Life By The Seat Of My Pants

Archive for October 2011

I have BIG, BIG news to share and I am sooooo excited!

*I* was selected to be a member of the CREATIVE PAPERCLAY ® modeling material *DESIGN TEAM*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   WooooooHoooooooo!!!

Oh yeah, oh yeah, I’m happy, woohoo!

I have known for TWO WEEKS and it has been SO hard to keep the secret until the announcement was made 😀  Today my silence is broken and I am thrilled! Each month, for the next six months, I will be posting a tutorial for a project I have created using Creative Paperclay ®. The first of these posts will be up in mid-November and I already have an idea in mind that I think will be perfect 🙂

I have listed the rest of the Design Team in my blogroll so you can visit each of their blogs as well 🙂


I have been crafting my tooshie off for the past two weeks and I have some pretty awesome (if I do say so myself, LOL) projects to share.

First, my Halloween village is fully set up and it looks AMAZING!


I have a ceiling fan above the table  the village is sitting on and because the people are on card stock tabs, they move in the breeze which makes them even creepier 😀

Another project I worked on this week was a captured skeleton. I saw a  tutorial on youtube a few weeks ago and I *had* to make one 🙂


The crafter in the tutorial had an AWESOME little light bulb that seemed *impossible* to find! After driving all over town, a few Google searches and one month of looking, I FINALLY found one at Michael’s.  There are two kinds to choose from, one in the wedding department and one in the floral department. The bulbs in the wedding dept are blinking only and are made to be put in balloons. The ones in the floral dept are steady on, and they are submersible! I tell you all of this because I had a HELL of a time finding them and hope to make your search easier 🙂

I am also arting along with the contestants on the show Work of Art (Bravo.) The first challenge was to turn a piece of kitschy art into something cool. I found this little geisha at the thrift store and turned her into a Goddess. You can watch the full tutorial here on youtube.


Yet ANOTHER project (and DEFINITELY the biggest!) I have been working on this week is my son’s 11 birthday party. He wanted a Lego themed party and  Lego Napoleon cake. I have made several cute cakes before and although I am NO expert, I have to say, this is probably my best and favorite one yet!


See! I told ya I’ve been busy!   😀

This week will have me finishing up Christopher’s Halloween costume, (Napoleon Bonapart) working on the next Work of Art prompt and who knows what else 😀

As for today’s agenda, a trip to Toys R Us and writing a marketing paper are top priority.

Have a great weekend!


It’s getting close to HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

The weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and strange things are beginning to happen, Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

I pulled my Halloween decorations out of the attic and started decorating the inside of the house this weekend. I normally go all out in the front yard as well, but since my husband will still be in Bahrain (he usually stays home and passes out candy) I have decided not to put any of my yard decor out this year. I don’t think it’s fair to have a creepy yard and no one giving out candy  😦

This is what my yard usually looks like. Notice the heads in the plant pots  😀

*note – ALL photos can be clicked to enlarge*


We got a good start on the decorating and I hope to have it finished early this week because I REALLY need these totes out of my living room! I will be sure to post pictures of the village once it is completely set up and ready for viewing. I am still trying to find a black light that will illuminate the village but not look out of place because my string of purple Halloween lights just aren’t doing the job.

I have also been seeing some amazing art from others who are also getting into the spirit of the season. I have seen so many inspiring ideas and new projects I want to try!

One of the prompts going around right now is “Day of the Dead” and as soon as I saw it, I KNEW I wanted to create a piece to share. My first skull girl is an art journal page with faux flower and Creative Paperclay embellishments.


I liked her so much, I decided to make more Day of the Dead inspired artwork, but this time I wanted to make it on canvas. I also recorded the process and you can watch it below 😉

I think she is absolutely FABULOUS!  This piece also has faux flowers and  Creative Paperclay  ‘sugar skull’  embellishments. I have one more Day of the Dead piece in mind that I will begin working on tonight and  I will share it with you when it is complete.

I would *love* to see what YOU are creating! Leave me a comment with a link to your spooky, cool and awesome Halloween creations so I can ooooOOOOooooohhhhhh   and   aaaaaaAAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh  over them 😉



Bellow  is the step-by-step picture tutorial of how I (with my son’s help) created my Halloween village. ENJOY!!!

All photos can be clicked to enlarge. All paints were inexpensive craft paints. All accessories were made using Creative Paperclay. You can also visit the Paperclay blog here.

First I purchased inexpensive wooden bird houses from the crafts store. We painted the houses and glued on craft moss to begin spookyfying them 🙂


Next we began creating our Creative Paperclay accessories. Most of them had to be done in stages, allowing one part to dry before adding to it. We sculpted skulls, pumpkins, bones, signs, tombstones and tree bases.

The pumpkins, jack-o-lantern’s and skull heads were all hand molded and then the features were carved using a toothpick. I don’t have any ‘real’ sculpting tools, so I just use whatever I have on hand that does the job 🙂 We sculpted some of our tombstones then carved “script” and images with a toothpick. The bones were rolled into tiny logs then the ends were cut with a knife  *tip-be sure to create grooves in your pumpkins to mimic the ridges and give them a more realistic look!*


I purchased one faux floral stem from the craft store and cut it into individual ‘branches.’  The trees and signs had to be completed in stages so I wrapped the floral stems with an initial layer of Paperclay and while it was drying we created the posts and boards for our signs. Once the tree trunks were dry the Paperclay was so light weight that they would not stand  upright. I had to make wide brims and attach to the base of the tree trunks to give them more stability.  One of them still dried a bit crooked, but I was able to re-wet it and even it out 😀 Yay for the save! For the boards, I rolled the Paperclay thin and used the toothpick to cut jagged rectangles and add the words. When the boards and posts were dry, I glued them together using tacky glue.


I really liked the tombstones that were available for purchase, but I didn’t like the price tag, so I decided to try and make my own. I found tombstone images online and sized them in a word document before printing.  I cut my template out and set it aside. I rolled my Paperclay to the thickness I wanted, laid my template on top and used my X-acto to cut around the image. Then using my trusty toothpick, I ‘engraved’ the tombstones.



The tombstones were also created in stages. Once the headstones were dry we painted them and then made the bases.I painted them with a base coat of black, being sure to get into all of the cracks and cervices. I  then I went over them with a light coat of  grey. After the bases were dry, I painted them the same way.

*tip – on the top layer of paint, no matter what you are painting, use a gentle hand to ensure you do NOT get into the cracks and crevices. This adds dimension and texture 😀 *


We began to give things their final coats of paint.

tombstones – black/grey

signs – black/white

pumpkins – black/burnt orange

skulls and bones – black/titanium buff





We even ‘scooped out’ some of our jack-o-lantern’s to make them hollow and gave them removable lids. We also made some plain, uncarved pumpkins and we made sure they all had character 😀  We also sculpted a cauldron and some potion bottles. First we shaped the cauldron and let it dry, then I went back and added the ‘bubbling brew’ to the top. I used the end of a paintbrush to dent the Paperclay and create dips and ridges and a realistic boiling look 🙂

We created a picket fence by hot gluing small craft sticks together. We painted the craft sticks black and then we broke a few of them to make them jagged before gluing them together in a crooked fashion. We created four sections of fence for each house. They can be interlocked for stability then taken back apart for easy storage.

I printed out several vintage images of children, some wearing Halloween costumes. I attached all of them to card stock and then cut them out. I glued some of the images inside the windows of the houses and created an L-tab back for others so they would stand upright. I even gave a few of them witch hats 😀 I also glued a couple of the people onto the porches or inside the doors of the houses.



We gave the houses their final touches including ‘boarding’ up the windows and a skeleton hanging from the church steeple.  I also hung fabric around some windows and inside others. I painted black, stringy, Halloween fabric (from the $1 Store) with white paint before attaching it to the house. For the boards I cut jagged pieces of  ‘wood’ from a cereal box and used walnut ink to distress it. (colors – walnut and java) I sat the houses on  square, moss bases, also found at the $1 Store.



I have painted some of the pieces with glow-in-the-dark paint and I plan to illuminate the entire village with a black light once I set it up. For now, here is how it looks just sitting on my freezer 😀



I hope you enjoyed this post because I had a blast making this project!  I will be sure to post another picture of the village once it is set up properly for Halloween 😀  Feel free to ask questions, I will do my best to answer them. If you make a village of your own, be sure to comment and leave me a link so I can come take a look   😉

Happy Halloween!!!!! Mwahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!!!