Thursday, October 27, 2011

The One Day A Year We All Act Like Kids

         Our annual family Halloween party is this weekend. We don't usually do anything huge just a few family and friends. It's mostly for the kids.....which means everyone one of us becomes a kid on this day every year.

So I wanted to share a few more great finds that I plan to make. Six in the Suburbs has done it again. Here is what I think will be a great cocktail for the adults and I use that title loosely since I've heard what many of the adults will be wearing this year. It's called Witches Brew and it looks and sounds delish!!
But now I want it to look just like this with the smoke and all.....oh well that probably wouldn't be safe. Don't the spiders give it a great creepy touch......I truly hate spiders,but they are a great Halloween decor item. But we arachnophobia people don't even like the plastic pretend kind either!

  How About Orange always has tons of great ideas and I usually stop here first when I am blog hopping.This trash bag decorating idea just blew me away. I love cheap and I love easy....and well that sounds odd because I am not either.....well haha maybe I am after all. But I have to admit this idea looks great and I will give it a try for the party. We are going to set up a haunted path though a little wooded area for the little ones,so I may use white trash bags so they will show up. After all it really wouldn't be Halloween if we adults can't scare the kids a little bit.....I'm just kidding....or am I? Mooohahaha!!
Every party has to have bottle labels. I have already printed some and they are ready to place on the bottles for the kiddos. I love Halloween Labels they are easy and quick and the kids love them. Makes a common bottle of juice or pop so much more special. Rather scary actually when you think about how quick the kids come running for a bottle of spooky zombie potion!
I also wanted to share one of my easy,and cheap Halloween costume from a few years ago. A walking stick figure. It's the only time in my life that I've ever really felt thin! I teased for years that I needed to find a way to market my idea.....then dang gone it!!!! Someone beat me to it. Amy saw them at our local Target, not as cute as mine of course!! If anyone would like to make this to wear it's very easy, but takes a little time and patience.
First I used a black turtleneck and black knit pants.....for comfort as well as easy to stitch. Using black thread I simply top-stitched by hand over the glow sticks and added a teeny tiny dab of low heat glue to each end of the glow sticks. I actually waited until the glue was cooling a bit before laying the glow stick on it. I didn't want to see glow gunk running down my arms and legs. I made a circle for my head and held it on with hair clips on top of my head. Then a quick pair of glasses for eyes using the glow bracelets to complete the look.
I have to tell you everyone stopped me as we walked the kids around the neighborhood. I even did a quick dance for some who had their camera phones out. Who knows where those videos ended up!
It must have look really funny to see a stick figure walking toward them because we could hear people holler and scream with laughter as we approached each street.
I had a was my best costume ever!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What A Bunch Of Booootiful Ideas!

Last week I stumbled on a facebook and blog I just know you all will love as much as I do. As most of you know I am always looking for new ideas of things to make for each and every holiday. The blog is called Six In The Suburbs. It's a family blog with six fun and creative gals all contributing to the same amazing blog. Boy I sure could use 5 more people to help me keep my blog going as well as my shop,my house,my office.....well you all have heard me whine before about my lack of time!

Aren't these absolutely adorable!
 Here is another wonderful idea from this great blog! These Chocolate Peanutbutter Acorns treats look so delicious as well as pretty. I had to run out and get the items so I can make these for my adorable niece who is coming down for a short visit. She loves Nutter Butter cookies and I have a rather odd addiction to acorns,so it's a perfect snack to share.
I also discovered over at a Mickey Mouse Vampire treat box to print and fold for your little ghouls and goblins.We are a Disney crazy family so this will be a big hit with my grandson's. Head over there for all kinds of Halloween printables and party ideas.
Hp Creative Studio has a great place for craft ideas and printables too for every holiday and occasion.
They really have a ton of Halloween printables like signs,decorations,carving templates,banners,even Martha Stewart creations.
Ravens Blight is another great go to web site for free paper toys. They have so many to choose from. Like printable foldable stone mansions to make any party table look even more paper my all time favorite Pocket Monsters. I print these every year and just place them in a pocket of my denim shirts and go about my business. So much fun and everyone loves them!
Here's a place for free printable boxes for nearly every single occasion in the year. Don't Eat The Paste is a blog that is so much fun and is chocked full of fun items and ideas!This Eyeball Gift Box is an absolute hoot!!
Head over to this web site that I think I have mentioned before Canon Creative Park. I can't tell you how many times I have gone here for fun surprises to include in a gift. They can take some time to fold and put together but they are worth it! Pumpkins are everybodys favorite Halloween item so go and check out this fun interactive pumpkin to make and either share or give away.
Isn't this the greatest FREE paper toy ever!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simple Pumpkin Containers

       I finally finished a few pumpkins containers to use as gifts for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. I also have a few new friends who have been so sweet to me this year, and I hope to surprise them. I wanted to share this simple project with you. I have been making these for so long that I have no idea where I first discovered the idea.
I do know one thing for sure it was in the age of B.I. Before Internet!Like my grandson and niece would explain, it was a time of great darkness......... when men and women had only books, magazines,and libraries. We often had to live through great suffering, like snail mail and land line phone calls. Before the light of the great and powerful internet fell across our lands.
Shoot it was even before cable TV and microwaves! You now know that I have been crafting for a very long time!!

Originally they were made much larger with coffee cans. That was the challenge for me because the coffee I buy comes in a bag, not a can. I could be mistaken but I don't think coffee cans are as easy to come by as they use to be.
I knew I wanted to make several so empty washed vegetable cans would have to work. You can make themas small or as large as you want,it is determined by the size of the can you choose.
Here are the items you will need: Clean empty can, cotton fabric, polyfil, felt, a plastic container lid, low temp glue gun,needle and thread.
  Each pumpkin needs two colors of contrasting fabric. One for the pumpkin and one for the top/lid. It can be any color and any design you want. A cotton calico works best but I have used wool and tweed from old coats before. The thinner the fabric the easier it is to gather up around the top and secure to the can.

Now at this point the size of the can you have chosen will determine the size of the circle to cut. You will have to lay it out and eye ball it. I have used a piece of old fabric before if you feel uncertain about this part. Just remember to allow plenty of room to add the polyfil stuffing to the inside of your circle.
I used a 12" dinner plate and then added a few more inches making it approximately a 15" circle.

Now take your needle and thread and make a gathering stitch around the edge of your fabric. You can either do this by hand or on a sewing machine.

Begin gathering the fabric up around the can and add the stuffing to fill the area inside between the can and the fabric.But do not add any to the bottom of the circle. You want your pumpkin container to be able to sit flat without tipping over.
Once you have your fabric gathered up evenly secure it around the outside edge of the can using a hot glue gun.

Now you want to take your felt and cut a approx. 2" or 3" strip to glue over the whole edge of the container. Be sure and glue it to the inside and outside of the pumpkin container.This protects you from any sharp edges of the can and gives the container a much smoother and more finished look.

Now you are ready to make the top to your pumpkin. I save left over containers so this was easy I just searched through my stash until I found a lid that is the size I want my top to be. I like a little over hang of the plastic lid to allow it to sit well on the top of the pumpkin. You can also use a firm piece of cardboard or a wooden circle for your lid. Improvise if necessary and use what you have for this step. It's going to be covered with fabric so as long as it's sturdy and won't bend most anything will work.
Under side of the container lid.

 Cut a circle from the contrasting fabric large enough to cover the top of the lid as well as the inside edge of the lid. This keeps any raw edges from showing.Be sure and glue the fabric down to the top of the lid, allowing the stem to be fastened down securely later. Since I am using a low temp glue gun it will not melt the plastic. Cut from your contrasting fabric 5 or 6 triangles to glue to the inside,allowing them to hang down over the container. The size of these triangles are completely up to you. It isn't necessary to add them at all, it's completely up to you. Add a circle of felt to the inside of the lid,either before or after you add the triangles.
Then to finish it off you will need a handle or stem for the top of the lid. I have used actual dried pumpkin or squash stems before. I have used small wooden thread spools. I have also used vintage wooden knobs before. Be as simple or as creative as you want at this point.

Since I am a felt artist I cut a simple 5" tapered shape and stitched the sides together. Then I added two more seams to the piece giving it more of a stem look. I stuffed the piece with polyfil and hand stitched a square of felt to the top to close it. I bent the stem over and stitched down to the side to give it a natural curved look. I added a few jagged cut pieces of felt and glued those down first before I glued the stem handle down.

Now at this point you can choose to line the inside of the can. I usually just add a plastic bag and fill it with some Halloween candy or nuts. You could put just about anything inside and present it as a gift. I have even added a felt jack-o-lantern face on the front before. Just be creative and have fun!

One container has made it to it's destination and two more are going in the mail tomorrow. Gifts for some very special ladies!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Burst Of Color and Sugar Cookies

        What's not to love about fall! The cooler temps for one thing and the jaw dropping beauty of the trees as they change. It makes my drive into work so much more enjoyable. And believe me when I tell you there aren't many enjoying their drives into work these days. One of our major bridges to Louisville Ky is out of commission. First it was indefinitely, now they believe it will be closed until years end. Makes me wonder just how safe all of our aging bridges are in this country. 

For me, nearly half of my trip to work is in the country so I just sit back and enjoy the process. Each and everyday there are brilliant changes to take your breath away. It is amazing how suddenly they go from just plain ole trees to majestic, brilliant trees bursting with color!
Well okay maybe I'm just easy to please!

I'm always carrying my camera with me this time of year, but rarely am I able to pull over and take a photo of the ones that amaze me the most.......much to my frustration. In the morning as the sun comes up it can make some of these trees look like the are engulfed in flames!
I love the contrast here of the bright orange and the deep burgundy.
 This week I've been web surfing looking for crafts and recipes to make this time of year. I found this cookie idea from one of my favorite blogs to visit, Rosy-Posy she always has great ideas. These Fall Leaf Sugar Cookies are spectacular.

Don't these look great and I think they are simple enough for even me to make. They would be just yummy with a hot cup of tea.

The kids are having a Halloween party this year so I hope to make these to take with me. Oh wouldn't these be beautiful on Thanksgiving Day too. Sometimes you fill up too much with the meal that a slice of pie for dessert is just to much.....but one of these sugar cookies would be just enough.

Years and years ago I hosted an afternoon luncheon with some girlfriends and it was in the fall. I decided to try something I had seen in a Victoria magazine. It was grilled bread slices served along with a salad. The bread was cut in shapes of leaves using a cookie cutter. Then you just grilled them like you would grill a cheese sandwich. They came out a golden brown and were a great touch with a salad instead of crackers or croutons.
My husband's field camera set up down at the creek has captured lots of critters.
A good shot of maybe one or two years old. We are really enjoying this camera!
Say cheese ladies!
We're pretty sure this is a fox,one of my favorites.I wish I could get a good shot of an owl too!
 Well I think it's time to take a hike down to my one and only pitiful persimmon tree,and try and grab me a treat before the deer get them all.......again!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Brillant Man Taken Too Soon

             I feared that when Steve Jobs announced he was stepping down from his much loved company that it wasn't for a good reason.
I adore my Apple laptop and have been hinting around the family how much I want an IPad.....I would even act surprised when I opened it. He did know exactly what we all wanted and needed in our lives,before we did. He thought outside the box so to speak and he always followed his conscience when others believed he would fail.
I like what someone said today on the news that Steve Jobs was our modern day Da Vinci.

I believe he  has set the bar for creating and designing,and he has left some enormous shoes to fill.

"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times,people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs 1955-2011.................You will be forever missed.