Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Tale of the Haunted Dress Form

(Or: What Frightened Us in the Attic)

   Recently, I completed two 35 inch versions of what I call "haunted dress forms." These creations are centered around two nicely made dress forms that I found on one of my buying trips. I'm never one to leave well enough alone, so the dress forms were completely altered... decorative painting, arms and hands, dresses, and jack o' lantern heads were all added. Please take some to enjoy the story behind them in the following text and photographs.

   Mama couldn't help but notice how frightened we children were of the old dress form. She decided to do something about it, then and there.
   Into a ragged cardboard box marked "Hallowe'en," she reached and with a flourish produced a grinning old papier mache jack o' lantern.
   "This lantern was such fun at Bogey Parades in the past," Mama explained. "I think now, it will make a perfect head for our dreaded dress form." With that, she plopped the lantern down where a head belonged.

   In another corner of the attic, Mama lifted the creaking lid of an enormous old trunk. After a few minutes of sorting and searching, out came a long dress all black and orange and flounces.
   "This old fashioned frock served Granny well at a Harvest Ball when she was but a girl," Mama exclaimed. "It's the perfect touch to finish off what we've started!"

   Mama took a few minutes to unfasten the many hooks and buttons contained in that old dress. Before too long, it was draped on the form, all buttons and hooks done up again. Mama gave a few adjusting tugs to the skirt and fluffed up the sleeves with her hands.

   She stood with her back to us for a moment, admiring her work. Then slowly. Mama turned and pointed a finger. Calmly and quietly, Mama declared ", I don't want you children to ever be frightened by this old dress form again. It's now touched with Mama's love and Granny's love and why, just look at it... she couldn't be a more jolly figure to run into, in the corner of an attic, could she?"