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July 4th Weekend

WHappy 4th of Julye had a really fun and relaxing Fourth of July weekend. I got some yard work done, completed a few easy projects in the house but the rest of the weekend was spent hanging out and watching movies.

Oh, and good food…

Friday morning I mixed up a pretty good sized batch of gazpacho soup, then Friday afternoon I made a big bowl of my mom’s famous potato salad. It was great having those two cold sides all ready to add to our main dishes (rotisserie chicken and steak) and hot sides (brown sugar and hickory baked beans and garlic grilled veggies).

 

Kaijuly

 

We watched several Kaiju movies Friday and Saturday during the marathon on the El Rey Network.

 
ThunderballDuring our 4th of July dinner we watched a James Bond movie, Thunderball.  I picked this one mostly because we had just watched a wonderfully awful movie on Mystery Science Theater 3000 that kind of referred to this one a bit.Double 007

The following is from TV Tropes.org**

Originally titled OK Connery and later released  in the United States (1967) as Operation Kid Brother, Operation Double 007 was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the James Bond movie series.

 

 

  • It stars Neil Connery, the actual “Kid Brother” of Sir Sean.
  • In addition to co-starring Bond series regulars Bernard ‘’M’’ Lee and Lois ‘’Monepenny’’ Maxwell, the cast also includes veteran 007 actors Daniela Bianchi (Tatiana Romanova from From Russia with Love), Adolfo Celi (Largo from Thunderball) and Anthony Dawson (Prof. Dent from Dr. No).
  • The score is by Ennio Morricone. Yes, that Ennio Morricone.
  • The film was distributed by United Artists even at the same time they were handling the legitimate James Bond film rights.

It was a fun and relaxing weekend. Looking forward to the rest of the summer and more good times.

**Check out TV Tropes for more info

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Road trip: Flagstaff

My daughter’s bestest bud from Hawaii was in town visiting family, and they invited us along on an overnight trip to Flagstaff.

Walnut Canyon

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We hiked one of the trails at the Walnut Canyon National Monument. The Island Trail is a loop that takes you right past and even throughsome cliff dwelling rooms/ The loop is only a mile long but is a bit strenuous due to an altitude of 7,000 feet and the 185 foot vertical descent into the canyon, and the return ascent. It’s a great hike and even though I nearly died on the way back up the stairs I had a great time.

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Downtown Flagstaff

 

 

We had fun shopping at Heritage Square.Flag3
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Saying hi to the carriage horse.

 

 

 

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We saw this cute Airstream trailer at The Big Heap Vintage, Antique and Handmade Design Festival. There was a lot of groovy stuff at the festival like antique furniture, pretty ironwork, vintage trunks and suitcases. There was some beautiful handmade work too, there was a booth with Steampunk fashion, including some niftyhats and jackets. Another booth had some really intricate wire and resin butterfly jewelry.

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Father’s Day

Several years ago we started a new Father’s Day tradition. We really needed to do something different since both of our father’s have passed, so much better than sitting around being sad. This year we celebrated a week early since we have something planned for next weekend.

Lolos chicken and waffles

So, now every June we make the trek out to Scottsdale to eat at LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles. The food is amazing and the portions are ginormous. I usually get the Chicken and Waffle special but this year I was looking at the sides and decided I was going to try something new…Chicken, okra and potato salad. I was not disappointed and we all had enough leftovers for two meals.

We gave our guy two posters Marvel movie posters exclusive to San Diego Comicon. We already have a few and these will round out the collection nicely.

The detail here is amazing. I love how the colors in the shield seem to pop out from the paper.

Marvel WS

I love this poster.  It might be my favorite.  Check out the shadows of the Guardians, it’s really the coolest part of the poster.

Marvel GoG

Happy Father’s Day! Wishing all fathers, brothers, uncles, friends and anyone else that has cared and taken time to support others, a happy and relaxing day.

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Pattern of addiction…

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Joann’s had a big sale on patterns.  First it was McCalls and then Butterick.  The Simplicity patterns will be on sale later this week.  I bought a bunch of the McCalls and Butterick patterns, the limit was ten and I am sure I came close to that on both occasions.  It’s a little addicting.  The costume patterns are the worst for me, as many as I have there’s always some other pattern that I need to buy.  I always wait for the sales, at $1 each I can’t complain or feel guilty about it.

This is one of my favorite patterns, it was the primary pattern used for my wedding.  Simplicity #8735

wedding 8735

This year, I have been able to use a few patterns that I already had to make different pieces for our Halloween costumes.  I’ve done my best to raid all of my various stashes for fabric, trim and miscellaneous notions.   So far I’ve only had to buy a few things and I’ve gotten all of those things on sale, clearanced or with a coupon.

I’ll have to look at the Simplicity website and see if there are any patterns that I absolutely need, or let’s be honest, any patterns that I really, really want.  In the meantime…

 

Here are a few of the patterns that I picked up a few weeks ago…

(I tried to add captions but it caused the pictures to go all scatterwhoppy, or even cattywhompus, depending on which you prefer.)

#1- I love the sleeves on this dress, at some point I will have to make this either for Halloween or the Ren Faire. (B4571)

#2 – I grabbed this pattern to make Sully’s pirate costume.  I originally got it for the pants but was surprised to find when I got home that I liked the vest too.  I am hoping to see Sully’s costume to be more like the all black inset pic.  (B4574)

#3 – I am going to try to make boot covers with this pattern.  Since we will be walking a fair amount I want to make covers that we can attach over our comfy cross trainer/walking shoes.  (B5233)

B4571    B4574   B5233

#4  I originally planned on making one of these bags…  (B5936)

#5 – …until I found this  pattern.  I really like the bag on the middle left.  (B5371)

B5936

B5371

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Crafty bargains…

This past weekend while we were running errands I stopped at a few craft stores.  As I work on our Halloween costumes I am trying to rummage through my various stashes of fabric, trim and other supplies to get what I need.  I have some pretty good stashes to raid but there are still some things that I am going to have to buy to get everything completed.  As a rule, I don’t buy craft supplies unless it’s on sale, clearanced or I have a coupon.

I got a jump on things Thursday morning when Butterick patterns went on sale at patterns Joann’s, 5 for $5. I did a fair amount of research on the Butterick website beforehand so I went in armed with a list.  I was able to get almost everything on my list and then ended up getting four more on Saturday, including a pattern for a cute bag that I can make to use with my costume.  The prices for these patterns range from $19.95 to $15.50, so at $1 each it’s worth it to pick up anything that might be useful.   The patterns I brought home added up to $164.60 at the normal, non sale price.  It’s a pretty good deal.

Over the weekend, I found fabric for Sully’s pirate vest clearanced for $1 a yard.  It’s a very, very dark green, almost black.  It has a pin stripe effect that is really cool.  I think it will look great against the white of his pirate shirt.

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After buying the clearanced fabric we stopped at Michael’s.  On our way out I saw a clearance display of ribbon for $1 a spool.   Boo and I dug through the bin and found ribbon that we can use for our hats.  The deep red with the gold edges perfectly matches Boo’s skirt.  I had the gold trim from a previous project that Boo really liked.

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.I didn’t find anything that matched my colors exactly but I liked the sheer ribbon with the sparkly stripes, but it was too sheer to be used for the hat.  I found the silvery blue ribbon and decided to see how they looked layered.   I like the two ribbons together.  My pleating is completely haphazard there, I just wanted to see how it would look.  I will add some sort of thin decorative trim like with the red ribbon.  I seriously can’t believe that I got all of the ribbon for less than $10.

IMG_2295     IMG_2296      IMG_2297

I got my last crafty bargain at Joann’s, I used a 60% off coupon to buy 10 yards of white muslin for our pirate shirts.   It cost less than $12 for the ten yards.

All in all, I think I figured out that I saved over $50 on materials I was planning on buying for the costumes.  If you add in the patterns then I saved over $200 and I only spent about $32 including the patterns.  I love a good bargain.

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Getting ahead…

In my quest to get our Halloween costumes finished early this year, I have been doing lots and lots of online research.  One of the cool things I have found are some really pretty pirate hats decorated with ribbon, lace and other trims by different crafters.  There are a few tutorials but mostly people selling these gorgeous hats on Etsy.com.  I, of course, would like to decorate my own hat, so that it matches my outfit and so that I can add what I want to it.  I’ll write more on that later…

I ordered some hats off of eBay that can be decorated however we want.  They are plain, black, wide-brimmed wool hats that will work perfectly for the pirate costumes.  They are pretty floppy though, and that might it difficult to work on them.  I was toying with different ideas on what I could use to make the whole process easier.  After some thought I decided that the foam forms that you can get at beauty supply stores would probably be the easiest and most economical.  The forms generally run about $5.00 give or take a few quarters.

So after deciding that that the foam forms are what I needed I remembered that the closest beauty supply store had closed a few months ago.  I had already run errands earlier in the day and going out again in 108 degree weather held no appeal.  I took a few moments for a quick internal discussion and started looking at what I could do with what I had in the house.  We have one foam form that we use at Halloween to display one of many masks and/or hats.  I had seen some tutorials on making duct tape dress forms** the other day and I wondered if I could use the same technique to make my own hat display.

I didn’t think to take pictures until I was almost done with the second form so bear with me.

Materials –

  • foam head form
  • plastic bag
  • duct tape
  • cardboard
  • stuffing (plastic bags, newspaper, etc)

I started with the foam head and covered it with a plastic grocery bag.  I used strips of duct tape around the neck the part to hold the bag down and pull it tight around the form.  Next I started ripping strips of duct tape and wrapping the plastic covered foam form.  I split the strips vertically, some half the width and some in thirds.  I used the third widths across and along the nose and eyes to contour to the shape of the form.   The half widths I used starting along the jawline and moved up the side of the form.  I also put a long piece of tape down the center starting above the nose and continuing down the back of the neck.  I continued to lay down strips until the entire form was covered.  I did my first layer with a solid color duct tape and a decorative duct tape for the second layer.  The second layer is just like the first, I was just more careful to smooth down the duct tape.

When the form was covered with the second layer then I cut through the duct tape/plastic up the back and pulled the duct tape covering off of the form.  Use another few strips of the patterned duct tape to close up the back again.

IMG_2206            IMG_2209          IMG_2211

I used plastic grocery bags and crumpled up newspapers/ad mailers for stuffing, I was careful to fill in the contoured areas with the bags and filled the center with the crumpled paper.  I traced the bottom of the foam form on cardboard and cut it out.  After it was filled as much as it was going to be I put in the cardboard and covered it with the decorative duct tape.

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Here are the final results.  Now I have two hat forms that i can stick pins into and keep the hat in place while I work on decorating them.  Clearly, I could have bought two of the foam forms for about $10 and in about a third of the time that I spent making these.  For me, it was about being resourceful and using the materials that I had close at hand.   I am pretty pleased.

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IMG_2224          IMG_2223

**Duct tape dress forms – Google “how to make a duct tape dress form” for tutorials.   I liked this one, it has good info on the duct tape part, this one has more details on how to set up the form.

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Skirting the issue…

I am a bit excited about our upcoming trip to Disneyland and to Mickey’s Halloween party.   I’ve decided to get a jump on the costumes, especially since last year was a ten day marathon of cutting, pinning and cutting.  I am hoping the preparation this year will be a bit more relaxed.

This weekend I spent some time looking at some different costume ideas.  We’d decided on the pirate theme earlier this year so at least I am that far along.  Of course, you’d be surprised at the different options for pirate costumes, especially given the many costumes featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  We have the added factor of getting on and off of rides at Disneyland to think about when choosing a costume.   I liked different elements of these costumes, which I found at Spirit Halloween.  I like the asymmetrical skirt on the first and last ones and the vest and hat options on the other costumes.  Overall, though my costume will need to be a little less sexy, I want to go more for cute and sassy.  It is for Disneyland after all.

Pirate W1    Pirate W3    Pirate W4           Pirate W5

Fabric Joanns

My plan is to make a skirt similar to the first picture but not as short in the front and not as long in the back.  This weekend I started looking through my patterns and fabric.  I remembered that I bought a remnant of some pretty brocade last Christmas.  I think it will make a really pretty vest.  I originally planned to make a loose fitting corset but even loose fitting boning might be a little painful for the rides.

So, with that I decided on a color scheme; white pirate shirt, the teal/blue brocade for the vest, black skirt and white underskirt.  I will probably make some black boot covers, more on that in a few weeks.

I started on the white underskirt, cutting out a modified circle skirt.   Then I started to cut the skirt into the shape that I wanted.  I’ll be adding about six inches of lace to the bottom edge and another tier above that.

Circle skirt

Trim          IMG_2173

skirt - Copy

I have a lot of lace that my grandmother gave me, it had already been cut into pieces about 10″ x 14″.  I sewed several pieces together along the t14″ side and then cut the whole chain in half to make a 7″ wide strip.  Then I had my two tiers of lace for the skirt.

Here’s the mostly finished underskirt…

Now I just have to work on the overskirt and attach it all to a waistband.

Stay tuned for more costume updates next week!