Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gone MIA


Align Center
You will have to forgive me for the last few and next few days... my teenage guru computer genius has completely disassembled my computer and is rebuilding it, I have stolen a few moments from a friends laptop to update and check email... but will most likely be out of commission until the weekend...

(the photo above is just to give you an idea of the savageness that has descended upon my electronic friend....the actual photos of my friend are way too horrifying to post... ).

On a side note, if there is anything left in your area, Target hast their remaining Hallo items at 90% off today and Walmart is at 75%. The local nursery here is only at 50% but are offering an extra 10% off with a coupon (Donzell's).

I need to capture some more Rubbermaid totes, after the field mice got us this year, I am not taking any more chances with what I have left and the newly acquired treasures....

see you all in a few days.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today is the last day to enter.....


the instructables Halloween Contest.....

several different areas to enter, fabulous prizes

(official rules)


good luck can't wait to see who wins

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Market Halloween Sale


If you don't have a World Market close, there is still time to shop online, up to 50% off some of their Halloween items... I have the cute little owl....and am contemplating the martini and highball glasses....Link above will open up their Halloween sale page as of today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

.... and the WINNER is...

video

I try to include Elaina aka Peanut in anything and everything. She is on the autistic spectrum with high functioning autism. You will notice in the video when I instruct her to close the lid and shake it... she shakes herself first, giggle not the jar... she is so matter of fact and to the point always. She did shut down at the end of the video... but none the less every opportunity is a learning opportunity and she is such a good helper!

Sorry for the quality of the video and photos... the camera was dropped during the party on Saturday and I thought it was fine, but apparently it wasn't.

Congratulations to the winner, KATALYSS
(please email me at alltogetherdead@gmail.com with your address so I can ship your labels out to you.) Everyone else, make sure to offer your congratulations!

FROG QUEEN I need your addy too...
I have a set of labels for you as well since you lead the way fast and furious.


Getting ready to put all the entries in the jar.

Last few going into the jar while Miss Lola watches on.

Stay Tuned......


The Giveaway winner for the set of Witch Potion Labels will be announced later today. My son took the camera to school for a project and I didn't have enough time to get the photo of my peanut drawing out the winning name first....stay tuned!

Shelf above shows a mixture of my labels with Deadspider's labels. She is my witch kitchen guru.

A few more costumes


Tequila Jeff and his side kick Nicole. Came complete with shot glasses and Margaritas....

The "Hippy" Chad.... the funny thing this fits him SO well. He took fantastic photos, I am waiting on the disc to share... in the background is our brain hemorrhage patient Theresa.

Cleopatra & Dracula aka Patricia and Jimmy. She was stunning, I am hoping someone caught a full photo of her from the party.

Kassandra our Pilot, one of our sons guests.

Finally, my JT... again another PERFECT costume, he is Mr. Clean reincarnated.

Meet Morticia & Gomez Adams


Morticia & Gomez Adams graced us with their presence at our annual bash this past Saturday. Also known as Mike & Linda Hall our very very good friends. their costumes were fantastic and they stayed in character most of the night... was awesome... They even brought "Thing" along for the festivities.
Thing was very shy and hid in Gomez's pocket most of the night.


Full length costumes with some of our other guests during out "ghoul exchange"

Morticia with her ghoul gift prize... he will make a fine addition to their collection.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Thank you to Jeanne of The Candy Corn Chronicles for sharing such a great award with me. Please swing by her blog for fantastic Halloween Inspiration and say hi.

The official guidelines of this award are as follows:
1. Share 10 Honest things about myself
2. Share this award with 7 others who have encouraged me or that I have found their blogs brilliant in content or design.
3. Let them know of the award and guidelines.

So HERE we go.... 10 Honest things about me.
1. I am scared to death my son is going to go into the Marines when he graduates from high school in the Spring.
2. I steal all of the Tootsie Rolls out of my daughters sack from Trick or Treat and Parades.
3. I cried when E.R. aired it's final episode,
4. I was the lead in my 3rd grade Thanksgiving play in grade school playing a teacher. The only thing I remember about it was that I was a teacher and my hair had to be sprayed white.
5. I have never cleaned a litter box in my life (husband's job)
6. My favorite place at the zoo is the Pachyderm building with the Elephants and Hippos.
7. I love to bake, but hate the clean up. Cheesecakes are my signature desert.
8. I have a small zoo. 3 Boxers (Lola, Dempsey, Voodoo) 3 Felines (Miles, Krishna, Oliver)
and one hamster (Kinshi)
9. I am a night owl and absolutely hate the mornings.
10. I collect pottery.

That wasn't so painful now was it...

Now as far as choosing 7 of you to bestow such an honor, I agree with Jeanne, there are WAY too many of you that I find awe inspiring and I haven't even begun to explore the depths of some of my new followers yet, so I am sharing this with all of my readers. If you haven't taken it already for yourself, congratulations. If you have already taken it, by all means feel free to claim it again and share some new things with us about yourself. Wear the honor with pride and by all means keep on blogging! Also, please be kind and leave me a comment with your blog link so the rest of the world may swing by for a visit!

it's 3:51 a.m.....

We have 3 overnight zombies, can't remember the final head counts... never made it to costume prizes, got too busy and sidetracked, food rocked, the house was awesome, fantastic costumes, one hysterical Ghoul Gift exchange and all in all one of the best haunts yet.... more to follow in the next few days since I must sleep, the morning will be relentless with the boxers and Miss Peanut will be home early from her overnight excursion with her cousin.

Friday, October 23, 2009

If the phone rings one more time

I think I am going to loose my mind. JT and I have officially concurred this evening that most people have no clue what is involved with putting together a nice dinner party, theme event. For 2 days, two I say my phone might have only rang about 6 times... at the last count today I believe was 46.. YES 46 times...I know that everyone is just as excited as we are for the festivities in the evening, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful for their excitement and concern, but for every phone call, it takes away from what needs to be done. I started with 120 things to do on my list today. I am down to 32 for Saturday. That my friends was just the 'loose ends" list too. It was nice to have JT home today while the sproglets were off at school... he was a HUGE help. Well, when he wasn't complaining that there was "so much to do".

Aside from the roasted marrow and the whipped mashie bar, the finalities that will be scattered around will include:

Pumpkin Roll
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese ball with vanilla crisps
Pecan praline fluff with grahams
Apple Banana Bread
German Chocolate Zuchinni Bread
Olive Oil bread and dipping oil
and a platter of veggies and dip fit for the hamster....

everything is done except the roasted marrow and mashies. I will get the mashies together in the afternoon and slow bake them and toss the bones in after the first guest arrive.

Oh, and for those of you following along, YES I made it back to get my case of wine today... actually lets say "cases" of wine. They had another very reasonably priced wine on sale and then discounted again for case pricing, I just could NOT resist!

no new photos from me today, sorry to dispoint.... I promise a feast for the eyes and soul the next time.

However, I shall leave you with a photo from the Pottery Barn recent catalog collection. I just LOVE the cat tin and the tiny little pumpkin candles...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day of the Dead Cake


Ok... If I would have done it right I so would have gotten married on the dark holiday itself, but, instead I originally went with a mixture of sentimental dates, added them together and well.. landed myself about a week early on the 25th of October. WHY in the world didn't I think of this cake.... instead I had one of those all white with pink decorations... WHAT was I thinking??? Thank you to Whitelang for this amazing photo. Don't you just LOVE the little metal skeleton couple??

This cake rocks out....would be grand even on a smaller scale for a dark holiday bash...too bad it's too late to order for mine...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Posh Bone Marrow Halloween Appetizer




So while I was at my favorite Butcher Leach's Meats N Sweets picking up the flank, chicken breast and wine for our bash on Saturday, I got to talking to John one of the owners about different wines to compliment my menu, and he shared this fantastic recipe with me for marrow.... OK, I can almost see you wince and make that ewwwwwww sound as you shake your head.. but I must confess... I have seen it on several menu's at very quaint to very well known establishments over my time and have always been too sheepish and not willing to spend over $20 on an appetizer that I just couldn't tolerate.

So John shared with me the recipe that he has been using and thought it would be a HUGE hit at the party. The Roasted Marrow Bone Recipe is adapted from Fergus Henderson who is the leading guru on offal cooking and was posted in the New Your times a couple of years ago. So I headed home, bones in tow and a great bottle of Jade Mountain 2007 Syrah.




A little nervous on the technique, I decided to uncork the wine and let it breathe a bit, just a wee bit of course since I needed to relax a bit to dive into this new uncharted style of cooking and well, eating the finished product but eager for the final visual. As I poured the wine into my glass I must say, I have never in all of my years seen such a dark wine coat the inside of my glass like syrup. If you are having a Vampire themed party, this wine is a MUST. The nose on this wine is intoxicating with a woody-spice similar to that of a Turley. Side by side this wine would be hard to distinguish between many $50 bottles of wine. It can normally be found for between $18-$22 a bottle but in many places John shared with me the demand for wine in the economy has decreased so much that you can find this bottle for under $15! The flavor of this fruit bomb wine was amazing. It danced across my tongue like a ballerina gliding across the stage opening night. Full of confidence and promise. Within no time I was ready to dive into the uncharted territory of offal cooking. (note... I bet this wine will be even better tonite! I am going back today to buy a few bottles to cellar a few more years)

So I followed the recipe to a T with the exception I put my bones in a cast iron skillet to bake them off. I wasn't sure what the fallout for cleanup would be and liked the idea of being able to pick up a handle instead of a wobbly baking sheet with the weight of the bones on it, not to mention I just think food tastes better using my great grandmothers iron pieces vs. my shiny new stainless ones. Now, I will say the first round... I totally messed up and overcooked the bones and the marrow began to run out all over the skillet, UNgood for presentation purposes...the second time around I used a wooden skewer to continually check the marrow to make sure it was soft all the way through and promptly removed the bones once the desired texture was reached keeping in mind that the marrow would continue to cook inside the warm bone on the serving plate.


All in all, I am now super excited to offer this Saturday night at my party. Instead of making up the little bites ahead of time, for presentation purposes I am going to serve it on a platter like shown here as a "make your own". Especially since I know that capers are an acquired taste. I will also say this, if you brave the recipe like me ... DO NOT skimp on cheep salt. Go with a nice sea salt, spring for the more expensive one, it won't disappoint and you will find a new love for salt with you cooking skills. If you don't like the look of the upright bones, you could always have your butcher split them on the half as well... would also make it easier to scoop out with a small serving knife.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Custom Witch Potion Label GIVEAWAY


Questions??? What does a witch need to do to get more followers?
Answer...

A FREE GIVEAWAY OF COURSE.

So here we go...
What is in it for you????
Over 80 Custom Witch Potion Jar labels from my Black Cat Magick Company & All Together Dead label lines. You will receive the labels only, jars and displays in photos are my personal collection and for reference only.

Labels in the above photo are 8"x11" and are shown around large oatmeal containers painted black with the original labels removed.

Voodoo series above will have an oval matching "Essence of Death" label with it not shown.
Labels will come with instructions for adhering them to your choice of jar, bottle, or container as they are sealed but not self adhesive.

Align Center
What is in it for me??? More exposure, more followers, MORE attention, MORE comments...

What are the rules?
Simple rack up as many entries as you can by doing any or all of the following.

1. Become a Follower
2. Post a comment on any single blog post of mine
3. Post my contest on your blog
4. Add me on your facebook page and post about this contest on your page (facebook.com/jadge)
5. Twitter about the contest
6. Comment on this post and let me know where I can find your posts/information

DEADLINE to enter the giveaway
Saturday October 24th Midnight
Drawing will be held Sunday October 25th at Midnight
Winner will be announced Monday October 26th and winning labels will be shipped the same day
If the contest exceeds 100 entrants I will pull one winner every time we breech a new 100 mark. Feel free to inquire with any additional questions... and GOOD LUCK!

It's almost here....


Can you smell it? Can you feel it... I have patiently waited for Indian Summer to arrive and I honestly believe it is creeping up on us as I type here in North East Ohio. The skies are sunny, there is a gentle breeze, the furnace hasn't kicked on in almost an entire day. I have the kitchen window cracked open and the intoxicating smell of the fall maple leaves outside in my yard is dancing with the smell of fresh baked pumpkin from my kitchen and oven.


The pie is on the counter cooling already and the pumpkin roll sheets are almost done. Just enough time to type a quick little tickled black message.



The weather here has been horrible the last 3 weeks. So much so that none of my mums have bloomed yet, but I can tell today that after the sun from yesterday and the warm weather in the forecast, their deep orange color is going to flag my entire yard for the haunt on Saturday. I am going to try and finish up all of my bake ahead recipes today so that I can spend the majority of Wednesday outside re-arranging the twigs, black lights, and putting the graveyard back together from the very windy week we had last week. Frank has been face down in the dirt and I think it is about time he finds himself back upright. It is going to be a fantastic whimsical week that will end with a spooktacular dark holiday get together with our closest friends on Saturday evening, an extended hour of daylight savings time, and a super anniversary day on Sunday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I could spend a small fortune in Target....



So tonite I had to run to Target as an emergency to get Dog kibble that we ran out of because no one bothered to tell me that they filled up the kibble container from the basement yesterday and emptied the large tote.... NOT good when you have 3 large hungry boxer babies....(pictured left to right, Voodoo, Dempsey, Lola) so off I flew on my steady broomstick.

Whilst there I managed to squeeze in a nice Starbuck's pumpkin latte and decided to take a stroll through their Halloween fare... last time I was there I wasn't truly impressed, a lot of costumes, and candy but no real usable decorations. But ALAS, I found a treasure of goodies this evening... I can already see my table scape next year.

I adopted a cute little skull and crown earlier this year when I began making my own potion jar labels under the ALL TOGETHER DEAD name....Target is just LOADED with skeleton/crown goodies... below is the ceramic cookie jar my PERSONAL favorite. So they had it all within this theme, plates, cups, napkins, carved pumpkins, tableware, linens, even a flask! WOOT WOOT... surprisingly with only 11 days until the dark holiday they have tons of stock, my guess is because they put it out so late.... I can hear the holiday savings in my wallet on November 1st already....and yes.. if you are wondering.... I couldn't wait until after the dark holiday to purchase this little exquisite cookie jar so I quickly scurried up the the register to check out with him and skipped like a giddy child all the way to the car with my new treasure. I got so over excited with my skeleton finds, and my pumpkin latte, I got halfway home and realized I needed to turn around, go back and get the sack of dog kibble.....

The Menu is Set


With only 5 days to go I am glad to say the menu is FINALLY set.....The main attraction will be the MONSTER MASHED POTATO bar. I just LOVE the idea of serving them in martini glasses too, I love love love a great martini any day, but fill my martini glass with mashies and my favorite toppings... I am in pure bliss....Ingredients on the bar will be ...
Fluffy White Mashies
Butter
Sour Cream
Fresh Chives
Grilled Sliced Flank Steak
Grilled Sliced Garlic Butter Chicken Breast
Bearnaise Sauce
Bacon
Broccoli
Sweet Corn
Mushroom Gravy
Mini Shrimp with Alfredo
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Shredded Jack Cheese
Crumbled Blu Cheese
Can you say YUMMMMMOooOooooo


The biggest decisions came with the drink menu this year... I wanted something a little creepy, mixed with really good ingredients. I am tired of buying all kinds of new concoctions and getting stuck with leftovers because what looked cook didn't taste so great.. even if it is Halloween. So each of the cocktails below have been tried and tested and enjoyed quite well and I am excited to be sharing them with our guests this year. The only one not shown below is the Brain Hemorrhage we are still going to offer it, but as a "shot" in an actual 60 ML plastic syringe, I will have the syringes filled with the peach schnapps and grenadine already and the guests will suck in the Baileys to create their hemorrhage.... wicked cool!


The Zombie

Ingredients:

1 oz. apricot brandy
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark or Jamaican rum
1 oz. lime juice
2 dashes grenadine
Orange juice
1 oz. Bacardi 151 rum

Preparation:

Mix light and dark rum and brandy in a cocktail shaker, add lime juice and grenadine. Shake well and strain into a higball glass filled with cracked ice.

Fill glass with orange juice but leave enough room to float the 151 on top. Garnish with a cherry and orange slice.




Witches Brew

Ingredients:

2 oz. mixed pineapple and cranberry juice
2 oz. 7-Up
1 1/4 oz. shot Malibu Coconut Rum

Preparation:

Mix juices and 7-Up in a highball glass. Pour shot down the side of the glass right before drinking.

You can even mix up a batch of this Halloween Moon Hue inspired drink in a large cauldron and let your guests ladle it out into cups.



Liquid Ghosts

Ingredients:

2 oz. vodka
1 oz. vanilla simple syrup
1 oz. cream
2 oz. soda

Preparation:

Mix vanilla simple syrup, cream, vodka and soda and serve in a martini glass.



Warm Carmel Apple recipe for a Single Serve

Ingredients:

6 oz. apple cider (heated)
Shot of Butterscotch Schnapps
Whipped cream
Pinch cinnamon and nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick

Preparation:

In a glass coffee mug or heat-resistant goblet, combine your heated cider and Schnapps. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Add cinnamon stick.



Vampire Ritual

1 1/2 to 2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. triple sec
1 1/2 oz. blueberry-beet syrup (recipe below) careful this STAINS
10-15 blueberries
3/4 oz. lemon juice

Crush blueberries and syrup together, then pour mixture and all other ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. For garnish, use a lemon slice colored with beets.

For syrup: Boil equal parts water and sugar along with several slices of raw beet and small handful of blueberries. Strain out solids and let liquid cool before use.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stairway Banister Deco....


With only 17 days to go until our bash I am very quickly realizing I am so running out of time, everything else with daily life is taking priority away from my decorating and well frankly I am just not very pleased about it... However, I did manage to get a few more things up yesterday including the banister decorations. Above is the arrangement for the lower level. The black fabric is none other than black landscaping fabric, I LOVE the texture it has and for $12.99 for 50 feet, you can't go wrong. The arrangement is simply made up of 3 orange tipped black roses, some black ostrich feathers, decorative orange ribbon with spiders and webbing on it and a black tassel dangling from the bottom to which dear Oliver just is tickled black that I added, it keeps him busy for at least an hour or so a day. The arrangement is at the top and bottom of the stairwell. (Notice my messy bar in the background... not having a studio it has become my "work space" as we prep for the dark holiday.
Our Psychic is going to be in the upper level where we can close her off so she can focus on her readings and tarot cards without other "interference". So leading up to this level we used the same black landscaping fabric, but this time added some little buckies hung from their necks a black and white striped bow and another black tassel... I am a tassel fiend....


A couple of poofs up I inserted some little hanging ghouls that I found at the Dollar Tree... A BUCK people... how can you go wrong... I am going to hang my large wooden "The Witch Is In" sign on this wall which JT just freshly painted in a nice warm chocolate truffle color a couple of days ago..

All in all price breakdown for 2 stairways
Landscaping Fabric $12.99 Donzells
Buckies set of 4 1.00 Dollar Tree
Ribbon 3 rolls 3.00 Dollar Tree
Roses 6 total 6.00 Walmart
Ostrich Feathers Pkg 3.98 JoAnn Fabric
Ghouls 2 2.00 Dollar Tree


Total for 2 staircases $28.97 and I have about a third of the fabric left to cover the witch's table with....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Extra unwanted Halloween decoration



Red cinnamon wax all over the floor, end table, Nintendo DS, hardwood floor, and rug....nice blood effect, however UNWANTED additional Halloween decoration.... how did it get there you ask???? The wee kitten Oliver... pure accident, he was highly fascinated by my new witch broom prop, so much so that his over excitement knocked the heavy item over, onto the end table that flipped the magazines up and knocked over the jar candle that was burning for about 8 hours. Ungood... now keep in mind the photo above was taken about an hour into the "cleaning process" so most of the horror has already been removed.


How do you remove wax you ask? Well, let me tell you on upholstery the ice method does not work and scrapping it only grinds it into the fabric more. Instead, get some old cotton shirts and your clothing iron. Set the iron to the highest setting, don't worry about your fabric the old shirts will take the brunt of the heat, if you are worried, test it on an inconspicuous area first.

Once the iron is hot, lay an old shirt out over the wax and iron away, lifting to check your progress, the iron will reheat the wax and the shirt will absorb it. Keep moving the shirt around to place fresh fabric over the wax until it is all removed, taking care not to reapply the wax to another area of your upholstery.


End result after a while, a smooth wax free sectional again! THANK GOODNESS. Mental note to self, keep all burning candles away from Broom Prop....

Party Favors



So, my philosophy has always been if you are going to do something do it right or don't do it at all.... sometimes, ok, well most times that gets the best of me. Call it my innate nature to have things perfect or the need to live it up to the fullest because life is just to short, or maybe JT's OCD is rubbing off on me... which very much could be the case because JT has it so bad my teenage son says that he doesn't suffer from OCD he suffers from CDO... he has it so bad that he must put his own disorder in alphabetical order...

Well, if you don't know it by now this years party theme is the Season of the Witch. I have been busy making potions and elixirs, decorations, etc to carry out the theme. I am carrying it over into the party favors as well. I have had my best witches saving wine and Xango juice bottles for me all summer. The labels have been gently soaked off, and replaced with my own custom new labels. Not sure if I am going to fill them with some sort of gooey gooey concoction or what not yet, so far, the bottles are labeled, the corks have been aged, and I am in "thought" process.

The front of the bottle has great artwork of witches and a cauldron and simply says 2009 at the top and Witches Brew at the bottom. The back label reads "Jerry & Amy would like to thank you for joining them for their annual Halloween Bash Saturday, October 24, 2009 "The Season of the Witch". We truly love and appreciate each of you and are tickled black that you spent the dark holiday with us. Spook you the next time".

I have also made a little hang tag that will hang on the neck of the bottle and be easily removed that says " This bottle is for decorative purposes only and has been permanently sealed. Please add it to your own Halloween display next year!

So now to just figure out what to put inside if anything get them sealed, twined up and ready to go. The left over wine bottles have a new project in store for them next year......


Monday, October 5, 2009

Chandelier




Ok, the finishing touches have been made to my kitchen chandelier. I ended up purchasing a second Reaper, some chains, sticks and a great little hottie owl....to which ladybug has decided that his name shall be puff.....not very "Halloweenish" but it works, he does look like a little black puff.....even Oliver our newest little addition had a say in arranging the reapers in the fixture.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Faux Wooden Shelves are done!



So I made 4 of these. 3 large and one shorter one. Thank you Angie for the inspiration I just LOVE them. Below is a sample of one of the shelves with the witch jars and a few other items tucked inside. The little black drawer piece is an old jewelry box I picked up at a local thrift store for eighty cents... under a buck, sprayed it black and was lucky enough for it to crackle on it's own. Notice the twisted wand up on the top shelf.


24 days to go until our bash.....