Like this weekend, for example. On Saturday I convinced my darling husband that we needed to make a belly mask to capture this precious time in our lives in a special way. I first discovered the idea of belly masking a few months ago when I was doing research on home birth and midwifery and we moved from our OB medical model of pregnancy care a little bit to the fringes where things like this live. Somehow, a search for a labor tub can lead to a site that features a belly mask gallery. That's just the way these things flow.
So anyway, I ordered a masking kit from a local henna artist named Krysteen who owns a company called Mendhi Madness. The kit contains instructions and all the supplies that you need to complete one mask. You could probably just buy the stuff you need at a craft supply store, but I figured it was just easier to have her send it all to me along with her expert advice than for us to try to muddle through it on our own. Turns out, that was a good thing, because despite Gus assuring me more than once that he knew what he was doing and had used plaster of paris like this before, it was kind of hard to get it to cooperate at times. I think some of the little hints paid off, personally.
The process was messy and strange, and now we have a big plaster casting of my belly that I don't know what to do with, but it was a fun adventure nonetheless!
I'll be sure to update once we figure out what, if anything, we're going to do with the cast. Some of the examples in the gallery are painted or otherwise decorated and are hanging like art in the homes of their owners. Rest assured that you won't be finding this thing hanging over our mantle the next time you visit, and Gus has forbidden me from hanging it in the nursery (something about giving the kid a complex- whatever!), but it may end up it in my little craft studio or something.
What does one do with a belly cast, exactly? Ideas are welcome!