+ photos, post, and GIVEAWAY by contributor kelly gethin!
Christmas is a wild time of year. Fun, beautiful, a little bonkers at times, but my favorite holiday of them all. Each year since around college time, it seems like I’ve adopted something new into my holiday season repertoire. We repeat some traditions that have been passed from our youth and adopt new ones from friends, family, relationships etc. as we go.
Traditionally my extended family has done a Christmas draw – where each person receives a name of a family member to give a present to (there are way too many of us for everyone to gift everyone) and the twist is that the gift has to be homemade or used (flea market, yard sale or otherwise), and under $50. The reason I like this tradition so much is because it forces you to get creative in one way or another (and choose a really memorable gift). It’s easy to go out and buy something for someone, but putting thought into and searching for the perfect pre-owned or homemade gift really gives you a feeling of accomplishment. I can remember nearly every gift I’ve created or given each year – not something that could be said for the more materialistic items that have come and gone over the years.
more after the jump Continue reading
now, if I would have had it my way – we would have had a dia de los muertos themed wedding (or a halloween wedding). puffin shut down that idea pretty early and instated the rule: no skulls at our wedding. but of course, I found my way around it…
it saddened us both that there would be no grandparents at our wedding (as they had all passed). while we were both incredibly close to certain grandparents, we knew we had to honor them all in some way. in the early stages of planning, I always thought the idea of some sort of shrine or offering table would be the best way to go about it.
my mom of course, took it to a whole other level by making day of the dead themed shrines. there was a ‘shrine’ for each grandparent – made entirely out of vintage cigar boxes.
she transformed each cigar box with acrylic paint and mixed media collage. each box contained a range of unique items – from photographs and old letters, to rosary beads and votive candles, to bottle caps and paper flowers. we then added a festive assortment of ceramic figures to sit on or around the shrines.
we were specific about where these shrines would end up – they had to have some prime real estate during our reception. thankfully the smog shoppe made that job pretty easy, and we were able to line them up on its infamous (and re purposed) bookshelf.
we intentionally placed our sweetheart table just in front of the bookshelf. this was to signify that our grandparents would be sitting behind us or rather – watching over us – on our wedding day.
ugh. believe it or not, I’m actually attempting to construct an entirely new costume for halloween this year. with everything that has been going on this month (mainly the bash contest), I was really on the fence about putting one together this year.
the main reason I build costumes like this (other that than the fact that I love it), is the totally epic costume contest and parade that takes place at my office day job each year. after my headless costume (and beetlejuice the year prior), I literally get asked by strangers in the elevator if I’m dressing up again this year, or that their entire department is dying to see ‘what I do this time around’. no pressure right? but of course, my feeling like the queen of halloween with my costumes, I decided to move forward with one of my ideas.
did I mention I just started the legitimate construction of the damn thing last weekend? yeaaaahh. of course, I won’t be revealing what I’m trying to pull off (the above photo is as much of a sneak peek you’re getting), but I will admit that this costume is turning out to be slightly more intense than my headless marie antoinette! I didn’t think it was possible, but it definitely is. there are so many details in this damn costume, there’s a good chance I might not even have it completed by halloween! it’s starting to feel like a bizarre episode of project runway in my studio.
wish me luck folks…3 days to go.
what a way to kick off my birthday week!! for those of you who follow me on social media – you’ve already gotten the scoop on that secret I couldn’t talk about…and the good news! so let me back track a bit before I get to the really good stuff…
I entered the Hub Network’s 1st Annual Halloween Bash costume contest in september – not thinking ever in a million years that I would win the first ’round’ (so to speak). there were six different categories, and only 50 national semi-finalists (one from each state) would go to the televised contest (hosted by keenan thompson, and martha stewart as one of the celebrity judges). when I got the phone call that I had won for the state of california, I nearly had a heart attack.
two weeks later, and I’m meeting other semi-finalists and attending dress rehearsals for the show. the whole weekend was a total whirlwind adventure – from on camera interviews, to PR photos, to being on a huge stage in the barker hangar in santa monica. but the one thing that I absolutely did not expect…was the people I would meet along the way.
I knew after day one, that it absolutely did not matter if I won my category or the grand prize, because meeting the other state contestants had already made the experience worth it. not once did it ever become a ‘toddlers and tiaras’ kind of competition. we contestants were there because we all love halloween, were creatively like-minded, and were there to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. it was amazing meeting so many new people from all walks of life (and literally all over the country). I’m happy to say that I’ve made some pretty rad connections and new friends along the way.
while I won’t go into too much detail on the other costumes (there were some AMAZING creations) and show details – I will tell you that I won my category and took third place overall! I’m looking forward to seeing the look on my face when they announced my name as the ‘spooktacular’ category winner. needless to say, I was pretty stunned…
the whole experience was incredibly positive and so much fun! while it was a lot of work (that comes with a jam packed 3 day production schedule), it was 100% worth it. I’m pretty sure the contestants would agree with me when I say – it was an unforgettable weekend.
so set your DVR folks, and watch the Hub Halloween Bash THIS SATURDAY OCT 26th on the Hub Network, at 5pst/8est.
you can bet I’ll be celebrating!
yeah yeah, I’ve been a bad blogger I know. but look – I’ve got something really major on my plate…
while I can’t divulge too many details as of yet, let’s just say I’m busting out my headless marie antoinette costume for a second halloween. I’ll be celebrating, competing and rocking out in a HUGE way. one detail I will share – is that you will all be able to watch it unfold – as I will be on national television!
…halloween this year – is going to be epic.
more to come.
okay, so this was definitely the batch of photos from the wedding I was most excited to post…
these photos completely encapsulate all of the diy & handmade elements that my mom & I put together. our wedding on a whole was a true labor of love. there was so much detail and thought into everything we created. and I’m happy to say, it all turned out exactly how I had envisioned.
to keep things simple, I’m going to break it all down for you…
+ more after the jump!
I saw kristen’s post this week where she revealed her new craft studio, and just had to share. I highly suggest you hop on over here and see the full photos. you might even see she’s got one of my lil’ illustrations up (thanks girl!). as a creative person, I understand the need to have your own space – and she has created quite a beauty.
now, I’m well beyond this point in my costume construction (and if you follow me on IG, you already know this). but I did want to share the ‘plaster phase’ on the torso of my costume.
I have to admit this was one of the more enjoyable steps in the process for me. there’s nothing better than having your hands drenched in plaster. follow that up with painting gore into the severed neck? hell yes! stay tuned folks- I’ll try to post up a completed look at my costume tomorrow…