Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Graves R Us

Halloween is just around the corner so I have been working to move the graves from the backyard (they were in the back for Sydney's party) to the front, and beef up the decorations. I have much, much more to do, but it's starting to look pretty good! :)

Years ago I made a tombstone to add to our collection from simple plywood. It's the large one with "Carrie White" written on it. I decided that Carrie needed a hand coming out of the ground, so I whipped one up using a rubber glove stuffed with tissues and a toilet paper roll for her lower arm/wrist. I've always liked making things with paper-mache. I stapled a long wire to a small piece of wood that's inserted inside the arm. To dry I just stabbed it into the ground in the sunshine. This is Carrie's hand, palm up.

Once I painted it with a combo of white, black, and blue paint, I let it sit in the sun another hour. Then I dripped and smeared Riding Hood Red ink on her hand, and added some fake nails with hot glue. Click on the image below and zoom in.....not too shabby, right!?!

The hand isn't waterproof though. I have had to rescue it a few times from the rain, but that's a small price to pay for this little detail. I could probably have coated it with something, but I'm not overly worried about it. When it ends up weathered I might like it even better, or I can just make myself a new improved version!

So, anyway, we only had 5 graves that I was moving to the front, and on Sunday I was eyeballing a couple of small plywood scraps in the garage. They were just the right size for a few new headstones! My original DIY grave isn't anything that great, but after cutting and painting 3 new ones I had a "DOH!" moment. Why not STAMP the names on them!? Ta da...

Jack's headstone is actually embossed with VersaMark and Gold Embossing Powder! It's got good visibility in daylight, and at night with the red spotlight it really shimmers (pic below)! I tried Silver EP on Annie Wilke's grave. It's not as easy to read from every angle, but it looks pretty cool too! Silver would be FABULOUS on a plain black headstone. :)

The third gravestone is Norman you recognize that one! lol I stamped his name with Real Red Craft ink and embossed with Clear EP. I was pretty happy with it that way, but Gabe (the husband) wanted to outline the letters in white, so he did. They are certainly each unique!

So here's a trivia question for you. Do you know who Carrie White is? If so, do you know what she has in common with Jack and Annie? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear what you think!

Can't wait to crank up the fog machine!!! Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stamped COOKIES!!!

We just had another Halloween themed birthday party for my daughter, Sydney. We have a really fun time decorating the whole house and backyard for her parties. Since she has a September birthday at the end of the month, we have done the Halloween theme venue a few times before. This one celebrated her 10th birthday!
Sydney in her mummy costume

I made her invitations using My Digital Studio. I just layered a few elements digitally and printed them on my printer. Once trimmed out with my chocolate bar measurements I wrapped them up for delivery to the potential party guests. And since MDS uses Stampin' Up! punches and images I was able to coordinate her cake with it. I used my Bat Punch* with a black sugar sheet to punch bats for her tombstone cake!

Party day is always so crazy I try to do as many things ahead of time as I can. The easiest was making these snickerdoodles, which happen to be the birthday girl's favorite cookie!
Snickerdoodles made with Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps
I didn't put pumpkin faces on them using just any old cookie cutter or mold. These are reminiscent of my post on pie stamping. Stampin' Up! has released a new product for the holidays, Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps!

They are super cute and easy to use. They're sold as a trio, so you get all three of the stamps above along with a beautiful wood handle that they easily slide on and off of. Here's a flyer with more info about Cookie Stamps! =)

The only real trick to them is to use any recipe that doesn't have a leavening agent in it. My snickerdoodle recipe listed baking soda, so I just omitted it. They came out fine. Not as puffy as usual, but still delicious and with cute pumpkin faces!!!

Here's my recipe...

Makes 3 dozen

1 Cup Butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda (you can leave it out)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400. Cream together butter and sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda (if using) and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfulls into balls. Roll balls into sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Place dough balls on ungreased cookie sheet and press with cookie stamp. After pressing they won't spread during baking. If not using cookie stamps (and if you included baking powder) make sure you space your cookie balls about 2 inches apart so they can expand and rise.

Bake 8-10 minutes depending on how soft you like your cookies. Eat them all!

*Bat Punch retired 2011 

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