Archive | October, 2012

Nevermore Spooktakular

30 Oct

Hey there, this is my second dedication to Halloween (which I LOOOVE!). Here I’m showing some pics of the decor at our (our = my sister + myself) Halloween shindig last year.

Our theme/name was “Nevermore Spooktakular” inspired of course by the poetry of none other than Edgar Allan Poe. We loved the the macabre, darkness and general creepiness associated with this brilliant and celebrated American poet’s works and life. Enjoy the pics!

SETTING THE SCENE…. Rule number 1 to creepiness is cobwebbing everything! And that we did. We used fake cobwebs bought in the supermarket (the same stuff they market as fake snow just a few weeks later around Christmas), of course you can use your own real cobwebs…..

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Cobwebbed Candle

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Cobwebbed bathroom mirror, we added the “eyes” for that pop of cute scariness

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Cobwebbed wall art

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We even got the hallway.

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And of course, the lights.

WHAT ELSE is creepy? Graves!

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The “Next” family plots

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The entire “graveyard”

We got some dirt from our garden and piled it up outside the front step. The headstones are painted styrofoam and we used the painted dryer lint technique to create the moss on them.

RANDOM CREEPINESS……

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Bloody candles

We bought some mucky grey inexpensive tapers and dripped wax of an old red candle at the top and let it run down the sides to give the effect of a bleeding candle

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Spooky seating

Tie on some black fabric (re-used from a birthday party of mine about 3 years earlier) and your mild mannered daytime cushions become “dark and scary” (or at least lend to that setting)

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Spooked out bar

The drinks area(there were actually drinks there the night of the party, lol) with some bleeding candles and  a bottle of “poison” (re-used from my Alice in Wonderland tea-party) to accent it.

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A Brain….perhaps the brain of Edgar Allan Poe himself?

A cauliflower in a jar filled with green dyed water creates this effect.

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Virginia Clemm?

We had a small skeleton cut out (how creepy is that?) and decided to go with the flow. We thought this could be the skeletal remains of Edgar Allan Poe’s deceased child bride (and cousin) Virginia Clemm.

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My homemade papier mache pumpkin made a reappearance this year accompanied by some hardcore cobwebbing of the mirror.

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Macabre tablescape

A skull, black pillar candle and framed print of a raven created the mood for our tarot reading session.

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Diseased Candle

Believe it or not this candle and it’s holder are my mother’s bought without so much as a sliver of halloween on her mind, this is her everyday style……

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Our guests of honor: Edgar Allen Poe and his Raven

A print of EAP and a print of a raven backed with card and cut out.

The rest of the house had various prints of skulls and raven images, black candles and of course endless cobwebs to complete that creepy ambiance conjured by the word Nevermore…..

The countdown to halloween continues and I can’t wait! Our theme this year is “Haunted Carne-Evil” and I’ll be posting about that soon enough.

Have an awesome day!

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Cake Pop Perils!

7 Oct

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Announcing my FIRST EVER successful attempt at cake pops!

 

I’m certain that by now we’ve all heard of,read about,seen,eaten and perhaps made a cake pop. They were first introduced to myself circa 2010 and I thought it was a most delightful, awesome idea.

 

Immediately (or as soon as I could) I gathered my supplies and attempted to reproduce the delectable spheres myself……… TOTAL disaster! I made them too large to stay up on their sticks, there was too much icing for them to keep their form and my melted chocolate to coat them with ceased up! I was distraught but chalked it up to beginners bad luck.

 

A few months later, after a lot more research and watching online videos I tried again………….COMPLETE train wreck! I cannot recall the exact events but my sister tells me that I ran around screaming in despair!

 

Not too long afterwards, my mother bought a cute little device called a cakepop/donut hole maker where I dropped my batter into the ball shaped spaces and cooked my cake almost instantly. While I felt that this was somehow cheating, since I didn’t crumble the cake,add icing and shape the balls myself I thought perhaps if the sphere was already made for me that I’d have won half the battle. By this time I had also procured some candy melts so I knew that the 3rd time would be the charm right? Wrong………….ABSOLUTE catastrophe!

 

It took me at least 4 attempts with the machine before the cake came out in a full,well formed sphere, and then…….. the candy melts,which I microwaved (i.e no risk of moisture) still manged to cease up! And no amount of oil added to the mixture could rescue it!

 

This was the point at which I gave up. I had been broken, from then on I decided I would admire,read about and even eat a cake pop but never ever would I make one!

 

A week ago however, something changed…….I had about 2 small un-frosted cupcakes which were now in pieces as well as about 3 tablespoons of cream cheese frosting and 1/4 bag of milk chocolate chips all left back from a baking adventure.

 

Not wanting to waste them I decided I’d eat the cake and I’d eat the icing (and try not to think about the calories involved). That was when it hit me, I could eat the cake AND the icing……. together………in a ball……on a stick……….coated with chocolate. I knew I had vowed never to meddle in the world of cake pop making again, but this attempt to rescue otherwise unwanted food might just be worth a try.

 

And try I did only this time I succeeded! Here’s what I did:

 

1) Crumble un-frosted cake into a bowl

 

2) Add frosting (whatever you have lying around is fine, I had cream cheese frosting)- Start by adding only a small amount so that mixture doesn’t get too soggy.

3) Mix cake and frosting to consistency where it can hold a shape- If it seems too moist add more cake, if too crumbly add more frosting.

4) Roll them into balls (or other desired shape) and refrigerate.

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I had a red velvet and a chocolate so I mixed them together.

5) In a clean dry bowl, place chocolate chips (or candy melts or grated chocolate bar) and melt in microwave using 30 second bursts (can also use double boiler technique).

6) Dip one end of your stick into the melted chocolate then place it about 1/3 way into your cake ball and replace in refrigerator to harden. (This step is very important in securing your stick and one of the many many reasons for my lack of success in the past was 1)not doing it correctly and 2) not doing it at all)

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Sticks + chocolate+ cake ball = cake pop

7) Once sticks are secured, dip cake into the chocolate (I had to remelt it). Make sure the entire pop is covered, tap stick on side of bowl and give a swirl to get off excess chocolate then place into upright position (cake portion at top) and replace into refrigerator to harden. I punched holes in an old Styrofoam food container and used that. (this poorpartygirl wastes nothing!) 

It’s at this point that you can add sprinkles, chopped nuts or any other topping you wish.

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The finished product.

I know I am a long way from the intricate and complex designs exacted by Bakarella (the woman who brought us cake pops) or by many of the other talented persons creating cake pops everyday but I am proud that despite numerous setbacks I finally managed something I can actually call a cake pop and using leftovers at that.

I have joined the cake pop maker’s ranks! Hooray!

Have an awesome day!

 

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