Halloween Costumes

The kids were ridiculously inspired this year for Halloween. They all had specific ideas, we went to the Goodwill for some basic items, and to JoAnn fabrics for what I needed to sew. There are no pictures of this project, mostly, because I EITHER have time to do sewing or time to take pictures of it, but I thought you might like the results, with a few short descriptions of the content.

Rapunzel, from Tangled Youngest one wanted a Rapunzel dress. I took an adult purple dress from Goodwill (still with tags on) folded the top down inside. Put a panel of brocade up the front, ran elastic around the waist, Bingo, Finished skirt.The top is a little more complicated, because I make bodices for Ren Faires and ballet tutus. I made a large brocade vest, attached ribbon loops to midpoint up the front to create the crossed ties, but they work. Puffed sleeves at the top, with purple ribbon for the stripes. Found JUST the matching embroidered ribbon for where the sleeves meet the undersleeve, which is just a tube of gauze.

Her finishing items are a beanbag lizard sewed onto a ribbon to represent Pascal (worn as a bracelet) and a styrofoam and duct-tape frying pan, with some little silk flowers in her braid.

Since this isn’t at ALL suitable for the weather we’ve got, she also has a velvet cape. Yes, we have spare velvet capes in the attic. Yes, I’ll blame that on being a costumer. :p

A Sith Lord... he has his own story God bless those Star Wars designers. 30 years of Halloween costumes based on robes, and counting. This one is wearing warm turtleneck and pants, covered by a robe made of black fleece, with a hood that turns into a cape. Without Force Push, hard to fight in a hood. It's held closed by a belt. When fancy belts are in, I wait for season change and pick them up on clearance, for just such occasions.He elected to wear his fingerless gloves, but might consider fingers, for Trick or Treating tonight

A Yeti. I said, creative.This costume is suitable for the weather. He's wearing long white underwear as a first layer, and this costume made of fake fur. The costume was a piece of fabric folded double at the top, with a hole cut in the middle. seamed up the sides to slightly over waist high. He goes in through that side gap. The sleeves are just tubes of fur attached to gloves from the dollar store. The head was built over a bucket from the dollar store, padded on top with a towel, for height. Inside it has a band of elastic for the top of his head, and a chin strap. The face screen is the gauze of his sister's sleeves, dyed pink.It's not attached at the bottom, so he can eat in it. The teeth are cardboard.

A Russian Spy

This all started with the boots, which we bought on mad sale and she had nowhere to wear. Turtleneck and leggings, from stock, coat, purse and belt from Goodwill, hat from the attic. Ridiculous eyelashes, bought after LAST Halloween.

She was like 11 feet tall, but warm. James Bond, watch out.

Harry Potter, of course.

Never be afraid to exploit a resemblance. Glasses, scar, wand, check. πŸ˜€

The Weasley parents

Of course, movie stars need no costume. πŸ˜‰

Happy Halloween.


Countdown to Beach Club Villas

We are only a few days away from our next trip to Disney World!

Which means, everyone is VERY excited, except for those of us trying to tie up loose ends before. πŸ˜‰ {Okay, maybe we’re excited, too.}

The Expedition Everest ride from our favorite Animal Kingdom lunch spot

We’re going to celebrate the birthday of middle son, 14,

This international program CM taught him a Mancala game

but we’ll land during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which has its nice elements. And we’re staying at the entirely awesome Beach Club Villas, part of the Yacht and Beach resort complex.

Disney World, for those who haven’t been, recently, is darned enormous. We go a couple of times a year, but usually without park tickets. I recommend that.

book, novel, beach chair, check!

painting china. Disney World resorts rock!

If Disney service and theming was available closer, I’d go more often… even without Mickey Mouse and Splash Mountain. But we DO have park tickets this year, so we’ll have to split our time between the many amenities of the resort, our favorite activities at OTHER resorts, and a few excursions into the parks.

And we do it cheaply…

Think I should post about that? πŸ˜‰

End of day, by the castle

A Day in the Life (sponsored by Mountain Dew Throwback)


Got this idea from Jamie’s blog-hop at Β Β http://www.forloveofcupcakes.com

from a post by Lacey, atΒ http://www.thesouthernmommychronicles.com

who says she got it from Sarah atΒ http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com

who was inspired (I understand) by Jill, atΒ http://www.babyrabies.com/

Which means several things, including that I will add to my list of things I don’t do enough (which now prominently includes exercise, clean, and have dinner with Mario Lopez) reading blogs. Because reading ANYTHING runs second to laundry and homeschooling.

But I thought I’d try it, explaining a few things first.


Our homeschool curriculum emphasizes sustainability, as a primary focus. Among the things we did for that was go 12 months without heating or cooling (except for fans, and such.) It’s been interesting. And we’re now in the stage where we’re installing really ecological systems, but we’ve been working on passive solar this summer. AND one of the things we’re doing is building solar heaters, for the chicken coop and porch, to see how four season we can get them.

So, the win for the kids was (because I may be crunchy granola, but I also know marketing) that I BOUGHT SODA-POP.

And they may DRINK soda-pop (about 5 cans a week, per kid) because I’m building the solar heaters out of soda cans. We need LOTS. We’ve been doing this since June, and have really no place to store soda cans, because, well, I have no place to store anything. πŸ˜€

So. Bonus points for spotting all the soda cans. I decided I wanted to share this, even with the mess. Please leave links to your day in the life post in the comments. πŸ˜‰

Steve took this just before he woke me. 7:10

Girls sleeping. Trundle beds. 8:10

sleeping boys. Bunk beds 8:10

Good morning, Chichester 9:10

He's training this chicken. 9:10

Solar heater. Scavenged window frame & insulation 10:10

The school day begins. 11:10

Or continues, as the case may be. 11:10

part-time college girl at drop-off 12:10

Computer work. 1:10

Saw a cardinal. 2:10

measuring for the insulation 3:10

college boy drops by for change of clothes before ballet 4:10

Daddy's home! 5:10

Taco Bell before YMCA youth group 6:10

No day is complete without a trip to the craft store 7:10

A Star Wars model! 8:10

Even big kids do homework 9:10

cookies & milk during read-aloud 10:10

All Pooh-ed Out. 11:10

Foot rub! 12:10










In this light, this man looks JUST like Mario Lopez. πŸ˜‰

A new way to louse up shirts

I got a link in twitter about using Sharpies for tie-dye.

Now, you have to understand, in my neighborhood, I’m the patron saint of tie-dye.

batik & dip dying

I go on and on about “fiber artist”, but when the rubber hits the road, I am most in demand (especially with our community summer camp) as someone with the largest repertoire of ways to louse up a t-shirt. So a new way to do it (particularly one that didn’t involve turning all my wooden spoons odd & toxic colors) was just the thing.

Tie dye & batik at camp

I rushed out before Hurricane Irene, and, while other people were clearing the shelves of bottled water, I was collecting art supplies for 5 kids (and 2 adults) who might be entertaining ourselves for a week without power.

See how provident I am?

Unfortunately for art, my kids can already entertain themselves thankyouverymuch, so I didn’t get to do it until this week, when I more or less stomped my little feet about it.

Here’s the procedure.

  1. Get shirt, sharpie, rubbing alcohol. (alcohol being alcohol, you could probably use gin, if you wanted to, but rubbing alcohol is cheaper. Don’t drink it, though.) *pro tip
  2. It would be wise to have something to stretch the shirt over, and rubber bands to hold it there. All the directions I read said, “plastic cup”, and we used that, but for larger designs used disposable tupperware type containers, bungied with rubber bands.
  3. We added “stencils” for some of the perfectionists in the house. These were mostly paper cutouts to use as a template for heart shapes.
  4. Small stable bowls for the alcohol, Q-tips. The Q-tips were kinda fail, in some respects, (slow) and I understand why Girl Scout troops use squirt bottles, but no way I was handing around squirt bottles of ANYTHING. Mama HATES going to the ER.
  5. Select a spot. Put your cup under it, and hold on with rubber band. (Cup in the MIDDLE of the t-shirt. 2 layers was too much to ask.)
  6. Make a small circle of dots, about as big around as a nickel. Like 6 dots. It looks more “tie-dyee” with an accent dot or two in a coordinating color.
  7. Using your Q-tip, put little drops of alcohol in the open center of the Sharpie dots. This is, as I said, slow. But the ink spreads away from the dots, so if you try dabbing it directly on, dropping it randomly, or otherwise deviating, it doesn’t do what you’re expecting, in spread. Now, THAT’S OKAY. Because ART HAS A RANDOM ELEMENT. But we all know some folks, any age, will be made miserable by that, so that’s why I warn you.
  8. That’s it. Our experience is that one big cup diameter is about how far the circles really WANT to spread, and you want to let them dry a bit before moving the cup, but it’s alcohol, evaporates fast.
Here are some of ours.

Sharpie tie-dye

You’ll notice, right off, that, while I love creating directions (and I’m pretty good at that) I can’t follow them, at ALL. Too ornery. We had big fun. πŸ™‚

Sharpie tie-dye midriff shirt

So, all you gals with the Klout perks Sharpies, and all you resolutely crafty types, and all you homeschoolers, get busy. Leave a link if you try it.
Oh, P.S. Some sites claim this as a science project in chromatography. It is to laugh. While this might not be the worst chromatography experiment ever, it’s still pretty weak for that. Far better to do the “reverse & resist” Tie-dye. I’ll explain that soon, if you like.