the rest of the festive

I've been wondering, as I've been frequently asked, why Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I don't like candy.  And I do NOT do scary.  So what is it about All Hallow's Eve that has me so... enthralled?  Part of it is because it's the beginning of Fall, and the holiday season.  And I really do enjoy all the creative aspects of it, like costume creating, pumpkin carving, etc.  But I think the real reason is because, to me, it's a mystical holiday.  I may not like horror, but I do LOVE fantasy.  I'm a huge nerd when it comes to magic.  I love vampires (pre-Twilight, thank you very much), witches, werewolves, and the Pumpkin King.  Basically, I'm a sucker for anything that isn't real.  While Christmas definitely has a magical feel to it, it's also a holy holiday.  Halloween isn't.  It's all about running wild with your imagination...  It's dark, twisted, romantic and fantastical.  It's my kind of holiday ;)



Love, your fruit & veggies :)

PS- PLEASE excuse my nasty floors, fridge, and unfinished projects in the background. Instead, feast your eyes on this year's costumes ;)  This past month has been a blur of awesomeness!  I am totally and completely beat.  I really threw myself into this holiday this year.  It was a blast, and I loved every minute of it, but I'm looking forward to the upcoming month.  The month I like to call Bethember!  And so, during my bday month, I will completely spoil myself with calm days of planting flowers, and baking yummy muffins.  Perhaps a craft here and there, but nothing with a deadline.  I will not allow it!  And then I will top it all off with stuffing my face.  Can't wait :)  But, there's nothing keeping me from brainstorming about next year's costumes.  *B


something good to eat

I'm so pleasantly pleased with how these turned out!  They're like the epitome of Fall.  And I'm definitely in favor of all things Autumn, which obviously and absolutely includes pumpkins ;)   Let's pretend it wasn't 90-something degrees today... yeah, I'm just going to lock myself inside my house and bake my day away!  I might have to turn the AC down to get further in the mood, though.  Silly state.  But it sure beats the snow!  And my pumpkin muffins beat your pumpkin muffins.  *B

recipe found here (yes, I have a food blog... where have you been Raquel?!)


batty for banners

Fads.  I hate them.  But some are too good to pass up!  Like the current bunting phase.  I am all about stringing cute little flags together :)  I made one for my kids room a few months ago, out of vintage fabric.  Super cute.  I'll show you someday... And then I made my Halloween pennant out of burlap.  I love it.  And I'm excited because I had the awesome foresight to make it double-sided!  So, in just a few days I'll be turning that sucker over and it'll be saying/meaning something different.  Brilliant!  For now, it says SPOOKY but soon it'll say THANKS.  Super cute.  I'll show you someday...

Anyway, I realize it's a wee bit way too late for anyone to be making a Halloween banner...  But, just think of all the festive possibilities!  So many holidays, so little time.  I am totally going to make one for Christmas/V-day.  Can't you just imagine the red beautiful burlap banner (hello alliteration!)?!  I'm trying not to hyperventilate, and to enjoy my holidays one at a time... but the ideas are a flowin' fo' sho!

I hurried to make another one for my mom's quilt group...  But I didn't hurry too much, because I remembered to take pictures this time!  So hopefully between my rambling directions and my crappy photos, you'll get the gist ;)

1.  Make a template: my triangles are 6 inches wide at the widest, and 8 inches tall at the tallest.  But you can make your triangles whatever size you want.  Use template and cut out as many flags as you need.  I used a fabric pen and a pair of scissors... but if you're a quilter, and/or you have access to a rotary cutter, mat and gridded ruler, that would definitely be the way to go!  Mine was at my mom's, so I did it the old-fashioned way.

2.  For this next step, you'll need freezer paper and double sided fusible interfacing.  If you're only going to have the pennant be one-sided, then you won't need the interfacing... Oh, and you'll need an iron.  Iron a slightly smaller triangle to one side of your flag.  Carefully iron your freezer paper to a piece of 8.5 x 11 print paper.  Make sure you don't iron the wrong side of the freezer paper!  Then, print out your word on the freezer paper side.  I used Times New Roman, font size 250 in Word.  Make sure to leave plenty of spacing between each letter.

3.  Using a craft razor blade, or in my case a utility knife, cut out your letters.  A cutting board might come in handy.  A Cricut would definitely come in handy.  Because doing it by hand is a pain in the butt (and hand)!  But definitely worth it :)  And this is why you want to have enough space around the letters.  You don't want the edges of your stencil to be too thin...

4.  Peel off the freezer paper from the print paper.  Line up your somewhat-sticky stencil on your flag and iron on.  Freezer paper usually has two good ironings in it.  If you iron it to print paper (step 2), then you've already used up one good use.  So, this isn't a stencil you can take on and off.  Position it correctly before ironing it on.  Eyeball it, use a ruler, etc.  Just make sure you're happy with where it is, or else you'll end up repeating steps 2 AND 3, cursing along the way.  Believe me.  Been there.  Done that.  Not recommended ;)

5.  Using regular old craft paint, start filling in your stencil directly onto the burlap.  Brush from the outside of the stencil to the inside of the stencil.  That'll help minimize any leakage around the edges.  Also, I put tinfoil behind my flag, just in case any of the paint soaked through the burlap.  If you ever plan on washing this (why???), then use paint that's safe to wash.  Although, I would NOT recommend washing burlap.  What a mess!

6.  After the paint is dry, simply peel off the freezer paper and gasp in amazement.  It's like magic!

If you plan on making it double-sided, then you'll need to prep your backside flags BEFORE you go any further than step 3.  You won't need to iron on interfacing, though.  Instead, peel off the paper from your front side flag and then create a little flag/interface sandwich.  Iron really well on both sides to make sure the interfacing sticks to both.  Then take turns painting each side, being careful that both words read from left to right.  When I made mine, I sewed the two sides together.  And I forgot about the word-flip issue until it was too late.  Unpicking burlap is not fun.  And I can only imagine how frustrating it would be after you've basically glued the two sides together with interfacing... so just double check before you make any move that'll be permanent.

Now all that's left is to sew all those little flaggies together!  I used double folded bias tape, but you could use ribbon, string, etc.  Make sure to leave enough on the ends for hanging purposes.  And you're done!  I'm sorry if I've made it sound more confusing than it really is...  But most of you are more crafty than I am, so I'm sure you'll do just fine :)

There you have it!  Now you'll be making up excuses to make banners for every season, holiday, month, day of the week, member of your family, and so on and so forth.  And I wouldn't blame you one bit.  We can be crazy together.  *B


like you haven't already seen this

This is my current consumer crush.  Remember?  And my husband almost got it for me!  But there were some complications...  Silly husband.  Anyway, I still want it.  BAD.  Don't you?!  And wouldn't it be super cool if I could get one for free???  Heck yes.  Like I ever win anything, ha!  *B


on my (mormon) mind

I have something to say share.  And it's not in response to anyone or anything.  Really.  It's just something I've been thinking about a lot lately...  Let me preface by saying that I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  A Mormon.  Have been my whole life.  And it's been a good life!  And I owe that to the gospel :)

The gospel is true.  The gospel is perfect.  We, as a people, are not perfect.  Far from it, actually.  We make mistakes, just like anyone else does.  Certainly, no one is better than their neighbor.  We are all the same.  We are brothers and sisters.  Our Father and Mother in Heaven, know us and love us.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer.  Yes, we're Christian!  I believe happiness comes through following the commandments.  But, we are free to make our own choices.  Nonetheless, just as I remind my son every day, we need to make good choices.  No one forces us, not even God.  And certainly not Lucifer.  As free agents, we have sole responsibility of our souls.  Through the Atonement, and by the grace of God, our souls can be made perfect.  I look forward to that day.

It is not our place to judge others.  And for that, I am extremely grateful!  That job is God's, and His alone.  What a relief!  But, we do need to love one another.  As (Gay) Mormon Guy puts it: "I used to love people less because they didn't love people as much or as freely as I did. Then I realized how incredibly ironic my feelings were. I was judging the people around me because they were judging others, and refusing to tolerate them because they were intolerant. That sounds like circular logic. I looked inside myself and realized that I, like they, needed to simply love people - even the people who didn't love me or tolerate me and who judged me without context - and help them to make good decisions. But, no matter what choices others eventually made, I still needed to love them."

And that is my goal in this life.  To love everyone.  My family.  My friends.  And my enemies.  Though I hope to have more friends than foes...  Because, I really like people!  And I hope they like me, too.  Me, the Mormon.  *B


happy haunting

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Halloween?  Yes, I probably have...  Well, this October has been great!  We haven't had to deal with a loss of any kind (baby or house), so I've allowed myself to decorate to my heart's desire and to let myself be really happy.   I am truly content, which is such a wonderful feeling.

I look around our cozy little family room and every wall makes me smile.  I can't decide what has me grinning the most, but I'm particularly fond of my beadboard wall.  Helloooo beadboard!  ;)

While I'm not a huge fan of candy/sweets, I am, however, loving my treat-filled apothecary jars.  Yay for 50% coupons!  The "deadly desserts" sign is just perfect for that space, too.  Yay for the dollar store!  I am also completely thrilled with how my burlap bunting turned out.  More on that later... Yay for tutorials?  But, I adore Will's embroidered pillow the most.  I couldn't have stitched it better myself!  *B


walk to remember

It's hard to think that three years ago I lost my second baby...  Man, that was an awful October!  Worst month ever.  And as the days continue to run their course, I think less and less of my maybe baby.  But I will never forget.

I may not have carried him for long...  I don't even know what the baby's sex was.  All I do know is that I have my Elizabeth Rae now, and I will never use the name Peter B. for a boy.  So I'm going to assume it was a he ;)  Anyway, the loss I've experienced is nothing like the losses of relatives and friends I do know.  But it's still a loss.

This morning I had the chance to be a part of this (thanks Nicki!).  My heart was slightly re-broken...  I mourned alongside the other participating families.  For bereaved families everywhere.  For all the moms who carry a child, only to go home empty handed.  And unless you've experienced that emptiness, you don't know what it's like.  And for that, I'm grateful.  I'm grateful that my heart has been softened so that I can not only sympathize for those mothers, but also empathize with some.  I know what it's like to want to be pregnant.  I know what it's like to have your arms ache to hold your baby.  I know what it's like to feel broken.

I remember, lying there on the exam table, waiting (for hours) for someone to come and tell me what was wrong.  And I remember patting my tummy, whispering to my baby, telling him that it'll be ok.  That I love him.  And that no matter what happens, that will never change.  And I remember telling him how sorry I was that he couldn't stay.

Today, I grieved for the baby I never knew.  Today, I celebrated my children.  My son.  And my daughter.  Once again, my eyes were opened.  To the miracle of life.  And to the beauty of eternal families.  *B


these faces

No one drives me crazier than these two.  But, no one loves them like I do.  *B


make like a bat

In case you (*cough, cough* Jen) haven't seen it yet, I'm giving away (*sniff, sniff*) this haunting platter you now see before you.  I'll be picking the winner on Monday, so fly on over and enter if you so choose.  I know I would!  I'm simply batty for it.  *B

ETA: giveaway is closed and the winner is picked :)


more decor

  • Wall-art/wannabe-vinyl from this store 
  • Plates are from the dollar store, with vinyl cut by these two 
  • Pumpkin man and feather wreath from the spoiler (aka. mom)
  • Spooky books: Poe collection, The Graveyard Book, and Dracula.  I highly recommend all of them.
And the cross-stitch is done by moi.  I finished it the day after Halloween last year.  I almost couldn't find it and I was in the process of throwing a fit about it when I finally found it.  I realize cross-stitch isn't for everybody.  It is kinda reminiscent of stencils-stamped-on-the-walls days...  But, I adore needlework of all kind (one of my preferred hobbies).  Anyway, the purple netting is recycled/reused from a bouquet of flowers my dear hub brought me over a month ago.  And the little ghosties floating in it are from a festive light necklace that went dead.  Cheers for puns and being resourceful ;)

Can anyone guess what's on the compuTV?  I'll give you a BIG hint: it's one of my all-time favorite movies, regardless the season.  My brothers think I'm kinda morbidly obsessed with the macabre...  Maybe they're right.  Halloween is, after all, my favorite holiday.  *B


broadway review

We went to our first school performance as parents' of a performer.  There is something magical about watching your child on stage.  I was close to tears the entire time.  Happy tears, of course.  I was just so proud to see him up there, strutting his stuff and singing his heart out.  Might I add that my dear boy can carry a tune like no other little five year old boy with blond, spiky hair can ;)  And you should have seen his little sister!  She was his biggest fan, crying when he left the stage, and then beaming when he returned.  So cute.

I was also proud of all the other performers, young and "old" (grades K-12).  I couldn't stop myself from smiling and applauding.  I just kept thinking of how their parents' must feel, and how our Father in Heaven must feel...  These children are such a gift, especially when sharing their talents with others.  Such a sweet experience.  And I can't wait until the next one!  *B


sweet & spooky

It's October y'all!  Woot woots for everyone :)  I hope you don't mind, but most posts from now until November 1st will probably be Halloween-related.  And if you do mind, well then I'm sorry.  But not really, because this is my blog.  Seriously though, who hates Halloween?  The crazies, that's who.  And vampires...

My halls are decked and properly spookified!  Our wee little home is pretty tricked-out.  Want to see?  Good, because I'm going to show you!  Today's post features my little entryway table/desk/thing.  It's in desperate need of a makeover (just waiting for the heat to pass)... but at least the stuff sitting on it is cute!  At least, I think so.  The super cool stuff like the tree, plaque (and spidered mirror) are all courtesy of my mom.  Story of my life.  Not complaining!  Pretty sure it's all from Orange Patch, too.  Love that place.  But notice the candy corn garland (take that Lolly Jane!), and my vintage Halloween blocks.  Maybe you're unimpressed.  Which is sad, because I'm thrilled with how they both turned out!  If you do like them, then let's be friends.  Oh, and I'll share my secrets with you, too.  Because decorating is fun.  Halloween decorating is funner.  And Halloween decorating on a budget is funnest!

The garland is pretty straight-forward.  Sorry, I don't have any fun step-by-step photos...  But I'm confident you can figure it out!  You'll need black embroidery floss, candy corn, and a hot glue gun (including the glue).  FYI, I tried threading the candy corn.  The first two threaded just fine, and then I proceeded to break ten in a row and decide the hot glue gun route is best.  Put a little glue on the candy corn tip, attach floss to candy (not the other way around).  Space candy corn every 2 inches.  After you've got 6 glued and attached to the floss, go back and add just a dot of glue on top of the now embedded thread.  Repeat until you've reached desired length.  I left about 6 inches of the floss un-candied at the ends, for attachment purposes.  Let the glue cool completely before you move anything, and be careful to avoid tangles!  I cannot emphasize that enough.  Candy corn garland = fun.  Tangled candy corn garland = nightmare.

These blocks are probably my favorite decoration in my entire house.  I didn't have any appropriate scrapbook paper, so I went and grabbed some digi goodness.  And because I love all things vintage, I scoured the internet and found sweet little Halloween images.  Look at those precious pictures!  Anyway, I just worked a little ModPodge/distressing magic, and voila.  Oh, they make me so happy!  I plan on doing the same thing for other holidays.  Can you imagine the cuteness of Christmas?  Valentine's day?!  Goodness gracious.  If, by chance, you'd like to make these same blocks, here they are.   Just click and save as.  Images are 2.5 x 2.5.  The tops of the blocks are made with the Shabby Princess Halloween Sampler.  I already had wood blocks and I just printed everything out on my home printer.  Super cute and super free!  My favorite.

So there you have it!  I just HAD to share; everyone deserves to have a haunted house ;)  Oh, and there's a giveaway on the Mess, too.  Yes, it's more Halloween hullabaloo.  And yes, I have more than the one wall/table decorated.  Trust me, I have more.  *B

 Need more spooky decor?
Check out all the crafty goodness happening at:



clean schmean

We interrupt this month's cleaning schedule on behalf of dust and cobwebs, and declare this house a safe-haven for all (fake) creepy-crawlies.  All in the name of Halloween!  Piles of dirty clothes and dishes are scary, too...  Right?  *B