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Archive for the ‘husband’ Category

The Sheikah slates for our children’s costumes were created entirely by Husband, so I’ve asked him to write a guest post about how he made them!

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One of my principles of Halloween costumes is that they need to have some element that glows in the dark.  I could pretend that I’m very concerned about safety and visibility in the dark, but really I just think it makes costumes more fun and cool.  The Sheikah slate in the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is such an integral part of the gameplay that I knew the kids would want to have Sheikah slates as props in their costumes.  I also thought that if I did it right, they might be toys that the kids could play with after Halloween, too.  

For the body of the Sheikah slate, I made a template that seemed big enough to hold the two pieces of electronics hardware, and cut a baseplate out of cardboard.  Then I started using lots of adhesive-backed craft foam to build up layers and thicken the tablets, making sure to leave a central cavity big enough for the speakers and lights.  After a few foam layers were down, I inserted the speaker button through the foam so that it rested on the tab of the Sheikah eye symbol, and kept adding layers until the sides were high enough to enclose the electronics.  Since I needed to maintain access to the electronics to turn them on and off and eventually replace the batteries, I hot glued strips of velcro to the top layer of craft foam and to the back of what would become the ‘screen’ of the Sheikah slate.


To make the screen, I used black adhesive craft foam and drew the Sheikah symbol on it and cut it out.  I had to make some adjustments, because unlike an actual screen, when you are cutting material you can’t have fully enclosed shapes floating in mid-air.  After I had the symbol cut out, I peeled off the paper and adhered a square of light blue vellum to the foam.  Even without the LEDs, it has pretty good contrast with the foam, and when the LEDs are lit up, the vellum smoothes out and softens the glow from the point sources of light.  


For the electronics, I found some battery-powered blue LED lights (aff link) and some battery-powered programmable speakers (aff link) like you might find in a singing birthday card.  I found mp3 files of the Sheikah slate sound effects from the video game and loaded them onto the speakers.  When you press the attached button, it plays a random sound from the list of downloaded files.  


At this point, I had functional, but parti-colored, Sheikah slates.  I wrapped the edges in black craft foam to hide the multi-hued strata of foam, and then painted all the remaining nooks and crannies with black acrylic paint.  I used orange craft foam on the handle to mimic the orange glow there in the game, and then wrapped the handle in brown yarn.  I cut out the decorative Sheikah symbol for the back of the tablet from orange, yellow, and blue craft foam.  For the border of the screen side, I used some more blue craft foam shapes and then free-handed some designs with metallic gold paint.  


They are definitely just approximations of the video game devices, but the kids were thrilled with them, and they are pretty durable and should hold up to being played with for at least a while.

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Our son dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At the time we were deciding on our costumes, his game character was wearing Zora armor, so he specifically requested to wear that gear as his costume. We brought up his character in-game and took photos for reference!

I made the blue shirt and stealth leggings by hacking Simplicity 1030. It’s a Captain America costume pattern in which the lower half of the shirt is pieced stripes. (Side note: I am really impressed with the design of this pattern. Often costume patterns are badly drafted and ill-fitting, but this is not the case for Simplicity 1030! The style lines and construction are well-done!). The upper part of the shirt has some nice style lines that were perfect for Link’s blue shirt, so I combined the side panel pieces to extend as one piece from the underarm to the hem and lengthened the upper torso pattern pieces to the hem. The result was a very sharp-looking athletic shirt, and I’m contemplating making it again with another fabric!

I added the side accents by layering some scraps I cut into the proper shapes and attaching them to the shirt with basting stitches. The blue fabric I used for the shirt and pants was an interesting athletic knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics, but it was difficult to stitch, so I thought it would be better for those side panels to be temporary. We will likely repurpose the shirt and leggings as winter pajamas!

I found a free jacket pattern (in my son’s size!) that was the perfect starting point for the scale jacket, and I hacked it beyond recognition, haha! I used a sueded fabric that was handed down to me in a bin of fabrics–it was the perfect color. After I cut the outer layer pieces, I hand-cut all the scales and sewed them in rows before stitching the pieces together.

My final contribution to the Link outfit was the beaded bandolier. I used Sculpey (polymer clay) to mold the moon medallion and the long beads (in retrospect, perhaps dry ziti would have been a lighter weight and easier solution for the long beads!). I strung them with some plastic faceted beads, and my husband spray painted them all with chrome paint. I used a scrap of vinyl to create the “leather” strap that goes over his shoulder, and the beaded strand is attached to key rings I stitched to the ends!

Now, on to the showstopper parts of the costume: the armor!

Husband sketched out the armor pieces on paper after studying the reference photos we took of all angles of Link, cutting out the paper templates to test sizing on our son. When he was satisfied with the design, he traced the pieces on to layers of craft foam and cut them out by hand. After constructing the pauldrons, bracers, and faulds (hip guards), he spray painted them with chrome paint. If we make foam armor in the future, Husband notes that he will apply some sort of sealant to the foam before spray painting to prevent the metallic paint from soaking into the foam and give a shinier end result.

The pauldrons are pinned to the shoulders of the scale jacket.

The faulds are threaded onto the belt with elastic loops that are adhered on the back.

The bracers have elastic straps for our son to wear them on his forearms.

The greaves (shin guards) are also constructed from craft foam, which Husband hand-painted with brown and metallic gold craft paint.

We had a lot of fun taking action photos of our soon acting as Link during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

(No healthy pumpkins were harmed in the making of this trick shot!)

This last photo is a little teaser: Husband created Sheikah slates for our Zelda and Link! Stay tuned for a guest post from him about how he made them!

Summary of patterns:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

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Our daughter dressed as Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

We found some amazing reference images from a book of concept art (aff link), and those images gave some great insight into the layers we needed to create.

We used ready-to-wear leggings and boots on her lower half, and we spent our energy creating the layers on her upper half.

The first layer was a blouse with lantern sleeves, and I used the Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up (aff link) as my starting point. The main hacks I made were to the collar and sleeves. Zelda has a tall collar closed with a single round button, so to create that effect on my daughter’s blouse, I increased the height of the collar stand and omitted the collar pieces altogether. I was pleased with how easy it was! Since there is no visible placket on the character’s blouse (fantasy means no practical concerns such as how you put on a garment!), I added hidden snaps between the placket layers.

I used a modified version of the Melly Sews lantern sleeve hack: instead of inserting a rectangle, I used a trapezoid shape. That resulted in an ungathered seam at the elbow and an asymetric blousing effect at the cuff. I stitched the gathers to wide elastic and then covered the elastic with a cuff made from the same knit as the jacket. If I were to do this again, I would omit the elastic and just stitch the gathers into a cuff!

The middle layer was a jacket effect. Since there were no visible closures (again!) and raglan sleeves on Zelda’s, I decided to use the Blank Slate Rivage Raglan (aff link) as my base pattern and an aqua knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics. After making a quick trial version from scrap knit, I added 2″ of height toward the neckline on the back and sleeve sections, drew the notches in the hemline and sleeves, and modified my pattern pieces. After I cut and assembled the new hacked pieces, I started adding the gold trim. Let me tell you, lamé bias tape is no joke to work with! I also realized only after I’d opened my packages that I’d purchased single-fold bias tape, rather than double-fold! It was an adventure, but I took it slowly, stitching it on with a long stitch length in clear thread (and just plain white in the bobbin). (I will admit that this costume was an exercise in not letting perfection be the enemy of the good…).

I cut the decorative shape at the neckline from craft foam, painted it with a few coats of metallic gold paint, and attached it at the front, behind which the gold crosspieces are pinned in place: I wanted to have enough room for her to get her head in and out!.

The outermost layer is a corset effect (velcro closure in the back), which I constructed from scratch. I added batting and quilted the design, adding the top bands of gold trim over a strip of aqua fabric to match her jacket layer. Husband created the “leather” belt from craft foam. He scored and heated it to give the effect of leather tooling before painting it brown and giving it a wash of black paint for further depth.

He also created the Triforce medallion from layers of craft foam and painted the details with metallic gold paint. We simply hot-glued it in place!

The final touch was her hairstyle! I have no idea why I have not used YouTube for braiding tutorials before–now this has opened a whole new can of worms, haha! THIS video was the perfect tutorial for this cute headband braid style: I learned some new tricks, and we’re excited to keep trying some more in the future.

We got some absolutely beautiful (if I do say so myself) photos of our daughter acting as Zelda during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

Summary of patterns:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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My children talk almost nonstop about their progress playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild! Since they love the game so much, it was the perfect source for costume inspiration. Without further ado, I present Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild!

Our son specifically requested to wear Link’s Zora armor, which is what his character in the game was wearing at the time we decided on our costumes.

The costumes were a collaboration between Husband and me: he made all the foam accessories (Link’s armor pieces and brooch, Zelda’s belt and Triforce medallion, and the Sheikah slates), while I focused on the fabric pieces (and I made Link’s beaded bandolier).

During our photo shoot at a nearby pumpkin patch, they had a really great time getting into character and acting out scenes for the camera.

I’m thrilled with the costumes, and I think our children are, too!

I will do separate posts (Zelda, Link) with details for each costume and one for the Sheikah slates, but until then, here is a list of the patterns I used:

Zelda:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

Link:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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This layout is out of my “style comfort zone!”

I’ve had these photos out on my desk, shuffling them around as I worked on other projects, ever since I made the Dragon Boats layout (another adventure on the same day). When I saw the SCT 2021 Fall Issue recipe challenge (use a journaling card or die cut, patterned paper, an alphabet sticker and any kind of stamp), I knew it would be the perfect motivation to get this layout into my scrapbook.

I started out trying to use my “typical” grid-type arrangement of photos, and it just wasn’t working. I changed gears entirely and decided to use a fish-filled background cut file from Paige Evans, and I used watercolors on the background. This is out of my comfort zone in two ways: I don’t often do mixed media at all, let alone the whole background; also, I don’t often use themed/on-the-nose supplies for my layouts.

I made two little clusters on the page, framed by the fish. At the top, I used my two tiny photos (tiny due to the image quality) on a block of patterned paper and embellished with my stamp “ingredient”– I heat embossed cameras from two different stamp sets with white on a scrap of purple striped paper, then cut them out to add in three places around the layout.

After this particular day of adventuring, I had asked my husband to write a bit of journaling, and I gave him a couple of my leftover Project Life cards so that it would be in his own handwriting. I love that it’s his words telling the story of the fun he had with our children.

I did a bit of tricky work with the title: this is an old set of chipboard Thickers, and I didn’t have enough “A” or “U” letters to spell “aquarium.” I ended up using two “V” alphas to replace them: can you tell? 😉 I love this pop of orange as a complement to the blue/purple/teal background. It picks up on my daughter’s dress color, and it ties the color scheme with the companion Dragon Boats page.

In all honesty, I’m not loving this page right now. But I am so glad to have this story in my album, and I think it might grow on me with time!

Supplies:
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
patterned paper: Damask Love “Wild Card- Spirit Animal;” bits from my stash
alphas: American Crafts Thickers “Dots” (chipboard), Glitz Designs “Color Me Happy” Teeny Alphas (rainbow)
stamps: Shimelle “Head in the Clouds” acrylic stamps, Hampton Art “Vintologie,”
cut file: Paige Evans “Fish Background”
journal card: Project Life “Jade” edition

wood veneer: Studio Calico
other: watercolor, Liquitex clear matte gesso, print-and-cut labels, Scotch ATG, US ArtQuest PPA Matte adhesive, craft foam, Ranger Big&Bossy embossing ink, Zing embossing powder

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Our son loves Minecraft.

A lot.

So it was not a surprise that he asked for a Minecraft-themed cake for his birthday. Note: his birthday was during the summer; I’m just now getting my act together to post about this cake. It came out so well that I definitely still want to share it!

When we asked him what sort of Minecraft cake, I was expecting him to ask for a scene or a creeper (or both). Instead, he asked for a grass block! He wanted the brown parts to be chocolate and the green to be mint. Challenge accepted.

I baked the cakes and mixed up frosting– I baked two square chocolate cakes, which we trimmed down so that we could make four layers. The top and bottom layers are solid squares; the middle two layers are made from the offcuts stacked perpendicular to each other. We used chocolate frosting between the layers.

Husband did all of the outside work! Of course, we waited until late at night to begin the frosting process, and I was so wiped out that all I could do was offer some suggestions. Husband did an absolutely amazing job. He figured out that he could cut a cardstock template for the grass detail on the sides of the block.

Husband took it one step further and did some sugar work to create the new growth that would occur if the block is sprinkled with bonemeal in the game. I really think this is such a showstopper!

It was so fun to see how completely delighted our son was about his cake! (and it tasted pretty delicious, too!)

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In 2019, I was in a big giant Boot, but Husband, V, and B participated in our elementary school PTA’s Fun Run and 5K fundraiser. It was a fun time, and I was really proud of my daughter and son for completing the mile-long Fun Run together. Even more impressive was that my husband had carried my son part of the way while running (jogging?) with the kids on the Fun Run course, and then went on to finish the 5K in a respectable time.

My favorite part, though, was seeing my children finish their race and cross the finish line holding hands. This called for a special layout:

I used a horizontal design so that I could show off two 4×6 photos and two 3×4 photos (small only because the quality was poor– they were screenshots from a video clip… These photos make my heart explode and they are giant in my mind!). I pieced together two patterned papers behind the photos to form the background.

Almost all of the embellishments are cut from patterned paper! The “Amazing” plane+banner and the “Remember This” strip are from cut-apart sheets… and I sneakily chopped out bits of the floral paper behind the photos so that I could detail cut some of the flowers to use as embellishments. I also detail-cut the cameras from yet another patterned paper!

I used two journaling cards to tell the two pieces of the story: my husband’s intrepid running and my kids’ display of their strong relationship.

The title has a double meaning… not only were they all running on the road, but the mascot for the elementary school is Rudy the Roadrunner!

Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Go Now Go” (Botanical, Action), Close to My Heart “Mix In” (Mar-Apr), Shimelle “Starshine” (Odyssey, Orion)
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
alphas: Close to My Heart white alphabet foam stickers
kraft tags: Jillibean Soup
journal cards: Project Life (Jade Edition)
enamel dots: The Paper Studio

journaling pen: Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005
other: craft foam, date stamp, crochet thread, ATG (adhesive)

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Some of the stories that I want to include in my Disney 2016 album are not big enough for their own page, but I still want to tell them, and for that, pocket pages are perfect.  This page faces the Carousel layout and is on the front side of the pocket page that faces my Dumbo layout.

small stories from our first day in Magic Kingdom, Disney 2016

P.S. There will be one more tiny photo in the bottom lefthand pocket… I just need to place another photo order!

The thing I’ve discovered about myself is that it’s hard for me to use anything but “scraps” for pocket pages, especially when I’m making an album that also has full-page layouts.  So this was the perfect match for Crafty Jen Schow’s third challenge for this year’s Stashbusting Month: Use Leftovers!  I started with off-cuts of papers that I used in the Carousel layout, since these pages are facing each other.  The rest of the papers are scraps that I’ve saved from making other layouts in my album, and I also pulled out leftover journaling cards from past Project Life kits — I used one whole, but I cut up three others to include in the other pockets.  I even had Husband write one of the captions in his own handwriting!

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The one “newer” thing that I dove into for this page is the Shimelle #stickerbook.  I found some perfect little embellishments to scatter around the pockets– they help keep everything cohesive.

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Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Glitter Girl” (stars and cloud branding strip) and “Starshine” (stripes, green and blue chevrons, cut apart), Anna Griffin “Carmen” (yellow quatrefoil)
journaling cards: Project Life “Baby” and “Jade” Editions
embellishments: Shimelle “Starshine” diecut, Shimelle #stickerbook, Paper Studio enamel dots, Shimelle “Head in the Clouds” washi tape
other: aqua tissue paper

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…and with this insert, my January pages in my 2019 album are complete!

This insert is all about Husband’s birthday.  The front is about our little celebration as a family.

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I used more of the Heidi Swapp color magic tile alphas to make the title.  On this side, I wanted to leave more of the white showing so that they stood out from the busy background pattern, so I only added the ink blending over the letters.

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The card in the bottom pocket has details about what we did, and layered under the photo is a glassine envelope (originally, it held embellishments that came with the Studio Calico kit).  I made a small tag to fit inside the envelope– pulling it out shows a list of the gifts we gave Husband.

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On the back, I feature the story of Husband’s annual game afternoon with friends.

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Again, I used the tile alphas, blending my inks to coordinate with the patterned papers.

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I added some pleated tissue paper under the layers to add some more texture; this coordinates with pockets in the main pages for January.  I want to make sure that the inserts tie in together with the whole month.

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Previously, I’ve said that I dislike pocket scrapbooking in general, but working on these pages recently has made me start to revise that opinion.  “Traditional” layouts have been and will continue to be my favorite, but I am really starting to enjoy pockets more.

I think part of this transition is treating the pages as a unified whole, in a way.  My process for assembling them has changed: I’ve been using a kit of supplies (whether it’s an actual retail kit or a kit that I put together out of my own stash), and that has helped me to tie everything together.  It’s more similar to working in a grid on a traditional page rather than treating each pocket separately, and it’s less overwhelming that way.  I’ll soon be sharing another pocket layout that I did for my son’s album using this same “kit” approach, and it came together so quickly– and I LOVE the end result.

I’m enjoying treating each month as a story to be told.  Certainly, I’m not trying to create a continuous narrative that reads like prose in a book, but I like looking back at a month as a whole, rather than the photo-a-day approach I’ve taken previously (such as my 2010 album, my 2012/daughter’s baby book 366 album, my son’s baby book 365 album).  Those albums are so valuable to me– I LOVE the end result, but the process was not very satisfying for me.  The pages in my 2019 album tell the story of the little things (and bigger things, when I add in layouts and inserts) that make up our life.  It’s a bit more continuous than a photo-a-day.

I’m happy that pocket scrapbooking has become more fun for me, and I’m excited to continue working on this 2019 album!

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Last Christmas, Husband and I decided that V should “inherit” my American Girl doll that I’d had when I was younger.  She was delighted, and I really enjoyed seeing all of my special little doll clothes and accessories out and being enjoyed again.

One thing that I really felt strongly about, though, was having a good way to store the doll’s dresses.  When I was younger, the dresses must have stayed in a pile or gathered under the little garment bag I had as part of the doll’s traveling kit.  It made it hard to play with them, and so I asked Husband if he could help… and of course, he did!

We browsed for some ideas, and somewhere on Pinterest we saw an idea that we both liked– it was straightforward and we had scrap wood on hand.  Husband purchased a dowel, and put this cute clothing rack together really quickly!

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Originally, we had intended to paint it, but we think it looks nice as-is.  It’s stable without being bulky, and I love how it keeps the outfits tidy and unwrinkled.  It’s also tall enough that my daughter can store more accessories on the floor under the hanging clothes.

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I noticed, however, that the dresses collected dust really easily.  (Our house always seems so dusty, no matter how frequently we change our filters!)  It really got to me the other day, and so I went down to my craft studio and drafted up this fabric cover for the rack.

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There are main panels connected with a top panel (so that the design of the fabric could be upright on both sides), and end panels that flare to fit the shape of the clothing rack.

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I added a handle on top so that my daughter can easily pull the cover off whenever she’s ready to play with her doll.

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I think it’s working out really well!

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The cover is easily vacuumed or washable, and it keeps the dresses ready for playing!

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