Thursday, October 30, 2008


Before I start this post I just want to say I am so surprised/impressed that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is being aired on channel 9 right now as I type. Wow! The times they really are a changin'!
I remember when it first came out on cable and my brother and I tried to stay up later
than my grandparents so we could sneak it, but we ended up falling asleep.
Years and years later, it became the reason to head to NYC late
night to catch the midnight movie. I still remember every song by heart!
I'm just so happy (but still a bit shocked) to see it on plain old tv tonight on this
night before Halloween. Tim Curry, I still love you. You fox!
Anyway, the reason for this post...My buddy Kristin nominated me for an "I Love Your Blog Award. " She is such a sweetheart. Thanks again, Kristin. It is nice to know that people enjoy my wee little corner of the world. So, the deal was that I would offer seven random facts about my self.
Here goes:
1. I was raised by my maternal grandparents from the age of seven.
2. At my high school graduation, I was shocked to be the honorary recipient of an award given to the student with the highest score (in my class) on a state Chemistry exam!
3. I am still intoxicated by the smell of Play-Doh.
4. I've kept a diary for twenty years.
5. I've driven cross-country twice. The second time I had a supernatural religious experience.
6. I still wonder what my first love is doing.
7. I met someone in the gym I used to go to when I lived in the city, and we used to work out together when we were both there. One day she passed me her phone number and said in a quiet voice, "Don't share this with anyone."
I then realized she was the mother of a famous celebrity and I didn't know until then!
That's all folks. I also wanted to share that I collect vintage board games and handbags and owls and have begun a small collection of those Keane-like paintings of the kids with the big eyes! Hee, hee.
I'm now going to go rock out by myself to the rest of Rocky Horror. ("Don't dream it. Be it...")
I hope everyone has
a happy and safe Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Fall Crafting

This past weekend was so very productive. I finished many of the wips I had left dangling, crafted some more, hosted a wee chilli party for four, and baked all Sunday morning before the birthday party for our friend, G. It's a good thing I was able to accomplish so much, because my Cub is pretty sick. I can't/don't want to do anything when she is ill, just tend to her and rest myself, too.
I made a few of these little mini-books for G's birthday. They were cut from cereal boxes, covered with decorative paper and filled with scrap. They took a while, but were worth it. Oh Gosh, there are my dirty hands again! Sorry! I'm a Taurus/Wood-Horse(Chinese Astrology). Basically, I should just live in a barn or a mud-hut. I can't help it.

I made several of these button barrettes for G. and kept a few for us. This one is mine and was taken before I shot it with "No Fray Spray." Like the display? Our zinnea (that we have had for almost three weeks now) was a good sport.

And here is the newspaper banner I blabbed about a bit ago, finally on proud display. It was so much fun to make. There will be more in the future.
I did the needlepoint of the hydrangea when Cub was an infant. At that time, life was coming apart at the seams (fun pun, now) and I found so much comfort in the motion of the needlework.
Each night, I'd sit on my couch after I finally put her down to sleep, after her last bottle and lullaby...I'd turn on the television so she would not be disturbed. Our apartment was so tiny, huge ceilings with teeny rooms. Anyway, I'd pick-up the project and everything seemed to get better and just settle as I sewed. This piece took me a while, but when it was finished, I figured it was worth framing. Not because it was so good or anything.
I guess because for the first time in my life, I learned that I have
a place within me that is still, and calm, and peaceful, and that
I can be strong even when I am alone in the eye of a storm.
And that's worth hanging on a wall! (Big smile.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A good night

I thought I'd share one of my all-time favorite decoration finds. This is my haunted tree.
I scored it last year at CVS for like, $7.00! The pumpkin base as well as all the
ornaments are made of wood. I like it a lot.
Funny thing, I broke-out all of the old decorations as I uncovered them
accidently one-by-one these past weeks. I just found this tonight as I
unearthed my hall closet in search of my glue gun.
I'm making birthday gifts for one of our adorable neighborhood
friends who turns three tomorrow: fabric and button hair barrettes, three
upcycled mini-books complete with watercolor paints, and some
chocolate scented play-dough. Yes, it will be a late evening for me but I don't
mind. I've got a delicious glass of organic red wine (Our Daily Red),
Chocolate Kiss Cupcakes in the oven, and Halloweentown on the
Disney Channel.
It's a good night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Looking Forward to the Weekend

Tonight, we are "tired pumpkins," an expression I've used since Cub was a wee one.
The past two days have been filled with parent-teacher conferences at work. Cub had a spontaneous after school play date, which is always kinda chaotic, but in a good way. They get to play together and I get to play in my kitchen with limited interuptions. Yay!
Tonight I made the delicious Potato, Carrot, and Parsnip Soup from Bon Appetit via epicurious. Yum-not to mention how good the house smells.
We're excited about tomorrow....

Guess what's for breakfast?
Joy the Baker's Carrot Cake Pancakes ! Don't these look scrumptious? (Photo thanks to Joy, my new idol.)
I love carrot cake so much. I've baked so many variations, but never the pancake variety.
I can't wait. I found them while doing a little research for
a fall-themed recipe for the benefit bake sale at school next friday. I'm going
with the Pumpkin Pie Bars. My mouth waters at the sight of these.
They just look too good not to try.
I'm going to give them a test drive tomorrow evening after the
outdoor "Fearless Halloween Party" over at the Children's Museum.
Finally, I'll get to break-out my pink wig.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Birthdays, Etc.

We have so many friends celebrating birthdays during the fall season. Fun! We had three this weekend alone. I've noticed they all incorporate the spirit of Halloween and that's okay by me. The kids love it. This Saturday, Cub's friend L. had such a cute Star Wars themed party outside in his awesome backyard. L's daddy is a park ranger inside Fort Wadsworth and I am in love with their domain. The house is an old brick early American something or other. You know, the classic square rooms, one leading into the other, with hardwoods and all kinds of nooks and teeny, tiny rooms. Sigh. The backyard is huge and basically borders the overlook of the Verrazano Bridge. I'd post a photo, but I figure y'all have seen that bridge enough. Can you tell how much I like it?

L's daddy, "Big L," is a huge Star Wars fan, so he didn't miss a beat when it came to all the details.

Here's my "Hannah Montana" painting our pumpkin. I don't have the heart to tell her that wig makes her look more like Cousin It, but she has no idea who that is anyway. My weekend evenings are usually spent making something. I was so happy the mood finally struck to make something with those beads I wrote about a little while ago. The ones on the left are made with beads I rolled from a piece of fashion magazine. They were my very first attempt at making any type of wire jewelry. I envisioned a very long, thin, hippie-like earring. I wore them on Sunday and someone asked if I'd make a pair for their friend's birthday. Yay! I'm planning on giving these to a certain someone I love who always wears long dangly earrings. Maybe. Hee,hee. The other beads are from my pal Kristin. I made these earrings and I love 'em. They're mine. I'm in the process of making a wire and ribbon necklace with the others. Thanks so much, Kristin. I'm such a fan of yours!
So, now I'm feeling the jewelry thing full force. I went and bought some more beads and findings and I'm going to start experimenting with fabric, ribbon, beads, and chain.
Once again, side-tracked by another crafty distraction.
Will I ever finish any of the other zillion projects I have cookin'?

Blurry earring, but isn't that little German house cute?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Buttons, buttons

I've just realized I've been on a button-kick since I was a kid. My grandmother had a cookie tin filled with vintage buttons. Her mother, my great-grandmother Calise, worked in a factory in nyc sewing men's outerwear during the years of the depression, so she passed on all the extras to my grandma and she saved them all. I used to love running my fingers through them. I'd sit and "stir" them and it was so soothing to me. Funny, how after all these years, I've never really acquired a proper button collection for myself. Duh.
So, recently I went on a bit of a spree over on ebay and bought several lots of vintage buttons. The snapshot above is a small fraction of my new cuties.
I like to get to know each and every one. I lay them out on several pretty dishes and then I wash them in warm, sudsy, water.
When they are sparkling clean, I inspect them again.
Lastly, I separate them by color and store them in plastic bags.
I have several crafty plans for them:
and more ornaments...I love this one! (Can you tell I'm already thinking
about the upcoming ornament swap?!)
So many buttons!
Simple and lovely.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seasonal Creations

We made this pumpkin bread a few weeks ago.
And now that I have my camera's full cooperation, I thought I'd share...

Finally some decent flicks.
I seldom make the same recipe twice, but this bread will definitely make a reappearance in our kitchen. Today, I dreamed about using my sewing machine, but felt too guilty because there was a mountain of papers staring at me from my kitchen table. I also daydreamed about finishing up those mini-craft projects, but I've been sick the past few days with some sort of upper respiratory infection that comes and goes.
I still had time to bake an Apple Gingergread, though!
(This slice is the pumpkin.)

And here is another version of that bottle basket I shared a few posts back.
This is a little halloween treat basket. It reminds me of the cute ones you'd get at birthday parties in the 70's when everything was coordinated. They were made of crepe paper and
were usually filled with m&m's.

I was thinking this would make a fun and easy tutorial in the very near future.
This almost makes me want to have a kiddie halloween party.
And those candy-corn, btw- were Cub's idea. She's asked me to buy some practically every time
we're out and about. I finally broke down.
Why did they have to be the gourmet variety?!!
They were just tooooo good, all fresh and soft and honey vanilla-y.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The above sketch was made by the amazingly talented Jenny Lerew.
This is what I love about Bloggyville USA: You go to one blog for something, like an Apple Gingerbread recipe, (because you've been craving it ever since Maya's post), then you see something about the recipe being mentioned on this very neatO crafty place and then you find this vision of loveliness, Blackwing Sketchbook. Oh My Granola! I read A LOT of blogs. I do. And there are so many reasons, mainly I am a big-time voyeur, if that makes any sense. There are so many interesting and talented people out there. I love that.
But this one is the cat's pajamas to me.
There is just something about Jenny Lerew, this animation story artist, that I adore. Her drawings, style, snippy writing...So very good. Her other blog, Blackwing Diaries is fascinating and educational, in the fact that I know very little about artists within the world of animation. I love. love. love. her. Go see for yourself.
Feeling a bit better today. Funny, how us humans can adjust to all things, really. Things take a "minute" to process and then we go about our daily lives, etcetera...Blah, blah. Back to living.
Believe it or not, since I haven't been able to sleep since the news of my friend's passing, I've been working on these tedious and silly little crafting projects. They actually have soothed me to sleep each night. Wood disc magnets made from old highly-recognizeable ("American Pop-ish") boxes like Junior Mints, Ritz Crackers, and Brillo have been extremely satisfying to craft at 2am. They almost look like I could have bought them in this shop, a favorite when I was living downtown.
In the wee hours of this morning, I moved on to these birdies, accept they are made out of the above materials instead of oh so purty scrapbook paper. Very cute. I sure do get a lot of craft mileage out of that simple bird template! I think I see some freezer-paper stencils in our future, using that design.
Now off to bake and grade papers!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Yesterday I was informed that a person who was very special to me passed away on Monday. This was completely unexpected. I have not experienced a loss this close in a long time.
Last night was torture. I tried to sleep, but I think I woke-up just about every hour on the hour thinking about her; trying to adjust to the fact that she left so suddenly.
Today, I felt like I was wondering in a daze, going through the motions. The warm weather of 78 degrees in October only added to my feeling of overall discomfort. I want these days ahead to pass quickly.
This evening, I don't know if I have it in me to properly prepare something for tomorrow's memorial. Basically, I'm still in shock and my brain feels too cloudy and cluttered.
So, just in case I don't get to say what I need to tomorrow...
You will be missed

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Want It All This Fall!

Photo and Gourd Dollhouse courtesy of BitterBetty.

I am absolutely crazy for this gourd dollhouse. Isn't it the most adorable thing you've seen in a long time? Hee,hee. Lately, I am more obsessed than usual with all things crafty and edible. Why not share the love?

I have to make this Apple and Pear Chutney over the long weekend. Yum!

I've already made this perfect pumpkin bread and it was devoured in less than a day. It was absolutely delicious. I have photos, but my camera has been cranky.

Check out these great recipes for fruit butters.

How about a cup of homemade Chai tea? This is on my list for holiday gifting already.

I have to make a trip to Michael's when I have a free minute. (Cub has been sick this week, so I run right home after work to give her extra TLC.) Then I will be able to finish up the newspaper banner, which will say "Welcome" because I already have a Halloween banner from Martha. That's what happens when you jump on the holidays early! Also, I need some findings and such for those fabric embellishments I made this weekend, so that I can have a pretty necklace.
Also, I want to get to work on making these clips (and these, too!) for all of the darling little (and big) girls in our lives.
We have yet to make some mushrooms for The Spore Project (see my sidebar), but after spying these mushrooms over at Maya's, I'm getting those paperbags ready.
The list could go on all night, I collect that much. But I really need to do my dishes. So, I'll say goodnight and leave you with a project from someone I have a major crafty-crush on! These gingerbread hearts must hang from our door-knobs NOW. Hannah leaves me speechless.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Some Sugar

Last night I had a crafting party, by myself. It was so much fun. I made this mini-candy dish out of the bottom 1/4 of my gingerale bottle from lunch. Just in time for Halloween, too. I'm going to use a clear bottle woven with black and orange ribbons for the next one. I'm thinking it will hold the candy we'll pass out on the big night!

Today was a beautiful day all around. Cub had her dance class. She's been promoted to the next level, so it's ballet, modern, and tap/jazz. She loves it and I love the hour and a half I get for reading, drinking coffee in the cute cafe next door, or just wandering aimlessly, something I do best. This morning, I stumbled upon a yard sale and I struck gold, as they say. This is after I'd sworn off yard sales and the like because we have way too much stuff around here. But still, sometimes they are too good to pass up.

The goodness included the most awesome blackboard!!! There were two, both were "classsroom" size. My heart fluttered when I saw them both. I took the smaller of the two because I couldn't fit the big one in my little car. It was mine for $5.00, a total deal. I have to re-paint it. But that will be easy. I'm thinking of a funky color, too. I'll post a "before and after" shot when it's finished. For another $10.00 I bought a vintage scarf from the Met Museum of Art, a sassy pink wig, witches hat, a new in box vintage Beatles puzzle (oh, my!), a hotwheels car set for Cub's buddy downstairs, a gorgeous ivory and evergreen afghan lap blanket, and a brand new "Memoirs of a Geisha" gift set from Fresh* brand.

After that, we did the farmer's market, lunch, and library with my friend and her daughter (who is Cub's age.) They used to go to the same day care together and haven't seen each other since August. They held hands the whole time we were out and about. So cute. It was so, so, nice to hang-out with some good buddies.

With the abundance of squash and apples I bought today, I'm planning two different baked squash recipes for the week and Maya's glorious Apple Gingerbread for breakfast tomorrow.
This evening, I'm listening to this voice and trying to finish-up some WIP's--specifically a Halloween themed newspaper bunting and some fabric embellishments soon to be threaded on a necklaces alongside Kristin's beads.

I can't wait to share everything soon. I'm swimming in a million ideas and that makes me happy, happy, happy! I'm finally feeling at peace with the season and dare I say hopeful?

What's bringing you happiness this weekend?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dreaming About Fall Crafting

I am way too tired to handsew during tonight's debate. But I have the little bird mobile above all set to go for the weekend. This project and photo come from the adorable and crafty
Kayte Terry, a contributor over at craftstylish. I have been taking in all of the twiggy/branch love that everyone's been whoopin' up lately and I am jumping on that train!
So many great ideas for fall decorating and crafting.
Take a look at Katie's diy spooky tree and NieNie's elegant branches from last Halloween. May the love and healing energy of the universe bless this woman and her family.

Lately, I haven't had a lot of time or energy for more detailed projects, so these little accordion books satisfy my crafty cravings. They are quick and easy. Let's hear it for projects that offer instant gratification!

I hit up my paper recycling pile to make this first one. I'll play with this basic idea and elaborate in the future. Hello, stocking stuffers!

I made this little cutie for Cub. I adore Strawberry Shortcake. She's my gal. I found an entire role of this wrapping paper in Grandma's basement. I used old playing cards (Thank you, Arlene!) for this one. Another blurry one from me. I suppose your used to it by now!
I can't wait to see what she does with this.
I have so many ideas for mini-books and journals.
I'm getting excited just thinking about what I'm going to make for my loves this holiday season.
...And I will take my sewing machine for a spin this weekend.
I will.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Regaining Some Balance

I had two days off this week, but since having Cub, a day off does not feel the same as it once used to. Yesterday, I was run ragged. She still wakes-up at 6:30 am bright-eyed and bushy tailed. After all, she's had ten hours of sleep, so why not?
I, on the other hand, stay-up late reading, watching movies, baking, catching-up with friends, etc and I am wiped-out at 6:30. It's still dark, too-which does not help. Yes, she is four, but I swear, I've never been able to recover from the effects of the insane amounts of sleep deprivation having a child has caused me! Boo-hoo, me!
Today, she went to the neighbors to play with all the "big girls," and I had a day to just laze around for a while. It felt soooooooo good. I began reading two books we picked-up from the library yesterday.

Boy, that's a small photo. Sorry. Tasha Tudor is a my new obsession. What a lovely sweetie she was.
Her cookbook is beautifully illustrated, too. I can't wait to try her Mac and Cheese and Birthday Cake recipes!
I've been wanting to read, In Defense of Food since this past summer. So far, I'm hooked. I hope with the crazy-busy weeks of school approaching, I will at least have time to enjoy another reading session. How I love my books.
Now, back to my Pumpkin Spice Coffee. Tonight, if I still have the energy, I'm going to bake a Lemony-Glazed Bundt Cake from the Cake-Mix Doctor.
Sometimes, you just have to take a short-cut!