Monday, October 31, 2011

Eat, drink and be scary

"It's late and we are sleepy,
The air is cold and still.
Our jack-o-lantern grins at us
Upon the windowsill.
We're stuffed with cake and candy
And we've had a lot of fun,
But now it's time to go to bed
And dream of all we've done.
We'll dream of ghosts and goblins
And of witches that we've seen,
And we'll dream of trick-or-treating
On this happy Halloween."

Mosaic Monday: Happy Halloween!

1. Hot Pumpkin, 2. ghost halloween fondant edible cupcake topper, 3. Happy Halloween from TADA*s Revolution, 4. Pumpkin Mouse House, 5. Della the pumkin head girl, 6. Halloween 2005, 7. sweet halloween , 8. Happy Halloween, 9. Happy Halloween!!

See more Mosaic Mondays here!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recipe: Halloween Victorian Sugar Cookies

This recipe is culled from my favorite Victoria Magazine.  I can't find the online  recipe link anymore but thank goodness I managed to save the recipe. If you're the habitual recipe clipper, I highly recommend the fabulous Keep Recipe web app. The Keep Recipe pinmarklet is really heaven sent for folks like me!

Victorian Sugar Cookie


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and blend well. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

2. Sift together all purpose flour, salt and baking powder.

3. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Blend well. Pat dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Thaw and roll dough. Cut into desired halloween shapes using cookie cutters.

5. Bake in 350F degrees  oven until edges are golden brown.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A little bird told me...

Dear Traveling Girl,

Life is a trip with a perfect itinerary that we cannot see. Imagine it this way -- that there really IS an itinerary, but you just can't see it. There is an amazing destination, but you just don't know where the stops along the way will happen where you will have to refuel, where your best memories and your greatest lessons will happen.

We don't know that what may seem like useless detours are where we might meet the most amazing people of our lives, or enjoy the best scenery, or learn the most important things.

Sometimes we fail to enjoy the trip because we are so hung up on wanting to see the itinerary. You will have the best times of your life when you just TRUST that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are meant to be doing, and that tomorrow you will be lead to the next destination.

You always have been, you always will be.

Remember to travel light, only take what you need with you. It will make things so much easier.

ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT, little birdie!


A message from your friends at the Brave Girls Club -

I love getting inspirational, email messages like that from The Brave Girls Club. If you like to feel uplifted each and everyday subscribing to the Daily Truths Email is a great place to start. I wonder what the little birdie will tell me tomorrow. :)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time to Stop and Stare

Some happy things I did today:

Baked orange creamsicle and strawberry cupcakes

Made a teeny paper home sweet home and quilty little notecards

Read a  cute, delightful, inspiring little book- Christmas Ornaments by Del Pozzo and High

What's on your  "To-Enjoy List"?

I was inspired by this William Henry Davies poem from one of the episodes of  the cookery  show The Delicious Miss Dahl to get into this stopping and staring frame and mind (while the world whirls away):

What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep, or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wool and the Gang

Finally I've found the best place to learn knitting after scouring the web for countless knitting video tutorials  and charts. The search is over I think.
I like the look and the fresh, youthful vibe of  Wool and the Gang. I like the fact that the name is a meta reference to one of my favorite 80's music acts.

You can learn knitting techniques via video tutorials or memo sketch. They also have a cool blog!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Merry Halloween Printables

 Printable Lethal Libation Labels from Martha Stewart

Get in touch with your inner trick or trickster by printing these cute halloween paper treats for play and decorating. Happy halloween crafting and making!

Relaxing at Rilakumma Cafe

Would you like some Rilakumma Chocolate and Coffee? Do you prefer bitter or sweet?  Take a moment to enjoy and savor  a little Rilakumma moment.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Diet Fix: The Slimline Magic Spell

Thank you to all who joined my Fanciful Halloween Party 2011! I hope you got a bit of spooky fright. As I visited many fanciful halloween parties (the halloween partiers are listed on Vanessa's blog) , I ate too many cupcakes, candy corn and chocolate bars. Eeeek!

If you end up overindulging in halloween sweets and cookies and conventional dieting wouldn't work, try the quick  Slimline Spell from Spells for Self Improvement by Lauren White.

The cute little book is filled with charming illustrations and easy spells for a fun and charmed life.

Disclaimer: This fun, creative spell is for pure fun and entertainment. I cannot guarantee you will lose those last 10 pounds. But who knows, it might work!

You can make your own halloween spell book too. Jojoebi at A Bit of This and a Bit of That has a Spooky Spell Book tutorial. Abracadabra!!!

Mosaic Monday: Sugar Cookie

1. Monogram Sugar Cookie, 2. Sugar Cookie, 3. Heart Shaped Sugar Cookie Charm, 4. More yummy sugar cookies!, 5. Flower Doodle Sugar Cookies- 1, 6. Sugar cookies, 7. Felt Sugar Cookies 3, 8. Sugar Cookie Flowers, 9. Rolled Sugar Cookies (2)

See more Mosaic Mondays here!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Handmade Fashion

I bought a few Japanese craft books on DIY clothes sewing. I've pretty much grown weary of sewing softies. I think it's time to move on and learn a new sewing skill. I'm excited to make a handmade skirt as my first project.

Stylelist has some fabulous DIY design tips for people who want to make their own clothes.
Burdastyle is also a great resource for people who love DIY fashion. Check out the pattern section as well as project inspirations.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Fanciful Halloween Party 2011

Hello friends, guests and fellow faeries! Welcome to Halloween Party 2011!

(Enter/Listen to spooky music here

I hope Mr. Dancing Skeleton on his magic pumpkin coach has delivered your halloween invites on time? 

It's that time of the year when the magic maven of A Fanciful Twist gathers her marvelous minions for an annual Halloween Party. Tonight, Casa Sweet Tidings transforms into a haunted little coven for some enchanted, scary fun!

Now light up your lanterns and beware of shadows darting from behind your back. On a night like this, a blood thirsty gentleman  (an Edward Cullen doppelganger) is out for a kill.

Boo!! And he leaves a bloody trail behind!   I wonder what it he seeks or desires... 

OMG!  He has his eyes on the  To Kill For or To Die For Chocolate Cake. Stop him before he sinks his fangs on this forbidden and totally intoxicating  Chocolat Gateau Noir. It is the most sinful dessert this side of hell.Even vampires can't resist!

Oh, and he stopped for some Petrified Firebird Eggs!

The bloodthirsty visitor and chocolate thief magically vanishes into thin air. Only the sound of a cloud of bats flying into the deep night can be heard as a waning crescent moon illuminates the starry sky. 

The sound of rickety bones (it must be arthritis) punctuates the silent, enchanted night. Mr. Dancing Skeleton is on his way bringing a plate of what could be....

Halloween cupcakes in pumpkin orange!  It's not party without cupcakes, right? Yay, yay, yay and so the party and merriment begins!

The good creatures of Halloween gather in a circle as a bonfire crackles nearby.

In a lively chorus they chant:

Poem #4 (credit to author)

Since this is the time for goblins and bats
Halloween spirits and ghosts and cats
Happenings are weird and witches make brew
The following are the things I wish for you.
May the only spirit you chance to meet
Be thee spirit of love and friends that are sweet.
May the only goblin that comes your way
Be the neighborhood phantom, the breeze takes away.
So by tomorrow, pick a friend down the street
And give to them a Halloween treat.
Fill this cone with goodies galore,
Then hang it on their front door.
You only have one day to do this, so hurry
Leave treats on their door and run in a flurry
As this cone moves along from friend to friend,
All good wishes go on and never end

Thank you all for visiting. Grab a loot bag on your way out of the door. Make sure to stop by the houses of all the Halloween 2011 partiers!

DIY Notes:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Of comfort books and magic rooms

Do you have a favorite comfort book?

I have a couple of books that I love reading and  re-reading--Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and Susan Branch's Girlfriends Forever. These books are written from the heart with a charmingly homespun flavor. Sarah and Susan are what I would call the quintessential, perfect BFFs. Eternally, witty, wise and whimsical they impart their pearls of wisdom in absolutely engaging formats. Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance book  is written in diary format where topics are organized with a seasonal or monthly theme. Each day, there is a topic that invites you to think, dream or delight in. This book will never grow old since it's like a perpetual calendar of inspiration that will last through the ages.

On the other hand, Girlfriends Forever is written in the signature Susan Branch style. Every page is rendered in the handmade way--charming watercolor illustrations with fountain pen handwritten texts in  cute cursive font.

My favorite page in the book is about Real Life Good Housekeeping where Susan gives a DIY tip on how to make "The Best New Room in the House:"

So make a magic room-a craft room. Have wide surfaces to work on, a place to keep wrapping paper and ribbon-organize things so you can get to them, according to your interests- stickers, scrapbooks, glue glitter, colored pencils, pinking shears, hole punch, construction paper, rubber stamps, journals, stationery, fabric, yarn, ribbons, buttons, watercolors, how-to-books, the sewing machine and files for collecting ideas. Decorate with your own collections- have music and a good chair for dreaming in.  
On that note, we will be calling craft rooms magic rooms from now on. :)

By the way, if you like a peek-a-boo owl in between the pages of your favorite comfort book visit Susan Branch's From Me to You page.

Enjoy Susan's DIY guide to a happy life. Happy weekend!

 Copyrighted material/Susan Branch

Join me for a halloween party tomorrow!

Hello my adorable faeries and  gremlins!

I'm so happy to take part in this year's Fanciful Twist virtual Halloween Party.  I missed last year's spooktacular soiree due to an out-of-town travel schedule.

Year in and year out, Vanessa's virtual blog halloween party remains to be the most magical, most enchanting halloween festivity. It is always very exciting to visit new blogs and meet new blog friends.

Please join me tomorrow for an evening (or an afternoon) of halloween fun. Don't forget to wear a costume. See you!

Awakening in color + wallpaper for you

Click to enlarge and download 1028 x 760 wallpaper

I like brewing sun tea and enjoying a soul recharging sunshine bath early in the morning. I just love how the world glimmers in early morning sunlight. Blades of grass sparkle in scintillating bokehs as the sun kisses a new day. Happiness is really seeing the world awash in color.

As I chased sparkling bokehs around the garden, I  found myself mesmerized by a bubble pink hibiscus. I imagined a flurry of  butterflies getting intoxicated by its  pink lemonade nectar. Truly a natural thing of beauty that merited a photo-op.

Camera in hand,  I pursued a sharp macro rendition of the pink hibiscus. I am obsessed with ultra sharp photos and I staunchly and often ridiculously categorize blurry,fuzzy photos as bad. However, the more I tried to achieve focal clarity, the more out of focus the image became. Spellbound by the softness of the strangely out of the focus hibiscus, I found myself drawn into its bubblepink candypop energetic frequency.  So delightful. Now that the image has completely defocused and all hard edges have blurred and dissolved into an enigmatic interplay of monochromatic pink romance,  I could literally feel the hibiscus pulsating, vibrating, radiating its sweet pink energy. I basked in the beauty of the hibiscus' essential suchness as a wave of peace enveloped me. Eckhart Tolle's quote from his book A New Earth came to mind:

Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.
Soon enough, I  was running around the garden, flitting like a bee from one flower to another totally agog with excitement by my newly discovered photography technique and a glimpse of a spiritual truth. This soft eyes photographic technique is deeply awakening. Much like learning to see a human aura, by softening your gaze and opening your heart you will see fairy lights twinkling on a blade of grass.

This is a little slideshow of the ethereal, auric colors seen on the humblest of garden flowers and a patch of blue sky. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cloud Street Lab Giveaway at Babalisme

Head over to Babalisme for a fantastically tempting giveaway from Cloud Street Lab!  Enter the giveaway to win a clipart for personal or commercial use. Cloud Street Lab is a graphic design studio based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The design lab creates fun, quirky and free spirited designs and clip-arts. My favorites from their ETSY store are the faeiries, sweet dandelions and Halloween Night.

Visit the Cloud Street Blog for fun autumn styled  freebies and inspiration.