Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I've been planning our Halloween costumes this year.  We always try to have a matching theme as a family.  We've done Alice in Wonderland, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Snow Carny, The 50's and I'm sure there are more (my brain is shot, I've had 2 kids and a husband with strep throat, and I can feel myself getting sick as I type.  
Who knew fingers could weigh 5 pounds each).  
It's funny how much my kids love dressing up as a family.  I know the year will come when one of them will finally protest.  But a couple weeks back my girls both came to me asking what "WE" were going to be for halloween this year.  
I love it.

So if you're looking for a costume idea here is what we did last year…
K… I'm going to admit something.  Most young girls have crushes on the Justin Beiber's of their day.  I had a crush on… I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but it's the truth. 

Dick Van Dyke. 


No lie.  
My dad owned a video store, one of the first in our town.  Back then you had to rent the movie and then the 50 pound VCR just so you could watch the video.  
It was called Video Express.
I still remember adding the "be kind rewind" stickers onto the tapes, (most of the stickers made it onto my clothing and face rather than the videos) and helping myself to the candy and soda pop in the store.   I also remember thinking the teenage employees were soooo cool.  There was particular girl with long gorgeous blond hair who would wear it in a side pony tail that twisted.  
I felt "like, oh my gosh, so totally rad" when my mom would do my hair like hers.
(I still remember when she came to our house and taught my mom how to do this hairstyle on me.  I felt so special).
One of the first "kid" videos he purchased was 
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  
We would watch it over and over.  Perhaps that's where it all started.  But man, I thought (and still think) Mr. Van Dyke was darling.  Now the funny thing is… I kind of married him.  
People who know J will laugh in agreement.  
J walking around dressed as Bert, interpreting his gait and attempting that cockney english accent was perfection. 
He honestly could have gotten a job at disneyland.  

Then we have…

A bit of a stretch, but it works.
I found this pattern for the wings 
The skirts & masks I just made up on my own. And then there is me as...
 I had the coat.  The hat is a bowler hat (from a costume store).  I beat it up, added a few staples here and there and then glued on the flowers and cherries.  The umbrella was the only big halloween costume purchase of the lot.  I got it at the Disney store.

Now if only I could snap my fingers to clean the house.  (Although I don't know if I could manage to snap… remember, they feel like they weigh 5 pounds each).
Halloween… such a jolly holiday! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

 Mr. Copperpot

There is a chill in the air! 
I have to slip on socks first thing out of bed to warm my froze toes.   We open our windows on friday nights to listen to the high school kids cheering at the football games.  (We know if they are winning or not just by how loud they get).  The kids are back in school, wearing sweaters and jackets that are clearly not needed yet… but they like to layer as much as their mommy does. Night is creeping up earlier and earlier.  And I get all giddy.  
Fall is here!

I debate it every year… how early is too early to set up halloween?  I seriously can't help myself.  
This post is a halloween decoration I've had for a couple years now.  Don't worry, these photo's are from last year…. I have not set him up yet.  
Soon though… very soon.

In the two times I've been to Disneyland in the last decade I've made sure that we go when the Nightmare Before Christmas is set up at The Haunted Mansion.  If you know me, you know I'm a fan of Mr. Burton and his crazy dark artsy-ness.  I wish I could just magically decorate my house like the mansion for halloween.  Alas I have not the funds or enough waking hours to attempt it. :)

On the outside of the mansion it's decorated with all of these fabulous cartoony skulls.  They are both a tad creepy and a bit comical & dopy at the same time.  I know, it sounds weird, but it works.
I wanted to add my own.  Instead of making several small skulls (as they have on the Haunted Mansion) I made one very large skull.  
Here is Momo next to him.  He's not small, he measures about 4.5 x 3 feet. My husband often states that my motto is "Go big or go home".  As much as I'd like to say it's not true, 
I think he might be very very correct. 
I painted him on masonite.  My neighbor who is always coming to my… "help me I need to build something" rescue cut him out with his jigsaw.  
(For the love, I need to finally just purchase a jigsaw). 
After the skull was painted and dry I added a coat of matte varnish (just from a spray can).  I think this will be the third year (maybe forth) we've put him up.  
He has made it through wind, rain & snow.  
He still looks good as new.
I love putting him up every year.  He makes me smile every time I pull into the driveway.

Perhaps I should name him.  
Any thoughts on a good name????
Maybe I'll call him Chester Copperpot.

K, before the skull was drawn and painted onto the masonite, I first sketched him out on paper.  Here is the drawing… you're welcome to use it if you'd like.  If you have a projector you could shine him up on your own board and make your own. :)  I can't give painting lessons though… that would be a bit too intense of a tutorial. 
Again… it's just the rough sketch, not a masterpiece or anything.  Be forgiving, at least I cut off the grocery list I had written on the bottom of the paper. 
Although, I believe it still carries the creases from where I sat on this grocery list because I left it on the front seat of the car.  Ooops.

And yes… I'm listening to my Halloween soundtrack while I write this post.  
Here is what's on  my soundtrack (incase your looking for some music to add to your own)…
Corpse Bride Soundtrack
Coraline Soundtrack
(End Credits & The Supper)
Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack
A few Harry Potter Favorites
 Dementors in the Underpass (Order of the Phoenix), Double Trouble (Azkaban), 
Story Continues (Goblet of Fire) & Finale (Azkaban)
Beetlejuice Soundtrack 
(a few select songs)
Edward Scissorhands
(Ice Dance, The Cookie Factory & The End)
Tales from the Crypt 
Danny Elfman is 90% of my soundtrack.  
Sure beats listening to The Monster Mash… (although it was a graveyard smash).  
Just thinking about that song gives me a headache.  

Happy Fall All!