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hi, I'm ashley.

if you're not listening to 80's music while doing crafts, you're doing it all wrong. oh, and country music while baking. always. *shrugs* that's just how i sees it.  welcome to my adventures in blogtown.

 

tablescape of spooky elegance

tablescape of spooky elegance

y’all, halloween is hands down my favorite part of year. it instills a fiery creativity in me each and every year that it seems like there is never enough time to do enough halloween related crafts and baking. i was so excited this year to partner with some very inspiring and creative women (who also loves halloween) to create a fun and spooky tablescape! we all came together with our collective talents and created something really fun and surprisingly inexpensive!

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my friend julianna and i (you remember her, right? from our mother’s day collab?) brainstormed and pinterest-ed things that inspired us for a spooky shoot and this is what we came up with! we were inspired by the element of spooky combined with the element of sophistication. taking something old and creaky and whipping it into something refined. this is why i love the stacked pallets she found lined with the burgundy quilted velour table runner that i created from a piece of sportswear fabric from joann’s. it embodies this idea. julianna knew of this amazing park near her house that had these 100-year old trees with insane roots sticking out of the ground! it was such a cool vibe, and felt very eerie.

since we pretty much have similar interests in the food and DIY space, we both picked a craft and an something edible to contribute to the table. she made this amazing blackberry sage gin and tonic potion and the insanely cute wooden and copper candlestick holders! (click on those links to learn how she created them and hear more about the funny story of how this all came to be in more detail over on her adorable blog!)

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my oh so talented friend carolyn of the crown collective made this incredible centerpiece of spooky floral delight! she took our vision of spooky elegance and brought it to life! a bustling mix of dyed roses and red garden roses, deep purple calla lilies, coxcomb, antique hydrangeas, a pop of green pussy willows and gilded eucalyptus to encapsulate the beauty of the dark and dreary! she is a true genius at her craft!

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as for me, i created these creepy skeleton place settings you may see lying around. it was such a simple craft that happened by chance. i was combing around the dollar store and found this cute set of skeleton salad tongs. that’s when the creative juices started flowing. believe it or not, i was able to create 4 place settings for under $10 dollars! here’s how i did it:

these

this set for the bargain price of one bone! so, I bought two of them to get 4 hands. I cut them shorter using a handsaw. then, i painted them using this chalk paint with a sponge brush. only one coat though. the streakiness of the chalk paint was perfect over the gray plastic of what were previously salad tongs. (i also took a very fine grade sandpaper to them and roughed them up a little bit to get even more of the dingy look i described above.)

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the vellum name cards were super simp too! i bought a single sheet of vellum from the card stock aisle of michael’s for less than a dollar. cut them into squares, wrote our names on them with a super fancy sharpie, and set one edge of them ablaze to get a more festive look. i also loved that they are opaque and you can see the skeleton that is holding them. same reason i loved the clear plates as well, you could see the textures going on underneath it.

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I also had the pleasure of creating a spooky dessert for the table! this too was handed to me by happenstance. I envisioned creating a dead man’s hand initially out of gum paste. but then, time got away from me, and all of the sudden i’m getting started on the hand at 10pm the night before our shoot. the gum paste was finicky and didn’t work in my favor. so the next morning, my creative director (aka jake) ran to the craft store for me to help me create this hand out of sculpey! that DIY to come in a later, more intensive blog post next week! in the meantime, check it out in all of it’s glory!

for those of you interested in the recipe, i found it here. i basically split the recipe, baked it in a half sheet pan, and cut out the rounds with a 4-inch round cutter. it’s covered in cream cheese buttercream. the cake stand is a candle stand i found on clearance at michael’s. I made the hand look dingy by brushing it’s creases with brown powder food color! it turned out perfect! and the dirt crumbs are crushed oreos over a mound of frosting!

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also, check out me and my wednesday addams vibe! am I totally nailing it or what with my pasty white complexion? lol.

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anyway, as you can probably tell, jules and I were totally in our element. we felt like a coven of witches having a cocktail in the park! that day, we gave ourselves the nickname “the witches of exposition park”.

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i can’t stop oogling over these pictures and so impressed with how talented this group of ladies that i collabed with are! as always, our talented photog friend with the magic fingers, Juliana, nailed this shoot, y’all! (she’s also 8 months pregnant, shout out supermama! check her and her picture perfect instagram right here!) I feel so blessed to put minds together with these ladies who continue to inspire me every time we get together! such a blessing to be surrounded by a group of creative ladies to cultivate this craft! and I hope this inspires you to get together with your friends and create halloween magic! this was a very simple and fun set up for a halloween lunch, dinner or even something eerily inspired!

fringe + pom christmas tree skirt

fringe + pom christmas tree skirt

color-blocked footed planter

color-blocked footed planter