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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Something's Fishy On Sunday Favorites


And we are having more rain.
Our begonias are still blooming to beat the band,
and beginning to look distinctly odd in the increasingly wintry landscape.

Did you have a good Halloween? We had four trick-or-treaters, which is double last year's count,
but we spent most of the day ordering goodies for our kitchen.

Yes, That Old House is getting a facelift in the kitchen department.
And the people rejoice!

No reveal yet, but I can tell you that the ordering involved one of these:And some of this:

And a few other things.
It's going to be a busy few weeks, as my To-Be-Done-By-Thanksgiving List
has just gotten much longer, and much more expensive. Stay tuned!

But today is Sunday, and I'm taking my day of rest by re-issuing a post from January 2009 about a fishy find from several decades ago. It's so wet outside, I thought a fish might be appropriate today!

Join Chari at Happy To Design

for more Sunday Favorites!


(January 27, 2009)

Years ago... many years ago... my best-friend-since-Kindergarten Mardi-Ellen and I found this fish at an art festival in an old whaling village on eastern Long Island. We bought it for my parents, who had a beach house nearby in Southold.

We thought it was "artsy."

My mother graciously displayed it on an end table. In years to come, it would be a resting place for my niece's pacifier -- which fit right into the fish's open mouth -- and a permanent dust catcher.

What was not permanent was my parents' residency at their beloved bayfront home. A year and a half ago they moved to an assisted living facility in New Jersey, near my house.

We still own the beach house, but it's not occupied now, and my siblings and I have cleared out many things -- donating, sometimes dumping, often taking home the accumulation of more than 65 years of marriage.

Since I had given the fish to my parents, I took it home.

He lives now on an end table in my sunroom. Sometimes he looks quite snazzy:

Who knew fish could wear earrings?

(Be careful what you give your folks; it may end up in your house someday!)


P.S. I have offered the fish to Mardi, even offered to have joint custody of it. Strangely enough she has declined, and in fact claims to have no memory of having bought it. Coward.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Which Old Witch?

Once upon a time, I was a Girl Scout leader; our troop hosted an annual Halloween Party for several troops in town. At my house.
My girls always hoped to scare the other troops enough to make them cry. And sometimes, we succeeded. Ours were the most popular Halloween parties in town.

But there were no terrors among the snacks. One of the standards: Witches' Hats.

It's the Eve of All Hallow's Eve. Have you carved your gourd lantern to get you safely through the streets of your village tomorrow night before the spirits rise up and snatch you?


I am so late for Michael's Foodie Friday on her Designs By Gollum blog, that I am almost early for next week's!

Don't forget to fly over on your broomstick and take a look.


It's Witches' Hats On All Hallow's Eve Eve!

You need these:

You take the tinfoil clothes off these:

Don't they look better nekkid? You can't say that about everything, you know.

A confession. I should have gotten orange or even red tube frosting, not purple gel. They were out of both orange and red. So these will be plain witches' hats. No bling. It's Casual Friday . . . .

Put a dab of the icing onto the middle of the cookie,
and gently squoosh the kiss onto the cookie. Be careful!

The wafers are fragile.
It is all too easy to make this interesting 2-dimensional sculpture:

Chocolate Wafer Pac-Man.

Oops! A defect. There's been a mistake at the factory. Cheap help.
Look at this one:

I'll save it for Howard. :-)

Sshhh. . . . Don't look now, but we have a visitor.

Rudy the Ghost is checking out the witches' hats. He can't resist trying one on:

Not a good look, and it will slow him down passing through walls. Hat, gone.

Hat hair, here to stay.

That will teach him.
Rudy was in yesterday's post, and is getting used to the limelight I'm afraid.

Have a Happy Halloween! Help yourself to a cookie.

But not that one in the middle; that's reserved.

Again . . . BOO! -- Cass

P.S. Did you know that real witches' hats are really made of chocolate and cookies? True. Why else do you think they wear the hideous things? It's why witches smell like chocolate. And eye of newt.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall In Love On Halloween, But Beware! Just Come Into My Parlor. . . .

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there."

The Spider and the Fly
Written by Mary Howitt (1799 to 1888)

Yes, come and see our curious things, my precious readers all.
There's a table in our parlor, O so charming, O so small.
You can rest your weary skeletons upon our chairs so black.

Do not fret about the ghosties sending shivers down your back.
Do not worry, all my pretties; you will not hear ghostly calls.
You will not hear howls or rattling chains in That Old House's walls.
For the ghosties here are kind ones, and they wish you only well.
Now sit down and have a drink, for there's a story still to tell.

Written by the Ghosts of That Old House,
(Who may be kind, but are somewhat rude, as their original last line read:
"Now man up, sit down, and have a drink, or you can go to H***.")


Welcome to the Parlor at That Old House. Let's play pretend.

It's Halloween, and it's drawing on to dark.

The wind whips the leaves around the lawn and up onto the porch
(what ever happened to the landscaper's promise to come two days ago?).

We begin to light the lights, and hope for Trick or Treaters.

We love Trick Or Treaters.
With a bit of good Bearnaise Sauce . . . .

Come, I've set two places at a little round table in the Parlor: one place for you, one for me.

We're just going to have a snack, nothing fancy. Maybe a glass of wine.
Blood red, of course. Here is your special glass:

The Jack O' Lanterns are troubling the gathering darkness.

A wee little ghostie watches over us. His name is Rudy, and he has lived with our family for almost 20 years. His story is for another post. But you must behave when Rudy is watching. . . that's all I'm saying.

Did I mention falling in love?

Oh yes, yes I did.

Well, be prepared to fall in love with these:

My latest Ebay find: vintage flatware -- 1919 era -- in a charming small luncheon size.
They are so dainty that I am tempted to save them for my grandchildren to use. Someday.

They are simply monogrammed: HL. My husband's initials. How could I not get them?

Less than 20-dollars for the set -- service for 4.
I was pleased. And in love. Are you in love, too? Good.

Let's see what else we played with today. . . .

Pumpkin plates from HomeGoods, $3.99. Not dishwasher safe. Boo.

Underplates -- old restaurant dishes, white with a green stripe. They were my Mom's.

Sterling china, in Ohio.

Napkins -- goofy Halloween print, sewed 'em myself eons ago.
Wine glasses. . . where else? Dollar Tree, last year.
Rudy the Ghost -- from a craft fair, 20 years ago.

Black iron candlestick -- church rummage sale, 50-cents.

Pumpkin applique table runner -- can't remember! Kohl's or HomeGoods.

Dried up leaves on porch and lawn -- from Mother Nature. Free.


Happy Halloween!  -- Cass

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Is Halloween, This Is Halloween. . . .

This is Halloween, this is Halloween. . . .

Ever since meeting our daughter Anne for lunch on Saturday, and having her tell us that, while sewing costumes for a production of The Crucible, she kept quietly singing that song from The Nightmare Before Christmas . . . the tune has been running through my head. Over and over.

I am hoping to exorcise it by passing it on to all of you. Click on the YouTube video at the end of the post, if you dare! Boo!

But certainly click on the blog party links that are below, for plenty to read. Everyone seems inspired by this time of year. I have decided to stop mourning summer, and put my game face on.

It is Second Time Around Tuesday, at Dianne's blog, A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words.

I've got a vase from Goodwill to show you. I love it; hope you will, too!

I try and join Tam's Three Or More Tuesday meme each week, as I enjoy figuring out what I have three or more of!

Today I'm showing off three sets of autumn candles I put together to use in tablesettings and vignettes later this week.
Check back to spot them.

Go the The Gypsy's Corner and take a look at what others are doing and collecting, in threes or mores!


What is it about Dollar Tree? I lose all perspective in there. A few days ago, I zoomed my cart around the store and grabbed some $1 items to use in Halloween and Autumn decorating and tablescaping.

I found this star-shaped glass piece at Dollar Tree, and had to do something with it.
It's heavy, lovely glass! Go get one, or six. They will be wonderful at Christmas.

These candle holders, below, look so much like bar glasses, like double old-fashioneds.
They would look wonderful on the buffet table at a cocktail hour.
They are heavy glass, stable, and I am looking forward to scattering them on a Fall table, using some plates I got the same day.

Ah, a fishbowl.
These can be found at Michaels and similar stores, but they are only a buck at DT!

I'm thinking that at Thanksgiving, cranberries or nuts
may take the place of the sand or candy corn in some of these candles.

Each candle or grouping is shown with Fall napkins I sewed (technically, serged) years ago when my girls were small. They loved having crazy napkins at dinner, and I enjoyed making them.

Not fine linen, not vintage (well, almost, I guess!), but great fun.

The decorative sand is also at DT. I broke my own rule of "nothing edible from Dollar Tree," and bought the candy corn there. But I'm not eating it. :-)

Do you know they sell pregnancy tests at Dollar Tree?
Can you imagine that conversation? "Honey, are you sure?"


I don't only shop at Dollar Tree.
Sometimes I go to Goodwill.

On my last trip there, I found this vase:

It's a creamy white, in excellent condition except for a tiny crack on one side.
I am not sure if it is a manufacturing flaw. You really don't notice it unless you look for it.

Anyone familiar with this maker?

Now here's what I did with it.

Yesterday I used floral bushes bought at Dollar Tree. I am not always so cheap.
For this vase, I bought two floral bushes at A.C. Moore. Half price. Four bucks each.
Last of the big-time spenders, that's me.

Now, even I -- the world's biggest Dollar Tree fan -- have to admit that these flowers are nicer.
And if I'd spent more, they'd be nicer still. Some faux -- the hand made, silk ones -- are stunning.

How did I make this arrangement?
Well . . . I took the bushes out of the bag, and stuck them both in the vase.

Yeah. My moment of truth. I didn't even take off the price tags!

Well, now this is interesting. While I was waiting for my pics to upload, I checked out Haeger Potteries.
They've been in business for 134 years in Illinois, and do a big business
supplying vases to florists, in addition to retail products.

So, I wonder who took home roses to his sweetie in this vase?
Hope the vase didn't leak from the crack.

Here it is . . . the video of This Is Halloween. Beware; the tune may get stuck in your brain. And then it may EAT IT. -- Cass