October 31, 2014 § 8 Comments
I just had to put an end to this extended hiatus right on my 35th birthday. We have lots of catching up to do. Hope you’re still here.
Introducing Lara. Today, she is a stack of macarons at 14-1/2 months old and was a shrimp tempura sushi handroll last Halloween and has been keeping me quite busy.
October 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
The latest article I wrote for Craft is available today! I know, I know, another caulking project from me?! I couldn’t resist, especially because it was so easy to turn a regular fitted ball cap into a bloody brain with my caulking gun.
This article had awesome timing. I finished it off here in Toronto before my vacation in California where I managed to get O.T. to agree to model it for the world. And how appropriate that the brainy wears a brain cap.
Did I ever mention O.T. is a computer chip designer in Silicon Valley with 3 patents to his name (one for each consecutive year from 2009 to 2011) and 4 more patents for approval? He exercised his brain from the age of 4 to 28, the years he attended school, unstoppably, from kindergarten to a doctorate (a fellowship, at that!) in both computer science and computer engineering. I love this chic geek of a man! Happy 32nd birthday, O.T. (it was his birthday this weekend and, yes, we’re only 2 weeks apart!). And thank you, O.T., for all your brilliant algorithms.
October 13, 2011 § 2 Comments
Rather: super simple whatever-you-can-mold-from-ice-cube-trays-or-candy-molds topiary. In this case: skulls. I’ve been looking for ways to use fancy silicone ice cube trays and candy molds. I figured, with a couple of cups of plaster and some form of styrofoam (ball, cone, or ring), that a holiday centerpiece, mantelpiece, or wreath can be made with these molds.
Knowing that I’d be at O.T.’s in California all week this week, I was excited to decorate his place with a bit of Halloween, but I also had to make sure the materials could be easily packed in my suitcase. A Dollarama skull ice cube tray (which you’ve recently seen included in the giveaway; I adore it so much, I had to pick one up for myself — amazing investment for a buck), a styrofoam ball, a dowel, and some plaster barely took up any room in my luggage. The result: a modern, obscure Halloween centerpiece for O.T.’s kitchen table.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be Halloween. You can make any type of topiary with whatever ice cube trays and candy molds you’ve got. My silicone ice cube tray collection includes skulls, pumpkins, hearts, and Christmas trees. I can make one for every occasion. And again, you can use a Styrofoam ball or cone or ring to make topiaries, trees, and wreaths respectively.
1. Mix plaster according to package directions. Pour into molds. Place toothpicks, pointy side up. NOTE: I discovered later it was better to break the toothpick in half, so that it is shorter. If the toothpick is too long, it may not go into the styrofoam completely.
2. Let plaster dry. Unmold.
3. Press plaster pieces into styrofoam.
And it’s done! It is very easy to do. It’s a matter of waiting in between molding for the plaster to dry, but there’s always chores to do around the house while that’s happening (especially here at O.T.’s). On that note, back to cleaning for me…
October 24, 2010 § 5 Comments
Pumpkin week begins with my last Halloween craft for your upcoming party. I’ve found an amusing way to turn those pumpkin seeds into ghost-faced creations. These pleasant phantom pumpkin seed place cards are sure to charm your guests.
a. Pumpkin seeds and a permanent marker for drawing the eyes and mouth.
b. 2-1/2″ place cards printed from your printer. Using MS Word, I made black boxes with white names placed closer to the right edge, to allow for the ghost to be placed on the left. I used my favorite Halloween font: Chiller.
c. Foam miniature pumpkins. Many craft pumpkins are available at crafts stores and dollar stores. I got a pack of 10 from my favorite dollar store, Dollarama. Using an X-Acto knife, cut a slit at the top to hold the card. Of course, there’s no need for pumpkins. You can make the usual tent cards instead.
d. Circle punches in 2″, 1-1/2″ and 1″. If you don’t own these, your pair of scissors can still do wonders.
You are welcome to design and hand cut your own version of the ghosts’ bodies if you only need a handful of cards. I used circle punches for efficiency in creating large amounts. This way takes mere seconds to make each ghost:
1. Using the edges/scraps from your sheet of place cards (always make the most use of your paper), punch a 2″ circle.
2. Punch a 1-1/2″ circle up to the middle of your 2″ circle to form a crescent
3. Punch a 1″ circle out of one of the tips of your crescent in order to shape the arms.
October 22, 2010 § 17 Comments
This is my version of Halloween balloons. I’ve seen many of those orange balloons with pumpkin faces and white balloons with ghost faces and think they’re delightfully cute, but I figured perhaps too cute for some. So I wanted to take Halloween balloon-making up a notch: balloon body parts. Last night, I picked up my markers and, like a little kid, colored away.
Hang the eyes from the ceiling and give your guests that creepy sensation of being watched. Stick the witch’s fingers on walls and doors to give the illusion of sneaking in.
Balloons (9″ round white for eyes, 9″ round peach or light pink for brains, long green – the ones used for balloon animals – for witch’s fingers)
Broad chisel tip markers (in green, blue, black, and red)
Styrofoam bowl and cup, for tracing the eye’s iris (cut away the rim of the bowl so it can sit on the balloon while tracing)
October 3, 2010 § 14 Comments
Not looking for a trick this Halloween? This spider favor box is a happy creature filled with fun treats and yours to make and give away. I crafted the box out of simple black cardstock using a template I designed. You can download the template here. It is easy to assemble with cut lines and score lines for folding. Simply fill with your favorite treats. I love Reese’s Pieces for their colors and even more for their peanut butter goodness!
Here are step-by-step instructions after downloading the template:
1. Print and cut the template and trace onto a sheet of letter-size black cardstock. The heavier weight, the sturdier, the better. Make sure to cut carefully along the solid lines and not to cut on the dotted lines, as those are for folding.
2. Once you have everything cut out, fold the triangular flaps up, while making sure the fangs are left flat.
3. Fold the curved sides up, and leave the legs flat.
4. Pinch the triangular flaps through the top slits of each side, one by one. Make sure to fill your box with treats before folding the second side.
5. Fold down the tops of the triangles to close. Pinch the legs so that they are bent. For eyes, I used orange cardstock and black gemstones which I picked up from the dollar store.
It is adorable and so simple. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this little project. No tricks needed!