DIY Eerie, Elegant Black Pumpkin Decor

DIY Eerie, Elegant Black Pumpkin Decor

For this month’s Craft Hop, I’m sharing easy-to-make black pumpkin decor, for an eerie but elegant Halloween look. See both black widow and masquerade stylings.

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To those coming over from Liberty’s and her Crocheted Scarf Patterns, welcome! Check out the links to all sixteen fall and Halloween theme craft projects at the end of this post.

Last year, I made Easy Fall Sweater Pumpkins and a Festive Fall Grapevine Wreath— appropriate to decorate a home from September through Thanksgiving.

I didn’t make any new Halloween-specific decorations, but did acquire some accents on post holiday clearance. For this season, I repurposed a few Halloween embellishments from old decorations into new black pumpkin decor. You could say I breathed new life into them lol!

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Wine Cork Wreath DIY Tutorial

Wine Cork Wreath DIY Tutorial

Today, I’m sharing a wine cork wreath made as a housewarming gift for my youngest son.

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He presently rents a condo, located in one of Philadelphia’s historic districts. Originally housing horses and carriages the building is about 150 years old. Gutted years ago, D’s apartment features thick brick walls, high ceilings, five nine-foot tall windows, and hardwood floors.

But, during the pandemic, it’s gotten restrictive having to double-duty his one bedroom as an office space. There’s also no balcony for some fresh air. Plus, he’d really like to have his own outdoor space for a grill, plants and a dog. Add to that a low interest rate, fabulous row house located just blocks away, and he jumped at the chance to become a homeowner.

Because of the virus, we haven’t seen D since early March. I’m really looking forward to traveling across the state, to help with the move and set up his new place. Hubby is taking a bunch of tools. He and our son have a list of home improvement projects planned. I’ll be helping with packing, unpacking, set-up and less physically-intensive projects involving painting, decorating, plantings, and shopping — can’t wait!

So, I’m finally getting back to sharing some of the craft projects I’ve been working on. Most have been gifts that I’ve had to keep secret, as to not spoil the surprise.

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Summer Jungle Table & Palm Leaf Napkin Fold

Summer Jungle Table & Palm Leaf Napkin Fold

I’ve set a waning days of summer jungle table outside, on the covered porch.

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With Labor Day not until September 7th this year, and temperatures still in the eighties to nineties, it still feels rather tropical here in Pittsburgh. How about in your neck of the woods?

Inspiration for the tablescape came from a set of plates decorated with an exotic animal print.

Yeah, I know; I need more tableware like a hole in the head lol! I had seen the plates months before, and resisted the urge to splurge. But by late August last year, they were on super duper clearance! Besides the plates are heavy-duty melamine, making them great for dining outdoors and dishwasher safe.

So come on outside on the porch with me for one last, fun jungle table of the summer season.

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Hacienda Vacation: Horses, Cows, Llamas, & Condors

Hacienda Vacation: Horses, Cows, Llamas, & Condors

Still passing the time at home going through vacation pictures and making photo albums. Clicking my heels today and traveling back to our hacienda vacation, located in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.

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A place I never knew existed or ever imagined visiting!

Over 450 years ago, and after defeating the Incas, a Spanish conquistador took over the land and ruled the area that eventually became Hacienda Zuleta. In Spanish speaking regions, a “hacienda” is a large estate or plantation with a dwelling.

Today, the 17th century hotel and working-farm belongs to the family of two past presidents of modern-day Ecuador. Set in a lush setting, Hacienda Zuleta offers beautiful antique rooms, delicious home-grown Andean cuisine served family style, and a variety of activities.

Over a four day stay, hubby and I enjoyed seeing mountain vistas, herds of dairy cows, pre-Columbian archeological pyramids, and llamas. All while riding on the hacienda’s own breed of horses. We also had the rare opportunity to see and learn about the endangered Andean Condor.

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Host an Extraordinary Favorite Things Party (Part 2)

Host an Extraordinary Favorite Things Party (Part 2)

Follow the basic game plan outlined in How to Host a My Favorite Things Party (Part 1), for a wonderful afternoon or evening with friends and family. In this second post, I share six additional suggestions to take your party from fun to extraordinary.

Starting with my very first gathering, I sorta put the basic concept on steroids! So far, I’ve held four parties over six years. Many of the party ideas and suggestions can easily be applied to a birthday celebration, shower, fundraiser, or other gathering.

I love party planning, entertaining and making stuff! The event is a creative and artistic outlet for me. But, don’t worry, you needn’t be artistic or even crafty to bee an extraordinary party hostess.

There’s Pinterest, the Internet and magazines as sources for ideas, recipes, party supplies, services and vendors. In fact, I’ve found some of my own creative inspiration in all those places. And, I’ve shared lots of posts and pictures on my theme parties to borrow from.

Each gathering has been a labor of love. They are a thank you gift to friends and family for putting up with my idiosyncrasies, foibles, quirks and periodic neuroses. For being there through thick and thin. For being part of my history. Mostly, my parties are a celebration of affection and friendship.

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16 Favorite Beauty Basics: Skin, Hair & Dental Care

16 Favorite Beauty Basics: Skin, Hair & Dental Care

Hello all, I sure hope you are doing okay during these trying times. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite skin, hair and other beauty basics that I use regularly, if not daily.

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Many of these hygiene care items have broad appeal, and are used by men and women of all ages. In fact, several are also used by my hubby and adult sons. I like not having to clutter a bathroom vanity or shower with different personal care products for every member of the family.

Since age factors into skin care, many of the beauty basics I use may appeal more to women 40 or 50 and over. Of course, everyone is different in terms of their skin tone, so I’m avoiding most cosmetics.

I’ve also excluded products that should be first discussed with your physician; like prescription drugs, over the counter medications and even vitamins.

Sure would appreciate feedback and input on your favorite beauty basics in the comment section. Why are they your favs?

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Galapagos Trip Sea Lion Colony Encounter, Part 3

Galapagos Trip Sea Lion Colony Encounter, Part 3

Finishing up my Galapagos trip series, with our final day’s heartwarming wildlife encounter. Since I’m pretty much stuck at home during the virus case surge, I thought it would be therapeutic to virtual travel together.

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For our final excursion we headed to Mosquera, one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, we had basically circled back from where we started our Galapagos trip five days earlier.

Mosquera is a reef of rocks and coral (the result of a volcanic uprising), with a beautiful, white sand beach. Most importantly, the inlet is home to a large colony of sea lions.

Before we even got out of the pangas (motorized, hard-bottom raft), we could see them clustered in small groups across the sand, vegetation and rocks. And as we waded onto shore for a wet-footed landing, several playful sea lions frolicked around us. Talk about a welcoming committee!

We spent a wondrous couple of hours on the small inlet, while trying to maintain an appropriate distance from the more curious sea lions.

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Celebrating Patriots on Independence Day

Celebrating Patriots on Independence Day

This will be a very quiet and low-key Fourth of July at the Buzz house — for obvious reasons. It’s caused me to reflect on the first Independence Day. And, to honor the memory of our family’s Patriot ancestors.

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Originally, I had hoped our sons would come home for a couple of weeks at the start of the holiday. We’d planned to setup offices in each of their old bedrooms. Instead, I’m crossing fingers and toes they’ll be able to come home later this summer.

So, we invited my brother-in-law and his wife to come up from Virginia. But, with the dramatic increase in cases, we’ve pushed the visit back. After all, it’s not like there will be fireworks, an outdoor concert, or any community festivities. Sistah B and her family are also postpoing a trip to see friends. So, we’ll reassess in a couple of weeks. Life on pause.

That’s when I starting thinking about how hard and frightening life was during the Revolutionary War.  And, I’m remembering the sacrifices made for the freedoms we all enjoy today. Even if it’s  muted and isolated, I’m still celebrating Independence Day.

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Craft Vintage Teacup Garden, Home & Party Decor

Craft Vintage Teacup Garden, Home & Party Decor

As part of this month’s craft blog hop, I’m sharing two DIY ideas that incorporate a vintage teacup — or two.vintage-teacup-garden-stake-planter-porch

First, is a fun project to embellish a planter or garden. The second, is a quaint way to decorate a chandelier. It’s also great for displaying a vintage teacup collection. Or, as party decor for a tea or Alice in Wonderland Theme Party, as I did.

Both are simple to do, and are more assembly than crafts which require special skills, materials or tools.

In all, I’ve included a total of nine different garden, home and party decor ideas. Each incorporates, or is inspired by, a vintage teacup.

Any of these crafts could also make a lovely birthday, holiday or Mother’s Day gift. Perhaps you even have some pieces of grandmother’s or a great aunt’s china, or vintage teacup collection? Maybe some are chipped, cracked, stained, or missing a matching saucer? Consider repurposing them into a gift for daughters, nieces or other family members and friends!

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