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A Peachy Halloween

31 Oct finalfull

Happy Halloween!  Despite the fact that I spend most of my time crafting, I of course waited until the last minute to craft my own costume.  That is why today is super, duper last minute costume day!  A friend gave me a lovely pink dress and white gloves to be Princess Peach for Halloween, but of course I didn’t think about the accessories until an hour before the party.  What to do?!?

Princess Peach wears shiny blue earrings and a gold crown with pink and blue jewels.  Since I have been working a lot with bottle caps lately, I got an idea.

I flipped through a magazine until I found the perfect blue – an ad for Tiffany’s jewelry!  I paired the blue with some gold bottle caps from my collection.

goldandbluecap

I wanted my jewelry to sparkle and shine so I spread a layer of glue on top of the blue and sprinkled on some glitter 😀

glitter

shimmy shimmy shimmer!

Then I painted some craft glaze on top to seal the glitter and give the “jewel” a smooth texture and nice shine.

glazing

Once the glue dried, I used pliers to clamp the edges around the jewel to make it look like it was set in gold.

clampingedges

fancy!

Now it’s time to turn my lovely jewels into earrings!  I took some sewing pins and cut the pointy part off.  Then, I used a hot glue gun to drop a little bead of glue onto the back of the jewel.  I stuck the pin head down into the glue, perpendicular to the earring, and held it while it dried.

earingbacks

Next I cut two little chunks of pencil erasers to use as earring backs and my bedazzled ears were ready to go!  Now, to crown the Princess 🙂

To make the base for the crown I glued together some gold colored paint samples from the hardware store that I happened to have handy.

paintchips

glueingcrownstrip

Then, I cut little triangles into the crown to make the pointy tips.

cuttingcrown

cutcrown

Princess Cut!

I took the extra blue and pink jewels I made while making the earrings and hot glued them on.

flatcrown

I glued the ends of the crown together and glued little strips of ribbon on the underside so I could pin it to my head.  Real Princesses are supposed to be able to balance crowns on their heads but I’m a bit clumsy so pinning seemed like a good alternative.

insidecrown

The final results were just peachy!

final close up

These accessories really made the costume!  Now if only someone could rescue me from Bowser… 😉

finalfull

Halloween Costumes

26 Oct

T minus 6 days until Halloween!  Is your costume ready?  Mine isn’t either!  No worries, over the years I have often waited until the last minute and still come up with some great costume ideas that you can throw together using mostly things you find around the house or can get pretty easily and cheaply.  Check out these DIY costume ideas!

Mario and Luigi Costume:

marioandluigi

marioluigicartoon

For a girly take on this classic costume I cut and hemmed some overalls I found at a thrift store.  The letters on the hats are just cut out of paper and the matching t-shirts were also thrift store finds.  Dig some black boots and white winter gloves out of the closet and you are ready to go fight Bowser!

The Cheshire Cat Costume:

cheshirecat

cheshirecatcartoon

I found this perfect Cheshire cat inspired striped fabric at the store and knew just what to do with it!  I made this body suit by laying down on the fabric and having someone trace me.  Then I simply cut out the tracing and sewed it together.  Add some ears and a little drawn on nose and whiskers and voila!  You are ready to give cryptic advice to everyone at the party.  The best part about this costume is that the back of it is made out of black fabric so that when I turn around…

blackcat

—I disappear!  😀

80s Fab Costume:

80's

I made this costume completely with stuff I found in my own closet!  This is a fun costume to do in a group because everyone can participate just by being creative with clothes and accessories they already have. I used an old full piece bathing suit as the base (a tank top would work just as well) and I wore a pink tube top as a skirt.  I cut a hole in the crotch of some black fishnet tights and put my head through the hole and my arms through the legs (after I cut off the feet of the tights) in order to wear it as a shirt.  Some black leggings and leg warmers paired with a pair of heels and I was ready to rock out and get physical like Olivia Newton-John!

letsgetphysical

Poison Ivy Costume:

poisonivy

poison-ivy-plant

poisonivycartoon

Whether you want to go as the plant or as the super villain, this easy costume covers all the bases!  Just grab a green tank top and some green socks with the toes cut out, wrap yourself in ivy from the garden or from the craft store and you are ready to wreak itchy havoc everywhere!

Corpse Bride Costume:

corpsbride

corpsebridetimburton

This costume is pretty versatile because it can also double as a zombie bride costume!  I found a wedding dress and veil from the thrift store (any white dress will do) and cut the top of the dress to make it strapless like the Corpse Bride’s dress.  The dress and veil were a nice pristine white so I made them look aged by soaking them overnight  in a bath of tea.  I got the blue wig and face paint from a costume store and put on my poutiest face to go in search of my groom!

Leeloo from The Fifth Element Costume:

leeloofull

Milla-Jovovich-Fifth-Element

I made this costume for a friend who looks JUST LIKE Milla Jovovich.  I cropped a white t-shirt and spray painted some white tights gold; then used a black sharpie to draw the lines on the tights.  To make the orange jumper I took a large orange shirt and traced out the design while my friend was wearing the shirt.  I cut out the design and sewed the front and back hems together to make a crotch seam.  We added some black boots, an orange wig and a paper multipass and Leeloo was ready to go save the world!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Itty-bitty 8-bit Art

2 Sep

After checking out iam8bit Gallery’s inaugural show, Super iam8bit, I became inspired to make some 8-bit art of my own!  The gallery pays homage to the 8-bit characters of the 80’s such as Mario, Link and Donkey Kong and is currently showcasing over 100 artists who’s contemporary pieces resurrect their childhood heroes.

30 years ago, pixel art was the front runner in digital imaging technology; nowadays, to say something is pixelated is to say it is bad, low-quality and inferior.  Despite our modern-day aversion to choppy imaging, most people seem to have a soft spot for our oldest pixelated friends.  I like to think that is because 8-bit art has always seemed just a little imperfect, which we as humans can connect with.  My attempt to simulate a computerized process by hand seems to have achieved a similar reminiscent effect.  At the very least that’s my explanation for the child-like quality of this piece and I’m stickin’ to it!

For this project, I pilfered about a million paint chip samples from my local hardware store.

I definitely ended up with more than I needed!

I used a picture of Mario on my phone to match the colors…here is a close-up so you can see the names and numbers of the colors I used:

Initially, I wasn’t sure what size I wanted to make my Mario, but in the end I only ended up using one paint chip for each color.  That mean’s I have lots left over for a future, life-size mario project.  A quick google search landed me an already gridded image of Mario to use as a reference:

Then I counted every. single. square. by color in order to plan out my design.  Here are the grand totals:

54 Brown

42 Red

44 Yellow

I thought it would be a good idea to use one of the blue paint chips as the background for Mario so I did the math and figured that in order for it to fit on one paint chip each pixel would measure 1/4 square inch.  I created a 1/4 sq.” grid on the back of each of the three colors and got cutting with my teeny, tiny scissors.

And many more where those came from!

Then, I drew a grid on top of my blue paint chip.  I didn’t want to get stuck with pencil lines in Mario’s background so I compared my gridded Mario with my gridded paint chip and painstakingly erased all the squares around the outside of Mario. This is what I ended up with:

Mario Silhouette

Then it was just paint pixel by numbers!  Following my grid, I glued on one square at a time and used a toothpick to adjust and straighten it out. Here is the final product next to a key for size reference.

Mini-Mario!

Making Mario by hand reminds me that humans built 8-bit digital Mario by hand as well. That makes me just a little less afraid of computers taking over the world.