Vampires were sexy way before Gary Oldman, Twilight, and True Blood. My apologies to the non-sexies: Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Blacula, the cast of Salem's Lot (the creepiest vampire movie ever made - especially when you are 8), Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and most specifically Nosferatu.
If you haven't seen it, record it (it's on AMC on Saturday at 2:45 AM): Frank Langella. Dracula. 1979. Awesome music. And guess what - he didn't wear pretend fangs. Apparently Frank has the real thing, baby. Check out his crazy flicking eyes.
The crayons and stapler are out. The super thickly iced and sprinkled cookie is in hand. The jitters are gone. A wink and a thumb's up proves that we whipped the swine flu out of the little boy. See his kissing spot on his left cheek? I can't resist.
Aidan and I finally did something fun today! I knew he was feeling better because he did something besides sit on the couch or be a touch crazy.
Last night we made cookie cutouts and today we iced them. Too many witches hats and not enough pumpkin faces. I wasn't nuts about the cookie recipe I used but I was too lazy to look in my recipe bin (yes, sadly I have a bin) to look up a tried and true one. However, I did like the icing recipe so I thought I would share.
Look who same to help eat the cookies. Why its Mucha!
White and Chocolate Icing for Sugar Cookies
This icing gives a nice glossy sheen when dry, sort of like a royal icing without the fuss or salmonella.
The recipe called for a tablespoon of vanilla. Hey, if you want brown icing, that will be just fine. I halved the vanilla and still had brown icing. If you want white icing, either don't use any extract or use a little almond or lemon.
Also, I have a little tip for using butter. If you forget to soften your butter as I often do, just beat the heck out of it in the mixer while its on its own. Then add your sugar to cream it. Do not use the microwave to soften it.
Want to color your icing black? Use chocolate icing and then add your black coloring.
I enjoy gel coloring.
White Butter Icing for Sugar Cookies
modified from All Recipes
3 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon lemon or almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon milk
Cream butter in your mixer. Add extract (optional). Alternately add confectioner's sugar and milk. Add more milk if you want a little thinner icing. Divide into smaller containers and add coloring. Mix with a spoon.
Chocolate Butter Icing for Sugar Cookies
modified from All Recipes
3 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
1-2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 tablespoon milk
Cream butter in your mixer. Add extract (optional). Add baking cocoa to confectioner's sugar. Alternately add confectioner's sugar and milk. Add more milk if you want a little thinner icing. Divide into smaller containers and add coloring. Mix with a spoon.
Ah, the days of freezepops, cannons, tomatoes, Betsy's garage, sunshine, Jeff's garden wall, marigolds, and sunflowers. I wasn't even thinking ahead to the day I would be writing a letter to Tamiflu. No - it isn't a girl with a bad name. It is that wonderful medication that, when taken within the first 48 hours, stops the flu virus from replicating.
Thank you for quite possibly saving Aidan's life or at least a hospitalization. Thank you for stopping the H1N1 virus from replicating. Thank you for easing my worries. However, you have been a bit rude of a houseguest. Let me point these things out for you before I throw away your last pill with Aidan's pediatrician's permission.
While I appreciate what you have done for us, please forgive me for saying that I hope to never see you again.
Entered this post on Scribbit's November Write-Away Contest.
All this weaving has me excited! When I was in third grade, my art teacher taught us how to make a simple loom with drinking straws and yarn. I haven't tried the technique since then and I certainly haven't mastered it but I did come up with this small piece.
I used 5 drinking straws and warped them with cotton cable cord (a cotton twine). I then started weaving in and out a 1" fabric strip. It is mostly a test piece so when I felt comfortable with the length, I pushed it off the straws and knotted the ends. I love it!
I am not sure what to do with it, though - should I make it a bracelet? If so, what would I attach it to? It is about belt-buckle size. I do not wear belts because as far as I know, it is not attractive to belt a donut.
Oh how I love my new loom from CraftSanity. Jennifer from CraftSanity decided to make her own wooden looms and they are lovely!
I must confess I bought a coaster-sized loom from the CraftSanity shop so Aidan could make coasters for Christmas gifts. However, weaving with fabric is a little too complicated for him (and for me at first) and I am now hogging the loom. These wooden looms are much better than the metal and plastic ones your remember from your childhood.
This particular coaster is warped with muslin and woven with a garage sale fabric. I think using a woven fabric (no wrong side) might have a better effect but I really love this one all the same.
All sizes of looms will be available in her shop next week including a small ornament size, coaster, pot holder, placemat and rug-sized ones! I would love to buy one of the larger ones. Jennifer also includes instructions on how to weave with loopers or fabric and has a video how-to on her blog.
Not every Martha Stewart craft goes up in flames. Perhaps that is because this was created by Robert Mahar of mahardrygoods.com as linked to by marthastewart.com. Yeah, I still watch the Martha show with Aidan even after being seriously dissed by her craft department because of smoking hand warmers.
Whew - that paragraph was full of links.
Anyway, Aidan and I were watching Martha's show and saw them demonstrate making this sock skeleton. We loved him! Despite his sour looking face, he was actually easy to make. The only oops I had was that I bought socks with a nice yellow stripe along the toe. I'm pretty sure I specifically looked for socks without any golden toes but I must have spaced out. So I cut off the toe and made a little rounder head.
Look how lovely our tree is in the background! I'll be raking that loveliness come next weekend. Then we can depend on a barren tree for months and months and months.
Children's Hospital called this morning to confirm what we figured out at our emergency room visit last night - Aidan has the H1N1 virus. This is despite my very best efforts. He even had the vaccine 9 days ago. His doctor's office - more specifically, his nurse Tracy - was kind enough to hear a mother's fright that her son with a heart condition needed to be vaccinated and they gave him the single dose they had left from the doses they used to vaccinate their staff.
I'm going to say that I feel in my heart that the dose he got has permitted him to be tolerating this virus better than he would have without the vaccine. It could very well have saved his life. We feel lucky if this is as bad as it is going to get.
I have many anxieties related to Aidan and his health and this is like a nightmare come true. But I feel so positive because while Jeff and I didn't have a fit night of sleeping, Aidan slept very sound. The vaccination and the Tamiflu are doing their best to help him fight this virus.
So Aidan is home with me this week. I hope to have some fun times with him so that he doesn't know he is missing his holiday party. I really hope that Jeff and I don't get sick but we are pretty much sitting ducks.
On Friday morning, I made my way through the headlines of our local newspaper and saw that a Wisconsin man had been killed in a plane crash in Tennessee. Why I clicked on that headline to read more, I don't know. When I did, I was struck that the Wisconsin man killed was someone I have known since I was a kid and was best friends with in my late teens to early twenties.
Adam was learning how to pilot a plane so he could be a missionary in Africa. He and his wife sold most of their belongings and were preparing for a three-year journey. I only met Adam's wife once and didn't even know he had children. I haven't seen him in 10 years so I'm going through some strange emotions of mourning for a friend that I haven't had in a long time. Our friendship waned before he met his wife-to-be.
I don't necessarily have the right to grieve and I don't want the burden. But I can't stop thinking about Adam and how his parents, siblings, wife and children must feel. It was a terrible crash. Memories of church studies, our time together the summer after high school, time at college, letters and phone calls when he was in the Navy, one-sided unrequited love and working together have been trickling through my mind. His gentle countenance and acerbic humor stand-out.
Adam and I enjoyed a lot of the same music and movies. My brother reminded me of the time we went ice skating - Adam's first (and probably last) time. He broke his ankle within 30 seconds. Adam was a romantic. I'm sure the times that he watched When Harry Met Sally numbered in the dozens. He expressed his interest in being a pilot to me so I bought him Wind, Sand, Stars by Antoine de Saint Exupery, the aviator that wrote The Little Prince.
However, I think a lot of young adults aren't true to who they are to become and I didn't know Adam as a true grown-up. I didn't know him as a husband or father. I didn't know him to be so brave. He only lived 38 years but it sounds to me that in the last 10, he really lived. So I will finish this entry with a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupery that seems to sum up the Adam I didn't know:
The notion of looking on at life has always been hateful to me. What am I if I am not a participant? In order to be, I must participate.
I don't think I quite have this Amigurumi thing down yet. Boo is a little big and overstuffed. However, Aidan doesn't care and loves him. He was fun and quick to whip up and loves parsley.
Pattern is here at Lion's Brand. You'll need a login to view it. Search for Genie the Ghost.
Isn't this pretty? It doesn't look too much like the Lily pattern. I didn't do the last step and I didn't change yarns. However, I still like it! I like it so much that it seems like a waste to clean my dishes with it.
Oh, just another mundane conversation in the Sassy household with Aidan making all the plans:
Inspired by this craftbits post, I cut apples in half, squirted acrylic paint on a paper plate, used a foam brush to put the paint on the apple and pressed the apple onto the paper. No Honeycrisps were harmed in this project. Just some Paula Reds. I tried to avoid the obituaries. That would work better for a Halloween bunting.
I then took the folded paper and placed it over some cotton cording and sewed the newspaper around the cording.
This may not last forever but it was fun to make and it will be fun until I can get my spooky stuff up.
My Paper Crane posted her awesome crepe paper garlands yesterday. I just happen to have a few rolls in the house so I whipped up an orange and yellow one last night. It is a matter of stitching a line through the center and gently pushing the crepe paper as you sew to make a ruffle.
Visit My Paper Crane for better pictures and super easy instructions.
This is the most delicious soup I have ever had. It is even better the second day. I will try to add a picture soon. We've had a few blustery days here in Wisconsin and this soup will warm you right up! I used lovage and herbs from my garden and it felt so good to do so!
Sassy Priscilla's Excellent Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
3 Boneless, Skinless
6-7 cups of water
Penzey's Chicken Soup Base (or your favorite soup base)
2 whole carrots, pealed and chopped into rounds
Any other vegetable you enjoy
Handful of fresh chopped Lovage or chopped celery
*Sprigs of thyme, sage, and oregano or marjoram
*2 teaspoons ground ginger
Ground pepper to taste
Egg noodles (homemade - easier than you think and see recipe below, or packaged)
*If you don't have fresh herbs, use poultry seasoning instead of asterisked ingredients
Add everything but the noodles to your crockpot and set it to cook on low. The chicken should be cooked in 5-7 hours. When the chicken is cooked, take two forks and shred the chicken.
Cook your egg noodles separately and add to your crockpot chicken soup. Enjoy with some Beer Batter Bread or another crusty bread. It is an awesome dinner on a blustery day.
from All Recipes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
The photo makes it look wonkier than it really is. As you might be able to tell, I need a walking foot and I also need to learn how to quilt. However, I thought this turned out kind of cute.
My inspiration was from Patchwork Style : 35 Simple Projects for a Cozy and Colorful Life. I picked this book up from the library and while pretty to look at it, I didn't think the patterns for the hot pads were that helpful.
I used linen, some vintage fabric, fabric I can't remember what it is, and awesome Amy Schimler owl fabric. I used three layers of batting. The outside batting is the Insul-Bright used with the shiny side facing out and on both sides. The middle is a layer of cotton batting but cotton/poly would be fine since the Insul-Bright is cotton/poly and mylar.
It wasn't difficult to sew through the layers or even to turn the fabric but my lack of a walking foot made things shift a little and the top of the pad (to the left of the hang tag in the first picture) is a little bumpy. The walking foot would have been nice for the top-stitching (see the shifting stripes in first photo). Finishing with bias around the holder might give a more polished look.
I loved making the patchwork pieces. There wasn't a rhyme or reason. I cut the linen in 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 squares and made the patchwork pieces however I felt like it. Then I randomly attached them to the linen and when it came time to finish, recut my new squares to 9 1/2 x 9 1/2.
I can't wait to make more and may come up with a tutorial. Don't hold your breath.