Friday, October 30, 2009

Dia de los Muertos!

Happy Halloween and Feliz Dia de los Muertos to everyone! There are lots of reasons these holidays are among my favorites, but do you really need a reason to love a holiday centered around playing dress-up and eating candy!? True, Dia de los Muertos isn't quite like that, but nosotros Americanos get the best of both, que no?

There are lots of Dia de los Muertos Festivities in NYC this year (as, I'm assuming, there are every year), not to mention the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village and general mayhem that will undoubtedly ensue (and I use 'mayhem' in the most endearing of ways--Witch's Honor!), so I decided it would be fun to make myself a Dia de los Muertos-style Mexican Sugar Skull Tote to carry the sundries that I'll need with me for these celebrations.

I thought it would be fun to use Calavera (one of my Living Dead Dolls, pictured in the first photo) as the inspiration for my tote, though the project sort of led itself after a while, as creative projects are wont to do. I started with a plain white canvas tote bag, some black kraft felt, & some Aleene's Tacky Glue, then went stash-mining for other bits that could be used for decoration.

I sketched out the 'framework' of my design on the totebag (it didn't erase very cleanly, and you can see it if you look closely; I probably should have used fabric chalk), then traced stencils for the felt bits onto some paper. After using these to cut the eyes, nose, and forehead medallion out of black felt, I glued them into place, then began gluing yarn in place for the features, and embellished with silver-lined glass seed beads. Don't the red ones look like pomegranate seeds? Mmmmmmm, pomegranate....!

This was definitely a very last-minute project, as I just thought of it today, and I wouldn't really have time to work on it again before these holidays start. If I were to make another, though, I think it would be a good opportunity to give couching a go, and it's definitely a good start for some actual beading. I understand that using glue is rather persona non grata in the beading world; hopefully my naivete will save my future reputation in this case!

Aside from the out-and-out radness of being a fun crafty project, I liked this one because I was able to do it for so cheaply! The yarn is Red Heart Sport yarn that I bought on clearance as a dewy-eyed newbie--before I realised I don't like knitting with acrylic yarn--and it's been sitting in my stash since. I inherited the seed beads from a friend who was cleaning out some of her craft stash. I initially had another use for them, but that project has fallen by the wayside, so they were more than available for this one.

In all, the only purchases I made specifically for this project were the blank tote bag ($3.99) and the kraft felt ($0.30 per sheet--I bought two, but ultimately used only one). Really, there are only so many ways to have hours of fun for less than $5.oo, and I just discovered another!

Now there's just one question on Calaverita's mind: Trick? Or treat?


Neanner said...

Love it!

Chuckleheads said...

What a great bag...! I love the design. Every trick or treater should be carrying a bag like that around.

Anonymous said...

I love your Calavera and your bag and the holiday, as well!

kanishk said...
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