Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to throw a Tortured Artist dinner party

It's all come down to this! After 9 Tortured Artist costume ideas (10 if you include the double Fridas), one full menu with 3 delicious recipes and a skull cake for dessert, 2 free illustrated printables from Danielle Kroll here and here (and one more on the way), 1 playlist, and 5 decor ideas here and here, it's time to reveal the full dinner Tortured Artist party. 

I mentioned that I've always wanted to throw a party where everyone comes dressed as an artist. For this party, we added in a creepy adjective "tortured" because so many of the greats were just that and it's perfect for Halloween. We applied the term loosely and had some of our favorite artists and paintings in attendance. Can you recognize them all? 
If you're planning your own Halloween party, here's how I would do it:
  1. Costumes. It's the only time of the year when it's truly permissible, so why would you avoid it? Embrace it. In the invitation mention the dress code. Here it was "Arrive dressed as your favorite Tortured Artist."
  2. Decide on a decor theme. I mentioned here that our decor was inspired by vanitas, the term used to describe the brevity of life and nearness of death that was reflected in rotting fruits, skulls, taxidermy, and candles (see our decor ideas here) and a costume based on it.  We chose not to do rotting fruits but just living fruits as we didn't want to gross out our guests. A piece of fruit at each place setting is the perfect adornment (see above image).
  3. Add in the Spooky. I'm not generally a fan of the spooky element, but to make the beautiful vanitas work we needed that extra creepy feel. To the table runner, we added in some ghost faces. I wanted something subtle that you wouldn't detect right away. Surprise! I'll be doing the full DIY tomorrow.

4. But also make it gorgeous. Though it's a bit spooky, it should also be a bit gorgeous, right?! That's how we like to do it here. Sarah Winward did the gorgeous flowers and used the styrofoam skeleton heads as vases. I love how they turned out. Drip fruits and flowers across the table for that lavish, over-the-top feel.
5. Black candles. Good, subtle lighting is a must. We lit our party with black candles, the only way to go. We got ours from Save-on-Crafts, who is the cheapest and has the best supply around.
6. Customize the event. Danielle Kroll created these gorgeous name tags to go at each setting. I'll be providing the printable in the next couple of days. She also created these gorgeous invitations and menu cards, which you can get here and here.
7. Artwork. To transform your space feel like a haunted house no matter where you are, we covered up the walls with these free printable portraits, which feel spooky and hysterical at the same time. Check out the tutorial here.
 8. Dessert that mimics the theme. It's all in the details folks. I was so excited for this vanilla bean skull cake. I think it truly made the party. And it was delicious so there's that. Get the full tutorial here.
9. A delicious autumnal menu. Ramblin Rose Cafe created the most gorgeous and gorgeously delicious menu for the party including a roasted garlic and cauliflower soup, a perfect autumn cheese board, and roasted root vegetables and a pomegranate ginger elixir to wash it all down.

We had a ball putting this party on, but there's still a bit more. Two more tutorials and a behind the scenes look at the making of the party. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe

Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe
Today is our last costume in the Tortured Artist party series (see the rest here). We're closing with fellow flower lover, Georgia O'Keefe, whose macroscopic depictions of flower parts seem as current as they were last century.

Georgia made her home in New Mexico and often depicted the setting around her: skulls, desert landscapes, desert flowers. We included those elements into our costume as symbolic touches. Of course, you probably won't want to walk around with a huge bull skull (or do you?) but a microscopic version like the bracelet is a good alternative. Here we'll show you how to make the oversized poppy as inspired by her paintings (see here), the dyed kaftan inspired by her close-ups, and a hair and make-up tutorial.
Poppy paper flower tutorial for Georgia O'Keefe
Skull as a bracelet for Georgia O'Keefe
Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe
Paper poppy tutorial
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

This post was sponsored in part by

Monday, October 20, 2014

3rd annual Halloween costume contest

If you've been following Lars over the years, you know I love few things more than dressing up. Hence all these artist costumes. I started hosting a Halloween costume contest a few years ago and I'm glad to carry on the tradition this year! Though the point is really for everyone to see the clever costumes you're pulling off, it also comes with fun prizes!

To enter:

  1. Submit your Halloween costume(s) by email or tag it on Instagram or Facebook with #LarsHalloweenContest
  2. Winners will be contacted and announced here on the blog. I will place the winners here on the blog and over on my Costume Parties pinboard on Pinterest. Note, by submitting your photo, you are allowing it to go on the blog (with credits back to you!).
  3. Contest ends Tuesday, November 4th.
Ready, set ghoul! (gah! so bad...)

Birth of Venus costume

Birth of Venus Halloween costume
Happy Monday! We have just a couple more costumes and the final dinner party to share with you to complete our Vanitas Halloween. Let's continue with the Birth of Venus! 

Birth of Venus was painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1486 as commissioned by the Medici family. It depicts the goddess of love, Venus emerging from the ocean as a full-grown woman. There are a lot of interpretations on the painting, but it's generally thought to be a depiction of the birth of love and spiritual beauty as a driving force of life. Read more about it here.
We decided to do an adaptation of Birth of Venus (shockingly, we don't do nudity here on Lars). But for those of you who like to do artistic sexy Halloween, I suppose this is your chance. We went with a body--you're welcome.
Birth of Venus Halloween costume
Crafting and modeling by Hillary Gallup
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Sunday, October 19, 2014

This week

I introduced a fun new Instagram project this week, #CraftTheRainbow, and it's slowly consuming all my thoughts. I now think in rainbows. It's not a bad problem I suppose but I do have other deadlines to be working on so perhaps I should take a chill pill and do some work while I'm at it.

In other news, I got a new phone. Hooray! But, I spent one whole work day trying to get it to work, lost some data and had to redo a lot of work. SO fun!

This week on Lars:
A RAD giveaway from The Novogratz
Girl with a Pearl Earring costume
A printable menu card for Halloween
Free Halloween decor
A delicious autumn menu perfect for a Halloween party or Thanksgiving
More details about #CraftTheRainbow
Some gorgeous styling
This girl loves some dusty purple

Lars elsewhere:
How to design an A-frame space
Desert living style
Subtle Halloween ideas

Must reads/sees:
We just started watching this series last night. Oh man! It's so good! 
Speaking of dusty purple, how gorgeous is this?
So this is why my room is messy?
This is so tragic. If you lived through the 90s you know what I mean.
How fast do you go? 
I love just a touch of neon
Just discovered this gorgeous blog
Pumpkin soy candles
Halloween costumes with balloons!
Love these pillows

photo from my Instagram for #CraftTheRainbow. Play along by posting your own photo, tagging it with CraftTheRainbow. At the end I'll choose a winner to receive a fun goody bag full of colorful supplies!

Friday, October 17, 2014

9 by Novogratz giveaway

9 by Novogratz full bedroom giveway!
I love seeing designers creating lines that are more accessible so I'm thrilled to share The Novogratz's new line of furniture and bedding at If you're unfamiliar, The Novogratz is a family of 7 kids and their parents who had their own TV show where the documented their life while running their successful design company in New York City. Their style is so fun and cheery and perfect for color lovers! And today they are giving away a complete bed set, bed (!), and a few other accessories, a $260 value. See all the wonderful deets below!
9 by Novogratz full bedroom giveway!
9 by Novogratz full bedroom giveway!

Click below to enter the giveaway.