It’s no secret that I love my mom and Halloween. Incidentally, as I’ve mentioned here before, my mom is the reason I love skulls, monster movies, and all things Halloween-y. We’ve made it a huge affair my whole life–carving pumpkins, baking cookies, decorating the house, dressing up, watching scary movies, playing Halloween songs, trick or treating–the whole shebang. It’s always been such a fun holiday, and I look forward to it every year.
My mom is ridiculously talented. All my life she’s been artsy, and she’s taught herself to work with several different media: painting/cutting wood (no lie, she knows her way around a bandsaw), sewing fabric (from making Halloween costumes for me to making cool dolls that looked like they belonged in a museum to cross stitch/embroidery), wool (knitting rad socks, hooking rugs, needle felting), and some I’m sure I’m forgetting. The bottom line is this–she’s good at all of it. I’m good at some of it. I’m a decent painter. I can embroider really well. I’m an OK knitter, but I couldn’t find a project that held my interest. When she decides she wants to do something, she looks up how to do it, watches a couple of YouTube videos, and bam–she’s on her way. I admire that so much.
My mom’s always been interested in antiques, primitives, to be specific. If you’re not familiar with the term, “primitives” refer to handmade furniture, decor, etc., that’s handmade, usually plain, but beautiful. Most of it comes from the 19th century or early 20th century. My childhood home is filled with antiques/primitives and though it’s not 100% my style, I love it. (There’s a particular pumpkin-colored cupboard that’s one of the prettiest pieces of furniture I’ve ever seen.) As part of this love, she learned how to rug hook. I think it’s one of her favorite things to do, and she’s involved in every aspect. She dyes the wool, cuts it into strips, and hooks it onto the fabric. (It’s not like the hooked rug kits you can buy that have yarn in them. This is the real deal.) She’s made several rugs, and they’re all breathtakingly gorgeous. They range from Halloween/fall themed to large landscapes/floral patterns, and all points in between. She even made a Battle Babies rug for us to use at our booth at HeroesCon! (She’s just that rad, you guys.) I love to go to my parents’ house and see what she’s just finished or is working on.
“So,” you may be asking, “What does this have to do with Halloween?” Well, hold on to your broomstick and I’ll tell you! In the past few years, she’s made me two rugs, and they’re both Halloween themed. As part of my Halloween blogging, I wanted to share them with you, because they’re just too cool to keep to myself.
Here’s the first one. It’s a witch flying with her pet bat in front of the moon. (I named her Broomhilda.) I leave this one on our wall year-round because witches are cool all the time, not just at Halloween. (Just ask the Wicked Witch of the West or Samantha from Bewitched.) This rug is one of my prized possessions for a couple of reasons: one, because she made it for me, and two, because it was one of the first projects she finished after something happened that she thought she might not be able to do it anymore. As you can see, she knocked it out of the park. The picture doesn’t do it justice. Each color is a different colored strip of wool. Check out the patterns on the moon–those are varying shades and patterns. Some of the strips might be plain wool, but some of them have patterns. That’s what builds the colors.
I got this one for my birthday this year, and I’ve been dying (hee hee) to share it with you guys, but wanted to wait for Halloween blogging season. It’s a tombstone, and contains three things I adore: 78 (my birth year), the word “spooky” (seriously, such a fun word to say), and a skull. I haven’t put it up yet, because I’m trying to figure out the perfect place, but I can’t wait to find it a permanent home. (Incidentally, you can use them as actual rugs, but I like them as wall art better. Plus, dog hair.) Can’t you just see this as a signpost in an old Halloween cartoon? I expect a skeleton to come out from behind it and start dancing.
Here’s a closeup pic of the skull. You can see the pattern of the hooking and the scary red eyes. The texture feels really cool, too.
So there you have it–my mom’s cool wool art. Yes, I love my store-bought Thriller skeletons and plastic skulls, but having something my mom made as part of my Halloween display is the raddest thing of all. (PS, Mama, if you’re reading this, I love you!)