Pumpkin Party

Pumpkins are one of those great things that are fun to incorporate into crafts, decorations and food from October to Thanksgiving.

Crafts:

Faux stained glass, if you’d rather paint than carve your pumpkin here are fun ideas including candy corn and caterpillars, acorn pumpkins, pumpkin head pencil, jar jack-o-lantern,

Pumpkin Carving:

Templates: pirate, tiki, mischievous grin, 45 templates from Martha Stewart, stencils from Better Homes & Gardens,

Ideas: pumpkin hollow, fishy snacks, spiders and all, fanged pumpkins, zombie pumpkins, pumpkin creatures, swarms of bats,

Pumpkin Foods:

Breads: pumpkin spice bread, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin walnut biscuits, chocolate chip pumpkin loaf, pumpkin cloverleaf rolls, curried pumpkin and ginger scones, cinnamon-swirl pumpkin rolls, pumpkin spice quick bread with raisins.

Cakes & Pie: cake o’ lantern, pumpkin gooey butter cakes, ice cream pie, pumpkin roll cake, citrus-glazed pumpkin carrot cake, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin-pecan tassies, pumpkin charlotte.

Puddings & Trifles: maple pumpkin custard, pumpkin gingerbread trifle, pumpkin pie creme brulee, pumpkin maple bread pudding, pumpkin mousse, gingersnap crumble pumpkin parfaits.

Cookies & Bars: icebox squares, pumpkin squares, pumpkin and cream cheese cookies, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cake bars with cream cheese frosting, melt in your mouth pumpkin cookies, pumpkin-swirl brownies, pumpkin sticky buns, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin pie drops, creamy pumpkin strudels.

Cupcakes & Muffins: pumpkin cupcake, pumpkin praline muffins, gluten-free pumpkin muffins, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin and spice cupcakes.

Snacks & Dinners: curried pumpkin apple soup, pumpkin tortellini, pumpkin soup with chili-cran apple relish, pumpkin-bean soup, pumpkin, barley and sage soup, pumpkin dip, roasted pumpkin seeds, spiced pumpkin butter, smoky braised mexican pumpkin, pumpkin gratin.

Drinks: pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin pie martini, pumpkin pie nog.

What will you do with your pumpkin?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Spooky Snacks

It’s Halloween and since I love food, I’ve scared up some spooky recipes to inspire your taste buds.

Snack, Dinner & Drinks:

Salsa and cheddar dip with witch hats, spooky punch, spider web fritters, mexican pumpkin punch, screaming hot peanuts, sinister salsa, savory pumpkin puffs, dilled onion cheese balls, witch hat calzones, strawberry cider, bug garnish, pizza mummies, orange hot chocolate, dark and spooky (a drink).

Dessert:

Pecan caramel spiders, candy corn parfait, candy corn cordials, red velvet brain cupcakes, brain cookies, pumpkin pudding, candy corn cupcakes, wicked cupcakes, ghastly meringues, spiderweb brownies, wicked witch cupcakes, mini monster cupcakes, pudding filled cupcakes, candy corn cookies, ghost cakes, green monster cupcakes, October parfait, candy corn freeze, gingerbread skeletons, jell-o monster.  And for decorating your favorite foods, check out these Halloween ideas from King Arthur.

What are your favorites?  I am looking forward to a few witch and monster cupcakes myself!

Hauntingly Halloween

Can you believe it? Halloween is one week away!  Today I’m sharing some of my favorite halloween decorations and crafts that I’ve seen this year.  What are you making?

Snakes and Spiders:

Snake wreath, spider egg, string spider web, yarn spider, egg carton spiders.

Spooky Lights:

Table lanterns, snake and frog lanterns, spirit jugs, house-o-lantern, candleeyebra.

Bats:

Clothespin bats, Mickey Mouse bats.

Tombs:

Lawn tombstones, candy filled tombstones.

Ghosts:

Ghost prints, floating ghosts, cheesecloth ghosts.

Mummies:

Candy holder, treat cup.

More Scary Ideas:

Witch and cat lawn ornaments, zombie pumpkins, silhouette curtains, paper mice, potato stamp, spooky thumbprints.

What a fun bunch of ideas! I’m excited to do some last minute decorating and crafting.  Do you decorate for Halloween?

Out to the Ballgame

This week the World Series of baseball begins.  The Rangers and Cardinals will be battling it head to head for the title of champion.  Here are some fun party ideas for all fans to play around with:

Crafts:

This pencil topper will almost make your fan want to do their homework

Baseball fans will love this fan

Remember your first game well

Make your own baseball keychain

Try this on for size for a little baseball themed Halloween fun

For perfect game ending send-offs fill these bags

Get comfy for the game

Food:

Caramel corn, nachos supremo, caramel popcorn balls.

Chicago style hot dogs, burgers, turkey sausage sandwich, Texas corn dog, pulled pork sandwich, bulldog dogs, hero sandwiches.

Home run cupcakes, grand slam cupcakes, baseball cupcakes, baseball cupcakes, balls and gloves.

Event:

For your event you’ll either want to do baseball’s red and white or you can go with the colors of your favirite team (even if they didn’t make it in the playoffs), or you can go with Rangers and Cardinals colors.  You can spread the colors throughout the party including streamers, plates, silverware and what you wear.

To decorate your table or buffet line, try bases, leather string and peanut bags for place cards.

Will you be planning a baseball party this year?  I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Apple Crafts and Decor

Let’s have some creative fun with apples this fall!  I love eating them, but there’s also some fun and creepy things we can do with them:

Scented ornaments make a great gift or decoration.

An apple-stamped bag is an easy and creative painting project.

Creepy shrunken heads make your apple cider extra spooky (not kidding here!).

Use apple cutouts to create cute and functional crafts.

More shrunken heads for your Halloween decorations.

Add a little winter cheer to your house with apple votives.

An apple wreath is a great seasonal door decoration.

Apple-printed linens cheer up any holiday table.

Spooky and cute at the same time, this bag looks at you!

Enjoy your drinks and protect the table with apple coasters.

Kids will enjoy getting their hands dirty in this tree project.

Seed beads make a cute apple pin.

Simple yet beautiful, an apple card sends seasonal cheer.

What do you do with your apples besides bake them?

FF: Jewelry by Debby Designs

Happy Friday!  Today we’re talking with Debby from Jewelry by Debby Designs. Debbie has an amazing gift for creating jewelry, and her skills extend beyond the jewelry board.

Why are you passionate about jewelry and being creative?

I always loved jewelry, even as a child. When I was a teen I loved goudy rhinestones, the vintage pieces Grandma had tucked away. Grandma gave me her pins and I would wear the jewelry with Mom’s Cashmere sweater from the 50’s and patch Levi jeans. Jewelry was my thing. I made a few necklaces out of seed beads in teen camp but nothing to brag about.

What got you started with jewelry and creativity as a hobby/business?

I started making jewelry when my Mother asked me to help her with a jewelry project 5 years ago. I’m hooked and been designing ever since. My mother is an artist and metal smiths. Growing up I was surrounded by talented people in my family. Grandma Iris taught me the saying, “IF THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY”. I use that lesson through life’s journey. I admire those with strength and vision like my Grandma, Mother and Dad, Bernie. Afterwards I started buying my supplies at a craft store, shopping for material online and at Gem shows. I became addicted to creating unusual jewelry pieces, and eclectic jewelry. I then set up a hobby/business and started selling on Etsy.com, Art Fire.com, did a few craft shows and a boutique owner found me.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve designed?

I like my Hand Stamp Jewelry. I use different metals (Copper, Silver, Brass, and Gold) and crystals with a sterling ball chain. I like my record Jewelry which is unique made out of recycle old scratched vinyl records melted into wonderful bracelets.  My Sea Glass Jewelry is another of my favorite picked off the shore of Southernmost Beach in Key West FLA.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work?

I want to continue designing, continue to learn new techniques and grow. I’m hope to become a well know jewelry designer and artist (I paint too). I enjoy meeting other artisans and appreciate their work. The boutique I have my jewelry (Schon on the Boulevard) does charity work monthly and the owners, employees and artisans give back to community. I will be selling my painting soon.

I make jewelry and donate for good cause. I made a charm bracelet for animal rescue, cancer bracelets and bracelet for children charity and I will be volunteering to teach less fortunate children art classes soon. It’s rewarding and you meet good people with good spirit.

Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?

My tips to fellow jewelry artist and artisans. Love what you do, share with other artisans, get involved in an art groups, guild, meet people in the art world, and community. Don’t worry about the small stuff like copy cats, everyone copies in a sense. Be unique, have fun designing and creating.

I will NEVER go back to the corporate world ever again. I’m much happier doing what I love and surrounding  myself with positive people with creative minds and common interest.

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” James Allen

You can connect with Debby on Etsy, Artfire, her website, her Wix site, and Facebook.

~Thank you Debby!  I love your work and look forward to seeing your paintings and new jewelry inspirations soon!

Decadent Desserts

If you’ve known me for a while or been following me online, you should know that one of the things I love in the world is dessert.  Fortunately October is National Dessert Month and a great excuse for me to enjoy sweet desserts.

Classic Choices:

Bread pudding, carrot cake, banana cream pie, pecan pie, blueberry pie, dessert shot parfaits, key lime pie, lemon squares, coconut ice cream, raspberry rugelach, pineapple upside down cake, shortbread, sticky toffee puddings, rice pudding, island bananas foster cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Charms:

Chocolate mud cake, mint chocolate bark, chocolate chip banana bread, double chocolate pudding cake, chocolate covered cherries, fudge.

Healthy and Happy:

Low-fat cheesecake, pumpkin rice pudding, carrot cupcakes, double chocolate brownies, peanut butter mousse, chocolate zucchini cake, blonde brownies, raspberry lime freeze.

Fall Favorites:

Caramel apple cake, chocolate pear pouches, caramel apple cheesecake, maple pumpkin custard, pumpkin pie, apple fritters, ginger tea cakes, salted caramel-chocolate-bourbon cupcakes, monkey bread.

What are your favorite desserts?