This Green Faced Witch and this Queen Elsa (who’s really Harriet) would like you wish you a very Happy Halloween!
Here’s that Green Faced Witch looking extra spooky with a mean face and a real, decorative broom. I made her dress using a pattern for the Wizard of Oz wicked witch. I really wanted her to have an old-fashioned looking dress, and this pattern was perfect! The spider web fabric makes it extra spooky and extra fun!
But she doesn’t want you to be too scared. She’ll rip off her hat and say, “It’s me! It’s Alma!” in case you look too spooked by her green face.
There was no question that Harriet wanted to be Queen Elsa for Halloween. She’s pretty obsessed, and this hand-me-down from my cousin’s daughter was perfect! She’s quick to point out that she’s ‘Just Harriet” if you call her Queen Elsa. She doesn’t want there to be any confusion.
Here she is freezing everything, but not really since she’s not really Queen Elsa, she’s just Harriet:
Now let’s just hope for a dry evening so we can get some good trick or treating in!
The title says it all. Halloween was rainy. It didn’t stop us, though! We headed out with Jane, Rory, Poppy, and Rachel.
This was the third year we’ve spent Halloween with this crew. I hope we it was the third out of infinity. It will be fun when we go trick or treating with Rory’s kids (because obviously he will marry one of our girls and Rory’s kids will, in turn, be our grandchildren… anyway…).
Before we went trick or treating Alma said to Rachel, “We will go trick or treating, then we will come home and Mommy will take a picture of you tickling Harriet.” This girl has such an amazing memory. It blows my mind sometimes. I mean, maybe she had recently seen this photo from three years ago:
Or this photo from two years ago:
But we certainly hadn’t talked about how Rachel loves to recreate this photo. I love seeing how Alma’s and Harriet’s minds work and grow and learn.
So, we had Rachel over for dinner, then we grabbing umbrellas, boots and glowsticks and were out for about an hour. We were soaked. We had buckets full of candy. It was great.
We came home and warmed up.
And, of course, Rachel tickled Harriet:
The one thing I didn’t realize is that in the first two photos, you can see Alma’s little feet walking in the corner of the frame. We’ll have to make sure to include that in future years.
The end of October brings two things: Halloween and November. First things first, let’s get to Halloween. It was Alma and Harriet’s first time carving pumpkins this year. I have to admit it went much better than I expected! The promise of cinnamon rolls probably helped.
This year my girls are Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf. I made Alma’s dress using the same Shwin and Shwin pattern I’ve used before (here and here and here) for my base, but really altered it. I made a circle skirt and added a petticoat layer. The dress is so fun and twirly. I also did snaps instead of buttons or a zipper. Snaps are my jam these days.
For the cape and hood, I used Oliver + S’s pattern from their Little Things to Sew book. I used a cozy flannel for both the dress and the lining of the cape. The outside of the cape is red velvet because it doesn’t get more Little Red Riding Hood than red velvet.
Harriet’s costume is a little more thrown together. I made the hat with wolf ears (that sort of looks like Yoda ears) using a pattern from the same Oliver+S book. It’s made out of flannel, with a plaid flannel lining. The vest is borrowed from Harriet’s friend Elsa. The makeup is by me and my eyeliner pencil. The tail is just a bunch of yarn I combed and pinned to her pants. She loves growling these days, so a wolf is kind of perfect. Today they got to wear their costumes to school. Hopefully they come home with all the parts and pieces.
So, next up is November! My favorite because we get to anticipate the anticipatory season on Advent, which is my favorite! It’s kind of like how Thursday is fun because you know Friday is coming up.
I’ve been doing the #30daysofgratitude project on Instagram for at least 3 years. I love being mindfully grateful (as evidenced by 2014 and my 365 days of gratitude). During my year of gratitude, I would write down one thing each day – one word only. This November project is more fun because it can be a full sentence, a story, or a word – in addition to the photo.
The thing about these hashtag projects is that they are much more fun when friends play along (thanks for joining me with my #93summerdays, Meredith!), so please join me this year! I know I’ll be joined with hundreds or thousands of strangers, but it’s fun to have friends and readers play along, too. I’ll be using the tried and true #30daysofgratitude hashtag, but I think I’ll add #30daysofgratitudeATT (for And Then They), just to keep things separate.
If you want to practice gratitude next month, please use both #30daysofgratitude and #30daysofgratitudeATT, so I’m sure to see your posts. Also, share your Instagram name in the comments, or comment on my posts so I can follow you! (Mine is carolynfwilliams)
Happy Halloween, and thanks for reading! I’m grateful for YOU!
I love Halloween. Actually I love all holidays. But any holiday that has magic is the very best. On Halloween, you can be whatever you want. You get to run around your neighborhood and people give you candy. What’s better than that?
When I was little I had a few favorite costumes: Raggedy Ann, Princess Tiger Lily, an orchestra conductor, random ballerina. I remember the anticipation on Halloween afternoon, as we waited for my dad to come home and have dinner. For some reason, scrambled eggs stand out in my memory as our typical Halloween dinner, but so does chili. We had a huge blow-up gorilla that we put in our entryway. I think my dad got it from his work – apparently it was some sort of advertisement or something. My dad would stay home to hand out candy – he had a really scary mask. He would always keep track of all the trick-or-treaters. It was always over 100. My memories of trick-or-treating usually involved rain and a jacket covering up our costumes. We had a great neighborhood and would see lots of friends while we were out. My brother and I would always sort out all our candy and then stage a very complicated bartering session to ensure that we each ended up with desirable candies.
As a college student, I once went to a party as Girls Gone Wild. We made our T-Shirts, then when we lifted them up, we had a big black box censoring everything out. We thought it was pretty clever.
Before we had kids, Jesse and I would watch a scary movie or play a game and hand out candy. I think the most trick-or-treaters we ever had was around a dozen.
The past two Halloweens, we’ve trick-or-treated around our neighborhood with Rach, Rory and Rory’s parents. There was still rain involved. The thing I love about trick-or-treating in our own neighborhood is that we get to chat with our neighbors. They are the people we only see on Halloween, and it makes it feel like we are part of a community. There is one little old lady who is always watching TV, and she slowly makes her way to the door with perfectly parceled baggies, tied with a curly ribbon. I just imagine her preparing for this night and it’s just the sweetest thing ever.
I’m excited for this year because we have a family costume planned (I’ll share more about this later this week) and Harriet will be much more into the whole thing.
The following is a blog post I wrote in October 2007, while a Peace Corps volunteer in Azerbaijan. The photo captions are new, added by me today. Because I wanted to.
We had our first experience with patience in Azerbaijan last week. Last Friday (the 26th) we spent hours and hours at Mike’s apartment helping him and his girlfriend Kate prepare for a Halloween party to be thrown the next day at School 3. It was really fun getting ready; we got to eat Kate’s spaghetti and Mike’s M&M cookies. We were making decorations, carving pumpkins, planning games and baking cookies until about 11pm. The next morning we went back to Mike’s to finish getting ready. Cindy and Bev came over and helped me peel grapes. Not an easy task. We hailed 2 cabs, loaded everything into them, and drove through rainy Mingechevir to School 3.
When we got there, Sevil, the teacher Kate knows at School 3 was talking to the director. We took everything back to the auditorium to set up. Sevil came back and told us we had to see the director. She informed us that it would be impossible for us to have the party that day. (This would have been no big deal to us, except that we gave up going to the Nar Festival to throw this party!! I was really looking forward to the Nar Fest; apparently last year they had a nar that weighed 2 kilos or something… that’s a big nar!) We planned to do the party on Monday morning. We learned we must be patient and learned that as Mike says, “The more you plan something, the more likely it will fall through.” Such is life in Peace Corps, at least in Azerbaijan.
On Monday we walked (again in the rain) back to School 3. We set everything up and about 30 kids came. Everything went really well! Jesse ran the pumpkin carving station, I helped out with the mask making, Mike led the gross out table (goo, peeled grapes, spaghetti, severed hot dog fingers), Kate played pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern. When all the kids had done every station, we had a pumpkin walk. All the kids got cookies and the winner got one of the carved jack-o-lanterns.
I was really impressed with the group of kids we had. We were told that creativity isn’t really encouraged in schools, but these kids were very creative! Some of the masks they made were amazing and artistic! They did a great job making unique jack-o-lanterns – one even had a moustache and uni-brow. Appropriate.
It was really neat to be part of a Peace Corps project! Even though it wasn’t our project and Kate isn’t even in Peace Corps (she lives in Ganja and is working on her masters degree), it was still good to see how parties work and it was fun to be involved in it.