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How to Make a Majestic Peacock Costume

Posted in DIY, Fall: Seasonal Decor and Crafts
on October 27, 2017

Make this majestic peacock costume with layers and layers (and layers) of stiff tulle, all attached to a modified long skirt with an elastic waist.

peacock costume

 

Halloween is a BIG deal around here! We throw an annual Halloween party and spend the entire month of October preparing for it. Putting together fun tablescapes and making props and costumes is my jam and each year, I look forward to hearing what my kids have dreamt up for their costumes. The year my daughter decided on a dressing as a peacock, I didn’t even bat an eye (well, maybe one), before diving head first (into what, I had no idea) into making her the most majestic peacock I could!

peacock costume - side

PS. Don’t let the number of steps intimidate you – it’s not difficult, I just wanted to make sure the tutorial was very clear!

peacock costume - full back

How to Make a Peacock Costume

*affiliate links included for your convenience

To make the skirt, you will need:

Other accessories for the costume: 

Adding the plumes

  1.  Cut your tulle “plumes.” Double each piece by folding each piece of tulle in half lengthwise.
  2. Turn your skirt inside out.
  3. Starting about 6″ down from the waist, attach the fold-line of 11-12 full-length tulle strips on the INSIDE of the skirt. Alternate colors and overlap the edges slightly.  Your plumes should reach somewhat below the hem.
  4. Attach a second row of 4 or 5 full-length tulle strips about 6″ below the first row, from the right side hem toward the center. Repeat on the left. Mark these rows with chalk – you will use this row in step 12.peacock costume - attach side pieces
  5. Starting 10″ from the hem, attach a row of short length tulle strips (about 11-12) on a diagonal to the right side seam. Repeat on the left.
  6.  Add a second row of short length tulle strips (about 11-12) on a diagonal, starting 12″ from the hem, near the center skirt, down to the right side seam.  Repeat on the left.
  7. Attach a row of (10) strips along the side seam from the bottom up on the right side. Repeat on the left.
  8. Turn the skirt right side out and lay flat, back of the skirt facing up.
  9. Attach the fold-line of 11-12 full-length tulle strips to the waistband line along the center of the BACK of the skirt. Alternate colors and overlap the edges slightly.  Your plumes should reach somewhat below the hem.

Finishing up

  1. Turn your skirt to the front.
  2. Starting at the center, and ending at the side seams (halfway), pull the hem of the front of the skirt up to the waistband and attach (the inside of the skirt will be visible), gathering as necessary.  Turn your skirt over.
  3.  On the right, attach the front to the back, by gluing or sewing the hem of the tulle strip marked in step 4 to the center of the back of your skirt. Repeat on the left, meeting the two sides in the middle.peacock costume - attach to center
  4.  Attach a row of tulle around the entire waist of the skirt.
  5. Cut the foam ball in half and poke the peacock tailfeathers into the top of one half.
  6. Glue the foam ball half, flat-side in, to the back of the skirt, using the flap where the two sides meet as a pocket.

You’re done! 

peacock costume - front

Fluff and arrange the tulle “plumes” before wearing. Add a mask and gloves and strut around like a peacock! I know that’s exactly what my girl did – as did I for making it!

peacock costume - mask

peacock costume - mask on

I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful – please, let me know if you have any questions, or, if you make this costume, I’d love it if you shared your final result with me!

peacock costume-back

 

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Dear 2015.. a farewell letter

Posted in STORIES
on January 1, 2016

Dear 2015,

Like many years before you, you started with promise. As we left 2014 behind, we were full of wonder and hope for the New Year. We didn’t realize over the twelve months we’d spend together you would try to break us.

During your tenure, when our oldest children left home – again – to start their lives as adults, we went through the entire empty-nest syndrome for the second time. Their return home was always temporary. Unlike the last of their teenage years though we really enjoyed having them home and getting to know them both on different levels. It was wonderful to once again see them in the morning for a quick hug and to be able to pop our heads in to say goodnight. We’ll always cherish the new memories we made while they were here. We will miss them, but we are proud that they’ve moved on to this chapter of their lives successfully. Nice try 2015, but it’s all good.

When our middle two advanced into new schools, starting off new routines, new adventures, and new schedules, it could have been chaotic and unmanageable – believe me, it was for a while – but we’ve got a handle on it now. Kudos for the effort.

When we began a journey through the medical side of autism and ended up with more questions than answers, we could have abandoned our quest, stopped moving forward. Given up. We did not. We still have hope that there are at least a few answers out there. We also have the flexibility to move around the questions that may not have any answers. No harm no foul. We’ve played that game before a few times.

When we lost not one, but two, grandfathers, both dear to us – you came close to beating us. Our daughters will miss them, as will we. Losing those important to you is difficult. But you didn’t win. Life is precious. Those we lost knew that and lived it to the fullest. It’s a lesson we’ve learned through both men we so admire. You hurt us, but you didn’t win.

When our daughter was unexpectedly diagnosed with lymphoma, setting off a chain of events that are still unfolding, it was the closest we have ever come to unraveling. But somehow, we made it through, with our heads down with a singular goal in mind – to get through the treatments and get her better. We have much to be grateful for – her cancer is curable – she will live a long and happy life, full of great stories to share. The path getting to that cure is long and arduous for all of us, and she is far too young to have traveled this road. But even then, you didn’t beat us. Someday, this year will just be a number. A blip in the road. A brief period of hardship around all the good in our lives.

You tried. You might have succeeded. But, in the end, you didn’t break us.

We laughed – sometimes hysterically, but we laughed together.
We cried. A lot. Sometimes also hysterically.
We fought, from the stress of it all, but we always made up.
We learned how to support one another in ways we’ve never had to before. 
We held each other and scooped one another off the floor whenever necessary and carried on. 
We grew closer and stronger. 
We danced. 
We celebrated. 
We rested – but not nearly enough. 

No, 2015, you didn’t beat us, try as you might. You made it incredibly difficult for us – maybe even the most difficult – but even still, there aren’t many moments I’d regret or take for granted. We won. We beat you. We made it through. We are here, we are standing, and we are together. And, you are over. Just like that, there is another year waiting to take your place. So, I bid you farewell.

Please, don’t call. We’ll be too busy to chat or reminisce. All of us, and all those who’ve stood with us – all of our loved ones near and far – will be very busy taking on 2016 and whatever it may bring. Hasta la vista, baby.

Sincerely,
Us

Wishing you and yours a blessed year!

/ /

This Girl is Eleven

Posted in STORIES
on April 27, 2015

Today, my baby girl turns 11. I swear, I was celebrating her arrival just yesterday, then I blinked, and here we are.

She is a lovely, sweet, bright, thoughtful, beautiful girl, who has always seemed wise beyond her years.
At the time she was born, I was at such a tumultuous time in my life. I was unsure what the future would hold, and how I would meet it. All of that changed when she was born. When I held her, and looked down at my perfect, precious, beautiful baby girl, she looked up at me, wide eyed, with complete calm. Her eyes seemed to say, “It’s all going to be okay. Do not worry.. do not fret. It will be okay.” Her very presence saved me.. saved us, when I didn’t even realize we needed saving, and brought everything into perspective. I had to make it all okay for her. She deserved to have everything be okay. Making it just right for my children has been my purpose ever since.

 

 

Every moment of her life in mine has been precious. It’s not always cupcakes and sprinkles ; we live in a real family after all! but, every moment has been a treasure. Having two grown children before her made it all very clear:  The moments will fly by and before I know it she’ll be grown. The years where she is with us every day are dwindling, the moments, less, the minutes, ticking by, and it’s hard to remember to stay in the moment, even when you are aware it’s fleeting.

Just as hard? Remembering past moments. I have a terrible memory. I forget things constantly. But, although I may not remember every single second, it’s truly the simple moments, of just being her mom, that I treasure the most. The every day love she gives. The mundane tasks of fixing her hair, making sure she’s brushed her teeth, chats about nothing. The moments and days and weeks of love.

These moments, they add up! In our 11-years together, I estimate I have:

  • Read her 12,045 bedtime stories and sang her no less than 4015 bedtime songs.
  • Purchased more than 33 pairs of shoes, and enjoyed the shopping trips that prompted the purchases.
  • Travelled at least 18,656 miles with her to and from her various after school activities.
  • Tied her hair in 1,040 pigtails, complete with hair bows.
  • Watched her frolicking in the ocean, without an ounce of fear, for 150 hours.
  • Enjoyed the sounds of her laughter for 481,800 minutes.
  • Cheered her on from the sidelines at approximately 440 sporting events.
  • Watched 102,960 hours of her favorite TV shows.. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve watched Cinderella.
  • Consumed over 14,300 kernels of popcorn with her during family movie night.
  • Held her close for a minimum of 28,908,000 seconds.
  • Decorated her room 4 times.
  • Explored over 264 miles with her by foot and bicycle.
  • Hosted close to 13,520 play dates, during which we’ve shared about 600 cookies and 300 cups of juice with her friends
  • Suffered through her eating 396 green beans.
  • Comforted her and dried her tears 2,093 times.
  • Cleaned ice cream from her cheek 264 times.
  • Bandaged her knees  132 times.
  • Attended no less than 35 school events.
  • Baked her 11 birthday cakes.
  • Hand written approximately 110 invitations to her birthday parties
  • Listened and talked with her for at least 1,734,480,000 milliseconds.
  • Marvelled at all her amazing qualities for the equivalent of 481,800 hours.. a girls gotta sleep!

I’m no mathematician – as a matter of fact, I’m terrible at math, and I’m not organized enough to have tracked all of these things. This is a rough, and conservative, estimate only – but there is no question that all of these moments with her..  the mundane, the celebratory, the sad, the sweet, throughout the past 4,015 days,  all add up to some of the greatest moments of my life. And, lucky for me, they’ll just keep multiplying, because math.. and moments.. are like that, as long as you continue to appreciate them.

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl. You are loved more than you could ever know!

Thanks for allowing me to gush.. We will now resume our regularly scheduled crafting/decorating/nonsense!

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