Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mama Gets Crafty (Or So She Thinks)

As a kid, I was never into craft. I never did papier mache. Or origami. There are no paintings or drawings of mine up on my mom’s walls – not for lack of sentimentality on her part (she does have some my brother made) – I just never made any. There was a time when I had to take an SUPW (remember Socially Useful Productive Work ;-)) class and I picked Stitching and Embroidery (because all my friends were doing it). In the first year, I decided to make my mom a set of cross-stitch tablemats. All she has to show for it is a single mat. The next year, I decided to try my hand at knitting and pegged my ambitions low – a plain black muffler for my dad. It never achieved much more than handkerchief-sized proportions. And I think that was about it...

But now, my lack of investment craft activity has come back to haunt me. In the form of stuff that needs to be done for Ayaan’s school. Stuff that cannot always be bought off the shelf...

The weekend before last, Ayaan was a goat in his class performance. So a couple of weeks before that, the parents (read mothers because I have yet to see a single father show his face at one of these things) were summoned to a costume meeting. We were told that our kids had chosen the animal they wanted to be and that we had to get their costumes together accordingly. The good thing about Ayaan’s school is that they strive for simplicity in everything they do so the costumes were to be put together out of existing or reusable stuff. No fancy stuff from costume shops. Ayaan’s costume was to be:

  • Black T-shirt
  • Black Track Pants
  • Black Socks
  • Goat Face Mask to be pinned on T-shirts (as face masks on the actual faces tend to make young kids very irritable)
  • A head band with ears and horns
  • A tail

Now the clothes themselves were a breeze. But the mask was another matter altogether. Because my son, as always, had decided that nothing can be so easy for his mother. Trips to no less than four stationery shops unearthed masks of every other animal under the sun, including camels and sheep, but the common goat was nowhere to be found.

So I did what any sensible mother with internet access would do next. I googled. And googled. And googled some more but there was no readily available and printable goat mask to be found. What I found instead was this:

Now the grey goat was a complete picture but Ayaan has never seen a grey goat (neither have I, for that matter) and I wanted it to be a goat that he could recognise. So I took bits and parts of the brown goats and stitched them together in Microsoft Power Point. And then grouped all the bits and saved them as a picture. But the goat was still missing one crucial bit – its right ear, since none of the brown goats had a visible right ear. So then I learnt a new trick, with a little help from a slightly more technologically advanced friend. It appears you can flip objects to their mirror image in Microsoft Paint – so I copied the left ear, flipped it and voila! I had a full goat head, albeit one that looked like it had had multiple botched up plastic surgeries…

I printed it onto card paper, cut it out and used a black marker to draw eyeballs, so that the goat did not look like a creature arisen from the land of the undead and the maid’s vastly superior stitching skills were called into service to stitch the mask on to the T-shirt. By this time, my creative energies had all but died so I sought help from some friendly fellow mommybloggers on the tail and it was suggested that I used a sock. So I went and bought a brown newborn sock and that was sewn onto the back of the T-shirt. I also printed a larger version of the mask and cut out the ears and horns and stapled them onto a black headband of mine. And that was that.

All that remains is for me to unveil the young actor in his costume (front and back)… and also my first stumbling (and complete) effort at craft.


  1. This is one of the reasons I'm scared to have children. Never did craft at school, loathed needlework...but Ayaan looks like a wonderful goat!

  2. Hey Rohini..it looks really good..and the happy smile on Ayaan's face is the ultimate proof na :)Me too not very crafty ;) so can u lend me the goat picture if i need it :)))

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  4. *claps loudly for a job excellently done*

  5. awesome, very impressive craftwork :) who said working powerpoint and photo tools is not crafty?!

  6. Good job Mumma!

    And yes, bachon ke liye kya kya nahi karna padta :)

  7. Wonderful Ro, great job. And am going to show this to the Kman. And he will want a goat costume right now.

  8. That's the Cutest Billy Goat Gruff :)

  9. This is absolutely wonderful Ro! Really its the cutest goat I have seen :)

    and same pinch about being needle work'ly challenged! I took it too as an SUPW and we had to make a purse and it ended up looking the most asymmetrical thing!!

  10. you did well- microsoft to the rescue

    and ayaan looks cool- what did he say to go with the costume

    BTW did you visit here ? http://ssstoryteller.blogspot.com/2008/08/puppets-on-display.html

    Lots of ideas

  11. This is creative jugaadh! Wonderful job done

  12. [Mumbaigirl] Tell me about this. Maybe I should have paid more attention in SUPW ;-)

    [Anu] Of course. But what are the chances that A will want to be a goat (did I mention that Ayaan personally chose a goat from the various animals offered as options in his class)??? A will probably pick being something even tougher, like a zebra... ;-)

    [Sue/ Shobhana/ NM/Suki/Hobo] Thanks *blushes*

    [Kodi's Mom] You bet! Not that I am particularly great at those either. But was thinking of getting myself Photoshop - have been told it's easier to do such stuff with that...

    [Kiran] LOL! Must plan a goat get-together soon...

    [Neera] Well, atleast you finished it, which is more than I can say for myself...

    [Art] No, I hadn't seen that before. Thanks for the link

    [Ritu] Jugaadh it surely is :-)

  13. Nice neat work, Ro!

  14. superb...what a lovely creative goat! Ayaan's looking cute in the goat costume.

  15. Hey the goat is totally cool! The uses of the Internet!!!

  16. Anonymous8:29 pm

    Wow! Pretty cool!! But I have to say - am surprised dads are not involved in art projects and in school in general. In my school days, anything that involved art (making charts, posters, book covers, art-stuff, biology drawings) was my dad's job since my mom was artistically challenged. And I often found that many dads did similar stuff i.e. art projects. In fact, you pretty much knew that so and so's dad or such-and-such's mom was very artistic and accordingly they were called into play by the canny nuns for something. Also my dad for many years was head of the school PTA (my mom didn't show up at all) and knew all the nuns by name and they knew him. Has it changed now?

    In my case, since I cannot for the life of me come up with something like this and my husband is the artistic one, he'll be the one assigned to mask duty. I too barely scraped through art and needlework classes and loathed all of it. Boys had more fun - they could do carpentry and suchlike.


  17. I am very impressed with the paint and powerpoint skills.. That takes some skill!!

    The goat is fantastic. And I have to say I am impressed with the school. I expected them to say buy/rent the most realistically looking goat costume for your child. What animals did the other kids chose?

    PS:What did people do before the internet *giggle*

  18. Awesome work, mumma! *Applauds!*
    And Ayaan's looking so cute! :)

  19. Your first time? This is totally awesome! Specially the sock tail. I just love it! :)

  20. It turned out great!!! I am so horrible at stuff like that!

  21. Now you know why we have kids- to educate us in important stuff like making goat costumes! Lovely job, Ro- and such a delighted little kid (baby goat-wala kid I mean).

  22. not BAAA-AAAA-AAAAD at all!!
    * sorry had to crack that pj*

    that takes me back to the days when i had to act in plays as an animal... my poor mum had to run after me to make me keep my costume on!

  23. [Upsi/ Mystic/ J.A.M./ Grail] Thank you :-)

    [Preeti] Only if cut-paste can be qualified as creativity ;-)

    [Hillgrandmom] Thank goodness for the internet. Would have had a nervous breakdown if I had to create a goat mask by hand...

    [n!] Well, the husband is worse than me on artistic skills, if that's possible. As for the general absence of dads at school, the overwhelming majority of the moms stay at home so I guess that explains it... I think your dad was unusual - I don't remember too much fatherly participation even in my time...

    [Asaaan] There were cows, dogs, cas, donkeys and horses. All masks available off the stationery store shelf except the darned goat! But you know there were still a couple of parents who went ahead and bought expensive costumes in any case!!!

    [Dipali/ Grafx] I was beginning to wonder how come the goat puns had not kicked in yet ;-)

  24. Ayaan makes for the cutest goat i have ever seen... and his momma seems to be a great mom :)

  25. Hey that's a great mask. Good job with the crafts. I'm not too good with things arty either.

  26. Youd did great. That goat right there is a proof of your creativity.

  27. and the headband? thats superb work too!

    the cutest goat i have ever seen!

    and thank god for schools who insist on homegrown costumes and dont ask parents to shell out big bucks for scratchy, smelly costume.

    btw you can call me next time- i love this kind of stuff-

  28. You did really well considering you never liked crafts. I didn't either and mom has plenty fo evidence in form of unfinished cushion covers, unfinished woollen items and embroideries. I was the happiest when I finally transferred to the electrical SUPW class in 11th grade :) I am proud to see that my older one is taking after me - I had to finish the scarf that she started out making for herself.

    The goat mask turned out very good - I should take lessons from you. My regret is that I didn't spend time doing crafts with my older daughter. She definitely owuld have loved it.

  29. [Tintin/ Ranjit/ Naina] Thanks :-)

    [Sur] Really? Expect a call the next time I am confronted with something like this. I still remember the lovely Jhansi Rani costume...

    [Ceekay] I don't really see myself doing a lot of craft with Ayaan except when pushed to the wall with stuff like this. I'd rather do what I like and am good at. Like inculcating a love of books, perhaps...

  30. wow Ro!
    such hard work and awesome results! you SO immmpressed me supamum:D

    p.s. seriously dreading the day my little one starts schools :|

  31. ro, i bow to thee! this is super original stuff.

    will pick your brains in coupla months - school annual day coming up.

  32. Hey for allll that am-not-good-at-crafts bit..it turned outr brill!

    Very very resourceful..shall come and take tips for Baby Nutty's turn to be a goat :)

  33. clap clap clap!!

    now i know here to come and beg for help when Cubby starts school because i am TERRIBLE at crafts!!

    and Ayaan looks totally adorable!!



  34. after that piece of art, you shouldn't ever think that you're not crafty. excellent job and that post was a good insight into what all i will be expected to do when N starts school!

  35. Ayaan is the most winsome goat ever.:-D And Mama Goat tres resourceful! :-D

  36. This is just awesome. I have been looking all over for goat related stuff because I am working on a whole goat lesson involving all types of goats and this is just great. Do you have the template that was used to make the goat that you could e-mail me along with the directions if I can use them in my lesson.

    My e-mail is bureaucoaitc@yahoo.com

    McKinley Rogers
    Ag in the Classroom Coordinator for Bureau County Farm Bureau
    Princeton, IL