Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mini skeletons for Halloween

I love Autumn with its cool crisp air, and many celebrations.  First comes the state fair in September and all the outdoor farmers' markets are roasting chiles. 

Then late in September the sky is filled with hot air balloons as the pilots practice for the Balloon Fiesta held in early October.  This year it was estimated that over 700,000 people flocked to Albuquerque to see the 550 colorful shapes highlighted against the state's stunning blue skies.  As you might imagine, the folks who live here are just a little smug about so many days of high spirits...for who can see a sky full of balloons without breaking out in a silly grin?

Then a three day holiday for Columbus Day and finally the much anticipated orgy of candy and costumes.

I adored Halloween as a child.  Loved the dressing up, loved the candy, even loved (just a little) being scared.  I have been madly pinning great decorations on Pinterest, but I honestly don't think I will get around to doing most of them.  We live in an isolated location with several miles of challenging dirt roads before you arrive at my house, so it has to be an occasion for my friends to visit.

So I sublimate my desire to go all out with holiday decorations by creating miniatures...

Miniature Vignette made for Honedukes last year.

 and by decorating the tables for our ministry to our older congregants at St. Mark's, called "Celebrities."  Here are the tables (for some reason I just hate that new word, "tablescape" used by all the professional decorators...kind of reminds me of the paper mache' mountains I made for geography class) that I decorated for the October gathering.
I picked up these little skeletons from the Dollar Store.  If you heat them a bit, you can bend them into the shapes you want.  For a tutorial, click here.

Or you can dress them...
Image and  tutorial via
Image and tutorial via
Or turn then into little trophies if you are holding a costume contest.

This year I played around with creating a miniature vignette for the Dia De Los Muertos ofrenda that we construct every year at St. Mark's for All Saints Day.
This photo box that I purchased from Michael's will be the backdrop for the scene. 

 In the Dia De Los Muertos tradition, families take a picnic to the graveyard to spend the day with their departed loved ones, so I found some spooky images of graveyards online to line the box.  Next up was posing the little skeletons.  I decided on a mariachi band and began.

To be honest, I had a little trouble with the bending part.  Thinking it would be easier to dress her, I cut the arms off of the female figure and had to re-glue them onto the body.  I do not recommend this technique!  Since I had already dressed the body, I had to keep trying different glues to re-attach the arms.  Finally resorted to a hot glue gun which is holding.

Like many of my projects, I  wondered "WHAT WAS I THINKING!" several times before I finished this one.  But complete it I did and here are some photos...
Calavera Fiesta

Tiny sugar skull and bone cookies on the piano

Taking a break
The guitar player is wearing tiny leather pants that I sewed from some scraps that my friend and fellow artist, Vicki Nowark, shared with me.  Just had to add the clock to reinforce the "Time Theme."
Blowing his horn made from a tiny little decorative pin that was my grandmothers.  I left the pin back on it so that it can be removed and worn someday by granddaughters.

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