Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Costumes

How excited is everyone for halloween? cause at my house we definitely are! Halloween is like Christmas for us!

I am making costumes for my boys and my husband and I. So far they are going well, I am almost done with the kids costumes. Last year I made the boys' costumes also-Spongebob and Patrick Star. I submitted their costumes to a coolest homemade halloween costumes website. There are tons of great ideas for halloween costumes there. Homemade costumes are my favorite!
Last year our friends had some GREAT costumes. I am so excited to see what everyone comes up with this year.
So what are YOU going to be for Halloween? Are you making or buying your costume? What is the best costume you have seen?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yo Gabba Gabba T-Shirts

For Charlie's 4th birthday we decided to do a Yo Gabba Gabba theme. That should not surprise those of you who know me, I am as obsessed with that show as Charlie is (maybe more). There is nothing about that show that is NOT kids show ever!

Anyway, I have been working on some homemade decorations for the party for a month now. I had tons of ideas for party games, a cake, decorations and so on, many which I saw on Gabba Friends. My main project was making t-shirts for all the kids attending the party.

First I looked at the characters and made rough sketches for the shirts. I bought bright colored shirts at a local craft store, once I had polled the kids' parents for their shirt sizes and favorite characters. Each shirt was a basic color of the character- yellow (Plex), green (Brobee), Blue (Toodee), Pink (Foofa), and Red/Orange (Muno). That background color was their "body" and I painted each face on the shirt! I used freezer paper to make a face stencil, referencing my sketches for help. I cut out the areas that would be painted on, eyes, mouth, ears, or other distinguishable features.

It is helpful to have a piece of cardboard or a t-shirt form (found at craft stores) to hold the shirt in place and to keep the paint from bleeding through. I used regular acrylic craft paint.
Placing the freezer paper stencil on the shirt (slick side down) where I wanted it, I ran a hot iron over the stencil to affix it to the shirt. You only have to hold down the iron for a few seconds and the paper is lightly attached, it is super cool! Next I just painted in the eyes, noses, and mouths, and let those dry. The eyes took a few coats of white before the background was covered. When doing multiple coats, I stuck a paper towel between the shirt and cardboard to prevent it from gluing itself to the cardboard and ripping off once it dries (learned this the hard way). I let the shirts dry for a few hours, or overnight, then pulled off the stencil to reveal the face. Some things I hand-painted on, once the face was dry-pupils, teeth, flower accents. It took about 1 week to plan, get supplies, and then paint all the shirts.

The birthday boy had Muno with a few extra accents!

Muno and Brobee were the most simple, and definitely the most hug-able.

Plex was the most complicated, but turned out super cool.

Lots of the girls wanted Foofa, since she is PINK!

My oldest son wanted DJ Lance, so I improvised and hand painted him without a stencil.

My husband and I had to have shirts too, so I chose Toodee and he chose Muno (well I chose for him).

I rolled up the shirts and tied them with a ribbon and name tag.

The shirts were a huge success, the kids and parents loved them. Made a great "treat" for the kids to all take home and enjoy.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Herb Gardens

For mothers day I prepared some herb gardens for the 2 main mothers in my life, my mom and mother in law. I bought the herb plants, each pot contained 3 plants, so I separated them. I also found the cute planters. You can get herbs at most farmers markets and local farms. This is a great time of the year to start one. They you just bring it inside when the weather gets cold and you have fresh herbs all year long. Don't forget to water them!

The herb gardens turned out really cute, and I was excited to get them each something they did not already have. Each garden held basil, thyme, cilantro, and sage, which I labeled with some cardboard cutouts and permanent markers. I have been wanting an herb garden forever, so of course I made myself one too! They made great presents, I think it was probably around $20 for each garden. Here are a few more photos.

I also potted up a few aloe plants for my sister and sister in law. I figure those are pretty easy to care for and they are useful for minor scrapes and burns. They were under $8 for each plant and pot! Really affordable gifts!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andy Warhol- Picture Person Project

Today I went to my son's kindergarten class as Picture Person, to talk about Andy Warhol. There were lots of artist's we could pick from, as Picture Person, and Andy Warhol was NOT one of them. I wanted to do him anyway, because he is one of my favorite artist's and my son really likes him too. So i searched around town and ended up calling our local museum, Lakeview. Even though they did not have a copy of the print I wanted, they were very nice and printed me a good color copy of the print, Grevy's Zebra, along with some info on it.

For the project, I wanted to let the kids decorate their own Zebras. I traced a simplified version of the Zebra onto a thin piece of cardboard, then using am exacto-knife, I cut out a stencil. After the stencil was done I used white acrylic gesso and painted the image onto black paper.

Once the copies were dry, I let the kids test out their some different things on the paper. They tried multi-colored chalk, bright crayons, glitter glue, and bright colored puffy paint. Everything worked well except for glitter glue. Crayons showed up best on top of the white lines. The puffy paint really added a lot to zebra, traced along some of the white lines. We made sure and did the paint last. For an added texture effect we took a comb and went over some of the lines.

Here is the end result. The kids in my son's kindergarten class really enjoyed this project!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Multiple child family portrait

11 grandkids!

This past holiday I did a portrait commission for a friend of mine. She wanted a portrait of all the grandchildren in her family, for her mother. This is meant putting 11 kids from 11 different photos into one 18 x 24 sheet of paper. We went through the photos and picked out the best ones of each child. Then i scanned each one, cropped I started by lightly (almost invisibly) sketching the shape of each head onto the paper, just to get the space divided evenly, and making sure I can make them all fit proportionally.

Honestly as portraits go, this is one of the hardest thing to do, in my opinion. Taking different photos and combining them into one portrait offers many options, but also lots of challenges. Photos are often different sizes, colors, and light/dark levels. This is one reason that i scan each photo and then adjust the contrast, color, and crop them to make them each a little more similar. It is easier for me to see the drawing boundaries when the photo is cropped, otherwise I often draw too large.

The last 2 portrait commissions I have done, have both been like this. They have turned out well, though I still like a couple portrait or single child portrait, they are just simpler projects.

8 Grandkids

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mr. Panda Crochet Pattern

This is the first pattern I am putting out there for people to use! Hopefully it is well written and it turns out for you, like it did for me. Feel free to add comments or questions. If you see a mistake please let me know!

It is pretty basic amigurumi style animal. The parts are all separate and you have to sew them together at the end.

1 skein white worsted weight yarn

1/2 skein black worsted weight yarn

F (3.75mm)hook, yarn needle, poly-fil stuffing, 2 safety eyes, 1 safety nose-you could also use buttons, or felt shapes and embroider those on if you are planning to give this to a baby or young child.

sc 5 into magic ring
mark first stitch to indicate beginning round
2 sc in each stitch around (10)
(sc 1, 2sc into next stitch)around (15)
(sc 2, 2sc into next stitch) around (20)
(sc 3, 2sc into next stitch) around (25)
(sc 4, 2 sc into next stitch) around (30)
(sc 5, 2 sc into next stitch) around (35)
sc around
(sc 6, 2 sc into next stitch) around (40)
sc around 6 rounds
(sc 6, sc2tog) around (35)
sc around
(sc 5, sc2tog) around (30)
(sc 4, sc2tog) around (25)
(sc 3, sc2tog) around (20)
(sc 2, sc2tog) around (15)
(sc, sc2tog) around (10)
(sc2 tog) around (5)
fasten off. leave long tail for sewing head to body.

sc 5 into magic ring
2 sc in each stitch around (10)
place marker to mark 1st stitch
(sc 1, 2sc into next stitch)around (15)
(sc 2, 2sc into next stitch) around (20)
(sc 3, 2sc into next stitch) around (25)
(sc 4, 2 sc into next stitch) around (30)
(sc 5, 2 sc into next stitch) around (35)
(sc 6, 2 sc into next stitch) around (40)
next 2 rounds~ sc around (40)
(sc 7, 2 sc into next stitch) around (45)
next 6 ROUNDS sc around
(sc 7, sc2tog) around (40)
next 2 rounds sc around
(sc 6, sc2tog) around (35)
(sc 5, sc2tog) around (30)
(sc 4, sc2tog) around (25)
(sc 3, sc2tog) around (20)
(sc 2, sc2tog) around (15)
(sc, sc2tog) around (10)
(sc2 tog) around (5)

with black-
sc 4 into magic ring
(sc1, 2 sc into next stitch) until you have 12 stitches
place marker to begin round
next 4 rounds sc around
(sc2, 2sc into the next stitch) around 16
sc around 12 rounds
fashion off using slip stitch. leave tail for attaching to body and sewing shut.
Stuff half full.
sew shut before attaching to body

Legs (make 2)
with black
5 sc into magic ring
2sc into each stitch around (10)
(1sc, 2sc into next stitch) around (15)
(2sc, 2sc into next stitch) around (20)
next 5 rounds sc around
(2sc, 2 sc tog) around (15)
sc around next 9 rounds
fashion off leaving a tail

Eyes (make 2)
with white-4 sc into magic ring
with black- 2sc in each stitch around (8)
(1sc, 2sc into next stitch)around (12)
(2 sc, 2sc into next stitch) around (16)
fashion off, leave tail to sew onto head
add safety eye to center of the circle
make sure it is securely attached

Ears, make 2
4 sc into magic circle
(2 sc in next stitch)around(8)
(2 sc in next stitch) around (16)
(2 sc in next stitch) around (32)
sc around
fashion off, leave long tail for sewing.
fold circle in half and using yarn needle sew together around around circle
sew straight edge to head over eyes

with white
sc 4 into magic ring
2 sc in each stitch around (8)
(1 sc, 2 sc in next stitch)around (12)
(2sc, 2sc in next stitch) around (16)
(3sc, 2sc in next stitch) around (20)
attach safety nose or embroider it and mouth
stuff lightly if you want to
sew mouth to face

sc 4 into magic ring
2sc in each stitch (8)
(1sc, 2sc in next stitch)around (12)
sc around next 2 rounds
fashion off, leave tail
sew to body