Día de los Muertos

This is a big weekend -- hub's birthday, Halloween, our anniversary, and the Mexican Día de los Muertos. So what if the cake looks like Eric Stoltz's skull from Mask....


Hot Towels

This was my first time using Heat and Bond for applique. It does make for a more finished looking product, and adds some quilted puffiness to the letters. Now, will these monogrammed towels help save a few loads of laundry? Doubtful...


Pumpkin AND Chocolate?

I'm in!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe adapted from All & Sundry

• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 1 tbls baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1/4 tsp ground allspice (I omitted)
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves (I omitted)
• 1 cup canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling stuff)
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons of molasses (I used 1 1/2 T of light corn syrup and brown sugar)
• Some amount of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400˚ and lightly grease a 12 muffin tin (paper liners are even better).

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, and molasses.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Stir in your desired amount of chocolate chips (I recommend a “shitload”). Fill the muffin cups 2/3s full.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out clean.


Shell Loop Scarf

Look, ma! My new scarf. Strayed from the norm and tried out a new stitch -- the Shell Stitch.

Here's a closeup of the pattern.

For the scarf: chain 28. In fourth chain from hook, *DC, DC, CH1, DC, DC,* Skip 3 Chains, do it all again. Next row do *this* in the CH1 space of the previous row until it's approximately 52". Stitch the ends together to make a loop.

Some of you have been wondering about hooks, which to buy, which to use, especially if you're not working off a pattern, which should tell you what to use. Actually, I've only talked to one of you about this, but others may be wondering. So, I present to you: a hook primer.

Starting with the smallest, blurriest hook at the bottom (that's a G). It will make very small stitches and is for very thin yarn. For normal every day items, use an H, I, or J. The scarf above was made with a J. An afghan could be made with a J or K. That N hook is for very thick wool yarn, which I've never even used. Not sure why I have that, actually....


Yarn Pumpkins

Are these not the cutest fall decorations ever? Maybe I'm just yarn-biased, but I can't wait to share this craft with my daughter's class during pumpkin week. I hope I have enough yarn leftover after I make my own tiny pumpkin patch! Step-by-step instructions for the apple version on Make and Takes.


Toy Story Party

Alien Cupcakes
These were so much fun to make, and the highlight of the party.
*Chocolate cupcakes (of course!)
*Neon green food coloring added to vanilla icing
*White chocolate chips for the eyes
*Black icing gel for the pupils and mouth
*Half of a green Fruit Loop for the antennae

The Party Room
Best. Party. Location. Ever! A party assistant helped set everything up and she even lit the number 5 candle for me, which, promptly started to lean and fall over as soon as we started in with the song. The exhibit at the Children's Museum was "games" which tied in nicely with the Toy Story theme. And, for 1.5 hours, the kids got to PLAY. Endless fun....

This was pretty low-key since we weren't spending a lot of time in the party room. We had dollar store purple table clothes, handmade Happy Birthday banner (felt and fabric), Toy Story plates, and some Toy Story cootie catchers* scattered in the middle of the table. The highlight, of course, was the museum's birthday girl chair.

*These cootie catchers were a modified version of draw pilgrim's. Love that blog!


Bum Wrap

I modified the tissue pack holder to a larger size to accommodate.......diapers! At the request of a friend, I made something to prevent the inevitable diaper smoosh that comes with throwing a spare diaper in the purse. Someone special is going to receive this very soon for her soon-to-be-born GRANDSON :)


Montessori Method

We had our first official parent teacher conference at our five-year-old daughter's Montessori school. It was never a hard decision to choose Montessori, but it was difficult to change schools after four years of on site daycare. Due to public Kindergarten cut-off dates, we were faced with the challenge of her needing a new environment in which to learn and grow. We are so pleased with the choice we made. The atmosphere is so relaxed, the teachers are wonderfully attentive, and I couldn't have dreamed up a more inviting education landscape. Here are some photos I sneaked with my phone before today's meeting:



Look, ma, PINK GAK.

After taking a knife to it, she said "I made an octopus!" So, out came the googly eyes :)

We've made gak before with liquid starch, and it came out pretty sticky. I prefer the following recipe which calls for Borax:

1 teaspoon Borax (dissolved in the water)
1 1/2 C water
1/2 C Elmer's white glue
food coloring


Before: IKEA Lampan table lamp and Dollar Store tray.

After: spray painted orange, with removable scrap paper on top = Cake Stand.

Lampshade also received a coat of paint and holds some Halloween decor.


Rainbow Wrist Warmers

Rockin' her new rainbow (Brite) wrist warmers.... I made these in one afternoon with a G hook and some soft variegated yarn. 27 HDC stitches wide, worked a rectangle, folded and crocheted a seam leaving a hole for the thumb. This jam session took place after bath.... I think she'll be sleeping with them on tonight :)
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