A post that is a little bit late!  Around here, Halloween is a big thing!  My kids (even the big ones) love to decorate and hand out candy.  We always carve pumpkins the night before — even on a school night…

In progress…

And finished.  This year we were missing two – one of my kids is away at college and the other was at work — BOO!

I played around on my own with a couple of ideas that showed up in my Facebook feed.  The one on the left worked out ok.  You fill a container with water and pour different nail polishes into the water, then dip your object – in this case a pumpkin – and the nail polish sticks to it.  Well…that was marginally successful.  1)  I didn’t realize how expensive nail polish is.  I don’t buy it anymore.  When I want to do my nails, I borrow polish from one of my girls, so I was surprised at the cost.  I wound up at Walmart where I could get polish for a little over $1 for each bottle, but some of them were $10!!  2) Some of the polish drops down to the bottom of the container and is not usable.  3)  The polish that does stay on top, forms kind of a film and that is what sticks to your object.  It was fun to do this once, but probably not again.

The pumpkin on the right, is done with hot glue and spray paint.  First hot glue is put on the pumpkin in a design – I drew my design on first and then followed along with the glue.  After the glue is dry, you spray paint the pumpkin.  I have discovered a new found love of spray paint so I really enjoyed this part.  Overall the pumpkin was fun to do, but also probably not again.

One of my daughters really loves to bake so we always make something special for Halloween.  This one was pretty easy.  We made the brownies the night before and then on Halloween put the marshmallows on top and poured frosting over them.  Then used black icing for the eyes and nose.  These were really fun to make!  And tasty!

Food and table decorations.  The kids all have friends over and so do we.  The adults sit out front at the fire pit and talk, sometimes with a glass of wine.  The best part is….

The Maze!!  Our youngest son (13 years) and two of his buddies make a maze in our front yard — this year it was on our driveway.  They design it, measure and then use PVC pipe and black plastic sheeting to build and cover the walls.  It is a huge undertaking over several weekends, but it is really fun.

I tried to capture it on this video, but it’s not a true representation.  The boys dress up and wander around in the maze jumping out at people.  They, on their own, post a sentry at the front of the maze and when little kids come by, they take their masks off and walk through with them explaining everything and how it’s really not real.  With adults and older kids, the masks are on and they give chase.  It’s so much fun – I love watching because the energy is so high and soooo good!

SAL Update

This would be my progress for the past three weeks…img_4584

If you are thinking that you can’t see any difference you would be right.  I somehow did not manage to get even one additional stitch added to this.  I’m actually really disappointed in myself.  I was getting up early and stitching for an hour before anyone else got up – every day – that really helped the progress.  Lately, I’ve been really distracted and flitting from one thing to the next.  There is no cure for this except to hold myself accountable to doing some stitching, any amount, each and every day.  I am leaving to go for a walk with the hubby right now (yes, I know, the air quality is bad, but both of us are going stir crazy) and when I get back I’m sitting down to do some stitching!

Please take a look at what the other stitchers who are participating in this SAL are doing – I’m sure they have some really great progress to show!  AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyTonyMeganCatherineDeborahClare

About the SAL in case you would like to join us

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by contacting Avis fromSewing Beside the Sea.


Everyone in our family loves to read!  Quite a few of my students like reading as well.  I decided to come up with an easy-to-make bookmark.img_4368

These are what I came up with.  I cut two fabrics and one piece of fleece 7.5″ x 4″, added some ribbon to two of them and sewed the up.  Easy, peasy!  The one on the right has already flown to Santa Barbara – the other two are in the studio as samples.  I might make up a whole bunch of these as stocking stuffers this Christmas!

Tater Tot Hotdish

I feel like I am excited to cook and bake again.  During the summer, I am not motivated to turn on the oven or stand in front of the stove and my meals for the family show it!  It is cooling off a little bit and it feels great to be cooking again.  I follow the blog, I Am a Baker, and really like quite a bit of what I find on there.  More importantly, my family likes the food that is made from that blog.


Tater Tot Hotdish

This dish was really easy to make.  The only substitution I made was to use 2 1/2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables instead of the cans of corn and green beans.  I had the frozen ones on hand.  On Mondays I teach until 5:30 so getting a complete dinner on the table in a timely manner can be challenging.  Usually I try to use the crock pot, but this time I made the recipe for the filling early in the day, put the tater tots on top and then put the whole thing in the fridge.  I happen to be very lucky in that the oven my husband convinced me I “needed” has a way to program it for a delay cooking option.  Before my last class, I put the pan in the oven and set it to be done at 6:15pm – AND it was done and dinner was on the table by 6:30!!  It was the first time I made this dish, but everyone liked it and I’ll be making it again.  One of the best parts…it makes enough for lunches for the next day!!  If you want to give it a try, click on this link:  Tater Tot Hotdish.

HQAL Update and Slow Stitch Sunday

Finally, the first of the pieced hexis are done!  Last time I was here:img_4447

I had three pieced with three more to do.  Now all three are pieced and …img_4615

And I think I’m going to do this dark blue as the back ground.  It will be fun to see how these look when they are incorporated into the quilt.  I love this Hand-Quilt-A-Long because it keeps me working on this project.  Without it, I might have already set it aside for something else and I’d really like to finish!  Details below if you’d like to join our great group of stitchers!

Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDeb,  Susan,  NanetteSassy , EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

I’m also linking up with Slow Stitch Sunday at Kathy’s Quilts.

Autumn Sew-A-Long

Lori Holt over at A Bee in my Bonnet is hosting a sew-a-long that I joined.  I loved the quilt and the fabrics but knew it would be a challenge because I have really never done any appliqué.

I ordered the pattern and the kit to make the quilt.  Once everything arrived, I jumped in with both feet!  The instructions are fabulous – she has step-by-step photos on her blog that are really great.  They are quite a ways along, week 8 to be exact, and I have just managed to cut and “glue” everything down for the first block.  I am WAAAY behind, but loving every minute of it.  Now I’m not sure if I want to prepare the next block or do the stitching on this one.