Friday, October 21

Will it be another Halloween triumph?

Months ago my plan was for Macaroon to become one of his nicknames for Halloween. I call him “the Love Sponge” for his hobby of getting close to people not to love them but for people to love him. Great idea? I know I could make him look like a giant sponge. And then I parodied the “Love Boat” theme song which my nephew was going to produce for me. But yada yada yada. He didn’t.

So weeks later when I accepted that the Love Sponge theme was not going to happen, I had to think of something new. A sudden inspiration! I would turn Macaroon into a giant pin cushion! Perfect for a quilter like me!

I designed it and acquired the materials, always fun. The pins would be shish-kebob sticks painted silver with Styrofoam balls painted bright colors. I also bought red broadcloth, paint and fiberfil. I already had green yarn and my friend and fellow-dog-costumer Lynne kindly gave me green felt and a plastic cup with two holes punched for an elastic strap. Painted silver and embellished with Sharpie dots it will make a great thimble hat.

The hard part was engineering the pin cushion. I made a red jacket base and then experimented with a muslin prototype. Six orange-like sections of fabric sewn together created the basic shape but with fiberfil it was much too heavy. It’s bad enough I’m inflicting the costume on the dog. The least thing I can do is make it wearable. Hmmm....What else to use? Papier mache over a balloon form? Messy. Maybe heavy also. I know! Packing peanuts! They are made of polystyrene and are 98% air! Bulky but light! But I didn’t want to buy a huge bag of them. Instead I kept a sharp eye for polystyrene tossed to the curb. I found a lovely, neat, clean stack and then broke it up myself. It looked like it had snowed in my apartment, but I had the stuff!

With some experimentation I found that two muslin chambers loosely filled with my home made peanuts supplemented with a little fiberfil created the effect I sought.

Inside, under the felt and fabric I have a disc cut from the polystyrene which makes a nice, secure base for the pins.

I added a “strawberry," yarn and felt, then perfected the fit. I think this costume
is even better than last year’s stick of butter and 2009’s first-place prize winning taco!

Two dog costume contests this weekend!!

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