Thursday, October 30, 2014

Domo Arigato: finale

(Robot Costume Part 1: The body)
(Robot Costume Part 2: The helmet and limbs)
(Robot Costume Part 3: The Feet)
(Robot Costume Part 4: Girl Version)

Phew! I thought maybe this tutorial/costume would sit in my to do folder FOREVER.  But today's our last Robot Costume post!  We made it!  

Today I'm showing you how to make just a slightly different version of the robot.  I'll call it:

Girl-ified.  It has all the important elements of the first version - the blinking lights for buttons, the glowing sticks for fuel gauges, the light up ball on top.  But there are a few distinct features... not the least of which is the appearance of several pink buttons because pink is my daughter's favorite.

Now, I'd like to make this disclaimer upfront - yes.  Of course the first version can be for a girl OR boy.  Just like the daughter can be Han Solo and the Dad Princess Leia (did you see that article on Facebook?  So cute.)  BUT my daughter can be sort of a girly girl, and requested a specific girl robot with a TUTU of all things... so, you know, I had to accommodate, right?

If you're daughter is anything like mine, you might find this robot tutu helpful.  SO.

Let me start by saying I first tried to construct a tutu out of strips of duct tape folded together and trimmed in half dangling downward - kind of like the tulle strip tutus you see everywhere but with duct tape.  Fail.  BIG BIG FAIL.  People.  I hate duct tape.  I can not use it.  I am duct tape deficient.  I don't know why.  I like it when other people make stuff with it.  But that tape hates me and has a personal vendetta I will never understand. It was a hot mess, let me tell you, getting stuck to everything, folding in on itself in weird places, taping my fingers together so tightly I almost lost circulation and became fingerless... anyway.  I very quickly scrapped it and moved to plan B.  Which I am glad of, because it looks way cuter.
I did NOT want to spend anymore money - especially after ruining the first costumes.  I needed to use something I had on hand...
I realized I had some screening in the garage that I had purchased for a different project loooooong ago.  It's the same stuff in your windows - very flexible, almost like a thick fabric, but still metal looking.  

So for the robot tutu you'll need:
Window Screening (comes in a roll)
Silver duct tape (grumble, grumble)
Silver or gray embroidery floss
Silver ribbon
A scissors

Start by cutting three pieces of screen.  You can use more if you'd like, but I used three and it worked well.  If there are too many layers it'll be so thick it won't lay right.  
Measure around your girl's waist.  Now add 1/2 that or double it (depending on how "ruffly" you want it).
Cut your first screen piece that width and the entire length you want it to be - I made mine knee length on my 2 year old.
Cut the second piece the same width and about 2-3 inches shorter.
Cut the third piece the same width and about 2-3 inches short than the second.

Now, lay them all together, flat, and line up top edge.
(again, sorry for these old crappy photos.)

1. Using your needle and your embroidery floss, hand sew a basting stitch across the top edge of the tutu.  Be sure to go through every layer of screen.  Make your stitches nice and long and you can leave about 2 inches between them.
2. When you've gone across the whole width, leave a long tail on both sides and pull your needle free.  Hold tightly to one end of the embroidery floss and pull the other end, gathering the screen.
3. Gather the screen to the waist measurement and tie some quadruple knots in both ends of the floss so it doesn't come ungathered.
4. Lay a long strip of duct tape flat with the sticky side up.  It needs to be the same width as the tutu plus about 4 inches.
5. Lay your tutu with the gathered top edge on the duct tape strip.  Make sure it is centered with about 2 inches of duct tape extending on either side.
6. Cut two pieces of silver ribbon no shorter than 12 inches each.  It needs to be long enough to tie in a bow with a double knot, so keep that in mind when cutting them.  Lay one ribbon piece on the duct tape ends that extend past the tutu.
7. Cut another strip of duct tape the same length as the first strip and lay it sticky side down over the screen tutu, sandwiching the gathered edge of the tutu between.
8. Make sure to press the two strips of tape tightly together at the ends, sandwiching the ribbon between.

And that's it!  Now all you have to do is wrap it around the girly robot and tie in a bow!

Here are some awful photos that give you an idea:

I loved it.  mini thought it was awesome.  We liked it so much I made two mini ruffles for her wrists using the same method.  You can see them in this photo:

Here are the rest of the details:
1. I bought a bit of silver spandex fabric online to make her some tights.  They were cute, but not super stretchy and she was FREEZING and ended up having to wear leggings OVER them, so you can't even tell they are there.  Shame.  I think the idea is still cute.  You can use the baby tights tutorial from Made By Rae.  
2. I got this... I don't know... alien headband maybe?  Somewhere... I think the party store? It was a buck.  I loved the shiny silver balls on top.  But the headband was green - weird.  So I covered it with the shiny silver duct tape.  Then I used the same method to attach a ping pong ball over a battery operated tea light as I did for bug's helmet so that the ping pong ball would glow.  I used velcro once again so I could turn it on and off.
3. I wanted the girl robot to have hair instead of a helmet head, so when I saw the silver tinsel wig at the party store for 1.50 I snatched it!  It was adult size so I simply took some elastic and sewed it around the back half of the cap while stretching it so it cinched up the cap that fits over the head.  It worked fairly well, though mini was NOT excited about the itchy wig.

Also, she had shiny silver dress shoes already, so she just wore those.

And that's that!

The robots were a hit everywhere they went.  I was excited that I was able to pull it off.

As a side note, we try to dress up as a family for our church party, usually.  So mr. and I wracked our brains to come up with a scientist duo that would have created robots.  And this is what we came up with:

Can you tell who we are?  People usually couldn't until Justin started saying, "me me me me me me me." In a really high voice...

Our inspiration photo:
So maybe I couldn't pull out two awesome muppet costumes in 2 hours, but at least he's got the green shirt, brown tie, and orange hair and I've got the red tie, glasses, and skull cap for the bald head.  And the lab coats - which are admittedly the wrong colors but were the closest we could come on no budget or time.  I think we did alright.

Besides.  The robots are the important part, amiright?

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Domo Arigato, Part 3

I fully intended but neglected to give a how-to for the robot shoes mentioned in the first tutorial for the robot costume.  Remember this?

"Middle picture: These pieces are for "robot shoes".  Two rectangles with a small curve for the ankle, 4 skinny rectangles for the sides of the shoes, 4 small rectangles for the fronts and backs."

You can see the shoes here:

and here:

Here are the measurements I provided in part 1:  (Ignore the top and bottom pictures as we've already covered that)
FOR 4-6 USE A SHOE to measure, NOT A FOOT.  These are made to wear OVER SHOES.
Piece 4. G - from left side of shoe to right side - straight, not curved. Add a half inch.
              H - from heel to toe. Add a half inch.  For the curve - center it and cut enough for
                    ankle to comfortably fit through.
Piece 5. I - from top of shoe to bottom of sole.  Add 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch.
              J - from heel to toe. Add a half inch.
Piece 6. K - from top of heel to bottom of sole.  Add 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch.  (should be the 
                    same as I)
              L - from left side of shoe to right side - as with G above - then Add AN INCH.

Remember to use a shoe for your measurements as these will be slipcovers for your kid's normal tennis shoes.

I don't have a photo tutorial for this, but it works basically like this graphic I created:

1. Take your back piece (piece 6 above) and cut it in half the short way.
2. Sew the piece you just cut and the other piece 6 (the front) to the top piece, or piece 4 above.  Sew the cut piece 6 to the edge with the curve cut out of it (one half on either side of the curve) and the whole piece 6 to the opposite side.  Make sure you sew them with right sides together, and when you open it flat, it will look like the picture to the right of the arrow.
3. Now take your two piece 5's and sew them to the long sides of piece 4, right sides together.  When you open it flat, it will look as it does to the right of the arrow.
4. NOW.  Line up the corners to sew them.  Line up the yellow edge of piece 5 to the yellow edge of piece 6 and sew, the red edge of 5 to the red edge of 6 and sew, the purple edge of 5 to the purple edge of 6 and the orange edge of 5 to the orange edge of 6.  Make sure that you line the edges RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.  Trim the corners and flip it the right way.  You will have a flat box shape with no bottom.
5. Hot glue velcro to the back - put the rough side on the right side of the fabric on one half and the fuzzy side on the wrong side of the fabric on the other half.  This way, you can easily open and close them around the tennis shoe.  

And that's that!

After you sew them you'll want to spray paint them the same silver as the rest of the costume.  And remember my word of warning about spray paint!  NOT ENAMEL!

I've got one more robot-related post and then we're done!

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Domo Arigato Part 2: helmet and limbs

(Robot Costume Part 1: the robot body)
(Robot Costume Part 2: the helmet & limbs)
(Robot Costume Part 3: the Feet)
(Robot Costume Part 4: Girl Version)

Last week I let you in on my best kept secret - i.e. the tutorial I never wrote.  This robot costume of mine was a hit with the kids and furthermore, I made it so large on them they actually still fit.  We busted it out this year (two years later...) for bug's school dance since this year's costume wasn't done at the time. All the lights still worked and he was still just as psyched about it.

So today, I'm going to share how to make a very easy robot helmet to go with your robot costume.  Plus, I'll talk a little about a few other details as well.

For the helmet you need:
A large plastic container
A serrated or electric knife
silver fabric
ping pong balls in a few colors
a battery operated tea light
a mason jar ring and lid
hot glue gun

Step 1 (not pictured): buy a large container of gross cheese balls - much larger than you would ever buy (especially since you never buy gross cheese balls anyway) - just for the circular plastic container.  Put all the cheese balls in ziploc bags - it will likely take 3 extra large ones.  Wash the cheese ball container so your kid doesn't get fake cheese powder in his hair.  

2. Use a knife to cut the top off of the container.
3. Place it on your child's head and measure about how tall it needs to be.  Chop off a few more inches to the right measurement.
4.  Cut a window (rounded rectangle) out of the front of the helmet.  Fortunately, this gets rid of the label so you don't have to worry about that.
5. Use hot glue to cover the inside and outside with batting.  Make sure to glue it over the cut edges. This will make the helmet look bulkier and also protect the head and face from the jagged plastic.

Note: I should add that using a serrated knife did work, but it was a pain in the patootie.  A think an electric knife would work better.

6. Use your glue gun to "upholster" the entire helmet with silver fabric.  I cut a circle for the top and glue that on first, making sure it extended over the edge.  Then I glued a large rectangle around the bucket overlapping the edge of the top circle fabric, cut out the window and glued the fabric around the edges.  I didn't have enough fabric to line the inside of the helmet, but that's a good idea too.
7. Glue two ping pong balls to the sides of the head.
8.  To add some height and some layering/texture, I glued a mason jar ring and lid to the top center.
9. Take a ping pong ball and cut or poke a hole in it (I used a screw driver).  Slide this over the tea light.  To make the tea light removable so you can turn it on and off or change the batteries, hot glue velcro to the bottom of the tea light and to the middle of the jar lid so it velcros on and off.
10. Eat a gazillion gross cheese balls until you just.can't.  Then make your kids eat them.  When there's still an entire large ziploc bag left 9 months later (because these thing NEVER DIE) toss em.  

Note: To make the tea light silver instead of white, you could spray paint it first.  I tried craft paint which was a fail, so I hot glue some fabric around the sides, leaving the top and bottom free and that worked well too.

Now, just slide it over the head!  It simply rests on the shoulders, and though it's much larger than needed and slides a bit when he moves, it stays on well enough for trick or treating and such!  Just remember to turn the light on so the ping pong ball on top will light up!

About the arms and legs:
We used dryer vents for the arms and legs and they looked awesome (though they did take a beating and would need to be replaced if you use this costume for multiple years.)

In a home improvement store, you'll find the dryer vents near the appliances (duh).  They are quite long and you'll likely need to only buy one for all four limbs.  They come in different diameters, and I selected the largest available in order for bugs feet to fit through well.  Even though we got them bigger then technically needed, they were still a bit of a struggle to pull on over a bulky sweatsuit - though not too bad - and they were snug enough to simply cover the arm and leg without needing to be sewn, pinned or glued which was really fortunate since I'm not sure how well that would have worked!

Just hold them next to the limb in question and cut about two inches longer (for human error while cutting).  Cut them to size with a tin snips or a heavy duty shears will probably work as well.  Once you've cut them, fold the jagged edge over and cover just the edge with duct tape to protect from cuts.

Few more how-to's and the costume will be complete!

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

Monday, October 27, 2014

Politically Correct Eggs.

It's time for
yummy monday easy title button photo f75c9cf6-64de-4000-b3b1-2096e2216187_zps564dbc81.jpg

And it's another easy Halloween idea for you.  This is a great way to send them off to school on Halloween morning. 

You've heard of One-Eyed Joe's, yes?  No?  You might call them something different where you live.  Apparently it's also called Eggs in a Basket or Hobo Eggs?  That seems unPC... anyhoo... whatever you call them, they're delicious.  Basically, you butter some bread, cut out a circle from the middle, slap it in a hot pan and crack an egg into the middle.  The bread gets all buttery and toasty and the egg fries into the toast and it's just delicious.

Confession: we make these for dinner, not breakfast.  Because if you think I'm coherent enough at 6:00 in the morning to do anything but drag my bum outta bed and pour some cereal in a bowl, you don't know me at all.  I can maybe pull off instant oatmeal.  But one eyed joes?  That's a breakfast for dinner thing at our house.

A few years ago, we started calling these babies by our own title: Cyclops Toast.  It sounded cooler.  So last year, I got this brilliant idea to make them for Halloween but complete the faces of the monsters.  

Want to make some??  You need bread, eggs, butter, and various accent items to create an egg-sandwich face.  Ideas: black olives for eyes, cheese hair, tomato smiles, and sausage noses.  Also, a biscuit cutter or circle cookie cutter helps a lot.  Wax paper also helps.
Simply heat the pan, spread the wax paper, butter both sides of bread (this is where the wax paper comes in handy.  Butter all over the counter?  Ick.), cut the circle from the middle of the bread, lay it in the pan and immediately crack an egg in the hole, being careful not to break the yolk.  Wait for a minute or two, then flip, again very careful to avoid breaking the yolk - easier said than done!  
That's it!
Though, I like to sprinkle both sides with a bit of garlic salt - you know, if you want to get fancy.

After you've made the main part of the cyclops, you can create your faces any way you'd like!  Had I prepared a bit more ahead of time I'm sure I could have come up with more face ideas... bacon eyebrow, shredded cheese whiskers, ketchup veins in the eyeball, broccoli hair, pickle noses.  You get the idea!  Really the possibilities are endless.

The kids loved them!  And they're so easy to make and fun to create together, we'll definitely be reviving this idea on Friday night!

P.S.  I always fry up the little circles from the middle too, because, well, why WOULDN'T you?  These little circles are the kids' favorite part (don't know why) and they call them "cookie toast."

Now you've got a breakfast AND lunch idea!

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto.

(Robot Costume Part 1: the robot body)
(Robot Costume Part 2: the helmet & limbs)
(Robot Costume Part 3: the Feet)
(Robot Costume Part 4: Girl Version)

Today's the day.  The day I finally share THE Halloween costume tutorial.  It's been forever since I left you that teaser (like 2 years???) and for some reason, the tutorials just never got written.  But I'm ready.

You may remember from past posts that I actually kind of love making costumes.  

And I especially like it when our family matches.  Like the Batman themed costumes when the kids were little. 

And the Mario themed costumes from about 3 years ago.  Though the best was probably before bug even turned 2 and I was pregnant with mini.  That kid looked awesome.  

So when bug requested a robot costume I was actually pretty stoked.  I was positive that if I started early enough, frequented the thrift store, brainstormed and took my time I could come up with something crazy awesome.  I even sketched out some designs, patterns and specific ideas.  Now, something I want to warn you about is that these pictures are not stellar.  This was before the awesome camera and it is impossible to take good pictures AS I am sewing since I sew in a dungeon.  (No, literally.  There's chains and shackles and everything...)

I'll be sharing this costume in bits and pieces - we'll tackle the main body, helmet, accessories and then the girl version I made for mini.

Here we go!

First off, for the main body, you'll need:
1 mattress pad (I used a queen and got two robot costumes out of it)
fabric for lining
batting (like for a quilt)
1 long zipper (coat zipper is best)
1 small square of tulle or mesh
12 metal grommets 
1 mini Christmas tree light necklace, tiny battery operated with a small on/off switch
3 small (thick) glow sticks
6 large buttons
3 extra large buttons
felt scraps in multiple colors
embroidery floss
needle and thread

First off, let's talk about the separate pieces you'll need to cut:
Top picture: two large rectangles for the body, two skinny rectangles with a curve cut out of one end for the sides, two small rectangles for shoulder straps.
Middle picture: These pieces are for "robot shoes".  Two rectangles with a small curve for the ankle, 4 skinny rectangles for the sides of the shoes, 4 small rectangles for the fronts and backs.
Bottom picture: Felt "gauges" to embellish the body.  I actually looked up pictures of vintage robots to get an idea about how the gauges used to look.  (I know, I'm ridiculous.) 
For the circle gauge: I placed the white circle on top of the aqua circle and used gray embroidery floss to sew the marks around kind of like a clock face.  That was the only thing holding the two together, but it worked out great.  I placed the tiny green felt circle in the middle, used red embroidery floss to sew it on with an "x" and then sewed a small arrow with a line on the back.  
For the rectangle gauge: I used black embroidery floss to sew the tiny red felt strip to the white felt trapezoidal piece at the edges, using small stitches that chained together, and continued that stitch to the edges of the white piece - making a black box to indicate the number window of the gauge.  I used the same floss to make the small and longer markings all through the window area, and a long arrow coming from the bottom of the white piece to the marks.  I sewed the white trapezoid piece to the yellow rectangle with white embroidery floss, then the aqua circle to the bottom with aqua floss.  In both cases I just hand stitched around the edge.

I'm not sharing a pattern or anything, because you have different sized kids than I do, so I'll share how I measured my kids and you'll be able to customize your robot pieces!

Piece 1. A - from shoulder to shoulder
              B - From shoulder to however long you want it to be... I chose upper thigh.
              Cut two pieces.
Piece 2. C - from the front of the shoulder, around the arm to the back of the shoulder.  
              D - from armpit to however long you want it to be... for me, upper thigh.  (same 
                    length as B above)
              Cut two pieces.
Piece 3. E - from next to the neck to the shoulder
              F - from the end of the collarbone over the top of the shoulder to the back of the
                   shoulder at the top of the shoulder blade.
FOR 4-6 USE A SHOE to measure, NOT A FOOT.  These are made to wear OVER SHOES.
Piece 4. G - from left side of shoe to right side - straight, not curved. Add a half inch.
              H - from heel to toe. Add a half inch.  For the curve - center it and cut enough for
                    ankle to comfortably fit through.
Piece 5. I - from top of shoe to bottom of sole.  Add 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch.
              J - from heel to toe. Add a half inch.
Piece 6. K - from top of heel to bottom of sole.  Add 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch.  (should be the 
                    same as I)
              L - from left side of shoe to right side - as with G above - then Add AN INCH.
Piece 7. M - the aqua circle is about 3.5 - 4 inches in diameter.
              N - White circle is about 3 - 3.5 inches in diameter.
Piece 8. P - Height of rectangle is about 3 - 4 inches.
              O - Length of rectangle is about 5-6 inches.

Phew!  Now that that's done...

Cut a mattress pad piece, a batting piece AND a lining piece for every single part of the robot body and shoe.
I used a thick mattress pad for two reasons.  1, I liked the quilting detail.  I thought it would look like imprinted metal.  2. I needed something thick and able to keep its shape well.  This way the robot would be soft and pliable for kids' movement, but also boxy and stiff looking.  This is also why I added batting to every piece.  3. It was free.  I got it from someone who didn't need it anymore... and free is the best price for fabric!

1. Cut a small square of tulle (or mesh).  This is a pocket for the glow sticks (or fluid/fuel indicators, if you will) so make it tall enough for the glow sticks and wide enough to fit three across.
2. Pin the felt pieces to the front body mattress pad piece.  I lined them up vertically, but you can do it however you want.
3. Pin the tulle rectangle to the same piece of mattress pad.  I pinned it across from the circle gauge horizontally, but it's your choice.  Each glow stick will have it's own little compartment, so place pins to mark where you will sew down the tulle for pockets.
4. Sew around the outer edge of the two felt gauges.
5. Sew from the top left corner, down, across the bottom, up to the right corner.  Then sew straight down in two spots to make the three see-through pockets.

Now your font piece is ready, and we can start construction!
1. Cut out your lining pieces and batting pieces.
2. Place your front mattress pad piece and front lining piece right sides together and sew up one side,
3. Across the TOP, and down the other side.
4. Leave the bottom open.  Turn right side out.  Insert your batting.
5. Sew across the bottom.  (I was careful to use selvaged edges so I didn't need to hem this.

NOW - I didn't take pictures of this entire process, but you need to do that with every single piece.  Just put right sides together, sew, turn right side out.  Insert the batting.  Sew the opening closed.  For EVERY PIECE.

Some notes:
 1.  Cut the back piece in half FIRST, before lining and stuffing it.  Just cut up the back - halving it vertically.  Line and stuff and sew up the two halves.  Then sew on the exposed zipper.  Just pin the zipped up zipper to one half, sew it on, then pin along the other half and sew.
2.  Topstitch anything that won't be sewn directly to another piece for added stability and a more finished look.  So, top stitch the long sides of the shoulders, 
3 and 4. and topstitch the curves of the side pieces, but leave the side edges.

 Here's a closer look at the zipper functionality.  If you are sure to cut the back in half and line, stuff and sew up the halves separately BEFORE adding the zipper, there will be finished edges inside and the zipper won't get caught on any unfinished batting and threads hanging out (see pic. 3)  I love the look of the exposed zipper - more industrial, I guess.  If you have a coat zipper, that is awesome because the whole back will open then.  I didn't have one, so I just added a normal zipper that stops at the bottom.  It opens all the way down to the bottom, which is more than enough space for bug's shoulders and arms to get through.

Once you've sewed your details to the front piece and your zipper to the two halves of the back piece, then lined, stuffed and sewed every single piece, you can put everything together!
1. Pin the shoulder piece to the top corner of the front piece.  Place the short end against the top edge of the front piece and the long edge along the side edge of the front piece with right sides together.  Sew straight across the TOP.
2. Do this with the other shoulder piece on the other top corner of the front.
3. Pin the side piece to the front piece.  Place the long edge of the side piece against the long edge of the front piece with right sides together and sew it down.  Then repeat with the other side piece on the other edge of the front piece.
You should have a front piece with two rectangles flopping off of the top and two long rectangles flopping off the sides.
4. Now connect the side pieces to the back piece.  Just line up the long edges and make sure to sew right sides together.  Do this with both sides.
5. Sew the shoulder straps to the back piece at the corners.
6. The back will look like this when unzipped.

A few detail shots:
1. Once everything is sewn together, the whole body should be able to practically support itself since you used thick mattress pad PLUS batting AND lining for every single piece individually.
2. I sewed a "vent" to the bottom of the front mattress pad piece.  I thought it added detail and it also made the front stiffer and boxier.  I just sewed parallel lines about 3-4 inches long and about 1/2 inch apart.
3. I sewed the points of the side pieces - the pointy parts of the curve for the arms - to the body at the front and back at an angle after sewing up the sides.  This reinforced the connection there which added some stability, but it's not entirely necessary.

Now, let's give it some color!
 Yes, I realize that if I had painted it first and THEN sewed the stuff on the front, I wouldn't have had to tape them off, but I wasn't thrilled about shoving painted fabric through my machine at the time, though now I realize it probably would have been ok.  Ah well.
So, tape off anything you don't want silver - the two felt pieces and the zipper in my case.
Then spray away!  
The bottom picture is after one coat - I did three total.

One last important note.  And I mean super duper duper important.  Use normal, indoor/outdoor spray paint.  Like Krylon.  READ THE LABEL.
Do NOT - NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT - use ENAMEL spray paint.  Right now you're thinking DUH.  Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a mom made a robot costume.  She put a lot of thought, time and effort into it, and because she was only a moderately good sewer, she was very excited for how it came out, despite the amount of time and deep thought that went into every decision and every stitch.  Finally, the day came to make the costume silver.  She had silver spray paint in the garage, ready and waiting, and it was a beautiful, shiny, sparkly silver she had meticulously picked out - not realizing there was a difference between types of spray paint (you see, she may have been a moderate sewer, but was a spray paint novice.)  She sprayed and sprayed that robot costume until it shone and she was very happy.  An hour later, she went to check the costume, which she had finished a week ahead of schedule!  Curiously, it was still wet with paint.  Perplexed, the mom figured spray paint would simply take longer to dry on fabric and left it overnight.  In the morning, she check it again, and it was STILL wet!  Confused, the mom read the spray paint can and in horror realized she had bought ENAMEL spray paint, instead of the normal stuff.  Being completely unsure if the enamel paint would EVER dry on fabric, she nearly collapsed in despair upon realizing that she had ruined her lovingly created costume.  A day later, when it still was not dry, she set to work making a new one - which involved buying a new mattress pad, re-creating the felt gauges and other hand-sewn details, lining, stuffing, sewing, zippering, sewing, detailing, and FINALLY painting the costume once again - this time with NORMAL EVERYDAY SPRAY PAINT in normal silver.

Can I tell you the worst part of that story?  Yes, it's true.  But that's not the worst part.  The worst part is that I decided to sew up both bug's and mini's costumes and THEN spray them all at once.  Which means I ruined not one, but TWO costumes and had to re-create not one, but TWO costumes.  In a week.  AHHHHH!!!

Now, you will understand why the costume looks a little different from here on out... I changed the positions of the details and gauges on the front and was a little more careful with sewing the details - plus I had to use a different lining fabric, since I was all out of that awesome polyester I inherited from my grandma.

On the upside, I think I'm forever an expert on making robot costumes.

Ah, yes, to finish the body, all you have to do is:
Use a scissors, hammer and the grommet tool that comes in the grommet package to place 12 grommets in a grid on the front of the robot suit.  Cut a little hole through ALL LAYERS (easier said than done...), stick the grommet pieces through, use the tool and smack with a hammer.  DONE.
Use the little Christmas Tree Lights necklace to light up the grommet holes.  Place the necklace inside the suit, then make sure to stick lights out of the grommet holes.  There will be more lights than holes, that's ok.  Just makes sure all the holes are filled.  Then hand-sew the necklace into place with embroidery floss.  Secure it to the suit in many places - I sewed the necklace to the suit at each grommet to make sure the lights would stay in the holes - and I only sewed into the back layer - the lining fabric - not all the way through.

A note: I realize the Christmas Tree Lights Necklace may not be so easy to find.  I happened upon mine at Menard's - a local hardware store.  If you can't find one, THIS is the EXACT necklace I used and it's only $5.99 on Amazon.  Also, I was planning on using normal white battery operated Christmas tree lights.  I would have sewn a little pocket to the inside of the suit to accommodate the bulky battery pack.  So that's an option too.

Tomorrow: The helmet!

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

Monday, October 20, 2014

Picky-eater Halloween Special

Well hello!  It's my first non-gift post in a while, don't let it throw you.  I thought it might be time to get back into

yummy monday easy title button photo f75c9cf6-64de-4000-b3b1-2096e2216187_zps564dbc81.jpg

So tonight's post is a super easy, yummy, Halloween-related, lunch idea for the kiddos.

I packed these in bug's lunch last year around Halloween time and they were a huge success!  I should probably add that this kid is NOT easy to make a sack lunch for.  

There will be none of this for Halloween:

 because he won't eat green olives.  Or the rest of the sandwich, most likely.
Or this:
 because he won't heat eggs, chicken, cherry tomatoes or pita chips.  And yes, I HAVE tried packing all of that in the past...
Or this:
 Because, again, he won't touch chicken.  Or those white things in the corner - I don't know what they are, but I know he wouldn't eat them.
Or this:
Because he won't eat sandwich meat of any kind.  Or pretzels.  And he'd likely think the sprinkles were bugs.
And definitely not this:
 because he'd die if I tried to make him eat hummus (again), he despises cucumbers, and he refuses hot dogs.  
And this:
Because, well, I'D die if he actually ate a meatball.  Also, the black chips would freak him right out.

I mean seriously, parents.  Are your kids EATING these meals at school without you standing over their shoulders harping on them to eat or they'll shrivel up into a walking skeleton?  Really??  Because if so, do you realize how lucky YOU ARE???
All of those ideas and more, by the way, can be found in the Halloween gallery on Wendolonia.

After my son bringing home parts of his lunch repeatedly and me trying new things for lunch REPEATEDLY we finally sat down together and made a list of things he would actually eat and not just toss.  I forced him to choose some veggies, though he wasn't happy and our list is pretty limited.  It looks something like this:
Sandwiches or Tortilla: Peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and banana, peanut butter and honey, cheese and mayo.  NOTHING ELSE.
Fruit: kiwi, banana but only if it isn't brown at all or mushy in any way (and you can guess how well THAT usually works out) apples (but only if they're cut up because it's "too hard" to eat them the other way" - what?  You mean like normal people eat them?), peaches (but only the kind in the little cup, not fresh), strawberries (but only if they are ripe and sweet and not at all tart), grapes (only purple and NOT mushy), cantaloupe and watermelon.  
Veggies: sugar snap peas if they are fresh and have no brown spots, broccoli if it is cooked and warm, cooked and mashed butternut squash, green beans from my sister IL's garden NOT from the store, avocados if they have no brown spots and aren't too ripe.  Definitely no carrots - for the love of all that is holy NO CARROTS.
Other: crackers but only Townhouse or Cheese Its.  Not Ritz, not saltines, not Cheese Nips and yes he can tell the difference between nips and its, thank you very much.  Cheese sticks, but only the orange kind because the white kind is gross.  Yogurt, but he prefers only strawberry if it's go-gurt NOT that gross berry kind that no one wants to eat which comes in the pack WITH the strawberry.  Absolutely no pretzels UNLESS they are the special kind you can buy at Costco that are small and stubby and filled with peanut butter.  
From time to time I fill his thermos with macaroni and cheese or spaghettio's and that's a serious treat.  He comes home elated.

So you can see he's pretty particular.  And oh, the pains I take to make sure his lunch is up to his standards!  I WANT a nice, healthy lunch that will give him energy that he still loves and thinks "my mom is totally thinking about me right now" when he looks at it.
You know, the unattainable.

Anyway, all that to say that in my quest to make sure I gave him fun, holiday themed lunches last year I came up with this one which meets his requirements.  If your child is also a... um... discerning eater, you might want to try it too!  It's easy.

You'll need peanut butter, bananas, flour tortillas, and those candy eyes you can find in the fancy baking section.  You will cut the banana in half and use 1 tortilla per banana half, so you could spread peanut butter just on one half of the tortilla and leave the other half plain if you're just making two mummies.  I made 4.

1. Spread peanut butter on a tortilla.
2. Cut the tortilla into skinny strips.
3. Cut a plain tortilla into skinny strips.
4. Peel a banana.
5. Cut it in half.
6. Wrap a peanut butter strip around the top.
7. Wrap another around the bottom, overlapping strips a bit.
8. Take a plain strip and wrap it around all the peanut butter that's oozing out.  Use as many plain strips as you need to cover up the oozy bits and stick the ends down with just a bit of peanut butter.  Overlap the strips at different angles.
9. Add the eyes.  Just gently press them into the banana.  If it seems that they are loose, just use a dab of peanut butter on the back to get them to stick.

Ta da!

Mummies!  Bug thought they were pretty spectacular, so that was cool.  Good luck to you other picky eater mamas out there!

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*
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