Friday, November 1, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 44 ~ Saints, Souls, Sugar Skulls and Scares

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

Being the Halloween week she asked us to look for the 'Saints, Souls, Sugar Skulls and Scares'.

Halloween is one of the few holidays I don't care much for. It's not in our culture, but that's not it - we don't have Thanksgiving either and we embraced Thanksgiving the moment we arrived in Canada (we had Turkey and pumpkin pie the very first year!). For me - it symbolizes the dark side and I don't like it. In my perfect ideal world (the one we all create in our heads) I wouldn't have to do anything for it - and we didn't (other than giving treats to kids and carving pumpkins) until William was about 2 years old... He started school that year and I didn't know they are supposed to be in costumes on Halloween day, so I sent him in his uniform, then I went to work. About 1 hour (by train) away (plus bus rides in the city)... only to receive a call at noon from my own child, when he arrived home with a sweet request:

~ Mommy, I want to go trick-or-treating tonight!

Err... sure... Dressed as?! It's Halloween day and I'm in downtown Toronto - I checked all the stores and none had any costumes left... Now what?!

Growing up in a society where pretty much everything was missing I gained a very useful skill, one my mom calls it "to make a whip out of sh*t, and to have it crack too!" (pardon my English, that's the expression!). On my way home I stopped at the drug mart and bought a yellow vinyl rain coat. At home - I put the coat on the child, add the red rain boots, a red and yellow sand pail, and the red firefighter helmet we got just a couple of weeks before at the Firefighter Open House. Ta-daa: I had a very cute firefighter on my hands and we had the best time trick-or-treating.

That being said, I bought his costume every year after :) But the tradition was created - the child is looking forward to that special night of the year when he can get tons of candy and have fun with his friends. And I still don't like it, I don't decorate the house for it, but we carve the pumpkins and let daddy to give out candy!

Long story, eh?! This just to show you our pumpkins, in fact (and explain why there are no Saints, Souls, Skulls, or Scares here, sorry!):

  • The child's creation - wait! I have a skull! 

Scary skull - pumpkin carving for Halloween :: All Pretty Things

  • mom's Tinker Bell - the child was adamant he won't have this one out! We solved the issue quickly: you got 2 pumpkins, now mind your own business :) Apparently he's going to be embarrassed by people thinking a little girl lives here. 

Tinker Bell - pumpkin carving for Halloween :: All Pretty Things

  •  Of course, William's: a scary spider (scary again :) )

Scary Spider - pumpkin carving for Halloween :: All Pretty Things

  •  You guessed it, mine :) 

Happy Face - pumpkin carving for Halloween :: All Pretty Things

  •  All 4 waiting for the night to arrive :) 

Pumpkin carving for Halloween :: All Pretty Things

That's my take on Halloween this year - I hope you had a nice one (just keep off that chocolate now!)

Please make sure you visit everyone below - it promises to be a neat Halloween parade!


  1. I can understand the hesitation with Halloween .... it is the darker side, and now one that has been commercialize with yet more candy for the kids. sigh. I actually really enjoyed Shel's post on the 'day of the dead' which is a celebration to loved ones who have passed. a more festive memorial day I guess.

    1. Thanks Cynthia - it can be a time of remembering our loved ones and being thankful they were in our lives and you can put all scary and dark stuff aside. *except that the traditional decorations can be a bit 'dark' looking* - but who says you have to be traditional - right?!!

  2. I LOVE that expression! When I was a child in Philadephia (back in the dark ages) Halloween was so different. All of the houses on the block would host little parties. The kids would come by have cider and treats and go on to the next house. It was, of course a very different time. It's a shame that times have corrupted something that happy and simple into something that makes a parent have to check candy and that keeps a person from handing out homemade goodies.

  3. LOL love your Mom's expression!...AND your pumpkins! With no little ones in the house, we don't decorate I'm afraid; but we do enjoy our visitors every year.

  4. Your pumpkins are amazing - we were lucky to just get two carved this year!

  5. Carving is still the best thing to do with a pumpkin! Love your designs - your's and the kid's!

  6. You'd never know you weren't a Halloween fan - your pumpkin carving is wonderful! I feel the same way about Halloween and have friends who go crazy for it, throwing parties every single year. ugh. Your little one was lucky to have such a creative Mom! Bet he was the cutest fire fighter ever!

  7. Great pumpkins! I never bought a costume... Every costume we've ever worn has been made by me ...One year my son wanted to be a teddy bear... good teddy bear fabric is sold by the ounce... you don't want to know what that cost... he wore it in grade two.. however I've worn it two or three times with leggings since ... Grade 2 in SK was -35 He was warm and toasty I froze

  8. Great pumpkin carving. I have never bought a Halloween costume. I'm on the same plan as your Mom. Halloween is not a big holiday for me either. The people here take their kids to town so I haven't had any trick or treaters.

  9. It's true - your pumpkins are so great you'd think you've been doing this for a very long time. ;-) I'm with you on the dark side of it - gives me the creeps, but as a kid there was something quite fun about the combination of getting scared and getting candy. Odd holiday!

  10. Those pumpkins are fantastic!!!! I love Halloween but didn't decorate this year since my kids are grown.

  11. Thank you, ladies - pumpkin carving is the only activity we do, and I've been carving them since the child was born :) And the 2 scary ones - the child himself carved them!

  12. Alicia - I absolutely LOVE your Mom's expression - just love it!! It reminds me so much of my hubby. This is him, through and through. I can't wait to share this with him. I also love all of your pumpkins - very creative,...Tinker Bell is awesome! Tell your son does a fantastic job w/his carving - super great!!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!