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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: costume, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 20 of 20
1. Marco Polo and the Explorer Book


At the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Catherine!) I bought Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air for my six-year-old boy for Christmas. It’s a beauty of a book, written by Stewart Ross and illustrated by Stephen Biesty (of Incredible Cross-Sections fame). Each chapter follows a different explorer and includes a gorgeous fold out map and diagram of the explorer’s route and travel style.


 I highly, highly recommend it. Reading it straight through from beginning to end isn’t something my son is ready for (the text is geared toward a slightly older audience), but he likes to pick a small section for me to read at a time, and he always chooses a fold-out to study. He wants to read every label for all the parts (not unlike his fascination with Richard Scarry’s books).

I love that feeling of just sort of soaking in the book, meandering through and getting to know it bit by bit, landing on favorite parts and coming back to them again and again on a nonlinear journey. It reminds me of my own love for the Oxford University Press story collections as a kid. Beautifully illustrated by Victor Ambrus, they were these great kid-friendly versions of the Canterbury Tales, the great ballets, and King Arthur’s tales, among others. Sadly, they look to be out of print now, but I think I’ll have to chase down some copies to have as our own. Click here for a few cover images from Victor Abrus’s website.

I didn’t understand everything about those tales at the time, but when I re-encountered them later in school, it was thrilling to realize I already had a framework in place. The stories were familiar and felt like they were already mine. I’m always hoping to give my kids some experiences like that, and I hope Into the Unknown will be one of them.

The elementary school had its book character parade last week, and my son wanted to dress like Marco Polo. We didn’t find a picture of him in the book, but we found an 18th century illustration online:

 We found a silk jacket at the thrift store (100% real! reversible!), along with a faux fur shrug we could use for the hat. I made the hat (two U-shaped pieces sewn along the curve) from an old T-shirt with a double-thickness of sweatshirt underneath for body. I tacked the fur band around the bottom.



Marco Polo costume

Since I’m working on a nonfiction children’s book myself, I have a new appreciation for just how much research goes into something like this. I can’t imagine how long it must’ve taken Mr. Ross and Mr. Biesty to create this handsome book. Bravo!

Speaking of nonfiction for children, I just ordered a couple from my favorite local indie, Park Road Books. Amy Karol of angry chicken recommended two comic-type books, one about the presidents and another about the Greek myths: Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunder, and Where Do Presidents Come From? They sounded so good that I called up Park Road right away. I’ll be there tonight for the spring author line up, sponsored by the local chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

For more posts about books, click here. For more posts about costumes, click here. (Boy! I seem to make/ assemble a lot!)

P.S. Family: I’d like to get this book (Into the Unknown) for the oldest nephews, so I’m calling dibs now. Sorry!

3 Comments on Marco Polo and the Explorer Book, last added: 3/11/2014
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2. Anastasia Romanov Costume


I had to whip up something quick for my daughter’s Wax Museum Day at school. This is a grade-wide project where the students read a biography, dress up like their historical figure, and prepare remarks to present to visitors.

The students are supposed to stand still like wax figures until a parent gives them a ticket. Then they animate and introduce themselves as “so-and-so.” It’s so totally cute I can’t even tell you. I’m partial to the costumes involving mustaches.


Little Miss wanted to be a princess, of course, so she chose Russian princess Anastasia Romanov. We went to the thrift store and chose some pieces to alter.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.jpg

The key elements, we decided, were a white flowy dress with a square neckline, plus pearls. I flipped the blouse backward, sized it down, and made a square neckline using a tutorial I can no longer find. It wasn’t as difficult as it might sound—-actually pretty easy. The skirt I just sized down but left otherwise as-is.


Then I added, at her request, a sash made from blanket binding. It was once a part of this costume but got accidentally ripped off. I also made a little medallion from lightweight cardboard and sequins.

She did a great job with her presentation and is now reading everything she can about Anastasia. I guess we should try that movie that was made in the 90s, although I’m sure it’s more fiction than not.

Did you go away for spring break? We visited family in California and went skiing. It was a blast, but coming back to East Coast time is not. Oh well, it was worth it!

* The Anastasia image is from Wikipedia.

3 Comments on Anastasia Romanov Costume, last added: 4/10/2013
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3. Franken-Piggy

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4. Cow-Boy Kitten

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5. review – The House in Windward Leaves by Katherine L. Holmes

. The House in Windward Leaves by Katherine L. Holmes Couchgrass Books 6 Stars Interview with Ms. Holmes is HERE! From Back Cover:  Halloween night, the wayward Sadie leads her friends past cardboard cut-outs of the painter Mistral and a lady at the leaf-covered house on Windward Road. A wall mural transports them to a …

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6. Green Ninja Costume

I’m just a teensy bit late with this Halloween post. Our little man just had to, had to be the green ninja from Ninjago. It was a bit of a trick figuring out how to make up the costume, especially the sword-holding thingy in the back, which, according to my son, was absolutely essential.

I bought cheap green jogging pants and used gold fabric paint (the kind you squeeze out) to make the little gold shapes on them. On the figure they’re actually silver but, whatever.

The top is a green fleece I refused to paint on since I wanted him to be able to wear it plain later. I did add black cardboard-and-toilet-paper-roll epaulets on the shoulders, tacked on with thread. These were only semi-sucessful. You can see them hanging off his shoulders. We probably should’ve skipped them.

The headpiece is another simple balaclava I made like the ones for the knight costumes, only with a silver piece sewn on. The green is a thrifted sweatshirt and the silver from the same thrifted sweater that I used for one of the knight helmets.

The black belt is actually Daddy’s bathrobe sash. Ha! And the sword-holder-thingy in back (sorry, no picture) I made by cutting slits in a small cardboard box that I painted black. Four slits for the swords, then some small holes for the ties cut from sweatshirt material. We then tied the ties around his chest to hold the box on his back.

It’s not fancy, but it worked. This is kind of my costume philosophy—-I want them to be comfortable and re-usable but inexpensive and quickly slapped together. Thrifted knits are great for this.

For other low-sew costumes with thrifted parts, check out our fireman suit, knight, and turtle costumes. Oh, and here’s a princess for good measure, with maybe a little more sewing involved.

In other news, I’ve been doing some development work on secondary characters in my novel, using this questionnaire. The questionnaire was originally written for role-playing gaming, but totally works for novel-writing, too. I’ve been surprised at some of the interesting things that are coming from it. Hope I can put them to good use.

Northern friends, I hope you’re not stuck in the snow, or at least if you are, that you’ve got power, food, and board games.

0 Comments on Green Ninja Costume as of 2/11/2013 7:30:00 PM
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7. Thinking About Halloween?

If you're all about homemade costumes for Halloween, head over to Blogher where I share instructions on how to make this cute duck costume.

0 Comments on Thinking About Halloween? as of 1/1/1900
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8. Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting/Ornament

Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament
Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament

This is a very cute original oval painting of a little girl wearing a cat costume and holding a human heart.

The wooden Oval shape is 4.5″ x 2.2 ” in diameter and 1/8″ thick.
Original Handmade Ornament, mounted print on wood, painted with acrylics, textured with acrylic gel paste and glazed with acrylic gold leaf paint

A cooper wire is a attached, ready to hand.

It’s only $15

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9. Low-Sew Halloween Costumes

Folks seem to already be looking for Halloween costume ideas, so I thought I’d round up previous posts on the topic. My favorite handmade costumes are  ones that don’t take too much effort.

Here’s our fireman costume from two thrifted shirts:

Another oldie and goodie—-the Turtle Costume from a sweatshirt and a sweater:

Turtle Costume Front 100N-0148_DSC

andf lastly, the Princess Dress from Upcycled Fabrics:


For more ideas, go to elsie marley’s post here.

For the best Halloween decorations ever, look to Blair Peter of wisecraft’s posts here and here.  And here.  She does the WAY coolest stuff with things found for pennies at the thrift store.

I’m not sure what we’ll do for Halloween this year. It’s not really done in Germany, so last year we called friends around the neighborhood to warn them we’d be coming and begging for candy. It was fun, but I do miss our neighborhood Halloween back in the U.S.

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10. Halloween

Halloween makes me so happy we moved almost two years ago. Are new neighborhood is so much fun on Halloween. We actually got caught in a couple of 'traffic jams' while Trick or Treating. This year we had the teenager and his friends hang out at the house and pass out treats (chaperoned, of course). The younger set then hit the road. A good time was had by all.

One of the perks of having a 10 year old, is that he can carve his own pumpkin! Thank goodness! I really don't like doing that at all.

Here are my Chick Magnet & my Lil Miss Sunshine. I'm so proud. I like that I got to applique and hand stitch the Chick costume. So much fun! The best part is that the little guy is wearing my old Tinkerbell costume. Talk about 'reuse'.

This is a really bad picture of a truly great costume. I wanted to keep this adorable baby! Can you believe the cuteness here?

P.S. I won a poster print from UPrinting on Jannie Ho's blog. Oh, the possibilities!

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11. Animal Orchestra

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12. Ferret Ballet

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13. Welcome, Spring!

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14. Flower Kitten

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15. Final Cybils shortlists are up!

The final Cybils shortlists are now up! Many, many bloggers have been reading for weeks to choose their favorite kid-friendly titles in the following categories: Young Adult fiction; Non-Fiction Picture Books; Graphic Novels; MG/YA Nonfiction; Science Fiction/Fantasy; Fiction Picture Books; Poetry; and Middle Grade Fiction.

You can read all the lists here

Congratulations to the winning authors and illustrators! Judging panels will now read the shortlists and we'll announce the category winners on Valentine's Day.

2 Comments on Final Cybils shortlists are up!, last added: 1/9/2008
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16. Have Your Say

The Cybils Awards will be announced this Thursday. Which books do you think will win? Have your say over at the Cybils blog. (I have to say that some of the results are surprising me.)

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17. And as if sticker jokes weren't enough...

.... Whose day wouldn't be made by this? Respected editors and sensible copywriters alike flocked the corridors of power to prod and be delighted by this fantastic creature.


Remember that by posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use. If you consider any content on this site to be inappropriate, please report it to Penguin Books by emailing reportabuse@penguin.co.uk


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18. Diana Ting Delosh

The Pumpkin Pickers © Diana Ting Delosh
Ink & Watercolor,
self promotion postcard
Diana's website and blog.

0 Comments on Diana Ting Delosh as of 10/20/2009 1:23:00 PM
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19. etna may

Filed under: circus, dances, flying

3 Comments on etna may, last added: 6/8/2010
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20. High Fashion: my latest digital painting inspired by steampunk

High Fashion is my latest digital painting that was inspired by Steampunk.  This dark lady had been a concept lying around in my files for almost a year. So I decided to finally complete the piece.  Steampunk has been a trend these past couple of years. It was especially obvious this year at Comic-con. I saw many people dressed up in interesting Steampunk costumes. I might as well join the fun and come up with some fun artwork of my own.

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