Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Eyeball Hors d'ouevres

Oh boy did we have fun tonight!
Last night we celebrated Hubby's birthday which we usually do with him today as he's a trick or treat baby *grin* but with him having to leave for work we did it a day early and tonight we had our family ghouly food party :)

I spent the morning creating eyeballs out of radishes and olives, mixing up a pungent yet tasty 'rotten' cheese log, and figuring out how to make my own black sanding sugar :)

Halloween drinks

I always have a fun drink for the kids and this year it was an orange juice spritzer with a touch of grenadine to give it a nice red color and then added a couple extra touches with the black sanding sugar and black twizzler garnishes.

Eyeball soup

We had our rotten cheese spread with crackers and radish eyeballs for our appetizer and then a main course of eyeball soup for our entree *grin*. Oh my goodness was it hilarious! I didn't tell anyone that I had popped in some bocconcini cheese balls with little olive irises and as they slurped up their soup, one by one they discovered these odd little lumps in their soup bowls!

Mmm, tasty eyeball soup

Everyone was brave enough to try them except for my daughter. Even though I assured her that they were just cheese she refused to eat them LOL. They actually were delicious in the soup as they sort of melted in the heat :)

Monster Candy Apples

It is a Halloween tradition for me to take the kids to the Rocky Mountain chocolate factory in the city just before Halloween and let them pick out their favorite candy apple. They make the most AMAZING apples with fun faces, sticky sweet caramel topped with chocolate and the perfect tart granny smith apples inside :)

Halloween Candy Apples

Since we don't go out trick or treating this is my special little treat for them. Plus it's half healthy with that giant apple in there right?!

I hope you all had a wonderful evening whether you go out trick or treating, celebrate Samhain, honor the earth for the fall bounty it provides or don't do Halloween at all. Whichever you did I hope you had a lovely time :)


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Halloween Style

carving pumpkins

It was all about Halloween today :)
We started our day with a hunt for fireworks which we successfully located at the nearby corner store and then headed home to tackle our pumpkins. I had been waiting until the last day to carve them as we have a bear around our property right now and I didn't want to draw him close to the house with the smell of fresh pumpkin *grin*.

The Boo Crew

All three of the children had their very own pumpkin and as they plucked out innards I sifted through the bits for seeds to roast for munching on later. I just love roasted pumpkin seeds :) It was great to watch them carve and the scary faces take shape. My little guy insisted on trying to carve his with a butter knife because mama isn't quite ready to let him wield a sharper knife just yet but in the end he had to enlist the help of daddy because his knife just wasn't getting the job done LOL.

Eye of Newt

Halloween happens to by Hubby's birthday as well but he has to leave for work tomorrow so we decided to celebrate his birthday today so that he wouldn't miss out on some of the Halloween fun :) I had quite a few different plans for ghouly food and waaay to much for just one meal so we decided to keep it a little tamer for daddy as he's not so crazy about 'eye of newt' juice and some of the other things I like to make for the kids *grin*. So tomorrow we are going to have a second party with eye ball soup, rotten cheese spread and more! Oh do I love halloween meals :)

Happy Birthday

So we kept it tame for daddy and had roast zombie leg (pork roast), mashed brain with bat blood (mashed potato & cranberry sauce) , vegetables and eye of newt juice (lemonade with tapioca pearls). I just couldn't help myself but call everything crazy names and the kids loved it :) Of course that led in to some, um, very interesting dinner conversation as my oldest wanted to discuss just how do you kill a zombie *grin*.

Give me cake

Hubby loves ice cream cake so much that he had the kids quite convinced that he wasn't going to share. You can see from the photo that he was doing a pretty good job as he attacked the cake with his fork!


To end our birthday celebrations we shot off all of our fireworks and I think startled the neighbors LOL. After the first couple of ear shattering bangs we could see a spotlight pop on down the road as they checked out just what was happening up our neck of the woods *grin*. The kids didn't want daddy to miss out on any of the fun so who could say no!

He's another year older and even more loved than the year before :)
Happy Birthday Hub-a-licious *grin*.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Holiday Package Ready To Ship

stumpwork nature scene


All finished :) My little holiday ornament turned out even better than I could have hoped and I'm seriously going to have to make one for myself now *grin*.

PP5 Holiday Potholder Swap

Here is everything that I'm sending to my secret swap partner for the holiday edition of the potholder pass. Both of the potholders have the appliqued bird design on the front and the candy cane striping for the backing. I wasn't sure how I was going to add the potholder hooks but I decided on using red rik rak and embellished them with a tiny red heart and to accompany the potholders is my little stumpwork ornament.

I sure hope my partner will enjoy it as much as I did making it for her :) The whole package is all wrapped up and ready to be dropped off at the post office tomorrow morning and I can't wait to see what I get *grin*.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nature's Larder

Nature's Larder

I've been putting the finishing touches on my special stumpwork ornament that I'm giving to my Potholder Pass partner :) I had mentioned in my last update that it was out of one of my older inspiration magazines and here is a photo of what the original projects look like. Aren't they amazing?! Mine is considerably larger since it is an ornament for a Christmas tree but these ones are not even 2 inches in diameter.

stumpwork nature scene

Everything has to be in the mail by Sunday and I'm right on track to get it all shipped by the last day LOL. So much for this being the fastest swap I've ever completed! Somewhere along the way I got sidetracked... thus is my life *grin*.

The above photo shows a side view of the raspberry that is covered completely in french knots and the accented with little beads :)

stumpwork nature scene

For the leaves I used a special satin floss that sort of shimmers depending on how the light hits it. It's a DMC floss number S700 and I think that it gave the whole project the little extra glitz that I was looking for :)

So tonight I'm going to finish attaching my little red berries that are awaiting me all pinned in place and figure out exactly how to anchor my acorn without shifting the satin threads surrounding it. I find that the instructions in the magazine are a little vague which makes finishing the project a little tougher but it's coming together nicely and tomorrow I should have a completed photo to show you along with the potholders that are finished to :) Yay!! Then I can move on to new projects *grin*.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

right now, I AM

right now I am

....savoring the sweet moments I just had with my youngest baby this evening as we shared the enchanting scenes and sweet poems from one of Salley Mavor's books full of three dimensional felt people and scenery. The pictures provided prompts for such wonderful questions and a much needed snuggle at the end of a busy day :)


right now I AM
Click the frog to learn more!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A New Bed For The Boy

k's new bed

My husband loves to make things just as much as I do and has a real passion for woodworking :) He started making beds last spring when my youngest started to escape his crib and was in need of a big boy bed and now it's my oldest sons turn for a new bed.

k's new bed

To make each bed special for the boys he monograms their first initial on the headboard with a router and I think it's such a neat thing for the kids to have a bed that is uniquely their own :)

K's new bed

Hubby is making K's out of rough spruce lumber and he builds them with a slat bottom so that the mattress can be set right upon them and then there is no need to purchase a box spring. It makes a nice high bed to :) All that's left is some more router work on the posts, sanding and a finishing coat of clear stain so that it will keep it's beautiful natural look. They're definitely skookum and can stand up to boyish rough and tumble play *grin*.

My little girl is just about ready to move out of her toddler bed so I've got some girly bed plans that I'm going to get hubby to look at next.... maybe I'll get him to put her initial in a heart :)


Monday, October 25, 2010

Loving My Wool Dryer Ball

wool dryer ball

Last week I bought my very first wool dryer ball and I'm LOVING it :) I stopped purchasing dryer sheets a while ago but I'm not to fond of static cling and frizzy hair *grin* so I knew I was going to have to replace them with something! I had heard about a nearby shop that was selling them so I thought that I would check them out and see what all the buzz is about.

There were two choices to pick from. There were ones that were made of tightly wound wool yarn that had been washed to felt it and there were the fancier ones like mine above that had a wound yarn inner core and then had a solid needle felted cover with different motifs on them. Longevity wise the needle felted one like the one I purchased is thought to last longer over the years and I do a ton of laundry so I opted for it, plus I'm a sucker for owls *grin*.

wool dryer ball

They work by bouncing around in your dryer and helping to move your clothing more and incorporate the warm air throughout the wet clothing thus cutting your drying time considerably. It is suggested that you use anywhere from 3 - 6 dryer balls in your load to increase their efficiency. With all of that bouncing around in there it also helps to soften your clothing taking out wrinkles and any stiffness thus taking the place of your dryer sheet!

So far I only have 1 and I'm going to pick up another 2 or 3 of them in the next couple of weeks but so far I've noticed that the static electricity is not as bad. So with more of them I should be static free and using less electricity. That's a big plus in my books *grin*. Most of them come unscented and you can drop a few drops of your favorite essential oils onto them and they will infuse your laundry with lovely floral scents without all of the harsh chemicals. I've scented mine with lavender essential oil right now and when the scent disappears I can either put more lavender or switch it up :)

Mosaic ~ Wool dryer balls

1. ElasIdea 2. BuddhaBunz 3. BuddhaBunz
4. FiberOptions 5. LittleFriendsbySarah
6. DomesticallyGreen

You've got to love Etsy! Here are some of my favorites that I came across while searching for the dryer balls. They come in a varying range of sizes, prices and materials that they are made with and I thought this would give you a start on finding some that you love to :)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Sunday

Photo Book Site

Hello everyone :)
I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend! Hubby took the kids and I on a day trip down island yesterday and we had a chance to hit Costco. Hooray for the big city *grin*. I picked up some great deals on kids clothing and groceries and I've finally got a new snow suit for each of the children. I've been buying a little at a time for quite a few months now so that I wouldn't be bombarded with a giant bill for winter wear when the snow starts :)

I wanted to share with you a neat freebie that I learned about today! Picaboo is a website that lets you create your own photo books to have printed and I have been dying to try making one since most of my photos these days just end up on my computer hard drive. I seriously love the digital age but for some reason it has got in the way of actually getting printed photos into my hands :(

So when I learned they were letting new members create a 20 page photo book for FREE I was all over it! When you go to their website you have to download a program called BookGenie and it compiles all of your photos categorically by date which is fantastic. 8000 photos later I have just got it up and running and there are a couple of choices that you have when creating your book. You can either have the BookGenie compile a book for you by date, season, holiday etc. or you can opt to make your own which was what I'm doing. I have a lot of blog photos on my hard drive which are of craft projects and my children with no faces *grin* so when the BookGenie compiled a book for me it had a lot of those photos which really don't work so well for a family photo book. But when you choose to create your own it lets you go through your photo files and pick and choose the photos you like and then it loads it like in the photo I shared above with the book layout and all of your photos at the bottom so that you can just drop and drag them into the pages.

So far I am loving how easy this is! There are tons of page layouts, you can layer photos on top of photos, flip them if they aren't oriented the right way, zoom, twist them off kilter, add captions and so on. I've been having a blast adding captions and little poems to each page. It's like scrapbooking without all of the supplies!!

You have until midnight tomorrow night to create an 8.5 x 11 book with 20 pages of photos for free. I know it's not much time but if I had known earlier I definitely would have told you :) So head over to the Picaboo Fall Book Promo and get started. I can't wait to see what it all looks like printed!!!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Colors

fall colors

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

~ Emily Dickinson

I love the visual plethora that is fall with it's brightly colored crimsons, oranges and yellows. It's a feast for all of your senses. The sound of crunching leaves, the smell of wood fires, the touch of icy wind upon your cheeks, the flavors of pumpkin pies and harvest squash all molded into one lovely eye popping season of stunning color. Here are some of my fall photos from the last couple of days :)

Hubby's pumpkin

Hubby just can't seem to get enough of the miniature pumpkins even though I keep insisting that they won't be much fun to carve *grin*.

purple fairy club

Marveling in mother natures ability to create something as odd yet enchanting as the Purple Fairy Club mushroom.


Munching on the what's left of the grapes after the bear raided them the other night.

fall fun

Taking advantage of the dry days that are coming less and less and watching the kids roar around on their bicycles.

This time of year just beckons to be explored. We have been keeping our eyes open for woolly bear caterpillars, orange fairy cup fungi and others and the chance to pick wild mushrooms like chanterelles for soups and stews :) Summer has it's own special moments but the cooler months are much more dear to me.

How about you, what is your favorite part of fall?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Shamrock Farm

I can't believe we're nearing the end of October and that it was already time for our annual trip to Shamrock Farms for our pumpkin hunt!!

Pumpkin Hunt

As we turned off the road and onto their dirt driveway our truck was flanked by fences topped with miniature pumpkins and gourds :)

Pumpkin Hunt

Big brother decided that he would be in charge of our wagon and off we went with it full of children *grin*. It was the strangest weather to. The fog had been sitting in the valley all day and it actually seemed quite fitting for a Halloween pumpkin hunt :)

Pumpkin Hunt

As soon as we got to the pumpkins the kids were off and running in all directions.

Pumpkin Hunt

I think that the enormous choice of pumpkins was nearly to much for them as they scattered in search of the perfect one.


As we looked for ones that would be good for carving, not to green and without any rotten spots...

Get this one... it's the cheapest!

Hubby searched for the tiniest one that he could find. Why you might ask... because it would be the CHEAPEST!!! Haha, what a funny guy. Not!

Pumpkin Hunt

Finally we were loaded with 3 beauties and off we went to have them weighed.

Haunted House display

The great thing about Shamrock farm is that it's not just a u-pick pumpkin patch, but there is a bit of a haunted house inside the barn with oodles of scary pumpkins, skeletons, bats and a warty witches room full of creepy things :) The kids always love checking it all out. If you hop over to my flickr page later you can see more of the farm to.

Feeding Chickens

The fun didn't stop inside the barn either! Outside are chickens to feed and turkeys, geese and goats to watch. It's such a fun place to spend a bit of your afternoon and part of our Halloween tradition. We don't actually go out trick or treating but it is my husband's birthday on Halloween so we always have a great party with carved pumpkins and creepy foods. It's so much fun :)

I think I'm going to hunt down some fireworks for this year to. When my youngest two were smaller they always cried when they went off but I think they're old enough to actually enjoy it this year *grin*. How about you. What do you do for Halloween?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

right now, I AM


....thinking about our pet geese we used to have.
I saw the above fella today and it reminded me of when the kids and I raised a flock of beautiful white Embden geese a number of years ago and over time we slowly got down to our one very big male named Tom and when he passed away I missed his honking and welcoming hisses terribly. Such striking animals and are just like watch dogs. You never made it past the front gate without old Tom alerting us *grin*. I used to joke that we really had no need for a dog because all we had to do was let the geese loose and no one dared come near LOL. I think we're going to add some goslings to our spring chick order :)


right now I AM
Click the frog to learn more!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Acorn Goodness

stumpwork acorn

My little stumpwork acorn turned out fabulous!! I was a little worried that the threads I wrapped the felt core with were looking a little disheveled but I think it turned out pretty good for a first go at this kind of needle work *grin*.

stumpwork acorn

The pattern called for hand stitching around the top of the thread acorn to create the cap but as it happens I have a cup full of dried acorns from last fall :) So I pried apart a few of them taking the nuts out of their caps until I found one that was a perfect fit. With my trusty rusty glue gun I glued the cap on.

leaf frame

LOVE it!! My mom is working on some leaf collages that she's framing and we were playing around tonight with them and my little acorn fit in just perfectly. You know what that means though... yup, she wants one to *grin*.

stumpwork acorn

I think I'm going to have to make LOTS more *grin*. I'm a little nutty for acorns LOL.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Stumpwork Acorn

Part of my holiday potholder swap requirement is to send along an ornament and in one of my old Inspirations magazines is a beautiful stumpwork pattern by Jane Nicholas that I have been dying to try out.

Stumpwork Acorn

By covering the piece of felt with floss I'm going to end up with a super sleek acorn shape and I've got a real acorn top to put on it :) I've made some little red berries and a raspberry that is made up of nearly 100 french knots but I need some little beads for embellishments. I thought that I had some seed beads I could use but unfortunately they won't go over the eye of my needle :( Don't you just hate it when you start a project and you don't have everything you need to complete it?!

I'm going to have to raid my mom's craft cupboard tomorrow and see if she has anything that I can use otherwise I'll have to wait until I head into the city later this week. I'm off to let my poor fingers rest as my fingertips are burning from all of the pinching and pulling of my needle today *grin*.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Felt Leaves for your Nature Table

Felt Fall Leaves

Yesterday in my linky love post I shared about the great felt leaves I had found in my bloggy travels and today we got down to business making some *grin*.

fall leaves

This is a fabulous fall project to do with your kids :) The sun was shining again today so we headed outdoors to collect maple, poplar, alder, redbud, oak and other leaves. If you plan on using real leaves and not images from your computer make sure you pick your leaves on the greener side because we had a few that were crunchier and they definitely don't do well when handled by little hands! LOL.

Felt Fall Leaves

As you can see we didn't strictly stay with fall colors either. L being the girly girl had to do hers in pinks and purples. Hey it's all about personal interpretation :)

Felt Fall Leaves

Even my oldest son got in on the project and made good use of his boy-broidery skills.

Felt Fall Leaves

Felt Fall Leaves

My 4 year old was pleased as punch with his mad tracing skills...

Felt Fall Leaves

and he was just whipping along with the needle and thread to! I love doing craft projects with all of them. We're nearly to the point where each of them can just see what mama is doing and pick up their supplies and go at it... a few more years and the little guy will be there :)

Felt Fall Leaves

To personalize our project a little more I thought it would be great to embroider the names of each of the leaves right on them!

Felt Fall Leaves

Felt Fall Leaves

These are going to be a FANTASTIC addition to our nature table! Crafting and education all wrapped up into one felty fun project *grin*.