Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Overload

I've really enjoyed decorating for Halloween this year.  Plenty of pumpkins again, no snow, and a fantastic new marker to work with.  What more could you ask for?  Now for picture overload.  Enjoy, and have an awesome Halloween!
An adorable cluster of Halloweenery.
Did this last year.  Loved it.  Did it again.  A witch needs her apothecary.
Thank-you to my baby sister for growing 2 of the most adorable little gourds.  And then giving them to me!  Cuz she loves me.
Pumpkin carving in the shop = much easier clean-up.  Yeah!
A dry run of my Daughter's wolf costume.  Not bad for my first time.
That marker went a long way...
Favorite pumpkin face.  Ever.
3 dimensional cookies?  Why not?
New this year is the bat weathervane.  Love it.
Nothing says Halloween like dead flowers?
Ha Ha wind!  In your face.  No candles to blow out this year!
And here we are all lit up at night.  Maybe not quite as charming as individually lit jacks, but wants to spend the entire evening relighting candles?

The stairs.  Don't you just love rats?

Due to the forecast for too much wind on Halloween, I decided not to fight, (as much) with trying to keep candles lit.  I ran around the house, grabbing every pumpkin I could find, and scribbled away.
More scribbling...
And more....

I whipped this little guy up out of 2 by 4's, latex paint and a twig!


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Sweet Treat

These chocolate cupcakes were a real hit this past Saturday evening after we finished decorating the house for Halloween.  My daughter, who has taken an interest in the kitchen, helped with the decorating.  I stayed patient as her small hands tried to put even pressure on the pastry bag and helped her figure out how to fill in the spaces.  She listened carefully, tried her best and did an awesome job.  I definitely see cake decorating in her future!
Those little ghosties are a Wilton treat, but they could easily be homemade with a bit of fondant and a candy corn.  I was just too lazy and decided to pay the $4 for the dozen.  The colorful leaf quins are crunchy little delights, or at least they were until they sat overnight under glass.  The display was lovely and kept my nosey cats away from our dessert, but the humidity ruined them making the leaves soggy.  I have to say the texture was much more appetizing when those candies were crunchy.  And it wasn't just the texture that was lost, the colors bled and ruined the contrast of the brightly colored leaves against the bright white icing.  Just something to keep in mind if you're ever planning on making a treat similar to this in advance.
Nonetheless, they disappeared quickly leaving room for a new creation.  I think some bat and ghost cookies are in our near future.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Hat For The Cat

My daughter is crafty and has recently taken up sewing.  Junior, my 20 year old black cat was her first victim. 
Dressing up animals is obviously adorable, and other than their scorn for us, I don't know why we don't see more animals in stylish numbers such as this rustic, felted chapeau with a little black pompom on top. 
He wore his new hat willingly for a while, but kept flicking his ears back under the flaps.  Eventually it tilted sideways, covering one of his eyes and even though the one-eye-hidden-behind-a-hat cat glance is very mysterious and sexy, it proved to be too much for him and he worked his way out of it. 
I am sure this is just the first in what will be an entire fashion line for our feline friends.  Junior is our most willing model, able to put up with almost anything for the sake of looking good.  I also think it is fair to say that he is among the oldest in the business, as he is pushing 100 plus in human years.  That in and of itself is no small feat.  Here's to Junior! (raise your glasses please),  To his good looks, good health and good humor!

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Grizzly Scene

As interesting as I found this scenario, I also felt very confused.  I was very happy to see a healthy, well-fed Mama snake in our yard.  At the same time, salamanders are adorable little critters, and I've come to love interacting with them so I felt very sad for this poor, dying one. 
It definitely is not a fair fight here.  Salamanders are a whole bunch slower than a snake and definitely weaker.  The only thing this amphibian has going for him is the fact that he rarely comes out during the day and prefers to stay hidden under a rock until nightfall when the dew starts to settle.
It was my daughter and I who got an unexpected lesson in ambivalence that day.  The fact that it was too late too make a decision about whether or not to save the salamander was a good thing.  We walked away saying, "That mama needs all the energy she can get.  We will save all the salamanders we can from the shop, the garage and even the road.".  And so, we were good.  We placed Mama snake where she was better hidden from our local hawks, because she could barely move herself and would make easy prey.  I guess you could argue that we shouldn't have done that, and that now some poor hawk would be deprived of his lunch because we had stepped in. 
It's moments like this I love to remind myself that I am also a part of nature, and if I wasn't supposed to be there to make a decision, I wouldn't have been.  Humans are way too hard on themselves for their role in nature and the world.  Be peaceful, kind and do your best to use only what you need.  You can't go wrong. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pumpkins Everywhere!

Most people that know me understand that I love the Fall and the pumpkins that I grow.  Most people also know not to ask me for pumpkins.  That doesn't mean that I refuse to share.  But to assume that because I have a lot of them, and therefore it should be easy to give several away would be the wrong assumption.  The people that I have shared with, very much deserve to be given a small part of my pumpkin family.  To those of you I haven't shared with, either you haven't visited and therefore haven't been offered.  Or if you have visited and left empty handed, well, tough break.
I am very much attached to each and every pumpkin I've grown.  This year, the number grew from last year's 100 to more than double at over 225.  It was still only half of what I was hoping to grow.  There are plenty of bare places in the yard begging to be adorned with a group of pumpkins for the Fall season.
The tire swing path complete with an antique lantern and that little red wagon was the one my baby sister used to deliver papers with.

I bought the 'Welcome' sign a couple of years ago and didn't know what to do with it.  I came up with this idea, collected the parts and enlisted my husband's help in putting it together.  I painted it up, and voila!  The wooden bird was put together from some scrap wood laying around the shop.

The view from our upper deck, down our driveway to the road.  This was the perfect place to set all the sugar pumpkins to cure.  They did so quickly and I only lost 2 to rot.

Another view from our upper deck looking over into the east side of the yard where we have our fire pit in a nice little sheltered area.

 A nicely weathered bench that I picked up at a garage sale years ago serves as the perfect place to display a few specimens.  The big one is a 'Giant Max'.  The deeply ribbed green one is called a 'Blue Doll'.  And the others are sugar pumpkins.
A lot of the pumpkins in these photos are very green, and have since transformed to their destined deep orange color.  And since it has turned cold and covering them all has become very tedious, I have moved many indoors.  I will have to do an indoor photo shoot soon.  And yet another when they all take their places for the Halloween display.  I really hope we have mild weather for that day with no snow on the ground.  I'll keep my fingers crossed until then...