halloween preparations – it’s going to be fun!

Once in a while I do something and I think … surely this makes me the BEST MUM IN THE WORLD!?

Like buying this pumpkin.  It is so great isn’t it?  I have included the apple just so you can see how big and fabulous the pumpkin is!

Scarlett is having her birthday party on Halloween. Her birthday was mid-September, when Art4All was on.  So the friends party has had to wait.  But now I have some energy.  And yesterday morning I spent some quality time online checking out Halloween party ideas (just for fun you know) and compiling my favourite ideas on a Pinterst board.  You can see it here.

And then I decided to go shopping. I thought I might stick with my new op shop philosophy and go somewhere I haven’t been before, so I headed to Camberwell Salvos on Riversdale Road just next to Camberwell Market (that’s the fresh food market).

It was a super op shop … if you haven’t already, you should check it out.  I’ll post what I bought at a later stage.

Because I am on a Halloween roll and I don’t want to get distracted.

So, after the op shop I thought I would take a look in the market for pumpkins, because last year Wendy and I were going to carve some pumpkins for Halloween and she went all over Fairfield/Northcote/Thornbury on the hunt for some the day before Halloween but they were all sold out. So this year I thought I should get in early.

And what a score. One of the fruit and vegie stalls had about 8 of these special carving pumpkins. They were slightly* more expensive that your average Queensland Blue, but well worth it as the centrepiece of a Halloween party!


And then, I thought I should find a $2 shop and get the other stuff I needed. I went out onto Bourke Road and couldn’t see a $2 shop, but Riot Art and Craft was right there.  Which was terrific because it had most of the other stuff I was thinking about, including:

1. A stack of cardboard in orange and black (hello bats, witches shoes and pumpkins …)

2. Candy eyes.  These feature on pretty much every Halloween cake/cookie on Pinterest.

3. Halloween stickers to go in the lolly bags.

4. Some orange tinsel/string to tie up the lolly bags.

5. Some ‘blood red’ sparkle gel …. blood was Scarlett’s special request.  I am imagining white iced biscuits with blood (nice!).

6. A cardboard pumpkin basket (didn’t need it, just thought it would be useful and India thinks it will be ideal for trick or treating- it needs to be painted orange though).

Now all I need (apart from fresh ingredients) are white paper plates (I am going to draw spider webs on them with a black Sharpie), black patty pans for the cup cakes and a packet of plastic spiders.  Because I saw a great idea where you freeze plastic spiders in ice cubes and then add them to the drinks …oooh pretty icky huh?

But then there was also this super idea of making a big ice cube in the shape of a hand by filling a glove with water and freezing it … and then serving your blood red (raspberry lemonade) drink from a punch bowl with a hand floating in it. Aagh.   I can’t decide which is better …

And just one more idea, how about witches legs on the table.  I gave it a try and it looks fab. It could do with a bit of padding so the legs don’t look square of course … but you know, the vibe is GOOOD!  I am soooo excited about Halloween this year (if your kids live near by send them trick or treating my way …) xxx

* $35.  A bit more expensive that your average pumpkin.  That’s the problem with Halloween in spring rather than autumn I guess.  Still, it’s going to be worth it!

the kids make pizza

We’ve got an inherited pizza base recipe. From Maree. But I am not sure who Maree is. I think she had something to do with Clyde Street kinder, as Merryn my sister passed the recipe on to us when she was the kinder teacher there.


What is great about this recipe is that you can use the dough straight away and it turns out fine. It makes a great ’emergency meal’.


This time when we made pizzas with it I pre-baked the bases for a couple of minutes. I don’t know if it made any difference really or not. I have never done it before. Usually I just roll out the bases and put the ingredients on top, then cook.


Pizza is something the kids love making. Such interesting shapes are produced with 5 year old assistance – but that’s part of the fun right?

I cook pizzas by turning my oven up as high as it goes and I use a pizza stone which heats up in the oven and helps cook the base evenly – I find it handy. I guess they take about 10 minutes. I just keep checking them.

If you would like to make your own pizzas, here is the recipe.

Maree’s Famous Pizza (make 3 large or 4 medium pizzas)

1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp honey
1 cup lukewarm water

In a bowl mix the flours together, then add the yeast, honey and water. Mix to a dough. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead.

Roll out into your favourite shape, add your toppings and cook.


cardboard necklaces for crafty kids

Art4All. I become consumed with coordinating Fairfield Primary School’s art show from June to September each year. So you might see some related posts in the coming months.

Here’s the first.  It’s got a recycled shoe box in it (oh, and the pink string left over from my macrame the other week …).

We are currently looking into things to make and do in the kids ARTzone at Art4All this year.  And I get quite excited about crafty activities.  Another Mum, Trish, who is coordinating the kids activities on family day pinned a picture of cardboard bead necklaces on her ‘ideas for the ARTzone’ board on Pinterest.  I liked the look of this idea as well. So we did an after dinner test run at our house.

We had a great time making these cardboard bead necklaces, and I think this would be an excellent ARTzone activity. What I like about it is that:

1. The final product looks good
2. The cardboard beads are ‘child made’ and require minimal adult intervention
3. The necklace is constructed from every day things
4. This is an all ages activity
5. Kids can take 10 minutes or an hour to make each necklace, depending on what they draw and how much detail they put in

So … I used an old shoe box for the cardboard and used my large hole punch to cut the circles. Then I got out the sharpies and let the kids do their thing.



I got them to choose 3 of the ‘cardboard beads’ that they had decorated that would look nice together.  And then threaded them on to some string. Older kids could do this for themselves but younger ones might need some help as the needle does poke through the cardboard some times at odd places.


Tie some knots and … you have your very own wearable (and easily disposable) art in the form of a necklace!


I think they could look even better with some different sized circles … But generally I conclude that it is a great idea.

The original version on Pinterest used black and white paint on brown cardboard.  That would be fun too!

And making these would be excellent for a kids craft party (and I can say this with confidence as we have hosted a few quite chaotic craft parties at our house already).