Monday, November 28, 2011

Tis the Season...

 This year we had the opportunity to partake in an awesome tradition from Tracy's younger years.

Our first "straight from the woods" Christmas tree! Now it may not look like much above, but in our small living room it has enormous character.

The boys of course thought it was an adventure just tromping through the snow and collecting sticks. Once our tree wiped it's last sappy tear and said goodbye to his forest friends we welcomed him into our home for much anticipated decorating.  Each year the boys get to pick out a new ornament for the tree. Usually it represents something that they are into that year and they love pulling out the memories each Christmas.  Not quite sure Evan will be happy to hang Dora on his first bachelor tree, but hey at least he will have the option!  Last year because of the rising cost of well..everything, I convinced them that we should make these.

They each got to paint their favorite color on a homemade Lego ornament.  They loved it!  To keep them happy (insert evil laugh here), I kindly decided that we would make ornaments again this year.  Here is what we started with for less than 10 bucks:

Can you see the vision yet? Next they each got to paint their own with the base color.

This is the drying stage after a few "touch-ups" from mom.  Can you tell yet?

 After the detailing and a coat of clear spray paint, the kids were ready to find them a special place on the tree.

Now we will just cross our fingers that our tree will still be alive for our Angry Birds to nest in for Christmas!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


If this blog were in real-time my kids would probably be getting trick or treat bags filled with turkey and pumpkin pie.  Luckily, I did have the costumes done on time and they did get to go trick or treating on real Halloween.  As promised here is a quick glimpse at how my projects went.
For Leo's Green Lantern I started with this:

A black sweatsuit, an XL men's T-shirt and a couple of felt squares.  The clothes I purchased at Savers and spent about $5.00.  I originally bought the mask and the ring to go with it for $7.00, but then Grandma showed up with the exact same thing off of a clearance rack that she purchased for $2.50 and donated it to our cause! Add a few things from my craft stash, such as hot glue, batting, thread and glow paint and.... Voila!  This super hero came in under 10 bucks!

Next we have Evan as the Flash.  Suprisingly not many kids knew who that was and kept referring to him as "lighning bolt guy".  Here it is in the beginning:

Once again a second-hand store sweatsuit, freshly laundered. A small cut of felt in yellow and the same pickins' from my crafting supplies and we were on our way.  A rinsed out milk jug added stability to his speedy bolts on the sides of his head.

He was so into character that he had to strike this pose everytime someone took a picture of him!
Fast, warm AND about 10 bucks!

As I said before, I feel like I cheated on Jack's costume, but what can you do when a kid really wants to wear a costume that is already made?  Jack had his heart set on being Master Chief from Halo.  You could tell who the Xbox fans were when they stopped to comment on his costume.  All it needed to be ready was a little touching up to the fabulous helmet Tracy made a couple years ago.  We couldn't find the exact same shade of paint, but Jack didn't seem to care.

The only thing he said he was missing were covers for his shoes.  Oops, should of thought of that.

Last, but not least we have Ollie as Wolverine.  I made his last, and he made sure I knew it. This is where most of the creativity came in:

Finding yellow sweats would prove difficult, but I knew I had my good friend Rit dye standing by.  Next problem, couldn't find any white sweats to dye...  settled on two white zip-up hoodies, an XL men's blue polo and some gray thermal bottoms to use as the base for his pants.  Lemon yellow Rit dye: $3.00.  Second-hand store deals on clothes: $7.00.  I think I only had to add one square of black felt to my collection in order to finish this costume, so once again final cost was probably a little more than 10 bucks.  Milk jug for mask stability and don't forget the claws which I sturdied with a sour cream lid cut to shape.

This is what makes it all worth it.  A three year-old who believes that he is Wolverine and wants to wear his costume for hours on end!  You should see his moves!

Here they all are ready for some good ol' trick or treating.

I sure love these guys, even if they did try to eat candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner!