Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Haunted Birthday Treat

Is there a better way to spook your teacher than
with creepy crawly cupcakes? I don't think so.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Every fall we try to make the pilgrimage to our friends' annual fall hoedown. It is so much fun - partially due to the fact that they have a gaggle of kids. OK, only don't quite have a gaggle - just five. And let me tell you, they are five of the most wonderful kids you can imagine - even the teenagers. Anyway, my two little ones love going to down to the Reed's because it is always so much fun! And the fun just isn't playing and hanging out with friends, oh no. There's so much to do! Want to go on a hayride? OK, Mr. Reed may just take you on three or four of them.

Are you getting cold? No problem. There's a nice toasty fire going down near the front yard. Head down there to warm up for a while.

Or, you could hang up in the garage and dance to some great music provided by the Easy Idle String Band. If you'd rather just listen, that's OK, too.

Are you hungry? Grab a bite to eat from the desert table between dances and then go dive into the Corn Box. Yes, that's right, the Corn Box. (Picture a big sand box, perhaps six feet (about one meter) square and 12 inches  (about 30 cm) deep and then fill it with dry corn. The kids loved it! The only down side is my friend, Lisa, is going to find corn all over her house for the next six months.) 


Need a break from the corn? No problem. Walk down to the barn and check to see if there are any eggs. And while you're there, stop and visit with the ducks.

And that's just the start. There were sheep to visit, donuts to eat, baby chicks to play with and beads to string. We've been home for a week and the kids are still talking about how much fun they had.

Oh yeah, and I'm still finding corn in the bottom of the washing machine...

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Haunted House Birthday

Our dining room has been a wee bit haunted lately

because my son requested a "Haunted House Party" for his birthday this year. Of all the parties I've done, this one was probably the easiest. I bought two of these from Oriental Trader to drape over the windows, a ton of Halloween spider webs from the Dollar Store, and covered all the furniture in the room with white sheets. (Thank goodness his birthday is in the fall rather than in, say, May.) The banner you see on the china cabinet (it says Happy Haunting) can be downloaded here. I just stitched the pieces into a length of double fold bias tape.

My husband and our friend, Miranda, made my son's cake. Very spooky, don't you think? I think my favorite part was the sugar windows - they looked amazing when lit by candlelight from behind. (My husband found the cake recipe and pattern  here.)

Of course we had to have the traditional new birthday napkins and crazy place card holders. This year they were vampire teeth spray painted silver. The font I used for the names is Magic School - you'll find it here. The vampire teeth and all the little spiders were also from Oriental Trader.

I did a lot of spray painting for this party. Back in July I started searching thrift shops for old candle holders and by early September I had 20 or so and was ready to paint. Each one got a couple coats of basic black and then a coat or two of this stuff in aged iron. Basically it made the candle holders look like they were made out of stone. I bought the cheapest candles I could find, let them burn an hour or two the night before the party (helping the drips along with an additional candle,) and the table looked great the next day. 

I used candle holders made out of wood, glass and metal. None of them were primed - I just went to town with the paint. If you want to replicate these, just remember you need to use a base coat of black first. I tried using the texturizer first - without black underneath and it didn't work.  I used an entire can of the stuff and it still hadn't covered up the original color of the candle holders. So I grabbed a can of black from the basement, did a base coat of that and then used the texture. I did spend about $30.00 on all of them, plus another $12.00 or so on the paint, but I'm sure I'll get them out and reuse them every year for Halloween. I probably wouldn't have spent all that if they had been just for the birthday party, but since I'll reuse them I didn't mind.

Now he's engulfed in Halloween spirit and is chomping at the bit to dig out the outside Halloween decorations. Mama just needs to find some energy...