Friday, October 17, 2014

WELCOME WITCHES

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
'tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown










I wanted to do something a little different for my front stoop this Halloween. I've done more traditional topiaries in past years and the photo to the left is last years candy corn topiaries. The directions for building a standard topiary is located below.

SUPPLIES: You'll need 3 pumpkins in large, medium, & small sizes, wooden/bamboo kebab skewers, hammer & decorative accents, i.e. fall leaves, beads or garland.

Make sure the bottom pumpkin, or the largest one is large enough to fit into the bottom of your urn tightly, at least part of its weight should rest in the soil. Place the base pumpkin in the urn, you do not have to cut or gut this pumpkin and do no remove its stem.

Select your middle pumpkin, make sure you have one with a nice stem, cut a circle in the BOTTOM of the pumpkin large enough that it can fit over the stem of the base pumpkin, remove all the seeds and guts from the pumpkin. Now place this second pumpkin on top of the base pumpkin and hammer the long kebab skewers into the second pumpkin until the skewer reaches the base pumpkin. Take your time and hammer the skewer all the way in, it will secure the second pumpkin to the base pumpkin. I usually use about six skewers around the perimeter.

Now repeat the same process to secure the top pumpkin as you did for the middle one, cutting out the BOTTOM and gutting it before securing this top pumpkin to the middle one with skewers. Now add plastic leaves, cattails, branches or Halloween tinsel around the base and fall colored garland for the in between layers. 


Once you have the topiary built you can decorate it. The first step was to add the witches hair I used the purple/glitter spray with spiral ends from the floral department. The spray comes about 3 feet long so I had to trim them down to about 10-12 inches. 




I used these greening pins to attach the hair to the pumpkin. You can find greening pins in the floral department of any craft store. It was easy to press the greening pins into the pumpkin most of the way and then you can use a hammer to secure them all the way into the pumpkin.







Next, I attached the Witch's hat that I found at Michaels using the same  pins. Then I added the spiders with webs for the witch's eyes and another spider for the mouth.













I added this wire enforced garland in between the pumpkins layers to dress the pumpkin topiary. Adding a witches broom with a holiday message for the final touch.



I used 21" wide mesh ribbon to make the swag for the base of the pumpkins.  I gathered the fabric in my hand, twisting the pipe cleaner around the gathered fabric to make the swags. I used the same greening pins to attach the swag to the base of the bottom pumpkin.








The finished product! I hope you enjoyed this DIY project. 



Please leave me a comment to be entered to win a paperback copy of both of these spooky stories. I'll pick a single winner of both titles on November 1, 2014 from all comments. 
U.S. residents only.
Download it FREE now!
DESCENT OF BLOOD

ASCENT OF BLOOD

Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY--HALLOWEEN SCREEN


I searched by full blood moon and couldn't find a Halloween fireplace screen to complete my Halloween mantel. So I decided to construct my own. This is my family room, the focal point of the room is this wall with the fireplace. I constructed the metal fireplace screen from several items I put together from a home decorating store and a few craft supplies. The whole project cost less than   $30 and I'm really thrilled with it.


Below is a close up of the completed screen against a white wall by itself so you can see it better.


I found the above metal spider webs with black spiders on them at Gordmans. I thought since they were lightweight they'd could be bound together with metal wire and make the screen. I removed the rings at the bottom of the webs by using a pair of pliers to bend them off.

I wanted to make the spiders on the webs stand out so I painted them with craft paint and then sprinkled them with glitter in a matching color. Here's how they turned out. 

For the bases I located these pumpkin tea light holders also at Gordmans. The bottoms of these pumpkins are freestanding and I thought they'd make a great base for the screen.




After the spiders' paint dried I assembled the three webs using black 16 gauge permanently colored copper wire. (I found this with the jewelry supplies at Michaels) Then I attached the screen to the two bases uses the same jewelry wire, wire cutters, and pliers.

Then I added some additional metal spiders (Joanne Fabrics) to finish the screen. Here's another shot of the finished product with a nice fire behind it!


If you're looking for something spooky to snuggle up by the fireplace this Halloween, feel free to check out my two paranormal romances. For all those Trick-or-Treaters out there Descent of Blood is FREE!





Please leave me a comment on this DIY project. I'll be checking back for questions. Happy reading, reviewing & crafting to you!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CARNIVALE RESTAURANT CHICAGO



This year I wanted to pick somewhere I'd never been to for my birthday dinner and I've been passing Carnivale's West Loop sign on the expressway for years wondering what it was all about. Chicago's Carnivale Restaurant is Latin infusion from the Coconut Mojito to the Carnivale Ice Cream Cake! Located at 702 West Fulton, Chicago, IL 60661, CARNIVALE has a festive, vibrant, and happening atmosphere.

The lavish interior glows red and runs the gambit from a large vaulted dining space to alcoved areas with booths and small tables for more intimate dining. The bar overlooks the expressway and is fashionably decorated with leopard print tufts and French hooded canopy chairs which is both funky and fun. Here's my daughter in one of the fabulous chairs!



My husband and I started with Sangria and my girls had a virgin Coconut Mojito and Pina Colada. For appetizers we had the Oxtail Empanadas & the Octupus a la Plancha which had papas bravas. The papas bravas which is similar to a potato pancake but in a thicker form and deep friend, were to die for. 


For dinner I had the Paella which had so much seafood I could only eat about half of the serving and the bomba rice was seasoned to perfection. My husband had the Churrasco steak & caramelized sweet plantains. The girls shared the Creek Stone Farm Prime New York Strip, which was built with two in mind.


At this point we were stuffed but with all the fabulous desserts parading by and an acute desire to have something to stick the Happy Birthday candle in we trudged ahead, ordering the Banana Cream Pie and the Carnivale Ice Cream Cake with vanilla bean, guava and pistachio ice cream. Wow!

Carnivale is certainly a carnival of flavors for your palate and we'll be back again soon.

MY RATINGS:

ATMOSPHERE     5  STARS

FOOD              4.5  STARS

SERVICE          3.5  STARS

OVERALL            4  STARS

Monday, March 17, 2014

SPRING FLING--WIN 5 AUTOGRAPHED BOOKS

Who's tired of winter? Looking forward to some beach reading? Or sitting on your favorite patio and listening to the hummingbirds while you read?


I am giving away a paperback copy of all five of my titles to one lucky winner!!!

All you have to do to enter to win is:

1) GO to my FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE & give it a 

like! FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE

2) Share the BOOKLOVERS post pinned to the top of my page! Look for this icon:



3) Enter the RAFFLECOPTER

This contest is open to U.S. residents, if you're international and you'd like to enter feel free but you will get ebook copies of all the titles. I'll select one international and U.S. winner once I reach 5500 Likes on my Facebook author page. You must still be following me at the time that the winner is selected.

Happy Reading & Reviewing,
Elizabeth Marx

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

CHICK LIT CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY 2013!!!


29 Talented Chick Lit Authors have banded together to offer you a spectacular Christmas Giveaway! One lucky reader will win all 29 of these AUTOGRAPHED CHICK LIT TITLES*!



All you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter below and like one of our Facebook Author pages to be entered to win! Like more than one author page for additional entries. Please spread the word about this wonderful Christmas giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Also, I am excited to tell you that my book, 
BINDING ARBITRATION is featured on www.bookgiftguide.com as a Holiday gift pick this season! 



You can see my  book here: Women's Fiction for Romance Lovers. I would very much appreciate it if you could take a minute to check out my book, and share this link with your friends and family. Thanks

My book was featured on BookGiftGuide.com

Wishing you all a joyous Holiday Season!
Elizabeth Marx



*Contest open to U.S. Residents only!

Monday, November 11, 2013

HARD HATS AND DOORMATS Cover Reveal

It's cover reveal time. The very talented Laura Chapman has a debut novel coming December 11th...



Drum Roll Please . . . Hard Hats and Doormats




Synopsis
Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.

But after losing out on a big promotion––because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.

Who says nice girls have to finish last?


Add this to your TBR List on GoodReads


To celebrate the cover reveal for her debut novel, author Laura Chapman is sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits about the making of Hard Hats and Doormats here and on other blogs with her “Hard Hat Confessions.”

Here’s # 17



About the Author


Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction author and blogger. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She traveled across the United States as a writer/photographer before settling into a career in communications. She also maintains Change the Word, a blog devoted to promoting women’s fiction and documenting her experiences as a writer. Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Hard Hats and Doormats is her debut novel.

Connect with Laura


 Thanks for stopping by! Per Laura's confession: what's the one thing people say to you at work that drives you bonkers??? 

Elizabeth 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5500 SPRING LIKE EVENT!!!


I'm looking for a little love in all the wrong places...nah, just kidding, but I am giving away a paperback copy of all of my titles to one lucky winner!!!



5500 LIKES CONTEST!!!

Win an autographed copy of all 5 of my titles!

RULES:


1) GO TO my AUTHOR page & give it a like! 


     FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE


2) SHARE the post like the one below on your


    Facebook page!




3) ENTER the RAFFLECOPTER


This contest is open to U.S. residents, if you're international and you'd like to enter feel free but you will get ebook copies of all the titles. I'll select one international and U.S. winner once I reach 5500 Likes on my Facebook author page. You must still be following me at the time that the winner is selected.

Happy Reading & Reviewing,
Elizabeth Marx