Mabel’s House Re-Post: Better Homes and Gardens Project #3: Pumpkin Place Cards

*originally posted October 2010For our third craft project, we were asked to create something with real or fake pumpkins. No problem right? Yeah. That’s what I thought. And then I realized that every possible thing under the sun has already been done with pumpkins. It’s one of those moments where you have to shrug and mumble “oh well” before forging ahead.

To vote click here.

I decided to use my Thanksgiving place card craft from last year as a jumping off point.


Small foam pumpkin, pre-glittered



Old family Halloween photos




*Optional, in case pre-glittered pumpkins are not available:


Spray Glue

Instructions: Scan old family photos into computer. Open photos in a basic program for photo viewing and adjustment (for example, Microsoft Picture Manager or Photoshop). If the photos are in color, adjust the saturation levels until the photo is black and white. Using same program (or something similar to Microsoft Paint or Photoshop), use the “text” feature to type the name of the person across the bottom of the picture.

It will allow you to choose a specific font, color and size. You can also use online image sources to embellish the picture with a frame or outline. Print at the size you prefer (to match the size of your pumpkins) and cut out pictures when finished. (*However, you could simplify the process by simply printing the black and white photos and using a paint marker to write the name on the bottom of the picture.)

Insert toothpick halfway into foam pumpkins. Affix the photo to the top of the toothpick with tape. Place on plate and you’re ready for dinner!

*If pre-glittered foam pumpkins are not available, use plain foam pumpkins and apply spray glue and glitter. It will probably take three to four applications to get a heavy concentration of glitter.


Mabel’s House Re-Post: Beverly’s Magical Closet

*originally posted October 2010

You know when you dig around in the back of a closet and find something you forgot you had? I did that yesterday. I rifled through spare gift bags and dollar store candles and found some Martha Stewart cake stencils I bought over two years ago.

My first reaction was to slap myself on the forehead. Doh. Silly me. How could I buy something so cute and forget I had it?

And then I remembered Aunt Beverly’s magical closet.

My Aunt Beverly has always had what my cousins and I refer to as “The Closet.” Inside said closet lay forgotten jewels; gifts, bags, purses, bows, wrapping paper, and even toys from McDonald’s Happy Meals. Watching her open that door and unearth such treasures was like the girl version of Indian Jones.

Aunt Beverly would fling the closet door open when we were leaving her house. Mom would don our coats and hats and tell us to kiss Aunt Beverly goodbye and she would shout, “Wait just a minute!” She would hunker down in her closet, pulling out treats for us.

“Elizabeth, do you need a pink dress for your Barbie? I have one right here.”

“Rebecca, do you want a water gun? How about a paddle ball?”

They were our parting gifts. Aunt Beverly’s way of giving us treats just because she loved us. Over the years that closet has rendered aid in tight situations. Forgot to buy a baby shower present? Visit Aunt Beverly’s closet.

“How about a set of bottles and a headband? Huh. Here’s a set of steak knives. I forgot I bought those.”

I always marveled at this closet. It was a magical place, sort of like something from Harry Potter. But I could never understand how Aunt Beverly could forget she bought steak knives and embroidered baby bibs.

But here I am years later. Now I have my own closet. A closet that mysteriously re-gifted forgotten Halloween stencils to me. I suppose it’s my family’s own brand of practical magic.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: Mabel Doesn’t Like It When

*originally posted October 2010

Mabel is thoroughly put out with life right now. She doesn’t like the fact that I no longer let her run across my belly with her four pointy legs and 23 pounds of weight. On the other hand, I don’t particularly care for her dirty beard, but she thinks that’s a moot point.

She doesn’t like it when we rearrange the furniture. Although, I have to admit, she’s right. Everything will probably go back just like it was, but she won’t like that either.

But what she really doesn’t like is… orange twinkle lights. She tried to bite them. And then she hid under the dining room table for a while. Go figure.

I told her there was only room for one hormonal, slightly insane female in our house.

She thinks that’s a moot point as well.

1 43 44