Halloween is just around the corner friends. Have you dreamed up a costume fit for the day? I have a lot of nostalgic feelings about this holiday (you probably do too). I was a true 80's child, being born the last month of '79. Halloween in the 80's was still mostly a homemade affair. Although flimsy plastic masks and smocks emulating monsters and licensed characters had become available by then, I'm thankful that my parents always made sure we had fun handmade costumes. I remember being a clown in a billowy onesie with big orange dots, yarn pom pom buttons and face paint, a princess in a shimmering green gown and henin (cone hat with veil), an old granny with a hunchback, pillowy bosoms and a babushka, Punky Brewster, A traffic light, a bunch of big purple balloon grapes, a silvery space girl, and a green Wicked Witch of the West. I was funny, silly, serious, ugly and sometimes fabulous. It was all about not being me that one day of the year. My mom worked her way through each Simplicity pattern with determination, even though it was the only time I remember her touching the sewing machine. That's love.
The art of the handmade costume has fallen away from Halloween. Yes, sometimes (especially evident in black and white photos like the ones below) they turned out very creepy. But, isn't that surreal magic missing from October 31st nowadays? The ease of well made, inexpensive store bought costumes and the commercialization of an ancient holiday has taken it's toll. It makes me so sad thinking about another year of sexy versions of every possible costume and a proliferation of internet meme/fad joke costumes. Will someone just PLEASE dress up as a giant can-canning eyeball? Where are the children creeping the streets with skull faces and broken baseball bats? (Ok that one is really too much). Where is the mystery, the veil lifting, creeping magic of the evening? Where are the gnarly red jack-o-lanterns and bobbing for apples? Convenience and a lack of imagination have stolen it from us. Bring back Halloween. Every little weird bit of it.