Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jack-O-Lantern Puree

We're having a great day decorating and cooking and thought we'd share some festive progress. 
This year we decided to put all those pieces of pumpkin we cut from our Jack-O-Lanterns to good use. We baked some and boiled some and pureed it all into one delicious pumpkin base for soup and pie. 

We baked some in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until it was fork tender. We added some water to the baking tray and covered it with tin foil halfway through baking so it wouldn't get a skin. After it cooled we cut off the rind and mushed it all up.

Here's the boiled cubed pumpkin after it was mashed with a potato masher. There was a heap of water left in there so I kept on cooking it until the water was all gone.

This is the finished puree. We mixed the two mashed together and added some allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I used the food processor to make sure all the lumps were out and added some good vanilla after it cooled a bit.

Found a standard pumpkin pie recipe in one of our cookbooks and did it up as tarts. 

The rest of the puree was freezer bagged and labeled (notice that the STAEDTLER Lumocolor markers have even made it too the kitchen pantry)

Here they are almost all cooled off with some whipped cream.

What a great Halloween treat.
Sat and waited for the trick or treaters and worked on some knitting. 
I guess it's all over now till next October.
Hope you had a great night where you are.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Well deserved Howliday

I've taken a few days off from the day job for the Holidays.
Here are some of the things I've been up to.

We've started the pumpkin carving. Mom and Maggs surprised each other. I'll post more on the pumpkins later.

Maggs made some very delicious pumpkin seeds with allspice and cinnamon and sugar and anise seed. So delicious!

Mom and I made some lasagna. 

I finished up Mr. Jimmy's socks.

But mostly we've been watching this!
Hold on to your hats folks.
Keep your pets and children where you can see them and put on the tea kettle.
We're going to be experiencing some turbulence.
Good luck and stay safe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Dirty Bunny Mask

Mom did a spectacular job on her Halloween costume this year!
She chose to be a Dirty Bunny created by Amanda Louise Spayd. She is the creator of the beautiful and haunting puppet in the new movie The Maker by the award winning film making husband and wife duo Christopher and Christine Kezelos.

We purchased Maggs a Dirty Bunny pin from Amanda last year and it's been a big hit with all of us.
I mean, how cute are these little guys?
Adorable, right?

Mom grabbed a 250g pack of STAEDTLER fimo air for microwave. This is our go to mask making material now. It's very light weight, easy to work with and it cures in minutes in the microwave.

Mom sectioned the fimo air into two equal pieces. She covered a Jason hockey type Halloween mask she got at the dollar store with a thin layer of the clay and started to carve and sculpt out the details. Make sure the mask doesn't contain any metal bits. It will make a difference later when we microwave the piece. Remove any metal pieces now before you start to sculpt.

Working from our favorite brooch made by Amanda, Mom added in every detail using a basic clay tool set. Mom also popped a pair of lenses out of an old pair of sunglasses to act as eyes for the bunny. She chose a pair that were dark enough to hide her eyes. She put the lenses over the eyes in the Jason mask expanding the original eye holes with a heated up exact blade. Mom embedded the edges of the lenses into the fimo air clay to hold the lenses in place.

Next Mom added some teeth made of STAEDTLER fimo air for microwave in white. She added a lip out of the terra cotta coloured fimo air for microwave to match the face. After all her sculpting was done, Mom microwaved the mask following the directions on the packet. She added a shallow bowl of water to the microwave with the piece. 

After the mask cooled off, Mom got to painting the piece. She used acrylic paints.

She removed the clay mask from the Dollar store Jason mask. it came off easily because the Jason mask was smooth and shiny. Mom sanded the Jason mask with coarse sand paper to help the glue stick. 

Mom hot glued the lace to the edge of the mask and then hot glued the Bunny mask to the top of that, sandwiching the lace between the two masks.

Mom coated the teeth in a couple layers of STAEDTLER fimo gloss varnish to give them a slobbery sheen.

Then it was time to make the ears. Mom cut out and sewed two ears. Each ear was two layers of polly cotton fabric. Next she turned them right side out hiding the seams inside the ears. She put a piece of wire around the inside of each ear edge and sewed just inside the ear to encase the wire.

Mom painted the front of the ears to match the bunny face. She left the back of the ears the original pattern on the cotton fabric. Some of the paint bled through to the back of the ears and made them look antique.

Here she is all decked out in her Bunny goodness.

My Mom's a cutie!
These Dirty Bunnies made by Amanda Louise Spayd are simply gorgeous. They are hauntingly beautiful. I think Amanda deserves HUGE success for her efforts. She is a remarkable artist.
Thanks Amanda!!

Halloween Costume Reveal 2012 Batman and Batgirl.... The REAL Deal

 Well, here we are.
Another great Halloween party and we had a blast!
Here is the result of this years work.

We are Batman and Batgirl as seen through the eyes of a five year old who has never seen a movie.
Our utility belts held balls, disc guns, glow sticks, laser fingers. bubbles, and a drink n box. 

Here are some process pics if anyone wants to peek. We really had a blast this year. We started planning next years costumes in the car on the way home from the party.
Mom won the whole deal this year!
We couldn't be more proud.
I'll post her amazing costume with full instructions today or tomorrow.
Hope you folks are having a great Halloween season too!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween 2012 Costume Build Sneak Peek

Just thought I'd post a quick peek of this years costume build so far. 
I'm not going to post details yet or an explanation of what the heck this part of the costume is because the Birthoween party is this weekend. I don't want anyone to guess what we're going to do before the event.

 I drafted a couple of patterns for Mr. Jimmy and I. I almost always use a STAEDTLER Lumocolor in a contrasty colour to mark on fun fur. Chalk always rubs off before I get a chance to see it. Maybe I manhandle the fun fur too much..... I don't know. These permanent markers always work great. No smudging or fading. I can always see my marks and corrections clearly.

I transferred our measurements to a piece of post wrap and cut it out. Then I traced around it with the STAEDTLER Lumocolor in red. 

I cut around all the marks keeping the tip of the scissors under the pile of the fur so I had less mess. If you use the scissor tip on the fur side to part the fur as you cut the chance of you cutting away heaps of fur strands is less. You get a cleaner cut. I'll have to post a video of this so you can see what I'm babbling on about. It's hard to get my point across. I'll share more on cutting fun fur later.

I lined the bodice so I could turn the edges more easily and hide the raw edge of the fur...... and yes, those are shoulder snaps. I didn't want to fiddle with putting zippers into the fur. It's always messy and usually not very functional unless you add some sort of a gusset beside the zipper to keep the fur out.

I'll post more detailed steps and the finished pictures next week.
Can't wait till the weekend!!!
See you all soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Glow in the Dark Earrings with STAEDTLER fimo

 We had a fun night!
We invited a great group of girls over to play with some STAEDTLER fimo effect # 04 night glow.

Here are some of the results.

Floating Ghosts with rhinestone eyes.....

Look at the glow!!!

Some elegant dangle pumpkins with STAEDTLER fimo soft.

Even a pair of clip on pumpkins.

It was a great time.
I can't wait till we can play again.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Red Pepper Jelly

I was lucky enough to be gifted some beautiful home grown hot peppers this week. I decided it was time to try my hand at jelly again. Mr. Jimmy's Mom makes the BEST EVER red pepper jelly so I'm expecting mine to come in a close second to hers. 

I used this Bernardin home canning recipe for Christmas Pepper Jelly and it was incredibly easy and fast.
It's been decades since I tried to actually can anything. Usually I just use freezer bags and chuck everything in the freezer. I really enjoyed the process.

 It really is a pretty jam. There's no telling how hot and spicy it will be until it's cooled. The peppers varied in spiciness with some being almost sweet and others being blow your head off hot. 

Here are the happy little cans getting all processed up. I was surprised by the little tinking noises they made as they cooled and the lids sealed up. 
It's such a happy noise!

Dino - Pumpkin

Aunt Janet and Mom have introduced Maggie to needle felting. She's been creating some pretty adorable characters. She's made a little green dragon and a blue bear wearing a heart....... adorable right?

This week she made a T-rex wearing a pumpkin costume.......

She's adding the back legs today but I couldn't help sharing this now. 
It's unbearable cute!
The kid's definitely out-crafting me!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maggs of the Macabre

Look away those prone to swooning at the sight of blood. 
Maggs is at it again. 

Another school project in the works and she's robbed my STAEDTLER fimo stash once again. (I never mind her robbing my stash, but don't tell her that I won't have anything left at all!) 

She's creating a work inspired by the paintings of Francis Bacon.

This time she's decided to make a mobile with sculpted body parts.

I almost can't look at some of them. They look painful to say the least.
Her Uncle Alan asked if they were candy..... 

so I guess she'll be using my Easy Mold to make candy molds too.
Time to beef up the stash again I see!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spooky Ideas For Halloween From Make It With Me.

Here are just a few of the Halloween ideas we've shared on the blog over the past few years. There are MANY more!!! I chose a few of our favorites and added links. Just click on the pictures and they'll take you straight to the original post.
If you want to see more just type Halloween into the search bar to the right.