Ghosts……they’re creepy and spooky. They’re intangible, they can pop up anywhere, and unless you’ve got one of those awesome proton packs it’s awfully hard to get rid of one of them. They may be one of the more cliché elements of Halloween, but who doesn’t like a good, old-fashioned ghost?! I know I do. Some of the horror movies that I actually like feature a spirit or a ghost.
So, I most certainly had a ghost listed for one of the plushes I had originally planned to make. As Shawn and I were talking about them, he ended up sketching four different looks for me to consider and work from. I ended up liking parts of two of them, so planned to combine them into my own creation. However, once I changed to the pillow idea another way of thinking was in order.
Shawn had sketched out a scene for another item on my list, but I had something else in mind for that. But, I liked the general look of it and said it would work well for the ghost pillow. It was yet another Halloween cliché……ghosts in a graveyard. Not only ghosts in a graveyard, but ghosts coming out of said graves!! However, as we were talking about it we came across a way to do it that made it at least a step up from the norm. Possibly not and it might actually be a hack piece, but I enjoyed the way it played out.
To be quite honest, I don’t remember exactly how it all came about for this particular scene. I have to fight against the urge to basically shout out on my site, “I came up with ideas too on these projects!! It wasn’t just my husband!!” In truth, Shawn is extremely creative and talented as well as being much more visual than I am. During the course of him drawing things out and my throwing out comments on what he showed me, this ghost pillow is the result. So, rather than talk more about the process, I’m just going to point out what I specifically like about this one. (I decided to speak to this here and open up a bit of my own neuroses because I was having a tough time writing this particular blog entry. It wasn’t flowing like the others, and I think I was getting too hung up on trying to delineate between what were his ideas and what were mine. Rather than continuing to struggle with this, I thought I’d alleviate that stress and at the same time give some content that perhaps other people might relate to and be happy to hear.)
In my opinion, the true appeal of this pillow is all of the visual elements that the eye can focus on. There isn’t just one ghost but three! You’ve got one that is much bigger than the others, so your attention can zero in on him right away. Plus, he’s starting to fly up from the grave, he’s fully formed and it’s just a really neat image.
After him, not only do you have two different ghosts to look at but you have different gravestones, different poses, and even different personalities to a certain extent. I’m quite fond of the second largest because as he’s coming out of his grave he’s kind of curled around it, possibly even hugging it. In a way, it almost gives him a shy appearance, as if he’s half-hiding. I’m not saying that is definitely how it is though. He could just be coming through the gravestone and that’s how his “hands” were positioned. But it’s an interesting design concept that is open to interpretation, even more so because there was no intentionality behind it.
The last ghost is a fun one too because you get to see him just beginning to rise, and I just love the look of part of a head and then on each side, separated by grass, two little round parts for the arms coming out. Plus, he looks kind of unhappy so…..is he an unhappy ghost?....is it uncomfortable rising from the grave?....is he grumpy when he first “gets up”? There are a lot of connotations there with no one concept being correct. The whole pillow scene kind of invites you to wonder about what is going on, where are they going, who are these ghosts, how did they die, etc.
The one sheer stroke of luck that I have to mention is the fabric for the pillow. I had gone to JoAnn’s at one point, and thanks to Puppatoons' tutelage I checked the remnant bin to see what was there. I saw this rolled up blue fabric with bits of white in it like clouds. I had no upcoming plan that required this kind of fabric, but I couldn’t pass it up! I came home, tossed it into the chair with the rest of my fabric and went about with whatever project I was working on at the time. When I was deciding what color to use for the Ghost pillow, Shawn suggested I use that blue fabric. I was thinking something darker since I was imagining night sky, and I didn’t think this would work. However, when I looked at it again it wasn’t as light as I had remembered and there were areas that had an even darker blue. It was perfect!! The fabric had this awesome textured look to it so it evoked this wonderful imagery of the beginning of a nighttime sky.
The whole process went pretty smoothly. I drew out all the individual pieces at work which was a big help. Then it was a matter of sewing the different parts together where needed, assembling the scene and sewing it all onto the pillow, and then doing the pillow itself. I think I did a little bit better with closing up the hole this time. I did it a different way from before and it didn’t pucker nearly as much. Hopefully, I can continue to improve on that in the future and get it to a point where you can’t tell any difference. I’m not sure how exactly, but I’ll give it a try!