Flower Pot Costume DIY (Halloween 2017)

Happy Halloween! As every since our oldest was born, we had a family Halloween costume this year. A few months back, as we sat around the dinner table, the topic of what we should be for Halloween came up and the girls decided they wanted to be butterflies. We then thought my husband could be an entomologist (that studied butterflies, of course) and I would be a flower.

We’ve been talking a lot about pollinators in Girl Scouts and with the various flying insects that have been around our vegetable and wildflower garden this summer.

This costumes were a mix of store bought and DIY (mainly store bought pieces) this year that just needed a glue gun and duck tape. (See how I made my Ringmaster costume.)

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Butterflies – It was easy to find these cute butterfly costumes on Amazon. They came in different colors so the girls could choose their favorite and came with a mask and antenna. Next was picking up a black long sleeve t-shirt and leggings and adding a colored skirt because who doesn’t love a fluffy skirt? The butterfly pieces will go into the dress up box after Halloween and the clothes will go in to their wardrobes as layering pieces.

butterfly girls

Entomologist – My husband’s costume mostly came right out of his closet. We already had the pith hat from his “tiger tamer” costume from the circus Halloween and just picked up a bug net that the girls have been wanting anyways.

Flower Pot – Mine, was the costume that required the DIY this year (last year my costume was an Olaf onesie but I built my husband a Kristoff costume and the year before that I made Alice and Cheshire Cat costumes). I was planning on ordering a flower headband and calling it a day when, on a whim, I decided to see what the folks on Pinterest had to say on the matter and discovered the Flower Pot DIY.

It’s pretty easy and you can customize the container, flowers, etc. If you have a tub that has seen better days, this is a good way to repurpose it or I suppose you could use a large cardboard box. I ended up purchasing a plastic bin for this project and cut out the bottom, using a layer of duck tape to cover it the raw edge so I wouldn’t scratch my legs.

flower pot diy collage 2017

I raided the local dollar store for the flowers which I then cut off the bunches. Laying the bin on it’s side, I laid out a row of flowers then taped them down with duck tape. Once I went all the way around, I laid added a second row of duck tape to catch all the stem ends. We happen to have green bungee cords with hooks that I could use as suspenders.

I selected a few for the headband, which was purchased at the dollar store, and hot glued them on to make a flower crown. I tied on some ribbon since we were also going to a local Oktoberfest earlier this fall.

Wear the pieces over a green long sleeve t-shirt, jeans, and boots and I was done.

flower pot 2017

I didn’t feel as tired as I look in this picture from a trunk-or-treat event but I worked my flower pot into the theme for my trunk (rainy weather ended up making us take it inside).

What’s next?

I wonder if the girls will be on board with a family costume next year? Hopefully, we can come up with something that works for everyone but we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Looking for more Halloween fun? Check out these felt Monster Faces.

In Dayton, Ohio? Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is hosting its first Trunk-or-treat event! Oct 31, 6p-8p at 840 Germantown Street, Dayton, there will be a DJ, games, food trucks and candy outside plus dance demonstrations inside. Pick up a code for discounted tickets to the holiday performance, The Littlest Angel, in December 2017. Then, be sure to swing by the Stoddard Street Pumpkin Glow near Dayton Art Institute, a Dayton tradition.

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Family Time at Goldfish Swim School

My husband has had to do some traveling for work so this has been the perfect excuse to take advantage of the family swim times at Goldfish Swim School in Dayton, Ohio.

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We’ve been to a couple of Sunday afternoon times but they offer them throughout the week. The girls love to show me what they’ve been learning in class and they get to play with all the fun pool toys. It’s pretty enjoyable for me, too, plus I know they’ll be nice and worn out by the time we get home so I can get the house ready for the week ahead.

At Goldfish Swim School, they use a lot of repetition from week to week, repeating the same lesson plans and tracking how the students progress. As a parent, it’s great to see when the jump in knowledge happens – it seems like your child may not be catching on after a few lessons when all of a sudden it clicks and they can demonstrate a skill.

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Kelsey has been getting better at her backstroke and freestyle. With forward swimming she’s slowly but surely putting the breathing into her strokes. I like that her instructor is trying to instill former form from the beginning so it won’t have to be corrected down the line just improved. She can also tread water with her face out of the water for about 15 seconds now which has been a huge improvement. I can’t say that I’ve heard of kids learning to tread water before so this was a pleasant surprise in their curriculum.

Aubrey is a pro at getting herself out of the pool safely. While she’s much more comfortable in the water, she’s still working on going underwater and relaxing while floating on her back. The next step will be to incorporate front swimming with stopping to roll on her back to take a few breathes. She always looks like she’s having a great time in class.

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Once the student has checked off all of the skills in a particular level, they’ll progress to the next one and learn the next few elements, and so on.

The family swim times are a nice perk of membership and great for the kids to get a little more practice time. With two girls in class at the same I don’t always catch everything they are working on and we don’t have time to see everything they want to show me at pick up time so these are nice to check-in with how the kids are improving and feeling about their progress.

Fun times at Goldfish Swim School – Dayton

They also have member appreciation and themed events that are open to the public. Check them out for Trunk or Treat at Goldfish Swim School, Friday, October 27, 6p-8p. Sign up to pass out candy from your trunk and you could win a Goldfish Party! The event is free but, unfortunately, no swimming since they are anticipating high attendance.

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Goldfish Swim School has provided me with the experience of lessons for my candid reviews. #sponsored

New Year’s Resolution: See More Art (Part 2)

I haven’t forgotten about my New Year’s Resolution to see more art. I was planning on doing quarterly recaps but, alas, life. I’ll try to move them quickly. Getting my notes together to start writing this post I realized a couple of things:

  • I have managed to worked my family plans into my “see more arts” mission
  • I’ve kept my eyes open more to look for opportunities to go see somethingIMG_20170321_103440

In March, I ended up with a sick child the day I was supposed to go to see Cincinnati Ballet so I didn’t make it, and I haven’t made it to a performance yet. I did, however, have a great time in Washington DC for National Arts Advocacy Day. The first day was one of those days were you feel your brain pulsing in your skull and you are hoping that it can absorb as much of the information being thrown at it as possible. That evening there were speakers and a performance at The Kennedy Center – the view from the rooftop is gorgeous. The second day I visited the offices of a few representatives after a morning pep rally with some legislators and celebrities. I was too shy to ask for photos but I did get to shake hands with and briefly chat with Rep. John Lewis.

In April we decided to check out West Carrollton High School’s production of The Little Mermaid. I found out about through the choreographer for the show and, I have to say, I was rather impressed by the quality of the production. This was a test run of seeing if the girls could sit through a musical. They started getting a little fidgety towards the end but they hung in there and we got to see the whole show plus meet some of the cast after.

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Since then, we’ve been to Town Hall Theatre’s Disney’s The Lion King, Jr and Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg’s Disney’s Peter Pan, both in September. I’ve been picking shows that they basically know the story line of to hopefully help keep them interested. The kids do a great job and I know there are whole teams of parents behind the scenes making it the best it can be. These have been good opportunities to start getting the girls used to attending live performances.

I’ve put putting some miles on the car these past few months with trips out to Columbus, just over an hour away. In April I went out to the OhioDance Spring Festival Performance and got to see a few Ohio dance companies and college programs. I met with state representatives on Ohio’s Arts Day in May. I served as an Ohio Arts Council grant panelist for the first time in May, as well – “yay” for getting to help give away money to arts organizations around the state. Every time I go to the Riffe Center I try to pop in to the art gallery on the first floor – it’s free and changes often enough that it’s a different show every time I go.

I also attended the annual Arts Midwest Conference in August being held in Columbus this year. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a David J. Fraher Future Leader and got to meet lots of great people in the industry plus see a good amount of dance companies from all over.

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In June I attended the Dance/USA annual conference in Kansas City, MO. I really enjoyed that they worked in some “pop up” performances from local companies and it also coincided with a performances Kansas City New Dance Partners at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts. I also slipped away to visit a few sights, including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the 18-foot Shuttlecocks sculptures on the lawn.

Around Dayton, I’ve popped into the Sinclair Community College Art Gallery a few times, helped paint one of the many murals going up around the city, attended a Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus performance in June for the first time. Attended Art in the City (mark your calendars for the first Friday in August 2018!) where we got to paint, yarn bomb, play instruments, and catch lots of performances and art works around downtown. We stopped by the grand opening of the new Dayton Metro Library Main Branch to scope out the ReImaging Works collection, including the huge but delicate piece that takes up the whole center of the library, FRACTAL RAIN by Terry Welker. In September we headed towards the Dayton Art Institute for Oktoberfest and to visit the Alphonse Mucha exhibit and for the girls to check out the Performing Art exhibit in the kid friendly Experiencenter. Wright State University’s CELIA program brought Complexions Contemporary Ballet to Dayton for one night in September and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company started its home season with three new premieres all set to music by Wynton Marsalis with live music for portions of it.

I took the girls to the dress rehearsal so they could watch without having to worry about them upsetting paying customers while I was working during the performances. I think they might have enjoyed it a bit too much.

During our vacation in Nashville, TN in July, we got out to see as many of the murals as we could and caught plenty of live music, including a show at the famous Bluebird Cafe.

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Inside Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe

At the top of the summer I was officially sworn in as a member of the City of Centerville’s Centerville Art Commission and have been having fun getting acquainted with all arts programming it offers including the Summer Concert Series and a new artist featured in the gallery at the police station each month. I’m lucky to live in a city with a good appreciate for the arts between middle and high school musicals, student art shows, and free community programming.

 

Did you know that the arts and culture industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity? A few years ago we at Dayton Contemporary Dance Company helped gather survey responses for our local arts advocacy organization, CultureWorks. This summer the results from that survey that fed into a US wide look at the economic impact of the arts and culture industry. Randy Cohen from Americans for the Arts came to talk in Dayton about the national and local findings (#AEP5). In Dayton, the average arts and culture patron spends $19.71 per person. Doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize how many arts and culture patrons there are in a given weekend. Find out what it’s like near you here.