flapping his wings when you blue tack him to the wall! Then cut out your bats.

halloween decs 2halloween decs 3

Step 2: Blue tack your bats to the wall!

I told you this was a quick decoration 🙂

halloween decs 4halloween decs 5

I also carved my first pumpkin! This guy is a “monster” pumpkin. I carved the witch and James carved the ghost. I’m not sure if it’ll make it all the way to Halloween, but if not at least I used the insides to attempt my first pumpkin pie (I think I need a little practice…)

Halloween Decs 6

Have you put any Halloween decorations up yet? I have big plans for the rest of the house but I’m pretty pleased with my decorations so far. I’m hoping to host a Halloween get-together at my house which will give me lots of opportunity to create some spooky concoctions!

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October Goals

october goals

1. My first goal is to have a fantastic halloween. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. I don’t really know why, but it’s just so exciting! I love the dressing up, I love the pumpkins and I love the spookiness. I’ve always been into ouija boards, scary films and The Adams Family, and halloween is the perfect opportunity to let my inner goth out. October is halloween month, and this year I want to give it its proper treatment. I’m going to gradually decorate the house with spooky surprises (sorry Mum and Dad..) bake lots of spooky goodies and count down to halloween with my favourite scary films and tv programmes. I’m going to make my own day and evening halloween costumes (oh yes, this will be a two-costume day) and I’m very excited that I’m going to be reunited with my gorgeous uni friends for halloween weekend who I miss ever so much!

2. Research my masters course. At the moment, my plan is to start a masters in Environmental Studies this time next year. Now that October has rolled around I need to start researching and writing my statement of purpose, but also deciding where I want to apply and start visiting universities!

3. Pretty up my room. Last month my goal was to sort out and donate / sell my things. This month, my goal is to make my space feel more homely. I’m hoping to order some photos, hang some art on my walls and DIY a couple of pieces of furniture or decoration.

4. Work on my blog design! I’ve had this blog layout for a while now, and whilst I like it there are a lot of things I’ve been meaning to change-up for a while now. I’m going to concentrate on getting those things done this month 🙂

I am still working on the ongoing task of searching for a job or an internship, but who knows how long I’ll be working towards that goal, so I’m not going to give it its own separate number. What are your goals for this month? Are you as excited for halloween as I am?

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Halloween Mourning

Today is the sad day where we have to take our halloween decorations down 😦 No more bats and ghosts flying around the ceiling. No more creepy cobwebs hitting me in the face whilst I’m trying to walk through the door. To commemorate this loss, here’s some pictures of our decorations…

Again, i’m sorry the quality of the photos isn’t great, I can’t wait to get a proper camera. It’s very tempting to buy one now and go without food for a couple of weeks.

It’s not all bad though, since this weekend is bonfire weekend! I am going to be eating a lot of toffee apples, let’s hope i still have some teeth left on monday.

Have a good weekend 🙂

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How did your halloween go? I had a house party, and had a great time dressing up as a pumpkin! James dressed up as a carrot, for some reason that I can’t remember. Maybe it’s his favourite vegetable. These are some post party photos of us all dressed up.

I’m sorry the photos aren’t the best quality, I’m saving up for a proper camera, but for the moment I just have my phone. I made both our costumes, so I thought I’d show you how I did it.

PUMPKIN

For the pumpkin, you will need: Fabric scissors, Orange felt (I used 2 metres), Black felt (I used ¼ of a meter), Orange thread, a Needle, a Pen and a Sewing machine (optional).

Step 1: Cut your orange fabric in half widthways, and then fold it in half lengthways. Then draw your pumpkin outline on the fabric like this:

The blue line on the bottom is where the fold in your fabric should be. You can adjust the arm holes and the width of the bottom to fit you. Once you’ve unfolded it, you should be left with the front of your pumpkin, which looks like this:

Step 2: Place the pumpkin shape onto your second half of orange fabric, and draw around it. Then cut it out. I find it easier if I pin one piece of the fabric to the other whilst I’m drawing around it, so that it doesn’t slip. This should give you the second half of your pumpkin. I did the neckline on the back half of the pumpkin so that it’s less low that the neckline on the front.

Step 3: Next, you want to sew together the front and the back of your pumpkin, along this line:

I sewed mine together loosely first, and then ran it through the sewing machine, but you can do it by hand too.

Step 4: Cut out the eyes and the mouth of the pumpkin out of the black felt. You can do whatever shape you want, but I did mine like this:

Step 5: Turn your pumpkin inside out, so that the seams are in the inside. Sew the eyes and the mouth onto the front of your pumpkin, but make sure you don’t sew them onto the back as well!

Ta da, your pumpkin is now finished 🙂 Since my hair is already green at the ends, I didn’t need to make a stalk, I just tied my hair up on the top of my head instead

CARROT

For the carrot you will need: Fabric scissors, Orange and green thread, Orange felt (2 metres), Green stretchy material (1/4 of a meter), a Needle, a Pen, a Sewing machine (optional), a Paintbrush, and Brown acrylic paint.
Making the carrot is very similar to making the pumpkin, which makes things lots easier 🙂

Step 1: Cut your orange fabric in half widthways, and then fold it in half lengthways. Then draw your carrot outline on the fabric like this:


The blue line to the right is where the fold in your fabric should be. You can adjust the arm holes and the width of the bottom to fit you. Once you’ve unfolded it, you should be left with the front of your carrot, which looks like this:

Step 2: Place the carrot shape onto your second half of orange fabric, and draw around it. Then cut it out. I find it easier if I pin one piece of the fabric to the other whilst I’m drawing around it, so that it doesn’t slip. This should give you the second half of your carrot. I did the neckline on the back half of the carrot so that it’s slightly less low that the neckline on the front.

Step 3: Next, you want to sew together the front and the back of your carrot, along this line:

When James tried on the carrot, it was a bit too small for him, so I added an extra 6-inch panel in the back of the carrot.

I sewed mine together loosely first, and then ran it through the sewing machine, but you can do it by hand too.

Step 4: Turn your carrot inside out, so that your seams are on the inside. Then, I mixed some brown acrylic paint with water, and painted the stripes onto the fabric to look like ridges in the carrot. One of the many wonderful things about acrylic paint is that it doesn’t take very long to dry!

Step 5: This is the part where you make the hat. First, I drew this shape onto the green fabric and cut it out. Make sure you adjust the size of the hat to the size of your head! It doesn’t have to have a corner, that was just my lazy cutting.

To do the other side of the hat, just trace around the side that you’ve cut out and cut this side out too. You might find it easier to pin them together whilst you’re drawing around the side of the hat.

Step 6: Sew the sides if the hat together along this line:

Step 7: Cut out some strips from the green fabric, in different lengths. I did 10 strips, but if you want your stalk to look fuller, then you can do more. Turn your hat inside out, and then sew your stalks onto the top.

Yay, now you have a carrot costume!

Here are some pictures of me and James having fun at the PARDY

What did you dress up as for Halloween?