Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 9, 2011 Halloween Fever and Friendship

Well, not really...
Halloween Fever
This morning I went junking and  found a few things for fall decorating that I can't wait to work with, but the rain shut down vendors and all the scheduled yard sales were also rained-out so I decided to go check out Hobby Lobby and the dollar store to get some ideas. 
 I didn't stay long however, because after I saw all the beautiful oranges, purples, and black spooky-pretties, I was itching to get into my Halloween decorations--- but I debated with myself the whole drive home:

Amber A:  "Its so tacky to get out Halloween decorations this early. I mean, Labor Day was Monday! Its one thing to have harvest decor on the mantel, but witches and skulls???Its like putting out Christmas decorations the day after Halloween and skipping Thanksgiving altogether!" Tacky, tacky, tacky!

Amber B: "Man, time just seems to fly by anymore. The next thing I know, it'll be Christmas. The weather apparently thinks its already Halloween, since its been 60 degrees and dreary for the entire week. And the reality of the fact is I feel half-way decent today and with the unpredictability of Lupus/Fibromyalgia I may be completely unable to fool with it when it  really is a little closer to time. Better get started or I may never get it done! 

Amber A: You'll be sick of looking at it by the time Halloween gets here. It'll lose its magic!
You know how tacky it is. Its the beginning of SEPTEMBER. Just use, apples, sunflowers, scarecrows, mums, indian corn and some pumpkins when they arrive.

Amber B: "All the other bloggers are doing it, so why can't I?

Amber C: It IS tacky, so how about just getting all the decorations out and sorting them and experimenting with the mantel a bit? Then you can organize them and put them neatly away until you're ready. That way if you don't feel well next month, you'll already have everything planned out and you'll still get your Halloween fix for the day.

So in the end, Amber C won the debate and began sorting and setting up various displays to decide exactly what look she wanted for 2011. 

Husband: (upon arriving home from work)"Isn't it a bit early for Halloween?"

Amber A, B, C,: (grumbles...then sighs).
Today the  entire living room was covered and divided into sections
This is a very small part of the vintage 1960's blow-mold section (blow-molds
once went "out of style" but now they are hot items in antiques stores and ebay. They can
sell for well up into the $100's.)
Well, it turns out its a good thing I got into organizing everything. I bought more Halloween junk this summer at flea-markets and yard sales than I had remembered. The new junk mixed in with the stuff we already have is a bit overwhelming to work with to be honest, but I love the challenge! 

More of the "vintage section."
The large trunk is stuffed to the brim
with Halloween decorations. Some of the junk lying about is for
fall craft projects.

I MIGHT have to (MIGHT, MIGHT, MIGHT, MAYBE) have to get rid of some things, to make room for more new, old things. The more vintage, the better. And I have been getting into altered art and handmade folk-art Halloween stuff too, so I sense a new style emerging. 
Altered art Halloween hangtag by vintagedragonfly, (see my
favorite blogs)

What am I saying? I'll find somewhere to put the rest of it! Anyway, I took some pictures of some of my older decorations and handmade projects today as I was sorting them. At least I can decorate my blog without shame!
Below is a box that I made a couple of years ago to store old Halloween cards from friends and family. I bought one of those plain craft boxes from the craft store for $2, and some scrapbooking papers and ribbon. I painted the box with acrylic paint and decoupaged computer-generated vintage images to the lid. I used glitter glue to give it more spunk and lined the lid with ribbon. I sealed the entire box by brushing on a light Minwax stain. I already had the stain, so altogether it was about a $6 project. 

Here is another one. This time I wanted a primitive look. First I painted the box with black acrylic paint, then I decopauged vintage postcard images and accented the box with prim pumpkins and ribbon. I sealed it with a light brushing of Minwax stain.

My little boy wanted  me to make a him a mummy, so when I made "Skeleton Jack" (see Fabulous Fall blog) I made him a small, primitive-looking mummy. I had some fabric left over so I also made him a stuffed ghostie and tombstone decoration. He was so excited to see these when I got them out today! He asked if he could go ahead and put them in his room, and of course I let him. After all, what are mummy's for???

A "Mommy-made-mummy," out of
tea-stained material and cheesecloth, cut into a
human/monster type shape, then stuffed and hand-stitched.

Rest in pieces of cotton cut in shapes of a ghost and
tombstone, then tea-stained and painted with acrylic.
Ghostie is stitched to the tombstone
and tied with cheesecloth.
Dried moss is hot-glued to the bottom to represent the
moldy graveyard ground.

Halloween Friendship

The boxes, mummy, ghost and Skeleton Jack were some of my first attempts at making my own Halloween crafts (besides the usual blow-pop tissue ghosts and kiddie crafts). When I decided to make these I had been inspired by my sweet friend, Beth Hodson. Now this is a lady who can decorate, and make ANYTHING! Matter of fact, I am going to dedicate an entire blog to her vintage Christmas decorations during the holidays, its truly something to see!

I also handmade these candy corns after seeing similar
ones at Beth's house. I display them in my antique Griswold
cast iron corn muffin pans (flea market, large $5, small $8)
I have always had a thing for cast iron corn muffin pans but I
became even more intrigued with the smaller ones after
reading an article in Martha Stewart Living magazine. The small ones
can be expensive, so I didn't hesitate on this Griswold for only $8.

 Three of my favorite homespun Halloween decorations were bought from a rummage sale Beth had about nine years ago. I found out she had handmade them and I thought they were adorable. (At the time, neither of us knew how our lives would become forever entwined by a very special bond). I knew she was a talented folk-artist who loved primitive decorating because that  same year I had her daughter, Kaitlin, in my kindergarten music class (I was also her piano teacher) and she always brought me the cutest handmade gifts and candy on holidays and special occasions.

Prim-Country Halloween
Birdhouse by Beth ($1 yard sale)
 My First Halloween gift
from Beth and Kaitlin, handmade
by Beth
This little witch is another one of Beth's cuties from her rummage sale ($1). I purchased the witch hat this spring
at a consignment shop for $7 and they make a nice little grouping.
When Kaitlin was little, Beth was a stay-at-home mom who epitomized everything a good mother should be. So when I became pregnant with our son, Liam, in the late summer of 2004, I called her right away. She had never really been a babysitter before, but something in my heart told me that she was the one. She accepted the job offer on the phone that day almost a full eight months ahead of time, and we knew our prayers to find the perfect babysitter had been answered. She lived near the school and I was able to visit Liam on lunch breaks. She and I grew closer each day, and as time passed we made many memories and laughed and cried with each other in good times and bad.  And every time I visited her house I was in awe of her interior decorating and crafts,  AND also by the wonderful person she was (is). We developed a deep and lifelong friendship that includes Liam, Kaitlin AND VINTAGE JUNK!!!!! I am almost as excited to see her vintage/primitive Christmas house as I am to finish my own Halloween decorating!
Sweet Pea and "B" on his first Halloween

Halloween memories with Beth and Kaitlin at the world -renown Griffith's Pumpkin House
in Kenova, West Virginia. (2007). The 115 year-old Victorian home is decorated with over  3000
Jack-o-Lanterns every year.  Ric Griffith (owner) has carved over 28,000 pumpkins since 1978.
A special handmade gift from Beth

I bought this little scarecrow for $1 at Beth's rummage sale so many years ago. He is one of the first decorations I put out each August and he stays out until Thanksgiving (as long as he avoids the vintage box of matches!) The first couple of years that I decorated with him he was just another one of my yard sale treasures; now he is a sentimental decoration reminding me of Beth and Katilin, and one day I will give him to Liam for his own home.
Beth and I at Liam's 5th birthday party

And speaking of Halloween friends named Beth, I HAVE to mention my dear friend Beth Stanford, who just recently remarried and moved to Colorado. Beth is another one of my friends who has a strange love affair with Halloween. She is drawn to the spookier-side of the season and likes to tour cemeteries and go on ghost hunts. A few of our fall memories include taking a train ride through through Maryland in October (some of the most gorgeous fall scenery I have ever witnessed), spending the night in the "haunted" Scottish Castle Bed and Breakfast in Mount Savage, Maryland (replica of Craig Castle in Scotland), visiting the Kentucky Bourbon festival in historic Bardstown, Kentucky and taking a late night ghost tour there, and also going on several of our own ghost-hunting adventures in old graveyards in our hometown. Beth is also a phenomenal interior decorator and she and I share the love of decorating with eclectic items.
My best ghost-hunting pal, Beth...summoning other-worldy
energy in the gardens of the Castle bed and breakfast.
A night of ghost hunting.  Beth and I (celebrating the season with
a Starbuck's hot caramel apple cider)

Surely this dead person is honored by us posing outside his

I think a ghost just pinched my bottom, see the
orb to the left?

The ghost tour we took in Bardstown
Patti Starr, (the author)
was our tour guide

The haunted tavern where we had dinner
Part of the tour took us upstairs in the tavern where we experineced
some odd happenings...

Riding the Wild Turkey at the KY Bourbon Festival

The Castle Bed and Breakfast in 1897...

 ...and in 2006. The only thing that really creeped us out in this castle was the owner's Victorian doll collection
Castle walls
The castle gardens
My husband and I slept in the Robert Burns room,
reportedly the most haunted in the castle

Outside the castle
The train we rode through the mountains

Newlyweds, Beth and Tom

The view from Beth's porch

Even though Beth has moved, I know we still have more fabulous fall memories to make in the future (she loves Colorado but is missing the fall foliage of the Sugar Maples in Kentucky). Looking forward to a trip to Colorado to visit her lodge-like home. 


  1. It's 4am and I have been laying in bed for 2 hours eyes wide open thinking about Halloween decoration. How, what, where and when in my booth. So I decided to get online and then I saw your post. It must the fall breeze or the heavy dew in the mornings that has our brains thinking such thoughts so early. Is it early?

  2. Lisa, I absolutely could not sleep last night for the excitement! I think we get conditioned to starting a bit earlier because of the fall festivals that start in September and all of the retail stores having Halloween out since July 5th. Also, its just so fun, and like Christmas, its over before we know it. I am going to wait another week and a half until our town has its big fall arts and crafts festival, then the decorating will begin!

  3. I stopped by from Out Junking to see what your blog was all about and became your newest follower. I haven't gotten my Halloween stuff out yet, but that is only because it's stored in the attic above the garage and I have to climb up a rickety ladder to get to it. Otherwise it would have been out on September 1 at 12:01 AM!

  4. Just got all caught up!! I love this blog! I love seeing all the things you have. Coming to your house on Halloween is just amazing! I absolutely LOVED the Amber A, B, and C!!


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