Friday, October 13, 2017

Putting the Magic in Your Halloween Projects With Delightful Costume Images

Clipart image of a blue unicorn
Today, for just a minute, I was a unicorn. A soft, baby-blue mystical, magical unicorn.

And now for the rest of the story.

My oldest granddaughter, having turned five this year,  has been undergoing an interesting metamorphosis of late. She started this life with a surprisingly visible reticence. She appraised people with a look that suggested an, at times unnerving, astuteness. As a baby she was serious and fiery, charming and captivating.  We weren't especially surprised to see a lively, fierce rambunctious toddler take her place, nor a horse-loving tomboy when she began preschool.

The sweet, gentle spirit that defines her so completely these days was always there.
Clipart image of a little girl hugging a unicorn
However,  what has surprised us now is that since she entered kindergarten and discovered a kindred spirit in one of her classmates, there has been a transformation in her attitude, taste and style.  We find ourselves looking now at a real little girl — fond of unicorns and rainbows, loving the colour pink, and believing in a world where fairies can chase away bad dreams and princesses understand magic.

Having talked ad nauseum about my grandchildren to a friend at work, including all about our Missy's  enchanting fixation,  I opened the door for that aforementioned brief transformation  of my own today. My colleague decided we needed to provide a little magic ourselves. So this morning then, she showed up with her adult daughter's unicorn costume and insisted I try it on. The rest of her plan was that we would send a picture to my favourite five-year-old.

Nothing like Grandma as a unicorn to make life perfect.

It's unfortunate that this particular costume is too big for our sweet girl. With Halloween arriving, it's no surprise that her only wish for this particular event is to be a unicorn. While she didn't inherit her grandmother's short-person genes, she's still a tad too small to wear the outfit I had on, which means her mother is busy seeking out affordable ways online to create a realistic costume for her. Input was also gathered at a recent family dinner, where Mommy's suggestion that another option would do just as well was effectively shot down with a barrage of boos.

Clipart image of a man in a vampire costumeThe Halloween costume is as important to most little ones as the gown is to the bride. It lets them be their fantasy. They are for that night the superhero, the enchantress, the cartoon character. With that transformation the magic feels real.

Not just for the very young either. Our son's band annually plays a Halloween show, and attendees are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. The number of participants is as high as the level of enthusiasm.  What's most fun to note is how people seem to really get into character. The costume offers a buffer, an anonymity that permits them to step a little out of their shell and be a little freer.

Even grownups, after all, can wish they were something they aren't or look to find the magic again.

As I considered what might be a good choice for today's featured clipart collection, these thoughts of little, and not-so-little trick-or-treaters, and the choices they make for the big night made the decision rather easy.   

These illustrations from and are full of all the fun and delight this entertaining October celebration warrants:

Clipart image of a little princess holding a frog in her hand

Clipart image of a wizard

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Photoshop Tutorials to Dress Up Your Halloween Invites and Other Projects

It was a glorious Thanksgiving long weekend — one of those sometimes autumn stretches in Canada that lift spirits. Temperatures were unseasonably balmy, but not so hot that the bugs were out and about, or that humidity made everybody uncomfortable.

The colourful collage of changing foliage, the sky's pretty azure blue and the brilliant blaze of the sun were the perfect combination to celebrate a day intended for gratitude and counting one's blessings.

Since our large family gathering was on the Sunday, which I'll get to later, my husband and I had a break on Monday to appreciate the sun and warmth in quiet ways, beginning with a hike in a nearby forest, followed by some reading on the deck, then ending with wine and friends.

It was welcome respite given that the previous day was rather more active as our brood of four and their families made it home for turkey and trimmings. Busy,  of course, but so very gratifying. There was laughter and love as well as plenty of chatter.

With five of six grandchildren, aged five and under, a lot of that of course found its way several times to another fall holiday, one that definitely delights little ones. Halloween will be here before we know it and the moms at our gathering had much to say about
the requests for costumes. From unicorns to Wonder Woman, from Peppa the Pig to pirates, ideas were thrown out as they each tried to help the others find the most economical way to fulfil their offsprings' dress-up dreams.

There are still plenty of days for my kids to get the final word on what each boy and girl wants to be,  to find inspiration on various websites and to create something that  meets the approval of these tiny critics. Yet signs of the imminent arrival of  these magical characters, as well as ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks,  are all around. They will only increase now that Thanksgiving's behind us.

Halloween really is a visual event. The creepy countenances of carved jack-o-lanterns, wispy tendrils of ghostly apparitions,  creepy skeletons suspended from invisible strings create eerie vignettes on porches as they await the visits of tiny trick-or-treaters.  There are the terrifying masks and assorted costumes depicting everything from pooches to princess, that are displayed in retail outlets.

From decorated homes and storefront windows, to promotional materials and classroom activities, ghostly themes and spooky designs are in the the minds of parents, merchants, teachers and tiny tots.

These are the images that inspire the occasion. And for folks who like to play in Photoshop there is always a variety of fun tutorials out there that will inspire some Halloween magic. Whether it's a graphic element to serve as a starting point, a photo alteration or a creepy background to which you can add text for ads, flyers or posters,  there are many ideas online.

With the holiday being so visual parties are among the activities that are enjoyed so invitations and decorative elements can also be created with a little help from Photoshop. There's absolutely no reason to fear you won't be able to find something to raise the bar on scary.

Here's a one-stop shopping guide to some terrific tutorials. You're guaranteed to find something that will dress up your Halloween projects:

Design a Halloween Invitation in Photoshop

Creepy Halloween Tutorials

16 Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

17 Photoshop Tutorials

20 Creepy Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

Design a Halloween Poster in Photoshop