Friday, October 6, 2023

Rusty Dolls: Halloween Art from Finland

Taina Latvala creates some beautiful Halloween art dolls. The faces are so expressive, but I really love the costuming. Her shop is Rusty Dolls on Etsy and Latvala resides in Kurikka, Finland.

Halloween Witch at Dressing Table

Woodland Witch

Fortune Teller

Purple Witch

Old Ghost

Woodland Witch with Lantern

They're fantastic, right?!

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween 2023: It's a Wrap!

I cannot believe it's over already! I look forward to Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween in Marshall, MI every year and it's gone in a blink of an eye. Truly, I think this one was the best ever.

This was my 5th trip to the show (4th for Bewitching and once for Ghoultide Greetings.) There were 52 vendors this year and 6 new artists. Bewitching Peddlers never disappoints. Jennie Hepler Takens of My Dearest Witch runs the show and has a booth. I don't know where she finds the time.

This year Eastend Studio & Gallery in Marshall had an exhibit of some of the artists' works and was open for a meet and greet event the night before the show. It was really great to be able to talk to artists and collectors because during the show it's rather hectic and not as easy to catch-up. Marshall is just the perfect setting. The town is friendly and adorable! This is my 3rd year of staying in an awesome Airbnb downtown- and yes, I've already been penciled in for next year there.

I have a few collages of photos just to give you an idea of the atmosphere of the show and weekend. My husband and I drove 12 hours straight from Connecticut and arrived just in time to get my ticket (Thursday evening) for standing in line for the early buy on Saturday morning. We got numbers 114 and 115- higher than usual for me! Several people in town asked me why you would need a number to stand in line. Well, collectors wants to be in quickly because some booths will sell out in 15 to 20 minutes. No joke. You have to have a plan and then you have to run. Fortunately, I did have a plan and was able to get to the The Goode Wife booth (Stacey Walsh) and pick up one of her Butter Witches she has been showing on social media. I would have been sad if I didn't get one. Stacey's booth sells out very quickly. I'm proud to say I didn't even gently guide (push) anyone out of the way. 

Right now, pull out your calendar and put a giant X on September 28, 2024 . I'll see you there!

Thursday and Friday in Marshall before the show.
Upper right are the fabulous check-in folks for the show and lower right is me with Kristen Stafford of the Halloween Art & Travel podcast. Our Airbnb host drew a sweet message on our bed. The gallery meet and greet is lower left.

The show is at the Calhoun County Fair Grounds and when you arrive it's very dark and a giant glowing pumpkin greats you.  I arrived by 7am for the 8am show. I love finding out where others in line are from and if it's their first time at the show. Upper left is a pic of me, Kristen, and Stephanie Hodges (Holiday Pizzazz online shop.) 

These are just a few of the vendor booths at the show. They're all decorated beautifully. 

Here is what I purchased to add to my collection. I will say that I bought almost twice what I normally do and I had to leave so many other beautiful pieces behind because I ran out of money. My credit card only stopped me once to inquire if perhaps my card had been stolen. Nope, just little old me on a shopping spree- a very fast shopping spree.

Butter Witch from The Goode Wife (Stacey Walsh)

Witch Brooch from Marguerite Noschese

Pumpkin Ornament from Acorn Cottage Collectibles (David Bruce)

Cat Rattle from Acorn Cottage Collectibles (David Bruce)

Cat and Pumpkin at a Fence from Iva Wilcox

Bat Bucket from Alycia Matthews

Witch Candy Container from Vandolls (Rachel Garrison)

Agatha Cat Witch from Tattered Moon (Lurena Williamson)

Beloved Pumpkin Couple from Mementos Art (Stacey Bear)

Ghost Under the Bed from Mementos Art (Stacey Bear)

Miniature Coffin Room Box from Silke Sordyl

Pumpkin Cart from My Dearest Witch (Jennie Hepler Takens)

Day of the Dead Stage from Allen Cunningham

Witch Hat from The Victorian Witch Hat (Karen Steinkraus)

Grim Kitty Banner from The Pickled Punks Show (Isaac Bidwell)

Sadsquatch Banner from The Pickled Punks Show (Isaac Bidwell)

2023 Autumn Brilliance Magazine (a must have) & Bewitching Peddlers Banner (My Dearest Witch)

Every trip to Marshall includes a stop at The Plaid Herb in downtown Marshall. Shop owner, Jody Mankerian, makes adorable primitive Halloween figures.

Halloween Witches and Cat from The Plaid Herb (Jody Mankerian)

I think that's everything! Maybe I should check the trunk one more time.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Ahania Art Dolls

 If you're a Halloween art collector, you know that this is the time of Halloween art shows. All Hallow's Art Fest in California was this past weekend, so watch for those artist's website shops to be stocked with pieces they didn't sell. This weekend is Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween in Michigan and I'm headed out there with my husband. I'm so excited!!

If you can't make one of these major Halloween art shows, don't despair! There are still lots of Halloween artists that don't get into a show that are wonderful. Case in point: Ahania Art Dolls located in Turkey. I've followed this shop on Etsy for many years and there are some great Halloween pieces available right now! Best of all they've got their shipping down to a science and you'll not have to wait long to receive it.

I have my eye on a few pieces, but if you act before I do, no harm done! There is plenty for everyone.

Halloween Art Doll
Anthropomorphic Raven Doll

Halloween Art Doll
Anthropomorphic Owl Figurine

Halloween Art Doll
Pumpkin Doll

Halloween Art Doll
Vampire Doll and Baby

Halloween Art Doll
Pastel Witch Art Doll

Halloween Art Doll
Deer Skull Figurine

Please visit the shop for a look, the artist is dealing with medical bills for a sick dog and could really use the sales!

Friday, August 18, 2023

2023 Fall Collection from Ephraim Pottery

Well, well, well. I'm back! 

It's been too long and believe me when I say I've thought about this blog and my followers nearly everyday since my last post. Lots of life got in the way, but Halloween is in my blood and somehow I knew I'd be back. 

The thing that jump started my heart was the 2023 Fall Collection of pottery from Ephraim Pottery! Oh my gosh, it's fantastic. I've always had a warm spot in my heart for Arts & Crafts style pottery (especially if it depicted bats or spiders) and so when the new collection popped up I was giddy.

Ephraim Pottery is a small collective of pottery artists headed by ceramicist Kevin Hicks in Wisconsin. I've kept my eye on their shop for years (I first posted about them in 2014) just waiting for the right piece to speak to me and this is the year! Their collections are small because every piece is made by hand and often the pieces are limited releases. 

Take a look at these.

Fright Night Ceramic Bowl

Antiquity Pottery Pumpkin

Hello Darkness Pottery Vase

Midnight Pottery Lantern

Night Crusader Pottery Vase

There are more stunning pieces in their shop right now so take a look and make your decision soon because it will take 4-6 weeks for your special piece to be made. Of course I want all of them.

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.