Have you ever wanted to bake a cake or cook a special homemade pan of macaroni and cheese...from scratch? Well, if you've ever tried to surprise someone when you're cooking, you know it isn't easy. The wafting aromas bring people into the kitchen and what's the first thing they do...? Yep, they peek in the oven. But...if you have a pretty linen, you can hang it on the door and have it act like a curtain. Then you can tell them, "NO PEEKING!"
The aromas might still give away the surprise but you'll still have the fun of saying, "Pay no attention to the man...I mean, what's behind the curtain." And, if you've ever watched The Wizard of Oz, you'll know what an important line that is ;D
And of course it helps if the linen is an antique hand-stitched beauty.
Each one of these stitches is a small work of art. Women used to make these linens for everyday use. I guess it was before T.V. and the internet . . . but still I find it awe...mazing. And, I look for special purposes for these old beauties.
So, the next time you're baking and want to add a little extra-special anticipation, try an oven curtain.
It's easy and inexpensive to make popcorn balls. And if you add orange food coloring and a few candy decorations, you can make fun food for Halloween. (I don't mean you should give these out to trick-or-treaters - but you can give it to your family and friends)
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon white vinegar
(I used apple cider vinegar - because that's what I had on hand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 cups popped corn
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, syrup, vinegar, and
salt. Cook over high heat until mixture reaches 255 degrees F (hard-ball
stage) on a candy thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popped corn,
tossing gently to coat. When mixture is cool enough to handle (and be careful because HOT sugar can burn badly), press
popcorn into 3-inch balls with lightly greased hands. Cool completely on
(My candy thermometer was missing - think my daughter 'borrowed' it - so I tested the syrup by dropping a bit in a cup of cold water - to see if it was at the hard-ball stage).
I love vintage linens but a person can only have so many table runners. So what can you do with a beautiful hand-crafted linen with beautiful French knots? Super simple...sew it and give it a new life as a pillow.
I took the fabric and laid it out to look it over.
Then I positioned the stuffing on top to make sure I had enough to make a pillow.
Then I turned the fabric inside out.
The edges were fairly frayed but that's okay. I simple sewed it around the edges - with the outside on the inside.
I love Halloween and I love silly decorations. Here's how I made these scary nails.
I took some French manicure white fingernail polish and painted it on thick. Then when the policy was nearly dried I stuck little wiggly eyes into the polish to hold the eyes in place. If the eyes aren't sticking, simply use a clear top coat of polish to hold them in place.
In the fall, I love caramel and apples and of course they go so well together. But after a long day at work, I don't like standing over a hot stove cooking so this is how I make quick caramel apples.
I wash off a couple of apples and stick some wooden sticks down in the core.
Then I take a bag of caramels and put them in a wide mouth coffee mug and melt them in the microwave (but first I add a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk). When the two components are well blended I dip the apples into the caramel and set them on waxed paper to harden as they cool.
But of course I can't just leave it like that. I have to use cookie sprinkles to dress the apples for Halloween.
And I only feel a little bad about eating these apples because doesn't the old saying tell us, "Eat an apple a day and keep the doctor away..."
I'm thinking of doing this run but I'm afraid...and not of zombies but of being slow, too slow to get away from zombies (and remember zombies are supposed to be slow).
See, I'm not a fast runner...I'm a long-distance runner. So, maybe I'd make a better zombie than a "human". I'm still thinking about it because it looks like fun.
If a person is a "human", they get three flags and they have to try to avoid the zombies who will be trying to snag the flag. But, if a person signs up to be a zombie, they get a make over and I'm not talking a beauty makeover, this isn't a good makeover - it's a zombie transformation. That all sounds like fun...doesn't it?
Okay so I'm not an nail artist but I love to decorate for the holidays. This is a really simple way to do it and for not a lot of money.
I used Jamberry Nail Shields. And it's sort of like contact paper for your nails. You simply cut them to fit your fingernails and then stick them on. You add a little heat with a hairdryer and wah-lah professional looking nails that last for days (okay I should have cut my shields a little larger - next time I'll have my reading glasses on ;)
But these are so much fun for Halloween. I love them.
It's soooo easy to make festive homemade holiday treats. You don't have to have any skill at all and you can bake up some cupcakes - or boocakes - to thrill your family (yeah, kids are easy to please) so that doesn't hurt. But these are fun and not too scary.
All you need to do is bake your cupcakes, frost them and then stick your ghost-peeps into the frosting. It's a cheap way to get a few thrills.
"The Young Willamette Writers will be hosting Suz Blackaby on November 5th.
Suz will be sharing tips on poetry writing. Several of our young
writers enjoy writing in verse and have been looking forward to hearing
from a poet.
Suz Blackaby has
worked in educational publishing for over 30 years. On the clock, she
hones her skills writing fiction and nonfiction titles for the K-8
audience, focusing primarily on struggling and emergent readers. On
her own time, she writes poetry, picture books, and middle-grade
fiction and nonfiction. Her collection of poetry entitled NEST, NOOK,
AND CRANNY (Charlesbridge, 2010) was included on the New York Public
Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing and received The 2011
Liona and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry.
Suz lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family in a lab-mandatory
The Young Willamette Writers is for students in grades 5-10. We
meet in the back room of the Old Church at the same time as the adults;
the Old Church is at SW 11th and Clay in Portland. There is no cost to
join - just show up!"
This Holiday Hottie will be coming to an EShelf this November...and I'll have a story inside so, if you're like me, and you get a little chilly on those long winter nights, why not curl up with a steaming . . .
cup of Egg Nog and a little HOLIDAY SPICE?
October 19, 2013 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Annex, TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont Street, Portland, Oregon.
Erin Fitzpatrick Bjorn will be speaking. This is a free class that will teach you all sorts of tips and tricks on how to become a Ninja...and who wouldn't want to be that?
Erin will reveal what writers and illustrators need to do to find funding...and more. There will be ideas on how to approach librarians and create compelling curriculum. There will be time after the presentation for attendees to form small work groups...
It should be a fun way to spend a day or at least a couple of hours.
I just finished HEFT. It was a book about a man who weighed between 500-600 pounds. It was a sad story on lots of levels.
In the end I liked the story. HEFT was a symbolic title in many aspects and much more than just Arthur's weight. I think the HEFT could have represented the weight of Arthur's and Charlene's emotions and how much Arthur had to change to alter the way his life was going...or not going.
This was a story of missed-opportunities and how miserable life can turn out when you're not willing to take a risk or engage in relationships.
All in all, I think it is worth reading. It's a little slow but the story builds...
Thanks for visiting my site. "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." DC Talk