Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween lanterns and simple trick or treat baskets

Since we arrived in Mexico the children have been asking for craft projects, if you have been reading along here since last year you know I used to do a lot.
However it seems my creativity was completely dried up and I have really done none since arriving.
As Halloween approached and the neighbors were hanging up ghosts and skeletons Kaleena was almost in tears that we had none, and I was having a hard time getting into the spirit of things.
In our home Halloween have never been about scary, it has always been about the coming of the darker season, adding candles and bringing in light, the time to go to the fields to
pick the pumpkins, carve them, roast the seeds and make a pie.
Last year we also made these cute paper bag Halloween lanterns.
Our decorations were autumnal never scary, but staying with my sister last year the children 
got a taste for adding ghosts, skeletons, and sculls around the
 yard and apparently especially Kaleena loved it.
I kept telling Kaleena to get creative use what we had in the house but found no energy to get involved. Then yesterday morning before going to the land, Keenan came in with a dead butterfly he had found, and he wanted to add it to a jar. I pulled myself together and got out the Mod Podge and together we
added his little butterflies with some orange tissue paper to a small jar (found on the land).
Kaleena came in and at the sight of the Mod Podge her face lit up and she too wanted to do decorations.
I had to offer up my one and only Mason jar, empty it's contents and we also used an old mayonnaise 
jar and made a couple more little simple lanterns.
(we just added the orange tissue paper to the jars and cut out a jack o lantern 
faces and added that on top with the Mod Podge)

 When I returned from the land Kaleena met me proudly with a homemade trick or treat basket.
She had been crying for one, and I had told her that we would have to use something already here, 
the children's little wicker baskets being in the storage in Miami:(
I love what she came up with, so creative and so pretty really.
She had taken and old yoghurt container Mod Podged it with black and orange tissue paper, 
and cut out shapes for decorations.
Today when we returned from the land Keenan painted the inside of the containers orange and Kaleena finger knitted orange and black embroidery thread for the handles. I added little holes with the leather punch, and added little beads to the strings to fasten.
Very simple, very inexpensive and very lovely.
I was so proud of her initiative, and really love the outcome.
Best of all she herself is proud of her creation and looking forward to use it.
Also, how wonderful it felt to get creative again (other than at the land), to see how excited they both were that we were all finally doing a project together again, surely we will be at it again soon.



  1. oh what a crafty little girl you have! and that butterfly jar is awesome! what a great idea. there's a dead dragonfly in our parking garage - we may just have to recycle him too. i am surprised there is trick or treating where you are. i thought it was just an american tradition.

  2. i know it comes from dia de los muertos - i know... but, what i meant was the candy coma american trick or treating part.

  3. Anushka,
    I believe that Halloween actually comes from an old Pagan festival called All Hallows Eve, It was believed a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest, a time for honouring the departed and seeing into the future. Very similar to Dia de los muertos from here in Mexico, which falls a bit later in the year.
    And yes they do apparently have trick or treating here in our little compound of mostly Italians. We do not know for sure, but now we are prepared in the event that they do:)
    I think that many countries now celebrate Halloween, a friend told me they do in Germany, my mom tells me that they have started doing so in Denmark as well, so it is all over:)
    Ohh well....what can we do?
    Much Love,

  4. I love the black and orange of the holiday. But we never did the scary either. Cats. Moons. Clouds. Pumpkin lanterns. Candles. I love these things. The grotesque never appealed to me. But corn shocks and wheat sheaves and black cats on fences- these I loved. I understand your - comment je puis dire? Your heart weariness. Life will right itself again.

    Halloween had its beginning in All Saints' day, I believe. The day when saints awake from death and walk the earth again. All hallows refers to them - the holy ones, in the Catholic culture. The odd holiday grew out of a belief that demons and imps roamed the earth the night before, hoping to have dark influence over the world to counteract the goodness of the saints. Offerings were put on the doorstep to appease these so they would go away, and I think the costumes happened because people thought, if they looked like something scary, the really scary things would think the house was already troubled with scary things and go away to find a yet untroubled place.

    But I'm not that fond of any of these ideas. I just like the color and the light.



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