Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween, Hall Monitor Style

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hi Friends!

Hope you're getting excited for Halloween this Wednesday! Over the weekend, we attended a Halloween/Birthday party and it was a blast! The hubby and I love coordinating our costumes and getting creative. This year, we decided on hall monitors, which is something we'd done before for a sorority dance in college. We recycled the accessories, headed to Target's clearance section, and got to work!

Andrew decided on a cardigan that would clash with a button-up shirt. He paired that with some khaki pants, rolled up at the ankles, of course.


I purchased a pink dress from the girl's clearance section for $5.08, and wore it with cream tights.

We had hall monitor sashes from college, but I decided to make new ones since the originals weren't in the best shape. I used some white fabric, folded it in half, and sewed it to itself to make the sash thicker. Then I cut out "Hall Monitor" letters from black felt, and hot glued them onto the sashes (much faster than sewing!) Finally, I used hot glue to attach the two ends of the sash to each other.

Add glasses, a cheap bow tie for Andrew, and pigtails with a headband for me, and we were good to go!

The party was a ton of fun, with lots of dancing, as always. 

(To be clear, these are not real cigarettes... smoking is bad for you!)

The best part about dressing as hall monitors is we got to dance super nerdy, which comes naturally to us :)

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Autumn in New York - Crafts

Thursday, October 11, 2012
"Autumn in New York" is both a lovely jazz song and a beautiful time of the year in NY! One of my favorite things is jazz music. I fell in love with it in high school when I joined my school's a cappella group, and haven't stopped listening or singing since. One of these days, I'll elaborate on my love for music, especially jazz, but for now, onto AUTUMN pumpkins!

If you're like me, you've noticed all the different pumpkins on Pinterest, in blogland, and in stores. Last week, I made this musical pumpkin using mod podge and sheet music.

To continue with my paper trend, I decided to pull out a vintage medical book from the 1940's called "The Biological Actions of the Vitamins."

Using my paper cutter, I cut 4 pages into strips about 1/2 inch thick. You may not use all of the strips, depending on the fullness of your pumpkin.

Then I gathered five strips together at one end and fanned them out at the bottom. I hot glued the gathered ends together.

Once dry, I gathered the loose ends of the five strips together in an overlapping fashion and hot glued them to each other.

Then I hot glued the two ends together to form a loop of five strips. I made a total of six loops of five strips each. You may make your loops out of four or six strips each to change the fullness of your pumpkin.

Next, I gathered three of the six loops together and hot glued them in a slightly overlapping fashion to form half of the pumpkin. I repeated the same process with the other three strips.

I used my hot glue gun (you can also do this with clear tape) to connect the two pumpkin halves together in the center. Once dry, I fanned out the small strips to fill in any gaps. You can add extra strips as well if you want to eliminate some of the gaps.

Next, I coiled two extra strips around a 1.5 inch piece of twine and hot glued it to the center of the loops to form the stem. The extra strips helped to fill in the center hole.

For pumpkin project number 3, I pulled out my roll of twine and some white school glue. I covered a uniform diameter drinking glass with saran wrap. You can also use a plastic bag for covering and can use any sturdy tube of uniform diameter in place of the glass.

I squirted a couple of tablespoons of white glue into a bowl. Then I placed 3-4 feet of twine in the bowl and coated it entirely with the glue. It does not need to be dripping wet, but should be very sticky.

Next, I removed the glue-coated twine from the bowl and wrapped it around the plastic-covered glass in a spiral fashion, without any overlapping areas so that it did not stick to itself.

I let it dry completely and then unwrapped it from the glass. It did not completely hold its shape, but it was both stiff and pliable.

Next, I removed the used plastic from my tube and I began wrapping my stiff twine around the tube. (For the large one, I used  the drinking glass. For the small one, I used a sesame oil bottle). I chose to recover my glass and sesame oil bottle with another piece of saran wrap before wrapping, but this may not be necessary. (When I used the sesame oil bottle, I wanted to avoid getting oil all over my twine.)

I wrapped the stiff twine around the tube, ensuring there was no overlap, but that it was tightly wrapped. When I reached the end, I carefully slid the entire spiral off the end of the tube, holding it firm on one side so it did not unravel.

If you find it difficult to keep your stiff twine pumpkin from falling apart as you slide it off the tube, you can lay the 8 inch piece of fresh twine length-wise along your tube prior to wrapping. Holding onto this short twine and your tube with one hand, use the other hand to begin wrapping the stiff twine around the bottle in a spiral fashion as before. The goal is to wrap it around the fresh twine so that you can hold onto the ends of the fresh twine as you slide the whole spiral off the tube. This should make it easier to tie. (Demonstrated below)

I used an 8 inch piece of fresh twine to loop trough the spiral and tie it tight to form the center of the pumpkin. I wrapped and tied this fresh twine several times to make a sturdy center.

Once tied and secure, I spread out the stiff twine loops evenly around the center to form a complete pumpkin. I tucked one end of the stiff twine into the center so it was hidden and wound the other end around my finger to make a tight spiral. I positioned this spiral at the top of the pumpkin.

Finally, I hot glued a cinnamon stick to the center of the pumpkin because it smelled good, naturally. :)

That's it! Easy pumpkin project #3!

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