Tag Archives: Costume

Scrapbook: Halloween Carnival

8 Nov

This is the last Halloween post I’ll inflict on you until 2012. Swearsies. I know this makes post #4 involving Isobel dressed up as our favorite witch, but at least this time you get to see my bestie’s son dressed as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. I only got this one crappy photo of the full outfit, which was entirely handmade, freaking adorable, and easily the best costume at the carnival.

I should have switched to manual to avoid the focus problems but I was so focused on taking the damn photo before he ripped the hood off entirely that this is what I get.

In true nerdly fashion, Anthony and I dressed as Starfleet Officers for Halloween. I think we may have been nerdier than the family of five who dressed up as actual nerds for the occasion. Nevermind all that, though, because my husband would make a sexy starbase engineer. Set phasers to stunning, put it on the main viewer, and make it so.

What you may or may not notice about my costume is that although it fit around me just fine it was too short lengthwise, resulting in some rather hilarious highwater pants action and supposedly long sleeves that stopped mid-forearm. I spent the grater part of the night being uncomfortably aware of my crotch, as the inseam was an inch or two too short for comfort. The frustrating part is I doubt a size up would have fit me in that regulation Starfleet body-skiming way.

We were invited to this carnival because Angela’s Grandma was running the cookie decorating booth and there we discovered that Justin had an unknown talent for the frosted arts. He should really change professions, don’t you think?

He has a gift.

Aside from the cookies at the decorating table, Isobel was so content running around and ‘playing with kids’ that she didn’t think about the candy in her jack-o’-lantern.

Kingston found true love with his balloon.

And, in my final Halloween hurrah until next year, here’s a video Justin took of the kids decorating cookies while I tell an animated story to Angela. I think it was about Taco Bell.

Thrifty Living: DIY Kiki’s Delivery Service Costume

31 Oct

This year is probably the last year I’ll have any say whatsoever in Isobel’s Halloween costume. I figure as parents you get at least two years, three tops, depending on where their birthday falls, to selfishly pick out a Halloween costume to inflict upon your little darling. After that you can prepare for the next ten or so years of haggling the sluttiness level of your daughter’s costume down to acceptable levels. For now, though, Isobel is still learning that the phrase “trick or treat” is a magical gateway to candy, and she had no problem working up enthusiasm to dress up as one of her favorite movie characters: Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Kiki is an adolescent witch spending a year away from home to gain independence as part of her witch’s training. She opens a flying delivery service and, through trial and error, learns to make friends and trust in her own skills and abilities. This is a great movie for little kids as it has no overly scary imagery or subject matter. It is one of three movies Isobel tolerates. (The other two being The Care Bears Big Wish Movie and the lovely documentary Babies.)

(You’ll have to excuse the mediocre photos. I took these while waiting for my mom to arrive so we could head on over to the Library’s Halloween toddler time. She would only hold still if she was actually watching Kiki, which means terrible lighting and a glazed-over expression.)

(Also, she insists the witch’s broom is held bristle-up. Insists. If you try to fix it she will say, “No, not that way,” and then turn it around anyway.)

Unlike last year I was able to find the right dress while thrifting which solved my biggest (and potentially most expensive) problem. We already had the broom so Isobel could “help” clean, and I made the bow and the radio myself. The radio is an old camera I found while thrifting. I used red duct tape over the case. I thought about adding dials by gluing plastic bottle caps on and decorating it with a sharpie, but that never happened.

I made the bow out of a red headband and some lightly wired ribbon from my boyfriend Michael’s (Arts & Crafts). I made a large loop, twisted it, secured it with a smaller length of ribbon, then attached it to the headband with a glue gun.

Since we are schmucks we ordered her an imported stuffed Jiji the cat for waaay more than I felt comfortable paying for, but I couldn’t find anything thrifted that fit the bill. Plus Anthony wanted to spoil her.

Isobel has no idea we are going trick or treating tonight. It’s going to blow her mind.

Scrap Book: Witch Hat Visit

10 Aug

I’ve been using my powers to thrifting to put together an awesome dress up chest (as per my Life List) and Isobel is just entering the perfect age to really enjoy it. One of her favorite things is this witch hat, which actually isn’t thrifted but was certainly a thrifty find. We bought it about a year ago from the dollar bin at Target even though money was really tight. She looked so adorable in it then and is still adorable now. Seriously, you should click on over to see the cuteness, if for no other reason than to see the Herp Derp Awareness button the grumblies made me.

Sometimes she likes to wear items from her dress up chest when we go on errands, and it usually ends up being one of her many necklaces. This time, however, she insisted on wearing her witch hat to Papa and Ama’s.

When your kid decides to be this awesome, you just have to get out of their way.

Follow Friday – It’s Not a Euphemism

5 Nov

It’s been a busy week — Halloween, the Election, and the Giants won the World Series.  Aside from that, Anthony’s been out of town on business quite a bit and I’ve been single parenting while suffering through a sinus infection. I really can’t complain, though, as much as I’d love to: my Mom and Anthony’s grandma have stepped up to help with Isobel and I am forever grateful.


jtymann Write a service where people can post 140 character messages about themselves w/ and open api. Trust me. #tweetyour16yearoldself

louispeitzman Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to sign your college diploma. …Yeah, it’s an autograph—let’s go with that. #tweetyour16yearoldself

robogirl The Internet was on the fritz for a good 15 minutes! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. Not really, but it did kind of suck.

MeganBoley Is there a Roomba that specializes in cat puke?

wawoodworth Apparently, my brain’s screensaver mode is just to loop Spongebob Squarepants’ song “Best Day Ever”.

blankslate There’s about 10,000 reasons why being gay is awesome and kids don’t need to kill themselves. It doesn’t just get better, it gets fantastic

RonSupportsYou Tina Fey: “Calling Sarah Palin (as Fox News does) “Governor Palin” is like calling me ‘Dairy Queen Employee’. I was once, but I quit.”

hopelarson Maybe print is dead, but at least when you finish a book, there isn’t a string of obnoxious comments on the last page.

theRratedBull I prefer to buy ribbed toilet paper. You know… for her pleasure.

thejohnblog Keep your friends close, but keep anyone who uses the term ‘frienemies’ as far away from you as possible.

fierceflawless Therapy today! Guess which of you I’ll be talking about. #oversharewednesday

chickenscottpie FUN FACT: If you vote for a guy who openly calls for the repeal of the Civil Rights Act, it is legal to hunt you for sport.

sarcasmically I feel like I’m in an episode of House, sans the scathing commentary of attractive doctors. Oh wait, I guess I’m in an episode of E.R. then.

simontarr The people have spoken, and they have said “DERP.”

heyrenees I was looking forward to retiring in California and becoming a stoner granny. Thanks. A. Lot.

TheNextMartha Words used to find my blog “Glue gun stuck to butt”

superchunkband Boehner crowd chanting “USA” – they think these elections were between us and other countries! Awesome.

FrankConniff If I see one more millionaire TV pundit say Obama shouldn’t have passed health care, I’m going to need more health care.

danforthfrance I dunno how many election jokes I have in me. What’s the Twitter equivalent of weeping?


OngoingBS Hey Christine O’Donnell, go home and masturbate. You’ll feel better.

wordlust Footsie seems like a lot of fun till you try crotchsie.

AmandaStretch Thanks, Twitter, for suggesting I follow myself! I AM pretty cool.

goodinthestacks When I went to library school, I never envisioned myself counting money so often. #youseemerollin #somequarters

danforthfrance Tunt #LeastPopularBabyNames

RootsAndZest Vulveena #LeastPopularBabyNames

thejohnblog Not enough ‘Eye Of Newt,’ huh, O’Donnell?

DaveHolmes I’m watching election results on Fox News, with anchors Cheerleader Who’s Forced To Talk To You & Little Boy Going As Newsman For Halloween.

FrankConniff Don’t feel bad, Christine O’Donnell – Today is the first day of the rest of your life as a Fox News employee.

unschool Teen to his brother: “We are so close, we can even finish each others’…” His brother: “…sandwiches.”

kellyoxford There aren’t any girl magicians because we burned them all.

God_Damn_Batman Don’t blame me, I voted for martial law.

inversejaik @exlibris I prefer a third-party false dichotomy.

gt733 I think my twitter stream has finally gotten to the point that lets me experience paranoid schizophrenia without actually suffering from it.

yowhatsthehaps Apparently it is not appreciated when you greet the people at the Allergist’s office with, “SUP, NERDS!”

kerrianne I spy a spam-looking email that’s not really spam. Written in all caps. From my mom.

mordicai I’m prettty sure that Earth’s first contact with alien life involved an infectious noological meme-creature. It would explain the Macarena.

davidlubar If you have any friends who think the earth is 6,000 years old, remember to warn them that voting is a sin.

highlyirritable You’d think my kids would know by now not to leave me alone with their candy. I kinda lost respect for them today.

simontarr Just took a civic doody.

alwysabridesmd I like that Twitter thinks I should follow @CourtneyLoveUK. I like to think I’m the buttoned-down, less heroin-y poor man’s Courtney.

MrBigFists There is a reason text is typically left justified. In most cases, it’s a mistake to align with the right.

badbanana The “I Voted” sticker. A real-life Foursquare badge for old people.

WhyIsDaddyCryin it’s Pants Optional Friday and my dog’s eating a waffle!! BTW that’s not code for anything, my dog’s really eating a damn waffle.

Tweetin4Palin Can’t wait 2 see if my candidates won cause I’m influency or lost cause I’m persecuted by media bastards. Either way, hellooo TV talkin’!

jgquinton Since the title ‘pro photographer’ is abused to being meaningless, I’ll just wear a cape and call myself ‘The Illuminator”.

badbanana Last night of political ads. A sad time for those of us who enjoy black and white photos combined with ominous piano music.

tinastullracing It might look like I’m doing nothing, but at the cellular level I’m really quite busy.

lafix Let’s hope San Francisco wins it all tomorrow, too.

Zaius13 I understand the local sportsball club was victorious in what was apparently an important sportsball match. My geophysical area is superior!

shinyinfo I don’t mean to brag or anything but Michelle Obama just sent me an e-mail reminding me to vote tomorrow. Shelly Shell and I go way back.

not_CNN If I go through life never having to jump through a window while shooting two guns simultaneously, than all of this has been for naught.

TheRedQueen Twitter is mostly my outlet for complaining. It’s cheaper than therapy.

zombiesitcom Jumped into a taxi last night, told driver to “follow that cab.” He turned and said “I’ve waited my whole career to hear that.”


FrankConniff I’m sure Cat Stevens performance at Stewart/Colbert rally made all suicidal young men with elderly girlfriends smile.

pistolval @exlibris my humble modesty is just one of my many, many great qualities.

lilpyrogirl Yes, I really was at waffle house at 3am…eating bacon…in a peacock costume…drunk.

CanuckMackem My wife said I’m too immature and if I don’t grow up it’s going to erect a barrier between us. Ha ha ha, erect.

pnkrcklibrarian My name is Lisa and I’ll be your instigator this evening.

shinyinfo There comes a time in every young librarian’s life where she has to shave the balls off her sweater-vest. #NotaEuphemism

Go Speed Racer

2 Nov

For my friend Zack’s birthday a bunch of us met up at an indoor racetrack in the Bay Area to celebrate his continued survival by wearing costumes and racing small, dangerous cars around a track. I was hesitant to sign up to race because it all seemed very official. The sign said this place was go cart racing for adults. You had to wear their racing suits and purchase something called a “head sock.” You had to take their safety class and understand what all the little flags mean.


And this place was filled with serious racers. Of which I was most certainly not. I’d never even driven a bumper car and my day to day ride (when door handles are not exploding in my face)? Is a Buick.

I can’t even drive a MarioKart properly.

But Angela was down and I figured if I was going to try it, I should try it with her.

After we registered we were asked to enter nick names that would list our positions and times for those following the race. I chose my twitter name, exlibris, but realized my mistake after it was too late to change it.


If I could do it over again, I thought, I would have named myself “head sock.”

And then I actually drove the course.

When I was all done I thought to myself, I have finally realized my true racing name:

Captain Slow.



Basically driving a go cart is not unlike sitting on a self-propelled lawnmower that is two inches away from the ground. It coughs and sputters and apparently has no power steering so two days later and my armpits are still so sore from the experience it can feel the strained muscles as I type.

The track marshals could tell I was a total newb. I knew this because before they even started my car one carefully leaned down to me and said, “Your neck brace is on backwards.” The giant helmet blocked my view so entirely that they had to put it on me correctly. Thank god I was at least able to buckle myself on my own. Adjusting the straps is no problem for someone who knows how to operate a car seat.

Being around other carts made me nervous so, being the courteous go cart-racer that I am, I let everyone go ahead of me. I had fun once I was by myself and could take the turns as fast as I wanted. I found it to be a bit like ice-skating: it’s easier when you are going fast and more challenging if you try to do it slowly. The trick with going fast, of course, is that loosing control is frowned upon and crashing into other drivers will get you pulled into the penalty box.

Speaking of crashes, I bumped into the tires twice and made it through the race incident-free until some agro racer guy slammed into me at the end. We were going around a corner when he lost control and I was in the middle of the turn so I couldn’t do anything but just watch him slam into me. Oh well. Once they pulled me free of the track the race was over any way. I hope I messed up your time, sucker! Making you lose is a victory in itself.

I’m glad we got to keep the head socks, though, because 1. ew, the idea of sharing head socks makes me barf deep in my soul, and 2. now Isobel has two ninja-masks for her dress up chest. Sweet!

Isobel had a great time running around the arcade area and pushing all the buttons on the rides. The best part was when Heidi let her play with one of Zack’s giant balloons and she thought she’d take it dancing.


Happy Birthday, Zack!


6 DIY Costumes: Halloween Roundup

1 Nov


Here’s a recap of this year’s costumes! Most of these photos were taken at my friend Zack’s birthday party. We celebrated his continual survival by dressing up in Halloween costumes and meeting at a Bay Area go cart race track. Which is a whole post in itself really and was a blast.

This year Laurel was a zombie jogger. If you notice she was bit on the ankle. My theory is that she was bit by a zombie dog who was following her on her run. Her husband John had a joke about why she was caught and it involved her saying, “traaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiins” but I don’t remember it now.

Laurel went to great lengths (specifically, Walmart) to purchase that fanny pack. She was pretty disappointed they didn’t have any day-glow options. I told her because day-glow fanny packs are now vintage, which is awesome, which defeats the purpose of a fanny pack. So they don’t exist any more. QED.

Isobel was terrified of Laurel with the green make up on. At one point Isobel looked from Laurel to me and then said, “Help!” After Laurel removed the make up, however, they were BFF once again.


Some of our friends decided to dress up as super heroes. Anthony suggested I join in the theme since what I originally wanted to be didn’t work out. After going through a list of super hero ladies he suggested I be Rogue. I had a brown leather jacket like her anyway, so it could be done cheaply. Perfect!

Every year at Halloween, I learn something new about myself. Two years ago I learned that I can’t abide the taste of fang adhesive. Last year I learned that I wanted nothing to do with Anthony when he was covered in zombie make up. This year I learned that spray-dye for your hair smells like ass and I’m probably never going to use it again.

I do best with costumes that just involve clothes, really. For the photos I show off Rogue’s signature gloves and bitchy look.


K is totally photo-bombing this shot. I love it.

My husband was Nightwing for Halloween. He found a (fake) leather jacket while thrifting and after considering several options for adding a blue stripe we realized that the simplest would be the easiest one of all: blue electrical tape. For the most part the tape adhered very well on it’s own, but since he never planned on using the jacket for anything else we glued the tape down in the areas where the adhesive needed help.

He reused his leather pants and the boots are actually galoshes that he found at the Army surplus store. Black gloves and a mask complete the look.


This is Laurel’s husband John. He is posing in character here and you probably have no idea who he’s supposed to be. That’s because he’s a private joke. People of Voltaire, I present to you everyone’s favorite dog groomer, Mike. S. Yes, the legendary Mike S.

I’d say he nailed it.


Jake dressed as that guy from The Notebook a private detective. It’s a very good look for him, I think. Here’s what he’d look like if this photo was taken in the 1930s:

Very dapper, Jake.


Our friends Justin and Melynda were out of town and so we didn’t get to see them on the big night but their costumes were adorable: they dressed in black and added handmade masks and went as two crows. Melynda purchased her mask on etsy while they made Justin’s themselves. Very creative, very cute. Also I’d recommend you spend the whole night talking about things that are shiny.

Busy Little Bee

31 Oct

Happy Halloween from our little bee! I asked her to say hi to everybody, and to my amazement, she complied:

My goal with her costume this year was to 1. dress her as something cute 2. dress her as something she wouldn’t hate. This last one was tricky. While I wouldn’t say she loves her costume, I can say that she doesn’t notice her costume, which I consider a WIN. Basically I knew anything that had a hat, a hood, gloves, mask, headband, or anything otherwise distracting would be absolutely loathed by Isobel. It would upset her dignity as a toddler. She has a lot of dignity and she treasures it.

Once I finally decided that she would be a bee I set to work gathering the components. She already had the black pants, mary jane shoes, and white socks. After coming up empty-handed in my search for a second-hand vintage dress, I decided to go with the next best thing: a handmade dress. I searched etsy for a yellow dress and found this one by etsy seller faithworks4u. She set to work immediately making this dress to Isobel’s measurements and within a few short days I had it in my possession. I can’t recommend her enough, and hopefully soon you will see Isobel in some other cute dresses from her shop. I have a couple that I have my eye on. (It should be noted that I found Faith’s shop on my own. I bought the dress, paid for with my own hard-earned money, and after she sent it and I examined the quality I contacted her and let her know I’d be featuring it here. She’s super nice.)

I added some extra bumble-bee stripes to the dress with black electrical tape. After the holiday is over, I have myself a cute toddler dress as the electrical tape comes off easily. Perfect.

The wings I found while thrifting. They were cannibalized from a commercial bee costume that wouldn’t have fit Isobel. I pinned them on using safety pins. I didn’t want to do any damage to the dress since she’d be wearing it after Halloween, and it is a lot easier to dress her with the wings only partially on than if they were permanent.

Since I knew she wouldn’t tolerate a headband with antenna I pulled her hair into an antenna hairstyle.

I’m a big fan of Baby Legs so I ordered these bee-inspired black and yellow leggings online. I wish their color was a little more golden to match the dress better, but overall I think they are cute.

The finishing touch to the outfit is the bouquet of flowers which I found while thrifting. She loves flowers, real or otherwise, and was excited to carry them around.

This whole outfit could have been put together very inexpensively had I looked for the dress while thrifting. As it was the dress was not too expensive and she’s going to be wearing it again and again.

Go bees!


Halloween Transformation, Phase I

30 Oct

It began with this dress, purchased from etsy seller faithworks4u. Faith is extremely talented,  sweet, and accommodating to boot.

I can say it’s a Handmade Halloween even if I didn’t make the whole thing myself, can’t I?

More to come.

Thrift Store Score: Cleo Necklace

22 Oct

Halloween or not, this is a wicked cool necklace.

You can find it here in my etsy shop.