Halloween

Sorry that I disappeared on you: I fell off my bicycle right onto my bum and I hurt my tailbone. No car, no camera and I'm shuffling around like an old lady... It's been a long summer.

Hopefully I can persuade my husband to take some rolls of film to get processed soon so that I can at least show you some pictures that I took with an old point and shoot camera of what I've been making.
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In the meantime I'm starting to think about Halloween. I know, I know, it's a bit early, but I suddenly realised that I'll be in England for most of September and I won't have much time when I get back. Being far too cheap to buy the kids costumes for just that one night, I'm trying to think of ideas. The pics are of previous years' efforts - don't look too closely at the pics, especially the penguin (yes, that's what it was supposed to be) and the British policeman: those are from my pre-sewing machine days. Good job these things only had to last for one night...
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These two are last year's effort: an army MP K-9 handler and his dog (he liked soldiers, she liked dogs). I cut up one of my husband's old army BDUs and managed to find some fuzzy material on clearance for less than a dollar a yard. Bargain. So now you have an idea of just how cheap I am...

Any ideas for this year? I'm trying to persuade my son that he does not want to be Darth Vadar. He helpfully suggested Yoda as an idea for his sister's costume. I don't think she'll like that.

Up, up and away

Still no camera - or car.

So... I'll show you what my son and I made a while ago. He's got an old-fashioned transportation theme going on in his room, with small copies of vintage boat / car / train / plane posters, the odd wooden model car etc.. So when I saw a picture of one of the early hot air balloons (similar to this: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/AVvauxhall.htm), I thought it might be fun to make a papier-mâché hot air balloon.

Needless to say, my son loved ripping up the paper: lots of newspaper for the first few layers, then all the blue that I could find in old magazines for the top layer, followed by a few weeks of telling him that, no, he was not to rip up every piece of paper in the house that he came across...

Yes, I did end up hand knotting the net out of string - I spent a couple of days looking, but couldn't remember where I had seen small nets for sale... then found one the day after I had made one. Yes, that kind of thing happens to me a lot.

These pictures were taken on one of the films that my camera chewed up, if you were wondering about the greenish stripes. I did play around with the photos to lessen these stripes, but now you can't see how the blue paper pieces are arranged in vertical stripes on the balloon. Oh well. Hopefully I'll soon have a new camera and won't have to keep apologising on every post for the picture quality.

Lost and found

You won't find me posting very often about thrift store finds. I was wondering why everyone else seemed to have such luck 'til I went to my local store on a Saturday and found hoards of people snagging all the good stuff in sight. A mum dragging around two unwilling kids doesn't stand a chance against those professionals...

I finally had some luck and found this pattern for a dress for my daughter, K (either the bottom right or left one) - a bit on the expensive side at 13 cents... ;). Unfortunately every other pattern there was a scary 80's number with huge shoulder-pads.

We did have to return to the thrift store yesterday. I finally remembered where it was that I had last seen K's lost toy dog that she slept with each night. Yep - dopey store to lose something in. Luckily it was still there, in the toy bin with the rest of the merchandise, although it didn't have a price tag on yet...
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As for these scissors: I couldn't resist them. The ones I had as a kid were just like them, and the little red-headed girl and her dog just reminded me too much of my feisty little K.
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I just scanned the items for images as I've yet to get a new camera. I sold my car and haven't found a new one yet. The future of my marriage may well depend on my finding a new set of wheels soon: I can't stand shopping with my (whinging and complaining) husband and I'm having to rely on him to take me everywhere out of walking / cycling distance. Trying to find a swimsuit at a time when they're apparently all on clearance didn't help (it wasn't until the 8th shop that I found one in my size...). I think camera shopping would push him over the edge.
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PS. I thought my sewing machine was broken last night: the motor was whirring but the needle wasn't moving. Half an hour later I realised that I hadn't pushed back in the round thing on the side (like my technical terminology?) after winding thread on a bobbin. I need more sleep.