Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween costumes: Super Why and Baby Toga

I'm not sure at what point I decided that Christopher would be Super Why for Halloween this year. It was sometime after he began running through the house singing the Super Readers theme song, and sometime before he creatively turned baby Moses into a clothespin version of Super Why.

My initial vision of the costume went something like this:

  • Find green leggings and long sleeve green shirt.

  • Purchase a gold belt.

  • Make a cape.

  • Use a blue gDiaper over the leggings to complete the look.

Reminds me of the year I was going to be a Smurf. I figured we could just add blue food coloring to some lotion or some Crisco or something. I was only eight years old, but I was already incredibly lacking in my ability to see a craft all the way through . . .

Thankfully, while I was searching the internet for a how-to on making a cape, I came across Georgia's blog, Puking Pastilles. I was then introduced to the beauty of the buy now, download now, print now, business of patterns. 

How could I have not known about this?


Georgia has the most brilliant super hero costume pattern available for purchase in her Etsy shop. You can make it out any combination of colors that you like, and she even has free pdf's of many of your kiddo's favorite hero emblems

Thus was born the most non-crappy Super Why costume that I could possibly achieve.

Seriously. I had no idea that I could make anything like this for my sweet boy. As soon as I even mentioned it, he started asking to wear it. The poor dear was tortured every time I made him try on the different pieces of it. He would come close to tears each day I told him it wasn't ready yet.

Finally, on Wednesday this week, I finished. Of course I didn't take pictures along the way because I am the world's worst craft blogger. but I can tell you that the blue shiny fabric ain't so swift for sewing, but it makes a beautiful cape. 


The appliqu�0160;was tricky. I used gold ribbon for the strands around the book. At first, they held on with just Heat and Bond. Slowly but surely, it started peeling off though. Last night, I was hand stitching all of the ribbon on with some clear nylon thread - invisible super hero thread. 

My only complaint with the costume is that it fits so well. As soon as he grows a smidge, he's not going to be able to wear it. I did have to cut the pants twice, as the pattern definitely wasn't designed with tall boys in cloth diapers in mind. 

For the life of me, I couldn't remember what was on the back of Super Why's cape, and I wasn't about to make a second book applique because I was starting to feel lazy. So I put a green question mark. I'm not sure if that's right or not, but Christopher is thrilled with his "mark cape." 

He's a happy Super Why, that's for sure.



As for Colin, one day I was staring at his beautiful bald head and the very large ears which protrude from it, when it hit me. Those ears and that head were crying out for a laurel wreath. Thus was born the inspiration for the Baby Toga.

I actually took the pattern for the top of the Super Why costume as a guide to draw my own pattern for the toga gown. I liked the way the back split open and closed simply with a piece of velcro. The end result was a little too short, but seeing as how he'll be sitting in a wagon with a blanket over him, I think it will be fine.

The wrap ended up a little more elaborate than I intended, but I'm quite pleased with it. Again, I have no close up pictures of it, and one of the gold ribbon trim would be quite impressive here, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I hemmed all the edges of the wrap, even though I probably didn't need to. It's not like Colin is going to be requesting to dress as Caesar for the next 12 months of his life.

The laurel was the trickiest, and I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out, but it's alright because he won't wear it anyway. Hats and socks. The boy hates both. Anyway, I covered some craft wire with the gold ribbon trim and then hot glued some fake leaves to it. Today, at the church's Halloween parade, I figured out that if I was holding Colin, he would use one hand to hold onto me, and I could put a cookie in the other hand - thereby leaving him unable to yank the laurel wreath from his head. Brilliant, I tell you.

Not nearly as many people thought Colin in the baby toga was as funny as I do. Meh. It made me laugh, and these days, that's worth a lot.

So there you have it. Halloween craftiness for 2010. Maybe I'll post the treat bags I tried to throw together today. They are horrible. I'm so not ready to go pattern free on a bag. So. Not. Ready.


Teacher Gift Rose Arrangement


I admit. I saw this in a magazine with fake roses, liked it, and thought I could do better with real flowers and a lot less money than $130. The best ideas are often ripped off, are they not?

These arrangements were put together with roses from Trader Joes, some moss and flower foam stuff from Joann, and some tin containers from the dollar section at Target. I paired them with gift cards to Starbucks to make end of year gifts for Christopher's preschool teachers last May. What? I know I'm awfully behind on things here. Forgive me.

Anyway, super affordable, and i think they turned out kinda cute. Not sure I'll be delving much further into flower arranging though.



Monday, October 11, 2010

Personalized Signs for the Boys' Room

103_0669 One thing I don't do is draw. As in, most first graders can draw better than I ever will. I have a few doodles in my pocket, and I can do some decent lettering, but I DON'T draw. Seriously. Terrible at it.

I always wanted to paint though. I love paint. I love the way oil paints smell. I love the way watercolors dry on the paper. I love all of the metal tubes of acrylics. On Saturday mornings, I used to forgo cartoons in favor of Bob Ross and his happy little trees and the mountains they lived on. I wanted to cut in with some Burnt Sienna and highlight the crests of the waves with whatever magical mixture of blues and whites he used that day.

Alas, I also suck at painting. Who would have figured? Of course, Bob Ross isn't actually that great of a teacher. He goes too fast (lightening speed if you are 10), and he doesn't ever answer any questions. And he's dead, but that's not really his fault.

Yes, I do actually have a point. Or a project to share.

These personalized signs for the boys were fun and a great way to release my inner painter in the form of my outer doodler. That sounded a little ick, sorry.

I bought the wooden letters from a shop online that I'm too lazy to find right now. They were super nice though, and had great prices. So if you need wooden letters, ask me and I'll find them for you.

The canvases are 30x10, which is apparently a weird size. It fit the letters for Christopher perfectly, and when I bought it in 2007, I didn't plan ahead for Colin. So, when it came time to make Colin's sign, I had to special order a whole box of that size canvas, leaving me with 5 extra. I guess I'll be blogging about what I did with those at some point.

The painting was done with acrylic, and I used regular wood glue to adhere the letters to the canvas. For around $30 (not including the extra canvases I had to buy), we ended up with what I think are some cute name signs for my boys.

Any ideas for those extra 10x30 canvases are welcome.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Birthday Shirts for Two Year Olds

Whoa. It has been MONTHS since I last posted here. That makes me sad. I really love this little blog. My little web space as an accidental crafter. Which I just typed "crapter" and had to correct. HMMMMM.

I haven't been making much. Well, I did make a baby, which is not exactly crafty, but it is hard, time consuming, and far more fun. Since he came along, I haven't been doing too terribly much in the way of anything.

Of course, before little Colin made his arrival in January, I made a couple of birthday shirts for the CC's. The "2" was a little big, especially for Pip, but I kind of like that it was so very very "2."

Christopher's birthday shirt:


The red and white striped arms are actually just another shirt underneath the black t-shirt. I order all my blanks from Jiffy Shirts. They are super cheap and fast, but the Rabbit Skins brand runs really small, so beware.

Here is the shirt for Pippi. I always make hers and Christopher's at the same time, so they always match. I say that like I've been doing it for decades. They are two. So twice. I'm such a dork.










Finally, I tried out a new design for a new neighbor down the street. She turned two in September, so that makes this almost a current post. Almost.











What I didn't know when I made this one was that this particular birthday girl said, when referring to her birthday, "Happy Cupcake!" It was pretty cool.

There you have it. The birthday shirts for 2010. I do love some birthday shirts. I think if I ever started an Etsy shop, that's what I would do first. Birthday shirts.