Tag Archives: Day of the Dead

Have you seen it?

Have you seen the ghost of Tom?

Long white bones with the rest all gone.

Oooooh, ooh ooh oooh ooh ooh….

Wouldn’t it be chilly with no skin on?

Happy Hallowe’en, Dia de los Muertos, Samhain, All Soul’s Day, Toussaint…

Calavera clip art by Lee Hansen Graphics.
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Filed under Crafting, Family, holidays, Nature tables

The Mother of Invention

Seems like it’s been a loooooo-oooong week. Anthropapa was out of town for a few days, and then when he returned the kids promptly got sick. SillyBilly’s been on his nebulizer again, and he couldn’t go to his school’s Hallowe’en fair. As a result, I did not make and therefore do not have pictures of the red-tailed hawk costume that he commissioned and I designed in my head.

Now Napoleona is sick, with a wicked cough and, tonight, a fever that sent her to bed at 6 pm.

While SillyBilly had to stay home from school so I could monitor him, he wasn’t so sick that he had to stay in bed. So, what to occupy a six-year-old who can’t go outside to play?

Papercrafts, of course.

First, he declared he wanted to make a book. He’s done a few in the past, but was a bit unclear on the concept: he’d draw some pictures, then staple them together in the middle, making it impossible to see what he’d drawn.

So, this time I convinced him of the need for advance planning. I explained that we could staple the sides of some paper together, or sew them up like a real book. Guess which one he chose?

SillyBilly chose a bunch of construction paper colors, and I showed him how to measure along the side and make pencil marks so that the holes would line up. This proved beyond him, so I did the marks and he punched the holes. We did the sewing together. Then the book needed a spine. Out came the ruler again, and he cut out the appropriate shape and we taped it on:

Then I advised him that it might be good to plan out where the words and pictures will go, and to make a light mark to divide the pages. I showed him the various illustrations in our Complete Beatrix Potter book, where some have square borders while others blend into rounded shapes with no lines. Also we looked at the different layouts: half image, half text; several small images here and there; and so on.

He decided this will be an “encyclopedia of cars” and began doing some drawings, but then he pooped out. We’ll see where he goes from here.

Later that day we decided our house needed some holiday sprucing up. So, out came the construction paper yet again.

SillyBilly and his sister have been drawing lots of spooky scenes lately, positively littered with ghosts, mummies, and haunted houses. We don’t especially emphasize the scary part of this holiday, but they seem to have a natural fascination.

And I mentioned to him that every Hallowe’en, Nana still hangs up a spider ornament I made when I was a girl. Since we didn’t have the materials to make that craft (though we do now — don’t worry Nana, I’ll be sure to post pictures!), we decided to make flat paper spiders. It snowballed from there:

SillyBilly made the spiders and ghosts, I made the jack-o-lanterns and the haunted house.

The ghosts bear some resemblance to one Muppet or another:

While the spiders are just happy to be here:

What’s next? Well, we were talking about Dia de los Muertos, so I think we’ll be making some tissue paper marigolds and possibly some paper calaca masks or clay calaveras. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of honoring our ancestors on this day, something shared by both the Mexican culture and the pagan/Wiccan religion (where it is known as samhain). I may just clear away our autumn nature table and put up some pictures of loved ones instead.

And maybe I’ll get around to that red-tailed hawk costume, too.

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Filed under Crafting, Health, holidays, Napoleona, Nature tables, Parenting, SillyBilly