Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Tree Skirt and More

I just spent two weekends and the week in between working on a skirt for my Halloween tree. I finished it up on Sunday morning, and I've got to say I'm pretty happy with it just because I think it's so funny. It's decorated with wacky Halloween cat faces and a sparkly border of stars, half moons, and really dumb pom-pom-topped wizard hats.

It's odd that I thought of making a tree skirt, because I totally suck at sewing. I'm not a very good crafter. (I tend to get my fingers stuck together with glue and that sort of thing.) But one day I was at work in my office and I had a vision, so I ran out and bought the fabric. I was scared to take the first stitch, but once I got started I really had fun. I spent my lunch hours buying fancy trimmings and sequins, and I couldn’t wait to get home each night so I could start sewing. I’d rush through my chores and go and sit in the living room with my bag of felt and tangled-up embroidery thread and stitch as I watched Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

All the cats got involved in my sewing project. Carl would burrow into my sewing bag (a plastic Winn-Dixie bag) and softly snore and coo among the packets of seed beads. Buntin liked to bat the thread hanging from my needle, and June would routinely hide the scissors from me by curling up on top of them.

I liked everything about sewing. I liked sitting on the couch in my pajamas and drinking a Coke while I worked. I liked Carl climbing into my sewing bag. So I didn't really want to be done with my tree skirt, and now I'm thinking I might go in and add some more stuff just to stretch the project out. The kooky cat faces might look good with necks and purple sequined collars.

My Halloween tree skirt

Now on to other news: My niece Sophie is 14, a freshman in high school, and October 9 was her school's homecoming dance. Before the dance, Kris and I took pictures of her at Oven Park. Her dress was so cute. The bodice was studded with opalescent sequins, and the little skirt was midnight blue. Mom described Sophie's shoes as "Dancing with the Stars" shoes.

I've got a new recipe to share. On Sunday afternoon Rob and I made Vegan Reubens to go with a big pot of peanut chili we had simmering on the stove. The reubens were awesome, grilled in the frying pan to hot, buttery, toasty, golden brown perfection. We stuffed them with vegan sausage patties, a little melted vegan cheese, and fresh purple cabbage slaw. But the key was the grilling. The result was a sandwich that was warm, crispy, comforting, and just a tiny, wonderful bit greasy.

You really ought to try this recipe. Even non-vegans will love it!

Vegan Reuben Sandwiches


Purple Cabbage Slaw
1 tube Lightlife Gimme Lean Veggie Protein, Ground Sausage Style
Vegetable oil
4 slices rye bread
Daiya vegan cheese shreds
Earth Balance nondairy butter


Make a batch of Purple Cabbage Slaw and set aside. Cut the veggie sausage into thin slices and pan fry in vegetable oil until well browned. Set aside. Next, take two slices of rye bread and sprinkle one with vegan cheese. Heat a frying pan and add some butter. Place the bread (cheese side up) in the pan and grill until nicely browned. Top the cheese-topped bread slice with a layer of sausage patties and a big scoop of cabbage slaw. Top with the other slice of grilled bread. Repeat the sandwich-making process with the next two slices of bread.


  1. Your Halloween tree skirt is adorable! I can see why you enjoyed making it. What kind of tree is it going to adorn? Your niece looks beautiful and her dress is very pretty. I don't recall getting this dressed up for the homecoming dance, but that was 40 years ago and it appears as though just about everything in the world has changed since then. :)

  2. Your tree skirt is very creative, so darn cute! While you're on a roll, you may as well start on a Christmas one. Certainly sounds like your cats enjoyed it.
    Your niece is lovely, nice photo.

  3. Thanks, Susan and Janice. Susan, I have a kind of weird metal Halloween tree currently (I think it's actually supposed to be a bottle tree), but I'm in the market for a new tree. It's really hard to find a nice one.

  4. Hi Leslie! It is so very nice to meet you and to discover your blog! (thank you so much for stopping over at my goofy blog - I'm happy you enjoyed the photos!) I am intrigued by your Halloween tree and I adore your tree skirt - you are definitely crafty!!! Your niece is just beautiful and love her posing in the garden. I also enjoyed the intrepid Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries - how decadent and fun! I am loving your blog and as a new vegetarian in progress, I'm thrilled to discover your recipes! Can't wait for your next post! Happy Halloween!