Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Welcome to the Witch Party! 2015

Last Saturday was our annual Witches' Gathering! Can you believe we've been having this party for 15 years now? I can hardly believe it. The last five or so parties, we've been adding an additional theme to the witch idea. This year, the theme was moons and spooky trees. A dark Halloween night theme where you can imagine seeing the moon through some twisting branches.

I decorated outside with some themed things like this old frame. I found this frame in an antique store years ago and on the back was written "1910" along with the name of the baby pictured inside. So this frame is old. It's made of some kind of thin metal. I searched online for vintage moon illustrations and found one that is probably from the same time this frame was made.

I had fun printing a few vintage pics and pieces of clip art out and coloring them in for the porch display. That little purple tree cast a shadow on that spooky tree piece of art which gave me sort of the impression of a forest.

The pumpkins got witchified:

I love this garland from Dollar Tree. It looks so happy and vintage.

The skull which you usually see as a pirate was out in its witch attire.

This year's invitations:

I was lucky to find some perfectly matched envelopes at Target!

I printed out my drawing of a witch flying over a haunted forest and then added some shimmery moons that were punched out of card stock. I happened to have a circle hole punch that was the right size. Look how shimmery that moon is!

I found these cute witch sticker sheets at Party City. They were part of a larger set of stickers. I ended up with some pretty neat sugar skull stickers in this set. Oh! I just found the set on their site: Halloween Fun Stickers If you zoom way, way in, you'll see the sugar skulls at the top. Those other skeleton stickers are all these little bones you piece together yourself. Party City is a fun place to check out at Halloween. I don't think I go in there at any other time of year, but I always get a kick out of seeing what's there in October.

A few doors down from Party City is the Dollar Tree. I stopped over there and scored a majorly cool deal. This amazingly glittery eyeshadow from Wet 'n Wild:

This stuff packs major sparkle. It was just what I'd been hoping for. After shopping around for weeks in hopes of finding glitter that was celestial enough for a moon themed party, I find this for $1.00! And guess what? The glitter actually stays where you put it!

So here's my eye after it was glitterized:

I went through my jewelry to find something moon and star shaped and chose these two necklaces. I didn't realize until putting that full moon type one on how much it looked like a moon in a sky of stars with my t-shirt. A few of you maybe saw me tweeting months back about making that necklace. I painted the back of one of those clear glass circles with nail polish, then glued a back (bezel) on it. The glass pieces are from Dollar Tree. One of their better deals!

Jumbo Clear Accent Gems 

I got really into painting nail polish on the backs of these over the summer.

I wore what I refer to as my "fishing lure earrings" because I believe they could actually catch a fish.

So I was all blinged out and ready to go!

Like last year, we used those crescent roll baking sheets to make these moon buns. I just realized we used crescent rolls to make crescent moons. It was a funny process because the dough was being super stretchy.

Also, like last year we had the baked ziti dish.

But unlike last year, we had a new orange salad. It was one of those things that might sounds strange when you describe the flavors but it's really good! There's the oranges, red onions, and parsley topped with olive oil, salt and pepper.

We made triple chocolate cupcakes, which I decorated as gold harvest moons with a spooky tree blowing in the wind across them. People really liked these cupcakes! So if you want to make a sure thing, I'll pass along what's in here: A Moist Supreme Pillsbury boxed chocolate cake with pudding included, mixed with a cup of chocolate chips. It's fast and people love it. It's a magical recipe like rum balls where you don't have to spend much time to make something that will be popular!

See how glittery the trees are? That's thanks to this Sparkle Gel I picked up at Jo-Ann Crafts. I'd never used this before, so I was wondering how that was going to go. Turns out it's pretty easy to manage! If you have a steady hand and some drawing skills, you can just freehand some designs on your baking. I would definitely buy this again! It comes in all kinds of colors. And if you're wondering, it didn't taste like much of anything to me.

You might remember these cupcake wrappers from last year's After Halloween Target Haul. They fit the theme with that full moon.

We had originally planned to stand these chocolate trees on the cupcakes. Ooooh boy. You know how things sometimes look easier on Pinterest than they are in real life. Uh huh. I like how they look in this pic, but they are tedious to make and have this little habit of melting after coming out of the freezer. But if you're up for torturing yourself, basically what you do is draw/squeeze out melted chocolate onto some wax paper in a tree shape and then freeze it for a bit. It didn't help that the chocolate shot out of the squeeze bag either... Anyway, I just wanted to share this picture to show that we at least managed to make some chocolate trees!

Another Dollar Tree purchase was some metallic card stock, which I thought was a pretty good deal! I thought I was getting five sheets of gold but under that first gold sheet was silver, blue, red, and green. So just a heads up there. But they're all pretty. I cut some little moons and stars out of the card stock and scattered them around the table.

Little witches were flying across the moon on these treat bags:

Another Dollar Tree purchase were these little trees. They sold out right away, so I'm glad we picked them up when we saw them. They're working as place card holders holding these little moons with our names.

Full moon and spooky tree napkins from Pick 'n Save:

The tablescape:

I took some strips of the gold card stock and curled them around a pencil to make these little curlicues in the flowers. I thought that gave a fun festive look that I might actually try for other holidays.

 Mom and me with the cupcakes:

Remember my little coffin shaped poison bottle from the estate sale? It got to debut with the other little bottles this year.

As did my wicked new book of potions.

Our guests brought us some neat gifts like this picture frame:

And this little kitchen towel. Well, that's what it will be once we add water. I haven't tried that yet. There's a little flying witch cookie cutter with it.

How cute is this?

"Witches Brew" It's either a soup bowl or a massive coffee mug.

As it became dark, the outdoor decorations lit up.

Our own spooky branch and the actual moon in the distance.

Isn't he adorable? Actually this owl is pretty spooky when it's looking down at you in the dark!

I cut a big moon and stars out of the gold card stock and taped it up outside.

It happened to fit with the actual moon that night! If you use your imagination, it looks like the moon has a little nose and lips.

An actual crescent moon shining above the silhouette of some real spooky trees. You can't ask for more than that!

I hope you enjoyed these photos! I always look forward to sharing them.

I'm planning the annual Halloween Blog Party for next weekend, so if you have a costumed photo of yourself from any point in your life and would like to join the fun, please email it to me!


  1. Amazing decor and food. I love the photo of the witch hat with flowers sitting in the urn. Great lighting. Wish I had as witch partly like yours to attend. Happy Halloween!

    1. Old Fashion Halloween ~ Thanks! I love that witch hat with the flowers. Putting the hats on the pumpkins is quick but it adds a lot of personality to the porch in my opinion! We were lucky that it wasn't a windy night. One of the hats did actually fly away during the afternoon, but luckily I was out there to chase after it! I wish you could be a part of our party too, because I know you would appreciate it as a Halloween person! Happy Halloween to you too! :)

  2. I love all your photos! Its fun when you can make an annual event better every year. I think my favourite decorations are that purple tree and the witch mug. Can't wait until next weekend either. We don't get TOTs here, so the night will be spent with a large bowl of popcorn and a big stack of horror movies.

    1. Ali ~ Thank you! :) We like trying to come up with an additional theme each year and try a few new things. Oh, that little glittery purple tree is fun. I was surprised at the shadows it was casting. Yeah, that witch mug was a really nice gift!

      Do you know which horror movies you might watch? We'll have the trick-or-treaters coming by on Halloween night, which is actually unusual around here. After they're done dropping by, I was thinking about watching "Jeepers Creepers" which I've never seen before. Have you?

  3. Justine - Looks like well rounded decorations! The tablescape looks very colorful. I like the design on the cups and napkins and I love the pumpkins in hats! Also, great looking crescent moon shots, that must have added a nice atmosphere. I,have really felt the Halloween spirit this year!

    1. Matt ~ Thanks! I was happy with how the decorations came together. Those napkins were a lucky find. It was surprisingly difficult to find some napkins with a moon or tree on them, let alone both.

      Yeah! Having an actual crescent moon in the sky did add something. I'm glad you've really felt the Halloween spirit lately! I have too. Not like I don't usually, but there's been something about the weather and spooky skies that I've been seeing this past month that's added to my spirit!

  4. I absolutely LOVE all of this, Justine! There's so much detail you put into your party, which is awesome.

    I swear, dollar stores are THE best places to score Halloween goodies - I found an awesome sign for my party this year and two cute scarves for myself. It's also where I usually end up for assorted goodies for my costume contest prizes.

    I'm also kind of jealous your guests bring you hostess gifts - because they are AWESOME. I'd die to have that Witches Brew mug. So cute!

    1. Miranda ~ Hey! Nice to see you here. :) Thank you! Yeah, there is a lot of detail. I like planning around a theme. Then it's fun to see what you can find to fit it and what you can make in that direction.

      Oh, I know! Dollar Tree really saves the day. Year after year! They did have some cute signs this year. Which one did you get? I was so tempted to get this hanging chalkboard they had that was shaped like a coffin. I just couldn't think where to put it. But it was so cool and only a dollar! Still I passed... Although, I wouldn't be surprised if it comes home with me some day. I don't think I saw any Halloween scarves there this year, but sometimes if I'm not there the day something is put out on display it sells out right away! Oh yeah, Dollar Tree would be a great place to find prizes. I saw a craft on Pinterest once where someone took one of the little skeletons they sell in a set of four and spray painted it silver to make into a little award. Sort of like a skeleton Oscar. :)

      Yeah, that mug is super cool! And yeah, it is a pretty nice gesture for people to bring gifts. I'm still trying to decide if that mug is for a massive amount of coffee or for soup. I guess it could work either way!

    2. I snagged the "Lucky Raven Cafe" sign because my whole kitchen is a coffee theme and it fit so well! There was another one I had seen on Instagram I was interested in, but my store didn't have it. Such a bummer!

      I've seen that pin too! I thought about doing it this year, but I just haven't had time to get lots of crafty projects done. Maybe next year? :)

      I think I'd turn that mug into a coffee mug. ;)

    3. Miranda ~ I just looked up the Lucky Raven Cafe sign to see what it looks like. Someone had actually posted a pic of theirs online. I don't think we had that one at our Dollar Tree! Or it sold out before I got there. It's very cool! Nice low prices listed on that sign too. ;)

      Yeah, I know what you mean about having the time to get Halloween crafts done. The party took a lot of my time, but I'm hoping to fit at least one craft in before Halloween. At the very least, I think I'll get a picture frame decorated. I have some cute jack-o-lantern washi tape (also from Dollar Tree) that I'll probably stick on the frame.

      Yeah, I'm leaning towards it being a coffee mug too, especially since it says "Brew" inside.

  5. Looks like your party was another Spooky Success! I love the cupcakes and how they go with the theme...very unique!

    1. Midnyte Reader ~ It was! Thank you! :) I was pleased with how those cupcakes turned out. After going through the chocolate tree process and buying that tube of icing at the last minute, I was really happy to see them come together!

  6. Well done, Justine! I bet everybody who's lucky enough to get an invite to your party feels very special indeed! How many do you have - the same number every year, or some years more than others?

    1. Insomniac's Attic ~ Thank you! :) I hope they feel special! Well, we invite the same number each year, but it always seems to change. We started with 10 guests originally, but this year we were down to seven. In a way, I like a somewhat smaller group. It's easier to fit them around the table and the conversation is more inclusive. Anything more than 10 guests at a dinner table would be more than I'd want to take on!

      I wish you could see this party in person, because I know you'd enjoy all the little decorative details. You're invited to my blog party, though! :)

  7. OMG everything looks so pretty *-*
    I made 3 Snacks for helloween so if you need some inspirations ;)