Monday, October 31, 2011

No Tricks, Just Treats

Happy Halloween!

Wanna make macarons with me November 12th? There are still 5 spots left for my Mad About Macarons class at Adriene Rathbun's Social In-home Cooking Demonstration. I'll show you how to make classic, colorful macarons. And then I'll take the fun level up a few notches and we'll make some crazy cool ones.

To make a reservation, either email ( or call 316.990.4493. You can also check out all of Adriene's fabulous Fall cooking classes here.

Sweet. See you there!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

All Things Fall

I swear, October has got to be the busiest month of the year for the us. This weekend, the Denneler family spent a couple of windy & dusty hours at the Applejack Pumpkin Patch. Aunt Sharon even came along for the fun. They've got tons of stuff for the kids to do.

The big slide on the hill.
 The giant, inflatable, pillow bounce.
 The zipline.
The water-pumping duck races.
 The corn maze.
Funny signs that need a little more space between words.
 The tractor ride to the pumpkin patch.
 And of course, the pumpkin patch.
As if all that wasn't enough excitement for one day, we also spent Saturday afternoon & evening watching Eric run the Monster Bash 5K race at the North YMCA. They even had bounce houses, a petting zoo, and pony rides for the kids to enjoy.
Whew! I'm exhausted. And it's not even Halloween yet. Bring on Christmas, I need a break. Ha.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wimpy Kid

Gus loves to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. So when we were kicking around ideas for Halloween costumes last month, I suggested he go dressed as Greg - the Wimpy Kid. 

I got my inspiration from this bobblehead doll. Eric built the head out of various Smoothfoam™ pieces that I ordered from their website, and he used black window screen for the eyes and mouth. It was surprisingly easy to make this mask - compared to the WuShock Eric created a few years go.

The rest of the costume includes: a long-sleeved white shirt, a short-sleeved white t-shirt, black shorts, white tights, white cartoon hand gloves, a black backpack, and shoes covered in black Funky Foam sheets.

The newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book comes out in November, so I printed out large color copies of the cover and made a giant book out of foamcore. This also serves as Gus' trick-or-treat bucket.
I'm not sure the adults at Trunk-or-Treat last weekend knew what Gus' costume was, but every kid we met certainly did. I heard voices all the way across the parking lot yell "Hey Wimpy Kid.... I like your costume!!!!!" One little boy even followed us around and asked to get his picture taken with Gus. It's a big hit with the 12-and-under crowd and I'm sure it will get a great reaction from all the kids at school next Monday during the costume parade. Can't wait.

*As an update to this post, I've had a lot of people contact me and ask me if I'd be willing to sell my son's costume. Unfortunately no, he's pretty attached to it. But I can tell you the shapes and sizes of the Smoothfoam that we used so that you can make your own costume. My husband cut, carved and sanded the body parts into the shapes we wanted. Then he cut holes in the head and inserted the hair, nose & ears with tabs that he had carved into the foam shapes. Everything was glued in place with hot glue. And we painted the hair with gloss black spray

Here are links to all the shapes and sizes of Smoothfoam:

We used some black, see-thru mesh fabric for the eyes and mouth. And we hot-glued some cubes of soft upholstery foam inside the head (to keep it from wobbling around.)

I found the cartoon gloves here.

And for the shoes, I just bought some black slippers and hot glued a sheet of foampaper around them. I'm sure you could just use black boot-like slippers or black tennis shoes.

Good luck!

*** UPDATE 10/2/12
OK. Wow. I've been getting a crazy amount of questions lately about how we made the head. Unfortunately, we didn't really plan on making a tutorial out of this post, therefore we didn't take any "how-to" photos during the process. (Plus, we don't usually have a plan when we make our costumes, we just dive in and see what works. Or doesn't.) 

But in an effort to answer some questions, I took a few more closeups of the Wimpy Kid head so that you could see how the hair is carved to look curved, and how we pieced it together. I'm also including some some pics of how the nose and ears are shaped, how the black mesh screen is glued over the eye and mouth holes, and images that show the pieces of foam that we glued on the inside to keep the head from bobbing around. We're not professional costume builders, by any means. We mostly just use the tools and supplies we can find at home or online. My husband is a woodworker, so he naturally has a shop full of tools. I realize most people won't have a handheld jigsaw to cut the foam or orbital sander to smooth it. That's what we used. But I'm sure a utility knife and some sandpaper would work too. Just might take a little longer and look a little rougher. I hope this is helpful for those of you trying to attempt making this. I applaud your efforts... go for it!

Purple Popsicle

Months ago, in the heat of the summer (and after about 4 consecutive popsicle snacks), Bea told me: "Mom, I want to be a purple popsicle for Halloween. And I want my costume to be soft. And I want my legs to be the sticks."

OK. Got it. 

I thought that was pretty darn clever for a 4-year-old to dream up. So I did my best to make her Halloween wishes come true. 

We made a Halloween test run last weekend at some Trunk-or-Treat events in town. Bea loved her costume and waddled around collecting candy and smiling at everyone. I realize, it's not completely obvious what her costume is suppose to be. I overheard a few people whispering to each other "I think she's a popsicle." But that's OK. Bea likes it and that's all that matters.

Here's a few pics of how I made it. I used some 1-inch upholstery foam. Hot-glued rolls of quilt batting to the foam. Ironed some fusible web to the purple polar fleece, and then ironed the fleece to the upholstery foam. I attached the front and back pieces to a head piece with spray glue, and voilá.... a soft, purple popsicle costume.


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