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Happy Thanksgiving

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Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100 (NIV)

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

~ ~ ~

P.S. Due to commitments to my Etsy shop customers and taking time to celebrate God’s myriad blessings with my family, I will be taking a break from posting on my blog for a couple of weeks.  

~ ~ ~

I think this is the last page for my 2009 scrapbook album!

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When I was thinking about how I would arrange this layout, I had originally chosen a different layout to use as inspiration.  However, when I opened my album and looked at the pages around where this one would go, I discovered that one of the layouts just a page or two later had such a similar sketch that I thought it would be awkward.  I went to my Scrap Pinterest board and scrolled through, looking for something that would use my landscape 4×6 and 3×4 photos.  When I came across this one by Stephanie Buice for Crate Paper, I knew it was just right!  I trimmed my 4×6 to a 4×4 and it was perfect.

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I’d say that I followed the inspiration layout pretty closely.  I pulled out my (dwindling supply of) Christmas papers and started layering scraps under the photos until I was happy with how they looked.  (I sort of coordinated the colors with the rest of the layouts in the Christmas 2009 series, and especially the layout on the facing page of the album.)  I pulled coordinating embellishments from my (dwindling supply of) Christmas embellishments and tucked them here and there around the photos.

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The title is cut with my Silhouette SD– the very same one I’m holding in that photo!  It’s seven years old this year, and I have gotten SO much use out of it.  It is a fantastic little machine.  I used the font “the Nightly Poem” from the Hungry JPEG, and I stretched it a little bit to make the word have a more horizontal feel (the font itself has a very vertical aesthetic, I think).

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I even imitated the machine stitched frame around the focal photo+paper+embellishment block, but also added some hand-written journaling under it.  I didn’t add ink splatters (I forgot, plus I didn’t have an appropriate color), and the background was looking bare to me.  I added a simple strip of patterned paper to the left edge and two rows of stitching, and suddenly the layout looked bound and finished.

Supplies:
textured creamy white cardstock
patterned papers: BasicGrey “Nordic Holiday” and Crate Paper “Peppermint”
embellishments: BasicGrey “Nordic Holiday,” Lily Bee “Christmas Town,” as well as miscellaneous other sources
alphabet stickers: October Afternoon Mini Market

 

Last but not least, possibly my very favorite of our costumes this year– Husband as Flynn Rider.

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The main part of this costume is the vest Flynn wears, of course.  I started with Simplicity 4059, view B and made some pretty significant modifications.

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I found a woman who made a Flynn Rider costume beginning with the same pattern and blogged about it in 2011, and her documentation of the modifications she made to the vest pattern (she also started with Simplicity 4059) were extremely helpful, as were her detailed notes on the vest Flynn wears in the movies.

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We chose a faux suede in a slate blue that I found on clearance+sale at JoAnn.  I bought two yards and spent about $9 on it!  I consider that a good deal.  We pored over screenshots of Flynn’s vest and analyzed and studied it some more.  I added some width and length to the pattern so that the front would overlap and the torso would be long enough for my tall Husband.  I also “drafted” faux yoke pieces for the front and back and we marked out what seemed to be miles of topstitching lines.  To give the vest the loft in its quilting, I padded the main torso section with a layer of flannel (an old sheet!)  and the yoke sections with an additional double layer of flannel before doing the quilting. Husband drafted the collar (my brain was fried)

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We collaborated to figure out how to recreate the hook closures.  Husband bought a short length of brass chain at Home Depot and took apart the links– half of them were twisted to form hooks, and we left the other half of the links “whole.”  We devised fabric mounts (for lack of a better word) that involved tiny buttonholes and fabric loops…I was glad to finish that portion of the vest!

Husband wore khaki pants and a white button-up shirt he already owned, but we wanted him to have the rakish adventuring boots that Flynn has–without having to buy much.  Husband had the brilliant idea to turn an old pair of brown pants into a spat-like device that covered boots he already owned to give them to floppy fold-over top (they are also lined with pieces of yet another old sheet!).  We used a swatch of pleather to make Flynn’s spats.  I sewed elastic to the corners to make loops, and we added large brads from my scrapbook stash to look like the studs on Flynn’s.  I didn’t have brass brads, so we used a yellow permanent marker to color some silver ones.  I was amazed what a difference they made!

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To top it all off, Husband grew a beard and shaved it to a goatee for Halloween weekend.  Look at that smolder!

 

 

Our almost-two-and-a-half-year-old son played the part of Pascal in our family costume this year!

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We started with the basic jumpsuit in Simplicity 1765 in the smallest size published, but it was still over 10″ too long for our boy, since the pattern is really a “child” sized pattern, not a “toddler” sized pattern.  We shortened the pattern and also took out quite a bit of bulk on the side seams.  Since we were making a chameleon outfit and not a dinosaur, we lengthened the tail and changed its shape a bit.  When the suit was assembled, Husband added some strong twisted wire into the stuffing of the tail, and we used that to curl it up.

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I changed the feet on the pattern to be more like Pascal’s three toes, and instead of making mittens, which B would have hated for restricting his ability for holding onto things, I modified the feet to make something that is effectively a wristband with three big puffy toes that come out over the hands.  The wristbands are held together with Velcro.

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We hand-stitched the head and eye ridges onto the hood and added fabric eyeballs.  To make the eyes, I cut two large circles out of white cotton (old sheet, of course!) and ran a long stitch around the perimeter.  I added some polyfill inside and cinched the stitches.  On the first one, I used a marking pen to determine the placement of the iris and pupil, removed the stuffing and flattened it again. Based on this marking, I used freezer paper templates to paint the iris/pupil onto the flat fabric circles, then cinched them up again with stuffing inside.  At the very end, I added a little catchlight (the white dot) in each eye, and it absolutely amazed me how much of a difference it made– the eyes suddenly looked friendly, rather than staring.

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The hood (as well as the hand-toe wristbands) is lined with some fabric from an old dress shirt of Husband’s.  When I realize that there was a likelihood of the lining being visible, I knew I needed to use green fabric– and the only reasonable green I had in my stash was this shirt.  Before I cut anything, though, I made sure that I could also transform the shirt into an apron!  The hood lining was cut from the upper sleeves– it is amazing how much fabric goes into a sleeve!

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Stay tuned for Flynn Rider!

 

 

 

When we first started discussing the idea of having our family do a Tangled costume this year, it was obvious that V would be Rapunzel, but we debated who would play what other characters.  I absolutely nixed the idea of being Mother Gothel, and after briefly considering Husband and I dressing as Pub Thugs, we eventually settled on my dressing as Maximus, the royal guard horse.

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Instead of taking the costume too literally, we decided to stylize things a bit.  A full horse suit would have been an overwhelming amount of work, and I was already overwhelmed by the amount of sewing for this year’s costumes as it was!  First, we chose a medieval-style dress pattern and added a brown belt to call Maximus’ harness to mind, then topped things off with a stylized horse mask.

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The dress is Simplicity 1773, view A, and I wanted a full lining, rather than just facings, since I was sewing it with plain white cotton– an old sheet, to be precise!  To create the lining, I made a second dress, but without sleeves, and attached it at the neckline (as the facings would have been attached).  I sewed the lining to the armholes with a machine stitch, and hand-stitched the zipper opening to the zipper tape in the back.  The lining has a simple overlocked hem, and I did a single turn hem on the outer dress.  I had the sheet and thread on hand, and the zipper and elastic were among sewing notions that I’ve been handed-down from people recently (thank you, thank you, thank you!), and so the only thing I had to purchase for this dress was the buttons.  I didn’t want to spend much–there are nine on each cuff!!!– so I got super cheapo buttons at Walmart: a pack of 20 for $0.88.

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Husband was in charge of the accessories, and honestly, I don’t know which one is the better show-stopper!

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My horse-head is made from white posterboard (another thing we purchased for my costume).  Husband found an amazing horse mask when he was searching for ideas, and we thought it was beautiful (and prohibitively expensive for our costume purposes!).  As he looked at the pictures, he said to me, “I think I can recreate that!”  And he did.  (His spatial reasoning skills continue to amaze me).

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To create the leather medallion that Maximus wears on the front of his harness, Husband turned to an excellent tutorial on the Epbot blog for making craft foam look like leather.* He used scraps of foam I had leftover from another project and traced Rapunzel’s kingdom’s sun emblem onto the medallion using a template and added the horse’s name, since he spotted it in a closeup in the movie.  The only other thing we purchased for this costume was the gold wax to add the gilding effect.  Of all the characters in our costume, I think I probably needed the most explanation, so it was nice to have such a stylish “nametag.”  It slides onto the belt (from my closet) with a foam loop he adhered to the reverse of the medallion.  After I fasten the buckle, the medallion slides over and covers it.

Stay tuned for Pascal and Flynn Rider!

 

Our four-but-very-close-to-turning-five-year-old daughter played the part of Rapunzel in our family costume this year.

The dress is not new; I made it for our big Disney World trip this past January.  You can read all the details of the construction in the blog post I wrote back then.  But since she was the main motivator behind our group costume,  I wanted to give her a post on her own.  Some of these photos might show some of the dress details better (or at least differently) than the photos from our Disney trip.

Of course, our Tangled Rapunzel needs a frying pan!

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She took it along as she “adventured” through the pumpkin patch…

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…and played a bit of peek-a-boo!

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I was surprised and delighted that the dress still fit her this fall.  She has been growing so much– but it is apparently mostly in the length of her legs, so that bodice still fits her very comfortably.  I love that she is getting so much use out of this dress, because I love it, and I put a lot of work into it🙂

Stay tuned for Maximus, Pascal, and Flynn Rider!

Hahahahahahahahahaha!  Did you see my October goals?  What a silly girl I was to think I could even accomplish half of them!  Haha!

  • Costumes!  They got finished, but they dominated the month.
  • Scrapbook at least one layout this month. Nope.  I wish!
  • Make a couple cards. Does it count if my kids made cards? I made a few simple folding notes and did color a few stamped cards, so I suppose that I did actually partly accomplish this goal.
  • Start on a Christmas gift?  I started, just barely.
  • If there’s time, work on a garment sewing project for myself. Hahahahaha!  If there’s time!  Hahahaha!  No, I did not do any work on this goal.  I did acquire more fabric, though🙂
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week.  Yes!  I did!  I actually averaged at least four times per week.  Yay!
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  I am learning how to study the Bible using homiletics, and it is so interesting!

Okay.  With October behind us, we are already full-steam-ahead into November, and I’m getting more regalia ornament orders.  So here are my goals.

  • Make regalia ornaments.
  • Keep up with my photos.  October was quite photo-heavy, especially right at the end, so I’m playing a bit of catch-up, too.
  • Make activity books for my kids for Thanksgiving.
  • Exercise at least three times per week, and add back some arms and abs exercises every day.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.

There are a few “wishlist” things I’m keeping in mind:

  • scan my kids’ artwork (I have quite the pile building up)
  • add photos and embellishment to my Grenada journal (I’ve already ordered prints!)
  • some sewing projects
  • other scrapbooking???

Obviously, these are stretch goals, but I’m recording them here so that I can keep myself focused in case I have some (very) unexpected extra time!