Storybook Page Pumpkin

Guess what Tom and I finished this week??? Our 2,000 piece puzzle!! Or should I say our 1,998 piece puzzle, as 2 of the pieces have found themselves “misplaced.” Which is to no ones surprised given that we worked on it on and off over the course of about 10 months. We’re now in the process of gluing it and framing it. Wish us luck, I’m doubting that a 2,000 (ish) piece puzzle will be easy to frame. Here it is below though, our next goal is to visit this place in Italy:

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Storybook Page Pumpkin

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What You Need:

  • Book pages – stay away from glossy pages
  • Fake pumpkin – I got mine for $4.97 at Walmart, they have some smaller ones for $1 at Target and the Dollar Tree
  • Watercolors and the accompanying paintbrush
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • Newspaper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Glue gun (optional but recommended- see step 7)
  • Scissors

Instructables:

Step 1: Cut the book pages into strips that are a little over the width of each “ripple” of the pumpkin.

Step 2: Thoroughly cover one side of a strip and stick it on, starting as close to the stem as possible. Smooth it out with your fingers so it curves with the ripple. Try very hard not to get Mod Podge on the top on the strips.

Step 3: Be sure to add strips to the bottom of the pumpkin to ensure everything is covered.

Step 4: Let this dry. While the pumpkin is drying, cut lots of long strips that are about 1 cm wide. Lay these on newspaper and using the watercolors, paint them green. Use a lot of water when painting, you want the page to soak the color up. I used some yellow with my green.

Step 5: Wrap all the long strips you just painted green around a pencil, pen, straw etc. while they are wet. Wrap til the whole strip is wrapped around in a tight coil, and slide it off. Be sure to set them to dry in a way that they won’t unravel. They shouldn’t unravel easily anyway because they will be very wet.

Step 6: Paint the pumpkin with the orange watercolors. Don’t use too much water on this part, but use enough that you aren’t just creating streaks.

Step 7: Once the green strips are dry, place a dab of glue on the end and glue them near the stem. I recommend using a glue gun, as you want them to dry fast. Once you glue on as many as you think look good, uncoil them a little bit to add variations in the strips.

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Can you tell my pages are from Pinocchio??  🙂 I found some good storybooks at Target in the cheap section at the entrance of the store. My pumpkin wasn’t actually quite as yellow as displayed below, the actual orange color was that of the picture above. My flash just lightened things.

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By the way, this is my new precious little nephew, Enzo, who is just the sweetest baby! This is the little goblin in his very first costume! Happy Halloween!

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Witch Hats

Hi!

So is it just me or is everyone else losing their memory too? You can be honest, I won’t remember anyway. I was reminded of this story today because it has to do with a trip I went on at the end of last year, that I’ll be going on again this December, and we’re getting close!

The trip was a work trip and lasted about 8 days. I normally get a check in the mail about a month or two after we get back, so that would mean I should’ve gotten it around February of this year. But around August of this year I happened upon the notion that I still hadn’t gotten paid. So I email my friend in the office and ask about it, and with definite alarm they say they’ll look into it! I get an email back the following day saying that their accounting department forgot to add a zero to the amount they paid me in February, so I was still owed several hundred dollars. They say they will cut the rest of the check this week and send it, and how terribly sorry they are for making me wait so long. That’s funny, I didn’t remember getting any of it, even the wrong amount. I guess I’ll look back through my bank statements just to make sure they even sent the part they mentioned, since they forgot the rest of it. As I near February in my bank statements, I notice a deposit for the full original amount I was supposed to get paid, with the right amount of zeros.  I get a call shortly later from my friend at the office saying the accounting department made a typo in the email to her, and it was the full amount I had gotten paid back in February. Around this time I am clicking on images of my deposits online to see that not only had I gotten paid the full amount in February, but I wrote out the deposit slip myself, drove it to the bank and dropped the check off. And I have ABSOLUTELY no recollection of this. If it wasn’t my hand writing I would have thought this was a joke. The only joke is how much my memory is failing me.

Witch Hats

These are cute as decorations on their own, or if you go the extra mile and decorate them after they’re cover in glitter. You can also put them on a pumpkin to spice it up!

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What You Need:

  • Small paper plate (any color)
  • Piece of black scrapbook paper (you can use any scrapbook paper if you don’t have black paper, and spray paint it black)
  • Black Glitter
  • Paint brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Black spray paint
  • Hot glue
  • Acrylic Coating Spray

Acrylic Spray

Instructables:

Step 1: Cut the scrapbook paper to 8.5″ x 11″. Roll the scrapbook paper into a cone. Hot glue the paper cone to keep it’s shape. The bottom will be really uneven, so cut off the paper sticking out on the bottom of the cone so that it become flat. You can also use a party hat instead of using paper if you have one or want to buy some.

Step 2: Spray paint the bottom of the paper plates. If you did not use black scrapbook paper for the cones spray paint them black as well. Let everything dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Once everything is dry, hot glue around the bottom edges of the cone and attach it to the spray painted side of the paper plate in the center.

Step 4: Lay out some paper that you can catch the glitter on, so you can funnel it back into the bottle.

Step 5: Paint Mod Podge in sections starting from the point of the hat. Pour glitter generously over each section of Mod Podge and repeat until the whole hat is covered. Be sure to “flick” your hat after each pour of glitter to shake the glitter loose.

Step 6: Go OUTSIDE and lay newspaper down OUTSIDE and follow the directions on the Acrylic spray OUTSIDE to coat the hats. Let dry according to cans directions, and repeat a second coat OUTSIDE. Let the hats dry OUTSIDE overnight. If I didn’t make it clear, definitely spray this outside, the fumes are amazingly strong until it is completely dry. Trust me, I’m stubborn and I learned the hard way. I might’ve killed so many brain cells in the process and that’s why I have a terrible memory 😀

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Engagement & Pumpkin Spice Dip

Well! This is my first post since I’ve been ENGAGED! Woo! I have just wanted to relax the last few days and soak everything in, but I finally was able to go through the pictures so i can show you!

The Proposal- October 6, 2013:

So Tom recently got into school at CU’s medical campus, and we were all so excited for him! His sister, Michelle, called me one day and suggested we throw a surprise party for Tom. Great idea, I should have thought of that! So she asks if I can contact a bunch of our friends and have them show up at his house at 6:20pm, and then I would bring him to the house at 6:30pm. We were telling him that at 6:30pm we were going to a nice dinner for Michelle getting a new job. That way he could be all dressed up, and I could convince to just come get ready at my house.

So I spend the next week coordinating everybody, and letting them know we changed the date of the party to Sunday from Friday and emailing them all the deets. I also spent the next week having fun making comments casually to Tom about how I would be so hard to fool for when he proposed and he would be easy to fool “if I ever wanted to do something like that.” So back to the plan. Michelle tells me that they want to jump out in the backyard. Well in their house, once you walk through the garage, you’re pretty much in the kitchen, facing the backyard. I definitely panicked about this because I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get him in the backyard. After talking to a friend, we finally concluded that even if it seems suspicious I would just say something as soon as we walk in to the house to go to the backyard to wait for his family to be ready.

It’s Sunday around 6:20pm and it’s getting close. I’m starting to get nervous. What if I can’t get him in the backyard? He can be stubborn sometimes 😛 Or what if he sees them or figured it out because I take too long trying to get him into the yard? I can’t be responsible for ruining the whole party!! This is too much pressure. I’m nervous. My heart is racing. Relax Chase. I get a text from Michelle that everyone is at the house and they’re ready. Here we go.

We’re getting so close to the house. We finally pull up. Walk inside and I blurt out, “Let’s go in the backyard!!” Subtle, I know. “Okay,” Tom says as he heads for the back door. Omg that was amazing, so much easier than I thought it was going to be. He opens the back door and….nothing. No shouts, no people, nothing. I follow him outside and am looking left, right, left, right. Maybe we have to walk out further? Did they change the plan? Did I somehow ruin it? What are we going to do now? In such a shocked daze I mutter “where is everyone?” Tom responds, “are you looking for everyone for my surprise party?” “What!?!?”

It all clicks. The firepit with hay bails next to it, the s’mores and wine on a table next to it, a beautiful wooden arch with festive decorations, a giant vase of the most beautiful, unique combination of flowers, the outdoor fireplace with candles and lanterns, the carved pumpkins from one of “our” movies, the music playing in the background from my favorite scene in Tangled with all the lanterns, and tons and tons of mason jars hanging from the trees with candles in them. I have never been so surprised and happy and in love than in that moment with my best friend! I felt like I was in a fairy tale, and it looked that way too, so romantic and magical!

I’m keeping the beautiful speech and moments of the proposal to myself (obviously), but a few minutes later, Michelle comes out of the bush where she was snapping pictures, and both his and my family come out of the house after taking pictures and videos, with arms open and tears flowing! 20 minutes later all our friends show up and we spent the whole rest of the night celebrating with them! I couldn’t believe how much time and energy went into this and how involved everyone was, they made me feel so loved and blessed. My heart was smiling.

This day was my favorite day of my whole life, it could not have been more perfect and I never could have imagined how blown away, loved and special I would feel. I couldn’t have been more surprised or happy than I was that night! There is no way to quite articulate it, but I will never forget how I felt and how breathtakingly beautiful everything was.

The next day we went to Snooze for our favorite breakfast, and came back and roasted s’mores and ate lunch and dinner by the fire- on Cloud 9 all day!

I’m one lucky girl! xoxo

I’ve posted photos from the proposal (and I honestly could not take enough of how lovely everything was), and below the photos is a delicious Pumpkin Spice Dip recipe, just in time for fall! Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Spice Dip

This recipe comes from Carolina Charm, and has been such a hit everytime I’ve served it! I recommend making half the recipe at a time because it makes a lot! Of course if people don’t eat it all, you would just get stuck eating all the rest and that’s not such a bad thing 🙂

What you need:

  • 16 oz container Cool Whip
  • 1/2 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 5 oz box Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (only using the powder, not actually making the pudding)
  • 15 oz Pumpkin
  • 1/2 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Small Pumpkin for serving dip in (optional)
  • Items for dipping (graham crackers, apple slices, wafers etc.)

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Instructions:

Step 1: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a large spoon. Then put the mix in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours.

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Step 2: Cut the lid off the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the guts. I lines my pumpkin with tin foil first so that I could serve it in that for a few days.

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Step 3: Fill pumpkin and serve!

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Halloween Witch Stocking Wreath

Hey!

I want to start off by sharing a picture I took the other day. It’s pretty amazing. But only if you play or have played Mario Kart. And by amazing, I don’t mean the picture quality, because it was snapped with my flip phone (what?! those still exist?! yepp they sure do, and I’m the proud owner of one of the last remaining!).

No words necessary:

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I also wanted to tell you briefly about this really neat restaurant we went to the other day. It’s called Cafe 180 and it’s on Broadway just north of Hampden. It is a donation based restaurant which means you will be served whether you pay or not. As put in their mission statement, “At CAFE 180 the price is always right, because you choose it. Those who can pay for lunch sit alongside those who exchange an hour of service for their meal.” It is designed to be able to feed a delicious meal to someone who is homeless or in need, as well as any average joe. They have 3 payment options:

  • Pay what you would typically pay.
  • Pay by giving one hour of service in exchange for your meal.
  • Pay what you would typically pay, plus a bit more to “pay it forward

They have really great fresh food and it is a very modern, clean and edgy place! I love the concept and the heart to serve that they have. It is just like any other place you would stop and grab food except this place has a cause that meets the needs of the less fortunate. I really encourage you to check it out!

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Sooooo…..Halloween is approaching and I’m so excited about some Halloween crafts!! The inspiration for this craft came from Seeing Things. I didn’t actually follow the tutorial for this one at all because I did a smaller sized wreath and just figured it out as I went along. If you would like to do a bigger wreath she has very detailed pictures and instructions.

Witch Stocking Wreath

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What you need:

  • 12″ wire wreath
  • 2 pairs of adult green & black striped tights
  • 15 yards (or more if you have it) of black ribbon
  • 45 yards of green ribbon (this is a total guess- I bought a giant roll of green ribbon for about $3 and it was 500 yards. I used way more green than I did black though)
  • Twelve 3″ Smoothfoam balls – it’s similar to styrofoam but it’s cheaper and smoother (which you probably figured out by the name). They come in 6 pks, so buy 2.
  • Nine 2.5″ Smoothfoam balls- These also are sold in 6 pks, so also buy 2.
  • 18 ping pong balls – they came in packs of 8 at the Dollar Tree
  • 3 strands of black bead necklaces (won these at the Rockies game but check Party City)
  • Thick black wired ribbon
  • Glue gun

Instructions:

Step 1: Put all of the 3″ balls into the stockings and section off each one with a double knotted tie with the green ribbon, like pictured below. All ribbon mentioned until step 8 is referring to the green ribbon.

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Step 2: Once you get to the end, cut the stocking after the last ball and tie the end off with the green ribbon the same way, but extra tight so it doesn’t slip off.

Step 3: Attach all of the ribbon ties to both the two outer most wires on the wreath with double knots.

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Step 4: Once you have all the ties attached to the wire wreath, hot glue the bottom of the 1st ball (the first one you put in the stockings) to the wire wreath since there isn’t a tie on the very end. Next, put a dab of hot glue between the 1st and the last ball so it completes the whole circle without any of them flapping around.

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Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 with the nine 2.5″ balls, except tie them around the inner most all the way around the outer most rim.

Step 6: Repeat steps 1-4 with the 18 ping pong balls, but tie them on the ties from step 5 instead of the wire wreath itself. You may have to section them into a few ping pong balls as opposed to all 18 at once. Just be sure you glue any ping pong ball ends that don’t have a tie, to something.

Step 7: Go through and curl all the ribbon strands with scissors.

Step 8: Cut all of the 15 yards of black ribbon into approximately 6″ strands, and cut about twice as many of the green ribbon.

Step 9: Go in between every since ball along the outer rim and tie several strands of each color, using more green than black. Next, go in between all the ping pong balls and 2.5″ balls and tie several strands of each color, using more green than black. There isn’t much order to this, just tie ribbon everywhere you can see wire wreath showing through.

Step 10: Curl all the ribbon strands with scissors.

Step 11: Attach the 3 black bead necklaces by tying some ribbon strands around them to hold them up. I chose this option instead of gluing them in case I didn’t like the way they fell.

Step 12: With the thick black wired ribbon, cut a piece off, about 14″ long (twice as long as you want it to hang down from the hook). Fold it in half and hot glue it together lengthwise (hot dog wise). That way it will be nice and strong. Tie it to the outer rim of the wreath. You can glue the ends down, or make sure to tuck that part behind the wreath instead of at the top by the hook.

Step 13. Fold a nice big black bow and hot glue it to the hanger ribbon you just made in step 12. The wired ribbon is important so the bow holds it’s shape instead of falling to the sides.

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Walaa! Happy Halloween!

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