Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Halloween!


October 31, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Weekend Craft Fix: Floating Ghost

Found this tutorial on the fabulous blog, Everyday is a Crafting Day… its so clever!  Great to do with kids and adults alike, and it will work as an indoor or outdoor decoration!  Here’s the tutorial from the site, and check out her Etsy shop for some really cute ready-made crafts!

Here’s what you need…
1 Liter Pop Bottle,
Cheese Cloth,
Old Towel,
Scrap piece of felt,
Styrofoam ball (the white kind works better.)
Hair dyer (optional)
Wire (not pictured)
First thing you are going to do is cover your working area with your towel. The starch is easily washed out of a towel but it gets messy if you don’t cover up your area.
Then make you ghost form. I just shove the styrofoam ball on top of the bottle. (if you are using a green floral ball cover it with plastic wrap or something so you don’t get green fuzzies on your cheese cloth.)
I also use some wire to make arms…
Next, lay the cheese cloth over your ghost form. Spray it down with starch. I like to use a spray bottle so I can control how my starch I use. The more starch the stiffer your ghost.
Next you can use a hair dryer to help make the drying time faster. Since I live in AZ I just use the sun. 🙂
Once it is completely dry, pull it off of your form and glue on some felt eyes.

October 29, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Ringleader Costume… The Jacket & Shorts

Sorry for the delay on this post… we’ve been having some technical difficulties with our camera!  I tried to make it work, but apologize in advance for the crappy photos.

The Jacket:

After a trip to Goodwill, I came out with this beauty of a blazer:

First step was to cover the lapel with my Gold Tissue Lame.  I cut two long strips, fused them with lightweight interfacing, and hand stitched them into the existing collar.  I chose to hand sew so there would not be any stitch marks on the collar.

So far, so good.  I couldn’t get the tissue lame to sew in quite as snug as I would have liked (note the left lapel in photo) but overall I wasn’t too unhappy (considering tissue lame is such a pain to work with).  My next project was to add the shoulder pad thingys (if anyone knows the official term, please email it to me!).  I measured the length and width of the top of the jacket from the collar to the end of the shoulder.  Using a compass, I drew out a 4″ circle and 2″ rectangle on a piece of heavyweight craft Pellon.  This created the shape of my shoulder pad.   Then I cut them out and placed them on the jacket to check the fit.

I also wanted the shoulder pads to be covered in the tissue lame without any stitch lines so instead I used a heavy-duty spray adhesive to get the lame to attach.  First I cut out an outline of the shoulder piece onto the tissue lame (leaving myself a 1/2″ seam allowance) and notched around the circle.  I sprayed the lame with the adhesive, placed the Pellon onto the lame smoothing it out as I laid it down, and folded under the seam allowance to finish.

Next, I glued the shoulder pads to the jacket using plain old hot glue.  Really, I couldn’t think of any other way to do it… please don’t hate me for using hot glue.

To complete the circus look of the jacket, I glued on some gold fringe to the shoulder pads and added some ric rac trim to the sleeves.  Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I still need to find some shiny gold buttons to replace the worn out ones currently on the jacket, but here’s a peek at how it looks all done!

The Shorts:

These were pretty simple.  While at the Goodwill getting my jacket, I also picked up a pair of black velour stretch pants (A special thank you to that whole, crazy J-Lo velour fad…without you I wouldn’t have had so much velour to choose from)   They weren’t quite long enough to be pants, and my inspiration photo had shorts, so I figured why not just take a pair of scissors and sewing machine to them?  So that’s what I did!  I put them on, marked my new seam with a chalk pencil, and started cutting.  Then I pinned  a new hem, and sewed them right up.  Simple, easy and done!

Tomorrow, I’m working  the bow tie, the top, and of course, the hat!

Live Creatively!

October 27, 2010 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Project Monday: Ringleader Costume, Day 1

Well its finally Halloween Week!  Earlier this month I mentioned that this year I was going to be Circus Ringleader for Halloween.  I found this pic on Trashy Lingerie and decided to use it as my costume inspiration.

This week I’ll be covering the adventures of creating this super fun costume.  Here’s a list of the supplies I’m using to make my 3 ring wonder!


1 Red Jacket (from my local Goodwill)

1/2 yd. Gold Lame`

1/2 yd. of lightweight fusible interfacing

1 Spool Gold Ric Rac Trim

8 Shiny Gold Buttons

1/2 yd. of Stiff Craft Pellon

1/2 yd. of Gold Fringe Trim


1 Pair of Velvet Stretch Pants (also a Goodwill find)

Top & Cummerbund:

1 White Camisole Top

1 Spool of Gold Ric Rac Trim

1 yd. of Gold Lame`

1 yd. of lightweight fusible interfacing

Bow Tie & Hat:

Velvet Pants Fabric Remnants

Now that I have all my supplies, I’m ready to get to work!  Tomorrow – The Jacket  & Shorts!  Live Creatively!


October 25, 2010 at 9:00 am 1 comment

Halloween One-Day Sale!

A Happy Friday Surprise… A One-Day Sale on all items in the Costume Collection!  Grab your broom and fly on over to the Black Gardenia Shop for 25% off !

Live Creatively!

October 22, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Buy Me: Topher & Co.

I so love Fall. Seriously.  I love the crisp weather, the leaves changing and most of all, fall fashion.  WIth the weather finally starting to change, I’m making my list of must have items, and anything and everything from Topher & Co. is on it.   This guy is pretty awesome.  When he’s not knitting gorgeous creations for our wearing enjoyment, he’s at the Bethel Seminary San Diego studying to earn a Masters of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy.

He started knitting just a short 4 years ago, but his pieces look like he’s been doing it his whole life.  Below are just a few of my favorites.  For more Topher & Co. goodness check out his Etsy shop and stop by his Facebook page for the latest updates!

Live Creatively!

October 20, 2010 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Fall Pumpkins… more than just Jack ‘O Lanterns

Last weekend we spent a day at the Farmers Market gathering up all of our favorite fall veggies.  Pumpkins are a particular favorite of mine in the fall, and not just for pie.

They are actually squash, and are a member of the Curcurbita family which includes cucumbers and zucchinis.  Although most people think of pumpkins a dessert, decoration or a seasonal drink at Starbucks, I like to think of pumpkins as a regular old fall veggie.  Here a few pumpkin recipes to help mix up your fall cooking and hopefully show you some new ways to enjoy this fall favorite!

Roasted Pumpkin Gratin from Angie’s Pangie’s

8 cups pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 flour
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil

Start out with a cute little pumpkin and cut it in half.  Remove the seeds and stringy stuff and discard.

Cut off the skin.  Now, I won’t lie to you here, my pumpkin was a complete pain in the butt to get to this point.  Not all pumpkins are created equal though, it depends alot on how “tough” the skin on your pumpkin is.  This one was stubborn.  Allow yourself some extra time to prep the pumpkin, if you get it done early – great, but at least you won’t be eating an hour late (like a certain blogger and her family who will rename nameless.)

Preheat the oven to 400 and grease a 13X9 baking dish.

Put the flour, salt and pepper in a bag.  Wash the pumpkin and drain it.  Add the pumpkin to the bag and shake.  Toss the excess flour and put the pumpkin in the prepared dish.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and add extra salt and pepper, if you want to.

Add the minced garlic to the olive oil and stir well.  Then drizzle the oil all over the top of the pumpkin.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Because pumpkins can vary in texture your cooking time may vary.  My stubborn pumpkin took 40 full minutes to cook throughout.  Cutting your pumpkin in similar sizes and shapes will help it cook evenly.  The pumpkin should be soft with crispy cheese.  If the cheese begins to get too done before the pumpkin is soft, cover the pan with some foil.

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup From Macheesmo

– 1 medium butternut squash
– 1/2 of a medium pumpkin
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 Cup carrots, chopped
– 3 Tablespoons butter
– 6 cups liquid (4 cups vegetable stock & two cups water.)
– 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne (adjust to your heat liking)
– 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon (adjust to taste)
– Salt and pepper

Cube squash & pumpkin.

Get a large soup pan or sauce pan going over high heat and add your butter.  Saute your onions and carrots for 5 minutes until they start to soften, then add your squash and pumpkin.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes and then add your liquid!  The liquid should just cover all the veggies.

Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are very tender.  Then, using a blender or immersion blender, take everything for a spin.  I had to blend mine in three batches in my stand blender.  Don’t overfill your blender unless you want orange walls.

Then pour your blended soup back into your large pot and return it to medium heat.  Add all your spices and taste for salt and pepper.  It should be really smooth but have just a hint of spice to it.

October 19, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

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