Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thar be a pie-rat out thar...

They won the award for Most Creative! Yeah.

The Whirligig Bookstore owners decided to get on board with the Pirate Halloween theme some of the other businesses have done for the season.
I was called in to help make some Pie-Rats.

This here is Max.
 And his friend Maxine. I love how the skirt is flared out on the bottom. It's a warm, but windy, wet day here thanks to Hurricane Sandy.
 (Thoughts go out to those really affected by her wake. Especially New York.)
 Whoa! There's another Pirate! I didn't make him! Look at that steely eye! 
(wave hello to Bernie, one of the owners)
Making these guys was a challenge. I love challenges. And I din't even curse while making them. I started out with the idea of towels, but they are rather heavy and shapeless. And they drooped. Bernie had a bunch of wooden stakes so I swiped 'em and used the huge bag of bubble wrap we had left over from our move. 
Here are the legs.. bubble wrap around the stakes and then stabilized on the top.

 Stuffed into some pants or tights. And boots.
For the body, I started with a coat hanger taken apart. I figure.. you can hang your clothes on it, it's probably the right size for a shirt.
 I wrapped both ends to make arms, then gathered a long piece of wrap to make the body.

 I folded it over the top to make a sort of pouch on the bottom and taped it to make a neck. Then I stuffed with more wrap.
 I did make some adjustments once a shirt was put on. There were no shoulders.
Sorry, that's all the photos on how to make it. To attach the body and legs together, I used another stake making it perpendicular to the leg brace shown above and taped the sucker together. Like lots of tape. Make sure it is long enough to make a neck and support the head.
I put the stake through the clothes and up the top. 
These heads are masks. I stuffed it with newspaper and plunked it on the nail at the top of the stake. 
Aren't they great! Oh, I didn't want to take any chances, so I sewed the hat on the head through the slit in the mouth. These babies are sewed up the ying yang. The shirt is sewn to the pants, the boats are sewn to the pants, the hat is sewn on, the hook is sewn on, the flag is sewn on... where ever things are joined, they are sewn down.
To string them up, we tied rope around the waist, under the clothes and up through the back of the neck.

Thanks for the challenge Bernie. That was fun! 

Happy Pirate Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

fun Halloween party activities

One of my favourite activities at the Halloween party was the donut line.
Each kid picked a donut, put hands behind their back and then tried to eat the donut. That was hanging from a string. Moving. Swaying. No hands.
Various stances.
 One tactic was to find the perfectly suited height for maximum munching.
 Another was the shoulder holder.
 Take a break and have a lick.
 Borrow a hand from a friend.
 When the donut you want is too tall, just put the dang thang down.
 There was the necklace making activity.
 Tired eyeballs.
Bobbing for apples
 Getting the apple
An old fashioned leaf piling and jumping. 
There was also a pin the face to the pumpkin activity (a.k.a. make a jack o lantern) using paper cutouts and a real pumpkin.
And the every popular woods and river. The kids crossed the river and started to pile old branches to make a pseudo bridge. I wish they would come over to my place and clean up my woods. :}
It was a lovely party, lovely day and lovely people.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last minute Halloween ideas

THe kids didn't have school on Friday, so some new friends of ours hosted an awesome Halloween party. As the parent, we were to bring an activity and some food. Fun stuff.
This idea came to me in a dream. When I awoke, I hoped that I could find some styrofoam balls in this town. I did! 2 sizes. Yeah. And some halloweeny string. I gathered various coloured sharpie markers from around the house and some perler or melty beads. You could use any kind of bead that  your string fits though.
 Draw and eyeball. Don't forget the veins. that's what gives it a Halloween vibe. Someone got real happy with the red marker on the green eye! Late night I guess.
 I pre-drilled holes in the balls, but we still had to use a skewer to  work on it a bit for the the strings to go through easily. I also put some tape on one end to stiffen the string.
Here's the necklace we made at home. Even the boys were into this activity.
 Now for some food. Here was my contribution. Wiener mummies. Just some pre-made crescent roll dough and wieners cut in half. I rolled the dough out, cut it with a pizza cutter into strips and rolled around the wiener.  I put the mustard and ketchup eyes on with a fondue fork! 2 eyes with one swoop.:}
 I love this collection... Crispy maggots ( those highly addictive corn puffs), Brittle bones (pretzels, marshmallows on the ends and white chocolate) and dried bat wings ( blue corn chips)
 Yummy short bread fingers. Not sure what the red stuff it, but very clever.
 The punch bowl has an infestation of spiders, or maybe it was the ice cubes??
 Almost too cute to eat... bat cupcakes.
 very flaky shortbread eyeballs. Delish.
 eewww! Pumpkin vomit.
 Bright red candied apples
 And the table presentation. There were some spider cookies in the back and the cookie sandwiches in the front. Oh, the pumpkin roll with cream cheese centre was also quite tasty. 
It was a great spread. And some great activities. I'll show you those tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Savoury twisty bread

Lat year, I made a yummy cinnamon twisty bread. I have since been making it as a savoury twisty bread.
Here's how...
I made the dough in my bread maker. (Recipe to follow)
I rolled it out on a flour dusted counter with  flour dusted rolling pin. Brushed it with olive oil. The herbs you see were mixed with the dough. Goodness yes?
 Sprinkle the dough with parmesan cheese. In a previous time, I added sliced chourizo and mozzarella cheese to this layer before rolling. It was pretty good.
 Roll the dough lengthways to get a long roll.
 Slice the roll end to end.
 Twist the dough pieces making sure the cut or open side is exposed as the top layer.
oil and flour the baking dish
Form a ring from the twist and put into pan. Make sure you get a less out of focus picture for the next time.
 Now you may add more toppings. I like to put a bit more cheese, I think I added rosemary and some salt. I like malden salt. However, on this day, the salt didn't like me.
Boo Hoo. Try not to use your salty tears as a substitute.

Let rise and then bake. My oven is about 400 for 12-15 minutes? Maybe?
Sorry, there is no after picture!!!! GASP. I went out or something, when I returned, the bread had already been cut and the guests were enjoying it. Go back and look at the cooked cinnamon twist and imagine golden parmesan.

Here's the bread dough recipe:

1 1/2 cups of water. (Sometimes the flour needs more or less moisture. Depends on the season and where you live)
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups of flour
1.5 teaspoon of bread machine yeast.

Use the dough setting for 1.5 lb bread.

When I use it as pizza dough, I'll add some powdered garlic, 1 tsp cornmeal and 1 tsp Newfoundland savoury     (much like oregano, only not).

There ya go...
off to make a ninja costume for 1pm. If I stop stalling, I may get it done.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New finger puppet

Remember this girl?

 I've kept her face
 Added some hands
 And some new head gear
 Now they can join their other friends.