We had a blast at the events we participated in during the month of October! We had some resin art pieces available for Sci-Fi Family Day and met a lot of great creative folks at each of the conventions.
Be sure to check out the updated December schedule, here and on the events page.
readersfavorite.com will have all three of my available books listed as prizes in the monthly book giveaway. If you are interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: book giveaway /Rise or/and here: book-giveaway/lost and here: book-giveaway/endow
Upcoming Event Reminders:
Concealed Realms is excited to be part of the Toy Con Christmas Charity Toy Drive! This event takes place at the Bridgeview Community Center in Bridgeview, IL on Dec 4th and 5th. To learn more about Toy Con events visit:toycontoyshow.com
Concealed Realms is scheduled to participate at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo by REEDPOP! The event takes place from December 10th -12th at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
We are scheduled to participate at the ST. LOUIS MIGHTY CON. The event will take place June 18th and 19th at the St. Charles Convention Center in Saint Charles, MO.
Concealed Realms plans to participate at Planet Funk Con, June 24th – 26th. The event will take place at the RiverCenter in Davenport, IA.
Scarecrow and Autumn Quotes:
“Such days of autumnal decline hold a strange mystery which adds to the gravity of all our moods.” – Charles Nodier, Smarra & Trilby
“Though it has no thought of keeping watch, it’s not for naught that the scarecrow stands in the grain field.” – Dogen
“Do try to be more cheerful and take life as you find it” – The Scarecrow, The Marvellous Land Of Oz by L. Frank Baum
“A king may be a tool, a thing of straw; but if he serves to frighten our enemies, and secure our property, it is well enough; a scarecrow is a thing of straw, but it protects the corn.” – Alexander Pope
“A scarecrow was a thing of bold-faced tactics, out in the full light of day. A “murmet,” the “r” softly rolling against the tongue spoke of murmuring stealth, as though it hunted marauding crows in the dark of twilight.” – Kathleen Kent
“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“The house was very quiet, and the fog—we are in November now—pressed against the windows like an excluded ghost.” – E.M. Forster, Howards End
“Are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves, O flakes of snow, For which, through naked trees, the winds A-mourning go?” – John Banister Tabb
“High above the rotten rows.
Cloth and metal.
Teeth and crows.
End of men.
First of ten!
Through the field
Down the lane.
Voices never heard again.”
– Fiddlesticks, League of Legends
“Night, which in Autumn seems to fall from the sky so suddenly, chilled us…” – Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, The Crimson Curtain
Definition of Scarecrow:
Noun “an object, usually a figure of a person in old clothes, set up to frighten crows or other birds away from crops..”– www.dictionary.com
1: “an object usually suggesting a human figure that is set up to frighten birds away from crops”
2: “something frightening but harmless” – merriamwebster.com
A scarecrow hung with arms outstretched. Empty gloves were clothes pinned onto its flannel sleeves to indicate where hands were meant to be. I could see the shape of its head in the dimming light, but I couldn’t make out the expression on its face. Its loose, un-tucked shirt flapped gently in the autumn breeze, moving in the same direction as the waist high grass that shielded its lower half from my view. Not eager to venture closer as I eyed the straw stuffed creation, I realized this effigy stood out to me and I thought to myself, I need to make one.
Its wasn’t that scarecrows were a rare sight around my neighborhood. In fact many happy smiling versions dotted the lawns and doorways at this time of year, but this one example, strangely placed in a forest preserve field, along a nature trail near where I lived, reminded me of the scarecrows I used to see on farms near where I had grown up, scarecrows that had been erected not for the sole reason of celebrating the season, but with a more practical and useful purpose in mind. To scare away birds and other critters.
Would it surprise you to learn that Scarecrows have been around for thousands of years? As I began the process of determining how I should put my scarecrow together, I also began to read up on the history of these helpful farm friends.
In this creativity post I will share a few interesting facts I learned, a brief history on the origin of scarecrows, and how I decided to put my own creation together.
What is a Scarecrow?
The traditional scarecrow is a decoy made in the shape of a human and generally posted on cultivated ground in order to deter birds or other animals from eating or disturbing crops.
The “body” is generally stuffed with straw, then dressed in loose clothing that can flap in the wind, giving the illusion of a real, moving person. The head is often made from burlap and sometimes a simple face is painted onto it.
Five Interesting scarecrow Facts
- Formidophobia is the fear of scarecrows.
- The first known usage of the word “scarecrow” in English novels was in 1719 in Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe.
- The world record for the largest gathering of scarecrows in one location is held by National Forest Adventure Farm in the U.K., with 3,812 scarecrows.
- TKojiki, the oldest surviving Japanese book , which was compiled in the year 712, features a scarecrow referred to as “Kuebiko “who appears as a deity that cannot walk yet knows everything about the world.
- Annual scarecrow festivals happen around the world! You can find a list of many popular ones here:bothwellscarecrowfestival
The Scarecrows beginnings
It is believed that the Egyptians used the first form of scarecrow to protect wheat crops along the Nile River from flocks of quail. To erect the effigy’s the farmers would install wooden frames in their fields and cover them with nets. Then they would hide nearby intent on scaring the quail into the nets, not only saving there crops, but also capturing a meal in the process.
One popular form of scarecrow made by Japanese farmers to keep sparrows from their rice fields were called kakashis, They would hang rags, noisemakers, sticks, and bones on poles before lighting them on fire. Its said that the the smell alone was enough to keep critters away. Later Japanese farmers began making scarecrows look more human shaped by dressing them in coats, hats, and even equipping them with weapons to make them look more frightening.
Around 2,500 B.C., Greek farmers would create wooden scarecrows to look like Priapus, who was the son of the god Dionysus and the goddess Aphrodite, because he was said to be so ugly that he would scare birds away from the vineyards. They painted these scarecrows purple and often put a club in one hand to scare away the birds and a sickle in the other for a good harvest. As Greek influence spread into Roman territory, Roman farmers soon adopted the practice.and noisemakers and sticks were mounted on a bamboo then lit on fire. The flames (and presumably, the smell) kept birds and other animals away from the rice fields.
In Germany, scarecrows were made from wood and shaped to look like witches. The farmers would carry these figures through the fields to draw out the spirit of winter and hasten spring. The witch then became the scarecrow, protecting newly planted crops by frightening away foraging critters.
In Medieval Britain due to the decreased population after the Great Plague, effigies were created to replace the job of the “bird scarer”, who had previously been boys paid to throw stones at birds as they wandered the fields. These scarecrows often had gourds for heads with painted on faces and bodies that were created by stuffing sacks with straw.
The Making of a Scarecrow
You could make a scarecrow out of many things. The materials you choose should be sturdy enough to stand up to the elements, but can be simple.
1.) Create the Scarecrow Frame. If you want your scarecrow to stand, you can build the backbone and shoulders by creating a simple lower case “t” shape with your chosen materials at whatever height you would like it to stand.
If you would prefer for your scarecrow to sit on a chair, crate, or bale of straw then you could skip the frame. If you live someplace windy like I do, just be sure to tie the body and limbs to its perch so that it doesn’t end up in your neighbor’s yard.
a.) I originally planned to use a long garden stake for the backbone, because I already had one in the ground near my small raspberry patch, but since Halloween hadn’t yet passed when I finished my scarecrow, I decided that I wanted to be able to move the creation around my yard as the spooky day grew closer.
2.) Dress and stuff the Scarecrow
Fill a pair of old pants or overalls and a shirt with plastic grocery bags, leaves, rags, or straw. Then tie off and tuck the shirttail into the pants. You could even sew the shirt to the pants if you wanted too. Be sure to cinch off the ankles and wrists of the clothing as well so the straw will not fall out.
b.) I chose worn jeans and a button down shirt for my scarecrow, but used a burlap bag for an interior body shape. After I removed some of the length from the burlap bag I had (it was very long), I stuffed and sewed it closed. I then filled the legs of the jeans and sealed the cuffs. I did the same with the shirt sleeves before my creation together.
3.) Add a head/face
You could use many things for a head, an old pumpkin pail, a gourd with a carved in face, a nylon stocking, or even an old pillow case could be made into your desired shape. Permanent markers or paint should work well for adding eyes and a mouth, if you choose cloth. Your scarecrow’s facial expression can be scary, funny, hideous, or maybe even a blank canvas, its your call.
c.) I used some of the leftover pieces of burlap to create a patchwork head shape and painted a crude face onto it, before stuffing the head. I then added holes to the “neck” and ran a twine through them in order to cinch the cloth closed.
4.) Place Scarecrow
d.) Since I didn’t use a t shaped frame, I used metal wire to make sure that the body of the scarecrow would stay in position.
5.) Add Footwear, Gloves, and Accessories
Once the scarecrow body is settled into position, you can add the finishing touches. Search through your closets for old shoes, boots, or/and gloves for your masterpiece. Add a hat, scarf, or whatever your heart desires.
e.) I let my imagination get a little carried away. I purchased a pair of small stretchy gloves from the local dollar store, which I stuffed and sewed shut. I then used modge podge as adhesive to cover them with the remaining scraps of burlap that I had removed. I also made the scarecrow a few accessories with twine and some small plastic bones.
Although now days scarecrows are used more often as a symbol for fall, around the world crop growers had originally fashioned these effigy’s to perform a more specific task – to scare.
Do you like the way this hay man decoy turned out? The scarecrow is a bit clunky and it isn’t very “nice” looking, but it is sturdy and to me he is just the right amount of creepy to be a delightful addition to my yard for the remainder of the fall season. I hope that you enjoyed this creativity post on scarecrows! If you decide to try your hand at designing your own, remember to let your your creativity fly.