I guess I have some catching up to do, given that we’re now in the Christmas Season! But we had so much fun during this year’s Dia de Muertos that it can’t go without mentioning. The Dia de Muertos celebration is much much more than dressing up as skeletons. It’s a beautiful, colorful, loving, and meaningful tradition. If you don’t know much about it, you should definitely look it up.

This year we made an alter in our home, the girls were in a town play about the traditions of this time of year, and of course, they were both in the Catrina competition, which is held annually in our town.

Xantolo, the play our girls performed in.


Ellia was the lead, Rosita, who passes away and takes us on her journey through the afterlife.


During the play Arias performed a Solo aerials act.



One of this year’s Catrinas competition requirements was to incorporate some recycled materials. I got super excited about this because it meant more creativity would have to go into the costume making. And if you’ve followed us long enough you know that I love making the girls’ outfits, trying to outdo myself every year.


Ellia’s Talavera Catrina


For her, I made a skirt out of plastic. We recently bought a new mattress and it came wrapped in sheets of plastic, perfect for a costume. I embellished it with blue roses that I made out of egg crates (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTpb_cGt3es) and Talavera designs that I drew on with a blue sharpie. Her shawl was also made out of plastic sheeting and blue sharpie design (for that design I made a stencil and drew it on over and over again). Her shirt was one that we bought 3 years ago for another event, which I have now used twice in Catrina costumes. Again I drew blue Talavera designs with sharpie on it. She wore a necklace that she made, on which we hung a Talavera heart printed on cardboard. Her headpiece was made out of cereal box cardboard, attached to last year’s crown, which I adorned with new orange paper flowers (made by me) and gems.

I worked on her outfit, on and off, for about a month. Adding pieces here and there when I was in a creative mood.

As for her makeup, it was a three-hour process (with snacking in between)!

Ellia came in 2nd place in the competition.


Arias’ Golden Catrina


For hers, I made the skirt out of newspaper. I found the design on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKvwrJ_wbYo), and handpainted purple flowers over the entire thing. For her shawl, also out of newspaper, I used celery as a stamp to create the flower design. Her necklace was from a costume from a few years ago, except we added the aluminum heart, which I made by cutting a beer can (that I found on the street), stamping the design into it, and then painting it with gold spray paint and purple nail polish. Her headpiece was made out of zip ties that Eben had in the garage, spraypainted gold, and adorned with handmade paper flowers and gems.

Arias came in 3rd place in the competition.


Now that it’s all done, I can’t wait for next year to roll around. Eben and I were also invited to be the Catrin+Catrina in the adult category, representing our friend’s restaurant.