Hello! Welcome to Ivory Pumpkin. Here you'll find snippets of things that I like and, hopefully soon, of things that I've created. Please stay awhile and browse.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fairy Friday

Happy Fairy Friday!
The Rose Hip Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker

Monday, November 11, 2013

Last Night's Meal......

A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a free meal at SW Steakhouse at The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas (I live in Henderson, NV so this was not special trip to Vegas by any means). The meal was delicious, the service was outstanding and the atmosphere was lovely but, we were glad we only had to pay the gratuity for the meal.

The Wynn Hotel is one of the best hotels in Las Vegas with a reputation for impeccable service to their guests and, this is done with flawless execution. So, again I state we were not dis-satisfied with our meal. Let me give you a rundown of what we had:

Two glasses of pinot gris (I can't remember the brand) $15 each
Basket of variety breads - very, very good, would come back for this.
caesar salad - also very, very good, would come back for this too. $15
I had Scottish Roasted Salmon - very good but, I've had just as good at the Cheesecake Factory - $38
Hubby had Rib Eye  - meh, he likes his well-done and I had a bite, it was a bit dry and not a lot of flavor $58
He added to his steak bacon and sauteed shallots for $9
We had two sides (they serve them family style) - sauteed wild mushrooms and asparagus $12 for each side
Key Lime pie for desert, good but, just as good as Cheesecake Factory - $12

Total bill came to $214 bucks

This is where we ate:

 Again, let me reiterate - we were very satisfied with our meal and the atmosphere. But, let me show you, if I'd had my choice of what I would have liked to eat and where:

Clam Chowder with fresh caught clams and fish n' chips with fresh caught fish (probably caught that morning)

This is where I would have eaten it - Barb's Fish Trap in Half Moon Bay. I would have sat on one of the picnic tables outside, about 20 ft from the Pacific Ocean......

This type of meal, for two, maybe with a couple of beers would have been maybe about $40 bucks. I guess my point being of this post is that I really know who I am. I'm a simple gal, who likes simple (but, very good!) food. Sitting at picnic table next to the ocean with my family or friends, eating fish n chips is something I've done quite a few times and I treasure every single one of those gatherings, now more than ever. I've always known this about myself but, this morning when I thought about it, it brought a smile to my face and, cheesy as it sounds, joy to my heart. It's not about the money. It's about really knowing what you value in life.

I'll be visiting my family back in California next month and I can't wait to get to Barb's for some fish n chips!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Fairy Friday.....

The Mountain Ash Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's here! Halloween is here! 

Many joys of the season to you all!

I feel awful that I was unable to complete my 100 Days of Halloween the way I wanted to. Work got so incredibly, crazy busy. I feel that I wasn't able to enjoy the season the way I wanted to. So many projects were undone, postings were never able to go up in the time that I wanted them to. 

I've loved the wonderful comments I've received from followers and thank you to the new folks that are now following my blog! 

I really enjoyed what I could do for the 100 days and will try again next year, that means Halloween will come all that much earlier! I'm also going to try something similar for Christmas/Winter. I'll need to let my brain stew a little for some ideas.....

Enjoy this little Halloween Fairy from Paulina Cassidy and I hope you have many more treats than tricks for Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....The Jack O'Lantern

I've not forgotten my 100 Days of Halloween project. Work has been busy and will get busier so, I'm not able to post as often as I'd like. I've received great feed back from fellow Halloween lovers and I do not want to disappoint. 

So, I'm stealing a free moment to post about Jack O'Lanterns, not pumpkins (which I love too but, will save for another post) but, the ghoulish grins of Jack O'Lanterns. It's not really Halloween until you carve one. Here's a bit of history from Wikipedia and some images of this Halloween icon: 

A jack-o'-lantern is a carved pumpkin, turnip or beet, associated chiefly with the holiday of Hallowe'en, and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o'-the-wisp or jack-o'-lantern. In a jack-o'-lantern, the top is cut off, and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image, usually a monstrous face, is carved out, and the lid replaced. It is typically seen during Halloween.

The term jack-o'-lantern is in origin a term for the visual phenomenon ignis fatuus (lit., "foolish fire") known as a will-o'-the-wisp in English folklore. Used especially in East Anglia, its earliest known use dates to the 1660s. The term "will-o'-the-wisp" uses "wisp" (a bundle of sticks or paper sometimes used as a torch) and the proper name "Will": thus, "Will-of-the-torch." The term jack-o'-lantern is of the same construction: "Jack of [the] lantern."
The origin of Jack o' Lantern carving is uncertain. Some make the case that its carving is thought to come from Ireland, where turnips, mangelwurzel or beets were used. Others claim that Jack-o'-lanterns originated with All Saints' Day (1 November)/All Souls' Day (2 November) and represented Christian souls in purgatory. Christopher Hill writes that "jack-o'-lanterns were carved out of turnips or squashes and were literally used as lanterns to guide guisers on All Hallows' Eve." Bettina Arnold writes that they were sometimes set on windowsills to keep them out of one's home. Despite these claims there has yet to be evidence provided by historians that turnips were carved into lanterns in Ireland during Halloween, prior to the practice being present in the U.S. Notable examples inc. a detailed account of a Halloween night in Ireland in 1834 which makes no mention of any jack-o'-lantern or carved vegetables acting as lanterns,  nor does Robert Burns mention them in his famous poem "Halloween".

 The story of the Jack-O'-lantern comes in many variants and is similar to the story of Will-o'-the-wisp retold in different forms across Ireland and Scotland. An old Irish folktale tells of Stingy Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn't get down. Another tale says that Jack put a key in the Devil's pocket while he was suspended upside-down. 

Another version of the story says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet, only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped.

In both folktales, Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul. After a while the thief died, as all living things do. Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven; however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul, and so he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell. Jack carved out one of his turnips (which were his favorite food), put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o'-lantern.

Jack-o-lanterns were also a way of protecting your home against the Undead. Superstitious people used them specifically to ward away vampires. They thought this because it was said that the Jack-o-lantern's light was a way of identifying vampires and, once their identity was known, they would give up their hunt for you.

I hope you've enjoyed your wiki-tutorial on Jack O'Lanterns. I think it's just about time for a trip to the pumpkin patch!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....IT'S OCTOBER!!!!!!!

It's finally here...October. It brought a little nip in the evening air here in Southern Nevada but, we are still between 80-90 degrees during the day. As Anne of Green Gables said, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

I'm so excited I don't even know what the subject of this post should be! Pumpkins, black cats, witches, bats, haunted houses, a spooky story, the sound of crunching leaves, the smell of wood burning.... the list could go on and on. I think for now I'll simply say, Happy October to all of my friends....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

100 Days of Halloween...Harvest Moon Primitives

Etsy is a great place for Halloween inspiration and goodies. Harvest Moon Primitives is a beautiful shop on Etsy. The artwork is worthy of year round display, see for yourself.....

Aren't they gorgeous? Everything is very reasonably priced as well so, stop by Harvest Moon Primitives and have a peek!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Vintage Images

Sorry I've skipped on the posts but, I was a bit under the weather last week. Here are a couple of vintage images. I love the witch in the pumpkin. I would live in one if I could! As usual, these images are part of the public domain so feel free to use them in your crafting projects.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Halloween Spirit Stores, Warning - Gross Factor

The past several years I've been kind of disappointed with the Spirit stores. Nothing but gore, blood, guts and expensive hoochie mama costumes (a sexy angel - really? Isn't that an oxymoron?). I remember taking my son when he was little and they had gore but, also fun stuff (plastic spider rings, etc.). I think it marked the beginning of Halloween for him when we went to the Spirit store to check out Halloween stuff.

Still, I go every year to the Spirit store even though I get disappointed because, well, it's tradition. Well, I went last Saturday and was not that disappointed! Oh yeah, Spirit still brings on the gore but, I did notice that a lot of their decorations had a really good scare and creep factor to them. Here are some of their new items. Beware, some of these are kind of gross, scary and creepy but, gross......

Creepy, huh? I'm not one to decorate with gore but, I guess that's the beauty of Halloween - there is something for everyone.....

Friday, September 13, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Vintage Images

Happy Friday!

These images are part of the public domain so feel free to use them in your crafting projects. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 9, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....The Beginnings of Halloween Weekends

I didn't do much this weekend but, the beginnings of weekends filled with Halloween shopping and crafts is starting. Target has a few things trickling in they had a few more things than the following picks but, I feel a little silly taking photos in a store.

Looks like "Fright done Right" will be the Target Halloween theme....

These are hand soaps. This photo didn't come out too well but, there is a pumpkin, a skull, a ghost and a black cat.....

I bought the Pumpkin Harvest soap. It smells really good, like pumpkin pie spice. I think I'll keep this one in the kitchen and go back and buy the black cat for the downstairs bathroom.

I knitted this little one. It took less than an hour.

Here's Sally holding the little knitted pumpkin. I love Sally I got her last year for Christmas from my son and his girlfriend.

Of course, Jack came with Sally. They really do make a cute couple.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

100 Days of Halloween...Vintage Image

I think I might have to get this one framed.....

Have a great weekend every one!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

100 Days of Halloween...Guess Who's Ready for Halloween?


I saw her at Target just the other day.

Here are a couple of other Halloween Barbies

I absolutely LOVE this doll! I might have to go on an eBay hunt to find her.....

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

100 Days of Halloween.....Salem's Haunted Happenings

First I would like to thank those you that have left wonderful comments for the 100 Days of Halloween. They are much appreciated and welcome to some new followers as well! I would like to apologize for missing more than a week of postings. I don't post everyday but, for this project in particular I'm trying to post a few times a week. I usually post during a work break but, last week I was just slammed at work!

Anyhoo, back to fun things! Have any of you been to Salem, MA? I have been there a few times and it is one of my favorite vacation spots. I have never been during October though and one day I will make it there during October to attend Haunted Happenings. You can order the brochure for the month long activities. I usually order it just so I can look and read about the activities. I've attached the link for the brochure and the website for Haunted Happenings. 

Happy Haunting!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

110 Days of Halloween....More Great Halloween Reads!

I've compiled a nice little list of books that, I think will keep me reading well past Halloween and, may even become a yearly read!

Paulette at Art Dust reccommends:
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Halloween Party by Agatha Christie

Victoria at Brushstrokes reccommend:
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Both Paulette and Victoria recommend:
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Other books that I forgot to mention in my last post:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Little Witch by Elizabeth Anna Bennett - have read this book since I was about 8 years old when I got it from the school book club
The Witches by Roald Dahl

I'll try to do a review as I go through the books. I'm looking forward to many a cozy evening with a great book.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Halloween Reads

I'm a big movie watcher during the Halloween Season. Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, Sleepy Hollow all must be watched sometime during October, usually at night or on a gloomy day with popcorn, hot chocolate and under a blanket with the dog. But, I also love to read. I don't have a big list of Halloween books that I read year after year but, I'd like to grow that list, so please respond and I'll post your favorite reads.

The one book I do read right around Halloween is The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs. It's the first in a series of books about Lewis Barnavelt. If you haven't read it, here's a sysnopsis from Goodreads:

"Lewis always dreamed of living in an old house full of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and big marble fireplaces. And suddenly, after the death of his parents, he finds himself in just such a mansion--his Uncle Jonathan's. When he discovers that his big friendly uncle is also a wizard, Lewis has a hard time keeping himself from jumping up and down in his seat. Unfortunately, what Lewis doesn't bank on is the fact that the previous owner of the mansion was also a wizard--but an evil one who has placed a tick-tocking clock somewhere in the bowels of the house, marking off the minutes until the end of the world. And when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock only ticks louder and faster. Doomsday draws near--unless Lewis can stop the clock."

Yes, it is a book for elementary aged children but, a good book is a good book! I love the characters, especially Rose Rita Pottinger and I really want a neighbor just like Mrs. Zimmerman. The second book in the series is The Figure in the Shadows, followed by The Letter, the Witch and the Ring which I've yet to read as it's really hard to find...I might have to go over to Amazon for a splurge for a Halloween treat....

Please let me know what you like to read during Halloween so I can grow my list and share with everyone.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Thriller by Michael Jackson

I'm very fortunate to work for a company here in Las Vegas that allows me to see Vegas shows for free from time to time. This time we were invited to go see Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay. It's a show produced by Cirque du Soleil so it involves lots of acrobatics, it's an amazing show to say the least. I think The Gloved One would have been proud.

In spite of what anyone may think about Michael Jackson and the life he led, I don't think anyone can deny that the man was a musical genius and the show really pays homage to that genius. In the show they of course did a routine to "Thriller". According to Wikipedia.....

- It was M TV's first world premiere video
- It was voted as the most influential pop music video of all time
-In 2009 it was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The first music video ever to receive this honor.
- It is the most watched music video of all time, seen by more than four billion people all over the world.

I grew up listening and watching Michael Jackson and will always be a fan. To me it's not Halloween until you've watched "Thriller". Enjoy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

100 Days of Halloween.....Craft Time!

Well, Michael's is in full swing for Halloween......

 Aisles and aisle of Halloween goodness. I love the little bottles, below. Sometime soon I'd like to create some apothecary bottles or jars.

Here is a little box I made recently. It was my test run in decoupage. I tell myself that I can only use items that I already have on hand. The only thing I bought for this was the box itself and that was only about $1.

 You can't tell in the photo but, I really like how the gold over the black paint gave the box a weathered look and I like how the lace looks on the box.

My next project is this birdhouse. It's going to be a haunted birdhouse! I did buy the house, $4.99 at Michael's but, I'll be using all of my scraps to decorate.

Oh! I did buy these little guys to go on the house when it's done....

I'm almost done with this picture frame. I was trying to go for a vintage, creepy, Victorian type of look. This was a leftover over picture frame from when I was working at the pre-school and we had the kids make Mother's Day gifts. I don't go in for decorating with heart shaped things so, I've been trying to hide or soften the shape of the heart by collaging over and around it. I used the same paint treatment as the box - black paint then using a dry brush in a bit of antique gold to give it a weathered look.

I'm trying to use up some of the 1x1 inchies that I have on hand. I bought pages of them to make jewelry with when I had my Etsy shop.

Are you crafting for Halloween yet? What are you making? If you have a cool craft site, let me know and I'll be putting up links soon for Halloween resources and I will definitely link back to you if you want to share.