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By Nazia Farzin Shafiq

Traditions and everything we hold special flows with the passage of time; it diffuses through geographical boundaries and social norms. Valentine's was unheard of even in the late eighties but now it is an occasion that has made a permanent place in our calendars.

A recent innovation that has seeped into the local scene is that of Halloween -- 31 October, the day when 'the world of the dead is bridged with that of the living'.

At Star Lifestyle, we keenly observe this growing trend and for those who are eager to introduce their children to this culture, here is what our “Creative Mum” has to offer. Since “Creative Mum” is a do-it-yourself column that is designed to help mothers fashion home-made items for their precious little ones, we have come up with this Halloween special three weeks in advance in order to give doting mothers the time and scope to decide upon an item for you to practise and make perfect before 31 October.


Halloween accessories
Superhero cape

Here's the easy, no-sew, superhero cape. Many thanks to my friend Andrea for sharing her ideas with us.

1½ yards of red knit fabric, (knit is like T-shirt material and the ends won't fray)
1 yard of red ribbon and scissors.

Lay your fabric out and along one of the long ends fold the edge of the fabric over one inch.

With your scissors make several snips in the fold, 1 inch apart, down the length of the fabric. Open the fold and you will now have several slits to weave your ribbon in and out of. After the ribbon is woven through all the slits gather the fabric towards the centre. Take each end of the ribbon and loop it back through the last slit and knot. To keep your ribbon ends from fraying you can quickly run the edge over a flame and it will seal them.

Halloween makeup
This is the perfect look if you've got no costume but want to look “dressed up.” You need to do a cat eye look with the thick, black, winged-out eyeliner on your eye. For the lips go cute and pink. Make your eyebrows more defined and dark with black eyebrow pencil.

Apply a bronzer only to the apple of the cheeks and you can really layer it on.

Next, take a brown eyeliner and draw on some little freckles. Then take a black eyeliner and draw on whiskers and a nose. The most important part is to use a waterproof and smudge-proof black eyeliner for the whiskers and nose.

You definitely need a pair of black ears for a more finished look. You can use a black hair band and attach two felt triangles with some hot glue.

Halloween food arrangement
Finger looking pizzas
What's the must-have on your Halloween party menu? Finger foods, of course! But not any finger food…we are going to make actual food that looks like fingers!

Cheese pizza
Red pepper
While waiting for the pizza to be done or even bought, cut red peppers into nail-shaped pieces. Cut the cheese pizza into strips. Place red pepper on the pizza strips in place for nails to create fingers. And Voila! The scary looking finger pizzas are ready.

Halloween costumes
Spooky T-shirt art at home!
Bloody and creepy. Here is a fun activity to do for Halloween. This is intended for older children or 'young'adults. This idea has been borrowed from "crafty moods".

A black T-shirt
Marking chalk
A cheap paint brush
Piece of cardboard

Place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt. Even an old shoebox cover will work. The purpose for this is to keep the t-shirt flat and smooth, and also to protect your table.

Take a cap full of bleach and mix with a cap full of water (that is, 50 per cent bleach and 50 per cent water).

Sketch out your design with chalk first and then trace with bleach brush. Start painting and almost immediately, you will see your image surface. The reason for using a black T-shirt is that the bleach shows up 'red' on black fabrics. No need to run out to the craft store for expensive red fabric paint this time! Make sure your brush is not too soaked with the bleach solution, or you will end up dropping it all over your shirt. (Although the splattered bleach is kind of cool).

After getting your desired look, immediately rinse the T-shirt under running water. Make sure you wash it thoroughly -- this will stop the bleach from setting in more. Do not use any soap.

Your spooky little monster is ready to scare the neighbourhood!

Tips: Use a bleach pen for more accurate lines; Use bleach products in a well ventilated area.

Tinker Bell dress
Dressng up is something that is a part of our daily lives. I simply love seeing what my girls put together! There's something special in seeing their creativity come to life! And I love all the characters they come up with! An obvious favourite is Tinker Bell.

I made my daughters their first Tinker Bell costume for Halloween last year and it still gets quite a bit of use... sometimes even as a sleeping suit!

Oversized green (or colour of your choice) T-shirt
Needle and thread
Marking chalks

Lay the T-shirt flat and cut off the bottom hem. Next, measure your child's chest and mark it in the T-shirt, and cut as per the picture. Sew the sides and the top of the dress.

Optional: Gather a little bit of fabric in the middle of the chest and do a small stitch. The purpose is to give the front a more defined look.

Attach a decorative button or flower.

From the leftover scraps of the T-shirt, take two long rectangle pieces, and attach it behind the button with needle and thread. This will provide more control of the dress and it won't slip down from your child's body.

Halloween rock painting
Paper and pencil
Black and white painter's pens or sharp black marker
Colours (acrylic or outside paint)
Water pots

To begin the process, you can sketch a few typical Halloween images onto a piece of paper then gather some rocks in shapes that would work for each. Once you have selected your rocks, you can set your children to work painting them with the base colours (white or black).

You need to paint two coats on each rock (you can use acrylic paint if you intend to use it inside the house or use any outdoor paint for this project). Allow the first coat to dry before doing the next. You can use a pencil to draw on features and to show the children where colours should be separated.

Next, use black and white painter's pens or sharp markers to go over the features on each rock and to write sayings on a couple too. Now you need to decide where you will display them; maybe on the mantle, in your entrance or corridor, or scattered around the house as part of your Halloween decor.

Tips: If you want to give the rocks a more fun look, you can attach googly eyes with hot glue.


Designer Collection at AARONG

Established in 1978, Aarong has established itself as one of Bangladesh's leading clothing and lifestyle brands. For over four decades, Aarong has spearheaded the promotion of Bangladeshi culture, art and handicrafts both at home and abroad. Patronising over 65,000 artisans, Aaarong offers more than 100 different product lines available at their twelve outlets across Bangladesh. While their clothing line is highly sought after, encouraging production in large numbers, Aarong is also mindful of their clients' need for exclusivity. With this in mind, they have introduced their new limited edition line designed with the use of premium fabrics, intricate embellishments and trendy cuts and silhouettes.

The women's wear range in Aarong's new designer collection offers a wide range of options in both saris and shalwar kameez sets. The shalwar kameez line titled " Aarong Designer Wear Salwar-Kameez" features extensive use of muslin, crepe, silk, jamdani and chiffon. A maximum of five pieces are produced for each product in order to maintain exclusivity and they are available in sizes 34-42. Prices range from Tk 20 000 onwards.

As with all other Aarong products, their new line of saris, "Aarong Exclusive Saris", is steeped in heritage and includes options in muslin, silk and jamdani. Replication is kept to a minimum with no more than four saris produced in each category. Pricing is similar to their shalwar kameez line, starting from Tk.20,000.

The menswear section introduces a new line of exclusive sherwanis in sizes 38 to 46. A maximum of ten pieces of each silk-based sherwani are produced and prices range from Tk.15,000. Aarong's design wear collection is available at their Dhanmondi, Gulshan and Uttara outlets.

Photo courtesy: Aarong


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