Archive for October, 2012

Halloween is in the air….so get a big Whiff!

Once Will realized that I was pretty handy at making his costumes, he has INSISTED from that point forward that I do so, even if I could buy it.  Last year for Halloween, he begged to be Shaun the Sheep, and I wasn’t able to buy a costume for him since it was not super mainstream, so I feel I managed pretty well.  He was happy!

If you’ve been following my posts, you now know that my child is fully obsessed with anything and everything Super Mario.  Yoshi is his favorite, so guess who we are this year for Halloween?

I’d like to say that I came up with the hat idea all by myself, but I didn’t.  I found inspiration here, and I dare say that this yarn artist, Handmademonster, kind of kicks my ass in the Yoshi department, but I’m happy I was able to muster a knock-off almost worthy of theirs!

Now, here come the patterns for the boots and Mario’s saddle all you crochet nerds like me out there…

For Will’s little Yoshi boots, I purchased this really cool pattern on Etsy.

As for the saddle, I winged that, and I’m sharing it with you all for your little Yoshi monsters!

Mario’s Saddle for Yoshi

Abbreviations: 

SC (Single Crochet)

Ch (Chain)

BLO (Back Loop Only)

STS (stitches)

Tools:

K Hook:  for the Red Saddle

J Hook: for the White Saddle Brim

G Hook: For the Green shoulder straps

Stitch Markers (if desired)

Polyfill (to stuff the saddle)

Yarn:

Red Heart Super Saver in Red (Color A)

Bernat Baby Boucle’ in White (Color B)

Vanna’s Choice in Fern in Green (Color C)

*For the saddle (Color A,) you will hold two strands of yarn together throughout.  Also, gauge does not matter.

*Use a stitch marker as necessary.  There is no joining while working on the saddle.

Saddle (Color A) & K Hook MAKE TWO

Ch 2

Row 1:  7 SC in 2nd Chain from Hook (7 sts)

Row 2:  2 SC in each SC (14 sts)

Row 3:  1 SC in 1st SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (21 sts)

Row 4:  1 SC in next 2 SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (28 sts)

Row 5:  1 SC in next 3 SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (35 sts)

Row 6:  1 SC in next 4 SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (42 sts)

Row 7:  1 SC in next 5 SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (49 sts)

Row 8:  1 SC in next 6 SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (56 sts)

Row 9:  1 SC in next 7 SC, 2 SC in Next all the way around (63 sts)

Row 10:  1 SC in each SC all the way around in the back loop only (BLO)  (63 sts)

Slip Stitch to first SC.

Fasten Off and weave in ends.

Hold two red saddle pieces together and Switch to J Hook and attach Color B.  You’ll be working through both saddle pieces all the way around.

2 SC in each SC around the red saddle to create a white border, leave a small space in order to stuff Polyfill, then continue 2 SC in each stitch until you can slip stitch to first SC.  (126 sts)

Fasten off

Switch to G Hook and Color C for the straps MAKE TWO

Ch 8 (8th ch is the turning chain)

SC in the 2nd ch from hook and across the row (7 sc)  Ch 1, Turn.

Continue to do this same step until your strap reaches about 20 inches in length (or longer if necessary for sizing.)  Fasten off.

Sew straps to the saddle as seen below

And….Voila!  Mario is ready to hop on!

If you have any questions about my pattern, ask someone else because I have no idea what I’m talking about….KIDDING!  I’m happy to help in any way that I can!  Happy Halloween, and have fun playing dress up!

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D5: The Man With The Dice

Posted: October 29, 2012 by baki3626 in Comic Monday
Tags: , , , , , ,

Real Name: Unknown

Height: Unknown

Weight: Unknown

Background: Unkwown

Expertise: Psychology, politics

Weapon of choice: Dice

Powers/Abilities: apcolyptic destruction, master manipulator and strategist

Quote: “We’ve met several times. You just didn’t notice.”

Little to none is actually known about the man with the dice called Xerion. In fact, most people think of him as nothing more than a ghost story or urban legend. Very few have ever actually encountered him directly. And even fewer have known what it is they are actually encountering. But one way or another, virtually everyone has been affected by Xerion over the course of their life.

Xerion has roamed the Earth for countless generations. The earliest cave drawings depict a slender looking spirit with several heads playing with rocks carved in small cubes. This crude interpretation is remarkably accurate. Xerion is not a single being but rather four. The four horseman of the apocalypse, to be exact. And the dice he juggles represent the powers of each horseman:  pestilence, famine, war and death are all literally contained in the first four die. The fifth one represents chance.

Despite Xerion’s immense power, he is relatively benign. No one has ever died at his hands. At least not directly. Xerion’s purpose is not to destroy the world. It’s to have man destroy itself and the world in the process. Xerion is a masterful manipulator and shrewd instigator. He’s been involved in the inception of nearly every war or battle worth mentioning. His reach is limitless yet his touch is undetectable. His words linger in your psyche indefinitely yet you’ll barely have any recollection of even conversing with him. At the end of time, when the last man is standing, he will blame his own brother for the world’s demise before he even acknowledges the man with the dice.

 

I’ve always been fascinated by irony. You know: driving on parkways and parking on driveways, Greenland being covered in ice and Iceland being nice and green, saying someone is “pretty ugly.” But I would have to say my favorite slice of bass-ackwords phrasing and logic is “Dumbo.” Even the dumbest person in the world knows what the word dumb means. People have been referring to the cerebrally deficient as “dumbos” since before dirt was invented. But the character that the word was derived from is anything but dumb. In fact, his very story epitomizes wisdom like King Soloman on steroids. And growing up as an ignorant youth, the movie “Dumbo” taught me an invaluable life lesson.

For those of you not fortunate enough to have any familiarity with the legend of “Dumbo”, it’s a simple story of an outcast finding his way in the world. Only this outcast is a baby circus elephant with ears bigger than Donald Trump’s ego. The tiny tike would literally trip over his own ears when he walked. Needless to say, he would get picked on by everyone and everything. And he was in a circus! Talk about the pots poking fun at the kettle. Dumbo didn’t have a friend in the world. Except for a wise-cracking little mouse named Timothy. That’s right, this elephant was so alone that he befriended a mouse. Which is bananas since we all know that elephants are terrified of mice.

For the first time in Dumbo’s little life, someone chose to spend time with him, believe in him and genuinely care about him. For whatever reason, Timothy had complete and utter faith in his little pal and tirelessly tried to get him to believe in himself. But it was hard for Dumbo to do so. Why wouldn’t it be? His whole life people had mocked him, doubted him and treated him with no respect . And that’s if they bothered to acknowledge him at all. But Timothy’s faith in Dumbo was rewarded. Through a series of events, Dumbo become the star attraction of the circus. He was “The World’s Only Flying Elephant!!” You see, Dumbo’s gargantuan size ears gave him the ability to soar through the air like Christopher Reeves in blue spandex. Well, his ears and a super wondrous, one of a kind, uber magical feather. A feather that Timothy got special from his friends, the crows. (look, let’s just agree to save the whole crow-racism-thing for another blog post)

So with his magic feather, Dumbo finally gained some self-esteem and believed in himself. He performed like Jordan in the playoffs and never doubted himself in any way. That is of course until he lost his magic feather while doing a free fall. Dumbo’s worst fears suddenly became a harsh reality. The little guy literally lost his magic! And more importantly, he lost his faith in himself. As Timothy and Dumbo dropped like an anvil in a Road Runner cartoon toward the earth, Timothy confesses to Dumbo that the feather was a fake. It never had any magic or gave him the ability to fly. All that came from within. He did it on his own. He was the magic. And right before Timothy and Dumbo paint the ground red in the worst way possible, Dumbo pulls up like a Tuskegee Airman and flies away.

As a child, Dumbo was the very first super hero I looked up to. He had an incredible origin story, could fly and his sidekick was a bad-ass little mouse. But as I got older, I appreciated Dumbo for other reasons. Over the course of my life, I faced bullies, felt unwanted by others and doubted myself. I would then often times wish for a magic feather. Something amazing that would instantly fix my life. Give me the power to fly. But I would never get one. Timothy never showed up with one in his hand. And that’s the point. Timothy never gave one to Dumbo either. All Timothy did is show Dumbo what he saw: an amazing being that had the ability to do whatever he set his mind on. Every day, I have to remember that I have the power to make change. I have to remember to believe in myself when I don’t know how. Like Dumbo, I have to remember to strive to see what Timothy sees and stop looking for magic feathers.

So if anyone ever calls you a “Dumbo” take a bow and say “thank you.”

There aren’t many things in this world that I pride myself on. I like sports but can’t really scroll off a lot of stats. I like to cook but struggle to eat some of mine own dishes. However when it comes to cartoons, I excel like no other. I didn’t just grow up watching them as a child. I still watch them as an adult. I’ve bought several of my favorite series on DVD and have taken numerous classes on them throughout my schooling. You’re probably wondering why. Why would a grown man care so much about animated, anthropomorphic creatures running around like they have no sense in abstract universes with arbitrary parameters? Because cartoons taught me some of the greatest life lessons I ever learned.

One of my favorite cartoons is “Pinky and the Brain.” If you aren’t familiar with this show, the Brain is essentially the leader or “brains” of the duo while Pinky supplies comic relief along with moral support. The show’s premise is very simple: two lab mice try to take over the world on a daily basis. I say daily because they literally fail every single time they try to accomplish this goal. And there in lies the lesson. For whatever reason, the Brain feels he is destined to become ruler of the world.

And despite his exceedingly high intelligence, he’s still just a simple lab mouse that stands maybe 4 inches high, has no army, no funding, no real area of expertise and has no chance of success. Yet every day, him and Pinky try with all their might to fulfill their dream. They never give up. They might get weary, discouraged and frustrated but they never give up. They evaluate their mistakes and move forward. They try new and innovative ideas, adapt and grow.

Real life works a lot like this. I’ve never tried to take over the world necessarily but I have met it head on countless times. I’ve struggled with adversities and obstacles that I care not to share. And just like Pinky and the Brain, I’ve gotten weary, discouraged and frustrated. I’ve wanted to call it quits and forget that I ever had any dreams or aspirations in the first place. But because of their example, I’ve always been able to find some hope. I’ve persevered against odds that I’d once thought were insurmountable. And just like Pinky and the Brain, I’ve had to do it on a daily basis. I’ve had to find new and innovative ways to face my problems. I’ve had to find strength in places I’d never thought I would.

And like the Brain, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a “Pinky” or two at my side to help me when I lose my way. To keep me focused when I don’t know which way is up. And to care about me when the world is beating me down. After all, if two tiny lab mice can keep their heads up, what excuse could I possibly have?

I don’t expect everyone to have the same take-aways from cartoons that I do. People interpret stories in their own way. But my hope is that after reading this you at least have some appreciation for cartoons that you might not have had before. I’ve often been criticized for being too old to watch cartoons. To which I respond, I’m too old not to.

We like playing pretend around our house.  Any opportunity my son and I get to play “Make Believe” and wear costumes, we’re pretty stoked about it.  My husband, well, that’s another story.  He participates in his own way.

Take Halloween for instance:  Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday, tied only with Christmas and Independence Day.  We are in a perpetual state of Halloween costume planning 365 days a year.  My costumes in the past have been hit or miss, and their level of success really depends on the amount of time I allow myself to execute my idea.  I’ve had mostly serious fails, which usually consisted of my “handmade” costume ideas and really about two wins in my costume history, both of which were purchased.

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Please note that in my “Wind” Costume image, that is not a duck face or a kissy face.  That’s much too cliché.  That is a “Wind Face.”  I am blowing air, as you can see from that glittery wind coming from my mouth.  The fact that I need to explain it shows why it was not successful; although, I do like to “Make Believe” that it wasn’t lame.  That’s the land I live in. 

My husband pretends to be Gaylord Focker, “The Murse,” every Halloween, and this has been the case for the past six years.  This way, he can get away with wearing “pajamas,” and no one calls him a humbug for not participating in the festivities.

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My son’s first few Halloween costumes were really pretty simple.  I bought them; he wore them.  Gotta love that.  Below we have “The Happiest Pumpkin in the World,” “Sock Monkey,” and “Guy Bones.”  “Guy Bones” is glow in the dark skeleton pajamas.  When in doubt, pull the pajamas out!  Just ask my hubby, and he’ll tell you those are words to live by.

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When my son turned three, his tastes became more varied, so I was not as successful at finding off-the-rack costumes.  Insert Homemade costumes again.  For example, a year ago for a friend’s Super Hero Birthday Party, Will asked to be the obscure Turboman from “Jingle all the Way.”  You know, the 1990’s Christmas movie with Sinbad and Arnie Schwarzenegger.

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I’d like to say we managed okay with a little help from some aluminum foil, soda bottles, streamers, duct tape and cable ties.  (Similar Tutorial Here ) They don’t even sell Turboman costumes; we found an Iron Man costume that was more red than burgundy, and it worked.  If you were in the market for a Turboman Action Figure, which ironically was a requested Christmas item from Will that year, good luck with that because they are close to $200 buckaroos; although, they do have a really cool Cube Craft Art Turboman Here and Here if you feel like making a miniature paper version.

Now that Halloween is approaching again, Will has of course requested something that he wants me to make instead of buy.  Actually, he pretty much told me I had to make it in so many words.  Part two of this blog post will be a “Shaun the Sheep” costume and a Yoshi costume, and I’ll have a little crochet tutorial to go along with it.

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