Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We made it to another year. I had a blast this season and hope you enjoyed it too. Although celebrating Halloween on a Monday isn't ideal, I wouldn't change it for anything. Halloween has to be celebrated on the 31st. It's not just about the kids, you know.

I packed in a bunch of activities yesterday. My goal was to participate in The Great Pumpkin Project. I have no idea who came up with this, but I love it. The object is to carve some pumpkins and then secretly leave them around town- anywhere that it looks like a pumpkin could bring some magic.  It doesn't seem to have caught on yet, though. Part of the issue may be that you're supposed to leave a pumpkin somewhere everyday of October. That's a lot of work. If I were to tweak this project, I'd say it should take place the weekend or week before Halloween.

I chose three locations around town for my pumpkins. I could have chosen many more, but I didn't want to carve pumpkins all day! Maybe next year this will be a group activity.

Of course I saved the pumpkin seeds for roasting.

I kept the designs really simple and traditional. I have no idea what will become of the pumpkins once I set them in place. Will some juvenile delinquent smash it? Will the police carry it away as evidence? Keep it simple, I told myself.

Once dusk fell (and rain along with it) I decided it was time to set the pumpkins in place. I yelled for my husband-get-away driver and with a pocketful of battery operated tea lights we hit the road.

First stop: the town pocket park with an important statue of someone I probably should know. 

Second stop: The ancient town cemetery of course.

Third stop: the town library- that lion really needed company.

My husband and I had a few laughs as he would pull over and I would jump out of the car with the pumpkin, snap a few pictures, and drive off into the dark. I will definitely do this again. I hope they last through Halloween, and if they do, I'll be sure to pick them up the next day so that they don't become a nuisance for someone. 

I ended the evening by baking some cookies for Halloween treats for my friends.

As you can tell by the final product, the cookie-icer may have been operating under the influence of alcohol.

I hope you have a splendid Halloween, my friends. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Art of Storytelling

It's the day before Halloween and the perfect time to tell ghost stories without any interruptions from the door and darling trick-or-treators. Recently I've been in several situations that called for the telling of a good ghost story and although everyone was eager, an awkwardness settled in as no one knew any tales or even how to tell them. So sad, and a horror story in and of itself.

I could put the blame on many things, but in this blame-society let's turn to solutions. I think we need to use our ears more than our eyes for a good story. We could learn a lot from podcasts. One of my favorite memories of Halloween was just last year when I sat alone on my dark porch waiting for the next group of kids listening to the podcast Lore. I suddenly was aware of every little noise that sounded like someone might be sneaking up behind me. My neck was sore the next day from snapping my head around all night. It was a blast!

Tonight, let's light a few candles and gather round the iPad (maybe you could pull up an image of a fire) and listen to some ghost stories. And, while your scaring yourself, take note of how it happened. Let's bring back the lost art of telling a good ghost story.

Here are a few podcasts to listen to tonight. If you have a favorite let me know about it.

Lore explores the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, 
people, and places of our wildest nightmares.

NoSleep presents original horror stories intended for mature audiences.
It's not for the faint of heart.

The Anything Ghost Show presents listener submitted personal
paranormal experiences with spooky music.

The Wicked Library brings you original horror stories by 
the newest and best independent authors.

That should keep you busy this evening. Please listen responsibly and don't knock the candles over as you run for the light switch.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Additions to My Halloween Collection

Although I celebrate Halloween all year long, October is the month when I can do lots of shopping for items to add to my collection. It's everywhere! I've already shown you the new clothing I added to my Halloween wardrobe a few days ago and now for the rest of the show.

My first stop was at the famous Brimfield Flea Market in September. It's the last market of the season so odds are in your favor to find something for Halloween. I had to pass on the wicker casket for lack of funds, but it was beautiful. I did purchase a mega-big metal bat and a vintage pair of aluminum hands. You can't go wrong with disembodied parts.

I tried my hand at a small craft project using a black glass serving tray I already owned and added some Halloween figures and black sand to create a Zen garden. I can make paths in the sand with the witch's broom. I can't say the idea was mine. I saw something similar somewhere- probably Etsy. 

My box-store find was at Target this year. I love this glass bowl with metal claw stand.

This devil mask suited me perfectly. I picked it up at Walgreens.

The witch is a piece I'll treasure. It was made by Bethany Lynn Originals. She is exquisite!

I like to buy something for the cats too (meet JoJo) and they hate costumes so this year they got a new bed from TJ Maxx to cozily watch the birds.

I wanted to be cozy too and purchased this grumpy cat pillow from Pier One.

Two more wonderful Halloween sculptures came from Creepycute Doll Works.

I braved Ebay to purchase my first first-edition Halloween book. It's appropriate that it should be by Charles Addams.

Come to think of it, I purchased another first edition book. If you're familiar with J. W. Ocker's blog Odd Things I've Seen you already know that this is his fourth book. I'm still reading it, but can tell you I like it very much. You'll hear more about it in a future post, I'm sure. 

The last item to arrive in the mail is a ghost ornament from Aunt Lillies Attic. She is adorably spooky.

Wow! When I look at it all together I realize that I added more than I thought to my collection the season. It really is a good thing my husband doesn't read this blog.

Friday, October 28, 2016

My Halloween Playlist

I've been playing my Halloween tunes for several weeks now. If you need something to listen to while carving pumpkins this weekend, check out my Spotify Skeleton Ball playlist.

Here is some of the music you'll find:

Arctic Monkeys: Perhaps Vampire Is A Bit Strong But...

Pixies: Ed Is Dead

Concrete Blond: Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)

The Cramps: Goo Goo Muck

Beck: Devils Haircut

Bright Eyes: Devil Town

The Sonics: The Witch

Radiohead: I Am A Wicked Child

Starlight Mints: Coffins 'R' Us

Pavement: Space Ghost Theme, Pt. II

Maybe you can do a little dancing too.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Halloween Wardrobe

This year it finally struck me. Why spend hours on a Halloween costume I'll wear for one night when I can put together a Halloween wardrobe that will carry me through the month? I already own several Halloween-ish pieces that I've purchased over the years, I own tons of black clothing, and with just a few more purchased pieces I have been able to wear something spooky every day this month.

I asked Endora to give me a hand modeling some of the outfits. She lost her head about it. Really- I had trouble getting the dress back off of her.

The embroidered sweater is a new purchase from VooVooDress. I absolutely love it. The design also comes in a cute t-shirt.

Endora is lounging in a skirt that was purchased as a gift for me on Etsy a few years ago. You can get a similar one from SwellRenditions. The original was from Hazel's Threads. She is wearing a necklace that I cobbled together from a skull I purchased in New Orleans, a string of grey beads, and a tassel. The fabric on the skirt is available as yardage if you want to make your own. I posted about the Ghastlies Fabric a few years back.

Endora was enjoying a sunny day on the back porch with some mums from the garden wearing a ModCloth gingham dress that I altered to include skulls and black lace. It was a bit too chippy originally. You can see the before-and-after here.

For quieter moods, Endora is wearing a skeleton bird sweater purchased from ModCloth a few years ago and a corduroy skirt printed with a skull and flowers from Angie's Sweatshop. I just love it. Endora is reading "Homebodies" by Charles Addams in case you were wondering.

Endora is very popular in the neighborhood. To greet the kids she is wearing a sweater purchased from Anthropologie many, many, moons ago and a brand new skirt from Bruno and Betty.

For more casual days, I have a few favorite t-shirts I pull out. Vampire Snoopy is from Old Navy. The crow is vintage-Target and the bat t-shirt was purchased this year from Cat Coven.

Endora threw a hissy fit after I accidentally pulled her head off and wouldn't model this awesome dress from RawBoneStudio. It's pushing the limits of what I could wear to work, but I couldn't pass it up.

The latest purchase I've made was this skeleton sweater from Target. It's perfect with black pants.

I'm looking forward to adding to my Halloween wardrobe. I hope you got some good ideas for starting your own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Places I've been Haunting

My goal for October was to try and participate in as many Halloween events as I could before my husband started groaning. I think I've done pretty well. We have one more weekend and I only have a few more activities up my sleeve. I haven't told him yet. Not a problem, he doesn't read my blog.

The unofficial start to the season was a visit to Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. It's a National Historic Landmark, being one of the first cemeteries in this country designed to resemble a park. We spent two hours wandering the paths and it was simply gorgeous.

Mount Auburn Cemetery
We officially started the season with a local production of Evil Dead: The Musical. I wrote about it earlier this month.  The musical was funny and gory with streams of blood flying everywhere.  My husband laughed so that was a good sign.  He hates musicals.

Evil Dead: The Musical

On October 1st, we invited a few friends over for a Halloween kick-off party. The best part of the night was bobbing for nips.

One night I made mummy-dogs for dinner.

Pre-oven Mummy-Dogs
Our biggest adventure was traveling to Damariscotta, ME for the Maine Pumpkin Festival. Despite the rain, we had a great time. The house we rented for the weekend overlooked a cemetery that overlooked a river- perfect. You can see the white house we rented in the background.

Damariscotta, ME Cemetery
We attended a parade, the pumpkin catapults and, of course, the pumpkin regatta. Carved pumpkins lined the street. Put this festival on your calendar for next year. 

We watched the pumpkin regatta from the auditorium (it was live-streamed) because it was raining and I couldn't get close enough to see at the water's edge.  That was fun too, though because the auditorium had popcorn. Contestants carved out giant pumpkins, climbed in, and raced them around a series of bouys. Several sank. It was funny.

Of course, I bought pumpkins from a farm just down the street from our house. For $20 I filled up my trunk!

A week ago we attended a lecture by Robert S. Cox. He spoke about his book Body and Soul: A Sympathetic History of American Spiritualism. Cox discussed the start of Spiritualism in this country- before it because a stage for charlatans. It was interesting and although I've read a fair amount about Spiritualism in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries I had never read about the true beginnings and philosophy. I've added the book to my reading list.

Robert S. Cox: Body and Soul
This past weekend we attended The Sleepy Hollow Experience at Old Sturbridge Village. Old Sturbridge Village is a 1830's New England living history museum. This year OSV brought The Sleepy Hollow Experience, first performed at Georgia's Senenbe Playhouse, to the museum. The performances take place in the dark after the museum has closed. The audience walks around the site together along paths lined with torches to witness a play that "reimagines Washington Irving's iconic 1820 tale" of a headless horseman. 

The Sleepy Hollow Experience
The production was fantastic. The eerie lighting and sound effects combined with the starry, cold evening set the perfect mood. My grumpy husband even said he'd see it again if it came back next year.  I didn't take any pictures because I wanted to focus on what was happening. You'll have to rely on their website for more information or better yet, head over to J. W. Ocker's blog Odd Things I've Seen. He also attended and took some great pictures (that's why he's the professional.) I see that they just posted an additional show (it's been sold out for weeks). If you're in the region, act quickly to get a ticket.

So what do I have planned for this weekend? Well, some friends have invited us to a backyard bonfire on Friday where we'll tell ghost stories. On Sunday, I'm thinking I'll carve a few pumpkins and mysteriously leave them around town. The inspiration is The Great Pumpkin Project. If all goes well, you'll read about it on Halloween.