Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Update

Well - it's been awhile since I've posted so I thought I'd just say hi. :-)

It's been an interesting few months.  I went for full-time in the office to 3/4 time.  Now I get to work some from home!  I love it but it really keeps me busy and on my toes.  I spend two days a week in the office and do the other hours in the early morning, during naps, and after the kids go to bed.  It is certainly a different schedule but I love being able to spend the extra time with the kiddos.

I do have a few projects lined up for posting.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I misplaced my camera for a month or so, which doesn't help with the blogging.   But I'm going to get back on the wagon now - promise.

In the meantime I'll leave you with these smiles.


Copyright Yuen Lui Studios - 2012 - used with permission

Monday, April 23, 2012

Poster Size Characters

I enjoy theme birthday parties.   One of my favorite parts is the decorating.  Since my kids are little, two of our most recent parties have been Curious George and Winnie the Pooh.

Now, since licensed decorations are expensive I came up with a way to recreate large format characters.  They can be used to hang on windows, walls, etc.

As a side note - these also make great bedroom decorations.  We had Pooh up on the kids' room for a year!

We played "pin the tail on the donkey" with this one - just make extra tails


Kaylee turns 2!


The first step is figuring out what character you want to make, and then what size you want to make it.  In the pictures above, Pooh's head and arm were from one piece of poster board, his shirt and balloon another, and his bottom half another.  Eeyore was just from one piece of blue/grey board.  George, below, was from one piece of white board I had to color brown.  (Not a huge fan of the coloring method)

So, because I was using multiple pieces of board for Pooh, he was able to be bigger than Eeyore or George.

Next, find the picture you want to copy.  Google image search is what I use for this.  It doesn't have to be a good quality picture, just one you can get an outline of.

I then make a page the size of the poster board in MS Publisher.  Paste the picture in there and size up until the part of the picture you want on the poster board fills the large sheet.  Then print it.  You'll get probably 9-12 pieces of paper from this.



Tape the pages together to make the character.  Then cut the character out along the outside lines and place on the board.


With pencil, trace the outside of the character onto the poster board.


Now, this next part feels a little weird but just go with it. :-)  Cut out the parts of the character that have lines around them.  Ex. the hands, face, etc.


Trace those parts onto the larger character.  Chop away, the more you cut the more exact your tracing will be.  Feel free to cut along inner lines too, for example, cut down the fingers here and just trace inside each one.


Do this until you have the character completely copied.


Now, if you're going to color it in you can outline the whole thing in marker.  On the Pooh and Eeyore ones above, I just used black marker on the inside lines where there was no color change.


If you have to color it, do that before you cut it out.

Cut out and decorate!

As you can see, the marker gives a little more texture than I'd like.

Party on!

Allison


Related Posts - Curious George Birthday PartyMan in the Yellow Hat Costume

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Man in the Yellow Hat Costume

My wonderful husband was willing (read: didn't run screaming from the house) to dress up as the Man In the Yellow Hat for the kids birthday party.  He's really is a good sport. :-)



I think it's a pretty good likeness - I wasn't able to find the right boots though.

The clothes were easy.  We just picked up a white shirt and a pair of khaki pants from the thrift store and Rit dyed them yellow in the washing machine.  It was my first attempt at dying anything and I was amazed at how easy it was.

Now, you can spend $50 on Amazon for what reviewers say is a terrible hat, or you can make one!  I wasn't exactly sure how to go about doing it but it worked out.

What you need to make the hat and tie:

  • a hat to build around
  • yellow felt (I bought a yard and it was way too much)
  • brown felt
  • brown ribbon (or just use strips of the brown felt)
  • glue gun
  • some sort of filling material (see below)
  • safety pins
The Hat

Find a hat with a brim that you can use as a base.  My husband has this one lying around just to annoy me so I'm glad we could use it for something. (I'm kidding honey, it's a fantastic hat, honest.)




Cut two circles out of the felt that are about an inch wider in diameter than the hat brim.Cut an X in the middle of each circle.



Place the hat on top of on of the circles.


Lay the other circle on top of the hat and hot glue the circles together around the outside of the brim.  Cut the X big enough (you can add more cuts) to allow a head to go where it should and to allow the hat to come up through as well.



Now, you can use anything to stuff the top of the hat.  I recommend some sort of packaging material that will hold it's own shape.  Like these air pockets or bubble wrap.  Roll enough into a cylinder and place on the top of the hat in the hole in the felt.


Cut a piece of felt abut the right size to wrap the plastic filling.  I removed the plastic here so you could see what I was doing. It also really helps to do this while it's on someone's head.  Hot glue the piece of felt around the inside of the hat's brim.  Trim to fit and glue up the seam.



Now, since my dear hubby is much taller than the children I wasn't too worried about this part.  You can probably make this look better if you're concerned about what the hat looks like from the top.  Fold the remaining amount of felt over the top of the plastic and hold with lots and lots of hot glue.


Hot glue the ribbon over the seam.  You can also use strips of brown felt if you prefer.


Let your little one wear it around the house. :-)



The Tie

Cut a piece of felt the size you want the the tie to be. Make sure you have enough of a strap to go under the collar so you can safety pin it in place.


Cut a piece of felt the same shape as the knot would be and hot glue on top.


Cut out circles from the brown felt and hot glue on the tie.


Safety pin the tie in place when it's time to wear it.


Thank your victim, I mean model, for being so nice. :-)

Allison

Related Posts - Curious George Birthday PartyPoster Size Characters

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Curious George Birthday Party

My little ones turned 2 and 3 this month.  This year I decided a combo birthday party was in order. (Score one for Mommy's sanity.)  Both are HUUUUUUUGE fans of Curious George so the theme was easy! :-)




Since it was an am party we had mostly breakfast foods - Palm Tree Fruits, Banana Punch, Peanut Butter and Banana Toasts, Scrambled Egg Stuffed Puff Pastry and Monkey Cupcakes!





My Little Monkey
The Man With the Yellow Hat even showed up!


Since we had a very large age range I decided to have a bunch of Curious George activity pages instead of games.  This worked well as space was limited.  PBS kids is a great resource for this.

Curious George Printables


Floor puzzles were also a big hit.

For favors I picked up some Curious George fruit snacks from Fred Meyer, bubbles and mini Play-Doh. I then put my own labels on the bubbles and Play-Doh.  The labels I made are below, I just printed them on full sheet label paper and cut them out.  They fit the items in the links.

Curious George Favor Labels
Bubbles
Play-Doh
Treat Bags




And what matters the most is the kids all had a great time!

Allison

P.S.  I will put up how-tos, recipies, etc in different posts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homemade Easter Bunny Baskets

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It's snowing in Seattle today - but that doesn't mean we can't look ahead to Easter!

These baskets are based on ones that my mother made my sister and I when we were children.  I gave my daughter my pink one, but needed a boy version for my son.

The green one is the unisex "how-to, maybe someone will use it someday" version.


You will need:

  • a basket
  • a hot glue gun and glue
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • batting (or cotton balls)
  • 3 coordinating fabrics
  • 1 small puff ball
  • 2 medium puff balls
  • 1 jumbo puff ball
  • 2 googly eyes
  • ribbon
  • basket "filler" (optional)
You'll see I switched the darker green to brown later on in the process.

For fabric - you will need the body color to be as tall as the basket plus about 4 inches. (As long as the basket is small enough for the fabric to reach around it completely, if not, you'll need double the fabric)  For the face you need about 7 inches and for the feet/ears you need about 3 inches.  I like to get the little fabric squares from the quilting section.

To begin, cut the "body" fabric about the right width if it isn't already.  You'll need the height of the basket plus about 4 inches



Now cut it about the right length.  Just wrap it around the basket and mark.


Fold over the long edge of the fabric 1/2 inch and sew.  Then, putting right sides together, mark the exact place you need to sew to make the fabric fit the widest part of the basket.


Sew and iron flat.


Now, turn the fabric right side out and place it around the basket.  Fold the seamed edge over the top of the basket and hot glue.  I like to glue the front and back first and then work my way around.



When you get the the handle, just fold it under like it shows in the picture and glue to the outside of the handle.


Fold the extra fabric under the basket and glue.  You will need to fold it a little as most baskets are tapered.



Glue all the loose fabric to the bottom of the basket.


I then ad a little ribbon to finish it off.

You might want to melt the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.


I also like to glue ribbon around the inside of the basket as well to finish it off.



Now, cut out the face, ears and feet.  Pattern is here. (Please let me know if this doesn't work. :-)

Right sides together sew the two pieces of the face together, leaving a hole in the bottom. (Use 1/2 inch seam allowance.)  Turn right side out and stuff with batting or cotton balls.  Sew shut.

Do the same for the ears and the feet.


Hot glue the ears to the back of the face.


Turn over and glue to the front of the basket.  Glue the feet on the bottom.


Now add googly eyes and puff balls with hot glue. (I like the larger eyes of the blue basket better.  For reference, the ones on the green basket are 10mm)


As a finishing touch, add the jumbo puff ball as the tail.


If you want, take 1/4 yard of fluffy fabric and sew it together to make a nice filler.


Fill with goodies and have a wonderful Easter!





Allison


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