Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fine Feathered Finale

Here is my Peacock Costume for Halloween 2013!

Full Costume, tail down

I made the fancy feathered tail and all the other accessories; from the crest on my head to the embellishments on my sandals, and all the jewelry in between.

Head Shot, mask up, tail up

I had planned to attach the mask to my glasses but at the last minute it wasn’t working.  I had Rem plug in the glue gun, and with some wire, a chopstick and a few plastic baubles, I converted it into a kind of lorgnette.  It was much easier than wearing an annoying mask all day and it went well with all the other details.

I wore turquoise and green eye-makeup with some sparkles, black liner and lots of mascara.


Here’s the decoration on my sandals (and my turquoise nail polish).

Fancy Sandals

The best part of the costume was the tail that I could move from down to up with the help of some mono filament. Here’s a link to a little video showing me moving the tail.  Thank you to Grace at UniquelyGrace on Etsy where I purchased the design for the tail.

This is the tail in the resting/down position.  The sides were supposed to fold down but the wire feathers I made were kind stiff so it remained fanned out both up and down.

Tail from the Back

Here it is with the tail up.

Tail & Mask Up

I even managed the tail when I was at my desk.  The trick was to sit down with the tail up, and the back of the chair kept it in place.

At the computer

A few of the biology instructors on campus reminded me that peacocks are male.  I just told them I was a cross-dressing peahen.  However, at the end of a day of strutting my feathers, I think maybe the peahens are happy not to be dragging around all that fancy baggage.

For today it was a lot of fun and I was delighted to win best costume in the “Elegant” category at the Halloween lunch and costume contest  at work.

Thank you for coming by and Happy Halloween!


Filed under Crafts, Life

Happy Halloween 2013!

Daylight Pumpkins




3 in the dark


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Head to Tail Halloween

Peacock Mask

Here is the mask I made to wear on Halloween.  I saw this mask from Sprinkles in Spring on Pinterest last year and loved it.  I wanted to figure out a costume that would incorporate a similar mask.  I ended up veering a little off the original concept.  I also need to wear my glasses, so the mask will attach to them.

I also saw several great costumes on Pinterest that inspired me to create my costume for this year: a peacock!  (sorry, I’m not going to show the whole costume until I wear it on Halloween).

Fairy Wings to Feathers

I disassembled the fairy wings I picked up at the Dollar Tree and my mom and sister helped cut out and glue fabric for the “eyes” and tulle for the wire to complete the feathers.  The fairy wings were already decorated with glitter which ended up everywhere.

My mom was nice enough to let me work on the tail at her house where I had loads more room.

Fabric Peacock Feathers

My last name, Faw, was originally spelled Pfau and was changed when my great (x 8, I think) grandfather immigrated to the US from Switzerland.  Pfau means peacock!

The stylized peacock I had in mind needed some additional bling to balance the fancy tail, so I also crafted some jewelry and additional embellishments.  Beads and Christmas garland from the Dollar Tree, plastic gems, fabric, elastic, ribbon and plenty of hot glue were used.

Jewelry for Peacock

After many hours of effort, the costume is done and I will be wearing it to work on Thursday.

Thank you for your visit.


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Pipe Cleaners & Pom Poms

Pipe Cleaners & Pom Poms

Pipe cleaners and pom poms.

Giant rhinestones, Dollar Store plastic beads, and Christmas garlands.

Sparkly Beads

Five pairs of fairy wings.

Fairy Wings

These are all supplies for my Halloween costume.  Halloween is just one week away!

Are you wearing a costume for Halloween this year?

Thank you for your visit.

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Halloween Prep

I’m working on my Halloween costume.

Hardware Store Stuff

So far I’ve shopped for supplies at Joann’s Fabrics & Crafts, The Dollar Tree, Orchard Supply Hardware, Ross Dress for Less, Sally Beauty Supply, and Smart & Final (groceries).


I’m not saying what it is yet, but in due time I promise to post pictures of the finished costume.

Thank you for your visit.


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Fall Favorites

Little Acorn Treats

Here are some of my favorite fall recipes and craft projects from previous posts.  These Little Acorn Treats are made with mini Nilla Wafers, chocolate kisses and butterscotch (or peanut butter) chips.

Copper Leaves look beautiful and are surprisingly simple to make using copper tape you can by at a hardware store.  Click on the link for the instructions.

Cooper Leaves on a branch

If you get the copper tape, you can also make these great Copper Tape Pumpkin Pins!

Halloween is just around the corner and these little Bottle Cap Necklaces are a fun project.  I love cute seasonal accessories like pumpkin pins and skeleton earrings and I always get compliments when I wear one of these.

Bottle Cap Necklaces

I can’t resist these Eyeball Donuts.  They are easy to assemble and kids love them both for their gross-out factor and because donut holes are yummy!

Eyeballl Donuts

Thanks for your visit.


Filed under Cooking, Crafts

Crafting on the Road

No, I don’t paint while driving but I did bring craft supplies on our Yosemite/Gold Country vacation.  We didn’t have the whole trip planned out and I find crafting very relaxing, so I wanted to be prepared to get creative if the opportunity came up.

Emporium Jamestown

One afternoon we strolled through Jamestown and I found a few interesting bits of paper ephemera for sale, items that were originally meant to be discarded, like tickets or menus, but have become collectibles.

I picked up a small Farmer Memo Book from 1958 with charts on seeds and planting, and helpful information on things like tractor work calculation and gestation periods for farm animals.Rusty Rooster

I bought an April, 1938 local bus schedule for Iowa and Illinois, an order book from Rosa Baking Company circa 1937 and a one-inch map of South East London published in 1946 that has “Jim’s” written on it. I also purchased a few postcards and picked up brochures of places we were visiting.

One afternoon I asked Rem if he’d mind a break from sightseeing and he was very accommodating to my desire for craft time.  He watched a movie while I spread my supplies out in the dining room of the Sonora Inn and put together these two Art Journal pages.

Yosemite Art Journal Page

A shuttle map, a postcard and a photo from a local travel magazine filled the pages for this Yosemite spread.  I covered a little tag and added a bird sticker and some color.

For this Sonora spread, I used a Little Red Church picture from a brochure, and other bits and pieces to pick up the red color including craft paper and washi tape that I brought along.

Sonora Art Journal Page

Business cards, labels and brochures bring back memories from our relaxing and scenic trip.

After we returned home, my mom requested a card and I used some of the ephemera I’d picked up in Jamestown for this tag card.

Ephemera Tag Card

The low-key afternoon of crafting was a chance to sort through my old and new supplies and create something that included pieces picked up along the way.  It was also a nice change-of-pace from walking around and exploring Sonora and the area and some time alone.  This combination of being on vacation, a relaxed schedule and a few creative hours with paper and glue made me feel a peaceful happiness.  What more could I ask for?

Thanks for your visit.


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Sonora, California

Here are more pictures from our vacation.

Little Red Church, Sonora

This is the St. James Episcopal Church in Sonora which is also known as the Red Church or Little Red Church.  It is at the top of Washington Street which goes through the town.

When we were first strolling in Sonora, it felt very familiar to me.  Those of you from Marin may understand how this street reminded me of San Anselmo Avenue in the town where I grew up, San Anselmo, California.

Washington Avenue, Sonora

There’s something special about visiting a little town that feels familiar and welcoming yet is a new place to explore.  This particular part of the downtown area reminded me so much of San Anselmo that I looked up a little Sonora history.  It was a gold rush town that was established in 1849 by miners from Sonora, Mexico.  Later, after mining declined, logging and the arrival of the Sierra Railway in 1899 brought continued prosperity.

San Anselmo started to grow when North Pacific Coast Railroad completed a section of railroad in 1874 that carried passengers to and from San Francisco.  So though these towns don’t have the same background, they were both positively affected when the railroad came to their town.

Some of the brick buildings in Sonora are similar to buildings in San Anselmo and San Rafael, where I live now.

Old Brick Bank Building

Candy Store

There is a thriving Farmer’s Market in Sonora.


On the day we visited, there was a special event: a Mural-In-A-Day was being painted on a brick wall adjacent to the market.  This is a banner showing the design of the finished 8 x 24 foot mural.

Banner of Mural


Volunteers were busily painting – the outlines had all been traced and it was like a giant paint-by-numbers piece.


We came back to see the finished mural another day.

Rem Taking Photos

Finished Mural

Here is a picturesque little restaurant overlooking a creek, where we enjoyed lunch one day, but not the slow service.

Umbrellas on Deck over Creek

Rem & Margarita

Pictures from around the town.

Curving architechtural detail

Yellow and Blue Building

I loved this rusted-metal bear on a building.

California Bear

Old buildings often have beautiful details like the molding and the pressed tin ceiling tiles in this restaurant.

Pressed Tin Ceiling

This is a chalkboard menu in the same place, the Diamondback Grill.

Diamond Back Grill Menu

Horse Head Hitching Post

We stayed at the Sonora Inn which has recently been renovated.  It was very charming until the last night when road work, including jackhammers, started around 9PM.  Luckily, we had earplugs with us!

Sonora Inn

On our way out of town the last morning of our stay, we enjoyed breakfast at Cover’s Apple Ranch.  Rem was on a mission to get some good pie and when we asked around town, several people recommended Cover’s.

Covver's Apple Ranch

Even though we at a big, delicious breakfast, we got two slices of pie and an apple turnover to go and I don’t regret it.  Rem had apple pie and I had peach.

As we left their bakery/cafe, I saw this sign, and request, over the door.   That doesn’t seem unreasonable.

Apple Pie A Week

And, for stopping by my blog I say: thank you, please come again!

Rem and I


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Thank You, Heroes

Rim Fire Heroes

Buck’s Meadow, Groveland, Jamestown, Sonora, Twain Heart,  and Angel’s Camp.  These are some of the communities on or near Highway 120 in the areas of the huge Rim Fire, burning in the Stanislaus National Forest.  After we left Yosemite National Park we drove along 120 and were able to see first hand some of the devastation from this fire.

The first thing I noticed were swaths of scorched and yellowed branches on otherwise green trees.

Yellow Branches

Looking more closely, I could see burned tree trunks.

Burned Trunks

The undergrowth was burned away.

Burned Trunk

Later, talking to people in the nearby towns, we learned how bad the air quality was, with heavy smoke shrouding homes and business, and ash raining down on cars.  While we were visiting, we only occasionally noticed the smell of smoke and the air quality was good.

Many businesses have signs posted to say thank you to the more than 5,000 personnel who were fighting the fire at it’s peak.  The fire, started on August 17, is not yet fully contained as of October 5.  Approximately 402 square miles have burned.

THAnk YOu fire fighters

As we drove the twisting road, it was sad to see new vistas of burned areas.  It is hard to fathom the size of this fire: an area larger than the city of Chicago.

Spindly Burned Trees

Although during our visit to Yosemite where we read about the benefits of wildfires, that is not the case for the high-intensity Rim Fire.

Fire ecologists say it will take decades for forests to recover from the Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park, given the the extent of the high severity burn.  ~ Lauren Sommer, KQED Science

Corkboard Thank You with Picture

Hillside Below Road

Burned Vista, Yellow Trees

Burned Hill

This sign was outside the St. James Anglican Church in Sonora, also known as the Little Red Church.

God Bless @ Little Red Church

At a Vista Point the parking area was full.  The hills had been burned and were scorched nearly bare as far as we could see.  We looked out on the empty hillsides with others, standing in silence.

Whole Hillsides Bare

Charred Trees, Yellow Hillside

Burned Valley

Memorials to two firefighters were at this spot, CAL FIRE Firefighter I Eva Schicke was killed on September 12, 2004 at the age of 24 and David Erickson, a US Forest Service Crew Leader, who died on September 11, 1987, at the age of 34.

It is a blessing that no lives have been lost in the Rim Fire.

We Appreciate You

Toulomne City Thanks You

The city of San Rafael where we live, sent firefighters as did other stations in Marin.  Men and women came from all around the country to assist with the fight to extinguish the fire.

Free Showers

Red Thank You

Green Thank You

The news isn’t completely without hope.  Regeneration has begun in the area of the fire.

Next spring we’ll see a lot of wildflowers and plants that haven’t been seen around here for a long, long time. In 20 years, we’ll see something really nice. But it will take 200 years at least for it to grow back the way it was. ~ Sean Collins of the South Central Sierra Incident Command Team

Toulumne ♥ You!

Thanks for stopping by.  I ♥ you!

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Seeing Yosemite

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