Happy Halloween!

It's here, it's here!  Halloween day is here and I hope you're all able to share some frights, sprites and delights with your favorites ghouls and goblins.  I'll see you all on the other side of this dark and stormy night!
Enjoy the opening sequence from one of my favorite films: Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas

Entertaining Nostalgia: Luminary Treat Bags

Recently, I've been feeling nostalgic and I decided to spend time reading through my old blog.  Finding my voice as a maker and my place in the handmade community continues to be difficult.  I wasted a lot of time making choices for myself based on an identity I thought I was 'supposed' to emulate.  I'm so happy I traded the suffocation of expectation for the freedom of authenticity. 
That said, this is one of my favorite tutorials in all it's unpolished, imperfect sincerity.  I thought it might be nice to share with you...

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season (or, let's face it, ANY season) is entertain.  I love filling my house with the best people I know.  Halloween allows me to go bananas...and trust me.  I do.  So, for those of you with your own spooky plans, I thought I'd share one of my favorite festive ideas. Again, please excuse the photos (house is a lighting nightmare).

You'll need:
paper treat bags
assorted tissue or construction paper
x-acto knife
double sided tape
cardboard (for cutting)

1.  Lay out treat bag. The bottom of the bag should be facing down.  With your pencil, plot out your design. If you need some help, the internet is full of amazing templates.

2.  Slide a piece of cardboard inside the bag.  This will protect the rest of the bag from being cut.  Trace the pencil outline with the x-acto knife and remove the cuttings.

3.  Cut your tissue paper to size and apply adhesive.  Slip the paper into the bag and position it over the cutout and use your cardboard to help stick it in place. Make sure the tissue paper is anchored securely before filling the bag.

4.  Enjoy!

Pro tip: Try slipping a flameless candle into your bags for a little extra light during those dark and stormy evenings.  The warm glow may even keep the ghouls away.

Parties in a Pinch: Chocolate Peanut Butterball

Okay.  So, I'd been trying to think of a quick and festive little dessert for an event I'm hosting this week and I got it into my head to apply the cheeseball mentality to peanut better and chocolate.  For a few days, I reveled in the idea that I'd invented a new snack...as it turns out, I probably just saw a similar recipe turn up on my newsfeed and I subconsciously decided I'd invented it.  A similar thing happened to me in college when a memory of mine turned out to be a scene from Clueless.  So, here's the thing I thought I invented...

You'll need:

Cream cheese (room temperature)
Peanut butter
Mini peanut butter cups
Reese's Pieces (or similar, non trademarked item)
Cling wrap
cutting board

1. Mix cream cheese and peanut butter until blended. Similar recipes call for equal parts, but I like a nuttier ratio, so I pumped up the peanut butter.  You do you.  

2. Once mixed, add mini cups to taste...

3. Blend until chunky-ish.  Turn out of mixing bowl onto a sheet of cling wrap.

4.  Pat into ball and transfer to plate.  Cover and chill for one hour.

5. Press your candy coated peanut butter pieces into butterball. I went with a chaos theme, because I wasn't there for straight lines. Serve chilled with graham crackers.

It's cute, cheap, and so easy it should be illegal. Enjoy.



Movies to Die For: The Tens

Here we are, my little ghouls, at the end of our trip down Elm Street.  I don't want to say much today, maybe you can reflect on the themes we've discussed and give the last six years of terror its own voice.  I for one am excited to see a return to light-hearted romps through the graveyard while still having hard-hitting, blood curdling fear at my fingertips.  Now, let's take a look at our last 27 titles.


We Are What We Are – 2010
Black Swan – 2010
I Saw the Devil – 2010 (This Korean crime thriller is intense, even for revenge films…)
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil – 2010 (Whether you’re a fan of Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine, or horror films, there’s something in this for you, also this might be suitable for a wider adult audience)
Stake Land – 2010
Kill List – 2011
The Woman – 2011
Absentia – 2011
Livide – 2011 (One of the most beautiful French horror films I’ve seen) Beyond the Black Rainbow – 2011 (so visually stunning)
Snowtown – 2012
Maniac – 2012
Excision – 2012
American Mary – 2012 (from the Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska, plenty of camp, gore and fun, some body horror so don’t tell me I didn’t warn you)
The Conjuring – 2013
Oculus - 2013
Byzantium – 2013
You’re Next – 2013
The Sacrament – 2013 (Although I usually hate found footage movies, this is an exception.)
Goodnight, Mommy – 2014 (one of the most unique facets of this stellar Austrian film is its basis in capgras syndrome)
It Follows – 2014
Life After Beth – 2014
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – 2014
Starry Eyes – 2014 (cults and the dangers of stardom make for a pretty great film)
Crimson Peak – 2015 (Guillermo Del Toro slays me. I happen to think this is big budget horror done extremely well)
The Visit – 2015 (M. Night Shyamalan will always have a place in my heart)
31 – 2016 (I LOVED this film. Like loved, loved it. I can’t wait to see the director’s cut)

I know we've reached the end, but don't scream my darlings! I've got more Halloween tricks and treats for you this month, I promise. Cross my heart and hope to DIE.  While you're waiting patiently, take a look at the trailer for Rob Zombie's 31!