DIY Paper Mache Mounted Unicorn Head Wall Plaque

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DIY Paper Mache Mounted Unicorn Head Wall Art

Looking for something to DIY this weekend? I’m partial to this DIY Paper Mache Unicorn Head Wall Plaque. Not only is it a great way to upcycle those newspapers, but it’s super cute! And hey, unicorns are also the official animal of Scotland! Learn how to make your own with a step by step photo tutorial at Lil Blue Boo. For more fab DIY project ideas, be sure to follow me on Pinterest.


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American Horror Story Inspired Preserved Organs DIY – Basement Horrors in Mason Jars

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 American Horror Story Inspired Preserved Organs DIY - Basement Horrors in Mason Jars - Great Craft Project for Halloween

I loved the first season of American Horror Story which airs on FX. Although I did find the final episode of Season One to be a bit lacking and a disappointment. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to watch the second season as I don’t have satellite or cable television – much less a working tv at this point – and am not quite committed enough right now to buy a Season Pass via Amazon.

However, I did think it would be fun to create some of my own creepy preserved jars full of body parts that you see in the basement in the opening credits during Season One. Yes, it’s a tad perverse, but I also thought it would be a fun change up from pretty soaps and beauty recipes. My son and I did this project together and had a blast making it. And who knows, these jars could come in pretty handy right around Halloween.

We used White Das Air Hardening Clay for this project. I’d never used this type of clay before – I was going for whatever I could get that gave me the most bang for my buck – and did find it a little dry. It’s similar to what you might use on a pottery wheel, so I treated it as such and just kept a small container of water on hand to moisten the clay as I needed to. (If you’ve never thrown pottery on a wheel before, it’s commonplace to keep a bucket of water beside the wheel as the clay dries out as you work with it.)

We molded the clay into different shapes – something similar to intestines, a finger, a stomach, a rat, and an alien type leech fetus thing that my son came up with. We then set the clay aside to dry for 24 hours. Halfway through we turned the sculptures over so they would dry more evenly.

Once the sculptures had dried, we painted them with acrylic paints. Since we were going for dead, preserved body parts we stuck to the colors white, gray, black, brown, and red. I already had some white paint on hand, so we simply bought black and brown and mixed them to get different shades. For the dark reds, I mixed some red iron oxide I had on hand in with the white paint.

Once we painted the sculptures we set them aside to dry. They actually dried fairly quickly which was nice. It seemed like the clay sort of sucked the moisture out of the paint so we were able to handle them in short amount of time in order to paint all of the sides. Pictured above is Cody’s stomach organ, which we thought sort of also looked like a kidney. But we weren’t really going for accuracy since this project was for fun.

Once the painted had dried we sprayed the sculptures with a clear acrylic sealer on all sides. We gave them two coats since we planned on immersing the final product in liquid.

Once the acrylic sealer had dried, we placed the faux organs into Ball Canning jars. I bought the half pint jars from the grocery store since they cost less although I would have liked to have a mix of both. Our rat wouldn’t fit into the smaller canning jars, and we didn’t want to make him smaller and risk ruining him. If you don’t want your sculptures floating or moving around – or just want one particular set view – you can glue them into the jar using E6000 glue.

 American Horror Story Inspired Preserved Organs DIY - Basement Horrors in Mason Jars - Great Craft Project for Halloween

Cody and I played around with different liquids to use for the formaldehyde. In the end, we settled on a white wine that had been sitting opened, but corked in my fridge for the past two months. It looked great and gave just the effect we were looking for. However, if you don’t have any wine in need of dumping you can usually find really cheap wine at the grocery store. I’ve seen wine for $3-$4 a bottle.

 American Horror Story Inspired Preserved Organs DIY - Basement Horrors in Mason Jars - Great Craft Project for Halloween

Next, you would simply fill your mason jars with wine to the level of your liking. You can fill them up to the top or half way. We varied our wine levels for visual interest. All that’s left is to tightly screw the lids onto the jars.

 American Horror Story Inspired Preserved Organs DIY - Basement Horrors in Mason Jars - Great Craft Project for Halloween

Cody and I were pretty pleased with the end result. Our jars looked super creepy down in my basement which is half brick wall – no insulation – and half dirt dug out from under the house. (My apartment is the lower level of a house that’s over a hundred years old.) Since there’s no type of heating or cooling in the basement – it has a separate entrance from the house – the wine works perfectly since it’s less likely to freeze and risk damaging the jar or sculpture from the expansion.

 American Horror Story Inspired Preserved Organs DIY - Basement Horrors in Mason Jars - Great Craft Project for Halloween

Here’s a grainy black and white of the jars in my basement – taken via my camera phone. If and when I move, I think it’d be a lot of fun to leave these in the basement just for that – what in the $#@! is this?! – shock factor. All in all, this definitely made for a fun family project.

So, for other American Horror Story fans, how is season two? Is it worth a season pass or I should I wait for it to come out on dvd or Netflix?


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Pink Houses and Mosaic Toilets

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My neighborhood is kind of awesome. It’s in a historic district so it’s filled with all of these really great, old houses. In fact the house I live in is over a hundred years old. It’s also an arts district so we have some really creative houses throughout the neighborhood and even on my own street.
I live right across the street from what looks like a dollhouse. It’s a beautiful old Victorian with lots of pinks and blues. There are a lot of these and many of them are in fabulous, non-traditional house colors including bright greens and purples.
Here’s another just down the road. I particularly like the way the window boxes are done on this house.
I think by far my favorite house on the street though is this one. It just has so much character. I can’t wait to see what the yard looks like in spring once everything is in bloom.
Plus it has some rather interesting mosaic sculptures out front. Like this mosaic sink that is being used as a planter.
And even a mosaic toilet sculpture turned planter. The shark on top really cracks me up.
I’m also a huge fan of their awesome garden box out front. It’s like a miniature green house.
And there are old doors that have been painted and re-purposed as a privacy fence.
What are some of your favorite places and what makes them appealing to you?

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Chew it, don’t lose it.

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I’m not quite sure how it happened, but it did. I woke up with chewing gum glued to my bare butt. Conundrum? You bet. First off I haven’t chewed gum in days. Secondly, I’m not one to sleep naked. My guess is that the dog got in the trash and I’m just a crazy restless sleeper. If you have a better theory, or even one more entertaining, I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, make your own chewing gum. It’s so simple even a kid can tackle this project and you can brag to all of your co-workers about your little diy dumpling at home. That project is here.
Not really a gum chewer? Then use it like modeling clay and create fantastic, edible sculptures. Easter’s right around the corner. Try making a bunny maybe? Anyhoo, the above sculpture was fashioned by artist Maurizio Savini. (Source.)
Which brings to mind, what is the wildest media you’ve ever used in crafting?

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Annual Sidewalk Art Show in Downtown Roanoke

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I was able to visit the 52nd Annual Sidewalk Art Show in downtown Roanoke yesterday with clear skies and warm weather! There were 120 artists at this year’s show from as far as Florida to Canada, but the one artist I really wanted to see is a Roanoke local. I’m a huge fan of the works by Scott ToObz Noel, and I just couldn’t pass up seeing him again this year. Last year I bought a fabulous oil painting from him, so this year I just had to do the same. The piece, below, is titled “Running Paynes” and is spray paint on canvas. I love how introspective it seems.

I really got a kick out this three dimensional painting created by Kurt Kindermann of Bedford, VA. It’s suitably titled, “Rabbits (the story of you.)”

And we’re off to the races! I was quite impressed with these sculptural paintings by Ned Moulton. Created from wood pieces and then hand painted, Ned paints not only lively horses, but also hungry hippos and tall giraffes.


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