Archive for October, 2007

I carved pumpkins with my brother with the Pumpkin Masters kit left over from a past Halloween using the stencil method.  Above is his pumpkin.  The title of the pattern is ‘fangs’ and you can sort of tell that he still has one tooth left.  This pumpkin weighed over 30 lbs and had a lot of gunk inside him.  Plus, the walls of the pumpkin were really hard to carve.  This was one solid squash!  The poor pumpkin got carved a little rough as a result but he is oh so cute at night. 

Check out his gold tooth!  What’s not to love about that face? 

I like the how the thumb turned out on my ‘fright this way’ pumpkin, with the darkened nail.  It almost looks like it was painted black.  The meat of this pumpkin was considerably easier to carve than the one above, so I was lucky!   

If my printer wasn’t on the fritz I would have made another pumpkin using one of the patterns on Pumpkin Glow.  There are patterns on the site that call for carving the pumpkin only half way through so you have a darker portion and an added dimension.

Also, if you have some creepy Halloween photos you can enter it in the Photobucket Freakin’ Friends Halloween Slideshow Contest     

*That’s cool* a random fact

Pumpkins are a fruit and come from a Greek word meaning large melon.

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In the spirit of Halloween my mother made a haunted dollhouse.  Orange lights inside the house glow from behind the skeleton at night. 

A wide view of the whole front, complete with non-spooky neighbors.   The “Happy Halloween” sign behind the dead tree was actually a one of those foam kits you can buy at JoAnns.

And what is a haunted house without a resident graveyard?

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In memoriam

Bye Gumpy.

1928 – 2007

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The sun is out today!  Seriously a picture perfect autumn day.  I walked the dog around town and spotted a hand-knit grey hat and a crochet scarf.  Yarn projects are finally out and about. 

In other news, my flower motif baby blanket finally saw the light of day.  The motifs are from the Flower Garden Scarf, available in the comprehensive Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Happy Hooker.  To make the blanket, assemble just as the scarf is made.  On the second row, continue assembling as normal except attach the previous strip also.  For this blanket I made a diagonal appearance by starting on the second motif in the scarf series on the second row, the third motif on the third row and so on.    

I made the blanket this summer with yarn from my stash which was perfect since it was light and airy.  (For that reason I suppose that I’ll have to wait until late spring to gift this particular item.)  If I made this blanket again I would only make solid color motifs.  Those little circles doubled my time weaving in ends!

 The yarn is stitched in Lion Brand Baby Soft in white and bubblegum and an unknown navy of the same weight with an f hook.  I have never seen a Baby Soft navy available in stores, but it apparently is out there.  On the Lion Brand site  they list Baby Soft colors I have never laid eyes on, for example the black, pistachio and lemon drop.  Where do I get those colors? 

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Biscuit the Dog.  She is intently watching the tennis ball in my hand.  Really she is very patient waiting for me to photograph her before throwing the ball; just licking her chops.

I’m not sure if this is true for all Jack Russell Terriers, but Biscuit has always had the idea that I should wrestle with her for the ball.  Here she chewing away, waiting for me to try to snatch the ball away from her. 

I throw the ball, she runs and retrieves it, then I have to pry it from her mouth.  Even at 11 years old, I can still lift her whole body up by the ball in her mouth! 

*That’s cool* a random fact

Jack Russell named Bothie was the first and only dog to visit both the North and South Poles, since canines are now banned from visiting Antarctica.

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I’m always caught off guard when the days get shorter. Today I thought I had enough sunlight for a color photo, but no.  I’ll post the details about this flower motif blanket when I can muster up enough natural light.

*That’s cool* a random fact

Trees are the longest living organisms on earth.

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I feel as though the entire house is being insulated by spiderwebs. Their favorite locations for spinning webs are bushes and doorways. I mind the later since I have to use them to enter the house. The good news is I have only had to remove one guest from inside the house, a big black spider with tan legs. Amazing count considering the plethora of arachnids guarding the doors.

*That’s cool* a random fact

Mate cannibalism is rarely practiced by the female black widow species of North America in it’s natural habitat. However, the female Western Black Widow, Latrodectus hesperus, is impressively as much as 160 times larger than the male of the species.

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My brother got this Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Mega Zord in a trade for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure when he was ten. His best friend apparently initiated the swap, which I take solace in since it was not a very fair trade. The original Zord is a compilation of five different prehistoric animals which transform into the single sword-wielding robot while the TMNT figure had a couple of plastic accessories. But, if the kid wanted the Donatello TMNT instead of the Zord, so be it.

My brother wasn’t big on TMNT. This probably isn’t a surprise since we weren’t allowed to watch the cartoon. However, we watched plenty of Power Rangers and it’s counterpart, VR Troopers, at our after school daycare. I’m not sure the show was any better in content, but there were about five of us at the daycare, and it kept us in check for a good half hour.

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I made a couple tangram sets out of thick scrapbooking paper. I felt the pieces were too light, so I filled them 3/4 full with rice. I’m not sure if the rice will spoil and if I did it again I would use a non- food product like plastic beads or stuffing pellets.

This particular paper model is simple enough to understand with limited direction referencing. You can find the free printout at Shelia’s Papermodels. The set even includes a few pages of puzzles to assemble into a leaflet. She has some challenging models too, like a medieval trebuchet. I plan to make the 18 page chess set when I have more ink in my printer!

Check the Tutorials page to learn how to make templates for this and other simple paper models. This not only saves on ink, but allows you to choose you own size and color paper. This also a great technique for die cuts for scrapbooking and kids school projects.

Looking for more free paper models? There are tons of them out there on the world wide web. This is a list of a few I have bookmarked:

The Toymaker has whimsical illustrated models appropriate for beginners and children.

For famous architecture, animals, seasonal items and a completely fictional town complete with cars, building, trains, etc visit CreativePark.


Girl Gamers Unite has a list of sweet little paper Mario characters.


Alternatively, try Ninjatoes for other Nintendo characters and a few Star Trek spaceships.


And for you Trekkies out there with a few paper models under your belt, build replicas of various starship bridges at The Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center Paper Model Egiftshop (whew!).


If models aren’t for you, send a friend a snail mail pop up greeting card from Robert Sabuda.

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How cute is this blanket? This is the 100% cotton Plaid Baby Blanket from FAO Shwarz. Those bright and unconventional colors, especially the black, really caught my eye. The site says the colors, “promote visual stimulation”. I’ll have to take their word for it.

You can own one for $45, but the pattern is oh so easy! Just simple (hdc?) squares in the round. Personally, I would use the adjacent stitch for the corners to create a more solid looking square.

Need another reason to love this blanket? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s baby Shiloh has one! (If you’re looking for more sightings of crocheted items owned by famous babies try the Celebrity Baby Blog.)

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