I hope everyone had a great night with their trick or treating or hanging at home being cozy. For once, we had a day go *as planned* with nearly no issues or problems and it was fun from beginning to end.
Kids went off to school, 1 in costume, 2 bringing costumes, and a bag full of treats to share (if they were allowed). ::aside:: I’m glad I’m getting this teacher for #3 third so I already know the ropes because there was zero communication on what permutation or combination of holiday fun was happening in her room. She is the more kind teacher so I asked for her but she isn’t as on top of the note sending. ::tangent over:: I collected them under bright and not so cold sky and we zipped home to wait for Lars to finish work.
Everyone knows the drill and thankfully they all still love to pose for me. We did a photo shoot for each costume and then had a meat and cheese tray for early dinner and went off to meet friends and then traveled in a mob house to house.
This year #1 went as Athena. She is still in deep love with the Greek myths and legends but at least this goddess had some very easy to identify items so at least 3 people could guess who she was.
Medusa head shield, spear, and then general Greek-ish clothing fit for a Goddess. Her shield was drawn by me but colored and contoured by her. It also has the ‘feed me’ feature where candy went into the mouth and we had a ziplock bag on the back. We had to empty her fairy regularly into a normal size bag but making Madusa puke out candy was also kinda fun.
Her outfit is really quite pretty and while not mundanely reusable it will absolutely go into the garb collection. Her costume was 100% hand made (except for the laurel leaf hairpiece) and you can’t have a real hand made Halloween without a little tin foil.
#2 As ever, is a little on the wild side. She is a Pirate Parrot with a pair of Pistols. It was a fun costume to collect and I’m really happy with how it came together.
I think we hit the blend of Pirate and Parrot nicely. She told one friend that her mom was a pirate and her dad was a parrot… well, maybe we work on the reality of genetics some other day.
I’m really happy with the mask. It is all fleece (leftover bits from the wings and tail) and I machine sewed the majority and hand sewed the beak on and into a curve. This is not actually the best picture ever because usually it fit right up over the silly pirate logo on the hat for a pretty cool look but I wanted to get that smile in the picture.
She had fun with the pistols too although they did get put in their holsters and forgotten about for the rest of the night (thankfully). I think having hands free to hold a candy bag and ring doorbells is an important trait in a costume.
Hard to say this is a totally hand made costume since she is wearing a red T-shirt and normal pants and a store-bought hat/pistols, however, I made the wings and tail and mask. So hand made parrot, store-bought pirate? Regardless this won’t have too much future use other than dress up box but I might remake the fleece into cozy pillowcases.
#3 went a bit classic – she is A devil (not The Devil). She is certainly impish plenty of the time so pretty suiting persona to put on.
She declined wings or a cape or a fluffy skirt in favor of the very classic horns and a tail.
Her costume is possibly the least homemade as it is overall very simple. I couldn’t resist the sparkle headband horns and it came with the pitchfork. We found a blouse at goodwill that was the perfect color and I really loved the lace since it would dress up a dull red dress nicely. I cut the shirt apart and resewed it to fit. The tail was my only from scratch item – tube with stuffing and a bit of wire attached to a ribbon to tie on. The tail did end up with some abuse over the last few weeks but 12 gauge wire is pretty flexible stuff.
Her outfit is technically just a dress but I have low expectations of her wearing it not as dress up. Who knows! you might see it at Christmas, it is a very festive red. Hornes were declared too itchy so they might get donated right away so another little devil can have the pleasure next year. Overall she was comfortable and warm since I made it roomy enough to go completely over her winter coat (and I’m glad I did)
Here are all three, having some fun while we waited for 5:30. You can see in the background my photo wall of every costume, it is a real fun project and it is so fun to see the costumes every year.
I had been crossing my fingers the weather would be ok for the outside walk. It was nearly perfect, clear and crisp and not too cold. Sure we had to be creative about bundling up and double socks but everyone was warm. We went to the same neighborhood as last year that really does it up, tons of kids running around and superb decorating and hospitality (fires and warming spots). We came home at 7:30 and popped in a pizza to eat while watching a Halloween movie. Everyone was happily asleep by 10 and I wasn’t far behind. I love having an outlet for creating something fun and helping them become characters they love.
Today the decorations come down but I’ll take pictures before I do for a slightly late Halloween House tour tomorrow.
Wow, I’m so behind! Well, I’m keeping it together in real life, just neglecting my online duties. These are the things I have to recognize but don’t have time to do right at the moment. They are on my list:
#1 – I was nominated for a blogging award. I’m always flattered when people think my blog is good 🙂 I’ll be doing a better job on receiving it and passing it on ASAP.
#2 – I was also tagged for a 7 days and 7 black and white picture (no people) challenge and I also really want to do it. It just has to wait a couple days.
#3 – I still intend to do the blog every day in November, I need to sign up officially but I again, miss blogging and even have a list now in my book of lists of topics to write about.
Here is what I have been keeping up on; The Election is under a week away, this time next week I will know if all the work went into something productive or if the people who hate taxes won. Seriously, I don’t like taxes, I do like safe streets and our town moving in the right direction. The schools need to be funded. period. When I hear someone complain in the paper about how their taxes will increase by $500 a year I do a little mental math and see that their house is APPRAISED for TAX (not what it would sell on the market for mind you) at over $500,000.00. The tax is under $10 per 100k of home value. Please don’t cry on my shoulder about how you can’t afford it as you sip your $5 latte and type letters to the editor on your brand new laptop. I digress… We pledged a positive campaign and we are sticking by it.
In this last week we have a rally on Saturday, we are doing some last minute press in the paper, and I’m increasing the volume on all our social media. I do hope it works, the alternative is really not fun.
Halloween. I don’t know if the kids noticed but this year we didn’t do as much as normal but I still pulled off a few fun things. The world also wasn’t helping, 2 events we were supposed to go to got rained out. They were all super excited heading out to school today for their Halloween adventures. 1 is going to the pumpkin patch so she had to put on cold weather gear since this week we are at freezing temps. 1 is in the costume parade and 1 is watching and I’ll be there too taking pictures. Tonight we are going to trick or treat door to door with friends and then go to the fantastic indoor party we love. I’m also making the skull-shaped pizza for dinner. Last night was mummy dogs, I’ve been sneaking spiders and eyeballs (fake) into lunches and snacks all last week, and today this is their snack.
I also gave them the once yearly treat of cereal with marshmallows. Who does not love Halloween theme cereal!
And as always we did the shirts for 2 weeks before, here is the final day and while I didn’t do my normal daily picture this outfit was too cute to ignore.
we did the pumpkin carving thing, only one did actual carving and the others painted. It looks pretty idealized in the picture but in reality, I was so tired I could hardly help so they got free reign on design.
We also did get out to two events, a trunk or treat that had a fun little ‘spooky’ music play after. Given that it was at a church they could not resist throwing in some all saints day things and that was actually pretty cool. They also let the kids do a bell song and even with no practice (they held up cards for the color bell) they were ok. Some kids just rang the entire time but they must have special church bells that work together so it was loud but not horrible.
the other event was the Highschool spooky concert. I love that they get so into it and even though the selection of Halloween style music arranged for a band, orchestra and chorus must be limited, they have been different every year.
And I think this is long enough. I have to get out and do some things before the events for today get rolling. Tomorrow we start daily blogging so I’ll put up the costumes in their completeness 🙂 Hope you all have a happy Halloween.
This year with all the extra work I’m doing I can’t handcraft each costume so step one was the thrift store for all 3 girls. We scored on 2 (Amazon took care of 3) and here is my incredibly easy Jasmine costume.
- We got lucky at the store to find a women’s skirt in the right color and with gorgeous Indian beading. I was really just looking for a skirt in the correct color and gauzy fabric so I think that even if you don’t find something beaded you can find something ‘right’ I took some ribbon and stitched it onto the top to make two straps. We were lucky that the fit was pretty good otherwise but my plan was to make a few tucks if it was too big. The extra perk is that the length lets us get away with normal leggings, not poofy pants, and, since it is so pretty she doesn’t notice that it isn’t the belly showing style that Jasmine actually wears. This works much better for a 5 year old.
2. For the iconic hair, I got a simple black wig and some foldover elastic in the right color. It was easy to tie 3 spots to make just the right hairdo for Jasmine. Foldover elastic is easier than ribbon since it won’t slip.
3. The key to costumes is getting some details right and for Jasmine, the headband with the jewel is the most memorable. I used Sculpey clay and got a pack of ‘gems’ that had a big one in the right blue. The only trick I did was in order of operations;
- make the round piece of clay and press the jewel into it to make an imprint. Remove jewel and poke 4 holes in the imprint like buttonholes
- bake Sculpey clay
- sew the gold onto a length of foldover elastic, just like a button
- glue gem into its spot, covering the sewing
- position the headband onto the wig and pin/sew
We tried to make the gold necklace and hoop earrings also out of Sculpey clay. The earrings worked but I’m not sure they are worth it since the hair covers her ears and the clips hurt her after 10 min. The necklace was a failure, broke in 5 min so we scratched that and just used the pretty chunky necklace in the right color (also a thrift find).
This entire thing had about 10min of hand sewing, some creative shopping, preschool level sculpting, and hot glue. I won’t be winning any cosplay prizes but I think she captures the spirit of the princess and she loves it. It cost about $15 total and I think she will actually wear the dress again and NOT look like a costume.
Yesterday we exploded the Halloween boxes. I don’t know how many other families had to step over a pile of skulls to get to the breakfast things but I know I did.
Now that the boxes are breached I can get to the art of decorating, but, the real meat of Halloween is the costumes.
Niamh has been pushing to be Tiana from the frog prince and I just didn’t want to get into a. the culture and skin issues because that is just too hot a thing right now
b. that dress is no easy costume, it is a giant awesome dress but not a ton of work
c. the movie is about 10 years old
d. I kinda like them to have a theme if possible and that can’t work with Tiana unless I wanted to make 3 giant crazy princess dresses (and I don’t)
In reflecting on what is fun for us this year Pokemon Go has been the new ‘it’ thing. It’s a fun little game you don’t have to spend much time on but it does give a good reason for a walk. I already played ingress so I know the local spots but I am constantly amused by the little beasties. I can imagine the design team for this just being given a ton of candy and no sleep and told to ‘be creative’. So, I told Niamh she could be Tiana but I was going to be a Pikachu. Fiona, who is still in my mind control for some things, wanted to be a Polliwog and Zoe instantly and passionately wanted to be a Dedenne (we don’t even have one of those? No idea how she knows about it.) That sold it, Niamh now wanted to be a poki too and she chose a Flarion.
Now to the fun part – costume design and creation. Given that none of these are human that does make decision 1 an important first step;
- make a costume that looks as much like the animal as possible including mask and extra legs like the Lion King or
- take the important elements of the character and make an outfit of it.
I like option 2 because I usually end up with elements we can keep using in the year. The dress from rainbow dash has actually stayed in our winter wardrobe for 2 more kids.
Here are my sketches for the costumes. I’m thinking tunic style dresses with leggings and each head piece will be a bit different. They all also have tails… I’ll be working on ways for making that happen without putting a hole in the dress. For the two with more poof to their charactes I’ll be adding toule skirts, they are so easy to make and are good additions to the dress up bin after. I ordered leggings and I hope the colors are right because dyeing fabric is not really my favorite thing to do. We got lucky and found all the right colors and fabrics for the costumes already and once our weekend house guests depart this weekend out comes the sewing machine.
Speaking of house guests…. I have a guest room to reclaim so that is next on the agenda!
I believe we have final decisions!
I’m excited to get started