Friday, September 30, 2022

The Ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Menu: With Extra Puns!

Happy Hocus Pocus Fri-yay, y'all!

This has been... quite a week.

So, once John and I realized hurricane Ian was going to blow away our Hocus Pocus watch party tonight, we did something a little drastic:

We set up the entire party spread the night before Ian hit, just so we could photograph everything for y'all before we lost power. That included a late night trip to buy candy eyeballs while everyone ELSE in Orlando was stockpiling water and bread. It was actually a fun project, though, and a nice distraction to keep the storm anxiety at bay.

Anyhoo, we finished taking the last of these photos around 5AM, and the power started to flicker by 9. JUST MADE IT. I'm also happy to report our house survived undamaged, and John & I are safe staying with friends who do still have power.

So without further ado, please enjoy the post that almost didn't happen, and that I'm SO glad came together, because I had a blast and a half coming up with these ridiculous puns.

The Ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Menu:

First a quick moment to appreciate my tablescape, which I cobbled together from things we already had and a few last-minute Dollar Tree items.

Remember this 3D skull DIY? The lights still work!

I hand-cut the letters from card stock that we spray-painted gold, then taped to pieces of twine. Those are my awesome plastic wall bats on each end of the twine.

Now to the treats!

First some easy ones: licorice strips for Sarah's Lucky Rat Tails.

The Dollar Tree rat skeleton was too cute to pass up.

It'd be fun to add a little tombstone in the peanut bowl, if you have one.

Not gonna lie, this is the worst pun, and also my favorite:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

We Made Leather Hammock Shelves For Our Cats!

Hiya and happy Tuesday, cool cats and kittens!

John and I are staring down a hurricane this week, and the prep is adding a slight wrinkle to some of our projects and party plans. So instead of our next Haunted Mansion reveal, today I'm going to show you a slightly more mundane - but infinitely more useful - build: our new leather cat hammocks!

Here's a cat-free closeup:

You may remember our Quidditch Cat Tower that used to sit in that corner, which we built back in 2018:

We've all loved the tower, but it's time for something new. (And don't worry,  it's going to a fellow FoE who's a Ravenclaw, so I'll share the new paint job when it gets one!)

In its place we plan to build a crate display for our BB-8, who's been tragically hidden in a closet. We have our Claptrap in the opposite corner of the room, so I can't wait for BB to join him.

That's for another day, though. 

In the meantime we had to replace our girls' favorite part of the tower, the top perches.

I looked at all the cat shelves I could find online, took the bits I liked, and mashed them into one design. Best of all, we already had everything we needed, so this was a zero cost build! Aw yeeeah.

John made these so fast I don't have earlier process pics, so lemme explain. (No, there is too much. Lemme sum up.)

Each support arm is made of 2 stacked 1X2s, and sandwiched between those are metal L brackets. Each arm is screwed together and wrapped in sisal fabric, with an aluminum rod between them to act as a safety rail.

Those sandwiched L brackets are key. We screwed one bracket of each shelf in a stud, so these are holding like champs even with 17-pound Suki jumping around.

For the hammock we used this thick leather remnant left over from - ooh, here's a blast from the past - my White Rabbit mask:

We had just enough to make both hammocks, which we stained dark brown and sealed with water-based clear coat. Then we added 3 large grommets to each side and screwed them to the underside of the support arms.

I wanted leather because vinyl disintegrates after a few years, and fabric clings to cat hair and is hard to clean. This leather is almost as hard as wood, nearly glass smooth, and a dream to vacuum/wipe out for cleaning. I was also happy to use up something we already had in our stash.

When we first finished the shelves they looked like this: