Truth be told, I have never been too excited about the ghoulish elements of Halloween, but rather the fall colors and pumpkins with just a hint of Halloween whimsy here and there are always fun at this time of the year. There is a sweetness about childhood memories of Trick or Treating in the neighborhood with friends for me and for my own children. And now, I get to experience the fun again with my grandchildren. Granted the costumes are far more elaborate than the homemade ones from my past but the excitement of Trick or Treating seams to endure. So, now it is time to dig out some of my favorites for the season.
Here is a little piece of artwork made by Taylor at the age of 7. I thought was so special and deserved to be framed and kept to be used year after year. He made it from white tape and black constructions paper. Kids make things like this skeleton and bat in such quick order it is hard to understand why the proportions and details always seem to be right on. For the background of the picture, I decopauged a fall napkin on a piece of cardboard with Modge Podge and mounted the skeleton and bat under the glass with just a touch of glue. It is a perfect complement to the two Halloween figurines and brings a smile every time I catch a glimpse of it.
Years ago, I produced a series of fabric panels that featured artwork from magazine covers of the twenties and thirties. The series was titled, Cover Story. Some of you may have some of these panels. The original kits included a panel and instructions to piece into a wall quilt. Later, the series was re-issued as complete panels with faux pieced borders that required only quilting to finish. The Pumpkin Boy was always one of my favorites and I had the artwork printed in a very large format and framed. It is the first thing I put up each October.
It is always tempting to collect vintage paper Halloween items but pretty difficult to display. I like them best when gathered into a collage which make a great piece of art. This makes much more of a statement than trying to display them individually. This is a collection of paper items I have collected. I started with an interesting old frame and covered cardboard with some orange fabric for the background. It serves as a bulletin board for mounting the items. For the most part the items are slipped under the frame edges and ocassionally a small stick pin was used to anchor the items in place.
This drapery rod mounted on the wall has been one of the best ways to display quilts. I shared this with you previously but must tell you it is really a handy way to show many quilts grouped together. Sometimes I will carefully fold and hang the quilts in an orderly manner but this is probably my favorite way to group them. It is so much fun to see them clustered together rather than folded up and hidden away in a cupboard. I change the group many times throughout the year, generally reflecting the season. I got my rod from West Elm but I see them everywhere. It has an industrial look and is so strong and perfect for the job. But, I am sure any strong rod would do and the great thing is the size can be adjusted to exactly the space you have.
Last fall I ran across a picture taken of a barn on the farm where my father grew up. The picture was taken 40+ years ago the day the barn was demolished. I have fond memories of my grandma’s farm and specifically playing in the hayloft. I am one of those people who love old barns and am always drawn to images of them or in a natural rural setting. I am sure that all started in my childhood with grandma’s barn. I painted this simple image of the barn, exactly as the photo captured it 40+ years ago and love seeing it each day.
One of the best things to do is to repurpose items you already have to create something new. I recently added an antique punch bowl to my collection and went about creating this showy piece for my kitchen island. Years ago I found some orange Christmas ball ornaments at a discount store on sale after Christmas. I had no idea when orange ornaments would ever be used on a Christmas tree, but purchased them at a deep, deep discount (no wonder) thinking I might just be able to use them in the fall. They finally got their chance. I filled the punch bowl with the assortment of orange balls and faux moss balls. I then gathered up some artificial grass, berry and leaf sprigs from my stash and inserted them into the bowl. The ornaments and moss balls held them all in place. I placed the arrangement, surrounded by a fall twig wreath, on a tin cake stand to elevate it, which always makes an arrangement like this pretty outstanding. The best part is, all of the items were in the house and got reused in a new way.
The best thing about fall arrangements is that just about anything goes. Here I collected items from outdoors. It is just about ready to freeze here and kill the plants so it is a good time to bring a few of the fall blooms into the house. This arrangement is simply Little Lime Hydrangea blossoms with Autumn Joy blooms, ornamental kale and cedar. It will last a long time and here it is grouped with a cluster of white pumpkins and Carnival squash, which is my favorite baking squash. Oh, the colors of fall can’t be beat!