Friday, October 31, 2014

The Human Marvels

Every year the husband and I throw a big Halloween Event. This year, in an effort to move away from my usual vampire theme, I decided to do "Freak Show" as a nod to Geek Love, A book I read this year and absolutely loved. You saw the invitations. In doing research for this party I became fascinated with the side show and with the glossary attached. The advent and history of the physically unusual accepting money for people to gawk upon their malformations has become somewhat of a little past time for me and a great addition to my abundant admiration of the macabre.

Happy Halloween! 
Enjoy "The Human Marvels" and this outstanding website called Montrous.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ghoulish, Dreadful, Macabre and Gruesome

It seems we try so hard to come off with really creepy, intense Halloween costumes and while sometimes we, as modern folk,s pull out all the stops and succeed, it turns out nothing is scarier than the Halloween costumes from early in the last century. This imagery is from all around the web and was compiled last year by Faux Magazine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Inspired - I Think You Need A Hug

"I Think You Need A Hug"

Office man, he’s pretty great.
He so committed, he’s never late.
Loves his job, though he’s sometimes blurry
As he confronts his cube with a touch of fury
At least he’s cool, not some tricky fool
Dreams of Porsches and drinks by a deep blue pool
Listens to tunes to make anyone swoon
Eats his lunch with a silver spoon
Look at line 4, right there above
Ain’t no joke, there’s really no love
Please throw our office man a bone
Simply get off his back and leave him alone.

The poem above represents most everyone who endures cube life. Isn't there more?
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mom's Apple Pie

I love Apple Pie. And I love the fall. Thankfully, they both come at the same time. Now that the apple harvest is happening, I've been getting some great varieties at the farmers market. If you love apple pie, but have never endeavored to make it. It's a snap and I recommend trying it. Plus, it's a great thing to have on hand when the occasional autumn guest shows up! I love a friendly stop by especially once the holidays begin!

I always use Granny Smith apples. They are large and firm and tart. But if like a variety that is equally as firm, you can use those instead.

Ingredients (Pie Filling):

6-8 Large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter

Directions (Pie Filling):

Put sliced apples in a large bowl and allow to macerate in the sugar cinnamon combination for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the pie crust.

Ingredients (Pie Crust):

2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks cold, cubed butter
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup water (roughly)

Directions (Pie Crust and Pie Completion):

Pre-heat oven to 350
Sift flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl
Add the cold cubed butter and mix using your hands until the butter is combined with the flour mixture, resembling oatmeal
Add the water slowly, you may use less than the entire half cup. This is to form the dough.
Create a ball from the dough, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and begin to roll into two round pie shaped for the bottom of the pie and one for the top.
Lay the first one in the bottom of the pie plate, add the apples, and dot the apples with the two tables spoons of butter.
Cover the pie filling with the second crust.
Seal the pie crust with your fork. (If you're my mom, you do really fancy stuff with the crust that seems to defy nature)
Poke holes in the crust for the steam to release (or if you want to be fancy, cut little shapes with tiny cookie cutters as I did here).
Place pie on a cookie sheet (in case of spill over)
Bake pie at 350 for 1 hour.
Serve hot or room temperature preferable with ice cream. ;)

My cute neighborhood. Someone got festive in the community garden.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Welcome to the Freak Show

So I really dig making stuff. And when I came up with the idea to do a Halloween Party this year I must say I was a tiny bit influenced by last years reading of Geek Love in developing the invitation. And now this year, American Horror Story is doing "Freak Show," I felt it only appropriate to celebrate with the same.

Instead of sending flat cards I did a three dimensional invite and thought to hand them out when I saw folks! It was a blast to make and the husband really enjoyed getting in on the engineering of it. Our kitchen table was laden with tiny legs and arms to create the conjoined twins.

I wrote a special poem for the invitation itself.

Meet Arthur and Anslemo, The Siamese Twins
You'll shriek, you'll gasp, you'll wheeze and spin.
Come one, Come all for only one night.
A carnival of Freaks, my what a sight.
The Three Legged Man, The Bearded Lady
Everyone there, just a tad shady!

Please Join Gwen and Bulent
The Ringmasters, Under the Big Top
When: Saturday October 25th
What Time: 7:30 to Midnight
Where: Our House
Attire: Dress as Your favorite Freak or
 Side Show Pass Around
Other: Bring some food or drink to share.
PLEASE RESPOND by the 20th of October.

And then the entire little ditty:

Sorry about this one. I wish it was more in focus.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Cottage Diaries

Molly writes sweetly, her voice and style are down to earth and kind and her photographs are marvelous and her recipes are masterpieces! The Cottage Diaries is a place you can gain tons of inspiration and get all but lost in the images and the happiness there! The photos here are for Lavender Macarons with Honey Earl Grey Buttercream. The cookies themselves are her specialty. Simply delightful. I've included a few of her pics. When I make them, (if I am successful) I'll include my own photos as well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hazel Village

This past weekend was my niece's first birthday. Riley turned 1 and fun was had all. I wrote her a little poem so she won't forget us, living all the way out here in California. Kinda cute. It expresses how I feel, anyway. And, I don't want her not to know who we are. Uncle Boo and Auntie Wendi.

Riley, not a little baby anymore
Ten tiny toes and fingers still, like before
Now they are one and so is she
As Riley ages more and more pretty will be
I can’t wait to see how her life will unfold
So many adventures; stories better than gold.
My best advice to you my dear, sweet niece
Please love yourself, each special little piece
You, my Riley Quinn, are the only one
So unique, so priceless and so much fun
Remember, that although Uncle Boo and I are far away
You are so close to our hearts and we will never stray.
When you turn six I’m sure you’ll tell a joke and be funny
Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Pea! Enjoy this Juliette Bunny!

I was shopping for my sweet girl's birthday present. I had several stipulations though (not that I am high maintenance or anything). I wanted the gift to be a soft friend. I wanted it to be very personalized and I wanted something that would be lasting. 

I found a treat so unique; so magical, that I was simply prepared to pay any amount of money! And enter Hazel Village. Look at makes me scream and clap and dance with joy! This little Story, "Juliette's Painted Trunk" is the reason I chose Juliette for Riley. (For copyright purposes, I have only included a wee bit of the story pictures). Click here to see this and other stories from the imagination of  Jane Van Cleef. You will be utterly enchanted.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Inspired - A Girl Walked Into a Bar

The Inspired
So, a girl walked into a bar...

This Girl Walks Into a Bar
She wasn't sick until she walked in.
She immediately looked pale and felt thin.
Her health, rapidly declining, made her wonder
It was a little thing to take notice of, to ponder.
"Why did I walk into this bar after all?"
She held on to the greasy tables, trying not to fall.
If she hadn't walked into that place would she healthy be?
What she remembered is how she loves to be free.
But this is a shackle, this illness, the spackle
that it might take to mend before she can bend
the sickness in her chest 
you know, the one in her breast
Her head she inclined and simply sipped 
And waited, patiently, before she was stripped.
Maybe, she thought, I should quit drinking.
This ship, she looked around, is it sinking?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Been A Year

She died. It was an immeasurably terrifying day for some reason; perhaps because it had elements of the surreal coupled with the supernatural. It was a day that was spent more as an out of body experience rather than a day of sorrow and loss. As the days went on and I would think of her, I cried, of course, but not for the letting go of her; more for my own guilt and distance from her. She left our dimension at the age of 93, a mere month before her 94th birthday. Everyone said, “She had a good run.” And she did, I admit. But how is her “good run” comforting to her, to me, to the fear we hold of the unknown? 

Growing up, I remember looking upon grandma in awe. She was the fanciest lady I had ever seen at five years old. Except as I grew she continued to be the most savvy woman I had ever seen. In my little girl sensibilities, it seemed she was the only person in the world like her. When I was a pre-teen I realized I was right. She was always fashion forward, clever, and her creativity was paramount to those artists of her generation, perhaps going even beyond. She was an innovator; a pioneer. What she lacked in some realms she more than made up with fashion, knowledge, card games, art and heritage.

So today, one year gone from losing this extraordinary woman, I raise a glass to her with the wish that she is happy and fulfilled wherever she is. שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם לְךָ to you Granny.