12 October 2011

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

We just returned from our second trip to Disney World this year! T and I have our annual passes from our wedding and wanted to get some more use out of them, so we planned this trip to check out how Disney does Halloween. None of us had ever been there for Halloween, so it was a new experience for everyone. On select nights in September and October, all of the Magic Kingdom becomes a giant Halloween party! There are dance parties, trick or treating for all ages and these are the only opportunities for adults to visit the park in full costumes!

Not to be outdone by anyone, I took on the task of making all of our costumes. That is, a costume for each of the 6 people going; Flea, Flea's bf, Noug, Sneetch, T and myself. Only about a month ago, we finally decided to go as characters from Sleeping Beauty. The decision was made because there were enough non-starring roles for each of us to be something fun. Flea, Sneetch and I were the 3 fairies; Fauna, Merriweather and Flora, respectively. Flea's bf is tall and dark haired, so he was King Stefan, complete with a mascara beard. Noug was the jester/drunk servant character named Lackey. [I personally thought his costume was the best.] T was Prince Phillip and was recognized by a few little girls in the park!

For King Stefan's outfit, I just made a long tunic from costume satin and edged the whole thing with gold bias tape. The crown was quite problematic. I bought a remnant of this awful stretch gold lame stuff for it. I ended up making two strips of it and interfaced it with heavy stabilizer. After that, I traced and cut out the crown shape and hot glued/topstitched the whole thing together. To make the crown more adjustable, I added 2 strips of elastic at the back which could be shortened with safety pins. Stefan contributed the "collar" of his costume by allowing me to cut a sleeve off of a too big red shirt he had - perfect!

Phillip's costume was fairly straightforward because we chose to make his forest outfit. T wore simple tan tunic made of jersey and edged with black bias tape over a black long sleeve shirt and brown pants. The cape was a remnant of brick red canvas, barely wide enough to cover his shoulders. I cut off a 3" section and interfaced it to make the stiff collar and then re-attached it to the rest of the cape after gathering the top edge of the long piece. We just safety pinned the cape to the tunic. The hat was made by looking at many photos of Peter Pan's hat as well as perusing some online tutorials. The boots were the funniest because they're fake and made out of black vinyl with little elastic stirrups at the bottom.

Lackey's costume was really the best because I didn't have any idea how to make balloon sleeves properly. I ended up sewing alternating strips of green fabric together to make tubes. The ends are elastic and I had to add a few pleats to the part that was sewed into the shoulder seam. I was particularly proud of the front because I was exact enough to match up the corners in the center. Plus I added a button at the back because the fabric doesn't stretch. The hat was a simple pill box thing with a $2.50 feather stuck in it. The pantaloons are a pair of T's gym shorts with spent waistband elastic. I put elastic through the bottom hems to tighten around Noug's legs and create the pouf.

The fairy costumes turned out to be significantly easier than I feared. I was able to find a fairly straight forward princess costume pattern and modify it enough to make our fairy costumes. Here's the pattern I used:
Even though the fairies' costumes are long sleeved, I decided to go with sleeveless dresses for simplicity and in case it was hot. I lengthened the bodice pieces by 3" for Flea and my dresses and about 1.5" for Sneetch's. For the satin inset, I just cut a very thin isosceles triangle and sewed it into the center of the skirt. The hats were the most challenging part, but even those only took me about 4 hours to complete all 3 to my satisfaction. In the end, I just hot glued the accent fabric around the cone and hot glued the ties to that.
The best part of our costumes was that we glowed!! You can kind of tell in the photo above (taken with another set of fairies we met in the park). I wasn't about to figure out how to make hoops for each of us, so I sewed the hems of our skirts and the rims of our hats as casings. Once down there, we strung together 5 packs of the $1 glow bracelets from Michael's and threaded them through the casings! It managed to work much better than I thought! We separated the colours so that we each used colours that matched our dresses which only increased the overall wow effect. Finally, I bought us "Knit Lite" light up knitting needles to use as wands.

28 September 2011

Married life

Not much different from living together, sharing finances, spending lots of time with both families and non-married life. But the new school year is well underway, so I thought I should get back to the old blogeroo!

I'm still working at the school, but not with the children this year. I'm only part time and spend it in the office crafting and creating all sorts of fun materials for the classrooms, teachers and everyone else! It's been creative and reasonably exciting thus far.

I spend the rest of my days working on my personal creative pursuits. I am working on my Etsy shoppe and have decided to try to keep it stocked for the first time... ever. I'm also currently working on Halloween costumes.

We're taking a sibling+ trip down to Disney over Columbus Day weekend to participate in our first ever Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! It's sibling plus because it's the four of us sibs along with T and Flea's beau, Mash. I'm working on Sleeping Beauty themed costumes for all of us so we can hopefully find Aurora and get an awesome photo! Photos of those to come. But in the meantime, here's one of my photo studio (set up on our soon to be replaced dining table!).

31 May 2011


Last Thursday, T and I got married in Disney World! Lots more to come, but for now, here's a photo from our fantastic photographers!

15 March 2011

Philadelphia Flower Show

Click to see more photos from the Philadelphia Flower Show

This weekend, T, Vi and I drove up to Philadelphia to see the Flower show with my grandparents.  We got there just in time for a yummy dim sum lunch in Chinatown and then walked over to the Flower Show at the Convention Center.  This year's theme was Paris, so many of the exhibits featured classic Parisian landmarks and styling.  The show was enormous and beautiful.  I took over 100 photos with our good camera, but they really don't do justice to the amazing displays.  My favourite might have been the fake trees made up of small plants with a pond below.  But the carousel animals were pretty incredible also.

It was a nice, quick weekend getaway, plus we got to spend some quality time with Naboo and Nagong!  Sunday was back to real life business.  T spent most of the day working and I spent the day doing my very house-wifely activities; laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes, grocery shopping.  Should I go on?  Actually I think that's it.  We also finally finished our wedding invitations and got them all stamped and sealed.  We mailed them off today!

In other news, my new year's resolution to cook twice a week has been going swimmingly!  I'll cook something for T and myself Monday or Tuesday, depending on what leftovers we have from the weekend.  Thursdays, Mom, Sneetch and Vi come and join us for dinner.  It's been working out nicely.  Mom helps me to cook and then Sneetch, Vi and T help with the dishes and clean up.  I think we're settling into our real life routine quite well.  Now, I just need to fit in the gym every now and again!

06 February 2011

Year of the rabbit

Click to see more photos from our CNY dinner celebration

Thursday was Chinese New Year. Usually, being the rather un-Asians we are, we don't celebrate or anything. This year, we decided to change it up and have a little dinner party. It was a sort of last minute thing, but I think we did a pretty good job. T, Tuzi and I were joined by my two sisters, Mom, Feder and my sister's friend. So, we had a total of eight diners; quite auspicious! [Eight is an auspicious number in Chinese superstition.]

I made a very "semi-homemade" meal of nee gao (rice ovalettes with chicken and pea leaves), chicken stir fry (chicken, chicken sausage and baby bok choy; sauce based on this recipe), gai lan (Chinese broccoli), rice and long life noodle soup (lo mein style noodles with baby bok choy and mini dumplings in chicken soup). For dessert, I procured a dozen fresh dan tats (egg custard tartlets) and Mom and Sneetch brought a variety of ice cream mochis.

For other party fun, we had white rabbit candies, calcium fortified lollipops (donno, Mom found them), tangerines with leaves on, and I made each of our guests a hong bao (red envelope) filled with chocolate coins. :)

On the wedding front, no real crafting has yet begun. However, we did receive all the paper products for our invitations this week. The design is complete also, so this week will be invitation production week!

30 January 2011

New year and new jobs!

T & Me on Formal night on the cruise!
This is going to be an exciting year for T and me!  We started the year off with our first ever cruise and appropriately, we chose a Disney cruise.  :)  It was fantastic fun and we made some new friends who were on their honeymoons. (Click the photo to head over to Flickr for some more cruise photos.)

When we got back to chilly Virginia, we both started new jobs!  T started at his firm and has already put in some late, late nights.  He's really getting a running start which means he's picking up new skills fast!  I'm at a new school called Fiore Montessori.  It's new to me, and also new to the area.  It's a lovely school with a great philosophy.  My friend and her husband founded it just last summer and we are having so much fun getting it going.

In the meantime, we are working away on preparations for our wedding!  Because the ceremony and initial celebration are going to be in Disney World, we fortunately don't have to do as much as a typical bride and groom.  Of course, I still have high hopes for all the crafting projects I've planned.  Plus, we are helping my parents to plan a larger at home celebration which will be held the weekend after we're married.  So, watch this space for some fun wedding crafts in the upcoming months!  Don't worry, I am keeping some as surprises for those of you who will be joining us in Disney.  :)