In which my favorite holiday approaches. Silliness ensues.

I love Hallowe'en.  I like the scary stories, I like the candy, and most of all:
I love costumes.

All dressed up, nowhere to go!

Noche Miller built the dragon mask (above) for me last year.  It's made from rubber floor mats (!) sculpted and glued and painted very beautifully.

The mask inspired me, and I had an elaborate plan to make myself a Viking costume and dress my horse as a Viking ship,

(image stolen from internet)

with the beautiful Dragon Mask as the prow of the boat, and shields along each side, maybe I would carry a red-and-white striped banner to be the "sail."

And to any who said snidely, "You know, Vikings didn't actually wear horned helmets," I planned to say, "You know, Viking boats didn't actually have feet."

It was a great plan.  But it didn't happen last year.

And it mostly didn't happen this year--you will note that there are no shields, and there is no banner.

But I did manage to make the (horned) helmet! 

I want to show off this thing, because it was really fun to make.

When making costumes in years past, I would always start with my feet.  Footgear is incredibly important to my costuming, because it has to look right and be comfortable, and I'm not willing to compromise much on either point.  It's hard to have fun in cute shoes that make my feet hurt.

However, when I started making costumes to wear on horseback, I realized that I needed to start at the other end of my body:

Every time, every ride:  HELMET is the most important piece of safety gear that I wear.

So, for the Viking costume, I started with the headgear.  I took apart the old helmet (above), removing and throwing out the bedazzled shell.  This helmet has "expired" anyhow, so it's not something I will use for everyday riding.

Helmet manufacturers say that a helmet should be discarded after 5 years, because the plastic degrades
and may not protect as well as it should.  I turn old helmets into costumes.

Do as I say, not as I do:  throw your old helmets away so nobody is tempted to use them as a regular helmet.

BUT, if a costume will be worn on horseback, wearing an old helmet is better than going bareheaded.  Adding paint and stuff to an unexpired helmet will void the warranty on most helmets, by the way.

When "Endurance Santa" needed a helmet, I used glossy red and white paint
and the fur trim from an old Xmas stocking to decorate an old Troxel. 

I struck costuming gold at a post-Hallowe'en thrift store sale last November:

I found this cool costume-felt Viking hat in the dollar bin!

The felt hat was too small to just drop over the top of the old helmet.  So I got out the scissors and cut it in half.

I removed the rubbery "spike" trim and the "braid" trim with a seam ripper,
then cut the left and right halves apart with scissors.

Using black Gorilla Tape I attached each the eastern and western hemisphere of the hat to the helmet foam.  This made a weird shape, like two sides of a brain.  Blech.  So, I filled in the dip between the sides with more layers of black tape. 

Then, I re-used the trim I had removed. 

The rubbery "braided" trim went over the black tape,
and a short piece of the "spike" trim went over the top between the horns.

The fur around the rubber horns feels like real rabbit fur, and I pulled it away while I was using the hot-glue gun, then stuck it back in place to hide the seams.

Monica's old leather-and-brass belt got re-purposed as the bottom trim of the helmet.

This leetle belt isn't gonna fit around anybody's middle anymore, anyhow.

There were a lot of goat-photobombing outtakes!

Once Betsey finished shooting pictures of the Dragon and me being Vikings, we pulled out a bunch of silly costumes for the dogs. 

Jasmine's halo was too big for her head, so we wrapped it around her barrel instead.

Tiny dog, big halo.

Megan's dog Lucy (aka MaggieMollyLucy) is visiting this week,
so she got stuck into outfits just like everybody else.

We added a piece of "chin elastic" to keep the alligator head in place

Fox doesn't want to be recognized in this hat

MaggieMollyLucy reluctantly accepted the tutu and the pumpkin hat

Foxie Loxie thinks the shark suit is more "him"

Roo literally hid under lawn chairs to avoid participating,
but we convinced her to wear the shark suit for one picture

"Unicorn horn?  Really?"

Jazz is not a convincing devil dog!

Jazz IS a convincing sunflower!

"I accept these devil horns and samurai armor.  They look nice."

Betsey is a tame pirate, compared to One-Eyed Jazz*
(*she really does have just one eye!)

I get to tell a (not-very-scary) story and then lead the "storytime parade" of small children in costumes banging sticks and bells through the library to celebrate Hallowe'en this week. 

Of course, I'll be wearing a costume, too.  Because that's my favorite part! 


  1. I still want to be you when I grow up.

    1. If you grow up, you can't do this stuff anymore. :-)

  2. I loved that! How am I just now finding it. I must check and make sure your blog is still loading on my RSS feed. I don't know that I've read the actual blog for awhile. That was brilliant how you made the helmet and it looks gorgeous with the mask.
    I shared your latest blog, the one about good horses doing what they are told, with my horse training group, That was brilliant. -Noche


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