June and her Cleaver

June lived in a pretty idyllic world. She was the model housewife. Everything was pretty good in her neighborhood until the day she forgot to go to the grocery store. What was she to serve for dinner? There was only one thing to do...

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Serve her family for dinner of course. 

That Wally sure can run.

That Wally sure can run.

Welcome! I'm so glad you could make it.

Welcome! I'm so glad you could make it.

Would you like an h'orderve? Eyeball? Toe...? No?

Would you like an h'orderve? Eyeball? Toe...? No?

Cooking your family is very macabre work.

Cooking your family is very macabre work.

Ugh. Blood Stains.

Ugh. Blood Stains.

I had a ton of fun running around the Presidio in San Francisco brandishing my cleaver. Gritchelle was my partner in crime again for this Halloween photo shoot and our friend Shawn joined us to assist. Plus we got to nerd out a bit with our Land Cameras.

You may remember the Lucy pics we took last year. The dress I'm wearing in these pics was the original dress I'd purchased for my Lucy costume. Since last year I've known I wanted to have a vintage costume again so I could use it. When I found out my friend Wendy had some vintage sweaters I confirmed my idea for a murderous June Cleaver. With the bulk of my costume being the dress and sweater I just had to create a few accessories. My necklace is also vintage that I happened upon at a yard sale in LA. I made my cardboard bloody cleaver, gloves, and apron. It all was topped off with a blond wig. I've never been blond before! 

This is also the second year I've had to explain my costume to kids unfamiliar with classic black and white sitcoms... and I'm sure I'll be explaining to some adults as well.

Photography by Gritchelle Fallesgon with assistance by Shawn Carrico.

Lucy in disguise

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Today's the day to be as weird as you want. Dress up as your heroes or worst nightmares. This year I opted for hero.

When inspiration hit to dress up as Lucille Ball for Halloween I was surprised I'd gone all these years without being her. I couldn't be just any Lucy though. I wanted to be Lucy from the Hollywood episodes which are my favorites.

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I recreated her disguise from the episode 'LA at Last' which ends with her famously catching her nose on fire. How does she get in that predicament?

Freshly arrived in Hollywood Lucy, Ethel, and Fred head to the Brown Derby to look for stars.They spot William Holden and Lucy starts sneaking peeks at him. Tired of gawking fans William decides to turn the tables. Lucy finds herself embarrassingly being stared at over a booth median by William. Later on back at the hotel Ricky comes home to tell Lucy that he met William Holden on his movie set and he wants Lucy to meet him. Lucy puts herself in disguise hoping that she's not given away. Comedy ensues and she inadvertently lights her nose on fire. 

For all the laughs you can watch the episode here.

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There were never any I Love Lucy episodes in San Francisco but I have a feeling she would have gotten herself in a lot of trouble had she visited. 

Shopping! (Union Square)

Shopping! (Union Square)

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Lucy, you have some 'splaining to do.

Lucy, you have some 'splaining to do.

Where, oh where, are the stars? (Outside the Sir Francis Drake Hotel)

Where, oh where, are the stars? (Outside the Sir Francis Drake Hotel)

There will be stars here for sure. (Lori's Dinner on Powell)

There will be stars here for sure. (Lori's Dinner on Powell)

Lucy doesn't see Marilyn.

Lucy doesn't see Marilyn.

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 (Xanadu Gallery, building by Frank Lloyd Wright.)

 (Xanadu Gallery, building by Frank Lloyd Wright.)

Trying to embody the rubber faced Lucy. 

Trying to embody the rubber faced Lucy. 

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Costume details.

I bought fake vintage glasses and added additional bedazzling. The wig is a Lucy style available online. Luckily the scarf was a necessary costume accessory as ultimately it's what kept the wig on my head. The scarf was it's own challenge. In the episode her hair is completely covered by the scarf but it was too difficult to style that way with the wig. I opted to sew a slightly stretchy piece of cotton fabric in a long tapered rectangle and wrapped around my head starting from the back. The earrings and shoes I already owned. Fake eyelashes were a must.

The nose! The dress!

For the nose I used an air drying kids clay. I started with white and pigmented it with gouache. I made two so I could light one on fire. For the key costume detail I scoured Etsy for the perfect Lucy dress in my size. Since the dress I bought didn't have a black tie made a "pearl" necklace out of some faceted glass beads. I realize out in the wild my costume is the meme of 50+ years ago so I added the shows logo to my lapel. Why am I wearing pants? Lucy was actually wearing a house coat with pants. This episode and outfit is so iconic there was even a hilarious Barbie made wearing the disguise.

Who would of guessed that the year I take up calligraphy is the same year I need calligraphy for my Halloween costume.

Who would of guessed that the year I take up calligraphy is the same year I need calligraphy for my Halloween costume.

Lucy is engrained in my childhood. Growing up I dreamed of playing dress up in her closet so you can imagine what a treat it has been to flit around in vintage. It's been fun doing research on the ground breaking lady. A fun nerd fact I learned is that Desilu produced the original Star Trek.

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In case you've forgotten what my real nose looks like it's right here. 

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My Ethel and photographer for the day was Gritchelle Fallesgon. Thank you Gritchelle! I really feel like we had a Lucy adventure in SF. For a moment I could imagine what it felt like to be the real Lucillie Ball. The one who worked long hours and I'm sure exhausted her body for a laugh. 

One of our prize moments of the day was when Gritchelle and I stole this trolley shot. 

One of our prize moments of the day was when Gritchelle and I stole this trolley shot. 

I love ya Lucy! 

 

Photography and photo editing by Gritchelle Fallesgon

Halloweens past

It's officially October and I am officially freaking out because I don't know what to be for Halloween. This may sound like elementary school problems but this is serious business (fun) in San Francisco. Some years I've chosen my costume for the next year as soon as November 1st so it's a bit frustrating that I haven't found inspiration yet. 

Of course I always make my costume. I believe the first costume I made myself was in 4th grade. I was a bat. I wore all black and decorated black material with glow in the dark puff paint to create bat wings. When I'm making a costume I often get inspiration from something I already own or find throughout the year. This helps keep a budget for other supplies to around $40.

Here's a bit of record keeping for myself of my costumes made in adulthood. Enjoy some semi-embarrassing pictures of myself.

Playing dress up in San Francisco

2012 Smokey Bear/ 2011 A Spider

2012 Smokey Bear/ 2011 A Spider

My Smokey Bear costume was inspired by a ranger hat I bought in yosemite. I felted a mask, ears, and sewed up a fake fur coat. For more Smokey Bear costume pics see my blog post last year. 

My spider was inspired by a hat my mom owns and pants I'd recently bought. More pics available in my 2011 Halloween blog post.

2010 selfies. Pirate Supply Girl

2010 selfies. Pirate Supply Girl

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The Pirate Supply Girl costume was inspired by 826 Valencia. I used a tutu and tights I already owned, a $2 pirate hat found at a thrift store, and a “puffy shirt” my mom bought me one year for Christmas. That Halloween The Giants had just won the World Series so I included a "black beard" in my box of goodies. I sold it to a Brian Wilson jersey'd giants fan for five bucks.

2009 A Witch (hard to dig a picture up for this year). Pictured left my grandma dressed as a witch trying to kill my mom dressed as a black widow (maker).

2009 A Witch (hard to dig a picture up for this year). Pictured left my grandma dressed as a witch trying to kill my mom dressed as a black widow (maker).

Inspired by my grandma and her love for dressing up as a witch for Halloween, in 2009, I chose to dress as The Wicked Witch of the East before the house falls on her in Wizard of Oz. That year my family had a surprise 80th birthday celebration for for my grandma so it was fitting to dress as a witch in celebration. 

2008 Football Player

2008 Football Player

It was serendipity when I found a $5 kids helmet at a yard sale. I already owned a Jeff Garcia jersey so a Halloween costume was inevitable. You can't see it in these pics but I turned a football into a purse. That's always an extra challenge every year. Making sure all my accessories fit with my costume.

2007 Young  Cruella de Vil/ the young "ella" would totally take selfies.  

2007 Young Cruella de Vil/ the young "ella" would totally take selfies. 

My roommate in 2007 owned a pink rabbit fur coat. I taped paper dots to the fur as not to ruin it. I'd lost some by the time these pics were taken. 

2006 My Space/ 2005 A Paper Doll  

2006 My Space/ 2005 A Paper Doll 

The MySpace costume looks a bit crazy but hey remember how distracting the real My Space was. I wore a "wall" that I made out of distracting fabric and ironed on profile and cat pictures. Throughout the evening I handed out quizzes and gathered friends on my wall by using my real Polaroid camera.

In 2005 I had access to a large format printer so I could finally fulfill a costume idea that was haunting me. For the paper doll costume I printed an illustration on Tyvek. I knew it would look like paper without tearing. I held everything together with snaps.

Playing dress up in college

Princess Leah/ Stick Figure

Princess Leah/ Stick Figure

For my Princess Leah costume I used a white graduation robe I owned. The belt was made out of cardboard and silver spray paint and I baked her iconic hairdo out of  bread dough from a tube.

I have know idea what made me dress up as a stick figure but I sure was reflective.

 

PEZ Dispenser

PEZ Dispenser

The PEZ costume is made out of cardboard, spray paint, and suspender material. This costume was held together with velcro so I could fit it in my car. The main lesson this costume taught me is to never make a costume that restricts leg mobility.

Looking back at all these pics I've dressed up as some classics; witches, spiders, pirates, Star Wars, oh my! I'd love some costume suggestions for this year if you have any. I may just have to put another twist on a classic. 

Thanks friends and family who helped dig up some old pics of my Halloweens past.