Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This is Halloween!

What is it about Halloween that makes me ooze with creativity?  I just love it!  Even though we get exactly ZERO goblins who trick-or-treat, I enjoy costuming (I believe that's a word) the house.  Now that the "young" are really getting into Halloween, I am compelled to outdo myself.

I started with a wreath of sorts inspired by one I saw on Pinterest.

Then came The Witch is Dead vignette...
And the Headless Man in the chair...
After Chuck retired, I thought I would never have to look at that ugly UVA sweater again.
Works well in October, I must say.
I monogrammed a pumpkin (love my Silhouette machine!):

And it all came together like this:

Our house color never photographs well.  It's more yellow than it appears here.
Hey, Chuck.  Let's paint it gray!
 Inside we have my new Witch on her Broom decal from Martha.  I love it!

She's huge!

And, returning once again this year, the mice running amok!
 Don't worry.  Fake candles only.
 After all that hard work, I think it's time for a Halloween cocktail! 
I'll try The Black Widow:
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 0.5 oz. triple sec
  • 0.5 oz Sour Puss Sour Raspberry
  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with plastic spider.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    How He Spent His Summer Vacation!

    I bought a huge paper mache 'S' from Joann's on line (this sucker is about two feet tall) intending to make a monogram photo collage for my craft room, like this one I saw on Pinterest:

    As soon as I started gluing on the photos, I realized this would be a perfect "scrapbook" of Sean's summer visit.
    I printed the photos on computer paper and used Mod Podge to attach them.
    A couple of coats of Mod Podge over all and a coat of polyurethane over the top seals the deal.
    This is one of those things where you see something different every time you look at.
    Notice how Katherine, Jane, and Jennifer peak out over that outside curve?

    Erika hung it over Sean's crib in his new house. 

    Friday, August 31, 2012

    The McMahon Quilt

    This is a quilt I made for the McMahons new house
    in Libertyville, IL:

    I love the cute neighborhood designs.
    Perfect for new homeowners.

    The fabric is Summersville by Lucie Summers for Moda.
    She has a great Etsy shop featuring all of her designs.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Nothing Could be Finer Than to Be in a Diner. . .

    . . . in the morning.  Or for lunch with friends! 

    Last Friday Erika, Sean, and I traveled to Culpeper to meet the Leeds girls at the Frost Cafe.  What a hoot!  And what a cute little town Culpeper is - I had no idea.

    (Swiped these two shots from Yelp.com)
    A neat old-fashioned diner, with formica tables, large vinyl booths, and plenty of seating at the extra-long counter.
    Check out those light fixtures and the swivel stools!

    The food was good!  Could be the best grilled cheese sandwich ever!  I am told that it's best to order the fries "extra crispy."  (I think that means 'please leave them in the hot oil until they've reached their maximum grease absorbency.') 

    Since Jane and I like to meet for lunch, we plan on returning to Culpeper to sample more of the eateries and stores.  But it's always more fun when we bring along friends.
    Katherine, Janie-Poo, and Jennifer

    As we walked down the street to our cars, we came upon an old-styled hardware store.  Jane and I got so excited, but the Leeds girls could not understand why! 

    Well here's why girls . . .
    They have squeaky hardwood floors, a very distinct smell,
    AND they have really cool stuff . . .
    . . . like Radio Flyer cars for Sean!
    .....Pfau's anyone?

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Why I Hate Camping

    I hate camping because:
    It requires driving or, worse yet, hiking into nowhere.
    It often means carrying one's bed on one's back.  please.
    It means no running water of the blessed indoor-kind, which, of course, means no toilet.
    It means no TV.
    It means bedtime comes at about 6:30 - see above - (not bad for kids, but not for me.)
    And, as if that were not enough unpleasantness, it means NO POWER.  AT ALL.

    The Chang family would be living the camping life if it were not for the fabulous good fortune that they live near US (refer to blog title), and we did NOT lose power.  Especially sweet, since we have very effective air-conditioners and it has been close to or over 100 degrees since the storm.  

    Last Friday, Virginia withstood a derecho.  Now who knew what that was?  Be honest.  You've never heard of it.  To quote Wikipedia, it is a wide-spread, long-lived, straight-lined windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.  It wreaked havoc on the mid-Atlantic states, leaving well over a million homes with NO POWER.  

    >>Erin and Dean lost power.  Caroline and Pei lost power.  So that meant . . .

    . . .YIPEE!  We got to have a huge sleepover!  The entire fam-damily (except for Brian, who was back in the safety of Chicago) moved in and slept over Saturday night!  I had no idea just how close a family could be!  The Maupins got power back on Sunday, but the Chang Gang is still here (it's Thursday)!   Which brings me to the point of this post:

    This is what 2 1/2-year old Avery does while "camping" at Poppy and Gee's house;
      Please note that the iPad is PLUGGED IN!

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Baby Gate

    This is my current baby gate:
    It's too wide, too clunky, and just plain ugly.
    Last week, while stalking one of my favorite sewing bloggers, Karen, from Sew Many Ways, I came across her little bit of genius to keep tots and dogs from heading up the stairs:  PVC gate.
    After a quick trip to Lowe's for PVC pipe ($4.00) and a quick trip across the street to Joann's for fabric ($12.00), I put the whole thing together in about 20 minutes.

    It's a perfect length, lightweight, and so cute!

    Karen's tutorial is great!  The gate looks like this on the inside:

    And from Lenny's viewpoint, things went from this:
    to this:
    Love it!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Sean turns ONE!

    Cute, right?

    And it turns out he is another fantastic model for clothes sewn by Gee!
    Last night Chuck and I Skyped with Sean and watched him eat an entire Dilly Bar, which may have contributed to the man-sized gut! 
    We love you, little boy.

    And here is a little ditty from two of Sean's cousins, Avery and Jet.


    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Barbie Cake for Ellery

    I don't know how it happened, but Ellery became a four-year-old last week.  In her honor, and to help out her very busy mommy, I created this Barbie Cake. 

    And here is the birthday girl!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    What the h-e-doublehockeysticks is THAT?

    I saw this in my lawn one day while ouside with Lenny.  I ran in the house for my camera and took a few shots.  I had no idea what this cute little 'face' in the grass was.  Google tells me that it is some kind of puffball mushroom past it's prime (whatever it's prime means.)  Lenny snatched it out of the ground right after I took this picture.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    It's a GIRL!

    Corinne Marie Maupin arrived on March 28th.  Erin and Dean once again had a baby in no time at all.  They make it seem so easy.  She was 8 pounds 6 ounces, nearly 21 inches long.  Such a beauty!

    Her big sister Ellery is clearly in love.

    And just look at this trio of tots!

    Welcome Corinne.

    Saturday, March 31, 2012

    Adorable Damask

    If the word 'damask' conjures up images of your grandmother's wallpaper, think again. 
    This is our little Avery wearing a pillowcase dress-type romper that I made with a beautiful Michael Miller fabric called Dandy Damask.  My friend Bonnie brought me a couple of yards of it back in January, and I am loving it.  The romper pattern is a PDF from Whimsy Couture's Etsy shop.  I added the elastic in the middle to suit Avery's figure ;).
    Thank you Avery!

    Thursday, February 9, 2012


    Our sweet standard poodle.  Four months old.
    Enuf said.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Creampuff Swans

    Christmas was more than a month ago.  This was dessert.
    Creampuff swans.  I've made these since the 70s from an old recipe book called "Cookery for Entertaining."  I got it for opening up a bank account 40 years ago!  Still love it!

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    HOUSE PARTY...Gingerbread style!

    Before we get too far into 2012, I need to get these photos posted – they are now four weeks old!

    I have been having gingerbread house parties for several years, and I hope I have dozens more!  This year, the grandchildren, minus Baby Sean, and a few of their friends were in attendance.  I think they loved it! 

    It helps to bake and assemble the houses a few days before the kids come over.

    (I made some gingerbread men and ornaments for fun.)

    Then the candy fun begins! 

    Mary Wade helps her little Mick with the icing~ 

    These two, Ellery and Grant, have a slight advantage with a pastry chef for a mom!

    Ellery is concentrating so hard~

    Jet is an old pro.

    I have no idea what was in Avery’s little backpack, but it must have been important!

    Marley got the hang of using the pastry bag in no time.

    Jet and his best buddy, Olivia, had a great time, and just about covered their houses in sugary goodness.

    This is the entire neighborhood!