Halloween Costumes

The kids were ridiculously inspired this year for Halloween. They all had specific ideas, we went to the Goodwill for some basic items, and to JoAnn fabrics for what I needed to sew. There are no pictures of this project, mostly, because I EITHER have time to do sewing or time to take pictures of it, but I thought you might like the results, with a few short descriptions of the content.

Rapunzel, from Tangled Youngest one wanted a Rapunzel dress. I took an adult purple dress from Goodwill (still with tags on) folded the top down inside. Put a panel of brocade up the front, ran elastic around the waist, Bingo, Finished skirt.The top is a little more complicated, because I make bodices for Ren Faires and ballet tutus. I made a large brocade vest, attached ribbon loops to midpoint up the front to create the crossed ties, but they work. Puffed sleeves at the top, with purple ribbon for the stripes. Found JUST the matching embroidered ribbon for where the sleeves meet the undersleeve, which is just a tube of gauze.

Her finishing items are a beanbag lizard sewed onto a ribbon to represent Pascal (worn as a bracelet) and a styrofoam and duct-tape frying pan, with some little silk flowers in her braid.

Since this isn’t at ALL suitable for the weather we’ve got, she also has a velvet cape. Yes, we have spare velvet capes in the attic. Yes, I’ll blame that on being a costumer. :p

A Sith Lord... he has his own story God bless those Star Wars designers. 30 years of Halloween costumes based on robes, and counting. This one is wearing warm turtleneck and pants, covered by a robe made of black fleece, with a hood that turns into a cape. Without Force Push, hard to fight in a hood. It's held closed by a belt. When fancy belts are in, I wait for season change and pick them up on clearance, for just such occasions.He elected to wear his fingerless gloves, but might consider fingers, for Trick or Treating tonight

A Yeti. I said, creative.This costume is suitable for the weather. He's wearing long white underwear as a first layer, and this costume made of fake fur. The costume was a piece of fabric folded double at the top, with a hole cut in the middle. seamed up the sides to slightly over waist high. He goes in through that side gap. The sleeves are just tubes of fur attached to gloves from the dollar store. The head was built over a bucket from the dollar store, padded on top with a towel, for height. Inside it has a band of elastic for the top of his head, and a chin strap. The face screen is the gauze of his sister's sleeves, dyed pink.It's not attached at the bottom, so he can eat in it. The teeth are cardboard.

A Russian Spy

This all started with the boots, which we bought on mad sale and she had nowhere to wear. Turtleneck and leggings, from stock, coat, purse and belt from Goodwill, hat from the attic. Ridiculous eyelashes, bought after LAST Halloween.

She was like 11 feet tall, but warm. James Bond, watch out.

Harry Potter, of course.

Never be afraid to exploit a resemblance. Glasses, scar, wand, check. 😀

The Weasley parents

Of course, movie stars need no costume. 😉

Happy Halloween.


September 11th, 2001, remembered

I had a job on September 11th.

If you are an actor (or otherwise employed in the arts), you know that “having a job” means anything from “rehearsals start soon” to “under contract for a number of years” and the hours and renumeration vary accordingly.

In this case, we were already in rehearsal for a long-running show called “Lafferty’s Wake” at a small venue (The Society Hill Playhouse) in Philadelphia. It was a good show, and a good job. Humorous interaction with the audience, which was all around us in a pub setting. Several of us were joining the cast, and I was pretty darned excited to be once again employed in my field, despite a high level of concern about leaving my husband 4 nights a week with our 4 kids.

But that happens at night, mostly. During the day I was homeschooling, cooking, doing laundry, and the many other activities associated with my main job, trying to get a family raised to be happy, contributing, members of their society.

I was also moderating a parenting bulletin board. That’s how I saw the first plane hit. We went from potty training to news, and I ran for the TV. Called my husband at work. Saw the towers fall.

My sister had a job on September 11th.

This is a picture of my sister.

I love my sister, circa 1964

Niagara Falls trip, early '80's












This is another one.





On September 11th, 2001, my sister’s job was in transition. She was being made a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. Her ceremony was planned for September 14th, in Washington DC, where she worked.

Since my sister joined the Navy, shortly after college, I have been impressed by Naval ceremonies. They have a personality and warmth that I wasn’t expecting. People bring their families and mostly sit in rows without rank, and they’re well… just warm, fuzzy, (albeit inspiring) things (particularly considering they feature a lot of authoritative, short-haired, mostly men, who I know perfectly well could snap me like a twig, if they wanted to). And I was wildly excited and proud about this Chief Petty Officer thing. Chiefs are special. MY sister made Chief. Because she’s always been totally amazing and badass.



Because instead of being in the Pentagon when the plane hit, as she would have been, she was engaged in some sort of pre-Chief hazing activity that involved caddying for senior Chiefs on a golf-course, that day. She was on a golf-course. Phones were down, took a while to find out.

She spent the weeks following at the site, as they looked for survivors, and entering data as her friends were identified by their DNA. Her clearance was high enough to do that.

And that’s what, from a purely personal and selfish point of view, we must call ‘lucky.’

This is another picture of my sister, at a beautiful family wedding, last night.

My sister Alex, and her husband, Mike (USAF ret)

Our fabulous Adam and Nina

Here’s the bride and groom, who were teenagers 10 years ago. It was a totally AWESOME wedding, which deserves its own post.

My sister will retire, next month, at the rank of Lieutenant. I look forward to the ceremony.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night. -Irish Blessing