Pronounced Di-NON-a-kus

Waiting for the paint to dry on the back porch.

The boy decided on his Halloween costume fairly late- he usually has lots of ideas, then settles on something with a few weeks lead time. Not this year- On Tuesday, he decided on dinosaur, specifically a Deinonychus (which I want to day dino- NIGH- kus but he assures me I am wrong. He is the expert.)

You would think that was a week of lead time, but not really, because he had an event Friday. Ack!
His thought was originally a wire framed puppet mask/hat thing, and he sketched and planned, and kept asking me to go wire shopping. He wanted the jaw to contain his candy bag, so people would be throwing candy into the dinosaur’s mouth.
It seemed complicated. And maybe not safe, what with the wires, and the not being able to see, and a jaw full of candy…
On Wednesday night we had a brainstorm. Why not sculpt it out of foam, instead? We made a paper model, and started cutting up a blue closed cell foam camping pad that the kitty has been chewing on.

We chose 2 shades of spray paint- light brown and olive drab, and sprayed in a kind of mottled pattern.  The fact that the pad was scarred and battered by the cat meant that it looks like the dinosaur has been in some battles…maybe that’s just my imagination.

Say, did anyone ever tell you your pupils are round? That’s a dinosaur pick-up line.

The part I love the most is the eye detail- we used some cat’s eye marbles and duct tape to create lids and folds. I put mineral oil on the marbles, so the paint wiped right off.
To make the hinged jaw, I used 2 buttons sewn together through the upper and lower jaw. The Boy can see through the mouth. The lower jaw can tuck into the top to qualify as a hat for events where masks are banned.

Quote of the day, “Wow, Stephen Spielberg would say you’re a naturalist.” I think he meant natural. I hope he meant natural.

Luckily for me, the Boy has just decided that he can wear his camouflage hoodie, so I don’t have to worry about how to make the rest of the dino tail, body, arms and etc. That’s a relief.


Pumpkins!!!! Adorable Little Pumpkins!!!!!!

Que pasa, calabasa? That's Spanish for what's happening, pumpkin?

I got a Wee Be Little pumpkin plant last spring, because they are just so darn adorable. No other reason.  We just harvested, in time for a jack o’lantern. We have a total of 7, and 6 of them will go to pie and bread.

Don't fear the reaper- actually, there was an unfortunate mishap with the scythe. It got sliced off, but we plan to replace it...

The Girl brought home a lovely cinderella-coach-shaped squash from a bonfire/fall party, and carved an intricate grim reaper scene into it. We roasted the seeds, and they were really tasty- thin hulls and nutty insides. I may try to figure out what variety it was, and plant it next year, because it is so darn adorable, in its own way.
The wee be little doesn’t take up much space, about a 4×4 foot square. I planted it in the former location of the compost bin, so there was a ton of rich compost for it to feed off of. It did sprawl in the wrong direction, I tried to nudge it the other way, but it kept encroaching into the sugar snap peas. By July it didn’t matter, because the peas were finished anyway.
The Boy was able to carve this independently, which is nice- I really hate getting my hands in pumpkin guts. It’s just gross.
We will probably wind up getting a big grocery store pumpkin, so we can have the classic picture of the monstrous jack o’ lantern eating the tiny one.

And when I said we would make pies from 6, I must have meant 5, because the Boy is carving another one.

He said, "write on your blog that I'm performing plastic surgery."

Halloween Assemblage (art?)

They're so in love, and so grave...

Last year we came across directions for very cool Halloween decorations in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (click here -I’m a little obsessed with this magazine)
The article was by Michael DeMeng ( click here– I just learned how to make these linky thingies!)- an assemblage artist with a spooky sensibility. The directions were to take dollar store cake toppers and chop their heads off, replace their heads with skulls, also from the dollar store, and apply sparkle paint liberally.


Maybe the original directions didn’t say sparkle paint, but we wound up using some. And by some, I mean a lot.

I was reminded that I wanted to blog about them when I found them in the decoration box- the photos have been sitting on my hard drive for a year.

The cake toppers that the dollar store happened to have were African- American. I have to say, it felt awkward chopping their heads off- liberal guilt, I know.

The original directions call for using wire to attach the skulls, so they are adjustable. We decided not to- we just hot-glued them instead. Also, the article called for a Dremel tool to cut the heads off with. I thought this might be my excuse to finally buy one, but tried a handsaw first. Let the record show that a handsaw works fine. I’ll have to find another excuse to buy a Dremel.

The Girl and I mixed several shades of acrylic paint together to get a nice grave shade for skin, and we went beyond just cake toppers, we loaded up on figurines, too. The one that freaked me out the most was the toddler on a rocking horse…one of the rocking-horsemen of the apocalypse? Creepy. But fun.

Heart on my sleeve?

Every year I come up with some esoteric Halloween costume idea- something that no one gets, even when I explain it. One year, I was “objectivity” all black, with a sequined black mask. When people asked what I was supposed to be, I asked them what they thought I was. It didn’t really go over very well. Last year, I was a surfer being eaten by a shark. Two years before that, I was a venus flytrap. I still really like that one…
This year, I had this idea of a skeleton shirt, underneath a shredded wedding dress. I don’t know what to call it, or what inspired it. Although I did find this Frida Kahlo portrait that I know I have seen before, so maybe that just bubbled to the surface?

Unlike Frida, I have been unable to embrace the unibrow, but I like this image of a heart split between the two halves of myself.

The boy asked how I got to be such a good drawer when he saw this. I told him lots of practice.

So, I have drawn and colored an anatomical human heart, and started embroidering it, because I am a fiber art nut, apparently, and I have a black long-sleeved tee shirt to attach it to, so I can wear it to yoga, because naturally our yoga teacher encourages us to dress up…I have decided to skip the wedding dress, and just have a white shirt that I can shred. I’ll probably skip the white skirt and just wear jeans. Not for yoga, of course, I’ll wear yoga pants for that.
I am a little panicked about time- just over a week, plus costumes for the kids (the boy wants to be a deer in the headlights! how do you make that?!), and DH is thinking about dressing up as Octupi Wall Street, and the girl is wavering between a couple of things, which pretty much guarantees a last minute request. I can live with that uncertainty, but I’m just wondering, for my own costume, what to call it when people ask me what I’m  supposed to be. Any suggestions?