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As promised, here is Martha’s Wednesday Addams costume prop, Pubert Addams. The freaky, moustachioed baby brother of Wednesday, who saves the day in ‘Addams Family Values’ the second Addams Family film.
I took a normal baby doll from the charity shop, he had blue eyes originally but I coloured these in with a brown sharpie, gave him a greyish skin tone, by lightly spraying him with a car spray primer, I painted on his hair with black acrylic paint and drew on his eyebrows and ‘tache, with a black sharpie. I added some eyelashes and a pinkish pva glaze to his mouth after a google image search of Pubert revealed a much prettier baby then I had remembered!
I made him a baby gro, out of a grey tshirt, I roughly drew round the dolls body, drew a spider on it and stitched it together on the doll.

Halloween Costumes

October 23, 2012

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I was going to call this post ‘Wednesday and the Wild Thing’ as I think it would make a great title for a kids book, but Halloween costumes is what they are.
I have wanted to make a Max from the Wild Things outfit for one of my kids ever since I can remember, the wild things was my favourite book when I was little, and fortunately Alice agreed to be a Wild Thing for Halloween this year. I used a butterick kids costume pattern, (I had used for Martha’s Halloween Pink Cat costume a few years ago). I started with the jumpsuit with a fluffy wolf tail made from cheap furry leg warmers from eBay. The fabric I used was brushed cotton or winciette in off white /cream, to give it more of a vintage feel. I made the hood part plain (no ears) and made and stuffed two triangles which I hand stitched into place.
Martha decided she wanted to be Wednesday Addams this year, from the Addams Family films she has recently become obsessed with. So watched it a few times to get a good idea of Wednesday’s outfits. I decided on the classic dark grey floral shirt dress with bright white collar. I managed to find a man’s shirt in the charity shop with a suitable size floral pattern and then dyed it black with a Dylon black hand dye, just dipping it quickly (not for the full 20 mins) before rinsing it out. When it was dry, I cut the collar and the sides of the shirt and sleeves down to the width of a 5 year old, and cut 2 new sleeves out of the old sleeves, then sewed up the sides, attached the sleeves and hemed them. I cut the white collar off and old one of my husband’s and sewed it onto the dress. Easy Peasy!
I am painting a charity shop bought baby doll as the moustached baby Pubert Addams, from Addams Family Values, as a prop for Martha and might make Alice a big fork, from the illustration where Max is chasing the Westie Dog.
Trick or Treat?

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Pumpkin Pie

October 31, 2011

As its halloween today, I baked a pumpkin pie. I have used the receipe before and its pretty easy and makes a nice and yummy use of all the lovely pumpkins in the shops.

I bought frozen shortcrust pasty, just because I am lazy, my sister (whose birthday it is today) always makes her own pasty and it’s especially delicious! I bought a small edible pumpkin, about the same size as Alice’s head (2 year old toddler) or 8″-9″ in diameter.  I cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon, then popped the two halves in a microwaveable bowl and microwaved with an inch of water in the bottom for 15mins on highest setting. (If yours is not cooked by this time pop it back in for a couple of mins at a time until you can smush the flesh easily with a spoon). I left it to cool while I rolled out the defrosted pastry and lined my butter greased pie dish, which is 10.5″ or 27cm wide and 2″ or 5 cm deep. I blind baked the pastry for 15mins at 200 degrees C which in retrospect was probably a bit long as during second baking the edge got a bit too brown, I will probably do 10 mind next time. When the pumpkin was cool enough to handle I scooped the flesh out of the skin with a spoon, and whizzed it up with my hand blender until it was smooth, then added to the pumpkin puree, added a cup of sugar (I used light brown as I prefer it to white in cooking to give a slight caramel flavor), 1.5tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ground allspice, 0.5tsp ground ginger, 0.5tsp salt, 4 large eggs and 1 tin of evaporated milk and applied the handblender to the lot. (The receipe also called for 1tsp of ground cloves but I didn’t have any, I think this is an important flavor for a classic pumpkin pie so will get some in for next year) I poured it into my pie case and it filled it nice and deep. Its a very liquidy filling and a bit of a faff to get into the oven without slopping the filling over the sides but a coating around the edge tends to caramelise the pastry very nicely (think of ‘pasteis de nata’ portugese egg custard tarts). The recipe says bake for 30-40 mins at 170 degrees c, but I did mine a little longer as my oven is rubbish.

It is not really much of a looker, with its orangy brown filling and my slightly over cooked crust! But she tastes pretty good – I ate the slice I photographed above. If you have never had pumpkin pie before it is a  bit like an egg custard with a sweet spicy flavor and the pumpkin puree gives it a lovely texture. Not sure if the kids are too keen, I made them a apple meringue pie at the same time (see previous post https://mrspeacocksthingstomakeanddo.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/apple-meringue-pie/) which they (and Mr Peacock) chose for pudding yesterday instead of the pumpkin, so all the more for me! Trick or Treat?

Halloween Pumpkin

November 4, 2010

Martha’s Papa George (my father-in-law) grew her a gorgeous huge pumpkin for Halloween in his allotment this year. It was a beauty. Obviously I decided it was not a great idea to have her carve it herself, so I had her draw the face with a whiteboard marker (the idea was I could clean off the ink after I had finished carving – that didn’t work out so well). Martha’s mystery Halloween illness meant that I didn’t get round to carving it until Sunday afternoon, and the face had been drawn on it for sometime by then. First I cut the lid, I cut into the pumpkin at an angle pointing to the stalk so the lid doesn’t fall in when its cut and hollowed out. I use an ice-cream scoop to get out the stringy bits and seeds and to thin down the face side of the pumpkin. Then  I used a small sharp paring knife to cut out Martha’s design. I cut an access/air hole at the back of the pumpkin quite low down so you can’t see it through the face, this makes it easy to get the lit tealights inside without burning your hands and means you can leave the lid on it, without the risk of the candles not having enough oxygen, (lack of oxygen depends on your face design, in some of them with smaller face holes the candles sputter and go out, but the traditional carve with big eyes and a huge zig zag toothed mouth allow enough air in for the candles)  which is handy when its put outside in the rain.

Martha was very pleased with it, and I am quite impressed at her scary face design. However my cunning plan of cleaning the whiteboard pen off didn’t work.

Pink Cat Costume

November 1, 2010

Martha wanted to be a Pink Cat for Halloween this year. Where are you supposed to get a pink cat costume from? It was time to get out the sewing machine.

I bought the pattern online, I probably could have made one up, but would have wasted an acre of fabric, sometimes the economical solution is to spend some money and follow the instructions. I usually get my patterns 2nd hand from ebay, but this was much too tricky so I found someone selling this butterick pattern new on ebay, google searched the number and found someone selling it for half the ebay price! I shopped around but still couldn’t find any bargain pink fun fur, or fleece, so settled for super naff, crushed velour, new and by the metre from ebay for £2.99 per metre, plus postage.

Its a fairly complicated pattern consisting of a universal jumpsuit, a hood, mittens and spats (to go over your shoes – I could not be bothered with these!). I did tweak the pattern slightly, making the opening at the back and making it overlap so I could use velcro instead of a zip and add a lighter pink patch for a ‘tummy’. I also added a light pink tip to the tail, light pink inside the ears and (my favorite) light pink pads and paws on the mittens. I cut rough patterns for these, (so they 2 sides matched) cut them out, then applied them with bondaweb. It took me a while with the iron but I think it was worth it, without these details, from a distance she could have been wearing a velour hoodie tracksuit with a tail! (As I type that I think, I could have just bought her one of those and ironed on the detail bits, saving me and my mum the best part of a day at the sewing machine!).

Anyways it looks brilliant I am more than pleased and Martha loves it, although she does insist on stopping taking when she is in it and incessantly meowing instead, and REFUSED to have a photo taken in it, hence the rather ropey phone pic above. And then came down with a mystery illness with sore throat and raging temperature for her nursery Halloween party! Hopefully I made it big enough to fit her for next year too.