31 October 2011

getting ready to trick or treat!

i love halloween. i love dressing up, i love being crafty and i love getting bags of candy for free. i have dressed up for probably 17 out of the last 20 years. i don't like to do the obvious "sexy" thing (why do girls always use halloween as an excuse to look super slutty?) and i prefer to make my own costume. a lot of the store bought stuff just doesn't fit me (at just about 5 feet tall i would have to buy an xl youth size) and it is usually just cheesy looking.

here are some of my favorite costumes that i've made:

madonna ("like a virgin" era)

 i found most of these items at a thrift store or at random stores in the mall (macys, claires). after i found the white lace bustier, which was key, everything else just came together... white lace gloves with the fingers cut off, white thigh-highs cut to capri-length, white kitten heels, white socks, a white slip cut short, a white garter belt, tulle, misc bangles, white belts, red lipstick and black eyeliner. the "boy toy" belt buckle was made out of cardboard which i just drew on with black & silver markers and glued to one of the white belts.

wonder woman & superman

my husband wore a store-bought superman costume but we added the superman curl.

for wonder woman, most of the items came from a craft store or department store. i found a white bustier, which i dyed red, white "granny" undies, which i dyed blue with white hand-cut stars glued on, a red and gold cape, panty hose, a 70's feathered wig, gold rope and a fairly stiff gold fabric for the accessories and embellishments. for the boots i used red socks stretched over knee-high boots (with holes cut out for the heels), accented with white electrical tape.

rocky balboa (& adrian)

i couldn't find any pictures of me dressed like adrian. i basically just wore really plain clothes, a wig, and cat-eye glasses. everyone was asking me who i was all night. i would just tell them to look at my husband and then they'd know. 
i used a red bathrobe with fabric glued to the edges and back, boots (found at a thift store) spray-painted red with fringe glued on, mesh shorts, a championship belt made out of cardboard, fabric and ribbon, a black wig, putty make-up and lots of fake blood, boxing gloves (borrowed) and first aid tape.

dr evil and a fembot

dr. evil was a store-bought costume but i had to do the make-up, bald cap and scar.  he also added his college class ring on his pinkie (it's all about details)...

for the fem-bot i used a white nightgown dyed pink, pink boas sewn to the top & bottom, light pink gloves and blond wig (which i attempted to make into a bouffant 'do) accented with pink feathers. the shoes (not shown - darn) were white strappy sandals with pink boa feathers glued to them. my favorite part was the metal funnels i glued to the top under the feathers for the "machine-gun jubblies".

dr. octopus

my husband was spiderman (not shown) in a store-bought costume.

as dr. octopus i wore black pants, a black button-down shirt, a black wig and black sunglasses. the coat was a white lab coat from a costume shop (which probably said something obnoxious like gynecologist or something), which i dyed gray. the arms are aluminum tubes from home depot, with ends cut and bent out. i cut holes in the coat and fed them through which held them in place.

hot dog, ketchup & mustard

for my daughter's second halloween, i let my husband decide what she should be. he picked a hot dog and wanted us to be the ketchup & mustard. she was 15 months old at the time and i think the combination of being uncomfortable in her costume (an infant size with leg holes cut out) and being scared of everyone else dressed up just made her miserable. this was taken during the 3 minutes she actually had her costume on.

i know my husband wanted us to wear those pre-made and totally ridiculous full body ketchup & mustard costumes. no way was i spending the money on those! i went more subtle. i found pictures of the labels online, resized them, printed them on iron-on transfer paper and put them on red and yellow long sleeve t-shirts.

don't you love the face my hubby is making? this is the nicest one i got...

this year we have a toy story theme. my daughter is being jesse, my husband is being woody and i'm being buzz. i will be sure to take pictures and post them soon...

happy trick-or-treating!

09 October 2011

where the heck have i been...?

yesterday, while my daughter was sleeping, i wrote a draft of a post about what i've been doing since the beginning of august. i never finished it (it was taking too long to write so i had to stop and clean up, eat, get ready and go to work). basically it was just a quick (ha!) summary of how my 1st floor condo flooded, i took my daughter to martha's vineyard (where i grew up) for almost a week by myself (hubby had to work), while the president was visiting (i am a very patient person), and how we're still putting the house back together after the stupid flood. yes, all very boring stuff (with lots of parentheses)...

then i found out that steve jobs died. (incidentally, my boss showed me the news on his iphone). i came home from work and was up super late scouring the internet for every article/video/twitter mention/quote i could find about him, rediscovering how brilliant he really was. now, i'm not just getting on the steve jobs/apple bandwagon just because he died - i really am genuinely bummed out that he is gone. the world has lost such an important person in design and technology. it would be odd for me not to show my appreciation and respect to someone who has had a role in creating so many things that i use on a daily basis, things that have shaped me as a person and things that have inspired me immensely. here are a few things that totally changed my life:

the mac LC-ii
OK, i'm dating myself but, i'll never forget in junior high when the computer lab at my elementary school got an LC-ii in color! how cool was super paint now! no more filling circles and squares with boring black and white bricks! yay!

toy story was funny and clever and like nothing else of it's time. it still makes me laugh. i watched the the pixar story (on starz, i think...?). that is what work should be like! it's really amazing to see the research and playing and experimenting that goes into creating even the smallest detail in a movie (like, how does something look underwater? how does something look when you're the size of an ant? how should fur move?).

itunes/ my ipod
i LOVE music and listen to it constantly. the first ipod i got was for christmas in 2005 (5th generation, 60gb, color with video). it was pretty pricey at the time at $400 but soooooo worth it since i still use it to this day. my hundreds and hundreds of CDs are all safe in storage while my 4500 + songs are all stored neatly on my computer. creating mix CDs (my specialty, love to give these as gifts) are super easy in itunes. i'm a playlist master and i've been the DJ at countless wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, wedding after-parties, etc. i may be one of the few people that will still venture out to an actual music store to buy an actual CD on the release date for certain artists. but, that itunes store is perfect for that guilty pleasure music. i mean, sometimes you just want that one britney spears song and don't want to buy the whole album, right?

i'm a mac
i'm a PC
before starting my own business, i attempted to pursue a career in advertising. it only got as far as sending out a bunch of lame resumes to companies that never gave me a second glance and i had a couple of meetings with a partner at an actual advertising firm, who was nice enough to give me advice on how to build a portfolio and then suggested i apply for an unpaid internship. i was pretty naive in thinking that my passion and eye for design and my interest in clever print ads, commercial, slogans and cool packaging would get me into SUPER competitive advertising world. without any experience. or a degree in advertising (or even a single class!). i thought that someone would just give me a chance. ha! i realized that it was pretty unrealistic for me to start a career from scratch in my late 20's, knowing that i would only have a couple of years to devote 60 hours a week to it before i would want to start a family and be home. plus, i couldn't really afford to do an unpaid internship. anyway, where am i going with this? my point is, i love advertising. i almost pursued it as a career. i still love a good ad or clever commercial. i won't fast forward my DVR during any commercial for an apple product. i've watched ads on the apple website, just to make sure i haven't missed the new "i'm a mac, i'm a PC". i saved the box from my first mac laptop for YEARS, just because the packaging was so cool, i couldn't bring myself to part with it. apple has always been the gold standard in marketing and advertising.

my iphone
i can be pretty suborn about technology and i don't really need a lot of bells and whistles. my husband is the opposite. he had to have the first iphone as soon as it came out. then upgraded to the iphone 4 as soon as that one came out. the last car we bought was one with a build-in DVD player in the back... he kept raving about the iphone and kept telling me to get one, but i resisted. i have a phone to make phone calls, i have an ipod to play music. i don't need anything fancy that does both! i finally gave in when i realized that having access to e-mail while i was out of the house with my 6 month old baby would be a HUGE time saver. plus, all those stupid apps that i used to make fun of are actually super helpful. GPS, google, itunes, i can take photos or videos and e-mail them right to my family. i don't know how i lived without it for so long! of course, i got the iphone 3 like 2 months before the iphone 4 came out (WTF?!) but that means i can totally upgrade to the 4S...

and lastly...
i'm obsessed with fonts and lettering and calligraphy. that's why i love creating invitations so much. i just love playing around with typefaces and hand-lettering and layouts. i was watching steve jobs giving the princeton commencement speech in 2005 (youtube video here). i didn't realized that he took a calligraphy class in college (after he dropped out, he "dropped in" to classes for fun) and what he learned there sparked his interest and fascination with typography and it carried over into designing the first mac computers that had multiple typefaces. no wonder i'm a mac girl! if you haven't watch his commencement speech, watch it immediately. seriously...

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary..." - Steve Jobs