Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween!


We made it!
Halloween in here and I wish you a happy and spooky day.
Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you'll return often.

That being said, I'm going to take the next week off for a rest and to make preparations to bring you more magical Halloween artists and their work in the next year. I'll continue to post on Instagram next week, so follow me there @shiversdelight.

Halloween never ends in my heart.

Friday, October 30, 2020

The 12th Day of Halloween: Our Decor!

It's probably hard to believe, but not all of our spooky decor stays visible year round. I really do have many things stored away that only come out for a few months. My Halloween art collection grows every year though, so I change things up a little and today I have some photos and a little iMovie for you. 

If you'd like to see more, here is a little iMovie for you to watch of our Halloween decor. 
It won't win any awards, but it was fun to make!

I hope your Halloween is magical.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

New Halloween Art

The effects of COVID-19 and isolation weren't all bad if you take into account that Halloween art shows, though located hundreds of miles and a plane flight away, were suddenly accessible to me. While there were good and bad points to that, I was able to make some purchases from artists that I might not have seen otherwise. 

I spent more money than I usually do! The art shows were popping up weekly during September and early October- sometimes more than one in a weekend. I tried not to miss any of them. The show promoters did a fairly good job of making the pieces available and there were few real problems. I have to say that I preferred the shows that sent you to artists' individual shops rather than the ones where it became a battle of who had the fastest internet because the first person to type "sold" got the right to purchase it. Those shows were slow and stressful. I'm glad that artists had the opportunity to sell the pieces they had been working on for months, but I did miss the excitement of attending a Halloween art show. 

So what did I purchase? A little bit of everything. I purchased pottery, glass, spun cotton, paper mâché, and paintings. Here are some photos of of what I bought over the last month. My credit card is in rehab.

Cat and Devil Figure by David Bruce of Acorn Cottage Collectibles

Detail, David Bruce of Acorn Cottage Collectibles

Halloween Ornament by David Bruce, Acorn Cottage Collectibles

Ghost, Bethany Lowe Collection & David Bruce Ornament

I added three ornaments and the cat figure to my David Bruce collection. I'm a big fan of his work.

Plague Doctor Painting by Maryann Held (MHeld Illustration)

Black Cat Candy Holder from Wendy Addison Studio

Halloween Calendar, Two Mushrooms & Silk Skeleton Mask, Wendy Addison Studio

Raven Witch from Charlene Geiger

Detail, Charlene Geiger

Spun Cotton Figure from Crystal & Ben Sloane 

Embossed & Painted Leather Devil from Nina Huryn

Dearly Departed Plate from Jeff Osgood, Clay of the Dead

Glass Skull from Rex Boucher & Glass Hand from Genevieve Greer

Skeleton from Stacey Bear & Witch from Iva Wilcox

Skeleton Lantern from Patrick James Gill

Devil and Skeletons from Jo James (Cart Before the Horse)

Skeleton Ornament from Kayleigh Radcliffe

Black Cat Ornament from Ryan Connors (Kilkenny Cat)

I'm shocked to say that this isn't even everything I purchased! It's just all that I have time to show you today. I hope you Halloween collection has grown over the past year and I hope you'll stay with me as I find more amazing artists.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Panic of Halloween: Day 10

On the 10th Day of Halloween the panic really sets in. We're just 3 days from Halloween and I've started to wring my hands over uncompleted projects and Halloween experiences not yet checked off. It's almost a tradition of its own. The pumpkins still need to be carved, my costume isn't finished, I haven't started baking, and then, because 2020 adds another layer of hell to everything, I learned that snow is predicted for Friday and on Halloween night the temperatures will be in the 20s. Oh, and Massachusetts, just a few miles up the road from us, has been added to Connecticut's official COVID-19 "Please Don't Come Here" list. 

You probably think I'd be ready to just call it quits and go to bed till Halloween is over. It's true, that thought has crossed my mind, but I don't give up that easily. I now have 3 days to replan, reorganize, and recreate this year's Halloween. 

The curse of 2020 will not ruin Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Charlie Brown & Halloween

What is Halloween without It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown? Really, I can't fathom it. It's been shown on the ABC network for 53 years! In fact, I think that 25 minutes of Halloween fun and anxiety has done as much to keep the holiday alive as anything. It first aired on October 27, 1966 - 54 years ago today. I was 2 years old then, so it's possible that I saw the very first airing and like to think that I did. Let's just say I did.

I strongly suspect that we still have Halloween parties, bob for apples (at least think about it?), go trick-or-treating, and even wait for The Great Pumpkin because of Charles Schultz. How many times have you said "I got a rock"?  It's been ingrained in our psyche. 

That's why everyone is just a tad upset that Apple TV has purchased the exclusive rights to the Halloween special (and Thanksgiving and Christmas specials as well) and it will only be airing on their platform. It will be free to watch for everyone October 30 - November 1st on Apple TV this year, but what then? Will we eventually forget about it? It makes me a little sad. It seems like it should be public property by now.

I for one will be watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown tonight because I purchased the video a few years ago.  And, I'll watch it on Apple TV this weekend too just to let them know it's important.

The Ninth Day of Halloween is for Charlie Brown. Dance in place with your arms over your head to Halloween music this evening.

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Eighth Day: Pumpkins!

It's the Eighth Day of Halloween and this weekend we started carving pumpkins for The Great Pumpkin Project (you can read about it here and here.)  I wanted to start placing our pumpkins around town with a bang so we invited a few friends over to carve some pumpkins and then float them down the Windsor Locks Canal- a state park with a 4.5 walking trail along the canal that sits next to the Connecticut River.

Windsor Locks Canal

First let me say that it's always more fun to carve pumpkins with friends, so start there. 

We scooped out the guts and tried to make them as light weight as possible so that they would float. Next we put them in a tub of water to see how low they would sit before we carved any details. Most of our pumpkins sat pretty low in the water so carving a face was not going to work. The other problem was they didn't always want to float with the top side up! One pumpkin insisted on floating upside down so that one had to be saved for another place.

Once our pumpkins were carved we headed to the canal. The canal walk closes at sunset so we arrived around 4pm. It wasn't dark enough to light candles in them and plus, our lighter suddenly wouldn't work- spirits protesting candles? We gingerly walked down the steep embankment and set our pumpkins in the water.

They looked so happy drifting down the canal! Ok, maybe that was just me projecting my happiness, but still it was pretty cool.

We stayed for a few minutes watching there very slow progress and headed to a local brewery to have a celebration beer. It was a perfect launch and a perfect day.

But the story doesn't end there. The next morning my husband jumped out of bed and said "Let's go find the pumpkins!" We grabbed some coffee and headed to the parking lot at the south end of the trail. We figure we'd walk about 15 minutes and eventually find them. Well, we walked, and walked, and walked, and walked. It was a gorgeous day and the trail was beautiful, so we kept walking. 

About 200 yards from where we dropped the pumpkins into the canal we found them! We were so happy we started jumping up and down. We definitely got some strange looks.

They had gotten caught on leaves and branches and were just bobbing in the water. I still think there is a chance that they can make it down the canal. All they need is one duck to give them a little push. It could happen! 

Once we stopped congratulating ourselves for finding the pumpkins, we realized it was another 4 miles back to our car. I came to the conclusion that it would be faster to walk about another 1.5 miles from the north end of the trail to our house and get the other car. Our 15 minutes walked turned into a 2.5 hour hike, but it was worth every minute. We already have plans for next year.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Fifth Day of Halloween: Cards & Invites

Our Past Halloween Invites and Cards

It's the Fifth Day of Halloween and probably the absolute last day to get your Halloween cards in the mail.  It's anyone's guess how quickly the mail will get delivered these days so you might want to light a candle or recite a spell over them before you drop them off at the post office.

This year we won't be having our usual Halloween party. I don't want to endanger myself or my friends by gathering inside with masks off to eat and drink. That means for the first time in over 15 years I haven't created a Halloween Party Invitation! It feels a little strange, but truth be told, it has definitely led to a less stressful Halloween this year. 

We are sending out a Halloween postcard to some of our friends and family, but even that has been reduced in numbers. I was a bit late in getting it all designed and printed so I'm sending fewer this year. It's a strange year to be sure. 

But it's going to be just fine. 

Halloween will be a little different this year, but that won't ruin it. We're still planning to give out candy to the trick-or-treaters that show up. We're setting up a tent on the lawn for them and using tongs to hand out the candy (we've joked about using a slingshot.) 

We're fortunate to have a wrap-around porch on the front of our house and I've told local friends that if they're not handing out candy this year, to stop by our house for a Halloween porch drop-in. We'll have drinks and some small bites and it will be so nice to spend a little time with people I haven't seen very often the last few months- all outside and at a safe distance. 

If you can't hand out candy and are restricted to your home, you can look back to the time when Halloween was about the end of the harvest and settling in for winter.  Spend the evening in candlelight and listen to a spooky podcast or watch a scary movie. Make your favorite foods and reach out to your friends with a haunting selfie to let them know you're thinking of them. 

Halloween lives inside of you 

and doesn't belong to the world.

Make it magical!