November is National Novel Writing Month! Every year people commit to writing 50000 words in 30 days. They don't worry about plot, grammar, spelling, just so long as you get the words out. I've had good intentions for the previous year, but never actually gave it a shot.  Going to try this year though....anyone else up for it??


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!


Getting Ready for Tonight!

We prepped some of the decorations last night, but there is still lots to be done today, hopefully I can get it done with little stress! Happy Weekend before Halloween!

Paper lanterns- waiting to hang
Escaping Cornish Pixies - great job Emily and Karen!
Umbridge's Rules
Have a great Weekend!
> Jessi


HappY Happy Birthday!

Guess what? It's Cassie's birthday today! With Halloween so close, we decided to celebrate with a girl's weekend next week. But maybe there will be a surprise on Saturday for you.....

Happy Birthday!! X0X0

> Jessi


Our Costumes

At the time of these pics, Kate was undecided on her costume - I think she has decided on hobo.

Maya > Dorthy from Wizard of Oz. I made the apron from this pattern, shirt was thrifted and the shoes are from our DC trip
Lily > Hedwig, I made this all from fabric scraps and a long sleeve onesie
Clifford > Professor Lupin - all thrifted!
I am seaming the last side of my sweater and then I can share my costume! Almost done with 2 days to spare, must be a record!

How are your plans going? I'd love to see your costume pics!

Guest Post > Harry Potter Costumes

Hello lovelies, Mandy from Dash it All here!

I tried really hard to not make this post about Harry Potter.
But I failed.
Let's face it, HP is king of Halloween.
What's that? You don't think so?
What about all the floating candles, gigantic pumpkins
and three-headed dogs they have lying around that castle?
Not to mention the ghosts, black cats and tons of candy those kids eat!
So clearly I'm right. No apologies necessary.
My favorite Halloween costumes over the years
have been of a Hogwartian theme.

It all started one year with a desire to be Hermoine.
A gothic Hermoine.

That's my friend Franklin rockin the part of HP himself.
Adding the gothic aspect turned the costume from
downright nerdy (which I'm actually perfectly ok with)
to punktasticliciousness.

Girls need:
Prep Skirt
White Button Up
Black Sweater
Tie (in the house color of your choice)
Black Tights
Lot's of Black Eye Make Up
Red Lips
And a Wand (I think I used a chopstick lol)

Boys need:
Black Pants
White Button Up
Black Sweater 
Tie (in the house color of your choice)
Lot's of Black Eye Make Up
Perhaps a Scar
And of course a Wand

I did that for a few years
and let me tell you
I felt like the belle of the ball.
No joke.

Then one year I decided to mix things up as Tonks!


She's pretty easy to put together too!

Pink Wig
Make a Weird Sisters Tee from a White Tee and Markers
Ripped Jeans
I added Sparkly type Eye Make Up
And a Wand and Voila!

I've seriously never had more fun dressing up
than when I'm decked out DA style.
I recommend everyone try it and experience
the magic for yourself!


Thanks Mandy! This is perfect timing, with our Harry Potter party 5 days away!


Harry Potter Craft Tutorial

Getting ready for this Saturday's Harry Potter Halloween party!  

Making some Golden Snitch decorations and they are super easy. 

Supplies: small styrofoam balls, glitter, glue, toothpics, paper, scissors

1. use glue to cover the styrofoam balls in glitter.
2. cut out 4 matching wings from the paper (2 per wing) 
and glue them together sandwiching the toothpick in between
3. make small cuts all along both sides of your wing
4. poke the toothpicks into the styrofoam ball

Voila! I think I'm going to take some fishing line and string them up but they could also be table top decorations. I'm super excited for Saturday!!!!


Dios De Los Muertos

If it weren't for the Harry Potter farewell tour this year,  
I'd totally be dressing like up Day of the Dead style!

noleo fantastico



Guest Post > Frankenstein DIY

Hi, I'm Andrea from Paper Sparrow!  I am so excited to be guest posting for Jessi and Cassie's blog since we share a similar love of Sparrows and Zoolander (honestly it is hard to not throw a quote in right here) ; )  This year for Halloween I have been re-watching all the kitschy retro horror films and knew I wanted to make some Frankenstein silhouette pieces.  I decided on decorating a pair of shoes as well as adding a couple brooches to my collection.  

Frankenstein shoes 1
Frankenstein supplies
Frankenstein instructions
Frankenstein badge
Collar:  Molly-Made  Arm Warmers: Sock Dreams  Brooch and Shoes: DIY'd  Brooch Setting: Cab Figments
Frankenstein brooches
The his and hers silhouette brooches use the same images on bat-themed cameos!  They pair perfectly with my new Oliva Frankenstein pouch and vinyl wallet from etsy.
Olivia frankenstein
I just love the style of these films and am so glad to have rewatched them this year : )
Are these classics on your favorites list this time of year?  Do you secretly want the Bride's grey stripe in your hair as much as I do?  Anyway, thanks so much for having me on Sparrows and Arrows!! You ladies are the best : )


Thanks Andrea! Go check out more fun Halloween Inspiration on Paper Sparrow !


New Obsession > American Horror Story

We are currently obsesed with American Horror Story, despite being a wimp when it comes to scary things,  I am so intrigued by the mystery of it all, that I can't turn away!

Are you watching?

> Jessi


Guest Post > Halloween Cross Stitch & Giveaway!

Good Day, all you Sparrows & Arrows Peeps! I am Annika from All The Live Long Day and I am delighted to be guest posting here for you today! I wrote tried to write a embroidery tutorial and there is a giveaway involved, too, so read on to find out what the prize is and how to get your mitts on it!


When Jessi asked me to write something Halloweeny, I had just started a little project for a friend. This friend and I used to spent each Halloween together, watching scary movies. Now we live in separate cities and can't do that anymore, so I thought I would send her a little gift for old times sake.

One of my favourite things to do is cross stitching, and I found a cute Halloween design at Gazette94 that I decided to make. (Just FYI: Gazette94 is full of great cross stitch designs for all levels of capability. Sadly, the blog is no longer being updated, but the back catalogue of free downloadable charts is immense.)

It took me just a few nights huddled up on the sofa in front of the TV to stitch the scene. I made it into a wall or door hanging by using a piece of vintage fabric for the back, attaching a ribbon loop, sewing it all together, and stuffing it with cut up old tights and a few pieces of cinnamon and star anise for a nice, autumnal smell.


Even if you have never cross stitched before, it is probably the easiest of all embroidery techniques. All you need is a bit of an an eye for detail and some patience. The stitching itself is really simple.

A few things before you begin: a thread of regular stranded cotton is made up out of 6 single strands. I divided my stranded cotton in two, which gave me a thread of three strands to work with. You can choose to stitch with only two strands or with all six, it's up to you and will give you slightly different end results. I cut my thread to the length of about 30 cm, which makes it manageable and avoids tangles. 

A typical piece of cross stitch fabric is weaved very loosely, so that you can easily see where you have to make your stitches. I work one cross stitch in a square of nine of these 'holes'. 

The best way to start a cross stitch design is to determine the approximate middle point of the chart and of your fabric and start stitching from there. That way you make sure that you will have enough fabric on each side to properly complete the design.

When working with different colours, always start with the darkest shades first, and make sure you wash your hands before you pick up your embroidery. Otherwise the stitches might start to look a bit tatty after a while.



1. In order to make the first stitch, you could just make a knot in the end that will prevent it from pulling through the fabric, but I prefer to secure my first stitch by trapping it under the thread at the back. Push your needle into the space between the weave at the front of the fabric, pull it through almost all the way, holding it with one finger. When you push the needle through again from back to front, make sure the end of the thread is caught under that stitch.

2. To make a row of stitches, first complete the ones that point from left to right.

3. To complete the row, then stitch back from right to left. Neighbouring stitches will always share two 'holes'.

4. When you have used up your length of thread or need to start a new colour, secure the end of the thread at the back of your work by running it under a few stitches and back.

5. I find running it back and forth once under about 4 or 5 stitches does the trick.

6. Cut your thread very close to the fabric, in order to avoid bulk. This is especially important if you are planning on framing your work. In that case you would want it to lie as flat as possible. 

After you finish your last stitch, do a little dance, admire your handiwork and then frame it, sew it into a door hanging like I did, make a mini-cushion, send it to somebody as a card or do whatever else you fancy.

And if you have trouble understanding what the heck I was trying to get across, go here for a better tutorial on cross stitching. (I am horrible at explaining things!)

If all of this looks like fun and you need a new project or would like to try your hand at cross stitching for the first time, come on over to All the Live Long Day now, where you can enter a giveaway to win one cross stitching set that contains everything you need to make this Halloween design. 

Looking forward to seeing you!

© All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated)

Thanks Annika! I used to cross stitch when I was younger, my aunt taught me and I have been thinking about starting again - thanks for the inspiration to get back at it!! Next time you are in Canada Annika,- come to our coast instead!


Abe's Costume

Found a pattern for this super cute Chewy doll so thought,
 Abe can be a little Han Solo for Halloween!

cuddly chewbacca pattern>draw pilgrim

Scooter agrees! I'll post pics when its done!!



Guest Post > Creepy House Tour

Hey Sparrows and Arrows readers! Aminah here, one of the owners of The Thrifty Gypsies.

First, I'll admit that when Jessi asked me to do a guest blog post I was a bit nervous. I don't blog and thought it'd be super hard to come up with something worth doing a blog post about. It's October and October is obviously Halloween month, so great, what about Halloween could I write about? Then it dawned on me that our house is spooky and looks like it's been decorated a little bit for Halloween all year round. From creepy early 1900's photos of people we don't know, the boxes of deer antlers to there being at least one skull in every room (not counting our skull tattoos, of course) So I thought I'd share a few creepy bits of our house with you... I promise you that none of these photos have been staged, our house is really this creepy, all the time. 

Thank you for having me Jessi and Cassie!!!!!!!!

Thanks Aminah!  I can attest to the creepiness of their house - we are neighbors :)  Make sure you check out thrifty Gypsies on Etsy and facebook!


Too Many Projects

I seem to be taking on too many crochet and knitting projects 
all at once and none of them are getting done :/

First, I am running out of wool for this poncho.  Thought I was stash busting now realizing I'm going to be way short.  That means I'm discouraged and don't want to finish.

Second, I really need a pair of slippers.  I never make patterns from the knitting magazines I buy so I'm making some from this issue of Knit Simple.  Simple? Yes, but also boring! So not much progress there...

Third, this sweater.  I already hate it and I'm looking for a new pattern so I can frog all this out.  I totally sized it wrong and the "ladies" will never fit in there lol

Fourth, these hexa-grannys.  Maybe someday will be an afghan?  Maybe will sit infinitely at the bottom of my knitting basket? Who knows, but I haven't touched them in months.


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