October. Harvest season. The time when the plants have completed their life-cycle, and are preparing to die or go dormant for the long winter sleep. The squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents tear madly about from tree to ground, location to location, in a last frantic burst of gathering nuts and seeds to sustain themselves in the long, cold months just ahead. The trees shift from summer green to the reds, oranges, yellows and browns of the Autumn palette - and are filled with birds preparing to migrate to warmer climates. (smart freaking birds, if you ask me...)
Empathically, this is my worst season, even as I peak with creativity (how can I not, with all the activity and color around me?) I keenly feel the shift in the Earth from growth to sleep. I want to join with this cycle. I want to sleep all winter, too...
Damn this whole 'human' thing!
The calendar culminates the Harvest Season with All Hallow's Eve - Halloween. As with every other holiday in the States, we've turned this one into a commercial orgy of "buy, buy, buy!!!!!" - but this season is also paired with "scare, scare, scare!!!"
People spend a ton of money on Halloween - on candy, costumes & decorations. Parties are planned and thrown, new recipes are researched and experimented with, pranks are schemed up and instigated. Movies are rated for their fright-factor, and the blood (simulated, or course) flows both on the screen and on the watchers. Sometimes other, more genuine bodily fluids make public appearances, as well.
At one time, the neighbors who lived on the first level of the home I was sharing were REAL Halloween nuts. It was their favorite holiday, and they decorated like fiends. They had tombstones in the front yard, hanging heads in the backyard, cobwebs in the hallways, coffins and zombies and witches and skeletons and anything else you can think of scattered about the house and grounds.
They even had the flat witch on her broom stuck to a tree, which never fails to elicit a chuckle from me...
The also threw one hell of a party...costumes mandatory.
I was coming home from a night out with the SQO the night of their party. By the time I was coming up the street, their party was in full swing - the alcohol was flowing, the music was rocking, the party-goers all over the house and grounds. As I turned into the driveway, my headlights illuminated a pair of men dressed in dark blue spandex body suits with bright yellow boots, matching letters on their chests, masks covering their eyes, elbow-length gloves, and coordinating 'undies' in the crotch region - superheros who had left their capes at home.
Unfortunately, in the uncertain light from the street and my sudden illumination from the headlights - all that got bright was the yellow portions of their costumes. My first and immediate thought - 'Are they wearing diapers?????'
Thanks to the Halloween deities that my windows were closed, because I couldn't help but blurt that one out.
Halloween - It's one hell of a holiday - especially with shenanigans like these.
The teapot and I are celebrating Halloween this year with a web Zentangle design. This is one of the most complex things I have done with 'shop to date. It involved a layer mask and a distortion file, and a couple of alternate filters to give it the look it ended up with. I'm quite pleased, even if it really doesn't invoke 'scary,' suggest the harvest season, or pretend to be a diaper. It's a web, and webs are significant to the Halloween spirit.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
The pebble I picked up recently (see Zen and the art of Photography) turned out to be a VERY fertile seed. I've started creating Zentangles on my computer. Not traditional, as I use electronic means instead of doing it the old fashioned way, putting ink to paper, so I've obviously forged back into my field of weeds to blaze my own trail in this artform.
This is the web design all flat - before I distorted it to fit around the teapot.
These next 2 are actually the same grid and the same patterning within the grid lines. On the left is the straight grid, and I gave it a fuzzed texture - it almost looks like carpet.
The one below has a twirl and some additional filters added to it for a decidedly darker look.
But wait! I was talking about Halloween!
For me, Halloween stopped being an "Oh my GAWD! I can't WAIT!' holiday when I decided, in my 13 year old, teenaged brain, that it was too much work to design a costume, figure out how to/actually go through the work to/ craft said same, and then to walk around the neighborhood at night to beg for sugar.
See, I didn't get to just run down to the store with the parental units and pick out something ready-made.
If I wanted a costume, the entire blueprint had to come out of my head. I had to come up with the concept - what I wanted it to look like, how it was going to be constructed, what materials I'd need, was I going to be able to breathe and see and walk in it, etc.
The whole shebang had to be crafted.
It wasn't that we were poor, or my parents were uncaring or unavailable. They were always ready, willing and able to lend assistance (one year, my mom sewed me a green jumpsuit because I wanted to be a martian) and they bought the supplies I'd need (the robot was a fun year - I got to save boxes and old coffee cans, and use tools, wire, and spray paint!).
They were teaching me to think, and design, and explore the ordinary things around me with a creative perspective. This pile of ordinary STUFF could be transformed into something unique and special with a bit of ingenuity and work.
They turned me into the creative machine I am today.
They did good.