Ghoulish and glamorous Halloween decoration ideas
by Kim Cook
With some imagination and a mix of purchased and handmade embellishments, you’ll be setting a suitably spooky stage for Halloween visitors.
Victorian-age Halloween decor is a trend this year – look for old-fashioned typography and paper decorations to string across the entryway, and gothic elements like wrought-iron fences, ravens and owls to create a vintage vibe along your walkway. Martha Stewart Living has some downloadable templates to make your own gravestones. Also look for a variety of vintage-y outdoor decor, including caged-crow string lights and luminaries, antiqued mirror sconces, and lighted twig gates and spider webs.
Christine Hanlon, contributing design editor for the magazine Style at Home, created a “haute Halloween” look in the October issue by sticking to a chic black, white, chartreuse and purple colour scheme. Black spray-painted and white gourds, pots filled with tall ornamental grasses and black and white feathers, and natural raffia wreaths tied with amethyst ribbon set a sophisticated stage for the night’s festivities.
Fairy light strings in white – or orange and purple, if you want a dash of colour – add a welcoming touch to your Halloween entrance.
If a haunted house look is what you’re after, consider draping Spanish moss, found at many nurseries and craft stores, along your railings. Also look for realistic-looking cemetery fence sections, and well-stocked graveyard kits with elements like skulls, tombstones, spiders and rats. Use burlap or cheesecloth to wrap posts and railings. Find some zombie parts to place in your garden or look for a scary hanging man cocooned in cheesecloth for the tree branch.
Change out your porch light for a dramatic orange or red bulb, and frame the doorway with spider webs or crime-scene tape. Greet intrepid trick-or-treaters with an audio loop of spectral moans, crunching footsteps, thunder and howling wolves.
Feeling crafty? Go to DIYNetwork.com for instructions on how to make your own tombstones, lawn spiders and ghosts. Many of the projects are simple enough to involve even the younger family members.
In recent years, the iconic jack o’ lantern has been reinterpreted in some very cool ways. The triangle cutout face is a classic, but you can now find patterns for everything from flames to filigree. Martha Stewart Living offers instructions for cool snake designs and pretty layered leaf patterns.
Better Homes & Gardens will donate money to worthy charities including the Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Rebuilding Together when you download a template for one of their custom-designed stencils.
Paint the pumpkin white and add a silhouette of a black cat, eyes or other Halloween image. Add construction paper ears and whiskers to make a creature. Or go bold with a graphic stripe or swirl motif. Add glitter to a gourd painted lime green or purple.
Stack several, and carve each pumpkin with either trunk or branch sections for a full-size glowing tree.
Or carve words into each – whether they’re words of warning or welcome, you’ll be making a statement.
Metal group imports rise 4.41pc
The country imported the metal worth US$670.90 million during July-September 2011 against the import of US$642.53 million during July-September 2010, Federal Board of Statistics (FBS) reported.
Out of the metal group, the country imported iron and steel scrap of US$123.35 million during the period, showing decrease of 32.93 per cent over last year.
The import of aluminum wrought and worked decreased by 12.88 per cent from US$35.29 million to US$30.74 million whereas iron and steel imports increased 25.93 percent to US$331.93 as compared to the import of US$263.57 million last year.
The import of gold into the country stood at US$36.78 million against the import of US$19.77 million during the same period of the last year.
On the year-on-year basis, the imports of metal group in the country registered a decrease of 2.57 per cent during September 2011 over September 2010.
The country has imported commodity worth US$225.31 million as compared the import of US$231.24 million.
The import of iron and steel scrap was recorded at US$36.55 million against US$65.61 million, showing a decrease of 44.30 per cent.
The import of aluminum wrought and worked registered a decrease of 11.99 per cent as its imports declined from US$11.61 million in last September million to US$10.23 million in September 2011.
The country imported iron and steel worth US$119.64 million during the month of September of the current year against the import of US$101.27 million during the same month of the last year.
The import of gold stood at US$16.46 million in September 2011 against imports of US$3.39 million during the same month of last year.
On month-on-month basis, the import of metal group witnessed an increase of 2.17 per cent as metal worth US$225.31 was imported in September 2011 against US$220.52 million in August 2010.
The import of iron and steel scrap registered a decline of 10.09 per cent, decreasing from US$40.65 million to US$36.55 million.
The import of aluminum wrought and worked was recorded at US$10.23 million in September 2011 against US$9.28 million in August 2011.
The country imported iron and steel worth US$119.64 million during September against the import of US$113.52 million in August.
The import of gold stood at US$16.46 million in September 2011 against import of US$15.22 million in August 2011.
Join the club
Sarah and Jon Roche have bought Abram Labour Club, in Warrington Road, and are excited about their new plans to bring back some community spirit.
Under the new title – Maypole Community Club and Sports Bar Ltd, named after Abram’s Maypole Colliery disaster – the couple plan to boost sales and bring in entertainers.
The modern sports bar will also include Premiership football games to be shown on a large TV screen and more snooker and pool tables. They are also hosting a Christmas party on Saturday, December 10 from 7pm and a New Year’s Eve celebration.
Sarah and Jon, who have two children, also want to hold family nights with disco fun for youngsters.
Sarah, 36, said: “At one point the club was thriving, but over the last two years it has hit rock bottom. We have always lived in Abram and we used to go in the evenings after work and really enjoyed it.
“We saw an advert that it was for sale and decided to buy it as it has always been Jon’s dream to own a pub. We want to bring it back to what it used to be when people queued to get in.”
Jon, 39, who also runs Abram Wrought Iron, said: “We are under no illusions. We know it will be a long and hard battle to get the club back up and running, but we have a lot of people behind us.
“For Abram to lose such a big venue which is the heart of the community would be a shame. So we would like to see it back on its feet again.”
The venue also has a function room, which holds up to 250 people. Tickets for the Christmas and New Year parties are on sale at the club, in Warrington Road, priced at £4.50 for December 10 and £5 for New Year’s Eve.
Caswell big cat facility favors more animal control
By Tara Bozick
“It’s a truly appalling situation and I wish it could have been avoided,” said Mindy Stinner, executive director of the Conservators’ Center in Caswell County, N.C. The Conservators Center, founded by Stinner and Douglas Evans, is a wildlife preserve that rescues exotic animals, including lions and tigers.
Last week, Terry Thompson released more than 50 exotic animals from his Ohio farm before committing suicide. Muskingum County Sheriff’s deputies said they were forced to kill 48 of 56 exotic animals, including 18 Bengal tigers, according to The (Newark, Ohio) Advocate. The Columbus Zoo is housing a bear, two monkeys and three leopards.
“We believe that it’s very important that reasonable regulations be put in place in every state,” Stinner said.
Stinner doesn’t want fear to drive knee-jerk rules banning exotic animals in North Carolina, but she would like authorities to have better controls in place for protecting both humans and animals.
The Feline Conservation Federation and its affiliates, including the Conservators’ Center, had offered to work with placing Thompson’s animals at established wildlife facilities when problems arose in the past, according to a news release. Yet, law enforcement declined to assist.
Counties in North Carolina have the ability to step in to address potential risks using already established laws regarding all animals, Stinner said.
Yet, local animal control authorities could inspect private facilities not currently being inspected, she suggested. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which inspects the private nonprofit Conservators’ Center, inspects only those places where commercial activities take place.
The Conservators’ Center would be happy to train inspectors on what to look for, as far as proper habitat and containment, she said. Additionally, Stinner would like exotic animal owners to be required to confidentially register their animals so emergency responders know where they are.
Stinner anticipates legislation coming up again on the issue in North Carolina, and she would like to ensure those facilities and owners operating safely and legally won’t be shut down or prevented from moving in.
Captive exotic animal populations, especially of tigers, prevents their extinction as wild habitat diminishes.
“I think the world is a better place for having tigers in it,” Stinner said. “I think they should be well kept and protected.”
The Danville Area Humane Society called the Ohio situation “horrible” and believes that wild animals should not be kept as pets, said Executive Director Paulette Dean. Large or dangerous exotic animals should be kept in facilities designed to handle them, like zoos or sanctuaries, she added.
“Once again, animals are the ultimate victims,” Dean said.
Dean said the Ohio deputies did what they had to do to protect the public, and that there was no way to have safely capturing and monitoring that many animals. Stinner agreed.
The local humane society shelter knows this, as it had to house a primate in the mid-1990s after local police confiscated it in a drug raid, Dean said. The primate was a challenge to handle each day, taking two people to lift its cage, and it killed a puppy through its cage. No veterinarian wanted to conduct tests on it. Eventually, a sanctuary took the monkey.
“It’s a shame,” said Billy Meyer, general manager of the World of Pets at Nor-Dan Shopping Center.
Meyer, an animal lover, would have liked more of the released animals to be recaptured rather than killed, but he does believe there should be better legislation or control of who is allowed to own such exotic animals.
If Meyer doesn’t feel confident in a person’s ability to take care of one of his pets, he won’t sell it. He regularly educates customers and the public at events on how to take care of different animals.
“I think it’s horrible,” he said about the Ohio animal deaths.
6 Simple Home Decor Tips
by Shubhra Krishan
Get An Instant Bedside Table : Pile up your favorite coffee table books by the side of your bed. Place a small tray or coasters on top to keep your coffee mug. Place a shapely earthen pot beside your stack, and you’ve created a beautiful nook.
Stone and Blossoms : Use a beautiful stone birdbath as a container for potting succulent plants and bright flowers!
A Glowing Idea : Need a centerpiece for your dining table? Just place a cluster of attractive candles in varying heights in a shallow tray. The resulting glow is guaranteed to look lovely and impress guests.
Wrap up the light : Wrap a beautiful ribbon on the stem of a tall wrought iron candle holder to give it a fresh, festive look.
Invite Nature Indoors : On your walks and travels, keep an eye out for lovely, natural tidbits: an autumn leaf, a pine cone, twisted twigs, pebbles, shells…pop them into pretty glass bowls. Beauty without spending a penny!
Rearrange Your Books : Turn a boring bookshelf display into stunning by simply arranging your books according to the colors of their spine. The reds together, blues bunched with blues, and so on…