Friday, October 31, 2008


Trick or Treat

13 Days of Halloween: 1 {Halloween Bog Walk}

After stumbling across this mysterious spooky story at work last night, I was compelled to take a walk through the late-autumn woods today. The book is full of wonderful old fashioned black and white photography. With my camera in tow, the kids, my parents and I went through the "quaking bog" nearby. My idea was to take some black and white pictures of trees that had lost their leaves. That would not be the case today. What we found in the bog were gorgeous tamarak trees who's needles had all turned pumpkin orange for an amazing display on this All Hallow's Eve day!

From spongy earth underfoot to the carnivorous pitcher plants (below), the bog was compelling enough to capture ones imagination. On the day that is rumored to have the thinest veil between the living in the dead, I felt like I was on another world.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 2 {Costumes}

There aren't too many things cuter than seeing kids in their Halloween costumes, so I had to indulge myself and show you my two kiddos. Here they are in their trick-or-treat costumes. Here in Minnesota it is usually pretty chilly on Halloween night, so these are their "warm costumes" to layers jackets or whatever else we may need underneath.

Here are the costumes they wore to preschool today for their parties.
Chloe as a mermaid/fairy/princess and Lowell as dracula. Too cute!
This year I have really developed an infatuation with vintage costumes. Especially vintage handmade. This collection was shown in Country Living magazine last year. You can see more on the web site here. I'm really going to keep an eye out at estate sales for costumes, they're so fun!

This one reminded me of the one that I wore last year (below) that was purchased at an estate sale and is handmade. It's fabulous!
Paula Clare was lucky enough to recieve a vintage costume in her sweet and sinister package. Lucky girl!

Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 3 {Halloween History}

Thanks so much to those of you that have left such kind comments that you are enjoying these 13 Days of Halloween posts. It really is a fun little challenge for me to come up with something each day and dig into my Halloween "archives". For example, today I thought I'd share a bit about Halloween history and pictures from my own past. Halloween traces its roots to the ancient Celts, who once occupied the British Isles and northern France. They celebrated their New Year on November 1st and believed that on the night before, the barrier was weakened between the land of the living and that of the dead. Building huge bonfires to keep the ghosts away, the Celts wore disguises so that the spirits would stay away. Christianity adopted the holiday in the 7th Century A.D., decreeing November 1st All Souls' Day. The night before became known as All Hallows' Eve, or Hallowe'en.
Although Halloween had been celebrated for centuries in Europe, it first became popular in the United States in the 1870's. Regarded primarily as a holiday for adults, celebrations focused on the more whimsical rather than frightening aspects of Halloween. The holiday experienced a decline and then a rebirth in the 1920's among adults. Before long it was appropriated by children and in recent years grown-ups have once again reclaimed their share of festivities.

Text taken from Antiques and Collecting magazine, October 2008.
For myself, as you can see in these pictures, I have enjoyed Halloween since I was quite young. I think my love of the holiday was really fostered by my next door neighbor and her wonderful neighborhood Halloween parties held each year throughout my childhood. She converted her garage into a haunted house, had games such as bobbing for apples, pin the face on the pumpkin and other non-scary, family oriented Halloween fun. I looked forward to hear parties each year for months in advance.
This is a picture of Joe and I when Lowell was a baby. I knew that I wanted to foster this love of imagination, playfulness and make-believe in our own children. I am happy to see their love of carving pumpkins and dressing up taking shape.
I know there are many of you out there that love this holiday as much as I do. I'd love to hear your story about how the joy of Halloween took root.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 4 {Treat Buckets}

We're getting you have your treat bag ready? As I talked about in my last post, I'm a big fan of Halloween containers. I love the different types of pails that kids use on Halloween. Taking a look through flickr, I sure found some fun and crafty buckets, bags and pails. The bottom pail on the right even has a link to a video tutorial.
1. Halloween Candy container, 2. halloween treat bags, 3. Fuzzy Monster Trick or Treat Bag, 4. Marie Claire Idees - Fall Halloween Bag, 5. Halloween Bucket of Fun, 6. Halloween Swap Sent ~ Bucket of treats, 7. Halloween Posy Bucket, 8. Vintage Halloween Candy Bucket "Front view", 9. Altered Halloween Treat Bucket

Monday, October 27, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 5 {Collecting Halloween}

Do you consider yourself a Halloween collector? I have eight bins of Halloween decor items, much more than for any other holiday, so I guess I would fit into that category. However, what I collect is not the highly sought after and usually very high priced items from the early 20th century. Mainly because I could never afford it, but also because I'm just as happy with the reproductions.I've always had a lot of love for the holiday, more on that in another post, but it wasn't until I saw the glittered, wide-grin of the pumpkin above that I became more interested in vintage Halloween and reproductions of Halloween items from the past....and collecting them. I bought this JOL new at a gift shop about 5 years ago, it is made by Dept. 56. I love the whimsical nature and nostalgic look. Over the years I have collected other items that the company has made in the same style. These piqued my interest about the same time that Country Living, Country Home and other magazines had full spreads on vintage Halloween decorating in their October issues, like this one from last year featuring items from Bruce Elsasses' collection (also seen in the photos below). He also designs for Bethany Lowe Designs. So what I collect are things that appeal to me, and may not actually be old, or have much value. For a hard-core real Halloween collector see Mark Ledenbach's very informative web page for a look at the history of collecting Halloween, the current market and his book on the topic.

What do you collect?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 6 {Autumn Mini-Album}

I have taken so many pictures this fall (literally hundreds) and wanted to compile them into a little album reflecting on all the "fun fall Friday's" with my parents and the wonderful walks in the woods that we have had. Then I saw the Ali just posted a Halloween mini-album on her blog and that gave me the kick start I needed. I purchased the album at Home Goods and added the front of a card from oneripepeach. Then using papers that I've had for a very long time and bits of this and that, I created the album below. It was fun to do the journaling and reflect on our wonderful Autumn season.

I have already enjoyed paging through it many times. I think I'll make a mini-album for each season and try to make the album while the season is in-process. I have found that leaves for fun reflection "in the moment" rather than in hind-sight.
How do you capture the seasonal memories?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 7 {holiday library}

A few of my favorite Halloween idea books are:
Halloween by Martha Stewart
Bethany Lowe's Folk Art Halloween
Halloween by Joanne O'Sullivan and a new book for my collection, Halloween Crafts by Kasey Rogers and Mark Wood (thanks to a sweet gift from Heather at Speckled Egg).
There are soooo many Halloween books out there. Usually at the beginning of the season I check a bunch out from the library to get my creative juices flowing and pick my theme for the year.
I have been building quite a collection of Halloween ideas for the last five or so years. I love buying the seasonal magazines and always look forward to my October issue of Country Living, Martha Stewart Living and Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines. If the magazine is not completely dedicated to Halloween, I usually snip the photos that I'm inspired by and have a 3-ring binder full of ideas.
Some of my favorite books are seasonal decorating books, so they include decorating tips and ideas for many holidays and all four seasons. One of my favorites is Celebrating Home by the folks at Seasons of Cannon Falls. I love how they include so many vintage touches and unique ideas.

Where do you look for new ideas and inspiration?

Friday, October 24, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 8 {jack-o-lanterns}

The morning after.... Thanks for all the wonderful visits yesterday for the Autumn Gathering Party. What amazing decor you all personal and creative. I loved blog hopping around and visiting you all. Today I thought I'd show you our jack-o-lanterns for this year.
We always do simple designs.
This year I let the kids draw their faces on the pumpkins and we simply carved out what they created. Love these cuties!

There are so many fun ideas out there. Better Homes and Gardens has some great projects here, as does Martha's Halloween Workshop.

I'd love to see your pumpkins!