Yesterday I took a day off from work (needed to burn a vacation day) and focused on some things I needed to get DONE.
One thing on my list was the package for the Dios de los Muertos swap. I have until October 30 to mail it but that kind of defeats the purpose (considering Dios de los Muertos is November 1). Also, my package has to go to Mexico, so it needs time.
Speaking of Mexico, when I saw my partner was in Mexico I was all "oh crap, I have to make Dios de los Muertos for someone in MEXICO? No pressure!" Yeah, I always want to make good stuff for my swaps but for this one I had to make sure the stuff wasn't just good (well made) but really spot on for the theme. I want my partner to get this package and be excited to add the items to her shrine.
SO, what did I decide on?
I had the skull for a while. The minute I signed up for the swap I knew I wanted to make a sugar skull (even if not from sugar). So I grabbed up a paper mache skull immediately. It was fun to paint it up. I can't say that I'm overly impressed with my painting skills, though. The skull is nicely made (no drips and not sloppy) but it looks very amateur. But that's kind of the idea, right? The skulls aren't supposed to look perfect. They're supposed to look handmade to show someone took the time to make it to memorialize their deceased loved ones. So I don't hate the skull but it's not my favorite of the items.
I really like the felt skull placemat/decoration. It really can be either.
I think it's super cute. Maybe that's what the paper mache skull is missing? Since it's made on a more realistic style skull maybe that's why it's not thrilling me? Could be.
This skull makes me smile every time I look at it. It was super easy to make, too.
I made a template from a paper plate then embroidered the features being careful not to go too close to the edge because I knew I wanted to top stitch it to some cute fabric (for the back). But after I got it decorated it still felt like it needed a tiny bit more. Then I spied this gold fabric in my dotee fabric collection. Someone gave it to me as an extra in a swap and it was just the right size for this project. I layered it between the felt front and the back fabric.
How cute is that back fabric? I had two other styles of Dios de los Muertos fabric but both were "darker" than I wanted. My partner is making a shrine for children so I was trying to keep everything very silly and fun. The one fabric had more realistic stylized skulls and the other was skeletons on a black background but the skeletons were more serious looking than these. So the marionette skeletons WON. And in a happy coincidence, I got three cute lady skeletons partying down on the back. Dance on, ladies, dance on!
I was really happy with the placemat/decoration.
But I'm super happy/proud of the bunting. Yes, that's what the other thing in the first pic is.
Bunting is hard to get all in one pic, let me tell you. Here it is stretched out over my ironing board. It's three yards long (one package of extra wide double fold bias tape).
It features 24 different skeleton images, one per flag.
I used six different colors on the backs (four of each) and loosely matched them to colors on the front. (the pink fabric even has a bit of sparkle to it). I tried to only use colors I kept seeing in the things I read about Dios de los Muertos (though green wasn't mentioned, I did add it--I like lime green with these colors and it helped tie the bunting to the paper mache skull, that has green on it).
Each flag is about the size of a playing card and has great detailed images on a very light pink background. That's why I went with pink bias tape.
That's my favorite image. Frieda! (and I love how her painting looks a bit like Michael Jackson with a uni-brow, and how cute is that wee monkey!).
Here it is all together again.
I'm going to also include some small toys, but those will just be store bought. I was thinking maybe a few little cars and a few dolls (generic "girl" and "boy" toys). The swap called for a minimum of three things, so I'm good with the three items I made but the toys would be a fun little touch (and these three items are really light, so I can afford to add a bit more weight to the package).
I'm SO happy to have this done and that it all turned out really well. Now I just need to get the items for my own shrine done. My paper mache skull is almost finished but now I have to get my skeleton cats done (yes, my shrine is for my cats).
BUT WAIT. . .I have another post coming on the other stuff I finished yesterday.