Thursday, September 30, 2021

Spooky Hollow Halloween Clay Figures

Carmen Ellis at Spooky Hollow makes clay Halloween characters that have the cutest faces. Her collection is definitely whimspookal. She likes to feature the Grim Reaper in a variety of costumes that makes him absolutely lovable. Ellis calls him Grimmy Reaper. Who knew you could fall in love with the Grim Reaper! 

Bedtime Grimmy Reaper

Halloween Black Cat

Classic Devil

Halloween Grimmy Reaper

Grimmy Reaper Block Head Ornament

Skeleton Figure

Many of these figures are made to order so order now. Can you believe October starts tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

My Spooky Agenda: September 29 - October 6

I just remembered that in my excitement to attend the Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween art show I forgot to do a Spooky Agenda last week!  I told you: I have a terrible memory. Don't fret, there is still lots to do.

Wednesday the 29th

Thursday the 30th

Friday the 1st

Saturday the 2nd

Monday the 4th

Wednesday the 6th

  • (1962) Tod Browning Death Anniversary (Film Director of 1931 Dracula, 1932 Freaks)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

New Additions To My Collection

Are you wondering what I purchased at the Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween art show this past weekend? Well, I purchased seven pieces of art and would have loved to have been able to purchase many, many more. It can be a bit overwhelming -like a kid in a gigantic candy store. 

With a limited budget, I high-tailed it over to the booths of two artists I already have in my collection as soon as the doors opened. I knew something would speak to me there. That's how I choose my pieces. I kind of go silent in my head and just look at each piece until one keeps pulling me back again. Sometimes I think "Really?? That's the one that wants to go home with me?"  But I don't second guess it, I just pick it up and pull out my credit card.

So, this is what called to me.

Stacey Bear: Mementos

Count Skelly and His Minions (Spun Cotton) Stacey Bear

Black Cat with Flowers (Spun Cotton)

This is where these two pieces ended up in our house. I had to put all my spun cotton figures in a birdhouse because we have two rambunctious 12-week old kittens who have no boundaries.

Lurena Williamson: Tattered Moon

Devilish Darla from Hell Cat High (cloth and clay)
I really did not expect this feisty cheerleader to call to me, but I absolutely love it. It brought back to me memories of being a (rather unenthusiastic) basketball cheerleader in high school for the Johnson City Wildcats. Darla even has our school colors! She makes me laugh everytime I look at her.

Nancy Wiley

Stacked Pumpkins (paper mâché)

Rachel Garrison: VanDolls Folk Art

Witch Bucket with Candle (paper mâché)

Both of these pieces landed on our pumpkin display cabinet.

Stacey Walsh: The Goode Wife

Skeleton Light (clay and paper)

I have one more piece that I purchased from Isaac Bidwell of Pickled Punk, but you'll have to wait to see that one till I put up my outside decorations.

Some of these artists have pieces that didn't sell at the show and are listing them on their websites. Visit them frequently.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween 2021

I just came back from this year's Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween art show in Marshall, MI and it was spectacular! I swear this show never disappoints.

I first visited the show in 2015 when it was called Ghoutlide Gathering and run by Rucus Studio artist Scott Smith. Back then it was located in Chelsea, MI. I was blown away by the experience and vowed to return, but it took me four years to get back and by then artist Jennie Hepler Takens of My Dearest Witch was running the show and the name became Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween. The show had also moved to Marshall, Michigan's Calhoun County Fairgrounds. 

Quite frankly, I think Bewitching Peddlers has a majority of the best Halloween artists in the country. Artists are invited to the show by Hepler Takens and I believe I get just as excited as the chosen artists when I see through social media posts that they have received their beautifully packaged invitations that are handed out each spring.

This year was my third visit to the show and although I said I would go every-other year, I know I can't wait that long to return.

You're probably wondering what I purchased, but that will have to wait till I get everything unpacked and situated. For now, I'll give you a taste of the show through some rather haphazard photos I took. I'm sure you'll forgive me for not taking more, but I was very occupied with selecting my favorite pieces. Don't worry, Halloween art collector and photographer, Amy Schneider, was the show's official photographer and I'll share a link when she posts her pictures.

I also want to say how awesome it was to meet some of this blog's followers! I was really touched by those of you who introduced yourself to me and said that you were following the blog. If it wasn't for my vintage glasses and pumpkin shoes I'm sure I would have been more anonymous. It was also great to talk to the artists I've featured on the blog and to be able to spend some time with Kristen Stafford of the podcast Halloween Art and Travel- she's the one who gave me the awesome Halloween Decor Hunter key chain you'll see below that I will treasure.

My dear husband insisted on driving me to the show this year (a 12 hour drive) and this is our traditional "start of the trip" photo just in case we didn't make it home again- either from a disaster or a divorce. Happy to say we've always made it home still married and in one piece. Of course, I wore my Halloween pumpkin shoes that I purchased from Die With Your Boots On in Salem, MA a few years ago. The top photo is the lovely downtown Marshall, MI. (We want to live there now.)

This is the view you get when you approach the ticket booth for Bewitching Peddlers and the upper right photo shows how it looked when I arrived at 7AM for the 8AM opening. Every time I've been to the show it has been rainy and cold, but somehow it's fitting. There are breathtaking Halloween sculptures placed around the show. Some of them were there when Scott Smith ran the show so they may have been built by him or by Jennie Hepler Takens. I need to find out.

The hand-painted banner when you enter the show is by the artist Nina Vivian Huryn. The skeleton holding it is larger than life. (I think I let a piece by Huryn get away from me that I'm going to regret for some time, but I sent her a message in the unlikely chance that it didn't sell.) Because the show is so well attended by eager collectors, for two days before the show you can stop by the fairgrounds and pick up a number to stand in line. This year I got #69. The show instituted the number system because collectors were camping out in their cars days before the show! Don't underestimate the desire of a Halloween collector. It's actually kind of fun to stand in line and meet other collectors from around the country and hear their collecting stories. Once the doors open, it's a mad dash inside to find your favorite artists and make sure no one else gets the piece you've had your eye on. It can be a bit overwhelming for newbies and is a real adrenaline rush.

Here are some more of the giant Halloween figures that are displays. I had Kristen stand next to the pumpkin just so you could see the scale. You can't believe how beautiful they are. (By the way, Kristin had her stunning witch hat custom made by Karen Steinkraus of The Victorian Witch Hat to match her vintage dress-  jealous....) 

There were 40 artists at the show and their booths were all magical to behold. Stephanie Tiongco's (Stevi T) booth is the top left; Lurena Williamson's booth (Tattered Moon) is upper right; Stacey Bear's booth (Momentos) is lower left; and Isaac Bidwell's booth (Pickled Punks Plush) is lower right.

Upper left is the beautiful tree of ornaments from Jill Chambers (Chambers Artisan Metal and Wood); Kristen and I stopped for a quick photo -upper right; lower left is a to-die-for witch hat from Karen Steinkraus (The Victorian Witch Hat); and lower right are some spooky paintings from Shelly Broughton.

I wish I had thought to take photos of every booth! Sometime this week I'll have a post of the pieces I purchased. It always seems like I have to rearrange my entire house whenever new artwork comes into the house. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Have a Vintage-Style Halloween!

There is a place in my heart for Halloween parties that were celebrated in the early 1900s. I think it's the homemade look of the items that I love. I don't collect vintage Halloween items though because I just don't know enough about the history to make sure I'm buying an antique and not a well-done replica. I feel absolutely comfortable buying a replica though! I've never been a purist when it comes to Halloween decorations and you'll see works from Halloween artists next to Target Halloween decorations at our house. 

Leah Maes creates beautiful vintage-style Halloween decorations in her shop Paper and Mache. I love Maes' tussie mussies and have one in our collection. You'll also find tags and boxes decorated for that special Halloween gift that you're giving. This year Maes' collection seems even bigger!

Altered Art Halloween Ornament

Halloween Witch Photo Ornament

Halloween Tussie Mussie Candy Container

Halloween Candy Bucket

Halloween Pumpkin Gift Tags

I Smell Children Garland

I really think I need the I Smell Children garland. That is so funny! 

By the way, you won't see any posts for the next several days because I'm headed to Michigan for the Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween art show. I'm beyond excited and have to say a little nervous too about traveling while the pandemic is still raging around the country. I'm driving instead of flying and taking food with me so I don't have to eat out too often. I'll also be double masking. I'm vaccinated of course, but you can't be too careful. Plus, I want to protect all the amazing Halloween artists bringing their wares to the market. Maybe I'll see you there? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Petite Primitive Style Halloween Figures

Elaine Stewart calls her shop Hippiehollar and hails from the Appalachia region. Her petite paper máchê and clay Halloween figures are comically quirky and her dried up jack-o'-lanterns are going to make you grin. Plus the price on these are so good you won't want to wait.

Skeleton Scarecrow Ornament

Pauly Witch Ornament

Bucky Jack-o'-lantern

Jubel Pumpkin Figure

Mad Max Pumpkin

Luna Pumpkin Figure

All of these figures and ornaments are under 5 inches which means you really do have room for one more piece of Halloween art.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Shanta Ambady Studio Ceramics

I think I might be on a ceramics kick lately. I'm not sure why because my cupboards don't even have enough room for a nut cup they're so full. But, hey, you can't stop an obsession when it starts so I'm just going to go with the flow. 

Shanta Ambady grew up in Spain and now lives in Detroit, MI. She sells her dark and spooky ceramics on her website Shanta Ambady Studio. What's not to love? From the pumpkin tea infusers to the brain bowl (perfect for cranberry relish) there's a little something for everyone.

Child Skull Mug

Wheel Thrown Cauldron Bowl

Jack-O'-Lantern Tea Infuser/Necklace

Ghost with LOL on Tombstone

Goth Honeypot

Ceramic Pumpkin Ornament

Brain Bowl

The ceramic ghosts really made me grin. I'm always trying to think of something to put on my tombstone that will make people stop- maybe it just needs to say LOL!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Wood Burned Artistry

Kelli Elizabeth is creating some beautiful wood-burned pieces that will fit in nicely with your Halloween decorations and you can keep them on display all year long. Her shop is From The Pyre.

Floral Wood Burned Coffin Box

Wood Burned Rib Cage

Skeleton Hand Coffin Box

Skeleton Finger Bracelet

Wood Burned Demon

Honey Bee Coffin
I've never used a wood burner before, but I can't imagine it is easy to get such delicate lines. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Adorable Little Ceramic Spookies

I happened upon the tiny ceramic figures from Little Mystic Life and fell in love instantly- that often happens between me and Halloween stuff. But really, these are just ADORABLE! Some can be hung from a chain and some are just miniature pieces of pure Halloween joy. See for yourself.

King Ghost Ceramic Figure

Pumpkin with Bat Wings

Tiny Bat Pendant

Ceramic Skull Pendant

Deaths Head Moth Pendant

Ghost Pendant

Each piece is unique and hand painted. I don't know how I would even begin to choose my favorite!