Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Vampire Tutorial

I was totally bitten, I mean smitten, by a vampire pumpkin I saw at the craft store but he was $69.99.  That's batty!  For less than $20 I made my own.  Here's how you can make one too...
 
 
Take two fake pumpkins, one bigger than the other.  Starting with the smaller of the two pumpkins, paint half of it purple and the back half black.
 
 
Paint the tip of a small gourd purple.
 
 
Once the gourd is dry, slice off the tip.
 
 
Stick a toothpick into the small pumpkin as an anchor for the gourd nose.
 
 
Glue the gourd to the face.
 
 
Glue on googly eyes.
 
 
Paint the bigger pumpkin white on one side (painting five buttons down the front to look like a tuxedo shirt) and black on the back side.
 
 
Hollow out a small hole at the bottom of the head (small pumpkin).  Add a generous glob of glue to the stem of the big pumpkin and place the head atop the body.
 
 
To make the cape, cut a rectangular piece of red satin, 1 1/2 times the circumference of the big pumpkin.  Sew a small hem along one of the long sides (this will be the collar).  On the inside of the satin, about 4" down from your hem, stitch in a piece of single bias tape, all along the long side.  Thread a piece of elastic through the bias tape, pull it taught (this creates the ruffle) and stitch in place.  Add a piece of ribbon on each side of the cape where you sewed the elastic.
 
 
Tie the cape onto the pumpkin and cut triangles out of the bottom of it to finish off the cape.
 
 
I had so much fun making this little guy!
 
 
This shot shows his widow's peak.
 
 
 
Love at first bite!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bouquet Beauty

 
When I made my first Retro Revival Bouquet Beauty shower cap a few months ago (prior post here), it was really a lark ~ blending my love of flowers with the practicality of a quality made shower cap.
 
 
I really didn't expect to sell it.  But it did!  And now, several months later, they keep selling, two this week, in fact!
 
 
Hand-sewing a virtual field of flowers makes me smile.
 
 
The fun photo editor on my new iPhone is making me happy too.  Pretty, right?
 

 
Hope you find lots to smile about today!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Homemade Apple Pie & Pie Aprons

My BFF Melanie does so many things so wonderfully.  In fact, I think she's perfectly wonderful, the truest of all friends!


Our mutual love of pie goes way back.  This was us eating chocolate pie for breakfast in Vegas almost 20 years ago!

Despite her perfection, she struggles with making pie crusts and recently asked me to help her.

I'd never used a mechanical peeler before so this was fun.
 
 
We used Beth Howard's recipe and followed her proven techniques.  Click here for one of my prior posts about Beth (she's the true expert on pie making!).


I think where Melanie had been going wrong may have been that she'd been handling the crust too much, trying to make it perfect.


The quicker you can throw the ingredients in the bowl and fluff them together with your hands, the better.  I've found that my most flaky, buttery crusts have come from handling the pastry for less than 4 minutes ~ that's from the time I toss the ingredients together, roll the crust, and place it in the pie dish.  Fast.  Gotta be really fast!



Walah!  Melanie made a beautiful pie!


The crust was deliciously buttery and very flaky!

 
If you're looking for more pie baking inspiration, check out my Retro Revival pie aprons:
 
 
They're available in my Etsy shop...
 
 
...or message me for details.  I ship for free to my friends and family!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Smartphone & Leopard Booties

I've finally joined the modern world and bought a smartphone.  For a good two years I'd been resisting it ~ working from home I just didn't see the need.  Then my old flip phone started acting wonky and last week the GPS in the car died.  Yep, it was time!
 
 
So not only does my iPhone allow me to text till my heart's content (I got charged for this on my old phone), but I can take pictures!  This was the view on my walk yesterday...
 
 
And these are my new pony-haired leopard print booties.  I think they're so fabulous!
 
Yay for technology!  And leopard print!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spooktacular Halloween Decorating

A touch of the macabre for Halloween
 
 
The bride and groom are my most favorite ghouls.
 
 
A small apothecary filled with miniature skulls.
 
 
A mercury glass pumpkin ~ a cherished gift from my BFF.
 
 
A pumpkin-headed ghost ~ see the black kitty popping out of the pumpkin?
 
 
And this little vignette
 
 
 
All I have left to do now is buy the candy for the little goblins who'll come knocking on the door soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall & Thanksgiving Aprons

Fall seems to be flying by just about as quickly as the leaves are changing color here in the DC area.
 
 
And my Retro Revival apron orders are piling up as high as the raked leaves!
 
 
I think everyone is looking forward to Thanksgiving celebrations.
 
 
I know we are!