Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

 Well, we've gotten some good mileage out of our pirate costumes.  And that's good, because the girls have both been under the weather, so I'm not sure if we'll really be doing much in the way of Halloween festivities. 
 This past weekend, there was a little "trunk or treat" event at the church at the end of our street.  I decided to try to take some pictures of the three pirates before we went.
 Brooks wasn't really feeling it.
 Though pirates aren't know for their cheer, right?  You can see that I appliqued Brooks's shirt to make him even more pirate-y.  I'm not a big fan of skulls, so, as Mike said, I tried to make it look like a skull and crossbones without it being a skull and crossbones. 
 I actually like the swords more than bones.  And Little Man also got a fleece pirate hat... which I can still do a tutorial for... if anyone would want it??
 Here's the trunk or treat.  The girls, believe it or not, are really into getting free candy.  Go figure!

 Happy Halloween!  Hope you get a good stash! ;)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Take that, leaves!

 Yesterday, the girls and I went out and raked our front yard (though, for some reason, I'm the only one with an aching back, this morning... weird...). 

We decided to go the One Ginormous Pile route.
 Pretty impressive, eh?...
 ... especially when you learn that we don't even have a tree in our yard.

The best part?  Jumping in, of course!

Throwing leaves was pretty fun, too.

Now we just have to hope Sandy doesn't blow them back over the yard before Michael gets them bagged (hint hint, Michael... bag the leaves, please!).  

But even if the wind triumphs, I suppose that it just means we get more leaf fun. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pirates Commandeer Halloween Happenings

**Tutorial links for outfits at the end!**

Our park district had a pre-Halloween event this past weekend called Halloween Happenings.

Our little pirates commandeered (nautical term) the event...

... even the littlest pirate made an appearance.

And yes, we donned pirate-y make-up and sat on pirate-y hay with pirate-y pumpkins.  This is Noelle making a hook.  Ha!

It was everything I love about Halloween (lots of cute kids in costumes, silly games and crafts and candy!) and none of the gross, yucky and scary stuff that I'm not a big fan of.  In other words, it was perfect for our kids, despite the rainy and, uh, brisk weather. 

 Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle were my favorite characters of the night.  First, because they fit with our theme. :)  Second, because check out Peter Pan.  He's a high school boy posing like Peter Pan!

For those who don't know, I taught high school, in the days before kids. :)  I love high school kids, and the fact that a high school kid will not only dress up  like Peter Pan but also play the part...  well, that just warms my heart!  Peter Pan, you rock.

And in case you think pirates are all business and no fun-- just take a look here. :)

Costume Tutorials: 
Pirate Corset Top
Puffy Pirate Shirt
Layered Pirate Skirt
Captain Ben's Pirate Shirt
Easy-Peasy Pirate Belt

Craft Bloggers in Training :)

I LOVE that my girls love crafts.  We spend a serious amount of our day coloring, painting, twisting pipe cleaners, etc.  And you better believe that, when she's old enough, I'm buying Riley a little sewing machine of her own.  I'm kind of salivating over the day that she sews her first... whatever it is!

Here they are, painting our little monsters that I posted pictures of a few days ago.
 If coloring gets them excited, painting ramps them up to an extreme level.  It's a special treat because, yeah, it's messy.
 And if you're wondering who gets the messiest... Yep.  It's me.  Noelle would easily take the prize except for Mom's lightning fast reflexes, grabbing wet paintbrushes before they hit hair, faces, clothes. :)
 Speaking of Noelle, she's wearing the headband partially because, well, she's Noelle, but also because-- whether she's eating, playing or painting-- she is always pushing her hair out of her face, leaving fun little treasures for me to find and pick out later.

 Riley, meanwhile, is very meticulous. 
 She was going for a little color blocked look with her monster. :)
Just you wait, soon you'll be reading posts from the girls. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Continuing Story of Asthma Man!

Well, this day has gone differently than I would have imagined.  You may recall that Big Man...

... was hospitalized a couple months back when he was wheezing and having retractions (the term, I have learned, which means he's sucking in air so hard that you can see his little tummy pulling into his ribcage).  Then, a couple weeks ago, when we went out to see my folks, he had another episode which propelled us into the two medications, three times a day routine.
He was doing better; then this past weekend, he got a cold.  And right when we were trying to decrease his treatments, we had to up them again.
 Last night, he gets a horrible cough.  He can hardly fall asleep.  He's upset and crying and coughing, and it's pretty darn awful.  It's especially horrible when you consider that he's usually like this:
Flash-forward to this morning, when he's coughing like a maniac, so much so that he can't keep the oral meds the doc has just described down.

Into the ER we went.  Where Brooks made tons of new friends.  And charmed all the nurses.  And got the medicine he needed.

I'll tell ya, asthma can kick a mom's butt... not to mention a little dude's (who is now napping peacefully... praise the Lord!).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dancing Monster Attack!

 We've got monsters in our house!!! 
Fortunately, we have some monster whisperers, too.

Though, as you'll see, it's hard to catch a shot of the creators and their creations together.  
I think it's because dancing with monsters is too fun.
 ... or maybe it takes constant movement to keep monsters in check.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad I have these monster tamers on hand!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Captain Ben's Pirate Shirt Tutorial

 It's been quite some time since the last pirate costume post, but I finally got around to making Captain Ben's (the oldest of the cousins) pirate-y shirt.  It's a nice simple project, so here's the quick tutorial for it!
 **Okay... so Riley is modeling the shirt.  Disclaimer: she did not grow that beard herself. :)
white cotton or white linen look-alike fabric
1/4-yard white cord
a hole-punching doo-dad

**Use 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout**

I didn't take pics of this step, but make a basic rectangle-shaped body piece, using a well-fitting shirt.  Or, if you have the kid's measurements, make a rectangle that is 6-7 inches wides that the chest measurement.  For the length, make it however long you want it minus 1/2-inch.  Make your armhole 6 inches long by 2 inches, with that little curve at the armpit.

I did grab my camera for the sleeve step.  Fold the fabric and trace the curve of your sleeve then extend it as long as you want your sleeves (for Ben's, I went 12 inches).

When you cut the neckholes, make the one in front dip down a little lower than the back.   Here are your pieces!

Take your front body piece and cut a straight line down the center that goes three inches.

Now pin the shoulders together and sew.  Finish with a zig-zag.

Now set your machine to a tight zig-zag stitch and sew all around the neckline.  Pirates, after all, aren't always perfectly finished.  The zig-zag, however, will keep them from fraying too much. At the tip of the V, turn your stitch length to zero and do a few long zig-zags, to keep it from ever ripping all the way down the shirt.

Pin your sleeves, right sides together, onto your body pieces and sew.  Finish with a zig-zag.

Then fold the shirt, right sides together, and sew up the sides and arms.  Finish with a zig-zag.

For the "hem", I did a zig-zag stitch, just a few millimeters from the edge, to keep it from overly fraying but also allowing it to have that worn, more pirate-y look.  Do the same for the arms.

Now place marks slightly up from the bottom of the V and 1/2-inch to each side.  Make two marks, about 1.5" above that.

It'll look like this.

I have one of these tools for inserting snaps, gromets, etc, I used this to punch holes.  

Then (it's hard to see), I sewed a straight stitch around the holes, just a few millimeters from them.  

Grab your cord and weave it through.  

Ahoy, Matey!  You're ready to hit the open waters!