October 04, 2010

Lisa: deck the halls with skulls and pumpkins

Since it's officially October and Halloween season, I thought I'd post photos of some of my decorations from last year. Maybe it will give you guys ideas for something easy and festive, and give me a little motivation to figure out something new.

For our dining table centerpiece, I drew some inspiration from the much more glamorous glittery version over at Martha Stewart. I bought two sleeves of styrofoam bones from the holiday aisle at Michaels, and arranged them on my cake platter with a few rubber mice from Nora's toy box. The sparkly black fabric around the base was a sample from the early days of Concert Black that's been sitting in my fabric stash for a few years.

The pumpkins on our porch are from the local grocery store and sold by the pound. I got a bunch of different varieties and shapes, and just stacked them together in a way that I thought looked cool. I had to break the stems off a few of the lower pumpkins to make them nest right, but I didn't try to attach them to each other or anchor the stacks--pumpkins are pretty heavy. I took a styrofoam skull (also from Michaels but too big to fit under my cake dome) and screwed it down on the stem of the topmost pumpkin of one stack. After Halloween, just yank that thing back off and you've got a perfect Thanksgiving display.

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By the way, you don't have to worry about the pumpkins rotting--and real ones are so much prettier than the plastic monstrosities at the craft store. A month or two (UNCUT) outside in cool fall weather, and the pumpkins will look pretty much the same as when you put them out. Ours even froze solid as the weeks got colder.

October 11, 2010

Lisa: hoopin'

You guys know me and traditional exercise: I pretty much hate it. But something about the current hula hooping fitness craze caught my interest. Maybe it's the retro appeal. Maybe it's because I have positive memories of hula hooping as a kid. Maybe it's because you can burn up to 600 calories an hour while looking almost like you're holding still. Who knows? But I do know the purpose of having a blog, and that is to embarrass yourself in front of a large audience whenever possible. SO. Here's a creepily silent video of me doing all the hooping tricks I currently know. Maybe in a few months I'll be posting one where I look a lot thinner and have a more impressive repertoire. It could happen. More importantly, if you saw me over on Health Month and I said I exercised, this is probably what I was doing.

October 13, 2010

Lisa: let's win a cargo bike!

If I win a MADSEN Cargo Bike, I solemnly swear to:
a) give you a ride around the block in the bucket
b) give your kid/pet a ride around the block in the bucket
c) go buy treats for everyone and bring them back to the party in the bucket
d) peddle something charming and/or delicious from the bucket
e) reduce my carbon footprint by carrying my own stuff/kid in the bucket

I could go on, but isn't it just simpler for you to click on the banner and help me win? You've always been a giver.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Bonus points: leave a comment mentioning what you would like me to carry with my new cargo bike.

October 21, 2010

Lisa: Battlestar Birthday

Do you know Jennilyn? I hope so. She is a relatively recent (and very welcome) addition to Crown Tuesday Mondays (if you can call 8 months or so recent).

Anyway, we had an inaugural Birthday Crown for Jennilyn back in March, featuring a Battlestar Galactica theme. There were tiny Battlestar Minimates, dog tags, eye patches, water guns, spacey-looking pencils, tic-tac "stims," raider-shaped cookies, wife-beaters (to wear backwards), terrible drawings of the Battlestar logo, and a robot mask fashioned from a dollar store shield. I'm sure there was something involving paper with the corners cut off as well. Marci provided cinnamon rolls, and Brian surprised Jennilyn with the complete Blu-Ray set (featuring poseable Centurion).

We love you, Jennilyn. Please never leave us (like stupid Battlestar Galactica did).

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October 26, 2010

Lisa: last minute costume, awesome edition

Maybe you weren't planning on dressing up for Halloween this year--a valid if unexciting choice--but then you got invited to a costume party. Don't hide at home because it's too late to put together a cool costume! If you can work a space, future, Tron, or robot costume into the party's theme, you're in luck. This might be the easiest and cheapest costume I've ever put together, and it's well within your capabilities.

1) Find a basic black dress and some black boots you already own.
2) Buy a couple of different colors of masking tape at the hardware store (usually in the paint section) and a roll of SILVER METAL-LOOKING TAPE from the area with the heating/duct repair stuff. This metallic tape is a dress-up miracle.
3) Lay your dress flat or put it on a dress form if you're a sewing dork like me, and start laying out the tape in a cool pattern. You might want to sketch out your design idea on paper first, to avoid repositioning tape too much. In my experience, the masking tape isn't sticky enough to move around, and the silver tape is just sticky enough that you start worrying about the dress underneath if you're taking it on and off.
4) Tape up your boots, too, IF YOU DARE.
5) Check the dollar store for some glow-stick necklaces or bracelets. I taped some sticks to the side of a headband so they'd stick up out of my hair, too.
6) The dollar store is also a good place to find chunky, brightly colored plastic earrings and bangle bracelets. Intermix them with glow-bracelets.
7) Dig out a pair of black tights with no holes and put on the whole shebang. DONE.

I didn't even look lamer than everyone else at Val's Future party! Proof here and here. I now pass this costume secret on to you. See you at the Tron Legacy premiere?