Autumn is no doubt one of the best times of year. There are crafts with the kids, making leaf piles and jumping in, corn mazes, carving pumpkins, and hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. Then there’s the making fun goodies for the class fall parties and the hunt for costumes for that deliciously fun holiday, Halloween. All of my such wonderful memories are very well preserved and documented in scrapbooks that are now gathering dust.
My two wonderful daughters with whom all these memories were made are now 18 and 22- one in college and the other getting married in a couple of months. Interestingly, even though they don’t thumb through the old scrapbooks, they remember in detail each costume they wore and the process of coming to the decision of what they wanted to be for Halloween that year. And I remember taking their vision and creating a costume on a shoestring budget. Not only did I not have the funds for a store bought costume, but the internet was in its infancy and there certainly wasn’t any Pinterest, so creating a costume meant delving deep into my limited creativity.
One year that stands out in my memory was the year that my eldest was really into Egyptian history. She was 7 and loved anything to do with Egypt. A mummy was too generic for her and not glamorous enough. She wanted to be Cleopatra. How was I, a very novice seamstress going to accomplish this feat? And I still had another daughter who needed a costume and my funds were limited. This became the year of the tissue gold lamé.
My eldest had a very clear vision of her Cleopatra: lots of bling, a headpiece worthy of an Egyptian princess and a full length gown. The fabric, rick-rack, white felt and plastic “jewels” were all purchased with coupons from the local craft store and the headpiece was made from strings of gold beads from our Christmas decorations. A few straight seams were sewn and my dear friend, the hot glue gun was used for the rest. Because of my inability to follow a pattern correctly, I had plenty of leftover fabric. Perfect. I had one more costume to create. My creative juices were really starting to flow and the idea for my youngest daughter’s costume was born. I just needed to sell it to my three year old.
“Don’t you just love Hershey’s kisses?” I asked my daughter. She replied yes with a big smile. “How would you like to be one for Halloween?” I asked. Her smile left her cherubic face and she said she wanted to be something fancy like her sister. We started to corroborate and I threw some fancy white gloves and sparkly gold shoes from Target (they could be worn with her Christmas dress, too!) into the mix and she was fully on board. She became the perfect little Hershey’s Almond Kiss.
A couple weeks ago I was putting out the fall decorations and came across the box of old costumes. Inside I found the remnants of Cleopatra and the Kiss. I also found the others that we created-the Marie Antoinette costume that turned out looking like a French Maid’s outfit; the Dorothy outfit with the ruby red slippers made from old tennis shoes, acrylic paint and glitter; the Scarlett O’Hara costume that really looked like it was made from Tara’s green drapes; the Rapunzel’s wig that I braided from yellow yarn…and so many more. As I touched them, a flood of very happy memories came back and I yearned for those simple times.
I realize that my costumes certainly would have not have won any costume awards. I doubt they would have even been “pin worthy” on a Pinterest board today. But my daughters thought they were works of art. And that’s all that mattered.