Little Ghost Trick-or-Treat Bag

October 27, 2012

Last year I sewed up this simple trick-or-treat bag for Halloween.  Mr. Carlee and I sketched the ghost together.  Since it was such an easy and cute project, I want to share the pattern.  I intended to post it at the beginning of October, but somehow October has gotten away from me.  Did that happen to you too? 

In any case, I have the pattern all digitized for you now.   I don't have a full picture tutorial, but I promise it's so easy to put together.

You Will Need:
  • Little Ghost Trick-or-Treat Bag Pattern
  • 1/4 yard white fleece or felt
  • scraps of black fleece or felt
  • 14 inches of one inch wide grosgrain ribbon (I doubled up on my ribbon to make it a little stronger, so if you decided to do this, you will need 28 inches of ribbon)
  • thread, scissors and sewing machine.

Step 1: Cut out pattern and tape together on the dotted line.

Step 2: Cut out 4 main body piece from white fleece or felt, two for the front, and two for the back.

Step 3: Cut out the eyes and mouth from black fleece or felt.

Step 4: Sew eyes and face to one of the ghost pieces.

Step 5: Pin the two front pieces together and the two back pieces together.  Edge stitch around each (you will end up with one front piece and one back piece that is two layers thick).

Step 6: Making sure to leave a large opening on the top of the ghost's head, edge stitch around the sides, arms, and bottom of the body.

Step 7: Fold your ribbon in half lenghwise (if you are doubling up on your ribbon) and sew along the edges.  Sew the ribbon on each side of the opening.

Step 8: Take Trick-or-Treating and fill with candy!

The finished bag will be 10.5 inches tall, and 7 inches wide.  Obviously this is a pretty small Trick-or-Treating bag, but I think it's perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, or even for my Kindergartener.  My philosophy is that a smaller bag means that you fill it faster and then you don't have tons of candy to worry about later. 

I actually have a few more Halloween posts that I am trying to put together, so you may hear more from me over the next few days.  But maybe not too, since the weather man is telling me that we are having another crazy pre-Halloween storm this year.

P.S. Do you like our Jack-o-Lanterns this year?  The boys wanted scary ones.  The small pumpkin that is being eaten by the bigger one actually had a face carved too, but I came outside yesterday to find a squirrel had just eaten it's face off.  All those pumpkin shreds on the ground are bits of his face.  Creepy!  Kid 2 was so scared by this that we turned the pumpkin around so he didn't have to see the missing face. 

Mass Production Feels Good

October 15, 2012

Over the last few weeks I've been really cutting into my leather stash.  Since I made my first pair of baby shoes five years ago, I've collected a sizable leather collection.  Most of it has come from thrifted coats, skirts, pants, etc, but I've also bought scraps and even a whole piece from a tannery in Salt Lake when we used to live there.

After making all those leather masks last month, I thought I would just keep going with the mass production of leather items.  I have made a few pairs of these little leather moccasins for gifts and for my own baby girl, but each time I've had to make some adjustments to my pattern.  I decided to just make a few more pairs to work out the kinks.  And then once my pattern went together properly, I just decided to stockpile a few pairs while I was at it.

The result was 9 pairs of shoes in a week.  Now I just need to get a few of those wrapped up and mailed off to some babies!  Oh, and clean out my sewing machine.  Sewing with leather, and suede in particular, is very dirty.   

Even though it can be a little bit tedious to make the same thing over and over, there is something very satisfying about making a pile of shoes.  And making a few pairs at a time make the whole process much faster.  It's also a bit of a relief to have a few baby gifts ready to go in case I don't have time to make or find something for a baby shower.  I seem to go to a lot of baby showers these days, so I don't think my little pile of shoes will last long at all.

Oh, and in case you are wondering if I'm ever going to make or show you anything other than leather masks or baby shoes ever again, I actually made a little top for Baby Girl that I just need to take a picture of.  I love how it came out and I'm excited to show it off.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving

October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  In the 11 years since I've lived away from Canada, I've always hosted or organized some sort of Thanksgiving celebration.  Typically, I would host a dinner and invite other Canadians to share it with me.  This year Thanksgiving crept up and surprised me.  I didn't realize it was Thanksgiving weekend until yesterday.  I didn't have enough time to round up any fellow Canadians, and I don't eat meat, but I tried anyways to cook something appropriately themed.

Today's Menu:
roasted sweet potatoes with fresh rosemary and kosher salt
mashed baby red and yukon gold potatoes with roasted garlic
spinach and butter lettuce salad with roasted beets and toasted pecans
oven poached salmon with fresh ground pepper and lemon
sage and cranberry crusty bread

The bread was the show stopper, although the potatoes with roasted garlic were also amazing.  My friend Lynnette taught me how to make this bread last week, and I've already made three loaves.

I have never made bread this beautiful before, and I bake bread often.  It's a no-knead bread similar to the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, or Jim Lahey's of Sullivan Street Bakery, but I prefer it to both.  Pretty, right?

Dessert was noticeably absent from my menu since I'm taking inspiration from Emily and limiting my sugar to just one day a week (Sunday).  With all the other yummy food I made, and the bread in particular, I didn't even miss the sweets.    

What was on your table this Thanksgiving?  And more importantly, what are you most thankful for?  My family, my religion, and my friends top my very long list.  And by the way, thanks for reading!  Emily and I are having a nice time blogging here, and we love that you share this space with us.      

Healthy Raspberry Peach Crumble

October 2, 2012

For the month of September, I attempted a refined sugar free diet.  I say attempted because I wasn't vigilant with every food, and mainly tried to avoid sweet treats with loads of sugar in them.  I also let my hair down a few times and enjoyed treats on three specific occasions over the month.  I liked this way of living and think I will continue.  My theory is that sugar is not evil, it should just be limited and reserved for special occasions.

I have a major sweet tooth, so I had to work a bit harder to get my sugar fix this past month.  I ate a lot of fruit, but had a few other baked staples that I will continue to make.  This Oatmeal-Raisin Breakfast Cookie recipe is awesome, and this Simple Gourmet Granola is a staple at my house. 

Since October 1st was the first time I was allowed a sugary treat, I indulged and made dessert.  I made a Raspberry Peach Crumble, something that is still healthy enough, I ate the leftovers for breakfast.  I could have made it last month had I substituted the sugar in the topping for maple syrup.  I served it with ice cream, but I think it would taste awesome with a creamy thick yogurt.

Raspberry Peach Crumble
(from the Usborne Healthy Cookbook)
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
4 T butter
1/2 c. ground almonds
1/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. oats
14 oz. canned peaches with 4 T of juice reserved
2 c. raspberries
1. Mix the topping together.
2. Mix the fruit in a 9x9 pan.  Pour 4 T of peach juice over the fruit.
3. Spread the crumble over the fruit.
4. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.

September Thrift Store Finds

October 1, 2012

Happy October everyone!  Now that I have one child gone all day at school, I'm back to my regular thrift store route.  I went a little over the summer, but taking three kids to a thrift store is not my idea of fun.  Two seems much easier somehow.

I had some sucess finding some new shirts and pants for me, but my best finds were for my kids (of course).

A few years ago I saw a Stokke Tripp Trapp chair at the Saver's, but I decided not to buy it.  I've had a little bit of thrifter's remorse ever since then.  Especially since Kid 2 refuses to sit on a booster seat at the table, and he could use the extra height to reach his food.  Lucky for me I found another one last week for only $5.  Yippee!  Kid 2 loves his new chair, and thinks it's so cool that it is shaped like an upside down '7'.

Can you see my sewing table at the back of my dining room.  I love the new arrangement.
I also picked up this pretty Vera scarf from the Salvation Army.  I love that place so much.  I paid $1, and it's so pretty.  I'm slowly building a nice little Vera collection of scarfs, hankerchiefs, and napkins.


This last find was actually something I bought years ago at a DI when we lived in Utah.  It was one of those baby girl things that I had to buy even though I had no idea if I'd ever have a little girl to wear it.


I love the new tags.  It's funny how some things like food were much cheaper years ago, but prices for clothes haven't changed as much as you would think.  Years ago it was much more expensive to make clothing, and much of it was made in North America.

Have you found anything good lately at your favourite thrift stores?

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