Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween, IDMommy Style

 Happy Halloween!!! Here's some random Halloween fun going on in the IDMommy's house today...

Sammy as Clifford
 Sammy wanted to be Clifford, and since I found I could buy a like-new costume on ebay for less than I could buy the material, I didn't make his.  But, I did make the little yellow tag that says "Clifford" as it really needed that!  I just used two pieces of yellow felt sandwiched together and sewn on the edges, then wrote the letters with black fabric paint.

 Toby loves Curious George, so I had fun dressing him as the Man in the Yellow Hat!  I got a new witch hat at the thrift store, spray painted it yellow, and added a band around it with some black vinyl I had in my studio.  The boots, pants, shirt and belt were also from the thrift store.  I had to take a couple trips to find yellow pants but found some!  I did have to make them shorter and smaller around the waist though as they were too big.  For his belt (which you can't see here) I just got an adult sized black belt, cut it shorter, and punched new holes in it to fit him.  The yellow shirt had a couple blue stripes sewn across it, which I removed with a seam ripper.

 Here's a close-up of the little bit of sewing I did on the shirt.  I just made a fake collar on the front and a little tie, an then glued some black felt polka dots on it.  It came out okay!  I couldn't find a yellow tie anywhere so this worked.  I just cut the shapes, folded the edges in and ironed them, then sew the edges and voila! Faked dress shirt and tie!

We did our pumpkins this morning so I'll have to share pics of those too...

Sammy isn't too interested in getting dirty so I scraped the insides loose and he helped scoop the guts out into a bowl. That was about the extent of his interest in pumpkin carving this year so I pretty much did all the work, which is fine, because I love carving pumpkins!

 If you're new to pumpkin carving, here are a few tips...
1) as shown above, don't just cut a circle, put a "V" shape somewhere around your circle.  This will help you line the lid up perfectly every time when you cover it.  Little trick I learned from my dad!  
2) Cut at an angle as shown above.  If you cut straight, your lid won't sit on top; it'll fall inside! 
3) Make sure you cut the hole big enough for your hand to get in, and more importantly, out of the pumpkin to clean it out!

So, Here's what I did this year...

Toby loves George, as we've established earlier, so I made him a George pumpkin! I was gonna just do a face, but found this image of George floating away on his kite on a Google image search and liked it.  I used some brown acrylic paint and a sharpie for the black.

 I can take NO credit for this great lantern design idea...I found it on Pinterest! The original link can be found here, on Country Living.  Such a fun idea.  I didn't use their templates but they are easy enough! I used a drill for the little holes and a permanent marker for the black.  Much simpler than they look.

And last but certainly not least, the semi-truck monster truck pumpkin!  Sammy is currently obsessed with monster trucks, and wanted a monster truck pumpkin.  We scrolled through images of monster trucks on the web and chose this one that looks like a big rig.  I think my new favorite pumpkin carving tool is my cordless drill!  I used it for all the round lights, and also for the corners of all the spots I cut out.  I used some paint pens for the color and the metallic silver, which worked great!

After a little pumpkin carving, fun with Play Doh, and playing in the yard, we had lunch.  I made some "super special cheesy Halloween toast"...

So, that's our day so far!  The boys are resting up now so they'll have lots of energy to go trick-or-treating with Daddy after supper!

Hope you and your family have a fun and safe Halloween!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ID Mommy Tip: Blaze Orange. it's Not Just for Hunters Anymore!

I think many moms would agree that one of the most tiring things about taking your kids out to busy, crowded places is trying to keep your eye on them.  I've always tried to dress my boys in bright colors whenever we go on a play date to a playground, or any other place with lots of kids, so that I could easily pick them out of a crowd.

Recently I picked up this blaze orange hoodie at a garage sale for a buck, and boy does that thing stand out!  I guess those hunters know what they are doing when it comes to visibility.

A couple weeks ago he wore it to our visit to a local orchard, where we went with some friends from church.  Hmm, what do you think...can you spot my kid in these pictures?


It seems like such a trivial little thing, but wow, I have to say that simply lifting my eyes and immediately spotting my child took away so much of the stress that comes with keeping track of my kids! 

Now if only I could find one just like it in Toby's size, I'd be all set, as he was the one I had to really chase after...heck, I could almost sit down and have a conversation with another adult and possibly even get one coherent thought out of my head without interrupting myself by frantically scanning the crowd!!! Now THAT is one mind blowing benefit of blaze orange hunting gear!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making Tie Dye Shirts for Halloween!

Sammy and I had a blast making some Halloween tie dye shirts a week or so ago, using a kit I got at Michael's with my 40% off coupon.  They also had t-shirts for $2, but you could easily use any old white shirt or pick one up at a thrift store!

First I had to wash the shirts, with no fabric softener.  I pulled them out of the washing machine and, leaving them wet, we put rubber bands on them...
 One for Sammy, one for Toby, and one for Mommy!

Sammy got a kick out of the plastic gloves!
 The kit was super easy...just add water to the bottles which already had powdered dye in them, and shake!  Then apply with the bottle.  I was picturing myself having to mix up buckets of dye and do it out in the back yard, but this was nice, neat, and simple enough for this almost-4-yr-old to do with a little help!

Sammy applying the orange dye up to the rubber band

Finishing off the dye

I set them on a foil lined cookie sheet, with a piece of plastic wrap over them, for 8 hours or so.
 Then comes the fun part...opening them up and seeing how they turned out!  The instructions had some cute ideas for jack-o-lantern and spider web designs and we pretty much followed those closely.  I kindof made mine up as a spinoff of Sammy's pumpkin shirt, with 3 pumpkins...
 Then after you wash them and dry them you can add some designs with the fabric paint. The kit also came with a glow-in-the-dark paint but I just used this black:

Here are our 3 shirts all done!  Toby won't fit into his until at least next year, as the smallest shirt Michael's had was still too big for him.  But, I think I like his the best, with the spider web!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

IDMommy Tip: Use QR Codes to Share Recipes at Parties!

Here's a fun idea I came up with about an hour before we were to have some guests over for BBQ last night...using QR codes to share recipes! 

We do a lot of entertaining, and there are always a few people who ask for recipes.  So, I figured, rather than digging them out and making my guests copy them down, leaving the party to go make a copy in my studio, or trying to remember who to email them to afterwards, I'd give this a try!

All I did was Google "QR Code Generator" and there are many sites that will generate the code for you.  QR Stuff was the site I used.  Since most of my recipes were already online, either found on Allrecipes or via Pinterest links, I simply found the links to those recipes and generated a code that takes you to that website.  Then I downloaded the code, pasted it in Photoshop, and printed them out with the names underneath them.  I cut them out and taped them by each dish.  (You could just print these and leave off the recipe title too, skipping the whole Photoshop thing)

There were a couple recipes that were not online, just from my recipe box.  So, I chose the "plain text" option.  I still haven't even tried that one out so I'm not sure how it reacted on people's smart phones.  But, it was a really fun idea to try out and a great way to easily share recipes!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fun Fall Projects: Egg Carton Pumpkins!

 Here's a little egg carton project you can do with your kids this fall!  I've been looking for egg carton crafts because I have quite a stash of them built up, and this one has been popping up all over Pinterest so I thought I'd give it a try!

Spray paint the bottom of an egg carton orange

Cut apart the sections

Cut off the bottoms of each egg section. Try to get them as flat as you can so they'll match up when you glue them later.

Poke a little hole in the middle of the tops of your pumpkin

I had these fake leaves around so I cut some of them off to put on our pumpkins

Put a dot of glue on the little hole you poked

Stick on your leaf! You could make a leave with fabric, paper, pipe cleaners, or whatever else, too! I also added a little piece of the wire stem from my fake leaves for a stem, which you could just use a stick or pipe cleaner for too.

Put some glue around the edges of one of the halves

Stick 'em together

Add a face! Sammy had fun coloring on these with a Sharpie.  You can also add google eyes!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Colors on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

I took the boys for a bike ride yesterday on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail which runs by our neighborhood.  A great chance to take in fall colors AND get used to my new digital camera!

 Happy fall!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ID Mommy Project: Baby Food Jar Jack-o-Lanterns

So today I was reaching for my blaze orange spray paint in preparation for a different pumpkin craft for the boys to do after nap.  Staring back at me on the same shelf was my stash of empty baby food jars, which have been screaming for re-use.   Then it hit me...hey, I could mask off some jack-o-lantern faces, paint them orange, peel off the tape, and set them over a battery powered candle....and voila! (Yeah, I know, I'm weird...these are the things that pop into my head!!)  Turns out they actually came out kinda cool!  So here it is!

 You'll need orange spray paint, masking or painter's tape, baby food jars (or any glass jar, really), and scissors or an X-acto knife.  Optional: Something to make leaves and/or a stem with

 Thoroughly clean and dry the baby food jars.  Then turn them upside down and make faces on them with masking tape.  I cut these shapes with scissors, which was a bit clumsy but worked.  (You could also put the tape on the jar first and cut the shapes right on the jar with an X-acto knife.)

 I made three of them today. Make sure to burnish the tape...rub them down so the edges are really stuck so the paint doesn't get underneath.

 Next, spray paint them orange.  Make sure they're upside down.  I did the faces on the upside down jars so there wouldn't be overspray inside the jars and the faces would stay clear.

 It may take a couple coats.  Once it's all dry, carefully peel off the tape.  I like to use the sharp point of my X-acto knife to grab the edge of the tape so I don't scratch the part I want painted.

 You could stop there if you want.  I found some old fake flowers and snipped a few leaves off and glued them on top.  I'd still like to add a stem of some sort but I'm not sure what to use yet.  Maybe a real stick?

Now just set them on top of a little battery powered candle!  Cuteness!! You could do these right side up too...just keep the lid on or tape off the opening while spray painting so you don't get paint on the inside.  (If you get paint inside, the cut-out faces won't be clear)


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