Sunday, October 31, 2010

As Spooky As Crochet Can Be

It's hard to be spooky when you're a little crocheted pumpkin or a little crocheted bat - but it's easy to be cute, and I much prefer cute over spooky any day!

I made the pumpkin as part of my first-ever crochet-along via Crochet Every Day.  He turned out kinda lumpy and he definitely has a "back" (which is kinda flat) and a "front" (which is more presentable)...just like a real pumpkin, I suppose.  

The bat pattern was featured at Crochet Every Day and can be found here.  I wanted to make it for Susannah right away because she's intrigued by the bat in Stellaluna and enjoys pretending to be "baby bat" these days.  She doesn't play with it much, though.  Not because she doesn't like it, but because bats are nocturnal and sleep during the day - duh!  Right now it's hanging upside down from a drawer knob in her makeshift blanket cave.  It'll probably be there until it gets dark outside. 

The Batty Bat song that the Count sings with the little bat puppets on Sesame Street has been playing in my head for the past couple of days now.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

These Place Mats Match These Washcloths

I love dark brown and that pretty blue color together.  It's not quite turquoise and it's not a regular old blue, so I call it "that pretty blue color."  Oh!  Maybe it's more of a robin's egg blue.  No matter what you call it, I like it with dark brown and I'm pretty sure my sister does, too.  I hope so, because the birthday presents I made her feature this delightful color combination.

Just what every gal wants for her thirtieth birthday, right?  Washcloths and place mats.  I'm sure she'll absolutely swoon with excitement once she discovers what's inside that hastily-wrapped present from her dear sister, Megan.  Actually, I think she really will appreciate them because they're handmade - which automatically equals thoughtful.  Plus, I think she's planning on painting her kitchen "that pretty blue color."

I used some crochet patterns that I found on the Lion Brand Yarn website to make the washcloths.  The back loop stitch washcloth (the stripey one) and the sedge stitch washcloth (the not stripey one) were really easy patterns for this virgin washcloth-maker.  You know, they could be used as hot pads, too, because they're made from cotton yarn. 

These babies are reversible/double-sided so depending on her mood (or how dirty the other side is) she can flip them over!  Am I trying to make place mats seem more exciting than they actually are?  Perhaps it is a bit more enthusiasm than two layers of lightweight interfacing sandwiched between your average cotton fabric from JoAnn's with a little bit of trim and top stitching to give them some character deserve...I like 'em, though. 

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Spider Web Treats

When you're birthday is October 18th, there's a good chance you're gonna get a Halloween-themed party.  My thirty-year old sister knows that all too well.  This year I made her a spider web cake...

...and spider web cookies to go with it.

Skip to my Lou posted a simple little tutorial for making the web cookies and that went so well that I decided to try it on the cake, too.  Luckily, my daughter went through a bug/arachnid phase and we still have plenty of plastic creepy crawlies around the house. 

Happy birthday, Jennie!


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Monday, October 18, 2010

A Rainbow of Thanks

I think I mailed out the last thank you card yesterday.  Susannah's rainbow birthday party wouldn't have been half as much fun without the friends and family who came to participate in the festivities.  I hope these simple notes let them know how much we enjoyed celebrating with them.

Before I depart I must give the proverbial "shout out" to one last source that I relied on for rainbow party inspiration and cuteness.  Paper Glitter has an entire set of free rainbow party printables that added some extra cheer to the event.  I used their tags to decorate the favor buckets, the favor bags and the utensil holder.

I have composed this colorful pun-riddled ode (of sorts) in their honor:

Have you red the Paper Glitter blog lately?  They're always introducing new lines and themes.  Orange you glad they offer so many free, cute printables?  Their generosity saves you money and provides endless inspiration for party planning.  I just want to go to the top of the highest building and YELLow "Paper Glitter has great free stuff!"  Alas, my town has no really tall buildings to speak of, so I'll just blog about it instead.  It's true that I am a bit jealous of their design talents.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I'm absolutely green with envy...I wish I could think of such cuteness and then have the technical and artistic skills to create something grand! 

Have I gushed enough yet to convince you to pay Paper Glitter a visit?  You don't even have to be in the party-planning market.  It's a fun blog to just visit if  you're feeling blueSeriously.  You can't help but smile at their sweet designs.  I promise it'll be hard to purPULL yourself away from their site once you delve into you might want to warn your family ahead of time that dinner's gonna be late.

I swear Paper Glitter did not put me up to this and is offering me no compensation or anything like that.  I'm just truly impressed with their talent and grateful that they share it with us.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bumblebee Girl Costume

I took advantage of our perfect fall weather yesterday by getting some photos of Susannah in her Halloween costume.  Presenting...

...and Bumble Bee Girl again.  This time from the back:

I dig the little antenna shadow - and yes - that's a stinger on her rear!  Let's highlight some of the details, shall we?  Pipe cleaners attached to a headband make a quirky and affordable pair of antenna and a crocheted cone shape makes for a non-threatening stinger.

Crocheted leg warmers add some extra stripes and the yarn pompoms add some, dare I say, whimsy to the whole ensemble.  The stripes on the shirt?  Well, those are strips of yellow felt sewn on with a zig zag stitch. 

I've been buzzzy making this bumblebee outfit for my little honey for quite some time now.  It's my first time attempting a homemade costume, and although I did bumble some aspects of it, I'm pleased with the final product.  I totally forgot to put her wings on her for the pictures, and that does sting a little because what's a bumblebee without wings?  She still seems to bee able to fly without them, though.

Hive gotta go comb the internet for some link parties at which to share this stripey get-up!

By the way, the official pun count for this post is 6.

  mmm button   PonyTails and FishScales   I've Been Featured Button

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Spooky Snack

It doesn't get any spookier than...

They look pretty spooky flying across that cheddar moon, don't you think?  Even spookier is the fact that the full cheese-moon is perched atop a mini bagel...and don't pretend you're not frightened by the bit of cream cheese used to hold it in place.  Mwah ah ah ah!

I hope they don't frighten the preschoolers when snack time rolls around.

Thank you to Little Nummies for sharing this idea with a mom desperate for a creative snack!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Cake and Sweets at the Rainbow Party

In the days leading up to the party, I'm sure I had the messiest (but most colorful) kitchen in town.  I am now a huge fan of Wilton's gel food coloring.  It yields the most brilliant colors without changing the consistency of the frosting or batter - or whatever it is that you're baking.  Case in point:  these mini cupcakes.  They're so vivid - and yes - that's a Double Rainbow Guy reference.

This was my first attempt at making my own tiered tray.  I used a wonderful tutorial posted by Julie at Joy's Hope and a metal tray, a glass candlestick, and a ceramic plate from Goodwill.  Oh, and a can of spray paint left over from last year's jellyfish pinata.  I think it might end up back at Goodwill because the candlestick came detached at some point during the "party's-over-let's-pack-up-and-go-home" phase of the birthday.

And, of course, what's a rainbow party without a rainbow layer cake?  Six layers, to be exact. 

There are a handful of tutorials for rainbow layer cakes floating around out there and I chose to follow the directions I found at I am Baker.  It was surprisingly easy, although time-consuming because you have to chill the cake between adding layers - which was totally worth it because I had no Leaning Tower of Pisa issues or anything like that.  Technically, the frosting was not bright white but you could only tell if you were being hypercritical and holding up a piece of white paper to it (or if your husband was using the flash to photograph it).  It was delicious, though, and since I had to use boring white cake mix I was counting on the frosting to make this cake taste as good as it looked.  It worked.  The recipe for cream cheese frosting at I am Baker is perfect! 

I would like to take a brief sentence or two to thank the folks at Twizzlers for making my cake decorating dilemma so easy.  I didn't want to leave the cake plain white but I also didn't want it to be too busy.  The "BLAM! That's a colorful, in-your-face rainbow cake!" was reserved for the interior.  Chopping up the rainbow pack of Twizzlers into 2-3 inch pieces as well as tiny pieces that resembled stars was just right.  Thank you, Twizzlers, for having all the colors I needed in one package. 

I thought outside the rainbow for these last two sweets.  It occurred to me that not everything had to be strictly rainbow.  My theme could encompass rainbow-related things as well.  For example, ROY G. BIV's cousins,  Umbrella and Raindrop:

I got the idea for these cookies on the Family Fun website and I found the best recipe for sugar cookies at Bake at 350.  I'm new to decorating sugar cookies with anything other than store bought frosting and a butter knife, so Bake at 350 was an invaluable resource for me.  It's got everything a freshman baker needs to know, including recipes and how-to videos.  So very helpful!

Let's not forget ROY G. BIV's great aunt,  Sunshine...a perfect addition to any rainbow party! 

These were my take on an idea I saw in the August/September issue of Simple and Delicious.  I love how bright and cheerful they are!  Just a note about candy corns, though.  They sweat.  I made these the night before the party and when I took them out of the fridge the next morning there was an orange syrupy substance dripping down the cupcake papers.  Next time I'll apply the candy corns just before serving.

Well, folks, this concludes my major rainbow party posts.  There may be more random posts to come if I remember something rainbow-y that I forgot to share, but I think I've covered most everything.  If you have any questions, I'm not sick of talking about the party yet, so email me and I promise I'll reply promptly...probably with more information than you wanted.

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