I was feeling that a new dimension needed to be added to the splendid graveyard this year. Something looming, tall and ghastly…..
Then, when a search for “cheesecloth” took me to an online fabric store selling 100 yards of this gauzy, flowy cotton for $32.00, my mission was defined (click on cheesecloth to learn more). The box of cheesecloth arrived promptly and I was thrilled to have a thick stack of this soft palette with which to work.
While I wanted a spooky stand out, I also wanted something that would blend in with the gardens. Looking around the market I was able to find some natural materials with which I could easily create structure for my splendid spirits. Look around — maybe you have some things in your surroundings, which could easily be converted, with simple shrouds of cheesecloth, into a lovely, billowing decoration for all hallow’s eve.
Here’s what we found. Corkscrew willow and other branches made the perfect “skeleton” for some freestanding ghosts in the graveyard. I used a tall piece for the height, crossed with a shorter branch for arms, and secured the branches in place with brown duct tape. To create a little more shape, I created a skirt of leaved branches, pruned from a tree. I bound the “skirt” to the body using more brown duct tape, for Mrs. Ghost.
Pretty good..but maybe a little…I don’t know…too white??
When I gazed at this wall covered with mature climbing roses, I saw more than canes and thorns…I saw ghosts… can you see them?
But in my Virgo mind, they needed a little something more.
It’s hard to know precisely where our creative thoughts originate, but it may have been this skirt that started the wheels turning for my ghost perfection project. It’s from the Spring 2011 collection of Proenza Schouler and was featured on the wonderful blog, Slim Paley. Slim Paley kindly featured our Chocolate Covered Tarantulas in this piece as well (thank you for the mention, SP!)
I cut several lengths and let them soak in a basin with some of the bluing.
Other pieces of cheese cloth had a much darker destiny. After getting them wet, I put them in a bag and shook them up with pieces of charcoal and ashes (from the fireplace).
Arabella didn’t seem to be very impressed.
I put a third batch in a vessel of water with yellow food coloring.
I unfolded the pieces of cloth and draped them over the shrubbery (here’s the perfect lazy-lady method for making ghosts).
So to my pure, white wraiths, I added lengths of the colored cloth.
I put the yellowish cloth in the dryer to get this bumpy texture.
I put one sheet of white cheesecloth over the face of the rosebush ghosts, and gathered the rest of the fabric pieces behind the face.
The added shrouds give the graveyard ghosts the more weathered and aged look I was seeking.