Friday, October 31, 2014

Infant Mutant Ninja Turtle

Ig you read my blog at all, you will have already seen the process of creating this year's Halloween costumes.  Now you get to see, my cute little turtle. I learned that it is awfully difficult to get a good photo of a baby in a costume if you can't sit up yet.  Here are my best efforts.

This is my little turtle at storytime.  He was not even going to consider wearing his headband.  He did enjoy eating it.
Ninja Turtles were a very popular choice this year.  But these two were the cutest at the ward party.

It was past Joshua's bedtime.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Literary Tourism - New York, revisited

As none of you remember, I have already visited New York in a literary sense.  The problem is there is so much literature based there, and I don't feel that my selection did it justice.  I reread a book that I have loved since I was ten.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsberg

Claudia feels largely unappreciated in her comfortable upper middle class family and plans to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  For financial reasons, she brings her brother Jamie along with her.  While at the museum they discover a new acquisition  called Angel and are determined to discover whether it is an authentic Michelangelo.  For a week they sleep, eat, and bathe in the museum until their curiosity over the statue drives them to visit Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler's home.  She is more than happy to learn their story.

I love this book!  I also know that I am not the only one who does.  I have discussed the merits of this book with a surprising number of fellow admirers.  When I recommend it to kids at the library, they typically return with a positive review.

Reasons I love this book:
  • Like Claudia, I enjoy the finer things in life.  If I were to run away, it would be to someplace classy and easy.
  •  Perhaps because of this book, I love fiction about art.  Others that I enjoy include Chasing Vermeer, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, and Hana in the Time of the Tulips.  One exception being the Da Vinci Code. 
  • The theme of family and particularly the importance of motherhood. 
The first time I went to New York City, I was determined to visit the Met largely because of this book.

When I visited, I randomly found myself in the wing with all the furniture and thought to myself, "Hey, that's where Claudia slept!"  I wondered about all the adventures a young runaway could have in the museum.

When I worked at the library and had to check the bathrooms every night, this book reminded me to be sure to check every stall.  A kid who wanted to sleep with the books might be hiding in there.

 And really, who wouldn't want to bathe in a fountain?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crafting Costumes

I started pondering Halloween costumes this summer.  I'm not good at this whole Halloween thing and knew I would need that much time.  I came up with the idea of ninja turtles.  Jerry thought that was great and we wanted to be a family of fighting turtles minus Raphael.

So, I Google-imaged DIY Ninja Turtle costumes.  DO NOT DO THIS.  Seriously, save your eyes and your innocence.  Amidst the filth, I found a cute kid idea on a blog called The Almost Perfectionist.  I took her ideas and my desired modification to the fabric store in Utah.  Said fabric is sitting with my sewing machine in a storage unit somewhere in the Midwest. 

While I was in Maine, I found some fabric and used my mom's sewing machine to make the costumes.  It was that important to me.

Unlike the blog I found, I am not even close to being a perfectionist.  The costume is far from flawless, but hopefully the gym at the Trunk-or-Treat will be a little dim and I don't think anyone will care that much.

For the turtle shell, I started with two circles of broadcloth and stuffed it.  Easy-peasy.  The original plan was to use felt, but supply did not meet my demand.

Initially, I was going to attach a shirt-like front (bottom of the above photo) to the turtle shell, but my mom talked me into just adding ties to the front and back.  Also very easy.

I highly recommend stick-on felt pages.  It was a great finisher for the front.

After all the sewing was done, I pulled out the hot glue and added a felt turtle pattern to the back.  I also used red, blue, and purple broadcloth for head and arm bands, but they aren't really special so I didn't post them here. 

In total, I made four turtles - two Leonardos, one Donatello, and one mini-Michelango.  You will see photos of us in costume next week.

Now, I am faced with one problem.  What can we be next year to use up all the green felt?  Suggestions are welcome because I don't think Jerry wants to be a lettuce leaf. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Bookworm

I have a little bookworm.
His name is baby Josh
I gave him a new board book
To see if he could read.

He chewed up all the pages.
He swallowed all the words.
Now he's joined his parents.
They're all a bunch of nerds.

(adapted from "Tiny Tim the Turtle")

*No library books were damaged in the making of this post.