[Scene: At a kids’ consignment store in Berkeley]
Jen: If you want Carys to be dressed up for Halloween, you’d better go and check out the rack of costumes over there.
Alvin: What are you talking about? We can’t buy a costume! You’re going to make her a costume. Besides, you have to do it so you can put it on the blog.
~sigh~ Six posts in, and this blog is already being used as a weapon against me.
I don’t “do” fake holidays. I’m looking at you, Valentine’s Day. This caused quite a predicament for Alvin the first year we were dating, as I told him not to buy me flowers. He didn’t know if this was one of those things where the girl says she doesn’t want flowers but actually she really does and if he didn’t buy any then he’d be in deep shit by the end of the day. (He didn’t buy flowers, and he was thanked for it.)
I’ve never dressed myself or anyone else up for Halloween. I’ve actually never been trick or treating. (I do celebrate Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th whenever I can, but that’s just because bonfires are cool.) So I didn’t have much of a baseline to start from. How does one decide what to dress their kid up as for Halloween? I thought about things Carys is interested in. A friend of ours once dressed as a spatula for Halloween, and Carys does like spatulas. But that’s already been done.
Birds were the next idea that floated to the top. ‘Bird’ was actually her first sign. We started signing to her when she was about six months old, focusing on ‘milk’ and ‘potty’ and ‘more’ – you know, things that might actually be useful for her to communicate – and added ‘bird’ because she would so often notice the blue jays that frequent our back yard. We were out in the garden one day when she was about a year old (so we’d been signing to her for SIX MONTHS by then) and we both heard a blue jay’s squawk; her eyes followed the noise and she sort of absent-mindedly made the bird sign with her left hand. I wasn’t even 100% sure she was doing it, but later that night she was on the couch underneath the open skylight and we heard another blue jay, and she did it again – this time Alvin saw her as well. Now she signs whenever she hears them, which is very often.
So I did some looking around and found these images as inspiration and this handy tutorial. I wanted to have a patterned base fabric so I picked that out first, and then added the modern prints and solids in complementary colors. After a couple of days of being surrounded by ‘feathers’ we now have an almost complete set of wings – just need to sew some hair ties on the corners to slip over Carys’ wrists. I’ll post pictures of the overall effect after Halloween; in the meantime, don’t forget the holiday is coming up and perhaps you could make a costume this year?