Monday, February 6, 2023

Halloween Art Gallery Update

My winter project this year is switching my dining room and Halloween art gallery rooms so that I'd have more room for my art collection. My original schedule was to have the dining room moved and finished by the end of January, leaving February and March for the art gallery space. I'm a little behind schedule- no surprise there, but have enough of the dining room done to give you a peek.

This was the Halloween art gallery as I was taking it apart to re-design it as the dining room.

I stripped the room bare and started painting.

The wall color choice is based on a purple I use throughout the downstairs. There are different tones of this purple, but it's used in our laundry room, kitchen, living room and the former dining room. It's sometimes used as an accent wall and sometimes covers all the walls. Grey also features largely throughout the downstairs. (That's Uncle Rufus in the photo who supervised me the entire time.)
I knew that I didn't want the energy of orange nor the gloom of grey while we were eating, so I decided to go with the deeper purple color called Showstopper (Behr). This was a decision I agonized over a bit, but really like how it turned out. I painted two small walls that lead into the dining room orange (a deeper orange than the room had previously been.)

The new dining room is a much smaller room, so I'm putting no other furniture in it but the dining room table. I added a Ruggable washable rug (because cats) in grey under the table to link it to the grey kitchen floor and walls, and anchor the table in the room.

This weekend I moved the mirrored wall from the former dining room and spread it over two walls. (You can see the original dining room wall here) If you're ever going to be hanging a bunch of mirrors or paintings you definitely need to cut a template of each one out of paper (I use old wrapping paper) and then tape them to the wall and play with them until you get the right combination. Make sure you mark where the nail hole needs to go on the paper as you trace the frames. It makes it so much easier to hang the pieces. I just left the paper up and hammered in the nails where I had marked. Then I removed the paper and the mirrors went up easily without having to move them a few inches here or there. The mirrors really open up the space. It's weird, but works. By the way, I purchased almost all the mirrors at various thrift stores for a few bucks each and then painted them all glossy black.

I still have two large walls to decorate and I'm contemplating a couple of ideas. While I ruminate on that, I'm going to start prepping the Halloween art gallery walls for a fresh coat of paint. Most likely the same color.

I know this isn't a very spooky post, but the dining room is part of creating the mood for the Halloween art gallery. The rooms in our house flow from one space to the next so I want them to feel connected.

Hopefully my next re-decorating post will start featuring the Halloween art gallery and lounge. Thanks for following along!

Monday, January 30, 2023

BibBon Paper Confections Caught My Eye

Bonnie is a graphic designer who loves making paper snowflakes. Of course, what caught my eye are her Halloween paper cuts in her Etsy shop BibBon

Haunted House and Spiders Paper Ornament

Cats and the Fall Moon

Spiders and Eyes

Witch Hats and Cauldrons

Pumpkins and Bats

Ghosts and Spiderweb

You can order these lovely paper ornaments in a variety of sizes. I think they're adorable!

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Fingers Overkill Caught My Eye

I happened upon some beautiful skull rings designed by Andrea Sciacca. Her shop, located in Genoa, Italy, is called Fingers Overkill. I like the medieval mood of these rings. They're not shiny and delicate- they mean business.

Skull Ring

Memento Mori Ring

Yattaman Skull Ring

Era Ring

Anatomical Heart Ring

Fly Necklace

You'll also find many sea creature designs in the shop. It's all so fascinating.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Halloween Art Gallery: Oh what a difference a week makes

Panoramic photo of the Halloween art gallery being emptied

Last week I talked about my 2023 project to redesign our Halloween art gallery room in our house. Over the weekend, I started taking down shelves, rearranging furniture, and pondering the color of the walls. Once the room was fairly empty, I started thinking about how I could add some furniture to the room so that I, or others, could actually sit there and use it. 

You see, the room gets little use unless someone is just standing there looking at my collection. That is fairly rare. I thought maybe a few chairs and a low table or maybe just a reading nook would work, but as I dragged chairs into the room, I realized it was too small for all the things I wanted. 

Then I caught my husband just standing in the empty room looking around. I asked him how he thought we could use the room and the words I had been dreading came forth from his lips "I think we should make it the dining room again and move the gallery to the double parlor." I whined a little and tried to dismiss his opinion, but deep down I knew it was true. This is something I had been not wanting to admit because now my big project became huge! 

And did I mention the cost? To make the former gallery-now dining room workable I really need a new dining room table. Perhaps something round on a pedestal. That means I have to find a space for our current heirloom dining room set that my grandfather made! You don't just sell that on Marketplace.


Here is what does make sense about this new plan. The current dining room is already painted purple which is what I was leaning towards for the gallery. Most of the art is orange and really fades against the current orange walls (Valspar Warm Cider), and did I really need two purple rooms? Also, we have a non-working fireplace in our current dining room that we talk about making useable someday, but would we really light a fire while we sat in the dining room? Doubtful. Light a fire and sit in the gallery? Highly likely! And, my sister jokingly added that if I ever wanted to give a tour of the Halloween art the new space has two doors that lead right to the front door without having to go through other rooms. 😂

So, here is the plan as it stands. Empty and temporarily store all the Halloween art while I patch and repaint the orange walls. I'm considering doing something very artsy. Next I'll start moving the current dining room art into the old gallery space and look for a dining table- if that takes awhile I'll use the one we currently have even though it's a bit cramped.

Once the dining room is moved, I'll start patching and repainting the new gallery space and moving the art back into the room. I'm hoping to move the dining room by the end of January. That leaves me February and March to work on the new gallery space. 

Our current dining room soon to be Halloween art gallery

What chance do you think there is that next week I'll be back here with an entirely new idea?

P.S. Read the first post here

Thursday, January 5, 2023

The Gnarled Branch Caught My Eye

For many years, I posted almost daily on the blog highlighting different Halloween artists that caught my attention. I stopped doing that last year for several reasons: I was exhausted, I thought maybe Instagram had made the posts irrelevant, and there were changes in the artists that were using Etsy making it more difficult for me to find new (to me) artists that I found inspiring.

I've decided to restart these posts, but I'll post maybe one or two a week until I see if it feel right.

The Gnarled Branch on Etsy caught my eye this week. David Irvine is the Toronto artist behind the shop and he started painting over or adding to thrift store paintings he found. I find those fun, but Irvine's original art work is what has captured my attention.

The Goblin Mayor

The Cemetery Wanderer

Hallowe'en Painting

Dead Ringer

Morbid Clown

Hallowe'en Clock

I'm really draw to the the Dead Ringer and Morbid Clown! Visit Irvine's shop.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Halloween Art Gallery: 2023 Project

This year one of my home projects is to redesign our Halloween art gallery. That's what I call the room that used to be our dining room. We live in a mid-to-late nineteenth-century house that was built by someone who meant well, but didn't have all the necessary skills. You know what I mean: no right angles, a tilted floor, cock-eyed windows, no closets, and odd sized rooms. I call them the prominent character defining features.

The small room off of our kitchen never seemed to serve us well. It started as a dining room, but my inherited dining room set from my grandparents was just a bit too large for the space and I always felt claustrophobic there. I moved the dining room to our double-parlor and it has remained there since.

My next idea was to make the small room into a drinking parlor with a bar and a trestle table, but who's kidding who? Our entire house is a drinking parlor! It wasn't until I started running out of room to display my Halloween art collection that I realized I could make the tiny space into an art gallery of sorts.

It has slowly evolved over the years with tables and displays cabinets coming and going and last fall I realized I again didn't have enough room for my collection! When I looked around, I realized that there is no more space in our house for displays (especially with two active kittens in the house) and that there was probably wasted space in the gallery. I also had come to dislike the orange color I had chosen for the walls- it's just too peachy, and quite frankly there is no place to sit in the gallery. We really just come into the room and stand there and look at things occasionally. 

So, my 2023 project is to revamp the space. My needs are more space to display my collection so that it can stay up year round, a new wall treatment, and enough floor space to continue doing my morning yoga practice. My wants are for a cozy corner to read a book or have a cup of tea (kidding- cocktail.) That's a tall order for such a small space. It's going to be a challenge.

I'm planning on taking you with me through my design process. A practice that usually involves a lot of trial and error until it all falls into place. Every week, I'll pop into the blog and give you an update on my progress. I'm hoping the blog keeps me accountable to getting it done sooner rather than later, but I realize this project will most likely take months.

Here are the "before" pictures- taken this fall when I first realized that something had to be done. 

I've already started making a few changes like new curtains and another display cabinet and I'll show you those next week along with some wall displays that have caught my eye.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Our Halloween Mantel & Dining Room

Why oh why do I struggle to put together our Halloween fireplace mantel? I wish I had video of me standing in front of it with my arms crossed, my brow furrowed, as I stand completely still just staring at it. This goes on for weeks. I place an item, stand back and stare, and then move it 1 inch, stare some more, then take it down. I think my husband probably notes this in his "Jori's Strange Behavior" journal. 

This year our party theme is a séance and I wanted the mantel to reflect that. I also didn't want to have to buy anything new for it (I have so much already!) and I only ended up purchasing black candles and the moon and stars banner. 

Here are a bunch of photos of my slow process (finished just 2 days before Halloween!) and some shots of the rest of the dining room. 

Halloween DecorHalloween Decor

Halloween Decor

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Halloween Decor

Halloween Decor

Halloween Decor

Halloween Decor

Halloween Decor

Really, it shouldn't take as long as it does, but I'm happy with the results. I hope you get some inspiration from this!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Thirteen Days of Halloween: Days 8 to 13

I hope you've been enjoying the activities for the 13 Days of Halloween I posted last week. I've been having fun wearing a cape for the last few days even though my husband has been giving me some strange looks. Really, that's nothing new.

Remember this is a no pressure activity! If you miss a few days, it's okay. Each day adds to the last, so you'll still get to do everything- and personal interpretation is encouraged. And now, days 8 through 13.

13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween

I hope this sparks the delight you felt as a child at Halloween. Have fun with it!

Happy Halloween