Last week my son’s school had a “costume day.” He wanted to be Venom of Marvel lore, and told me so a week before. Welllllll I forgot until the day before. So I did a quick google search, made a list, and after work, hit up a Goodwill, Dollar Tree, hardware store, and an art supply store on my way home. I came home with this:

Dinosaur masks, paint, spray paint, long-sleeved t-shirt, and black jeans (not pictured).

At 11:30 PM, I was done.

Typical me, I look at this and think of all the improvements I could have made, but then I remember that I had to wake up early for puppy and work, and I did the best I could with the time and resources I had. Besides! The boy was OVER THE MOON with this outfit.

I’ve promised him that if he’s Venom for Halloween, I’ll make some upgrades. So far, that’s the plan. I just LOVE these challenges- making fantastical costumes with few resources (the more repurposed, the better!!!), and with a time crunch, I think I do my best work. 😉

Happy crafting!

Halloween sneak peek 3

Thanks to some sage advice from a reader of this blog, I revisited the pleather I was working on the other night. I had given up on the sewing machine in favor of the hot glue gun, but the result was mediocre at best.  I undid a lot of the work and went back with needle and thread.

Of course this was the way to go! It took several hours, and I wouldn’t have been able to finish if the Wee Boy hadn’t taken a fluke nap (big fluke! He fell asleep in my arms!).  At the risk of giving away too much information (I haven’t told you my costume, right? But if you know me even a tiny bit, I bet you’ve guessed!), here’s my result:

I think I’ll add just a few more details, but I’m very happy with it! It fits well and it’s even comfortable–I wore it all through dinner (hmmm, did I just prove what a geek I am??), and it didn’t shift or break, so I think I have a winner! Yeah!

Halloween sneak peek 2

Today I had some frustration working with faux leather.

This is the back side- hemming didn’t work out, nor did just sewing the layers together with no finishing. The top layer tended to stretch, and the layers didn’t want to move forward in my sewing machine. I gave up and used my hot glue gun, but I’m not satisfied. Any ideas???

Felt is almost always good to me, however, and I was happy with my one last addition to the Wee Boy’s costume.


it’s upside down, though!

At least something worked out, right? 

Long day!

We started with soccer.

Then there was a birthday party, for which I had planned to see a gift. My original plan didn’t work, but I was able to whip up some reusable snack bags.


Third was the Wee Boy’s school fundraiser. The dress code was to choose a decade and dress in that style. I scoured a Goodwill while consulting with my mom by text, and came up with a 60s Mod~ish outfit.

Dress–$8, bag–$4, makeup–$8. The boots and scarf (below) I already had. I’m glad I could put this together cheaply!
After sending my mom the above photo, I added a scarf for my hair.

I think it really pulls the outfit together.
The event was fun! My husband had to work, so I asked a friend to go with me, and we had a good time! She even happened to have a perfect 50s outfit.

And there were several other Mod gals.


It was fun! I had forgotten how much I like to wear costumes!! Although… I had a kid’s birthday party to attend just before the fundraiser and I knew I wouldn’t have time in between, so I wore this to the party. People were complimenting me on my outfit and hair, so I found myself explaining that it was a getup. Funny!!!

Beach day! And Halloween, part 4.

Well, the San Francisco Bay Area has been having something of a heat wave!  It doesn’t feel like our normal Indian Summer, not with these 80+ degree temperatures!  So the kids and I headed out of the city today to Stinson Beach.  It turned out to be a very excellent choice.  It got up to about 90 degrees, I think.  Nor-Cal water is frigid even in super hot temps, but it felt great anyway.  We pretty much got soaked up to our necks.

For the first time since I had kids, I took a book to the beach!  I actually got to read a few poems in between fetching water, chasing waves, and digging holes.

For the first time since I had kids, I took a book to the beach! I actually got to read a few poems in between fetching water, chasing waves, and digging holes.

Taking a break from the water with watercolors!

I also took along art supplies for the first time since having kids!  It ended up being a good call!

I also took along art supplies for the first time since having kids! It ended up being a good call!

The nice thing about staying for a super long time is that we were all ready to go at the same time.  No fussing!

We stayed for about 5 hours, which I'm sure is our longest stay at a beach!

We stayed for about 5 hours, which I’m sure is our longest stay at a beach!

We made a quick stop at JoAnn’s on the way home for the last few bits and pieces for Halloween costumes, and while the kids passed out watching Monsters, Inc., I finished the zipper and apron for the Wee Girl’s dress.  This was my first time putting a zipper into a garment, and it went ok.  There was a tiny part where it looks like the fabric didn’t quite catch, but I sewed in an extra line on each side of the zipper (topstitching? edge stitching?), so I think it’s safe.



I veered from the apron instructions because 1) I didn’t understand them and 2) the Wee Girl and I thought that the apron should be attached to the dress, for security purposes.



Now I just need the Girl to try it on and decide on the right length!  Then we’ll be ready for pumpkin patch photo ops, Halloween parties and parades, trick-or-treating….

THIS close!

THIS close!

I hope your Saturday was as excellent as mine!

Halloween, part 2

My main goal today (aside from grocery shopping!) was to make some progress in the Wee Girl’s Halloween costume. I’m glad I set aside a big chunk of time for this, because there are a lot of steps to this pattern! Here are a few:


Ready to sew the apron bib onto the front layer.IMG_5573.JPG

Bib sewn on, bodice lining also sewn in.

Bodice finished aside from sewing the sleeves in (and adding the zipper, which comes much later).

I’m betting that by now you can probably tell what/who the Wee Girl is going to be for Halloween!

As you can see, this is no quickie pattern! The bodice is fully lined, the puffy sleeves are a bit involved, etc. (and perhaps the construction took me some time to comprehend!) But one thing I love about handmade things- the quality will be really good- this fabric will last, the seams won’t tear after one or two uses; it’ll be sturdy. And loved, I hope!

In other news, it has been HOT in San Francisco!! So hot that the beach with friends was definitely the right choice for this afternoon.


“Mommy, I’m learning to surf!”

It couldn’t have been nicer!