Haunted Doll House

Just in time for Halloween, ghosts and goblins have moved into my doll house!

It was super scary for my granddaughters when the lights went out and there were glowing ghosts and pumpkin faces.

I had a family of Mellisa and Doug dolls that were not being used, so I turned them into Dracula, a witch, a mummy and Frankenstein boy.

The witch has a broom and vials of potions. It was fun for the girls to decide what magic things the potions would do. I was told next year she needs a cauldron and a black cat. We all could think of so many new additions for next years haunted house. Bats, black cats, goblins and a haunted graveyard next to the house….Years and years of Halloween fun!

Story Blocks

My Grammy…my dads mom, was a wonderful grandmother. She lived in a tiny town in the middle of the high desert of Nevada. Luning NV had a post office (where my grandmother worked) and two bars. There were rattlesnakes, tarantulas and scorpions…a strange and sometimes scary place full of adventure.

Grammy was fun, sometimes a bit crude and, what I remember most about her, a great story teller. She would mesmerize us with her stories. Our favorites were the ones that would scare the bejesus out of us.

My husband, John and I, stopped in Luning during a trip to Death Valley several years ago. I wanted to find her house and see the changes to the small town. It took a bit of effort, and a call to my sister to narrow it down, but we finally did find it. Like most of the town, it was abandoned. The stone wall my Papa built from the desert rocks was still mostly intact. I am a rock collector like he was, so I beat a few choice stones from the wall to take home. When we walked around the house, we noticed the door was open – so not only did I vandalize the rock wall…we trespassed 🙄. There were signs visible that it was being used by the homeless as a place to sleep and get out of the weather. The ceiling was collapsed in the living room and the house had been picked clean of most hardware. Despite all of that, when I stood in the middle of her family room, where we spent most of the time with her, I was overcome with a flood of emotion and memories. I cried. My memory was so vivid of gathering around her while she scared us to death with her stories of ghosts and haunted graveyards.

I loved her and treasured all of the time I had with her. I want to be that Grammy for my grandchildren. I want my home to be a place where their imaginations are sparked and they build memories that last until they are 60! I also want to be a story teller. I don’t think it comes to me as naturally as it did to her, but I am sure it can be learned.

This is the inspiration for October’s Date to Create….Tell Me a Story.

I loved the idea of Story Stones after seeing several examples on Pintrest. The idea is to paint objects, places, people on small stones, then put them in a bag to draw out randomly. You then tell a story based on the pictures you choose. Not only could this be very interactive, it also promotes creative thinking and imagination. I thought it may be fun to use blocks instead of stones….Tumbling them out of a can and then telling a story based on the pictures facing up. I purchased some wooden blocks and decided to paint them myself. I just couldn’t seem to keep it simple. Each 1.5” side had to be a perfect little work of art. I tried to keep a theme for each block, i.e. weather, location, transportation, structures, villains, etc… I have 10 blocks in all (so 60 little paintings). Now that they are almost complete, I am going to practice….practice….practice. Maybe I will be able to story tell like my Grammy 😍. I also can’t wait to see the stories that Helen and Margo come up with on their turn. I know when they take them home, their dad is going to make them come alive. I think he inherited that story telling gene from my grandmother.


Ahhh summer. Such a busy time of year. It leaves very little time for art and crafting. I try to incorporate some creativity in my garden and yard. It gives me a break from the weeding, harvesting and preserving….and makes the garden a pleasant place to be.

The strawberries are done….the raspberries are starting to slow down, the beans are blooming and the lettuce is growing fast. I have tomatoes that are beginning to turn red and peppers that are almost ready to pick.

We received several boxes of cherries from the man that purchased our orchard. Lots of cleaning, pitting and freezing of fruit this week.

I have managed a bit of time while it was raining to paint a stone cottage and finished another doorway for the fairy tree.

The fairy door was made from sticks and bark with a polymer clay doorway. I had several decorative keys for another craft project. I cut one apart to use as hinges and door handle.