Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, my dear readers. Whether or not you celebrated, I hope that it was a lovely day for you.

I know Halloween means different things to different people, and I know that for some of you it means nothing at all, but I hope that you all can feel it. I hope you can all feel the magic of the night. The feeling of a warm candle’s flame in a sea of darkness. The feeling of safety amongst many fears.

I hope that you can feel that peace in your hearts, and that it lingers for a little while.

Tonight is the night that magic is strongest, and it will be a couple days yet until that magic fades again. So in the meantime, while the magic is still so strong, I hope that you can take the light of the jack-o-lanterns and capture it in a spell. Just a little spell will do, but let it be something to preserve that special peace. A spell you can summon on days with no candle flames. Something to bring you light in the darkness.

Weave a little witchcraft. Let the magic flow through you.

Take care.

-Alex

Costume Crisis

Wow, times flies when you’re cramming for midterms. Can you believe Halloween is on Saturday? It’s only four days away. Four days. Are you going to dress up? If so, have you figured out your costume yet?

While I certainly hope you’ve got your costume all worked out (I acknowledge my hypocrisy and embrace it), never fear if you’re running late. Because I’m about to show you a whole bunch of wonderfully last-minute costumes that will save your procrastinating butt.

1. The No Costume Costume

Too busy to make a costume but want to pretend that you actually put some thought into
it? White t-shirt + black marker + beer (optional) = a cheap and easy “no costume” costume.

 

2. The Identity Thief

All this costume needs is some of those “Hello my name is…” stickers and a sense of humour. If you want to have even more fun, you can actually steal the name tags from other people and truly give the costume credibility.

3. If life gives you lemons…

You’re guaranteed to be a hit with this clever costume. Though I’d advise some caution, given what endings people have come up with for this saying… (I claim no responsibility if you try this costume and get pelted with lemons or have lemon juice squirted in your eyes.)

4. The Fruit of your Labour

Who wouldn’t want to be a bunch of grapes for Halloween? All you need is a bunch of purple balloons and some way to attach them to your body and you’re good to go.

5. Ceiling Fan

Get it? Ceiling fan? Hilarious, amirite?

6. Upside-Down Man

This is one of those costumes that will probably cost you $0 to make, but will undoubtedly cause you enormous sadness and discomfort when you actually try to wear it. How are you going to collect candy like that? How are you going to eat party food like that? I don’t know, but hey–you’ll definitely make people laugh.

7. Fork in the Road

It seems like if you’re going to make your costume last-minute, you need to have a certain sense of humour to pull it off. With a costume like this, you’d better be prepared to explain it to far too many people.

8. Brawny Man

A flannel shirt is all you need to be this popular paper towel icon. And also probably a roll of paper towels so people will understand.

9. Wilson

Ever watch the show Home Improvement? Remember Wilson, the neighbour whose face we never saw? You possibly have no idea who I’m talking about, but this costume is pretty fun anyways.

10. The Black Eyed Peas

Want to be a celebrity for Halloween but don’t want to put in the money or effort? Well with this simple costume you can be one of the Black Eyed Peas and potentially confuse all your friends.

10. Cereal Killer

Do you hate breakfast? Have no time for Halloween costumes? Want to get a few laughs? Then boy, do I have a costume for you.

11. Low Budget Man

Think you can’t be a superhero on a low budget? Well think again, because with this phenomenal Low Budget Man costume, you can fulfill (almost) all your superhero dreams.

12. Nudist on Strike

With this lovely costume, you can wear your regular clothes while still being fully in costume. Just look at how impressed the person beside them is!

12. Where’s Waldo?

Striped shirt, striped hat, some glasses you stole from the movie theatre, and there you go: a perfect Waldo. And then you can listen to people say “Where’s Waldo?” and pretend not to be able to see you for the rest of the night. Bonus!

13. Jellyfish

Attach some toilet paper to an umbrella, throw on your best tutu, and you’re a majestic jellyfish ready to wow the crowds. Bonus points if you’re cute.

14. Charlie Brown

This costume possibly works better (read: looks cuter) if you’re a small child, but all you really need is a yellow shirt with a black zigzag and you can pull off this classic character.

15. A Mask Fixes Everything

But if all else fails and you’re truly stuck for a costume, just get a Halloween mask and call it a day. If nothing else, you can mask your embarrassment at having procrastinated for so long.

Remember kids: whatever you decide, stay away from offensive costumes, respect real people and cultures, and have fun.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Alex

 

Who Wore It Better?: M-M-M-Mummies!

Before I begin: as I was typing out the title of the post, the first thing that popped into my head was some vague commercial jingle that I couldn’t for the life of me remember, and so I sat here for a good five minutes struggling to think of it. It is, in fact, the Chia Pets commercial.

I sincerely hope you now imagine the title of this post being sung with that tune.

Ahem. Anyways.

Firstly. I realize there are now less than ten days until Halloween. I realize I have very much been slacking in the Halloween posts. Apologies, apologies. I shall do my best to make up for it. I’ll give you so much Halloween content, you’ll probably cry! (Probably not.) All while simultaneously facing the horror of midterms and academic failure.

ALSO! Because I keep forgetting to publicly announce it: I have extended the deadline for Your Story until the end of the year. So you have no excuses plenty of time. I’ll resume posting entries after the chaos of October has ended. So yes.

Aaaaanyways. 

It’s time for another edition of Who Wore It Better? This time with mummies. Ah yes, the wonderful dusty and shrivelly corpses of Egyptians with curses to spread and nothing but wrappings holding them together. It’s a costume that’s not only pretty creepy, but also serves to keep you nice and warm, all wrapped up like that.

Bring on the contestants!

  1. Nothin’ But TP

Out of time? Out of money? Well hopefully you’re not out of toilet paper, because a few rolls of TP are all you need to perfect your mummy costume. Cheap and easy, it’s really the perfect Halloween costume. And hey–what better way to keep your kids quiet than by swaddling them in three plies of the good stuff?

2. Grins and Giggles

While mummy wrappings can be pretty great on their own, sometimes you just need that extra something, y’know? This person has very cleverly added a skull mask–a simple but effective touch that really makes this classic costume shine. Bonus points for how gigantic the skull is compared to the body.

3. Pure-Blooded Pharaohs

These costumes are quite impressive. With some bling and a nice Egyptian flair, these costumes really capture what the mummy is all about. After all, you had to be pretty rad to be mummified. (That was a True Historical Fact.)

4. Dead as Dirt

Now this is a realistic costume. I mean, what do you think happens when you suck the brains out of a person’s nose, wrap them up, and leave them to dry out like a raisin for hundreds of years? They end up looking something like this.

5. Mummy?

Maybe I’m just suffering from midterm brain, but I’ll admit it took me longer than it should have to get the joke. Why are there so many pregnant women dressed up as mummies? I get it now. Mum. Mummy. Har har. Very clever.

So which mummy costume was the best of the best?

Happy voting, and may the best mummy win!

-Alex

Who Wore It Better?: Spoopy Ghosties

There seem to be three types of costume people in the world: the go-getters, the play-it-safers, and the oh-my-god-I-forgot-to-get-a-costumers. Each of these types range vastly in their creativity when it comes to the costumes they produce, but there’s a lot of great things that can be done with the most classic Halloween costumes. You know the ones–ghosts, vampires, werewolves, politicians–the costumes everyone thinks of when they think of Halloween.

But not every classic costume is the same, oh no. Some go above and beyond, while some are downright terrible (though often hilarious). And that’s what this is all about. In Valourbörn’s first ever Who Wore It Better?, you decide which of these internet randoms had the best classic costume.

Ready? Let’s start with the simplest of designs: the spoopy sheet ghostie.

  1. Traditional Timmy

Ah yes, the most traditional of costumes. Grab a white sheet, cut a couple holes in it, throw it on your kid, and you’re good to go. The spoopy ghostie in its purest form!

2. The Gentleghoul

This ghostie is the next step up from the traditional form. With simply the addition of a rather dapper moustache, this costume is transformed into quite an affable guise.

3. Ghastly Go-Getter

This is the go-getter kind of costume person I was talking about. This takes the classic ghost costume to a whole other level and is really quite impressive.

4. Spooky Pooch

Why just be a ghost when you can be a dog and a ghost? This costume bravely breaks the mould by adding a stunning canine flair.

5. Creepy Creepers

Just a simple little twist can make the classic ghost costume rather creepy indeed. Wouldn’t want to meet this trio in a dark alley on Halloween night…

Now it’s your turn: Who Wore It Better?

Happy voting, and may the best ghost win!

-Alex

Villain Awareness Month 2015

You know the guy.

Terrible posture, bony fingers, the laugh that sounds like a half-strangled weasel.

The guy who’s always stirring up trouble, who never seems to get along with anyone, who’s always muttering under his breath about how awful everything is.

The guy who never seems to stop scheming. The guy who wants to solve all his problems with death rays and blueprints for world domination. The guy with the shifty eyes and the wolfish grin and a melodramatic sense of style that makes you question how many cows were sacrificed to produce that much leather.

He’s the villain.

Oh yes. The bad guy. The antagonist. The crook. The arch-nemesis to the hero we hold so dear. He is the embodiment of all evil and the absence of all mercy. Destruction brings him glee. Children’s tears give him sustenance. He is terrible and he is wicked and yet we absolutely adore him (or her).

Ah yes, everyone loves a good villain. I mean, we hate good villains, but it’s the fact that we hate the good villains that makes us love them. Stories would be so boring if the villains weren’t any good at being evil. There would be no conflict, no climax, no epic final battle in which the hero rises dramatically against all the odds and strikes down the abominable villain, purging them from this world! Without a good villain, the hero looks just a little bit silly.

The villain therefore has a very crucial job. They’ve gotta be mean, they’ve gotta be fierce, they’ve gotta have so much power, they’re just one step away from utterly annihilating the hero and everything they hold dear. They have to strike fear into our hearts, make us believe they might actually win this round, and they have to do it all while having an edgy and bold sense of style. It’s not easy being a villain. Especially since they just end up losing at the end of the day.

That’s what Villain Awareness Month is all about. Recognizing the important work the villains put into their antagonizing as they make each beloved story great. Recognizing how dull our lives would be without them. Appreciating them for everything they do for us.

And laughing at them.

Because while villains are the embodiment of the things we fear most, while they’re the embodiment of hatred and ruthlessness and violence, they can always be defeated. There’s always a hero who can bring them down. And in a lot of cases, the hero gives us a reason to laugh in the villain’s faces. To remember that we can be brave. That we don’t have to be afraid. That there is always hope.

Villains are important. Good villains are important. Villains that become terribly powerful but ultimately lose are especially important. The evilness we find in them reminds us how strong our goodness is. It reminds us why we keep fighting.

So thank you, villains. Thank you for everything you do for us.

Any villains you’d like to thank?

May you never meet a villain you cannot vanquish.

-Alex

The Goodness of Halloween

Halloween, Halloween, the best time of the year.

What do you think of, when you hear the word “Halloween”? Do you think of ghosts and jack-o-lanterns? Do you think of candy and trick-or-treaters? Do you think of witches and evil spirits?

I think of the magic, mostly. It’s the night when magic is strongest–so strong that the air feels charged with it. It’s also a night of great and terrible evil, when dark spirits and deep fears come out to play. But it’s a night of revelry and bravery and a whole lot of fun.

Some of my fondest Halloween memories are from childhood. Getting to dress up in a costume and pretend to be someone or something else, going house to house and seeing all the neat decorations, getting candy that could last you for months with careful rationing… Halloween filled me with a special kind of happiness. A sort of exhilaration that you only get from touching magic in its purest form.

Now I’ve grown up and don’t go trick-or-treating anymore, but I still make costumes and still like to see all the decorations and haunted houses. The costumes still have their charm: the thrill of being someone else, of stepping into their skin and pretending that you’re just as powerful or brave or menacing as they are. And the decorations have a sense of community. Everyone is celebrating and banding together against the darkness. It’s kind of amazing.

Jack-o-lanterns, too, fill me with a special sort of joy. They’re so fun to carve, you can be so creative with them, and they’re absolutely beautiful standing out in the blackness with their candlelight. They ward away the evil spirits, protecting our homes with their gentle glow. They’re the very embodiment of bravery. They’re the very embodiment of goodness.

Because while Halloween might be filled with demons and vampires and fear and horrible evil spiders, it all serves as a mirror, reflecting how brightly a single light can shine in the darkness, revealing how strong the human heart can be in the face of such terrible things. Sure, there’s a lot to be afraid of, but when everyone gets together and enjoys the warmth and laughter, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.

And when you touch the magic, even for a moment, and feel it wrap around your heart and soul, warding off fear, keeping you safe, making you feel just a little bit braver… it’s a powerful thing.

Halloween is for having fun. It’s for acknowledging fear and facing it head-on. It’s for setting lights in the darkness and being safe in good company. It’s for the magic.

What is Halloween for you?

May your Halloween be full of fun and magic.

Alex

 

October, October

Holy crap, is it October already?! Absolutely wild. Guess I’d better get my act together.

But if it’s October, that means…

Ahhh yes, the most wonderful time of the year. Pumpkins and spices and ghosties and skeletons and sweaters and spoopy and witches and magic and yesss. And Villain Awareness Month, of course! Plus plenty of other shindigs here on Valourbörn to celebrate the pure joy that is October.

Are you ready? You better be, ’cause I’ve got a lot comin’ at ya so brace yourselves. Here’s a real quick run-down of some of the things I’ve got brewing for the month:

  • Villain Awareness Month activities
  • Witchcraft (recipes)
  • Who Wore It Better?
  • Costume chatter
  • Halloween around the world
  • Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere

We’ve got lots to do, lots to see, lots of candy and pumpkin-spice-everything to eat, and I am so friggin’ excited.

I shall be back very soon to begin the festivities, so I shall see you then. In the meantime:

What are you most looking forward to this October?

May your October be packed full of fun and spoopyness.

-Alex

And so a hallowed eve closes…

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Today is Remembrance Day, or perhaps you call it Veterans’ Day where you live. It is a day when we remember and honour those who have given their lives that we may be free from war, those brave souls who did everything they could for the people and the countries they loved. And we honour those who still live, those who have fought through nightmares, those who are courageous and full of valour, those who have lost comrades along the way.

As we honour the souls who have passed, I reflect on another day when souls are held so sacred: All Hallows’ Eve, better known as Halloween.

Oh yes, it’s the 11th of November and I’m only just wrapping up Halloween. Bear with me.

This year’s Halloween was unlike any Halloween I’ve experienced before. It was very quiet, almost subdued, and I was more reflective and intuitive than usual.

Of course, that isn’t at all to imply that I enjoyed it any less. Despite having to study for midterms during October (what a miserable, miserable time), my mom got me a stash of Halloween-themed chocolate bars that made for wonderful study food. I also decorated my room with all sorts of spooky decorations. The candle is LED, but made of real wax, so me and my mom melted and sculpted it with a blowtorch to make it look more realistic, which was quite fun. And see that poison bottle? We got it from an antique store and it’s still full of liquid iodine (for medicinal purposes, not for killing people :P) Sorry for the blurry photos.

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My dad and sister and I went to a haunted theme park sort of thing, which had three maze/haunted house setups that you could go through (and an insanely fun zombie hunt paintball thing where you got to shoot at people dressed like zombies). They were by far the scariest haunted houses I’ve ever been through. The very first one, as soon as we stepped through the entrance, we were faced with this doorway that was blocked by two inflatable black cushions and you had to squeeze between them to get through. I am terribly claustrophobic—I’m squirming right now just thinking about it—and so I held onto the back of my dad’s sweater for dear life while my sister held onto mine. I was able to let go for the rest of the way, but man, did I ever scream. I don’t usually scream in haunted houses, but I sure did in these ones. My sister just clung to me for dear life, and at one point she just froze, her fist still clutching my sweater, and I was screaming at her to keep going because I couldn’t move until she did. It was terrifying but so, so much fun.

And we found this card under the doormat one day, which started out very nice and innocent and quickly took a turn for the worse.

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I thought, well that’s rather creepy, and carried on my business. The next morning, however, as I was on my way out the door, there was a spider, a living, crawling spider, as big as an almond, sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR. How was I supposed to leave the house with this monster sitting there? My mom had to kill it, and I thought immediately of that card. Well, when I actually made it out the door and turned around to lock it, I saw this guy sitting there and was just about done with everything. Too many spiders, agh!IMG_1270Now usually, I would have all my friends over for a Halloween party, where I’d decorate the basement and we’d spend the evening watching Halloween movies (or playing sheetless Dungeons & Dragons, as we did last year) and eating Halloween-themed snacks, but this year was different as all us university kids were off doing our own thing. So when Halloween rolled around, instead of decorating the basement, I decorated the main floor of the house while no one was home and then headed off to work, where I met the kid who was dressing up as Bilbo.

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Having to work on Halloween was strange and kind of frustrating. I’m the kind of person who just wants to sit in my costume all day and watch too many Halloween movies and eat leftover candy and not have to go out and work. But when I got home, my dad was set up in our “haunted garage”, so I changed into my Hecate costume and joined him to scare some kids.

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My dad’s jack-o-lantern.

He had it all set up to be like a haunted house, with a tarp in the front to create shadows and funnel the kids through, and garbage bags hanging at perfect face level, and orange and purple lights strung overhead with the candy bowl placed waaaay in the very back. It was my job to lead the kids into the garage, lull them into a false sense of comfort, and bring them right over to my dad, who was standing stock-still beside the candy in a black cloak and a creepy skeleton mask.

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The kids knew he was going to jump out at him, and yet it didn’t stop them from being scared when he actually did.

It was quite funny, to see the kids trying to be so brave and proclaiming how they knew it was a trick, and then seeing them all jump and scream when he actually did pop out at them. This one poor kid was tunnel-visioned the whole way through and was just on his way out, his Kit Kat clutched tightly in his hand, when my dad popped out and scared the living daylights out of him. He almost hit the ground, he jumped so badly, and his chocolate bar went flying. He was not impressed with us but we couldn’t stop laughing.

Unfortunately, the weather was kind of crummy, rainy and freezing cold, and so there weren’t as many kids out this year. And so we packed it in, and chatted and ate candy for a while with my grandparents and aunt and uncle, who always come round for Halloween. I played a bit of the Guild Wars 2 Halloween content, blogged my little Halloween post, and tucked in relatively early for the night, as I was quite tired. As you may recall, I said I was going to spend the last of Halloween’s magic by writing something by hand. This is what I wrote.

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“There is no greater cause of Magic than the Power of your Hands.”

This Halloween was quieter than usual. The unfortunate thing is that I’d been stressing my body quite a bit, between trying to do Halloweeny things and studying for bloody midterms, and so by the time Halloween rolled around, I was a) rather tired, and b) getting the beginnings of a cold. Thus, my All Hallows’ Eve was more subdued, but I won’t say that’s a bad thing.

It encouraged me to be more reflective, to spend some more time within the confines of my skull, and just revel in the intuitive magic flowing through the air. I more felt this Halloween than engaged in it, and that’s okay. It’s good to feel every once in a while.

Although I did get quite nostalgic… Remembering what it was like to be a trick-or-treater, walking the streets with my dad for hours and hours, just revelling in the sheer spookiness of people’s decorations. I would get so excited when we came to the rare house that had a haunted garage. The candy of course was a plus, but it was never really about the candy for me. It was the pure fun of that one evening, the one time of year when magic was rampant, that got me so excited. I wanted to dress up, to walk in the shoes of a character I admired, and roam under the darkening sky long into the night.

The thing I loved most about Halloween as a kid—and still love to this day—is that on this one day, people are willing to believe (or pretend to, anyways) in all the spooky ghouls, all the witches and gremlins, all the sheer magic and spiritual energy that I believe in every day of the year. To me, that’s just the coolest thing.

But, alas, I am forced to say goodbye to another Halloween. I wish I could’ve done more on Valourbörn, but I think my body had enough as it was. I guess now I have to clean up the blog and prepare for some NaNoWriMo posts before Christmas comes in full force!

Oh, and wasn’t there something I’ve been promising to reveal to you for the past 11 days…?

The villain voting, of course! I am finally going to reveal the results of the voting and tell you about this project I had planned.

First things first: according to you, the audience, the villains’ defining features were:

Darth Vader: faceless mask

Loki: his [beautiful] face

Davy Jones: slimy beard

Bane: knee pads

The Black Knight: tie between invincibility/die hard spirit

So what was I planning to do with those results? Build a villain of my own.

I present to you The Witch, the villain who currently has no name!

My gorgeous drawing skills. Be jealous ;)

My gorgeous drawing skills. Be jealous ;)

I am going to write her into my NaNo novel this year, so I shall keep you updated on the villain you helped create. Now, let us discuss her disgusting features.

The Witch is a shapeshifter, able to change her body into all sorts of grotesque forms. The only thing she can’t change is her eye colour, and it is the only way to identify her. It was a challenge to incorporate all the features you voted on into her design, as I hadn’t taken into consideration the fact that I would actually have to write about a character with all these features combined, but this is what I came up with.

While hunting her prey, The Witch transforms into a human so that she can blend into the crowd. Using her faceless mask to give her anonymity, she follows her prey unseen from the shadows. Her beautiful face is a trick, making her look innocent and trustworthy when really she is a horrible creature who thirsts for blood. She often disguises herself as a gardener (the best I could think of) and as a result wears knee pads.

When she is angered, however, she can transform into a beastly form straight from a nightmare! Often wielding extra arms and a snake-like visage, she is noted for having a slimy beard made entirely of writhing serpents (kind of like a gorgon, but as a beard). In this form, she is invincible and feels no pain, and she possesses a die-hard spirit that causes her to pursue her prey relentlessly, never tiring of the hunt.

Can she ever be stopped?!?!?!

Guess we’ll find out ;)

I shall write more about The Witch and NaNoWriMo in my next post, but for now I shall leave you to your remembrance. I hope that you had a good Halloween, that it was full of magic or at least some reflection. Take care, all. Sleep well.

What do you remember?

May you take every chance to pause and reflect, and may your nostalgia be a comfort.

-Alex

Valourbörn’s Got Villains: The Black Knight

VALOURBÖRN’S GOT VILLAINS

*cue cheesy game show music*

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, baddies and ne’er-do-wells, to the final installment of VALOURBÖRN’S GOT VILLAINS!

In this round, we’re taking a look at The Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

He might not have won the fight, but it doesn’t make him any less of a villain!

Frightening Features:

  1. Bucket Helmet: you can’t see inside it and he probably can’t see out of it, but that’s what makes this practical helmet so effective! Easily made from an upturned bucket, it instantly turns the Black Knight into a faceless adversary who feels neither pain nor emotion.
  2. Stoic Demeanour: people are naturally intimidated by those who are cool and removed, and the Black Knight pulls this off brilliantly, refusing to speak for the first several seconds of his appearance on screen.
  3. Sacred Duty: some villains focus on taking over the world, but the villains whose sole purposes in life are to be obstacles barring the success of the good guys are seriously underrated. What’s not to hate about someone who blocks your way? What’s not evil about someone who exists just to prevent you from succeeding?
  4. Invincibility to Pain: most of the villains in the world aren’t that bad because they can be beaten. They feel pain, they’re hindered by injury, and they can eventually be defeated. The thing that makes the Black Knight so terrifying, however, is that he doesn’t feel pain. He doesn’t flinch when he loses his limbs. He just keeps on going.
  5. Die-Hard Spirit: and when I say the Black Knight doesn’t feel pain, I mean it. Even when all his arms and legs have been chopped out and he’s bleeding all over the place, he’s still determined to keep fighting. Really, if you just keep trying long enough, how could you possibly fail at being evil?

Tragic Past:

Um. Well. The Black Knight doesn’t have much of a past at all, really, but I’m sure if he did, it would be tragic.

Evil in Action:

So what’s this Black Knight guy all about, anyways?

Nothing can keep him down!

So now, let’s hear the audience’s opinion:

 This is how voting works: you can vote as many times as you like for your favourite Black Knight feature. Then, on November 11th, the results of the voting will be unveiled with a super sneaky project I have planned.

Happy Villain Awareness Month!

-Alex

Costume Conundrum: How it was Solved

Well.

Remember way back when, when I posted my Costume Conundrum post because I didn’t know what I wanted to be for Halloween? Well this is the post that will finally reveal how that conundrum was resolved.

I had two trains of thought whilst trying to determine what I wanted to be. On one hand, I could be something spooky, going back to the tradition of wearing costumes to scare away nasty spirits. On the other hand, I could dress up like one of my heroes (like Syrenne last year) and have the chance to step into the shoes of someone I admire. I went back and forth on these two ideas for quite a while before landing on this thought: why don’t I be someone from Class of the Titans, since I love it so much? Wait—why don’t I be someone spooky from Class of the Titans?

And thus I made my decision.

Hecate, Greek goddess of witchcraft (minus the extra heads).

Interestingly enough, I actually found someone else who cosplayed her.

Very nice!

She features in the Halloween episode of Class of the Titans, which is available on YouTube, which you should totally watch (and watch the other episodes while you’re at it!). Seriously, watch iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Or just skip ahead to 13:25 if you want to see Hecate. But that’s no fun.

The extra great thing about this costume is that it’s made of regular clothing and is thus relatively budget-friendly. A purple dress, hoop earrings, a simple wig, and voila. Costume done! Really, it should’ve been that simple. I assure you, it was not.

I searched everywhere for a purple dress with long sleeves and a collar (I just had to be specific). I went to all the thrift shops I could find. Side story: it is ridiculously fun going to thrift shops. I have to admit, some stuff there is great quality for really cheap, but then other things… you feel second-hand embarrassment just looking at them. I think the best is the “Halloween” section, where they take regular (but really ugly) clothing that no one wants to buy and market it as a Halloween costume. There was this pair of gold, sparkly, jewel-encrusted, pointy-toed shoes in the Halloween section that made me laugh quite a bit. Someone actually owned those. And not for Halloween.

But anyways, I looked all over the place and couldn’t find this dress, so I decided I would make it. So on the Tuesday before Halloween, I went to the fabric store (and got horribly lost, let me tell you) and bought myself some fabric.

And I made a dress.

On Thursday night. The whole thing.

I kid you not.

I spent my between-class break in the afternoon making the belt. I had the red fabric all cut out and needed to paint on the gold designs. So naturally, I went to a study cubicle in the library and set up shop with my fabric and paint.

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I came home from school around 7:30, hopped in the shower, and then started making a whole entire dress.

I do not sew. I can not sew. I needed a lot of help with the sewing machine, and literally after the first two seams were done, I realized I’d screwed up. I made the head hole too small. So I decided I would be a purple ghost for Halloween instead.

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My mom told me she had her doubts that I’d actually be able to do this in one night. But I did. I cut a slit in the back to make my head fit through and then carried on my way. I made a dress.

I don’t know how. I really don’t. It was clearly some sort of Halloween miracle, because I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t use a dress pattern, I just measured my arms and stuff and cut shapes that I thought would work and just sewed them on.

I mean, it was far from perfect. There were big gaping holes in the armpits (ventilation, don’t you know?), the seams at the hips were oddly pointed, and it fit like a glove. And by like a glove, I mean like a glove that slowly begins to constrict when you put it on until it starts cutting off the circulation in your hand and you can’t get it off no matter what you do and it starts consuming more of your arm till it gets to your neck and you start to suffocate and you die. That kind of glove. Because that dress was horrifically tight around the shoulders. There was a moment when I was trying it on that I seriously, 100% thought that the only way I was going to get out of it was by cutting it off. It was scary.

But hey, it fit okay when I didn’t actually want to take it off, the ventilation was lovely, and it served its purpose well enough for me.

This is the end result.

I made this! The whole thing!

I made this! The whole thing!

I had a hard time with this photoshoot (so many bad photos, my goodness) as I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t have the energy to act like a slightly insane evil goddess, unfortunately. So she is very brooding in my interpretation. Haha, it was a very reflective Halloween for me, but I’ll talk more about that later.

Here are some progress shots from the dressmaking experience.

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As well, I of course had to carve a pumpkin! I took The Shikster’s advice (she’s on blogging hiatus right now) and themed my jack-o’-lantern to match my costume. I originally wanted to do one of Hecate’s torches but the dimensions were off, so I focussed instead on just the skull decoration, and added some flames around it to imply a torch.

The skull’s a bit blurry, sorry.

This was the first time I tried to do the skinless glow sort of effect, and it was not fun! I had to scrape all the skin off the pumpkin with a little scratching thingy from a kid’s art set, and then scrape the inside of the pumpkin to make the pumpkin wall thin enough to let light through. But I think it looks pretty cool and was happy with the result.

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Overall, I’m quite pleased with the costume I created. As painful as it was, there’s something satisfying about being able to customize it. Aaaand it was good practice, because I already have my costume picked out for next year and it’s going to require quite a bit of custom work. So yay for that :D

I shall be writing again very soon, trying to wrap up this villains thing and Halloween as a whole, and then we can focus more on other exciting news.

Oh, but another side story! I had to work on Halloween, and a kid came in with his dad so we asked what he was going to be for Halloween. He said Bilbo Baggins, and showed us that he was wearing a necklace with the ring on it. I could’ve hugged that kid. It made my night.

Did you dress up for Halloween? If so, what as?

May the guise you choose to bear outwardly reflect the inner workings of your soul.

-Alex, aka Hecate

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