Henry, Riley, & I enjoyed a wonderful Halloween this year!  It just so happens that this is my favorite holiday so we did lots of decorating, dressing up, and went to quite a few Halloween events.  I hosted pumpkin carving at our house along with trying out costumes for the upcoming festivities while listening to Halloween music on Pandora.  I encouraged Riley to pick out a costume to wear every day.  I even made his Trick or Treat bag and the construction worker costume.

Our first Halloween event was to ArBOOretum at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.  I am a volunteer at HANC and stayed to help with the Fox Prowl - a game that taught children (& adults!) about what types of food foxes eat.  Henry & Riley came separately and enjoyed riding a pony, visiting the petting zoo, trick or treating on the trail, seeing live reptiles, and riding on a train.
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Riley picking out food at the Fox Prowl
Riley & I made a trip to Tricks, Treats, & T-Rex at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Riley received a lovely fake scar from the Worst Aid station, earned a button for eating real bugs, checked out some live animals, and enjoyed seeing the huge blow up spider & cat.

My favorite activity was our trip to Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo, probably because all three of us were able to go to this event together as a family.  We enjoyed the scavenger hunt, playing games, visiting the pumpkin patch, coloring on a huge mural, and best of all - feeding the giraffes!  We visit the zoo all the time (and they offer feeding the giraffes all the time) but this was a special trip as we have never fed the giraffes before....and Riley just happened to pick out his giraffe costume to wear that day!  
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Feeding the giraffes at the Zoo
Today, we went to the arboretum again for Tyke Hikes.  We enjoyed listening to Stellaluna and walking on the trail while learning about bats.  We were thrilled to find a small excavator near the playground today - it made the perfect opportunity to take photos of Riley in his construction worker outfit!
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Riley the construction worker!
Finally, we ended the day with a quick trick or treating trip to a few of our neighbors.  Riley rode his dump truck to each house and remembered to say "Trick or Treat!" and "Thank you!" for most of them.  I think he may have enjoyed seeing all the kids come to our home even more than visiting the neighbors!  

After dinner and a few pieces of candy, we explained to Riley that we would be leaving the rest of the candy in a bowl for the "Switch Witch".  She loves candy and in return for the candy, she will leave Riley a special Halloween surprise.  This year, she left behind stickers, pretzels, a spider ring, and a picture frame with a photo of Riley at the zoo.

If you would like to see a photo collage of our Halloween photos, check it out here!!
Happy Halloween!!
 
 
I discovered a wonderful new blog called Living Locurto.  She posts all kinds of wonderful templates and printables, including these wonderful Halloween M&M gift cookies!  
I made up a bunch of these jars to hand out to friends, neighbors, & Riley's teachers.
Riley helped with the pouring...
and the stirring!

Go check out the tutorial here!
 
 
Wow!  I can't believe how much sewing I have done in the last couple of weeks!  I think that perhaps it is trying to take the place of knitting....not sure yet, but it is definitely filling the gap I have right now in between knitting projects.  

Anyways, what have I been doing??  I decided I needed some Halloween linens and created my own table runner and placemats.  For the table runner, I took inspiration from this quilted design to get a layout for my fabric.  The placemat design is from this tutorial.  However, I just made guesses on the measurements, based on the length of my table and placemats I already own.

Until now, the only other thing I have quilted are coasters.  So I just made things up as I went along.  I used Excel to create a pattern so I could visualize how many inches of fabric I would need and where to place the fabric.  This helped me to get prepared so I didn't go crazy chopping away at my Halloween fabric!  There were a few "oops!" along the way but I was pleased with the outcome.   
As you can see, it is also reversible!  And here are the placemats...nothing fancy, but fun to look at!
I really enjoyed making Riley's trick or treat bag!  I learned how to make a double bag (a bag inside a bag) and was reminded about how much I enjoy doing embroidery.  I am already eager to begin another project involving embroidery!
Next, I have a craft project I have been wanting to do for quite awhile now:  Halloween countdown blocks!  I was ambitious and prepared two sets of countdown blocks so that I can also make a Christmas countdown set as well...those are yet to be finished.  If you like these cute blocks, you can find the tutorial here.
Finally, I have glowing Jack O'Lanterns that I made 2 years ago.  They are from the same crafty lady as the countdown blocks, over at the Not So Idle Hands.  I may decide to make a monster set to keep these guys company!
Do you have a favorite Halloween craft??  
 
 

I LOVE OCTOBER!!!

The number one reason being HALLOWEEN!!  I also love the cooler weather, the changing colors, the migrating animals, and bringing out my handknits!!  In honor of this wonderful month, I'm sharing a list of (mostly) educational & fun fall activities compiled in part by my teacher friend and in part by myself.  Be sure to check the details for each event as some require prior registration.

Enjoy!!

(** = Adults Only)

10/10/11 - ETA following extra events!
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Halloween 2010