Monday, September 30, 2013

DIY Coffee Filter Wreath Tutorial

I went on a crazy crafting frenzy this year and this was one of the easiest projects ever! It can be time consuming if you're doing a larger wreath, but there's really no way this can turn out bad. If you didn't notice, DIY wreaths are very in right now and one of the most popular ones is the coffee filter wreath. There are many different versions out there, but this is your basic wreath that you can choose to embellish as you wish.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Our Handmade Halloween History

As summer comes to an end, it's that time of year again for us to get started on our Halloween costumes. Yes it's only September, but we've been doing handmade costumes for several years now and that takes lots of planning and time. Before the reveal of this year's costumes, I wanted to go over some past costumes that we've put together. Keep in mind that I only recently became somewhat crafty and starting any of these projects was very daunting. If you're attempting your own handmade costume, do your research, stick with it and you'll do great.

Naughty Noo-Noo from Teletubbies

The handmade costume tradition started years ago when Jadon decided he wanted to be the Naughty Noo-Noo from Teletubbies. He was pretty firm and there was no way we could change his mind. The problem was that this was an obscure character from Teletubbies that even those who watched the show didn't know about. So naturally, this costume didn't exist. We tried to commission someone on Etsy to make it, but that fell through so Andrew and I had only a couple of weeks to get this costume together. We brainstormed for forever before we were able to conceive how to even begin. We joked around a bit about how bad it was going to turn out, but our crazed minds were able to come up with a decent looking costume. We started with a large cardboard box with the top and bottom flaps folded in. We used felt, stuffing, and hot glue to create a cylindrical body. The eyes were made with toilet paper rolls covered in felt. The vents and on/off switch were hand cut and hot glued on. The costume was worn over the shoulders with elastic. The finishing touch was a vacuum tube attachment from our wet/dry vac as Noo-Noo's nose. Jadon loved the costume especially the "working" on/off switch and the nose. He didn't care that no one knew who/what he was. Most people guessed he was a vacuum, but there were a few random kids that recognized him.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Caribbean of the Rockies

The view as we finally arrived

Andrew and I are making a point of it to be more outdoorsy with our kids and one way we have decided to do that is to do more stay-cations with them. After all, we live in an area where we have access to many different activities year round including 21 national parks and monuments and over 40 state parks in Utah alone. That doesn't even count the winter activities. For one of these recent trips, we decided to go somewhere with a beach to cool off in the middle of the summer. We settled on Bear Lake and were lucky enough to find some last-minute open camping sites over a weekend. We've been to Bear Lake several times before, but never in the middle of the summer and never camping with tents. Previously, we have stayed in cabins and timeshares there so camping was going to be a new experience. Also, Andrew researched a little bit online before we decided on a place and Bear Lake was mentioned somewhere as the "Caribbean of the Rockies" because of its turquoise blue color. Who knew we had been going to the Caribbean for years without even knowing it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013: Last Day

I didn't make it back to Comic Con until Saturday which was the last day. Andrew and I were very undecided on whether or not we would be able to drive there and find parking with all the extra people in SLC, but the traffic didn't look abnormal as we drove there so we decided to chance it. From the first day I was there, I knew there was a parking lot around the back of the Salt Palace so we headed there first and we found a parking spot for a flat rate of $8. We arrived around 2 pm and the super nice parking lot attendant said that it was pretty full, but that there were a few people who had left so it seems like we got there at a good time for parking. Getting into the building was another matter. After much walking back and forth and asking different people, we were able to discover the end of the re-admittance line and we learned that the fire marshal had closed down the building due to maxing out capacity. The line for re-admittance wasn't too bad, but the registration line with those who needed to get their wristbands and those who wanted to buy tickets was pretty long. Not long after we got into the right line, someone came out and announced that they would no longer be selling tickets. A bit late in our opinion seeing as how the building was at capacity but what can you do. We only had to wait about half an hour or so before we were able to enter the building.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013: First day

Good size plastic SLCC swag bag, poster, guidebook, and wristband

Comic Con has made it to Salt Lake City! It used to just be Geex, but that was pretty minor and I guess they've partnered with Comic Con for the ultimate geek mecca here in Utah. (7/2014 update: They aren't affliated with Comic-Con International after all.) Andrew has been to Geex once years ago and he didn't think it was really that great so he wasn't very convinced that Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC?) was going to be that good. That was until he heard that William Shatner was going to be there. Andrew is a big fan of Star Trek and the chance to see Captain Kirk finally got some excitement out of him. Andrew wasn't the only one excited to see William Shatner. In fact, the Saturday tickets sold out pretty quickly after the announcement and they eventually moved locations from the South Towne Expo Center to the Salt Palace Convention Center which is a much larger venue which opened up more available tickets. As of Friday, tickets are still available.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Comic-Con Chronicles 2013: Random Paneling

On Saturday, we were mostly wandering around aimlessly because we didn't get into Hall H for the massive WB, Catching Fire, Lionsgate, and Marvel panels. It wasn't all a waste though because we were able to see some really fun panels that we wouldn't have been able to go to otherwise. We also got to see some really great panels randomly between other panels. Everyone does Comic-Con differently. I think a good mix of big and small panels is a great way to fully experience what Comic-Con has to offer. Last year, one of my favorite panels was a small panel of costume designers and illustrators. I've been really into making clothing lately and that was a great eye opener to the world of costume design. I didn't even know costume illustrators existed, but it's good to know that I don't have to know how to draw in order to be a designer.

BRAVE NEW WARRIORS: David Guintoli (Grimm), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), Steven Yuen
(The Walking Dead), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Matt Smith (Doctor Who)

We love attending the panels that have a bunch of different actors from different shows, because the interaction and the content is usually interesting even if you don't watch every show on the panel. Last year we went to the Women Kick Ass panel and the surprise guest was Lucy Lawless. Rowley freaking out was priceless and one of the biggest highlights of the Con. This year, the Brave New Warriors panel included a bunch of critically acclaimed actors who have taken on iconic characters from various shows who also happen to be heartthrobs. Swoon. This was seriously such a fun panel because all the guys were hilarious. Check it out below, but be warned that there is a lot of screaming so turn your volume down.