decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last Thoughts..

We are now home from our Halloween travels. We managed to hit them all - costume parade, pumpkin patch, Scarecrow Row and parties. It has been a fun time and in houses everywhere Halloween is now officially over. Not in mine. Since my October has been so hectic, I decided to give myself a few more days of my favorite holiday. I still have all of my candles lit, lights burning and decorations "decorating?". I always have a hard time giving up this holiday but I will this coming weekend as I have a few ideas for November that I am looking forward to putting out.

This blog seems a bit disjointed, but it is made up of final bits and pieces before the orange and black is a thing of the past once again.

Here we are at the pumpkin patch in Alachua and then with a few of the scarecrows on Scarecrow Row. This is always one of my favorite autumn traditions. It seems like the "official" start of the holiday although having all of the grandkids at our house for the weekend really starts us off every year.

There are always a few things I look at more than others as I roam the house once the decorations are all up. Here are some of my favorites.

I love this hand and for this holiday it is holding "trick or treat" tickets I found in Micanopy.

I made these boxes as gifts last year. They were all over blogland, so I'm not sure where I got the idea. I just bought papier mache boxes at Michaels and covered them in classic black & white scrapbook paper. Then, I covered small pumpkins with instant papier mache and tried to make them look vintage. All that was left was some embellishing!

Also made these smaller boxes. Somehow I became obsessed with date and number tags.

I made these bones a few years ago when Martha first showed them. Wish I had known that if I had just waited a year or so, they would be available everywhere. Oh well, I do love to glitter so it was a labor of love!

I showed you these witch boots before but I love the sign that I added that my oldest daughter gave me - very appropriate.

This is a card that I bought from Cherry's Jubilee that I turned into a tag and then added a beaded trim to dress it up.

Lastly, this is my autumn wreath that I usually just add a few masks to for Halloween. This year, my cousin sent me these cute, stuffed felt figures and I added them as well. Then, it was starting to look better so I added the glittery pumpkins and hanging stuff and I love it! Don't want to take it apart and make it go back to autumn again!

I am almost done with my downloads of pictures. Sure does take a long time when there are so many. I promise I won't make you look at all of them but I will be sharing soon! Stay tuned.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Something's Brewing

I can't believe it's taken me so long to get back to the kitchen even though my husband likes to say that if you want to see me in the kitchen these days , you will have to provide the map -ha-ha! Between caring for my mom and still making the last of the Halloween costumes (mine is STILL not done), blogging has had to take a back seat.

My kitchen isn't really all that decorated this year. I did put out one of my all time favorites - my jack-o-lantern pot. I found this guy at Hallmark many years ago and have never seen anything like it since. When we have our big Halloween gatherings, I use him for chili and always get a comment from someone asking where I found it.

I changed up the hutch at the end of the kitchen a bit this year. It usually holds more of the serving pieces but now I made it a sort of a bar area. I think I did that because of the wine bottle votives I got at Yankee Candle. They are sort of the center of attraction and look pretty lit at night. Other favorites in this area are the wine bottle holder/spooky tree and bottle cover /vampire cape. I bought both of them at Bombay Co. To the left of the picture is another favorite gift from daughter #2. It is a spider web covered cheese plate and cloche. I love it so much I think of things to serve just so I can use it. I also LOVE my witch's brew wine glass given to me by my oldest daughter and my Lolita margarita glasses. I bought these before she painted wine glasses as well. I don't drink margaritas but I love her playfulness in painting the glasses. On the upper shelf is a large glass. I always find these 50% off after the holiday and like the large one to either serve or use as a candle holder.

Because of my time constraints this year, my counters just got "stuff" put out. In the one wire basket, I just piled various stuff I didn't know what to do with but I like it. Any time you add a glittered skeleton, it can't be bad!

Another old standby is my haunted house cookie jar. I got this at Target many years ago also 50% off after Halloween. Next to it is a candy jar cauldron I made when I was doing ceramics and another full of hot chocolate mix from Crate & Barrel - I think.

This is the side of my pie safe. The framed picture is a cross stitch I did MANY years ago when I still had time - and better vision! The pumpkin is something I made to sell when I was part of a craft co-op. I cut the shape out of canvas, filled with batting, did some stitching and then painted and varnished him. Added a few wire twists and bow and he is still one of my favorites although I remember him being a real pain to make!

This is a bit of the shelf over the doorway and the top of the pie safe. The plate is one of my treasured keepsakes made for me by granddaughter #2. She was quite young when she made it and it is very special. Next to the plate is a hurricane all of the kids and I made a few years ago. We decoupaged ripped pieces of Halloween tissue to the outside and then dripped puffy paint down the lip and sides. It is pretty when it is lit. Note to self. Next time look a little more closely when snapping close ups. I was so concerned about flashback that I failed to notice the wonky lamp shade or how off center everything is. The worst part is that I saw it as soon as I previewed this picture and still haven't done anything about it - YIKES!

A few more pictures and my witch who is totally here to delight (and it doesn't hurt that it totally annoys my husband) the kids as she makes a cackling noise any time any noise is made near her! LOVE it!!!

My pig rounds things out. In the past he has been much more ornately dressed - and he will be again - this year he is going simple. Just wish there were more hours in a day during the month of October.

That pretty much takes you around the inside of the house. I will be off most of the next week actually getting to enjoy all that my favorite holiday has to offer. If there is time, I will post some favorites of mine that I find myself looking at often during the season. If not, I hope everyone has a hauntingly good time and I will be back getting ready for Thanksgiving soon. And, oh yes, I will have lots of pictures!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Velcome" to my Dining Room

So here we are entering the dining room. As you can see, family pictures once again predominate. I keep telling myself that the most current pictures would be fine (with the exception of the MUST HAVE whole group photos from years past), but when I look at those little faces, I can't bear to part with one. Some day I WILL reach the saturation point, but not this year - thank goodness!

This is one of my favorite projects from past years. That year I think we made a "word" sign for every holiday we could. We all started with the same base & it was so much fun to see how everyone finished them. Mine is never as intricate as the kids - I love their creativity!

This is another of my favorites. Don't remember where I got the idea, but the hat is made from black, Crayola air dry paper clay. I don't think that is its official name but I don't use it much. It was amazing how well the kids did molding their hats. Then all we did was put in some copper wire and decorate with ribbon and a small wooden star. -love it!

I'm still not sure about the hutch. I think the orange pitcher & bowl are throwing me off, but I love them & don't have anywhere else to put them right now. This was supposed to be my "laboratory", but I'm not quite there. I'll keep working on it I'm sure.

I found this plastic platter at the party store - pretty inexpensive but I like the "feel" of it for this area. The skeleton hand was downloaded and framed. I already had the frame so it was a free project.

We made these "eek" signs last year. They were all over blogland and fun to do. I found the frames at the Dollar Tree and my oldest grand daughter downloaded the words to "The Raven" and then imposed the letters on top for me. When we went to frame them, something was missing. We hunted around and found the hologram wrapping paper. We covered the mat with it and it just fit the bill. It really catches the light no matter where you put it.

I found this guy in a Dade City decorator's shop a few years ago. I had a number of places where I planned to hang him but none of them worked either because of his width or moldings or the way doors opened. In any case, I hung him here and every year I plan to move him because I don't like him hanging in front of the words on the wall.....but, every year he remains. It is the one thing I never get around to doing. Last year I walked into another shop and saw one hanging from the ceiling. I loved it and that was my plan for this year, but, the best laid plans.....besides, I have the nails right where they need to be!

Here is my other mummy - the one Harrison reminded me needs to be filled with treats. On the tea cart is a French flower bucket that I painted with chalkboard paint and filled with branches I painted black. I hung some of my vintage postcards from the branches & then added more lights. I can never have too many lights this time of year!

Made these pumpkins last year. Now that I'm looking at them, I think my "Os" are upside down - or maybe it's the "B". In any case, I'm trying to decide if it bothers me enough to repaint - probably not!

This is the little niche I had put in to the wall of cabinets when I was doing the dining room. The cabinets serve as lots of storage for various things I can't part with as well as most of my dinnerware sets. I have so many sets of dishes it is criminal. Especially considering that I hardly cook at all any more but boy do I love to set a pretty table. In any case, I knew I wanted a place to decorate to break up the wall of cabinets and I've been happy I did this. It holds just the right space for a holiday vignette. I got this glittery haunted house at JoAnns several years ago for about 75% off. The lanterns were a buy from Southern Living and I use them for all different holidays. The shutters came off my kitchen window and I just happened upon them in the garage the day I was decorating and thought they might help with the proportions of this scene.

I made the BOO banner last year. I downloaded the letters and then added crepe paper rosettes, some crows and glittery cording. I also hung some feathery bats over the mirror just because I had them and more is more!

This is the side board. It is mostly dollar store skulls and hands, mercury glass and Michael's candles. I really love all of the candles because if we are ever eating at this table, I do light them.

That's it for the dining room. Next stop will be the kitchen. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Haunt Continues

O.K. You knew I wouldn't be able to avoid putting just a few of our weekend photos on my blog. They are never the greatest because the sun is always in someone's eyes, but I've gotten to where things like that don't really bother me any more. We're all together and this is how we are at this moment. Notice that once you get a bit older (or maybe it is just that you are female) the poses happen even if the sun is in your eyes.

This is actually a picture of the chandelier in the living room. One last glimpse before we head in to the family room.

I used to put my witch collection on the mantle but wanted to do something different this year. I thought about not putting them out at all, but so many of them have been made for me by friends who have moved away that I just couldn't put away the memories. I decided to tuck them in a shelf next to the fireplace and I like them much better there. If there is time for tweaking, I will probably add some sort of background - branches, spooky gauze, glittery leaves - not sure yet.

This is this year's mantle. I have added cob webs since I took the picture and I think it really pulls it together. I am always a bit reluctant about the webs because it seems like I am still trying to remove them months after Halloween. One time we had a big, outdoor party and I strung them everywhere. What I forgot was that all of my posts and beams at that time were rough sawn timber and boy, what a mess that turned out to be for months afterward!

Most of the pictures on the mantle were simply downloaded. Two of them were purchased already framed from Michaels and the largerst was purchased at Target. It came in a flimsy plastic frame, so I cut it out and reframed in a chunky frame I had sitting around. I think there will still be a bit of tweaking to do before I am totally happy, but for now it will work.

Here is a close up of one of my spider lamps. This is another of my bargains from the Bombay Company. Have I mentioned how much I miss that store?!

Nothing special here. Just a glimpse of my ever growing collection of frames and pictures of past Halloweens.

There is more in the family room, but I will take pity on you and end with my bat collection. One year when the girls were all together they made me bat hands. I loved them so much, that as the 3 younger grandkids came along, I added their bat to the flock. I hang them off of an A/C vent and it is fun to see them flutter about.

Tomorrow we're off to the kitchen and dining room. I am now off to begin sewing one of my many costumes. Everyone chose their idea so early this year that I really thought I'd be done by now. But, as fate would have it, things happen and I am really just getting started. I am not worried as I do enjoy sewing and I will just turn on all of my Halloween lights, light some eery candles, put on some music and before I know it, I will be done. Of course, it will probably involve several more trips to the store because no matter how hard I peruse the patterns, I always seem to forget some notion or another.

On my way to Gainesville for the next few days. My mom, Girl Scouts and two more volleyball games will happen before I will be sitting here again. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Rest of the Story

As I write this, the house is eerily quiet for the first time in 3 days and as peaceful as it is to my ears, it causes an ache in my heart. Halloween weekend at Nana and Papa's is over for another year and I am always sad to see it end. Am I exhausted? You bet!! Do I get a bit frazzled over the course of a few days? Of course!! Would I do it all over again in a flash? Without a doubt!!!!

I am a bit sleep deprived so I thought I would show you the rest of the livingroom and call it a day. No witty repertoires today - just a few thoughts as I look at the room again myself. I will say that the changes this year ellicited a wave of approval - and my grandchildren can be pretty harsh critics when necessary so I am happy with the changes I made - and they scoped out every one of them! We had every light and motion generated sound thing turned on all weekend and it made for a very fun and spooky time for all. We love our grandchildren so much and are so flattered that they still enjoy spending time with their old grandparents. We have so many traditions and every one seems to be someone else's favorite, so we work hard to fit them all in. I think we did a good job this year and I am already looking forward to our next one! Of course, we still have lots of Halloween celebrating to do this year, but our time at Nana and Papa's is sadly over for now!
Here are some of the vintage cones we made as gifts last year. They are hanging on my Pottery Barn branches from several years ago.
I love this guy. In fact, I loved him so much, I bought 2. I got them at Bombay Company - which I miss so much! I always seem to make friends with store managers. They catch on how "holiday crazy" I am and somehow let me in on all of the bargains. The store manager actually called me on this one and told me there were 2 left going on sale from $100 to $25. Of course I jumped at them and he held them for me. They travel around the house and serve lots of different purposes. Of course my oldest grandson reminded me that last year the one in the sunroom served as a treat holder which I forgot to fill this year.
This is my witch hat rack. The kids just love it as they each pick a hat and we take lots of pictures. Most of the fancy ones I got when my daughters and I used to go to a wonderful witch's tea in Tampa. It became one of those traditions that we could no longer fit in with the Florida Georgia game always on the same day as well as our big costume party. I understand, but I still miss it! The Nana's Lair sign was made for me by Caitlin and Olivia and gets a place of honor every year.
I do love my family pictures - just can't get enough. You will see them all through the house. I also was drawn to this witch a few years ago. I found her in a little shop in Alachua. Alachua is the cutest little town We head there every year for their pumpkin patch as well as "Scarecrow Row'. Every store puts out a scarecrow that is within that year's theme and it is so much fun walking through them all as we enjoy the cool autumn evening air.

That gets you through the livingroom. Tomorrow we will head to the family room. Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Enter If You Dare

The time that I have been waiting for for sooooo long has finally come. That time when I can decorate for Halloween without my neighbors thinking I have completely lost my mind. I must confess that I decorated inside over a week ago but just put out the outdoor decorations this weekend!

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I was hoping to change a few vignettes this year. Because of some other issues, I didn't really get a lot of time to think it all out and I must admit that when I first set things up, I wasn't entirely happy. Since then (and since these pictures), I have done a bit of tweaking - added way more ravens (3 dimensional as well as silhouettes on the front windows), a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, more "family" pix on FR mantle, a few more black and silver candles, more glittered skulls and yes, more mercury glass. I am beginning to like it but know I will be tweaking until after the actual holiday when I will see where I will fit in any new additions I acquire at after Halloween sales. Can you spell ADDICTION?

I had fun with the "Raven" vignette. I love my new birdcage. I will probably pull in more literary finds when I have time but I am happy with it for now. I stopped in another of my favorite shops in Micanopy and was about to buy some old black books when it dawned on me that I read lots of mysteries with "spooky" names. I headed home and pulled some books off the shelf and sure enough, they had black covers with names that were totally appropriate. I will probably "age" some of them or rearrange at some point.

The blanket chest was kept pretty simple this year. I love my witch boot vase that I found last year at "The Shoppe". I'm not much of a floral designer but I think it looks O.K. Also got most of that glittery stuff )which you really can't see in this pix) at The Shoppe. I know I paid too much, but just couldn't find a good replacement at the regular craft stores. The large witch sign on the wall (that is glaring from flashback) was found at The Barn last year. It is totally different from things you find in most places and I love it!

I had promised myself I would try to pare down this year and in my mind, the pumpkin head collection was going to stay in storage. As you can see, when push came to shove, I couldn't do it! One by one I started pulling them out and here you have it.

I have way too many Halloween frames!!! You will probably see some unfilled as we travel through my house. That is only because my 7 grandchildren will be here this weekend for Halloween at Nana & Papa's and we take many, many pictures that day. Their favorite is when they each grab a witch hat or adornment off of the hall tree right inside the front door and we take photos under the "welcome arch". Same place every year. It is so much fun to see what changes each year brings. Last year we had a new babe in arms, and this year she is already walking. And so it goes.

I also have way too many witches. And somehow I get lots of presnts and jokes about "the witch is in"! As long as I can wear my fancy, pointed hat, I'm O.K. with the comparison. It is done in jest - I hope ??! Love this time of year. Working hard to still fit in all of our traditions. And how lovely for Mother Nature to cooperate with us. Our weather this last week has been picture perfect. I feel a fire in the fireplace coming soon - even if we do have to push the AC down a few degrees! Much more to come. We're not even through the livingroom!