Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooktakular Pumpkins!

I would be remiss if I didn’t share some photos of the local pumpkin decorating contest.  One of my favorite things during Halloween!  Ok here we go!
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The last one looks a lot like this one!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pinspiration: Spidery Cupcakes

See!  I haven’t just been sitting with my eyes glued to the Pinterest Boards.  I’ve been actually making stuff too!

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Here are the spidey cupcakes I made for our Halloween party at school.  The invitations said to not wear costumes  with ghosts and witches and the like, but I didn’t think these were too scary . . .

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The inspiration photo just has a regular Oreo, but I accidently picked up these double Oreos with chocolate and regular cream.  I think it kind of gives him an extra silly grin. 

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And here is the gaggle of spidey cupcakes. 

Here is the inspiration photo . . .



I think these turned out super cute.  But they aren’t perfect.  The inspiration photo used some sort of chocolate licorice pulls, which I have NEVER seen in stores.  I luckily found some chocolate Twizzlers that I had to try to cut down because they were far too big.  I’ve had this problem before when I made the microphone cupcakes for the rock star party.  The inspiration photo had the same chocolate pulls.  I decided to use sour strings instead, which actually made them more colorful.  I could have not used anything, and they would have turned out just find too (except for the trying to cram cupcake into a ice cream cone part because I didn't know how to bake them in there).  I also decided to just use upside down mini-chips that I had on hand instead of spending more money to get the perfect eyes.  Sometimes is a balance, people.

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And because I couldn’t leave the teachers out, I made these!  Chocolate cupcakes with Oreo icing topped with a double Oreo!  (The Oreo icing came in a squeeze tube!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Ornament Swap

This year Sarah from Makin' Projiks hosted a Halloween Ornament Swap!  Two of my favorites, crafts and Halloween!  And lovely handmade ornaments back to me!  Yes, please!  So I signed myself up.  Then I realized . . . I would actually have to make ornaments. . . . and send them to Sarah . . . who is a mad crazy skilled crafter . . . who would send them to other crafters that probably had mad crazy skills too!  Eeeeep!  What had I done? 

So right away I started thinking about what I could make.  My BFF (who I dragged into the crazy) started scouring Pinterest and talking over ideas. 

I had to bring the skills ya’ll.  Had too!  I decided to do a twist on scherenschnitte (which is a fancy German word for fancy paper cutting) and use felt. 

Et viola!

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Normally I would have finished the backs better, with either another black piece or a black circle with the middle cut out.  But I had to do this 12 more times.  That’s a lot of cutting ya’ll!

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And in true lazy blogger form, go here (Swap Madness, Swap, More Swap aka where you see mine, End of Swap) to Sarah’s post to see all of the other ornaments that were in the swap!  Delish!

I also thought I would add in some ‘process’ photos.  It’s a rare moment, I think, in blogland when you actually get to see the not perfect crafts or the middle of something being made.  There are tons of tutorials, but that isn’t the same as trying to get a project to work.  By that point you know it’s going to work. 

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This is the photo that I sent my BFF while I was trying to decide how to layer the felt.  If I should go simple spider on white like the traditional scherenschnitte or make it a little more 3D with a spider web.  The rest of the photos are me trying to decide what color spider web, and if I should put white behind it or leave it open.  Or still just do white with a simple silhouette. 

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy {Belated} Birthday

Who forgets their own birthday?  Me!  That’s ok right?  I think I am at that age (past 30) when age no longer starts to matter right?  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.  I really don’t feel that old.  Except when I start trying to explain what a big wheel is.  I mean really!  What are they teaching these kids anyway?  I digress.  Without further adieu here is my much anticipated birthday list  of randomness about me. . . .

1.   I quit the gym.  I could write a whole post about why, but I’ll just sum it up with customer service. 

2.  I’ve decided to give P90X a try, if I can figure out the diet.  Grief!

3.  I’ve got my craft closet about 60% organized.  I purged some (read moved down into the basement in a big bag), but still need to cut back a lot.  Seriously.  Anyone interested in a swap?

4.  Still wanting a pair of moccasin boots.  Bad.  But settled for a $35 Target boots found on Pinterest.  See Pinterest saves you money!

5.  I’ve decided that I’ve moved into a Johnny Cash phase.  Well, not a full fledged Johnny Cash phase, but more like a watered down version.  Instead of wearing black, I’m lovin’ wearing grey.  And listening to Cash.

6.  I’m so liking the gray that I had to go buy a gray coffee travel mug.  Word.

7.  I like ending random sentences with word. 

8.  I got to go to an Avett Brother’s concert before my Birthday. LOVED IT!  But left with a strong desire to wear flannel.  And grow a beard.  Just kidding about the beard. 

9.  My favorite holiday is still Halloween, but I didn’t even celebrate it this year.  Sure we went trick-or-treating, and but I didn’t have a party like I wanted or even decorate.  What’s up with that?

10.  Totally missed out on the family pumpkin carving picture this year.  I feel like such a bum.

11.  I did buy more black birds from the $1 store.  I have around 77 now.  Up from the 25 last year.  And I didn’t put out one.  Not one!

12.  I have a lot of Star Wars toys.  A LOT. 

13.  They are all piled in the basement.  I really need to clean that out.

14.  I also have to paint a cabinet and finish up a project down there too.  Oh procrastination.

15.  I’m thinking about going ahead and decorating for Christmas.  Not because I’m in the Christmas spirit, but because I’m afraid that I won’t be.  I don’t want it to be mid-January before I realize that we haven’t gotten a tree.  It could happen.

16.  Even though I don’t feel my age, I have a white streak in my hair.  I’m hoping I can play it off like “I’m sooooo cool like I have a white streak or something.”   Or that I’m like Kitty Bartholomew.  Or something. 

17.  I have been going to Bible study, but I can never get the homework completed. 

18.  I only have one picture hung in our master bedroom. 

19.  My BFF and I actually painted my master bedroom.  It’s called Potter’s Clay.  And of course it’s a Martha color.  I would share the pics, but the rest of the room is far from ready.

20.  We bought a new oven too.  It is so much better.

21.  I always thing that making a list about myself will be easy, but half way through I realize I’m really not that interesting. 

22.  There is a blogging conference coming up that I am thinking about attending.  But since I’m a lazy blogger I’m not sure if it will be worth it or just a waste of time.  Or make me realize that I am more lazy than I realize. 

23.  My Mom can literally make anything,  If fact I am wearing a ring that she made now.  And when I say made, I mean melted down metal, craved a tree branch to make the mold, and then sanded the whole thing smooth.  She is crazy talented.   When my Mother-in-law asked where I got my ring, and I told her Mom made it she said, “Of course!” 

24.  is my favorite number!

25.  I am probably the only person that has a blog, but hasn’t joined Facebook.  Thought about it only so I could put my status as “Whoop.  Joined the Facebook!  So now it is officially not cool.” 

26.  I am also probably the only person who finds that funny! 

27.  I finished reading the new Vince Flynn novel.  I read it in a week.  After I read an older one that my husband had, I went back and got all of the books that he had from the series, ordered the two that were missing and read them from beginning to end.  They are great! 

28.  In fact, I liked them so much that I would go to bed early so I could read them.  My husband would ask where I was going and I would say on a date with Mitch Rapp. 

29.  I have never read a Harry Potter book.   I have also  never read or seen a Twilight movie. 

30.  I’m actually thinking about starting the HP series, but there is no way in the world I want to read/see Twilight.  Just can’t do it.  But the new movie that is coming out that they are saying is the next big thing looks good. 

31.  Has anyone read/seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  The movie preview looks really good. 

32.  I made my Husband take me to the mid-night viewing of Paranormal 3. I have never seen the other ones before.  LOVED it!  The theatre was packed.  And I think we were the oldest ones there. 

33.   And I still have the bestest family!

Wooo!  That was hard.  Not sure if I can do that next year!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My (Not So) Storybook Life Advance Copies Giveaway–At Mabel’s House

I know many of you are probably familiar with Mabel’s House and how great it is!  It was one of the first blogs that I started reading.  In fact there are still some posts that I have booked marked to read when I need a good laugh (Coke Tsunami, and yes it is as funny as it sounds) and when I need a good cry.  And now even better for us, Liz has wrote a book!  AND even better than that she is giving away an advanced copy.  I totally want it! But truthfully, I’m going to buy this book even if I don’t win. 

Here is an excerpt:

***

Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.

But let me explain.

It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.

“Matt… what’s that smell?”

Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”

I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”

Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”

I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”

We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.

“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.

“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.

“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.

“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.

That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.

I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.

“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.

“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.

I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.

I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.

“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”

I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.

 

Awesome right!  Go here to enter to win or just to read about the book!  Hurry!