Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wicked Halloween Exchange

I have had just the best time participating in my four Halloween swaps this year. And, ta da.....this amazing doll was one of the wondrous things my partner, Jennifer Wells (also known as "Black October Girl"), from Seattle, Washington sent to me!

Getting to know Jennifer has certainly been inspiring due to the fact that she is a great lover of "The Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, or All Souls Day." She explained to me that these two days are the celebration of the life of a loved one. She has an altar set up at home and it is covered in "Day of the Dead" items, but it also has pictures of her grandma, great aunt, and some of her furry babies.

We, as Americans also have a kind of altar that some people may not realize--having pictures of our ancestors out or items that belonged to someone long gone. She feels that countries all over the world have some form of the "Day of the Dead," but she just happens to focus on the Latin version because she grew up in southern California.

So, when you see a "Day of the Dead" skeleton form, it represents who that person was when they were alive. When you build a real altar, they place images of that person on it, and other things that this person liked and represents them, like food, alcohol, or flowers (mainly mums). This helps their spirit in the after life. To Jennifer, it is a beautiful way of celebrating their memory and this keeps them close to her. She has a very strong spiritual belief and this just fits right in with her thinking.

We have been taught to fear death on so many levels that when we see images like those of the "Day of the Dead," it makes us uncomfortable. But to her, it is just so beautiful!! She makes "Day of the Dead" cookies, and one of her favorites are her homemade Christmas cookies with skeletons holding Christmas trees. She made quite an impression on me.

She adored taking photos of beautiful graves in her hometown of Dana Point, California. I hope to see some of them one day. Here is a photo of her beautiful wall in her home.

Here is a photo of our "Wicked" Exchange.....

I also received this altered composition book with a glow-in-the dark moon on the inside cover. There was also some of my favorite Dove dark chocolates wrapped in miniature coffins, two festive tags, Halloween pencils, a bag of felted pumpkins, and all presented with style.

It was a journey in cultures, and I am so glad I was matched up with such a sweet person on the other side our our country. Thank you so much, Jennifer. I would also like to thank our hard-working hosts, Ramona Alvarado and Samantha Lambert of Altered Art Junkies. I think I am hooked on swaps. Thanks so much.


Debra said...

So Very Cool Nancy! Lovin the doll!

snowbear said...

Nancy you were so lucky to have gotten her as a partner since you love the Day of the Dead theme! It looks like you had another great swap!!! ENJOY the holiday!!

Christine Edwards said...

That doll is so cool! What a wonderful swap you and Jennifer had. You both did some amazing pieces.

black said...

what can i say - you were sooooo fun to have as a swap partner - thank you so much for the kind words - i have really enjoyed getting to know you - AND I LOVE LOVE MY SURPRISES!!!!!! i smile everytime i look at them - happy haunting my friend!!! - love black