Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween 2012: Part One

It started out innocently enough, like most Halloweens do: an idea, and a few cans of spray paint and some faux fur.

No? This isn't how your Halloweens begin? Well ours typically do.

We recently bought a new movie to watch for family movie night, Horton Hears a Who. If you've seen it you know JoJo...if you haven't, please meet JoJo. 

The underdog of the movie, the Mayor of Whoville's eldest son of 96 girls... JoJo. It was all JoJo all week, Peter was in love. When I tried to confirm costumes to order or make for the boys with time for transit or a few nights to construct, Pete blurted out, "JoJo!" When I asked him why, he responded confidently, "because JoJo saves the day!" 

What kind of mother could say no to that? wait, I said yes, after suggesting every other conceivable dinosaur or action figure I could imagine.  

Sadly like Max from Where the Wild Things Are, dinosaurs, elephants and ninjas, there is no JoJo costume to be purchased in the world. So I set to work with my mediocre (but headed toward fashion week) sewing and pattern-making skills to make Peter into JoJo....and Sam into Lion Man (Sam's alter-ego, a figment of his imagination)...and Clem? No boring store-bought insect costumes here. Clementine would be the flower on which the speck resides, in which Whoville is housed....the Whoville that JoJo saves. Perfection. Or so I hoped.

A few trips to Taguatinga, a satellite city of Brasilia, mecca of cheap crafts (think the Michaels of Brazil, spread out on cobbled streets and alleyways lined with VW buses selling pao de queijo and tiny plastic cups of acai out of the backs of car trunks) and I was on my way to Project Halloweenway.

A friend led me to a store selling nearly exclusively things for the insanity that I was about to embark on: faux furs in all thickness and colors and spray paint. 

Armed with three yards of various faux furs, a throat full of faux fur balls,  a Coke and a few coxinhas I set off toward home to turn my dining table into my workroom and Pete, Sam and Clem into the best JoJo, Lion Man and Flower I could. 

I made homemade patterns, sewed zippers (seriously!), spheres, dyed leggings, made shoe covers, lined hats and trimmed wigs...and just four weeks later.....

Jo Jo:

Lion Man: 

and the flower that carries the speck (see wobbly balled headband) in which Whoville resides came to life:


Yesterday afternoon we trick-or-treated at all the offices of the embassy. Once Peter stopped yelling and crying, "My hair is too wild!" He loosened up and had fun...with the help of a little candy and pipoca.

Sam, growled and used the powers of Lion Man to all that passed and scurried behind Paul and I when anything even remotely scary passed by, my child no doubt.

Clem smiled and giggled and took in absolutely every piece of this crazy holiday. Headband bobbling she passed out smiles to everyone that passed out candy.

Faces of JoJo

Lion Man off duty:

The CLO (Community Liason Office) threw a happy hour after the treating, to both celebrate the day and to bid "Hail and Farewell" to the newcomers and us in our final weeks.

We listened to music, ate (more) popcorn, drank caipirinhas and danced.

Clem's first Halloween: a success.

My future as a costume designer for the Broadway musical Cats: well on its way to success.

My little blond boy turned a black-haird, EMO JoJo: The Who who saves the day: Check.

Bring it on Halloween 2013, bring it on. (I'm starting costumes next week.)


Nomads By Nature said...

I am very impressed - mama gots some skilz! Your kids are very lucky to have you and your talents - and they make the darn cutest/coolest lion, Jojo, and flower with speck. Bravo to you all and Happy Halloween!

Daniela Swider said...

Wow, I am so impressed, Elise! You have serious skillz. The costumes turned out awesome!!! My hat's off to you!

Natalie said...

You did a great job! I'm totally impressed!