Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So Darker It Is

Now I just have the hassle of taking out the stitches. Hand dyed fibers are great, but sometimes they'll just do that to you. They can be pesky, fickle, fickle threads.

Nothing much is going on here today. Just the usual. Today will be sales tax day. So...everyone? Please don't gasp excitedly all at once.

I've added a couple of new songs to my sidebar. Last weekend we took Colleen and her friend Laura to WVU to watch another taping of Mountain Stage, where we saw one of their favorite artists, Regina Spektor. She gave a wonderful performance and the girls were thrilled. The rest of the performers were super, too, and in my sidebar you'll see songs from Great Lake Swimmers (good music but seemed to have some difficulties with the live performance. Eh - I still like their music. Click on that link - great stuff.) and Will Hoge. Will Hoge was my favorite performer of the night. Really fabulous. The kind of performance that pushes you back in your seat.

Something else that's been on my mind...I just can't get into Halloween stitching. I like autumn and autumn-y designs, like pumpkins and leaves, but Halloween simply isn't my thing. You guys all stitch such neat stuff and designers seem to be pulling out all the stops when it comes to Halloween. Still - I find myself scratching my head and wondering what all the excitement is about.

It must be genetic, because my mother was awful about Halloween, too. Yes, we were the kids with the plastic Casper the Ghost masks. And since there were five of us, Casper was hauled out every year and when he finally didn't fit you, he was given to the next kid down the line. After we outgrew Casper, we were "bums". Meaning that we wore our dad's worn out work clothes, used Mom's eyebrow pencil to draw on stubble, and we were pushed out the door with a grocery bag.

And I always wanted to be a princess. Thanks, Mom.

But by far the worst Halloween costume was my mummy costume. I was 13 years old and invited to my first ever boy-girl party. It was given by a friend of mine who was older and in high school and she was the picture of cool.

I was so nervous about going to a cool kid party....Obviously the bum costume just wasn't going to cut it. So my mother ripped up a sheet and wrapped me up as a mummy, except that it didn't really work and it was falling apart before I even stepped out the door.

Now it was time to go, and I was a jittery mess, and my dad drove me to this party, which happened to be right next to a church where someone was having a lovely fall wedding. So there were all of these people mulling around waiting for the bride and groom to come out, and my dad and I pulled up in our rumbling car (Muffler? Who needs a muffler?) and I froze. Could. Not. Get. Out. of the Car. My dad was saying, Go, go, go! And I was saying, NO, Not yet, Wait, Wait. Finally, he had had enough, and pushed me out the door and lay rubber down the street. Meaning that all of the wedding guests turned and looked at me - standing in the street with my sheet strips fluttering in the wind.

It's just the situation that every 13 year wishes to find herself in. At least the sheet strips absorbed the armpit sweat.

So Halloween? Not my holiday.

The end of the story is that the party was fun, even though I think I was invited because my mother was friends with Nancy's mother and Mrs. Jones made Nancy invite me. We bobbed for apples, carved miniature pumpkins and giggled about and with the boys. And years and years later, I dressed my son as a mummy for his third grade Halloween party, and I don't think he'll ever forgive me, either.


  1. I want to help you make a better mummy costume. Halloween can be fun. (I'm planning to have Halloween dinner for Nov. 1 Sunday dinner. Stay tuned!)

    My mom sewed all our costumes but as we got older (and she stopped taking "diet pills") she had more trouble planning out that far in advance. Our default costume was gypsy--mom's tiered skirt, ruffly blouse, headscarf and tons of necklaces. And an eyebrow pencil mole for good measure.

  2. The perfect Halloween memory LOL thanks for sharing. CJ ok;-)

  3. Come over here. Halloween is just considered as a thing we tried to do like the Americans (it was in the mid-90s) and quickly gave up upon. A few pumpkins will emerge here and there in shop windows, but it's going, going, gone.
    I dressed up my kids as ghosts and princesses and they went for sweets on Halloween night, and then we threw away the tons of candy they had collected, because you never know...
    Christmas will soon be upon us : that is something to celebrate !

  4. Oh dear, but i did have to have a little chuckle at your story:-)
    I used to dread my kids comming home with invites to parties that said 'fancy dress' i have zero imagination, lol.
    In the UK Halloween was not really celebrated when i was small, it's only in recent years that it's caught on. I did dress our house up last year and really enjoyed seeing the look on the little uns faces when i opened the door, they were so excited and i plan to do it again this year.
    As for Halloween stitching - don't think i have ever done any :-0 so your not on your own there.

  5. OH MY! I guess if I had an experience such as that I wouldn't like Halloween so much either!

    Too funny that you dressed your son as a mummy!

  6. I'm with you! I'm just not as wild as everyone else seems to be for Halloween.

  7. HAHAhah, great story. You poor kid, I would have been mortified.

    I believe we're opposites. I'm a Halloween nut. I buy all of the Halloween patterns as long as they're not cutesy and I've been planning this years Halloween party for the last 3 months. I think it must have something to do with our experiences with it as kids. My parents are very into Halloween and would spend weeks on our costumes. I would dissapoint them year after year by choosing to be a witch (but that's all black!!), it forced my mom to find a way to make an over the top witch costume.

  8. Lee, you are so funny. This story really cracked me up (and I am very tired). 6 kids in my family and you can bet your bootie that there were no homemade costumes at our house! To compensate for that, I felt I had to make costumes for my kids and did come up with a few nice ones. Later the inspiration died and Halloween was just a pain in the you know what. DD is going to a party but TG she is going to the costume shop to search out appropriate garments. The best Halloween parties I went to were in college and you can only imagine :0

    One thing we usually do is carve pumpkins and art student son carved great ones.

    I like the Halloween needlework but might never do any myself. Don't see the point of spending all that time on it.

  9. I was a store bought costume kid too. I quit trick or treating when I was 10. It was as much fun to hand out candy. I don't sew, so my kids got some creative costumes from home. Blow up some purple balloons and sew brown felt on a purple hat? Grapes! Clear garbage bag with holes for arms and legs and filled with colourful balloons? Jelly beans! My daughter was a princess for a few years. My son was the headless horseman... easy black cape and face painted like a pumpkin. My daughter's last costume was the corpse bride. Cute white eyelet dress that she was about to grow out of, cheap tiara and a whole bunch of that stuff that looks like spider web stretched out to make a veil... and of course face painted to look corpse - y. Hallloween can be fun!

  10. You always make me smile, Lee! It's funny, but my very favorite costume (maybe it's because I didn't have to be creative and think of a new one each year) WAS to be a beggar lady. I just put patches on an old, ankle-length skirt, glued white cotton under a grubby hat as my "hair," used an old cane and walked hunched over...Hmmm... now that I think of it, I'm starting to resemble that old beggar lady more and more each year!

    I do love Halloween, though, the stitching, the kids in costume, the excitement, and most of all--the candy :)

  11. LOL! While student teaching kindergartners, during their Halloween party, we had a mummy wrapping activity where the kids would take turns wrapping each other in toilet paper. Probably traumatized all of them too!

    My worse costume ever was a California Raisin in 4th grade. I'm scared for life. Even so, Halloween remains my favorite holiday.