Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Before we're too old for fairy tales

My heart pinches a little when I look at Drama Girl and all she is doing this year.  She's already a junior in high school.  One more year and she will be out the door and gone.  Every day for her is a whirl of school and ballet and friends and work and studying hard.  Some days I hardly see her at all.

The other two aren't far behind.  I have to look up to talk to Jungle Boy now, he's so tall.  Wasabi Girl is so mature and savvy she could take the world head-on tomorrow if she needed to.

They will all be gone so soon.

Yesterday morning we were driving in the car and Wasabi Girl asked for the millionth time if we could go to Disneyland one more time before our annual passes expire.

"When would we fit in a trip?" I asked

"Mom, the quarter ended yesterday, the rest of this week nothing is happening."

"What, you mean you guys just want to skip the rest of the week of school and go to Disneyland?"

"YES!" "YES!" "YES!" came the unanimous cries.

"But what about so-and-so's sleepover?  And so-and-so's party?"

"We'd rather go to Disneyland!"

"We'd have to share a room at the hotel."

"I'll sleep on the floor!"  "I'll sleep on the floor!"

"Hotels might be sold out.  There's a big Halloween promotion going on."


Here are my three big teenagers, begging to spend some time with their old mom on a vacation together.  How many more opportunities like this will there be?

So as you read this, we're in the car on the way to the Happiest Place on Earth.  My poor husband on a business trip in New York gave us his blessing and is probably shaking his head at our silliness.  We'll get him a new coffee mug.

Just one more trip.  Before we're too old for fairy tales.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My caldron is ready

I got my caldron cross stitch back from the framers.  I like how it turned out.

Lots of beads for eyes.  Special stitches for the bugs.

Dead fish, scorpions, a sickly green brew.  I love the way the hand-dyed floss colors worked out.

The dark purple swirls in the caldron are a little hard to see against the charcoal color.  I'm still happy with it and I've already moved on to my next project.  And my next holiday, for that matter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween mantle

I've never done a Halloween-themed mantle before, but here again I was inspired by Pinterest and the "Pin it and do it" challenge for October.

My version includes a black feather tree, a transferware plate from Disneyland's Haunted Mansion (thanks to a very dear friend who sent me a set!) some needlework and pumpkins.  On the small chairs below are some wool pillow I made a few years ago.

Halloween is proving to be challenging calorically.  I've made another batch of the whole wheat pumpkin spice latte muffins I mentioned in the last post.  And tragically for my waistline, I've discovered candy corn flavored m&ms.  I wish I'd never tried them because they're just ridiculously good.

While doing some stitching a few days ago I watched "Blithe Spirit."  What a great Halloween-ish movie.  Haven't seen it in years.  It's a Noel Coward play directed by David Lean, featuring a young handsome Rex Harrison.  I just love it.

I have a stack of movies waiting next to my television for us to sit down and watch.  We barely have time to sit together these days.  I might have to finish a few more Halloween movies on my own this week while I sew.  Do you have any favorites you love to watch this time of year?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Feeling like a Pumpkin Head

It's been a great week around here, thanks in no small part to Pinterest.

First, Wasabi Gril tried out a pinned recipe for Pumpkin Pie Smoothies.  The result was okay, but not quite pumpkin-ish pie-ish enough for us.  So she altered it.  Here is her version.  I HIGHLY recommend it!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:
(2 servings)

1 banana
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup vanilla almond milk
8-ish ice cubes
generous amount of pumpkin pie spice

Mix together in a blender and add a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Let me know if you like it.  You can see the original pin we started with here.

Of course, once she had a taste for pumpkin pie, Wasabi girl started begging me to make a pie.  You know what happens in this house if you are an able-bodied 14-year old asking for pie?  Mom hands you the can of pumpkin and a pie dish.  She made her very first pie.  Here is a picture just minutes after it came out of the oven:

Didn't last long.  That's what happens when you have 3 teenagers in the house. 

What goes with pie?  Pumpkin Spice Lattes!  And since we were going crazy in the kitchen with the canned pumpkin, why not a whole batch of Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins?

Well it was a whole batch.  Did I mention I have three teenagers in the house?  These are just insanely delicious.    You can find the awesome recipe over at Cookin' Canuck.   Go print it out right now.  You'll thank me later.  This was another pinterest find.  My family is starting to really enjoy my interest in pinterest.

Finally, another bit of pumpkin creativity that didn't involve calories.  I finished up "Blossom."

Jungle Boy was happy to model it for me.  It's the right size for a wall quilt, but it's made from really cozy flannels, so I think this one's going to live draped over a chair for snuggling up with a book.

You can find my pinterest boards here.  Are you on pinterest?  I'd love to come see your pins!

Monday, October 8, 2012


I accomplished something for the Pin It and Do It challenge.  I call it Creepyville.  The original pin took me to this post at The 36th Avenue blog.  She has great instructions for making a spooky village out of dollar store Christmas village pieces.

Wasabi Girl and I got to work spray painting.  We are complete amateurs at the whole spray paint thing, but I think our uneven job just added to the creepy, dilapidated look.

Jungle Boy tore himself away from his latest video game long enough to join us in painting in some details.  We all started as minimalists but then just kept adding more.  It was a lot of fun.

The imperfect black paint on the people just makes them look more sketchy, in my opinion.

These guys are definitely burying something...

And here's a guy with an axe and another guy carrying something suspicious on his back.

We all love how this turned out.  Give it a try.  Great project.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Pinteresting Challenge

Pin It and Do It is a challenge set up at "Love Laughter and a Touch of Insanity."  The goal is to complete some of the projects we pin and blog about them.  I love Pinterest and this is a great challenge for me, so I'm going to try to complete 8 of my pins this month (ha!  I'm so ambitious!).

You can see my challenge pinboard here.  I've got some Halloween crafts, some recipes, and some decorating.

First up?  Maybe this healthy, easy  Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

And who wouldn't want this cute spooky village made from dollar store houses?

Check out the challenge and join in - even if you're only planning to do three things.  There are a lot of great pins to choose from on Pinterest.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Can't Wait Any More

Halloween has never been my favorite holiday.  But I do like whimsical Halloween images.  And somehow, I've managed to make a ridiculous number of Halloween quilts.  How do these things happen?

As summer comes to a close, I put off getting out the Halloween decor as long as I can.  Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas come and go like a whirlwind, so why be in a hurry to get it all started?

Because besides being a season that's busy, it's a season about family, and traditions, and fun, and well, let's face it, pumpkin-flavored everything.

I couldn't stand the anticipation any more, so this weekend Wasabi Girl helped me get out the Halloween decorations and hang the quilts.  I love my Halloween quilts.

Especially this quilt with a quilt shop on it.

It may not be my favorite holiday, but it's time for pumpkin lattes and all the seasonal traditions.  I'm ready!

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