Halloween Ideas

So, Halloween is just around the corner, and for this year I wanted to do something a bit different, but with a more “current world events” theme. Long story short, I chose to become a plague doctor. Now, the problem with this is that there are not that many visual references of the actual plague doctor of medieval times, so I had to rely on the few pictures that can be found over the Internet and of course, my imagination.

While doing research I came across the masks done by Tom Banwell which are beautiful, but expensive. So, I decided to draw one, make a pattern out of my drawing and build the mask myself.






I first drew the pattern on white paper and adjusted it to fit my face, then, I traced the drawings to a piece of white cardboard, and cut the pieces out.




Next, I attached them together using tape. I just wanted to have a prototype to see how it would look like. I adjusted the bottom part with manila paper, because the cardboard was a bit heavy and wouldn’t sit in place.







I used leather scraps to make my mask. There is a nearby shop where they sell different types of leather and leather products, so I went in and bought a small piece that would suffice for my project.




I traced my pattern and made a Burtonesque detail around the eyes, just for fun. I wanted my mask to look different and unique.




This is the mask nearly finished. The scissors are there to help the mask stand on on its own. I used soft, malleable pieces of leather, not suede. So although the material was soft, it took me a long while to sew the pieces together. First, I had to drill tiny holes all around the edges. But, in the end, that made the sewing part a whole lot easier.




My sister joined me in my madness as a Black Swan…




And in the end, I threw in a little something to make the whole outfit more appropriate for the times we are experiencing.




It’s Halloween!

I’ve always loved Halloween. It’s a time of year that makes me feel so normal…

Particularly if you have friends that like to join you in your weirdness, and then meet some others who are just the same…

Well, actually, it was my sister who dragged me to this costume party, so how could I say no to Frankenstein‘s bride?

If I had said no, I wouldn’t have met this living cupcake with working lights and all.

Do you like Halloween? What do you dress up like?


By the way, my heart goes out to all of those who reside on the East Coast of the U.S. This Sandy looks scary. Hope everyone stays safe and make sure to secure everything before you leave, if you have to.

Embracing your inner nerd

There is a time in any person’s life where he or she may face the fact that indeed, they may be the hosts of an inner nerd. In my case, I came to this inevitable conclusion when I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in English Literature. I remember the epic day a friend of mine, whose identity will be kept in the shadows but will be referred as D, accompanied me to a nearby library to do some research for a paper.  This particular library was not too big, since many of its books were rare and specialized. Also, we had to go there because they had the books we needed. I should also add that these were times before the Internet became to exist, so our University work was done in the old fashioned way, through many books, reading, writing and patience.

Actually, D came along because she also had a paper due on that same week. I think it was a Sunday afternoon, now that I remember, and when we entered the library, we were greeted by the librarian and directed to where we could find the books we were looking for.

I don’t know how many hours went by, because I just glued myself to the chair and had tons of books spread out on the table, and I was taking notes like a maniac, totally absorbed in my research. I believe D did the same thing until one of us asked: “Do you know what time is it?” We did not know. Neither of us had a watch. All I could see is that we were alone in the room and the clock on the wall said it was 9:00 p.m. Nowadays some University libraries do not close, but back then, they did.

“Are you hungry? I think we should wrap up and leave.” I said. D agreed. I had almost finished my work, I just needed to corroborate some details and we could go. Now, the thing is, D had gone to the front door and came back saying: “I think they closed and left us here!”

I unstuck my eyes and nose from the book I was reading and said: “Are you serious?”

“Yes, the door is locked and there’s no one here.” D said.

“So, how do we get out?” I said, panicking.

“I don’t know!” D added.

We tried using the phone, but none of the extensions worked, not even the one from the security guard in the front. How could we spend the night locked up in a library? I thought. It was just plain stupid. So it occurred to me, we could try and open up a window, since they faced the corridor that took us to the outside world. These were guillotine windows, and if we were lucky, one of them would be unlocked and we could escape!

Thank God my intuition was right. We found an unlocked window, then we ran to gather out stuff and immediately jumped out into the corridor unnoticed, like two bandits. However, we were careful to close the window afterwards. We did not want any burglars to come in and steal the library’s books!

Ok, but what does this have to do with embracing your inner nerd?

Maybe a lot or maybe not much, but it does open a preamble for my fascination with books, literature, novels and history.

I recently came across this post, somewhere over the Internet, asking for characters to role play The Tudors as in the TV series. I humbly asked the administrator, King Henry VIII, if I could play Lady Mary, his daughter, and he agreed. Now, I know I am not as spectacular as the actress who plays her part in the series, but I don’t look like the real Lady Mary either. As usual, I did some research, but now I can bless the Internet for providing these images in a timely manner.

Let me say that in order to do role playing, you don’t need to reveal your true identity. They could either be men or women playing male or female characters. Players use avatars taken from the series in order to portray the characters they choose, but again, my inner nerd felt the calling and urged me to do something extra…

I’ve already been called a geek, a nerd, a weirdo, etc. But, what if I encourage the rest of the gang in the group of role players I’m in? At least I appreciate and do embrace my inner nerd, and I’m proud of it.