Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Costume How To...Pulp Fiction, Zombie and Power Ranger

Our 2011 family costumes and how we made they are:

Luckily, Maeve opted for a store-bought Red Power Ranger Samurai.  Saved me lots of time and effort!  So, I could devote more time to our costumes (see below for more details) and to Ethan's homemade zombie get up.

I started with a black suit jacket.  It was next to impossible to find a boys size 8 at the Goodwill.  So I grabbed a women's size 4 with plans to alter it to fit.  It was $3.59.  

I took it home and went to work resizing.  I basically undid the collar and took it in a couple inches down the back.  The good news, it's a zombie costume, so it's supposed to be torn and worn, so I rough-sewed the collar back on.  Then went to ripping holes in it!  I got a pack of 'scary cloth' at the Dollar Tree and sewed it on around the bottom and pulled it through some of the holes. It didn't look worn enough so I grabbed some sand paper and rubbed in some holes.

Add some black pants (worn to a wedding), black tennis shoes, the white button-down I wore with my costume (see below), the black tie from dad's Beetlejuice costume, white hair paint, and some $1.97 zombie face paint and you're set!

Maeve wanted to wear Ethan's ski mask with her be it!

As for Josh and I, we took a trip back to 1994 and channeled Mrs. Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction.  Specifically, post-overdose, hence the bloody nose and syringe in the chest.
If you're familiar with the movie, you'd know that Vincent and Mia ate at a 50's diner called Jack Rabbit Slim's.  It was there that they participated in a dance contest and came away with a trophy (that looks a bit like the one below)!  Yep, Josh had it made at the local trophy shop.  Nice touch.  

One of me at the party:

Vincent's hair and side burns up close. You can see where I cut the wig back to create the hairline.  Then we put it back in a pony tail and tucked the loose strands behind his ears.  There was a space between the wig and burns so I "painted" his hair with my black mascara to blend it in.

Here's a close-up of the syringe in my heart.  After several experiments, we found the best option:  Cut an oval out of the side of a disposable tupperware container to use as the base.  Drill a hole through the center.  Insert a nail (we used a roofing nail b/c it has a large flat head) through the hole.  Place the syringe on the nail.  It should be a snug fit.  You might have to tap gently to get it all the way on.  Then use Spirit Gum to adhere it to your chest.  Make sure you put it on the correct side.  ;)

Costume Recap:

  • Mia
    • 'pageboy' wig (trimmed about an inch off the bangs) bought at a local pop-up Halloween store ($16)
    • fake eyelashes ($1 at Target - ELF brand)
    • white button down, black capris, black tank (all from my closet)
    • black flats ($6 on clearance)
    • make up I already had (and help from a couple You Tube videos)
    • syringe (you could use a child medicine dose syringe from the pharmacy).  
    • trial and error to get the syringe to look right and stick out...let's just say it's good we planned ahead and started getting ready at noon for a 7pm party!
  • Vincent
    • $3.59 black suit jacket from Goodwill
    • 'Michael Jackson' wig from a local party store ($15.99) that I altered to have a John Travolta widow's peak hairline. 
    • bolo tie ($2.99) from the cowboy section at a local party store.
    • side burns ($2.99) cut from an Abe Lincoln beard b/c they didn't have any side burns!!!! 
    • white button down, black pants, and dress shoes (from his closet)
    • fake earring ($1.99 for a pack of 8)

The party was so much fun.  We didn't come home with a best costume victory...we better try harder next year...we have less than a year to prepare!  ha!
Todays Creative Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spooky Food Potluck - Great ideas!

I work with some of the most creative people!  We had a 'Spooktacular' Potluck and I was so impressed with the spooky food that was 'created'! (and this scary sign to set the tone). 
did you notice the hand with the severed fingers in the lower left?  gross...and awesome!

Tip: For your scary foods, be sure to come up with a gruesome descriptive name and make a sign to put out with your dish.  

"Digit Dip"

"Graveyard 7-Layer Dip"

"Droppings Dip"

"Blood and Phlegm"

"Goblin Eyeballs (rolled in dirt)"

"Jack-o-Lantern Potatoes"

"DEVIL-ed eggs"

Have fun this Halloween making spooky food for your family and friends!

Come Find Me.

I'm guest posting (my first!) at The Girl Creative today.  Stopping by is a must...Diana is having a two week Blogiversary Celebration!  Which translates to fun and giveaways for you!!  It's happening don't wait...and go often...ready, set, go!

 TGC Blogiversary Celebration

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Carve, Paint, Carve and Paint..

It's pumpkin decorating time!  And just in the knick of time...Grandma (and Grandpa) from Minnesota came to town with a car full of pumpkins from her garden!  Including some of my favorite...white pumpkins and green 'cinderella' (i.e. short and squat) pumpkins. 

Let the decorating commence!

Dad's t-shirts make great paint shirts for the kids!
That's his concentration face. 
Self-portrait pumpkin.  
Mr. Weak Stomach almost yarfed shortly after this pic was snapped!
The "guts" bucket.
My attempt at a houndstooth pumpkin.  Free hand sketched with a ball point pen, then filled in with craft paint.  I should have cut a stencil on my Silhouette, but was feeling lazy!

Fast-forward several "dark time" (a Maeve-ism).

Maeve's pumpkin all lit up. 
Ethan's vampire pumpkin complete with scrap fabric for a cape.
The vampire looks scared!!
My father-in-law didn't like the photo of him in my previous post; I hope he likes this one.  
Todays Creative Blog

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hello, Christmas Jammies!

Last year, I sewed up some flannel jammie pants for my kids and the cousins on the hubby's side of the family. It was a bit of an after-thought I am a horrible procrastinator, so I was rushing at the last minute to get them all done.  I think I made them all a bit long (eek.)
The cousins in front of the tree at Grandma's house.  Which kids are mine?  Can you tell?

I am planning to do the same this year, but went with cotton instead of flannel.  When I pre-washed the flannel, it pilled up quite a bit and didn't look that great (it was cheap-y flannel).  Hopefully I'll get better results with the cotton...stay tuned, I'll let you know.  And maybe a tutorial?  

A tip:  if you're making these for younger kids, buy some cord locks for the drawstrings, if they cannot tie the strings themselves.

A cord lock.  I bought mine at Jo-Ann's (with a coupon, of course).
I think I'll do elastic with the cotton pants.  Thoughts or tips on that?   

Had to share a funny holiday pic (it's almost that time of year, right?).  This is my husband and my father-in-law, Randall.  The elf and Santa shirts are from Target last year.  This was not planned.  We arrived at their house and this is what Randall was wearing!  Like father, like son?!

This is Randall's debut on my blog.  I could not ask for a better father-in-law.

Todays Creative Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a welcome banner from office supplies [a mini-tutorial]

We are welcoming a new employee tomorrow, so I took 15 minutes to whip up a welcome sign for her desk.  A few basic office supplies later...   

(pics taken with my trusty iPhone)...sorry!

I used:

  • 5 sheets of regular colored copy paper 
  • our paper cutter 
  • scotch tape 
  • some old, outdated business card magnets

I created the pennants using basic shapes in Word.  Once I got the triangle sized to my liking, I saved the file, then shrunk it a bit for the smaller triangle that fits on top.  Then inserted a text box to type each letter (in a font of your choice).  

i [heart] paper cutters.

Cut with paper cutter (I wish I had one of these at home!) or scissors.

Determine your color combinations for each pennant.  Tape the smaller pennant on top of each larger one.  

Cut up the business card magnets.  
business card magnets.
I got 6 pieces out of each business card magnet. Make sure the magnet is large enough to hold the weight of your pennant.  
Tip: Use the back as the front, so you don't see your cutting guides.  Saves some time...especially at while you're at work!  ;)
And you're done! Arrange. Admire.  :)

Wouldn't you love to receive a welcome like this to help you settle into your first day at a new job?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Costumes of the Past

I love Halloween. Everything about it. The fall is my favorite season. The cool, crisp air. Jeans. Sweatshirts. Falling leaves. And the c-a-n-d-y. Yum.

And don't forget the Halloween parties...the ones where everyone actually comes in costume. We have a neighbor friend who hosts such a party. It's full of fun games, food, laughs...and a best costume contest. The neighborhood talks about it year round!

Rick and Michelle put time and effort into their costumes each year. Some of their best were Jimmy Chitwood (from the movie Hoosiers), Michael Phelps (yes, a Speedo was involved), Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson (our local sweetheart!), a contestant from The Biggest Loser, among other creative ideas!

Michelle and Rick ready for the party!

We take the opportunity to come up with fun couples costumes as well. Here are a few of ours (a huge thanks to Michelle and Rick for taking pictures every year):
This was our first year (2006) and our only store-bought costume year: SNL Spartan Cheerleaders. "Cha-cha-boochie, cha-cha-cha-boochie, Roll Call!"

The next year (2007), we went homemade. Remember the Dairy Queen commercials with the Waffle Bowl 'husband' and the Ice Cream 'wife'?

Here we are as the DQ couple! All homemade. We thought this was pretty hilarious. And earned us "Best Costume" that year.
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In 2008, with the pressure of maintaining our "Best Costume" title, we couldn't decide what to dress up as. So we ended up throwing together a Buddy the Elf ensemble. Part of it was store bought, part was homemade. We left the house thinking it was a disaster...everyone else thought it rocked and once again voted us "Best Costume"!
Here is a pic of Jovi and Buddy from the movie Elf.

Here is our fly-by-the-seat-of-our-tights version. Yep, that's a piece of green felt safety pinned around me as a skirt.

Talk about pressure! In 2009, we had a plan! After lots of thought, we went with a throw-back costume, Beetlejuice and Miss Argentina (the receptionist in the underworld).

(I can't find the original source, sorry)

Sadly, this is the only decent pic we got of us that night. But we have the memory of maintaining the best costume vote for the third consecutive year. :)

I just had to include this self-pic my husband took in the bathroom at the party. :)

What will we be this year? We're taking suggestions! And if anyone wants tips on how we created our costumes, leave a comment below or send me an email!

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