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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Halloween greetings to our Bat~eautiful friends!
Enjoy the treats!
~Lianne & Paul

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crafting on a BUCK!

Only three days left till Halloween! Oh Boy! Hard to believe that we woke up to snow today here in Massachusetts! Yikes! We are hoping it will warm up a bit before Monday or else it's will be a very chilly trick or treating stroll!

We've noticed recently a lot of these big stores (Target and Michael's) having dollar sections areas in their stores that are very popular. Having two kids we are always on the lookout for simple and easy craft projects that they can enjoy during the Holidays. Even with all the supplies we have here at the studio sometimes these quick crafts are a no brainer and a huge time saver.
He are a few that we picked up:

Do you remember doing these neat light catchers as a kid? You got all these little beads and tried to fill them in the metal frame without having them spill into the other colors. Well for a buck you can spill away! Our 6 yr old really enjoyed making his own version of these faux stained glass pieces and then watching the beads melt into the colors in the oven. These were at Micheal's for only a $1 and occupied him for an hour!

Also at Micheal's were these wood pumpkins. Perfect size to hang in your window. Our little artists had fun painting them and seeing them hung up with pride.

We not only found crafts but decor too. These Halloween themed balloons were a HUGE hit. They've been played with so much that a few had popped or got a tear in them. But we didn't mind going back to the store and picking up a few more!

And lastly, your drink will ALWAYS taste better when sipped through a skeleton straw!

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stocking up on magazines!

For us, Halloween is more then just buying and eating candy all month long. At least that is what Lianne keeps telling me. So besides picking up those yummy treats every time I head to the store I also indulge another sweet tooth of both of ours and that is the search for the NEW Halloween Magazines. You know that the fall season is coming when these magazines start arriving in the bookstores towards the end of summer.

If you visit us frequently here on the swirly blog you know our love for Holiday themed magazines and books runs deep. Here are a few past posts about our addiction here and here and what we do with all this beautiful eye candy inspirations here.

Like our little chipmunk friend who was visiting our yard earlier this week (see funny photo at top), stuffing his cheeks and stocking up for the winter season, we do the same with magazines (without the sticking them in our mouths part, that would just be weird). We gather and collect them up during these months and then when the Holiday craziness is over, like early January, we'll snuggle in a warm cozy chair and enjoy.

Here is this years new stash of goodies! It so nice to see a good size collection of new and original Halloween inspired issues each and ever year.
Our little display in this picture was something we found on the side of the road over the summer. Works perfectly to display the issues in the studio don't you think?

Women's Day Specials Halloween was one of the first Halloween issue that I picked up. The deep blue color of this cover is very striking and really jumps out on the newsstands, but I had to do a double take, because it looked eerily similar to last years issue. They must have realized the color combo worked well enough to bring it back this year.

Of course you must have heard about this great new online order only bookazine from Matthew Mead titled Autumn with Matthew Mead. If not... I would recommend checking out his site. It's full of beautiful holiday inspiration imagery. Swirly was featured in his 2010 Holiday issue.

Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate is turning into one of our new favorites. Even though it is more food focused than we would prefer, we are always so charmed by it's beauty that we can't pass it up. We did notice with this Halloween issue that they included a special trends section that profiled our fellow Halloween folk artists friend Johanna Parker.

Happy haunted reading! Be sure to stock up on these inspirational issues before they disappear!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin painting fun

Over the weekend we had a lot of fun with the pumpkins we've gathered this fall season. Through our visits to the farm for some apple picking and visiting the local farmers market we've built up quite a nice collection of pumpkins and gourds.

We finally set aside some time to play around. We carved a few, but then decided to experiment with painting on some and these are the fun results.

Our little guy went straight for the glow-in the dark paint. Painting pumpkins is a safer alternative for the kids who might find it challenging carving with sharp tools.

We chose to paint this pumpkin with metallic teal blue paint and adding dimensional red dots.

This one was created by masking tape off areas and painting the top part black and the bottom part is painted first with white paint with added glow in the dark glitter and of course embellished with dots. Everything looks better with dots!

Boo! This is our little ghost gourd. His unique shape helped us choose what he would become.

Here is our colorful collection displayed under our tree in kitchen for all to enjoy!
Have you painted any pumpkins?

Monday, October 24, 2011

It’s Halloween Week! EEK!

It's Halloween week!
Even though the studio is now decked out in full Christmas decor as we prepare for this years Christmas collection, we thought we should take a little break this week to celebrate Halloween, since it’s coming up so soon! So all week we’ll share fun little treats all to do with Halloween.

To kick things off.....

For anyone looking to do some last minute Halloween crafting projects why don't you try to make one of these little spooky guys to add to your holiday decorations.
The instruction to create the mini ghost is here and you can find the pumpkin from here. Combine the two and then insert a 20 gauge wire through your ghost into the pumpkin before you bake them.
Then after cooled print out a little message and add crepe paper fringe and glue it to top of your wire.

Just a reminder, the queen of crafts Martha has her Halloween special tonight on the Hallmark Channel. You can check out the martha blog for a sneak peak into the making of the special.

image courtesy of Martha Stewart and Hallmark Channel

Will you be watching? We sure will!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Holiday How-to: A Halloween Treat!

Happy Happy Halloween!
We are so excited to share with you some spooktacular news. A few months ago we were approached by Polyform Products which is the maker of Scupley. That is the clay we have been using for over 10 years to make all our beautiful handmade designs. They asked if we would be interested in creating some seasonal how-to projects to be showcased on their official website.
Let's think for a moment....um, YES!

We felt this was a perfect match for Swirly to be able to share with everyone some really neat how-to projects using the product we loved for years. Sharing some new and different projects with everyone other then our handmade ornaments. It's a win for everyone.

So here it is..... Our first how-to project we created to celebrate the spirit of Halloween is this spooktacular haunted house Halloween Shadowbox. Created using black Premo and Sculpey glow in the dark clay.

How fun it would be to create your own version of our little haunted house and add it to your own Halloween collection. Check out the Polyform website for the complete step by step here.

Leave your comments on our blog or on our facebook page and let us know what you think of this project. Is it something you would try?

Here is a few more close up shots of this project.

Our swirly little bat swirling around the moonlight.

You can make the whole project or just pieces of it. How cool would your table look with a display of mini glow in the dark pumpkins all around.

Adding a battery operated tea light behind your house so you can admire the details during the day....

and watch it glow at night. It's doesn't get any better than that.
~Lianne & Paul
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