Ursala the Sea Witch

I like dressing up for Halloween. I especially love dressing as a villain. Lots of fun, if you ask me. This year I was debating between Ursala and Cruella DeVil…lots of fun make-up and costumes.

cruella ursalaI decided to go with Ursala. It would be a challenge to construct a dress with those octopus tentacles. I turned to pinterest – here’s my board.

I was inspired by the elegant dress and movable tentacles by trumanandamyweston.blogspot.com.  I bought six pool noodles, some leather and sequin fabric in black and purple, and three hula hoops to make the layers underneath the skirt, and grabbed some rope. I sewed eight tentacles (each one side with leather and sequins), stuff the pointed tips with some polyester filling, and put the noodles inside. They were lovely, just not bendable. A trip to the hardware store and eight two-foot pieces of copper tubing later, I had flexible tentacle I could shape any way I wanted. I had found a short strapless dress at the thrift store to use as my base for the outfit. I tied them to the three-tiered hula hoop skirt I made and, voila – tentacles! (This is how I kept my mind busy during my father’s surgery…)

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I then sewed a black satin circle skirt with a gather waist to cover the tentacles. I liked the look of the black satin skirt alone, but the material was different from the base dress…and it just didn’t have a bit of glamour I was looking for!

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I remembered a tulle skirt I had made last year and didn’t end up using. I put it over the top…and liked it. But when I cut the tulle into little strips to allow for additional movement – that’s when it worked!

Here’s the finished product, complete with make-up. I love it!


Happy Halloween!

PNW: The Journey Home

Jon flew home from our PNW trip that day after Sophia’s birthday. We began the journey on Monday, heading for Eugene. We stayed at the Armitage Park campground in Eugene. We met up that afternoon with friends we had made three years prior when we were last in Eugene. It was sweet to see everyone – and see how much older all the kids were. Gabe was only six months old last time! The camp ground was lovely, although our spot had little shade when we pulled in at 2pm. Luckily, I quickly set up the tent, and we went off to a park to see our friends and get frozen yogurt!

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The next day we headed for Mt. Shasta. I was worried a bit, since it began to rain on our drive there. We were going to camp again in the tent. Luckily, at the Mount Shasta KOA, they upgraded us to a two room cabin right next to the bathrooms. I managed to unload our stuff just before it began to pour! We settle in to wait a bit, and then during a brief hiatus from the rain, we went out for pizza. We ended up staying there for a couple of hours before leaving in the middle of a downpour. I am so grateful for the upgrade to the cabin – I still don’t want to imagine camping in a tent in a downpour after driving for five hours with two miserable kids!


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Next up, we headed south of Sacramento to the Brannan Island Campground, located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta area. We have the campground practically to ourselves, which was good since the kids were exhausted. The kids were tired of the long drives, and so was I. They were able to ride their bikes, and I could unwind. We had one more day of long driving to reach our two-day rest place: Morro Bay.

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We stayed at the Morro Dunes RV Park, which is right across from the beach and the Morro Rock. The community had put in lovely bike and pedestrian paths since we last visited. After our respite on the beach, we walked along the boardwalk to our dinner at Tognazzini’s Dockside Too, a fish market right on the dock. We watched the seals and seagulls while being serenaded by a banjo player. It was pretty fun! After running errands, we spent the next day at the beach. By late afternoon, we were ready for some frozen yogurt and pizza!

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Our next stop was Playa del Reyes, where our friends Anne-Marie and her family live. We stayed for two nights. The kids hadn’t seen each other since last June, so they were all excited to see each other. It was lovely to catch up with my old friend. Not that we are old! The next day, more friends joined us: Trinka and her family, and my friend Drew biked over. We played at the beach.  Sophia learned to boogie board, and I tried surfing. We had a fantastic time – for our last day at the beach. Sad to say goodbye, both to our friends and the beach! We spend about 24 days at the beach this summer!

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Our last long drive was to Phoenix to see my sister, niece, and Mom. It was a good end to our trip, since we started out our trip with them. We stayed at my sister’s house and swam in the pool. It was hot! It still is in fact.

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Avila Beach

The kids needed a brief break from the beach, so we checked out the Children’s Museum in SLO, and afterwards, the Creekside Brewery too. San Luis Obisbo was quite lovely – we walked and explored the creek that runs along the city.

My friend Drew came from LA for a couple of days to join us at Pismo Beach. Since Pismo Beach is really more for folks with ATVs, we went to Avila Beach to play. We build sand castles with tunnels, played in the river, and of course – ate ice cream!

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A Rainbow Sally Dress

Our friends have a little girl C, who turned five this past weekend. Her party theme was rainbows…which got me thinking of something I could quickly sew up for her. I wanted to make a dress for her last year for her birthday, but just didn’t have time. I was just as busy this year, but I found time in twenty minute intervals all week before work to sew a little bit each day. Can I just say how much more relaxed I was when I started my day? I may be onto something there.

I turned to my good old standby: the Sally Dress. I have made this dress several times now, and don’t even need the directions out anymore.  Simple, clean lines, and fun to sew – with variations for the sleeves. This time I made a sleeveless version. C is a bit petite, so I worried about making the dress too big. I found some great rainbow colored fabric at JoAnn’s.

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It was a little big, but she loved it! Everyone should have a rainbow dress in their wardrobe, I think.