Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Rennaisance Festival Costumes

You might remember C's dress that I made her for the Renn Fest and gave to her at Christmas. Well, I made one for K and gave it to her for her birthday. K's dress is a gyspy costume. Both costumes are made from thrift store sheets except for the bronze satin stuff which was a couple dollars a yard at Walmart.

I really like the pattern I used for K's dress. It was very easy to put together. C's dress pattern was good too. However, those sleeves took forever and an age to hem.

Friday, June 13, 2014

a tiny laugh and some projects off the grid

A tiny laugh is for Minnehaha Falls. :) Years ago when Tim and I first moved to Minnesota we visited the falls and we were seriously under-impressed as it was late summer and there wasn't much water falling and so we never went back. 

Then in February when we were driving Tim's Dad to the airport, Kira saw the sign and wanted to stop. In February, they were frozen, of course. We looked at them but I didn't have my camera, it was very cold, the stairs were frozen, and I had hurt my back recently so we didn't stay to explore. 

Kira was absolutely enthralled and so I got out Longfellow's epic poem The Song of Hiawatha and read it to the girls. Kira loved it. 

Below you see the girls sitting on the edge of a wall that encircles a decorative fountain and garden. The wall is segmented with one verse from the poem inscribed on each segment (which doesn't even touch the poem - if you've read it, you know it is quiet long (our book was over 250 pages).

Here is one of my favroite quatrains. I especially love Shuh shuh gah for the heron. 

Yesterday, we got to go back with a group of women from an English School (foreign women who are learning English while their husband's seek higher degrees here in the Twin Cities). Above and below, you can see photos of the Statue of Hiawatha and his bride Minnehaha 

A view of the falls from above. The falls look spectacular this spring as we have had lots of flooding because of excess snow in the winter and excess rain this June (we had nearly four inches of rain the second weekend in June). 

While we were waiting to connect with our party, C picked clover. We used to have a huge patch of white clover in our yard and I have numerous photos of my little girl picking clover. So it was fun to catch those same poses in my nearly thirteen-year-old.

We also met up with one of K's friends along with A's Mom. Here the girls put giant leaves on their heads a la Totoro.

The girls had great fun exploring the limestone cliffs along the trail from the falls down to the Mississippi. We had a great time and enjoyed visiting with all the different people in our party.

Off grid refers to the crafting the girls and I have been doing using grid charts. C designed the pattern (or charted this deer) from a silhouette and made this plastic canvas deer.

She also converted an image of a perler bead rooster to a chart and then made it in plastic canvas.

I made this troll for a friend who needs a troll badge when he is feeling argumentative.  I free-handed him from an 8-pixel screen capture I found of a Minecraft Troll (my friend plays Minecraft).

K made this perler bead deer from a pattern we found - I think it looks completely awesome (she is making two amazing projects without patterns right now that I can't wait to share).

She also made this perler bead hen from a pattern we found. Isn't she darling?

I realized as I was starting this post that I need to show you the photos from K's actual birthday and a couple of her special gifts. I will try to remember them as I made some rather cool things (and made a couple of particularly wise gift choices. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Totoro Party - Tons of Photos

One of the gifts I made K for her tenth birthday was this Totoro bleach silhouette shirt, which I based on this t-shirt that I found on Pinterest.  I have to admit I had one fail before I got this one (bleach seeped under the stencil). I used adhesive craft foam to make the stencil.

On the day of the party less than an hour before the guests arrived, I decided K needed soot sprites for her hair. So I quickly made some for her braid. 

The food table was fun to decorate, I used a combination of things we had (such as the giant acorn and the wooden vase) and things I bought at the thrift store with the intention of keeping and incorporating into our decor (such as the leaf plates) and things I made like the pom pom soot sprites.

Because Mei discovered Totoro by following a trail of acorns and because Totoro gave Satsuki and Mei seeds we used lots of acorns, pine cones, and other seeds (such as walnuts and buckeyes) to decorate the table. I also included natural items like the bird's nest since Totoro was a forest spirit.

We blew up seventy-five balloons (a little more than half  of them with helium) and stuck eyes on them (I printed the eyes on re-positionable mailing labels and cut them out). Some were used as yard decorations but most of them ended up in the bounce house.

We really wanted a house shaped bounce house but couldn't find any that weren't haunted houses.

K made a few Totoro fuse bead items for party decorations. Here is a small Totoro. 

Notice K's fuse bead cat bus above and her soot sprite below. 

I made a giant cardboard Totoro and a bus stop sign for a photo booth. Notice I even made the sign rusty just like in the movie!! 

Unfortunately because it was pushing ninety, we did not get to use the Totoro hoodie and hat I made.

We did use the blanket I made to imitate Mei's pose from the movie.

The gift bags were great fun. I put a top in them (because Totoro flew around on a top), a whistle (from the flute scene in the movie), the soot sprite bookmarks that I made, and bubbles. It was fun to hear the kids all playing their flutes at the same time it actually sounded a lot like the movie.

I tried to keep the food Totoro themed. There were flower cupcakes with Totoro cupcake wrappers.

Hershey's kisses, mini Nilla wafers, and peanut butter chip acorns (these are so yummy).

Chocolate no-bake cookie soot-sprites. 


The kids had a great time in the bounce house. 

 Finally we took out the pinata that I made.

I had a blast putting this party together and K had a great time too! I hope you enjoyed the photos.