Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Sewing: Penelope’s Blue Macaw Costume


Penelope has an incredible fascination with birds. Specifically Blue Macaws. I think it all stems from the movies Rio and Rio 2 (highly under-rated movies, in my opinion). She’s a wiz at drawing them, she loves reading about them, she’s just obsessed.



Yet for some reason it still surprised me when we walked down the aisles of JoAnn (about beginning of September, maybe August?) and she requested I make her a Blue Macaw costume for Halloween. I mean she was going all goo-goo ga-ga over the sparkly blue Elsa-dress-type fabric. I was expecting something Frozen to head our way. I’m not the biggest fan of that movie; perhaps it’s because so many people raved about the music like it was on-par with Lion King. Uhhh, really guys? Do you have ears? It’s definitely not at that level. It was just standard Disney fare in my opinion. I digress.




I secretly screamed for joy when she wanted to do something completely different than Elsa. So we scoured the aisles and found a sparkly blue spandex (remeniscent of the Mardi Gras parade scene) and this awesome textured chiffon that looks just like bird feathers. And then we found a matching headband with sequins. And matching feathers. And matching leggings.

All that I had to do (and I say “all” like it’s no small feat, but this part took me forever) was to make her a little birdie dress and a cape. It took me a while to come up with the concept. Just having raw fabric at my disposal, I wasn’t sure if I should go more sculptural or more themed. I went more practical with leggings and a dress just because I’m not going to go to such efforts to make her something that she’ll never wear again. The cape will be in the dress-ups forever. The dress may actually get some wear on special occasions. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure Penelope will think of something. She was excited to get a new dress.


I was planning on dressing Felix up as Fix-it-Felix, but he refused. I had a few hand-me-down costumes as well. Still no. Maybe next year. June wore cat ears. We may get more into it next year. But Pen had fun.

And this year was our second annual Pic-or-Treat! We set up the photo booth (this time with full-body format) and gave printed photos out to the trick-or-treaters. Some didn’t want their picture taken (totally understandable – let me go to this random stranger’s house and let them take pictures of minors! YAY! JK.), so we had candy for them. We loved it! I heard from several grateful parents who didn’t have a chance to get pictures of their kids. That made it all worth it.

Now on to Thanksgiving!

Halloween Part II: Pic-Or-Treat


We bought a photobooth. It’s possibly one of the more exciting things we’ve purchased to date. More details forthcoming.


So to test out the booth, I decided that we would open our home to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters to something a little different: Pic-Or-Treat. I have every intention to make this an annual thing at our house. Kids could choose a treat or a pic. We had lots of fun seeing all the costumes and getting the parents involved in the whole thing.


Please ignore the fact that I wrote the ‘A’ backwards!

My favorite part: knowing that I could give our neighborhood parents something priceless: great photos of them with their kids on Halloween. It’s not often that I get to get in on a photo with my kids. And I have all sorts of photo equipment set up that would allow me to do so! Being able to give kids (especially those with food allergies) and their parents something to cherish was such a thrill. It was a great success, too! The little kids loved it. The teens? Oh!! The teens LOVED it.  


As far as the nuts and bolts of it went, I set up a backdrop with a black sheet, then taped sliver and black fringe in front. I also lettered out some little signs and props for those without costumes to use in the photos as well. The whole thing came together rather quickly and made a huge impact on those who came to our door.


Felix isn’t one to get in on the photo thing much, but he was so enthusiastic about getting in on the fun. Even though we didn’t end up taking him trick-0r-treating, he had a lot of fun entertaining all the kids that came through the door. He also had his fair share of fun eating tasty treats (as you can see from the above photo).


If you’re looking to rent a photobooth like this for a future event, feel free to get in touch!

Halloween Recap Part 1: Black Widow Penelope


Several months ago I found a gigantic black widow spider in the garden. Since then, Penelope’s been obsessed with them. In a I’m-afraid-of-going-to-my-room-alone-because-I-might-get-bit kind of obsessed. When talking to her about Halloween costumes, she asked what was the scariest thing she could be. I returned the answer by asking her. She quickly responded, “A black widow spider!”


I can’t remember where I put her costume schematics, but she was the one who planned this whole thing out. I just executed. The girl is so creative! I can’t get over it. In a way, I can’t wait for her ideas next year.


Executing was simple. I bought an over-sized tee, appliquéd with a red hour glass, cut up the sides and inserted the stuffed legs.

If I had been smart, I would have bought a hoodie instead of a tee, so I added a hood to the tee and stuck on some googly eyes. Done.

Felix’s costume was far easier. I bought it from a neighbor. But it turns out that his head was too big to really fit it over his head. We got some cute Halloween photos of him, but not in costume. Next year I may be more on my game. I’m hoping that will be the case anyway.


In all, the costume took about an hour to complete. It was a win-win. She got exactly what she wanted and I didn’t have to kill myself to do it!

I also love that we now have another gender-neutral costume that can go down the line to Felix and maybe some day Juniper as they get older. I’m a huge advocate of hand-me-downs!

What did you do for Halloween costumes this year?

Easy DIY Holiday Banner Tutorial


I whine and complain all the time about not having any holiday decorations. It’s all my fault for not having anything when the holiday seasons roll around. All my fault. I’m crafty, right? Why can’t I take a few minutes and make something?


A few weeks ago I organized all of my holiday gear in boxes (a first!) so now it’s time to invest in some fun decor to fill those boxes.

Today I’m sharing with you an updated tutorial from days of yore and a way to jazz it up for the holidays.

Styrofoam Prints DIY



  • pencil
  • styrofoam sheets (or plates with the edges cut off)
  • craft paint or block printing ink (water soluble is best)
  • acrylic plate
  • brayer
  • bone folder


Happy Halloween


Halloween was much more fun this year than last because we didn’t have to commute elsewhere for the trick-or-treat festivities. Penelope’s also at an awesome age where everything is awesome and Felix feeds into her excitement with the shrillest of screams.

We live in a very trick-or-treat friendly neighborhood and the weather was dreamy; which helped lift my sour mood. Chris offered stayed home with Felix and passed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. And we ran out of candy! That’s never happened to us before!

I didn’t do anything for the kids’ costumes this year.

Felix was a race car driver (Ricky Bobby?) – I had almost forgotten about this jumper that I scored about 7 months ago. It was perfect for the occasion.

Penelope was Marcelene (or a rockin’ vampire queen). I made her cape ages ago, put her in hip clothes, bought her teeth, made her carry her battle axe and gave her some scary make up (not pictured). I drew some seriously fierce eyebrows on her before we left the house.

Penelope was so cute trick-or-treating! We went to a house that had full-sized candy bars with licorice ropes and giant pixie sticks. Of course Penelope chose the pixie stick. Then she insisted on making me carry the bucket while she went door to door telling all the neighbors about her “UGE” (she doesn’t pronounce the h, it’s cute) pixie stick!

The best part was when we got home and she tried to eat it. She dumped a bunch of pixie stick sugar in her mouth and started screaming for water. She was not a fan.

Another personal side-note: I took Felix to an audiologist earlier today. Since he’s 20 months and still not walking or talking, I’ve been concerned that there may be something up with his ears affecting his hearing and balance. Well, we found out his ears are perfect. I’m thrilled, but still curious why he’s taking his time with these major milestones. It’s just a reminder that I need to be patient and enjoy this phase with him (and keep up the PT).

We had a great time this year. We went to a couple parties, had fun with our no-stress costumes and I even decorated a pumpkin! I hope your holiday was safe and fun!

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