46. Halloween Hodgepodge

October is my favorite month of the year. I just love the brisk cool of fall, how the shadows get deeper and the sunlight and the leaves turn gold. The spooky sound of a blustery breeze blowing through corn stalks thrills me. I love October so much that I am becoming cheesily poetic only three sentences in to this essay. And I do realize “cheesily” is not a word.

A perfect October plant: Lion's Tail/Wild Dagga (from my fall garden in 2010)

A perfect October plant: Lion’s Tail/Wild Dagga (from my fall garden in 2010)

I had high hopes that every day in October I would offer a uniquely fall How-To or at least offer a unique piece of fall lore or information. How to make drawing ink out of black walnuts. How to make a haunted gingerbread house. Dissect a hedgeapple and share more stories and history about those weird osage oranges.

From right: Hedgeapples, black walnuts and distractions haha

From right: Hedgeapples, black walnuts and distractions haha

Pickle some yard-long beans to look like spooky, pickled snakes (or worms). Hunt for paw paws and then see what they taste like (I’ve heard a cross between a banana and a mango!). Actually prepare something with the pounds of persimmons falling from trees in our yard. Hunt for other native Missouri fruits ripe this time of year. I’ve barely scratched the surface of October and it is already the 10th! I thought that to collect myself and get in, the proverbial, game of October glory (and Halloween), I would look back on the past few years’ October tricks and treats.

A littler Spy (2007)

A littler Spy (2007)

I made this costume for the Spy when he was two. He also wore it when he was three.

You might think that I like Halloween so much, surely the kids would need new costumes every year? Not so! I love the tradition of using our homemade Halloween costumes more than once. For two reasons: 1. Homemade costumes take a long time to make and 2. I am incredibly cheap. HAhahah just, uh, kidding. It’s because it is a fun tradition! How many uses can we get out of the pumpkin? The skeleton? We love pulling the costumes out of the bin with the spooky decorations. And when they are too small to be worn, I think I will hang them up and use them as decoration! Especially this masterpiece:

I can’t wait until baby is big enough to wear this!

I can’t wait until baby is big enough to wear this!

There may be slight modifications. Maybe a little pink heart?

A bow and eyelashes were added to the pumpkin last year:

A girlier jack-o-lantern

A girlier jack-o-lantern

I am not really into giving step-by-step instructions and prefer to make my “how-to’s” sort of vague and encourage readers to just make it up as you go along. Because that’s what I do. And because writing clear, concise, step-by-step instructions is about as fun as, well…something really boring. So basically the pumpkin is just some orange fabric circles with an old towel sewed in between the layers (toastier and sturdier!) and then black fabric sewed on for the face. The skeleton is a black sweatshirt and sweatpants with an anatomically correct skeleton painted on it in white acrylic paint (I used a picture from an anatomy book as an example).

For the Spy, he wears my husband’s old Marine Corps gear (this year he’s adding a scary mask and will be a “Zombie Marine”):

2012

2012

Baby's pumpkin leaves are pieces of felt I cut/sewed then attached onto barrettes

Baby’s pumpkin leaves are pieces of felt I cut/sewed then attached onto barrettes

Though I didn’t use a stencil for the leaves, I did use real squash leaves from the garden as the inspiration!

Little trick-or-treaters

Little trick-or-treaters

So this year’s pictures of the kids in their garb are going to look A LOT like last year’s. But that is sort of what traditions are all about! Here’s a few more tricks and treats:

A Haunted Gingerbread House (2011)

A Haunted Gingerbread House (2011)

Spookier in black and white I think.

Spookier in black and white I think.

I made this for my sister with colored sharpies. Just drew it on a long white shirt! Minty fresh!

I made this for my sister with colored sharpies. Just drew it on a long white shirt! Minty fresh!

A skull cake

A skull cake (obviously we started eating it before I thought to take a picture haha)

To make a decal like this for a cake I just make royal icing, pipe the shape onto a piece of parchment, let it dry then peel it off and slap it on the top of the cake. Well I don’t really slap it but you know what I mean. Royal icing dries rock-hard. It’s pretty tough.

And a garden blast from the past:

October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011

5 thoughts on “46. Halloween Hodgepodge

  1. narf77

    I think “Cheesily” is a flavour for puffed corn snacks ;). Gotta say if I lived near tall dry corn stalks that rustled eerily in the night I would think of that movie with Mel Gibson and the aliens…ARRRGHHH! (or maybe that was just because I now associate you with zombies ;) ). You could tell us all how to dye our hands black from black walnuts, how to make a zombie fortress out of gingerbread (just give a slab to the son-and-heir, I am sure he will create one for you) and you could warn us NOT to eat the osage oranges no matter how hungry we get…all useful pieces of information and not to be sneezed at :) (and…requiring VERY little effort, something which autumn seems to sap out of you at the best of times.) Love the skull cake and how-to, I DID learn something here today so your job here is done (at least for Northern Tasmania…you might have to come up with something for the rest of the world ;) )

    Reply

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