Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Owl Family.  
I finished the owl hats for Hubby and I just in time for trick or treat.  Peanut Butter loved that we were wearing owl hats too, he was yelling "OWL!!" at us all night!  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Orange Pumpkins

Happy Halloween!!!  Of course there would be pumpkins this orange Friday! Tonight is Trick-or-Treat for my neighborhood.  I think it is annoying when they don't schedule it on Halloween, but there's nothing I can do about it.  We carved pumpkins last night.  The little painted pumpkin I wanted to carve as an owl, but I couldn't get my knife in it.  I took that as a sign and got my paints out.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carrot Costume

Here is a little blast from the past!
This is the first Halloween costume I have ever made.  I made it last year for Peanut Butter.  

He loved to eat carrots, I had to mix them with anything green to get him to eat green things. 
He ate so many carrots I thought he might turn orange! That would have been awesome :)

To make this I laid him on the felt and traced around him.  The hat I made a month before halloween and by the time he had to wear it, it was a little snug.  Babies grow so fast!  

The costume tied in the back and I knit him a hat and wove pipe cleaners in that held the felt green frond thingies. 

I sewed lines across the felt and stuffed it to help give the costume shape.  
I also made my first pair of orange pants ever. 
Luckily you can't see them, they didn't turn out that well.  

Hubby and I wore bunny ears when we took Peanut Butter to 3 houses to Trick-or-Treat. Somehow I don't have a pic of hubby with bunny ears on, I think he did that on purpose :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Easiest Pie Crust and a Pie Trick

This is the second homemade pie I have ever made and it was a success!  
{The first pie was a success too, but I didn't take a picture of it :)}
This crust is so easy to make that I think it is easier than using the store bought crust and it's way more delicious!  The crust is a recipe I got from my mom this summer.  She found it somewhere a long time ago with a strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. 

This pie is filled with apples from a local orchard.  I used Roma apples and it was AMAZING!!!! The crust is flaky and crisp.  It even tastes great right out of the fridge the next day.  The crust stays flaky and crispy. 

The Pie Trick: My Mom's friend gave her this pie trick and I tried it with this pie.  The trick is to sprinkle a little bit of plain bread crumbs on the bottom of the crust before you fill it to help the pie not run everywhere when you cut it.  I have to say, it really worked!

The Easiest Pie Crust- recipe from my mom, she found it a long time ago... somewhere.  
2+2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
6 Tablespoons milk plus 2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons of sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour and salt.  Measure oil and 6 T milk together, do not mix.  Add to flour.  Make crust on wax paper.  I mixed everything in a bowl with a fork until it came together.  Then I kneaded and pressed it until the crust just came together.  Don't over knead.  Split the crust into 2 equal parts.  Roll one half between 2 pieces of wax paper with a rolling pin.  Roll until it is big enough to fill your pie pan.   Fill crust with your choice of filling.  Roll out the other half of the crust until it is big enough to cover the filling.  Pinch the dough down so it meets the other dough. You could get fancy and use a fork or make fun pinches.  With a pastry brush, spread milk over the top crust and sprinkle sugar over the top.  Bake for 50 minutes.  If the crust is browning too quickly, cover pie with aluminum foil.  Let pie cool 1 hour before cutting.  

My Apple Filling:
5-6 large apples- cut and peeled I use an apple slicer and slice each one in half
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C flour
Juice from 1/2 lemon
zest from 1/2 orange
1+1/2 t cinnamon 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Orange Gourds

I love fall.  Especially Halloween.  

I took Peanut Butter to a farm with a pumpkin patch and they had a huge bin of gourds.


I couldn't resist taking some home, they has such a beautiful shape and color to them.


I knew I had to capture their sculptural beauty with my camera. I had a blast taking photos of them.  I took over 100 photos and had to stop myself.  

So happy Orange Friday!  Do you have any gourds on display at your house?
Do you display them by themselves or in a large bowl?  I need some ideas on what to do with these beauties!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Owl Halloween Costume

Peanut Butter's owl costume is finally complete!  I am so happy with the way it turned out!!! 

The entire thing is made from upcycled materials, except for 1 yard of brown fleece!! I couldn't find a sweatshirt or fleece in good shape at the thrift stores. 

This costume would not be possible without two great tutorials that I followed. To make his hat I followed Cheryl's Upcycled Boy Hat tutorial.  To make the body piece I followed Rae's Baby Sunsuit tutorial.  Without these awesome tutorials, there is no way it would have turned out this great so a big thank you to Cheryl and Rae!!!  

He was really not into the costume at first, but then he saw himself in the mirror and started yelling "OWL!!!" Today he asked to put the costume on so I took him outside for a photo shoot.

I added some butt feathers to the body.  I cut 3 feathers too many.  What a happy accident because they might be my favorite part.  Especially since they wiggle when he walks.  
You may recognize the pants, they are made from shirt sleeves.

He even flaps his wings when we ask him. 

This was a labor of love, there are 49 feathers and 42 of them had to be hand sewed on.

We are ready for Halloween!  Now I just need to whip up some owl hats for the hubby and I.

 Here is a little peek at how I made the costume:

              Here is the front and back of the body suit:

The buttonholes didn't go as planned on the fleece.

I followed Rae's tutorial for the body suit, the only thing I changed is I folded over the fabric and made a pocket for the elastic at the leg holes and the top.  If i was making this for a girl, I would have made a sunsuit, I thought it looked a little girly though for Peanut Butter :)

For the Jacket:

I traced a jacket that fits Peanut Butter into a pattern, but I made it a short jacket.  
 the back, jacket was made from a knit shirt.
(i used the coupon pages from the newspaper to use as pattern paper)

 front pieces, you need 2.  I cut it wide on one side so there would be room for buttons.
Arm is cut from fleece.  The arm is only closed under the armpit, then it opens up the rest of the way down the arm and is a little longer than the jacket sleeve.
I also added a fleece edge around the neck of the jacket.

The feathers:

I cut a feather shape out of paper.  Then I traced it onto black interfacing using chalk and cut them all out.  Next I ironed them on the shirts and cut them all out again.  They were sewn on the jacket at the top of the feathers. I used 3 different men's shirts for the feathers and tried to alternate the feathers.  

Linking up to:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Penne a la Vodka

A few months ago I was at a friend's house for a party and she served the most delicious pink pasta.  I never had pink pasta sauce.  What made it so delicious was bacon.   "mmmmmmmm...... bacon" said my inner Homer Simpson.
The pink pasta was penne a la vodka and it was from a restaurant in the not so near by area.
I decided I was going to make it at home rather than venturing out to the restaurant.  I didn't want to become addicted to this pasta and have to drive out there every time I was craving it.  
It is very obvious the ingredients that are in there so I started fooling around in the kitchen and I think my recipe tastes pretty close.  Maybe they use butter or don't drain some of the bacon fat, but I still think my version is pink and delicious! 

Jen over at Beantown Baker is doing her 3rd annual Power of Pink Challenge.  I am submitting this pink recipe to her pink challenge to acknowledge National Breast Cancer Awareness month and how important it is for women to get screened and to screen themselves for breast cancer.  

Penne a la Vodka- recipe by me- Serves 4
1 lb box penne pasta
4-6 slices bacon (depends if it is thick or thin)
1/2 medium yellow onion diced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic smashed
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use less if you don't want it spicy)
1/4 cup vodka
1 half pint heavy cream

Chop bacon into pieces and put into cold pan.  Turn on heat to medium high.  Cook bacon until crispy.  Take bacon out of the pan and lay on paper towel.  Drain off some of the bacon fat.  turn down the heat to medium and cook the chopped onion in the bacon fat.  Cook until the onions are transparent.  Toss in the garlic and red pepper flakes when the onions are almost done. Add vodka and scrape all the tasty bacon pieces off the bottom of the pan.  

Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, black pepper and basil and bacon.  Cook the sauce on medium for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  I start my water on the stove to boil after I add the tomatoes.  When the water comes to a boil, liberally salt the water and add the penne.  Cook penne according to the instructions on the box.  While the pasta is cooking, start adding the heavy cream.  Add about half of the half pint and stir into the sauce.  Keep adding more until you get a nice pink sauce, you may not use the whole half pint.  Let the sauce thicken.  Drain the pasta and stir it into the sauce. Try not to eat all the bacon while you are cooking, or make an extra piece for snacking!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Orange Fish Purse

Remember this zipper clutch I made for the Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! craft swap?  Well my swap partner, Marigold sent me this beautiful fish purse!! Somehow she knew I love orange... 
I love the fabrics that make up the scales, they are individually interesting and look great all together.  I also really appreciate the time it takes to cut out such nice circles :)  Peanut Butter said "ishhhh" to the bag, that means fish.  He was really excited by it.  I am looking forward to putting this bag to use the next time I go on a girls night out!  Thanks so much Marigold, you made my day, it was so much fun doing a swap with you!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tutorial: Kiddie Apron from a Dishtowel

I picked up these dishtowels when I was at IKEA.  It was an impulse buy, I was thinking about embellishing them with some orange for my kitchen.
Peanut Butter and I were making cookies and he wasn't too into it.  I decided it was because he didn't have an apron. 
 So I pulled a towel from the pack and started folding.  I didn't want to cut it, I thought if I just sewed the seams down I could adjust it as he gets bigger.  
This one is still a little big, so it will be a while before I will have to make any adjustments.
I think it makes baking a lot happier!!


1.  Lay out the towel, wrong side up.  Fold a 5 inch portion to the 6 inch line.  This size works for my 19 month old.  Measure what will work best for your kiddo.

2.  Pin the pocket down.

3. Fold the upper 2 corners down and pin them.  
The straight edge in the center is 6 inches long.

4.  Fold the side edges over (if necessary for your kiddo) and pin down. This is folded over about a 1.5 inches.  If you don't need to fold over, make sure you tuck the tiny triangle down.

5. Cut one piece of fabric 2 inches wide and 12 inches long.
Cut one piece of fabric 2 inches by 40 inches.  This piece goes across the pocket and become the ties.
Fold both pieces over so the ends tuck to the inside and pin.  Sew along both sides.

6.  Sew along all edges....

...the orange chopsticks show the lines I sewed.

7.  Pin the long strap to the top of the pocket and the neck strap on one side.  Sew them on.  
You will only be able to sew so far across the pocket and it won't go all the way to the end.  I stitched over the strap where it met the edge a few times to hold it together.

8. You can use velcro or a button to make the neck strap stick to the other side. I used a button, it was my first buttonhole.  There were many practice disasters before I got the hang of it.  I just followed the directions in my sewing machine manual. 
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