Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting Ready...

The girls are getting ready for the festive Holiday Show in Baltimore this weekend, and who doesn't love a nice warm sweater on these cold fall days. It's been a challenge to jump from Halloween to Christmas, within a span of one week, but I think that we're getting into it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween treats

I was thinking of something yummy on this cool raining morning, in preparation for the spooky upcoming week, and these cupcakes came to mind. For those of you having a Halloween get together, these couldn't be easier, or more appropriate. They will fit right in to your Holiday spread.... They are one of my favorites. Enjoy the treats!

1 8oz pkg cream cheese,softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup Semisweet choc chips

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

preheat oven to 350 degrees oil muffin pan,s or line with papers

Beat cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in choc chips,. Set aside.

In large bowl, mix together flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, soda, salt. Make a well in the center, and add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with the batter, and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 25-30 mins...Yummy...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

what a treasure

Just when I thought that I had seen all the vintage costumes out there, I ran across this little treasure... well, actually, it's not so cute, but check out what it is made of... yup, it's a little ditty from the 1940's made of mohair. So what was that little one dressed up to be on Halloween nite? Warm for sure... maybe a little teddy bear. Perhaps someone lost a part...

At any rate, it will make an awesome bear.. I do love the vintage mohair. It's becoming hard to find these days. It would just about fit our grandson right now, but he's a tad small for those kind of festivities this year...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Slowly things are coming together, but I dont know where the time goes.... Here are some of my favorite things today..

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween fun

Now that the website has been updated, I have a brief moment to catch my breath before getting ready for the Christmas Hunt Valley Show in Baltimore... It's only 2 weeks away, but I did want to get my Halloween treats out to display before jumping into Christmas!!

Here it all is... I ahve only allowed myself one cupboard for Halloween, and each year I am tempted to purchase more, but knowing how chocked full it is, well... that keeps it all under control...more or less.

I'm hoping to get it all up before the weekend is over... I will share with you , if that happens.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All About Needle Felting

I've cleared a spot in my studio to finish off some felted friends for our Halloween update, and thought about how this old craft used to be such a mystery to me... And so, with camera in hand, I snapped a couple of pics to show how this mysterious needle felting happens.

It all begins with the roving... after shearing the sheep, ambitious folks actually clean and comb the fleece into nice clean loose balls of carded wool.... dyeing opens up another whole world of fun! At that point, it can be spun into yarn OR left as you see it, with luscious colors of fun. I've been dyeing up some fun, or you may purchase it in some better yarn shops. I like the more unrefined wool that seems to be a bit curlier...

This is where the foam and the special needles come in....the foam ( they also sell a brush pad) is for padding, as you will be using those long- barbed needles to poke thru the roving The foam is your work table , and it sits on yor lap... but first of all, what shall I make? If it's a simple form, like a ball, or a pumpkin, you dont have to use a ridgid form, you just start with a small piece of roving, and begin sculpting a ball. The process takes a bit longer than I had imagined, but the original form does take awhile... small pumpkins take about 1/2 hr, if you want a nice hard pumpkin. I've seen some that were needle sculpted too quickly, adding too much roving to the original ball, and the felting is loose. As for me, I'm the kinda gal who doesn't believe in making things that wont last, thus, I sculpt away with that needle until I have a very dense-hard packed form... at this point I have changed the roving felt. see the cigar shaped forms... they have a wire form inside... they take about 2 hrs ...and then, they become an Owl...but for me to finish sculpting Ollie Owl, there is another 3-4 hrs of needle sculpting ..It's a tedious process, but well worth the time...

Well, this took longer that I had anticipated also... hope this helps to take the mystery out of needle felting...Back to work for me...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

pumkins and that cute dog..again

ok, another picture of my favorite dog...but I wanted to share these spectacular pumpkins that I found at my local outdoor market ... they are heirloom varieties, and I just love their uniqueness. ...ok, back to work, but ya gotta love fall , if for no other reason, "heirloom pumpkins"....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And who doesn't love a cute dog who is ALWAYS willing to accompany me on my daily walk? This is our rescue dog, Bobby who has been with us for 12 years+...He's a great ol'e boy, and couldn't be a better companion... The days are cool and crisp here in Michigan and fall is definitly in the air... back to work now... a website update is calling me....

Everyone loved the shakers at the Ghoultide Gathering get-together, and so I thought that we should share a couple of them. They are reminiscent of the old ones from the mid 1900's, most from Germany. I do love the vintage Halloween that is becoming so difficult to find. P.S. This is a better photo...for those of you who didnt think I knew what I was doing.....

Friday, October 9, 2009

We have been so busy getting ready for our Annual Halloween update , and have taken on the task of redesigning our website. In the process, I wanted to give a little peek into the world of MurphyBears, thus, the first thing that comes to mind are the colorful old pinbacks that I love to collect. I used to put the old ones on the Murphybears, but now that they are getting so scarce, we are re-creating them by way of that magical "thing" called the computer... Oh the beauty of the 21st century.. Here is a small sampling of these old treasure from the past.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

halloween blackbird

Who doesn't love the blackbirds that are gathering in the trees here in Michigan? I would like to travel with them as they'll soon be taking their last circle around our field,before they finally head ????. Who knows where they go, but I''ll bet it's to warmer, sunnier places than here.
This is a funny little blackbird that I just sent on his way, along with some other little felted friends to sunny California.
Susan's Store Room is a fabulous place to visit if you are ever in the San Francisco area... One lucky little blackbird...he only had to hop into the box to end up in a lovely warm spot....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We've been very busy over the summer, and last weekend was no exception. The Ghoultide Gathering Show was a huge success.

We've also been re-designing our website, AND getting ready for our annual Halloween Update. It's my favorite time of year... I do love fall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Well. well..It really worked!

ollie owl

well here is my first attempt at blogging... I've been loving the needle felting process, and couldn't be happier with this little guy. He is quite proud of the little mouse that he has found, and I am so pleased with HIM, that I've given him his own special little home...

Ollie Owl

So here is my first attempt at actually beginning a blog...Hmmm... maybe this will work!