Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In which I channel the magical powers of Martha Stewart

(Just so you know, before you waste your time reading only to be disappointed in the end, this post is worthless without pictures.

And I don't have any pictures.

Yet, I type on. Leaving me to wonder at my newfound heights of mediocrity.)

A few weeks (or, as I prefer to remember it, days) ago, Cade came home from kindergarten with a script for his class play, in which he'll make his stage debut as Squirrel #2 in the wildly popular adaptation of "TheThree Little Kitten Who Lost Their Mittens."

No, you're not the only one who doesn't remember nameless squirrels making an appearance in the literary version of the tale. These kindergarten teachers are playing fast and loose with their artistic license. Something about wanting ALL the children to have a speaking part.

Attached to the back of the script was a list of "easy" costume ideas. Because everyone has the makings of a rodent costume lying around their house. All you need is a brown shirt and some brown pants! How simple is that?

A lot less simple than it sounds. Because unless you have the time (and the inclination) to scour a thrift store multiple times a week, plain brown shirts and plain brown pants are not something you can go pull off the rack at the local discount store in MAY. When everything is turquoise and purple and yellow and green and summery-colored. And pants? They've been off the shelves since February in this warm-weather state.

What our store did have, though, was gray shirts. And what our home closet did have was gray shorts. And since I'm pretty sure I've totally seen a gray squirrel at some time in my life, Squirrel #2 graciously agreed to be gray.

However, the tail still stumped me. And Jason, who's job it was to implement any tail idea I could envision. I'm the brains behind the project.

And by brains, I mean the one who just talks about being so stressed out because how am I supposed to make a squirrel's tail, anyway, when the only idea I had included some kind of fake fur fabric that doesn't exist at any of our local craft or discount stores and now it's Sunday night and the costume is due at school TOMORROW for dress rehearsal and I'm all out of ideas!
Jason's the man who makes it happen. And he's usually a big part of the brains as well. He listens to my hare-brained ideas, comes up with one that's actually do-able, and brings it to fruition.

My plan for the tail ended in the craft section when I couldn't find the necessary supplies. Jason decided to wander around the store for inspiration. He considered a pool noodle. We looked at feather dusters.

Then, I saw this
Only it was gray. And it was a dog bed. And I knew it would be PERFECT for a squirrel costume.
Once we got home, I cut the padded rim off and held a flawless tail in my hands. The bottom "mattress" part became a furry squirrelly belly that I hot glued to a t-shirt.

I can't sew, but I do have mad hot glueing skillz. Who needs needles, threads and stitches when you have melted glue and a gun?

Jason fashioned the tail MacGyver-style, using some plastic cable ties and a few well-placed stitches. He actually took home economics in high school.

If only I'd known back then that dance team and show choir wouldn't get me through elementary school with my own offspring, things might have turned out so differently.

My original plan was to sew the tail to the back of Cade's gray shirt, but instead I fell back on my trusty hot-glueing skills. Because it was getting late and I was tired and impatient.

Hot glue = instant gratification.

At the end of the day, I was more than pleased with the final product. I can't wait to show you the finished version in this tale of the tail.

But you'll have to wait until Friday.

****UPDATE*** Today is the dress rehearsal for "The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens" so Squirrel #2 was required to wear his costume to school. Therefore, I have the opportunity to flaunt my subpar photography techniques. I'm only limited by the fact that I don't know my shutter speed from my aperture. And that I use a phone to take 95% of my pictures. Other than that, they're the essence of art.


  1. Aw, man! Give us pictures!!! ;) Way to keep us coming back for more! lol

  2. Hilarious! I can't wait to see the pictures!

  3. Love it! I never tire of reading your blog.

  4. Great pictures! I love the costume. Good work!

  5. I think he makes a fantastic looking squirrel.

  6. That is one pretty awesome squirrel tail! On an unrelated note, I may have an idea for Cade's Halloween costume this year... ; )

  7. Wow! That turned out great! and I have to say this is the first squirrel that I'm not afraid of.

    Great Job!

  8. Amanda, you are much too humble. Even with four years of experience as a Girl Scout Professional, I doubt my squirrel costume what have been comparable. You rock! And you are a great writer!

    Also, you seem to thrive on crafting under pressure ... so if you ever get bored (bahahha), check out the "craft challenges" at http://crafster.org.

  9. Martha would be proud.

    Making due in a pinch. Awesomeness.


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