Friday, January 31, 2014

DYI Spiderman Valentine Cards

Look at me, on a roll… Another crafty post, already!

Today, the kiddo and I spent the chilly day indoors, making homemade Valentine's Day cards he will give out to his friends at preschool at their Valentine's Day party in a few weeks.

My four year old is obsessed with spiderman these days - well, actually, any superhero, but especially spiderman. And. Iron man… and Batman.. and Captain America... He is actually so obsessed with superheros that he has given everyone he loves their own superhero names… for example, Grampie is THE HULK, Gramma is Black Widow, Daddy is Superman… Mommy is Superstar (although, its weird, he can pronounce SuperMAN no problem, but Superstar, sounds eerily like "LiquorStore" - True Story.) The best is Great Grampie, who was so proud when he was dubbed 'Batman'… that was, until he realized he misheard and Evan actually said "Antman" - "ANTMAN?!" - Anyways! Circling back, I like to do some arts and crafts type things with Ev-man a few times during the week, so that I can feel better about the amount of time he spends watching TV the rest of the time. Usually our craft projects are pretty lame (see decorated "human dog house" below), but, they keep us busy for a few hours doing something fun and show as justification on how our day is spent to account for the unfolded laundry baskets everywhere. Circling back, again, and getting to the point this time: I saw Valentine's Day Cards as an opportunity to get our craft on and have something legit and truly purposeful to show for it. When I asked Evan what kind of Valentine's Day cards he wanted to give out to his friends at school, it was a big shocker (not) when he said "Spiderman".

By the way, basically every photo I ever post, is like a "Where's Waldo: Laundry Basket Edition" - I wish I was a keener, and prompty folded and put my laundry away… but I rarely do, instead we seem to live out of laundry baskets and I have a strong bond with my Tobi steamer. (Thanks MIL, Love!)

As mentioned in my last post, I was gifted a Cricut paper cutter for Xmas a few years back. When I first received it, I thought it was really cool, but didn't know what kinds of things I could use it for… Well, as a mommy with a flare for crafts and shortcuts, it's found itself it's very own designated seat at the family dinner table. It's glorious. Thanks MIL!! Love!

When I googled "spiderman Valentine's" - a bunch of store bought ones showed up, and well as some heart shaped spiderman decorated cookies - I thought that would be easy enough to copy, paper style… and thus my vision was born.

I used the cricut to cut 4 inch hearts on red, and white card stock paper (I chose this size so I could get 4 hearts per page to limit waste) and printed black hearts in 4.5 inch sizing - I could get 3 hearts cut out of a 8.5x11 sized sheet at this size. We made 25 cards total. I used the circuit Plantin SchoolBook cartridge for the hearts. On the red hearts, I drew a black outline, with a felt marker, and drew a web design on them. On the white, I used a Valentine's Day stamp. I would have let Evan do this part, but… it really needed even pressure to apply well… and being the control freak I am… I delegated that duty to myself.

Next came the hell of the eyes… 25 cards=50 eyes, each eye has two parts to make it=100 - Using the same cartridge, I used the round brackets for the eyes, then I just had to trim the corners, vs trace out and hand cut 100 eyes. For the whites of the eyes, I used 3/4" size, and for the blacks, 1". It was painful and time consuming. I placed a glue dot (I'm new to glue dots, they are actual thing, and, awesome) on each black eye and then secured the white on, before cutting out the blacks, for ease.

Once this stage was over, it was FINALLY time to involve Evan! Thank god! Watching me get everything ready all morning and into the afternoon was making him bat shit crazy (and annoying), especially since I did a completed card first thing in the am to show him what was in store for the day.

First, I had Evan stamp a spider onto each white heart - the stamp came from one of his marvel colouring kits - followed by a valentine stamp of his choice - on each of the white hearts… helped him write his name on each one… (I added the the To/From parts because his focus was dwindling at that point), then, had him put the eyes on the red hearts.

(Note: I place an old bedsheet on the floor to protect the hardwood from any mishaps.. I do this after encountering a mishap. And, by mishap, I mean "Superman" still complaining about the spot where the modge podge still hasn't worn off the floor from the Halloween Costume)

Next, we placed some foam double sided stickers on the back of the red hearts, to give the card a bit of a 3D feel, and then I had Evan stick them to a black heart. I REALLY had to resist doing it for him, or "helping" him by firmly holding his hand while I "guided" where two the two hearts make contact... because it was making me bat shit crazy to see him not stick them on perfectly after all my work. He actually did do a really good job for a 4 year old with (momy diagnosed) ADD though… Although, admittedly, I did make him fix a few that were just ridiculous.

Finally, I added some glue dots to the backside of the black heart, and had Evan put a white heart on… Same story re: me watching in horror as some of the white over hung past the black edge of the black "outline" heart.

Close up of the finished product:
(sidenote: My husband thought it was a little "crazy" that I had XOXOs and the signature sign listed as "Love: Evan" on the cards - He thought this should be reserved for family only and I was told that evidently I give out my love freer than him. Thoughts? Am I teaching my son to be a slut with his love?)

Cabbage Patch Halloween Costume

Greetings and Salutations.

So… I've had this blog domain for a while… like.. over a year a while - but… I have no clue how to blog - and… because I wish I was a keener - and more of a wisher than a doer.. it has sat empty and sad… for over a year. Well friends, today my blog becomes real… I have no idea what will come of it, and have no vision as to what type of things I will blog about. A dear friend of mine suggested I blog about being a parent but still making time for wine. I like her idea, but, feel a little exposed admitting to the world that in order to be a good parent, I NEED to make time for wine. Ooops. I guess it's out there now. We will get back on this subject another time. For today,I will post my daughter's 2013 Halloween costume - I had uploaded my pictures individually onto pinterest, but another helpful friend informed me I did it wrong and that the pictures needed to be pinned from an actual website... Considering people keep pinning them, I figured I may as well do it right, dammit. I am a virgo after all, and a bit of a perfectionist. See pictures of halloween costume as proof of this.

Note: Not sure if the blog will tap into my virgo super power skill set or not… If not, don't judge. Just love.


Here goes.

My baby girl is arguably on of the cutest babies, ever. Everywhere we go, I am stopped to hear people gush about how she "looks like a little doll" - well, like a week before halloween, my helpful cousin sent me a picture of another cabbage patch baby halloween costume, with the instruction to "make it happen". It was friggen cute. And I love an excuse to be crafty, so! I considered it and decided: "challenge accepted". I prompty went out and purchased all the supplies needed to make the costume - noting that I only had the one picture to go by as a reference… From what I could see I needed green and yellow poster paper, a box, yarn… and a crochet needle… something green for a back drop… and for the hell of it - how about some mode podge to make it look really legit. I was bang on. (note: this is your shopping list)…


I had to learn how to crochet a beanie. My husband came up from the man cave that night, to pause and laugh at me on his way to bed, as I sat there with a big glass of wine, my supplies and youtube giving me the play by play on how to crochet. Supposedly. I searched many videos, paused, and rewound over and over and ripped apart several of my attempts at a crafting a beanie. It was like the story of goldilocks, crocheted beanie style: first, the beanie that was too big, then the beanie that was too small… then the beanie that was too ugly (wait. oh right, they all were pretty damn ugly) - But! Then! After MANNNNY attempts, finally, I mastered the beanie. Fuck. Yeah! I was damn proud of myself, too. I kind of wanted to stop the arts and crafts project right then and there and just take up beanie making. But, I didn't. And now I can't, because I fucking forgot how to crochet.

Okay, after the beanie was complete, I threaded yarn into the appropriate holes in the beanie to make pig tails and bangs until I had a pretty decent cabbage patch mop constructed.

For the win:

Next came on the worst flu ever - it really stalled my progress, and there I was two days before Halloween, with hours and hours of hard work into a cabbage patch wig for a baby. I had already seen the picture of the entire costume, and I would have hated myself to know I didn't knock it out of the park when I knew I damn well could have, sick, or not sick… so… I gutted and carved pumpkins instead of getting to work. Why? Because I promised my almost 4 year old we would, and he was holding me to it… As a side bar: I gutted the pumpkins in shifts, with couch breaks in between while I mustered up the energy to continue on… and when it came time to carve, the little shit said "you do it" - really, kid? (see, this is why I drink wine - it helps me cope after days like this) Anyways!

Picture it, the day before Halloween, and I have the supplies, a flu, a wig, and thats it. Luckily I do my best work under pressure. Constructing the cabbage patch box was a terrible job. I took two identical boxes (thank you Costco), cut holes where I wanted my stroller handles to go through… cut off the lower half of the box, married another box to it for the bottom (I used two boxes instead of one so that I could really customize the size of the box to fit my stroller - I couldn't find any super strong/thick boxes that were the exact size I was looking for) and secured them together with a packing tape that demonstrations my national pride.

Once I had the box together, I drew and cut out the display window, I then covered the entire box in yellow poster paper - I bought the large sheets from Walmart. Then, I used green poster paper to accent the display window. To be honest, I don't know what was more painful: learning how to crochet from youtube, or, putting that box together and adding the green accent poster paper - it was really frustrating trying to get everything to go together the way it was supposed to - probably because my math and measurements suck so I had to cut everything 3 times to get it to fit right.

(Note: I did all this without the box on the stroller - I just put it back on the stroller so I could really appreciate my work)

After the box was put together, I printed a cabbage patch logo with a laser printer (so that the ink wouldn't run when I modge podged later) - cut it out, glued it on. I then used my circut to print out flowers and glued them all on. Same went for the badges ("One of a Kind"/"My Name is" and the lettering). PS: I skipped outlining some VERY time consuming steps here, such as: learning how to use said cricut (I had got it for xmas a few years back and hadn't found the motivation to learn how to use it yet) and once learning how to use it, realizing I needed poster paper, not kiddie construction paper for it to work properly (FML) - so a late afternoon trip to Michaels with two kids in tow it was) Next, I applied a few coats of glossy modge podge all over the entire box to make it look shiny, like a real toy box.

Lastly, I glue gunned a green plastic table cloth inside the box, cutting holes for the stroller straps to pass through, while leaving lots of sag in the fabric, so that she could sit on it, without pulling it free. I did the gluing while the box was in place on the stroller so I knew where and how much sag to leave. I had used a plastic cheapie table cloth, and in retrospect wished I would have used fabric. The table cloth started to melt (of course, but I hadn't thought about this at the time of purchase) when it bonded with the hot glue… biggest issue with this was that I burnt the shit out of my hands trying to push the cloth tight into the glue on the box to make sure it was really secure. Fabric would have been easier to pat down into the glue with a wooden spoon, or something, but with the plastic, it just melted and stuck to anything I tried to push against it… other, than my hands that is....

Next, was SHOWTIME (well, actually, the next morning was, as by the time I finished this bloody thing, it was like 1 am) - I dressed my little doll up in something cute and warm. I was even able to put a little yellow toque under the wig without it being obvious at all, which was perfect considering our Halloweens are bitching cold... put her in the box, strapped her in, and soaked up all the compliments. Another Note: Im a HUGE compliment whore. I actually even put in one of those little push lights, that people put in closets or under upper kitchen cabinets, by her feet so that even in the dark, she could be seen. All and all, it turned out pretty fantastic, and the supplies were really minimal. A few sheets of poster paper, some glue, a table cloth, yarn/crochet needle, glue gun/sticks/and a container of modge podge was about it. If you didn't overbuy supplies (like I did), you could probably make this costume for $25ish dollars.

Oh, hell… I'll add one of the entire family just for giggles. Damn, we are a cute bunch, aren't we?