So, instead of trick or treating, Rift Valley Academy has Carnival. . .and every year the girls lay down the gauntlet for me and give me their costume ideas. This year – little Red Riding Hood and Granny for Madeline and her RVA big sister, and TinkerBelle and Queen Clarion for my youngest and her RVA big sister.
For Madeline, I deconstructed my red dress from the Centennial Gala, turned the top inside out and seamed it, used the lining for the skirt, and the mesh to make her cape. We ran over to our neighbors to find a picnic basket and Madeline raided the bottom drawer for red and white washcloths to cover the bread she carried in her basket. Liana brought all the pieces for her Granny costume, and we covered her hair in baking flour and piled it in a bun. (She also helped me weave fairy wings and chalk dust Belle’s hair.)
For Tinkerbelle, David found some upholstery fabric when he went to get a new toilet in Nairobi, and I used an old leotard and cut out the sweetheart neck and skirt. I used the zipper I cut out of the red dress I used for Madeline’s costume and then used buttons to attach clothes hangers covered with white linen for wings. Finally, I attached lights I got for Brittney’s baby shower with white thread to make them glow. We took more glitter from the care package from Stephanie to turn some old shoes glitter-green and then made white puff balls out of yarn that Ginny had given the girls for Belle’s birthday and attached them with the glue gun. I taught Belle the magic of a sock bun and we brushed her bangs to the side, and voila, Tinkerbelle. At the last minute, we made a cape from the remaining fabric and a rejected white puff ball and a bag for pixie dust.
For Queen Clarion, David made the wings’ frame and crown out of wire from the town hardware store, we spray painted them gold, and then used gold embroidery thread I had from a care package from Erika to weave back and forth between the wires to make the gauzy look for the wings. Then we attached the battery lights from the baby shower. For her dress we painted strips of linen with gold glitter from Stephanie and wood glue, and then I sewed them together with alternating strips of unglittered linen with my mom’s sewing machine that she sent back with David on his last trip to the US. I attached those to a target dress that I had worn a couple times and then Anne Louise came over to try them on 1 hour before Carnival and we hoped they would fit. I didn’t iron the seams because i wasn’t quite sure how the wood glue would react to the iron.
I know I always go a little bit overboard for carnival, but I love the creative challenge and the looks on the girls’ faces when I manage to make their dreams come to life. The number of people who unwittingly contributed to tonight’s escapade with care packages was pretty amazing too. Their big sisters were great sports and went along with everything as well. I think there is glitter on every floor board and surface of our house tonight, but both girls are asleep on my shoulders, conked out before they even finished their prayers, after night of laughter and a bit of Kijabe magic. . .