Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween "BOO" Banner and Instructions

A friend of mine got me motivated to try to create a Halloween banner. Here is what I/we came up with...

  • I used an old tag-shaped idea book from JoAnn's (each page was a chipboard tag) as the base of each coffin...I cut off the bottom corners so they would look like little coffins, rather than the standard triangle pendants used in many banners. 
  • Next, I covered them with patterned paper.  These papers were not all from the same line, or even the same company.  I believe some of the papers I used were DCWV paper stacks from last fall, DCWV stack from this fall, and Making Memories. 
  • I used a scalloped border punch to punch the scallop design that runs across the top portion of each coffin.  I used a 2 1/2 inch scalloped circle punch to get the scallop under each medallion.

  • I zig-zag machine stitched all the way around each coffin, to ensure the papers won't peel off and the banner will hold up!
  • I also gently filed the edges of each coffin with a nail file.  It gives the edges a "finished", distressed look.

  • Finally, the most FUN part...embellishing each coffin!!!  I collected random bits and pieces of Halloween decorations and craft supplies from around my house.  I had to spray paint a few of the items black (like the floral leaves and the white picket fence).  I used chipboard letters to spell "boo".  I cut the "ring" off of those plastic spider rings, and used the spiders on one coffin.  I included a little plastic skull and a felt tree silhouette.  I added a plastic bat and some black bling here and there to finish them off.  You can really use your creativity and imagination to come up with some great dimensional embellishments to add to your banner.  This was definitely my favorite part!!!  I used hot glue and Eileen's Tacky Glue to adhere everything.

  • Last, I punched holes where I wanted to string the lace, tied the lace into bows, and hung the banner across the hall entrance. 

The best part, I didn't have to spend any money on this project...everything came from my scrapbook stash and Halloween decoration stash!!!  Have fun creating!

Friday, October 22, 2010

My FAVORITE Photo Editing Site

My favorite photo editing website is .  This is the site I go to in order to do more than just the basic "crop" and "red-eye reduction" type editing.  I only send a handful of photos here to be edited.  The basic membership is free, the upgraded membership is about $25 a year.   The free membership offers a HUGE variety of edits by itself. 

Lots of editing options:

The editing procedures are very simple to use.  There are many editing options to choose from, and various attributes under each type of effect that allow you to adjust values, colors, strength of edits, etc. 

For example, if you choose to make the photo "Black and White" also have the following options...
  • color filter (you choose from 1000's of color variations and gradients)
  • % fade (from 0-100%)
  • select areas of the picture to remain in color
  • the strength of the "color" areas (from 0-100%)
Next, you can choose to add a vignette...then you have the following vignette options...
  • size (from 0-100)
  • strength of color (0-100%)
  • the vignette color (once again, 1000's of color variations and gradients)
  • and the fade (from 0-100%)
You can add camera effects, touch-ups, frames, text...the possibilities are endless.  The best is so simple and FREE!!! 

Have some fun and give it a try:

There is no program to download to your computer...instead you upload your pictures to their site, edit them, then save the edited pictures back to your computer.  (From there you can send them where ever you want to get them developed, save them on a disc, or archive them however you like.) 

What I will suggest is visit the website, upload a picture, then start playing!  There are so many awesome edits available.  It is also very simple to use.  My favorite section is the "Create" tab then the "Effects" drop down menu.

I hope you give it a try...I know you'll be glad you did!!!

Presently, I have the basic (free) are some of my recent Halloween Edits...

I also used to edit the following photos...

I hope you will give it a try...I promise you'll be glad you did!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween Photo and Journaling Opportunities

Photo Opportunities

Halloween presents us with tons of photography opportunities...below is a list I have compiled so I don't miss any of the important activities!

Choosing a Costume
Making a Costume
Decorating the Indoors
Decorating the Outdoors
House Lit Up at Night
Detail Shots of Decorations
Haunted House Adventures
Pumpkin Patch Adventures
Cornstalk Maze
Choosing a Pumpkin
School Halloween Functions
Getting Dressed
Getting Make Up Applied
Costume Details
Picture of Each Child in Costume
Trick or Treating (group and individual shots)
Knocking on the Door
Opening the Bag for Treats
Scary Movie Night
Passing Out Candy
Bag of Treats at the end of Trick or Treating
Neighborhood decorations
Family Members in Costume
Scooping out Pumpkin Guts
Carving the Pumpkin
Completed Jack-O-Lantern
Cooking Pumpkin Seeds
Eating Pumpkin Seeds
Halloween Parties
Bobbing for Apples
Group Party Picture
Hay Ride
Carmel Apples
Changing/falling leaves
Pets in their costumes
Costume Parade

Photography Tips

Here are a few links to sites that give some great tips for Photographing Halloween.  There are tips from everything from costumes, to Jack-O-Lanterns, to decorations.

Journaling Opportunities

Now for the journaling...Besides the typical Who? What? When? Why? and Where? answers, try to make your Halloween journaling a little more are some journaling prompts to get you started...

  • Have a child describe how to carve a pumpkin...copy their answer down "word for word"
  • Include the recipe for making baked pumpkin seeds
  • Include recipes for other Halloween traditional treats or dishes
  • Write a timeline for Halloween evening or day
  • Explain how the Halloween costumes were chosen
  • "Halloween by the numbers. I love "by the numbers" pages, where you track the statistics associated with a certain event. For Halloween, write down the number of houses you take your trick-or-treater to, how many blocks you walked, how much of each different types of candy was collected, etc. Take photos to match, and your page practically creates itself!"--Halloween By the Numbers Idea Quoted from
  • Add a Halloween poem to your layout
  • Add lyrics from a Halloween song
  • Describe Halloween traditions
  • 13 things you loved about Halloween
  • Top 13 costumes you saw tonight
  • Print out a short history of Halloween from the internet to include on your layout

Halloween Interview Questions for Children to Answer

Interview each child as soon as you are done Trick or Treating, the day's events will be fresh in their mind.  Some questions to include could be...

What was your favorite part of Halloween?
What was the scariest part of Halloween?
What is your favorite treat or candy?
What do you think you want to be next year for Halloween?

I'm still brainstorming more interview questions, if you can think of any, leave a comment and I'll add the to the blog post!
Have fun with you Halloween layouts!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Free File Friday!!!

In honor of the first day of October...PUMPKINS!!! The link to the file below is a .GSD file and anyone with a Silhouette can download and cut it.   Since there are some pretty small details, try not to cut it any smaller than the original file.   I created it using "Trick or Treat 2.TTF" and "Nymphette.TTF" fonts/dingbats.  Enjoy!!!