Last week I fell behind on my blog… I was at a quilt “retreat” with a dozen good friends. We stay at a nicely appointed educational center with accommodation for conferences and summer camp, situated adjacent to a conservation area on the Grand River. Imagine us, each at our own huge table, surrounded by fabrics and tools, sewing machines whirring away, exchanging patterns and ideas… and good talk… while anticipating the next catered meal. I organized the first retreat over ten years ago, and we now have five groups meeting annually. Doing what we like best with friends who share a passion for craft, creativity and beautiful fiber! It doesn’t get much better.
Here are quick links for my Hallowe’en blogs from last year. I had fun rereading them, and hope you do also. Click on the title to open the whole blog.
I will have another new blog tomorrow.
Trick or Treat
Hallowe’en is not a holiday I enjoy. The garish displays of costumes, makeup, home decor items, and candies make me want to stay out of the stores until it is over. In the dollar stores there are realistically gruesome replicas of severed limbs… adult or child size. You can buy plastic glasses shaped like skulls, stage makeup for fake wounds, wigs and rubber masks. I passed an apartment building yesterday that had a Christmas tree in the lobby entrance… decorated for Hallowe’en. Now THAT is scary!
The Witches’ Sabbath, by Arthur Rackham
Witches are a staple of cheap Hallowe’en imagery and a popular costume. Searching Google Images for “witches in art and illustration” returned about 206,000,000 results (0.65 seconds) I find much of this very sad. Perhaps I have just read too much and thought too much about the persecution and execution of women to be amused by smiling little girls knocking on my door wearing pointy hats.
The topic is far too complicated to be dealt with here. But let me share a few of my ideas.
Yes, we can find everything we ever needed or wanted to know about vampires by reading Wikipedia. But why stop there? Vampires have been rehabilitated… they are no longer the repulsive predators of horror and myth. Let’s revisit the topic with more up-to-date examples from page and screen.
Why We Love Vampires: The Psychology Behind the Obsession by Dr. Belisa Vranich opens with the statement: “Charming, elegant, and downright sexy, vampires have been the monster-of-choice for… well, ever. In looking at the psychology of vampires, these are the top ten reasons they are so fascinating.”
Her ten reasons are persuasive, and she concludes: “Vampires are the archetype of bad, bad boys… the sexy monster of all time continues to be the vampire… the quintessential bad boy who reeks of danger, and is very, very naughty.”
Dressing up for Hallowe’en used to be a much simpler option… old clothes, empty cartons and toilet paper rolls, mop wigs, a few craft supplies, a few accessories. These came out of the attic “tickle box” and were used for rainy day role-playing and improvs year round. There was certainly no money for buying a costume; home-made ones got passed down, and dance class or skating costumes were recycled until they were rags.
Decorating the house was not an option, even with a pumpkin, and the cost of hand-out candy came out of the weekly food budget.