when i was a wee lass, we didn't mess around on halloween: my mother has an art degree from stanford, and she put it to good use in service of the holiday and our whims. each of our costumes was completely handmade,* and many of them were so well received that they were re-used by friends and neighbors over the next few trick-or-treating seasons (artichoke costume of the late '80s, i salute you). she still has a hand-feathered bird costume she made when my sister was a toddler, and it still drops jaws. said sister has her own art degree now (and is plugging away at costume design in grad school); the family tradition of bringing it each october has survived and gotten ever more feisty over the years.**

...which worried me when i decided to be the log lady. last year's bowie costume didn't involve a lot of sewing, but it called for enthusiastic face-painting; i got my effort in, after a fashion. i did some fancy ebaying to find a proper sweater coat and wig, but the former ended up being too big (the log lady is frumpy, but she isn't portly) and the latter arrived from hong kong...today, actually; getting a sweater from old navy and turning another wig into a bob (lauren: "hey, would you wear this while i chop it up?" joe: "no!") hardly seemed like a proper tribute to the fam. so (in the convenient absence of ponderosa pine) i made my log.

log as burt reynolds?

like most of the soft pieces i've built, it's primarily felt; this time i sprang for decent wool felt rather than the crappy stuff from the local art store, as i knew i'd be detailing the hell out of the bark (it will be a long time before i applique again) and i wanted it to retain its shape (and be washable, which turned out to be important, as i carried it around all night at a bar).

log embroidery detail: the revenge

inspired by an extremely timely copy of jenny hart's embroidered effects,*** i tried my hand at some simple rings for the cut edges of the log and branches; given that it's the first time i've ever embroidered, i'm pretty happy with how it came out.

log embroidery detail

(that's stuffing sneaking out around the stitches; i sort of forgot to do the detailing before i constructed and stuffed the log.)

i also had a go at one of lovely amanda's favorite pastimes and spent a lunch break in central park gathering acorns and caps. i hot-glued a pair back together (you know it's craft if you melt glue), convinced them to stick to a pair of leaves i cut from log-scraps, and glued all of that to a safety pin. boom! brooch.

log lady acorn brooch

(you can see a bit of glue behind the caps, but that's a little cobweb rather than glue in the front. sometimes it's important to wear cobwebs.)

my log and i had a lovely time on saturday; a few people thought i was a tree-hugger and a few more thought i was carrying a giant cigarette (?), but the occasional twin peaks fan's happy shrieking was more than enough. log on, internets.

*which was especially impressive when i chose to be, say a telephone receiver, or autumn. you were patient, ma.

**my dad's side has its own techie subspecies of enthusiasts: for their semiannual halloween party this year, my godparents made a dvd invitation complete with easter eggs.

***jenny hart is my crafting idol; i've seen her at events in the city for years now, and i'm still too starstruck to roll up and say hello.


megan said...

ok, i have been lured out of lurking. nice work on the log! remind me to show you my gary numan costume photos sometime. I did the replicas album cover.

lauren said...

oh, will do! how'd you approach the hair?

on photos, i should note that my demand for maude photos is ongoing and strenous. ongoing! strenuous!

Rachel (heart of light) said...

Amazing! Isn't wool felt the best? I've been spoiled and can now not stomach the feel of acrylic felt. I guess that makes me a felt snob, which may be one of the most obscure forms of snobbery yet.

Jamie said...

1. I am so glad to know the secret of good felt. I will store this away for future use.

2. This is a fucking amazing log.

3. Aladdin Sane!?!? I did Ziggy one year, but not *nearly* as well.

4. Bowie will always be my favorite.

baby jo said...

dude, well done on the log! i really want it to reappear on one of our mustard 60's chairs. along with a bacon pillow: http://sweet-meats.com/bacon-plushtoy-pillow.html

baby jo said...

nsf-pets noted on the bacon...

Amanda said...

Wool felt is nummy.

And you are badass.

jacob said...

one day my log will have something to say about this. it will say, "i am an awesome, washable, log."

fashionherald said...

wow, your costume, so perfect I'm rendered speechless! and your mom's costumes reminded me that I'm woefully inept at anything crafty, yet really don't want my kid wearing store-bought superhero costumes!