Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days of Halloween 2012 - Day 31: AHHHH!!!! We made it! It's Halloween!

I don't know about you guys, but the whole blogging-every-day-for-a-whole-month thing was pretty tough - especially on weekends.  That's my family time, you know?  But I stuck to it and we've finally made it to Day 31 - HALLOWEEN!!!  I'm so excited - I love Halloween :)  Not for the creepy, gory stuff, but for the fun, silly stuff - oh, and candy.  Lots and lots of candy.  I'm definitely an advocate of the 50% candy tax on my kids - I carved your pumpkins, made your costumes, bought the candy, dipped the caramel apples, made gifts for your teachers - you owe me some candy ;P  Plus, I can just tell them that they don't need that much sugar and I'm helping them not be wasteful - no need to throw it away...Now I'm just justifying my theft of their goods.  Oh well.  Anyway, thought I'd post some pics of the munchkins in their costumes and the few outdoor decorations I was able to get up.

Oh my word, I could EAT him, he's so cute!!  Mr. Doo as "Dupaman" in his own words ;)

Faster than a speeding bullet!  Ha ha!

My beautiful little Rapunzel :D

She asked for some makeup - and that mascara just makes her eyelashes pop so much - like she needs it.  The kid has got eyelashes TO DIE FOR!!

My little black cat.

Seriously, she asked for makeup, too - those eyes KILL me!  So gorgeous!

My $20 lantern thing from Ross.  Excuse the dead plant - my husband went out of town and my black thumb, aka inability to water plants, killed it.  Oops...

The sign on our front door.

My fun $15 birdcage from Ross with a Dollar Tree raven in it.  My personal fave is the spider attempting to skydive off the bottom :/

Our pumpkins - I did Lightning McQueen, which consequently is why it looks like crap.  B did the other two, and his hard work and precision made them look so beautiful :D

Hope you all have a spook-tacular Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days of Halloween 2012 - Day 30: Caramel Apple Popcorn Pops with free tag printable

I forgot today was the last day I'd see my middle daughter's teachers before Halloween.  So off to Kroger I went after I dropped her off and picked up the following, based on this AWESOME recipe.

Kraft caramels 
Orville Redenbacher Tender White popcorn

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

And some dried apple rings or chips (optional - the original recipe calls for chocolate, I replaced it with dried apple pieces.  I made my own, but if you're in a hurry, you can buy them premade in the dried fruits section.)

I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was in a hurry, but basically here's all you do.

Pop your popcorn
Spread only the nicest pieces of popped popcorn onto a greased baking sheet
Sprinkle the cheerios liberally over that
Sprinkle your apple pieces liberally over that
Unwrap a whole bag of caramels and put in a handled, microwave safe bowl (I used my Pyrex measuring cup for this step)
Add 3 Tbs butter and 2 Tbs water to caramels and microwave from 2 min 30 sec to 3 minutes, stirring every minute until melted and delicious.
Drizzle liberally over the popcorn mix, stir with either a spoon or spatula, and let cool.
Fill bag like you would an icing bag, with top folded down to keep it clean.  Push a lollipop stick into center and ball up popcorn around it.  Squeeze out any air and use a twist tie to close.  
Trim off any long ends of the bags if necessary.
Add some tags.  (I found mine at or if you want them already completed, go here.)
Place in the refrigerator until you need them so they form up a bit.

And you're all done :D

Pass those puppies out and enjoy all the compliments you get!

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Halloween 2012 - Day 29: Cute Scarecrow Applique T-shirt

My middle daughter goes to a Christian preschool, and instead of doing Halloween events, they do harvest/fall events - always fun, too :D  This year, she is having a Scarecrow and Pizza Day.  The catch?  They're supposed to dress in something "scarecrow-y".  You know, plaid shirts, overalls, patches, etc.  But seriously, short of paying a ton of money, where can you find plaid shirts for little kids?  I went to Goodwill and couldn't find anything - overalls, either.  But I did find this orange t-shirt for $1.99:

  Hmmm....I could work with that.  Got it home and started looking for some cute pictures of scarecrows online.  (Google Image search is very helpful for this).  I found the following picture and instantly fell in love with it - SO CUTE!:

This and other adorable pictures from this website

I knew I wouldn't be able to make it as detailed as this picture in applique form, but it did lend itself well to block pieces.  Here's how you do it:

I copy pasted this picture from the same website (but without the colors) into a Word document and printed off 2 copies.  As you can see - it wasn't big enough to cover the t-shirt's design.  Hmmm...

That's okay, I'll just cut a bigger piece of felt and attach the applique to that.

Gather the colors of felt that you would like.

Cut out your "pattern" pieces.  From the first piece of paper, cut out the face, the hair, the hat and the shirt.  From the second, cut out one whole eye, one iris, the nose, and the overalls.  (Since the eyes are exactly the same, no need to make more work for yourself.)

Pin your pattern pieces to the felt and cut out.  

For the eyes, fold the felt in half and pin on top.  Cut once around the edges and save yourself some time.

For the hands, feet, and ponytails (which I added), cut squares and cut slits on one end to create fringe.  Here is what the pieces look like when first cut out.

To get the facial pieces lined up properly, hold the white of the eyes to the back of the pattern piece - 

then sandwich the eye piece in between the face felt and the pattern.  Fold pattern up a bit and pinch the eye tightly to the face felt.  Pin.  You should have great placement now.

Handstitch the white of the eyes on, then go back and do the irises with matching color sewing thread.

Using black embroidery thread (all 6 strands for bold lines, 3 strands for thinner lines.  I used 6 strands, but it also tangled easily.  Up to you...), outline stitch the eyes, eyelashes and little cheek lines.  I left the nose unlined, I just liked it better like that.  You could outline it if you wish.

With either handstitching or a machine on baste stitch,  do a wide stitch along the top of all the fringe pieces.  

Tie the strings on one side in a knot, so you don't rip them out when gathering.  Gather loosely for the hands and feet - 

and tightly for the ponytails, wrapping the strings around the top to secure the tightness.

Pin the face to the background felt, making sure to catch the ponytails underneath where you would like them to be.

Since you're sewing to felt, use a regular straight stitch (or zig zag if you prefer the look of it), and slowly sew around the entire face.

Gradually sew on pieces in the following order - hair, hat, shirt, then overalls, making sure you repeat the ponytail steps for attaching the hand and foot fringe pieces.

Using the same outline stitch and embroidery thread as before and the picture as a guide, outline all the bold lines you would like, adding patches to the sleeves if you like.  Round the corners of the background felt using a cd as a template.  Sew buttons on the overalls. (I totally forgot this step and had to do it last after pictures with Little Miss.)  Pin and stitch the background felt to the tshirt using either a stretch stitch (which I opted for), or a zig zag stitch.  For longevity, you can use stabilizer on the inside of the t-shirt, but since this is for a one-time event, I skipped that step and it still worked just fine.  

Enjoy the cuteness on your sweet little one :D

***I fully recognize that any amount of intelligence or creativity I have is a gift from God.  What I have been freely given, I freely give.  But if you choose to use these tutorials to sell items from, I would ask that you consider joining the Let Justice Flow Initiative, where you commit to donating either 10% of the total purchase price of each item, or designate a specific item for sale where the entire purchase price is donated to an organization that helps fight injustices around the world.  There are specific groups listed to give you an idea on the LJF page.  And feel free to snag the LJF button and put it on your page or etsy site.  Thanks!!***

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