BOO! Did we scare you? Probably not... I find it funny to hear what is scary to some people. When we are young it can be the 'boogieman' or the 'monster under the bed', when you are older it can be the 'hole in the roof during the middle of the storm' or the dreaded question 'did I remember to change the batteries in the smoke detector' as you leave for vacation. I'm not sure we can help you with the former, but I'm pretty sure we can help with some of the other scary 'adult' issues around your house. Check out our archive page to watch some of the great home do-it-yourself projects we have featured this season.

If you are looking to do a project in the garden you can stop by Grande Valley Ornamental Iron this coming week and get 20% off any arbor. Mention that you saw it on Fusion because it is only open to Fusion viewers.

Al's Pumpkins

Halloween is the time for scary pumpkins and tradition holds that the carved pumpkin is the way to greet those trick or treaters as they approach your doorstep. But we found a bunch of different ideas for decorating your doorstep this Halloween. Josh from Al's Garden Center (503-981-1245) in Woodburn gave us 3 or 4 different ideas to try. First of course was the traditional carved pumpkin, but with a few twists. First, Josh recommended that you look for a pumpkin that will fit your space. Don't always look for the larger pumpkin. Think about your doorstep and what you have to work with. Next, look at the stem size; larger stems add character. As far as lighting the pumpkin he recommends the new LED battery lights. They don't have to be relit if a breeze comes along and they can be reused on different holidays. We also saw some planted pumpkins. These pumpkins were hollowed out and planted with various fall color perennials. You use soil in the pumpkin and after about a week you can replant them in your landscape or a container. Since they are plants and have moist soil they will make the pumpkin rot a little faster than normal. To extend the life of the pumpkin you can apply Vaseline to the inside of the pumpkin to block the moisture. Finally we moved to the painted pumpkins. Josh used masking tape to cover parts of the pumpkin and then removed to tape to show off the unpainted areas, or reapplied the tape to paint other areas of the pumpkin. To finish it off he used a spray lacquer to protect the paint and add a shine. To see these and some of his other creations you can stop by the Al's in Woodburn.

Geranium Lake Pumpkins

On an earlier show we visited with Kim from Geranium Lake Flowers (503-228-1920) to learn how to set the perfect holiday table. This week we are looking at how she made those cute little fabric pumpkins that she had used for her place cards. She started with some spare scraps of velvet, but you can use just about any kind of fabric you have lying around. She used about a 10 inch circle of fabric to make a larger pumpkin for us. Then you have to run a thread of string around the edge of the circle. This will be drawn tight at the end to create the pumpkin. For the stem, she found some stems on some small decorative gourds at the store. You just snap them off and you can use them for your fabric pumpkin. Once David had finished stitching the fabric Kim drew the string tight creating a pouch that she filled with rice, though you can use any small bean or dry seed. Then we tied it super tight and we glued the stem to the top. You can use this as a place card holder like Kim had done or you can use them as a regular decoration around your home. For step-by-step directions, check out Kim's blog on the Geranium Lake website.

Rejuvenation Door Hardware

When you are trying to create that perfect atmosphere or style for your home, don't forget the doors. We met with Nichol at Rejuvenation (503-238-1900) on SE Grand to get some tips for dressing your doors. The first thing you need to do before you come in is to figure out what style you would like to have. Check out books, search for pictures on the internet and then get lots of measurements. Figure out the dimensions of the door you are working and what you want it to do. Do you want it to lock? Is it a newer door or an older door? Does it have holes in the door already or do you need them drilled? Bring all this information with you when you shop and you can eliminate multiple trips. Once you get to the store you will need to pick out the type of finish you are looking for. Remember to take into account what you currently have in the house. The wood, tile and paint color can all make a big difference in the type of hardware you choose. The best part is that you can pick matching finishes in other hardware (door stops, pulls, locks, etc.) so you can match just about anything. They also have a factory here in Portland so the turnaround on these pieces is pretty fast. Stop by and check out all the cool stuff. If you want to have fun and have your purchase benefit a great cause you can check out Rejuvenation's House Warming party on the 11th of November. There will be food and drink, live music, door prizes and a 'Pin the Tail on the City' contest. A portion of the sales from that evening are going to benefit 'p:ear' which is a mentoring program for homeless youth. For more information and to RSVP check out the link here.

Toasted Pumpkins Seeds

It is one of the delicacies of the fall, toasted pumpkin seeds. Like sunflower seeds, once you start eating these it is hard to stop. Once you have carved your pumpkin you can clean your seeds and then let them soak overnight in a brine solution. When they have soaked for a day you can dry them, and then add a little salt and some vegetable oil. Spread them on a pan and roast them in your oven for about 20 minutes. For all the details click here.


Cupcake Jones Frosting

Licking the spoon was one of the highlights of helping out in the kitchen, and the frosting spoon was the most coveted of all! We had the dream job of helping to make the Cream Cheese Frosting at Cupcake Jones (503-222-4404) in the Pearl District. Cupcake Jones is a must see place if you have a sweet tooth. Sabrina, the master baker, even shared the ingredients with us. To start you need 1 pounds of cream cheese, 8 ounces of unsalted butter, teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix these together on a medium speed on your mixer. You want to make sure that there are no lumps in your mixture. Check it often to make sure the lumps are all gone. Once the mixing is done you then add 2 pounds of powdered sugar to the mixing bowl. You will need to sift it to make sure all the lumps are out the sugar as well. Return the bowl to your mixer and set the speed for as slow as you can. This will keep the powered sugar from blowing up in your face. If it does that, you will be breathing sugar for the rest of the day! Once it is folded in you can set your mixer to a higher speed for the final mixing. After a few minutes it should be done, but you will not want to use it yet. The frosting is too warm at this point, so you will want to put it in the fridge for a few hours to let it set up and harden a little bit. Once you have tried yours, stop by Cupcake Jones and see how your recipe matches up with theirs, you won't regret it!  You can find the complete recipe here.

Newspaper Tips

The newspaper... all the news that's fit to print, plus it is great for chores around the house too! David and Robin took a few minutes to show us a couple that we learned. First of all, since it is paper, you can use it for wrapping. The comic section in the weekend edition is great for kids. They get a colorful print that they can read after they unwrap their gift and you get to save a few cents on buying expensive wrapping paper. Some of the other uses are tied to the absorbency of the paper itself. Robin used it to absorb odors in an old lunch box. You can also use it to absorb moisture and the smell in your old shoes too. Fall is harvest time in your garden and the paper can help you there too. If you have green tomatoes and you would like to have them ripen indoors, just wrap them in newspaper and set them on your counter. They will ripen quicker and you will have tasty tomatoes in a couple of days. One use that everyone has heard of is using newsprint to clean your windows. Use your regular window cleaner or a weak solution of ammonia and water, and then wipe it off with the paper. The newsprint will leave no lint or streaks! Finally, David had a suggestion for the gardeners in the house. Lay pieces of newsprint down in your garden and cover them with mulch. The paper will act as a barrier for weeds and will eventually breakdown and be food for your plants. There you go, breaking news on recycling your newspaper for chores around the house.

Quick Tip - Curtains

Here is another quick tip that can save you some money. During these chilly fall and winter days you can still let the warmth of the sun warm your home. Just leave your curtains open during those sunny days to warm your home, but remember to close them at night to keep that heat inside. This little tip can keep you and your house warmer and save you a couple of bucks!



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This page last modified
November 05, 2010.