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.