Happy Halloween

The pumpkins are carved the candy is by the door and the girls have their costumes ready and big enough to pull on over a warm jacket, toque and mitts. My fairy princess and my not so evil looking witch are all ready to go get loaded up on candy and treats.
Due to a family emergency I unfortunately had to miss out on the festivities of pumpkin carving and Halloween specials last night and won’t be trick or treating with my husband and the girls tonight.  I’m hoping to at least find the time to get my own pumpkin carved at some point today.  It’s the closest I’m going to get to joining in this year.
I’m extremely grateful however that I have a husband willing and able to pick up the slack and ensure the girls don’t miss out on anything while I deal with the myriad puzzle of other issues this emergency is going to throw at me.  
Everyone will be fine in the end it’s just a matter of getting everything and everyone organized.  Which is why I will be missing out on Halloween and will be ending this post here today.  My normal list of things to get done has just exploded and I don’t have the time or energy to deal with anything else right now.

Character Design & Visual Development

Planning a Head Start

This weekend I have every intention of starting to figure out Christmas shopping and planning.  It seems that every year I start preparing for Christmas earlier and earlier.  The reason of course is the phenomenon which seems to be making time go by so much faster as I get older.
It also seems we add more and more yearly events to our calendar each year that become something that we must do and I know I'll only truly enjoy myself if everything is organzied and I'm not thinking of what still needs to get done.
Starting now will also help me avoid baking at midnight or having to face the madness of a holiday shopping crowds.

pumpkin cookies with maple glaze

Mind you it may just be an excuse to start making some of my favorite baking and sample it before freezing it.  As I was baking cupcakes last night it occurred to me just how much I actually do bake in the fall and winter months.  
I bake for special occasions, holidays, guests for diner, because I’m snacky or for any other reason I can think of once the change of seasons has hit. It seems as soon as Halloween is over we don’t visit friends without a tin of cookies and treats in tow or have people over without serving a plate of yummy little tidbits.
Just cupcakes

I always start out on a pumpkin kick and I make pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies and of course pumpkin seeds.  Most of these are actually quite healthy recipes and very little harm is done however the pumpkin kick leads into Halloween cupcakes and other treats which are not so good for you, see the cupcakes to the right. 

That in turn leads into Christmas baking with tarts and squares and cookies and gingerbread everywhere.  Also of course what has become a party favorite mini-pies.  These pies are a little bigger than my regular tarts and can be pumpkin, apple, blueberry, raspberry, lemon meringue or any other I can think of.  
I really shouldn't write when I'm hungry, time for a cupcake.

Mini apple pies

Super Quick Facial Expresssions and Sketches

Word Count Days

Here is a new word count type of challenge I found and thought to give a try, It is a 7 day summary for a full week in ten words per day.

10 a day x 7 days
October 17th - 23rd

Knocked out by a cold, not been an easy Monday.
Stubborn splinter in the wrong hand leaves tender finger tip.
Piles of leaves, jumped in, thrown around and finally bagged.
Fifteen two, fifteen four a cribbage game quite well won.
Thank god it’s Friday, what more needs to be said?
Indoor soccer; an entirely different creature compared to outdoor play.
Scared by spiders girls scream really loud in haunted forest.

Picture Day

Halloween is one of our families favorite times of year and jack-o-lanterns are one of the best parts. We all enjoying each making our own pumpkin and trying to make the best one for the year. I'm looking forward to seeing this years pumpkins, currently these ones are at the top off my favorites list.   

Character Design

Prompted Challenge

Prompt- And that's how I got my head stuck in a pumpkin

Many years ago the idea of a pumpkin carved to resemble numerous depictions of the headless horseman came to light.
The idea was that it would make quite the novel “mask” if done just right. After finding a pumpkin of just the right size it turned out that pumpkins which are big enough to fit over your head are much too heavy to actually carry on your head.
The idea though never quite went away.  The idea of thinning down the pumpkins insides with a good carving knife or a sharp edged spoon seemed to be a good one.  Sure it would take awhile and a lot of patience but I figured I would give it a try sooner or later.
Well years after that first brilliant light bulb went off I decided to give it a try this Halloween and I actually did it. It is still fairly heavy after thinning out the skin as well as I could but I still figured I could at least give it a try and put it on to see if it was manageable,  and that’s how I got my head stuck in a pumpkin.
It’s still so heavy that when I put it on it slipped down over my ears quite easily unfortunately it’s not going up quite as well. It seems to be quite soundly stuck, no matter which way I turn it I can’t quite get the angle right or something.   
 I really wish that I had at least carved the face before trying it on as now it’s not only stuck on my head but it is also pitch black and  I can’t see a thing. Who would have thought the inside of a pumpkin would be so dark? It’s honestly not the best of smells either.
Not quite sure what the next step here should be I don’t really relish the idea of putting a sharp carving knife near my neck.  I don’t think scissors will work either as the skin is still rather thick to cut through with scissors.  That would also require finding scissors which may be problematic while not being able to see.
I’m seriously considering attempting to smash it against something but I’m afraid that it would end badly even if it works. A hammer might just go right through and I’d hit myself.  Trying to hit it against a wall or the counter might work but again I run the risk of braining myself. It’s a little hard to judge distance and speed without visual reference.
Of course I could just wait for someone else to get home but how do you explain the thought process that led to this without sounding like an idiot. I don’t know if I really want to wait that long either.
Well I think I‘m just going to try hitting it against the counter until it splits. Hopefully it works than I can just bag it all up and pretend it never happened.  Next time I'm just going to carry the pumpkin head around.

The funny part of this is that the idea of a headless horseman really did occur to my husband and I many years ago when we were still dating and the problem of weight came up and we decided not to try it.  Exploring it here in theory has convinced me that was probably the right choice.


All right I’m feeling a little out of sorts this morning seeing as how my stomach seems to be seriously considering mutiny.  Just as the cold which has been plaguing me for the past week gives up the fight along comes another contender.
Ah well I’ll live, however the ability to string together enough coherent thoughts to write a semi-intelligent post appears to be eluding me.   
As does my ability to eat breakfast and have it stay where it belongs.
So here is a nice picture of the bonfire at the corn maze we visited this weekend.


Why is it we like to be scared? It seems a little counterintuitive to purposely watch something or do something that we know very well will scare us.  Being scared is considered a negative emotion and yet we tend to seek it out rather than avoid it.  Certainly most of us have our limits on when scary fun become scary not so fun but it does seem that nearly everyone enjoys the occasional fright.
It’s the type of thrill we seek out that keeps me from thinking we are all insane. It’s a safe scare most seek out, sure there are some people who push those boundaries a little far and those who don’t like to be scared at all but the vast majority of us like to experience the occasional thrill by doing or seeing something we know logically can’t really hurt us.
That’s the key If we don’t believe it can actually hurt us its fun. I can’t help but subscribe to the notion the fear itself is not what we crave but the adrenaline rush when the scary part has passed and we are left standing feeling more alive and aware of our world than at any other time.  We don’t seem to have any desire to put ourselves in situations which could actually harm us or are really dangerous after all.
This has come to mind as my husband and I who have made it practically a tradition each Halloween to visit a haunted farm and are planning on going this weekend.  There are a lot of these corn mazes and haunted farms near Winnipeg this time of year, each one has a fairly similar basic idea but some are scarier than others. The one we are planning on visiting tonight is the most frightening of them all and actually requests no children under 15 as it really is that scary. 
I for one love a good scare weather from a horror movie, a book, or a thrill ride I love the experience. I’m very much of the “that scared the crap out of me, let’s do it again” persuasion.  I can’t go on rides like I once did as my stomach can no longer handle it but I still enjoy the thrill just not the nausea that now goes along with the experience.
I am looking forward to going however I can’t help but feel a little bit of trepidation which I’m sure is why I’m questioning this whole scare ourselves half to death urge that so many of us seek out.   

Facial Expressions and VD


Profit, market, wave, desert, torrent,
Like a wave of water through a dry desert a torrent of profit being directly returned into the market at large instead of into the pockets of a select few would bring life back.  Without shared profits the world will become a desert with only a few able to survive.
I think I’ve been reading too many occupy wall street articles……

Picture Day - Beautiful Fall


I just love the wonderful colors of fall, the crimson red, the soft yellow, vibrant orange and crisp browns. The colors carpet the ground, brighten the trees and float through the air seemingly everywhere at once.   

Prompted Challenge

Prompt from - Doingthewritething.wordpress.com

Masks. They’re worn to have fun, to play a joke, to be mysterious, to hide one’s true natures, or to scare. Sometimes, the mask is worn so well and so long that the wearer can no longer know who or what is beneath. And sometimes, we are grateful for the mask because we cannot bear to know what the mask hides.

This month’s writing invites you to explore masks. Who hides beneath the mask? What is the mask covering up? Could a mask save a life? You decide.

A Mask of Premonition

A shudder ran down my spine as I opened the door to find my boyfriend with blood dripping down his face his eye hanging from the socket and what looked to be a huge flap of skin taken halfway off his skull. I almost screamed, instead I said “Take it off, that is not in the least bit funny”

“Oh come on Chrissy, It’s just a Halloween mask” laughed Mark

“I know but I don’t like it, it’s too real, you would actually look like that if someone tried to take your head off.” Saying it I couldn’t quite repress another shudder, it really did look as if someone had tried to take his head off.

“Awww, ok but now I’m really going to scare everyone” he pulled back the mask revealing his own smiling face.  I didn’t think his face would scare anybody; in fact his was a face I was hoping to have around for awhile, maybe even the rest of my life.   

”Better?” he asked looking down at me.

I nodded I don’t know why it had freaked me out so badly it was just a cheap mask after all”You can wear it, it just surprised me is all”

“Nah, can’t drive in the thing anyways” he grinned at me “and besides I don’t want you running away from me tonight or I’m going to be living in a cardboard box next week”   

I laughed and stood up on tip-toe to give him a kiss.

Tonight was going to be the first night Mark would be staying at my place after tonight this would be our apartment not just mine. Marks own apartment was already packed up and ready for us to move everything over in the morning.
We walked down from my 3rd floor apartment or “the penthouse” as Mark liked to call it and out to the Rolls which in reality is just an old Chevy. We were heading to a party the next town over and we were almost there when around the last curve came two cars side by side.

Mark pulled the wheel hard to the right and suddenly everything was much too bright and loud as metal scraped against metal and the cars collided, with a sickening crunch they broke through the guardrail and went tumbling over the edge.

I opened my eyes seconds or maybe minutes later to an eerie silence. Aching all over and hardly able to move I slowly pushed myself up and turned towards Mark.  My breath caught in my throat he was wearing that terrible mask again “that’s not funny” I yelled and reached out a hand to pull it off.

I grabbed the edge of the mask and pulled but instead of Marks grinning face being revealed I heard a terrible squelching sound as his head rolled bonelessly towards me and the chunk of skin and hair in my hand tore clean off.  I couldn’t help but scream, this time Mark wasn’t wearing a mask.

Hand-me-Down or Heirloom

Well I managed to get an awful lot of stuff done this weekend including finishing a project that has been on my mind for some time.  The idea for this came around a few months back when my youngest saw a dressing table while we were shopping and she told me how much she would like to have it for her room.
It made me think about the dressing table which had been in my room growing up. Having been quite the tomboy I had never really appreciated it and I had been quite happy to leave it behind when I left home without a second thought.
I knew it was still floating around my parents basement so it occurred to me that A might like to have it for her room. The more I thought about it the better it sounded particularly when I asked her if she would like it and she positively squealed in delight.
I also came to realize that it would be a little bit more than just a second hand dresser. This dressing table had wound it's way down to me over the years having originally been my grandmothers purchased when she and my grandfather married. 
From there it eventually became my mothers and then mine in turn. I realized looking at it from this perspective that after three generations it has now become somewhat of an heirloom rather than a mere hand-me-down.
When I next looked at it I realized it would need to be refinished, it had become fairly beaten up over the years, chipped, scratched and dull.  I was a little unsure of doing it but I brought it home and over the past week I've taken it apart, sanded and refinished the dresser and also reupholstered the stool with white silk trimmed in lace.
I think it turned out quite well and for a dressing table that is over seventy years old it doesn't look bad at all. Admittedly it still isn’t really my style and it certainly looks quite old fashioned but I do also see its appeal to a girl like A who enjoys pretty feminine things. She really does seem to like it and with her white canopy bed it suits her room quite well.   

Saturday Night Fever

Spring used to be my season of choice and still is a favorite time of year for me, but the Fall season has started to creep up on my list of favorite times of the year. I suppose the lack of a Spring in New England the last few years has contributed to it falling on my list. Having adorable daughters who are busy enjoying all the fun that comes with Fall definitely helps push Fall up on my list too!

This year we added dance classes to Allie, Anna and Emily's weekday activities and they are loving it! Sarah and I love it too! And even though we don't get to see them "bust a move" in class (we both work FT jobs), they are always willing to show us their stuff at home.

They recently learned how to "boogie woogie" and, since I am a huge fan of late 70's/early 80's dance music, I especially love this video clip of Allie, Anna, and Emily doing the boogie woogie:


Well either I need to take another 3 day weekend or I need to cut down my to-do list. I’ve got a couple of projects on the go right now and I really need to start winterizing and cleaning up the yard before the cold weather hits.  
I should actually be hoping to finish the yard work this weekend rather than just start it but I’m not even going to pretend that there is the remotest possibility that I will actually do so.
It’s really my own fault, I promised to take the kids to see the new baby tigers at the zoo this weekend, we also have a game day planned for Sunday and I’ve simply put it off a little to long. I can’t help myself though, I plan fun things to do and then I can’t in good conscience let my to-do lists and things that should get done take precedence. Family, friends and fun will always be more important.   
I have to face hard facts however and if I don’t at least get a start on it this weekend I’m running the risk of having to takedown the trampoline with frozen fingers and numb toes, prying the lawn furniture off of a frozen deck and having the gazebo collapse under the weight of the first snowfall.   Never mind the state my garden and planters will be in come spring.
I know that I can’t really count on the snow staying away any longer, at least not with any degree of certainty. It usually doesn’t snow here until after Halloween but usually doesn’t seem to mean anything to mother-nature in Winnipeg. After all, this city isn’t nicknamed Winterpeg for nothing. 
This year I simply couldn’t resist allowing myself to fall into what hopefully doesn’t prove to be a false sense of security thanks to the great fall weather.  It’s great that we were all still wearing shorts last week and that it has been a gorgeous fall but that doesn’t mean it won’t turn cold and snowy very quickly.
It’s not that I even expect the first snowfall to stick around very long, it never does, but it also never really warms up again afterwards. Certainly not enough that outdoor chores can be done with the slightest degree of comfort in mind anyways.  
I promise myself that I WILL at some point this weekend find the time to knock a few things off my list, really I have to even if I don't want to. Lest I find myself caught with my proverbial pants down and frostbite on my ass.

My Art on Carbonmade.com

I created a page for my art on Carbonmade.com- Check it out http://einavderi.carbonmade.com


Use each of the 10 words within a 100 word count:
Boxing gloves, wine, hour, barrier, skirt, lump, pebble, key, orange, prince

I felt a lump, as if a pebble was stuck in my throat as I tried not to cry. I was an hour late and my love, my prince was waiting. A barrier separated us, a locked door I could not seem to open. My hands felt awkward and sweaty as if I wore heavy boxing gloves. Wiping my hands off on my skirt had not helped the key would not turn.  He looks impatient standing there tossing an orange hand to hand a bottle of wine at his feet.  I am afraid he will leave before I get through.

Picture Day - Manitoba Skies


It is my favorite time of year for sunsets. It is the time of year when the sun sets at just the right time in the evening in which I actually have those few moments to stop what I'm doing and really appreciate the view. I find myself looking up more often in the fall as well thanks to the sometimes constant din of geese flying overhead.