Disney Envelope Art – Anna

Standard

Another little “happy” headed out in the mail for Isabella.  This time the manila envelope is decorated with Anna from Frozen.

Disney envelope art - Anna

There are some great video tutorials for drawing Disney characters on the Disney Parks blog.  This sketch was from that series of tutorials.

Another Gift for the Minimalist Disney Lover

Standard

It’s always a challenge to find gifts for people who don’t like to accumulate more possessions, so, as we shared in the last post, we like to give each other the gift of an experience.

We thought it would be hard to top the fun we had sampling our way through Epcot, but our daughter came up with yet another great gift idea for our last Disney trip – our very own “Magical” app!

"Magical" app

Now, it does help if your daughter is in the midst of getting a PhD in computer science for this gift.  But, it also helps that she knows a lot about Disney.  This year, she made an Android app that led us on a scavenger hunt through Epcot so we could experience things we might not usually notice.

Magical Disney Android app

We have been to Epcot many times, but never even noticed the first stop on the scavenger hunt – the Coca Cola tasting area where you could sample sodas from around the world.  Let’s just say, the Beverly was unique.

Fiesta de Navidad Epcot

Other stops included everything from participating in the Fiesta de Navidad in Mexico to guessing which of the totem poles in Canada was wood.

Magical Disney Android app

The coordinates were all programmed in for each stop (including to the wooden totem pole) and all we had to do was follow the arrow.

Looks like the signal is strong in the back yard.  That must mean we need another trip!

Giving the Gift of Disney Memories

Standard

Some of us were born minimalists and others of us had to learn it.  The good part about a more minimalist home is that it is easy to keep clean, you know where things are, and shopping doesn’t hold much appeal.  The bad part is that it makes it harder for people to know what to give you as a gift so our family loves to give and receive the gift of an experience more than anything.

In 2013, our Disney trip was over Isabella’s birthday and Christmas and our daughter came up with the perfect Christmas gift for us:

Disney gift card idea DIY

 

We received an envelope that contained a Disney gift card and a card our daughter made with a Contemporary resort graphic with instructions for how to use the gift card.

It was the gift of a an experience sampling foods from all the countries in Epcot.  We had so much fun and the memories of doing that as a family are more precious than any item we could ever receive.

Girls Love Star Wars, Too! More DIY

Standard

There’s a new Star Wars movie coming out in December – The Force Awakens.  Maybe this means that Disney merchandising will awaken and start to stock more Star Wars shirts designed for girls and women.  Until then, it’s more DIY and more glitter!

diy star wars sparkle t-shirt

Making t-shirts is easy, especially if you have a serger, but sometimes you can find them on sale for less than the price of fabric.  This t-shirt was $4 at Target.

We did another image search for Star Wars silhouettes and Star Wars title.  We traced them onto the back of the glitter sheet, cut them out, and ironed them on.  Don’t forget to reverse the image for letters.

diy star wars sparkle t-shirt

 

Here’s another t-shirt with Princess Leia.  The tee was on a $5 sale at Old Navy and the silhouette material is part of the original pack that we got at Hobby Lobby.

DIY Princess Leia sparkle t-shirt

Disney Sparkle T-shirt DIY – Take 2

Standard

Princess silhouette t-shirt diy

The package of sparkle iron on material that we used for the castle t-shirt came with 4 different sheets of glittery goodness.  So, we put it to use again.  This time with a princess silhouette that we found doing an image search.

This top is another free pattern.  It is the size 4-5 basic t-shirt by Dana at Made.  To make it look a little more princess-like, I added a self-drafted circle skirt.  The fabric is a cotton interlock from Joanns.

sparkle princess t-shirt diy

Sparkle Castle T-shirt with Free 4T pattern

Standard

DIY Disney castle sparkle t-shirt

 

We’ve already started sewing for our next Disney trip (or just for playing princesses every day!).    This shirt came about when we saw these Tulip Glitter Iron On Sheets at Hobby Lobby.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.18.37 AM

 

First, we cut a simple cap sleeve t-shirt out of white cotton interlock.  Here is the pattern for the t-shirt that we drew:

3 step t-shirt pattern

 

 

You will need to draw it out full -size with each square equaling one inch.  Cut out the t-shirt and apply the glitter applique to the front before you sew it together.

We just did an image search for a castle silhouette and traced around it onto the back fusible side of the shimmer material.  Then, cut around it and iron in place.

sparkle castle applique

Sewing the t-shirt together is as easy as 1, 2, 3.  Just follow the instructions on the diagram.

Everyone deserves a little sparkle!

 

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly – Photography at Disney

Standard

20140118_125814

 

Not too many years ago, there were only film cameras and a trip to Disney might mean upgrading from a 24 exposure roll of film to a 36 exposure roll that had to last you for the whole day or even trip.  One or two shots were taken per character and you didn’t realize the image would have bad lens flare until you got your prints back from the developer.

The amount of photography taken at Disney parks is insane.  One site states that 100-200,000 photos are taken each day just by Photopass photographers and that is probably a conservative number.  Add in cell phones, iPads, digital cameras, etc. and the numbers must be staggering.

Now, I will go out on a limb and speculate that many of the images/videos/etc. that are taken, will not make it beyond Facebook or Instagram and stand a good chance of being lost when a hard drive crashes or phone gets dropped in the lake.  But, that is each person’s individual problem and their responsibility to prevent.  And to be honest, it’s easy to assume that many of the images are never looked at again, anyway.

ipad blocking view at WDW

 

That is what makes some of the photography trends at Disney parks kind of interesting to look at.  This was what we saw over and over in 2013.  Huge tablets with full keyboards videoing EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of the Christmas parade.  We even saw one person carrying a 17″ laptop through the park during Christmas week.  Crazy.

ipad as camera at disney world

Luckily, it seems as if the iPad is not a Camera message was getting through, because 2014 was the year of the “selfie stick”.  And in my opinion, it is a HUGE improvement over the iPad craze.  At least you can see through it and don’t have to watch a live event in the screen of the person in front of you.

Disney sketchbook

I didn’t take any pictures of the selfie stick craze, but you can see it in my sketchbook.

A lot of articles are floating around seeking to ban the selfie stick at theme parks, but if that means the return of the iPad as camera, I say keep the selfie sticks around.

No matter what the trend of the day is, it would be fascinating to know if many of the thousands of photos and videos get edited and make their way off of the phone/tablet/etc. and into a easier to view format?

As for me, I will stick to whatever images I can get while carrying the least amount of gear – a Sony RX100 II.  At 2.3 inches by 4 inches and a weight of about 9 ounces, it is a great theme park camera.  Unobtrusive, lightweight, and a battery that lasts 2 days since the flash is almost never used.

ISO 3200, f1.8, 1/250

ISO 3200, f1.8, 1/250

 

Disney Every Day – Episode 3

Standard

Along with the standard question, “How long until we are going to Disney World?”, another frequent question is “What day do we do __________?”  So, to help Isabella learn days, months, time, etc., we made her a Morning Circle Time Board.  It has a calendar, learning clock, weather station, etc., but her favorite part of it is the moveable monorail to change the day of the week.

DIY Monorail - Days of the Week activity

 

The board is a simple foam core board with various elements glued or laminated on.  For the monorail track, we cut a slit in the foam core with an exacto knife above the days of the week.

We searched for a simple image of the monorail and printed it off on cardstock.  We used ModPodge to adhere it to a piece of balsa wood (from Hobby Lobby) and sealed it with a top coat of ModPodge.  The balsa wood was easy to cut with an exacto knife.  We glued a small sliver of foam core to the back of the balsa wood to hold the monorail in the track and glued a flat washer to the back of that.

Disney Every Day – Episode 2

Standard

Isabella loves her play kitchen and has all variety of play food  to “cook” with, but one thing that was missing were treats similar to what we get in Disney parks.

A little plywood, small dowels, a few cuts on a bandsaw, acrylic paint, and Polycrylic sealer and we’ve got Mickey Ice Cream Bars that never melt!

DIY play food Mickey ice cream bars

A Little Bit of Disney in Our Day

Standard

We play a lot of “Disney World” at home in between trips.  Stuffed animals are buckled in to the Mine Train (aka the couch), laundry baskets become It’s a Small World boat, and some “rides” even require the use of a fast pass.

So, we made our own “fast pass reader”.

DIY "fast pass reader"

 

It is made with a simple tap light similar to this available at Home Depot, Lowes, or even the dollar store:

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 1.21.34 PM

 

We lightly sanded the underside of the dome and painted it with acrylic paint before re-assembling it.  If we were doing it again, we might paint the Mickey outline with a brush and spray paint the rest with a yellow/gold paint to get a smoother finish, but Isabella doesn’t seem to mind the uneven paint job.

diy fast pass reader

 

And at least we’ve found a way to play with the little collection of Magic Bands we are starting to acquire!