Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014: Four Costumes

I have 3 kids but made 4 costumes this year. One was for my niece because my sister just had a baby and I wanted to help her out.
1. Cardboard Butterfly

So first is her morpho butterfly costume. This was one of the easiest costumes I've ever made, and it was completely FREE. Free cardboard box, leftover spray paint and acrylic paint, and some black marker. I made the lines on the front side lighter, and I think I prefer that, actually. Ribbon and elastic to strap it on, and voila! What I love it that it's free, light weight, and disposable. And FAST! P.S. my favorite way to cut cardboard boxes is not with a box-cutter (my blade is ALWAYS dull) but with a cheap serrated kitchen knife. It's so much easier, seriously.
2. The Witch

Next was the witch. For someone who loves making costumes, this was a little boring. But she really had her heart set on being a witch, and her best friend was a witch too, and they looked very cute together. I bought the plain hat for $3, the tights for $4 the tutu was free (traded for the butterfly costume), she already had the shirt, and then rounded up a bunch of scraps of ribbon and tulle  and plastic spiders and leftovers of stuff to put on the hat. And by the way, if you like tutus, this one was incredibly fluffy and huge! The pictures really don't do it justice. It's from 500 Babies.

3. The Swing Set

Ezra was next. When I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween he threw out several ideas before I heard one that seemed feasible to me. A bit strange, yes, but do-able. So I ran with it. It's a swing set. Wrapping paper tubes painted silver, upcycled rope, some vinyl fabric for the seat, and the most expensive part were the grommets on the swing (I had to buy the whole kit for $10. And actually my dad bought it for me and wouldn't let me pay him back, so technically the whole cost was just a can of spray paint and $3 of vinyl). After trick-or-treating I promised him an easy-to-walk-in costume next year. It wasn't awful, it just didn't stay on very well because the hat was a little too small. (The hat was sewn to the silver frame). Had the frame been longer it might have been hard to walk up and down stairs, so this was just right.

4. Magic Rabbit in a Hat (on a table)

It's a shame the lighting was bad by the time I got her pictures, because she ended up being the star of the night. (And why is Blogger turning this picture yellow??) I got lucky with this costume too. I borrowed a red wagon, just happened to get a cardboard box the perfect size for the "table" a few weeks ago (cut a hole in the middle), and the black hat and bunny hat and bow tie were all made from leftover scraps. The only thing I bought was the red fabric for the table cloth ($3). That will probably turn into a cape or something next year. For the black hat I created a "frame" using cardboard and covered it with felt. Oh and the wand is just made from a dry cleaner hanger (you know that white tube for pants to hang on) wrapped with electrical tape. 
The key to this one is that there is a Bumbo seat inside the black hat, so she was able to ride comfortably the whole evening. Perfect for an 8-month old! And the fleece hat and long sleeve onesie kept her warm. What you don't see is her white tights and socks with pink pom-poms on them. She was pretty darn cute. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Happy Halloween!
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Girls DIY High-Low Skirt

Last summer when I went to Europe a saw a lot of these high-low skirts around. I remember the first time (at least in my lifetime) when they were in style and I didn't like them back then. But maybe having 20 years to get used to the idea has changed my heart and I really quite like the look now.

Since my daughter is so tall and skinny, it's hard to find dresses and skirts are narrow enough and long enough. So I decided to make one for her using some leftover fabric from a shirt I had made for myself. (I may post that later. Can't decide quite how I feel about it.)

Usually when I try to photograph her, she will only be silly and crazy, but this time she turned on her modeling charm!

I did a google search for how to make a high-low skirt and got a general idea of how to cut the fabric. That was the scariest part. The rest was easy. Just a serged the top, did a basting stitch around the top to gather it, and sewed it onto an elastic waistband using a zig zag stitch. Seriously so easy.

The best part? This fabric cost me $4 on clearance, and I got a shirt and a skirt out of it!

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

DIY Baby Drool Scarf

Baby R is now 5 months old and drooling up a storm. Her two front top teeth are just breaking through. I can't see them yet but I can sure feel them. And so can she, apparently, because she is soaking everything below the neckline in about 5 minutes.

See, by the time I snapped a shot, the scarf was half drenched in drool. So I'm going to be making a lot more of these. Here's the action shot. Nice big drool....

I have been using old shirts to make these. Great way to upcycle. They are super easy to make, great beginner project. It's just a triangle of fabric with snaps in the back. I'm already in the process of making 3 more, so I'll try to get a pattern and instructions made to share as well!

As a side note, I'm going to share some personal info for the sake of other mothers out there. You may or may not be able to see that she has a red rash on her forehead and around her eyes. That, my friends, is called neonatal lupus. It is rare, so your pediatrician or even your dermatologist may not recognize it for what it is. A pediatric dermatologist might, if they've seen it before. Two of my kids have had this. Babies will outgrow it around 6 months old, but you should have their heart and liver checked if your baby has this. Fortunately my 2 kids that have had it have been fine and just had to wait out the rash. And it doesn't seem to bother them, so that's also good news. Hopefully none of you will need this information, but since it's hard to get a good diagnosis from medical professionals, I wanted to share. Pin It

Monday, June 16, 2014


Where does the time go? I can't believe this little lady is already 4 months old! I love her to pieces. Hopefully I will soon be able to start making stuff again (I have made a couple of things but haven't made the time to photograph or photo-edit them!), but for now I'm devoted to this one and my other two little ones. Three kids under the age of 5 has a way of keeping one very busy!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Smoothie Recipe

So my husband is a crazy cyclist. Road biker, mountain biker, snow biker, bike shop owner. He rides crazy canyon climbs (like 4 in one day) and has done Lotoja (210 miles through mountain passes) numerous times, and is hoping to get into Leadville this year. Anyway, that's kind of a side note that leads me to my point. He gets to be part of the Blendtec cycling team and because of this and that and the other, we got a super schnazzy Blendtec blender!!! This is like the Ferrari of blenders.
Let's just say that since we got it I've been making a whole lot of smoothies. And I'm going to share with you one of my favorites. This is a peach strawberry smoothie, and the fancy blender actually has a "smoothie" button. Just push the button, it does the rest and turns itself off when it's done.

Peach Strawberry Mango Smoothie

16 oz Dole Orange Peach Mango juice (from a can, in the freezer section of your store)
1 1/2 heaping cups of frozen strawberries
1 1/2 heaping cups of frozen peaches
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves (optional)

Dump it all in, hit the smoothie button, and you're done.

One of my favorite things about this blender is that it completely pulverizes the spinach. With my old blender, which was a good one, it left the spinach just big enough that my daughter could see something green in there and wouldn't drink it (despite being a pretty good vegetable eater otherwise). This Blendtec gets everything so finely blended that you can't tell there's any greens, so it's a great way to sneak in some extra veggies.

One of the other things I love is that I can use this to grind fresh wheat flour (freshly ground = more nutrients) and flax seeds (which I previously never used because I didn't have a grinder). You could also throw a spoonful of that in any of your smoothies! Pin It