Saturday, September 12, 2009

Inspired and Encouraged

My toenails are painted orange to celebrate the Halloween season! I included the picture with Angelo's toes because they're just too adorable not to share. :)

I always love this season- Falloween as the newspaper called it last year. Every year after Pennsic, I get so excited about Halloween preparations. I used to restrain myself and wait to decorate or make things, but the last couple of years I've given in. Why put off Joy? Besides, with all the creative energy I have around this time, I think it's actually bad for my health to resist the urge to make things involving witches and bats.

This has been a life-long love for me. Besides loving to dress up (apparently it was my first game; gee, who'd have thought I'd become a professional belly dancer? ;-), I've always loved things that were kind of creepy. Not necessarily gory or bloody (though I did have a few years of bloody costumes ... ), but dark and mysterious. I like ghost stories and my favorite part of the sunrise Children's museum was the upstairs section with all the antique toys, which would give everyone else the creeps.

For Angelo's first Halloween, I was so excited to have a baby to dress up that he had about 5 costumes. We sought out all the kid friendly Halloween parties we could to take advantage of it. But, I definitely bit off more than I could chew. I was still trying to sew my matching Kanga costume to his Roo costume about 10 minutes before we left for Trick-or-Treat in our friend's neighborhood. So, the next year I started finishing that costume with what I thought was plenty of time. I even vowed to take any and all shortcuts, fighting my nemesis, Perfectionism. Well, I finished mine early and figured that since I now knew what I was doing with this sort of thing, it would be easier if I finished my husband's Tigger costume. Of course, that put me hot gluing stripes right until we frantically left for Trick-or-Treat in the DeHaan's neighborhood. I'm pretty sure I dressed in the car on the way over. So, I promised Angelo and Eric both that I would not do that again. I will start on the Halloween costumes right after Pennsic so we can enjoy and celebrate my favorite day of the year instead of running around like mad people. I have my costume ready to go and have all the materials for Angelo's. I've even drawn out a plan for his costume pattern and done a body tracing (it's so hard to believe he's that tall!) Last night I took some more baby steps toward getting his costume made. I'm relieved to know that I have enough material and won't have to order more. Things are laying in the right direction, waiting for that first oh-so-scary cut. I trimmed up the body tracing to help make the pattern. When I got too scared, I started working on more Halloween cards.

Speaking of Halloween cards, I'm considering selling some. I think I mentioned that... Well, I'm still considering it. It has been fun, so I will keep you posted. I'll start by posting here and link to FaceBook, I'm sure.

As if I weren't doing enough already, I have been reading Amanda Blake Soule's "Creative Family". Reading about her and the other creative Mamas in Mothering magazine was what gave me the final inspirational push to start a blog of my own. I love the book! I have already been doing some of the things in the book, and that's what I connected with when I read the Mothering article. It was exciting and encouraging to read about someone else doing them. I had plans to do some of the other things (like make cloth blocks) and found simple, easy to follow directions for those ideas. Since my husband is busy building a pirate ship (see pictures above) to play on in the yard, I decided that it was absolutely necessary for me to make Angelo pirate dress up clothes. When I read Amanda's section on dress up, I was excited about my original idea and encouraged to make even more costumes; especially since I loved dress up so much as a kid ... and still do. I also really loved the section talking about making as many gifts for the holidays (and other occasions) as you can and buying handmade when you can't make them all. I've made handmade gifts over the years, but could only do so much. Committing to buy handmade will not only be fun, but more love and artistry goes into each gift, less commercialism, less materialism. I'm glad I've been buying natural toys for Angelo for this reason too. I also love her projects for making reusable cloth banners and party crowns for birthdays. How cool is that! And the ones she made are so cute! How great to put love into something that celebrates your child and also protects the Earth they'll be living on long after we are. And the "bed time bags" that hold pj's and bedtime stories? Adorable and ingenious! I'll be making one for Angelo in the future, I'm sure. Can't wait to see what else is in the book!

Also on the "make things" docket- a bag for Angelo to carry his trains in (he's in that stage where he has to have certain things, usually trains, in his hands most of the time and not being able to hold them all can be frustrating for him), business cards and a new halter, maybe a silk gauze blouse for Shimmy, New dance bra for the performance at Patty's, more Halloween decorations and costume accessories (I've done some fun stuff with antique photos lately), perhaps to sell, a tiara because I think the fairies who put the fairy ring at the entrance of our door may have run off with mine, costumes for FaerieCon ... I guess I start on those holiday gifts mid November. :-) I'll probably be setting up auxiliary work stations around the house so Angelo can be set up with crayons, pencils and paper while I create too. He's liked that a bit more lately. Or Daddy can play pirate with him while I sew, glue, paint, etc.

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