Halloween 2013 at Kimber Hollow!

It’s getting close to *that* time of year again! What time, you ask? Halloween, of course!

And since I just finished putting together the video for our 2013 yard haunt display, I thought I’d share it with my fellow Bionics.

This year we added a few new elements to our Halloween night “theater” production. My husband and I built and made pretty much all the props you see: the witch’s table, the fence, the tombstones, the Creeper Reaper (the tall dude with antlers), the “burning coals”, and the Apocalypse Pumpkins.

The biggest impact came from a old iron bell we found while hiking in the woods.  We used the bell as an interactive addition to the night.  Mark, a member of the Ghostfacers, had the trick or treaters ring the bell to scare ghosts away.  Hence… Jami, one of the resident ghosts, did quite a lot of running and screaming through the graveyard.

We also added the Creeper Reaper – a tall creature with large knobby hands, a bare skull, and antlers.  He loves to spend Halloween night brewing potions over hot coals.

Four Apocalypse Pumpkins joined our patch this year.  Last year, the sole resident was Erl Koenig.  The new pumpkins include: Root Bound, Malice & Chains, Collapse, and Erosion.  The tombstones and Apocalypse Pumpkins are my babies. The large pumpkins you see in the video are made from paper maché and paper maché clay. They take quite a bit of time (I’ll be starting a new one this weekend!), but it’s crazy fun to have my hands all mucked up with maché gunk. Love.

A Witch Table found its way onto Kimber Hollow’s porch.  But our witch is a tad different than most witches. She not only brews Lace Wing Flies, sells Goofer Dust to ward off hellhounds; but she also loves to write codes in binary and study lasers.

Details on our video:

  • The music is by Douglas Pipes, the song is “The Halloween School Bus Massacre” from the Trick ‘r Treat soundtrack. (Trick ‘r Treat is a film by Michael Dougherty – and a *must-see* for any Halloween fan!)
  • You can buy Pipes’ Trick ‘r Treat soundtrack on Amazon and iTunes.
  • You can watch the Trick ‘r Treat movie on Google Play or Vudu.
  • Video production by Studio Bionic.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the video. If you have questions on how a prop was built, please leave me a comment below. I’m always happy to help a fellow Halloween enthusiast!

Happy haunts,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Style blog

P.S. 10 Gold Stars to anyone who can figure out the W.E.D. tombstone reference!!

15 D.I.Y. Projects for Glass Soda Bottles

Ever wonder what to do with those nifty glass soda bottles? The pretty ones that remind you of Annette Funicello beach movies. The kind that comes wrapped around tasty bubbles of root beer, cream soda, and real-sugar Coke. As of right now, you can stop chucking them in the trash.

15 DIY Projects for Glass Soda Bottles
As a raw crafting material, glass bottles are packed with potential. Plus once you’ve enjoyed drinking the contents – they are essentially free. Happy dance!! I’ve got small stockpile of soda bottles right here, ready and waiting. So I set my brain to creative marinate mode and bam! Out popped a list of 15 DIY projects for glass soda (or beer, gasp!) bottles…

  1. Wedding Table Decorations: As vases for florals, centerpieces to add a vintage or heirloom feel, or as unique place cards by writing the guest’s name directly on the glass.
  2. Flower or greenery vases with personality!
  3. Turn them into DIY hummingbird feeders (Google has a plethora of tutorials!).
  4. Display with other vintage/retro glassware on a bookcase or plant shelf.
  5. Fill with sand for weight and use as book ends.
  6. Room Freshener: Fill 3/4 full with water – then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or extract and set around the home.
  7. Spray paint white or black for a great way to embrace the black & white interior design trend.  Try painting a few black; and a few white. Odd numbers of each look best. This is a truly simple project but the resulting impact is incredible. Trust me. You’ll be oozing adoration toward your crafty creation.
  8. Let your kids create their own flower vases! Decorate them with paints, permanent markers, puffy paint. Glue on foam letters. Add stickers. Get messy.
  9. Instant incense holders!
  10. For the Winter Holidays: Create sparkly snow vases by coating with glue/spray adhesive. Then roll in Epsom Salt, Rock Salt, or glitter!
  11. Frosted Glass: Spray with clear matte spray paint. The result looks like sea glass with a smooth-like-suede feel!

DIY Frosted Glass Vase from a Jar

  1. Glow in the Dark: Paint with glow-in-the-dark paint (on the outside or inside). Charge under a light, outside, or on a windowsill.
    • Place in your bed or bath room for a soft nightlight.
    • Use as table centerpieces for a party.
    • Add a bit of wire around the opening and hang the bottles from trees, your fence, or around your porch.
    • I think these would also be incredible additions to Halloween decor!
  2. Bottle your own real Vanilla extract! First find a cork, stopper, or twist on cap for your bottle. If you don’t find one around the house,  head to your local hardware store and dig ’round the bins.  They are usually in the area with the loose nails, screws, nuts, bolts, etc. You should find a bounty of rubber stoppers and cork stoppers in a gigaton of sizes.
    • To make your Vanilla extract: Drop 3-4 dried Vanilla Beans into your bottle.  Fill the bottle with vodka or a white rum.  Stopper the bottle and set it aside for at least 3 months.  Shake it up every week or two.
    • Personally I use rum since I’m extremely allergic to vodka.
    • Once you’ve used 1/4 to 1/3 of your extract, top it off with more vodka or rum.  Shake it a bit and set aside for at least a week to let the extract darken back up.  When your beans stop darkening the new top-offs, just drop in a new bean or two.
    • Looking for even tastier vanilla? You’ve GOT to check out Beanilla.com.  Best beans out there! Seriously. Lots of fantastic recipes including ones for Zambuca and Raspberry Buttermilk Popsicles! I frequently lose myself for hours on the Beanilla site. Oops.
  3. Faux Stained Glass, version 1:  Grab some tissue paper in various colors, rip it up. I typically do either random roundish/squarish sections from 1-2 inches; or longer, narrow strips – completely up to you depending on how you want it to look.  Mix some white PVA/school glue with warm water in a 1:1 ratio.  Brush the watered down glue onto a section of tissue paper and place it on your bottle.  Continue placing gluey tissue paper onto your bottle until it is fully covered.  Overlap pieces for a more interesting look.  If a piece rips, just squish it back into place to cover the rip, or layer another piece over the rip. Remember in this project, perfection is in the imperfect. Wrinkles, off-kilter, randomness – all are welcome!
  4. Faux Stained Glass, version 2:  Pick out 5-7 colors of nail polish.  Start painting sections of your bottle with one color – leaving space open around each color. Grab the second color and start painting in some of that open space.  Repeat through the rest of the colors.  You can paint random shapes, non-shapes, whatever. If you’d like something a bit more ordered or patterned – draw the pattern on the bottle *before* you start – pencil or a fine point Sharpie work wonderfully.

Consider this list a kick off point for ideas and inspiration to create goodies with your own glass bottle stash. Today I did numbers 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 15. Tomorrow I’ll be working on project #12. And you can bet your bippy that I’ll be doing #10 this Christmas!!

Do you have a favorite project, or use, for glass soda bottles? If you create any of these projects, or a completely different one, I’d love for you to share it with all the Bionic readers! Please post a link to a photo, or to your own blog article, in the comments below.

Stay cool Soda Pop,
Jami, author of the Bionic Style blog

Halloween 2012 at Kimber Hollow

There’s only 63 days until Halloween 2013… not that I’m counting or anything. I start dreaming of Halloween around June and by the end of August I’m really getting excited. So to kick off my Halloween prep, I finally got around to uploading a video of our 2012 yard haunt…

The decorations are 95% DIY homemade and we design the display to be friendly to all ages. No blood, gore, etc. The “theme” is very much influenced by Disney World’s Haunted Mansion ride – which sparked my love of Halloween way back when I was a tiny Bionic Baby.

Our graveyard features tombstones inspired by some of our favorite media such as: Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files book series; Milo Rambaldi from the tv show, Alias; Madame Leota from the Haunted Mansion ride; Alfred Hitchcock; and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

For Halloween 2013 we are adding a “Kimber Hollow” cemetery sign, a new tombstone (sneak peeks will be posted soon!), and improving on our existing props and design.

If you have any questions on how-to create something you like in the video, feel free to contact me or post your question in the Comments section below!

Boo y’all,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Style blog

P.S. The music is “Haunted Mansion Organ” melody by Disneyland Records & used under creative fair use. No infringement intended. (If you’re a Halloween fan, the Haunted Mansion soundtracks are a must-buy!)

DIY Nerf Dart Ammo Cans

I confess. I have about a hundred Nerf foam darts and a couple of blasters too. Geeky? Maybe. Fun? Definitely!

If you have Nerf darts in your home, you are aware of how far and wide they can spread.  I’ve been pondering a storage solution for a few weeks now and finally figured it out!

Without further babbling, I present my Darts of Doom coffee cans!

image

Do it yourself Nerf dart storage cans

It’s a pretty simple project.

The How To:
+  Collect a few coffee cans. I used 3 Folger’s plastic coffee cans with lids.
+  Spray the cans with a black or dark base coat to cover the printed-on labeling. Let dry.
+  Spray the cans and lids with your chosen color.  I used Rustoleum Camouflage spray paint in OD Green.
+  Add a second coat.
+  Write on your preferred wording! You can do this by hand, or print the wording on heavy card stock and cut out the inner parts of the letters to make your own stencil.
+  Place stencil on your can.  Use a fine point pencil to trace the letters on.
+  Fill in your tracings with paint pens!  I used a red extra fine by DecoColor and an ivory/cream fine paint pen by Painters.
+  Let dry for a few hours.
+  Spray coat the whole shebang with matte clear coat spray paint.
+  Stuff your Nerf darts inside!

Happy Nerfing y’all,
Jami

DIY Hand-Painted Flower Pots

Looking for a quick and easy revamp for some of those old hard-foam flower pots you’ve got banging around the backyard?
Do-it-yourself: hand painted flower pot tutorial
Don’t pitch them! Even if they’re beat up a bit – those dents and dings are just distressing afterall, and we all know that is super-freaking-cool.

Supplies:

+  Flower pots! These two are those light-weight, hardish foam pots; but you could also paint up terracotta clay pots, ceramic pots, or even those plastic pots.
+  Satin finish spray paint.  I used Rustoleum in Black.
+  Craft, acrylic, or latex paints.  My colors: a medium green, a dark green, off-white/ivory, creamy yellow, and a very, very light pumpkin orange.
+  Cheapy craft paint brushes
+  A couple o’ paper towels

The How To:DIY painted flower pot tutorial - Dry brushing and highlight detail

  1. Grab your pots and rinse off any dirt.
  2. Let them dry… all the way.
  3. Spray paint the outside and bottoms of the pots.
  4. Repeat step 3.  I sprayed these pots with three light coats.
  5. Paint the leaves and flower stems with the dark green paint.
  6. Paint the flowers, including the centers, with the ivory paint.
  7. Dry brush the lighter medium green paint onto the stem centers (i.e. the highest point of the stems), leaf edges, details, etc. If you get too much paint on there, just dab it off with a paper towel.  You’re going for a rough, splotchy sort of highlight effect.
  8. Paint the centers of some flowers with the creamy yellow paint. Dab the centers, while still wet, with your paper towel for a worn effect.
  9. Use the creamy yellow paint to highlight the edges of some flower’s petals.
  10. Paint the centers of leftover flowers with the very light orange paint. Dab the centers, while still wet, with your paper towel for a worn effect.
  11. Use the light orange paint to highlight the rest of the flower petal edges.
  12. Add potting soil and plants…
  13. Enjoy!

Do-it-yourself: hand painted flower pot tutorial

Dry-brushing hint:  Load your brush with paint (just like normal). Brush it lightly across a paper towel to remove the majority of the paint. Proceed to paint. 🙂

Wishing you brilliant flowers & sunshine,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Style blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: