Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sewing Project: Octopus Costume for Kids

School Halloween party for both our little kiddos (aka the kulitogs) will be 4 days from now. 

For the little girl, her costume is complete. Since she's gonna be a witch, I was able to buy her ensemble from the store, all for less than P400 including the broom and hat. I'm such a cheapo lol!

For the little boy, after searching online and mall hopping, no sign of octopus costume anywhere. After 2 weeks of looking I figured I have to make it from scratch so I redirected my Google search to 'How to Sew Octopus costume and found one at Martha Stewart's site. 

With a new inspiration in mind, I hopped to Fabric Warehouse and Carolina's in SM Megamall and bought black felt, silver fabric and all paraphernalias I need to finish the project. Both fabric is P350/yard and I bought 1 1/2 yrds of black and 1/2 yard of silver. Tip: buy extra fabric for the spots. Could be silver or other color. 

Over the weekend, I prepared to be mommy crafty and sewed the costume with my manual sewing machine. Yeah, I know, I need an upgrade to an electrical sewing machine. I almost gave up making this costume because the machine kept acting up. I had to stop and troubleshoot countless times.

 Can I just say this costume is a labor of love? So much labor to finish it and all for love of a little cutie boy who I can't wait see as a scary octopus (as he puts it) :)

For the tutorial, please hop on to the website. I'm not a very good at tutorials but I can tell you more about how to cut the fabric to help you in case you plan to do this as well. I made some tweaking on the the sewing procedure because I had to budget the fabric. I should've bought 3/4 yards of silver...

If you are new to sewing or want to make sure you got the right measurement, it's always best to measure and cut a pattern first. My mom, who is a dressmaker by profession, uses a pattern paper (the one bakeries use to pack pandesal with), a manila paper or even used newspaper if the fabric is not lightly colored (newsprint has the tendency to transfer to fabric). 

I made 3 sets of the cut below (the one that looks like pants). This will serve as tentacles and will make 6 of that. The 7th and 8th tentacles will be the boy's arms. The silver goes at the bottom while the black cloth as top of the costume. Sew the edges together but leave the top/wide part open for the stuffing. 

If you measure the top width of the six tentacles pattern, it should be: the width of the wearer's shoulder + allowance for moving around. Not too big or it will fall off his shoulders and not to small or it won't be comfy.

Do you see the faint yellow marks near the edges of the cut? Those are the marks of where the stitches should run. When cutting the fabric, make sure you have at least 1/2  to 1 inch allowance/leeway from the actual measurement or where the stitches will run.

The width of the tentacles was based on the little boy's arm width plus a few inches allowance for the stuffing. I wanted it to look fluffy and cute.

Now for the hood. I just followed the pattern in the tutorial and sewed on the curved lines. The horizontal and vertical straight lines were for the shoulder and face so don't sew them together.

Instead of stuffing the head with cotton, I did option B - I sewed the foam on the reverse side of the black fabric as I don't have enough fabric for a hood lining. I bought the stuffing used for quilts or comforters which is, if I remember it right, P60/yard.

Here is the sewn octopus tentacles. The silver spots are from leftover silver fabric; I used a glue gun to attach them to the black parts of the costume. 

The eyes of the octopus is a silver and black fabric glued together

 And here is our finish product (and my willing model). The little boy is playing pakipot but he's excited about his costume. 
Good thing the hood formed it's shape even with option B. 
It's still a work in progress. I want to put the eyes more in front than the sides so it's more visible and I want to add something purple, perhaps more spots. Instead of sewing strings in front, I just sewed the two ends together for convenience and less worry of getting untied during trick or treating.

 And speaking of trick or treat, can you tell how ready we are with these goodies? These candies we collected as early as last month. S & R came to visit my work for weeks and I grabbed all their buy-1- take-1 candies hehe! Or should I say hi-hi-hi-hi-hi (in a very high pitch) :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Renew Your Driver's License

I finally got my much-deserved time out from work and took the opportunity to do some personal errands last Monday. I have like 6 or 7 itineraries/tasks for that day and wanted to have them done all in a day. It was a tall order, I know but I felt productive nevertheless at the end of the day.

You see, these tasks have been in the back burner for months and some even years like getting our copy of memorial lot title from the main office, etc. Weekday free is such a rare commodity in the Garcia household and husby and I reserve our company leaves for very very important activities and events that need our presence. The kids are top priority, of course.

Moving on, I would like to share my happy experience with driver's license renewal at Robinson's Galleria. I got there a few minutes before 10am and by 1138am I was texting husby that I'm done na. He renewed his driver's license in LTO Tiendesitas branch and mas konti daw tao so he wanted me to go there instead but I insisted on going to Rob Galle because of my other errands.

When I got to the mall, I went directly to LTO satellite office located at East Wing basement 1 (your landmark going to B1 East wing would be either Mcdonalds or Yellow Cab at level 1) . When renewing your driver's license make sure to bring your old license, cash and pen.

Here's the step by step procedure in renewing driver's license based on my personal experience:

1. present old driver's license at and get an application form from the counter (first door, the bigger/wider room)

2. go to the next door (medical exam procedure is done), fill up the form with needed information and submit to the cashier further into the room. This is quite a small room with narrow aisle so just work your way and be nice to everyone hehe.

3. present your application form, driver's license and pay  P100 to the cashier (for the medical exam, I think). The cashier will then give you a receipt, all your submitted docs and a queue number.

4. Wait to be called. I didn't fill up everything in the form when I submitted to the cashier and she didn't mind. I think her concern really is that I have my name on the form and my old driver's license. While waiting to be called for the medical exam, I took the time to finish filling up the form.

5. When it was my turn for medical exam, they checked my current height, weight, BP and eyesight. No need for urine and drug test based on new act so the process is actually faster.

6. After the medical exam, I was asked to go back to door no.1  and submit my forms (application form and medical form). I waited again for the picture taking and digital signature signing.

7. After my data was updated (I was delinquent for 7 months :( ) I paid P492.63 for the new ID and by 1138am, I got a new driver's license. Yay!

I paid a total of P592.63 and spent 1. 5 hours for my new driver's license. I surrendered my old non-pro license and I now have a pro license :0 See more on different types of licenses here.

After that I went straight to SMART wireless center to update my account (it's been dormant as well since our company issued a prepaid load monthly). From that visit, I realized that I'm actually a postpid subscriber since 2004. Almost a decade na. After SMART, I went to the bank to settle insurance payments. Tiring but I'm thankful I can do it all in one place.

I was able to go shopping pa for the kids' halloween costumes :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Holidays Are Coming

Busy week again. Damn! I guess this kind of schedule will roll out to the Christmas season eh?

Just last Monday, while on a leave to renew my driver’s license among other errands, I went shopping for the kids’ halloween costumes just to realize I need to actually make one for the little boy. He wants to be an octopus and I can’t find a ready made outfit online and in the malls so I bought materials from the fabric stores. The little girl will be a witch and that’s a cinch to put together.

Here are our pegs for this year’s Halloween costumes:

witch costume photo credit 
octopus photo credit

Then comes Christmas (is it really just 68 days before we officially say ho-ho-ho?) and I’m just starting to make our long list of inaanaks, family and friends for the gift giving. With the busy schedules, I think we will once again rely greatly on online shopping and bazaars for that one-stop convenient shopping.

One thing I likey about online shopping is that I don’t have to go through horrendous traffic and parking problem. I found to have a lot of nice pieces for moi (hehe), husby, my sister, brothers and friends in one online shop Zalora.

On a personal note, I’m a dress person and I more often wear dresses either to work or even on personal errands and I’m excited to see some lovely silhouettes in the site.  

The weather report says after the scattered rainshowers we experience now, we are looking towards cool climate. The joyous holiday season is just around the corner so better spruce up on Christmas shopping to avoid the rush J

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kids and Time

My four year-old pogo stick (that’s what his lolo calls him) always asks,

Sam: ‘Mommy, I’m four now then on my birthday I’m five na. I’m a big boy na?’

Me: ‘Yes baby’

Sam: ‘No, I’m not a baby Mommy (he whins and yet he's not a baby). I’m a big boy na eh, I’m five na.

I always forget he doesn’t want to be called a baby anymore but sometimes he blackmails me with, ‘Sige ka, wala ka na baby’ when I don’t give in to his whim.

Oh little boy, you are so smart. You know Daddy and Mommy’s weaknesses even at a young age. You know how to play your cards and you never let other people use your own tricks against you. You are that uncanny and clever you are. You’re only 4?

I was looking for a picture of him for his homework the other day and I saw this. This was taken during his baptism.

This is him now. All assuming and very confident of himself and yet every Mommy’s boy, much to his Dad’s chagrin.

Last weekend, we met with her teacher for the 2nd assessment progress talk and I’m so happy to hear from her teacher that Sam made progress in terms of writing and circle time. If before he nochalantly sleeps through writing time and wakes up only for recess, now he writes his name on his worksheets and answers and colors with minimal prompt. He also now joins circle time and no longer behaves like Mr. Supervisor; going around while everyone is in a circle. He just needs to improve on his spoken language, more of Filipino so he will be familiar with the words.

This morning during story telling time, the little boy amazed us when he was able to read words 'cock a doodle doo',  'boom boom boom', 'moo' and 'buzz buzz' from his new Dr. Seuss book. He can now sight read :)

Oh yeah, I think he’s a big boy indeed. Even Ate Sophie has grown so much that I sometimes marvel at how time had flown. They were just babies a few sleeps ago.

Looking at old photos, I now realize how short a time is. ‘Sandali lang, malaki na sila’ is what I always hear from the older parents and now I can relate.

Stephen and I were talking about our relative’s huge 2-lot house in the south. Now that the parents have two grown up kids living on their own, only the parents are left in the house and I can imagine how quiet it is in there. No more drills to get up for school and work, no more kids running around screaming, no more co-sleeping aka 'masikip na parang mga sardinas sa lata' sleep. It's relaxing and it could be the break parents always looked forward after decades of taking care of children.

I’m not yet looking forward to that, though. Right now, I just want to enjoy every moment that we sleep together. Doesnt matter if their feet or leg end up on my face or my abdomen. Sometimes I even wake up unable to breath and realize that the little boy is sleeping on me. He thinks he’s still that light.

The little girl, in 3 months time will be 7. Her long legs dangle awkwardly when her Daddy carries her for a big hug. 'Di na bagay i-carry but they're still our babies.

See her pink dress below? When I bought this dress at The Ramp two christmases ago, the hem reached below her knees. Now, it's worn as a shirt. The body still fits but now too short for a dress. Next thing I know, I’m preparing for her transition to High School. Right and her 18th birthday. Now, I just want to be busy for her 7th birthday :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Something New + Life Lessons

A week? Have I been MIA that long already? Oh well, the recent fire incident in our company got us all very very busy (and stressed!). We have to keep the 'show running' so to speak despite the situation. I’m just glad that everything is back to normal now.

Anyhoo, here’s a few of the updates from my side of the world. 

1. Husby and I checked out this dining place from our corner of the hood. Casa Renato is a resto/event place that serves Mediterranean cuisine. It’s located in Dahlia street in Fairview but once you step into their foyer, it’s like you’re transported into another place and time. The place has many interesting nooks and crannies. We got a seat al fresco and maybe it was already night time because the air is so cool and refreshing I had to request the waitress to turn off the ceiling fan.

Private Dining area for 6

the foyer

What's on our table. A bucket of ice also arrived with our orders.

the place is filled with these 

We promise to come back next time, I love their lamb curry and beef salpicao! Kulang ang 1 rice. If you’re around the area, check this place. I read the dish description very well because I want to recreate their dish. 

Lamb Curry with papadam P325.00

Beef Salpicao P295.00

 I agree

2. I helped a friend/neighbor bake her very first batch of cupcakes. She wanted to learn how to bake so I helped her through the basics and shared whatever tricks of the trade I know.

Our first batch of chocolate cupcakes. The following day, she sent me chocolate chip and carrot cupcakes. Well, I got a fast learner here.

3. Got myself a new do! I’ve been contemplating on a shorter hair for the longest time and finally had made the time to do it. Actually, I wanted a super short bob with wispy bangs but the hairstylist suggested I take the short do one step at a time so we agreed on this. I’m loving my new-found stylist, she’s an angel. My old stylist changed salon so I needed to find a new one. I also retouched my hair color.

                                          before                                          after

So there. It was one hell of a week but I’m glad to be back to earth. But the challenge does not stop. Apart from toxic work, it's exam week for my little grade schooler so after work, I have to rush home for our review sessions. Haizzz. 

Our experience at work taught us a lot of things and more importantly made us realize how we should be thankful for what we have everyday because we’ll never know what tomorrow brings. In advertising, we have a saying that goes like ' you are as good as your last project' and sometimes in life we have to live like today is our last day to live. We have to say I Love You and show we care to the people important to us, we have to make the most of our time and pray as if tomorrow kukunin na tayo ni Lord. Promise, that's really my realization last week. 

Have a blessed Tuesday everyone! J
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