I’m blaming this one on too much Tolkien during my formative years, plus the fact that I happen to live in a national forest.

After some intense psychological self debate (‘If I were a tree, what kind of tree would I be?’), I decided that I was feeling rather maple-ish. My three year old nephew and I then set about doing some in depth research into maples which involved lots of leaf pile jumping, stick sword fighting and chasing each-other through the trees. Finally, I got down to work.

My first obstacle was the branches. I didn’t want the weight of real branches on my head, and while I knew I could make them out of paper mache, I was worried about them being too brittle. It took a while, but I eventually just took a good look at the crappy junk I had lying around the house and Frankensteined together a combination of woven pipe cleaners, masking tape and glue with surprisingly good results. Slap some paint on there and it was a done deal.

Next came my clothes – All Hail The Two Dollar Thrift Store Dress!! I don’t know about you, but I have long lived by the belief that anything can be painted, so I merrily set about barking my $2 prize with acrylic (for added textural detail). Legs and arms were easy; just modify and paint some pale yellow tights (because raw maple wood is fairly yellow toned) and you’re good. Now all I had to do was fasten hair clips to the branches, sew leaves on the branches and several bobby pins and color match my make-up.

I was a huge hit at the local Halloween party! Every year we hold a trunk-or-treat in our church parking lot (because, trust me, when you live in the mountains and have streets that resemble roller-coasters and 30+ stairs to hike up just to ring the doorbell, nobody wants to go door to door, even for free candy) and usually I go all out decorating my car, but this time I just sat on my butt in the leaves under a tree with my bowl of future cavities and had everyone in stitches.