Monday, September 30, 2019

Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween Art Show 2019

It was over in a blink of an eye - sort of. Today's post will be a little longer than usual as I tell you of my adventure to get to one of the finest Halloween art shows in the country: Bewitching Peddler's of Halloween in Marshall, MI. 

I wasn't planning on going to this year's show because it costs a lot of money to get there and then there are so many wonderful things to buy, but a ticket sale on Southwest Airlines pushed me into a snap decision to fly into Grand Rapids- almost a two hour drive to the show. With my electronic ticket on my phone, a car reservation from Alamo, and a hotel room secured, my husband dropped me off at the airport on Friday at 5AM with the words "Be Careful." My excited, flippant response of "A Girl in Trouble is a Temporary Thing" (remember that song from the 80's?) caused him to grimace.

My flight to Grand Rapids was pretty smooth despite a 3-hour layover in Chicago where I crossed timezones too many times to keep track. As I stepped out of the airport, the clouds were low and it was drizzling rain. I texted my husband on the way to the car rental that I had arrived safely, but it oddly smelled like cow manure everywhere- I kept looking at the bottom of my shoes. I think that's where things may have started to go awry.

There was a Meet and Greet for the art show on Friday at 5pm that I wanted to attend. Not so much to mingle with the artists (I know that doesn't make sense, but as an introvert, talking to people I don't know is exhausting), but I wanted to get a good number to get in line for the early 8am opening of the show on Saturday morning. I got to the Calhoun County Fairgrounds in Marshall just after 5pm and immediately headed to the table for a ticket just to get in line for the show that was already 10 people deep. After handing over my I.D. to be recorded in a log (they take this ticket thing very seriously- there are no ticket transfers) I had ticket #51! The Meet and Greet was in a separate building and decorated for Halloween and there were even a few antique booths to browse in as well as some free barbecue to eat. I was impressed! I even thought I might hang around awhile to talk to some people when I started having a coughing attack. "Oh no," I thought. The wet weather was aggravating my allergies and I knew that I needed Mucinex which I hadn't brought with me. So, I decided I had better leave and head to a store, get some dinner, and settle in to my hotel in Battle Creek, about 20 minutes away.

The rain was steady with flashes of lightening and thunder as I headed into Battle Creek. I found an equivalent to Walmart (Meijers) and was fortunate to be able to pick up everything I needed in one stop including bubble wrap to pack up my expected purchases. With happy thoughts of laying in bed and watching tv, I headed to my hotel. CRASH! Then things got troublesome for this girl.  As I headed out into the intersection, I saw a light grey car speeding at me- she had no stop sign! We both slammed on our brakes and crunch. Her Pontiac Grand Prix had but a small dent, my Nissan Altima was crushed!

After calls to the rental company, my insurance company, and a visit from the police while sitting in my destroyed car in the rain, I waited for 2 hours for the rental car company to send someone to get me. By this time is was dark. Finally, my phone rang and it was the Alamo Roadside Service calling to tell me that they couldn't find anyone to come get me and that I should call Uber to get a ride to my hotel and they would straighten things out in the morning. Well, Battle Creek isn't what I would call a cosmopolitan hot spot- there is no Uber. Battle Creek did have a cab company (past tense on purpose because as of 11pm Saturday night their sole cab company closed permanently, but that's someone else's story) that sent a car out within 15 minutes to pick me up. I was back in my hotel by 10pm.

But now I had no car to get to the show. The ticket booth opened at 7am and I knew there was no way that Alamo was going to get me a car by then. I started to feel really dejected that this whole trip was going to be for nothing. Hell no! I was going to that show if I had to walk. I got up at before dawn, got ready, and called the cab company. Would they take me to Marshall? Yes, they would- for $30. I stepped into the cab at 6:45am and had to give the driver directions using my phone because his phone couldn't locate the county fairgrounds. That's ok. These things happen.

I know you just want to see what the show was like, so I'll wind things up to say that is was simply magical. Even the artists were overwhelmed by the quality of the work and the Halloween world that was created within the space. Standing in line before the show is its own kind of pleasure as you get to talk to other people as dedicated to Halloween art as you are and who have come from all over the country.

When the doors open at 8am and everyone rushed in, I felt a bit of panic that I wouldn't be able to see everything before it was gone! The most important rule to follow is if you see something you like, buy it immediately because it will be gone within a few minutes. I was drawn to Stacey Walsh's The Goode Wife of Washington County booth because I had been eyeing her work online for sometime. Now, keep in mind this is 5 minutes after the door opened. As I grabbed a pumpkin doll to purchase I realized there was already a woman ahead of me purchasing six dolls. Her bill was $1,300. Gulp. Just so you know, my doll was much smaller than the ones she was buying. With one purchase in hand, I rushed back into the crowd to see what else would call out to me.

I do not exaggerate when I say that after spending all my money and with six items in hand, I looked at the time and it was 8:30am. Unbelievable! I had to laugh that for the hours of travel I had completed to get here it was practically over in 30 minutes. I relaxed and decided to just soak up the atmosphere and was able to connect with two people I have met online through the blog. One was the official photographer of the show, Amy Schneider (who was having her own difficulties that morning) and was absolutely warm and friendly. It was so fantastic to meet her in person. Then I met Kristin, the women behind the podcast Halloween Art and Travel. We follow each other on Instagram and it was awesome to meet her as well! Kristin was helping out at one of the booths and I found her wearing this gorgeous witch hat.

So, to wrap up a very long story I called another local cab company to take me back to the hotel (he picked me up in his daughter's SUV that was covered in dog hair with blankets and pillows and spilled Cheerios in the back seat and he smoked a cigarette the entire ride with the windows closed- but he was very nice and concerned about how I was going to get to the airport.) Countless more calls to Alamo and hours sitting at the hotel resulted in me calling a car service to take me to the airport. My purchases were wrapped and stowed in an extra suitcase that I brought with me and I finally made it home just before midnight on Saturday. I was never so glad to be home.

Here is the magic of the show.


Here is what I purchased.

Pumpkin Woman from The Goode Wife of Washington County
Skull Flower from Madame Marie's Wicked Whimsy
Cat Candy Dish from Acorn Cottage Collectibles
Tiny Devil from Maria Paula Spun Cotton
Coffin Cookie from Kim's Artistic Confections (I was hungry and it was delicious)
Skull and Pumpkin Necklace from Man in the Moon Metalworks
Hearse with Crow Driver and Devil in Coffin from Paul Gordon

This piece is amazing! The coffin is made from an antique goggles case.

This show is simply spectacular. Please put it on your calendar for next year. The date has already been chosen - September 26, 2020.

Even though the trip was troublesome at times, I'll do it again. My husband even said he'll drive me next time. The people of the mid-west couldn't be friendlier and made my situation so much easier by their concern and well wishes. Till next year!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Elegant Witch Hats: Evercrumbly And Witch

Why don't we have a more glamorous word for the thing that witches wear on the top of their heads? "Witch Hat" just doesn't do the elegant hats made by Jamie and Frederick Addington justice. Les chapeaux de sorcières sounds better, but it's still the same thing. Really, let's get to work on that.

I've seen les chapeaux de sorcières made by the millineries Addington up close and personal and can attest to their beauty and craftsmanship. If you attend an art show where they are exhibiting, you'll be stunned by their shop display- it actually looks like a millinery's shop. Their hats are something you'll want to wear and keep forever. The online shop is Evercrumbly And Witch.

Enchanted Evening Witch Hat
Wicked Cutie
Lavender Leaves
Pretty As A Pumpkin
Wicked Woods
Black and Blue Voodoo
They're stunning, right? There are lots of different colors and patterns in the shop and wizard hats, too. I want a different one for every outfit!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Halloween Shrines: The Story Box Studio

After seeing the work of Sarah Dott, I realize I need a shrine to Halloween! Her shop, The Story Box Studio, has a collection of gleeful shrines to honor the spirit of Halloween. I love the vintage style of Dott's boxes and the way each box is curated with tiny details. You're going to want one too.

Edgar Allan Poe Themed Altered Lamp
Vintage Inspired Halloween Lantern
Apothecary Cabinet
Halloween Assemblage
Halloween Skeleton with Spider
Tonique Box
Halloween Zombie Decor
Spooky Ghost Box
I'd love to have all of these on my wall as a collection. I just have to clear some space...

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Halloween Pottery Ornaments: Smith Redware

I don't have a Halloween tree - yet. I keep thinking about it, but I'd rather have one made of bare branches than one that looks like a black pine tree. You know what I mean? I haven't found the perfect one yet, but that doesn't mean I'm not planning ahead and purchasing some ornaments.

Kelly Smith has some whimspookal Halloween ornaments that I like. They're made from redware, earthenware pottery with a red hue. Smith's designs are primitive style and warm my cold heart. Her shop is Smith Redware.

Primitive Ghost & Pumpkin Ornament
Black Cat Ornament
Skull Ornament
Pumpkins for Sale Small Plate
Spooky Witch Ornament
Pumpkin Ornament
These ornaments are quite large so you could also hang them on the wall and they wouldn't be out of place.