Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Speaking of Birthdays...

I made this cape for a little friend's birthday a few weeks ago:

(The reverse side is purple batik, because the fabric store I was at doesn't have much selection of solid colors and I didn't feel like driving an hour to save two dollars--but I didn't want to give up my vision, which for some reason was green and purple!)

It only occurred to me as I drove to the party that twins are technically two separate kids and that maybe they should give two separate gifts...damn!

The cape pattern is from the tutorial over at Puking Pastilles, which is GREAT. It's become my go-to gift for the younger kids, and I've made enough of them that it only takes about an hour. The hardest part is measuring the strappy part at the neck (and worrying that it won't work--but it does!). This time, I just traced one of the twins' capes with chalk right onto the fabric. Easy-peasy. Usually, I just make a big block letter for the child's initial, but since this little boy's name starts with S, I had to do the Superman symbol...which was a bit more of a pain in the butt than just a block letter (possibly because I'm too cheap/lazy to use fusible webbing to hold it all together while I sew). Now that E and Z have seen the Superman and Batman templates they of course both want Superman and Batman capes (the original cape design is for a reversible cape with Superman on one side and Batman on the other, but I just pick fun bright colors and the child's initial. Z calls it his Zonk-man cape). Maybe that will be our Halloween costume plan--Superman and Batman capes combined with a couple of freezer paper stenciled sweatshirts (please stop me from discussing, mentioning or even thinking about Halloween in May!)

For big kids' parties (to which we seem to get invited about three days beforehand), I have a big stack of these awesome blank comic books. Throw a few of those in a box or bag with some colored markers and/or a cool pen, and you've got a quick, easy, inexpensive and creative/unique gift. Sometimes, when we have time and energy, I'll have M write and illustrate a personalized comic book for the friend, which is fun. Not that I want to be a cheap-skate, but come-on, enough with the gift-giving arms race. I'm tired of feeling like I have to get something nicer/more expensive than the gift given to me/my child. I want to slow things down. Simplify. And minimize the crap-ola. If that makes me a cheapskate, so be it.


  1. The cape looks terrific. The S is really great.

    OK-- it's clear that we need to get a stack of blank comic books. C & S are going to LOVE them. We've recently been on a huge TinTin kick and I just asked a dad at school who is an illustrator/graphic artist for his recommendations for great comic/ graphic novels. I see a theme emerging. The question is-- do I wait until July for their birthday?!

  2. Blank comic books!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!

  3. Okay, I just ordered a ton of stuff from those bare book people - presents for a long time! Thank you!

  4. I've heard of Tin-Tin...we'll have to check it out. M likes "Bone" graphic novels...starring a talking bone. I don't quite get it, but he seems to enjoy reading and re-reading them...he also reads a lot of Calvin & Hobbes (which I didn't realize was so not appropriate for 6 & 7 year olds until he'd read through two or three books! Oh well)...Sara...definitely get them some now and some more for their birthdays...you don't want to inhibit creativity! By the way, M's comic books are all about war, although we (he and his brothers) often come up with good ideas for ones that somehow never get written...like last night it was "Pooper Man" (thanks to Z) who saves the world with his bodily functions.

  5. My dh and the LSG have a super hero they've invented - Moto-Man. He helps stranded motorists.


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