Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat: The Best and The Worst Things to Get

I hope you can quickly spot the trick in this collage above!! I mean, what kid really wants to get a toothbrush when they're out collecting as much candy as they can possibly imagine?? I know it's got great intention (handing out the toothbrush), but unless you're a dentist, I'd say keep the toothbrush in the bathroom for the night!

So, what are the best and worst things to get when you're out trick or treating? Here's my thoughts...

1. The Good Stuff (reserved for special folks...)
My mom used to have a great tradition where she'd run down to Fran's Market (a small Mom and Pop shop in Palo Alto, CA), and buy a whole bunch of cool wax items for the special folks in our neighborhood-- you know, the next door neighbor kids and kids we knew on the block. These wax items, as AWFUL as they tasted were quite a hit-- wax fangs, wax lips, wax fingers. Oh, how I could chew on those for hours until they were extremely deformed, and just plain disgusting. Today I'm hope to bake a couple cookies for our "special" neighbors... it's such a great tradition.

2. The Retro Stuff (candy like when we were kids...)
Did you know how many cool retro candy websites are out there? I sure didn't until I started looking... It's a bonanza of great stuff. I say, pick out YOUR favorite retro candy from one of these sites (or a local store if you know of one), and hand that out this year... it's just a little more meaningful, perhaps, than the stuff you can get at Costco.

3. The Lookin' Good Stuff (the candy you can play pretend with...)
Another one I just loved growing up were the candies that last much longer than just eating them... you know, the ones you can play pretend with... candy rings, candy necklaces... not only do they taste good, they look good too!

4. The Traditional Stuff (the candy you see in cartoons...)
I've never given out candy apples, or large lollipops, but wouldn't it be fun to give out a real traditional Halloween treat? Read up on some Halloween History and get your own ideas.

5. The Bulk Stuff (everyday candy...)
There's nothing wrong with a tasty Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!! I love 'em. Tootsie Roll lollipops are good too! Those are some of my favorites, what are yours?

6. The Alternative Stuff (anything BUT candy...)
OK... I've already ragged on the toothbrush idea... I've also read about the "spare change" idea... that's a pretty good alternative idea... but I just read about a really cool idea, Books for Treats. I love the idea of cleaning out my kid's dusty, well loved, board books that haven't had an eye or ear for several years... I wonder how this approach would be received? Anyone tried it before?

Would love to hear about your trick or treat ideas! What was (or is!) your favorite thing to get? Happy hunting!

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Are Yoooou Gonna Be?

Image and idea from

So yesterday was Halloween-costume-making day. I'm so proud of myself... I was actually sewing and assembling my kids' costumes almost a week a head of the actual day!

This year, we scoured through all my magazine clippings of costume ideas, and my daughter loved the Sherlock Holmes outfit from Martha Stewart (it is adorable, isn't it?) and my son just wanted to be a spider.

The spider was pretty easy... just stuffing a lot of black baby tights, and finding a black outfit for my son to wear. And, to my surprise, the Sherlock Holmes cape wasn't that hard to make either! We used a little different style wool suit fabric, and wish we had a blood hound to go with the outfit, but I think we're definitely in the ballpark!

So, what are you going as this Halloween?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Party Game Ideas

Your Halloween Party is coming up any day now... How on earth are you going to entertain a bunch of hyped up, sugared-filled kids? A Halloween game or 2, of course!! So, here it goes...

Best Scream Contest
OK, so for this game you need a lot of patience, and perhaps and ear plug or 2, but I'm sure the kids will love it. First off, describe different types of screams to the kids, so you don't just get the loudest shout they can manage. Here are some good descriptions for different screams:
1. The I'm-in-the-shower-when-someone-scares-me Scream
2. The it's-the-biggest-spider-I've-ever-seen Scream
3. The I-can't-be-loud-because-I'm-being-chased-by-a-man-eating-zombie Scream
4. The I've-just-entered-into-Frankenstein's-lap-and-his-head-is-open Scream

Now that you've given the kids some ideas... have them line up, give them a number, and let 'er rip! For awards, give them descriptions like above for their signature scream.
Monster Mash Freeze Dance
This is an old favorite-- freeze dance-- but now play it to your favorite Halloween tune. Monster Mash is a good one! The directions are simple. Have all the kids get into the middle of a big room or open space. Tell them they need to continue to dance until the music gets turned off. If they move when it's off, then they're out. For an award, you can give them a mummy oscar statue for best performance (take an old Barbie and wrap it in gauze bandage.)

Costume Awards Show
Instead of just "scariest costume" or "funniest", try to think of unique and creative categories! For instance, best costume for "Who You Would Not Want to Meet in a Dark Alley." Here's some more:
"Most Believable Costume"
"Goriest Costume"
"Most Likely to Be Put in Jail"
"Costume Most Likely to Win an Oscar"
For the awards, you can make a mummy Barbie (like mentioned above), or pick up one of these Skeleton Award Trophies at

Would love to find out what your favorite Halloween party game is!

P.S., If ya like the artwork here, be sure to check out my Spooky Halloween party invites and Spooky banner... both are posted on etsy store.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oktoberfest Game Idea

Last year around this time our family had a great Oktoberfest party. Above are the place cards I made for the table. I loved trying to feebily translate each of our names into more of a Germanic version... Fortunately for some, their names were of German origin, so they didn't get mangled!

The party had all ages-- from 4-74, so I knew coming up with a game was a must to entertain! This game below, was a hit! Tears were definitely shed when it was time to come inside and eat.... although the adults sure liked taking the break to enjoy the variety of beers being served. So here it goes.... a must-do Oktoberfest game:

Oktoberfest Beer Garden Relay
2 pitchers (plastic preferably)
4 mugs (plastic preferably)

Create 2 teams, and set up a relay course. Put some obstacles in the course, like a chairs, waste basket, table, etc.

On the starting end of the course, put the 2 pitchers filled with water.

Line the teams up, and hand the first "runner" 2 empty mugs for each hand.

Each runner needs to fill up his/her mugs (from the pitcher with water), run through the course, not spilling water, around the obstacles, and back to the start. He/She empties her mugs back into the pitcher and hands her mugs to the next person to start over.

The team who finishes first wins!

Have fun, and try to stay dry! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween Vintage Mask Party

Boo to Everyone in Blogland!!
It's been awhile since I've had a chance to write. You must forgive me... I've been buried in Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the beginnings of holiday fanfare! Yes, I was singing Christmas carols yesterday, as I was starting in on a holiday project, yet I haven't even had time to post about my latest Halloween items... so here it goes!

I'm sure you've seen them around-- those great vintage-style masks of spooky cats, frightful pumpkin heads, owls and more... Well I just had to make my own party kit based on the look!

I hand drew these mask images, scanned them in my trusty computer... and had fun adding colors, textures and more. I love how they turned out.

I also love how each invite has it's own mask (set of 6 invites...) So, when sending out those invites, you can make sure to send the right frightful mask to the right person!

Now this party could really be any type of Halloween party-- it could be a "mask" party-- where all have to come with a mask on, it could be a costume party, or it could just be a good ol'fashioned Halloween party- full of frightful fun and CAAAaaanddy, of course!

Are you having a Halloween party this year? What's your theme?

P.S., Like I said, I'm in the process of updating my website with all my latest holiday creations. I'll update with a link as soon as it's there... but if ya gotta have it now, make sure to email me, and I'll mail it off ASAP! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boo! It's Halloween Faire Time... Come and see!

October is officially here.
So you know what that means...

2 days ago, I noticed one of the houses in our neighborhood has put out their Halloween decorations. I have to say, although I LOVE Halloween, I do feel you have to wait at least until October to start to decorate. Especially out here in California, we get these blazing hot "Indian Summer" heat waves-- it sure doesn't feel like fall time when it's over 90 degrees!

This weekend, I'm going to be doing my first local fall time faire, The Artisan Merchant Faire. I'm so excited to show off my new Halloween items, as well as a sneak at some holiday things to come! Here's a list of some of the things I've been working on... I'll post pictures soon!
  • Halloween Party Invitations
  • Cool Vintage-style Halloween Masks and Banners
  • Thanksgiving Party/Thanksgiving Dinner Invitations
  • Holiday Party Invitations
  • and more...

The faire is in Redwood City, so if you happen to be in the Bay Area (Northern California), do stop by... there will be many things for sale, as well as activities and classes for kids too!

Hope to see you this weekend... If not, have a great time decorating for Halloween!