Halloween Tricks and Treats

Happy Halloween!!

This is our first Halloween in the new pad so I'm not sure how many costumed kiddos will knock on our door but if it's 1 or 100, we're ready!

Instead of Trick-OR-Treats, we'll be offering both Tricks AND Treats.

I found these red wood bins at Fred Meyer and snagged them since they were on sale and also match the color in our office so they can be used throughout the year. I filled the "treats" basket with all kinds of sweet goodies. The "tricks" basket is filled with gags and magic tricks I purchased from Oriental Trading.

I made the signs using old dictionary pages because I think they are creepy! I mounted them with photo corners onto a piece of card stock that was "aged" with Tim Holtz Distress Ink.

Here's a shot of some of the tricks. There is also a rope trick, some puzzles, and whoopee cushions in the bin! Hopefully the kids will have fun with these. If not, Jake and I will :).

I hope you and your families have a safe and happy Halloween.

My thoughts are with anyone suffering from the recent storm. I hope that you are all safe, warm and dry. Many cyber hugs to you and yours.

Cider Press Shin Dig

Every year in late October or early November, my family gathers at my folk's house for our annual cider press. It's one of my favorite fall traditions and today's press did not disappoint! It was a day filled with laughter, comfort foods, crisp sunshine and sticky apple fingers that resulted in over 12 gallons of fresh pressed cider.

Here's how it all works!

We start by collecting apples from my parent's trees. We pick them off the trees or off the ground.

Next, the apples go through a rinsing process. We float them in a big pail of water that contains a little bit of bleach to kill off any icky germs. Then they take a dip in fresh water and are placed on a grate to dry off.

Once they have been rinsed and dried, we cut the big ones in half or quarters so they don't clog the chopper. This is my Mom and Aunt Cheri taking a turn at the cutting table.

The sliced apples then go into the chopper to be ground up into tiny bits. This year my Uncle Jerry souped-up the motor with extra horse power so it worked faster (and louder) than ever. There were a number of scenes like this today where the men stood around the machine talking about "more power" just like an episode of Tool Time.

When the press is filled with chopped up apples, we squish!!

Juice starts pouring out of the press right away and we catch it in big bowls.

Some of the chopped apple pieces and other apple sludge get carried into the juice so we filter it through a few layers of cheesecloth into recycled containers that we've saved throughout the year.

Then we line up all of our containers and admire our hard work! Oh and of course we sample the goods throughout the day. Yummmmy!

It's not all hard work though. We also take breaks for some other fun throughout the day like cuddling our hubbies...

...and eating warm and tasty grub! Check out this spread of mac & cheese, coleslaw, pickled veggies. fruit salad, pulled pork sliders and corn soufflé!!

My Mom set up a Halloween version of an Easter Egg hunt this year - a BODY PART hunt!! There were eyeballs, ears and fingers hid around the property for the kids to find (plastic of course).

Can you spot the hidden eyeball in this picture?? It took the girls a while to find. It wasn't really at "eye-level", so to speak :)!!

The cider gods definitely shined on us today with beautiful weather and a hearty crop of apples that made delicious juice. It was the perfect fall day.

I hope you're enjoying autumn too!!

Pillow Fit!!

This pillow was made for my partner in the Vintage Halloween swap and I'll confess, it gave me FITS!!

I'm terrible at measuring and math hurts my brain so I lean toward a guess and check method when piecing patchwork. Unfortunately this method often leads to hours with my seam ripper taking things apart and putting them back together in a new configuration. 

That was the case with this creation until I finally decided to flip the pillow from horizontal to vertical! It all came together with minimal un-doing once I made that shift.

I found the quote online and stamped it onto a piece of oatmeal colored linen fabric. The cats were painted to the same fabric with fabric paint and the freezer paper method for stenciling. To make them pop a bit more, I back stitched around them with bright orange DMC embroidery floss.

All of the other fabrics came right from my stash!! It's good to use up scraps but I do always love an excuse to go to the fabric shop.

This size still isn't quite right but I say it's good enough!! My partner liked it and that's really all that matters.

Hope you're all having a good week!

Vintage Halloween Hanging

I haven't had a chance to organize or participate in many craft swaps lately due to my busy work schedule but when kittykill posted the Vintage Halloween Swap on Craftster, I couldn't resist joining!! I love Halloween crafting and I'm really excited to get the house dressed up for the holiday this year.

This embroidered wall hanging was one of the goodies I made for my partner. It was inspired by a set of coasters she had on her Pinterest.

I made this by tracing the designs and cutting out corresponding felt pieces for each spooky face. I added small stitched details using single strands of DMC embroidery floss. Once I had all of the faces complete, I sewed them to orange felt squares and arranged them on a larger piece of black felt.

 I decided that the hanging needed more length so I stamped "trick or treat" on a piece of linen and stitched that to orange felt using my sewing machine.

I had a great time in this swap. I'll be sharing a couple of other projects I made for the package soon and am excited for my own package to arrive!!

Hope you have a great weekend! I woke up with a nasty sore throat so I think my day will be filled with hot tea and a Law and Order marathon :).