The Return of the Living Dead

October 26th, 2008

Oooh, my! It’s true! I am rattling my undead bones here on the keyboards after a long dark nasty time on my couch. Stricken down by a hideous virulent flu-ishness, i’d been wondering if i was ever going to feel well again. Missing out on all the fun of the Fanciful Twist Halloween Party and feeling mighty bitter about it. But, i am feeling much better now…i promise not to share any nasty zombie-flu cooties. I *will* share my cookies, tho’…..

Yummy. Watch out for the small bones tho’, they do tend to get stuck in your throat. Wash them down with some spider cider?

Speaking of spiders….the only positive thing about being a couch-lump is that one does not have the energy to do much of anything beyond watch wonderful old movies, and do lots and lots of stitching. Thus, a new little dead dollie is born…

Meet Miss Sabrina Spiderbite. This little girl was never a cowardly little shrieker like Little Miss Muffet….in fact, she adored spiders so much that she embarked upon a lifelong (however short) of the study of arachnids…

She kept jars and jars of ever kind of weaver she could catch, she spied on them with her magnifying glass in hopes they might teach her to knit and spin. She even carried some in her pockets and let them crawl over her skirts.

One day she discovered a lovely eight legged lady that she had never seen before….all glossy and black with the most beautiful red hourglass marking on her tummy. Sabrina was enchanted and went to gently catch her her up in her hands….OUCH! Sabrina, alas, did not know that one should never ever touch a black widow spider. By the time she’d learned her lesson, it was too late.

Apparently being ill doens nothing to quell my morbid muse! :)

I also finished up a new vintage slip project…..handstitching lace and feeling the Tim Burton spirit.

Black and white dead all over…..

Halloween is creeping closer and i am as busy as a bee trying to makes the best out of what’s left of this October. there are tons of great old horror movies on the TIVO to be watched (Oh my gosh, has anyone else noticed how much awesomeness they’ve had going on over on Turner Classic Movies???Wowza!), gross and ghoulie treats to create. I hope everyone is having a great spooky time too! What’s new??



The Mad Tea Party

June 28th, 2008

After peeking thru the magic keyhole, the fae folk at the Buttonbox could not resist joining in the fun of a mad tea party! It’s been an all-day event!

We awoke to discover a outdoor Faerie Cafe at breakfast time! So the beastie and i went out to enjoy some blueberry pancakes and tea, and soak up the magical suroundings….

Bunting and paper lanters and a few faeries hanging around enjoying some lovely tea! Enchanting!

Lovely Jasmine Blossom tea….so good! But the weather was not looking so great…Miss Lizzie insisted that she wanted to join the tea party anyway…and heaven knows i am just a wee bit afraind to annoy her, so….

“I prefer dark skies to bright sunlight,” said Miss Lizzie, as she sipped her tea.

Alas, clouds started rolling in and we just had no choice but to retreat, so we took down the pretties and hid indoors while the rain fell. I took time to whip up a few party favors and a desert to enjoy when evening came.

I have three copies of this to give away at random to whoever may be interested after the party…i’ll throw names in a pot tomorrow for a drawing.

After awhile the rain stopped and the sun returned, and the party was underway again! Time for desert and cocktails!

Made from scratch Strawberry Shortcake, made from berries the beastie and i had picked on an adventure back in the spring…i am so glad i froze some before we ate them all up! Along with the shortcake, we have “Pink Elephants” to sip…..a bottle of wonderful pomegranate Italian soda paired with a VERY Cheap bottle of “Champagne”….it’s amazing how you can transform the vilest hooch into something really tasty if you just use some imagination and creativity!

Faeries can’t resist booze here in the Buttonbox, lo and behold, a Blue Calamity Faerie appeared and demanded a drink and some sweets!

She looks like she may have already had a few, doesn’t she? And so we nibbled out shortcake and sipped our drinks as evening approaches, and the goblins begin to stir…they’d heard that there was a Masquerade party tonight, and perhaps some dancing?

I think the Goblins are definitely starting to take over the party and i hear thunder rolling in again, and this Goblin Queen here looks rather feisty and ready to dance in the storm, so it’s time for me to head inside and marvel over the lovely events of the day….. Thank you so much, Vanessa, for inviting me to your soirée and inspiring me to get out and PLAY, something i have not done in entirely too long. I’ll be along to visit all the other lovely parties across Bloglandia here very soon. Thank you for stopping by!!!! Hoping you are all having a magical day!!!


Scary Christmas!

December 11th, 2007

Did you all think i was never ever going to blog again? Sorry no such luck! I’ve just been taking my down time very seriously and trying to power through the holidays with my good cheer intact. We’ve had some bumpy moments, but overall, we are still pretty joyful here in the buttonbox. I warn you now, this is gonna be long rambly post that no doubt will wind and wander into pointlessness at any turn! :)

We finished this one rather massive project finally…it took alot longer than i originally thought it would, as these sorts of things often do! Using the tute from Allsort’s blog for her super cute red and white advent calender, we made a red and green “secular countdown” version. Both my mister and i worked on this project together and i think it turned out to be really cute! Beastie is loving opening each little felt envelope to find his daily treat, too.

Alas, xmas is not really my best holiday, so my other mantle decor is alittle, well, awful! I insist on trying to collect Rankin Bass Rudolph stuff and my dream is to have the entire mantle covered with misfit toys someday! Raven was home this past weekend, so we fianlly go the tree up and decorated…it’s beginning to look lot like Christmas!

There is no real rhyme or reason or GOD FORBID, a THEME to it…many of the ornaments are heirlooms, others are just silly little things we’ve added on along the way, as well as the more pedestrian “filler” stuff. I am still convinced that the tree topper (which we got for our very first holiday together all those long years ago) is some form of device that my mister installed to contact UFOs to come and take him back to his people…swing down, sweet chariot, stop and let me ride..we are ready to make the Mothership Connection, baby! :)

Proof that we are pretty dang geeky around here! :)

Years ago, My Paper Crane had posted about this really cool holiday wreath she’d made with origami peace cranes. At the time, my oldest son was REALLY into origami (the kid is the McGyver of paperfolding) He loved the idea, so we made one of our own….it’s gotten a wee bit crushed and croggled over the years, but it’s still one of my favorite decorations, and a wonderful memory of the two of us crafting together! I miss him when he is not here, and he is REALLY on my mind alot right now because he’s having surgery tomorrow to correct his “impressively” deviated septum. He’ll be Raven the Red Nosed Emo, the poor thing. I’ll be so glad when it’s all over so he can breath and i can stop worrying!

Along with decorating, we also baked a pie while he was here….tart apple, ala Calamity Kim. Yum! Looks so pretty hanging out on my grandma’s beautiful vintage organza holiday apron…i still remember seeing her wear that at our family xmas gatherings, she was so soft spoken and ladylike, and always had a hankie in that little pocket….her hair was always arranged in the most spectacularly beautiful pin curls and finger waves….she was a real southern beauty.
The pie was pretty dang good too…i hope grandmama is looking down at me and smiling right now as i try sooooo hard to create some fusion of old and new traditions for my family. It’s true we are pretty non-traditional people…it’s caused a bit of family friction, unfortunately. But we love our family, and we are amazingly stable and happy. That has to count for something even if we are not doing the church thing. It really blows my mind that you can be happily married, gainfully employed, have happy healthy kids, choose to be a stay-at-home-mom rather than put your kids in daycare, etc etc etc…but still have a negative image to people who should know and love you best, just because you are alittle “different” or choose not to be part of any form of organized religion! I don’t get it. I am all about living and letting live, minding my business, and loving people for who they are rather than who i WANT them to be. Alas, not everyone feels the way i do. It’s sad.

ANYWAY, that is all i have to say about THAT!!!!

(cue Nightmare Before Christmas Music)

Meanwhile, Halloweentown has indeed been making Christmas…..i had no choice but to press the pause button on the other dolly i was working on to make this girl because it was ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT…sometimes my muse can be VERY pushy.

You may think that too much holiday joy can’t be lethal…but you’d be dead wrong!

Holly Humbug was never very fond of the holidays, but one year, she somehow found herself caught up in the joy of the season. Maybe it was too much eggnog that caused her tragic tumble into the holly bushes but the poor poor girl suffered too many punctures to ever celebrate again in this lifetime! Good thing they have great undead holiday parties too! :)

Holly is the first of two “holiday edition” little dead dollies i’m working on. I’ll get her listed on Etsy soon. Meanwhile, she has a frozen little sister who is demanding my attention, as well as a rather cob-webby looking absinthe sipper in the works for a certain VERY PATIENT knittin’ mad Hattress! I better get back to my stitching.

I hope everyone is enjoying the season! I’ve missed “Bloglandia” so much, and Big Daddy promised that the Buttonbox will be all pretty-fied and nice again by the first of the year. I have alot of catching up to do!

Huge hugs to you all!!!!


Sweets to the Sweet

October 26th, 2007

These are some of the treats that your Kitchen Witch has been cooking up in the Buttonbox kitchen! Hopefully all these treats will tempt folks to come and hang out with us at Belladonna’s Halloween Openhouse tomorrow!

I got the excellent recipe for the “Lady Fingers” from the ever-awesome food blog, BLOGHUNGRY….he’s the cutest most adorable thing ever, and has lots of great recipes too! These are a VERY tasty almond shortbread. Of course, his are prettier than mine, but i am cool with having gnarly witch fingers! :)

The little skull candies you see are bleeding skull bonbons. The idea for THIS bit of horrible wonderfulness came from cut out + keep. Basically you partially fill skull candy molds with white chocolate ( i used Ghirardelli chips), stick a bead into the chocolate to form a little cavity inside…when it hardens, pop the bead out, fill it with some form of red sweet goo ( i used raspberry syrup), pop it in the freezer til the goo hardens, then fill the mold the rest of the way with melted white chocolate. Once it hardened, you are left with a bloody good oozy bonbon! I am over the top pleased with outcome of my kitchen witchery efforts and cannot wait to share!!!

Also, at this very moment, a lovely witch’s brew is slowly warming on my stove…..a great big pot of Mulled Wine! I used a cheap-o chianti (GET IT??? CHIANTI??? it’s a dumb joke, but i could not resist, i just couldn’t! All my skirts will be hung on WIRE HANGERS too! can i get a rim shot please? Thank you! teehee) Into the chianti went an orange, juices, peels and all, a pomegranate that i seeded and crushed the juices from, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, honey and a little bit of brown sugar. I can’t even TELL you how good the house smells right now!! It’s amazing what remarkable magic can be worked upon a lowly bottle of uber-cheap wine! Anyway, this brew will be served tomorrow from Jen’s wonderful heated kettles, keeping our bellies warm and glow-y with spicy red wine goodness, not to mention a bit of silly-fun tipsy-ness in Miz Amanda, hopefully keeping my shyness down to a tolerable level! :) Soooo…if you are local to the Columbia area, come and get some gruesome goodies and share in my wino witches brew. I would love to see the shop filled with lovely folks! So, come out come out where ever you are! I plan to be there all day, in costume even….. so come celebrate the Samhain season with me and all the lovely artists that will be in attendance!!!

Here is the info on Belladonna’s….
1224 Pendleton Street
Columbia SC

Hope everyone is having a glorious day!!!!


The Busiest Witch in Town

October 25th, 2007

I am frantically working to get everything ready for my Big Day Of Horror at Belladonna’s Halloween Open House this Saturday (local folks, PLEASE do come see us!!!!) I have been very busy stitching and pasting and working my magic so that there will be lots of spookiness and fun new stuff. I still have a LOT to do before i am all done (as hard as i try to get that spell right, those dollies just won’t sew themselves, alas) But, here are a few of the goodies i’ve recently finished…..

A few more Ancestor Dream Pillows….

Hand sewn and beaded “Arsenic & Old Lace cuff…

And of course, more creepy glass icon candles….

i love this image, the skeleton holding the hourglass just appealed to my morbid sense of humor and all i could think was…Time Flies When You are having Fun! :) I just wish the pics would come out better so you could see the details!

As usual, it is SO hard to photograph these, and they really come to life when the candle is lit…you can’t see it, but the skulls are layed on sheet music…it’s an image i got from antique anatomy book….really really cool!

I recently watched the movie “Spider Baby” for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was a riot! Campy and creepy and oh-so wonderful…and has Lon Chaney Jr. to boot! This candle was my homage to this great (awful) film. Here is a link to the trailer….it is seriously insane!
There’s also some Kitchen Witchery afoot…it’s not all done, but i can share a bit of this lovely delicacy while you wait for the other goodies…

Calamity Kim sent me so much awesome creepy kitchen gear, including these amazing gross organ molds! Here we have my lovely Heart attempt. Its a strawberry panna cotta type recipe, but next time i think i will use less gelatin…it does not have that creaminess that i was going for and is much more like a jello jiggler in consistency…but boy does it look COOL! Come on…take another little piece of my heart, now baby!

Doesn’t it just make you feel SOOOOOOOOOOOO hungry???? :D

Hope you are all having a delightfully ookie day!


Fiesta de los Muertos!

September 4th, 2007

Under the thick layer of dust, i discovered my long-neglected sewing machine, rather like an archaeological find….an artifact of my ever-so productive and perky spring. (Ahhh, those wonderful days when the Muse had moved in for a nice long stay and i was a never-ending fount of creativity. Bliss.) I am happy to say that my sewing machine does not seem to be holding any grudges against me for leaving it alone and unloved for so long, and graciously allowed me to whip up my new favorite garment….the Fiesta de los Muertos skirt.

I think that this is my all-time favorite fabric….Alexander Henry’s “Folklorico” line really makes my heart flutter….but ESPECIALLY this “Fiesta de los Muertos” print. I have had this fabric for so long…i just couldn’t bear to do anything with it just in case a screwed it up! And there wasn’t really enough of either colorway to make an entire skirt. But, to my amazement, epiphanies DO still come to me, even after such a long dry spell, and i realized if i mixed it up, i did indeed have enough to make myself a skirt after all! Add some rickrack and bias tape for contrast and VIOLA! For this skirt, i also decided to give it an elastic waist rather than screw around putting in dreaded darts and a zipper. This makes it more “free-sized”, which i like, as my weight seems to yo-yo, oh no! :P This way i can wear the skirt no matter how much Dulce De Leche i eat.

Mmmmmmm…Dulce de Leche…this brings me to the public service announcement section of this post….DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, be tempted to try this recipe if you are in any way concerned with your weight, or the amount of sweet sugary goodness you consume. This stuff is pure evil, addictive and soooooooooo sinfully luscious. I’d love to show you a picture, but i ate it all. (Hangs head in shame)

Really, all it REALLY is a can of sweetened condensed milk, poured into a glass pie plate, covered with foil, and set into a larger pan of water. Pop the whole thing into a 450 degree oven and let it cook for an hour or so til it is all thick and brown and caramelized. Let it cool and whisk it til it’s smooth and then devour however you like. On ice cream, spread on toast, or straight up with a spoon in the middle of the night….ooooooooh so good. It is my new favorite thing, and i dare not make another batch any time soon, because i am ashamed of the lack of self-control i have with this goo from heaven in my home.

Speaking of sweets….

I am pleased to introduce the newest member of the Buttonbox household…Pocky! Half pug, Half beagle, 100% puppy love.

She’s sweet as she can be…now if only she’d get it through her head that poop and pee goes OUTSIDE, she’d be perfect. I am not even kidding when i say it’s been like having another kid since she joined out family. But we are loving her, and she seems to love us back even though we are all insane and moody. She is always good for a snuggle when i feel sad.

Hoping you all are getting the snuggles you need too!


July 4th moments

July 5th, 2007

First of all i wantedt o say THANKS to everyone who commented on the apron….for some reason i am not getting the email notifications when you guys comment, so i can’t write you back. My mister is looking into it and hopefully it will be fixed soon. In the meantime, BIG HUGE THANKS!!! :)

We a great time yesterday. Since beastie’s birthday is so close to Christmas, we wait until summer to celebrate his “HALF BIRTHDAY”. July 4th is a good day to do it since the fam tends to get together then anyway for grilling and fireworks. And since SC is one of those really great , super intelligent states where you can go out and buy fireworks for you very own pyrotechnic displays, we of course, blow stuff up! Yay!

I have an exploding chicken, and i am not afraid to use it!

And who doesn’t love Crackering Balls???? :D

But before we play with fire, we have to eat and do party stuff!

My father-in-law painted these wonderful painted metal buckets…perfect for party utensils!

Back on Mother’s Day, the amazing Heidi of My Paper Crane blogged about making a totally awesome fruit monster….my little one went nuts over the photo she posted of it…of course i HAD to make one for him. It earned me a hug and a “mommy, this is the best birthday ever!”. So worth it! Thank you Heidi! :D

So we grilled and ate, and played games on the Wii and opened presents and had a lovely time til it got dark enough to start the fireworks!

June 20 photos (Pocky Madness and a basket o’ progress)

June 20th, 2007

even tho’ i have not been blogging much, i HAVE had lots of time to work on handwork projects while i sit around and hang out with my pals….i will have TONS of new stuff at the rate i am stitchin’!

Visited the Korean Market today and went into a Pocky Frenzy… much yumminess! Flavors we have never yet encountered! The Joy was barely contained as packages of goodness were tossed willy-nilly into the cart.  The Five Fruits Pocky and the Milk and Honey Pocky are my new favorite think in the universe. Behold the bee-ish packing that will surely slay you with its evil cute-rays…

And let us not forget the brilliant packaging of CHOCO BOY!

AS you can tell, i am SO mature about this stuff….riiiiight.

I am so sorry but to my mature-o-vision they just look somehow disturbingly….well….nevermind what they look like. They are incredibly yummy and i can’t wait to get my paws on some more!

It’s a damn good thing i have bellydance class tonight…i gotta shimmy off some of this Asian Wonderfood! :)

I am missing you guys sooooooooooooooo much….won’t be long before i am back on full time. Meanwhile, pass the gin and ya’ll have a lovely lazy evening with love from the (bloated with Pocky) Buttonbox!


pot luck fun

April 6th, 2007

My contribution to the potluck is  the lovely eggs my little one dyed and decorated today, cherry turnovers and a big ol’  baked ham! They ham is still slow-cooking in the oven and will be done a bit later with some yummy potatoes, but here’s the other goodies! :)

I have never made turnovers before, and it is not exactly a “regional” recipe, but i saw the recipe in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food and wanted to give it a try. It was actually pretty simple, and i think with practice i could make them turn out alot prettier…but for my first try, i am very pleased, and they are VERY tasty! Turnovers are universal treats, and i wanted this to be fun and low stress, so this recipe was perfect for today.

The eggs are the wonderful work of my little beastie! We only had freckled brown eggs, and i think it made the colors alot richer and prettier, and who can resist cute FRECKLES! :) Beastie had a great time making a mess! The eggs are definitely the crown jewel of the day! :)

To finish, we have rose tea! As pretty as this cuppa is, it’s not the real deal…. the rose tea we drink is a black tea blended with rose petals, and we get it from Harney and Sons…it is absolutely delightful with a spoonful of honey stirred in!

I hope everyone is having fun with the potluck and a grand friday! Big Bright Blessings for a wonderful spring to you all!


i make piles!

January 16th, 2007

One thing i am EXCEEDINGLY good at is making a mess! It’s seem to be part of my creative process. I try to be neat and organized, but i am just not. Sigh. Believe it or not, contained within the above jumble are no fewer than six different projects. Shameful, isn’t it???

What i am currently most thrilled over is this

I made a rare pilgrimage to Joann Fabric last weekend, and found this on clearance….big panels for a VERY festive circle skirt. There were two left on the bolt and i snapped them up for $2.00!!!! Anyone who’s read my blog for a while knows the trouble i have had with making skirts..i suppose i am too stupid to figure out patterns, because it’s been an on-going frustration for me. I thought doing these would be a great confidence-building excerise for me… pattern! Just cut out the printed bits and sew ‘em together. I’ll have to figure out how to install the zipper, but i feel pretty confident.

i love the crazy paisley! so swirly! Like amoebas on LSD!
Also part of the pile is a bit of Valentine fun. I am not over-fond of V-day, but somehow i find myself working on some valentine-themed projects. How did that happen??? Anyway, to attempt to muster up some valentine inspiration , the little beastie and i baked up a bunch of sugar cookies….

We had so much fun throwing colored sugar and sprinkles all over the place! As i said, i excel at mess-making and all my kids seem to have inherited that oh-so-special trait! :D

Also mixed into the pile of infinite madness, some fabric for a super-secret funny valentine project that i will go into more detail later! I have also very nearly completed “Carolina Valentina” little dead ragdolly, and i am ESPECIALLY pleased with how she’s turning out. Still making the patchwork bag for the wooden rune set. Still needing to go and neaten up the gnome quilty-comp notebook slipcover. Still have paper dolls to make. Arrrgh! So much left to do!
Busy busy busy! But, I am starting to feel more like i am “riding the wave” of my creativity rather than being pulled into the undertow and drowned by it all. And *THAT* is a very good thing!

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