Monday, October 31, 2011

White Wolf Pup (or Ghost the Direwolf) Costume

I'd been thinking about what to dress Abe as for Halloween this year and had sort of settled on a dog (he loves dogs and knows how to bark and howl). Then one day while on Pinterest I came across this. I recognized the "Ours is the Fury" saying from Game of Thrones (I was three books in at the time), so I clicked on the link. I found a number of normal kids costumes (wolf, octopus, dragon) paired with the mottoes of the various houses in Game of Thrones. The wolf did it for me though. Since the show ended I've been telling my husband "Winter is coming."
My son is too young to know the difference between a dog and a wolf, much less a wolf and a direwolf, so I knew he'd be thrilled with the costume no matter what. Although I didn't realize just how excited he'd get.
I threw the pants together really quick with some furry white material I bought years ago but never really found a use for (I'm not even sure if it's washable). I pulled them on him to see how they fit and he started giggling as he petted his legs. It didn't even occur to me until later that a wolf needs a tail, so that got added later when I made the hoodie. (Yes, it's a two piece costume.) When it was all done, we tried it on with a little black eyeliner on his nose.


I'm pretty sure he thought he was the cutest white wolf pup that ever there was...


Of course, I'd have to agree!


Here's a view from the side. He even chases his tail. It's too funny!


I know it's a little late for making costumes this year, but if anyone's interested, I can put together a sewing tutorial. (Update: Tutorial is done! Find it here.)


My husband ran in the Monster Dash Half Marathon on Saturday, and I put Abe in his costume when we went to the race. After hearing a number of girls cooing over Abe in his costume, one guy commented "That's the costume I want for Halloween, because all the girls love it!" It is hard to resist the little black puppy nose...

Pumpkin Carving

Yesterday we carved our pumpkins for Halloween. 


I couldn't think of a kid-friendly option for Abe since he wasn't interested in coloring or painting his pumpkin. Really all he wanted to do was throw it around.


He enjoyed playing with the carving tools, but for the most part he either wandered off to play in the sunroom...


...or climbed on the kitchen stool...


...and watched Daddy.


He did help me carve a little (with his plastic knife), but showed no interest in scooping out the seeds... 


So this is Abe's little pumpkin! Apparently this is my standard "baby pumpkin" face. It's the same face I made for his stuffed pumpkin, and the same one I carved on his very first pumpkin last year! Maybe next year I'll get more creative.


He liked his pumpkin much more once it had a face, and when he realized the top came off it was a whole new game!


He played with it for a long time, hiding little things inside and taking them out.


Since it was getting close to nap time, we decided to light them up so he could see what they would look like at night.



We put a battery operated votive in his pumpkin so he'd still be able to play with it...


...and he did.



Although he was very interested to see the real candles flickering in the big pumpkins.


I went with a ghost pumpkin this year because every time Abe sees a ghost he says "Boo!"


Now we're all set for Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tombstone Menus

A few years ago we hosted a Halloween party at our house for our nieces and nephews. (See pictures from that here.) This year the party is at their house so I won't be posting any new party ideas, but I thought I'd share the special menu I made for that party.


If you're creative, you could write a funny epitaph for each guest and just use them as placecards.

I saved this one as a jpeg so you can edit it in Microsoft Word or whatever program you prefer (just insert it as a picture - make sure to move it to the back, behind your text, and set your margins at .5 inches all around). You can download it here. Have fun!

Harvest

Today Abe and I went out in the garden and pulled up the withering pepper and tomato plants. Everything else either died off or got pulled up weeks ago.


I didn't have much luck with my vegetable garden this year. Not sure if it was the weather, the diminishing sunlight (due to the small forest of "weedy" trees on the wrong side of the fence), or the fact that we didn't add a nice thick layer of compost. I'm just hoping we get a better crop next year...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Pattern

Last week I mentioned I was making a felt pumpkin for my son...and here it is!


When Abe was a baby I made him an apple from felt with a rattle in it, and he still loves shaking and tossing it around. I figured a pumpkin would be fun for fall, but this time I included some removable features so he can turn his pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern for Halloween!


Cute, eh? 


He's been smitten with every jack-o-lantern he's encountered so far, and this one was no exception.


Of course he immediately took the face off...

Counting to two as he adds the eyes.

...so I was surprised when he picked up the pieces and put them back on!


Older kids will enjoy using the different pieces to make happy, sad, scary, and silly faces...or if your kids are old enough to use scissors, why not give them some felt and let them "carve" some features of their own?


I used the pie pumpkin we picked up for Abe as my template for this design, so it's the size of a real pumpkin - about 6 inches wide and 5 inches tall (although the stem makes it slightly taller). 


Most of it can be sewn on a machine, so it's fast and easy! Download the pattern and instructions here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Northwoods


My husband's grandmother lives in northern Wisconsin and we have a cabin nearby, so we try to go up there as often as possible. I love to visit when the leaves are changing but it's hard to plan it just right. A few years ago, we were up there when that fleeting moment of perfect fall color arrived, but a couple days of strong winds knocked down most of the leaves this time.





Too bad it changes so quickly!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch and picked up some "balls" (as Abe calls them) for Halloween.



He looked so small next to the corn!

My niece and her pumpkin.





The squirrels in our neighborhood go crazy for pumpkins, so we won't be carving them until next weekend. Until then I'm brainstorming. Are there any easier ways to carve a pumpkin with a toddler? I have a feeling he won't want to sit still for long...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DIY Felt Board

I started making my son a felt jack-o-lantern (more on that later) and thought having a felt board might be fun too. I always had one in my preschool classroom and the kids really enjoyed playing with it.


So I had this box from my new printer made of nice thick cardboard. It had two styrofoam inserts which I left in for durability. 


I stretched black felt over one side and stapled around the edges with my staple gun (like I said, nice thick cardboard). Glue might work better if you're using a normal cardboard box.


For now I just left the edges of the felt untrimmed, but I figure at some point I'll do something to make it look more polished. I'm also considering options for the other side - chalkboard, magnetic board, dry erase - there are so many options! 


Oh, and as for my rainbow of felt pumpkins...I just traced around a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and cut them from leftover remnants from past projects. I may end up playing with this more than Abe does!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Leaves

We all know that when you mix red and yellow you get orange, but do your kids? This is a great way for kids to experiment with mixing colors, while learning about the changing colors in nature they're seeing outside.


Trace around real leaves or download my leaf template here. Provide red, yellow, and green paint (or apply a few dabs to the paper if you're working with younger kids), and let them mix and paint to their heart's content. 


Once the paint is dry, cut the leaves out and hang them around the house as fun fall decorations!