Mirth and Musings Part 12 – Waxing Nostalgic

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Going to age myself a bit here, but couldn’t help it.  While sorting through my TNY  collection this Charles E. Martin cover made me smile wistfully as I remembered something from my childhood; something I couldn’t wait for when school days began in September as Halloween usually prompted the first one of the year.  The classroom party.  The chalkboard covered with the list of necessaries for a decent shindig and Mrs. Gresham or Mr. Argast signing up kids next to each one, invariably the “paper plates and napkins” and “cups” would go to that same kid in the front row whose arm would shoot up the moment the teacher asked.  I don’t know, maybe he was baking challenged.  The rest of us divvied up the cookies, brownies, other varied treats of no name, bottles of pop, etc for the Friday party. I remember classroom games, like heads up seven up and chalkboard hangman.  I remember a parade of students walking around the quad proudly displaying homemade costuming.  Teachers dressed as their alter egos (or true natures) best suggested.  Trick or treating room to room with each classroom decked out along its own theme.  The truncated lessons to make time to just enjoy the holiday undiminished by political correctness.  Madcap and mayhem would eventually ensue in the sugar tide, everyone going home clutching a paper plate with various goodies to enjoy over the weekend shared with family, if they survived the bus ride or walk home that is.

Mirth and Musings Part 11

A lovely New Yorker cover from my collection. Edna Eicke has captured a wonderful moment.  Everything the night should be, the “ghosts” peering through the gate to judge if the walk is worth the risk.  I think the lighted windows highlighting the porch seal the deal.  I love the importance of the porch, the threshold, the approach to the door.  So much anticipation, exhilaration, consternation.  You get it.  Sometimes with haunters its meant to be a very long walk, even when its a hop, skip and jump to the door from the sidewalk.  Like running the bases through a gauntlet, real or imagined.  With only the thought of reaching the porch, the door, safety always to be found at home, even if for just a moment, someone else’s.  A lovely tradition I think.  Thanksgiving has the turkey shared with family and friends, Christmas gets the tree with thoughtful gifts to be given out amongst nearest and dearest.  On Halloween we invite neighbors and strangers alike to our doors.  We wait upon the knock, the doorbell, we pause and savor the shrieks and hesitant approach of children and adults through the keyhole or from between the blinds.  The magical ‘say “trick or treat!” and enter’ that signals a kindred spirit whereupon we open our doors and distribute rewards for stopping by.  Simply marvelous.

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The first catch of the Season!

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Was visiting my local Pottery Barn today, hoping to catch a glimpse of what I’ve seen on their website and was surprised to find a few samples of this years’ offering on a table in the back.  I grabbed a set of their Jack O’ Lantern Salt & Pepper set.  Was checking out at cash wrap and the nice lady “J” was pleased to show me a couple of treats “from the back”.  These included items not to be found on their website at this time! Yay! I purchased the above, a Black Cat Wine Topper, a Witch Hat Wine Stopper, a Crystal Skull Wine Stopper.  It was awful nice of her to give me the sneak peak and I really appreciated her thoughtfulness.  Can’t wait for more…

Snatches from October

IMG_4975My sister found this in the back of the hall closet, and if ever I needed reminding of why Halloween is my favorite holiday, it could not have been made more clear to me then my reaction to seeing this simple bottle of hand soap. My Christmas tree was up, Thanksgiving was past and successful, decorations of red and green everywhere I look. Nothing so far has spun such a reaction to the smile that spread wide across my face when I looked upon this orange and black treat. I couldn’t keep from staring at it, sitting atop my bathroom counter, happy in the knowledge that it would be there until the end of the year. A little reminder of that which makes me truly happy. There is still Christmas shopping to do, presents to wrap, cookies to bake and cards to fill and send to family and friends. This little spot of orange and black will keep my Halloween spark alive through it all.

Pumpkin Sincerity

...hauntingly beautiful...

…hauntingly beautiful…

I am late to the party, but I made it at last.  My thanks to Countdown to Halloween for including me again this year, 2014!  I thought it would be nice to highlight the pumpkin patch in Halloween lore.  And I will be making a study of them in the countdown to the night.  To all who will be visiting the blog this year, welcome and hope you enjoy the ride.  Here is my first offering, a tribute if ever there was one to the most sincere pumpkin patch to be found, such is the stuff of dreams.

Artist credit Nicolas Delort

Mirth and Musings Part 10

100th Post! For you all out there thank you! Hope you will all hang in there with me through the months ahead.
Serious withdrawals this week. Its now 320 days until Halloween 2014.
While I don’t plan on posting a running countdown, I can’t help but look around at all the red and green and cast my mind back to just a short while ago when orange and purple and acid green were the colors of the day. To be honest, I still have my orange and black lights up (inside my dining room), along with a few other Halloween decorations I couldn’t bring myself to take down, yet. I’ve a couple of weeks, right? Anyway – as I un-bubblewrap ornaments from years past I pause and reflect just why I try to drag it all out as far as I can, simply the place never feels so cozy than in the Fall and I try to keep that going well into Winter. When it is mostly packed up and the upcoming holidays firmly take over, I still long for and compare subsequent manifestations of my homes decor to those three months in Autumn, the highlight of the year. Time to start planning. Really never too early, I think. Themes and plans and lofty goals. Looking forward.
Here is another lovely New Yorker cover, the intense orange is simply wonderful.

New Yorker Magazine, Kovarsky, 1961
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Mirth and Musings Part 7

The weather here on the west coast is definitely Fall-like at last, chill temperatures and brisk gusts of wind remind me of why I prefer this time of year.  Time to break out the scarves and mittens, flannels and fuzzy slippers.  Just to make cozying up that much more enjoyable.  The approaching Thanksgiving holiday makes me pause and reflect, as I still see pumpkins decorating porches and sills and tabletops.  We always save one or two from October to enjoy through November – a bright orange reminder – it’s interesting how the pumpkin, the idea of it, transitions from the herald of giving treats to the herald of giving thanks.  Many of us will close the holiday with that slice of spicy sweetness.  It’s a fitting way to bookend Autumn. Enjoy this New Yorker cover from 1973, a house simply celebrating the season.

New Yorker Magazine, Stevenson, 1973

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Stick N’ Carve Product Review

Click through to the site link for this product from Zombie Pumpkins! They have a tutorial that steps you through the process of using their printable transfer sheets that stick to the surface of your pumpkin for carving, picked some up and used them this year and I thought they were a very good tool to use to facilitate the time spent transferring images to the carving surface. The paper they use is water soluble which they consider an advantage as you can simply rinse the leftover product from the pumpkin surface after completing your design. I found this to be the only detraction, since as you carve the pumpkin edges “juice” . In my opinion it created a problem and caused me to feel I needed to hurry to complete my carve before the follow lines curled up or dissolved. I would use the product again, on simpler designs with fewer cuts especially for children since you eliminate the punching holes step which is no fun.

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Auds & Enns “…up to the Shoppe door…” vid & music

This is a quick bit of video footage taken by my husband (Redwire), he is very proud of the automated cauldron prop, it was the first mechanical prop I’d asked for and I think he did an amazing job putting it together.  This is the walk up to my front door and the entrance to our “Shoppe”. The music overlay is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, episode “Hush” a great piece of music called “Golf Claps” by Christophe Beck.

Just click here…Strolling to the Shoppe door