Friday, September 28, 2012

Let the "Countdown" Begin... Giveaway!

 Because I have wonderful followers, I wanted to make something for Halloween and offer it as a Giveaway!

 ** Just a little note:  some people have had trouble leaving a comment on my blog to enter the Giveaway!  I so apologize for that!  If you would like to enter the giveaway and have had a problem with the comment form, just email me and I will enter you.  My email address is:

I just love all of the Ornate Frames out there right now, so I let the wheels in my mind turn and I came up with a Halloween Countdown.  

I took an Ornate frame, painted and glazed it and layered it on top of a board,  I hope you like it...
Its a cute little Halloween Owl sitting on a Branch with Lettering all out of vinyl.  

Yep, that's chalkboard Vinyl where you change the countdown numbers...

I had a great time designing  and creating this countdown and we have had so much fun with it here in the house.  Madi has been helping me change the numbers everyday!

We always love to have countdowns around here for the Holidays.  So I hope you like it and if you enter, I hope you win!

This Giveaway runs until 11:00 p.m. Wednesday October 3, 2012 
(I will announce the winner on Thursday Oct. 4!)
**This Giveaway is now closed, thanks to all who entered!!

There are 2 options for entering for this Giveaway...

1.  Sign up as a Follower on my blog & leave a comment at the bottom of this post. 

2. Like Chalkboard blue on Facebook to become one of my Facebook followers and leave a comment on Chalkboadblue's Facebook page about this post.

** Just a little note:  some people have had trouble leaving a comment on my blog to enter the Giveaway!  I so apologize for that!  If you would like to enter the giveaway and have had a problem with the comment form, just email me and I will enter you.  My email address is:

That's it!  pretty simple.  
Thanks for being such great followers & Good Luck!!
(Due to shipping rates, giveaway is open U. S. Residents only, sorry.)

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The "Spooky" Mantle

 I know its a little bit before October still, but I couldn't wait any longer to share our "Spooky" Mantle.

This is one of my favorite Mantles I put together during the year. When I was putting this mantle together,  I wanted to do something different with it.  I wanted to "Theme" it with something. 

 I was so excited when I thought of this idea...  Why not have an actual "Hanging" Chandelier be a part of the Mantle??  

I figured out a way...
 I bought a chandelier from Home Depot.  Spray painted it black.  Placed a hook in the ceiling where I wanted the chandelier to hang.  Hung it up and went from there...

I found a Bird Cage and had an owl cut out of wood.  I painted and glittered the owl, hung it in the cage, filled the bottom of the cage with some sparkly items and it became apart of the mantle too...

I found this cool Masquerade mask from Seasons of Cannon Falls.  It was set up differently when I bought it, I took off a top wire, added a stick on the side and some ribbon.

I found this "Spooky" sign at Target one year.  I painted a board white, added some glitter and a paper fan and glued the spooky to the board.

Of course our newest addition... the cute little Witchy Owl I found at Target this year.  I think I'm going to name her Tabitha...

I also made a little "31" sign and put it on a paper fan and on top of a candle stick that I painted and glittered...

Put it all together on different Levels for dramatic effect...

I can't decide if I like the little "Beware" sign hanging from the chandelier or not, so I have it on in some pictures and off in some others...
and off...
Happy "Spooky" Halloween

P.S.  I've been working on a Giveaway... Stay tuned!

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Photo Favorite...

 Its getting to be that time of year when we take fall photos. In fact I think its officially Fall now.   I wanted to share with you one of my MOST FAVORITE photos ever.  

I know I have a lot of favorites and you will probably see me say that about a lot of my photos, but this one melts my heart.  When we had our 4th child Ava, we needed to do a photo shoot with her for our Christmas card.  I remember loading them all up and heading to the park to take the shots.  

I also remember how excited all my older kids were about Ava.  Each of them wanted to hold her for the picture.  When we started the photo shoot, I realized something, my older kids were HUGE compared to this tiny baby, where would I put her so she would show up?

Then I had this idea and I'll forever be grateful for this inspiration....  I had the older kids lay on their tummies and scoot super close to each other and then we put baby Aves on top!

Awwww, I love how it turned out!  I shot this photo session in the middle of the park.  It was a sunny day, I shot with my 50mm portrait lens. I set my aperture very low to blur out the back ground, draw the focus to the kids and let the reflection on the ground light up their faces.  

I just love her big flower on her head!

I also like this setting, and I like how the one tree with orange leaves in the background pulls out of the photo to connect with Ava's orange sweater in the shot too.  

I can't believe how young my older kids look in these photos.  Wow time really does fly.

In this shot I told the kids to look at Ava as best they could without losing their compostion.  I just love her big chumpy cheeks and how focused she was on her hands...

Happy Fall photos everyone,

Thanks for letting me share,

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I love how creative People are...

   I had a moment and was browsing around Pinterest and found some great fall photos and ideas that people have come up with and I wanted to share some of my favorites...

I love this photo about Fall.  I love the lines it contains,  the eye follows the path as if you are there. It just makes you feel like autumn is here... (its getting close!)
I pinned this via Brianna P

I love this idea of the sweater pumpkins with the book paper leaves

I love these velvet pumpkins!
I pinned these via Kristal Powers

I love this idea of the book page pumpkin!
I pinned this via Tami Lahmann

I hope you feel inspired to craft some fun and unique fall pumpkins now!

I've been busy working on some Fall & Halloween Decor!
Have a great day!

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How the Owl Tree... was made!

 I always love to see how things are built or the "Behind the scenes" pictures.  So I wanted to share with you how I made the Paper Mache tree for the Owl Party.

When I started out with this Owl party, I had so many ideas I wanted to do for it.  As I thought about the dessert table, I kept thinking, if only I had a cute tree with an Owl house in it for the display.  But how would I make a tree??  I kept thinking about Paper Mache.  I have never done paper mache but thought why not give it a try?

I first started with some Chicken wire that I cut and twisted and shaped the best I could to resemble a tree trunk.  I had some left over wire that I wired on the roots at the bottom... (at this point as I was wrestling with the tree trunk, my little Ava asked, "Mom what are you doing?" Me: "I'm making a tree!" Aves: Mom, that doesn't look like a tree!"  Me: "I know :)"

and then I wired on some branches for the top.  I next covered it in tin foil... (The branches reminded me of Moose Antlers at this point.)

Once I got it covered with tin foil, I then added some additional branches with tin foil... (at this point I think it looked like it was from Outer Space.)

Next came the messy part!  I mixed up a paper mache paste with flour, water and some elmer's glue.  
I then used paper towels and some paper, dunked them in the paste and covered the tree.  It became quite heavy at the top and some of the branches had to come off.  The branches that I could save, I propped up while it dried.  Here is the pre-painted paper mache tree... (Ryan said at this point, it resembled a Sea anemone.)

Next I painted it brown...

At this point I needed to figure out how to get some leaves on the branches.  I took some tin foil and crumpled it up into balls that I covered with felt to resemble pillows.  I glued the felt pillow- looking things to different branches.  Once I had those in place, I cut several leaves out of felt and glued them on the pillows...

Once I had it covered with the leaves.  I next needed a little Owl house. I wanted it to kind of look like Owl's house from Winnie the Pooh.  I stayed up late one night and made the little house out of some scrap wood I had left over. Here is a shot of it being built...

Once I had it built, complete with crooked trim and all, I painted it and made a little banner to hang across the front and placed it in the tree...

Here is the tree completed...

And this is how it looked at the Party...  If you would like to see more of the Owl party you can see it here or click on the photo below...

This tree was fun to do. To be honest, there were times I really didn't know how it was going to turn out, but I think in the end it worked out alright and the girls loved it at the party.  It helped to tie everything together!

Thanks again for reading and following.
With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

A sweet treat!

I made these Cookie pops for the Owl party and they were so simple and yummy!  Here's how I did it!
I bought the double stuff Cookies at Walmart or you could also buy Oreo double stuff cookies. You will also need some Candiquik or some type of melting chocolate, (You can use white or  dark chocolate) Some sprinkles and some lollipop sticks!  

Open up and take out your candiquik and get it heating up...

Take your cookies and place a lollipop stick in between the cookie in the cream center...

Dunk them in the melted chocolate...

Sprinkle on some Love...

Set them out to dry on some wax paper...

Now you can display them anyway you want really.  I was incorporating these into an Owl themed party and so I thought it would be fun to drill some holes into some logs and stick the cookie pop in it!

The party guests loved them and they really are simple to make and don't forget Yummy too!!


Thanks for reading,
With Much Love & Gratitude,

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