Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Memories

My parents loved Halloween; especially my Father.  He would design my outfits and Mom would design my sister's.

I am permanently scarred by some of my costumes...

Case in point:

1.  We were living in Kenner, LA while Dad was getting his masters degree (after 3 tours in Vietnam, the Army sent Dad to Tulane).  Laura was this adorable angel; I was a Viking princess.  All night people would hum Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries" to me or ask where was my "trusty steed"...<sigh>

2.  This goes down as the worst costume idea Dad decided upon...think of the time Tet Offensive...the war is going badly...and my Dad puts me in black pajamas with a Montagnard hat...Yup, I was Charlie.  I love how much Mom tried to jazz it up with sequin bands.  Laura was this adorable bunny rabbit; she would hop up to each house, turn around wiggle her fuzzy tail and get handfuls of candy.  Me? Oh, I got the usual "Hey, Charlie!" and maybe 1 piece of candy...I felt just like the Charlie Brown Halloween special: "I got a candy apple! I got chocolate! What did you get Charlie Brown? "I got a rock."  <sigh>

3. And the last time I let Dad design my outfit.  Dad had spent time in Jordan and brought back several Keffiyehs.  Yup, that's me, a 12 year old girl; looking like a young Arab OPEC Oil Embargo.  Look how cute Laura looks as Raggedy Ann!  I can't remember how many times I was called a boy and all the snarky comments that followed...<sigh>

For politically correct purposes I shall decline to show/discuss the other 2 outfits: Aunt Jemima Yes, a toddler dressed as Aunt Jemima in Ft. Benning, GA during the Civil Rights movement), and the white sheet ghost outfit (looked like a mini 1960s Columbus, GA)...

I swear, I think my parents were trying to have me killed...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Red Velvet Cookies

These cookies are luscious!

Red Velvet Cookie Recipe
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1 beaten eg
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • Red food coloring
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 squares (1 oz. each) of melted unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4 oz (1/2 pkg) softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick of softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • red sprinkles (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar.
  • Add egg and blend well.
  • Put evaporated milk into a small bowl and stir in food color until a deep shade of red.
  • Add dry ingredients, alternating with the red evaporated milk.  (I used a mixer at this point to fully incorporate the red)
  • After batter is well combined, add the vanilla and melted chocolate and blend on low speed until completely combined.
  • Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat sheet and use a large tablespoon to spoon dough on sheets.
  • Bake at 375F degrees for 10 minutes, turning the sheet 180 degrees half way through baking.
  • Slide cookies off cookie sheet and allow them to cool completely.
  • On medium speed, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt until creamy.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth and slightly fluffy.  Can add an additional 1/4 cup more powdered sugar (to taste) for a thicker frosting. (taste as you add)
  • Place in a fitted with a decorating tip and pipe frosting on top of cooled cookies. Or use a ziplock back and snip the corner to frost.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Decoupaged Pumpkin

I love, love, love Pinterest!

Saw some decoupaged pumpkins and this is my version:

I painted a dollar store pumpkin and some faux leaves ASCP white. Tore up my old English Lit book; cut up some left over burlap ribbon; gathered some sticks and small branches from the yard. I soaked the pages in watered down coffee, then let them dry; tore the pages into small strips, dipped them in mod podge/water mixture and placed the strips all over the pumpkin...making sure to overlap the strips.  While the pumpkin was drying, I cut up pieces of the branch for the pumpkin stem; applied Elmers glue to the pieces and leaves then rolled all of them in Martha Stewart glass glitter.  Before I assembled everything, I sprayed the pumpkin with Mod Podge sealer.  Then I went to town with a hot glue finis!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Covered Bridges of Frederick County

Maybe it's the movie (The Bridges of Madison County) or the nostalgia of a bygone era, but there's just something about a covered bridge that pings my heart.

Last week's weather was gorgeous and I needed a "field trip".  There are 3 covered bridges about 90 minutes from my home.  All are in Frederick County; the last one, Roddy Creek Covered Bridge, is outside of Thurmont...close to Camp David.

Loys Station Covered Bridge
(my favorite)


 Roddy Creek Covered Bridge

Utica Mills Covered Bridge

Thursday, October 3, 2013

French Label End Table

I am very proud of this project...

This was one ugly, beat-up end table:

 And After:

I painted 1 coat of ASCP (cream = soft butter color).  The wood stain bled through, so I had to paint the entire table with a primer/sealer.  2 more coats of ASCP (cream).  For the label, I used a french label from The Graphics Fairy.  To enlarge the label, there is a section on the website dedicated to transferring images.  I used the 1st method to enlarge the label.  It took 4 sheets of paper (8.5x11) to print the entire label.  I cut out the label; taped the edges together, and applied mod podge to the front of the label; then placed the wet image face-down onto the top of the table.  I then smoothed out the air bubbles with a putty scraper.  The image dried overnight. To remove the paper, I wet it with water and slowly rubbed the paper off with my fingers.  Some of the image came away completely, but I liked the gave the entire image a worn/antiqued look to it.  I then waxed the entire table/image with AS clear wax, then antiqued the table/image with AS dark wax.  A little sanding; then clear/dark/clear wax.