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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: costume, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Escape from Netherworld—Piper

Here she is: Piper the elf from jacket art for Escape from Netherworld—about a group of role-playing gamers who are somehow transformed into their characters and transported into an alternate realm: Netherworld.

My pal, the extraordinarily talented Gina Datres, is the book’s designer and she called me in to illustrate the jacket. After some discussion and rough sketches back & forth we hit on the idea of 3 individual images of the gamers going through their transformation. For the 2 guys, Twiggy and Borhai, I drew the gamers in pencil but fully rendered their characters in paint. I work with watercolor (gouache), so I traced some of the drawing with a wax candle. Since watercolor won’t stick to wax, you can see the drawing of the gamer ‘through’ the painting of the character. Piper, the elf-girl, doesn’t change in size enough to make that idea work so I made her hair a magical element that swirls around her as it grows.

If you’d like to buy a copy of Escape from Netherworld just click here.

Author: David Kuklis
Designer: Gina Datres
Illustrator: John Manders
Editor: Nan Newell
Published and Printed by:
Word Association Publishers
Tarentum, PA 15084
ISBN: 978 1 59571 994 2
Available for purchase:
wordassociation.com   —   1 800 827 7903
barnesandnoble.com
amazon.com

As usual, here are the rough sketches, tight sketches, color study and final painting.

an early sketch tight sketch color study final art

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2. Low-Sew Halloween

It’s time for the yearly round-up of costumes, in case you need some ideas. What are you dressing up as? Last year, I was the Prancercise Lady, but it’s going to be hard to top that one. The kids want to be a diva (10 year old) and a bald eagle (7 year old). We’ll probably get started on costumes this week. This always starts with a trip to the thrift store. Our costumes are of the slapdash variety—-altered rather than sewn from scratch, with not too much (okay, almost no) emphasis on perfection.

Here are a few from years past:

Fireman Costume

Fireman

Turtle Costume Front

Turtle Costume

Green Ninjago Costume

Ninja (Ninjago)

Anastasia costume

Anastasia Romanov (Russian princess)

Knight Costume

Knight Tunic and Helmet

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Princess

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Marco Polo

So glad to get my copy of the Budget Bytes cookbook the other day. If you haven’t yet discovered the Budget Bytes blog, you’re in for a treat. The recipes are on the simple side—weeknight friendly, for the most part, but not boring in the least. As the title suggests, the recipes are wallet-wise, but beyond that, they’re just appealing, and in many cases, less-meatarian, which I love. Also many are gluten-free or easily adaptable to GF. I checked the book out from the library and liked it so much I had to buy my own.

Discovered another new-to-me podcast for children’s and YA lit enthusiasts. It’s called First Draft, and it’s interviews Sarah Enni conducted with authors during a cross-country road trip. Good stuff, food for thought.

What about you? Discover anything good lately?


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3. Hoist your flagons!

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Heave on your futtock-shrouds and don’t leave your swashes unbuckled! ‘Tis International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Don’t forget: If you are anywhere near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, shape a course for The Art Center (819 Ligonier Street) where I’ll talk about illustrating pirates this evening from 6:30 – 8:30. If you miss it, I’ll be at The Art Center again tomorrow morning 10:00 – 11:00ish (we need to clear the decks before noon—when some poor lubber’s wedding takes place).

MoviePirates

As promised, here are the answers to yesterday’s M is for Movie Pirates Quiz:

First row: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean (2006). Second row: (left to right) Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate (1926); Robert Newton as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1950); Sherman the parrot; Errol Flynn as Captain Blood (1935). Third row: Charles Laughton as Captain Kidd (1945); (Charlton Heston as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1990); Dustin Hoffman as Hook (1991); Walter Matthau as Captain Red in Pirates (1986). Fourth row: Maureen O’Hara as Prudence ‘Spitfire’ Stevens in Against All Flags (1952); Laird Cregar as Sir Henry Morgan in The Black Swan (1942); Kevin Kline as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance (1983); Graham Chapman as Yellowbeard (1983).


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4. Q is for Queen

Here is one of my favorites from P is for Pirate, the notorious Grace O’Malley—Irish queen & pirate captain. She was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and reportedly had an interview with Gloriana (who, after all, had a soft spot for buccaneers).

Queen Grace has been the subject of songs, at least one play and even a musical. So far as I know the swashbuckling Maureen O’Hara never played her in a movie, but what perfect casting that would have been!

I show Queen Grace in an Errol Flynn pose with her ruffians behind her. In the sketch I thoughtlessly drew a baroque-looking ship like we’re used to seeing from piracy’s golden age. In the final painting I used the Mayflower—much closer in style to a ship from Queen Grace’s time—as reference. Same deal with the costumes: they’re Elizabethan. I first drew her in men’s clothes but thought she looks much cuter in a dress.

Thumbnail sketch Errol Flynn in Captain Blood Tight sketch—in a man's costume In a dress with skirts hiked up for ease of movement Color sketch IMGP1534 IMGP1535 IMGP1622 IMGP1623 IMGP1624 IMGP1625 IMGP1626 IMGP1627 IMGP1628 IMGP1629 IMGP1630 IMGP1632 IMGP1633 IMGP1634 IMGP1635 IMGP1636 Queen

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5. A is for Articles

Here is your Monday dose of P is for Pirate—available in bookstores everywhere by Eve Bunting from Sleeping Bear Press.

The Articles were the pirates’ ethical guidelines which set out rules for behavior & working conditions aboard ship. New crew members signed them before becoming part of the ship’s company. Did you know that the pirate captain was elected—and could be voted out if he didn’t meet the crew’s expectations?

Pirates who couldn’t read or write made an X at the bottom of the contract and a clerk would write next to it, “John Manders (or whatever the sailor’s name was), his mark.”

sketch color sketch Painting in progress… IMGP1532 IMGP1533 IMGP1610 IMGP1611 IMGP1612 IMGP1613 IMGP1614 IMGP1615 IMGP1616 IMGP1617 IMGP1618

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6. Ahoy, ye sea dogs!

l_9781585368150_fcP is for Pirate is here!

As long-time readers know, the subject of pirates is a favorite of mine. You can imagine how happy I was when Sleeping Bear Press asked me to illustrate Eve Bunting’s latest, P is for Pirate. 

Here’s how the jacket art came together. Some rough sketches, a tight sketch based on the approved rough, the painting in progress. I lost something in the tight sketch—the pirate doesn’t have the same aggressiveness & oomph—so I went back to the rough sketch to paint from. That’s my dear old African Grey, Sherman, sitting on his shoulder. How I miss him! I like this low-key palette, mostly blacks, greys and red. The talented Felicia Macheske was my art director on this project. I will show more images throughout the month.

piratecover.tn.A179 piratecover.tn.B181 piratecover.tn.C180 piratecover.sk IMGP1753 IMGP1754 IMGP1755 IMGP1756 IMGP1757 I'm using a palette knife to scrape red paint over the black background. IMGP1759 IMGP1760 IMGP1761 IMGP1762 IMGP1763 IMGP1764 IMGP1765 IMGP1766 IMGP1767

3 Comments on Ahoy, ye sea dogs!, last added: 8/8/2014
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7. Franken-Piggy

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8. Cow-Boy Kitten

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9. Animal Orchestra

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10. Ferret Ballet

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11. Welcome, Spring!

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12. Flower Kitten

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13. 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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14. 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.


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15. Anastasia Romanov Costume

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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.

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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.

DSC_1278-001

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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16. Marco Polo and the Explorer Book

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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.

DSC_0413-001

 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.

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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!


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17. The Picture of Oscar Wilde

Here is the third in a series of three images for the Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s season brochure—specifically for the world premiere of L’Hôtel, a new comedy by Ed Dixon. The cast is stars from the recent and distant past. I showed you Sarah Bernhardt. and Jim Morrison. Here now is Oscar Wilde.

By the way, this painting and the two others will be on display at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show which opens this evening and continues through July 20th.

wilde.gesture.1 wilde.sk IMGP1995 IMGP1996 IMGP1997 IMGP1998 IMGP1999 IMGP2000 Oscar 400

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18. cakes in space: dressing up!

When Oxford University Press publicists asked last year if Philip Reeve and I had any Cakes in Space-themed photos to use for book fair publicity, this was the best we could get together at the time:



But we knew we wouldn't be able to draw outfits onto ourselves for stage events. (Actually, that would be very cool; possibly for another book.) And dressing up in space costumes is... just plain fabulous, so we set about designing something for ourselves. First, I needed a hat! Of course. There's this line in Cakes in Space, when space voyager Astra first meets a killer cake:

The top of the cake flipped open like a pedal-bin lid, revealing a wide mouth and lots of shiny teeth.

...And that seemed a good template for an INTERESTING piece of headgear.



My sculptor friend Eddie Smith offered to help me with the mechanics of it, and he's generally just good at this sort of thing. (He built the structure for my Giant Seawig. Read about that in an earlier blog post.) So here's Eddie, with a rough prototype, made from cardboard, tubing, a turkey-baster squeezeball, and cork and a bit of folded inner tube. Fill the inner tube with air and it tries to straighten; the mouth opens.



Ha ha, here's the more finished version, in action!




Those plastic balls they sell at the pound shop make great eyeballs. I did a test one, to see if it would take the Posca paint pens. Eddie's great to work with, he can solve any problem, and he's just set up a new Facebook page for his 3D art. Do do pop over, have a look, and give him a 'like'!



Now for the rest of the costumes! I can sew a little bit, but I need to take my machine in for reconditioning and I don't have a lot of time, with all the book work and events I've been doing. One day I was in the studio and someone popped by to collect some post that had been delivered, or use my printer or something, and we got talking; she said she designed costumes. A-ha!, I thought. That person was Wendy Benstead, and she has a whole amazing tailor workshop on the top floor of our building. I showed her these drawings I'd made of possible costumes, and she said she could do them!



Here's Wendy with her Head Maker, Heather Coad. (They don't always wear matching outfits.) They do a lot of bridal work, but Wendy's training is in corsetry, and Heather loves cosplay, so they were chuffed to get a more eccentric costume commission.



To help keep costs down, I went out myself to find the materials, to the shops on Goldhawk Road. The silver quilting for Philip's suit was easy to find, but the turquoise proved more difficult. And I steered clear of the lighter blue because I was really worried about looking like a mattress. I got most of the fabrics on that road, but ended up sending away to Germany for the turquoise quilting. (I could have quilted some other fabric myself, but again... time.)



The first thing Wendy did was make what's called a toile, a rough cotton version of the outfit, just to get the pattern worked out. The toile wasn't terribly flattering, but Wendy reassured me that this was normal. It was much more fun when I visited the studio and saw some actual glittery material peeking out...



Here's some of my space dress, still in pieces:



Philip and I went for a couple fittings when he was in town for conferences and such. His suit was loosely based on some we'd seen in the catalogue for the Davie Bowie exhibition at the V&A Museum. Wendy played around with the tubing on my dress; we wanted to get a sort of retro Jetsons look.



I was a bit worried with my cone-shaped skirt, that if I stood up on stage, the audience would be able to see right up my dress. So I found this big-mama petticoat on Ebay, again from Germany. It had a distinct pong of being stored too long in a wet basement when it arrived, but I gave it a good wash and it was fine. Gosh, is it fluffy.



I thought I was going to shape my own wig, using these foam doughnut things, but I couldn't get that hair to do ANYTHING. I wanted it to look sleek and it stayed resolutely messy.



I gave up on the blue hair, but it looked great as a mermaid hairdo for our Manchester Seawigs Parade. Instead, I found some clip-on buns in one of the African hair shops near Peckham Rye station which worked much better. It's sort of a Princess Leia look... PRINCESS LEIA CAKE.



Months earlier, Philip had found some fab space specs in Camden Market while we were there with his family. (I think his son, Sam, actually bought them, and Philip convinced Sam to let him borrow them.)



I wanted to paint my backup pair of glasses white, but I was scared of ruining the finish on them; Eddie recommended painting them first with PVA glue. I tried it on an ugly old pair first, and the glue and paint peeled off easily. And then I got a sheet of some glittery mirror stuff from 4D Model Shop in Shadwell and cut it into a necklace shape. Not bad! We looked like something out of a some British 1970s Sci-fi film, the kind that had slightly cheap sets, but it didn't matter. SUCCESS!



My boots were easy to find on Ebay, but we had a hard time finding glam turquoise boots for Philip. They don't really exist in Internet land. So we settled with white boots from Demonia, which do the job just fine.



And then we were ready... WE CAN SPARKLE! Greetings, earthlings!


Photo by Michael Thorn, Achuka


Huge thanks to Wendy, Heather and Eddie for all your help with the costumes! And to Stuart, for putting up with me parading around the house looking weird and asking his opinion on things such as blue hair. He looked super-impressed when I put on the whole costume, and that was a fun moment. Again, do check out Eddie's Facebook page, and you can follow Wendy Benstead on Twitter as @CostumesByWendy. You can also read an interview with her and see more photos in Guise magazine here.


Photo by Michael Thorn, Achuka

Cakes in Space launches at the beginning of September with Oxford University Press.

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19. Diana Ting Delosh

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

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20. etna may


Filed under: circus, dances, flying

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21. 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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22. 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.

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23. Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting/Ornament

Girl In A Cat Costume Original Painting Ornament
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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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24. 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:

gown

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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25. 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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