Sunday, 1 November 2009

All Hallows' Eve

I'm so sad that Halloween is over! Yesterday was a flurry of activity - I pottered around in the morning making the cinnamon cream cheese icing for my yummy pumpkin cupcakes (inspired by the very talented Shimelle) and spent some time fiddling around with yet another Halloween project. In the afternoon my Mum and I met up for the most incredible Serendipity-style ice cream sundaes at Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly (which you can see above), where we also wanted to look at the beautiful Christmas decorations that they already have on display. Afterwards we went for a quick wander around the Harrods Pet Kingdom, where we saw some adorable Shih Tzu and Chihuahua puppies! It was especially sad for us because our 17 year old Shih Tzu died earlier this year, and these puppies bore an uncanny resemblance to him when he was just a little puppy. In the evening Jamie and I finally got around to carving our pumpkins after hauling them back from the Whole Foods Market in Camden on Friday...the lack of a car is a definite disadvantage in London. Anyhoo, this is the result:

From the left: Country 'Pumpkin' (designed and named by Jamie), Winifred (named after my favourite of the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus), Count 'Pump-cula' (also designed and named by Jamie), and the little guy in the front is called Casper (as in the ghost), because he just looks so happy.

Jamie carved all but the one in the middle, which I very ambitiously started at 8pm and immediately regretted five minutes later. I don't think I scooped out the pulp properly, and the pumpkin was way too thick to carve using a little precision saw that I found in Waitrose. So Jamie heroically stepped in and we pushed and pulled and tugged until it was eventually finished! Once we got the tea lights inside I was so glad that we perserved because they all looked so awesome lined up below our Halloween display. In honour of Halloween we watched Hocus Pocus whilst eating A LOT of junk food - by the time we started watching Interview with a Vampire I was definitely in a sugar-induced coma, which is probably a good thing because the bits of the film that I saw were just a little creepy...

Before settling down to gorge ourselves we nipped out for a few minutes to (randomly) watch the BT Tower. Over the past couple of days it has been beautifully lit up - complete with Batman-esque spotlights - and every time I have walked past it at night I have unsuccessfully tried to photograph it. During one of my attempts last night, a guy walking past us mysteriously said to stand under the Tower at 8.50pm, so Jamie and I interrupted our pumpkin carving and dutifully stood underneath it. And this is what we saw:

It turns out that yesterday marked 1000 days until the start of the 2012 Olympics in London, and to celebrate the BT Tower got a makeover and a very impressive fireworks display. It was so cool to watch, but sad that it hadn't been particularly well advertised - there were only a handful of people there. I should also thank Jamie for taking the photos (I still had serious camera shake despite his best efforts to change all of the settings on my camera).

And, finally, a couple of the Halloween projects that I have been working on this week:

Again, not ideal photos! But I'm so pleased with the end result. I got the idea for these hanging panels from the Imaginisce Idea Gallery (click on Spooky Town for some more Halloween ideas). I L-O-V-E Imaginisce papers - although I'm not always initially attracted to the designs, the heavyweight cardstock and the 'glossy spot UV accents' (as described by the Craft Emporium) add so much dimension to whatever it is they are used for. For this particular project, I used the Boo Buttons, Bestitched, Boo Whooo?, Fraidy Cat and Trick or Treat papers - all from the Craft Emporium - with some Bazzill cardstock for each background. The accents are all cut out from the patterned papers and attached with foam pads. I used repositionable glue dots for the photos in case I want to switch the photos next year. For the corners, I used my Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper and to make the holes for the ribbon I used my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite (both purchased from the Craft Barn).

For this quick and easy project, I used the Pink Paislee Twilight collection, also from the Craft Emporium. I found this "spooky" card in the 'Pink Projects' section of the Pink Paislee website, but it is also worth checking out their blog, which is showcasing some really amazing ideas at the moment. This card was literally so easy to make - I varied the design just a little bit, using two pieces of ric rac from my stash instead of the suggested twine, and I cut out the skull and the crow (along with the nested circles) using my Slice machine and the Spook Alley design card (purchased from the Craft Barn).

Well, that pretty much sums up our All Hallows' Eve! Today was spent watching Saturday's X Factor on Sky Plus with a Starbucks Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, which seemed appropriate for such a miserable day. I couldn't believe how many leaves covered the roads and pavement on my way to the gym this evening - it's amazing how quickly the season changes in London!


Meghann said...

Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween movie of all time, and Winifred is my favorite sister too!

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

Cinnamon cream cheese sounds wonderful. I made ginger cream cheese for my pumpkin bread for Halloween, and that was yummy too. I'm thinking Saigon cinnamon would be great. I'm a classmate from Blogging for Scrapbookers.