Masks on!

Halloween Warmup, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5Cranked up some tylenol this a.m. Two days of the same blasted headache needs to STOP. Cranking up some caffeine too. Maybe that will help. It was blistering yesterday. Take off the glasses and press the palms to your eye sockets ouch. I am being positive about medication and caffeine. I can hope. I think its the change from fall to winter. A hard freeze is promised for tonight. Oy.

I have every turkey part available from the bits and pieces department at Shure Save—roasting in the oven with all the leeks and celery I chopped and froze from the Sweet Sweetland CSA a month ago. Smells delish. I am going to brew a lovely rich stock for Thanksgiving today/tomorrow (we are aiming to have a freeze tonight which will help the stock) and then gravy this weekend (to freeze).

The gorgeous bones (what an italian grandmother I have become…or a baba yaga?)  are done roasting. New bag of frozen organic celery added to the cauldron to brew the turkey stew/stock. David C. said it smelled like Thanksgiving. I guess its doing what I wanted it to do! Two down for the Festa della festa.

Speaking of fun, Annie K. posted this great link to Kate’s recipe for making your own cola. I am so all over this.  Hello vanilla beans! Right here>>

As you can see, the Halloween imagery is rolling. A pumpkin for today. I was looking through imagery of store bought masks from when I was growing up. The whole costume in a box thing was a puzzle for me as a kid…with the little cheap screenprinted jumpsuit and these neon printed, vac form masks that gave kids who didnt make their costumes something to wear. I marvelled in these costumes that came in boxes (why that was fascinating, I cannot figure) but the masks…they are scary in the mode of clown illustrations for me. They seemed like a cop out for me as a kid—and that homemade costumes of being a cowboy, or nun, witch or cat were the way to go. However, the kitchiness, the context of neon cereal boxes, Mr. Bubble commercials, Saturday a.m. cartoons recalibrate these costumes for me—and really would like to think of them as part of reach of advertising and imagery that we took for granted.

I guess these costumes are collectible now (not a surprise) so it was interesting to see how this little snippet of my childhood is curated. Look at the cape and skirt of this witch is just decorated without much design. The costume holds all sorts of Halloween symbols without really messaging witch. Funny. The imagery screened on these essentially, “dry cleaner bags” decorate with ideas having to do with the holiday, or the most obvious images that reflect on the character. When did we finally decide this boxed approach to off the rack costumes change to what we have today, more distinct, “fashion-y” garments that may or may not be accompanied by masks (and not screen printed/vac form masks)? When didn’t this cheap panacea for moms work…?  And Why?  I think it might be linked to the Martha Stewartization of what a real, a “good” mom does. I think it might be Martha highlighting Halloween (with the exquisite make up and costumes that highlighted MS annually on the cover from spectacular to spooky at a very high level). Perhaps that MS shove, transformed Halloween from the simple Trick or Treat holiday of one day, to the second decorated holiday event we have today…with blow up lawn ornaments, orange Halloween trees ( like December holiday)…Wow. Did the advent of cheap Chinese manufacturing (at a high level) affect this too? I am surprisingly fascinated and nostalgic about the old Halloween…and will surf around today to see what else pops up. I know, sick.

Here are some links just to keep em coming: Goblin Haus
Ben Cooper>>
Ben Cooper on Ebay>>
Collegeville on Ebay>>
Halco on Ebay>>

Collegeville on Google Images>> (please be seated)
The Halloween Museum (check out Spock at the bottom. Heckle and Jeckel is alarmingly bad)

Just got off the phone with a list (!) of projects and branding initiatives for my big client. Should wrap it up with you to be productive.