Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snowy-Night Project - Seagull Wings

This is a front seat view of my commute home this afternoon.  The traffic was moving at about 25 miles per hour, which is why I was able to snap this picture.  Once I was home, and dinner was over, some really pressing questions filled my mind...  How am I going to make it through a nice cozy evening at home without overdoing it on the snack eating?  Visions of ice cream filled my mind...  the Oreos my husband bought yesterday called me from the kitchen counter...  I thought about having some carrots instead, but alas!  Carrots do not taste at all like ice cream.

I finally admitted to myself it was time to stop procrastinating and make the damn seagull wings I had promised I would make for the school play.

You probably don't need step by step instructions on how to make these - they are relatively simple and you really don't even need to know how to sew if you're handy with a hot glue gun.  The pair I was copying this design from was hot glued, not sewn.  

Still, when you are cutting multiple layers of "feathers" out of felt and then sitting in a teeny, tiny chair in front of a large rubbermaid tote on which your sewing machine is perched, even a simple project can take a long time.  Especially when you're making 3 pairs of wings... and each wing has 9 layers. 

I realized, though, that sewing is a good thing to do when you're trying to avoid eating junk food.  Mainly because it requires two hands.  Unless you want to risk sewing over your finger with your machine.  Which hurts a lot.  Don't ask me how I know this. 

In this picture, the wings are just draped over the arms...

These are actually almost done - they still need elastic on the back side of each of them to hold them to the wearer's arms, and also to hold them together, but I don't have elastic.  I'm hoping I can get someone else to take care of that step.  Right now, I'm tired.  

Too tired even to eat snack.  

Thank goodness...  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

T-Rex Teeth? No, Bird Beaks

T-Rex teeth?  No, bird beaks.  Seagull beaks, to be exact.

My assignment was to make three additional seagull costumes for the play (The Little Mermaid Jr.).  No problem, I said, but I had forgotten about their heads.  Or shall I say, beaks...

The seagulls wear a pretty simple set of wings held on the actor's arms with elastic.  The feathers are layered felt in black, grey and white.  The beaks, however, I had made of paper mache and then attached to a yellow baseball hat.  Actually, someone else attached them for me, since I was pretty much in stress melt-down stage by then.  To form the beak shape I used approximately 10 crumpled up sheets of newspaper, setting them down on the table in three rows of three, and then topped off with one (or two) at the end to form the point of each bird's beak.  Then I attached them all together using masking tape (just enough to keep each crumpled paper in place), and covered them in paper mache (flour, water and bounty paper towels).  They'll dry near the wood stove tonight (maybe not as near as in this picture) and then tomorrow I'll give them another layer of paper mache, and then they'll be ready to cut and glue to the hats.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Procrastination!! Kim Kardashian Impressions, Dante's Inferno, and Fake Fruit Platters

When you're a kid and you have 14 days off from school in a row, of COURSE you wait until the very last day or two (only because your mother nagged you on Saturday do you start then) to do your homework. After all, who wants to write a paper on the fairness of the punishments in Dante's Inferno? It doesn't even help that your mom is a former English teacher, because she makes you write the paper yourself, and she only gives you pointers like, "write down each level and the sin and punishment that goes with it to help you prep."  Of course, you scoff at her, because what does SHE know?  She's just your mom after all...

If you're a few years younger than that, and you have to prepare for a presentation you are doing with a partner (whose phone number/contact info you don't have) you can worry for 10 out of the 14 days about how you're going to complete this assignment without your partner.  Your presentation is on "something that you're good at," and you've decided that you're good at comedic impressions (which you are...) but your perfectionist nature won't let you settle on which famous people you're going to impersonate.  Dozens of ideas are discussed and rejected leaving you and your sibling at virtually the same state of doneness on the last day before vacation is over.  

Of course, don't let your mom convince you that SHE would not be in this situation if SHE was the one with homework.  SHE was secretly planning to complete the 8 fake fruit platters and 3 extra sets of bird wings and beak hats for your upcoming school play, but SHE, TOO, waited until the LAST MINUTE, stating (if only in her own mind) that she had to do the 8 or so loads of laundry first.  

But even Dad, who packs his ebay sales before they even sell and is also known as "Mr. Early-to-Every-Event" is lamenting the end of vacation.  So... is it better to live through your homework for a few leisurely days or one nose-to-the-grindstone day?

Only the procrastinator knows...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Even DOGS Love Sleigh Riding

After the snow stopped falling it was a day of shoveling and sleigh riding.  Not necessarily in that order.  Our dog Zoey was like a small child standing at the window, longing to go outside.  I told the kids she was not allowed to stay out for too long of a stretch because she was "naked" (except for her doggie fur, of course) and it was pretty chilly.  Still, she loved jumping through the snow like a deer (she left a series of hop marks in her wake) and she absolutely loved chasing the kids down the driveway on their sleds.  She even rode with them once or twice, but I think she still preferred running after them.

She is currently quite tired...

... and so are the kids.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Scaring the CRAP Out of Each Other...

Home with the kids with too much time on your hands?  You can always spend time attempting to scare the crap out of each other...

The other day when my daughter was taking a shower, her dad hung this purple blow-up alien from the bathroom doorframe.  He then went back to watching television - looking very "Mr. Innocent."  I wasn't there when she opened the door, but I heard her immediately yell her brother's name, SURE that he was the perpetrator.  He gets blamed for things he doesn't even do, although, now that I think about it, he earned that suspicion one prank at a time...

It's a good thing all the hearts in this house are in good working order.