kittytoes: (trece)
Saturday was our annual Halloween party!

I haven't talked much about it here because I have been so preoccupied with the house that I sort of let the party just come together on its own. We asked friends to bring snacks or drinks and we bought a few things the day of, but otherwise there wasn't much party prep. The house was already decorated and our costumes were sort of deliriously easy this year. The theme was myths, monsters, and legends. Toby planned on being zombie Michael Jackson from Thriller since *last* Halloween, he had the outfit and just needed a wig. Gideon decided to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, so we thrifted two dress shirts and a suit jacket for him and Mat brought home a small lab coat. I sewed half the lab coat to half of the suit jacket and did the same with the two shirts. I gave him a piece of fabric as a rough ascot and he wore a top hat we had and uniform pants. Mat was Bigfoot and he just bought a costume because buying that much fur would be way more expensive than a finished costume. I wanted to be Medusa, so I bought a boatload of rubber snakes that I wired and painted black and just wore a black Victorian dress because I liked it. I bought a good makeup kit and some sealant last year and they came through again this year. (Best Halloween purchase ever.)

The last minute cleaning scramble was real and I finished everyone's makeup with literally no time to spare, but the party went off without a hitch. My friends are all amazing sports and they brought food and looked great. The weather was perfect, around 60 degrees, clear and crisp, so we were mostly set up in the alley. The kids played a scavenger hunt to find printed pictures of cryptids hidden on the block and otherwise roamed in a creepy gang. They are getting so big. My kidless friends boggled that these were the same kids from last year, as they have begun to grow taller than some of the adults. There were littles in the mix too, which meant that I had to keep them from roaming too far. I honestly have begun to wonder if they'll ever not want to party with the olds...

I've made some mental notes about things I'd like to do for next year. I think we need to switch out some light bulbs inside the house and make it moodier. This year everyone wanted to see the new rooms and stairs, so it worked out, but I think we can do more to make for a creepy atmosphere everywhere. We might do an ocean theme next year, so lighting could be huge. I wanted to get some spotlights with moving filters for outside this year, that would be the perfect excuse to. There's always more.


Myths Monsters and Legends

Thissssssssss way )
kittytoes: (eddie)
Pumpkin Patch!

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch earlier this month, and it really is one of my favorite family traditions. Pumpkins and sunshine and apple cider doughnuts go a long way to making a great day. Gideon is almost as tall as me now and Toby knows his angles. Otherwise, nothing changes. <3

Pumpkin Patch! Pumpkin Patch!

Pumpkin Patch! Pumpkin Patch!

Pumpkin Patch! Pumpkin Patch!


Nov. 3rd, 2014 03:29 pm
kittytoes: (trece)

We had a wonderful Halloween. It's always such a whirlwind, trying to make all of the things and doo all ofthe things and watch all of the movies. I think I was much more relaxed this year, but this past week did get nutty. I was sort of terrible at managing all of my pre party time, but the important things got done. Like the boys' costumes!

✨Doctor Who ✨ #tobyisalwaysincostume #doctorwho #Halloweencostume

Toby's was the 10th Doctor! Everything was store-bought so that was easy. (He's already worn the heck out of that suit) I made him a Tardis trick-or-treat box becuase I had a really hard time not making him anything.) I found the idea online but theirs used rigid felt which my craft store was all out of, so I covered a small box with layers of regular felt inside and out instead. I wanted it to be sturdy because they always get a serious haul and I'm sure he's going to want to keep it after Halloween. I'm happy to report it totally held up! It may have helped some people ID him too, even though he did get a few "are you Harry Potter?" questions. He wanted me to cut his hair to look more like David Tennant's and was so happy with it being "up" all day that he wanted it styled again on Saturday. He's gonna be an insufferable teenager.

💀skeleton Knight💀 @ninjachicken03

#doctorwho #skeleton #skeletonknightgideon #Halloweencostume

Gideon's was a skeleton knight!  It was totally his idea, and I left the construction up to him and Mat. We started with a store-bought costume and Mat built fun foam armor to wear over it. Gideon had the idea to make it look like he had been run through with a sword, so we cut one of their old toy foam swords in half and attached it in the front and the back. After everything was put together, shaped with heat and fitted, Mat sealed the foam with white glue and water and then used rub n' buff to give it a metallic shine. I used acrylic paint to age and rust everything and I added blood splatters and drips to the sword. Finally, we aged the actual costume with the airbrush on the "chain mail" parts and I tore and painted the hem to look like mud and blood splatters. We bought skeleton gloves which I had to take in to fit properly and then I painted them too.

I finally caved and bought a good set of face paints and had the wherewithal to try them out for the first time the *night before* Halloween. I learned a LOT about using them and I'm so glad I did it, because we had to get up at 5 the next morning and do it again for school. I used Wolfe paints with a sealer on top and I was totally impressed with how well it wore -- he made it through the entire day of school PLUS trick or treating without touch ups! Really impressive. He actually had a skull half mask that looked great on, but he couldn't wear it to school and his make up help up so well, we didn't use it for trick or treating. This was the first year he had friends who opted to not dress up and he was a bit disappointed with the too cool for Halloween energy, but he was happy with his costume and all he got a lot of great compliments. We went trick or treating with his 2 besties (one now attends a different school) that were totally dressed up all day and are just as goofy as he is and that helped a ton.

Trick or treating was fun! I never know why parents don't want to go, we always have such a great night. Our neighborhood is pretty amazing on Halloween. Most people sit outside to hand out candy and within 20 minutes, they usually have overflowing bags. There's a yearly block party nearby that everyone winds up at and a lot of adults get dressed up. I was a last minute Bride with pleated leggings, my grey biker jacket, and a silver spray streaked updo. Mat wore a mask and cloak and we went with a friend who was an amazing No Face from Spirited Away. He even had chocolate coins he handed out -- he stayed quiet and freaked a LOT of people out.

If you need us, call Mat's phone 👹💀🌚👻 Friends


Onward to los Muertos )

eat it

Oct. 7th, 2014 11:52 am
kittytoes: (eddie)
Momentum is a good thing.

We didn't get to see Box Trolls last weekend, but that's because we went shopping and visited friends and then went apple picking. Movies can wait.
We went to an amazing local shop to get things for our Day of the Dead party. Eye's Gallery is a South St. staple and owned by the local mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar and his wife. It is totally covered with art and absolutely filled to the brim with neat stuff. We got some papel picado banners and big sugar skull molds. I already got paper mache skulls and masks from the craft store to paint, so I actually think we have everything we need. We also went to a new orchard for apples and really liked it. They only have apples, so it was nice to not be overrun with pumpkins/pumpkin picking. We have a lot of apples. But we also have one of these so the kids make short work of them. They can and do eat whole apples with the skin, but when you offer someone an apple spiral, it is literally impossible for them to resist. They also get to have snacks in class, so I find them to be much easier to eat without drip/mess/core garbage. I also have some recipes planned.

Speaking of, I'm trying to change the way we eat. I don't think our habits are too terrible, but there's lots of room to rethink and improve and I've started using the All Recipes app and I love it. Our problem is that neither of us really love to cook and we both hate shopping, so often we put off deciding on meals till mid day and Mat  buy things on his walk home from work. That doesn't inspire creativity. I've found that I do much better when I have a good stock of ingredients and I can make the decision to try something new with things we already have. That's where the app helps -- I can search for recipes and then save them and it even has a grocery list option, so it makes it easy to keep track of what we do need. We also have a farm share, so that helps force us to try new things also. If I plan a bit ahead but leave room to try new stuff, I find I like cooking much better and can manage our busy after school/work time much better. I need to tackle breakfast next. I think I want to try some oatmeal bar recipes to have a quick grab option for the boys instead of cereal. Hot breakfasts will take more work... mornings are hectic here.

I've been trying to take a Halloweeny picture every day, but haven't quite succeeded. I've decided I'm ok with that. As much as I love October, I'm trying to keep this one low stress. So far, so good. I even redressed some dolls! Future pictures...

The tiniest game of Halloween eye spy Love is surprise skeletons!

Hay Eye's Gallery

#31dayshalloween Butternut squash muffins making me feel all fall and cozy
kittytoes: (Vincent Victor von Fluffnstuff)
Halloween 2013: Time Travel!

This year for Halloween we are welcoming travelers from all of humanity's history and future, from our universe and all alternates, to convene upon our house for one night of 21st century fun!

Travelers from any part of the space time continuum and beyond are welcome, we only ask that you take care to respect our current timeline and avoid creating paradoxes or fracturing space time. Please arrive well away from our alley to avoid reactions caused by excessive heat/radiation/etc. produced by your method of transport.

Invites are intended to be used only once, please refrain from attending the party at multiple points in your own time stream.

Contributions of drinks or snacks are welcome and appreciated! Please just be sure they pose no immediate threat to party goers or the whole of humanity.

Halloween 2013: Time Travel!

Let's Do the Time Warp Again! )
kittytoes: (eddie)

Untitled Untitled


We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. We took one of Gideon's friends and went on Columbus day and it was lovely and necessary and boy, the harvest was pretty this year.

I needed a bit of cheering, because I wasn't at Blythecon in NYC. I missed the dolly happenings, but most importantly a weekend getaway with Matty. Also, maybe meeting Amy Adams. Also, buying an original Bansky. 0_o

I don't believe in karma, but I am excited that my Blythe Calavera will sell and I was offered a pretty exciting opportunity to work on a neato project coming up soon. We'll count up chickens later. I have costumes to make and a million other things to wrap up. I like that it is Tuesday.

kittytoes: (eddie)
Sometimes I think my life is disproportionately made up of silly pursuits.
And then I realize that that is my life stuff.

And it's ok.

The boys and I made puppets. They have been loving The Muppet Show lately and Toby designed a Muppet Whatnot for his birthday and is excited to get it. (Gideon made one for his.) I wanted us to work on a summer project together that would be fun and productive, so we did a little bit of research and decided to try making our own puppets. Generally the thing that makes Muppets look so Muppety is the foam they are carved from which is then covered with fleece or fur or whatever. I didn't want to bother with carving, so I assumed we'd make simple soft, flat-ish puppets. I let the boys draw their characters and we brainstormed ways to make them in 3 dimensions. Gideon wanted to make Pickles, a cyclops he draws on everything. Toby wanted to make an orange guy with blue eyes named Jack Jr. (I have to find those drawings!) Gideon has taken a softies class, so he had a bit of understanding about patterning, so we worked out simple 2 piece body patterns for each, plus arms. (Well, Toby wanted his head to be flat, so he had a third piece at the top of his cylinder shape.) We used fleece for the bodies and machine sewed them, Gideon did his own. We made the mouth parts out of cardboard, and sort of just guessed and fitted the shapes then covered them with felt and glued them in. Once they were made and I realized how big they were gonna be and how much stuffing they needed, I made linings for both of them which I attached to the inside of the mouth pieces, so we could really fill them out with poly fill. We made eyes out of styrofoam and felt pieces, and I made the horns for Pickles (my machine was being a butt sewing the stretchy fabric) and we glued the lining to the outside fleece and they're done. I forgot to sew in a pocket to the arms so we can add rods, so we we have to figure that out next, probably just a small loop of elastic on each wrist? We have to get wooden dowel for rods.
I told the boys they have to put together an act for Toby's party, so I promised to turn the kitchen window into a stage for them. (We have an inside window between rooms. Is there a word for that? It used to be the front of the house before it had a kitchen.)

The whole project took about a week and Gideon definitely participated a lot more, but I didn't expect Toby to do any sewing. He just had opinions. They are hilarious playing with them. I definitely think I could pitch this as a class if I get back to teaching. Or I could just open a puppet shop. :P

Making puppets: designing

Making puppets: making patterns

Making puppets

Making puppets

Making puppets: adding features

Making puppets: Introducing Pickles and Jack Jr.!


Nov. 1st, 2012 11:56 am
kittytoes: (trece)

can you believe it's over? )


Vincent isn't ready for the Christmas season yet.
kittytoes: (us)
academy024 academy018 academy004

walking w dinos014 walking w dinos009

This is all in the past few weeks, actually. First, we made the short trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences here in Philadelphia. Dinosaur bones and dead animals! Gid loved it. Also, there is currently a live butterfly exhibit which was beautiful. My full Flickr set is here.

The natural follow up was Walking with Dinosaurs! It was a totally ridiculous and amazing animatronic dinosaur show at the Spectrum. Life-sized animated dinosaurs walked around and ate and fought and lots and lots of little boys screamed in delight. I'm pretty sure I did too. There was a surprising amount of information packed into the show, which was neat. The brachiosauruses were my favorites, Gideon's was the T. Rex.

A video! (The dark bit is me turning to pretzel-filled-mouth Gideon.)

Just this weekend we went fruit picking at a
local orchard. We only picked raspberries since Gideon was tiring before the tractor came to bring us to the peach and apple trees, but that gave us plenty of time to visit the chickens and ducks and goats and pick up lots of goodies at the farmers market. We had perfect weather, it wasn't too crowded and was exactly the sort of way I wanted to see summer off.
The rest of those pictures are here.


I daresay we are now officially ready for fall...
kittytoes: (Vincent Victor von Fluffnstuff)

I've  realized that I  tend to wait to "have something to say" before posting here, but that's sort of ridiculous, since this is a journal and I very much enjoy reading everyone else's ramblings...

So I'll share mine.

This past week was unbelievable crazy.  Thanksgiving was wonderful because of my adorable parents, but my father wound up in the hospital a day later due to a heart attack scare.  His diabetes has been blamed, and all is believed to be well now, but I think it served as a reminder of the triple bypass he had not too long ago...  Damn salty meaty fatty indulgence.

I finally got the new Melancholy Kitties stuff up, despite Ann deciding she couldn't participate anymore.  Thankfully, I fell in love with a man who's as talented as he is sexy.....  purrrrrrr.... it's funny how things work out.  At least we're able to critique each others' work then kiss.

Of course, he's responsible for things like this:


I've got exciting BJD developments in my future, but I'm supposed to be a good girl and forget so as to be surprised on Christmas.  Eeep.  Too delicious.  I'm used to waiting.  My birthday is riiight before Christmas.

On a health related note, I'm quite certain I have a slipped disk which makes me feel quite old.  It's a baby wrangling injury, so it's not too pathetic... I'm also quite certain that the pushed out goo from said disk is now putting pressure on a major nerve in my leg and causing a very annoying contant tingly ache.  Doctor tomorrow.  feh.

Speaking of baby, I must share the awesome cute of the softest Spiderman  jammies in the whole world.


kittytoes: (Vincent Victor von Fluffnstuff)

I'm still in the thick of putting everything in its place (and finding a place for everything), but a few events have called for a pause in my flurry:

I'll share... )Fist, the arrival of my pretty new bookshelf.  All for dollies, girlie and perfect.

Sorry for the poor lighting, but I took the pic at 2am, as soon as it was all together.I have yet to unpack dolly furniture and I'm going to decorate the shelves individually, but the back piece has the neat detail of cute grey stripes. I could kiss Ikea on the lips.

My favorite dollies are now out, so as to begin the process of sorting and eventually selling those I'm not as attached to.  In the process, I rediscovered my Dollfie Plus girlies which were really my first foray into the wide world of import dolls.

I love them so.

Also, a doll that I made for Mr. M with the soft bust Obitsu body (her name is Lilith)

Ooh, and my Medicom Edward Scissorhands.  He's incredible.

Most importantly, the Gid slept in a big boy bed in his own room last night.  It's harder than I thought it would be.  I hugged his crib mattress as we put it away and cried.  It's cool that he can drink from a big cup and (almost)count to ten and sings the Muppet Show theme song, but ...  he's not a baby anymore.  He's a kid.  He's almost two!


Last October:

Well, he is still my baby...

kittytoes: (Vincent Victor von Fluffnstuff)

To my love.  I'm a lucky lucky gal.

April 2016

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