Thank you BAGS for YOU!

It’s November! Which feels like the calm before the storm.
It’s that short break, when you take a decor breather before red + white twinkle lights show up. Of course it’s also my favorite month to start making pumpkin pie (or any pie). It’s time to get cozy in the house, and most of all to give THANKS!

And I want to say THANK YOU to YOU!
Thank you for always stopping by and leaving fun comments. I love interacting with you guys and seeing what you make and share online (tag me so I can see!)

So. For this month I want to keep saying THANK YOU to YOU with a few thank you gifts each week. Cause, when in doubt:

And take time to stop and smell the cactus.
If cacti have a scent?
Or maybe they don’t have a scent?
But they’re always pretty to look at (and to make!)

I designed these canvas bags with some of my artwork from my fabrics.
And I want to give some to you!
They’re such a great size to use as a purse, for knitting and sewing projects, for books. Hey they’d make a great GIFT bag to put something else in, and to gift away. It’s the bag that keeps on giving. And keeps making you hungry.

• I’m giving away TEN OF THESE BAGS! (winners pick Tacos or Cactus)

• Open to all Newsletter Subscribers WORLDWIDE! (10 winners will be picked at random)
• All you have to do is be a newsletter subscriber,
>>> Sign up by the end of Friday Night, November 8th <<<

That’s it!

If you already subscribe to our newsletters, then you’re set!
If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, SIGN UP HERE.

I love sending newsletters out to you. They’re like a mini blog post, with a personal note, and links to fun projects. I try to send them weekly, depending on the craziness of life.
So. If life were perfect, you’d get one every Friday.
And cactus blooms would smell like coconut lotion.
And tacos would be served for Thanksgiving dinner.

>>> Sign up by the end of Friday Night, November 8th<<<

And stay tuned for more fun free things I’m giving away over the next few weeks.
Have a great afternoon!

Giant COTTON CANDY Costumes

Oh my gosh, this might be my favorite costume duo yet!
Lucy and one of her best friends Savannah said they wanted to be cotton candy for Halloween. One pink; one blue.
Who can say no to that??
My spray-paint, candy-loving heart was happy.

In fact, I ran into another mom at the hardware store also buying paint for costumes (Lighting McQueen and Sally were in the works) and we chatted for about 10 minutes about kids and making stuff, and the logistics of large spacial (obnoxious?) costumes, and how it was all going to come together in one short week.

I love how Halloween costumes bring the world together! Maybe that’s all the world needs—cute costumes?! Everyone dressed like donuts and ice cream cones, high-fiving each other? Okay that’s overly optimistic and simplistic. But seriously, watching these girls walk around the neighborhood last night as giant balls of cotton candy definitely brought joy to everyone around.

Want to be a real life, cotton candy ball of joy too??
Here’s what you do…

Decide what kind of Cotton Candy you want to be.
Wouldn’t it be cute to have a whole GROUP OF COTTON CANDY? In all sorts of pastel shades?? Please somebody do it, and send me a picture.

The inspiration for the costume was our cousin Addison, who was cotton candy last year for Halloween, with fluffy bits of cotton candy (stuffing) everywhere. My SIL Nicole did such an adorable job! I just want to pick off some pieces and eat it! So this is one way you can do it. Spray paint a bunch of poly fill stuffing, and then spray-glue it to a shirt or sweatshirt, and add some batting inside too.

Or you could be a smooth rolled Cotton Candy ball:

Or you could do a “low volume” version for school, which is what Lucy wore during the day. Of course she got a few comments like, you’re a snow cone? Ice cream cone? Unicorn? So we should have added a bit of the pink batting to her shirt. Live and learn.

Your style of cotton candy will determine what kind of batting you need. Just find what works for you at the fabric or craft store. Then grab some spray adhesive and spray paint!

The beauty of this costume is that it can look “messy.” My friend Katherine and I were sort of winging it with our girls.

Here’s what we did:

• We started with some of the dense batting underneath, which we spray-glued together in a roll around their body, arms out.
• Then we used a full package/roll of quilt batting in a bag. We kept it folded in 3rds or 4ths (however it came) and then wrapped that around them, with their arms inside. We started down below their bum, wrapped it around, made our way up and around the neck, and tucked the end into the front. We did a practice wrap first, then did it again and used spray glue as we went, to hold it together. Clothes pins helped hold it in place, as the glue dried.
• Then we cut small armholes, and pulled their arms out. We just used our hands to feel and gauge where the armholes should be.
• And finally (the fun part!) — we spray painted them! Spray from a distance and apply a few coats.

The costumes looked super funny drying out in the yard….like sugared cocoons.

And the girls looked even funnier wearing them in the car last night.

• This is sort of a 1 or 2 time costume-wearing idea. It gets a little beat up and saggy after that.
• Some of the spray paint started to dust off after a while, not much, but some.
• It would be helpful to put more stuffing or a even a small pillow inside of the costume, to plump it out, and displace the space where their arms had been.
• Spray paint some extra batting that you can place and tuck around the neckline, if needed.
• Use safety pins to pin and tuck any areas together around the neckline or other parts.

Now add a few more things and your costume is ready!

• Shirts – I could not believe that these shirts from Target came as a two-pack in cotton candy colors. PERFECT!  The day we made the costumes, it was 90 degrees and the girls were dying of heat. But then ironically on Halloween night, it was 35 degrees. So they wore sweatshirts underneath their costumes AND these t-shirts. And in the end, the batting made everything cozy and warm.
• White shoes – Grab a simple pair of white tennies at Target or Walmart. We really wanted to make pink and blue DIY saddle shoes…but ran out of time.
• White leggings.
• Cone Stick hats – info below

We were originally going to use poster board to make really tall hats like our cousin Addy’s pic above. But we worried that it would be hard to keep on…so we went for a bun-cone instead. We rolled a piece of cardstock into a cone shape and taped it together. Then we spray-painted some extra batting and hot-glued the batting around the bottom. Then we pulled their hair up in a bun, and placed the cone over it. It helps to snip around the bottom of the cone every 2 inches to create some flat areas. Then attach it with bobby pins to their hair, and pull the batting down over the pins.

After walking in the costumes for two nights of fun, they started to pull apart a bit at the seams (as you can see in the photo below). So just glue, pin, and tuck as needed.

And enjoy your Halloween!
The girls were totally a hit all night as we walked around.
Ahhhh. Look! It’s cotton candy!
Such a happy sight.

Rubik’s Cube costume

Owen is obsessed with Rubik’s Cube right now.
As in, he’s totally into it.
He can solve it.
He times himself solving it.
Tries to do it with his eyes closed.
Has friends bring their cubes to school so he can solve theirs.
Basically, it’s the constant clankety sound in the car as we drive to school each morning (while Lucy and I try to have a conversation in the front).

But I think it’s awesome. I don’t have that part of the brain that enjoys puzzle-solving or one that has patience in general. He definitely got that from Casey.

So when it came time to brainstorm Halloween costumes, it seemed appropriate to think, inside the box. Heh, heh, heh.
Owen, you should be a Rubik’s Cube!

This costume is a great last-minute, bang-your-buck kind of idea.

• Large box 22 x 22″ (found at the UPS store or other shipping store)
• Acrylic craft paint (2 bottles of each color)
• Roll of black electrical tape

You could do this a few different ways. You could paint the box…or you could cover it with paper/cardstock (I worried that if it rained, it might get ruined). And some of this depends on what TYPE of Rubik’s Cube you’re going for.
Is your cube SOLVED, or MESSED UP?
Owen wanted to be a solved cube, which made the project easier. If you were going to do a completely messed up cube, I would probably paint the whole box black, and then glue colorful squares of cardstock on top.

Here’s what we did…..

• Paint the box in 6 different colors.
It’s easier to do this flat on the ground, with a paint cloth underneath. The beauty of the project is that your lines do not have to be perfect! The edges will be covered up later with electrical tape. So just hand paint and do your best to make a general square for each color, following the creased lines of the box. Paint all the tops of the box one color, and all the bottom pieces another color. The white, yellow, and orange paints may require a few coats, while the dark colors might be fine with one coat.

• Use a blow dryer between coats of paint.
This was a huge time saver!….(especially since I was making this 2 hours before our church Halloween party. And we had all been sick all week, so it was a chaotic sprint the finish line…which in reality, is often how it goes, even if we’re not sick. So who am I fooling with our sickness stories?? Not you puzzle-solving geniuses!)

• Keep your brushes wet between paint coats.
I used cheap foam brushes—one for each color. AND, when you’re done painting a color, wrap the brush in a wet wipe and keep it near you (rather than rinsing out).  This way the brush stays wet if you need to use it again to apply a second coat or touch up. Also a time saver. Then toss the brushes when you’re done. Not worth the clean up!

• Cut a hole at the top for the head.
I measured Owen’s head and initially cut a 10×10″ square from the top pieces. But arrrrg. I should have cut a rectangle, since the box fell down around his shoulders when we tried it on the first time. Duh. So I taped some the extra pieces (that I had cut off) back inside to make it more narrow at the shoulders. Make it work moments.

• Cut a larger hole at the bottom for the legs.

• Glue or Tape the top and bottom in place.
I really wanted glue to work here so you wouldn’t see any tape lines. But again, we were running late, and hot glue just wasn’t working. So I used packing tape here. It’s not ideal, but no one will notice.

• Use black electrical tape to make a grid on the box.
Electrical tape is a bit stretchy, so stretch it slightly as you go. This will help it stick in place, and keep it from sagging anywhere. Go around the edges first, and fold it over the edges and corners. Then add the stripes. FIRST use a ruler to mark lines 7 inches in on each side. This made it real easy to make the tape lines nice and straight.

• You could also print a RUBIK’S CUBE logo and glue it to the front of the white boxes. People will know what you are either way.
• We also taped some padding (quilt batting) into the shoulder areas of the box to make it softer to wear.

And then there’s an added surprise….since every cube needs access points, for gathering extreme amounts of candy…

I used a knife to cut doors on the front cubes, and taped small handles to the inside.
You can open them IN or OUT. Or you could make this into an Autobot Transformer costume? Totally looks like the face here, from this angle.

Or more importantly, maybe you’ve created windows into your Rubik’s Cube soul.

Now hit the streets, buddy.
Happy Halloween!