13 Fun Ideas for Halloween

Three fun halloween ideas with printablesHalloween is just around the corner! It's time to put together the final pieces of  your costumes, pick out pumpkins to carve, and do some decorating. Decorating for Halloween is the best. We put together a list of our favorite Halloween decorating ideas, costumes, and treats for you to try this weekend. So, grab some hot cider (doesn't that sound good?) and get in the Halloween spirit. :) First off are these three fun Halloween printables to use for a party table.

Peter Pan and the lost boys costume diyWe love this Peter Pan and the Lost Boys family costume.

Ghost lollipop bouquetThis ghost lollipop bouquet would be a fun gift for a friend or a cute centerpiece for a party.

Easy no-carve pumpkin ideasWant to decorate pumpkins without all the mess? Try these easy no-carve pumpkin ideas (the one with puffy paint is our favorite!)

Chocolate monster bowlsThese chocolate monster bowls would be a fun treat for kids to make, and you can eat them along with your Halloween candy :) 

Make your own skull string artGet crafty and make this skull string art to display on a mantel or shelf.

Super easy ghost decorationsThese super easy ghost decorations are equally cute and spooky.

Pinocchio themed family costumeNeed a family costume idea? This Pinocchio-themed costume is the cutest.

Day of the dead candy party trayHost a party and make this candy party tray for your guests to admire and then devour.

Skull pillowThis cool skull pillow can be made with an old sweater and simple cross stitch.

Candy corn jello shotsYour Halloween party wouldn't be complete without these candy corn Jell-O shots!

Ghost family piñata partyHaving a pumpkin carving party? Surprise your guests with these ghost family piñata's filled with candy. 

Bjork swan dress costume tutorialAnd last but not least, be the star of your Halloween party with this Bjork swan dress costume.

We can't wait to show you the rest of our Halloween goodies next week! - The ABM team

Beaded Looped Clay Necklace

DSC_0615 copyClay bead necklaces are quite popular right now. I could understand if some of you don't like the art teacher look of it, but I do. Make a bunch in a neutral color palette, or go for bright and bold colors for something that stands out. Either way, using oven-baked clay to make beads is a really easy way to create some unique jewelry for yourself (or your friends). Better yet, don't make these alone, and invite your friends to spend an evening making some clay bead necklaces together! 

Supplies:
-2 oz packs of oven-baked clay in various colors
-40" leather cording
-wooden skewer
-parchment paper
-baking sheet
-scissors

DSC_0040 copyDSC_0040 copyStep One: Pinch a quarter of the clay off, roll into a ball, and gently pierce the middle completely through with a wooden skewer. Make sure the hole is large enough for your cording to pass through. This creates the large 1" beads. To make smaller beads (about 1/2"), pinch off an eighth of the clay, roll into a ball, and gently pierce the middle completely through with a wooden skewer. Create a total of 11 clay beads in various sizes for your looped necklace. If you have any extras, you can create more necklaces! 

DSC_0040 copyStep Two: On a baking sheet with parchment paper on top, place the beads and allow to bake per package directions. Usually, it's about 15 minutes for every quarter inch at about 275°F. Once done, allow to cool completely. 

DSC_0040 copyDSC_0040 copyStep Three: Arrange the beads in the order you would like them to be on the cording. This diagram helps illustrate how to loop the beads to create the two tiers of the looped necklace. With one end of the cording, string five beads through to create the top tier. With that same cording end, continue to string five beads through to create the bottom tier, then insert that cording end up through the second bead on the top tier, and continue through the remaining beads on that tier. Add one more bead through that end to finish it off. If you want the necklace to be adjustable, create a sliding knot with the two ends of the cording, or just knot the two ends together for your desired length.  

DSC_0680DSC_0609 copyThese necklaces are so easy to make that you will want to make tons more. Get daring and try other interesting shapes, or paint some designs on the beads to add patterns. These are some other necklaces I made in the past, and it would be fun to try that shape again, but this time with some colorful clay beads. Anyone already try their hand at making some clay bead necklaces? -Rubyellen

Credits // Author and photography: Rubyellen Bratcher. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

Casual Friday Vol. 17

11Hi, friends! This week has been extra crazy, and extra awesome. After nearly a year of behind-the-scenes stuff, we're nearly ready to launch our new shop site. So for today's Casual Friday, we wanted to share some of the stuff we're doing to prepare. Some is pretty; some is messy. There have been tears... but, as always, far more hilarious moments and probably one too many inside jokes made. 

3We're doing the product photography for our new site in-house. This has been surprisingly REALLY fun. I often have to take a step back and admit to myself how hilarious and silly it is that we care SO deeply about how perfectly our ink colors are portrayed. #passion 

3Wolverine, anyone? 

33Our week has been filled with photos, website details, sample-making, video shoots and of course, blogging, because this blog's not gonna write itself—right? 

The teamwork vibe is strong. I'm proud of our team for taking on whatever challenges come our way one day at a time. We are all so excited to bring you these products. We're all high as kites (on work, not drugs) because it's totally normal to feel high off your job when you really, really love it. 

3A photo of the dudes. Just because. 

Pantone matchingOur partners in Kentucky are working round-the-clock as well! Catherine sent me this photo to show me how well our Peaches ink matched its Pantone color. Seriously made my heart swell. It's the little things, right? 

Pattern makingHere's my pattern journal that I carried around all summer long to collect hand-drawn and hand painted pattern ideas. 

8Just a ridic behind-the-scenes look at our stationery club promo photo. We for sure felt cool lying on a bed of stationery. Totally natural. :)

9OMG. You guys. Our products will be launching soon. Another ABM baby is being born (figurative babies, this one is WAY overdue). We're full of excitement and nerves. SO many nerves. It's gonna be fun. From now until Christmas, we get to watch all the things we've spent this past year designing come to life, come to our doorstep, and then come to YOUR doorsteps. Goosebumps, big time. xx- Elsie 

PS- If you haven't yet, you need to sign up for our email list below so you can be the very first to know when our new site launches. Thanks for sharing our joy! Love you

Acorn Squash Soup + Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted acorn squash soupSometimes I think what you garnish a soup with is almost as important as the soup itself. And that's the case with this particular recipe. The acorn squash soup is pretty delicious all on its own, but it's made WAY better with the addition of salty, roasted chickpeas. They also make this meal idea more filling with added protein. 

Roasted acorn squash soup We received a couple of acorn squashes in our CSA box during the last few weeks, so I'd been itching to try to make some soup, and I decided to think outside the box with the garnish. I could eat warm soup with a hunk of baguette all day every day, but variety is the spice of life. And I'm happy to report that this slightly more healthy alternative is just as flavorful. Try it!

Acorn squash soupAcorn Squash Soup + Roasted Chickpeas, serves 2-3.

2 acorn squash
1/2 yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter
juice from 1 orange
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
salt + pepper to season

Start by roasting the squash and chickpeas. You can do this at the same time to cut down on total cook time. Or you can roast the acorn squash ahead of time in a slow cooker. For the squash, cut in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Prep the chickpeas by rinsing and draining them from the can. Place in a bowl and drizzle on the olive oil, making sure each bean gets coated. Then sprinkle in the cayenne and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat (or parchment paper).

Roast the squash and chickpeas at 400°F for about 35 minutes. Depending on the size of your squash, you may need to roast for an additional 5-10 minutes. Test them by seeing if they can easily be punctured with a fork.

Roasted chickpeasWhile those roast, in a pot or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the finely chopped onion and saute until it begins to brown and caramelize. Remove from heat.

Once your squash is ready, scoop out and discard the seeds. Then scoop out the soft insides and place in a blender. Add the cooked onion and the orange juice. Puree until smooth. Depending on your blender size, you may need to do this in two batches. You could also do this step directly in the pot using an immersion blender. Up to you.

Roasted acorn squashOnce smooth, return the mixture to your pot. Whisk in the stock over medium/high heat. Taste and season with salt or pepper as needed. If you want to add a little richness to your soup, feel free to pour in a little cream or stir in some Greek yogurt.

Roasted acorn squash soup  While everything is still warm, serve with the chickpeas tossed on top. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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