10.30.2014

Illusion Costume - Man Carried Away in a Porta Potty


Every year, my youngest son plans his costume with one goal in mind...

Win. The. Contest.

We go to a Halloween costume contest every year and he feels he must win or die trying. I believe we are going on about 4 years in a row of 1st place!

This costume has the illusion of a person being carried away inside a porta-potty.  Here it is from the side:


And here it is from the front:


Supplies:

Wardrobe Box
Spray Paint
Cardboard
Duct Tape
Box Cutter
Large Zip Ties
Belt
Disposable Painting Suit from Lowe's
PVC pipe and fittings
Mask
Construction hat
Foam or some kind of padding
Pink Tights
Stuffing 
Pants and shoes

I used a wardrobe box from a moving company for the potty one more large box to construct the roof and the interior shelf.

I cut open the bottom for his legs and a door in the front that opened as well as a U shape from the bottom of the back to accommodate his body in the back - remember, his legs will serve as the moving man's legs in the back:

(this is the cut out in the back and the loop of zip tie that will hold the man)
 
Using duct tape and cardboard, we built up the inside to form a shelf to serve as the "potty".  We used the measurement of my son's lower leg to determine the height of the shelf - it was about 8 inches deep with a U cut into it for a toilet seat:

(zip tie toilet paper holder)
 
About 3 inches up from the center bottom of the front and about 10 inches up from the center bottom of the sides I attached 3 large zip ties, leaving them looped to the inside by not tightening all the way down:


This is how he carried the box - he wore a belt around his waist and we looped strips of fabric from the zip ties to the belt and tied around the belt on 3 sides.  All the weight was around his waist which left his hands free to hold a newspaper.

To build the man in the back, I made a cross using 1/2 inch pvc (my all time fave crafting material) to create a neck, shoulders, arms, and back - make sure the width of the shoulders is equal to the width of the box so the arms will reach around to the sides:


A ball of grocery bags taped to the top will hold the mask, and you can pad the arms to fill out the pvc to look like a body.  Slip the arms into the painting jumpsuit with the opening in the front.  Let the legs hang down and slide the bottom of the pvc through one more zip tie loop in the center of the back of the box (see the photo at the top of the page):


If you don't have the mask and hat, you could just pull the hood up like this. (mental note, style my hair and fix myself up a bit before allowing my picture to be taken!)

We stuffed girls pink tights with stuffing to make the legs and put them into some jeans and shoes.  Pull the pants down to make it look like his own legs on the potty.  Hold a newspaper and make it seem like you don't realize you are being carried through the room.

Here is the finished product in motion:


video


10.28.2014

Tutorial Tuesday!

Scrap Wood Pumpkins:



Birch Candle Holder:


 Crispy Edamame:



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10.27.2014

Homecoming / Prom Proposals



This is going to be a soapbox post about something that has been bothering me...So sorry...Um, no I'm not...

I don't know if this is happening in high schools across the U.S., but here in Pittsburgh any big-ish school event such as Homecoming, Prom, etc... has gotten completely out of hand when it comes to the "proposals".

The boys (boys' moms??) are coming up with more and more involved ways of asking girls to attend these dances - here are some examples just from my own circle of friends:

Painting proposals on billboards
Carving 15+ jack-o-lanterns to spell out Will you go to H.C. with me?
Fire spelling out the proposal
Giant displays during Friday night football games
Spelling out proposals in flowers in school parking lots
Lining sidewalks with numerous gift bags to give clues to the question
and on, and on, and on....

There are pinterest pages, tumblers, twitters, facebooks, all dedicated to collecting the MOST imaginative ways to propose a date for a dance.  For this generation, nothing actually happens unless it's documented on social media.  Most of these displays seem to be contrived for Instagram.  I mean, is EVERY guy so smitten with EVERY girl or is it an excuse to brag online?

Now that my own son has reached dating age, I see this as a negative in so many ways!  It puts an enormous amount of pressure on the boys to come up with this elaborate display to impress the girls.  Like a bird displaying it's plumage to impress it's mate.  Imagine the humiliation if she says no?

It's also creating a society of entitled "princesses" who expect this huge display from all potential suitors - dance, monkey!  Or the flip side, it can a girl who feels obligated to go to a dance with a boy after such a big display was made.

What the heck is left when it's time to propose marriage?  Imagine a couple who have been involved in  more and more elaborate proposals since junior high facing a marriage proposal that seems not to measure up??  What are we doing to our kids?

I've talked about it to several friends who think us moms need to step in to put an end to these elaborate proposals to lift the weight from our kids and let them see that a dance is just a dance.  Sometimes a date is just a date.

Am I crazy here?  Is this phenomenon as out of hand in your school as it is in ours?  Can you give me a reason why this would be a positive thing for our kids? Help me to understand so I can embrace it or if not help me come up with solutions to stop it.

10.23.2014

Coach Gift

Last year, you'll remember that I made Quick and Easy Mugs for my team's Football Coaches:


This season, I whipped up a photo gift by using PicMonkey.com to edit a photo I took of our coach and his son on the field:


 I think part of this may get cut off because of the width of my center column but you get the idea.

I edited the photo using a toned down version of "HDR" then overlapped it with "Urbane".  Then I added the lyrics to Kenny Chesney's Boys of Fall using the text tools.  I used the font "Special Elite" and varied the size to emphasize certain words and made the words curve around them.

Finally, I've ordered a personalized whistle from PersonalizationMall.com as kind of a joke because during drills our coach is always yelling "Whistle, whistle, whistle!" to end the play.


I plan to stuff gift bags with 8x10 photos of my team's coaches in action, personalized whistles, Dick's Sporting Good gift cards, and a bag of peanuts.

What great Coaches Gift ideas can you share?

10.21.2014

Tutorial Tuesday!

Witches Broom Door Swag:


 Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

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10.17.2014

The Husband's Secret






I have organized a real-honest-to-goodness book club in my neighborhood which will (hopefully) help me post more regularly here about the great books that are out there!

If you are trying to do something with your own group of friends, I have found the website www.bookmovement.com very helpful.  It helps me organize my own club, to choose books, to organize discussion questions... I love it!

This October's book is The Husband's Secret about Liane Moriarty.

I have been looking for a great book to grab me ever since I finished Gone Girl a few years ago and this one fit the bill!  Just imagine finding an envelope from your husband with the instructions to open upon the event of his death!  Once I read that line in the book I was in, hook, line and sinker!

Just in case you haven't read the book yet, the discussion among those who have can take place in the comments section below.

Enjoy!

10.15.2014

Tutorial WEDNESDAY!

DIY Modern Concrete and PVC Bar Stools:

Halloween Make-Up Ideas:


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10.14.2014

Why I Missed Tutorial Tuesday This Week


I got up early this morning for a dermatologist appointment to have a small patch of basal cells removed from my forehead.

Now, I have to walk around for the next day or so with this HUGE pressure bandage on my head!  Because the bandage is skin-toned I'm getting lots of double takes.

So, Tutorial Tuesday will be tomorrow bright and early.  Thanks for bearing with me!

10.07.2014

Tutorial Tuesday!

How to Build a Pipe Shelf:


Make a Frankenstein Shirt:


Apple Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Sauce:



 Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

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10.05.2014

Snickerdoodle BAR Cookies!


I was looking for a new Snickerdoodle recipe online yesterday and stumbled upon a bar cookie version on BackforSecondsBlog. 

They. Are. Amazing.

They are like a chewy cinnamon brownie!  I had to share:

Snickerdoodle Bars
adapted from www.backforsecondsblog.com 

 Ingredients:

1 Stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar, then add egg, salt, and vanilla mix well.

 In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder, then add slowly to the butter mixture until incorporated.

Spread dough into the bottom of a greased 9x9 pan.

Mix together 1/8 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon then sprinkle evenly over top of dough.

Bake for 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center has fudgey crumbs clinging to it.

Let cool...or not...

Try not to eat 3 of them 5 minutes before dinner is served (I failed at this step!)

 


10.02.2014

Shotgun!!!


Look how sweet these boys look?  Don't be fooled, they turn into deranged animals when it comes to deciding who sits in the front seat.  I'm losing my ever-loving mind!

The older one thinks he gets to have the front because he's oldest, the other two think they should get it if they call it, sometimes they say the person who reaches the car first gets it and sometimes they think the person who can physically remove the others from the seat gets it.

I walked up to the car this weekend and they entire thing was rocking as an all out brawl was going down in the passenger seat - someone was screaming "I called shotgun for the whole week!"  Someone else screamed "You can't DO that!"

Dear God, someone help me!

What do you all do about shotgun disputes?  Do you have a system?  Help!

Scroll down if you are hear for the linky party...

 

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