Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Whooooo! Whooooo! Boo.

Happy Halloween! We are knee deep in last minute preparations, carving pumpkins and getting ready for the trick or treaters over here.
And my sweet little owl is ready for candy!
He can fly... (you can barely see the tail here)
He can be serious...
And he can be just plain cute. (I wish I had bought his jacket in a 2T instead of a 3T, it's a little bit too big.)
Ha, one of our pumpkins has eaten too many pumpkin seeds already.

I hope you all have a lovely, fun, scary, exciting Halloween.

I will be back tomorrow with a fun giveaway to kick off a month of being thankful!

Boo to you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On the ninth day of Halloween

Ah, we are down to the wire with Halloween. Time to start carving the pumpkins, getting out the candy, and putting up decorations that the hoodlums can't steal!

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
One preschooler (I guess Jack is a preschooler now, right? He is hardly a toddler anymore.) that declared pumpkin guts to be "cheese" and then spent a good hour playing in them. Last year he said that "they smelled." (Look at how babyish he looked last year!)

I've gotten the HUGE white pumpkin hollowed out, only 12 more to go, lol. Those guts are going on the compost heap, maybe next year we will actually get a pumpkin, unlike this year where they all died.
One mega creepy old mannequin hand.

This thing was in that pink bushel basket I bought over the summer. I was going to toss it, but thought better of it. It resides in my Halloween cabinet of curiosities* at the moment, but man does it give me the creeps. The fingernails on this thing are the worst.
A fun two faced Halloween flashlight. I actually prefer the trick face...
to the treat face.
A gooey eyeball in an old eye wash glass.

I picked up the eye wash glass at a yard sale for a dime. When I saw it the biologist in me went "Hey, way cool!" and I bought it having no clue what to use it for. Turns out it is also great for the cabinet of curiosities. (As a small side note, I rarely ever feel like a "biologist" anymore. It's a little weird that that part of me is fading.)

*I use my china cabinet for holiday displays. It keeps all the little things grouped together, dust free and out of reach of kid fingers. I don't know why I didn't think of before Jack was born though, because it makes for really cool holiday displays. There is an interesting wikipedia article on cabinet of curiosities , in case you are curious.

P.S. Ya'll are making me nervous about the Halloween costume. What if it sucks? :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

On the eighth day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
A few awesome vintage die cuts, all picked up back when I bought the owl .

Well, all of them except for this giant cat above, which is nearly 3 1/2 feet tall and is the star of our living room at the moment.
There is the embossed black cat;
The embossed cat on the moon;
And the witch and the moon.

Only one more day to Halloween! How "cosciting!"

I have spent a million hours today slaving over an armoire redo. I am dead exhausted and it isn't finished yet! At least Jack was entertained by digging in the mud. :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

On the seventh day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
A great trip to a local pumpkin patch that we had never been to before. (It's Daniel's Greenhouse, for those of you that are local.) We spent several hours there, and honestly Jack would have stayed all day. Easily the best pumpkin patch we have been to yet.

We tried face painting for the first time;
We saw an awesome O scale Halloween train layout, complete with a drive in movie;
We went to the petting zoo, and saw sheep, donkeys, chickens (cock-a-doodle-doo! says Jack), sheep, pigs, cows and more;
We rode in gigantic tire swings;
Jack rode the pony express;
We took obligatory pumpkin pictures;
We rode tire horse swings;

And more if you can believe it. I asked Jack what his favorite thing was and he said, "So, we had a great day at the pumpkin patch! I love big pumpkins, little pumpkins, train rides, slides, forts, swings!"


Saturday, October 27, 2007

On the sixth day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
A pair of plastic lanterns. I really love the witch! (I have no idea how old these are or aren't. Maybe someone recognizes them?)
A pair of knee hugger witches. I feel so lucky to have found a second one this year!
A set of small Beistle honeycomb decorations.

We are busy watching loads of scary movies (whenever Jack is sleeping, of course), and getting ready to make our final trip to the pumpkin patch. Just three more days till the big day, we can't wait!

Back to the owl feathers with me...

Friday, October 26, 2007

On the fifth day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
A nifty vintage blowmold pumpkin light, found early in the season at a thrift. I found the base first and thought it was a bummer that the hat was missing, but I was about to buy it anyway when I dug a little deeper and found the hat!
A great vintage (?) plastic treat bucket.
And another great vintage plastic treat bucket. This one has two faces, the treat side...
and the trick side. I think Dave found this one at a garage sale sometime this summer.

We also managed to find (finally!) The Peanuts Holiday Collection on DVD . We watched "It's the Great Pumpkin" and "You're Not Elected" with Jack while enjoying our first fire in the fireplace last night. Jack and I will be watching that Great Pumpkin every day now. It gave me enough time to pin a million feathers on one owl wing.

And I had one big "I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants" laugh this morning while watching Martha. She very calmly informed us that her "craft department is on a very strict budget." Hahahahaha. Hohohohoho. Heeheeeheeehee. Is she kidding me? I love the gold cornucopias in this article , but each one requires 10 feet of lametta, which is $12 for 13 feet . Even if you only had 8 guests, you would be in for $100 worth of teeny, tiny cornucopias! (She mentioned this while making glow in the dark pumpkins. Made with glow in the dark powder that is more than $30 a lb.)

Uh-huh, strict budget.

(Each of my little treasures here cost less than a dollar. The treat buckets were a quarter each, the light up pumpkin was 80 cents. Now *that* is a budget, Martha.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On the fourth day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
A rerun. The felt Halloween advent calendar I made last year, inspired by the Pottery Barn Kids version. I am knee deep in trying to make that owl costume today and trying to entertain a busy 3 year old on a cold, rainy day! So I am taking the easy way out today. This thing was a real pain to make, but I still love it this year.
While we are having reruns, we might as well revisit the owl treat bag from last year also!

Ok, back to that pile of felt. If anyone has any brilliant owl costume photos/patterns/ideas, please shoot them my way. I am flying a bit blind on this one. :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On the third day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
Two 1980's vintage Halloween costumes in the box, a lucky thrift store find.
One never worn Ragdoll...
...and one well loved witch. I think the witch is way cooler than the Ragdoll, but since it was 50% off day, I couldn't leave the Ragdoll behind.

These are the type of masks that were used on the pumpkins in that Country Home (or was it Country Living?) magazine. I found them at a thrift that has clearly lost their mind. They have everything in there marked at crazy, insane prices. When I took them to the register the woman started going on about how old they were (is 1980 really that old? LOL), and for a moment there I thought she was going to say they were meant to be $100 like nearly everything else in there.
Jack and I found seed pods outside of his school today. (Black Locust, I think.) They make great maracas. Of course he had to tear into one to see what was making that noise inside. They have an interesting smell too.

And he has informed me that his cute onesie is really "pajamas" and he was not too keen on wearing his pajamas to school. The waffle texture must be confusing.

I wonder what the Great Pumpkin has in store for tomorrow? :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On the second day of Halloween

The Great Pumpkin gave to me:
One little owl quilt, complete with an owl in his Halloween costume!
This idea started kicking around in my head when I was working on Jack's quilt. I know some of you asked how on earth I actually stick to the one project at a time rule, and I am not really sure what the answer is. I do know that really seeing a project all the way through to the end (and in a short period of time) forces me to flesh out all those little decisions that sometimes you get hung up on while creating, particularly if I have another project in mind that is bursting to get out.

I still really like the chick quilt I made back in the spring, so I went with a similar layout this time. And I see immediately from the pictures how much straighter my sewing has gotten! Though I had a small problem of being short on that vintage black flowery edge fabric, particularly in that left corner. But by then I was already committed to that fabric, so I just squeezed a little.
I used Anna Maria Horner's owl pattern, which you can find here for the owl appliques. The owls are completely done with fabric from the 5 inch square fabric swap Jen Duncan hosted early this summer. And every single piece of fabric in the quilt, including the back, is patterned. (The back is done in black and white fabric that says BOO! on it.)

Now I can work on getting the owl costume for Jack out of my head...

Monday, October 22, 2007

On the first day of Halloween

Thank you for all of the sweet burfday wishes.

It's that time of the year again, time for the Great Pumpkin Countdown! Hopefully I am going to manage a Halloween post every day from now until the 31st. Shall we begin?

On the first day of Halloween, the Great Pumpkin gave to me:
One great Halloween porch*. (Idea from Oct/Nov Home Companion magazine can be seen here. If you were in love with that cover, I encourage you to try it. It was fairly cheap and easy to pull off.)
It didn't photograph very well with my cheapy camera at night, but both Dave and I really love this. The glow is awesome, we just want to sit under it all night. I improvised a little, using fabric costume witch hats ($1 each), which I sewed a ribbon to for hanging. The pumpkins are actually those nylon spring loaded candy buckets ($1 each).

Gorgeous sunflowers in a pumpkin vase.
And one great pumpkin party!

(Jack looks a little devilish in that photo, which I swear looks like a Lysol ad! If I could photoshop I would take that noise in the background out.) The party was great fun. The kids loved, loved pumpkin painting (and really wanted to paint more than one pumpkin each), they tore into those tissue paper pumpkins like there was no tomorrow, and melted my heart with their sweet little voices singing Happy Birthday to Jack. Really, it was the best party yet.

Just wait until you see what the great pumpkin is bringing tomorrow!

*Our house is a rental house, and the porch railings are rotting off. The landlord swears someone is coming to fix it soon. I claim no responsibility for the shabby state of the outside of our house. :-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hapde Burfday

My darling Jack,

Today you are 3!
I think that is every bit as cool as you do. This past year you have definitely been your own person, there really is no mistaking who Jack is now.
You've done so many exciting new things: starting school, moving into a big boy bed, learning how to dress yourself, and becoming a very big helper too.
You've continued to melt my heart with your sweetness. (Today you told me your baby was "gorgeous!" in her jammies and then you told me how much you loved her and couldn't wait to lay down with her.) And let's not forget that you make me laugh every day. (This week I love "Oh that is DISGUSTING!" and "Isn't this great?").
You are striving every day for independence and yet you still want me to hold you when you are hurt, sing "You are my sunshine" at bedtime everyday and sit on my lap when we watch Dora.
I hope that along with last year's enthusiasm and curiousity you will always have this year's determination.

(And I hope that I am able to remember that part of my job as your mama is to let you have wings, it's a big leap from toddler to preschooler, isn't it?)

Hapde Burfday my little boy.

With love,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Absolute insanity

Ok, so these are not going to be the most beautiful photos you have ever seen, but if I were busy taking gorgeous photos I would not be busy making an awesome pumpkin party for a certain little boy who is going to be number free tomorrow! Yesterday while Jack was at school I pulled out a few (!!! I know, and I have more, not even counting the back issues in the closet) October magazines and started bookmarking ideas for the party. Nothing like procrastination, eh? And then I got serious about this party business.
This morning Jack and I made caramel apples, which were a little trickier than Country Living would have you believe. I used sticks from the yard a la Martha. Hey, they were handy.
I also made pumpkin party favors, with tissue paper instead of crepe paper, a la Martha. Martha would have you believe these are the easiest craft on earth, and while I have made harder things, as usual her stuff frustrates me to no end. Jack was covering himself in floral tape while I was trying to make them.
We put some cheapo masks on our pumpkins, and it is driving Jack crazy. He does not believe pumpkins should wear masks. The idea was in Country Home (I think) and they had cutesy dime store masks, but, I will take what I can get. Wal-Mart was already emptying the Halloween aisles and replacing them with Christmas stuff last night, so there isn't a lot left to choose from.
Jack and I are dying to eat the apples. All of them. Boy is that homemade caramel delicious.

We are off to make paper mache pumpkins now before Jack is wearing every band-aid in the house (current count = 4). I will be back tomorrow with a birthday post, and hopefully by then we will have figured out what in the heck "the birthday house" that Jack keeps asking to go is?? Apparently it is on the highway somewhere, good luck to me. LOL

P.S. Did I mention that for some reason every time we have a party I feel the need to wash all of the curtains, scrub all the cabinets, clean all the rugs, etc? I will never get all of that done, and I know that I am the only person on earth who would even notice that stuff anyway.