I’ve missed a month of blogging? How did that happen?
Oh. Right.
Halloween + Making Halloween Costumes

Being 5 and getting to help sew your costume on a machine with a GAS PEDAL?

Dark Knight Batman. Cost? Zero dollars

Angry Bird. Cost? $6

Muddling through kindergarten decisions, a new convoluted school assignment plan, and a lot of the NCLB crap that I had been clueless about. I’m no longer clueless, but I am angry. That anger is for another day.

A birthday (E’s); my mother’s “emergency” appendectomy (not really, but I spent 2 days there anyway. How awesome am I?); a party (for 37 of our closest friends); followed by another birthday (Z’s). By the way, if anyone needs a mopey, pouty-like-a-13-year-old-girl whose personality is the exact opposite away from home, I’m considering rentals.

Yes, being the oldest, with a birthday 6 days after his younger brother sucks. For all of us. Intellectually, I understand (and empathize) all of the emotional upheaval of being a child. I remember how slowly time passes, the broken promises (where IS my trampoline and pet pig?). I understand a November birth means you wait 10 months for both your birthday AND Christmas. Emotionally, I’m having repeat fantasies of the biggest goodwill donation in history.

Crazy Woman with a Pinterest Problem was ramping up to severe party mania (or just a Thursday), but after a heavy dose of symbolic Prozac running out of time, she calmed down.

Me realizing beforehand that the time JB took off for mom’s surgery would mean that he couldn’t take vacation for Z’s birthday, as he had already done for E? Pure dumb luck. Yes, it caused a heavy dose of extra sibling stuff. Yes, I solved that by throwing cupcakes and Mario Kart at them. Never say food and video games can’t heal.

So maybe, I didn’t get to the Inspector Gadget hats, or cardboard box city, as planned. I did make foam Agent badges. I planned on making I Spy gift bags, but JB hid them from during the party, so I forgot. Dyed rice is really cool for sensory table stuff, though.

Rice + Food Dye + Vinegar.

Pinata. Cost? About 25 cents.

Nothing says "crafting" like beer and sharp rotary tools.

Yup. Badges.

I won’t ever do the Made in China party favor bags again (related, I will never take Small People into a Party City again, either). At the last minute, I made another birthday mix CD (detective-themed music, of course). Though my CD envelopes were Mater napkins.

Having friends that won’t judge you for these things? Priceless.

Crap, Thanksgiving is next week? Which means Christmas is… Oy, I’ll pull out those boxes and find all of the crafty home-decor-things I was going to finish from last year. And I didn’t even KNOW about pinterest last year.

But secretly? I’m glad I’m so cheap… er, frugal. I love the challenge of being creative, and I hate being bored. Or paying retail.

Homegrown Superhereos

Okay- so I understand the obsession between little boys and superheroes, and little girls with princesses. They are both marketed as being good and strong and, most importantly, magically strong. As a kid, I definitely had Princess Leia Underoos. I’m reasonably sure that I pretended to be Wonder Woman– and if not her, definitely Indiana Jones-ette.

But I also pretended to be an Indian Princess after watching a Gandi miniseries with my Mom, complete with a green-checked tablecloth tied around my face. It is that memory that prompted me to make them superhero capes of a more specialized variety.

Thanks to hot wheels, Zach is obsessed with flames. Not fire, thankfully, just flames. Elliot loves water–especially pouring it, which is why he still uses a sippy cup. While I was in the cape-making mode, I also had a belated birthday cape (as in from August!) for a friend of mine’s daughter, and a birthday party coming up for another little girl, the tinkerbell-loving daughter of one of my favorite feminist friends.

Superhero Capes for everyone!

I use the pattern from the Puking Pustilles website and imagination for everything else.

Since I can’t draw worth a darn, I did a google search for the type of clip-art I needed and found excellent examples for the flames, water splat, fairy (then a sword, see above about feminist friend), and a crown.

Once I decided what I wanted, I sized them appropriately in the photo editor and then printed onto regular paper.

Next I traced the designs onto interfacing. Then you choose your felt colors and iron on according to the package directions. Cut off the excess felt and iron-on the felt to the cape.

Now– all of this went without a hitch and is actually the most time consuming of the process. In theory. If you actually sew with any regularity. Me? Well, it took forever, but that wasn’t the capes’ fault. First, I had knotting and breaking problems with the bobbin. I took off the sewing plate to clean it, found this.

Which of course led me to take the rest of the machine apart (following manufacturers instructions) and clean/oil inside. Then, since I had already read 6 pages of the manual, I decided to stop a read the rest of it. Which sent me back to the store to get new needles. After that, I needed to practice my stitches before sewing the capes (I have never followed that step in sewing instructions before–it actually made a huge difference in the final product.)

Then it was time to sew.

Elliot’s superhero cape, aka Commander H2O:

Zach’s superhero cape, aka Captain Fire Flame:

I wasn’t even surprised when Zach, instead of falling onto the cape with love and amazement, just looked at me and said, “that doesn’t look like a Batman cape.” I was annoyed–but not surprised.