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513th Friday Blog Roundup

For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to convince the ChickieNob that she wants a simple Halloween costume.  Would she like to be Hermione Granger again?  Would she like to be the Tardis?  That one seems easy to make.  But no, she has her heart set on one character and one character only: Madame Vastra, the Victorian lizard detective.

Look at that green skin!  Look at that ridged head!  WTF?

So I contacted Epbot, and her husband John wrote me back with a list of ideas on how to construct the head using a paintable mask as the base and building the rest with paper clay.  Brilliant.  I can do that.

And now I am stuck again.  Seriously, where am I going to get Victorian clothes?  I have a Victoria-style hat (and I can attach Madame Vastra’s veil since the ChickieNob told me that she needs to wear the veil around people who judge the outside without understanding the inside), but I am stuck on the dress.  Compounding the issue is cost: I need to do this dirt cheap.  So while I found Victorian costumes online, I cannot shell out $70 for a Halloween outfit.

Did I also mention that I am terrible at sewing?

This is one of those times when I really wish there was a cosplayers-to-the-rescue team who showed up at your house and helped you design a costume on an insanely tight budget.

So to break it on down: it is well within my capabilities to make an A-line black skirt and trim it with lace.  And I have the head totally taken care of.  But this costume is faltering between the chin and waist.  I could swing by the consignment shop to see if there is a rufflely black shirt I could alter, but do people have other ideas?  If you had to be a Victorian woman (like… in this scenario… armed criminals break into your house and tell you that they will kill you in three hours if you can’t pull together a Victorian era costume for under $20), what would you do to constuct the costume?  What/how can I alter something?



Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email.

And a specific one if you use Apple products: You may have noticed that the new iOS updates have caused big, messy problems.  Back up your devices BEFORE you download the new patches for iOS8!

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Misconceptions About Conception has a post about seeing her anonymous donor at the airport.  Of course her donor had no clue that the recipient of her donation was sitting at the very same gate, and she didn’t speak to her.  But she got to look at her.  It makes you wonder how the universe works; how many times it has brought you within inches of people who never knew they played huge, silent roles in your life or you in theirs.

Project Progeny has a post about using an online tarot card reading to make a decision.  Beyond the fact that the post is really about balance (something I feel slightly lacking in my body at the moment.  I feel unbalanced, wobbly), I loved that she used the tarot card reading to make the decision. (And yes, I Googled and found the site and yes, I used it myself.)

No Ways to Say It has a very simple, very poignant post that resonated with me.  32 words.  I want the same thing too.

Lastly, a non-IF post that resonated with my morbid little heart.  Awfully Chipper has a post about having no experience with death even though she is 41, and how while we intellectually know that death is a reality, we do everything in our power to distance ourselves from it.  I’ve had an average amount of experience with death, so I’m in a different place than Maud (what really is average?  I assume I’ve had an average amount of experience).  But this really spoke to me: “I have more pressing reasons to try to make my body strong or fit: I need to work on my core muscles not just because of the frankly pie-in-the-sky notion of a flat stomach but also because it helps my back not hurt. I have a newfound urge to create, to leave behind, to do worthwhile things because I won’t always be here.”  Yes.

The roundup to the Roundup: Help me figure out a Halloween costume.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between September 19th and 26th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 tigger62077 { 09.26.14 at 8:02 am }

I love that y’all finally started watching Doctor Who and that ChickieNob is so wrapped up in it. I LOVE the Paternoster Gang. Strax is amusing, and Madame Vastra is just awesome. 🙂

I have no suggestions for how to sew the costume, because I don’t sew. I will share this on my FB, however, as I have several Whovians and cosplayers on my list and maybe they can help you!

2 a { 09.26.14 at 9:30 am }

I would hit the thrift shop if you want authentic, but couldn’t you just take any old cotton button-down shirt and add some lace to it? Make a fake high collar out of lace and replace the existing collar? Add some lace trim to the sleeves and down the front? Then you could use a wide ribbon as a belt to transition between the shirt and the skirt.

3 Buttermilk { 09.26.14 at 9:58 am }

This week I liked “Slow Learner Mom” at Bits And Peaces: http://bitsinpeaces.blogspot.com/2014/09/slow-learner-mom.html

I’m no good at sewing either, but I like a’s suggestion for altering a shirt.

4 Mel { 09.26.14 at 10:18 am }

Now here’s the question, where do I buy a black button-down shirt to alter for a little girl? Like a tiny girl?

5 Prairie { 09.26.14 at 10:34 am }

In addition to doing an IPhone back up, also take screen shots. I lost a bunch of apps & had to restore them by memory.

6 ANDMom { 09.26.14 at 10:45 am }

I think if you’re looking for a black button-down shirt, you should probably look in the boys department. You could check something like a Marshalls or similar discount store, thrift/consignment stores, or Amazon. Also check local yard sales/fb groups/poll your friends to see if anyone has one that’s been outgrown.

7 Brid { 09.26.14 at 10:47 am }

When Jack was small, and he was a pirate, I couldn’t find a shirt with puffy sleeves, so I found a little one that fit him, and an adult-sized one, and just added the big sleeves to the little shirt (plus moved the little cuffs onto the big sleeves). It worked quite well. It would probably be even better in black and trimmed with lace because you might not notice the messy sewing! Good luck!

8 Mel { 09.26.14 at 10:48 am }

Boy’s department! I hadn’t thought of that. I keep Googling for little girls. The smallest size I’ve found is a xs juniors (still too big).

I wonder if I went navy blue if I’d be able to find a shirt even easier. Though the Victorian hat I own is grey and black.

9 earthandink { 09.26.14 at 11:32 am }

Here’s what I would do:
I would get a turtleneck shirt, the appropriate colour. I would buy some tiny pearl buttons and sew them down the back. I would buy two scarves in the same colour and material and stitch them to the top and middle of the sleeves so they poofed out. I would add a few buttons and lace to the bottoms of the sleeves, and a lace bib that you could possibly add some dark beads to.

Good luck!

10 earthandink { 09.26.14 at 11:33 am }

Actually, don’t add the lace or buttons to the bottoms of the sleeves for the black dress. It doesn’t seem to have them

11 Mel { 09.26.14 at 11:37 am }

TURTLENECK! Even easier. And easier for her to get on in school by herself. Sewing the pearl buttons down the back will be simple too. And the lace bib. Now to find a black turtleneck…

12 Mel { 09.26.14 at 11:38 am }
13 earthandink { 09.26.14 at 12:07 pm }

That actually looks perfect. And it looks like the sleeves may be po0fy enough to actually make below the elbow tighter and above the elbow poofed. ? Maybe?

14 Sharon { 09.26.14 at 2:12 pm }

Wow, over five years of blogging and my first time making the Friday Blog Roundup. Thanks for including me, Mel!

Sorry I’m no help at all on the Halloween costume front. I am not-at-all crafty. My poor sons have had store-bought costumes their first two Halloweens, and this year promises more of the same. . . .

15 Kasey { 09.26.14 at 2:44 pm }

We totally made Simon a Tardis costume for his second Halloween! And Rob the Doctor. I will be sad when the days of choosing his costumes are over, but maybe just maybe we can continue to impart the geekery enough that he chooses beyond Spider-Man or a zombie as he ages. Baby Tardis here: http://www.powersfullife.com/2012/11/01/the-tardis-and-his-doctor/

16 Elizabeth { 09.26.14 at 4:09 pm }

Woohoo! I’m in the Roundup! Funny how much that motivates me to keep blogging….!

This post from Tarable is totally rad because it contains an awesome strategy/mantra for coping with life: http://tarable.blogspot.com/2014/09/methodical.html

17 Maud/Christine { 09.26.14 at 5:52 pm }

Thank you so much for the shout out! I’m honoured to be here.

18 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.26.14 at 8:17 pm }

I’ve been saving Justine’s post for THIS week: http://ahalfbakedlife.blogspot.com/2014/09/filament.html

I’m impressed that you’re already working on Halloween costumes. I usually start about 3:30 pm on October 31. #momofyear

19 Bronwyn { 09.27.14 at 9:36 am }

“This is one of those times when I really wish there was a cosplayers-to-the-rescue team who showed up at your house and helped you design a costume on an insanely tight budget.”

So thanks a lot, Mel, because I was in an averagely good mood when I started this post and now I am weeping at the thought that this may not exist in the world. Would that I could turn back time and not be called to envision a world with such things in it.

I have no idea on the outfit. Back in my day op shops used to have a lot of A-line button down long coats (neck to ankle, or at least mid-calf) for less than $10 each but not sure if that’s anything available to you. Otherwise I would suggest the old ballet-inspired trick of dressing up a leotard. I think I wore my sister’s leotard (with various embellishments and often A-line skirts) to about twelve costume parties at uni and… you know it might be easier to get away with that due to alcohol… but it’s all I can think of.

20 MissingNoah { 09.28.14 at 2:13 am }

I loved this post about parenting a newborn after loss. http://job121.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/my-wonderfully-full-arms/

21 Keiko { 09.28.14 at 2:29 am }

Are you including the lace veil?

22 torthuil { 09.28.14 at 9:55 pm }

I liked this post: http://binkymoongee.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/open-and-transparent/ where Isabelle talks about ways she learned to be open with trusted people about her journey and challenges. So much of IF is feeling isolated that it’s really good to read stories about trust and support.

23 Katie { 09.29.14 at 8:16 am }

Thank you so much for the mention, Mel. xo

24 sharah { 10.02.14 at 9:23 pm }
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