Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make a Fast and Easy Spooky Ghost for your yard!

Yes, I know Halloween is in three days, but I guarantee you that this ghost is very easy to make and fast too!  And best of all, it will be a BIG one and sway in the wind in your yard....and you can see through it too, so it's really spooky!  It will take you longer to read this article than it will to make your first ghost!

Start with one panel of a white nylon or polyester sheer curtain.  You can use a full length panel or a shorter 54" one.

You will freehand draw your ghost on this panel with the top of the ghost and her two hands at the top where the rod pocket is located.  Do not include the hem in your design, as this will make the ghost too heavy to blow in the wind.

Below is a drawing of how to design your ghost.  This is not a pattern, just a drawing to show you the placement of the top of the head and hands at the top of the rod pocket.  You do not cut open the top rod pockets on the hands and head.  There is no right or wrong to any pattern you will still look spooky.   I had a wide panel that was 54" long, so I cut it in half and made two ghosts. 

The second photo above shows using one long panel. You can make the bottom wavy and narrow, like in this sketch.  Or you can leave it wide and wavy like the photo above or make a fringe on the bottom like in the photo below.  Just make sure you cut off the hem of the curtain.

After you cut out your ghost, draw and cut out the mouth and two eyes. You can make an open mouth or add teeth at the top or bottom if you want.  I used a black marker to draw around the mouth and eyes, although you don't have to do this.

You will need a 3/8 dowel or something similar, even a straight stick will work, to hang your ghost up. I painted my dowel black so it wouldn't show at night. 

Thread the dowel through one hand, then the head, then the other hand using the rod pocket or the top hem above the rod pocket. .  Attach a long cord, I used dark brown, to hang your ghost in your yard.  On one ghost I twisted the arm one time before putting it on the dowel...just for fun.

Total time to cut them out and paint around the mouth and eyes - less than an hour.  A flashlight in a coffee can pointed at your ghost will be spooky too! Have fun!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The secret to growing a beautiful Boston Fern!.

I've always marveled at those big, beautiful Boston Ferns that hang on the porches of homes every summer, making them look like a show home from Southern Living magazine.

I have never had good luck growing a Boston Fern.  Two years ago I saw some small Boston Ferns in 8" pots in my local Home Depot's plant area priced at only $8.00 each. So I came home with three of them.

At the time I was living in a three story house on the water in Homosassa, Florida with lots of ocean breezes mixed with a long summer rainy season. I wanted these ferns for my second story wrap-around deck, where  I would enjoy them through my many windows in the living room and dining room areas.

I decided to try some pots that hold water at the bottom and the plant draws the water from there as it is needed. I purchased three plastic pots from my local discount store that had this area on the bottom for water. I put the three ferns on my deck and monitored the water, making sure the area below the plant and dirt had water in it at all times.

As the Boston Ferns grew, I replanted them again into larger pots, using the same kind of pots. They grew beautifully all summer. When winter came, I moved one of them inside, behind two sliding glass doors that faced the east, so it would get good morning light. The other two were left outside all winter, only coming inside on cold nights. Florida had a very cold winter last year with below freezing many nights.

The inside fern continued to grow and flourish. When I moved to a different house in May of this year, I was worried about my inside fern as this house has no east windows for morning sunlight. So I put my big fern right inside my two sliding glass doors that face the west, where it now gets the afternoon sunshine and light.

This inside fern seems happy here and continues to grow and get thicker. Yes, a few leaves do fall from the underneath side close to the pot, but that is normal. I continue to keep it watered from the bottom, and fertilize it once every two or three months.  The two other ferns are outside on my front porch facing the east and doing well, but much smaller than this inside fern.

These two photos were taken yesterday. The first photo shows the fern in the afternoon sunlight.  The other photo was taken facing the west showing the sliding glass doors with the afternoon sun coming in.

I hope I have encouraged you to try growing a Boston Fern! Good luck and don't give up!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Secret of the Witches!

Yes, it's almost time for decorating and celebrating that spooky Halloween holiday. I've gathered my Halloween art and will be listing it in both Etsy and ArtFire under MidwestieLady.

I love witches! This mixed media art shares the witches secret. The words read:

The week before Halloween, they gather to launder their slips."

And the witches secret? Underneath all those black dark dresses and clothes, they wear bright colors and patterns in their slips!

I was inspired to create this piece after I brought home several sample books of drapery fabrics. Suddenly I could see all the bright fabrics as slips under the witches' dark drab dresses! I painted the two witches and their big pot of sudsy water, the background trees and the two little cats. I then created the trees, clotheslines and the slips - hanging them from the trees with little clothespins.

I hope you enjoy my Halloween art!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm listing new items in my new ArtFire Studio!

Come to visit Midwestie Lady Art Studio at:

My ArtFire studio officially opened on October 1, 2010. I listed my first art on October 4th. Yes, I know it says that the studio has been around since 2009, but that's because I reserved the name "MidwestieLady" back in 2009, knowing I would open a studio there some day.

I listed my bicycle art first, followed by my altered bottle "Lady in Lace." In order to be scanned by Google, I had to rewrite my titles and descriptions for these listings, which was an interesting process. I did enjoy the rewriting and editing though.

I'm still learning my studio tools and setup. Hopefully I'll figure out how to add sections, so I can list more art. I have several new pieces of art to add soon too.

Come and visit me!