Sunday, November 24, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

What a rotten idea

Oh fall, you give us your bounty to make beautiful crafts and tablescapes....

But it's all a fantasy.
Real life = Home decor gone terribly wrong.

My cute squash display just got real
and by Real,  I mean it's rotting.

I unknowingly created a little crock pot of nasty on my dining room table. 
In only a few days my cleaver display began to fog up the glass and all go to Hell. 

I now understand why they sell the fake gourds that I always made fun of. 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Wicked Witch Construction Company

In Technicolor 

First of all I would like to say this was probably the most inexpensive costume I have had in many years.
Everything used for construction and crafting the house as well as the rest of my costume, I already owned.
The only purchase I made were the striped tights, the awful awful striped tights.
(More on that later)

I started with a basic cardboard box that I opened up by removing the top and bottom and left just the " walls" in tact with the exception of one seam.

 I flipped it inside out because I thought the plain cardboard would be easier to paint over than the printed side.

I reconstructed the top of the walls by cutting angles to form the peak of the roof.
I cut out tabs in the edges to make it easier to tape it back together

I crawled inside and used packing tape to hold everything together.
I used an additional scrap of cardboard I had cut off the bottom of the box to create a 2nd roof line on the front of the house.
 I attached it using tacky glue and tape.

Next I cut out an opening in the roof to fit my head through but small enough to sit on my shoulders. 
At this point I also adjusted the over all height of the house. 
I chose to trim the bottom more to allow the house to hit at my waist.
 I thought this would make it easier to move around and possibly sit in the costume as well. 

I cut windows in the sides for my arms to fit through.
Then I drug the thing outside and spray painted it.
I went with light blue....because that's what I had sitting around.

Then I began gluing on my shingles. 
These were all cut from an old Fred Meyer gift box from Christmas.
I chose this because it was a thinner cardboard than the box I used for the house.
Since I wasn't using hot glue, my tacky glue takes a while to set so I also used double stick tape to hold the shingles in place and prevent sliding since they were on an angle.

I also cut out shutters and a front door from scrap cardboard.
I glued some fabric inside the windows for curtains and cut the hem so they appeared tattered. 
Nothing needed to be exact on this because the end product is suppose to have gone through a twister.

Next I started painting my siding and damage on the house.

I also added some moss to the grass line along the front for more texture.

On Pinterest I found a Certificate of Death that I glued on the front of the house.

And there ya have it!

My heels were from Halloween 2005

I painted them with a coat of Mod Podge and dumped Red glitter on them.
Then I hit them with a clear coat of spray paint to prevent the glitter from going anywhere.

Finishing touch -I added a crow to my hair

So, back to the terrible tights.

 I should have known better than to believe that one size fits all would fit me... but I have bought this brand before and it was fine.
 Apparently I grew. 
Of course I waited until it was time to get dressed and go on the night of Halloween to try them on and discover they didn't fit. 
Note to self: Do dress rehearsal next time. 
When I pulled them on I looked a bit like this...

Now, I realize it would have been socially and fashionably acceptable to just wear the tights out like this
( After all, the Biebs does it)

But I just couldn't imagine it would be comfortable to walk around in.
Only one thing to do;
I cut the toes ala' ballet class and sprayed the raw ends with hair spray to prevent runs.
This is why I am wearing socks with my costume. 

In the end it all worked out.
My engineer husband pointed out the flaws in my home building and the lack of realism in symmetry, but sometimes you just can't take life.....or Halloween too seriously.

PS: The entire costume took me about a combined total of maybe 2 hours.
I'm not sorry.
I'm crafty.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

What am I gonna do with this $4.00 squash?

Make Butternut Squash Soup

Since revamping my grocery budget but still refusing to by mass processed garbage at cheaper prices, I have had to work a bit harder to stretch the meals.
Last night I made a delicious Butternut squash soup from Scratch for only a few bucks and it will last me multiple meals.

I looked online at a few squash soup recipes to get an idea of the basic ingredients that go into it. Then I went through the kitchen and created my own recipe using what I had on hand.

Here is concoction I came up with. 

First I made a Mirepoix using:
1/2 Onion
2 sticks of carrot
2 sticks of celery
A few cloves of fresh garlic

I cooked that till tender in a large pot with some olive oil, salt & pepper

Then added:
1/2 can Veggie Broth
1 can  Chicken Broth
1/4 cup cream of mushroom soup ( left over from previous Beef Stroganoff dinner )

Then whisked in:
4 small yellow potatoes ( cubed and roasted till soft)
1 small roasted butternut squash ( roasted and scraped out of the skin)

When it was all mushy & cooked together ( about 10 min)
I added:
3/4 can of organic whole coconut milk ( instead of heavy cream)
1/4 Cup whole milk ( to thin at the end)

And seasoned it with:
3 TBS  Real Maple syrup
1/2 TBS cinnamon
1 Tsp nutmeg
1 Tsp ginger
 1 Tsp cayenne pepper

Then I removed it from the stove and blended it all together using my immersion blender until smooth. 
( Add more cream or broth depending on how thick you would like the finished product)

In the mean time I toasted some sourdough rolls and pepitas in the oven
Then I topped my soup with a scoop of sour cream ( or  use Greek Yogurt) and the roasted pepitas!

For not using a recipe it turned out really good!
It was even better the second day too.

You could also throw in a baked apple if you wanted to. 
Soup is kind of about using what you have to make a whole meal.
I hate to waste food and usually I end up tossing veggies or fruit when I don't eat them soon enough and they go bad.
 I always feel SO GUILTY doing that.
So when I am doing a casserole, soup or even a smoothie, I dig through the fridge and if there is something that is about to go bad, I try to use it in one of my next dishes.
You can hid a lot of foods in things to use them up and get extra nutrition without compromising the flavor of the dish.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'll get you my pretty

Here is the post you have all been waiting for, Clarky's Halloween costume debut! 
If you hadn't guessed it yet, we went with a Wizard of Oz theme this year.
Clark was dressed as a flying monkey and I was the wicked witch of the East.
No, not the green witch that you see in most of the movie, that's the witch of the West.
I went as the other sister, the one that Dorthy's house lands on and is crushed to death in the beginning of the film.

Clark's costume was semi homemade ( Sandra Lee style)
The monkey suit was scored off Craigslist for a fraction of it's $50.00 original price
The vest and hat were hand sewn by Clark's fairy grandmother.
The wings were repainted white angel wings.

Clark isn't really big enough to grasp trick or treating but I took him around with some friends and their kids anyway.
Unfortunately, my costume was a bit flawed.
You see.... I was wearing a cardboard box, which in turn didn't allow for me to carry or even really hold hands with my child.
Steve was working night shift, so luckily my amazing girl friends stood in as "Dad" and steered the kid clear of the street and dog poop in yards.
Perhaps I should have thought this outfit all the way through.....

Our gracious host Rachelle made potato soup and treats for us all before we headed out to Trick or Treat!

On our walk I started accusing friends of passing gas while upwind of the pack.
Then we passed a "Lake" according to the city posted sign on the fence.
Although after closer inspection it was really more of a retention pond slash cesspool...
which explained the smell.

I even convinced Chris and Angela to dress up!
They came as the same person....
Johnny Depp.

I thought they did a good job, even though dad thought this guy was dressed as Kid Rock.
My mom explained, that first of all, it's not a guy, it's Angela.....
Thus making his opinion irrelevant 

My bumper sticker

( Yes...I can drive a stick)

House Costume DIY post to come!