Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’
I finally finished a little Halloween cross-stitch project which I started, oh, I don’t know, probably FIVE years ago!!! The problem with holiday-themed projects is that I only like to work on them around that holiday! So, every year, Mr. Sweet Tooth got packed in with my projects to take to the annual Needle Fair stitching retreat sponsored by my favorite local needlework shop, Needle Delights, only to be put away at the end of the weekend until the following year’s retreat. I’m afraid this little project had kind of become the “mascot” of the retreat and I was getting sick of looking at him. So, I was determined that not only would I have the stitching finished before the retreat, but that the project would also be “finished” and on display with other finished works at the retreat.
Since this little guy will only be hanging up a few weeks each year, I decided that a professional frame job was not in the budget. I had seen another like-project finished in this manner hanging up in the shop a few years ago and decided to give it a try myself.
finished cross-stitch project
thread/floss to match burlap
straight branch or dowel (I used a crape myrtle branch because they are so nice and straight)
Cut finished project to desired size, allowing 1-1 ½ inches to fray. Cut burlap large enough across the top to allow for making a casing (large enough for branch or dowel to fit through). Cut burlap two to three inches larger than the finished project on two sides and the bottom, allowing for fraying.
Fray top about ½ inch and fold over to the back, making a casing large enough for the branch/dowel. Stitch in place by hand or machine.
Center finished project and pin in place.
Long stitch around edges using 2 strands of thread/floss and allowing desired amount to fray.
Insert branch/dowel and use long raffia to make hanger. When the holiday is over, roll it up and store with other decorations until it is time to come out again next year!
Cheesy, I know, but I couldn’t help myself…it is Halloween season, after all! Today we will be highlighting my most recent entertaining extravaganza (this morning!)….Mummy’s Bruch!!! (list of setup and design details shown at the end of the post)
A group of my girl friends, mostly from the neighborhood, are always looking for an excuse to get together and have a good time. Last month, to celebrate our children’s return to school we went out to eat at a local brunchery. Inspired, we decided to make it a monthly ordeal, but to host it at our own houses. This month was our first, and I volunteered to start the partying at my place!
There are two things we KPB girls (yes, we have a name for ourselves) take very seriously in life: 1) our food and 2) our alcohol. Both must be present in abundance whenever we get together…the majority of us are military wives! Most of our children are all in school so this was a Mummies only meeting.
I began my planning by putting together a menu of the foods I wanted people to try the most. I knew I would need some things sweet, some savory, some heavy and some light to make everyone happy and keep the food interesting. After making the menu I tried to figure out how I was going to lay my house out to hold all the women. Today there were 13 of us, but there can easily be 30 or more depending on how many of us are able to show up!
My mother would be proud of me…I decided today was finally the day to bust out the good silver!!! That’s right! Those boxes came out of the closet and were used (the silver, not the boxes) for the FIRST time since I have had them. Probably the first time in 20 years!!! Why you ask? Well, why the heck not? All they have been doing is sitting and wasting space in my closet. You know what I do to things that waste space in my closet? My family does! I THROW THEM AWAY! Obviously, that was not an option here, so I figure I better use them! They were so gross and tarnished and I was NOT looking forward to polishing them…hence the reason why they have been in their containers for so long! How do I do it? Where do I start? Do I need to have hazmat on speed dial?
Well, when I moved into my house the people we bought it from actually left a container of silver polish in a cabinet. I have stopped myself from throwing it away a million times because “you never know when I’ll need it.” And I finally needed it! I prepared myself for a long night of scrubbing and polishing and sweating, and bleeding and aggravated skin. Guess what though? I polished ALL of my pieces in under an hour! It was so stinking easy and actually remarkably FUN! I know, right? But seeing the age disappear from the silver pitcher before my very eyes was amazing. They shined up like I had just bought them yesterday! Needless to say, I highly recommend Wright’s Silver Cream.
Before polishing the silver, I had no plans to do a theme at all. I was simply going to make some yummy (mummy) food and put it out to eat. However, after I had all these beautiful pieces lying around I thought, “October! I HAVE to do a haunted style brunch set up!” It was so fun! I spent very little money making it all happen. I bought the candies webs, bugs, etc. at the Dollar Tree, and since it was brunch, I had most of the items on hand to make the food I was making. So below I will entail all that I did and How to Throw a Mummy Brunch!
1) “Haunted” silver platters and bowls. The perfect touch to make the room look like one on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney. Don’t have silver? The Dollar Tree carries a plastic type of silver looking stuff (sorry, I really don’t know how to describe it) that really would do just fine. I would have had no problem using it!
2) Cobwebs on the wall, tables, staircase, and hanging from the chandeliers. I only purchased one bag at the Dollar Tree and STILL had leftover!
4) Wine glasses. I have had my eyes on these glasses since I spotted them this summer. They are tall, big, thick and pretty darn sturdy glasses. Why so special? DOLLAR TREE! I had thought about buying the throw away champagne flutes to have fun with them, but those were sold two in a pack for a dollar. So instead, I spent 16 dollars buying the 16 brand new glasses I have wanted for a while. Now what to do with my miss-matched Waterford glasses that I never use because I don’t ever want anyone to break them!!!?
5) Three bags of small plastic creepy crawlies (Dollar Tree):
- The long skinny ones were placed in napkin rings with long black paper napkins
- Medium sized ones were tossed around the tables with the foil eyeball chocolates
- Small ones were rings. These I used to “label” the wine glasses. These rings are so small they always have slits so you can break them apart in the back. It was a super easy, cheap thing I came across on accident to wrap around the wine glass stems.
I know this seems like an advertisement for the Dollar Tree, but really, I have become a DT addict! I never knew I could find so many things there that I need, for my entertaining needs especially!
6) Table cloths that match my normal rooms. These really made the silver POP! I found the BEST tablecloths at Bed Bath and Beyond. They feel soft and look nice, but they are totally stain resistant! When you spill something on it, the water literally beads up and doesn’t soak in. Any food that was spilled, I had NO problem wiping up with a sponge. I am SO excited to have these now! And they are made out of recycled plastic bottles. Good for the environment too!!!
- Bloody Mary’s
- Bloody Mummy Mimosa’s: 2 bottles champagne mixed with almost one full carton OJ and a splash of pomegranate juice in each individual glass
- Brainy Bellinis: 1 bottle Prosecco mixed with 2/3 cup white peach puree
- Coffee with the option of Bailey’s or a fall tasting creamer (cinnamon, caramel, etc), also make sure you have regular milk and sugar out for it
- Sparkling water
- OJ, Cranberry Juice, etc
- Cheese and crackers (I had a goat cheese, smoked gouda, pepper jack, and rosemary)
- Garlic Olives (these were torn up…I try to always have something out that people can just pop)
- Fruit and fruit dip (strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes)
- pull the grapes off the stems before you put them on the platter…people will be more likely to eat them
- fruit dip: one small container of marshmallow fluff and one package of cream cheese (8 oz?) – put them in a bowl and beat the heck out of it on high until it’s nice and creamy…YUM
- Brunch Strata (made a perfect amount…two or three more people and there would have been no leftovers)
- Pumpkin Scones/Bread served with sweet potato butter
- Tomato Basil Tart – a tradition of my mom’s…I’ll have to post another day
- Maple Bacon Cupcakes
On a side note….Garrett, from Vanilla Garlic comment on my Maple Bacon Cupcake last night.. His taste buds must have been tingling because I received a text from my sister who is aware of my little bloggy blog crush. Literally while I was in the middle of baking the same dish for my brunch: “Vanilla garlic left a comment on your bacon cupcake post!!! I know u r swooning right now lol!” My response: “Please catch me while I fall!” :)
- Monkey Bread brought by a friend of mine, but her recipe is pretty similar to mine – again, I’ll have to reserve another day of posting for this one, even though it is super easy and quick.
Well, I fear this post has already turned into a novel. I’ll let you go now and leave you to your own mummification. Don’t forget…use the junk you’ve got sitting in a closet. What’s the point in having the beautiful extras in life if you aren’t ever going to use them? ANY occasion can be made special enough to dust the china off for!
Like Marissa, in her previous post, I can barely get my act together to craft the necessary gifts for birthdays and holidays much less think about Christmas. I haven’t done anything, even though I said I would. The husband and I are going on vacation to celebrate our anniversary and then it is a race to the finish where Christmas trees, stockings, and wrapping paper await!
But back to the holiday at hand…Halloween! I haven’t even finished decorating for Halloween but I saw these adorable mummies over in the archives at Inspiring Creations. I ran right out that same day and picked up all the supplies. Then, the supplies sat on my table. I finally got around to making them the other day and they are SO cute!
I followed the tutorial directions step by step with the exception of step 5. I had some distressing ink but I didn’t like the way that it looked when I started to distress the fabric so I skipped it. I am not sure if the color I was using was too light but it just didn’t look the same as hers and I like the bright white fabric.
One little guy is sitting on my mantle, one is sitting on my mom’s mantle, and one is in a shipping box making a trip up north! I love them and my daughter wants me to make a family of mummies!
These instructions will make one standard size pillowcase (approximately 32” x 20”). I have adapted these into EASY instructions from some complicated directions I got for free from a quilt shop in California about 15 years ago. There are almost no limits to the fabrics and colors available. The instructions can be adapted to any size pillow.
- I first made pillowcases when my daughters were headed off to college:
- If your students attend a large school it is fairly easy to find novelty fabric, otherwise use the school colors
- Use stencils to cut out the school/sorority letters out of iron-on patch material; zigzag around to make sure they stay on through repeated washings
- I have also made them to decorate beds
- An inexpensive way for decorator pillows to coordinate with sheets on the bed – pick up a twin size flat to match to use as the fabric
- Use ribbons and buttons to close up the end
- Now I make them for the “grands”
- for holidays
- to decorate their bedrooms (e.g., anything pink, baseball)
- or their hobbies and interests (e.g., Boy Scouts, dance, soccer)
Fabric (44-45” wide) required:
1 yard (44-45” wide) for body of pillowcase
1/3 yard for end of pillowcase
1/8 yard for accent strip
It is up to you to decide whether you want to use something recommended for children’s wear (e.g., flame retardant fabrics). I’ve always used 100% cotton (e.g., quilting-type fabrics, novelty & holiday-print fabrics and flannel). Prewash all fabrics.
Optional: Rickrack and other embellishments
Cutting (or “ripping”) Directions:
From the 1 yard piece, cut one piece 27” x 41”
From 1/3 yard piece, cut one piece 10” x 41”
From 1/8 yard piece, cut one piece 3” x 41”
Press the 3” x 41 accent strip in half lengthwise, right side out, raw edges together (strip will now be 1 ½” x 41”) .
Press the 10” x 41” end piece in half lengthwise, right side out, raw edges together (strip will now be 5” x 41”).
Sandwich the accent (1 ½” wide) strip between the end piece (5” wide) and right side of the bottom long edge of the body fabric with all raw edges together. You can pin them together if you are hesitant about feeding them along, or do like I do and just hold them in place. Make sure that your “body” fabric is going in the desired direction.
Sew a 5/8” wide seam along the bottom edge. Don’t panic if they don’t match up exactly on the other end, just trim accordingly!
Press: 1) seams up; 2) accent piece up; and 3) end piece down.
Top stitch the accent piece to keep it standing up. This is a good time/place to add rickrack or ribbon, if desired. I only add buttons and other embellishments if the pillowcases won’t actually be used for sleeping (who wants a button in their ear?).
Fold the body piece (with attached accent and end piece) in half with right sides together, matching the edges (should be starting to look like a pillowcase at this point!).
Sew a 5/8” seam around the long side and top open edges. You can doublestitch this if you think it will get heavy duty wear.
Clip close to the seam and the corners.
Turn inside out and press.
Taking pictures and all, this one took me about 30 minutes. Usually I make these in “assembly-line” fashion. In no time at all you’ll have a Pile of Pillowcases.
I just had a brilliant idea to make “tooth” pillows – will let you know how those work out (when I get around to them).
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