Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last of the Halloween costumes

I kept hoping I would get some better pictures of Blake's and Dean's costumes.  Once we finally got everyone all dressed and ready to walk out the door for Trick or Treating I couldn't find my camera anywhere.  We ended up just getting a few bad pictures on Mark's cell phone.  Really bad quality, but all I've got.

Here we go... Erika and her friend were going to an Anime Convention on Halloween weekend - Oni-Con.  Erika changed her mind.  She had initially planned to be someone else, but then changed to Sailor V from the Sailor Moon series.  Here's the inspiration:

Her friend wanted to dress as Luna from the same series.  Here she is:

So we based Erika's costume on a cheerleader pattern.  The skirt is not quite right, but I definitely didn't want to go without a pattern for this one.  She ended up painting the glasses and the shoes to get the right colors.  Brittney's was just based on an a-line dress pattern.  I would have preferred something with a fuller skirt, but the girls picked out the pattern so I went with it.  It looks a little "Wilma Flinstone" to me, but they were happy and actually got stopped by several people at the convention - people asked to take their pictures.

Blake wanted to be Ezio from the Assassin's Creed 2 video game.  This was probably the most ambitious costume but actually came together fairly quickly.  The white tunic is a boy's dress shirt - I sewed the red fabric underneath and then cut through the shirt to make the stripes.  The gray is a small man's dress shirt.  The cape is made from some faux-suede and then red satin on the inside.  The shoulder piece is just craft foam (as is the belt medallion) and then the wrist and boot pieces are made some from faux-leather.  I was able to get a few closer pics of the pieces after the fact.

 And here's Blake:

I ended up running out of time (ugh!) so poor Dean got the "Sweats, Felt and Glue Gun Special".  I actually did scour the Halloween aisle at WalMart on the morning of and could not find a single boy toddler costume in his size.  Good thing, though, as he turned out to be an adorable puppy.

Everyone had a great time and all was a success!  I plan to start much earlier next year - maybe like in January!!  Happy Belated Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lady Gaga is IN THE HOUSE!

Unfortunately, lots of sewing = very little blogging.  Lots to come in this next week as I finish up Halloween and a few other projects.

Other costumes are still in the works, but Paige needed hers before the Girl Scout Halloween party - it was early because we had it during our last regular troop meeting of the month.  Here she is in all her Gaga-glory:

Once she decided she wanted to be Lady Gaga for Halloween, we perused pictures of Lady Gaga fashion through the years.  Not wanting to deal with raw meat, go sans pants, or be overwhelmed by Kermit, Paige picked the 'Triangle Dress', but not strapless and a little more coverage down the legs...

I was working without a pattern, but it turned out pretty good.  I bought 2 yards of costume satin for $1.98/yard (50% off) and less than 1/2 yard of the sequin fabric.  Everything else I had on hand.  I made a quick tulle underskirt but it still didn't make it stand up enough, so there is flexible tubing along the side hems (to round the sides) and then angled coat hanger wires that run down the sides of the bodice in a casing and then angle out under the sides of the skirt.  Still not perfect, but good enough.  I reworked the skirt several times trying to get that nice flare without gathers, but it just didn't work out, so I ended up just gathering the circle skirt.  The back of the bodice has grommets down either side that we just laced up with ribbon.

She will actually get the most use out of her costume since she wore it at this party, will wear it at another event Saturday night, and then for Trick-or-Treating.

I can't figure out why this picture won't rotate, but here's the food I made for the party.  Deviled Eyeballs and Used Q-Tips (lollipop stick with mini marshmallows on the end, dipped in melted butterscotch chips). 

 I'm not quite ready to share the full picture of my costume, but it required just a little bit of sewing and some creative makeup.  Here's my feet at the end of the night: 

The girls all had a great time.  Here's a group shot... we had Athena, a cop, Old Grannies, Pirate, Punk Zombie, Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson, Evil Queen, Graveyard Bride, and a Hot Dog!  Quite the motley crew.

In other craftiness, I made Paige a pencil case to match her new messenger bag.  I didn't have any more of the fabric from the cargo pants I used for her bag, so I just 'recycled' a pair of Blake's outgrown cargo shorts and accented it with the froggie fabric.  It zips at the top and has buttonholes to fit into her binder at the bottom. 

Blake joined choir this year and had his first performance last week.  We may still need to work on this rythm a little bit (chronically off-beat during clapping sequences) but he did great.  Center, bottom row... blond hair...

And lastly, I have some sad, sad news to report.  It is still unconfirmed, but Lady Gaga herself is believed to be dead after taking a bite from the poisoned apple of Evil Queen Grimhelda.  The apple was meant for Snow White, of course, but in a rare moment of opportunity, the Evil Queen realized Gaga herself would make a much more profoud victim (and Snow White wasn't at this party anyway).  The following picture could be disturbing to some... please use caution. 


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Fun!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Messenger Bag version 2.0

The week before school started, I made Paige this cute messenger bag (and matching pencil case) from a pair of Goodwill cargo pants and cute, cute owl fabric. Post with more pictures here and here.
It was cute - it was perfect for her first day of school. She was ready! See?

BUT (isn't there always a but?) when I made the bag I based my measurements on a small stack of folders, notebooks, and a small binder. Well.... after that first day of school she comes home with a HUGE zippered Trapper-Keeper type binder that's about 4 inches thick and way bigger than that stack I measured by. The binder fit in her messenger bag, but barely... there was NO room for a water bottle, pencil bag, or much of anything.

So... take 2. Back to Goodwill and I found a dark chocolate brown pair of cargo capris with cute cinch embellishment at the bottoms of the legs and grommets on the pockets. I was hesitant using capris (less fabric) but really liked it so went with it. Paige went with me to the fabric store to pick out the accent fabric. She chose a green frog and lizard print (no idea why!) - not what I would have picked, but it's HER bag so we went with it.

I also decided to orient the bag the other way... portrait instead of landscape. It's a lot roomer and I was able to add a few extras - like a water bottle holder on the outside (so condenstation from her cold bottle doesn't get any of her papers or stuff damp. The button pocket on the front flap was one from the outer side of the leg of the capris. Pic from the front:

Here's another view of the front showing the water bottle holder better. The legs of the capris could be cinched with an elastic cord. I was running out of fabric so had to piece the water bottle holder, but it's a really nice addition. It's roomy to hold either disposable water bottles or any of her reusable ones.

The other cinch cord went along the upper front of the inside. I don't think she ever really uses this one, but it's cute and can help hold in everything. The front flap pocket are the two angle pockets from the upper front of the pants - the zipper was cut out and those two sides sewn together. I used the accent fabric behind that flap pocket.

Here's her big binder inside the bag. There's still lots of room left for a lunch bag, pencil case, etc. What I forgot to get a picture of is the inside of the bag - along the front (under the cinch cord) are the pockets from the rear of the pants. The inside of the bag is lined with the accent fabric except for that front panel. It was the accent fabric on the ouside (behind the flap pocket) and cargo material on the inside with additional inside pockets.

Here's the front cinched up a little:

And one more view of the front showing the flap pocket - you can see stray papers down in there...

And finally, here's the back. This is the other outer leg pocket. I did end up running out of fabric from the cargo capris and did not have enough to do one side of the strap with it. I had to use the froggy fabric for both sides of the strap. Not ideal, but still cute.

However, NOW we're all aware that the pencil case no longer matches... so guess what the next project is?
I'm really happy with how this one turned out. It's a little bigger for her frame, but it was too big of a hassle for her to have to carry her lunch bag or anything else she needed separate as the binder literally filled the other messenger bag very snugly with room for nothing else.
So, now... what do I do with the owl one???
I've posted at the following linky parties! Go visit to see lots of bloggy craftiness :-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What do these three characters have in common?

This is Ezio Auditore Di Firenze from the video game Assassin's Creed 2:

This is Yukari Takeba from the video game Persona 3:

And THIS is Luna (the cat) in human form from the Sailor Moon book series:

Any guesses? Any idea what these three characters might possibly have in common? Two are from video games and one from a book/TV series (although I'll state my Sailor Moon ignorance here that I don't know if this character was in both the books and the TV show... I know she is in the books.)

Wanna know? Really? You're gonna laugh... hysterically.
I've been asked to make and/or assist in making them as Halloween costumes! For this year!

Oh, I guess that hysterical laughing was coming from me.
Stay tuned!
Ezio is for Blake. Pretty cool costume, really, and something I'm hoping I can make with fabric from around the house and maybe some craft foam made to look like faux leather.
Yukari and Luna are for Erika and a good friend of hers. They're going to be attending an Anime convention (Oni-Con) that's coming to Houston on Halloween weekend. Erika wants to learn how to sew, so is thinking with some basic lessons from me she'll be able to make these two costumes... so we shall see.
Wish me luck... I think.
This isn't even counting any costumes needed for Paige and Dean... not sure if we'll make them though. I might already have enough on my plate.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Story of a Boy and a Cookie

The story of a cookie and a boy
With chocolate and sprinkles - oh joy!
He licked with all his might
But would not take a single bite!
(maybe the bottoms got a little dark)
"Mmmmm.... that's pretty good. Lemme lick some more!"

"Hey, Cookie! What'you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

Maximizing tongue surface area...

Rockin' the Chocolate Goatee

Sugar High... or Sugar Delirium?

"Here Momma - wipe my hands"

The End

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Paige's Party Update

I'm way late posting this, but since I posted about it weeks ago I figured I'd better follow up.

Paige's 10th Birthday party went really well. We started out at the pool - we had drinks, sandwiches, fruit kabobs, chips & salsa, and cupcakes. All 'decorations' were in lime green and turquoise. The baskets for sandwiches and pails for chips and fruit were from the dollar store, and the drink tub was from Party City.

Here are the yummy cupcakes... chocolate rasberry, chocolate chip cookie dough, and apple cinnamon with honey buttercream. Paige requested the apple cinnamon as I'd made them before but the others were new. I think everyone loved the chocolate chip cookie dough - they were delish!

I don't know why... but this picture just cracks me up. I think it's because A) Blake's mouth is full and B) Erika is eyeing him awfully suspiciously...

The kids all had a lot of fun. While we couldn't reserve the pool for exclusive use, there were only about 6 other people when we arrive and 4 left shortly after. It was a lot of fun!

Paige's highlight of the night.... a Jacob Black T-shirt. We won't tell her I'm just a little bit jealous. Yes... I know he's 16 years younger than me, but he sure is nice to look at....
For the decorations back at the house, I did end up making several of the large tissue pom poms... but not as many as I'd planned. I also had streamers around the den where all the girls were sleeping.

They were up WAY too late, but it was a really nice reconnection for them right before school started. Not sure if you can see them, but as a party favor for the girls who came to the sleepover, I made sleep masks from two layers of soft fleece and leftover blackout fabric in the center (as the fleece was still allowing light through). There are a few of them to the left of this picture, right behind Paige.

And just so you know... this is how you can tell who the first one to fall asleep at a sleeover was...

Thanks for checking out Paige's Party! She really had a lot of fun and it was relatively stress free for me! Love it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Paige's Polka Dot Party!

So Paige's 10th Birthday (Wow!) is coming up soon and I've been working out the details.

She couldn't really come up with a 'theme' but knew she wanted to invite a few friends (and include her brothers and male cousins) to our local community pool for a Pool Party! We won't have exclusive use, but we can bring in whatever food we want so it should still be fun! She then wanted a few of her besties to come spend the night - SLUMBER PARTY!

Without a real 'theme', I wasn't sure what to do for invitations, but she knew she wanted the 'colors' to be turquoise and lime green. Fun! So just playing around with invitation ideas, I came up with this:

It's bright and colorful and FUN and, best of all, Paige liked it! So I printed and we delivered about 14 of these. The few invited to the slumber party afterward received a small, separate invitation to that as well.

There's not a whole lot of decorating to do at the pool. I picked up some dollar store sand pails that I'll serve some food in (just finger food only - triangle sandwiches, fruit kabobs, chips, drinks and cupcakes) and then we'll have some pool games. I'm hoping to do Pool Noodle Relay Races, Water Tag (tag people with water shooter), and Frozen Shirt contests.

For the Slumber Party afterward, I wanted to do a few decorations at home. My plan is to confine the slumber party to our den. It extends from the kitchen, so they'll have access to more snackage for the evening, but keeps them away from sleeping babies upstairs. It will also prevent any prank-pulling on Blake (I speak from experience).

So I'm planning to make a bunch of these to hang around the ceiling. I already found aqua and lime green tissue paper... I just have to do the legwork.

For the back wall of the den, I'd also like to make a quick paper banner to hang. Something like this, but in Paige's colors:

If I have time and I'm motivated, I may pull out some Christmas lights to hang around the room as well, but we'll see. I'll post more pictures next week of the decorations and the party!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Messenger Bag from a pair of Cargo Pants

Paige carried a Messenger Bag to school last year and really liked it - preferred it over a backpack. But the adjustable strap would never stay where we put it, so the bag usually ended up down near her knees and I hated that! So in my blog-surfing, I had stumbled upon a couple of different tutorials and patterns:

Inspiration for using cargo pants at Noddlehead here, but I wanted a horizontal vs. vertical configuration and wanted it a little bit bigger than this one.

A few more tutorials here and here I read. I wasn't sure about boxed corners at the bottom vs. a gusset but more reading indicated adding gussets will give it a little more structure.

So Saturday I made a stop at Goodwill for some cargo pants and found a cute pair of ladies Aeropostale pants. The were a little smaller than I was hoping (less fabric) but I just didn't see what I wanted in any mens pants and these had such cute pockets!

Here's the front of the bag. The flap was made from one of the leg side pockets and I ended up having to piece it. There's a part from the lower leg pieced right above the pocket because the side leg pocket was too close to the upper leg pocket to use that piece whole. I used more of that cute owl fabric I made her pencil case out of for the binding, lining and underside of the strap. There are two pockets here - one button pocket and then a zipper pocket right above it.

The other leg of the pants had two button pockets lined up, so I used that section as the back of the bag.

Here's a picture with the front flap opened up. I actually used the 'rear' of the pants to make the front inside pocket. There's one roomy pocket (top edge is the waistband) plus, of course, the additional two button pockets.

And last, here's a peek at the inside. It's fully lined with no exposed seams, topstiched everywhere in pink thread, and I even tried to put a water bottle holder on the inside (in green fabric) but the fit is a little snug after stitching it in, so I need to rework it somehow... or make it just a pen/pencil divider :-)

The gussets and strap were pieced from one lower leg and upper front sections. There was actually very little left over, so it worked out great.
I really enjoyed sewing this and might just have to make me one someday. If you missed it, check out the pencil case I made her last week here - it's out of the same owl fabric and is really cute! I need to rework the inside pocket and re-sew one side of the strap and then I'll try to get a picture with Paige wearing it.
I'm linking this post to the crafty linky parties below. Click through to get lost in blogland looking at all of the cool projects.
It's So Very Creative @ It's So Very Cheri
Make It for Monday @ Cottage Instincts
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
I Made the World Cuter @ Making the World Cuter
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Made By You Monday @ Skip to My Lou

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pencil Case and RED MONKEY BUTT!

I wanted to make some special for Paige for starting school. It's not that I don't sew for the other kids, but she's always so excited about the projects and really wants to sew more and learn more herself.

I really like the design of this Gathered Clutch over at Noodlehead. Thanks Anna for the inspiration and the wonderful tutorial. This process for doing the zipper was super easy! I needed it a little longer, though, to fit pencils and markers, and didn't need the internal pockets. So I just pretty much winged it from memory. I put my gathers at the top and bottom because I hadn't printed out the tutorial, but through the center (under the band) would have been easier.

Here's the front:

Paige really was excited about it... she loved the gathers. Heya Momma - I know Shel likes owls too - think she'd like one as a "Back to School" surprise in the mail? If I sent her one, would her sis like one too, but maybe in a black and white fabric with a bold color band? Let me know!

Here's the back - just plain:

And it is fully lined, but no internal pockets or anything.

Paige also discovered months ago a pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks that my Mom sent me (probably) years ago that I'd never done anything with. Once she found them, she just HAD to have a sock monkey. She's been asking me for a while, so this week we finally got around to it. She helped a lot with the stuffing and sewing the buttons for eyes on.

She's named her Lacey, has slept with her every night this week, and is now asking for some clothes for her. She was also surprised to see her butt looks just like her face:

All in all, already a pretty producting week. Maybe THIS weekend I'll get that second bench made... I'd also like to start working on some clothing refashions. I'll keep ya posted!