Friday, October 17, 2014

Green Project: Prince Charming Costume

Still recapping the summer here but this costume post comes just in time for Halloween.
Fiona's BFF turned 5 in June and after his Mama blew my mind with some beautiful handmade doll bedding {I'll have to share that soon} for Feefs' birthday I knew I also wanted to get crafty for his gift.
Dress up is big in our house {and occasionally out of the house, like the grocery store, park, walk, etc.} and though Charlie has been a great sport dressing up in some pretty feminine frocks, I wanted to expand his options.
Presenting: Prince {Charl}ing.
DIY Prince Charming Costume
I had in my mind something similar to Prince William's wedding wear.
I considered starting from scratch but that's not really my style.
I decided instead to source out an outfit I could repurpose.
A trip to Value Village delivered this lovely ensemble for the bargain price of $6.98.
 Another $12 spent on the trimmings at Fabricland and I was all set.
 I started by turning the blazer inside out and ripping the side, shoulder and sleeve seams.
I used a jacket that I knew would fit Charlie and measured the width from collar to shoulder seam then marked that with a pin {remember to add 1.5cm for a seam allowance to each marking} on the blazer.
I then marked the midline and measuring the width of the torso on my model jacket to mark the side seam.
After cutting off all the extra by following the above pins on one side...
...I just folded the jacket in half on the midline that was already marked above and cut the second side to match.
To finish the torso I just sewed the side seams back together.
Now it was time to fit the sleeves.
Again, I grabbed the model jacket and measured the width of the sleeve at the top and bottom and pinned {with seam allowance} as well as the length.
After sewing the length of the sleeve and turning it right side out I fit it into the arm hole {you may have to work on this for a few minutes} and sew this seam.
A simple hem on the ends of the sleeves finishes them off.
I left the length as is since I wanted it a little long for the look but also so it would fit for a while.
I also left some extra length on the sleeves for the same reason.
The collar was an easy fix since lifting it up then folding it in on itself once made it quite princely.
I pinned some gold trim around the neck line before sewing the collar down to finish it off.
I started on the side with the buttons so that I could continue all the way down the front just inside the button holes.
After this I also replaced the buttons with some flashy gold ones.
The last detail on the jacket was to create some epaulettes. 
Some simple fringe folded in half and sewn down the middle did the trick.
Before I fastened one shoulder's epaulette I wanted to attach a sash, this is where the bright red blouse came in.
I was lucky to find one with a little embellishment but one without could also work.
I cut the button down part from top to bottom, sewed the bottoms together then used the top button to secure the bottom of the sash after putting it on.
I slipped the whole thing under one epaulette then sewed it in place since we all know accessories tend to go missing on kid costumes if they're not attached.
 And what kind of prince would he be without a crown right?
I actually don't know if I've ever seen Prince William sporting a crown but it still felt necessary.
I took a piece of gold lamé measured and cut to the diameter of Charlie's head {with an extra 3cm for seam allowance} then folded it in half and pinned it approximately every 3 inches.
 I used the pins to guide the points of my cut but otherwise just winged it.  
The crown could be made any shape or height here but I liked this simple look best.
Cedric was so excited about the crown {depicted below} that I was glad when my first attempt ended up a little small and could be kept for him.
 To give the crown some standing power I cut some fusible batting the same size as my folded lamé then ironed it on.
I stitched along the top {with the batting facing out}, cut the edge a couple mm from the stitch {an important step otherwise you won't get a nice shape at the top} then turned it right side out.
Once you turn it you need to work the points out which I usually do by hooking a straight pin into the fabric and pulling from the outside.
 To finish it off simply fold the ends of one side in, insert the other end into it and stitch on the outside {see below}.
DIY Prince Charming Costume
 I also bought some black pants and used the extra fabric from the blazer to sew a tuxedo stripe down the side but this is purely optional since plain black pants look just great.
 Now we have a legitimate prince costume to match the many princess dresses.
 Not to say this guy doesn't still rock the feminine garbs from time to time.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

So thankful for a beautiful daughter who knows how to make me laugh {and cry} and reminds me constantly that the world is a fascinating place.
Girl walking in grass
So thankful for a son who has managed to teach me more about love when I didn't think there was anything left to know, that trust goes both ways and the importance of growing through mistakes.
Boy climbing rocks
So thankful for friends who are without a doubt family.
Turkey napkin holder
So thankful for family who are without a doubt friends.
Turkey place decoration
 And, who could forget, thankful for toddler-made-Grandma-initiated turkey crafts on our Thanksgiving tables.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Summer Recap 5: Festival City

Two months!
It took me two months to get this post done.
I'm not sorry though since going through these pictures again took me right back to these spectacular summer days.

The last time we went to Folk Fest, Fiona was 4 months old.
We went for one evening, Ben Harper was headlining and was incredible.
Fiona was also incredible but we felt alright ducking out a little early knowing that we'd see him again at the Gorge when he opened for Dave Matthews Band.
{Yes, Fiona attended two Ben Harper gigs and as many DMB gigs by the tender age of 5 months.}
Anyways, Ben was back at The Edmonton Folk Music Festival so it felt right to return.
On Thursday we had only a single ticket so Fiona and I made it a date.
{If you're under 12 you're free, is that amazing or what?}
Fiona requested that we please match for our concert date.
This girl loves matching so I did the best I could with the limited purple in my wardrobe.
 We were so happy to spend the weekend with these sweeties.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
 They danced like no one was watching.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
 They also begged for some candles.
After Fiona stared at hers for a few seconds, having just heard the "be careful" spiel, she turned to me and said "Mommy I don't think I can handle this."
I had to backtrack and edit my warnings so as to give her a little more confidence.
She could indeed handle it.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Nothing beats the view at EFMF.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
I popped down on my own Friday night to take in James Vincent McMorrow.
Him and Gregory Alan Isakov were two of my favourite artists of the weekend.
I also was happy to catch a little Vance Joy, Ben Howard, Holly Williams and discover a local band called 100 Mile House.
There were, of course, many more great acts, too many to mention them all.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Saturday was a long day but the kids did well.
Cedric passed out in the backpack after a popsicle meltdown, don't ask.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
We were able to break up the days with fun at the park, face painting and bouncy castles.
The kids enjoyed the music but in short installments only.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
It was by far my best experience at EFMF and I hope it only gets better as the kids get older.

Next up in August was the Fringe Festival.
We didn't make it to any shows this year but spent an evening taking in street performers and a little street food.
Edmonton Fringe Festival

Edmonton Fringe Festival
And what would a visit to the Fringe be without a trip across the highlevel on the street car.
Highlevel Streetcar
We met our festival partners in crime for this one.
Highlevel Streetcar
Any type of train is always a hit with this little man.
Highlevel Streetcar

Highlevel Streetcar
And these three little gals giggled like teenagers the whole way.
Highlevel Streetcar
I love Edmonton at all times of the year and am digging all the winter celebrations lately.
But, if I'm being honest, August kicks butt in the festival department.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Melissa's Road Race 2014

This has become one of my favourite traditions.
A weekend in the mountains with a little {albeit slightly painful} run, delightful right?
Yep, it doesn't get much more beautiful than this.
Canmore
 Except maybe this.
We had the privilege of sharing a condo with this beautiful girl and her parents.
{Summer Recap 4 1/2: Welcome Olivia!}
 Our group was a little smaller this year.
Life events and such.
{Jenna was 2 1/2 months postpartum so definitely deserved a pass.}
Melissa's Road Race 2014
 We ran into my friend Elena at the end of the race and I introduced her to my Dad.
She asked if he is the reason I run and, you know, I hadn't really thought much about it.
But of course he is.
I had immediate flashbacks in that moment to being 10 and jogging with Dad.
I hated it of course {I think that was right around the beginning of my sloth phase} and remember him being much more fit than I.
I am thankful now that he set that example for me since it obviously stuck.
I hope that each time the kids cheer us on it's sticking with them too.
Melissa's Road Race 2014
 We finished off the day with a lot of relaxing, hydrating, eating and just a little booze.
{We've learned our lesson and do not overindulge after the race anymore.}

The next morning we were treated to a gang of elk just outside our Canmore condo.
{I know, I thought it was a herd too but nope, the correct term for a group of elk is a gang.  There we go learning again right?}
Canmore
Then after a lazy morning with our own gang {see what I did there?} we headed out to the streets of Canmore.
Canmore
 Managed to stop in one bookstore.
Canmore
 Then it hit Jeff, we're not quite sure what but he was in no state to be out and about.
I'm glad we didn't push it because he was in bad shape by the time we got home.

In lieu of our little walk about town I took a bit of a scenic route home and let the family sleep while I stopped for pictures now and again.
Rocky Mountains
 I just love this time of year and in the mountains it's something else.
Rocky Mountains
I'm already looking forward to next year.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Recap 4: Fruit Harvesting

I already blogged a bit about our garden.
In the end it was better as a fun family project than a source of food but I'll take what I can get.
And as I already said, our plum tree is shutting down and gave us no fruit this year.
We had much more success in the food gathering department as members of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton {OFRE}.
The highlight was our visit to Horsehill Berry Farm.
Horsehill berry farm
They invited the members of OFRE for a glean.
The kids were really excited at first but faded pretty quickly. 
Horsehill berry farm
 Cedric ate even more than he picked {after dipping into all of our buckets}.
Horsehill berry farm
 Luckily we coordinated this outing with Diana and Carly.
The kids love them and it's basically like having three parents for two kids.
Can you say "best case scenario"?
Horsehill berry farm
 We came back with enough raspberries for 10 jars of jam even after snacking for a couple of days.
Horsehill berry farm
The other harvest we have taken advantage of is apples.
Apple picking
 We are addicted to Apple Butter {this recipe is to die for} and Apple Streusel Bars {made with this recipe} so I have been processing apples like a mad woman.
Apple picking
I was thinking that we actually went a little overboard since I have a LOT of apples on my hands still.
Then I was talking to a friend on the weekend who has apple cider on her to do list.
 So I may just have a use for the lot after all.

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