The World Is Run By People Who Show Up

It’s our first Halloween in Bryson City. I’m not really a Halloween person…I don’t think I’ve dressed up since like 8th grade?  I don’t care for Freddie Kruger, ever since he chased me home one night at dusk (I swear he was behind me, but I couldn’t confirm it because I was in crazy-panic-run). Growing up my mom would never let us wear scary costumes. My dad was always dressed up as Moses with the Ten Commandments to greet the neighborhood kids.  Our church banned witches, zombies and skeletons.

Since moving to Bryson City we’ve been going to the Grove Church. Our pastor, Jeff, asked if we’d help out with the Halloween event that they hold each year for the community.  My first thought was: ugh, Halloween, no way.  But instead my fingers texted back: Would love to help! That’s right up my alley.

I had no idea what I was in for.  I was thinking a few pumpkins, hotdogs, churchy people….instead I found myself in the middle of an event on the scale of Broadway. And this year’s theme? Wizard of Oz.

brysoncityhalloween3

brysoncityhalloween40

Nothing wrong with Wizard of Oz right?  Except that it’s on the bottom of my list of movies I would choose to watch. I had nightmares for years when I was little about the Wicked Witch. Once she stole my baby sister out of her crib as I watched…one night she stabbed my dad with a sword while he tried to fix the TV.  That Wicked Witch was sealed in my mind. I’m not exaggerating…here’s a page from my journal years ago. Obviously she still haunts me:

journalpage
And then yesterday, when I asked what I could do to help, the first thing I was assigned:

Could you set up the melted witch with the caution tape?

brysoncityhalloween30

Really? This event was planned to torture me right?

And as people started to show up I felt myself getting increasingly anxious:

Who would let their kid wear that scary costume? How is dressing up as Freddy Kruger fun? Wait, is it legal to carry a toy gun?

These were many of the reasons I’d been given growing up as to why I shouldn’t be a fan of Halloween. But as I looked around I realized that I should be a fan of Halloween. Why? Because Halloween is community.  It’s the one holiday where people actually come out of their homes. The one holiday where people open their doors to people they don’t know in large numbers and hand them gifts.  I saw my daughter and her new friends walking down the street thanking shop owners for candy. I saw business owners, politicians, and law enforcement mingling among the community and at one point Boo was yelling hello to a deputy she knew across the street. I told a man dressed up as a Cherokee Indian that he would win the costume contest and he told me he had just come from work: the Cherokee Indian Reservation. But he was really nice and thanked me for noticing how well dressed he was.

And Jeff posted this article this morning by one of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist and it summed up exactly how I was feeling after last night:

Sometimes love asks you to change.

It’s so easy to love people who like all the same things you do—who never listen to music that makes you cringe, or who believe all the same things you believe. But love sometimes asks you to lay down your preferences, and dive into someone else’s world for a little while.

Sometimes that world is full of fake spiders.

Sometimes it’s the ballet or country music or Russian novels. Sometimes it’s staying quiet when you want to talk, sometimes it’s giving space when you want to rush in. Love asks what’s best for the person you love, not what’s best or most convenient to you.

Yes, sometimes the world is full of fake spiders. And fake pooling witches.  And big green gates with green glitter as a welcome mat. Here was our church opening up (green) doors to anyone who wished to come in…no strings attached. No rules. No judgement. Just community:

brysoncityhalloween

We jumped right in wearing our LoveBryson shirts.  Boo even decided to dress up as a “church volunteer” instead of her butterfly costume. LoveBryson was started by The Grove Church as a way to give back to Bryson City and the surrounding community. It’s a community service-based group that works with established organizations in the area when specific needs come up.  LoveBryson also pioneers its own efforts to make a difference in the community, everything from supplying firewood in the winter, school backpack drives and even installing much needed wheelchair ramps.

lovebryson

And yesterday The Grove Church served close to 1,800 hotdogs to the community:

brysoncityhalloween39

Sometimes all you have to do is show up.

brysoncityhalloween19

And make room for others to show up too.  They threw us newbies right in:

brysoncityhalloween21

I think more people showed up downtown than actually live in all of Bryson City:

brysoncityhalloween15

Barry from The Filling Station handing out candy:

brysoncityhalloween7

Debbie (green vest) from Fern Studios and Gallery handing out candy:

brysoncityhalloween9

Donno from Higher Ground Tattoo:

brysoncityhalloween6

A few kiddos from The Grove:

brysoncityhalloween10

The real deal:

brysoncityhalloween11

I was asked to be one of the judges in the costume contest and this little bag lady won in the 2-11 years old category. She was awesome:

brysoncityhalloween13

And at Riverfront Park where “Oz” was located people had a chance to play games and recharge.

brysoncityhalloween2

The director of Boo’s school sent out a newsletter today and it ended with: The world is run by people who SHOW UP! 

I’m not quite ready to show up as the Good Witch of the North yet, and I don’t have to…because there are people like Beth:

brysoncityhalloween4

And Mary (as Dorothy):

brysoncityhalloween17

And Rachel:

halloween2

And Erin and Jeff (lion). Jeff drew and painted the huge “Oz” backdrop for the stage:

brysoncityhallowee37

I love when leaders think big, like this guy, pastor, Jeff:

brysoncityhalloween20
A sneak peak behind the scenes of all the prep work that went into the event:

Behindthescenes

Behindthescenes2
And the result…community:

brysoncityhalloween18

brysoncityhalloween25

brysoncityhalloween24

brysoncityhalloween42

brysoncityhalloween32

brysoncityhalloween31

brysoncityhalloween36

brysoncityhalloween5

brysoncityhalloween26

When I heard Brene Brown speak 2 years ago at The Summit I wrote this down word for word:

The #1 barrier to belonging? Fitting in. 

Make a space for people to show up and be seen, not for who they should be….but for who they are. 

We can’t set it up so that there are check boxes for showing up. 

 

 

Holiday Prep

This past week I’ve been working on the annual Christmas Tree I do for Michaels each year.  Most everything was handmade in some form.  I love how it turned out. Will share all the photos in just a few days. Here’s what I’ve been working on:

supplies

Rustic Scandinavian Christmas Decor - Dala Horse Print

Rustic Handmade Christmas Decor

It’s way too early to put up a Christmas tree though. I put the tree up last night, photographed it, and then took it back down.  It will be donated to a good cause.  We don’t really have room for a full sized tree anyways so we’ll have a miniature tree this year.  The Hemlock Inn puts up their own huge tree after Thanksgiving. Boo is so excited to help decorate that. She’s told every guest that asks about Christmas that “Mr. Mort (the innkeeper) has to take down the dining room’s ceiling fan for the big Christmas tree!”

How to Make Butterfly Wings from T-Shirts

How to make butterfly wings for kids costume using 2 large t-shirts #halloween #butterfly

This month as a Michaels Maker I was challenged to come up with a DIY Halloween costume. I asked Boo what she wanted to be and she gave me an answer that we summed up to be something like a phantom butterfly:

Phantom Butterfly Costume with DIY Butterfly Wings

I wanted to come up with something that was easy to recreate so I used 2 Gildan t-shirts from Michaels (size XXL):

DIY Butterfly Wings Costume

We made the wings and the antennae and bought the masquerade mask from Michaels: move 2

Spray painted costume wings for Halloween

Basically to make the wings I took 2 of the largest size adult t-shirts I could find at Michaels and cut each one as shown (basically using each sideways shirt as a wing):

 

How to cut t-shirt for butterfly wings

 

The two shirts cut into two wings: (click continue reading) [Read more...]

How to Make Sharpie Owl Pumpkins

 

sharpieowlmain

I am a big fan of Mexican art…especially sugar skulls.  I used black and silver Sharpie markers to turn these faux styrofoam pumpkins into owl sugar skulls for my Halloween decor this year.  Michaels is challenging customers to “trick a pumpkin” this year and post the creations to Instagram. Make sure to read more at the bottom of this post on how to enter your own!
owlpumpkins15

If you do a google search for “sugar skull” you will come across a variety of images you can pull ideas from. I make up the doodles as I go along, but starting with the round eyes first:

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas without Carving - Sharpie Doodle Owl

Tip: If you mess up, use a damp Magic Eraser to lightly wipe the area until the mistake lightens or disappears completely!

I used 4 different size pumpkins and made them all their own unique version:

How to decorate a pumpkin without carving it ideas #diy #pumpkin

 

I used a silver sharpie on the black/chalkboard pumpkin:Decorating a chalkboard paint pumpkin with sharpie

 

The large pumpkin took around 30 minutes to complete: [Read more...]

Fall Table Decor: Mason Jar Firefly Lanterns

Easy Fall Table Decor: Mason Jar Lantern Lights using LEDs #wedding #fall #entertaining #masonjar

 

This month’s theme for Michaels Makers is fall decor.  Fall is always hard for me because I rarely buy anything orange, yellow or red…all classic fall colors. But…I love acorns and barn wood and moss….so I made these cute little “firefly” inspired lanterns using mason jars and Michaels’ LED string lights (found in the floral section of the store):

diy firefly mason jar lanterns

I also made the barn wood tray and the small rustic twig balls but I’ll follow up with a tutorial on those. The acorns were collected on the Hemlock Inn driveway tonight:

fall table decor ideas and wedding table decor #wedding #falltabledecor #entertaining

To make the lanterns I used a mason jar and a battery operated set of LED string lights from Michaels.  Each set of lights takes 3 batteries and the pack can be tucked nicely into the back of the jar.  I used dried moss to give the inside of the jar an earthy rustic look. The great thing about the lights is that you can leave them on “timer” and they will come on at the same time each night.

diy mason jar lanterns using LED string lights #diy #masonjar #wedding

 

An easy way to decorate a table for fall entertaining:

fall entertaining decor ideas using mason jars #masonjar #fall

 

[Read more...]

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Food

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #stpatricksday #green #partyfood

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! Here are 10 fun food and treat ideas you can serve that your friends and family will get a kick out of.

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas: Green Candied Popcorn by Find Your Happiness via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

Green Candied Popcorn via Find Your Happiness

 

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas: Shamrock Tortilla Chips by Pizzazzerie at Spiced via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #stpatricksday #green #partyfood

Shamrock Tortilla Chips by Pizzazzerie via Spiced

 

St Patrick's Day Food Ideas: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies by Life in the Lofthouse via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies via Life in the Lofthouse

[Read more...]

Free St. Patrick’s Day 8×10 Printable Artwork

In a few more days it will be time to add a little green to your home! It’s easy with this free printable 8×10 St. Patrick’s Day sign for you to display in March! Simply print the PDF on cardstock and frame.

Free St. Patrick's Day 8x10 Printable Artwork via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

 

 

I love this sweet Irish Blessing! Just click images below to download the PDF.

[Read more...]

A Frozen Winter Birthday Party and Free Printables

She’s 7! Here is my last minute “winter” party we put together for Boo’s birthday last weekend. It turned out better than I thought it would for the late start I got!

The background I made using burlap. The snowflakes I cut out of a large roll of drawing paper….as well as the popsicle stick snowflakes:

A Frozen Winter Birthday Party Free Printables with Snowflakes and Snowmen in Turquoise, Light Blue, Grey and White via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #frozen

 

She’s so big!

The Birthday Girl: A Frozen Winter Birthday Party with Snowflakes and Snowmen in Turquoise, Light Blue, Grey and White via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #frozen

 

Photo of the party table:

Desert Table: A Frozen Winter Birthday Party with Snowflakes and Snowmen in Turquoise, Light Blue, Grey and White via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #frozen

 

I made the t-shirts at the last minute…Mr. LBB is always a good sport wearing his: [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Style for the Whole Family

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it! Do you get in the spirit and dress for the occasion?

Valentine's Day Style for the Whole Family via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

 

 

Here are some cute outfits for the entire family to inspire you!

For Women:

Topshop Red and White Heart Blouse
Mossimo Jeans
Tory Burch Ballet Flats

[Read more...]

Free Printable Valentine’s Day Art Prints

We made these cute prints for Valentine’s Day. Boo will be using them for her Valentine’s at school! Download them below:

Free 8x10 Valentines day free printable art prints via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Add a little pink and red to your home this February with these sweet printable 8×10 art prints. Print it, frame it, display it!

 

 

You can download the free printables by clicking the image below.

[Read more...]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...