Tuesday, November 03, 2009

DIY Halloween

My office has a great tradition of dressing up each year for Halloween...even when it doesn't fall on a work day. We usually get at least 60% to participate. And given we are an office of attorneys and legal staff, I say that's pretty good!

I've dressed up every year for the last nine (gulp) years. I'm a big fan of found costumes. I usually either raid my closet or B's closet, or incorporate something I have into my costume (like the year I used my graduation gown to be Harry Potter). I've also sewn costumes a couple times (like the year I came as a tea bag).

Anyway, this year (after a lot of deliberation - I decided on our costumes the week before), I decided to come as a Zookeeper from the San Diego Zoo. Only this zookeeper's had a rough time with it. I had planned to make Elliott the bear to my keeper, but B came up with the idea of making me the bear cub surrogate. (I still love the idea that it's someone's job to be 'mom' to a bear or a gorilla or a cheetah. So cool!)

For my costume, I added an old khaki work shirt to some green cargo pants and hiking shoes. B made me some awesome stickers to serve as zoo patches. Then I had fun 'beating myself up'. I drew red lines on the back of my shirt with a fabric pen and cut slices into the shirt to make a couple paw strikes. I put fake blood on some bandages and wrapped my head and my arms a couple times. We also had an old leg brace from when B broke his knee a few years ago, so I wore that and added some camo bandages...because if I really were a zookeeper, I'd wear camo bandages.

As for Elliott, I basted some homemade felt to the front of his brown jammies (mostly to cover the rock and roll dinosaurs on the front) and added some felt toe pads to the feet. Then I knit him a Teddy Hat (Rav link) from stash yarn. Elliott really needed a new hat for our San Diego winter, so this was a good two-purpose knit.

Elliott 52.22: Really, Mom?

Although, how much Elliott will enjoy wearing a bear hat for the rest of the winter remains to be seen. See below for a couple notes (* and **) about this 'photo shoot'.

The hat pattern is really for an adult, but I knit it on smaller gauge yarn to make a smaller hat. I also knit the hat about an inch shorter than the pattern called for. All in all, on size 7 needles, I knit it with just under one ball of Knit Picks Main Line in Cocoa. I added the felt ear tufts to tie it into the bear suit.

And guess what!?! I won the contest for most original costume! This is the first year I've won anything, so my ribbon and smurf lunch bag prize was especially sweet ;)

Me 52.22: I Won!

Hope you all had a very happy (and safe) Halloween. I love seeing all your costumes!

* First up, the cute embroidered onesie is courtesy of Mamieknits. So cute!
** Second, right before I took this photo, Elliott, Jenny and I were getting settled on our blanket during one of our weekly visits to Balboa Park when a couple of strangely familiar faces began crossing the grass in front of me. It took a couple seconds for all my neurons to fire, but then low and behold, I realized it was Lolly and Kris! She stopped about the same time and we were both like - hey is that you? Talk about a small world and such a totally random encounter! They had spent the day at the zoo and, I have to say, I can't wait to see their pictures!


Lolly said...

Your costume idea is so friggin' genius! I so love that Elliott was a part of it with the bear cub! what a sweetie - even with the bloody paw prints on your back! hehe

I still can't get over the absolute serendipity of meeting you and the whole fam at the park (and I still can't quit kicking myself for not getting a photo of said encounter!) What a day! it was glorious, and San Diego is such a fab city! Lucky you to live there! ...and we took a LOT of pics! I will definitely be flooding Flickr with them in about a week and a half!


Mouse said...

How funny! I'm sure that someone taking pictures of a child in knitwear is probably a good tip off that you're in the presence of a knit-blogger!! Love the costume & the wee one's hat!

marisa said...

Great costume! Congratulations on the win!!

Mamma Look said...

I love your costumes, way creative!!!

mle said...

Too cute!

Anonymous said...

you two are too cute for words!! Love your costume and Elliott couldn't be cuter in his hat. :)
Congrats on winning most original costume!

tiennie said...

What a great idea! Cute!!!

Anonymous said...

Once again, I LOVE your costume(s)! E in his bear cub slays me!

Anonymous said...

Great costume! :) and I am wondering how I could find any smurf products. I love smurfs :)