31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Muppet fever made its way into the pumpkin patch. Cute huh?

Must give credit where it is due -- this idea came from my wonderful friend Ann, who sent me a photo of a Muppet pumpkin from years ago (see the original featured above with her beautiful children, mom and friend, decked out for some serious Halloween festiveness!).  I love this idea so much. If I get my act together and my carving knives unpacked, maybe I can make a whole Muppet gang next year? If anyone deserved to be made out of gourds, it would be Gonzo.  

This particular pumpkin had super thick walls, so I had to keep the cuts simple. And since a smile was about all he could manage, I felt compelled to give him a couple of teeth. I don't know if Muppets usually have teeth, but a little hillbilly flair never hurt anyone.

*Someone* decided to get in the fun too so I made her a witch hat, but it came out looking more like a sequined pilgrim hat. Or a pimp hat. I'm not really sure, but Lola will be looking extra fierce for the Trick-or-Treaters tonight.

Happy Halloween!

27 October 2011

I try not to follow my blog stats very closely, but certain readership trends have come to my attention.  For whatever reasons, this blog appears to be especially popular with:
  • People named Kate.
  • People who used to live in Germany.
  • People who are men (apparently 1 in 4 of y’all are dudes, but none of you hardly ever comment. Pipe up already.)
  • People who work as Librarians or in the literary arts industry.
  • People who live in Northern California.
  • People who Christmas shop in October.
  • People with orange cats (the draw on this one is obvious).
  • People who like nail polish.
  • People who like Neil Diamond music.
  • People who love, love, LOVE Star Wars.
Granted, some of these are logical. Folks went searching "CUTEST ORANGE CAT ON THE PLANET" then stumbled in on Lola, and naturally, stuck around. It's not like they had a choice. It's a Lola thing.

But Star Wars? I don't get it.

I don't think I have even seen a Star Wars movie since I was in grade school. I have never posted anything about Star Wars. There is nothing on this site that would drive Star Wars related traffic. So why it keeps coming up, I’ll never know….but I’m just going to embrace it!

Rebecca (whose amazing bathroom you might recall) sent me these photos of her latest project this morning. As you can see, I just had to share this amazing creature. He is ridonkulous.

It’s like he's is too glamorous for the dark side. It’s like Darth moved to Dallas. It’s like Darth rolled around in Liberace’s soul and came out with crystallized light sabers glued to his face. It’s like Darth got a Michael’s 40% off coupon in his mailbox on Tatooine. 

And you know how Dark Lords love a good coupon. 

The end result is a magnificent specimen of glamor and glitz. No words can express how much I love it!

Once again, thanks to Rebecca for sharing her fabulous, inspirational, super glam creation.

PS: Rebecca has another AMAZING project coming in November. Hint: There's a rainbow connection.  


25 October 2011

Liberace Pumpkins

My love of Liberace is no secret.

I mean, let's face it: the man knew how to dress.

I always try to weave some Liberace flair into my holiday decorations, but this year with all the stores vamping up the jingle factor so early in the season, well, I can't help weaving Liberace into Halloween too. He is everywhere. G-d as my witness, one day I'll get myself a Liberace costume! In the meantime, a few glitter encrusted pumpkins and a round of Moon River will hold me over until Christmas.

Bonus: Lola gets to feed her sequin obsession

24 October 2011

As someone who has been packing and unpacking, cleaning and painting since, oh, what feels to be the dawn of time, I was really looking forward to a weekend in the country. Kiki and I drove halfway to Iowa for some autumn fun on a farm that promised glorious apple picking, hayrides, and best of all, a real live pumpkin patch! No, not a pumpkin patch in the grocery store parking lot; a real pumpkin patch where the pumpkins grow on the vine. The kind where Snoopy and Charlie Brown would have found The Great Pumpkin

The pumpkin patch was barren. The apple orchards were empty. And the hay ride had no hay.

I'm telling you, this crap never happened to Snoopy. 

Zombie Lanterns, Hayo!

Know what I love? Kittens. Sunshine. Chocolate Ice cream. Zombies.

Yes indeed, zombies and zombie heads are rad in general, but these crafty-as-a-beaver Zombie Lanterns are the best. And so easy to make. Just get a rubber mask of your favorite deposed political leader, spray paint their face, strap it over a pumpkin, and BLAMO you are ready to go.

If I really had my act together, I would have made ten of these and strung them from the porch rafters come Halloween night. Trick-or-treaters love scary swinging zombie heads. Love them.

Say, why not take this to next level? Swap the electric candle for a low/no heat LED light bulb and keep it on display all year round.  Nothing keeps the home fires burning like Richard Nixon's zombie head on your night stand. Nothing.

Don't like zombies? OK, what's wrong with you? Oh, I get it. Well, a Yoda lantern might look awesome too.  

Anyone else need a mask or last minute costume supplies? Click HERE to receive a discount on your order from HalloweenCostumes.com.

21 October 2011

Happy Weekend

This is the first weekend in ages that will not be devoted to packing or unpacking. What on Earth am I going to do with all this extra time? 

I was thinking about making Lola a Halloween costume, but  then I saw THIS. Maybe I should try to make her a house. After all, now I have a yard. And, well, she deserves it. Just look at that face!

Happy weekend :)

20 October 2011


1. 2. 3.4.
I have spent 25 years longing for an orange sofa. Not rust. Not pumpkin. Orange.

And now I own one. Actually, I ordered one. It will arrive in a few weeks. If I make it that long.

The waiting is killing me.

Let me tell you, as someone who rarely spends more than $20 on anything for myself, buying a sofa has been a challenge. The term Sticker Shock does not even begin to describe the sense of fear and loathing that comes into making this purchase.

19 October 2011

It was pretty much amazing

So I was googling around the internet searching for "Fake cake suppliers" and somehow I stumbled into this...

Whoa!  I know, scary right?

I'm in love with them.

They are part of Cakeland, an art exhibition by Oakland based artist, Scott Hove. Simply put, "The sculptures have all of the appeal of the best cake you have ever tasted, but can never be eaten."

I love most anything that taps into the whole push-n-pull feeling. I'm lured in by the confection and repelled by the teeth...it's beauty and ugly at the same time..chalk and cheese...pretzels and ice cream....oh my god I love it. Make it stop. They also sort of remind me of my old Choir master --she wore lots of pink and bows and had some crazyass teeth. It was pretty much amazing.   

Source: All images courtesy of the artist via High Fructose

17 October 2011

The Littlest Lion Costume

I made Abigail a Lion costume to wear this year. Technically speaking, I was trying to make a Lola costume for her, but the fabric retailers of North America put a ban on butterscotch colored polar fleece (seriously, what up with that? Joann, Michael: I am talking to you.) ....at the end of the day I settled for traditional yellow and brown. Two hours later, a lion was born. Rawr!

Since Abby lives in Sarasota Springs, NY, I will not have the pleasure of photographing her wearing it in person. Still, you get the idea. No tutorial here either -- if you are a crafty type you can probably tell how it was made just by looking at the photo. And if not, stock up on some hot glue and a good pair of scissors then check out this link from National Geographic.

Okay, okay, okay. Maybe they aren't twins. But the resemblance is staggering, no? So cute!

14 October 2011

The mothership calling me home


Just found out I now live less than five miles from a plastic flamingo manufacturer.

So, really, this last move was just the mother ship calling me home.

Their website has all sorts of interesting information about flamingos.

Ahem, did you know...
  • The Flamingo has little or no sense of smell.
  • The Flamingo has been known to fly up to 600km in one night (373 miles).
  • Flamingos get their color from carotenoid pigments in their food - shrimp.
  • The joint in their leg about halfway up that looks like a backward knee is actually an ankle.
  • Flamingos, like most birds, often stand on one leg to keep the foot warm and conserve body heat.
  • Flamingos are a very old species of bird that has evolved over 30 million years. Flamingos can drink hot water from geysers at temperatures that are almost boiling.

Oh Flamingos, how I love thee.

Many thanks to Abby Tusing for delivering this marvelous news!

13 October 2011

Uncle Art: There's a story here

So, when I was packing, I found this amazing triptych piece my Uncle painted back in the 70’s. Fierce, no? This bad boy hung above our kitchen table for most of the 80’s until one of the cats knocked it over into a cheese casserole and that was the end of that. It's been in and out of closets ever since.

One time, when he was over for a visit, I asked him what it was about and he said the purple guy on the pedestal was the caterpillar, (as in, The Caterpillar from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"). I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now, knowing a little more about Alice, and recognizing that in the 70's my Uncle smoked everything but his shoes, I can’t help but wonder: Um, wtf is going on here?

Half the painting is dudes with spears, the other half are dudes with ladders, then there is one lonely lady in yellow at the base of the pedestal all sad and forlorn and faceless.

What's up with that?

It’s a good weird, but a weird weird too. It’s some sort of idol worship something I think. The idea that I ate most of my childhood cheerios under it makes me wonder even more. Who is the lady in yellow? Is Alice the lady in yellow? Why do they have their spears out? What’s up with the Caterpillar in the Shriner’s hat? Where does one even get a purple Shriner’s hat?

I just don’t know where to begin. Thoughts, anyone? What is the story here?

Earlier this week I was working on Abigail's Halloween costume and couldn't help but look back at last year's flamingo costume. I know. It's amazing. Isn't she the cutest thing you ever did see?

That's a rhetorical question.

Now she is a year older and a year bigger. All she wants is Elmo. I offered to make her an Elmo costume but Bubba and Kerry thought dressing as Elmo might confuse her ("Where is Elmo?" "Who is Elmo?" "I am Elmo?" "Elmo is me?") which is a valid concern. She's not even two years old and already pushing the boundaries of Existentialism because THAT'S HOW GENIUS SHE IS.

Sorry for the shouting. It's an Aunt thing.

Today I was chatting with Kelly who mentioned her son Jack is wearing an Elmo costume this year (Jack is a little bit older and can handle the Elmo-Is-Me soul prodding)...she mentioned that after Halloween, "you could easily make into a pillow or something."

*Light Bulb*

If Elmo could be turned into a pillow, could any costume turn into something else? Like, for instance, could I sew up the edges of an abominable snowman costume and stuff it with batting and leave him to sit on my stairs year round?

Or, this Kermit costume? What if I stuff a giant Kermit costume with chicken wire and raw cotton and and leave him hanging around the house when I'm not there. That's a burglar deterrent if I ever heard of one. I mean, who would rob Kermit? If I was a burglar and came to someone's house and found a life-size Kermit doll sitting on the couch, reading a magazine, eating crackers and all, I would think, "Damn, there is some freaky business going on in this house. Let's hit them up next door."

So now I pretty much need to purchase or make an head-to-toe adult size costume this Halloween. It's a matter of safety. But what costume? Hmmm....

10 October 2011

If you hadn't noticed, I haven't been blogging so much the last couple of weeks. Why? Because I MOVED. It only took four former felons, a 16' truck and a three-alarm gas leak, but yeah, I did it. I MOVED.
And now it's over. And hopefully will not have to happen again for a very, very long time.


Lola is still adjusting and I am still unpacking. The commute downtown is longer and the days seem shorter, but I can't tell you how much I love it. There are so many wonderful things about this old house. It makes me want to grow a mustache and get a plaid flannel shirt. Maybe a New Hampshire accent too. Yesterday I was running around the basement with plumber talking about pipe threading techniques. OMG you guys, it was so cool!

I have been wanting to invite you all over to sit on my porch swing but since that isn't an option for everyone, you will have to settle for a few snapshots of the new place. More to follow :)

Hello crown moldings. Hello picture rails. Hello hard wood floors. We are going to be such good friends!

07 October 2011

Thing is, I like my Halloween weird. Not too cute. Not too scary. Just plain weird.

I also want to make a good impression on my new neighbors.

I figure Halloween trick-or-treating will be my first opportunity to meet a lot of them, and honestly, what says Howdy Neighbor! like a couple of dead man's hands in a pile of candy?

  These gloves are the best! They are rubbery and gross without being macabre.  I know you want them. Lucky for you, you can CLICK HERE to find them, and plenty of other festive goodies, and Halloweencostumes.com will discount your purchase. Not too shabby!

All you have to do is stuff the gloves with paper bags and tape them to the lid of a cardboard box. A little tissue paper and bucket of candy later and WHAMO you are ready to go!

If I really had my A-Game together, I would keep these on a table on the porch with a 5" hole drilled in the bottom. Then, I would hide beneath a tablecloth and wait for kids to come and take a piece of candy off the tray. Then, just as they're about to leave I'd wiggle a finger or two. That would do it.

05 October 2011

Rebecca's Bathroom

I love it when people find projects on my blog and add their own special twist. Rebecca saw my old living room Thatched Wall, merged it with another amazing idea, and took it to a new level. “I had one of those SHAZAM moments - I'm a librarian, I loves me some books, and I can totally do your thatching, but with enlarged manga that I also love!”

* Japanese comics  never looked so good! Rebecca used a regular black and white copy machine to individually photocopy each page, then adhered them to the wall with painter's tape. The end result is impressive, inexpensive and apartment-friendly. I love how the colorful characters on the shelves set off the black and white pattern. Makes me want to take a stab at a wall of coloring book pages!

* As Naomi pointed out in her comment, these are not Japanese comics; Rebecca reports the pages were sourced from graphic novels. (As you can tell, I have much to learn!)

Rebecca’s bathroom wall came out so well she repeated the process in her living room too -- honestly, guys, How cool is that?!

Kudos to Rebecca!!!


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