Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

crafts

And only NOW, will I declare the Halloween season over.

To some, Halloween is a day. Perhaps a few days, if the holiday itself happens to be on a weekday, and the parties are the weekend before. Maybe the die-hards consider all of October to be Halloween season. For me, it stretches from the first time there’s that crisp autumn smell in the air until Thanksgiving.

Ok, truthfully, it’s always something that’s on the back of my mind. I start thinking about next year’s costumes before I even wear this year’s. I’m excited as hell that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is going to be a tv show this year, and even more so that the actress who’ll play Claire has dark brown hair. YES! No wigs next year! Not for me, anyway. Fritz might need some help in the hair department to be Jamie. Shh… don’t tell him yet. He hates wigs as much as I do. But thankfully, he loves wearing a kilt. And he subscribes to the “Happy Wife, Happy Life” philosophy.

Anyway, back to this year. Our final costume event of the season was Wednesday, at another Headbanger’s Ball party. You might remember we dressed up in September for the first one, and were bestowed the titles of Most Metal Warrior and Most Metal Wench. Well, I can’t repeat a costume, so we went in the direction of 90’s Psychedelic Metal and channeled Rob Zombie and Sean Yseult of White Zombie.

I got a thrift store jean jacket for Fritz, and went to town painting it to resemble the jacket Rob wore in the “Thunder Kiss ’65” video. I printed out some of the album art and logos onto cardstock, and cut stencils for the designs to paint on the back, sleeves and front lapels, and zebra print for the front below the pockets. It’s kind of trippy using Martha Stewart skillz on something so dark and heavy. Then I used some faux leather and cut fringe for the back of the sleeves. I sewed silver beads around the collar and on the back, because that’s a cheap and relatively easy way to give the appearance of metal studs. Topped it all off with a Jack Sparrowish pirate wig with dreadlocks, a leopard print scarf, and his Russ Meyers tshirt.

I was originally going to dress like the go-go girl in the video… the one in the cowboy hat and little booty shorts. Then the cold snap hit. No f’n way was I being that bare when it’s 20 degrees and snowing.

Pretty much the day of the party, I was still pondering what to wear, when I remembered a patent leather faux snakeskin jacket I had in the garage. I painted that with more band art, added some funky Lichtenstein-esque leggings that I just HAD to buy when I saw them for $6 at Ross, a zebra tank, the daisy dukes I wore to the last Headbanger’s Ball, cowboy boots from high school, a crazy-loud yellow-blond wig, and a crushed velvet hat from the early 90s.

The results:

White Zombie

White Zombie

White Zombie

White Zombie

White Zombie

The results of the costume contest… Fritz is still the Most Metal Warrior. I was sadly out-wenched, but since the chick had boobs out to THERE and was dressed as a dominatrix, I do concede that she is more metal than me. After all, I’m just a nerd who does Martha Stewarty crafts and likes to play dress-up. 😉

The other result… from being hunched over painting the jackets and slouched on the couch beading the metal studs (while watching Rudolph, because I’m THAT metal), I wrenched my back or neck or shoulder or something and have been in pain for three days now. Do you understand how hard it is to listen to a band do kickass covers of Megadeth, Metallica, Motorhead, Guns n Roses and Skid Row without being able to bang your head?! Getting old sucks.

It’s hard to swallow, but I’m no longer the Youth Gone Wild. I’m the middle aged, turned mild.

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Kids and Creativity

Hands down, the best thing about my childhood was how my parents encouraged us to be creative. There was always a drawer full of crayons and paper in the coffee table in the living room, not to mention Dad’s workshop with wood and tools, and Mom’s sewing room with fabrics and notions, in the basement. Clay, paper mache, silver solder, beads, and glitter. So much glitter! We were always making things. Messes, mostly. We made a lot of messes!

We were inspired to be unique… creative… individuals. Seriously, how many girls do you know that designed the dress they wore the first day of junior high? Granted, it was hopelessly outdated and looked more like I belonged in Miss Beetle’s class in Little House on the Prairie than in a high school in the 1980’s. But I still picked out the fabric and style and details, even if Mom did most of the sewing.

Designer and model! It's a wonder I haven't taken the fashion world by storm.

Designer and model! It's a wonder I haven't taken the fashion world by storm.

I have a point. I’m getting to it. This morning,there was a bit on Good Morning America about decor for lockers. Wallpaper, mirror, chandeliers… even shag carpeting. It’s tacky, gawdy, loud and obnoxious, so naturally, I love it. But when the parents say it’s about “letting their kids express their creativity,” I had to snort.

Is that what passes for being creative these days? Buying mass-produced glittery pink do-dads to stick in your locker? It shows your taste, sure, or lack-there-of, but creativity? It’s all designed to go together, like Garanimals kids clothing!

For what it’s worth, I have the same reaction when kids or parents complain about school uniforms or not being able to wear a certain article of clothing to school. Hint: If you can buy it at the mall, it’s not original.

At the risk of sounding like a boring old fuddy-dud, for the most part, school isn’t about expressing your individuality. It’s about learning. Not only the actual book-learning, but learning to work with others and work with rules. Like we have to do as grownups. Not that I’m any good at it.

Want your kids to express their creativity and individuality in school? Fantastic! Get them in art or music classes! Even home-ec… get those basic sewing and cooking skills started now! Praise their work in creative writing! If they like sports, inspire them to be the best darn athlete they can be! Let them discover the joys of reading!

Buying something doesn’t make you a unique, creative individual. DOING something does. And make a great big mess in the process.

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It’s Curtains for You!

Forget the yuletide holidays. THIS is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s a nip in the air, pumpkins in the stores, the kids are back in school, the Ravens are kicking ass, the leaves are beginning to change, it’s crisp and cool but not snowing, and Halloween is almost here!

My Halloween decorating has begun. Granted, my house pretty much always looks like I’m ready for Halloween, because, well… ♪ ♫ I’m into superstition, black cats and voodoo dolls… I’m livin’ Lorina Loca! ♪ ♫

You can thank me later for the song plant.

Last year, I picked up some adorable vintage Halloween looking dishtowels at the Christmas Tree Shops. (One of my favorite stores ever!) I think they were only $1.99 for a two pack. One was a black and orange striped cotton fabric, and the other was this off-white pumpkin, bat, ghost and cat fabric, with orange pom-pom fringe on one end.

So cute!!!!

So cute!!!!

The light bulb went off over my head: Curtains! They’d make perfect curtains! Each towel measured about 18×26 inches, ideal for the odd-sized windows in my kitchen. I bought five sets, enough to make two pairs of curtains and one valance for the door window.

For the door valance, I took one black striped towel, cut it in half width-wise, then sewed it together length-wise. Does that make sense? How about if I say I took a 18×26 inch towel, cut it to 18×13, then sewed it to 36×13 inches? Clear as mud?

I also cut a strips of the pumpkins & ghosts from the off-white towel, and zig-zag stitched it to the black striped. Turned over the top about two inches to make a pocket on top for the curtain rod, and … ta-da!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

For the windows, I took one black towel, about 10 inches off the end of white towel with the fringe, and stitched the white bit to the top of the black bit, like an attached valance. Another section of the white curtain was sewn to the bottom of the curtain. Since the fabric wasn’t quite long enough to make a rod-pocket, I used clip-on curtain rings. This way, instead of losing a few inches making the pocket, I gained a few inches in length.

"Black cats only, River!" says Gypsy.

"Black cats only, River!" says Gypsy.

It was super easy to make these, and at only $10 for all the towels, a better price than you’d find anywhere. Even buying the fabric and making them completely from scratch would probably cost more.

Gypsy has the Grumpy Black Halloween Cat market cornered.

Gypsy has the Grumpy Black Halloween Cat market cornered.

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