Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - Monster Bunting

Happy Halloween! As part of the decorations for K's party, I made a monster bunting. This is a really awful photo of it, but it is quite cute and super duper simple. I started by drawing triangles on the leftover felt from the monster juice box covers. I was able to use almost all of the felt that I bought, which was great because I am pretty sure I have few uses for purple and green felt.

When I cut them out, I ended up with 28 triangles - this made a really long bunting.

I bought two, two-meter rolls of orange and white gingham ribbon. Starting on one end of the ribbon, I hot glued on the triangles, alternating colors. Once I got to the 14th triangle, I stopped, glued the ribbon together at the start of the bunting and started again using the second length of ribbon, this time working backwards. That is an awful explanation, but the idea was to make it perfectly centered and seamless.

Here is a close-up of the part where I glued the ribbons together. You can see it if you look closely enough.

I also had some leftover googly eyes, so I randomly glued those on as well. It looked so cute hanging in the doorway of K's playroom, but it was too long and didn't work well.

Now it goes across the entire living room.

I also made an orange and black paper bunting. I made this one at the beginning of the month before I was pressed for time, and I thought it would be a good idea to sew it. It worked, but it took way more time than had I just used the hot glue gun.

For this one I started with small sheets of black and orange construction paper, cut them in half diagonally and then sewed them to three meters of ribbon.

From the back of the bunting (inside the kitchen) you can see the white stitches. I didn't really mind this since I am really the only one in the kitchen, but if you wanted to keep it a bit cleaner looking, you could sandwich the papers between another ribbon.

Today was Halloween night and part of me really regrets not trying to organize a trick-or-treat thing for K. I keep thinking, "next year I will do it; he's not quite old enough." Let's be honest though, the kid is three and a half. He's prime age for that. Instead I made him mini Jack-o-lantern cheeseburgers. Not nearly as good as a bag full of candy. 

This little one, however, is just happy about life - candy or cheeseburgers be damned!

Tomorrow is the big party and I still have a ton to do. Wish me luck that the little one stays asleep long enough for me to get a good start on things!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween - Costumes & Party #1

Happy Halloween!! Okay, so it's not quite Halloween night, but we went to a Halloween party today and the boys wore their costumes, so I'm feeling quite Halloween-y. K wanted to be a "yellow dinosaur with green spikes" and I thought that T would make quite a cute little bluebird. So, that is exactly what I made them for their costumes. I won't go into the detail about making their costumes in this post because it is already bound to be quite lengthy (and very full of photos), but hopefully I will post about that next week sometime.
For K's costume, I couldn't find a yellow sweatsuit that was a reasonable price and with nothing on it, so I made the whole thing. I didn't have a hoodie pattern, so I just used a regular shirt pattern and then made a hood pattern using one of his hooded jackets. It worked surprisingly well.

The tail is the same one I made for a friend's little boy years ago - I think it was actually prior to the blog, so there is no evidence of it on here. Because I had made the same one before, however, it was very quick to sew up.

I adore how he looks from behind. Eeek!

I saw a set of bird wings ages ago and fell in love with them. I have wanted to make a pair ever since. So for T's costume, I just made some adjustments to the original and I love how they turned out! I also made him the little beanie and his black leggings. The white onesie was already in his closet.

Today's party was at our friends' house and I opted to bring a cake. Again, my inspiration came from a cake I saw just before K's first birthday and have been wanting to make one ever since.

I started with my standard vanilla cake recipe, but I dyed the batter orange.

My mom had given me these little silicon molds to bake cake balls with, thus eliminating the steps of crumbling a cake, making extra frosting, and forming balls. The only downside was that I was unsure of how full to fill the molds, so mine ended up being a tad flat on one end. It wasn't a big deal as they were just the eyes of the monster, and I suspect that with a bit of trial and error they would form lovely balls.

Then I melted some chocolate and piped out pupils and a mouth.

Then I dipped the cake balls in melted white chocolate and pressed a pupil on each one. They were then put into the refrigerator and the eye lids were added with red chocolate melts. (No photos of this process, but it is pretty self explanatory I think.) Once the eyeballs were ready, I got to mixing the frosting. I wanted to use a cream cheese frosting, but I also wanted the inside of the cake to be orange and black layers, so using extra dark cocoa powder, I made a chocolate cream cheese frosting.

It turned out a very deep shade of brown, very close to black - perfect!

Along with the eyeballs, I was able to bake up two full cakes. I sliced each in half horizontally and got to frosting and stacking.

I love how the colors turn out!

Yum! Four layers of chocolate and vanilla deliciousness!

After the crumb coat, I put a thicker layer of regular cream cheese frosting on and then using the flat edge of a spatula, I hit the frosting lightly, pulling up some of it as I went across the top and then all around the sides.

It turned out exactly how I had hoped. Lucky!! I was obviously going for a bit of a fur look.

I took it to the party and stuck the eyeballs in. The other moms made foods for lunch and we had a lovely party.

The kids were begging to eat the cake, but we waited for quite a while after finishing lunch because one more little guest was to come. As soon as she arrived, the older girls started chanting for the cake. It was adorable!
The kids are all old enough now to sit at a table by themselves. It is so crazy to me how quickly time has passed. These little kiddos all eat on their own!

After eating, the kids played for a bit and then we got out a pin-the-nose-and-mouth on the Jack-o-lantern game. I made the Jack-o-lantern last night. Clearly it was very simple to make. I just cut out a piece of orange paper in the shape of a pumpkin and drew some vertical lines in orange, then I colored on two eyes. I added a little stem and covered the whole thing in clear tape. For the game, we just put it on the floor, covered the kids eyes with a handkerchief and let them put the nose and mouth down.

K killed it. We think he might have been able to see, but we aren't sure... Once each kid finished, they were given a little candy necklace made by the host mom. The necklaces were so super cute and all of the kids were so excited about them. If I have time before Friday's party, I might make a few up myself.

T was a huge hit at the party, particularly with the older girls. Princess Ariel couldn't get enough of him and kept holding him,
playing with him,

holding toys up for him to look at,

and of course smooshing his little face. Who can resist fat little baby cheeks?!

No one!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween - Monster Juice Box Covers

Today we were supposed to have K's kindergarten friends Halloween party, but over the weekend the little dude took a turn for the worse and caught a gnarly cold. I took him to the doctor on Monday morning and while the doctor seemed to think that sending K on his field trip to pick potatoes and having the party today would be fine, I was a bit uncomfortable with it. Kseems like he has energy, but he has this hacking cough that, quite frankly, is quite disgusting. As a mom, I'd be a bit uncomfortable if I was invited to someone's house and their kid was coughing like that. Luckily, all of the kids' schedules are free on Friday afternoon, so we have rescheduled the party!

So far these are my favorite things I have made for K's party - monster juice box covers. Last year, I did little mummy ones, but I love these even more. Just like the mummies, they were super simple to do.

I started be measuring around the juice box. As you can see it was about 16 centimeters. I added two centimeters for the seam allowance. I also measured the height, and because I wanted the covers to go above the box, I added a few centimeters.

Using a large piece of felt, I cut the first rectangle to make sure it would fit well and it did - yay!

Then I cut out five more felt rectangles the same dimensions and then cut the tops so they would have silly hair.

Then I cut out three different mouth patterns - two of each style - from iron-on felt.

Simply enough, I positioned them towards the middle of each rectangle and ironed them on.

Then I hot glued on some googly eyes. I love how they all turned out. So cute!!

Then I sewed the two ends together with a one centimeter seam allowance.

Finally, I trimmed down the excess fabric with a pair of pinking shears. And there you have it - super simple and yet adorable juice box covers. I was thinking of just cutting out rectangles and sewing them together and then letting the kids decorate them during the party, but I came up with a few other activities to do instead.
To be honest, having the party a few days late is a bit of a blessing - there's still so much more I want to do. Tomorrow we have a party with neighborhood friends at someone else's house. If I get some good photos, I will post the boys' costumes tomorrow. If not, you might have to wait until the party on Friday.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween - Ghost Bowling

There are five kids that are coming to K's Halloween party on Tuesday. All of them are his kindergarten friends and are three years old. Most of the moms will be at the party as well, so I figured with their help, we might be able to play a game or do a craft. I thought about pin-the-something-on-the-something, but then K's love for throwing balls came to mind and bowling seemed like a better idea.

Luckily a few weeks ago, we went to Costco and bought a case of bottled water. I collected those bottles as we drank them and the other night I took the labels off of 10 of them.

Then using my on-hand acrylic paint, I painted them all white. I wasn't too careful with this. I thought leaving them kind of "streaky" looked quite ghost-like. Also, the bottoms are not painted, it kind of makes them look like they are floating - all the better for ghosts, no?

Once they were dried, I used a black permanent marker to draw faces on them.

Each one got a different face. I didn't want them to be all scary, so for most of them I did cute little faces. Just two are slightly on the scary side - the fourth one from the left and then second from the right. For the bowling ball, I bought a little orange ball from the hundred yen store. It already had a little smiley face on it, but I just used the marker to make it look a bit more Jack-o-lantern-ish.

I have no idea if the kids will be able to get the point of the game, but even if it ends up not being a competition, I think they will still have fun knocking the ghosts over. I'm just hoping no one decides to make the ghosts "fly"!