How to Make Your Own Pirate Costume in 10 Easy Steps.
1) Decide to be a Flapper Girl for Halloween. Spend hours perusing the internet and Pinterest. Head to the fabric store and discover that the patterns are only so-so, but more importantly – they don’t have enough fringe in stock.
2) Change your mind on the spot and decide to be a pirate. Hit the books again to find a pattern. And then, when you can’t find one you like, hit up Pinterest for inspiration. Create a secret board where you can dump all of the pins you like, that way, your friends are surprised when they see you!
3) Buy the fabric, guess at all the measurements.
4) Get home and realize you might have to do more than just guess. Find a tutorial that makes you do things like this:
Pull out measuring tape. Measure yourself. Then, because that’s not fun enough, start adding Pi so you can find a radius. Then go find real pie.
If you look closely, my ruler is from 1965. If you are my parents, don’t look closely as this may or may not have belonged to you at one point. I’m pretty sure I “acquired” it in my teen years.
5) Sit down to sew. Realize you don’t remember how to load the bobbin so spend 30 min on YouTube trying not to get distracted by the offerings, and instead actually load the bobbin. I may or may not have watched this video.
I may or may not have just watched it again.
6) Go back to YouTube to figure out how to fix the machine when you break it.
7) Load everything up and head to your parents house when you can’t fix your machine.
8) Find their sewing machine – it has a computer – so much easier!
9) Go eat the last of the homemade ice cream hidden in their freezer after you possibly break their machine.
This is an example of what homemade ice cream can look like. This is not my dad’s famous homemade ice cream because I sat down and ate it all.
10) Sew the skirt by hand and decide that the rest of the outfit looks more like a pirate if you don’t sew it at all. 🙂
All of these tips and tricks for the leftover Halloween candy. Make a Christmas advent calendar with the candy. Toss it all inside a pie crust and make an insane chocolate/caramel/nut/pretzel/dots pie. Halloween bark. Halloween popcorn. The ideas are endless! Apparently even the Elf on the Shelf tends to get in on the action.
This years party was a Dead Man’s Party (think Oingo Boingo!) and I have declared it a success!
My kitchen while in the process of making all of the goodies.
My table being “staged” the night before. Yes, that’s my notebook sitting there with three pages that contain my “to-do list”!
The entree station set up (hot dogs and nachos) and the beverage station ready to go with some Zombie Tonic and Bat’s Brew.
A few hours of sleep later and it’s time to unwrap and start loading the table up! That eyeball in the back is the pinata that hasn’t been hung up yet… but it looks cool, right?
The fireplace is nailed shut so the zombies can’t get in, the entry way is properly lit up and the fair is bubbling and George is ready to greet guests!
Me and Mr. T; Amy and Scott and even Shorty gets dressed up for the party!
Next year I’m totally doing a photo booth! Time to scour Pinterest for easy ideas!
Mr. T and his friends – I love his theatre group, they are awesome kids!
The pinata is always a “hit”! hehehe – get it? A Hit! Yes, that is astro turf under the pinata. I have a tiny dog and I want it easy to pick up the candy and goodies that are shoved in the pinata so that nothing is left behind for Shorty to eat/choke on.
My mom and niece Bella. They were Me and Mini Me – dressed alike in tie-dye!
My dad and Bella playing with mom
My nephew chilling out!
My niece Samantha getting ready to bob for an apple
My nephew Jayman enjoying the fruit of his labor!
My nephew Joshua taking a turn!
This game is way harder than it looks! I had them stand 2 feet away and you throw a sticky spider at the web. I had to let everyone take three turns and we scored the best out of three! 🙂
All in all I think everyone had fun, we talked and ate and played and celebrated end of the harvest! Okay, so maybe the harvest never came up, but for us, this time together is a celebration of our friendships, new and old. So, while Monster Mash played in the background we celebrated!
I love Halloween! I know, you are all surprised to hear that, but it is true!
Today I want to share this totally awesome tip I have for carving fake pumpkins – it will change your life.
I love carving pumpkins! Every time I see a Pumpkin Masters book, especially when on sale, I grab it! They have awesome templates that range from super easy to the insane I would never attempt to do on my own!
We used to get real pumpkins and carve them, and sometimes I still do; however, I’m in love with the fake pumpkins! I can carve them and then bring them out year after year. I like to pick them up once they go on sale but I have been known to pay full price (well, okay, I always have a coupon!). I did pick one up this year with my 40% off coupon but while I was shopping I found the most amazing gadget!
It’s called a Styro Cutter. This little gadget is a thin wand that heats up. It is meant to be used on Styrofoam – wreaths, decorations, etc. but I have discovered that it works well on fake pumpkins, too! This is awesome! So, you tape your pattern onto the pumpkin, use the little tool that comes with the Pumpkin Masters kits to poke the tiny holes to create the outline and then you plug in the styro cutter. Within minutes you will be engrossed in creating masterpieces! Once the knife is hot you slide it into the pumpkin and then slowly work your way around doing a grown up version of connect the dots.
There are several reasons why I love this, first off – this little wand replaces all of the serrated blades that have the tiniest handles in the world! Don’t get me wrong, those blades are awesome and do work, but I love not having to switch between the different tools.
Secondly, the mess is minimal! Before, there would be tons of orange shavings all over the place – but now, the orange foam shavings are minimal, I collect them in my hand and toss! If you know me, then you know that I don’t like messy, so the fact that this minimized the mess makes it worth it.
Lastly, this cuts the carving time in half. Since I don’t have to switch serrated blades and don’t have to stop to give my hand a rest, the time it took to make my pumpkin went by in a flash! Mr. T had fun helping, too, which makes it even more fun for me!
This year the pumpkin we carved was double sided. The front is a witch with a bubbling cauldron and when lit, it casts the outline of a couple of ghosts on the wall dancing behind the witch. It is super awesome!!!
Back – and these ghosts dance on the wall behind the witch!
Not a good picture, but the one on the right we did last year… by hand… with the small serrated blades. Trust me, the hot knife makes carving so much easier! (The one on the left was pre-purchased like that, I can’t take credit!)
I know I have inundated you with Halloween lately; however, I’ve noticed something that I must share.
First off, chocolate is chocolate and I’m not complaining; but I gotta tell you this!
Secondly, most of you know that I live in Texas. Texas is hot, that’s no secret.
Now, let’s add up these two facts. Halloween candy/chocolate is sitting on our store shelves which means it was shipped in weeks ago. (Why is it that when goods are transported on a ship it is called cargo and when it goes via a truck it is called a shipment?) Anyway… the chocolate was shipped to us, in massive box trucks, that aren’t air conditioned.
So, when the rest of you open a Reese’s peanut butter pumpkin, it looks like a pumpkin. When you open a Hershey’s chocolate tombstone, it has detail, it has writing that you can make out.
Seriously! I’m ready! Well, after today I am ready! My Amy came and spent most of the weekend with me, which means that I didn’t get everything on my to-do list done; however, the flip side of that is that the house will always need to be cleaned, but it’s fun having one of my best friends her and forcing here to go shopping and do craft projects with me – neither of which is in her top 10 list of favorite things to do!
We did get some shopping done and we had plenty of time to hang out and then it was time to get some crafts done. I had texted her on Friday that she had to help, but that it wouldn’t be as bad as she expected – and it wasn’t!
Let’s start with the bouquet of flowers I’m working on.
Oh yeah – spooky eyeball flowers! These are $0.97 flowers from Wal-Mart with plastic novelty eyeballs hot glued into the center. They turned out so well that when I was at Target I picked up three more flowers and glued the eye balls in… and I have enough eyeballs left to pick up another three flowers! The eye balls were left over from previous years where I used them a decorations, so that didn’t cost me anything- all I’m spending money on is the flowers themselves. Cheap! Cute! My kinda craft! The orange vase is on loan from my grandmother who, when she heard what I was doing told me she had the perfect vase, and she sure did! It is going to look great on my table!
My next project came from a pin on Pinterest that lead me to The Designer Co-op. You can read her post about the zombie birthday party she threw for her husband here. I showed you the project inspiration not that long ago but I am so jazzed at how it turned out for me!
Zombies!!! This one was more fun than I expected! Please ignore the tape and hot glue gun still in the shot, but I was too excited once we were done to clean up before I started taking pictures! I bought Mr. T a print from the store the other day and low and behold, the cardboard piece was the PERFECT size for my fireplace opening! My grandmother came to my rescue again and provided several large pieces of cardboard for me. My Amy and I sat down and traced our hands in fun shapes and then used an Exacto knife to cut them out. I then cut two long pieces about 5″ wide to use as the “boards”. Then we took everything outside and she spray painted the back board and hands black while I painted the cardboard boards brown and then drew on some nails, knot holes and grain with a sharpie marker. Once everything was dry we brought everything back inside and did a dry fit of the hands, then put the back board and hands down and taped the hands in place. Then she made tape circles and I used those to adhere the back board and hands to my fireplace. Since the tape worked out so well, I had her make more circles (we were using thick packing tape) and attached the boards. Now it looks like my fireplace has been boarded up to prevent the zombies from getting through! I just love it!
On this up close shot you can see that the hands are coming out from behind the back board. The Designer Co-op didn’t use a back board, but instead just had the black hands coming out; however, I have a beautiful candelabra currently inside my fireplace, and I didn’t want to have to remove that and store it somewhere, so the back board was just to block the view. On another note – I love my bones in the firewood holder!
If you get the chance, I highly recommend both of these crafts – we had a blast putting them together and both were done in under an hour, from start to finish.
Thanks to The Book Boozer and her Frightening Fall, I’ve been reading some classics. She picked some books to read to get her in the mood for the spooky holiday season, (Yes, Halloween is a holiday season!) and I decided to play along with her. I wasn’t going to read all of the same books she was; however, a couple of them sounded good so I decided it was time to hit the books!
In addition to The Book Boozer, Sleepy Hollow was going to awesomely be turned into a TV show on Fox. Score!
Since the Universe was pointing me in that direction, I hit the books!
I started with the classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. I love this book and rereading it, I wasn’t disappointed. Even after all of these years, it was still entertaining!
Of course, I will admit, I may still prefer the Disney version!
I was really excited to hear about the new TV series on Fox, Sleepy Hollow. It was marked on my calendar and my DVR was set! Mr. T and I sat down and watched the first episode together. About half way through I couldn’t imagine how they would carry this series; however, the “coming soon” teaser at the end of the show put my fears to rest! I’ve watched it again, and Mr. T and I both aren’t sure if we are in love with it yet, but I’m not giving up just yet… plus, the new Ichabod, well, he’s just yummy!
Next I tackled Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s been so very long since I’ve read this book and I remember being thoroughly put off by Dr. Frankenstein. This hasn’t changed! Victor Frankenstein is still one of the most self-centered, arrogant and obnoxious characters to grace the pages of a book. His narration throughout the book still drives me nuts. He worked so hard and ended up letting go of family, friends, his studies and even his health, only to look up in horror at what he had done and turn his back on the Monster. I still prefer the Monster who, despite everything, has a spirit that you have to admire.
Gotta say, the book drives me nuts, but you can’t go wrong with Boris Karloff’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s Monster!
Here’s where I have to confess. I will take Young Frankenstein over the original any day! How can you go wrong with Peter Boyle dancing to Putting on the Ritz? Add in classic lines of “Walk this way” and then there is this:
It was good to revisit Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster, I’m very comfortable that I’ll never have to read that book again!
Today I finished Dracula by Brom Stoker. My confession here is that I have never read this book before. Somehow, it got missed. Don’t get me wrong – I own the book – I just never picked it up and read it! Another confession: I didn’t pick up the book. I found a free version and downloaded it to my Kindle. Don’t judge.
Oh my goodness but this book is looonnnngggg. It just drags on forever! And it lags, oh does it lag. For those that haven’t read the book, it is told through the diary entries of 6 different people, and overall, it is pleasant, but the few times that the book doesn’t drag don’t make up for the times it does. I’m glad I read it and have a full understanding of the story (and again, Van Helsing is still one of the most awesome men in history, and even though he is older in the book, sometimes I pictured Huge Jackman! The movie was campy, but oh Hugh!)
You guessed it – the movie was better! Bela Lugosi is a genius and brought the vampire to life! Or, at least made him UnDead.
Of course, if I have to meet a member of the UnDead in real life – I’ll take David Boreanaz, the Vampire with a soul from Buffy/Angel.