Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Parade

We are grateful for creativity.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

Scoot had a pretty specific vision for his costume this year.  He wanted to be a Dedicated Asha'man, a magical warrior from Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series.  With some extra time on his hands this term, he has been speeding through the books (he's currently on #10 of 14), and knows them well.  I haven't read any of them.  Scoot showed me the type of coat he wanted here.  Naturally, I thought the price was a bit steep for a Halloween costume, so I offered to make him one.  Maybe I shouldn't have.  The materials cost nearly that much (thank goodness for coupons), and I didn't have a commercial pattern to work with. But I plunged in.  I drew out one of those tiny Lutterloh patterns for a women's coat with a tall collar and a zipper, and straightened it out to make it more manly.  I had the sense to cut out the flannel lining pieces first and baste them together for fitting.  Good thing--I had to put more curves back in for my skinny boy.  He said he wanted it to be warm and that he'd wear it on other occasions.  So I quilted some batting onto the flannel, added pockets, and cut the outer pieces from a wool blend.  And it came together pretty well.  It is definitely warm, and poofier than intended--I should have used a more compact batting.  I also should have done the button flap differently, but I made it work. 
The buttons themselves I liberated from some old marching band uniforms in my charge.  We bought the officially licensed pins.  The coat was too warm for Scoot to wear to the Halloween dance, and he was doing his duty at the football game during the trunk-or-treat.  But he wore it for the piano recital (where one of the adult students recognized his outfit right away) and for trick-or-treating, and he looked quite dashing.
Rollo's inspiration was also literary.  This is his look for Obliteration, a supervillain from Brandon Sanderson's Reckoners series.  I haven't read this, either, but apparently the various empowered people don't go in for capes and spandex.  So Rollo wore Dandelionslayer's trench coat, the one that the Caterpillar wore every day for a couple of years.  I'd already thought it when someone else suggested, "So he dressed up like his brother?"  When I mentioned it to both boys, they laughed, so I guess they didn't mind that.  Rollo did try to increase his villainous image by carrying a machete for trick-or-treating.  It would just have gotten in the way at the piano recital.
D2 felt more cinematic, and decided to be a Sith.  He's wanted his own cloak for a while now.  But he was quite willing to wear Rollo's once he realized it fit.  I'm glad--Scoot's coat wore me out.  He added some detail with the orange scarves.  I'm not sure what he had in mind, but they remind me of his safety patrol outfit.  He loves to play with those scarves. 
D2 also persuaded me to buy him a skeleton, once it was on clearance.  His enthusiasm at the store was contagious, and made a few people smile.  His vision was to equip it with a black cloak and scythe.  Once he brought it home, though, he found the plaid robe and fuzzy pink slipper more accessible and just as acceptable.  He's had a lot of fun posing the skeleton, including setting it up in front of the webcam for our weekly chat with the Caterpillar.
The Caterpillar himself dressed up as a cyborg for a couple of Halloween parties out there at college.  Look at that robot hand.  The Six Million Dollar Man on a thrift store budget.  Awesome. 

It's so fun to be creative for Halloween!