Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Yo Ho, Sending Christmas Cards"

Yup, it's that time of year again. There's a reason sending Christmas cards made it into the list of the pains of Christmas (an old Bob Rivers song, in case you haven't heard of it - it's funny 'cause it's true). Picking out a card, addressing all the envelopes, writing a message to make those cookie-cutter boxed cards more personal, or, conversely, trying to get the kids to both look at the camera and smile at the same time so you can put a cute picture of them either on or in the, yeah. Well, as much fun as sending the cards isn't, receiving the cards is one of my favorite things in the whole year. Cards with photos are the best, of course, because, well, I love pictures!

Shutterfly is making it a little easier for me this year. Yeah, I still have to see if I can get the kids to cooperate with picture-taking, but I know the cards will be cute because Shutterfly has so many great options. Plus, this year Shutterfly has this great program for bloggers - just blog about their cards and they'll send you 50 cards for free! There's something about that word that makes everything more exciting and fun! You can find the details about the offer here.

Now the hard part, picking out which card to use. There are tons of options - from the more traditional red and green Christmas photo cards to holiday cards with more modern and free-spirited color combinations. I haven't gotten mine picked out yet, I might have to wait until I get pictures wrapped up to decide, but I know it'll be awesome.

So - what are you still reading this for? Get cracking, it's almost Thanksgiving! If you're a procrastinator, you might want to look at these cards instead: New Year's Cards.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

King Mokey and Princess, um, Princess

I'm finally getting around to posting about the kiddos' Halloween costumes.

Mia declared, quite definitively, that she wanted to be a "Pintess wif boo tat" (Princess with a blue hat) for Halloween.

I used Simplicity 2569 for her costume. The sizing was a bit wacky with this one. By measurements, she should have needed a size 2 for length, but it should have been pretty roomy. When I was doing my "tester" I thought the pattern looked tiny, so I cut the size 3 and it wouldn't zip! The costume ended up a shortened (in the skirt and sleeves, but not the bodice) size 6! The bodice and underskirt are royal blue poly satin and the skirt is royal blue and gold tulle. There's gold tissue lame (no fun to work with, by the way) for the bodice inset and puff sleeves. I couldn't find royal blue sheer ribbon for the sleeves, but I did find a pretty trim that had royal blue, turquoise and gold all together so I substituted turquoise sheer ribbon on the sleeves and used the trim around the inset and added turquoise tulle on the hat to tie it all together.

Mokey originally wanted to be a mummy, but after Princess decided on her princess costume, he changed his mind. He decided to be a king because "the king's the boss." So a king it is.

I used McCall's 5214 for Mokey's tunic, belt and cape and Butterick 5161 for the crown. The tunic fit wonderfully, except for the length, I added a couple of inches in the torso (as usual). It's all poly satin and the buttons (all 21 of them) are from my mom's stash. The cape is poly satin lined with crepe back satin and underlined with corduroy to add body, the clasp is my mom's stash as well. The crown is my favorite part. It's made of metallic crinkle pleather over cardboard for stability, poly satin and the band across the top are metallic trim on ribbon covered wire. There were boot covers too, made from black vinyl using a pattern my mom drafted for me last year, but I broke the elastic on Friday getting Mokey dressed for his class party and didn't get around to fixing them before trick or treating on Sunday.