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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 10/25/12

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY MINI OWL TREAT BOXES!!

   This diy comes from www.domestifluff.com.  If you have children, this would make great treat or candy bag for that special Halloween party or to give to special friends!.
 
 
 



Mini Halloween Owl Treat Boxes




This craft is part of the 13 Days of Halloween project. Download number templates for the project, as well as the bug template for Day 3, in the tips and supplies post. Links to all of the crafts from this project can be found in the main 13 Days of Halloween post.
This is it, Day 13! This little owl may look menacing, but he’ll be holding Halloween treats for you when you get to the big day. Happy Halloween!
Quick Tip: If you’re pressed for time and want to speed up the process, you can cut 2″ wide x 3/4″ tall pieces of black cardstock and use decorative edging scissors (Fiskars Clouds and Scallop work very well for this) to make the feather ruffles, instead of cutting out the feather ruffle templates.





How to Make a Mini Owl Treat Box




Supplies Needed
black and orange cardstock
a stylus, ruler, and small cutting mat for scoring the box template (optional)
craft scissors
glue dots and double-sided tape
school glue
a small paintbrush
a paper plate or piece of paper
glitter (I used Martha Stewart Fire Opal)

Instructions
1. Print the templates onto cardstock. Page one of the template contains everything that will need to be printed on black; page two contains the beak and eye center pieces, which are printed on orange. Cut out all of the template pieces and, as shown in the picture, assemble the eyes and attach the beak to the horns using glue dots. Assemble the box according to the instructions found in the template file.
2. As shown in the picture, attach the feather ruffles to the box using glue dots or double-sided tape.
3. Using a small paintbrush and school glue, cover the beak in glue. Immediately sprinkle the glitter over the beak until it’s completely covered, and allow excess glitter to fall onto a paper plate or piece of paper below. Tap off any remaining excess glitter, and set aside to allow the glue to dry completely.
4. Paint the eye center with glue, and use the technique in step 3 to complete the glittering process. Repeat for the second eye.
5. After the glue on the beak and eyes has dried completely, attach the eyes to the beak/horn piece using glue dots or double-sided-tape.
6. Attach the completed face piece to the front flap of the box using glue dots or double-sided tape. Fill with treats, and seal the box shut using glue dots, double-sided tape, or even a small piece of velcro.

THE ANATOMY OF FEAR INFOGRAPHIC!

   Boo! Did I scare you? Probably not, but it’s the thought that counts. Today is Halloween or All Hallows Eve for those of you who prefer ye olde English. As you all know it is a day when kids and adults alike get dressed up and indulge in “treats,” for kids it’s candy for us, well it’s something that makes you feel worse than candy the following morning. Unfortunately Halloween day is on Monday, and though it will not deter everyone from partying tonight, many celebrated this weekend. Personally I went to a couple of friend’s parties and checked out 6th street in downtown Austin. This being my first Halloween to be of drinking age, I had to check out what all the hubub is about. Though it was a cool site to see, the crowd is just too big to have any real fun, besides waiting forever in line to get into the bars.
   Many of us without children will probably be treating today like any other day, except maybe more likely to watch a horror movie or something of the sort. A holiday largely associated with fear, today’s infographic The Anatomy of Fear outlines what fear is and some of the things that cause it. The definition of fear according to today’s infographic: a basic survival mechanism in response to pain or threat of danger.
   One of the more interesting phobias listed, nomophobia, is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The joys of our technology reliant society, in opinion this is kind of a ridiculous phobia. Anyway why is it we like being scared? For one the same place of the brain that experiences fear also is associated with pleasure. It is also a method of testing and overcoming our limits as well as realizing we are not always in danger and can enjoy the adrenalin rush.



Anatomy of Fear

DIY CRYSTAL BALL!

   This diy was found at www.lifeartcollide.blogspot.ie .   This was another cool and wonderful element to add to your indoor Halloween decor.  Especially, it could be the centerpiece of your kitchen table, with a matt black table cloth.  Happy Haunting!




DIY Crystal Ball




GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES

GLASS CANDY DISH on a metal pedestal, no plastic parts as this will be going in the oven! Works best if the dish has a lip around the top, more visible in the pictures below. I found my dish at a garage sale missing the top and covered in dust, oh the possibilities!!

GLASS GLOBE - NECKLESS TYPE - only the globe not the entire lamp kit. The neckless type will sit level in the dish.The globes also come in clear, none in stock...darn! Picked mine up at Lowes - $8.99.
BLACK SCULPEY - 8 oz. (227 g) block - I purchase my Sculpey at Michaels

WHITE GLUE - WELDBOND - I use Weldbond as it stands up to the heat of the oven.
PEARL-EX in Aztec Gold - again I get mine at Michaels



GLITTER GEM STICKERS - I buy mine at the Dollar Store.
DANGLING EARRINGS - I buy mine at, where else, the Dollar Store.
LIGHT/S - I used a battery powered LED light like the one shown below. Just remove the globe, flick on the LED light and replace the globe...easy!


THE HOW TO'S:
1. Apply a 1/8 in thick x (however wide your dish dictates) strip of black Sculpey around the edge of the dish. **Apply a little Weldbond to the dish where the Sculpey is applied. Lightly press Sculpey into place.


2. Cut out leaves from black Sculpey, add veining and dust with gold Pearlex. Don't apply the Pearlex to the area of the leave that will attach to the black strip going around the edge of the candy dish or it won't adhere.


3. Apply the leaves to the edge of the dish pressing firmly into place. Apply more Pearlex to the band ensursing that all the black Sculpey is covered. Poke a small hole 1/4" from the end of each leaf big enough for the wire on the earrings to fit through.

4. When you're happy with your design, place the entire dish in the oven and bake according to the directions on the Sculpey package.


5. When the dish is baked and cured add a few glitter gems and hang the earrings from the leaves.
place your LED light in the bottom of the dish, replace the glass globe and get ready to tell a few fortunes!!

GOURMET STYLE DIPPED APPLES WITH HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE!

   This diy comes from www.ourbestbites.com .   I think most people can't wait for the fall season to have their caramel apples.  Well here's  a recipe for caramel apple and for those that want that little extra on top!  If you don't have a sugar buzz after one of these, somethings wrong with you.


It’s okay, you can say it.  I’m a liar.  I really did have an actual meal for you today. But then I went grocery shopping.  And I bought apples.  I love it when I find the bags of little tiny apples; do you know what I’m talking about?  They’re smaller than normal apples, and I love them because they’re the perfect size for my little kids because they’re easy to hold and they can eat the entire thing (as opposed to eating half the apple and then leaving it somewhere super convenient, like under the couch, in the toy box, or behind the tv for me to find later.)  They’re also perfect for caramel apples because they’re just a little more manageable to eat and you can make more.  So I bought my little apples and everything else I needed to dip them for a fun family activity.  And then, I saw it.
Apple-zilla.
I am not joking when I say these are the biggest apples I’ve ever seen in my LIFE.  Here’s a comparison to a normal sized apple.  Applezilla is well over a foot in circumference and it weighs a pound and a half!
How could I not get them??  With caramel apples on my mind already, I knew these were destined to be the biggest, baddest apples of all time.
We’ve got a couple of posts on caramel apples already.  Kate did a good, basic how-to on quick and easy apples, and last fall I shared a yummy recipe for homemade honey caramel apples.  We get a lot of requests for homemade caramel for apples and I stumbled across this recipe and was dying to try it.  Folks, this stuff knocks the socks off of those little plastic-wrapped caramels.  If you want amazing, impressive, gourmet style apples- the kind you can bust your wallet buying in a fancy little boutique store, this is it.
Making dipped apples isn’t complicated, but I can tell you it is so, so much easier with a few tricks, so I’m going to give you all of the ones I’ve got!  First of all,  you’ll want to wash your apples well (I usually use a tiny bit of soap to remove any waxy film) and then dry them completely.
Go ahead and place the sticks in the apples, placing them right where the stem comes out.  I’ve found it helps to chill the apples because when they’re cold, the caramel sticks and sets quicker.  So after the sticks are all in, place them in the fridge to chill while you do everything else.
It also helps to get all of your toppings ready before you even start.  When working with candy, you want to be ready to go as soon as it reaches a certain temperature, so start with a clean kitchen, open sink space, and get your toppings and work space prepared first.
For the caramel, you’ll need all of this yummy stuff.
One of the reasons I was attracted to this recipe was because all of the flavor in there.  I love a good sugar+butter+cream caramel, but this one has sweetened condensed milk, dark corn syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar and pure maple syrup (seriously, no Aunt Jamima here- use the good stuff.  I know it’s expensive, but YES it’s worth it.  Keep it  hidden in your pantry for recipes so your kids don’t pour it on their pancakes and pull it out for special occasions, like this caramel.)  The flavor and the texture are seriously amazing.  And don’t be intimidated by the fact that it requires a thermometer; it’s seriously easy caramel and really simple to work with.  All you have to do is dump all of the ingredients in a big pot
And stir it until everything is melted and dissolved.  Then turn up the heat and boil it until it reaches temperature.  If you have a non-stick pot I suggest using it; caramel and sweetened condensed milk can burn fairly easily in stainless steel.
When you’re choosing a bowl to put your cooked caramel in, choose the smallest bowl possible that will fit all of the caramel; that will make dipping easier.  And a tall, narrower bowl is better than a wide, shallow one.  One of the tricks is to not dip your apples when the caramel is right off the stove; it will be so hot, it will fall right off the apples.  200 degrees is a good temp that makes the caramel easy to work with and it will stay on the apples.  Just plunge them in and let the excess run off.
Flip the apples upside-down for a few seconds and then twirl them around.  Before I place them on my baking sheet, I use a spoon to just gently scrape excess off the bottom so you don’t end up with a huge pool of caramel.
Now, if you dip your apples in toppings right after the caramel, the toppings will slide right off and you’ll be stuck with a big gloppy ugly mess.  So just be patient and keep dipping the apples in caramel and let them set before you dip in toppings.  The caramel will never harden so much that you can’t add anything to it so don’t stress.
By the time you finish dipping all the apples, the first ones should be ready for toppings.  Pull them off your sheet (a silicone baking mat will be your best friend here.  If you don’t have any, try a piece of buttered foil.) and don’t worry if some of the caramel sticks to the sheet, or pulls off the bottom of the apple.  Use your hands to gently press the pooled caramel around the bottom of the apple.  This caramel is great; it’s soft enough to mold and handle, but not so soft that it’s sticky and messy.
Then you can go crazy with the decorations.  Depending on what you’re using, you can either roll your apple in the topping, or use your hands to gently press them into the caramel. If you want, have some melted chocolate ready and you can dip over the caramel.  Chocolate tends to be a little thicker, so dip it less than you want the final apple to be dipped, and use a knife to scrape off excess chocolate on the bottom.
When you then dip in something else, like chopped peanuts like I have here, the nuts will sort of push the chocolate further up the apple.
Once they’re all dipped, you can decorate with more chocolate.  Place some melted chocolate in a heavy duty ziplock bag and cut the end off. (You can actually melt chocolate chips right in the bag in the microwave and just smash them around until melted and smooth) and then drizzle away.
Be creative and have fun!  Some of the things I love to use are: crushed cookies or candybars, graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, toffee bits, and toasted coconut.  It’s fun coming up with new combinations and finding things that look as pretty as they are delicious!
Here’s some of our favorites from this go-around.
S’mores Apple!  Carmel dipped and rolled in crushed graham crackers. Marshmallows pressed in by hand and drizzled in chocolate.  The one on the right is semi-sweet chocolate and chopped peanuts on the bottom, and white chocolate with toasted coconut on top.
On the left we have another chocolate peanut combo, and on the right, caramel with crushed Butterfinger, drizzled white chocolate, and more Butterfinger.  Oh my gosh I love Butterfingers…
This was maybe my fave- caramel dipped and rolled in toasted almonds, and toasted coconut with dried sweet cherries (just pressed in by hand) and white chocolate.  So good.
And the apple-zillas?  They got rolled in chopped toffee and drizzled in two kinds of chocolate.They weighed over TWO POUNDS each!
I made a few of the gigantic ones and took one of them to a friend who reminded me of the best way to eat them.  Caramel apples can be a pain to just bite into, so just take a sharp knife and slice both sides off the apple, on either side of the stick:
Then slice off the remaining two sides, and slice the halves into slices.
My little helper was SO patient through the photoshoot and couldn’t wait to get his hands on a huge apple.  This gives you a better idea of how big they are; close to the size of his head!  The kid could barely hold that thing up.
So there you have it.  You are all ready to save your cash at the overpriced-gourmet-caramel-apple-store and make up your own!  If you want to package them up (great for gift giving to friends, neighbors, co-workers, school teachers, favorite food bloggers, etc.) chill the finished apples for at least an hour so everything is set and then place in cellophane bags.  Store in fridge until you’re ready to give them away.  Or change your mind and eat them all yourself.  I won’t tell.
 Caramel Apple Fondue:  I also wanted to mention that you can easily turn something like this into a fun party food.  Just put the warm caramel into bowls, or a fondue pot and put all of your toppings in little bowls.  Slice a bunch of apples and just let people dip the apples into the caramel and then into a topping.  We did this as a family last night and my kids LOVED it.  It’s so fun and so easy.  It would make a great dessert buffet for a party!