Sunday, October 31, 2010

As luck would have it...

Oh, aren't you lucky?  This week you get TWO photo posts from me!  (I'll understand if you aren't excited.) (Don't worry, I have other stuff planned, too.)  This is the end of October, which means the Photo Scavenger Hunt is OVER.  Which means I am hurriedly working on the finishing touches for my Scavenger Hunt post now so I can post it tomorrow.  But in the meantime, you get to look at a few out takes and some other random shots of the week.

Check out this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday at Ramblings and Photos:

My Town
One of my favorite spots in my town.  Not much of the town itself to see, I know, but the lake is a big part of what makes it cool here.

This one didn't make the cut for the October Hunt.  It's my Grandma's ring.  

little mini bug, mini and mr at the bottom of the hill.  Also didn't make the cut.  But I had a ton of fun playing with the tilt-shift maker online.

Dress up
my favorite "Sunday Shoes," AKA, the best way to dress up jeans.

there's nothing better than a chocolate goatee.  Can you think of anything?

The Paper Mama's theme is "Halloween".   
The Paper Mama

We had a Halloween party at church this weekend, and here's a sneak peek of bug's costume.  More details ahead.
bug playing the fishing game.  He caught a caramel corn ball!

Trendy Treehouse's is "Halloween Costumes."  


Here are the cousins trick-or-treating:
the pirate, ladybug girl, and ??? (someone with a cape???)
(Hope you enjoyed this teaser of what will be a more extensive follow-up in the future.)

Over at iheartfaces, the theme is "Celebrating Fall."  

I love how these little people celebrate just about every moment in life.

And finally, if you'd like to see something uplifting, head over to Katie Lloyd Photography for her weekly "Scripture and a Snapshot."

This is just a snippet out of one of my favorite passages in The Book of Mormon.


Friday, October 29, 2010

the one where I play dress up.

It may be self-evident to you (especially if you’ve read this) that dressing up has long been one of my favorite things to do.  Now, I’m not talking "putting on mom’s high heels", or "prancing around in the disney princess collection" - although I didn’t mind either of those things when I was a kid.  (OK, actually, they didn’t HAVE a disney princess collection when I was a kid - at least not in CLOTHING - so I had to settle for the normal run of the mill thrift store formals and such)  I am talking DRESSING UP.  And, you know, taking on the whole persona.
I distinctly remember each and every one of my Halloween costumes from the time I was five years old on.  I do NOT have a photo of each and every one (oh, how I wish I did) but the images are branded in my mind.  From the bubble bath (yes, I dressed up as a bubble bath), to the amazing fabric hershey kiss creation my mom pulled out of thin air (that totally whipped the butt of that other girl in my class whose kiss costume was cardboard and tinfoil.  Woot.), to the scary witch and the genii from the bottle... I can recall with perfection the details of each outfit...  and, perhaps the biggest downer to living in the frozen tundra, the fact that every single costume had to be covered by some kind of parka before embarking on the marathon trick-or-treating sessions my parents would take me on.

One year, I dressed as Cinderella.  Oh, I loved that costume.  I know you know the one.  You know, when she’s dressed in nothing but rags, with that little corset-y thing and has the handkerchief in her hair and she’s carrying around that broom that looks like it was made from sticks?  What?  You thought I was talking about the ball gown???  Well, that’s weird.  Why would I want to dress up like that?  No, no, I went complete with black smudges all over my face from the cinders.  I think what with all the chores forced upon me and having mean older siblings, I identified most with that version.  Well, that was the year my mom made me wear my coat AND sweatpants under my skirt, even though I tried to explain to her that neither were “period” appropriate.

I was so insistent upon "becoming" the character, I had to have all appropriate props, as well.  When I was the genii, I carried around the bottle I lived in.  When I was the bubble bath, I carried a rubber duckie and wore a washcloth on my head.  My raggedy cinderella carried her stick broom, and all other necessary accessories and accouterments were must have's for every single outfit.
When I got older, I was fortunate to cast my friendship in with someone who was pretty much my identical twin separated at birth - aside from the fact that we looked nothing alike.  (We even celebrated something called “Twin Day,” but that’s a story for another time.)  With this friendship, blossomed my love for themed dress-ups.  Dressing up is double the fun when you do it with someone else.  We were Candy and Sandy, the carhop cuties, we were hula hotties (wearing t-shirts under our coconut bras, of course), and we were siamese twins (probably the easiest costume ever, as it only required that we buy a men's flannel pj set in XXL.  We each took one leg and shared the shirt, holding onto each other with our other arms.   Her mom made us a giant night cap we shared.  

Of course, this required us to take turns hoping in order to get anywhere... so maybe not the most PRACTICAL costume.  But it was funny to watch.

One year we were told to dress as our favorite celebrity.  We picked Princess Ada and Flick from A Bug’s Life.  It was hot.  We even made Flick’s backpack and the pet aphid.  

Our crowning glory was dressing up as each other.  Everyone knew who we were supposed to be.  It was great.
I know, it's hard to tell who's who.  We each picked an outfit we called "quintessentially us" and made the other one wear it.  I had to give the blond wig a hair cut while Elaine wore it, and ended up practically cutting her cheek off.  Oops.  I still feel bad about that.

Then we got married, graduated college, moved away, life changed.  So I started forcing my somewhat compliant significant other to take over for El.  Our first Halloween together, I was a witch and he was my familiar.  

Our costumes consisted of things I had around the house just put together in different ways.  Except the nose.  I bought that.  (I mean, who has a nose hanging around their house?)

The next year, I was pregnant with bug.  We didn’t have a huge party to go to together, but I got my fill of dressing up because of my work party, since my entire department decided that we needed to dress as our favorite movie villains.  I tried hard to think of a very large villain and came up with Ursula - but after she’d beaten Triton and stolen his trident of course.  

Then came bug’s first Halloween, and we dressed him in the most adorable giraffe costume I’d ever seen and mr and I dressed as safari guides.  

We had those clothes in our closet.  Except mr's shirt and my hat - which I got at the thrift store.

Last year was probably the best.  With bug’s wild hair, the obvious costume became:
Do you see a resemblance to anyone?
How about:

Yes.  That IS Albert Einstein.  

I was pregnant with mini then, and was pretty huge.  So mr and I wore shirts like this:
Get it?  The baby is e, I am m and mr is c squared.  You know.  e=mc squared?  Well, I thought it was funny.

Again, all clothes we had at home.  Plus a little paint.  And a corn cob pipe from a snowman costume from long ago.  
This year, I went all out.  Although I've always made our costumes (I've never ever bought a costume at a store and worn it as is, and I hope my kids don't ever want me to) most of the making consisted of a LOT of hot glue.  Maybe some safety pins.  Possibly paint.  And then just putting things together in an unexpected way.  (i.e. shower caps with pipe cleaners for the bugs, a long stretchy strapless dress cut up on the bottom for tentacles, you get the idea.)  I decided to really make our costumes - like sew them.  As much as I could, anyway.  I mean, I'm still a very novice sewer.  I decided this mostly because we can’t afford to buy awesome ones, and I refuse to buy the plastic things at walmart.  I got everything for the costumes either at the thrift store or from my basement (sometimes both).
Pictures and some how to’s are on their way!
With how much I love costumes and dressing up, you would think that Halloween would be may favorite holiday.  But there are a few reasons it’s not.  #1 - for three years in a row while I was young, I got super violently ill right on Halloween afternoon.  And no, it had nothing to do with eating candy, because I didn’t get to go trick-or-treating.  I was too busy hurling.  and #2 - to me, it never seemed all that different from any other day.    I ALWAYS dressed like that.  

PS.  I have the super awesomest filing system for old snapshots - you know, the film kind, back before we all had digital?  OK.  Throw every single picture you have taken in your entire life - yes, ALL (That random orangutan at an equally random zoo looking obscene?  Yep!  The really fuzzy, underexposed shot of something that looks a little like a hot dog, or maybe it’s someone’s leg?  Of course!  That picture that was supposed to be you and your mom camping but was completely double-exposed?  Uh-huh!  The accidental shot of Aunt Betty’s bum?  Sure!)  Throw them all - even the ones you don’t know what the heck they are anymore - in a big cardboard box.  Toss the really good pictures you want to save for nostalgia purposes in there too.  Then, mix in every single picture your hubby has ever taken.  Sprinkle with a few very old photos of your childhood.  Take a big huge wooden spoon and stir it all up.  Store it on a shelf in the back of your basement.  This way, you are guaranteed to never, ever find the shots you most want.  Or you’ll be down there until midnight looking for them. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Project 2: more effective than tying a ribbon around your finger

This project is neither unique nor difficult.  I just made a door hanger out of a wooden plaque I got at the dollar store.  I know, I know.  Almost no effort required, right?  Well, I promise to have better projects coming up.  I don’t feel too bad, though, because both of these sold at the store, so they couldn’t have been TOO lame.

We’re encouraged to pray morning and night, but with my lack of memory, a reminder is always helpful, especially in the harried morning hours.  I figured a lot of our kids felt the same.  So I chose the phrase “Did you think to pray?” for the door hanger.  (It’s actually from a hymn).  How could they miss this if it’s dangling from their knob, right by their hand?
I used the same technique for the words as I described yesterday, by making an image and printing it on tissue paper.  
I sprayed the plaque yellow using krylon “bright idea” (you know that’s my favorite, right?)  

and after it dried, I traced around it on the back of coordinating scrapbook paper.
I cut on the INSIDE of the line - I wanted to make sure the paper was smaller than the plaque because I still wanted a border of yellow around the paper.
Laid down a layer of the podge.
Pressed the scrapbook paper down, really well.
Cut around the words.
Spread some podge over the top.
Carefully and gently, placed the tissue paper down and pressed lightly with my finger.
When it dried, I did another layer of podge over the whole plaque so it was all glossy.
When THAT dried, I took some coordinating belting and cut it to length, then singed the ends so they wouldn’t fray.
Then I turned the plaque over and laid the belting in a loop off the top of the plaque.
I used my staple gun to staple the belting to the plaque securely.
A girly version,
and a not so girly version,
ensure that two kiddos will have some prayerful days. (OK, actually, my sister "bought" the yellow one.  So one kiddo and one sister will have prayerful days).
But you can obviously do this with a favorite quote or inspirational saying, or even your child’s name, too!


Project 1: Shedding some light.

OK, first off, a little clarification.  That whole “churchy tzotchke in under an hour” thing... that’s not under an hour for ALL the items, but for each different project.  You probably already knew that.  I mean, I’m not wonder woman.  That post has been taken.  BUT, here’s some more clarity, an hour is a very generous estimation in most cases.  Almost all of these are more like “make three in an hour.”  Or five, or ten, or whatever.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m shedding some light on a very easy project.  Ok, ok.  Lame joke at best.  But here is an easy way to put a little pizazz on a boring old household item.
And of course, it involves mod podge.  
Before we get to the actual project, I need to fill you in on an easy little technique that I took advantage of for a number of these projects.  It’s the same technique I used on the antiqued photo tile I made for dad IL.  
Let’s say you want to transfer an image or words to an item, but you don’t have the moola for vinyl.  Let’s say you want said item to have a layered look.  And let’s assume for the sake of the following projects that you aren’t exactly 100% certain at the outset just how each item is going to look.  (preplanning is not my forte, we all know that).  
Start by making your image on the computer.  You could use any program, really, but I generally use picnik.  It can be words, phrases, pictures, whatever.  
Now, cute some tissue paper to just shy of computer paper size.
Use some not very sticky tape to adhere the tissue paper to some computer paper(I used this white-out tape stuff because it isn’t very adhesive so nothing will tear when un-taping)(and who uses white-out anymore, anyway?  I have to use it for SOMETHING).  Make the tissue paper as flat as possible.
Run it through your printer as you would normally, printing your image onto the tissue paper.
When you are finished, you have an image that you can mod podge on to just about anything with a white background that will turn translucent on some papers or effectively transparent on most light colored backgrounds.  Easier than writing or drawing everything, cheaper than vinyl.
On to project 1:
I picked up three different flashlights at the dollar store, mostly because I wanted to give the boys something more than necklaces and bracelets to choose from.  (funnily enough, two of the flashlights were purchased by GIRLS.  Hm.  Am I sexist?)
Measured and cut some scrap book paper to fit around the base of the flashlight and reach from bottom to just under the on/off switch.
Podged the flashlight.
Stuck the paper around and smoothed it out REALLY WELL.
Cut around each tissue paper word I wanted to use.
Mod podged the scrapbook paper where I wanted the words to be.
Lightly, very very lightly, tapped the tissue paper words down.  (you have to have a gentle touch.  A NOT gentle touch will a) rip the paper or b) smear the ink.)  (Yes, I did both a and b.)
Let it dry.  
That’s it!  
You can also podge the tissue paper right to the flashlight, like this one,
or do this to a booklight:

And three primary kids now have a jazzed up reminder to always be an example of the believers!

Texas Monkey

Keeping It Simple

The Girl Creative

Sumo Sweet Stuff

mmm button


Show and Tell Green



PonyTails and FishScales

A Crafty Soiree


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