Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some new additions...

I was at Ross today, and they had their Halloween stuff on sale. I was able to get a few cool little things to add to my collection. I got a tall pillar candle from Hauntville Witches' Brew. It has black and orange stripes, and the scent is called 'Pumpkin Fright'. It's a really wicked looking candle. I gotta' go back and get one in the smaller size, too. Even the tag looks creepy, and it has a little black spider hanging from it. I even love the smell.

They also had a really cool candle holder that I had to have. It's two skeleton hands holding a glass tea light candle holder. I'd like to go back and get one or two more of them. I also picked out a jack-o-lantern soap dispenser for the bathroom. Yes, I even put decorations in the bathroom! ;)
I already have an orange bubble light with a witch and a black cat in there, and also a candle holder with a haunted house design. It looks so cool when it's lit! I'm not going to want to take this stuff down after Halloween is over. I usually keep up at least a few little things just 'cuz I'm such a nut for spooky stuff. I'd like to keep some of these candles around, and maybe even the skeleton candle holder. Now seems to be a good time to buy Halloween stuff, since so many places already have their stuff on sale. Christmas is beginning to take over, and while I love Christmas, I'm not ready to see all the Halloween stuff disappear yet. It is always kind of a sad day when that happens.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome, Fall

So, today is officially the first day of Fall. How wonderful. The mornings have been quite chilly lately, and more and more leaves are falling from the trees and covering the ground. Today is the first day that I am actually wearing a sweater! I love when I go from wearing tank tops and t-shirts to long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and jackets. I've always loved Fall clothing.

We were putting out some more Fall/Halloween decorations last night in our living room. We bought one of those animated ceramic figurines from the 'Spooky Town' collection at Michael's, and put it on top of an antique piece of furniture. It's called the Full Moon Apothecary, and it makes spooky sounds and plays an eerie tune, while a green witch flies over the rooftop making an evil cackle. It's too cool. Then, we draped a Fall garland with leaves and corn husks all around it. We put some other things on some of the other furniture, too. I'd like to go back to Micheal's and get one or two more of the 'Spooky Town' figurines while they're on sale. I still have quite a bit more I'd love to do, but don't know if I'll actually get around to it all. I started to put some multi-colored Halloween lights outside around our doorway last night. I also finally found a carving pattern kit that I liked, and I plan to begin carving two of my foam pumpkins this week. If all goes as planned, I hope to have them done by the weekend. I'd like to grab a few more of them since they're on sale, too. I always carve a few real pumpkins, but I wait until a few days before Halloween. I like to enjoy the wonderful smell of a candlelit jack-o-lantern as long as I can, which isn't very long, unfortunately. At least I also have Thanksgiving to look forward to, though. Awhile back, I found a turkey pattern, and I carved a pumpkin with it once. It was one of the most difficult patterns I ever did, but it looked fantastic! I had never thought of having a jack-o-lantern on our Thanksgiving table, but it added so much to the decor. In fact, it was everyone's favorite. No one could believe it was a real pumpkin, or that I had done the carving. At least it gives me a chance to enjoy having a jack-o-lantern around for a little while longer once Halloween is over.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Halloween merrymaking

I went back to Michael's today and got some more stuff to decorate the inside of the house with. Below are some of the neat little things I brought home with me:

Fall-colored garlands to drape around the dining room table;
Halloween candle holders, and some LED tea lights to use with them;
A Halloween bubble light with a ghost and a black cat;
'Dreadful Manor', from the 'Spooky Town' collection;
A metal sign that reads, "Welcome Witches and Ghouls", which I hung outside next to the front door;
An Evil Scarecrow figurine by 'Spooky Town' that has a jack-o-lantern head that lights up. I put him in my 'Great Pumpkin' pumpkin patch.

I also put up a strand of ghost lights across the top of our entertainment center, right above two ceramic pumpkins that light up. I felt it wouldn't be right to be decorating for Halloween without Jack Skellington being a part of it, so I put on my Special Edition 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' dvd while I was decorating. To top it off, I was beginning to smell the delicious chocolate Goblin Bars that were almost finished baking in the oven. I found the recipe for them on the back of an M&M's bag. They sounded too yummy to resist trying, so I thought tonight would be a great time to make them while I was busy doing my Halloween merrymaking, as I call it. I am still looking for some new pumpkin carving patterns to use on the foam pumpkins that I bought recently. The ones I saw at Michael's and Target just didn't impress me much. I think I might get some online from Zombie Pumpkins, since he has so many amazing creations to choose from. I still have more to do before I feel ready for the Big Night, but I'm feeling excited about how things look so far. I love all the creepy decor and glowing faces all over the house.

And now for those Goblin Bars....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some poems for the Dark Season

Not only do I really love stories about Fall and Halloween, but I also love poetry about it. It seems kind of hard to find good poems about Halloween, but when something catches my attention, I never forget it. Such is the case with the following poems. They tug at my heart because of my love of this blessed season, and because of how much I adore Halloween.

'Theme in Yellow', by Carl Sandburg

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

'Under the Harvest Moon', by Carl Sandburg

When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

'Autumn', by A. Ferdinand Herold

DEAR, do you see the autumn fruits a-lying?
Listen, what slow, monotonous flute is sighing
A song of parting through the shivering wold?
O the song of the flute is pale, the tune so old
Its passing seems to wither all the leaves.
The sky has lost now its diaphanous eves
Which charmed your eyes not very long ago.
No gladioli now nor lilies blow,
And see the rose-leaves on the garden grass,
The last flower that the autumn slays, alas!
Dear, can you hear the falling of the fruit?
Into the night sounds, weeps the woodland flute,
Into the night that veils our happy path,
Into the night that all things shadowed hath.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Carving that jack-o-lantern!

One of my favorite things about Halloween is the carving of the jack-o-lantern! I used to love to do just the traditional type of design, with the triangle eyes, nose and mouth. I still love almost nothing more than a really sinister expression on a glowing pumpkin, but I've also become very fond of non-traditional designs that you get from, say, Pumpkin Masters. I've seen some really awesome works of art, and have done some pretty darn good ones myself, if I may say so! ;) I'm always on the look out for something new that's super spooky. Some time ago, I was doing an online search for just this sort of thing when I came across Zombie Pumpkins. ( It's dedicated to practically any kind of carving design you can think of (movies, musicians, actors, TV, etc.). They not only have Halloween-style designs, but also ones for summer and other events. Seeing as how I love scarecrows, one of my favorites is Patch Master. I believe you are asked to pay a very small fee for some of the more elaborate designs, but I think it's worth it. They have some free ones as well. What I also like about the site is that you can add your own photo of your special Zombie Pumpkins creation to the customers' gallery. One of these years I am going to add one of mine.

If you love carving pumpkins as much as I do, I recommend that you check out this site! It has a lot of cool stuff to look at, and if nothing else, it's a fun way to kill some time if you need to!

It's starting to look like Halloween! :)

Ok, so I'm still far from having everything up that I was hoping to have up this year, but at least parts of the house are starting to look Halloween-ish. I put up my hanging jack lantern the other night, and am very happy with it (although I was a little disappointed that it wasn't as big as I thought it would be). Nonetheless, it's a great little addition, and I'd love to have about four or five more of them. There is also a white ghost that I hope to get. I'd like to alternate the jack-0-lanterns and the ghosts along the deck. These are perfect for lighting a walkway, or for hanging around a room or patio if you're having a party. Last night, I finally got out some of my decorations and started to go to work on my decorating. I hung a wooden skeleton with wobbly legs, and holding a sign that says 'Happy Halloween', in front of our doorway. But I was most pleased with the table that I decorated! First, I found a Fall-colored table runner with scarecrows and cornstalks on it and put it on the table. I then put a fake pumpkin that I carved the other night on one end of the table, and a jack-o-lantern with a straw-filled hat and fiber optic lights at the other end. I also found my 'Peanuts' 'Great Pumpkin' collectibles and placed them in the center of the table between the jack-o-lanterns. (I'm a big 'Peanuts' fan, so I was very happy when I found these at a Target store a few years ago!) Unfortunately, the 'Peanuts' characters, with their Halloween costumes on, weren't in the box with the pumpkin patch set, so I'm going to have to look for them. A few weeks ago I had bought two scarecrow figurines at TJ Maxx, and I added them to my little scene as well. I will probably do what I did last year and add a strand of either orange or purple lights around the whole table. I just really love lights. I can go nuts with them at Halloween and Christmas. I will be putting some along the deck some time this week. I always wish I could leave them up year round. I saw so many great little things at Walmart the last time I was there! I have not even been to a Halloween store yet, but that's next on my list. I happened to see a Spirit Halloween store just the other day, and I simply can't pass up on going this year.

So, finally, it is looking more and more like a Halloween fanatic lives here. I always have tons of ideas for what I want to do, but it never seems like I can manage to do even half of them. Someday, when I don't have tons of homework to do, or tests to study for, I can devote much more time to creating something really fantastic. Oh, how I long for that day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm slowly getting there...

...being ready for Halloween, that is. (Note the word 'slowly'). I simply haven't the time that I wish I had to really put all of my effort into it like I'd like. There is still hope, however! Just today, I went to lunch with my folks, and I needed to stop by Walmart to get another yard of my Halloween fabric for the bedspread I'm making. They had their first Halloween set-up, and I got a cool little hanging lantern with a jack-o-lantern face. (I can't wait to go to sleep with that spooky face glowing in the corner of my room!) I also got a Halloween blankie, some Halloween cookie cutters, and some of those little pumpkin candies. You know the ones I mean. They're basically just candy corn, but they're in the shape of pumpkins. Great little snacks, they are. I hope to make some cookies this weekend with the cookie cutters I got today. The set included a witch, a pumpkin, and a cat. I just have to get the icing and other decorations, and I'll be able to make some creepy little cookies!

Then, in the mail today, I was excited to see that I received my seasonal catalog from The Winfield Collection. If you haven't ever heard of them, they're a company that sells all sorts of woodcraft patterns and supplies. They have patterns for every holiday, and also other things, like cute little benches and stuff. They always come out with a catalog just for the holidays. I am not skilled with woodworking, but the stuff I see in this catalog makes me want to learn. Eventually, when I am finally done with school once and for all, I intend to devote a good deal of my time to learning things I really want to learn, like sewing, prop making, and woodworking. One year, my uncle made a really wonderful Christmas yard display with woodwork. It was Santa in his sleigh (which was life-size), and his reindeer. It was all white, and my uncle had put clear lights on the sleigh, and it was just stunning. I've always remembered that, and have always dreamed of doing that in my own yard. But I also want to do some Halloween woodwork, and The Winfield Collection has some great patterns to choose from. Some of them are even animated. I would recommend them to anyone who loves to decorate for the holidays.

And now, I am off to put my lantern together. It's going to be so cool to have it hanging in the corner of my room. I might just have to leave it up year-round. ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Halloween preparations

I am already starting to get a little bit anxious about being ready in time for Halloween. Even though it's next month, I guess I wasn't expecting to be so busy with school that I wouldn't have more time to devote to my decorating. My faux pumpkin still sits on my floor next to my bed, waiting to be transformed into some ghastly creation . Poor guy. He must feel so neglected. I also haven't finished my ceramic ghost holding his little jack-0-lantern. He's been sitting in our dining room forever, and is just too cute to not be included in the Halloween festivities this year. I still want to go back to Michael's and get at least one more pumpkin, as well as a few more things if I can afford them. Being on a budget seriously sucks around the holiday season. There is always way more stuff that I want to buy or create, but either don't have the time or the money for. *sigh* I really want to begin planning a costume. I'd like something different than last year, but am not sure what. I think it's about time to pay the Costume Mansion a visit. Perhaps I can do just that after I get the dreaded algebra test over with this Friday. I must also share that I saw the first house with Halloween decorations the other day! It was while I was doing my run through the neighborhood. As I passed the big, white house with the huge, black gates, I noticed a wooden pumpkin on a stick lining the driveway on the hill, and a banner that said 'Happy Halloween'. It actually made me smile to see someone else who is obviously looking forward to Halloween. But then, they were always into it. I remember those people from when we were kids, and we would trek up their steep driveway to go trick-or-treating. The wife would answer the door with a big bowl of candy, or with a plate full of homemade cookies, and she would seem so happy to see us. Back then, we had quite a few houses around here that were wonderful when it came to Halloween. That doesn't seem to be the case as much anymore. It's nice to know there is still at least one family that still enjoys it.

On another note, one nice thing is that it is slowly beginning to feel like Fall is on its way. The days are indeed getting shorter, and the mornings tend to have a chill in the air. I just love that. I love how after a long, hot summer those first days begin to appear, where you have to put on a sweater when you first get up in the morning. As I sit here writing this, I already feel like Fall is here. I keep waiting for the leaves to start turning red and gold, and for the streets--and our driveway--to be covered with them. The wait is almost over. Not much longer now. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Halloween goodies, and some great news!

I went to Michael's again yesterday. I actually went there for something that was not Halloween related, but of course, being that there was tons of Halloween stuff--old and new--I couldn't just walk out of there without purchasing *something*. I finally got another large pumpkin to carve. They were 40% off, so how could I resist?! I also bought one of those big strobe lights to put inside the pumpkin, which I thought might look kind of cool. I've never used a strobe light, but I've always seen them in the stores and wondered how they looked. I'm finally gonna' find out! Oh, I also got a life-size, foam skull that I thought would look good on the deck railing, along with the lights and other decorations that I plan to put up this year. I couldn't believe the sales that Michael's was having! If only I had more to spend, I could have come home with so much great stuff. Oh, well. All in good time. I really want to go back to TJ Maxx, too. They had some really cute stuff. I was impressed.

Probably the highlight of my day, aside from buying some more Halloween stuff, was that I saw one of the huge Halloween stores, 'Halloween World', already open for business. I did not get a chance to go in, unfortunately, because I was with my mother, and we had errands to run. I will be back down there again tomorrow, though, and will definitely be dropping by to check it out. I also noticed a sign on one of the buildings near the mall that said something about a haunted house, and that they were casting people for it. I don't live near the mall, or I would probably go and see about getting involved.

Halloween is *next* month, people. I can't even believe it's so close.