It’s nearly Halloween!
If you’re like me, and you’re horrible at decorating for anything but Christmas (I mean if you put a bunch of stuff UP, you have to take it DOWN, right??), I thought I’d share with you a couple of my easier Halloween projects that don’t take a lot of work, or effort, or even skill for that matter, but projects that still make Halloween fun, and make you ALMOST feel pretty Martha-Stewarty. …Almost.
First up: PUMPKIN PAINTING
I don’t know if I’ve told you before, but Texas is HOT. I don’t know how people can carve up a pumpkin without it turning all moldy & mushy before Halloween night (that’d certainly keep any trick or treaters away, if that’s what you’re going for, I guess), but painting is just as fun and creative with just about HALF the mess!
Since my sister’s young adult-kid is visiting, we all picked pumpkins and painted them. Now, I’ve seen the amazing things people can do with pumpkin carving and pumpkin painting, and in my mind, I can do a super cool thing too, but when it just came down to it, I went with the “ain’t nobody got time f’that” approach, and just made a big goofy face. Myla did the two on the left (I believe it is a golduck and a psyduck from Pokemon–of course). Maylin did a skull, and mine’s the giant big goof-face. BOOM. Happy Halloween.
Next up: DECORATING COOKIES
If there’s one sort of cooking I CAN do, it’s baking….especially when most of it comes from a box, and all you have to do is add butter and milk. The fun part was just getting out all the sprinkles and eye candies and decorative icing-tools and just letting everyone go wild. BAM! You just Halloween’ed.
Alright, admittedly, this isn’t very spooky, but hey–it was fun (especially since Texas’ version of autumn is for the wind to blow a little so you might have to put on long sleeves). Granted, you could chalk something spookier than we did. I drew a cute decorative little moth, and then realized that wasn’t really very Halloweeny, so I tried to spook it up by adding (and labeling, in case you couldn’t identify it) a “GHOST BAT.” Myla did Slappy the flying squirrel (because: Animaniacs), and Maylin drew aliens and stuff. But yeah, spooky stuff would work, too.
And oh yeah: DECORATIONS.
This one I’m not so great at. I put a store-bought plastic sheet on the door that says “Happy Halloween,” and we got a giant spiderweb with a cute big black spider. That’s about it. Myla loved it. But that’s about all we did outside because did I mention you have to take DOWN the stuff at some point??
So my friend asked me what Myla’s going to be for Halloween, and it made me nostalgic for some of her older costumes. Like the time she was madly in love with C3PO, and the store costumes were lame, so I made her one, cosplay-style (I blogged about it here) which I think turned out SO COOL….and I threw together a quick sugar-skull Vader (because why have a Vader, when you can have a sugar-skull Vader?).
Last year, she was Nightcrawler (not that Jake Gyllenhaal movie about a serial killer), the teenage version from the cartoon X-men: Evolution, which she discovered at superhero summer camp. I made her little blue ears with hairclips in them (although she decided later that the wig was “too itchy.” I made 3-fingered gloves (she insisted on that, and thought it was so awesome). I made a tail to pin onto her black leotard, and a simple belt. The shoes were the hardest, as they were supposed to look like they had two toes (like one has, if one is a mutant).
Anyway, here’s what he looks like in the cartoon:
So THIS YEAR, she has decided to be James, from Pokemon’s Team Rocket. He cracks her up. She even knows the whole motto (say it with me: “To protect the world from devastation…to unite all peoples within our nation” –what, no takers? Just me? Hello?)
Here they are, from the cartoon (James is the one on the left):
See that little cat? That’s Meowth, the other part of their team. And to help better identify her as James, I whipped up a quick little Meowth doll for her to carry with her:
He was super simple, easy to whip up. Basically just a front-and-back pillow with appendages. I painted on everything. So if she carries him around, it might make a little more sense who she is….although I’m very aware of the fact that Pokemon was in its prime like 20 years ago. Still, you’d be surprised at how many of her school friends know EXACTLY what she’s talking about when she talks about Poke-stuff (which is quite often).
The funny thing is, she asked me if I’d be Jessie. Yes, Jessie from Team Rocket. Have you seen her? I’ll give you a minute while you scroll back up to look at that picture again. She’s the one on the right. Go ahead, I’ll wait….
…Okay, RIGHT?? Sorry, kid, I’m not exposing my midriff, I have NEVER worn a mini skirt, and my legs just don’t do…THAT. And the hair?? I have looked at what the cosplayers do, and again: ain’t nobody got time f’that.
BUT WAIT! I came up with a solution: I got a white t-shirt, painted a big R on it. I have black leggings, black boots, black gloves. As for the hair, I got a red Bettie Page-style ‘do, which will have to do. I’ll be “retro Jessie!”
In any case, it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t care about authenticity. She cares about fun. She doesn’t care if I make homemade cookies from scratch, or if I just add water. What she cares about is having fun together. She won’t remember that we never actually CARVED a pumpkin…she’ll remember that we had fun painting them. Kids don’t always know what they DON’T have unless you make them aware of your shortcomings. Just go with it! Have fun, and make some awesome memories. Even little efforts can make the long-lasting, forever-kind of memories.
And hey–if all else fails, and you haven’t got a costume, grab some eyeliner, and turn yourself into a sugar skull.
BOOM! You just Halloween’ed AGAIN! Easy peasy.
So get out there and have a good one! We’re doing a lot of our Halloween fun stuff this weekend, as I’ll be in Austin for Wizard World on the 30th and 31st. Myla will be there on Saturday. If you’re there, come see me–I’m giving out free stickers to kids on Saturday, so come & say hello!!