Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Candied Meyer Lemon

This past summer we picked up our first Meyer lemon tree. They are small trees that you can grow in a pot and move out into the sun in the warm months and then bring it in over winter. This is our first citrus tree and we had no idea how to take care of the thing. It did great out on our back patio and even produced four lemons. Now that it is inside and it is really cold out, we moved it into our main bathroom so it can stay warmer and get humidity from the shower. It had been loosing leaves, so I became inspired on how to care for a Meyer lemon tree. First thing we did was harvest the big ripe lemon. I didn't know what to do with it and I understand they don't last long once picked. I found a bunch of recipes for candied Meyer lemons and thought that it would be a good start. The process is really simple.
This was the biggest lemon, so we picked it 
These are pretty tiny and they are on branches at at the bottom of the "trunk" so these little branches will probably get pruned. 
 Most of the recipes called for the lemon to be sliced as thinly as possible with a mandolin. 
 Then add to one cup water and one cup sugar that has been brought to a simmer.I think these were sliced a little too thin. Simmer until the pith and skin become translucent.
 I then picked them out with tongs and laid them flat on parchment to cool and dry. I saved the liquid in the pan which is basically now Meyer lemon simple syrup.
 After a day they are the consistency of fruit leather. They taste really good. Lemon candy, yum!
Some of the recipes called for tossing them in sugar. While the sugar keeps them from sticking together, they are too sugary for my taste.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Now that Halloween is over, I'm painting all our furniture black.

O.K. maybe just some of it.
We bought a boring 1990's house that had no real character and have a lot of work to do. We didn't get an awesome creepy Victorian, those were way outside of our price range. We also moved all of our hand-me-down or otherwise free furniture into the new house. It had been completely utilitarianly perfect, but I felt the need to do some long needed updating once I realised that new furniture won't be bought at some sale in a group. None of that stuff appealed to me. 
We had a lot of perfectly 1990's era furniture. Actually most of it is, unfortunately. 
Not to complain too much though, the kitchen table and end tables were basically free and real oak, I think. I have never liked the kitchen chairs, they are just not my style, but I can't put form before function on our budget. I learned a lot about the history of the pressback chair and appreciate the mass produced manufactured ones in a Warholian way.
So my dilemma was that we have a house full of old hand me down furniture and part of me has this innate need to feel like a grown up and not have a bunch of hand me downs. The other part of me is that I'm not ready to drop a load of cash on a brand new generic set of furniture that will probably get handed down some day and not be appreciated.
So we decided to keep what we have and try to update it. I am not a fan of the busy patterning of the chair and we are eradicating all the "honey" stained wood in the house (there's TONS of it). So I decided to try glossy black to contrast the refurbished and new glossy white trim we are working on. I figured the black will make the pieces visually retreat and simplify the busy designs. 
(note the lack of new glossy white trim)

Here is the chair with one coat tinted primer and two coats of paint. I did a third that is currently drying. Some notes on this project are that I am using a liquid sander that is found near the strippers at the home improvement store. It has way less fumes so I can use it indoors. It seems to work pretty well. I also made a mistake of setting plants on the tables 24 hours after they were painted. I think they will need a few days to really cure before putting heavy lamps and plant pots on them. I'm make another post after Thanksgiving when the whole kitchen set is finished. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bombastic

How is it November 1st? We had a nice little turn out last night. Moisture got the better of us and shorted out the light show in the end.  Click the top photo for a video of when things were working.





November 1st view. I have a lot to take down. Yes this was a creepy old lady peering through the blinds shot.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Up and Running

After literally blood, sweat, and tears, we are up and running. We had a great lightshow going Saturday night, it was a ball.  My Pumpkinrot (heavily inspired BTW) sentinels were a huge hit. They guard the path to the location of the candy bowl.
The cemetery is set up and the lights are working. I have some changes I want to make, I don't like how the light strips are visible. I'm already planning on integrating columns for the fence for next year anyway. So Sunday morning, Kyle went out to discover that the sprinkler system had gone off early in the morning and flooded my electrical circuit box I had just remade and fried the Arduino. That's where the tears came in. Lots of them. I went to the only place I know if in town for help. The Reuseum. The shop owner who  is an evil genius saintlike person, gave me a lender Arduino for this season. They only cost $25, but I couldn't get anyone to ship in time.  So, basically, the Reuseum saved Halloween two years in a row (last year they had a last minute 10?31 1500 hrs IC I shorted out).
I am so glad I took the week off. The sweat comes with each setup, this was the first year I bled. I managed to not see a huge rusty rebar that I pulled a skeleton ghost off of for yesterday's rain. So there, I sacrificed part of myself to the spirit of Halloween. I'll get some video up soon.
Eww!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Offline

I'm a bit offline due to my PC being set up in the living room to run the haunt. Kyle says I can borrow his laptop now and then until Nov. 1. Happy Haunting...

Down to the wire!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Haunt-Off!

I am joking of course. I found out that we moved onto the cul de sac where Boise's #1 Christmas light show resides. Kyle just pointed out that there is a green light up sphere above one of our neighbor's houses. When I went out to catch a photo, it mysteriously turned off. Well folks, we may have an official haunt off happening in B-town!

I failed to capture a photo, but I got this one instead


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Early Set Up

Yup, we didn't buy a neat old Victorian, but the house that had the best haunt where I grew up was a 70's split level. Kyle helped me set these guys up. The one on the left still needs gloss medium on his creepy cloth, I ran out. I already had a neighbor stop by to tell me he loved the new guys. I've also found out that my Nikon 50mm 1.8 is my best haunt lens. I had to darken these so much, it was crazy.
This is the one with the glossy "slime".
I'll buy a new bottle tomorrow to finish this one off. 

Besides, I of all people know that someone could have died in a place way younger., Oh, and yeah, we have a HUGE streetlight right on the corner.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Progress

This is the current view out the front window 
The new guy finally got a body and spar urethane 
 This guy got beefed up and some urethane too
 I painted with black latex paint then green latex paint and added some creepy cloth mache with acrylic gel medium
 My can of urethane is getting old and starting to get clumpy which happily made the creepy cloth look slimy and extra gross
Eww, gross 
 More grossness
This whole project was inspired by Pumpkinrot's Sentinels, I hope to get these guys on top of metal fence stakes at the end of the driveway tomorrow with red LEDs in them

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dark Art

I've just been introduced to the photography of Analisa Ravella, a photographer and Boise artist. I just had to share her work with some of you Halloweenies and such. Her work is quite diverse and I am only showing a few of her photos. Her Halloween pinup album will delight some of you quite a bit.
This one reminds me of a mix of Pumpkinrot's Jenny and Laura Palmer, from twin peaks.

Check out her FB page, she has tons of albums, and you can apparently commission her for your own shoot! 


This is posted as her wedding photo, so I had to share this one.

This last one speaks to my occupational self.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

WIP

My Pumpkinrot inspired sentinels are getting closer to where I wanted them This guy is my largest prop so far. His head is 16 inches in diameter and arm span is huge. His face got bashed in during a fall last year and I had to do reconstruction, or scrap the entire project. I can't find those huge foam pumpkins anywhere and wonder if they were discontinued. A paper mache mold would have been a good idea, but I suppose I'll have only two. I know he looks a mess and there is a mountain of laundry fresh out of the dryer behind him, but I see something awesome in him. He'll be the prop near the corner, pointing out at traffic while people drive their kids to school and go to work.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Attention to Detail

I've had this haunt for four years now. The fence is three years old, it is long overdue that I make some improvements and honestly, finish some things. There is a lot that needs redone, but I'm chunking away one bit at a time. The fence has never been finished. I used to get away with the bottom not being painted black by piling up leaves. We won't have that many leaves this year due to our neighborhood being at least 40 years younger than the last one. I finally finished painting the darn thing, even the undersides for the small TOTs to make it look real. I also added some rust that I've meant to do since the inception of the project. I am also toying with cobwebs.


I also got some paper mache in this week as well. Attention to detail is my new motto.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Where is my Pensive?

I am really worried that my pensive pumpkin is missing. Please let me know if she is still around. My heart is breaking if she is gone.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pumpkin Beer

There are several people out in the blogosphere in search of a good pumpkin beer. I stumbled across this California Brewery's take on the pumpkin beer Fall Hornin' Pumpkin Ale by Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I was only able to find it in cans. I don't drink much beer, but my plan is to pick up six packs of the autumn and pumpkin brews and try one of each and save the rest for a Halloween party.
For me, this is my favorite pumpkin beer I've tasted this season (out of  2, the other was Shocktop's).      The King of Halloween Pumpkinrot started this year's quest Here.