Monthly Archives: October 2010

Fun with Frosting Friday…Jack-o-Lantern Cake

Hello hello, happy friday & Happy Halloween!  Today I’m posting another Halloween jack-o-lantern cake I did a number of years ago.  It was easy to make & tasty to eat!

How I made the cake:

  • Make a cake (chocolate or vanilla) in a large round pan, bake, cool
  • While the cake is baking, mix about 1.5 cups white/vanilla frosting with orange food coloring in a bowl and 1/2 a cup of frosting with black food coloring in a separate bowl (can also use black frosting in a tube, instead- much easier!)
  • Once the cake has cooled, slather the orange frosting over the cake
  • With black frosting (either in the tube or the frosting put into decorating bags), decorate the cake with your own creative jack-o-lantern
  • Add the stem with either frosting, 4 Tootsie rolls or a sliced frosted cupcake

Cake I want to make:

This next cake was emailed to me by a good friend of mine, who came across it on another blog & I think it is just too awesome…talk about creative!

Surprise- it’s a lantern inside!!  How cool is that?!

How to make it:


Happy Halloween!!

(pumpkin I carved circa 2008)


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Things to do this weekend…Halloween Events!

If you and your friends/family are looking for something spooky to do this weekend, here are some ideas!  I went through the Seven Days Calendar & chose some events in the greater Burlington (VT) area that are Halloween-themed, to help you get in the spirt of things!  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30th:

Festival of Pumpkins – Hundreds of glowing jack-o’-lanterns light the way for costumed characters at this Halloween and trick-or-treat kick-off. Festivities begin at dusk. Saturday, October 30, 7PM at Smith Park in Winooski. Free.

Great Pumpkin Gala – Hayrides, donuts and apple bobbing abound at this not-so-scary event for kids 6 and under. Gymnasium. Saturday, October 30, 10AM at Fairfield Center School in Fairfield. Free.

Historic Walking Tour of Elmwood Cemetery – A guided walk among gravestones highlights tales of past Queen City citizens. Tours begin every hour and a half. Proceeds benefit Preservation Burlington. Saturday, October 30, 10AM–4PM at Elmwood Avenue Cemetery in Burlington. $10-15 suggested donation.

‘Nightmare Vermont’ – The state’s creative and evil geniuses scare the socks off visitors to this interactive PG-13-rated haunted house. “Monster wards” and “monster teasers” customize the experience. Performances start every half hour. Saturday, October 30, 7–10:30PM at Picard Circle in South Burlington. $8-12

‘Nightmares Beneath the Chapel’ – Thrill seekers uncover an evil secret behind forbidden doors at this inaugural haunted house. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Basement. Saturday, October 30, 7–11PM atCollege Hall, Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. $7-10

‘The Haunted Forest’ – Good-natured thrills and chills await visitors at this volunteer-run, too-scary-for-tots take on outdoor theater. Tours run on the hour; children’s matinée shows on Saturday, October 30, 11-2 p.m.Saturday, October 30: 11AM – 2PM, 6 – 11PM at Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston. $8.50-$12.50  (a couple of my friends & I will be going to this, so I’ll let you know how it goes!)

Sunday, October 31:

Costumed Halloween Bike Ride – Witches, princesses, pumpkins and other festively adorned cyclists wheel their way through town to Battery Park with the Burlington Bicycle Coalition. Sunday, October 31, 3–4:30PM atBurlington City Hall Park in Burlington. Free.

Festival of Pumpkins – Hundreds of glowing jack-o’-lanterns light the way for costumed characters at this Halloween and trick-or-treat kick-off. Festivities begin at dusk. Sunday, October 31, 7PM at Smith Park in Winooski. Free.

Nightmares Beneath the Chapel’ – Thrill seekers uncover an evil secret behind forbidden doors at this inaugural haunted house. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Basement. Sunday, October 31, 7–11PM atCollege Hall, Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. $7-10.

‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ – The wacky 1975 musical parody of sci-fi and horror films gets a revival in the lounge. Sunday, October 31, 9PM at Big Picture Theater & Café in Waitsfield. Free.

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Decorating Ideas…Scrabble Pillows!

I am a lover of crossword puzzles, Bananagram & Scrabble, so this decorating idea truly makes me smile… Seriously, how great are these pillows?!

What’s even better is that they are made out of 100% recycled felt, sewn with 100% recycled thread and filled with recycled plastic bottles (broken down)!

Buy them here (unfortunately very expensive & not sold in the USA…yet):—cream-2936-p.asp

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Fun with Frosting Friday….Pumpkin Cake!

To continue on the Halloween theme of my last post, here is the cake I made for a Halloween party a couple years ago:

How I made the Pumpkin Cake & cupcakes:

  • Poured a cake mix into a large circular pan & another batch into a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  • While cake was baking, I mixed 3 to 4 cups of frosting with orange food coloring in a mixing bowl, about a 1/2 a cup of vanilla frosting with green food coloring in a small bowl & 1/2 a cup of vanilla frosting with black food coloring- put black frosting in decorating bag
  • Once the cakes/cupcakes had cooled, I spread the orange frosting generously over the cake & cupcakes
  • I sliced one of the cupcakes in half and spread the green frosting over it, then placed it above the cake body, to look like a stem.
  • Lastly, I decorated the cupcakes with black bakers tips to look like jack-o-lanterns and added green gel to make a vein on the cake
  • Ingredients/supplies: green decorators gel, about 4-5 cups vanilla frosting, cake mix, decorators bag & tip, knife, circular pan, cupcake pan, cupcake liners

Now for a cake I’d like to make:

This was made by the sister of one of my friends & was probably delicious (I hear she’s a really good baker).  From the looks of it, it looks like the cake was made in a bunt pan, the hole was filled & an ice cream cone was frosted for the stem!  Great idea!

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Decorating & crafting… Halloween!

This is the time of year when things start to get a little spooky…. Bats, carved pumpkins, ghosts, goblins, mummies…Oh my!

Here are some fun crafting & decorating ideas I’ve come across on the interwebs:

Spider Hatchlings

Spider Hatchlings
This is one egg that trick-or-treaters will scramble to get away from: an orb of hatching spiders hanging from an entryway ceiling or a door frame.
Total Time Needed:
2-3 Hours
  • White glue
  • 2 bowls
  • Plastic spoon
  • Balloon (or buy a white lantern if you aren’t into paper mache!
  • Cheesecloth cut into 12 or so 3- by 18-inch strips
  • Pin
  • Clear fishing line
  • Plastic spiders
  1. Spider Hatchlings - Step 1 Empty the glue bottle into a bowl. Then fill the bottle halfway with water, shake it to dilute any remaining glue, and add the contents to the bowl. Stir the mixture well.
  2. Inflate the balloon to about 9 inches tall and set it aside in another bowl.
  3. Step 3 - Spider Hatchlings Individually dip the cheesecloth strips into the glue, gently squeeze out the excess fluid, and spread the strips flat on the balloon. Cover the balloon this way, leaving 3 or 4 small gaps (as shown) and a 1 1/2-inch opening around the knot for tying on the spiders later. Let the glue dry, rotating the balloon occasionally to speed the drying process.
  4. Pop the balloon with a pin and remove it.
  5. Tie a loop for hanging the egg at one end of a long piece of fishing line. Near the top of the egg, insert the other end of the line through the cheesecloth, then reach inside and pull it out through a nearby gap and tie a spider to it. Gently pull the line back until the spider comes to rest against the inside of the egg, thereby securing the line.
  6. Use more fishing line to create strings of spiders. To tie them to the egg, thread one end of the line through the cheesecloth and out a gap, knot the line, and pull the knot back inside the egg. Attach more spiders directly to the egg simply by poking 2 or 3 legs through the cheesecloth.

Instructions & photos from: 

Spirit Jugs

This is a craft project that really makes me groan, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  It’s using recycled materials & sooo easy!
Total Time Needed:
30 min -1 Hour
  • Cleaned plastic gallon milk or water jugs
  • Black permanent marker
  • Knife
  • String of clear holiday lights
  1. Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the jug caps on while you do this, so the jugs don’t dent.
  2. Use the knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug.
  3. Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs through the hole in the back.Tip:Cut a small hole in the bottom of the jug & put a battery candle inside, instead of using the string of lights & the hole in the back.

Owl A Glow

by Amy Kaldor-Bull From FamilyFun Magazine

Owl A Glow
Not sure if this little guy is spooky enough for Halloween…oh man he’s cute!  Maybe add some Dracula fangs? 
Total Time Needed:
1 Hour
  • Paper globe lantern (available at party stores)
  • Paper
  • Scrapbooking or construction paper
  • Glue dots
  • Jute twine
  1. For the ear tufts, fan-fold an 8-1/2 – by 6-inch piece of paper and insert it under the center bar of the lantern.
  2. Cut facial features and wings from scrapbooking paper, then secure them with glue dots.
  3. Cut talons from paper, and secure them to the lantern with jute twine tied to the center bar.
  4. Hang the lantern from an appropriate light fixture with a low-wattage bulb.

Some other ideas….

Friendly Frankenstein

Materials: Coffee can, permanent marker, googly eyes, 2 screws, wooden knob (found at most craft stores), black felt, green paint & paint brush

Tin Can Black Cat
Materials: Black paint, paint brush, coffee can, felt (black, pink, yellow, white) & glue gun

Paper Plate Ghost
Basic Materials: Paper plate, streamers, construction paper, markers, yarn.

Happy Decorating!


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Fun with Frosting Friday….Fishy Cake!

Today will be an example of a cake that I unfortunately did not actually make, but I “assisted” with.  My sister-in-law is very creative.  She actually did most of the decorating & I sat next to her at the table, giving my opinion (when asked) about where the dots/accents/colors should go & how to blend the frosting.  It came out pretty well & my nephew (who the cake was made for) enjoyed it immensely.

Fishy Cake:

Our “model” an Atlantic Salmon:

How it was made:

-Yellow cake was mixed & poured into an old copper fish mold that was found in my kitchen.  We’re pretty sure that the copper mold is really supposed to be used only for jello molds & the lesson was learned quickly to only pour the cake mix in just over half-way full in a copper pan…the first try resulted in a messy overflow!

-While the cake was cooling, my sister-in-law mixed white frosting (about a cup full) with green food coloring in a bowl and in a separate bowl-about a tablespoon of white frosting with food coloring to make brown (equal mix of  red & green)

-Once the cake was cooled, she lathered white frosting on the underbelly of the fish & the green frosting over the rest of the cake.  With a frosting knife (very flat & rounded edges), she blended the white and green frosting.

-Sprinkle red and orange colored decorators sugar on the back and belly of the fish for color

-Cut fruit leather string to make gills, tail, nose holes & round for mouth.  Tie knots in the fruit leather string to make the eyes.

-Put the brown colored frosting in a small sandwich bag & cut a tiny hole in the tip.  Squeeze out dots of the brown frosting over the body of the fish & between the fruit leather string for the tail.

-Add a few Swedish Fish for decoration around the dish.

-I then went through my nephew’s lures & chose a fun one that I thought would match the colors, though it probably is not technically what would be used to catch an Atlantic Salmon… clearly I don’t know much about fishing!  Still turned out pretty darn cute!


Now for a cake that I’d like to make… The Fall foliage has been gorgeous this year, so I think a cake to celebrate the colors would be wonderful:

Looks like it’s just a round cake & decorated with various colored frostings w/decorators tips!  I bet you could also find some leaf candies, if you want to make this & don’t want to buy decorators tips!


Where I found this cake:

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Decorating…Little spaces with a big heart

Around this time last year I received a call from my parents:

Mom & Dad: “So…we’ve found something on the side of the road & we were wondering if you want it.  We called your brother and he doesn’t.”

Me: “Um…I dunno…do I?  What is it?”

Mom & Dad: “It’s a cute little camper, it’s has a sign by it that says “free” and looks like it’s in pretty good condition!”

Me: “Yea!  Sure!”

My father went back with his truck, hitched it up and brought it to me- it was love at first sight.  Little camper circa early 1960’s, gas-powered lights & stove (also has a special plug for some electricity).


The outside

The inside


Approx 10 hrs later- power-washed, sanded and 3 coats of paint!

My Mom was sweet enough to help me out withe some cute window boxes of flowers!

Happy in its new home!

Note: I promise I’ll update this post with some inside “after” photos…I thought I had them, but it appears that I do not…oops!

All this camper talk got me thinking about living in smaller spaces…could I do it?  Could I deal with only having what I really needed? (I really could stand to cut down stuff, though…)  Would I feel claustrophobic or cozy? Some smaller spaces require really getting creative!  Check some of these smaller spaces out…pretty cool, huh?

This place is an old garden structure-turned-cabin located in Denmark.  It’s just one room with a wood stove to heat it & an outhouse/shower on the side.   One side of the shed- kitchen, dining area, entrance, stove.

Other side of the cabin- bedroom & closet.

Here’s the link to the virtual tour:

Not one person, but TWO people lived in this shed/cabin!  Apparently it was a good test of the couple’s relationship because they actually ended up getting married- they lived here for 2.5 years!  Could you live with your spouse in this little area?


How about a yurt?

This one hardly looks like you’d be “roughing it,” but it certainly is nice!

How about living mobile?  I found this van at the South End Art Hop a few months ago on display:

Living room & kitchen all in one.Bedroom & closet.


Lastly, this was a post a friend of mine found on Craigslist for a rental available in Brooklyn, NY…can you believe that this was actually for rent…?!  Talk about a small space..well, I guess for NYC this isn’t all that small!  Was advertised as a “unique studio” when it was essentially just a glorified rubber play house in someone’s backyard…wonder who snagged it up, since it isn’t listed on Craigslist any longer!

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