Goal!


I have had a week completely free of children…. at least my children.  It has been incredibly freeing.  The days have seemed longer, I have gotten more done and yet felt more relaxed.  It has been a truly wonderful time.  If only the house was empty of PEOPLE, then it would be perfect.  Anyone who knows anything about our lives right now knows that tale though, so I will skip the whining.  Focusing on the positive—- I have been free of my children for the longest stretch in 11 years.  Awesome.

I had two goals for this time:

One was to refinish a crappy bench that I dragged home from the street corner a couple blocks away.  I realize that dragging free furniture home sort of went out of style as bedbugs became more common, but this seemed like a pretty marginal risk.  The bench had a fake leather cushion and a tacky stain job.  A couple days of very boring sanding and $12 in fabric later, I have this sweet addition:

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It looks pretty good in our house… not bad for a free bench made of sort of low-quality wood.  Of course, no amount of sanding and attention was going to make that wood beautiful, but it is passable.

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Second goal was to watch World Cup in the middle of the day.  Devra popped in to join me during her lunch time.  It was pretty awesome to hang out in the German pub and watch England play Uraguay.  Poor England though.

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It is not so much that I am a huge soccer fan, but the World Cup inspires something in me.  I feel like it is time to be a global citizen or something, and I want to go out and be around people who are excited about something.  And I guess it seems very crazy and free to go drink beer in the middle of the day.  The only bad thing about that is that you need a big nap afterwards.  Life is so hard, but I AM on vacation, right?  And it all ends Sunday.



2 Days to Go!


Auction is in 2 days and I am (almost) officially done.  I need to deliver the pieces now, but they are all in my living room, so I should be able to find them.

I keep doing double-takes, wondering if I forgot something.  I don’t think I did.

Here are the last few that I had not shown yet: another Klee Cats variation (3rd), a collage piece commemorating the 50 year anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington, and a Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1st) out of tissue paper.  Oh yes, and the ACTUAL ART POLE (6th) from previous pictures!

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Yes, I snuck my work in here….. they needed another fall tile and the numbers were off. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it!

 

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More Student Art… Auction Crunch Week


Wheww!  It is almost done!  The school auction is the 22nd, so things are wrapping up quickly now.

I worked what felt like a 20 hour work week…. it was exhausting!  I am sort of joking; sort of not.  I am out of practice teaching and the 4-ish hours daily that I have been in the classroom have been crazy tiring to me.  I can’t believe that I used to do this 8 hours a day.  How did I do that?  Now I come home needing a beer and to put my feet up, totally helpless to come up with a dinner plan or take care of kids.  Kids?  What kids?

On the other hand, auction art items are really rolling in.  The plans that I so tentatively launched in September are coming to fruition.  It feels pretty damn good.  For many of the pieces that I have shared thus far, I was the lead artist, but now the projects that I created but passed off to others are coming in.  It’s really cool to see how people interpreted my ideas.  Most of them are much better!  I had a fantastic team of volunteers who really made each project their own.  Wow, I am grateful!

Here is what my friend Pam did with the other 5th grade class owls project:

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And what a couple neighbors did with the 4th grade “What We Believe In” project:

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That is self-portraits mounted over an actual photograph of the playground.  How clever is that?  And she ran out of acrylic varnish and went to buy some (totally expensive stuff) but hers is way better than mine!  Her colors pop a lot more.  I’m sort of jealous of her acrylic!

Here is Zephyr’s class (2nd Grade) “Kids looking out the window”.  I don’t love the school house look, (I envisioned a Sesame Street style brownstone apartment building with kids looking out windows towards each other), but it is sort of cool as it was laser cut out of wood.  You can’t tell in the picture, but it is pretty awesome.  And the volunteer who did this was very responsible and put a ton of time into it.  And her execution and craftsmanship are impeccable.IMG_7934

Here was a pleasant surprise!  1st Graders doing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.  It is tissue paper on plywood.  Pretty awesome, right?  Something about 1st grade really captures the look of Van Gogh.  I did have to talk the woman doing the program down from re-naming the pieces something more clever.  She called it “Some Flowers”.  Get it?  Get it?  Nope.  I didn’t either.  Some flowers?  Sun Flowers?  Yeah, I don’t think it works.photo

Here is the ceramic quilt blocks all mounted in their lovely wooden frame.  Go kinder!  Because each piece was so small, the kids didn’t really remember doing the project.  It was sort of meaningless to them at the time, but the total result is pretty great.  You don’t realize it, but you just made beautiful art!

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Most rewarding has been the 6th grade Art Pole project.  I don’t have photos of the project yet, because we are still building it, but it should look something like one of these:

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I was in classrooms the last few weeks desperately trying to put this project together in the 11th hour.  After snow day chaos, a late firing and trying to deliver tiles to kids to glaze that were still 200 degrees (“Just don’t TOUCH anything yet!”) everything came together.  I dropped all the fired tiles off at the builder on Friday.  I’ll get a photo up as soon as I can.  Here are some of the kids glazing away with their lovely teacher, Ms Caldwell.IMG_7948

And Ms Ponz’s class:IMG_7938

IMG_79426th grade was super interesting as it is where Francis will be next year.  I’m hopeful.  Those kids were pretty nice to each other and loved doing the project.  It is rewarding working with kids AND making something beautiful.  More photos soon!



Paul Klee Style Cats


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CAT AND BIRD by Paul Klee
Date: 1928; Medium: Oil and ink on gessoed canvas, mounted on wood

I want to give credit to a little blog that I follow, A Faithful Attempt.  She is an elementary art teacher with a passion for clever ideas and a clear writing style.  This was her idea put into practice by 3rd graders at Beach School.  I assembled the various cats on their black paper and then brushed the whole thing with clear acrylic and finished it with copper foil tape.  Lord, I love that copper foil tape.  Endlessly useful!

The kids really did a nice job.  As you can see from the teacher’s sample in the middle, she knows her way around a pastel box!


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Here are some close-ups-

 

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This cat is thinking about freckles. That is what the kid said.

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Thinking of fish. I like the arrow.

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This cat isn’t thinking of anything, but has the most pleasant face of the bunch! This kid is an African immigrant who I know, and is about the sweetest guy. He was totally proud of his stripes.

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This cat is thinking about scratching things, (or as I like to think about it, “ruining things”), which would gets the “most realistic” prize.

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And this cat is thinking about sleeping. This is the “Ingrid Cat”.

Charming!

 



Owl Wall Hanging (5th grade art project)


I just finished the owl wall hanging for the 5th grade.  They sewed the individual owls; I just attached them to the fabric.  And made the tree.  And cursed as I poked myself with pins from the unattached owls while attaching other owls.  It took days of cursing before I went and got the iron-on tape and tacked them in place with that while I sewed.  This may be a metaphor for my life.
owl wall hangingThis was a fun project to do with the class.  They were so excited about talking about their sewing experiences and eager to make their owls the best they could be…. even though they knew they weren’t keeping any of them.  These kids were downright inspiring really.

Most helpful with this project was that the classroom volunteer did much of the footwork and set up.  It is pretty great when someone is willing to run to the fabric store for you.  My friend Pam took this on and was really nice to work with.  I like doing cooperative art.  I think I like sitting around talking design with people.

I really hope and pray that someone bids on this at the auction, but I also know that I can’t get discouraged if no one does.  This particular class has a lot of students whose parents don’t even come to the auction.  They are sort of priced out of that type of activity, which is a shame for many reasons…. too many for commentary here.

It’s weird working on these auction projects.  I want them to go for a lot because I am putting so much time and care into them.  At the same time, I realize that I need to let go of the outcome.  This may be a metaphor for my life too.

 



Brazen Artsiness


I volunteered again.  I keep telling myself to let someone else do it, but I have these moments where I wonder if there IS anyone else out there, and then I volunteer myself.  It is a dumb problem.  It probably means I should get a job.

Right now I am in the throes of completing 18 class projects for grades K through 6th that will be auctioned off in February.  It has been a source of stress and joy.  I have found that I love coming up with project ideas, but maybe don’t like coordinating volunteers so much.  Or rather, I sort of like coordinating volunteers, but I want all the volunteers to be JUST LIKE ME.  I just want them to run with their jobs and make all their own decisions, but really many volunteers need a little more guidance than that.  Although I do know how to do some things, a lot of things I just make up as I go.  Suddenly people expect me to actually know how to do the things that I am handing off to them as volunteers.  I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I sometimes feel like saying, “Don’t you realize that I just made this thing up?  Why don’t you just take a piece of paper home, try it out and see what happens?”.  But it is clear to me that being an artist requires a lot of bravery.  Sometimes you just launch in and see what happens.  I don’t always have that bravery, but I have a huge dose of stupidity and brazenness that carries me pretty far.

Here is the first completed project.  These are garden art poles created by a 3rd grade class.  I got a ton of help from a very competent artist in town which made the whole thing fun.  I’m pretty happy with them.

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And here is the ENTIRE kindergarten (4 classes) project all in one.  It isn’t completed yet.  The pieces need to be mounted on a beautiful piece of wood.  I am also pleased with how this came out, but eager to wrap it up in its entirety.  Ceramic quilt, anyone?

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Hopefully my efforts will net a big chunk of cash for Beach School, unlike the stupid chicken coop that I helped the 4th grade build 2 years ago!



Keee-razy Time


My darling Clementine finally tracked me down this evening and as we were catching up she asked what I’d been up to lately.  I took a big breath and…. well, I don’t really know.  I’ve been really busy with something.  I’ve been doing something, right?  I feel all stressed and crazy, but it is hard for me to quite grasp why that might be.

One of the big things that is taking up a lot of time is my new “volunteer of the year” teaching plan.  I don’t know who developed this one… it wasn’t necessarily good.  The thing is that our little school finally got a kiln.  I am somewhat responsible for that happening and I am proud of that.  Sometime around January I sent out an email to all the teachers saying that I would come into their classes and lead ceramics projects in the hopes that everyone would start to utilize this tool.  I didn’t hear much from them back then, but now that it is nearly the end of the year, everyone wants me and guess what?  It is a lot of work.  The classes themselves are not too time-consuming.  They usually take about an hour and a half.  It is the prep and the clean up that is the killer though.  Each class requires that I wedge the clay that is about to be used—- that’s 30 balls of clay.  I wedge fairly quickly, but that is still a good 45 minutes of work.  Hauling things hither and yon is time consuming too.  I have some supplies at school, some things in the art room or the kiln room, and those two places are nowhere near each other.  When the class finishes its work, there are 30 pieces of art to find room to store.  That sounds simple, but it is no small feat.  And then when the work is done there is loading and firing and checking on the kiln.  All these little things add up to a lot.

Okay, big segue here–

I did finish Brian Doyle’s Mink River lately.  Great book about a fictional town in Oregon that by my read of the local landscape is just about where Neskowin or maybe Neahkanie would be.  The town is almost right, although Brian Doyle not being from those parts tends to make it sound much prettier than it could possibly be.  No story about those rural parts of Oregon is complete without a lot of single-wide trailers.  And ugly houses barely hanging on with tons of cars and scrap metal in the yard.  And mean dogs.  And signs that say “Rabbets for sale: pet or meet”.  And the town had a “pub” which is wrong, wrong, wrong.  It would be a dark, windowless “tavern” and we all know it.  Why in Willamina, the tavern is called “Dillon’s”.  Poor guy can’t even spell his own name; he certainly wouldn’t work in something as European sounding as a “pub”.

Anyway, I loved the book and am very proud of Brian Doyle, Portland author made good.  Doyle likes lists… a lot.  So in order to organize my reflections of my business, I shall list what I’ve done this week.

Monday- run, shower, yell at kids, pack lunches, move ceramics around, haul 50 pounds of clay (on my bike!), drink coffee with neighbors, meet the assessor, oh-it’s-hot-out, go to school, fire the kiln, grab Francis, lunch with Inez and Francis, doctor’s appointments, shots-shots-shots, run to the library, pick up Zephyr, pick up clay for home, drink a beer with neighbor, help Francis make dinner, meet Anne, make art, put kids to bed.

Tuesday- why is my arm all hot and swelling up to twice its size, stupid bee sting from Sunday, put toothpaste on it, put lotion on it, put alcohol on it, put Queen Helene mint masque on it, what time is it anyway? (3am), go back to sleep, wake up, try to get kids off to school, nope—no bike train leader, okay, be the bike train leader, ride kids to school, ride them to “Safe Routes to Schools” event ’cause we heard there were donuts, eat donuts, yell at kids, now ride them to school, check kiln, still too hot, go home, haul rocks, work in yard, mow lawn, paint bat house with Inez, nap Inez, laundry, laundry, laundry, hang laundry, pick up Zephyr and Francis, play outside, harass Zephyr about violin, keep kids from dying on bikes in road, yell at kids, visit with neighbors, cook salmon, release chicken from raccoon trap, mess with broken shed door, move tools around, try to convince Zephyr to quit crying, try to convince Zephyr that he DOES NOT have a dance recital that night, try to comfort Zephyr, threaten to put Zephyr to bed instantly if he does not quit howling, talk to neighbors (“he didn’t have a dance recital, right?”—he didn’t), OH THANK GOD ALMIGHTY BRAD HAS RETURNED FROM HIS BUSINESS TRIP!  Take a benedryl for my arm which makes me so high that I can’t hold my eyes open.  Asleep by 9pm.

Wednesday- what is that racket?  Cat in raccoon trap ripping apart the thing, make breakfast, make coffee, late opening means kids are home 2 more hours, work outside, sweep walk, hose down walk, finally pick up bat house painting supplies, fill washtub with dirt, plant snap peas with kids, plant cucumbers, water, water, water, try to take kids to school–whoops too early, take kids to school, walk to cafe, meet Kendall, drink coffee and relax, walk home, babysit neighbor kid, plan curriculum for volunteer class at church, read disconnected story in The Sun magazine, look at neighbor’s photo albums, pick up kids, lose kids while talking too long to a teacher, talk to another teacher, talk to another teacher, plan ceramics classes for tomorrow, open kiln, distribute work, get impatient with crying children, walk home, finally make peanut butter sandwich for “lunch”, turn around for violin lesson, learn about wrist angles, come home irritated and exhausted, contemplate weird food in refrigerator, what can I do with celeriac cheese and beer?, babysitter shows up early (yes!), leave her with problem of dinner, go out to dinner with Brad, go to gospel choir….

 

I am tired of my lists.  I am going to bed.



Little Riding Hoods


Francis asked for a Little Red Riding Hood this last Christmas.  Being the generous, always ready to give mother that I am, I sighed deeply.  The kid wants EVERYTHING.  Really.  If I wasn’t so exhausted with her requests, I would admire her pure desire (and imagination too really).  Like most things she asks for, I started sort of “hell no!” and worked towards, “hmmmmm….”.  Hmmmm won out obviously.

Back in high school, my friends and I made capes to wear around, because we were just those kind of dorks.  One of my fondest memories was of wearing our capes down to the beach one night and stripping off all our clothes to go jump in the ocean.  It was dark, the beach was empty except for us, and it was probably cold too as we’re talking about the Oregon Coast where the water reaches a balmy 40 degrees.  We were 18 and preparing to go off to college, so jump in the ocean naked, right?  Totally logical.  Many of my friends were quite conservative young ladies, so when I saw their bare little butts go bolting down the beach, I fell on my face in the sand laughing.  I don’t even remember jumping in the water myself (although I certainly did).  I just remember eating a lot of sand.

Anyway, the point of this digression is that I have made a cape or two before, so I figured I could whip one out again.  All the same, I thought I would buy a pattern just to be sure.

Too bad that my resolve to make things does not match my ability to read a pattern.  Sigh.  Directions.  What a drag that there are people out there who know how to do things and think that they can TELL me how to do it!  It is like my brain refuses to learn.  It is like I enjoy being ignorant or something, because truly I sit down to figure out a pattern and find myself skimming the written instructions.  I find myself daydreaming.  I need to talk sternly to myself to focus.  FOCUS, Ingrid.  You stupid, stupid girl.  You NEED this.  Now think!

I actually find that I am able to better follow directions if I sort of act them out.  If I read slowly and make hand gestures for things like “RIGHT SIDE OF FABRIC” then the words more readily permeate my dura matter.  “Seam allowance” needs a hand gesture too.

All the same, I, of course, bought the wrong amount of fabric because I didn’t understand the numbers on the back.  Turns out those numbers were referring to how large the bolt of fabric is…like the size of the roll.  I couldn’t figure out why the pattern that to my mind was for a taller person needed LESS fabric.  Of course these things are all clear when you sit down to cut things out and can’t get the pieces out of your chunk of fabric.  Ohhhhhh.  In my defense, would it have killed them to write “size bolt” under the numbers?  No, not really, but these pattern people think they are dealing with the able-brained public.

Ennnnyway, I made the capes.  They look great, and I am pretty proud of them when the kids get compliments.  (I do need to teach them to beam beatifically and say, “My wonderful MOTHER made it for me!”).  I didn’t realize that I would get such an onslaught of requests from strangers for making capes when we go out in public.  I am numbering about request number 20, so if I ever need to go into business, I know where I will turn (but surely someone is doing this on ETSY right now?).  I really can’t imagine being motivated to sew a million and one capes.  It was not that exciting truthfully, and required far too much ironing for this girl who never wields an iron even for her own clothes.



Back on my (Clay) Horse


I am in week 2 of teaching Ceramics at the kids’ school.  It is such a total joy to be back at it.  Kids love clay, and I love clay and we together are a perfect pair.  We are actually 8 pairs as I have 16 2nd-5th graders in there.  It is one of the largest classes that I have taught in a long time, but it feels much more manageable as I no longer have unwieldy and malfunctioning sewing machines to wrestle with.

The first day I thought I would let the kids touch and mess around to their hearts’ content.  It is sort of  hard for me to turn over control when I only have 10 weeks of instruction, but it seemed wise to let them mess around now before we launch into real building.  I gave them the assignment of making a magical place to go on vacation to.  They needed high places and low places.

This is a cliff with snake holes (complete with snakes!).

Here is an arch with vines and a tree.  Zephyr was in class that day, although he won’t be for the rest of the term.  The kid is only 5 and can’t handle that we will be smashing some projects.  I’m moving him to theater!

This is a savanna scene.  Obviously, none of this would hold up well if fired, but experimentation was the goal here, not end product.

The students really enjoyed playing without much guidance.  The room became relatively mellow, with most of the conversation just expressions of excitement for each other’s inventiveness and desire to show off their ideas to me.  I know the days will come when there are tears of frustration and heartbreak at the limitations of clay, but for now, it is all good times.

Really, I do have students in there besides my kids, but until I get formal permission to picture them, I am cropping those babies out!

Best thing about the new class?  I get to work in the art room.  The teacher gave me two whole shelves!  Imagine that!  She totally needs every inch of storage she can get, but she generously gave me two whole shelves!  There is a sink there.  Yeah, really, I know!  Don’t I sound like a public school teacher, rapturous about a sink?  And I hate to admit it, but the teacher there is messier than me, so I don’t have to worry too much about annoying her too much.  Anything I do in her room is seriously making it cleaner, not messier.

 

Worse thing?  Ummmm… see that clay there?  I got two huge bags of it for free a few years ago.  I knew that it was some fancy clay from Georgies, but I didn’t do my research before having the kids do an actual project with it during week 2.  I thought I was saving money, being prudent.  Turns out that : “The coarsest of all our sculpture clays, this body contains two types of coarse sand plus nylon fiber. The character of this clay comes from the basalt sand that bleeds out when it fires.”  That is code for “this clay will spit out chunks of melty stuff that will stick all over your kiln shelves when you fire it”.  It requires a process called “wadding” which I have never done and am not really sure how to do.  Well, crap.  I’m so glad I got it for “free”.  Now I need to hop off to the store and buy kiln wash and wadding material which sounds like a chemistry experiment.

All the same, clay is awesome.

 

 



Halloween


Yeah, I realize that I am sort of going backwards here.  At this rate, I could post something about Easter next.  I figured that I needed to get up pictures of the kids soon though.  It has taken me a bit because my iPhoto is really bogging down.  Could it be the 9000 photos in there?  You know how the advent of digital photos made you take 10 pictures of the same thing instead of one decent picture?  The thought was that then you could go back and select the best to keep.  My problem is that I never went back.  I am starting at the beginning and deleting liberally, which is a poignant exercise as much of what I am deleting is my PRECIOUS LITTLE BABY photos.  I am not even through Francis and I dumped 1000 “not as good” photos.  I am keeping the best ones of course, but it is still hard to trash them forever.

ANNNNNNYYWAY……

Halloween.  The kids talk about Halloween costumes for months before October even peeks around the corner.  I think we are generally planning for costumes round about April, with final plans drafted early September.  We make everything of course because that is half the fun.  Plus it is one of the only times the kids think we are cool, so needless to say, we don’t want to throw that one over too lightly.

Brad has a great technique with the kids; one which he also uses when it is time to make pinatas.  He asks the same question each day for a week.  When the kid gives the same answer three days in a row, that is what he starts working on.

This year I had a freaking awful morning with the children one inservice day.  It was suppose to be great because we had nowhere to go, but as it was, we got trapped in a horrible maelstrom of whining and yelling.  (I tried to stop whining, really I did!). It looked like the whole day was bound to go to crap, but then we started digging through fabric in my studio.  In reality, I probably was trying to ESCAPE the kids, but they followed and engaged me and I made the best of it by shifting everyones focus to Halloween costumes.

Initially Zephyr wanted to be a clone trooper.  I sort of nixed that one.  It is the helmet thing.  I knew that Brad could do some paper mache magic, but you just never know in Oregon if it is going to be pelting down rain or 60 and balmy on Halloween night.  Next suggestion was a sting ray which was more my speed.

I learned something this year:  everything can be “poncho-ized”.  The poncho is the great Halloween costume middle ground.  Many a thing starts with a poncho, including sting rays.

Love the poncho.

Francis initially wanted to be a musketeer, which seemed super easy, if not too creative.  We had most of the elements of that costume already because she had been Puss in Boots a few Halloweens ago.  Or maybe it was for Mardi Gras?  Anyway, a musketeer is just Puss sans ears plus mustache.

Digging through the fabric though, we came across a bunch of (really tacky) stuff I bought a year or so ago when Zephyr said he wanted to be a mermaid.  Francis, in typical 8 year old form, said, “Ooooooooo!  It is beauoooooootiful!”.  So we started in on figuring out how to make her a mermaid.

I had a general concept for the tail—which she didn’t like.  When you are 8, you don’t care how you will walk down the street.  You want to cover those feet because of course, “mermaids don’t HAVE feet Mom!”.  She was close to tears, but I insisted that she must be able to walk.  I made a mid length skirt and then tacked on huge fins which then attached to black elastic that looped around her arms.  She could lift her arms to lift her fins.

Next problem wasn’t so hard.  I was not about to let my daughter run around in a bikini top.  I have nothing against bikini tops—I am not particularly modest myself— but bikinis belong at the beach or the swimming pool, not at school or trick or treating.

Going to Oregon Children’s Theater productions, I’ve really observed how the costume designers interpret and suggest features of the characters using textures and quality of fabric.  To make a chicken, they put a woman in tights and crocs and a square dance skirt with multi colored flounce.  The fluffiness of the skirts suggested the feathers and big butt of a chicken.  If they need to make a bug, they focus on color, crazy shoes and glasses.  Maybe a hat.  You don’t have to make the whole thing to make the viewer identify the subject.

Following these principles, I dug up this really cool crocheted top that my mom gave me.  I’ve worn it a couple times, but it has these drawstrings on it, so I knew I could cinch it up a lot.  Because it is crocheted, it suggests fishing nets, which to me suggests mermaids.  I think it worked.

We glue gunned a bunch of shells, broken necklaces, and nerd air beads to a fleece crown as the final touch.  (Air gun pellets are all over the pedestrian overpass most weekends.  They piss me off so much!  Don’t these teenagers realize they are LITTERING?  Anyway, I pick them up and this time glued them to the crown.)

Inez was a tag-team effort.  She wanted to be a shark.  I was tired of making costumes, so I handed it off to Brad.  Actually first I made her a poncho, then I handed it off to Brad.

Brad has some really great paper skills.  He sat down and figured this head out, then worked with craft foam sheets to make it more permanent.  I can’t say enough about those craft foam sheets.  I am sure they are some sort of environmental nightmare, but man, they work great!  You can glue gun them together and they sort of melt in the heat which can create a super clean bond (if you work fast and carefully and keep your mess on the inside of your object).  Here is the shark:

She looks a little pope-like from the front.

Brad made himself a star fish.  I was pretty impressed with his sewing skills, especially the care he put into making a pocket on his belly for candy (or his hands I guess),  but he was saddened by people’s guesses.  After a couple people asking if you are a banana or a penis, you would feel sad too.  (For the record honey, I don’t think you look at ALL like a penis.  I really don’t look at you and think “penis”….hardly ever.  Really.)

After all these costumes were done, I sort of threw mine together in less than 15 minutes.  I had wanted to be a creepy doll, but the execution on that one was sort of flawed.  I need to invest in one of those expensive theater make up sets, like the ones I remembered from high school.  Instead I had this greasy stuff from Goodwill.  It ran off my face in about 5 minutes and then I just looked like a Juggalo in a cute dress.  Anne joined us as a beautiful unicorn pony in a tutu (she found everything in our costume box—way to fit into a costume made for a 7 year old, Anne!).  Here is the group photo: