Friday, November 28, 2008

Duffman and Sushi (Costumes)

I was on a great blogging streak and then got sick (again) from the kiddos at work and it fell off my list of priorities. I'm better now and have a couple of extra days off for Thanksgiving so here is a big bonus post with photos on the Halloween costumes I created this year:

The weekend before Halloween a friend and I decided we were going to come up with original costumes and make them ourselves. She settled on a slot machine and I was to be a piece of sushi (it was this, a Lego piece or a box of wine). I also offered to make a Duffman costume for the boy, so I was pretty booked for the week.

I did the costumes piece by piece whenever I had free time and didn't take enough pictures for a play-by-play but here are the finished products and a description of how I made them:
Award-winning homemade Duffman costume in all its glory (this is a character from the Simpsons, if you're not up on your cartoon trivia)

From head to toe:
Hat: a $2 women's red baseball cap with a printout of the Duff logo glued on
Cheap-o sunglasses
Cape: a large rectangular piece of red fabric tied at the neck
Shirt: I painted the Duff logo on a plain light blue shirt from Michael's by making a stencil out of freezer paper (easy way to create any design on fabric - I'll do a tutorial on this sometime soon)
Belt: took a cheap canvass belt, emptied Diet Coke cans and covered them with red construction paper and computer printed Duff logos, used fabric glue to attach to belt
Underwear and sweatpants bought from Walmart in men's and women's sections, respectively (seriously)
Boots: old combat boots laying around the house + white spray paint

Here is a shot of sushi (awkward pose - I was told to "act like your costume" and was thinking "please don't eat me").

Seaweed: 2 pieces of black poster board, stapled together, trimmed a bit shorter, and glued to makeshift ribbon suspenders. It was sprayed with dark green glossy spray paint (the paint is optional but added a nice sheen and a slightly more realistic color)
Rice: cluster fiber stuffing (usually used to stuff toys and pillows)
Tuna/avocado pieces: tissue paper glued to cardboard
Roe (fish eggs): ping pong balls painted with fluorescent orange spray paint and glued to a hat using a combo of fabric glue and spray adhesive (it took several layers of spray while the hat was put on a baking bowl to keep its shape)
Wasabi: 2 pieces of lime green foam cut into the shape and sewed together (this acted as a purse as well
Ginger: light pink felt cut into rectangle with round corners, glue to wasabi in crinkled fashion

I don't like to support Walmart and usually avoid shopping there but I was working with a short deadline and didn't have time to shop around thrift stores or other places. Next year I will definitely focus on repurposing old/secondhand materials instead of buying new stuff.

P.S. Check out this site for ideas next time you're going to a costume party! It has tons of original and creative homemade costumes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No More Phonebooks!

Finally! No more phone books. If you're like me and rely more on Google than the yellow pages, go to this site to opt out of receiving them and stop wasting all that paper!

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cottontail Cottage: A Rabbit Haven

Meet Cinnamon

This is what Cinnamon's boxes used to look like
(plus a gratuitous cute sleeping bunny pic)

Enter Cottontail Cottage, a 3 story palace made of double-wall chew-safe cardboard

Checking it out...

Look, a window!

It took her a few days, but she made it to the roof

For all you rabbit lovers out there, Cottontail Cottage is both Cinnamon- and Steph-approved (no more flakes and pieces of cardboard everywhere!).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Sunday was a perfect fall day; sunny and clear with a crisp chill to the air. I went for a walk with a girlfriend down to a pond and was immediately inspired to return with my camera. It was an hour or so before sunset and the light was wonderful. It was an inspirational, peaceful and calming (not to mention spontaneous and free!) way to indulge my creative side.

Here are some highlights:Walking down the bike path...

The light was filtering perfectly through the leaves

Peaceful pond

This spontaneous photo shoot definitely re-sparked my interest in photography. I love taking pictures but am self-taught and don't know much about lighting, angles, editing, etc. I'm thinking about taking a digital photography class at the local community college next semester to learn more and improve my photos. Either way I love the way these shots came out and plan on framing a couple of them. I hope you enjoy them!