Homemade Halloween

If memory serves, Alicia Kachmar was the first Tribecan to offer to help with this site, writing first about her involvement with Park(ing) Day, then photographer Jennifer Kotter, and the Community Cooking Club. She recently moved back to Pittsburgh—temporarily—and we’ve become Facebook friends. I love getting a peek at the crafty/clever/cute stuff she creates. Now she has a book out, Witch Craft, a guide to making all sorts of adorable stuff for Halloween. This photo of her, by the way, is too serious for someone who crochets safety cones.

How did the book come about?
Funny story. I was contacted this past January by Margaret McGuire, co-editor and now good friend, of Witch Craft. She’s an editor at Quirk. Anyway, she asked me to contribute a crochet project to the book, and we fell into this instant email rapport, going back and forth about Halloween and craft stories. My birthday is November 2, so I often had Halloween parties, which I planned in a very OCD, attention-to-detail way. After a week or so of these emails, she came to learn that I was knee-deep in the crafty, DIY world with my own crazy crochet business, on Etsy and beyond, and basically a lifetime of crafting experience. She then asked me to be co-editor in addition to being a contributor (four times).

Dracula candy bowl (from "Witch Craft")

Is there a crafty, DIY side of Tribeca  these days?
It’s possible there is one, but I wasn’t part of it. I occasionally had crafty get-togethers for friends and would see people knitting at Whole Foods, but that’s about it.

Wait, what about Moomah?
Unfortunately, I only made it there once while living in Tribeca.

Finger food (from "Witch Craft")

Too bad—you’d really love it. When you come back we’ll have to go there. Did you used to celebrate Halloween in Tribeca?
Yes and no. Originally, I started working in Tribeca as a nanny, at the same apartment where I was fortunate enough to live. The first year I was working there, however, I took the kids on the subway back to their old neighborhood, Park Slope, for Halloween. Oops! Last year, I technically celebrated Halloween in Tribeca—I was holed up in my apartment for days working on crafts for the Halloween segments on the Today show, something I’ve done for two years now. It’s a freelance gig courtesy of Better Homes & Garden. Perhaps you saw the drunken ewoks last year? They “downed” one of my candy-filled gourds, crafted right here in Tribeca! That gig is a lot of fun, but requires sleepless nights of pumpkin-carving, scarecrow-making, and running all over the city trying to find styrofoam balls and googly eyes. Fortunately, I was able to find a lot of supplies at Pearl Paint, Whole Foods, Jin Market, and in Chinatown.

What was your best Halloween costume ever?
My mom made me this amazing Catwoman costume—gone are the days when I was excited to be covered in spandex from head to toe.

Crocheted bones (from "Witch Craft")

Any idea what you’ll dress up as this year?
A witch! One of the projects I did for the book was the ruby slippers [see the cover, above], so I will be donning those, black-and-white-striped tights, and some kind of bewitching tulle black dress I hope I have time to make myself. I may just wear this outfit all October, so watch out….

What’s your least favorite holiday? It has to be a legit one, not National Murphy Bed Day.
I am not a fan of New Year’s Eve/Day—it always feels so anticlimactic, there’s so much pressure to make a big deal out of it. Last year I was sitting on a couch, knitting with my parents, when the clock struck midnight, and I was happy as a clam.

Tangerine jack-o'-lantern ("from Witch Craft")

Totally agree—it’s for amateurs. What do you miss most about Tribeca?
The cobblestone roads, even when I had to bike on them, the sound of the police horses, my windowsill garden, walking down Greenwich towards the parks, all the good cups of coffee within a five-block radius.

You’re so clever about crocheting objects. Is there anything Tribeca-specific you’ve ever crocheted? Anything you’ve ever wanted to?
I started working on some water towers, which are a general New York thing, but no, I haven’t come up with something Tribeca-specific! I am open to ideas, however. Do you have any, Tribeca Citizen readers?


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