The Best of 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009


I'm BAAAAACK! My mojo went on Christmas vacation, apparently. Neglected to inform me, just packed its bags and headed somewhere tropical I suppose. But I'm feeling the old spark and I'll be posting a darling scrapbook layout tomorrow. Guess even our creativity needs a short break once in a while.

Last day of the year always makes me a little sentimental. Looking back at some of my previous posts, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about my faves....


How Sweet It Is
The cupcake mania began the video tutorial, which is the most-watched video on my youtube channel. I'm stilled called "the cupcake lady" by many.




A Smidgen of Scrapbooking
I admit it, this was not my year to catch up on scrapbooking. Just a handful of layouts made it past my over-obsessive compulsion for perfect titles, clever journaling and just the right embellishments. Workin' on that. But I did a few, and that makes me happy. Check out this one, and this one, oh, and here too.


Do you... Create U?
This is big. For me, it's really, really big. My annual, once-a-year, eat-sleep-breathe Creative University. The 2009 event was so much fun, and the 2010 event is less than 8 weeks away. I'm all sold out for 2010, but 2011 is already in the planning stages.



The Dress
Sewing... fitting... basting... pinning... All for one dress. So worth it.



I Can See Clearly Now
I have to say, I love this acrylic album. It was for a silent auction fundraiser for Operation Smile and I'm so proud to have participated in such a worthy cause. And unlike my usual method-of-operation, I created this one in a non-stop creative blitz. See, I CAN get something done when I have a deadline.



Blogtoberfest!
Crafty tutorials all month long, what could be better? A real kick-in-the-pants for my lazy posting, but it was so much fun seeing all the other bloggers who jumped in with their tutorials as well. Kuddos, crafters!


The Art of Being a Goof
This was my year to show off my natural ability to make a fool of myself. I think that this comment from a youtube user sums it up: "I mean this in the kindest way possible...You are SUCH a dork!". Compliment accepted.

So, if you get a chuckle from my silly face pictures, or odd attire, or the just plain strange discoveries, I'm glad to have brightened your day. Giggle on, my funny friends, giggle on.

Nugget Box Tutorial

Monday, December 21, 2009

With the crazy rush of last minute shopping, baking and assorted holiday hoopla, I'm pleased that I was able to wrap up this tutorial. Enjoy!

Sneak Peek

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Wondering what's the next video tutorial? By special request, a nugget box! Those yummy little Hershey's nuggets are so perfect for wrapping and they make a quick and easy Christmas gift when presented in a matchbox style gift box.

I've been working on the video for a few days and I'm just about to reshoot some of the footage. (Lighting issues, ugh!) It'll be out in a few days, so check back for the release!

Size Matters

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This is the wreath that took on a life of its own. Since we recently painted our door black, an evergreen wreath just wasn't going to work. I wanted something shiny and lovely, and handmade. Then, for some insane reason, I thought this Christmas ball wreath would be simple and inexpensive. A jaunt to the Dollar Tree (love this place) scored me a few tubes of ornaments. I wanted a styrofoam wreath, but after seeing the prices a straw base seemed like a good idea. I mean, come on, who wants to spend 10 bucks on a base that no one really gets to see anyway? Got me a big one, no use in making a small wreath as long as I'm going to get such a good deal on ornaments.


Fast forward four days and about 5 more trips to the dollar store. My hand has permanently become claw shaped from holding a hot glue gun for hours on end. But it's all worth it... this is one eye catching wreath! I can't bring myself to add a bow, it might cover some of my hard work. If you spied the bare spot, avert your eyes. The glitter balls don't like sub-freezing weather and slammed doors, so a couple popped right off. Back to the glue gun when my hand regains its flexibility.

What the heck is a bagalope?

Friday, December 4, 2009

If you're hunting for the perfect party favor, look no further! Bagalopes are quick, easy and inexpensive. So simple, yet so darned cute.

Love a Bargain?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I love a great deal, don't you? Don't miss out on the Holiday Heydey online clearance sale on my website! Super bargains on fabulous Close to My Heart products. But hurry, this stuff goes fast. Special $5 shipping on orders of $100 or more. Order through my website and you'll also receive a hand-stamped card from me! Click here to shop the sale!

Shopping website may experience slow periods due to volume of visits on Close to My Heart sites. Be patient, it's worth it!

WHAT is that crazy lady doing NOW?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009



I hope my neighbors understand that I'm not insane. Take this photo clip from the video I'm working on right now. Creeping around the bushes in the backyard with a rifle.... well, that's not something you see every day. Care to guess what the video is about?

So thankful for moments like this....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Keeping a blog, website, youtube channel and more is often a big responsibility. But the wonderful comments and feedback I receive is better than any paycheck I could receive. I am amazed at how far I've reached sometimes, and I'm almost overwhelmed by the amount of people who have been inspired by my sharing. The other day, I received an email that just made my day. It was from Elena, in Barcelona, and I was so touched that I asked her if I could share it here. This is what she said:

Hi Tresa!

My name is Elena and I'm Cuban, but currently living in Barcelona, Spain.
I’m writing to you because I wanted to thank you personally for your blog and the tutorials that you’ve been publishing in Youtube. I came across your space a couple of months ago and, sincerely, helped me a lot. I have learned many new techniques and your videos are always inspiring. From your blog, I enter the virtual world of Scrapbooking and I’m still fascinated with it.

I recently saw your prize related to the question about the glitter ... I didn’t answer ‘cause the truth is that I can not imagine that there might be something that doesn’t look better with glitter, but the fact is that, on seeing the great prize you finally offered, I felt very sorry!
I would like to invite you to visit my blog dedicated to Scrapbook, in which I’ve been publishing some works that use some of the techniques I learned from you. I always give you the credit you deserve!. I’m still a beginner and don’t have almost anything but paper, cardboard, water pens, scissors, glitter and a lot of enthusiasm… Here is the address: Pelusa’s Scrapblog. (Although I speak Spanish, I write this blog in English).

Greetings!

Elena



Here is a mini album that Elena posted, based on my video instructions. I love how little album turned out! You can see more of her work on her blog, stop by and leave a comment!

Need a Giggle?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This probably explains why it takes me so long to make a video.

'Tis the Season... for Glitter!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

There are just so many ways to apply glitter, this is just one... "glitter 'n tape technique". If you haven't tried it yet, you just gotta! So simple, and it really sticks. Some tapes work better than others, but almost any clear tape will work. Heck, you don't even need clear tape if you are using colored glitter. Whatever you choose to use, be prepared to sparkle!

Just a note about the music... since I'm making a Christmas card, you'd think I'd have Holiday music. But come on, how perfect is a song with the chorus "Don't you know, everywhere I go, I got the shimmerin' light on me." How could I pass that one up? And glitter and rock 'n roll go hand in hand, right?

Winner!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanks to everyone who entered the Blog Candy Glitter card contest. The winner, selected by random.org, is Leslie! I'm sending Leslie the featured card in my upcoming video, which should be released in the next few days (watch here on my blog or on my youtube channel).


I was thinking that just one card wasn't much to win, and I realized that I've used glitter in three of my latest videos, so I'm sending Leslie all three of the cards shown here. Want to know how to make each of these? The bat card is here and the leaf card is here.

Congratulations Leslie, make sure you contact me with your mailing address so I can send your prize!

Sparkle On!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Glitter, glitter everywhere. This describes my house right at the moment. I'm working on my newest video tutorial, and it's all about the sparkly stuff. Should have it done in the next few days, but until then, here's a sneak peek of the card from the Glitter 'n Tape Technique video.

If you haven't entered for a chance to win this card, the drawing will be held Friday, Nov. 20 so there's still time! To enter, scroll down or click here for the Blog Candy info.

This Makes Me Happy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love this video, had to watch it a few times.

Blog Candy! A question for my sparkly readers....

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Ahhh, glitter, that sparkly magical stuff. It adds just the right touch to so many projects. But as a die-hard crafter, I know that the old saying "everything's better with glitter" isn't entirely true. While beautiful, our sparkly friend just seems to end up in the oddest places. Ever spill glitter in your lap? There are some things that DO NOT look better with glitter.

Tell me where glitter doesn't make things better, places that glitter just doesn't improve, or stories of glitter gone wild. Post in the comments below where glitter does NOT belong.

I'm going to give away my latest card created just for my Glitter Video. Drawing will be a chosen randomly from all comments. I'll post the winner on Friday, November 20th.

Under the Sea

Friday, November 13, 2009


A little late for Halloween How-To, but if you're looking for ideas for next year, how about this little mermaid?

She's really cold in this picture, we were about to go inside, so this is my squatty mermaid. Nice shoes. All the mermaids are wearing them these days.

If you can sew a straight line, you can make this costume. My dress-making skills were not called into play on this one, it was down and dirty Halloween sewing, so it only took about an hour to create most of the costume.



I started with a trip to the fabric store and bought a half yard of the metallic blue dot fabric (because it was the most expensive), a yard of the green satin and shimmery blue netting, and two yards of the bright blue tulle netting. Less than $10 for everything.

The top was a recycled one from a princess Jasmine costume, here's how make one in a jiffy. Start with a flesh colored top (or sew one like I did). Use wonder-under and some sparkly fabric scraps to iron on some shell shapes onto the front, for a little-mermaid style bra. You'll notice the blue turtleneck peeking out at the top of this shirt. I make my costumes extra big so kids can wear their costumes OVER their coats. Try putting a snow suit under a skin-colored shirt, it's hilarious and slightly shocking to see a lumpy bare-tummied kid going house to house when it's 40 degrees outside.


To make the skirt, measure your kiddo from waist to ankle. Then ask them to take a big step and measure the circumference around both their knees. This will allow them to walk in the skirt and not have to waddle. If you have an older child or you're making this for an adult, go ahead and make it very tight around the knees. This will make it even more mermaid-y, but it does make it tough to run from house to house trick-or-treating, so little ones need the extra room at the knees.

Using the length and width measurements you took, cut out a big square/rectangle from your satin. This will be your skirt. Sew this into a big tube with a gathering stitch. Pull the gathing stitch until the skirt is knee high at the front (see the pictures). The back will drape down longer. Add an elastic waist at the top of the skirt.

For the tail, fold the netting long-wise so that it's about 4 layers thick. Gather all 2 yards. This takes some time squishing it all together, but it's worth it. Attach it to the bottom of the skirt. Again, squish it in there, ugly sewing is allowed on Halloween costumes. You can always cover any huge flubs with sequin trim and a hot glue gun.

Use the sparkly blue fabric (which is awesome because it doesn't ravel so no hemming needed), to make a sea-weed belt to wrap around the waist. Use your leftovers to make fingerless gloves and hot glue the same fabric over a plastic princess crown. The sheer blue net fabric is pinned to the gloves and the back neck of the shirt, for a cape-effect, no need to cut the fabric unless it's too long.


The beads and blue hair band are from the dollar store, and face-painting courtesy of Mommy. If you're not a face-painter, just lots of blue eyeshadow and blue lips made with lip gloss and powdery blue eyeshadow.

A Little Sightseeing

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This is what's cool about having an airplane. A few weekends ago my husband and I needed to get a way for some much needed together time, and we didn't have much time. Just a beautiful afternoon and the two of us in my husband's plane. We took off from Spokane, flew over Lake Coeur d'Alene, ID and touched down at St. Marie's, ID. Driving there would have been about 3 hours round trip, we were in the air about an hour total time. Absolutely beautiful weather and scenery, flying low and slow over the tree tops. One of those days you want to remember forever.

Check out this picture. We were very low, flying in between in between two mountains, and you can see the shadow of the plane on the hillside next to us.


This is the end of the St. Joe River. A "river in a lake", it extends several miles into the lake. I've never seen it from above, but even from the road alongside the lake it is pretty amazing.


There's a boat going up the river. Isn't it cool how the lake is on both sides of the river?


Last photo, it was getting late and time to head back to the kids. Long shadows on the ground showing an end to a beautiful day!

Award Time

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Thanks so much to Christine and Haley for this fun award. This one-word answer thing is awfully tough, if I knew there was going to be a test I would've studied....

The Rules are:
1. You can only use ONE word!!!
2. Pass this along to 5 of your favorite bloggers!
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. HAVE FUN!!!

I'm not really a one work kind of person, so this is a very tough quiz and I cheated a few times. Here we go...
1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Your hair? Bobbed
3. Your mother? Organized
4. Your father? Talented
5. Your fave food? Thai
6. Your dream last night? Scary
7. Your fave drink? Coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Organization
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? Messy
11. Your fear? Confrontation
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy
13. Where you were last night? Computer
14. Something that you aren't? Organized
15. Muffins? Poppy seed
16. Wish List Item? Stove
17. Where did you grow up? Washington
18. Last thing you did? Scrap Club
19. What are you wearing? Bikini. Not.
20. Your TV? Mostly On
21. Your Pets? Elderly
22. Friends? Cherished
23. Your Life? Chaotic
24. Your Mood? Distracted
25. Missing Someone? Dad
26. Vehicle? Van (ugh)
27. Something your not wearing? Bikini
28. Your fave store? Ross
29. Your fave color? Orange
30. Last time you laughed? Recently
31. Last time you cried? Recently
32. Your best friend? Dog. No, my husband. No, my dog.
33. One place that I go to over and over? Grocery store
34. One person who emails regularly? Me
35. Fave place to eat? Home

Whew, that was hard. Now I'm passing this along to some amazing artists who inspire me:
1. Tracey Mason Studio Photography and cards to drool over.
2. Karen Pederson Beautiful art and a wonderful spirit.
3. Lisa's Creative Corner Look up clever crafty chick and you'll see a picture of Lisa.
4. The inspiration Institute Bren Yule, the diva of divine, a girl after my own heart.
5. Inky Heart Sally Lynn MacDonald's artwork makes my mouth hang open. Really.

Is this my kid? No way!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So pretty, that's all I'm sayin'.


Okay, maybe I'll say one more thing. What the heck happened to the last 17 years? How'd she grow up so fast?

Creative University Registration Now Open!

Sunday, November 1, 2009



Won't you join me at Creative University 2010? This is my annual retreat that just gets better every year. If you can fly, drive, swim or crawl to this event, you gotta go! Check out the website for more info.

More Blogtoberfest Highlights

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The trick-or-treating is done, and it's all quiet in Candyland. I've finally gotten the Halloween monsters off to bed, so let's wrap up Blogtoberfest!

I've had a great time posting all the tutorials this month, and following along with the other Blogtoberfest participants. Once I get on a creative roll, it's hard to stop, so I'm happy to say that there will be MANY more videos and tutorials coming here at Fabulously Artsy, you won't have to wait until next October. If you've enjoyed my videos and would like to show your support, please subscribe to my youtube channel. It's easy, free, and just takes a minute!

In case you missed these tutorials, more Blogtoberfest highlights from my bloggin' peeps below....


Kathleen at Kathleen's Crafty Creations shows you how to create this clever gift card holder. Time to start the Holiday crafting season, why not make a few?


Emily at Faith Hope & Art was busy with lots of tutorials during Blogtoberfest, make sure you visit her blog and check out her work. I really love the Acrylic Resist technique she showcased using CTMH's Create-a-shade Pearl Paint.


Angela at Leapin' for Stamps was a busy blogger too. She grabbed the Blogtobefest idea and ran with it, posting tutorials on home decor, cooking and papercrafting, it was hard to pick a favorite. Check out her how-to on second generation stamping. Clear, concise, and descriptive, a great tutorial!

Blogtoberfest Highlights, In Case You Missed These...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Check out some of my favorites from Blogtoberfest players:

Kristina at Sunny Day Memories was very busy with lots of tutorials. How cute would these pumpkins look on your Thanksgiving table?


Kristina also created this awesome little bit of recycling, a Spoolie Album! Who knew you could make something so clever from a leftover ribbon spool?



I love the elegant monogram that Shannon at My Colorful World in VT created. Her tutorial on reverse embossing is simply fabulous!



Tracey at Tracey Mason's Studio never ceases to amaze me with her creativity. This paper tree is gorgeous! She's created a how-to that you can print right from her blog. There are four pages, here: one, two, three, four.



Want to learn how these super-realistic leaves were made? Antoinette at God Bless your Art shows you how in her very first video!

Watch the video here:


Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog if you enjoy these blogger's tutorials. Check back here tomorrow for more highlights from Blogtoberfest!

Suspension Card Tutorial

Tuesday, October 27, 2009



There are lots of other ideas for suspension cards besides Halloween, I just happened to be running with the theme this month. I think a snowflake suspension card would be awesome for Christmas!

Almost Done!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The last week of Blogtoberfest! I've had a great time posting as many tutorials as I can this month. I've learned a few things....
1. No matter how many videos I make, they don't necessarily get faster. I spend about 20-30 hours shooting and editing each video tutorial, and I'm way too much of a perfectionist about my editing for my own good.
2. I didn't manage to post daily, but I'm happy that I've shared so much this month. Life gets in the way of blogging, there's no way around it.
3. I have fabulous readers who've supported me with their comments and visits all month long. Nobody can work in a vaccum and this tutorial blitz would not have been nearly so much fun without the frequent visits and comments. And a special shout-out to the bloggers who played along. Check out the links on the sidebar for those who participated in Blogtoberfest with their own tutorials!

Check back for tomorrow's video release, "Suspension Card".

Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Computer issues have delayed the release of this video, so I feel like a kid on Christmas morning finally being able to post! All the waiting is finally over.



As you can imagine, my teenager is mortified.

Creative University Update!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Check out the Creative University website, I've been busy updating for 2010. If you're wondering what the heck Creative University is, well it's only the most awesomest retreat you'll ever attend! Check it out!

Glitter, glitter, everywhere!

Friday, October 16, 2009


You may remember this card, a few months ago. Today it's being featured by Amy, over at Mod Podge Rocks. If you love MP as much as I do, check out her blog. Did you know you can Mod Podge SHOES? Oh yeah, I'm all over that one.



Today's Blogtoberfest tutorial is going to be a speedy one. I'm repeating the mantra "I'm not going to get sick" over and over, with 5 out of the 6 members of my household succumbing to a nasty cold after the past two weeks. It's been a long road to recovery, and the job of head nurse has definitely been taking its toll on me. If I can just keep from losing my voice, I'll be happy. 'Cuz how can I keep up on my Fabulous Videos without my voice-over voice? A croaking frog is just not fun to listen to.

So, the tip for the day.... anti-mess glitter! You know you love it, you know you use it. But glitter after the fact isn't always the best thing (ever had a sparkly butt? You know what I'm talking 'bout). I like to mix a bit of Mod Podge with glitter, then "paint" on the mixture. If you use a paintbrush, wash it well afterward. Or use a disposable foam brush. Or a Q-tip. Or your fingers, anything works. Smooth it out flat, or leave it thick, it will dry either way. Store the mixture in an airtight container (those little screw top containers that you get brads in are good, or you can use an empty clam-shell packaging).

Love Liquid Glass? I do too! This tip will work for LG, but it doesn't store well, so only mix up what you need at the moment. It tends to dry out in the container, so you'll end up with a lovely, hard, sparkly container. Pretty, but useless for future projects.

Paper Roses Video Tutorial

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How many times have I promised this how-to on paper roses? I'm happy to say it's finally done! It started way back in February, when the Creative University attendees learned how to make this paper rose on their canvas project. Each portion of the video has slowly come together until finally I have a completed tutorial to show you. So, let's see.... over seven months in production. And just as good as those big budget Hollywood blockbusters, right?

Wonderful Weekend, and a Winner!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just returned from a well deserved weekend away. Just two fabulous friends and myself... here:

Beautiful weather, cold but sunny. Couldn't be better to snuggle in and craft the weekend away!


Now to announce the winner of the Love canvas giveaway! Thanks to all who left comments, became followers and posted on your blogs. I was so excited to return after my weekend away and read everything. I'm so lucky to have such fabulous readers!

Since I've got two kiddos home sick today, I asked them to help out. Printed all the comments and put them into a bowl. A little bit of fighting over who got to smoosh to paper around the most, but since they're both feeling puny, the fighting was only a half-hearted. Here's the winning entry, from Haley D.
Congratulations! Please Email Me with your mailing address so I can send the prize!

Two Pocket Gift Card Holder

Saturday, October 10, 2009

For my first "guest blogger" spot, I'm thrilled to bring you a video by my dear friend and fellow CTMH consultant, Nona Davenport. She is not only an amazing artist, but one of the most genuine people I know. Nona touches people's hearts with her artwork and her gentle manner, and obviously I just can't say enough about how much I love her!

This amazing little origami project is so cute, you'll want to make more than one!

Giveaway!

Friday, October 9, 2009



Thanks to all the loyal readers, and new ones too. I'm just about to hit 300 followers, so it's time for some blog candy! I'm giving this 12x12 sized canvas to one lucky reader.

Here's how to enter for your chance to win, just four easy steps:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me something that you'd like to see on the upcoming tutorials.
2. If you have a blog, post something about my blogtoberfest, or my giveaway, or both. Link to my blog.
3. If you're not already, become a follower of my blog. Look in the sidebar on the right side. It's easy, just click on the link!
4. Check back on Monday (Oct. 12) to see if you're the winner!

I'll use random.org to choose a winner from the comments left.

Good luck!

Watercolor Shading for Solid Stamps

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fabulously fast, without the funny business. Learn to use a waterbrush to add a hand-painted look to your solid stamps.

Lots more full-featured videos coming soon, this is my "low-carb" video style (all the meat, none of the fillers). Enjoy!



Make sure you check out my sidebar for the Blogtoberfest blogroll. Lots of great ideas from my bloggin' peeps!

Want to join in the Blogtoberfest? It's easy! Read about it here.

Blogtoberfest Q&A

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


What is Blogtoberfest?
A month-long celebration of sharing and teaching. I am challenging myself and others to share as often as possible throughout the month of October with tips, techniques and tutorials.

What will you be sharing during Blogtoberfest?
Anything and everything that strikes my fancy! I'm a spur of the moment kind of gal, so a schedule doesn't really work for me. And I am a jack-of-all-trades (yet master of none) so there might be a card one day, an organizing tip the next, and a home decor project the next. I might even throw in a recipe or sewing project, you never know!

How often will you be posting?
I am aiming for daily posts, but I'm not making any promises, I might skip a day here and there. Real life sometimes interrupts my blogging pursuits. Coming from someone who generally posts once a week, this is a big challenge for me!

Will all the tutorials you post be your own?
Most, but not all. I'll have a few guest bloggers featured during the month.

Can I join Blogtoberfest?
Yes! Let's make this a world-wide event! Just post your blog addy in my comments, I'll add you to the blogroll in the sidebar. Please add a link for my blog onto yours too. Then, get busy posting your tutorials on your blog. Have fun with it!

Do I have to make a video to join in Blogtoberfest?
No, not at all. Photos, slideshows, text, whatever format you like. Videos are welcome too, and if you've been meaning to try one out, now's a good time.

If I join Blogtoberfest, do I have to post daily?
No. Post as often as you can. This is a challenge, so if you can step it up, do what's comfortable for you. The blogroll on the sidebar will show the most recent posts at the top, so if you post often you'll stay at the top.

Halloween How-To

Monday, October 5, 2009


I love Halloween decorations. Especially the fact that you can use cheap junk and it looks great. I loved this creation by Pink and Polka Dot, so I pretty much CASED it (Copy And Steal Exactly). I'm not even going to pretend that I can arrange anything floral, so dead twigs are right up my alley.
Below are my step-by-steps. Please pardon my pine needles, we have evil trees that dump masses of pine needles whenever the wind blows, or as soon as you finish mowing the lawn, or sweep the porch. I swear I can hear them cackling at night as they plot against us.
I just happened to have a vase that looked similar to the inspiration piece. I purchased it at Michael's a few years ago and it's been hiding under my bathroom sink, waiting for something to do.

I filled it with branches, cut from my backyard. My branches are a little straight, but I had to make do. They'd be more awesome if they were a bit more twisted. To make the branches stay where you want them, you can use florist foam or styrofoam. Or if you don't have those around you can substitute some old rice that's probably gone stale anyway, so why not put it to good use.

Stuff spanish moss around the base of the branches. This stuff is a MESS! Work outside, or have a broom handy if you're inside. But it's oh so perfect for this creepy look. You could also use bagged raffia.

Now it's time to add the birds. These are from the dollar store. A buck, can you believe it? I almost bought mine at the big-box craft store, thinking that was my only resource. They had one lone little crow, and it was $10! Know how many crows I can buy from the dollar store for that amount? I'm thinkin' 10, but I could be wrong.

Before you are allowed to create your project, it's polite to allow your children to play with the crows. Dress them up with silly putty necklaces and boots. Give them names like Hoppy and Blacky. It's only fair that you share your playthings.


Once you've picked all the putty bits off the crows, you can wire them into your branches. Try not to think of the Hitchcock movie "The Birds". Betcha can't.

Add fake spiderwebs. Did you know that I'm that odd person who actually reads directions on packages? I'm glad I did on this stuff. There's a trick to making it look like spiderwebs and not like a stuffed animal came apart on your project.

Lastly, dress it up with a black ribbon and rose. You can use a black silk rose, or create one from cardstock like I've done here. Yes, yes, yes, there WILL be a tutorial this month on the cardstock roses!

I'm hoping to have a few more Halloween decor tutorials this month, so you'll see more of this piece once I get it set up on my mantel with the other projects.
Once I got into the Halloween groove, and had all this darned spanish moss to use up, I plugged in my hot glue gun and got busy. Here's the next project I whipped up. Dollar store skeletons this time, with one lonely crow and a red cardstock rose. Look how awesome this is on my newly painted black door.

I love the skeletons nestled into the spanish moss. A creepy little close-up surprise. Can you spot all three?

Gotta love that Martha Stewart glitter!