Owl Cookies

Every fall, I get the itch.  It usually hits me around the first week of October.  I have to make owl cookies!  I remember making these cookies with my Mom and siblings when I was very young, so the memories are as sweet as the cookies.  This year, I got the itch just a bit early.  I had to include them in our O is for Owls week!  You don't want to know how quickly I am gobbling them up!  Because besides being cute, these cookies are also delicious!
I know, I know, you're dying to make some.... and I just happen to have the recipe!  Remember:  You don't have to copy this down, you can click to print at the bottom of this post.
Owl Cookies
Sift together:
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
Cream together:
3/4 c. butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar
Add:
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Blend ingredients together.  Take out 2/3 of dough and set aside.  Combine 4 1/2 T. cocoa and 1 1/2 T. margarine with remaining 1/3 of dough.
Roll out half of the white dough into a rectangle, about 10 x 4.5.  Roll half of chocolate dough into 10" snake.  Place the chocolate snake on top of the white dough and roll up.  Repeat with remaining dough so you have two rolls.
This is what it looks like before you roll it up!
Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices. 
You will slice into the roll like this...
Place 2 slices together and pinch corners up for ears.  Put a chocolate chip in the center of the chocolate pieces for eyes.  
Ready to bake!
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and add candy corn for a beak.  Place in the oven for 1 minute longer (NO LONGER!).
 Cool and enjoy!
Be sure to let me know if you try these!

Halloween Peek-A-Boo Book

Seriously... I was just sane enough to finish TWO quiet books, but here I am, doing it again!  But how could I resist?!  Halloween is all about the kids!  Little Man knows nothing about Halloween, and this will be the first year he really understands and remembers it somewhat.  So I wanted to make a little peek-a-BOO to show him what Halloween is all about.  Little Man loves playing peek-a-boo and loves reading peek-a-boo books.  What better time to bust out the BOO's than on Halloween?!
First of all, I cut the fabric for my 6 peek-a-boo flaps.  I bought the cheapest Halloween fabric I could find, and cut out squares that are about 3.5 inches by 4 inches.  I planned 6 simple pages--nothing fancy--but I liked the idea of being able to add to this if I wanted to later on.
It's hard to see in this picture, but I decided I wanted the peek-a-boo flaps to have a bit of crunchy sound!  I cut out a square of plastic gift wrap and pinned it all together!  I pinned right sides together, with the plastic square underneath.  I sewed almost all the way around, flipped it inside out, punched out the corners, and then top-stitched around the entire flap.  I did this 6 times for each peek-a-boo flap.
Now for the fun part!  I cut out some cute Halloween images using my handy-dandy cricut.  I discovered this incredible site for Halloween clip art.  Because the images are already silhouettes, they were easy to cut out on the cricut using my Sure Cuts A Lot software!  Score!  Because cutting fabric on the cricut requires using a layer of Heat-N-Bond, the cut images ironed right on to the center of my pages!  
I used white squares of muslin left over from the quiet book as the pages.  They were 6 inches by 6 inches.  Next, I sewed the peek-a-boo flaps so they would cover the images.  I zigzagged the flaps so they would endure all of the turning over and over!  I sewed some flaps on the right, some on the left, some on the top, and some on the bottom!  I like to switch things up!
I made a front and back cover out of more fabric left over from... yes, the quiet book!  I also cut the title out of fabric using the cricut.  My Mama taught me that Heat-N-Bond isn't quite enough over the long run, so I sewed over all of the fabric ironed on!
Now it's time to sew the pages together!  Just like the quiet book, I wanted some stiffness to the pages.  So I sewed a layer of interfacing in between pages.  I sewed 2 pages together, right to right together, with interfacing underneath.  Flip it inside out (this is a little tricky because the pages are so stiff!) and top-stitch all the way around.
Voila!  Now I inserted the eyelets and bound it all together with a book ring!  Of course the book ring looked awfully bare without some ribbon to brighten it up!
Try not to too scared!  Peek-a-BOO!  Here's a sweet little ghost...
And a jack-o-latern...
Frankenstein is awfully cute, I think!
One of my personal favorites:  The witch on her broomstick!
And her friend, the black cat...

And what would Halloween be without bats?!  
Little Man LOVES this book!  It's simple, it's sweet, and he loves lifting the flaps!  It keeps him busy in his crib just after he wakes up from his nap while I put away all of my craft supplies!  I think this took me about 4 hours start to finish, and I only had to purchase the orange fabric for a dollar or two.  Keep in mind, I'm a slow poke, and if you only knew how many oopseys I make along the way!
Have a BOO-tiful day!!  

Create With Me: Fabric Pumpkins

We all know and love the fabulous Kari at UCreate!  Well, she had a brilliant idea!  She plans a craft each month that everyone can make and share--just like an online craft club!  She calls this "Create With Me!"  I adore this idea, and my jaw dropped when she planned September's craft:  Fabric pumpkins!  
I actually followed this very tutorial to create my own fabric pumpkins last year.  I think of these pumpkins so fondly... they are my 7 happy little friends.  Last fall, I really ventured into my "crafty" side, and these pumpkins really made me fall in love with crafting.  I even whipped up another set of pumpkins for a friend!  So they are definitely among my favorite craft of all time!  Just looking at them makes me want to make more...
This is my favorite pumpkin!  I love how the fabric gives it texture.  It's the perfect pumpkin size, too.... I want to pick a real pumpkin just like this one!  🙂
I didn't use the fancy fabrics that Holly originally used in her tutorial!  I shopped JoAnn's red tag fabrics, and I love all of the variety of colors and patterns.
Don't they just look happy sitting on the strand of leaves?!
Each pumpkin is tied with a little ribbon bow.
Okay, if these pumpkins don't make you feel "Fallish", I don't know what will!!  You can follow Holly Brimhall's tutorial by clicking here.  These are fun and easy to sew!  Have fun!

Beadboard Pumpkin

FINALLY I have something to add to my fall decor!  
Meet my beadboard pumpkin... my lil' pride and joy!
I bought the wood at The Wood Connection--man, I want a jig saw so I can create projects like this without having to cross state boundaries to gather my supplies!  
I began by spray-painting the beadboard and wood layers and gorilla-glued them together.
 
I hand-painted the leaves with acrylic paint.  After letting them dry, I used plastic wrap to sponge darker colors onto the leaves.  One of my favorite things about fall is the gorgeous red and orange leaves, so I gave them a lot of tender lovin' care!  I threaded them onto the pumpkin stem using wire.  There is just nothing happier than curly wire!  I curled it by wrapping it around a pencil.
I also wanted the pumpkin to look natural.  In other words, it needed to look DIRTY.  So I sponged some brown acrylic paint around the edges.  As a finishing touch, I painted some orange glitter glue over the entire pumpkin.  It really made the whole thing pop!  A little ribbon was my finishing touch!  So now I feel like I can welcome the fall season!
Happy fall, y'all!
  

Halloween Advent Calendar {Tutorial & Download}

Don't get me wrong--I absolutely love summer!  I love the warm weather, the carefree attitude, and I treasure all of the family fun in the sun!  But yet I find myself itching for fall.  I am already planning the holidays and definitely gearing up for Halloween!  What better way to anticipate Halloween than with an advent calendar... and a yummy one at that!
Let me introduce you to our Halloween advent calendar!  The idea is that each day of October, you eat a piece of candy and look forward to Halloween!  Mr. Oopsey Daisy doesn't enjoy sweets all that much, so it's just lil' old me!  Eat a piece of candy every day?!  Yep, I can do that!! 
 
I cooked up this project in time for our family reunion.  I wanted to have a crafting "Super Saturday" with my Mom and sisters!!  So I gathered supplies and made them little kits, and we made a few different crafts together one quiet afternoon while the little boys were napping.  (Don't you just love our matching t-shirts?!)  It was fun to sit back and help them craft while I shot pictures!  
We started out with magnetic cookie sheets from the dollar store.  I mod-podged some cute Halloween paper onto the cookie sheet.
The paper didn't quite cover the edges of the cookie sheet, so I mod-podged ribbon strips to create a border on both sides.
I cut strips of scrapbook paper and mod-podged them on to create a calendar grid, 5 rows by 7 columns.
I wanted to be sure that I could tape candy onto my calendar year after year, so I gave the calendar a good coat of mod-podge over the top of it all.
I used the Cricut to cut out an October heading and laminated it for durability.  I threw some magnets on the back and now I have an adorable heading!
Next, I wanted to create cute marble magnets as the numbers on the calendar.  I made these calendar numbers in Photoshop, cut them out and mod-podged them underneath the glass marbles and added magnet tape to the backs of each.  As magnets, I could slide the numbers around to create a new calendar each year.
Not too shabby, eh?  I love the marbled look to them!!
Missing something??  Oh yeah... let's add the candy!!
Whew!  That's one busy calendar, jampacked full of chocolatey goodness!  I found that double stick tape worked best to secure the candy onto the calendar.  I can hardly wait for October 1st to roll around so I can start munching on some of my favorite candy!!!
If you would like to make your own Halloween advent calendar, you can download and print these numbers to create your own magnets!  You can download your own set of numbers here.  
**By the way, I am going to be switching over all of my downloads to Google Docs instead of Scribd.  Thanks to some helpful readers, I have learned that Scribd charges for downloads after a certain period of time.  If you've had troubles downloading my printables in the past, I hope to get this changed over soon! **
Enjoy your weekend!

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