Monthly Archives: October 2011

Last Minute Halloween Decoration Idea: Ghost Pops

Standard

I never decorate my home for Halloween.  I never know if I’ll be home to pass out candy, so I’d rather not have trick-or-treaters come to my door only to find out there is no candy to be had.  Instead, if I am home, I try to find a way to display the goods in a cute way.  Usually this means buying a Halloween bowl of some kind when I grab the candy at the store.

This year, I thought it would be fun to dress up the candy in it’s own costume!  To do this, I have turned Tootsie pops into tiny ghosts!  I’ve even made a little diorama of sorts to display them in.  Doing this is super simple, and a fun way to display your Halloween candy to the kids.

For the ghosts, purchase some white tissue paper from the dollar store.  (Many directions indicate to use kleenex, but I have found it difficult to draw a clean face on them.)  Cut the tissue paper into approximately 6″ by 6″ squares.  On one of the squares, use a ball point pen to draw a ghostly face, approximately 1/2″ from the center of the tissue paper.  Layer 2 sheets of cut tissue paper together, leaving the one with the face on top.  Drape the papers over the Tootsie pop and tie at the “neck” with a ribbon or thread.

For the diorama, get some styrofoam or florists foam and a container of some kind.  Cut the foam to fit into the container.  Using hot glue, adhere some decorative moss on top of the foam and insert the sticks from your ghost pops.  For my diorama, I used my Silhouette SD and the available designs to dress up the scene.  I glued toothpicks to the backs of my cut-outs and inserted them into my diorama to make it really pop!

Last Minute DIY Halloween Costume Idea: Nyan Cat (a.k.a. Poptart Cat)

Standard

There is only one full weekend left before the Halloween festivities begin!  I was originally planning for my husband and I to go as Boris and Natasha, but let’s be honest, it’s a pretty obscure reference.  You’ve probably just googled it yourself!  Last week, an idea popped into my head that I could go as Nyan Cat.  Nearly everyone knows what Nyan Cat (a.k.a. Poptart Cat) is!  If you don’t, check it out here, and be baffled by it’s absurdity!

Yes, Nyan Cat is absurd.  But it is recognizable, and would be a great DIY costume.  So,  I’m going to give it a try!  Here’s what I’m thinking…

I’m going to start by wearing a black skirt, a black t-shirt, and some long black gloves.  I have some printable iron-on paper, so I am going to print a large pop-tart and some pixellated star-like features, cut them out using my Silhouette, and iron them onto the shirt.  For my “paws” I will iron paw pads onto the palms of the hands of the gloves.

I purchased some ears and a tail from the local Halloween shop and for the rainbow, I decided to get some tall rainbow socks!  I purchased the socks at Sock Dreams in Sellwood, OR, where the staff was super friendly and helpful!  They also have an on-line shop where you can buy any type of sock imaginable!

Update 10/29/11:

I was finally able to pull it all together.  Here’s how it turned out:

How to Make Pop Up Cards: The Pocket Paper Engineer by Carol Barton

Standard

I am an Engineer by day, and a crafter on evening and weekends.  Throughout my life, finding that balance between my need to do technical work and solve problems and my desire to create has been a near-constant struggle.  My little sister, recognizing this strife, gave me a book that made me smile the minute I laid my eyes on it!  The book I’m talking about is The Pocket Paper Engineer – How to make Pop-Ups Step-by-Step by Carol Barton.

The book goes into the basics of how pop-up cards work, and what kinds of tools you need to make them.  The best part is that included in each section of the book are several example cards that you can literally tear out and practice with (see photos below).  The examples have a printed design on the front and clearly indicate on the back where to cut and fold!  It’s a great way to get started with pop-up cards, and a highly recommended book if you think that creating pop-up cards is something you want to do.  I only have Volume 1 of this book, but there is a second Volume that goes into some more advanced techniques.

As with nearly any card making technique I come across, I try to figure out a way to do it on my Silhouette SD!  I thought that it would be fun to try out the shaped boxes technique to make a card that looks like a layer cake!  I cut the card using the Silhouette, but I ended up doing my scoring on my Score-it-All board (keep your eyes peeled for a post about this handy gadget next week).  On my first try, I made a rather large cake, and learned that when making a pop-out card, you should not make the cuts longer than half the width of the card.  If your cuts are too long, you’ll end up with little pieces of paper hanging out the end of your card.  On my second try, I got it right!  See, piece of cake!

Halloween Cookie Recipe: Pumpkin Cutout Cookies

Standard


Did you know that October is National Cookie Month? Last year for the occasion, I wanted to send each of my sisters a care package with a cute little owl card and some pumpkin cutout cookies. Not only did I want my cookies to look like pumpkins, I wanted them to be made with pumpkin as well. I searched around but could not find a recipe that was well reviewed, so I came up with my own!

Ingredients:

For  Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Libby’s Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
For Icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring
Directions:
  1. Beat together sugar, pumpkin, and butter. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. beat flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Move to a well-floured surface and knead in any remaining mixture and additional flour if necessary to form a semi-workable dough.  The dough will be pretty sticky coming straight from the bowl.  Shape into ball, cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough into desired shapes.
  4. Bake 14 minutes or until cookies are light in color, and do not indent when pressed in the center. Do not over-bake (I use air-bake pans.  This helps keep the bottoms of the cookies from burning).  Cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Combine together powdered sugar, milk, and remaining vanilla extract in a small bowl. Mix well and add desired food coloring. Frost cookies and enjoy!

This year, when I made these cookies, I decided to use fondant frosting.  I rolled it out and used the same cookie cutter that I had used to make the cookies.  I don’t have a secret recipe for fondant, I just found one on Allrecipes.com and used gel food coloring.  I still used the frosting recipe in this post to adhere the fondant to the cookies.  See the finished product below!  Also if you are looking for a card send along with these yummy cookies, check out my shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElationGreetings