the flamingo kid

Saturday afternoon was the Halloween party at the embassy. I spent the last two weeks milling over ideas for The Bushbaby’s first costume. I’d lie in bed looking toward my studio (which until Friday was still strewn with boxes and other moving detritus) considering what I had left to work with. In Luanda there is no popping out to a thrift or craft store and picking up whatever items you may be lacking for the perfect final touches. I was forced to work with the materials on hand. I’ve unapologetically edited my costume trunk from the 6 years spent in New Orleans where sequins, fringe and pleather are as much a part of the culture as brass bands and gumbo. After a brief but memorable stint as a PussyFooter (a Mardi Gras dance troupe that shimmied, marched and boogied in the Muses parade) I had an enviable collection of fine costumery. But as we all know, priorities shift and there comes a time when things like fuchsia knee high boots, feather boas or sparkly metallic eyelashes no longer make the short list of what to drag around the world with you. Tragic really.

Fortunately for the honey dumpling, mama had hung onto a few key pieces. I spent the bulk of my time digging through the studio untangling sewing machine power cords and unruly bobbins. Once some semblance of order was reached I got to work on construction, turning a pair of orange hot-pants into webbed feet and a pepto-pink mini into a poofy set of fringed wings. Next, I layered fishnets over a sparkly pair of tights (which were stuffed with fiber fill) and then stitched on the feet. I finished off the look with a pair of shades and a crocheted hat from Gram topped with my wedding day fascinator. And come on, a baby in sunglasses? Please. That would have been costume enough.

The most shocking part of this story is that The Bushbaby totally loved it. I couldn’t believe how cooperative she was. We wrangled her into her costume as she groggily laughed and cooed. Despite our little pink bird’s lack of actual feathers, others were able to figure out what she was. After about an hour of being paraded around, poked, prodded and squealed at she finally started to lose her cool. Luckily the costume judging took place within that magical hour and our flamingo kid snagged first prize! We forfeited the wax monster teeth and sack of candy that came with that distinguished honor but proudly accepted the laminated certificate.

We even managed to get our first “family photo”!


Happy Halloween to you all. I’d love to hear about your party costumes and ghoulish pranks!



12 thoughts on “the flamingo kid

  1. What an inventive first Halloween costume, especially for the challenges and limitations at your post – you are so creative! I can see lots of super fun Halloweens in your future with amazing dressing up ideas. Thanks for sharing these cute snaps of your day!

  2. You are a creative genius and Colette rocks that costume with some serious baby charisma! Love, love, love it. 🙂

  3. Eve, You crack me up! The costume is amazing and your first family pic is so perfect. I can’t get over those dangly legs. Molly pulled off a last minute costume swap on me, she wanted to be a bat. I would have normally made her stick with her already prepared choice of being a butterfly but I have been saving this old broken umbrella in my attic for at least 4 yrs. now. Always with the hopes that one day I could use it specifically for a bat costume. You realize that this only feeds into the justification of my obsessive salvaging and gathering I’m so prone to.
    Any how, I’ve tried calling a few times and I get a busy signal, no option for leaving a message 😦
    As always I love you and miss you and I am so incredibly happy for you and your blossoming family!!!

  4. thanks, all! I had fun making it and parading her around. And what a bonus to finally have my studio somewhat sorted. I may be delusional but I am hoping to spend more time in there!
    Summer: our number has changed since returning to Angola. I will try to call you next week- at least to leave you the new one. Look forward to catching up!! xoxo

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