Sunday, October 31, 2010

My favorite Halloween ever was...

The day Nathan was born!

My baby turned 5 today! We had these yummy spider cupcakes, and ironically we found a HUGE spider in the house before the guests arrived. Ken dispatched it to a nice tree outside.

I have had a lot of fun posting this Halloween season! I feel it has really helped restore some of my creativity. I'm going to be doing NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow, so I really needed the boost. I hope to keep posting fairly regularly. Wish me luck!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A few more bits of Halloween Creativity

The coolest costume my mom ever made; it was the year I wanted to be a "mailman" like my dad.

The most creative costume...I made the poodle skirt myself.

My Halloween decor, most of which came from the best swap partner evah!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Delighting in that revered suburban tradition: heading to the local farm for the Hallowe'en pumpkins. I had hoped to include delightful images of my family carving them, but sometimes those things don't go as planned :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Our trick or treat festivities actually began at Boo at the Zoo on Sunday. The guys were eager to show off their costumes. Zack is very much wanting to be a Navy pilot when he grows up, so he begged for a flight suit. He's been wearing it all month.

At some point, Nathan got very self conscious about his sack of leaves costume, saying he didn't like how everyone was smiling and pointing at him. We convinced him they really really liked it, so he went out for Beggar's Night tonight.

He was not disappointed with the results.

Zack's interpretation of how we are all going to feel in the morning after eating way too much candy and sweets!

My black and white Halloween Decor

It's Beggar's Night in central Ohio. For as long as I can remember, unlike virtually every other city and town, we have "Beggar's Night" on a weekday if Halloween falls on a weekend. So bring on the trick-or-treaters!

I was inspired by the whole black and white thing this year. I follow ArtsyMama and she always has a black and white themed swap.

My little pumpkin stand...everything was thrifted!

At first my husband didn't "get it" but when it all came together he really liked it! Later we will add a splash of orange when he and the boys carve a pumpkin or two.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween: variations on the witch costume

My mom loved dressing me as a little witch.

I'm only 18 months in this photo. Don't you just love how she used an eyebrow pencil to draw warts onto my face?

This costume was made by my mom. She was far from a Martha Stewart, but she really loved making costumes and decorating.
She was fairly frugal too, so I think I wore it for 2 or 3 years. :-)

The witchy theme continued into my teens. I don't even think I was trying to be a witch.

Those awkward years back in the 80s. Perhaps I was finding myself.

Now that I'm a mom, the witch theme continues, basically because it's easy.

Modern witch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Last week I found myself with a bit of mending to do. It felt good to restore life to something that was torn, in this case the knees of nearly all of Nathan's pants.

So old fashioned, this idea of mending.

Just a few stitches and patches here and there and we were all fixed up.

Same goes with the family. Sometimes a mom just feels blue, and if she isn't careful, she takes it out on all the people who love her most, with a grouchy mood and sour words. I am grateful for their love, and for our ability to mend. Mending is an old and useful idea, indeed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Giveaway at Dakota Pam's

I just found one more bit of bloggy goodness today: It's Time for More Coffee by Dakota Pam. Love it! I can tell we are definitely sympatico on a lot of topics. Today she's writing about the family dinner and doing a book giveaway, so hop on over there and check it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thriftstore Pet Peeve

I picked this little goody up on my thrift adventure. From a distance, this looked old and collectible and my heart swooned. Upon closer examination, I realized it was mass-produced, made in China. I've been noticing at most of the larger thrifts around here they are selling the type of things thrifters look for---from furniture to collectibles to household goods like aprons and linens, all reproductions. What makes me mad is they don't always put labels on them, but if you look around the store you'll see a bunch of the same item. I feel like "they" are on to us, and it just isn't right.

Having said that I bought it anyway. It will look cute on my Halloween display shelf, and I can use it to store some of the smaller items that I have. I had to chuckle when the lady at the register say "Ain't those cute? We had a whole stack of 'em over there last week." I appreciate that at least she wasn't trying to fool anyone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrifted Thursday

Okay, I've totally been avoiding the thrifts, one because I was spending too much money, and two because I don't really need these things, and three because every time I haul more stuff in the house, the husband raises and eyebrow based on points one and two. However, the church had a rummage sale this week, which whetted my appetite, so I ended up visiting a local resale shop as well as my favorite thrift. The pickings far exceeded my expectations. Here are just a few highlights:

Usually I try to steer clear of this stuff, but today these were all items that I found in the "old lady bags"---plastic bags where they have basically dumped the contents of sweet old ladies' sewing boxes, and charged 90 cents a piece for the contents. I especially love the little elephant salt shaker, orphaned from its mate.

File this one under "things to refinish." I plan to paint these and decorate my space with them.

Another item to refinish with bright paint.

A huge assortment of scrapping and stamping supplies, most of it never used. Basically this tin and its contents cost me under $5, but there is at least $50 worth of scrapbook embellishments, stamps and other craft miscellany, never used, within.

A sweet decoupaged tin; I think I buy stuff like this sometimes because I am the only girl in the house, and I just want to surround myself with pretty things.

Someone's well cared-for curtains. I'm going to remove the liner, because it has seen better days, then launder the fabric. Sewing season is upon us!

This was my "sweet find of the day" ---vintage postal scale. I love the color, the starburst, and the fact that it is still functional. A pretty and useful addition to my workspace.

It is amazing how finding a few little treasures can totally inspire you to clean up your space, and get back to work. Normally I eschew the idea of "retail therapy," but now and then, picking up a few little pretty things can really lift your spirits!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We are blessed this year with a wonderful teacher for our son, Zack. Which is a good thing, because he will have her for 2nd and 3rd grades. Her big thing is she loves to ride a bike, and so is encouraging the kids to ride too. At the end of 3rd grade, she will be hosting a 10 mile family bike ride, which she expects us all to participate in.

Trouble was, try as he might, Zack was not interested in getting up on two wheels. That is until two weeks ago.

Nathan and I looked on, while he insisted on trying again and again on his own.

That kid fell off his bike about 500 times, but still day after day he kept going back at it.

And voila, we have success on two wheels!

Accomplishment is contentment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Standard autumn apple picking post, plus a visit to grandpa's

Two weekends ago we headed to northern Ohio for a visit with my grandpa. But it is such a long drive, we needed to have a couple of diversions along the way. First stop was Norwalk, Ohio, birthplace of my mom and her sister. It basically looks like the town from "Back to the Future."

We had lunch at a cute little place called the Uptown Cafe. Be warned: if you ever go there, get the small sub. Big food, little check. My kind of joint. Nathan's cheeseburger was so good he refused to share. Oh, and the food takes a while because they actually make it when you order it.

We then made our way to Berlin Heights, home of Burnham Orchards. They do these harvest weekends where they have apple and pumpkin picking, a corn maze, various activities for the kids, plus they have a big old shop where you can get all your fall produce, cider, honey, jam---everything you need for the pantry. And outside they even had a country western band playing old standards (think Hank Williams Sr. and Patsy) while you sip your hot cider and have a fresh doughnut. I love the ancient drive we humans seem to have to celebrate the harvest.

We pretty much stuck to the apple picking.

Aren't they cute?

It was wonderfully cool up there that weekend, and Nathan learned how awesome hot cider is when the weather gets cool.

The boys got a free ride

I love the double fisting of the apples.

It was a wonderful day to drive in the country. There were combines in every field, the chance to see animals in pastures, and lots of opportunities to talk about where our food comes from, and to feel connected to our roots.

And speaking of roots, we got to visit Grandpa. He's 86 and doesn't get around so good anymore, but he's as ornery as ever. The boys were very excited because we don't see him much, and grandparents in our family are in pretty short supply. It was great to see him and several other family members who stopped by for a visit.

Nice way to start the fall season.