Archive | October, 2011

Halloween Costumes Past

28 Oct

Since we began dating, Shawn and I have stumbled into a charming (disturbing?) tradition of wearing costumes that involve one of us trying to destroy the other.  In the event you and a buddy or sweetheart are looking for last minute costumes for Halloween, here are a few we’ve done over the years.

Pinata and Overzealous Child

For the pinata, we actually purchased a pinata and cut the head off of it and fashioned it into kind of a hat with stables and ribbon. We then took a painters’ suit, multicolored streamers and painters tape and tapes horizontal rows of streamers around the suit, and cut fringes into the streamers by snipping horizontally.  For the child, I just wore a little party dress & sombrero and carried around a plastic bat.  This costume is VERY fun for the person dressed the child (and potentially hazardous for the person dressed as the pinata).

Shawn = very good sport

Tree and Lumberjack

To make the tree costume, I took and old skirt and cheap bustier-type thing and wrapped them in wood grain contact paper, which I wore over a brown turtleneck and leggings.  I found some decorative fake birds, nests, butterflies and vines and wrapped them around my arms and torso.  I then spray painted my hair green and pinned some birds& butterflies in it for good measure.

The lumberjack is easy.  Shawn wore some khakis, a flannel shirt, an ear flap hat and then gave himself a fake beard and carried around a little chainsaw.


Tree hair.

Bed Bug Infestation and Exterminator

For this, I took a night shirt and sewed the little orange spider rings you can get everywhere around Halloween time all over it.  I wore it over pantyhose that I’d polka dotted with a red marker to look like bug bites.  I also made earrings out of them and attached them to a stuffed bear from a thrift shop.  I got a big orange bug doll and attached it to a headband for a spooky little fascinator.  The best part?  I got to wear pajamas and slippers all night.

Shawn got a hooded painter’s suit, a surgical mask and carried around a sprayer nozzle in a backpack.

Bed Bugz.


Cocktail of the Week: Apple Champagne

25 Oct

Fall is here and already I’ve gone into winter hermit mode.  These days as soon as I walk in the door, I’m in my pajamas and on the couch, eating, reading, drinking tea and/or knitting.  Doing anything after 7 p.m. seems more and more difficult.  My goal for this year’s colder months is to achieve a balance of coziness and fun instead of totally giving in to my tendency to bunker down come the cold.  Toward that end, I decided to invite two dear friends over for some fall cocktails for a night both cozy and fun.  These are super easy and super pretty.  I mixed an apple liqueur I got in Edinburg, but you can substitute apple cider mixed with a little whiskey for a similar taste.

Apple Champagne

  • thin slice of apple
  • red decorating sugar
  • heart cookie cutter
  • 1 oz apple liqueur (or 1/2 oz each apple cider and whiskey)
  • 4 oz champagne
  • brandied cherries (optional)

Step one:  Take apple slice and cut into a heart using cookie cutter.  Roll the edges in a saucer of red decorating sugar and place on a paper towel.

Step two: Add liqueur and then chilled champagne to glass.  Add cherries if desired. Cut an inch long (or so) vertical slice from the point of the apple heart and slide on to lip of glass.

Step three: Cheers!

Step four: Drop apple in glass.

Step five: Enjoy.

For more recipes like this one, check out the domesticity page.

Making Curtains

21 Oct


New plan: Unless I get crazy rich or lose my hands, I shall never buy another curtain again!

Boutoinnieres Now Available on Etsy!

18 Oct

Check ’em out!

Make Pumpkin Liqueur

18 Oct

We’re heading to a cabin in North Carolina at the end of the month to spend a weekend with some dear friends. I am so in need of a relaxing weekend and have spent the past few days daydreaming about big meals, delicious cocktails, spring fed hot tubs and fabulous friends.  Seeing as it will be Halloween weekend, I thought I’d trying making a pumpkin liqueur.  I just finished it and I must say it’s pretty darn good.  It’s smoky and rich and cinnamony and tastes just like fall.

Pumpkin Liqueur

  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 1/4 cup allspice berries
  • 2 vanilla pods (insides scraped)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 cups dark rum
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water

Step One:  Add first five ingredients (through ginger) to a jug.

Step two: Add rum, orange liqueur and cooled roasted pumpkin.  Using a muddler or a large spoon, smash the pumpkin and liquid until you have a nice soupy consistency.

Step three: Let your mixture sit for 1 week. Then, use a fine mesh strainer to strain all solids.

Step four: Make a simple syrup from equal parts brown sugar and water and add it to liqueur to taste.  Fin.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page.

Make a Faux Bois Pumpkin

13 Oct

This weekend my betrothed and I decided to get into the fall spirit and do a little pumpkin carving.  We sat on the porch Sunday night, taking turns scooping and carving while we watched it get dark.  It was lovely and I’m quite happy with how our faux bois (aka woodgrain) pumpkin turned out. So happy, in fact, I decided to share a little how-to with y’all.

You’ll Need:

  • a pumpkin
  • stamp carving tools (you can find these in the printmaking section of art supply stores or online)

Step 1: Carve a small oval into your pumpkin

Step 2: Carve a larger oval around your initial cut

Step 3: continue tracing around oval, adding horizontal lines that following the curves of your oval

Repeat steps 1-3 until finished.

If you want to scoop the inside of the pumpkin out first, a candle inside will make the pumpkin glow a little, but you’ll have to carve holes on top to get oxygen to your flame.  Otherwise you can just leave the pumpkin intact.

For more projects like this one, check out the Domesticity page!

Do It Ourselves: Make Playdough

11 Oct

Regular readers of this here blog might have noticed I haven’t been posting as frequently as I usually do these days.  I have lots of lame excuses for this, but also one pretty good one: I’ve been working on creating a new show with Knoxivi, a Knoxville-based Internet video broadcast network featuring local programming.

Episode 1: Dale and Avery made playdough!

The show is called Do It Ourselves, and it’ll feature short clips of me teaching and learning everything from cocktail making to preparing for the apocalypse.  We just posted our first video, where my adorable soon-to-be-goddaughter-in-law Avery helps me make playdough.  She totally steals the show.Check it out, and while you’re add it, like the show on Facebook!

Do It Ourselves Promo

Make Your Own Playdough

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • food coloring
  • glitter

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined.  How simple is that?