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Jurassic Birthday

If you remember last week, we left off with me having a semi-nicer backyard and wanting to find a way to showcase and share it with my closest friends. I thought of making an event called “We-Got-Our-Garage-Painted-We-Have-A-Gazebo Party”.

But my son had other ideas.

My son M always wants to have an outside birthday party. But his birthday is in the cold months of Michigan winter. So he decided we should have a summer birthday party for him. We had just seen the new movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This influenced us to want a Jurassic theme. We brainstormed and my son had some very specific requests:

1. A T-Rex to greet people with a party hat.
2. A “When Dinosaurs Ruled The World” Banner

Among other things.

And I am guilty in all of this as well. I went from thinking about a Jurassic Park theme to turning our backyard into an actual Jurassic Park.

And my son just assumes all mothers have these magical abilities to make multiple large-scale decorations from scratch. He did doubt that I could get them all done in time. Shows what he knows.

Before I present the photo gallery of the completed party (Oh ya, there is a video too.), I wanted to let you know that I had two distinct seating areas with their own multi-media experience. Inside the gazebo I had the score to Jurassic Park playing on a Bluetooth speaker. On my patio I had the movie Jurassic Park playing on my laptop.

A great idea if you wanted to take it a step further is to project the movie after dark. Unfortunately, we did not have the resources for that to happen.

Enjoy!

“Welcome to Jurassic Park!”

Welcoming T-Rex. So realistic that my dog barked at it while I was making it.

The Visitor Center

Jurassic Park Ford Explorer photo op.

Don’t Touch!

The T-Rex escaped its enclosure!

Park Information board

YouTube link:

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

Summer Projects

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Various summer projects have been keeping me busy.

This started with repairing our fence that was blown down a year ago. (See this post for picture: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2017/03/10/blow-the-fence-down/) Digging post holes is a bitch.

Then we had to repaint our garage. It had peeling paint when we moved in 14 years ago, and well, it has only gotten worse. It was just as daunting a task as I had always feared it would be. But, it was worth it.

This is after we scraped, before it got its new coat of paint.

Check this post for more before pictures: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2013/06/25/a-determined-dog-cannot-be-fenced/

The garage project got sidetracked by my need for a gazebo. I have always wanted one, but this year prices dropped enough for it to become a reality. I got the model with both bug screens and privacy panels. It was so worth the money to have both. I may be referring to it as my “she shed”.

I can if I want to.

Bug-free outdoor living

Spending more time in our yard made me realize that we have neglected it for the last eight years or so, which is also how long my son has been around. He has a way of sucking up our time. In a good way.

I started doing things I haven’t done in years like weeding, trimming, putting down accent pieces. I remembered how I always hated how the dogs would disappear behind the garage late at night. I would have to go back there to get them and there was no lighting and it was so dark and scary. So, with no idea if there would be enough sun to charge them, I installed solar lights on the fence. FYI-there is enough sun to charge them, even if not fully.

The path goes to nowhere, but at least I get to use my decade’s old stepping stones again.

We even planted a few plants and a garden, except something is eating my sunflowers’ leaves, they are short even though I purchased the mammoth variety, and now my pumpkin plants are dying.

My idea is to make my backyard a little haven until we can afford a camper to go spend time in.

Next year, on to the front yard.

My backyard is pretty enough now to hold a party. But for what occasion? 😉

Come back for my post next week to find out!

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

HT Make a Unique Lake for HO Scale Model Train Layout

My son was lucky enough to be given an HO scale model train layout on long-term loan. It has 10 switches, a bridge, and came with an assortment of buildings. But somehow, it was still a little plain.

There was a large open area that my son decided needed a lake. Now I will show you the process of how we created the lake. This is what I was up to while I was finishing Angry Macey and why I had no time to blog.

ECO ALERT: The great news about this project is we made it with almost entirely recycled materials!

First I begged my husband to retrieve a piece of scrap wood out of the rafters of the garage for me. Then I had to clean off said wood. Then I put it on the layout and did a rough estimate of where I needed to cut. Use the appropriate saw to make the job easier. (I did not.) Sand rough edges.

I present to you Guitar Lake, so named because, well, it looks like a guitar.

Guitar Lake

Then we painted it blue, darker in the deep spots. We painted it white where the current from the lake dumps in.

Guitar Lake painted

Next we decorated it to our liking. This is where you can have the real fun!

I insisted I would only help him with this project if I could put the Loch Ness Monster into the lake. Then I had to explain what the Loch Ness Monster was. I painted an outline of his body coming out of the dark depths of the lake. Then I glued down a small wooden peg. I cut the head off of a dollar store dinosaur for the head. The buoys are painted wooden stakes. Watch out for the electric eel and the shark. There is a pop can because my son said to be realistic, the lake needed litter.

We began adding painted and physical accessories. Beware the Loch Ness Monster who guards the sunken pirate ship and its treasure!

We coated the surface of the water with Mod Podge. (Beware, Mod Podge remains sticky to the touch and may attract dust. But, it is also pretty inexpensive for a project such as this.) We used more Mod Podge to glue sand for a beach, pebbles, and small rocks for the shore. I wish I had built up the beach a little more, because much of the sand fell off after the glue dried.

To be thrifty, we collected the sand and rocks from outside, then baked them in the oven to kill any bugs because, bugs–YUCK.

The lake laid in place with the river.

 

A view from the deep end, complete with Hot Wheels boat.

My husband said we needed a mermaid. I just happened to have one of those laying around the house.

A view from the beach. Swimmers beware the mermaid’s song.

And that completes the lake project.

But, in the meantime, we came in possession of two train cranes within 24 hours: one functional, one not. You know me, I had to find a use for the broken crane. Taking a cue from many other more sophisticated layouts we have seen, I decided to age the crane. I started with some graffiti. (I Googled graffiti generators until I found a design I liked.) I added rust and dirt with acrylic craft paint as well.

Damn hoodlums, vandalize everything in the whole damn railyard.

I glued on some moss to make it seem as if it had not moved in a very long while. Here is a side by side comparison of the good crane vs. the broken one.

New vs. Aged

Then my husband had a great idea to make a whole abandoned track.

Sad, abandoned track

It was so fun that my husband decided to age his own engine (not pictured here). I have no doubt we will be aging more non-functioning stock in the future.

And you might think that is the end of our railroad upgrades.

That is, until the ZOMBIES showed up…

Beware the impending zombie attack!

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

HALLOWEEN 2017: DIY Unicorn & The Terminator

This year for Halloween I really wanted to be Harley Quinn. (I did last year, too). But, I didn’t want to spend the money on the costume and I did not want to freeze during Trick or Treating. So, I ended up being a unicorn. Which, by the way, cost about half what the Harley Quinn costume would have cost me and I still froze during Trick or Treat, although not as badly.

To make the unicorn, I relied on this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/thnF6i3IDBY
And also this website: https://www.makeit-loveit.com/make-unicorn-hoodie-30-minutes/
And the rest I made up as I went along.

First get a hoodie to decorate in the desired color. At first I considered a bright pink one from Hobby Hobby that was zipperless. But I had already fallen in love with the grey hoodie on the makeit-loveit website. Plus, zipperless hoodies tend to pull on my neck and annoy me. I figured the added weight of the mane and the horn would only make that worse. I bought my plain grey hoodie in the men’s department at Walmart. I recommend a hoodie with drawstrings so you can tighten them if you need to. I actually tied scrap strips of fleece to my drawstrings. I could tighten the drawstrings and slide up the fleece to hold it in place, holding them without having to tie a silly bow.

Then I gathered different colored scraps of fleece from my own collected and the scrap bin at JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby. I only needed a little, so they were relatively inexpensive. I found the silver material for the horn there too.

Mane sewed on, but not yet cut into strands

My horn is maybe 7 inches tall here. I wrapped it with gold ribbon. A gold horn with silver ribbon would work just as well. The way I made my ears, they didn’t stand up so well, so feel free to improve on the design.

The full horn and ears.

Once I got the horn sewed on, I realized it was just way too long. I removed it, cut off about 2 inches, and sewed it back on again. If you want to be able to wear your horn in the car, you could take off even more.

I was feeling horny! This is the too long horn.

I had cut off the leading (trailing?) edge of the fleece. I was just going to discard it, but it turned out they made for a great tail. I attached it with a large safety pin. I layered more fleece on the inside so that the pin wouldn’t rip the jacket if it got pulled on on accident.

Finished mane and tail

Here is a picture of my finished costume. Please realize that I am not that fat. Well, not quite. I had on five layers, including a raincoat as a windbreaker which was a total lifesaver that night.

My son went as the Terminator. All he needed was the right sunglasses, a $3 thrift store leather jacket, and a $1 gun from a yard sale. He wanted me to be Sarah Conner. But that would just be the same costume as when I was Jennifer to his Marty McFly–my old 80s clothes. And no one would know who I was. For more on the Marty McFly costume, click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/10/27/crafting-a-cardboard-delorean/

Finished costumes

Have fun making your own unicorn costume!

For more on how The Terminator is actually a love story, click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/07/16/the-movie-terminator-is-actually-a-love-story/

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

Dave D. Canine (2002-2017)

All Dogs go to Heaven

 

There are not enough goodbyes.

There are no words.

 

The dedication for When You Least Expect It.

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