CATHERINE: This Halloween finds Darq in the Old West at some undisclosed ranch where the theme for the holiday was “A Prairie Halloween.” Costumes had to date prior to 1860. Enjoy her photos and their captions.
DARQ: Here I am at one of the mini-chuck wagons and among the decorations. Did you spot the skeleton and arrows!
Most of the food and goodies were served on wagon tailgates or from tables made of sawhorses with boards across them. Really rustic. A lot of items were cooked over open fires.
Food aside, there were costumes. Take a look at the outfit Catherine made for me –
Oddly enough, wearing a bonnet was not optional, but mandatory. I was leery at first, but one look in a mirror and I loved the bonnet. I think I look rather cute. I got lots of favorable comments on not only my bonnet but my outfit and my daisy earrings and cameo.
Here’s a better look at my costume, which is a blouse and skirt. As was the custom way back when, the back of the skirt is a bit longer, like a mini-train. Of course, being a modern woman from a different planet, I found the skirt a real pain to navigate through gates and doorways AND hang onto a purse. Well, not so much a purse as a Trick or Treat bag to take goodies back to my suite.
Catherine patterned the costume from pictures she found on Pinterest. Of course, back in the 1860’s a woman wore a petticoat and bloomers – or were they called pantaloons? Whatever. It’s a lot of fabric to wear but, you know what, when the square dancing got going, skirts were whirling (including mine), and I think every ‘lady’ was glad of the underwear! Here’s a peek at mine –
The bloomers were nothing fancy but this view shows my shoes. The shoes have a touch of bling. Just a touch. Oh, and they are ankle high, which was great considering all the dust stomped up and those little brown things called ‘road apples’ dotting the barn yard.
I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving in the city, can’t tell you which city because my escorts, the Men in Black (MIBs for short), have yet to tell me which one. I do know that it will involve a big parade. Until then –
Have a Happy Halloween!
****Note to Crafters and Sewers from Catherine – I had a blast making the chuck wagon. It’s body is a cardboard box that I turned inside out so I got the brown side up, and then applied some paint to make it look like wood sides. The tailgate is just a piece of cardboard shoved under one of the box’s side flaps and held in place with jewelry chain (from my jar of left-over findings).
As to the wagon wheels and undercarriage? I went online to get images of wagon wheels. A black and white picture had the best angle. I copied it and colored it in, then glued it to a wood ‘soccer ball’ disk (which was the right size but painted orange!)
The undercarriage, the part that connects the axle (a piece of wood nailed between two soccer ball disks) to the underside of the wagon box necessitated cutting a couple pieces of balsa wood (a blank plaque shape of wood) and gluing them together with a honeycomb piece of cardboard between the wood pieces. That allowed me to skewer a flat toothpick into the cardboard and then skewer the top of the toothpicks into the bottom of the cardboard wagon.
I shoved wire into the top of the box to make the ribs to hold the canvas top, which was a piece of muslin. Jewelry findings (rings) and some black headed straight pins anchor the ‘canvas.’
When I came across the skeleton, I remembered Indian attacks and couldn’t pass up the idea of a skeleton at the party. The arrows are fancy toothpicks with the front end trimmed off and into an arrowhead. The barrel is actually a bank that I had kept from my youth. It even has a couple pennies rattling around at the bottom of it.
As to Darq’s outfit — It is 100% cotton quilting fabric and muslin. The photos don’t do the front pleat of the green print over the front striped panel. Of all the doll patterns I have kept from when I made doll clothes for my sister and daughter, I didn’t have a prairie bonnet pattern. I went on the Internet and found pictures of the pattern pieces, in French! But, hey, I’m used to figuring out what needs to go where. And using the computer to resize the pieces helped.
Darq and I wish you a Happy Halloween. See you for the Thanksgiving update.
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