Monday, October 31

Haunted Mantel Reveal


Today is the very first Mantel reveal at Queen of my Nest  {Insert - Happy Dance}.

Mantel Full View New 2 edit

I am so excited to share this reveal with you for a couple of reasons.
#1 - I get to cross Mantel project off my blog “Bucket List”
#2 - I’m so pleased at how it turned out and lastly,
#3 - I am so over Halloween decorating and ready to move on to my Fall and Christmas projects.

Mantel Full 1 edit

First, I must make a disclaimer! Photographer… I am NOT!!!

I knew taking pictures of my Mantel was going to be hard enough but when you throw in a huge mirror hanging above it – well – it was downright challenging! I just don’t know how so many of you get such great Mantel shots because it just didn’t work out for me. Maybe one of you talented ladies would want to do a How-To for us camera illiterate gals. I’m just putting it out there. Anyway, the pictures don’t do it justice!!

Mantel Full View New 2 edit

I rolled a couple of projects into one big post and just thought I would do an overview because all of the projects are basic and very easy to put together. If you have any questions on what materials I used or any details, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Okay, let’s get started…

Ghost Tree 5 edit

Haunted “Boo” Tree

I saw several versions of Halloween trees around the web, some with ghost and others with spiders. Wanting to keep things simple and not too scary, I decided to make cute little ghost with googley eyes. This entire project cost $0 because I already had everything on-hand.
Ghost Tree 3 edit

The ghost were made from thin interfacing which I cut out using my Cricut (make sure you have a good sharp blade and use high pressure/med speed). I made several different sizes by using SCAL program and a SVG Ghost file from Lettering Delights. I used fishing line to hang the ghost.

The base was one of my clay square pots with a block of floral foam placed inside. I recommend using floral foam because it really grips the stick whereas Styrofoam tends to wallow out to easy. The Hubby went on a search for the perfect stick (took a few tries) but he found it. The black crows and cobwebs were my husband’s idea and he wanted to make sure he got credit for it… Ha - Men!

Ghost Tree 2 edit

Next up… Polka Dot Pumpkins

Basket 1 closeup edit

Aren't they adorable?
I just love the way they look nestled in the orange raffia.

Picked up a bag of cheap crappy small foam pumpkins for $1.00 (I think at Dollar General) and used acrylic paint to dress them up. Tied some twine on the stem and tucked them into a bed of orange raffia. The wire basket was a score from Target - found in dollar bin with the Halloween stuff. I had the raffia left over from my son’s wedding last year so the total cost for this project was around $2.00.

Basket 2 edit

Now onto to the “Boo” Banner

Banner Side view edit

This was my first time making a fabric banner and I think it turned out pretty good. The fabric came from Hobby Lobby, I fringed the ends and cut the letters out of black vinyl. I used twine to string it across the Mantel.

         Banner Fringe edit        Banner twine edit

Many of you will recognize the Subway Art  - I did a post on the distressed picture frame a few weeks ago, you can find it HERE.

Boo Frame Closeup1 Edit

Finally the candles – All I did was cut a witch out using my Cricut, glue it in place and tied the orange raffia around the candle base. Super easy way to dress up any candle.

        Candle 2 Closeup edit     Basket 4 edit

And one more picture…   I just love the clean simple look!

Mantel Full View New 2 edit

I hope you enjoyed the tour and you found some ideas and inspiration. I know it sounds silly to be excited over a Mantle and a few simple decorations but for me, it’s another step towards getting my groove back.

Now I have to get a move on with my Fall decorating. I have some great projects on the drawing board! 

Drop me a comment letting me know whatcha think!
Thanks so much for stopping by my Nest!

Until next time…

Simply AJ clip_image004

Wednesday, October 26

Spiderville Wreath

Creepy… Crawly… EEK!

Have you ever had a vision for a project that’s suppose to be a simple run of the mill, no bells or whistles, plain Jane kind of project and it turns out to be the most difficult possessed thing you E-V-E-R created (okay, maybe not Ever but darn close). I can see heads bobbing in agreement!

Seriously, this project was a problem from jump street and I was ready to throw in the towel out the window but being as stubborn as I am, it only made me more determined to conquer this wreath…

Well, let me introduce you to the thorn in my side…. I am soooo glad to be finished with this wreath and mark it off my project list!

Wreath B edit rounded

It turned out okay – Not quite what I had in mind but considering of the glitches - I say… slap a door hanger on this baby and let it go!

Wreath C edit rounded

Here it is hanging out with the pumpkins on the front porch…

Wreath Outside A final full view
Sorry for the terrible picture/angle but my wheelchair can’t make it up the front porch stairs so I can never get a decent shot of the front door! 

Wreath Outside G edit

I only had to purchase a few things and what I bought was either on sale or I had a 40% off coupon. The rest of the supplies I already had in my stash so it ended up being super cheap to make. I think I have a whole $6 bucks invested in this masterpiece disaster.

Here is a quick run down of supplies:
  1. Foam wreath – 14 inch (Hobby Lobby – 40% off coupon)

  2. Ribbon – 1.5 inch wide / 30 feet roll – (HL sale 50% off)

  3. Spiders – plastic / 5 in (Wally World)

  4. EEK – glittery sign (Hobby Lobby – sale 40% off)

  5. Scrapbook paper – (The Paper Studio Halloween theme)

  6. Black vinyl or black card stock (Oh My Craft Vinyl)

  7. Floral picks

  8. Craft glue and Hot Glue Gun

  9. Straight pens (optional)

  10. Corsage Pins (optional)

  11. Card board (cereal box work great- Honey Nut Cheerios)

Check out the spiders - aren't they awesome… I know it’s hard to tell in the pictures (yes, I know I take crappy pictures) but they are covered in black glitter, made of a hard plastic and are almost as big as my hand.  The ribbon was also a perfect match – it has a faux leather look with a glittery fuzzy border (I tried to lighten up the photo of the ribbon so you could see the faux look). 

Wreath Spider final collage

I wrapped the ribbon around the wreath overlapping as I went along using Corsage Pins to secure the ribbon and to hold the loop in place (you could use glue but the pins work best with foam and it allows for the wreath to be reused).

For the spiders, I took floral sticks and wrapped the wire around the spider and secured the wire to the pick on the underside of spider. Made a small hole in the ribbon and then stuck the pick into the foam wreath.

EEK edit final  Spider Lane edit final

The EEK is just a little sign from Hobby Lobby. It was so cheap I couldn’t resist (just being lazy instead of making one) and the address plaque I made using my SCAL program and my Cricut.

The plaque was simple to make it was just a little time consuming but I love playing with paper so no biggie!  

First, I figured out all of the measurements and then I started by cutting a front and back out of thin card board (cereal box). Then, glued the striped paper to the front piece and a solid dark purple to the back piece. I cut the numbers, letters and border out of black vinyl and the scrolls out of heavy black cardstock. Next, I placed the black vinyl border, numbers and letters onto orange cardstock then glued it to the back piece of the frame. Glued the front of frame in place and then added the scrolls to each side.  Now for the fun part – add a coat of Mod Podge over entire front of the plaque. Mod Podge (matte finish) adds a nice seal. Glued to the wreath after I had the spiders in place.

For the background – Cut the spider web scrapbook paper about 1 inch larger than the center hole of wreath. Took glue pen and traced a few of the spider webs then added some fine glitter. Secured the background to wreath with straight pins (again, pins work really good with foam and you can remove easily to recycle)

So what do think???

Wreath B edit rounded

Creepy… Crawly… EEK!

Take a peek at our foyer it’s gone Batty… Do you remember those Halloween pillows I made out of Tea Towels??  I told you I had a perfect place to display them!

Foyer C final edit

FUN… FUN… Now, if I can just keep my Grandson from climbing on the bench trying to eat the candles! Oh the joys of being a toddler!!

Thanks so much for stopping by to see the Spooky fun going on here at our Nest.  I hope this project inspires you to make something Creepy… Crawly!

Until next time…

Simply AJ


I’m linking up to these weekly parties… you should stop by and check out all of the awesome projects!


Made by you Monday @Skip to my Lou


Tuesday Confessional @ Confession s of a Stay at Home Mommy

Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A 2 Z

Tut Tuesday at LBB @ Little Birdie Baby

Tuesdays Time Out @ Reason to Skip the Housework

Get your Craft On Tuesday @ Today's Creative Blog


Whatever goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Linking with Luna Wednesday @ Lil Luna

Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts

Tea Rose Home Link-Party

What's Up Wednesday @ Sew Woodsy

Show and Share @ Vintage Gwen


Crafty, Scrappy, Happy Me Thursday

Show off your Stuff @ Fireflies and Jellybeans

Hookin up with HoH @ House of Hepworths

Somewhat Simple

A Little Knick Knack

Kissed by a Frog

Things I've done Thursday @ Bear Rabbit Bear

Falling for Crafts Challenge @ One Artsy Mama


Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots & Jello

Refresh your Nest Fridays  @ Making Lemonade

The Answer is Chocolate

Creative Corner

I’m-lovin-it Fridays @ Tidy Mom

Frugal Fridays @ Shabby Nest

Freestyle Fridays @ Happy Hour Projects

Friday Flair @ Whipperberry


Funky Junks Sat Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Strut your Stuff @ The Saturday Morning Blog

Whatcha got weekend @ Lolly Jane


Sunday Scoop @ I Heart Naptime

Think Pink Sundays @ Flamingo Toes

Friday, October 7

Spooky “Boo” Frame

Happy “TGIF” my crafty friends…     Are you ready for the weekend!

I’m still working on my Halloween projects and today I have another fun one to share with you.

First, I should say this Spooky Frame was an “Epic fail” that turned into a “Not so bad” frame. Originally, I envisioned an old antique look with a black background and a crackled cream topcoat. NOT!!  This started out as a big flop but determination and frustration won and I ended up with a pretty sweet frame. Check it out… 

Boo Frame1Edit
I did my research, bought my materials and went to work. Now, I have crackled thing before (it has been a while) but seriously… How hard could it be? 

No matter what I did it would not crackle! I sanded the paint off and tried again and nothing! I was getting ready to scrap the whole darn thing but as I am sanding (for the 3rd time), I sort of liked the look that was taking shape. After playing around a bit and adding a little black using the dry brush technique, the frame finally came around. Not even close to what I had envisioned but it works!
 Material collage final edits
The subway art turned out so good. I found this particular piece at Eighteen25 (such a great blog!). It was so easy to download and print and she has several color versions and sizes. I printed it on 4x6 photo paper and then mounted on black card-stock. The chipboard letters were painted matte black and glue in place on the frame.

I guess I should thank my little mouse sander (I named her “little lady” years ago) for the handy work cause she really made it come to life!

Boo Frame Closeup1Matte

I really think I like it…

Boo Frame Closeup2

What do you think… Did it turn out okay or was it a flop???

Boo Frame Tilt1

One more project completed for the Haunted Mantle… YAY!!

Here is another simple project that I put together for the mantle - I picked up these candles at Hobby Lobby's 40% off Fall sale and I dressed them up with some Cosmo Cricket "Circa 1934" paper (this collection is fantastic!) and added a spider web for fun. So Simple!

2011-10-06_12.00.50           2011-10-06_12.00.22

I am really happy with the way the Haunted Mantle is coming together and the Spooky Foyer is finished just waiting on me to snap a few pictures. 

You should check back over the next few days to see the reveal of our “Boo Time” Halloween fun! 

Hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time…
Simply AJ

I’m linking to these parties

Don’t forget to join in the Halloween fun over at Midwestern Sewing Girl - I am headed to the party and linking up there!


monogram Photobucket
Tidy Mom The Shabby Nest A Little Knick Knack Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special Somewhat Simple Making Monday Marvelous Linky Party Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

sew many ways

Tuesday, October 4

It’s “BOO” time!

Fall is here and I love it!! This is my most favorite time of the year. I just love cool crisp mornings, watching the leaves change, and knowing that the holidays are just around the corner.

Fall also means that I have to get moving on all my holiday projects. Decorating the house and finishing up some Christmas gifts are tops on the list.

Right now I am working on my Haunted Mantle, Spookin’ up my foyer, finishing my front door wreath, carving a few pumpkins, and oh and let’s not forget… trying out a few new chocolate and pumpkin recipes (Yes, I'm pulling a full late nights but totally enjoy it!).

I can’t wait to show you all of the fun projects….

So on our way to Hobby Lobby last week, we popped into Tuesday Morning (love this store!!) and I came across these dish towels. The minute I saw them I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Check these babies out…
Dish Towels Edit1Halloween Dishtowel Picnik collage
(Sorry for the crappy pictures but I have not mastered photography yet!)

 These towels are so pretty… the fabric is a beautiful woven cotton with such perfect applique pictures.

Look what I made with these lovely dish towels… Halloween Pillows!

Halloween Pillows2 Rounded Edges
Didn't they turn out great… I love them!

Pillow collage
These were a snap to make - All I did was measure the towels and then create my own pillow pattern. I took the black towel and pieced it together with the coordinating towel to create the Treat or Treat pillow. For the orange black cat pillow, I just used the solid orange towel. I re-purposed the fiber filling from some old pillows that I had stashed away. Can you say... super easy!!  

Orange Pillow Matte1           Black Pillow Matte
These beauties cost a whopping $10. 88!!!

I just love how they turned out and I have the perfect spot to show them off but you will have to wait to see where it is…

Check back soon cause this is just the beginning of the Halloween fun going on around our nest!

Simply AJ

Don’t forget to join in the Halloween fun over at Midwestern Sewing Girl - I am headed to the party and linking up there!


Also linking to the following: