Welcome to my first blog post! For years my family and friends have suggested I write a book about my flea market/ garage sale finds and unique decorating style, so why not blog instead? I decided there would be no better time for me to get started than during my favorite season.
Decorating has always been a passion of mine and fall provides the perfect opportunity to take my second-hand treasures and use them in new and creative ways to invoke a magical mood within my home and landscape. I incorporate many of my cherished antiques and vintage found objects into my seasonal displays each year. I hope you find inspiration for your own home and that you will also share some of your ideas as well. In this blog I have included special memories, cherished photos, and ideas for decorating on a budget. Check back often as I will continue to update the blog.
|Never too old to dress up for Trick-or-Treat|
The last few days of August had just enough of a chill to justify a trip to the local hardware store to purchase the first round of mums and colorful kale in celebration of the arrival of my most beloved season. Who couldn't love fall, with all of its magic and colorful splendor? And don't forget the hay rides, corn mazes, ghost stories, hot mulled cider, caramel apples, vibrant landscapes and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! Since I was a child I have been "experiencing" the wonder of fall. My mother used to take me for walks at dusk on leaf covered paths, teaching me to crunch the leaves and breathe in that wonderful smell of autumn. My love of pumpkins comes from her as well. I can remember every year as a child we would find that perfect big fat pumpkin to keep the spooks away on trick-or-treat. She would let me draw a classic Jack face in black magic marker, and when we carved him she would encourage me to dig in the gook and sort out all the seeds, which we would coat in honey or melted butter and salt to be roasted later on in the evening.
Surely Halloween holds some of my dearest memories of childhood: My daddy taught me to look for the magic in nature, which I could always find in autumn. My best friend and I had the love of fall in common, and every year we looked forward to packing up our summer clothes in exchange for jeans, boots and flannel shirts. My grandparents used to take me on long Sunday drives just to take in the glory of the changing leaves in the Appalachian mountains. And I could never fail to mention that it was the shared love of fall and pumpkins that brought my husband and I together. We had been casually dating for a few weeks, but when he left a carved "I love You" jack-o-lantern on my porch as a surprise, I knew he was a keeper!
|The marvelous red Maple in our yard provides a stunning backdrop|
for seasonal displays
|This little birdhouse was one of the first Halloween decorations my husband and I purchased as a couple|
|Autumn Kale planted in an ivy path with|
Of all the activities within the season, I still find that I enjoy fall decorating most of all. Through decorating I am able to bring the magic and mystery of harvest and Halloween to life for my family and friends. I spend the entire year searching second-hand stores, yard sales, flea markets and antique shops looking for unique items that can be used in new ways in my designs, and I spend as much time decorating outside as I do on my interior displays. Gardening and landscaping become even more enjoyable as the temperatures cool down and the gorgeous hues of the foliage, flowers, and fruits of harvest provide new possibilities for the landscape which can last into late November. Inside and out, I make sure to change things up each year to keep guests wondering what tricks and treats will await them as the pumpkins ripen in the patch and the old harvest moon casts eerie shadows through bare branches on All Hallow's Eve.
|A "Toadstool" pumpkin in a .25 yard sale pot|
|Red maple leaves fall among ferns, azaleas, mossy stones, |
and liriope in my garden path
|An estate sale urn ($5) is filled with kale, variegated ivy, sweet potato and vinca vines, purple pansies and mini-Lumina (ghost) pumpkins|
Witch Way to the Pumpkin Patch?
The interesting textures of pumpkins and gourds are sometimes overshadowed by their vibrant hues. In black and white the textures are beautifully highlighted
|A collection of "Red Warty Thing" pumpkins (actual name) at|
a family owned greenhouse in Kentucky
|I have grown to love the green/gray gourds and varieties of |
Blue Hubbard Squash which are nicely juxtaposed against traditional oranges
Um, did I mention that I am a little obsessed with pumpkins and gourds????
|We picked this 200 pounder from a friend's pumpkin patch. It was a neighborhood|
favorite in 2010
|I found this scarecrow at a consignment shop for $5. I gave him a facelift|
with acrylic paint and dressed him with second-hand clothes purchased for $3. I sewed on the
homespun patches for a primitive look. The wagon was found at a yard sale for $ 4.
The eerie interiors of the
freaky Ferguson home...
Double Double Toil and Trouble....
|Look closely for the black kitty sleeping by the fire. He used to be a gray garden ornament but I painted him black to use as a Halloween prop. I bought him at|
a large outdoor flea market for .25
|A skull and spider brew is simmering atop a set of $3 electric logs found at a rummage sale. Create an effect of "dark|
magick" using purple lights beneath faux spider webs. The cauldron, skull, and webs were puchased for $1 each at the dollar store.
|This lovely lady was hiding in the back room of a consignment shop ($10).|
I made her a construction paper mask and put her on display for Trick-or Treat
|No Halloween is complete without a plate of imperfectly perfect|
sugar cookies decorated by sweet little hands
Estate sales always seem to have something you can creatively use in Halloween decorating. I mean no disrepect, but let's be honest--- the people are more often than not, very old, and very dead. So you can usually find some pretty unusual and creepy vintage things.
I had gone to an estate sale last year and was drawn to some antique pictures, but I kept picking them up and carrying them around for a while, and then I would go and put them down. I thought they were charming but something about decorating my mantel with dead people that I didn't know was messing with me. So I called my friend Amanda Clark and told her to come and check them out. I knew she wouldn't be bothered one bit to use them in her decorating and I hated for such beautiful photos to go to waste.
|Blondes have more fun? Nay, black-haired witches have more fun!|
Altered image courtesy of graphicsfairy
|Amanda (at right) and I|
She absolutely loved the pictures, I was glad that she decided to buy them and use them in her house, that way when I visited her I could still enjoy them without the fear of conjuring up spirits in my own home! She was looking for something a little different from her traditional decorations, and she ended up having a stunning mantel display. She placed her collection of homemade potions and ingredients beside the fireplace on an antique writing desk and the whole room seemed to be "alive" with the spirits of Halloween.
|Amanda purchased this clock new from a home decorating store, but shortly after placing it on her mantel it stopped working... CREEPY! (photo courtesy of A.H.C.)|
|Yep, I'm pretty sure this home is haunted by now|
(photo courtesy of A.H.C.)
| Amanda used crinkled up wax paper stained|
in coffee and tied with jute as lids for lidless jars and bottles
(photo courtesy A.H.C.)
|More homemade ingredients (photo courtesy of A.H.C.)|
|What will she brew up|
Amanda is already getting her seasonal decorations out and I can't wait to see all of her pretty-creepies again this year!